First/Last-Dot Dash

June 30, 2015

“Dot Dash travelled 300 miles south to Fidelitorium Studios just outside Winston-Salem, North Carolina where, with the legendary Mitch Easter producing, the 10-track Earthquakes & Tidal Waves was recorded. Although perhaps best known for his production work on R.E.M.’s first three records, Chronic Town, Murmur, and Reckoning, plus the band’s original indie 7”, Easter — who added a guitar lead to Earthquakes & Tidal Waves’ album-opening “The Winter of Discontent” and played piano on album closer “Sleep, Sleep” — has been a pivotal figure in melodic, left-of-center, guitar-based music for nearly 35 years, both with his own band, Let’s Active, and as a producer of bands such as The dB’s, Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr., Wilco, Pavement, and Ride, to name just a few.”

Dot Dash is a melodic post-punk pop outfit hailing from Washington D.C. The band’s latest effort is their Mitch Easter produced “Earthquakes & Tidal Waves” album via The Beautiful Music Records. I want to thank Terry Banks (Guitar/Vocals), Steve Hansgen (Guitar), Hunter Bennett (Bass), and Danny Ingram (Drums) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Terry Banks: Cheap Trick, “Live at Budokan”.
  • Steve Hansgen: The Beatles, “Hey Jude”.
  • Hunter Bennett: The Doors, “Greatest Hits”.
  • Danny Ingram: The Beatles, “Beatles ’65”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Terry: Alex Chilton, “Ocean Club ’77”.
  • Steve: Harry Nilsson, “Pandemonium Shadow Show” (mono).
  • Hunter: “Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats” country compilation.
  • Danny: Swervedriver, “I Wasn’t Born to Lose You”.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Terry: Haven’t listened to it in a long time, but it’s Aztec Camera, “High Land, Hard Rain”.
  • Steve: The Beatles, “Rubber Soul” (UK mono version).
  • Hunter: Love, “Forever Changes”.
  • Danny: Today it’s Punishment of Luxury, “Laughing Academy”.
  • First concert attended?
  • Terry: AC/DC, with the Pat Travers Band opening, Towson State University, Fall 1979.
  • Steve: Wings -“Wings Over America” tour. at The Capitol Center, Largo MD, May 1976.
  • Hunter: Circle Jerks and Better Living at Love Hall in Philadelphia, November 1983.
  • Danny: Jackson 5, Washington D.C. 1971.
  • Last concert?
  • Terry: Dot Dash recently opened for Chris Stamey, so that was the last show I saw. Last one as a pure attendee was I think The Damned at The Black Cat, Washington D.C.
  • Steve: Lieutenant at Black Cat D.C.
  • Hunter: The Replacements at Echostage in D.C., May 2015.
  • Danny: Pixies, Washington D.C.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Terry: The Go-Betweens, Town & Country Club, London, Summer 1989.
  • Steve: Faith’s last show, Space II Arcade, D.C., August 1983.
  • Hunter: The Mekons (acoustic) at Iota in Arlington, VA, 2012.
  • Danny: The Jam, the Chords, Stiff Little Fingers and Punilux at Loch Lomond, Scotland, 1979.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Terry: I collected beer cans as a kid (it was a big thing in 70s suburbia, at least where I lived.) Iron City Beer had these 16 oz. cans with the Steelers on them — Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Joe Greene, those guys. I had a few in my collection — prized possessions at the time… What else… I think of The Deer Hunter… And Andy Warhol was from Pittsburgh, so there’s that.
  • Steve: My maternal grandfather and his entire Serbian family were from Pittsburgh and I have many happy memories of spending time there. And of course it’s also home to the Barbed Wire Dolls!
  • Hunter: My sister’s ex-husband managed the Pittsburgh Pirates a few years ago. That’s all I got.
  • Danny: The last time I played in Pittsburgh was in the early 80s opening for Killing Joke. I had a great time, but their guitarist Geordie had his wardrobe stolen from the dressing room and I seem to recall some fighting with the promoter. Oh… and let’s go Caps!

Thanks, fellas. You all have some real cool Pittsburgh connections. Come play a show here sometime.