Back in the cultural wasteland of 1988, David Black was somekind of musical superhero. Not in the Green Lantern sense, but in the sense of guitar empowerment. Together with Chuck Burns, David AndewBlack was (is) the acclaimed guitarist in some band called Seduce. In 1988, Seduce had a record deal with I.R.S. (REM's first label!), a pretty good album titled 'Too Much, Ain't Enough', and a catchy song 'Crash Landing'. Seduce showed up on the big screen in Penelopee Spheeris documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, Pt 2: The Metal Years'. Seduce had an established reputation for being a killer live act. But more importantly, and consistently overlooked outside of the Motor City, is this interesting little nugget:
Seduce were from Detroit.
At the time, metal bands of note, whether they be pop, hair, or thrash, ala' Motley Crue, Posion, Metallica, were all coming off the sunset strip or at least claimed California as home. Sure you had the occasional 'Europe', but anyone and everyone who was getting their faces on MTV cut their teeth in L.A or close by. Seduce, proved that you could get out, you could get attention in the Midwest, even in the snowbound heart of Detroit City. Our older sisters may have been absolutely smitten with Black's rock star looks, but my brother and I were smitten with Black's guitar work. Revisit 'Empty Arms' or 'The Mirror' and try to argue that Black isn't superior to many of his eighties era peers. These days Black is manning the guitar duties in another Detroit original, CRUD. But occiasionally he returns to the familiar. Such as Seduce's recent show at the Token Lounge in December.
The DRB caught up with Dave Black in Warren, Michigan, where he commented on his three decade career in Detroit rock music.
DRB: Describe the feeling of playing onstage with CRUD.
DB: It's awesome.CRUD is a lot different than anything else I ever got to do. The more I play, the more I enjoy it and the better I get at it. The longer I do it, the more I enjoy it.
DRB: You have more experience than some of the musicians you're currently involved with. How does that affect the creative process with CRUD ?
DB: Everybody contributes to a single idea and that idea is the song. So, whatever anyone member's part is to play with the song, we're all working towards one idea. With CRUD it's really abstract, so the common goal is really open. You can do anything you want within a certain framework. It's an interesting way to work and it's different. Compared to rock and roll bands, traditional bands that I've been in before it's a new take on it, well, for me anyway.
DRB: Are you the greatest guitar player to come out of Detroit ?
DB: *loud laugher* NO! It's not true at all. There's several great guitar players in Detroit
DRB: Where do you rank yourself ?
DB: I don't know. Someone in there.
DRB: When people say 'all those years ago'. .
DB: It seems like a hundred !
DRB: Describe the sense of pride you feel regarding your longetivty with Seduce.
DB: For me, it was such a together thing. Seduce is like an old corvette stashed in a garage. Every once in a while you'll pull the cover off it, fire that fucker up, and take it for a ride. You blow the leaves off the street and scare everybody. Its something special, you just take it out once in a while on a nice day.
DRB: Seduce is well known for their appearance in the documentary 'The Decline of Western Civilization, part two, The Metal Years, where Seduce was featured performing both 'Colleen' and 'Crash Landing'. Were you disappointed that national exposure didn't translate into higher profile success ?
DB: Yeah. I really was. But, that's the way it is. It is what it is. So you just do what you do. Playing guitar to me is the main thing. I cared and loved playing guitar before I ever got involved with bands. It's just something I love to do. So all those things were just (experiences) that happened in the process. Growing as a musician until I reach my peak and wind up in a wedding band.
DRB: Do you ever get tired of playing 'Crash Landing' ?
DB: No, it's a hard song to play. The longer I play it, someday I'll be able to play it good!
for the DRB