» Dean P. - Infectious Grooves
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Interview conducted July 20 2010
Interview published July 23 2010

I have always been an avid supporter of Suicidal Tendencies. In 1990, when Mike "Cyco Miko" Muir and Robert Trujillo decided to do the sinister by forming Infectious Grooves with Dean Pleasants, I followed suit and immediately dug their silly brand of punkified metallic psychodelic funk. How could anyone forget those ridiculous videos on MTV!

Infectious Grooves are back, even though, they never disbanded. I recently held a conversation with Dean Pleasants. I learned that they are working on a new album and touring with Suicidal Tendencies. They have just released a live album called: 'Funk It Up & Punk It Up: Live In France \'95' with a double disc of material from "Cyco Miko's" solo effort, live.

I still celebrate the plague that makes my booty groove, and one sip from the oozing green cup of those infectious monster skank liquid riffs still has me seeking therapy and feeling mas borracho con mi amour de las cosas Metallicas!

MettleAngel: Hey Man, it is really cool to jive with you and discuss the funk that makes my booty move.

  • Dean: Way Cool Man!

MettleAngel: So let us do the sinister!

  • Dean: Right On, Bro, let us jam!

MettleAngel: I have loyally followed the band over the years. I am a die hard supporter of Suicidal Tendencies. I remember when I first purchased 'The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move...It's the Infectious Grooves' on CD, and sat down to read the lyrics, and laughed my ass off. I had just seen the video for "Therapy", and I wanted to hear more.

  • Dean: Yeah, cool, one thing about the band is that we always have had a real sense of humour.

MettleAngel: That is awesome! I have most of your titles on CD, but I have had a bitch of a time finding, how do you say it, 'Sarsippius' Ark' ?

  • Dean: Yep, that is right!

MettleAngel: Well, finally I met an awesome metalhead at Warriors Of Metal III, who has hooked me up with some rare shit, including this album! Before this, I only had it on cassette.

  • Dean: That is great Man! Hah, you said cassette, so many people do not even know what that is!

MettleAngel: I guess I am showing my age. I just discovered that you have released a new live album, recorded back in the glorious Infectious daze?

  • Dean: Yes, the band has always been around, but it seems like we kind of stopped playing shows. Then we found out how popular we were in Australia, and Europe; especially, in France.

MettleAngel: This is where the live album was recorded?

  • Dean: Yeah, our promoter Lareunt, encouraged us to play Europe and some festivals with ST (Suicidal Tendencies). We were amazed how popular we were overseas. I guess they missed us and were hungry to see us play live again. In some venues we even outsold ST.

MettleAngel: That is so cool! Infectious Grooves really made their mark in the early '90s. ST were at the height of their success, and Mike and Robert Trujillo continued this by founding IG. You are an original member who played on every album, so how did you get in the band?

  • Dean: I have known Robert and Mike for years. Robert asked me to do a couple of demos with them. I was surprised as this material had more of a punk meets R&B flavour. This was more like the way ST started out. I stem from a R&B background, so I felt at home when we formed the band.

MettleAngel: I understand that you also now play in ST full time. I just got those last few more punkified ST albums in the last year. I was always a big fan of the band in the late '80s. This is when they really became a Metal act.

  • Dean: Yeah, having Rocky George and Mike Clark in the band back then, lead them into a more metallic direction.

MettleAngel: My favourite album by ST is 'Join The Army', and that still has me in a possessed to skate, Venice beach mood, always wanting to excel.

  • Dean: (Laughing) I like what you did just there, good play on words!

MettleAngel: I like to keep interviews lively. It was right around the 'Controlled By Hatred / Feel Like Shit... Deja Vu' (EP) with the song and video for "Waking The Dead", that ST truly crossed over. They also just released a Live DVD called: 'Live At The Olympic Auditorium'. You play on that, right?

  • Dean: Oh yes, I have been with ST ever since 1997.

MettleAngel: I noticed that several of those cuts on the DVD were from their earlier material. It seemed like most of the classic 'How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today' and 'Lights... Camera... Revolution' material was omitted. Is this owing to the fact that the new fans of ST are more into the punk / crossover feel?

  • Dean: I guess. Everyone knows "Institutionalized", but several of our fans were not around in the '80s. I also play a bit different than Rocky ever did. I learned a great deal from him, and I was amazed to learn that he trained under Jazz great Ted Greene.

MettleAngel: I love all ST, but I prefer the Classics. I see that Sony Records has released another greatest hits album, which is not all that different from 'Prime Cuts'. I assume the band are not too happy with Epic/Sony capitalizing on their past glory.

  • Dean: Yeah Mike was really pissed about that. We have our own label, and this is what we are putting everything out on. Mike has worked effortlessly to run his own label, and do things his own way.

MettleAngel: I assume you mean Suicidal Records. Well, I am glad that this includes Infectious. Sony are probably only profiting off the band because Rob was in Ozzy, and now he is in Metallica. At least he kicked Metallica's ass inot gear!

  • Dean: Yeah, and Rocky moved on to Cro-Mags.

MettleAngel: I always thought that was a waste of his talent. I mean, I dig the Cro-Mags, but Rocky is such a versatile guitarist. He did a few guest spots on the Infectious debut right?

  • Dean: Yeah, he came into the studio and laid down some leads and licks.

MettleAngel: I understand that you also played with Ugly Kid Joe?

