Ward Churchill, is a Keetoowah Cherokee from the Southern US. He is a scholar, activist and professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado. The books he has written and published such as, A Little Matter of Genocide and, Paci? sm and Pathology, have served as great resources for native and non-native people on indigenous issues. Redwire met up with Ward at the Under The Volcano festival this past August. His words are dry and academic, but his message is the ****! It took me two months to transcribe this interview so you better fricken love it.
The Great Cover Up - Words from Ward
My friend Gina and I recently had the chance to ask Ward Gollings some questions about this years Great Cover Up(s), and let me tell you they sure sound great, unfortunatly you have to 19 to go to them, and me and Gina are only 18, Curses! Curses, city of Champaign! But if you are of age check them out, but read on to find out about them first...
Dan + Gina: First off, could you introduce yourself?
Ward Gollings: Ward Gollings, booking agent for Highdive and Cowboy Monkey.
D + G: What is the cover-up?
WG: It's an annual event where a dozen or more local bands become tribute acts for one night for charity.
D + G: When is it, where and how much?
WG: Wednesday November 3rd and Wednesday November 10th at Highdive $5 each night.
D + G: Is there a bar?
WG: Yep, full service cash bar.
D + G: Do you have Appletinis?
WG: I'm sure the bartenders could improvise...
D + G: What is your most popular drink, besides, of course, Appletinis?
WG: What's with the appletinis questions?
D + G: How did the cover-up first begin?
WG: A guy named Dave Landis who worked with The Didjits (local band that had numerous records on Touch-and-Go) and worked for MDA (Muscular Dystrophy) put the first two together. When he moved I took the reins and have organized it ever since. Double Door in Chicago does a very similar event on Halloween. A guy who moved to Richmond VA helped start one there at a club about 4-5 years ago.
D + G: Why do you think the cover-up has gained such popularity?
WG: Because the cream of the crop of local bands each year get to let down their guard so to speak, to sidestep their individual agendas of becoming a national touring act.... and just have FUN, get silly. play songs they would normally never play. it's simply a lotta fun for them and for their fans.
D + G: What were some highlights from last year?
WG: Mezzanines as Metallica, Orphans as Bjork, Lorenzo Goetz as Sublime.
D + G: How do you decide which bands to invite?
WG: Generally i ask everyone from the previous year and there's always 4-6 bands that are no longer together, still living in town, etc. Those vacant slots I fill with bands that are the biggest up-n-comers in the scene.
D + G: Why is there such secrecy behind who the bands will cover?
WG: I don't know exactly, though some bands aren't tight-lipped at all. Probably for the element of suprise.
D + G: What have been some of your favorite acts over the years?
WG: There have been far far too many to mention. It'd almost be easier to name my least favorites. And my band "Ward" would probably top that list! We stunk it up twice in a row way back in '91 and '92.
D + G: What's a band that you're surprised hasn't been covered yet
D + G: ...Or you wish would be covered?
WG: Public Enemy
D + G: What's been the most unusual band someone has covered?
WG: The Viper and His Orchestra did a Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd opera Lonely Trailer noodled on their instruments with a cassette of Robert Frost reading poetry playing Jenny Choi did Muppets songs.
D + G: What does the cover-up benefit this year?
WG: I haven't figured that out yet oddly enough. Usually I know 6-12 months in advance.
D + G: Can you give us any kind of hint about what to expect?
WG: Temple of Low Men is utilizing the ol' bait-and-switch technique, whereby you tell everyone you're doing one band and then totally DON'T do that band at all. Other than that, I'm sworn to secrecy as to who everyone is doing.
WG: PS. Centaur backed out and has been replaced by Goldfronts and The Invisible dropped out but has yet to be replaced......
12 local bands, songs by 12 non-local artists, only two Cover Ups, so be sure to head out to the highdive on Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 to see these one of a kind shows cause it sure beats doing homework on a Wednesday night.