October 12, 2010

Blood Red Wedding: Interview w/ Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides frontman, OFF! guitarist, actor in "Suck")

Years ago I bought a pretty cool Buddyhead compilation album called "Suicide". To this day it remains one of my favorite comp albums and it introduced me to a lot of great bands, notably Murder City Devils and another band whose frontman was kind enough to do this interview: Burning Brides. Vocalist and guitarist Dimitri Coats formed the band back in 1999 with bassist (and future wife) Melanie. As of this writing, they've released four full-length albums and have toured with everyone from Marilyn Manson to the White Stripes to Mastodon. Recently, Dimitri threw his hat into the acting ring and starred in the horror/comedy SUCK (which also stars Malcolm McDowell, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, and Alice Cooper) as the evil vampire Queeny. Dmitri was kind enough to answer a few questions about both Burning Brides and SUCK, as well as some other projects.

The Death Rattle (Aaron): Dimitri, thanks a lot for doing the interview. For the people out there who aren't familiar with Burning Brides, how would you best describe the band's sound and style?
Dimitri Coats: Hard rock power trio. Songs are a bit all over the place but heavy and melodic for the most part. Somewhere between Sabbath and Beatles when we're at our best.

Death Rattle: What inspired you to pursue music and who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Dimitri: A lot of classic rock growing up - Zeppelin, Hendrix, Bowie, etc. but later Stooges, Ramones, Sonic Youth, Pixies, Nirvana. As soon as I realized I could get away with simple well written tunes I began pursing songwriting over guitar.

Death Rattle: Over the years, you've toured with a lot of different acts that vary in styles. Are there any tours that stand out as being the best or most difficult?
Dimitri: Queens of the Stone Age and Mastodon were a lot of fun. Total debauchery. I was pretty excited early on to have played a few shows with White Stripes when we both were first starting out. Also was great to experience the arena thing with A Perfect Circle and Audioslave. The most difficult tour was when Melanie and I split up one time for an entire US run. No fun.

Death Rattle: Since this is primarily a blog about film, I'd like to talk to you about your role in the movie SUCK. How did your involvement come about? Was it something you pursued or did someone reach out to you about doing it?
Dimitri: I didn't audition. The director is a fan of the band and found out about my acting background. He saw me in that role from the start.

Dimitri with co-star Jessica Paré

Death Rattle: In case anyone reading this hasn't seen it yet, how would you describe your character in SUCK?
Dimitri: Creepy heroin dealing rock n roll vampire.

Death Rattle: Overall, how was your experience working on the film?
Dimitri: One of the best experiences of my life. Filmed a showdown scene with Malcolm McDowell and got to hang with Alice Cooper and Henry Rollins. The role was incredibly fun. Felt like getting paid for Halloween.

Death Rattle: You also starred in another movie called PASSENGER SIDE. Is acting something you'd like to actively pursue or is it just something that you do for fun when the opportunity arises?
Dimitri: Well, I didn't audition for that film either so I don't know. I guess it depends on the project. I'm open to more but I'm not trying to be an actor.

Death Rattle: Are you a Horror fan at all? If so, what are some of your favorite horror movies and who are some of your favorite directors?
Dimitri: I don't seek out the genre but enjoy films by Raimi, Argento, Fulci, Polanksi, Lynch - basically anything super creative that gives me an uneasy feeling or goes over the top while remaining scary.

Death Rattle: What are some of your earliest memories of watching Horror movies?
Dimitri: The remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland traumatized me as a kid. I vomited when I got home. My first experience with a message of no hope. Scanners was great. Original Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.

Death Rattle: Are there any movies you've seen recently that you're crazy about, horror or otherwise?
Dimitri: Not really.

Death Rattle: Getting back to music, at the moment you're involved with a really interesting supergroup of sorts called OFF! Yourself on guitar, Keith Morris from the Circle Jerks on vocals, Steven Shane McDonald from Red Kross on bass, and Mario Rubalcaba from Rocket from the Crypt on drums. How did this project come about?
Dimitri: Keith and I have been friends for years. I was producing what was supposed to be an album for his other band which fell apart. He and I had written a few tunes together during that process and decided they were special enough to move forward. We were big fans of Mario and Steven and were thrilled when they wanted in. It's a special band. Explosive from the start. Pretty powerful.

Death Rattle: Are there any long-term plans as far as OFF! goes, or is it basically just a side project that you guys are doing at the moment?
Dimitri: We're going for it. We'll do as much as we can bite off. The reaction so far has been insane so we're gonna try to give the people what they want. You have to strike while the iron is hot.

Death Rattle: Is there anything else going on for you right now, music or film-related, that you'd like to mention? Any shows, tours, albums, etc. you'd like to encourage people to check out?
Dimitri: I'm pretty busy with OFF! and being a dad so I'm a bit out of the loop. Definitely check out our First Four EPs box set that's coming out Nov. 23. It rocks.

Death Rattle: Dimitri, thanks again for taking the time to answer some questions. Take care and best of luck.
Dimitri: Thanks man.

Burning Brides Official Site
Burning Brides on Facebook
Burning Brides on MySpace
OFF! on Facebook
OFF! on MySpace


  1. Nice interview, Aaron. I take it you liked the movie, then?

  2. Glad you had fun on the film Dimitri, it was a blast to watch!

  3. I'm even more excited to see this movie now! It's sitting patiently for me at home as we speak