Interview by: David Locklear
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff
Dave Sherman is a multi-talented dude.
In addition to being the ringleader of Maryland doom legends, Earthride, for 17 years, he also jams in his other bands, Weed is Weed, the dark country music band, Pillbilly, and holds down a full time job. Earlier this year, he also played bass with The Obsessed and appeared on their latest release, “Sacred”. In late spring, he departed from The Obsessed lineup, which opened up the door for the reformation of the legendary Earthride, in all of it’s newly charged, guttural glory. With their newest single, “Witch Gun”, stoking fan’s excitement for a new Earthride album, Sherman took a moment to talk to David Locklear about what’s in store for the band.
David Locklear: Earthride back together! This is a big deal for a doom nerd like me. How did this come about?
Dave Sherman: Wino and me, we reformed our band, The Obsessed, and got signed onto Relapse Records. So we made the album “Sacred”, but Wino and me had a falling out. So I’m not going to just lie down and die, so I decided to reform Earthride. See, the thing about Earthride is we had a really good thing going on, the ball was rolling really well, and then there were (slowly enunciates) PRESCRIPTION DRUGSSS. It got to the point where we couldn’t do it anymore.
David Locklear: So you had to take a long time off.
Dave Sherman: The thing is I’ll never be able to get into a fallout with anybody in the band-like, I’m running the show now! (Laughs) You know, Wino is running the show in The Obsessed, obviously. I mean, that’s been his band since ’79, so as long as Wino is in the band, it’s going to be The Obsessed. And whoever else is in the band, good luck to ‘em! (Laughs) No, but it was actually [bassist] Reid Riley who took my place. He was in Corrosion of Conformity and a band called Rwake from Arkansas…he’s really good. He’s like fucking top boss at that shit. I really liked his playing that song “Stone Breaker” that COC put out.
David Locklear: From COC’s album, “In the Arms of God’?
Dave Sherman: Yeah! That’s a badass fucking record.
David Locklear: It reminded me of Down’s second album.
Dave Sherman: It doesn’t seem like Down is going to do be doing anything anymore.
David Locklear: Yeah, I don’t know what is going on there. I felt like when they lost Kirk Windstein (Singer and Guitarist of Crowbar) that might be a hard sound to duplicate.
Dave Sherman: I know, I mean they lost the old man. He can fucking shreeed on the guitar-his riffs, they’re fucking enormous. But you know Phillip Anselmo, he can sing his ass off, but he writes a lot of those riffs, too. You don’t see it, but he writes a lot of riffs for Superjoint, Down, and I’m not totally sure, but I think even a couple of Pantera riffs. And I’ve been around those two guys at the same time, and man, it’s like walking fucking testosterone! (Laughs) I mean, those motherfuckers are just so Alpha, it’s crazy to be in the same room with them!
David Locklear: Yeah, it seems like that would be exhausting after a while.
Dave Sherman: I know, that’s what I was thinking, man! To wake up every morning being Phil Anselmo: (In a deep tone of voice) ‘Dammit! Fuck this! Shit, man, someone fucking smoked my weed, AGAIN!!’ (Laughs) Nah, he’s really cool. There was this one time I went backstage to see him-this was on the Reinventing the Steel tour-I walk in his dressing room, his head’s down, got his long hair and he’s listening to Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral”. So I’m like “What’s up, Phil? How you doin’?” and he says, “Pretty gooooood, maaaan.” And I ask him, “You want to hit this bowl, bro?” and he says, “Not right this second.” But not even a minute later, after just cranking out Sabbath, he says “Know what? I do want to hit that bowwwwllll.” [Laughs] Fucking Pantera always put on a good show. Phil’s made a good run of it, that’s for sure. He won’t be out on the street with a sign that says ‘Will work for food’. (Laughs)
David Locklear: Have you smoked up with any other famous people?
Dave Sherman: I smoked a joint with Kurt Cobain.
David Locklear: No shit! When was this?
Dave Sherman: On the Nevermind tour, when they came to the old 9:30 Club, about two weeks after Nevermind had been out. The place was sold out, but I got in, and you could kind of wander downstairs to the backstage, so I went down and there they were. Grohl, Noveselic, Cobain and a couple of other dudes were with them and they were sitting there smoking a joint. I went up and was like “I love your fucking Bleach record, man. Haven’t really heard the new one yet, but I love Bleach.” They went up onstage after that and the people went nuts! It was like when I saw Bad Brains play there years ago. And right then and there, I knew this band was going to be really big. But I didn’t know they were going to fucking sell 20 million records big!
David Locklear: So you didn’t get to play a set with them?
Dave Sherman: No. I’ve played with Public Enemy in Amsterdam, dude. That was pretty wild. Played with Buckcherry in Belgium. I’ve played with Black Sabbath. BLACK SABBATH, bro. At Hellfest with Spirit Caravan. You know who else I’ve played with? In ’96, again at the fucking 9:30 Club, Deep fucking Purple, bro. I got Ian Gillan to sign my Black Sabbath “Born Again” album for me! And I asked him, “How do you keep singing so well after all these years?’, and he told me, “Drinking good Scotch whiskey, mate!” They were fucking phenomenal, I’ve got to say. When we were playing Hellfest, Soundgarden was there too. Fucking bad as shit. I saw Kim Thayil walking, Cornell was right behind him and Matt Cameron too…and I walk up to him and tell him, “Bro, can I get a picture with you?” Thayil’s like, “Sure!” and I snapped a photo with him. And looking back on it, I wish I’d have gone up to Cornell, too…God bless him. God bless him. Gregg Allman, all those motherfuckers…damn, man. Lemmy! Oh my God. Never thought he would fucking die! You know, he tried to do the blood transfusion thing like Keith Richards, but they wouldn’t let him do it, ‘cause I think he had changed his blood chemistry. But that was how he rolled, you know?
David Locklear: Yeah, some old school rockers would literally party to death. Newer bands couldn’t handle that; they’d be eaten alive. Are there some newer bands you’ve been into?
Dave Sherman: When I saw Ghost B.C., I wanted to fucking hate them. But then I saw them, and they fucking scared me almost in the same way when I first saw Pentagram in ’87.
David Locklear: You just announced a new single on Salt of the Earth records. How did you go about writing these new tunes?
Dave Sherman: So I was talking with this guy at work one day-I’m an electrician, an electrician musician-and I mentioned how I had played in New Orleans about 13 times, and we started talking about voodoo and he started telling me about the witch gun, which can shoot voodoo at your enemies. That’s what the single is about, and it’s also got a song called ‘Bridge Burner’ on the second side. Just really cool, heavy songs.
David Locklear: Are you going to do a whole album, or just stick with the single for now?
Dave Sherman: From here on out, pretty much we’ll start touring. We’re going to make a brand new full-length record and hopefully release it next year sometime. We’re going to start recording it over the rest of this year and put it on Scott Herrington’s label (Salt of the Earth), try to release some back ordered stuff, have up a website, some new shirts, patches, whatever people need.
David Locklear: Dude I can’t wait to see you guys play again, crushing eardrums.
Dave Sherman: We’re going to keep pumping out the music. I’m not going to stop this time.
Check out Davids cool vinyl site also: