Ahoy, mateys! NJ's only Pirate Punk band pulls up anchor!
by Deborah J. Draisin
Founded in 2004 in Newark, NJ, Brine & Bastards is the only “pirate punk” band this reporter has ever seen or heard of. Brine & Bastards is “Skipper” Shawn “Short Dong” Dillon on vocals, “Handsome” John “Miserable” McGuire on bass, George “The Fisherman” Collazo and “Dead Eye” Dave Trainer on guitar and Dan “The Navigator” Peacock on drums. Their debut album, “Set Sail For Sodomy,” released earlier this year through Refugee Records, has been semi-incorporated into the recently completed EP, “Pure Rock Scurvy,” set to be released around Christmastime.
This was the most raucous interview I’ve ever conducted – the band had us (and each other) rolling with laughter. There were interruptions, odd segues, and dual conversations about life, love, music (sort of,) raccoons, peanut butter… um, just read…
By the way, normally the band would have been in full pirate garb, but on this occasion, everyone was dressed up in costume for the Axis Lounge’s post-Halloween party. I was an 80’s groupie, Dan a prisoner, Dave a BeeGee (no clue which one,) John a character from Reno 911, George a proctologist, and Shawn Mr. Clean.
The band began the interview by commenting on one another’s choice of attire…
Dave: Dan kinda looks like he’s in a band,
while we just look like crazy people.
Q: (indicating Dave) You totally grabbed him off
the street, right?
Dan: (yanking on John’s pants) Take the
pants off (John had originally worn shorts onstage)
Take the pants off!
John: (smiling over at Dave) You know, every time
I looked over at you, you’ve got the beard,
the little medallion - you looked so happy, it
George: Dave, can I be very honest? You should
wear high-waisted pants all the time – your
ass looks awesome!
Dan: He kinda works it!
John: (nodding his head) Yeah, you finally have
a little ass!
Dave: I feel like some girl on roller-skates should
be like, delivering me a check right now…
Q: Tragedy is looking for you, by the way (Tragedy
is a local BeeGees cover band.) Alright, listen,
the fucking most obnoxious question of all –
I know you’re going to hate me for this,
but why pirates, come on? You gotta answer this
question, people are gonna ask, they wanna know!
George and John: Why not pirates, you know?
Q: Oh come on, that’s a fucking copout answer!
Explain this shit!
George and John: We like “Jaws.”
Dan: Hey, dudes, we need to be swimming with bow-legged
John: All set, Sir, all set!
George: It started off as a joke… me and
Shawn watched “Jaws” on Bravo TV late
at night, and we were like “Man, those guys
on that boat, before they died, they looked like
they were having so much fun! If we did songs
like that, we could have fun!”
Q: There was weed involved, right?
George: No, drug free since ‘93!
Dan: Drugs are a bad thing, you shouldn’t
do drugs – kids shouldn’t do drugs.
George, Dave and Dan: No hope in dope!
Q: Yeah, kids, stay in school! Are we gonna start
chanting soon? I actually think we should…
George: Vitamin C!
Dan: I can say that, as long as they’re
not actually piss-testing me right here and finding
out what the fuck I’m actually on…
George: Actually, you know what? The sad thing
is that I kinda answered the question truthfully.
Dave: About what?
George: About the “Jaws thing!”
Q: That’s really how that happened?
Dave and Dan: Really?
Dave: I wasn’t in the band then, so I don’t
know. I was scared of the bishops. I was in an
equally obnoxious band in that place, though,
George: No, that’s actually the right answer
– and then we watched “Kids in the
Hall” and laughed.
Q: That show was so awesome! Well we’re
talking music to drink to, you guys, so I wanna
hear everybody’s favorite drunk stories.
George: Drunk stories?
Dave: Uh, I got one!
Q: Everybody’s got one!
George: One time, Dave got so drunk, he…
Q: No, he’s got one!
Dan: I have a few, but personally, I’m not
the one that…
Dave: I was in a band back on the West Coast,
and we played our first show in an apartment complex.
I ended up breaking a door and puking on a raccoon.
Q: How do you puke on a raccoon?
Dan: He’s from Oregon.
Q: Oh, that does explain it…
Dave: I swear to God! I ended up drinking and
I was out back. My buddy was like “Here,
drink this” and he brought me like a measuring
cup of water. This raccoon had managed to scurry
up the steps and was like “What the fuck’s
going on?” I drank a sip of water and was
like “Oh fuck” and I puked all over
this raccoon. That’s a true story!
Q: The raccoon was pissed, by the way.
