Drum's Not Dead

Gang Gang Dance keep the beat

Despite their ability to, in Diamond's words, "write a song in as long as it takes to play it," the band wants to explore further. DeWit pines to work with Timbaland and make some banging club tracks, while DeGraw's weekly gig as a DJ re-emphasized the notion of a seamless flow of divergent rhythms. The end result so far is not a follow-up record, but a DVD—titled Retina Riddim, it's a video collage made by DeGraw as he fucked around with Final Cut and hours of tour footage. "Really, it's me smoking weed and sitting up until 7:00 in the morning. I learned a lot musically from doing that, taking these bits of music and basically dropping in (their) visual equivalents."

Gang Gang Dance take the pulse of the street
Joshua Wildman
Gang Gang Dance take the pulse of the street

Difficult and grim though the early years were, the negative charge surrounding the band seems to be dissipating. DeWit called to announce that he got a new kit, so he'll have drums when they venture to the woods of Kentucky to record again. But perhaps the best sign of all came when DeGraw was at LAX, about to fly over to Japan for a DJ gig. "My cab rolls up to the gate and right in my window, I see this huge fucking yellow clock. And it was Flavor Flav, dressed all in yellow, smoking a cigar...and he just bear-hugs me. 'Respect, man,' Flav said, patting me on the back. I felt really blessed after that."

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