Chuck Dukowski, who played the heavy, heavy bass in Black Flag has returned with a new band called the Chuck Dukowski Sextet- the band have just released their second album,’Reverse The Polarity’- a dark and brooding work that mixes, blues, free jazz, sludge, punk and a hardcore intensity with brilliant female vocals that sound very much like the dark underbelly of LA. Oh, and they do a killer take on Chuck’s classic Black Flag song, My War.
Dukowski, (real name Gary McDaniel) born in 1954, was the legendary bass player in the classic early Black Flag line up. He wrote some of the band’smost popular songs, including “My War,” “What I See,” “I’ve Heard It Before” and “Spray Paint.” and was the perfect foil to the band’s guitar player Gregg Ginn
Dukowski left lBlack Flag before the release of the My War album and became the group manager and ran their SST label. He has been in bands intermitingly since then like Â SWA, Wurm and United Gang MembersÂ but has returned with this great new line up. The trump card this time is the rest of the band which features Dukowski himself, his wife Lora Norton, Norton’s son Milo Gonzales and family friend Ashton Slater.
Lora Norton is the singer for The CD6 and her vocals really define the sound with a seering intensity that is a great switch from the usual male barking and she also created all of the distinctive and highly colourful cover and poster art for band. Milo Gonzalez is the great guitarist and Ashton plays drums and Chuck, is of course, the bassist.
The band’s current album, Haunted is a great work- with all that forward thinking associated with Chuck to the fore and a great band capable of realising that vision.
LTW spoke to Chuck Dukowski about the band, asking how such an idiosyncratic unit works and how different was it from the Black Flag days.
The CD Sextet sounds great…how does it work creatively? is it a very different scenario than Black Flag?‘Yes, first in that CD6 is part of a very different time and 3 out of the 4 are very different people.
Are you the boss!
‘No I’m not the boss.’
Where did you find the other members of the band? is it all family?
‘They were the most exciting and interesting people to play music with that I could find. The band is 3 family members (Lora. Milo and me) and a friend named Ashton Slater.’
Was it a concious decision to have a woman front the band? to make a clean break from the weight of expectation? I love the female perspective that is brought to the band- is this important?
‘There was never a band concept except to try to let talent thrive. The female perspective is very important to the band.’
You play a great cover or version of your song My War, what do you think new band adds to it?
‘I wrote My War so I would not consider it a cover. I think the CD6 version on the ORG split 7″ is the definitive recording of My War. Lora’s vocal performance is blood curdling. She’s as intense as Henry but she is coming from a very female perspective, giving the song a very different feel.
Henry’s performances on My War are amazing and really are the core of the Black Flag versions.
Instrumentally the CD6 version of My War from the split 7″ is far and away better than the Black Flag recordings.
What have you been you been up to in last few years?
Musically I’ve been playing with the CD6. We have released three albums and a 7″. The latest album is HAUNTED on ORG Music.
Any plans to bring the band over to the UK- you should play the Rebellion punk festival- you would go down a storm and there will be 5000 people there!
We’d love to come over and play the Rebellion festival and anywhere else we could.
What do you think of the Black Flag myth? do you think the story has swamped the band?
That shit was/ is Real Life for me. I think the story is about real life events. It’s a little like the wake of a boat. It can’t really swamp it.
. CD6 works in the hardcore of old way of no boundaries- there is psycheldelic, blues and free jazz in there…is this the way you understand the freedom offered by punk? a freedom that has, perhaps, been forgotten?
Like Lux Interior said: “The way I walk is just the way I walk and the way I talk is just the way I talk.” etc.