Take a listen …. Russ has something to say.
I had the chance to speak to Russ (Graham) Dwarf of the Killer Dwarfs recently as John Corabi of The Dead Daisies gave them some street cred with a previous interview I did with him. I’ve always liked the Dwarfs and especially the guitar solos in their biggest hit ” Keep the Spirit Alive circa 1986. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v01IJoLO4A0
This Canadian hard rock band has been going hard since the 80’s and are still delivering. Currently, the band still tours and have recently signed a deal for a couple releases on EMP and one is going to be a new studio album. I can’t wait and I’m sure you can’t either.
I mentioned to Russ that when I asked John Corabi who his favourite Canadian bands were and the Killer Dwarfs were mentioned, he responded with “yeah well he better (had said that) because I know where he lives, (laughter), he’s a good pal of ours…such a great guy…he’s one of the nicest guys in the biz.”
We spoke about his solo album Wireless that is comprised of old Canadian bandsclassics being done acoustically. He mentioned that guitar legend Bumblefoot (Ron Thal) and Glen Drover (ex Megadeth) helped on some of the songs. “yeah, Bumblefoot is also one of the nicest cats in the business….him and Crabs…just super guys….. and stellar talent man”
This is interesting to me as I had never heard about Bumblefoot until I published my first Rock Talk and the name was dropped by Geoff Tate as someone he worked with in the past. I’m going to have to reach out to his camp and see if an interview is a possible.
Russ told me that next February the Dwarfs will be taking part in their sixth Monsters of Rock Cruise and they can’t wait. ” it’s got like 30 bands and 5000 people and it’s a great vibe all week”.
I mentioned that it must be great for the fans to be able to interact with their idols and Russ humbly told me the way he looked at the situation.
“Hey, we’re Canadian man; I mean it’s just rock and roll, it’s not rocket science for ch***t’s sake…it gets out of working for a living. (laughter). It’s great for us to be able to hang with the other bands and the people on board…….nonstop music and at the end of the day we are very grateful to be able to do this for a living”
This Cruise that embarks on February 24, 2019, will feature Tesla, Tom Keifer (Cinderella), Rose Tattoo, Skid Row, John Corabi and many many more hard rocking bands. Click here for details if you are interested in attending. http://monstersofrockcruise.com/the-bands/
On another note on a personal level, Russ confides that he doesn’t live an overly exciting rockstar lifestyle outside of his touring and studio work. Last night, for instance, he said he “walked the dog, made some sausages on the barbeque, and was in bed by 8:30 (laughter)”
He says his Golden Retriever takes a lot of his time and he also mentioned that he is a huge Elvis fan. He collects a lot of memorabilia of which he has been told by his wife that he is not allowed to have any more in the house.
Coincidentally, Russ revealed his wife Kristie was born here in the Sault. Very cool indeed!
I asked Russ to comment on his sentiments about his playing career and best memories and he responded.
“opening and touring with Iron Maiden is up there as well as playing Hammersmith. ; that was a dream come true since I was a kid and then we did Rock Against Hungerwhich was massive…………………but you know Ernest it could be the crappiest little bar with such a great audience that you remember because it’s all relative”
When I asked Russ when the last time he was recognized as Russ the singer of The Killer Dwarfs outside of being in a concert venue area where it would be normal, he told me usually he doesn’t get recognized, as he normally has a beard and wears a ball cap. He did, however, say he has been mistaken for Dana Carvey at a gas station before. ” If I had his money, I’d burn mine (laughter) ” he responded. LOL.
Just before I was to conclude the interview I asked Russ what was coming up next for him and the band.
” Well coming up in August we are hosting an annual Killer Dwarfs benefit for hunger and it’s going to be great………” I asked him what it was called and he responded ” oh man you’re putting me on the spot, I think it’s called The Killer Dwarfs Benefit for Hunger “ LoL.
He did confirm that it was actually called Rock Against Hunger and the proceeds go to Feed The Need shelters in the Durham region of Southern Ontario and that they love doing it because life has given him (and the band) so much. http://www.feedtheneed.ca
The event consisted of an auction, golfing and a dinner; band manager Rob Zakojc confirmed with me that this year’s event was another success and they have raised INXS (Rock Talk pun intended) of $5000 and they are still crunching the numbers. Good job boys !!
At the end of the day, this was a great interview and I can’t tell you enough how relaxed and humble Russ was. I look forward to talking to him again someday; who knows, maybe that someday will be during the week of February 24. 2019.
Thanks again for reading and next week I will bring you a chat I recently had with Canada’s favourite daughter Sass Jordan!