photograph by kristin angelique
Interview with Miracle Workers
by Kristin Angelique
The MIRACLE WORKERS are:
DANNY DEMIANKOW: Guitar, Organ, Vocals
GENE TRAUTMANN: Drums, Marracas, Vocals
GERRY MOHR: Vocals, Harmonica, Tambourine
JOEL BARNETT: Bass Guitar
MATT ROGERS: Guitar, Vocals
This interview took place on February 13, 1986 in Joel and Linda's living room. Danny arrived a little late.
KRISTIN: What does Miracle Workers mean to you as a name?
JOEL: To me it just means the name of a good song.
MATT: It means creating that special magic. (Laughing)
KRISTIN: It's the name of a song, though?
GENE: Yeah, by The Chocolate Watch Band.
KRISTIN: Who are some of your band's favorites bands?
GERRY: My favorite bands are The Ramones and The Unclaimed.
GENE: I like us, I don't like any other bands. (Laughter)
MATT: I like Les Baxter, he's an orchestra conductor. (Laughter) I'm serious. He's really one of my favorites. Jello Biafra turned me on to him.
JOEL: I like Jerry Lee Lewis, Unclaimed, Chesterfield Kings, I like The Ramones too.
KRISTIN: Who are your most hated bands?
GERRY: My most hated band is . . . oh, it'd have to be . . . most hated band . . .
GENE: There's so many!
GERRY: I know, there's so many, I hate them all . . . Firefall. no, Fleetwood Mac - they've got a hard spot right in my heart. I truly hate them. Truly - to the bottom of my soul.
GENE: I hate them all. No, no, I don't know . . .
JOEL: It's such a difficult question.
GENE: Do you mean personally or their music?
KRISTIN: Musically, whatever.
MATT: Yeah, I know some I hate personally, but . . .
JOEL: You probably don't want to get on a personal level.
KRISTIN: Yeah, you might not want to name local bands.
MATT: Well, I do, but . . . I'm not . . . I don't know.
KRISTIN: Maybe we should skip this question.
GERRY: Just pick someone who's particularly phony.
MATT: OK, Abba. (Laughter)
GERRY: They deserve it.
GENE: The Eagles destroyed my life.
JOEL: Firefall is worse than the Eagles.
MATT: The Eagles were already there. They copped that kind of sleazy music.
KRISTIN: (Laughing) OK, we better move on. What or who influenced you to become musicians?
GERRY: Oh, just local bands.
GENE: Firefall (laughs). I think I was first inspired by The Osmond brothers.
MATT: KISS . . . KISS . . .
GENE: But I was listening to KISS and Aerosmith at the time.
MATT: I was inspired by The Way Outs on The Flinstones. (Laughter)
KRISTIN: How long have you been playing - singing?
GERRY: Four years.
GENE: Eight years.
MATT: Fourteen or fifteen years.
JOEL: I've been playing the bass for four years.
KRISTIN: How old are you guys?
GENE: No, it's how young?
GERRY: I'm 26 - Madonna's age.
KRISTIN: I think she just turned 27.
GENE: I'm 19.
JOEL: I'm 29. It's been awhile since I remembered. I'm not really old.
KRISTIN: What are your songs about?
GERRY: They're about all kinds of different things. Love and stuff.
GENE: Yeah, usually it's like guy meets girl or any combination of guy and girl happenings.
GERRY: Or they're just little stories about rebellious situations.
MATT: We're political in our own little way.
JOEL: Basically, all our songs can be boiled down to guy leaves girl because she's a loser, or girl leaves guy . . . because she's a loser. (Laughter)
GERRY: Guy leaves the world because the world's a loser.
GENE: That's not very nice.
KRISTIN: How many shows have you played?
MATT: Probably a hundred.
GERRY: We should have counted.
MATT: We should start counting today. Let's pretend that today is the first day of the rest of our lives. What do you say?
GENE: Yeah, OK.
MATT: We'll start tomorrow night.
KRISTIN: Is this band your life ambition?
MATT: Time and time again.
KRISTIN: Is it what you want to do the rest of your lives?
KRISTIN: Do you experiment with different kinds of music?
GENE: I experiment with different kinds of music and hope I don't get hospitalized for it.
KRISTIN: What do you think about trends?
GERRY: We like them. (Laughter)
GENE: We are slaves to trends.
GERRY: We set them.
MATT: It's a good way to sell records.
JOEL: We enjoy them while they're hot and drop them when they're not. (Laughter)
MATT: We don't sit around until 3:00 puffing up our 'dos or anything.
GERRY: Polish our platform shoes . . . If you want to know about trends though, here's the man!
(Danny walks in through the front door.)
MATT: Hey, here's the man, he sets the trends that people follow - computers . . .
DANNY: (Looks confused.)
MATT: He was doing things man, I mean this guy, I can't say enough about this guy. He is truly one of the most inspirational people that I've ever met in my life.
DANNY: And he's a compulsive liar. You have to sort his words out. (Laughter)
KRISTIN: Do you spend a lot of time practicing?
GENE: Not enough.
GERRY: Not nearly enough.
MATT: I guess you could say we practice three nights a week, but that's classified information.
KRISTIN: What's more important - money or performing?
MATT: I think a happy balance between the two might be nice.
GERRY: We're going to eventually get rich.
GENE: And then redistribute the money accordingly. We're into redistribution of the general wealth of the world.
