Double Bird's Dave Storberg talks beer, bands, and the Rockin' East Side
Photo by Greg Schaal
Co-vocalist and guitarist for Double Bird, Dave Storberg, grew up a metal kid and comic book store employee on Saint Paul's East Side, discovering punk via Brad Johnson, guitarist for Mondo Trasho and Impaler, and a regular customer at the shop. "He became a big brother figure to me, and thus my tastemaker - he got me in to Stiff Little Fingers, the Jam, Bad Brains, Husker Du, and Black Flag," Dave says.
Soon enough, he was getting his mind blown at Quincy Punx shows--"East St. Paul is pretty far removed from Minneapolis (or St. Paul for that matter) and seeing that world really flipped me out"--and the rest is history. Starting with the Misfires in 1997, Dave's been in a series of underground/indie bands in town, most notably the highly respected Signal to Trust, featuring longtime bandmate/lead vocalist Brian Severns, and the ever ubiquitous rhythm section of Pete Biasi and Ben Ivascu.
Although Double Bird's roster is simply Signal to Trust sans Severns, don't mistake them for the same band; Dave, Pete, and Ben have exchanged the jazz and math-rock influenced indie rock of Signal for hard driving, catchy riffs that hit pretty close to Dave's first punk rock loves like the Jam and Husker Du. Voted one of City Pages' Pick to Click last year, Double Bird has been lighting local venues on fire with like-minded bands such as the Dynamiters and France Has the Bomb (in which Dave also serves as bass player). Now, about to embark on their first multi-day tour, Dave took a couple minutes to talk about the band(s), the road, and general beer consumption in the rock and roll lifestyle.
Double Bird's about to kick off a tour--where are you going? What shows are you really looking forward to? Any you're dreading?
We're going to the east coast and back, which is sort of the easiest trip to make when you only have one week to tour. I haven't had to book a tour myself in several years, and I'll be happy not to do it for several more if I can help it. It sucks, no one likes doing it. We're pretty lucky in the shows that came through, though. We have good friends in Chicago, so I never worry too much about going there. New York may be interesting; the promoter was pretty quick to give us the date, but left the task of booking local bands to us. I don't really understand why you would agree to book an unknown touring band if you weren't going to put any effort in putting together the show? What do I know, it ain't my club.
We're also playing in Toronto, which is the show I'm most excited about. Most anxious about as well, with the hassle of crossing the border. Last October, my other band, France Has the Bomb got to play in Montreal and Toronto, and our border-crossing experience was relatively painless. I'm crossing my fingers it goes as smoothly this time.
You, Pete, and Ben have been in multiple bands together one way or another, but how did you guys first start playing together, and what was the inspiration for this particular band?
We were all in [Signal To Trust] together for some years before. When that ended, Pete and I had casually talked about starting a punk band. I wanted to do a trio in the Husker Du/Wipers kind of way. Every couple of months or so I would bug him about it. One night I went to [Pete and Ben's project] Total Fucking Blood show at the Hexagon Bar, and Pete said to me, "Hey, let's practice tomorrow." and there you have it. (I don't know if the Huskers/Wipers thing sticks at all, but that was my state of mind at the time.)
Double Bird has this great punk/power-pop vibe, as compared to other bands each one of you have been in: jazzier, harder, noisier, more "experimental," or generally less straight up rock. Did you go into this band with the style in mind? Who does the majority of the writing?
Yeah, from the beginning the idea was to write short, catchy songs. We like all kinds of music, obviously, but I had been chomping at the bit to do something like this for a while. It doesn't feel unnatural to me at all. There is live footage of Signal to Trust playing some Mummies songs on YouTube, and I remember seeing some pretty nasty comments on there from Mummies fans- stuff like "who the fuck do these emo/indie/whatever assholes think they are?!" When we did that, it just seemed like a fun idea.
As for writing, at first Pete and I were splitting that about 50/50. I've been in a bit of a creative slump this year, but Pete has picked up my slack in a big way. He's writing some really sweet jams these days.
I was worried that Pete moving to Duluth was going to slow you guys down, so it's cool to see you doing a tour. How has his move affected you guys overall?
I was worried too! But it has slowed us down, actually. He's been in Duluth for almost a year now, and that coupled with Ben's crazy schedule has kept us from doing much. When the planets align we'll have these brief flurries of activity. Ben actually won't be playing with us on the tour though-we'll have Dustin Tessier from Lazer Forever behind the traps. For the show on Thursday we'll be playing as a 4-piece with Ben on drums and Dustin on guitar.
You've always been the supporting guitarist or bassist in your other bands, as opposed to Double Bird, where you and Pete share vocals pretty evenly. What's it like being a "frontman?"
Since I still have a guitar to hide behind, I don't really think about being a "frontperson." It might be different if I just sang. Pete usually does most of the talking between songs, which is good since he's a lot funnier than me. If I didn't play an instrument, if all I had was a microphone, the audience would be subject to a lot of bad pantomime, finger-gun pointed at the temple, etc.
Which one of you can drink the most beer? Be honest.
I can drink the 3rd most.
Double Bird kicks off their tour tonight at the Turf Club, 21+, 9:00, $5, with Voytek, Bird Sounds, and Puppies & Trains.
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