Review/Interview: Dino Bravo
During the holiday season, you may find yourself relaxing by a warm fire, sipping hot chocolate, and enjoying the company of your family. Ivan Catron and Jake Mott, the mustachioed wrestling villains of Dino Bravo, hope to slam a chair in the face of your holiday season. Dino Bravo is not just a band, but a two-man team of danger, destruction, degradation, and metal. With raging bass, belligerent vocals, slamming drums, and a passion for wrestling, the boys of Bravo produce sounds that will tear your ears and your soul to shreds. Here are my two favorite tracks from their latest self-titled cassette and an interview with the band.
âKevin Nash Vs. The Definition of Adjectiveâ
Brocals (manly bro vocals), rage bass, and trashy drums. Consider this the perfect steaming yule log for your Christmas enjoyment.
âBruno Sammertinoâs Title Reignsâ
This slow-charging dirge is a shift from the breakneck speeds of the first song, but itâs heavy nonetheless. As usual itâs about wrestling. And itâs awesome. Itâs loud. Thereâs even a brief, yet epic, solo, before the all out supa-epic screecher of an ending! Enjoy.
Interview with Ivan Catron and Jake Mott
How did you form?
Ivan : The two of us were in a folk band called Bad Catman and one day I shot Jake an idea. I just told him I had an idea and asked if he wanted to jam sometime.
Jake: So I said, âI concurâ and we had our initial practice and we worked out about three songs, only one of which we play now. That initial practice was actually quite successful.
J: And then we actually had our first show at Illegal Tone Recordings, in Belleville, Illinois.
I: Yeah, back in April.
Did you show up to that first practice ready to be a heavy metal wrestling duo?
J: But then it came down to, âWe have this show set up, so we better get ready.â
I: Oh yeah, we booked the show at Illegal Tone Recordings and we didnât even have a name
What are your influences?
I: Harvey Milk. Itâs heavy, but melodic. Itâs just good stuff. Lightning Bolt and Big Business. Just good sludge.
J: Good slow music thatâs just heavy. And also Black Sabbath. We love Sabbath.
I: We jam to “Sweet Leaf" all the time. Not that we burn the sweet leaf.
Do you consider yourself a straight edge band?
I: No, Iâm not straight edge, but I know the meaning of moderation.
J: Iâm straight edge.
Are you guys DIY?
I: Thereâs no big ethos or anything. We just try to have a good time with music.
J: Matt Farmer of Bad Catman recorded our EP for us. Our friend Nathan has a record label called Error Records out in Champaign, and he wanted to put it out. Bryan Galecki did the art work. We recorded the music.
I: Our friends just dug us and were all about helping us get it out there. I donât know if itâs green, but the cassettes all came from a resale store.
How do you write songs?
J: He comes up with riffs.
I: Yeah, I have all these different bits and parts, and then when I get with Jake it kind of all works itself out. So I guess itâs half planned and half jammed out. I never have a concrete idea. I bring all the mineral filler and the coarse aggregate and the fine aggregate and the cement paste and then Jake is the water and the cement mixer. Then we pour it out.
Where does the name come from?
J: The name come from a Canadian wrestler. He was Canadaâs self-proclaimed strongest man, Dino Bravo. He met a gruesome end at the hands of the Canadian Mafia, which, believe it or not, is a real thing. He was smuggling cigarettes across the border from the United States into Canada and selling cigarettes to the Aborigines.
I: He used his star power!
J: He wound up getting murdered. He got shot seven times, in his home, while he was watching a hockey game.
I: We figured we would pick something obscure, and gruesome, and gnarly.
J: Something that was obscure, but that hardcore wrestling fans would get.
I hear you two have been known to throw down occasionally. Is there a legend behind Dino Bravo the band?
I: We sort of have a story line I suppose.
J: We wanted to organize a basement wrestling show over the summer, so we came up with all these story lines.
I: We thought we would be the Grunge Brothers. We would come out to something like Mudhoney or sometime. We were gonna call ourselves Big Muff and Super Fuzz, after the album name, and we have all these story lines. We are a tag team, we are brothers, we are grungey, we wear belts, and we were gonna feud with some of our friends, like main event Matt Farmer. True story. We were going to show him some moves, because heâs not big into wrestling and he doesnât know a lot of moves. We were trying to show him how to do a spine buster. I was going to run at him and he was going to slam me into this futon mattress we had in our living room. He picks me up, turns me around, and tries to slam me. He puts my head through the wall. It looked gnarly.
As far as shows as a band go, we are heels, the bad guys. We come out and insult everybody and heâll slick his hair back. We are bad guys. We cheat. We use weapons. But at the same time we are still tacticians in the ring.