MATT: We're trying to make so much money that we can stabilize the economy. You've heard of the pyramid theory? Well, we're gonna debase it.
DANNY: Yeah, we're gonna set up the Pandoras in the senate, the Longriders can take over Congress.
MATT: There you go. Tim Yohannon, let's see - what can we have him do? I know - he can reshelf the Library of Congress.
DANNY: Well, I would say exile Paul Grant. But we won't mention any names.
GENE: What? What is the deal?
GENE: Lee Joseph and his girlfriend in Creem? Sorry - go ahead.
KRISTIN: What are your plans in Los Angeles?
GERRY: It's all up in the air right now. Whatever presents itself, will be taken care of.
DANNY: We're going as opportunists. We're going to go for any opportunity we can get our hands on.
GENE: If we have to give up our music to become movie stars - we'll do it.
MATT: People keep talking about the sun and the surf. I figure the closest I'm gonna come to that is pumping gas out in Venice. No, I'm looking optimistically.
GENE: I'm gonna clean the swimming pools of the stars down in Hollywood.
KRISTIN: Are you going to put out another record soon?
GENE: As soon as possible.
DANNY: We're crossing our fingers.
GENE: And our legs.
DANNY: It's a matter of economics.
KRISTIN: OK, Danny. It's time to catch you up. What are your favorite bands?
DANNY: Mine? Danny D.? I have many favorite bands - Beatles, Yardbirds, Rolling Stones . . .
KRISTIN: What are your most hated bands?
DANNY: I don't have a worst - I have vendettas against songwriters - so the worst songwriter is - well - it's a toss up between Billy Joel and - who's the guy with the nose?
MATT: Jimmy Durante?
DANNY: He supposedly wrote that Mc Donald's commercial.
MATT: Huey Lewis?
GERRY: Barry Manilow?
DANNY: Barry Manilow!
EVERYONE: Ewww! Yuck!
KRISTIN: Great choices. Billy Joel is my most hated, too.
GERRY: Billy Joel symbolizes everything I stand against.
GENE: But eventually will become in 20 years.
DANNY: We are the creators, the preservers and the destroyers.
KRISTIN: That'd be a cool name for a band!
DANNY: We are the beginning of the process - Billy Joel is the end of the process.
KRISTIN: Who or what influenced you to play music?
KRISTIN: Do you have any groupies?
DANNY: No - but I'm serious! A friend of mine and I were living in an apartment building. He went over to Montgomery Ward's and bought a guitar, brought it back, sat by the swimming pool, went "duh, duh, duh" (motioning like an idiot trying to play guitar) and all the girls went and sat next to him - and I thought - "I can do that!" so I went over to Montgomery Ward's, picked up a guitar, sat next to the swimming pool, went "duh, duh, duh," got a little attention - but it was a start. That's why I bought my first guitar.
GENE: But you don't have any groupies - so what's the story?
DANNY: It's a short story. It was contact with girls. To promote contact with girls. (Laughter) My first instrument was drums, when I was seven-years-old.
KRISTIN: How long have you been playing guitar?
DANNY: (Contemplating) How can I say this without revealing my age?
KRISTIN: Well, that was the next question . . .
DANNY: I guess it's been about 20 years.
KRISTIN: How old are you? You don't look that old?
DANNY: I'm not, I'm not that old!
KRISTIN: OK, good enough! What guitar players have influenced you the most?
DANNY; George Harrison, Jeff Beck, Howard Roberts.
KRISTIN: OK, everyone - this is my "political" question of the evening. What would you do or change if you were president?
GENE: The first thing I would do is change the monetary unit. I'd put my face on every one of the dollar bills. (Laughing) No, I'd make it so that everyone could have everything they wanted.
GERRY: I'd do that too.
DANNY: The first thing I'd do is remove the word deluxe from the English language and then I'd run Billy Joel out of town.
GENE: I didn't know he was in town.
DANNY: Any town will do, Mr. Specific.
KRISTIN: (Thinking they misunderstood "President" for world ruler / almighty one.)
MATT: I'd make everyone cool. I'd get everyone off welfare and give them - you know - their own little pot of land and everything so they'd be self-sufficient. And I'd stop the cars and throw away the bars and I'd make sweet love to you. (Laughing) No, I'm kidding - I like that song though - it's like cutting through the bullshit in our bureaucratic system.
KRISTIN: Doesn't anyone want to get rid of nuclear bombs?
JOEL: I think if I was President, I'd use one of those big airplanes - like in the airforce - the ones they use to haul cargo - and dump massive amounts of Firefall records on the Communist countries.
GERRY: Rock 'n' roll is the weapon.
KRISTIN: Can you think of any good questions? Anything you've always wanted to be asked?
DANNY: These are fun questions. This is one of my favorite interviews that we've had!
KRISTIN: Good! I'm glad! Well - any final statements? Any messages to the rest of the world?
GENE: Well, I'd like to say that I'm the only vegetarian in the band and I think that the rest of the world should convert to vegetarianism.
KRISTIN: Yay! (Clapping)
GENE: Psychic youth of the world unite!
* * *
matt and gerry
Interview and original photographs by Kristin Angelique.
autumn shade fanzine miracle workers picture album
courtesy of kristin angelique
autumn shade fanzine facebook page
thankxs for sharing this danny d!
satyricon circa 1986