David Layshock

It all began way back when. We grew up in the same small town near Columbus, Ohio. We were teenagers and we loved music. You might say our love for punk rock (…we loved Sonic Youth & the Stooges) , collecting records and going to shows truly solidified our friendship and opened the door to the many musical adventures that awaited us. Today’s featured artist, David Layshock, started his first band, the Cadavers, with Adam Hardman and Jason Piatt in ‘95/’96-ish and I was lucky enough to get to witness just how insanely good they were! They had their shit together. It was like I blinked and they had 20 songs written. They were like 15-16 year old dudes who were way into the Dead Boys and the Sex Pistols and the Dicks and the Germs and all that kind of stuff. They had songs with lyrics saying “I HATE EVERTHING!” . Most of the time it was all together but there were moments when it would fall all apart! They had just learned how to play they guitars and drums a few months before they made all their songs. Was kinda crazy! The next thing I knew they were playing shows with the Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments and the Bassholes at Bernies Distillery! I showed up on a few occasions with a cassette 4-track and managed to capture some of the early material in Dave’s basement and at Bernies. In my mind, those songs and those recordings are absolutely epic. The tapes really captured the true spirit of the band. It was truly magic but of course it lasted for only a hot second and then it was over. The lead singer, Adam, moved to NYC in ‘97. After that, David and Jason started another band called the Brutes. Dave was the frontman/bass player  I remember they had a great song called “Work” with lyrics saying “ I don’t wanna punch the clock – I just wanna punch my boss!”. They really had a lot of good songs and played a really cool version of “I wanna be a Dead Boy”. They enlisted a couple of excellent guitar players and had a few other personnel changes along the way. They played shows around Columbus all the time. Both of Dave’s early bands sounded 100% like a band on one of those Killed by Death compilations. He went on to become the bassman in a legendary Columbus band called the Jeffs for awhile and I was lucky enough to be in a few bands with him as well. In the early 2000’s, we started a band with Adam Fleischer and Dave Fricke (current owner of Cafe Bourbon St.), called the Legendary Canadians and we later changed the name to the Vulvonics. It was a fun band, We put out one 7” toward the end. We also had another band, around the same time, called the New Gods with our good friend Kevin on drums. Weirdly, the New Gods had sort of a cult following. Curtis Chaos used to do door at Bourbon Street and was one of our earliest supporters. The New Gods released a 7’ about one month before the Vulvonics record came out. I showed up at the vinyl pressing place after work one day, before we even had anything recorded and gave the guy $300 to press our record. I went home and told Dave and we called Kevin and we recorded all the songs that night. It was recorded in the basement of a house me and Dave (and his wife) lived at in Columbus, OH. It’s very raw. We just sat up some room mics and let it rip. Nothing fancy. That’s the first record me and Dave played on. A few years later we started another band called Motovirus with Kevin and our good pal Benji from the Jeffs. Dave and his wife ended up moving off to Memphis and that was the last I saw of him for awhile. They now live up in Cleveland. 

LT: It’s been way too long since we hung out! How’s it going? How are you guys holding up during all the strange times that we are all living in?

DL: These times are strange indeed. I’ve just been trying to stay safe. We live in a bit of a hot spot in the Cleveland area so we have to be careful. I was lucky enough to be able to work from home so I don’t have to go out much. It’s very densely populated and not everyone is respectful of one another like we need to be to get through this. My wife goes to food distributions around town and delivers the food to people in the community. We need more of that kind of stuff these days.

With a full-time job and a wife and three kids and a house to maintain, it seems like there’s always something to do. Over the past few months I built a swing set for my kids, I got a ukulele a while back and I’m trying to figure out how to play and I’ve been listening to a lot of records. I’m really looking forward to checking out your new record, you know I’m always looking for something new to listen to.

LT: You’ve always been a huge record collector. Your collection is amazing. What kind of stuff have you been listening to these days? BTW… what’s up with this Freddy’s Pic thing on Instagram!?!?! So Cool!!!

DL: I’ve been listening to the Destroy All Art comps. They’re like Killed by Death for the 90s. Roxy Music and early Nick Cave have been on heavy rotation. They just reissued the first Redd Kross EP which is pretty great and right this second I’m listening to Land Speed Record by Husker Du. Now that I have kids I try to play a wide variety of records and give them an appreciation for all kinds of music. So far they seem to have really taken a shine to my records and music in general. This is what led to “Freddie’s Choice.” Every Saturday morning my wife has to work. I’d throw on records while getting the kids ready, making breakfast and whatever. I had a couple records sitting out on the table and my oldest son Freddie, who was maybe 2 and a half at the time, picked up the Angry Samoans record with the lady with axe in her head.  I thought it was pretty funny so I took a picture and posted it. Freddie seemed to have fun with it and it got a pretty good response so I kept it going. He’s picked everything from The Meatmen to Nancy Sinatra to Weird Al. 4 years later and it’s become a tradition. I think my favorite is the recreation of the Plasmatics Beyond the Valley of 1984 cover with Freddie on an inflatable orange horse thing.

LT: The Cadavers and the Brutes were so good. I really love all the stuff you’ve done over the years. Do you think you will ever do a proper release of any of that stuff on bandcamp, youtube, tape or vinyl so that people can have a listen? 

DL: I’ve had a lot of fun creating music and playing shows over the years but I can’t see myself doing an official release of release of anything at this point. There are maybe a couple hundred people that have a CD, 7 inch or tape that I handed out of my various bands. Everyone else is left with hazy memories of sweaty, beer drenched debauchery and wild stories of destructive chaos and I kind of like it that way. The relative obscurity and lack of documentation helps grow the legend. There was always a reason that my bands never released more music. For the Cadavers, we were too young and naïve to know what to do. For the Jeffs, we were never able to capture the spirit of our live shows. For the New Gods we were never able to top the spontaneity and lo-fi perfection of our 7 inch (recorded after our 3rd practice!). For the Kockasians we fell apart before we could finish recording and our lead guitar player moved away with the tapes. And so on and so on. With that being said, there was CD that the Jeffs put out of a show at Bernies that I’ve always thought would be a great record. But I can’t consider it something I did since I wasn’t in the band yet when it was recorded. It’s like 6 songs in 8 minutes! What kind of band can fit a whole live show on a 7 inch?!? The Jeffs, that’s who! I guess I would have to talk to Benji and Slak about putting that together.

LT: I just spoke to Kevin a few week ago and he was talking about putting together some kind of a festival and getting the New Gods to play. Any thoughts about that? 

DL:   Wow, I haven’t seen Kevin for years! It would be fun to do a New Gods show once things are safe again. It’s got to be about 15 years since the last time we played a show but I think we could get our bearings back pretty quickly. We could maybe play an old song or two just let the rest of the set happen. The New Gods were always very forward thinking. We were already thinking about putting out a record before the songs were even fully formed. We would add a second guitar or saxophone on the fly. It kept things fresh and exciting. I’m really proud of what we accomplished with the New Gods and I think we could pull off a show that was complimentary of what we did without being nostalgic.

LT: Any upcoming music, events or internet stuff you’d like to tell our reader to check out? 

DL:  I’ve been kind of quiet on the music front for a while but lately I’ve been getting the itch. With the pandemic it really limits the opportunities to start a new band but I’ve been writing new songs brainstorming ideas for new projects. The other Dave from the Brutes moved up here a bit ago and I was hoping we might be able to get together to play music. Once I figure out the ukulele I want to try to redo some of the songs from my old bands.

Links

Bandography:

1995-98 – The Cadavers

 1999-2003 – The Brutes

2001-06 – The Vulvonics

2002-05 – The Jeffs

2004-05 – New Gods

2005-06 – The Altered States of the United Snakes

2006-07 – The Kock Asians

2007 – Motovirus