Down By Law
Over the last 27 years, Down by Law has come to be known as a band of skilled songwriting and burning intensity, spawning audiences all over the world. Their multiple Epitaph releases—including the self-titled first album, “Blue,” the legendary “punkrockacademyfightsong” and “All Scratched Up!”—are testaments to years of hard work and talent. The band went on to record some really amazing albums on other labels too, including “Champions at Heart” and “Revolution Time.” Each proves to all that hear them that real punk rock can remain true to itself, while breaking down musical and social barriers.
Down By Law are about making music. The fact that people call it punk rock is almost incidental. Dave Smalley, singer/songwriter, who has been singing since he was a little kid in school plays, explains it like this: “I write songs from the heart, and the way they come out is a result of the way we play and the way we view the world. We’re classified as punk rock because of the attitudes that we have.”
In an age of bands that have been formed since the newest wave of punk rock mania, Down By Law is the real deal. The history of the band members speaks for itself: Dave started DYS in 1982 and recorded the first Dag Nasty album in 1986, after which he sang on the first two All records. Shredding Sam Williams III was lead guitarist in Florida punk bands Balance & Slap of Reality before coming to DBL, and Angry John played bass in the Clay Idols & The Leonards. Hunter Oswald slayed on drums in The GoToHells and for a quick minute, in the Queers. This undeniable pedigree has earned them maximum respect from the people who know best…their fans.
And those fans have been waiting since 1996 for the lineup of “punkrockacademyfightsong” to reunite. Legendary is a big word, but in the punk world, this is kind of legendary.
This is a great chance to see Down By Law at long last. Angry John said “Our commitment to getting the word out has only become more intense over the years.” They’ve already been to Europe multiple times, including huge festivals such as Dynamo in Holland, With Full Force in Germany, and a Warped Europe tour. Also, they’ve toured the States and Canada about a gazillion times back in the day, including the Warped tour in ‘96, and Australia, Japan and South America. After a hiatus of decades, why now? Because they finally realized that this lineup has a musical chemistry that is unique. And, as Dave puts it: “We ain’t getting any younger. Come see us while you can, kids!” Their live show is pure magic. It reminds you why you fell in love with punk rock in the first place. This band believes in the mission: Make the world a better place through music. And have some fun while you’re at it.
DBL have established a place in the punk rock history books as one of the longest running, most dedicated bands. The songs, the values, the work ethics, and the sheer power of emotion, combine to assure DBL a place in the hearts of anyone who hears them. Their albums are powerful, sometimes lyrically dark but also filled with love for life and friendships that music fans can really believe in.