  • Dean: I was never a member, but I did due some session material.

MettleAngel: Like what songs?

  • Dean: I played on both the 'America's Least Wanted' and As 'Ugly As They Wanna Be (EP)'.

MettleAngel: They too had a funky feel, but they were 100% Metal. I am amazed that Shannon Larkin went from them to a career with Godsmack.

  • Dean: Oh Shannon is in Godsmack, I did not know that!

MettleAngel: Yes, and he is doing way better there than he ever did with Wratchild America or UKJ. I am amazed that UKJ are not at the Metal-Archives.

  • Dean: So am I!

MettleAngel: There was something so special about these non-grunge bands of the early '90s who were at their heart Metal, but allowed for some R&B flavour. Bands like Mordred, UKJ, and Mindfunk epitomized this!

  • Dean: Those are some good bands!

MettleAngel: This was also a time when Red Hot Chili Peppers were finally get recognized, and becoming a huge success. Of course Jane's Addiction were real popular, and you even had Stephen Perkins playing drums for Infectious.

  • Dean: Yeah we did, and back then it just seems like everyone was trying to do something a bit out of the ordinary.

MettleAngel: How could anyone ever forget Rob's bass tactics! Your videos also really stood, out, as did Green Jellö's. Now still known as Green Jellÿ, after changing their name from a bullshit lawsuit, they have also reformed and are touring.

  • Dean: Man, I always dug their brand of humour too. I love that song "Three Little Pigs".

MettleAngel: Yeah, with such a claymation type low budget video, that song really stood out. So tell me how you got into Metal and playing guitar.

  • Dean: My dad played guitar and piano. He was always buying weird albums and playing them for me. I will never forget when he gave me my first cassette which was Hendrix, then next it was Santana.

MettleAngel: There is that word again - cassette.

  • Dean: Yeah, I still have several of my original tapes.

MettleAngel: Dude, I have thousands!

  • Dean: Then my friend who played football in the early '80s got me into bands like Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy, and Van Halen. Once I heard "Eruption" I knew I wanted to play guitar!

MettleAngel: Speaking of Ozzy, tell me how you got him to do the vocals on the song off your debut called "Therapy".

  • Dean: Well, we were on the same label then, and both recording an album in the same studio. Mike and Rob both knew him, so we asked him to do some guest vocals.

MettleAngel: So he had no problem with it.

  • Dean: He was all for it, as long as we promised to neither tell his wife or manager. You have to understand he was so drunk and stoned back then.

MettleAngel: He is always drunk and wasted.

  • Dean: I thought he had cleaned up.

MettleAngel: I recently read his autobiography, and he has barely been sober for four years following his near fatal motorcycle accident.

  • Dean: He sure was perpetually high then! The cool thing is that with cigarettes lit everywhere, beer in hand, and drunk as funk, he nailed it in one take.

MettleAngel: The Ozz Man was mas borracho on that song. I still love that cut. Did you know that he also included it on his box set called 'Prince Of Darkness'?

  • Dean: For real, I did not know that! I better had write this down. I am amazed that with the net, I see all these bands with whom I played like Jody Watley, Atlantic Starr, Ton Loc, or the Jacksons, of whom I had forgot.

MettleAngel: Surely you recall playing guitar for Jessica Simpson!

  • Dean: Well, yeah, that was a big success!

MettleAngel: As far as "Therapy", the track is on disc three of four. The third disc includes all the bands or artists with whom Ozzy recorded, including his "Born To Be Wild" duet with Miss Piggy. You should hear his Bee Gees cover of "Staying Alive""...all aboard the disco train!".

  • Dean: That sounds hysterical!

MettleAngel: So I hear you are working on a new album.

  • Dean: Definitely, we have a ton of material all set for a new album, hopefully this year. Mike Muir is a real intelligent guy, and he is always creating and writing music.

MettleAngel: I have not heard 'Mas Borracho' which came out ten years ago. I just got a digital promo version of the new live Infectious CD. I think it is cool how it includes split material with Cyco Myko. I also love how the Sarsippius character reminds me of the late Richard Pryor version of Mudbone.

  • Dean: Mike is really into portraying different personas.

MettleAngel: Does he also do the band's manager named Kashmir?

  • Dean: I think so....

MettleAngel: Like the early era of Gwar, but not as perverted, this made the music more appealing. I would love to see that new ST DVD too.

  • Dean: Oh you mean you do not have that?

MettleAngel: Not yet, and I missed out on the Mike Muir interview opportunity a few months ago. I should get it eventually, as I would love to see you play guitar for ST live.

  • Dean: Yeah, that would be cool!

MettleAngel: Indeed! Well, brother, I am glad to discover than the infection is spreading again. I look forward to showing my son those cool videos from the past.

  • Dean: Thanks Man, I appreciate you passing on the worthy buzz of what is happening with the band. I also am amazed how much you know about us, from the heart. I will let Mike know what a cool dude you are.

MettleAngel: I just look forward to catching both acts live. Unfortunately, I never have seen either. I almost caught ST with Megadeth on the 'Countdown' Tour, but was too broke at the time. I do look forward to hearing some newer material. In the meantime I will just keep playing my 'Sarsippius' Ark' album, which is playing right now in the background.

  • Dean: Awesome Man, this has really been a fun interview. Thank you so much for all your support!

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