Getting in some practice before going home to his wife
Who? Ten Tonne Dozer Where? Shetland
Can you describe Ten Tonne Dozer in three words?
Dave Kok (vocals): Dozer, Ten, Tonne.
Why should people take the time to check your music out?
Because we rock, and if you see us live we rock even more and you’ll get to maybe catch a glimpse of Jamie actually moving or tapping his feet. He’s a bit like the eye of a hurricane and the other members of the band are the rest of the hurricane.
You’re based in Shetland. How does the Islands take to metal music?
The media don’t really care, and the public who are not into anything rock-orientated hate it or don’t understand it, but other than that at the moment, the general feel and moral support for metal is good. If they could only be all bothered to get off their arses and come out to the gigs to support Shetland heavy rock/metal bands more often that’d be even better.
You’ve ventured off Shetland numerous times and have toured across Europe. As a metal band, how important is it to tour abroad and how successful has it been?
It’s been very successful. In fact, we’re heading back to the continent in June to play some more gigs and a festival in Alkmaar, then we’re coming back through northern England and Scotland. We’ve got a good following in areas in Holland now and in many places throughout Scotland and northern England. Touring is the best way for us to make an instant impact in a short space of time, which usually leads on to bigger and better things for us as a band, especially when we’re stuck in Shetland for most of the year due to a combination of cost, weather and other commitments. We tend to have a great time when we’re on the road with other bands we play with, so that’s always good for networking and we do well with album and other merch sales. It’s just a shame we don’t get the chance to tour more often. There’s still loads of places that we keep having to turn down because we just can’t get there with the funds and time that is available to us.
What makes a good metal band?
Balls, guts, blood, sweat, groove. And it helps if you’re not a bunch of arrogant wankers to the people who have turned up to see you play. I hate that ego trip bullshit.
Do you feel metal music and the people playing metal get tossed aside too often in today’s music scene?
Not really, it just depends on which music scene you’re looking at. A metal band isn’t going to be in the top forty of some Brit Pop farty pants chart, nor is it going to be in the get down wid yo mudda hip hop rappa dappa wiggety wiggety wak chart. It’ll be in the charts, on the tele, and on the radio stations that give a rat’s arse about heavy rock and metal. Horses for courses, you can’t always expect to fit a round peg into a square hole even when you force it and bash the crap out of it. Well, at least that’s what my last girlfriend used to tell me when we were gettin’ down wid da wiggety wiggety wak.
What encouraged you to start listening to metal in the first place?
Besides when Star Wars: New Hope first came out, I suppose musically a bit of that came from my Dad’s record collection. The first track that really jumped out at me was AC/DC‘s version of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ from a 1975 Aussie rock compilation vinyl that I first got into in 1979. I grew up with a wide variety of tunes from different genres, but the rockier stuff was mainly The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Angels, Skyhooks, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper. The first lot of heavier stuff that I really got into was Overkill, Metallica, Death Angel, Testament, Exodus, Nuclear Assault, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies.
What other Scottish metal bands have impressed you?
Attica Rage from Glasgow – watch out for these guys, they’re going off like a frog in a sock! Semperfi from Aberdeen are also definitely one to look out for – a very tight and impressive young metal act.
You have a bit of a wild stage persona, and your shows have ended up a bit bloody. Shouldn’t you be a bit more concerned for your wellbeing and health?
I don’t really think of me when I’m up there, I just think of the band putting on a good show for the crowd. I figure as long as I’m basically standing (or crawling) and I can finish the set, then it doesn’t really matter how much destruction and bodily harm is caused on the way. Once I’m on stage and in the zone there’s no turning back. There’s nothing ever planned, it just happens. Things that are in my reach end up on stage somehow – sometimes it’s a fight with a large cactus, other times it’s smashing a violin, toaster, or a New Kids On The Block clock over my head. I have enough health issues off stage so I make the most of every performance until it becomes my last.
Bright rainbows or fluffy clouds?
Fluffy clouds for sure, they look like they actually could serve a purpose in the bigger scheme of things. Rainbows are for hippies!