Dan: Really, I don’t know if I can beat
George: I can beat it!
Dave and Dan: (indicating John) You can beat that
John: I can beat it, but I don’t think we
have enough tape…
George: I made out with a marine.
Dave: I remember that!
Q: Awesome, was he hot?
George: He was handsome.
Dave: That was actually the singer for my band
at the time…
Q: Interesting, there’s like, incest going
George: I haven’t been that drunk since
Dave: You’ve been that drunk since that
George: Okay I’ve been that drunk since
the night that I did it…
Q: You were supporting your country! Alright,
come on, John, you go…
John: You really don’t have enough memory
on that camera!
Q: (laughing) Oh give one, come on! (band deliberates
on which one John should tell)
John: Alright, one time (and we’re going
to tell the “Reader’s Digest”
version so no names will be used…)
Q: To protect the innocent, alright that’s
John: (directly into the camera for a closeup)
Karaoke, 13 double-strength Jack-and-cokes, blacking
out, naked, smeared in peanut butter, arrested.
Q: In the peanut butter, no less!
George: Running down the street…
John: Running down the street, shrieking, in the
Dave: Dude! (shakes John’s hand)
George: Will Ferrell style! It was awesome.
Q: At least get the peanut butter off! Do I wanna
know why peanut butter?
John: I don’t know why peanut butter…
George: It would be silly if it were jelly; how
about a smear of jelly running down the street?
And peanut butter’s good for the skin…
Q: Alright, what have you guys changed up for
the EP; any surprises?
George: What do you mean, “changed up?”
Q: You guys have got some new shit on there…?
George: We’ve got a new guy (indicating
Dave) with a sweet ass.
John: (smacking Dave’s ass) That’s
Dave: Thank you!
Q: That helps! So is this gonna be the cover,
his wicked ass?
John: You ever see the cover of the Rolling Stones’
“Sticky Fingers?” Just imagine the
Q: Aw sweet; I’m looking forward to that!
George: We might call it “Ass In White Jeans.”
Q: You totally should.
Dave: What’s that band where it’s
just the shot with that, with that long thing
out (indicates with his hands around his, er,
John: Oh, the Black Crowes “Amorica”
– the mug shot.
Dan: Oh yeah!
Dave: Yeah, it’ll just me like me in my
bikini, with pubic hair just falling all out.
George: Yeah Dude, and he’s a ginger!
Dave: It’ll be all like red hair (indicating
er, wildly in both directions.) We could have
like, flames shooting out the sides, Dude!
Q: And maybe some raccoons, you know, just to
keep it on topic, right?
Dave: But in terms of like new tunes, “The
Fog” is gonna be on there. “The Fog
II” and then…
George: Like new songs that we’re doing,
or new techniques?
Dave: The new stuff that we’re doing - there’ll
finally be two guitars on there!
John: George has mastered some new techniques.
George: Studio techniques.
Dave: “The Blob” will be on there,
George: And then the sexy new techniques.
John: Very sexy new techniques!
Dan: It’s not so much sexy as roofie’s
and rape, but whatever.
George: But it’s sexy!
Q: That might be illegal, I’m not sure…
John: Did I tell you my roommate got roofie’d
twice in the same bar in a matter of a couple
George: He did not!
Dave: That’s why I carved that pumpkin –
with the roofie!
Dan: Did he have a good time – did someone
tell him he had a good time?
John: No, he didn’t have a good time! I
didn’t have a good time either – I
up making sure he didn’t die in his sleep.
Dave: He got roofie’d and he didn’t
Dan: He got roofie’d twice and you didn’t
take advantage of him? I mean, you had him at
the moment there, you know…
Dave: This is all going to be on the album too.
John: No, but if you jack off when you’re
roofie’d and you don’t even know what’s
Dan: ..is that date raping yourself?
John: Is it date raping yourself, or do you feel
like you’re with a stranger?
George: How isn’t it date raping yourself?
Dan: You’re right, is it more like date
rape or being with a stranger?
George and John: If you do it with your left hand,
it’s more like a stranger.
Dave: But if your left hand is numb…
John: But you’re numb, your whole body is
Dan: You have to be careful and not do what the
guy from INXS did.
Q: Ooh, that would be bad, yeah.
John: No kumquats or extension cords, right?
Dan: I love how he didn’t commit suicide,
no, he was jerking off!
Q: He jerked off to death!
Dave: There’ll be the new song on the album,
now that we’ve…
Q: “Jerked Off to Death” is the new
song on the album!
Dan: It’s probably a Gwar song, somebody
already did it! (slipping into a pirate voice
to compose on the spot nonetheless) “Jerked
off to death, the new Russian decoy, then you
shall die and you won’t leave a void.”
Dave: You’re roofie’d, you dope!
George: Dude, who the hell named the kumquat a
kumquat? Dude, seriously?
Q: Has anyone ever even eaten a fucking kumquat?
George: Do you think the guy who named the peanut
like looked at the dude who named the kumquat
and was like “Fuck, I could’ve made
this so much dirtier? I could’ve just called
it like, an assberry! Like, shit, Hambone smeared
himself in assberries and ran down the street,
and got arrested!”
Band: We need a new question!
Q: I’m going to ask a serious one now –
we’re not gonna talk about kumquats this
time! You guys put on a really fun show; whose
live stage show, for you guys growing up, was
really like mind-blowing?
John: Oooh…Willie Nelson!
Q: Willie Nelson?
Dave: Actually, Willie Nelson onstage is fucking
amazing! That is one of the greatest shows I’ve
George: Oh that lady, with the singer…
Q: The lady with the singer…?
Q: She has an interesting stage show for sure,
but there’s no singing involved.
Dave: (explaining to his band members) A live
show that influenced the way that you play live.
Mine would be like all forms of punk and Eddie
Van Halen just flying around and shit. I was always
drawn to the bands that did like weird shit. I
just remember trying to break as much stuff as
possible and I didn‘t care.
Q: Nobody had a moment when you just looked at
something and said “That’s it, that’s
what I’m doing?”
Dan: No, everything I looked at I said “Oh,
I can do that!”
George: I looked at Hambone every night.
John: And I you!
Dave: Yeah, we watched Hambone tonight and it’s
Q: You’re basically inspiring each other
– fuck everybody else!
George: He’s making love to that bass…
John: I make love to my bass – sometimes
I finger up the back, you know? You see what I’m
throwing around, you know?
Dan: He broke a G string fingering in mine!
Dave: He held his bass covered in KY jelly…
Q: Did the bass feel violated though, that’s
John: This is the level that it’s going?!
That was good – the duality to that was…
George: E Major Friggin' F Sharp!
John: Well, you know what - I realized a long
time ago that it doesn’t really matter how
many notes you hit – just have fun. You
know, anyone who says that they’re playing
for you is fucking lying.
George: I’m playing for tattoos!
Dan: Probably the moment that influenced me the
most was seeing Mark Sandman, because he died
John: Yeah, Dude!
Q: That is pretty hard to top…
George: The wrestler?
Dave: No, that’s Owen Hart!
Dan: Morphine, the band Morphine.
John: Did he really die onstage?
Dan: Yeah, he had a heart attack while playing.
John: Good for him!
George: …so did Tiny Tim; he died onstage…
Dan: Unless you’re GG, then you just do
it while you’re alive, but you know, that’s
John: He really should have just killed himself
onstage like he said. I mean, had he known he
was gonna go out like he did…
Dan: He was in the bathtub with a needle, come
on, that’s not rock-n-roll! Well it kind
John and Dave: That’s pretty rock-n-roll!
Q: Unless the bathtub is onstage with you…
John: It’s textbook, you know?
Q: Well you guys have a pretty loyal following
(well not tonight, but…)
John: Yeah, twenty-three people is pretty good!
Q: They were there, they were just at the bar!
George: Well, we like to drink.
John: We can’t really fault them for doing
what we like to do.
Dave: What’s the question?
Q: Well the question is that this is the kind
of camaraderie that’s missing for a lot
of startup bands –what would you tell them
to do differently?
John: Play “not give a shit” music.
Dave: Not give a shit and start drinking.
George: And therapy!
Dave: Oh, barbecues!
Q: Directly onstage?
Dave: On the stage or are we talking offstage…?
John: No, like I said we don’t care what
George: I don’t know; good question!
Dan: Take a lot of acid and see what happens?
I don’t know!
Dave: Just fucking play!
John: Play video games together.
Dave: That’s what we do – play video
games and read comics and that’s it.
Q: Is that like what everybody does now –
I keep hearing that everywhere I go!
Dave: But this is true! It might be said for other
bands because that’s what’s “in”
but with us it’s like…that existed
George: What, video games? They’ve been
around since like the 80’s.
Dave: Video games and comic books. I’ll
go to his house and Hambone’s still in his
pj’s, playing video games. He’s like
“Dude, pick up the controller and let’s
play.” It doesn’t get more real than
Merch Guy: (emerging) We’re washing down
the merch stands; Shawn and I need a cigarette!
George and Dan: We’re doing a funny interview,
John: Anything Shawn can say, we can say for him,
he doesn’t care.
George: Get Shawn!
Dan: Yeah, get Shawn in here!
Q: Yeah we gotta talk to the frontman! (Dave goes
to fetch Shawn) Alright, this is for you, John,
you recently did a Reggie tour – James is
a fucking crazy motherfucker! What do you take
away from a tour like that for yourselves?
John: I missed my friends…
Q: Aww! Okay so you’re “punk pirates”
- who truly embodies that to you guys? I wanna
know who truly is a punk fucking pirate? Like
George: Like, a person?
John: GG Allin!
George: I like Descendents.
Dan: Because Milo’s really punk…
John: With his science degree!
Dan: And his multiple Ph.D’s in biochemistry…
George: (spotting Shawn) Shawn! Punk pirates?
Dan: I really shouldn’t say anything, because
I have a few degrees of my own…
George: Ask Shawn – watch; Shawn won’t
know the answer! Ask Shawn a question!
Q: I’ve got one!
John: (informing Shawn) Oh by the way, we’re
Shawn: Perfect! Well I need to sign a release
form or you can’t use it.
George: Oh we did that in the beginning of the
John: Did we do NDA’s and everything? You
forged my signature?
Shawn: I’m joking, I’m joking! You
have my permission.
Q: Alright, you did a couple of illustrations,
right, Shawn? Like, where’d that come
from, “The Little Mermaid?” Where
does that fucking shit come from: “I’m
gonna draw a fucking squid on a piece of paper?”
Shawn: Lots and lots and lots of acid.
Q: Yeah, I thought so.
Dan: Aw, you were a good kid!
Shawn: Nah, I’ve never done that, I’m
a good boy. They tell me to draw shit and I draw
it up. It’s like “Draw this, you gotta
draw a squid.” I’m like “I’ll
draw a squid…”
Q: We were doing best drunk stories before, would
that be one for you?
Shawn: Oh, best drunk story - of my life or…?
George: I made out with a marine and Hambone ran
down the street covered in peanut butter…
Shawn: What - I can’t even top that! Alright,
I got really drunk one night - and I maintain
I did not piss my pants, I peed on my pants; there’s
a difference! Alright, you open them up, right,
and the flap is there (and there’s a reason
why I’m called “Skipper Short Dong”
Dillon, just so you know…) (at this point
the band is falling about the lot laughing.) So
I’m pissing and the flap of the jean was
kinda like popping out - I’m drunk and I’m
like “Why does it feel warm?” You
know, I was in front of the toilet bowl and…I
decided it was time to go to sleep, didn’t
even dry off – passed out on my parents’
George: If you gave it a shake then it’s
not being confused.
Dan: But if you gave it more than three shakes
it should come out!
Q: And you could be violating yourself.
Shawn: Well that doesn’t compare to peanut
butter and Megan’s Law and all that.
Band: Next question?
Q: Give a shout-out to your crew, Dudes! What’ve
you got to say to your people?
George: These are my friends here.
John: Yeah, we’re all here.
Dan: I wake up and call Hambone and no one else.
Shawn: We have no one else in this world.
Q: Alright; a question about Brine & Bastards
that isn’t on the fucking piece of paper…
Dan: Watch your language!
Camera Person: Yeah this is going on YouTube,
Q: Damn, I hate you two!
Q: What do you wish you were doing right now (if
you weren’t doing this?)
Everybody’s got one…
John: I’m kinda hungry…
Shawn: A pizza burger would be excellent!
Q: Not immediately, in your life…
Dan: If I wasn’t doing this, I’d like
to be a Merry Fairy with a very bleeding hole
– I’ve got cement to finish it afterwards!
Q: Nobody wanted to be an astronaut or anything?
Dan: I went to space camp - no, I really did!
Shawn: I would be receiving hormone treatments
and living as the woman I was always meant to
Q: That’s beautiful.
George: Oh, he makes a beautiful woman!
John: He does.
George: He takes good pictures.
Q: Oh yeah, has anyone dressed in drag?
George: Who hasn’t?
John: And that was the second best drunk story
I ever had.
Dan: That was the last best Halloween costume
I had too.
John: Coney Islander: “The Rocky Horror
Picture Show,” ending credits - 40 guys
in hockey masks...
Shawn: It puts a whole new spin on masturbating
when you’re dressed in drag, you know?
John: It really does!
Q: A hockey fight at Rocky Horror?
Dan: You stand in the mirror and just get confused…
Shawn: It’s that whole “Silence of
the Lambs” thing: “Who’d fuck
me? I’d fuck me!”
