Josh Kemble (vocals) and Sean O'Donnell (guitar) of San Diego's finest punk-core band Dogwood were nice enough to give me a few minutes of their time before they went onstage at a recent Southern California show. For the record, I love Sean & Josh. But if I had known interviewing them was going to be as frustrating as it turned out to be, I'd probably have gone to see Value Pac instead...
Josh: He's never been to Disneyland (referring to Sean).
Melissa: What? Sean, what's wrong with you?
Sean: Stop! Why do you have to make fun of me?
Josh: His mom's Southern Baptist.
Melissa: Um, well that's okay. But living in Southern California and not ever going to Disneyland is NOT okay. But hey...I really like the upcoming record. A lot more than the old ones...
Josh: Which one?
Sean: Ha ha...More than Conquerers?
Melissa: No, no. The new new one. The one that's not out yet.
Sean: Through Thick and Thin.
Melissa: That's not what it's called. What's it called?
Josh: Uh, it's called...Stars Fall on Your House. Stars in Your House. No, Stars in Your Stereo.
Melissa: No, that's Noise Ratchet's next album. Josh why are you being a dork?
Josh: It is?
Melissa: Yeah, because stars are emo now or something.
Sean: Ours is Why We Scream. No, it's really going to be called Building a Better Me. Really.
Josh: Are you wearing like some kind of vanilla or something?
Melissa: Me or Sean?
Josh: You. What is it, Bath and Body Works...Keyberry Breeze?
Sean: No, I remember. It's a fragrance. And it's called...something like, industrial.
Josh: Oh, it's Diesel for women, huh.
Melissa: Hey, yeah. Wow, that's pretty good, Josh. You're getting married. You know girls. That's why you knew that, right?
Josh: Girls like the little things, you know?
Melissa: How is that going to affect the band?
Josh: They all love Lisa. Actually I'm going to stop singing and Lisa's going to take my place. I'm gonna be the Dogwood roadie.
Sean: Actually she's going to be the only person in the band.
Josh: She's going to tour the country in place of us...she's gonna bring like an a-dat track thing of a performance and do interpretive African dancing.
Josh: I'm serious.
Melissa: I can't do this anymore. (Josh is biting off pieces of a lollipop stick and spitting them at me periodically) Would you stop spitting that at me?
Sean: I'm sorry... what do you expect when you put the two of us together and ask questions? Anyway go ahead. You're going to get your interview.
Melissa: Um, okay...with the upcoming record, it's obvious you've progressed a lot. Do you think you're going to be playing punk rock for years to come?
Josh: No. Punk doesn't have a retirement plan, you know? We're going techno-rhythmic-persuasion...onion skin persuasion...
Melissa: Stop! People are going to read this and go, "What?"
Sean: So what? Good! I want them to. What do you want us to be...boring and lame? I mean when I read this interview and I read 'onion skin' I'm going to be going, "YES!".
Josh: But seriously, we just got off tour with Blink and Bad Religion.
Sean: Now you're just lying. Now it's not just embellishing the truth, because that's just a straight out lie.
Josh: Oh, you mean that wasn't us?
(they laugh for about 2 minutes...)
Josh: Melissa, you're a bad interviewer.
Melissa: Oh, no...
Josh: You wanted to have fun!
Melissa: I'm not having fun, Josh. I'm going to cry now. Do you want to make me cry?
Sean: Ha ha! Are you serious?
Melissa: Yes I'm serious. Hey, Sean. You have a side project. What's it called? How do you spell it?
Sean: R-E-E-V-E O-L-I-V-E-R. You knew that.
Melissa: Yes, I knew that. But these people didn't. (Another piece of Josh's trajectory lollipop stick lands on me) AAAGGHH! That went in my mouth!
Josh: What, Reeve Oliver?
Melissa: Ugh. So Sean...what made you want to do a side project and not just stick with Dogwood?
Sean: I hate Josh! Ha ha. Wouldn't you?
Melissa: Sean, how old are you?
Sean: I'll be 21 in August. You know I'm 20.
Melissa: No, see, but you're acting much younger.
Josh: But Reeve Oliver has been around for 45 years.
Sean: See, Josh is just starting to get jealous.
Josh: No, I don't care. Not at all. It's great. Why would I be? It gives him a chance to be the front man.
Sean: That's not what I was yearning for but...
Melissa: AAAGGHH! JOSH! IT WENT IN MY MOUTH AGAIN! STOP!
Sean: Are you going to edit that part out?
Melissa: No, I'm not. Okay I'm almost done. Are you guys playing Cornerstone?
Josh: Yeah. Tuesday the fourth.
Sean: Are you mad at us? Start over.
Melissa: Um yeah, okay. So you're playing Cornerstone. Tuesday. Tooth & Nail day.
Josh: I just said that.
Melissa: Are you gonna light things on fire?
Josh: Dude. Who are you talking to?
Sean: Pants. I'm gonna light his pants on fire, and he's gonna...
Josh: I'm gonna spray the crowd with gasoline telling them it's Kool-Aid...Kool-Aid colored gasoline...
Sean: He's just gonna light my fire. Hey, hey. Right now? I'm the powder keg, and he's the match.
Pictures taken by Melissa: