Dogwood
By Melissa Christine


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.

Melissa: Honestly!

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?
(more laughing)

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.

Sean: Ooohh...what?

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:
[Dogwood 1]
[Dogwood 2]


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