John: I’d fuck me!
Shawn: And then you proceed…
Dan: Doesn’t he dance like this? (whole
band demonstrates Buffalo Bill’s sway with
their arms out.) Weren’t The Supremes playing
in the background?
George: And then he says, with the puppy, “Put
the lotion in the basket!”
Dan: “Put the fucking lotion in the basket!”
George: “It rubs the lotion on its skin
– it does this whenever it’s told.”
Dan: Multiple Miggs is still the best character
in the movie. Just from the fact when she walks
by and he goes “I can smell you from here!”
George: Oh yeah!
Dan: One of the best lines in that movie.
Shawn: (to me) You have a very distinct accent.
Q: You think so? It’s because I’m
a lifelong New Yorker.
Camera Person: Now they’re interviewing
Q: You’re interviewing me now?
Shawn: What part of New York?
Shawn: Queens, alright – I was gonna say
Q: It’s the same fucking thing. Actually
Brooklyn is more similar.
Shawn: Queens…Spiderman’s from Queens!
George: Spiderman is from Queens!
Dan: That’s true!
John: Why do you like Brine & Bastards?
Q: Why? Because you’re fun, because I like
punk rock. You fucking have fun up there, and
George: I like to play guitar.
Dan and John: He does like to play guitar!
Q: And how do you top people fucking yelling out
“Ay Matey” while you’re jamming
out? Oh, and where’s the fucking parrot?
John: It’s hard to play with a fucking parrot.
Q: Fucking parrot don’t listen or what?
Shawn: Yeah, you need a whole strap…
George: Danny used to have a parrot.
Dan: I did used to have a parrot named Analingus.
Q: Oh! I’m sure that was fun, learning its
Dan: Well, it wasn’t a real parrot, it was
stapled to my fucking shirt!
Q: Well, Dude, I don’t know, I thought you
had a real parrot!
Dan: It would’ve been funny if it were a
real parrot stapled to my shirt…I want you
to try and play away the agony…
Q: You’d have the Humane Society up your
Dan: They’d probably get a bird up their
ass too, so whatever…
Q: Now that’s a good show, right there,
I wanna see the bird go up someone’s ass.
Shawn: You can contract Hepatitis from analingus.
Dan: You can get Legionnaire’s Disease from
Shawn: The virus is present in fecal matter and…
George: In birds?
Shawn: Not in birds, in analingus!
Dan: That’s why I said Legionnaire’s
Dan: He meant general ass eating (John doubles
over in laughter) you can get Hepatitis C.
Q: Wait, how’d you guys figure this out,
that’s what I wanna know…?
Unfortunately this burning question never gets answered, as a series of drunken interruptions ensue, but I got what I needed. Watch out for parrots, horror movies are inspirational, and it may be possible to date rape yourself. Do not miss Brine & Bastards next show, and be sure and pick up that EP next month! Thanks again to the dudes for their time – we had a blast.
Read up, listen up, catch a vid:
BRINE AND BASTARDS – “Pure
Rock Scurvy” www.brineandbastards.com
This unique “punk pirate” band out
of “Port” Newark has a little something
for everyone on their recently released follow-up
to the “Set Sail for Sodomy” EP, “Pure
The EP opens with the distinctly Gaelic intro
that is the oddly named “Never Chase A Dog
Into A Dead End Alley,” infused with sounds
of the sea, bagpipes and distant shipmate communications.
The track feeds directly into their rowdy rendition
of crowd favorite “Drunken Sailor,”
which B&B rocks up nicely. The full, rich-sounding
“Shallow Grave” is impossible not
to dance to, and the layered vocals at the bridge
are a nice touch. The much-anticipated “The
Fog” is a dirty guitar-laden head nodder.
Perhaps the most entertaining track on the EP
is the “Taste of the East,” chronicling
each member of the band’s mishaps as they
embark upon a drunken adventure in Shanghai.
The EP rounds it out with a bang on “F.T.W.”
– the undeniably catchy “Fuck you”
chant in the end half of the song will have you
screaming along with your middle finger raised,
and the surprising saxophone finish makes it all
the more satisfying. The additional guitars are
both noticeable and quite welcome against the
flawless percussive background, and the growly
vocals are quite engaging.
Brine & Bastards: “Skipper” Shawn
“Short Dong” Dillon on vocals, “Handsome”
John “Miserable” McGuire on bass,
George “The Fisherman” Collazo and
“Dead Eye” Dave Trainer on guitars,
and Dan “The Navigator” Peacock on
drums. - Deborah Drai