By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
Dillinger Four and Atmosphere kicked off the year by sharing the stage at First Avenue's staff party last January--and, surprisingly, nobody got naked. Since then, D4's St. Patrick Costello and Atmosphere's Slug have crisscrossed the world on separate DIY tours. We asked the local punk bassist and punk-ass rapper to recount stories from the road and other 2002 highlights.
CITY PAGES: Got any good anecdotes?
SLUG: I don't even know what an anecdote is. I thought it was like, "Oh man, it burns when I pee. I gotta go get an anecdote."
ST. PATRICK COSTELLO: My most memorable moment this year would be traveling around the country and writing messages to Atmosphere on their tour posters.
SLUG: Yeah, everywhere I went, there was "D4 loves Uptown Jesus" in the bathroom or in the bar. And there were always three kids that came up to me and went, "We just saw Dillinger Four, do you know those guys?"
CITY PAGES: Didn't Dillinger Four play a squat in Switzerland with a pool?
COSTELLO: That was really cool. It was this mansion that this American built, and he'd have diplomats come for dinner and stuff. It looked all Sound of Music. But somewhere along the line he went bankrupt and just packed up and left. So these people squatted and put on shows. The cool thing was that it was right next door to the mansion where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. This dude, who I couldn't even really talk to because he only spoke French, he was like, "I am to take you to the mansion. You see for the monster!" And we got pretty loaded and he took me over there. We had to walk a half-mile through the woods. It was really stormy, and I got really terrified.
Another thing was we had no idea that we had a genuine following in England. The first show we played was in London, and we would have been happy if we drew a hundred. And this place, the Underworld, was damn near sold out. It was more like 600 to 700 people. And I remember we played "OK FM DOA" first, and people jumped on the stage right out the gate, singing along to everything. I was dumbfounded.
And then after the show everybody came up and was like, "Do you know Atmosphere?" [laughs] We heard about Atmosphere everywhere. We heard about Har Mar Superstar everywhere. Some people bring up Mason Jennings. Some people bring up American Head Charge.
SLUG: Yeah, Har Mar, you, and Mason Jennings.
COSTELLO: We're always hanging out in this hot tub.
CITY PAGES: How did you two become friends?
COSTELLO: [Through Lifter Puller singer] Craig Finn. Sean, didn't you take him to a rave or something? That's what he told me. He said "Dude, have you ever heard of Atmosphere?" He told me some story about how you got him high out of his mind and took him to a rave or something. It was like the best night of his life.
SLUG: I don't remember taking him to a rave. I've been to two, and I played at both of them. We played one out in Woodbury or some shit, and one in St. Paul near downtown.
COSTELLO: That's the one where I met you, because I remember I had this really cool pacifier in my mouth. And my glowsticks were huge.
SLUG: Your glowstick is still huge. Give yourself credit.
COSTELLO: [laughs] I got one of those little Irish glowsticks.
CITY PAGES: Sean, I saw your DJ, Mr. Dibbs, throw up on your shirt at First Avenue. Is there a story behind that?
SLUG: When we went to Japan, they took us from the airport to the venue. We started walking around and it was this huge rap festival. They had rappers from around the country that they brought over there for this. And after about a half-hour people would start to realize who we were: "Atmosphere!" "Mr. Dibbs!" They would start coming up to us going, "Mr. Dibbs!" [makes a gagging motion, finger in mouth].
CITY PAGES:: I didn't realize Dibbs did a lot of vomiting on the road.
SLUG: He made a DVD and a videotape called Scratchapuncture. You know when all the DJs were making these videotapes for kids to learn how to scratch? Well, Dibbs made one where there's barely any scratching in it. It just had tons of fights and throwing up and people eating human shit.
COSTELLO: That's the stuff people always bring up. Because we get that too: "Are you going to take your pants off tonight?" They ask in advance. We'll be like, "Yeah, during the fifth song." Actually that was the highlight of this year, when you and I had that vomit contest in that Laundromat. I suppose that wasn't a show, though.
SLUG: He won. He threw up first.
ELLO: When we played at the Troubadour in L.A., that was the show where Avril Lavigne showed up. And this was when she had the hit single or whatever. But we didn't know who she was because we weren't listening to the radio.