Interview With No Redeeming Social Value Vocalist Dean Miller
Band Photo: No Redeeming Social Value (?)
Since appearing in the New York Hardcore documentary movie in 1995, No Redeeming Social Value has become known to fans of the genre all across the world as a good time band who are as funny as they are a solid unit. I was recently given the opportunity to ask lead vocalist Dean Miller some questions and found that there was much more to the band than beer and hardcore...
Diamond Oz: Let's start off with a little history lesson. When was the band formed and why did you choose the name, No Redeeming Social Value?
Dean Miller: The band was started in a very unassuming way in the basement of our parents house in Queens, NY. Our guitar player K9 the Sonic Maximizer was only 12 years old at the time we started the band. The main purpose was simply for a laugh and to drink a few beers with friends of mine from college. That was over 20 years ago. We never had intentions of having any intentions or aspirations musically. The whole purpose was to play music we enjoyed (hardcore/ punk) and drink beer. It has certainly morphed and taken on a life of it’s own. As for the name, a friend of ours thought it described our abilities and personalities, so he really came up with it. It stuck to us and we like it because it’s obniouxiously long and describes us well, and very few average people or so-called punks can figure out how to say it correctly or even know what it’s significance is.
Diamond Oz: Starting out, who were your biggest influences?
Dean: Growing up in Queens, NY our biggest influences (aside from drugs and alcohol) have always been the Ramones, Run-Dmc, Norman Bates & The Showerheads, The 6 & Violence, Nuclear Assault, those are some of the native Queens bands that we heard growing up around our neighborhood. Also, as we discovered NYHC we gravitated towards the obvious greats A.F., Youth Of Today, Bold but one band had the biggest influence on us was/ is Warzone - a big influence on us. Raybeez showed us what HC was really about and was the first to tell us that we were actually a HC band. Before that we thought we were just drunk (or a bad metal band).
Diamond Oz: Moving rapidly back to the present, you guys released a live album recently entitled, "High In Holland." Is this your first live album?
Dean: It is our first album recorded ‘live’ at a show. But, all of our records are ‘mad live’, yaknowhatimsayin?! High In Holland is our new cd that was recorded in Holland when we were ‘mad high’ yaknowhatimsayin?! It’s the first NRSV album of it’s sort. It even has ‘videos’ on it yaknowhatimsayin?!
Diamond Oz: Why did you decide to record the album in Holland?
Dean: We didin’t decide to or not to. Someone mailed the cd of the show to our drummer and he’s an engineer so he puts it on his set up, pumps the volumes and makes a record. Listening to it makes me wish I was back in Holland. We have a lot of good friends there and it’s an honor to have them on our new CD. We use a picture Of Tits on the cover and we play all the hits - what HC fan is not gonna love that gimmick? There ya go, High In Holland.
Diamond Oz: Are they any plans to record a new studio album any time soon?
Dean: No, we usually don’t have plans. That’s our plan. Things come together eventually.
Diamond Oz: What does the band have planned as far as touring goes?
Dean: We play pretty often and have recently toured in Japan, played a wedding in Holland, we’re playing Halloween in Brooklyn. We have a few suprises in mind…. NRSV for hire for ANY event – parties, weddings, BatMitzvahs, events, hardcore action get in touch – www.NRSV.com
Diamond Oz: My introduction to you was through the New York Hardcore documentary, as I suspect it was with many people who aren't from New York. What are your thoughts on the documentary and how it portrayed the band?
Dean: N.Y.H.C. Documentary portrayed us accurately at the time. The movie was a real credit to the NYHC scene at the time…all the characters and people are so real and friends. We were happy to be included with all those HC bands because they are real like us, even though we are on the fun tip we can all still rock it. We all still laugh about the times. Frank Pavitch, the director, is a bud of NRSV from that movie so that is a credit to us, and represented us in a very cool and interesting way.
Diamond Oz: How has the band changed since the film?
Dean: NRSV is always changing as far as the who/what/where/when, but the WHY is always the same, as I said to get some friends together to act the fool and drink some beers, and thrash and trash and get trashed and rock at heavy volumes. Nevertheless, that film came out in 2000, so that’s a lotta years of change and we can drink a lot more now, we’re STILL DRINKING!
Diamond Oz: How do you think the hardcore scene in New York has changed since the '90s?
Dean: I think most of the HC venues have gone away. No shows, no scene. That’s the deal in NYC. It’ll come around no doubt, but Europe has the right ideas with ‘centre’s du artes.’ I think NRSV plays NYC more than most other places though, we’re keeping the scene alive quite a bit as far as that goes. We’re playing w/ Stigma soon in NYC that’s a show for that ass for sho’!
Diamond Oz: In the grand scheme of things, would you agree that No Redeeming Social Value has a special place in the hardcore genre?
Dean: Hmmmmm... Perhaps in some strange way to some strange people. There’s a lot of bands in that genre and I love a good helping of them as well….as for NRSV our place is in the beer drinking and hell raising hall of HC fame. ‘No Redeeming Social Value’ is a name that once you see the band you will remember even if you didn’t know who we were before’ good, bad or otherwise, if I had $1 for eveytime someone told us that, we’d be rich. Alas we’re the 16 time champions of the international HC drinking contest. Beyond that I don’t think anyone that isn’t still drinking will remember us…
Diamond Oz: On the game Grand Theft Auto IV, there is a radio station devoted to hardcore music, particularly bands from New York. Do you think that you should have been included on the soundtrack?
Dean: If they got/ get in touch w/ us at www.NRSV.com chances are we’ll do it for the right $$$. As far as our music, personally, I think it’s filthy filled with cursing and I wouldn’t play it on any radio station if I was a respectable DJ. That’s like bringing GG Allin to dinner.
Diamond Oz: Thank you very much for your time.
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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