Dwarr speaks! Duane Warr sets the record straight on his “canceled” tour.

Dwarr

Turns out we really should read the comments on this thing more often. Ten friggin’ days ago, Duane Warr himself, the mysterious garage-metal hero behind Dwarr, posted a comment and we only just saw it this weekend. Sorry, Duane! Day jobs and shit. I’m sure you can relate.

Anyway, it turns out that Dwarr’s ill-fated 2012 comeback tour, which was described all over the interweb as having been totally canceled (including by us…oops), was only partially canceled. Duane did manage to squeeze out two shows in Texas before the whole thing went sideways. He even provided the video evidence to prove it. You can read his entire comment over on this page but allow us to provide the highlights:

The tour started in Austin, and it sounds like the first show went OK, even though Duane had literally only met his touring band the day before. “We had a really rough first practice. We practiced again Saturday around lunchtime. We went on last Saturday night. It was really bad, but everybody loved it.”

The first signs of trouble surfaced in Houston: “I was told I couldn’t use the Fender amp anymore because it was old and I might blow it up.” But the show went on anyway, and even sounded pretty good, despite early signs of road fatigue: “The music was a lot tighter in Houston but my 2 guys were tired. I think they stayed up late in Austin. At the bottom of my set list they wrote ‘BEDTIME.’ Pretty Hilarious.”

Duane drove by himself to the next gig in New Orleans, and showed up right on time for load-in, only to be greeted by the cook and the bartender. “Nobody else showed up for 2 hours,” he relates.

When they did arrive, I was told I had to shorten my set. I told them I only had 5 nights and really needed to play my whole set, I was trying to get a 2 disc live package with a CD and DVD. When I was told “This is Jennifer’s Tour and if she says you get 45 minutes, you get 45 minutes” that was it for me. Adios Amigos.

Jennifer, by the way, is Jennifer Herrema, formerly of Royal Trux and now gigging under the name Black Bananas. Black Bananas was the headliner, so I guess she pulled rank.

So there you have it…the true story of Dwarr’s only partially, not totally, canceled tour. I guess the two-disc live package will have to wait, but at least there are some sweet videos from the tour up on YouTube. Here’s our favorite, for a track called “Tears You Cry.” Yeah, it’s a little rough, but we owe Duane Warr a serious apology for bagging on his musical skills in an earlier post. Clearly the man can shred. And he rides that wah peal like it’s a stolen Ferrari.

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Is there a Dwarr documentary in the works?

Dwarr

Yesterday, somebody named Raffy posted a link on our Dwarr page to the trailer for a “coming soonish” film called DWARR 2012 TOUR: a jankumentary. Could this be the first ever Dwarr documentary? And how the fuck did they film a tour that, last we heard, was totally canceled? Like most things involving reclusive stoner-rock legend Duane Warr, it’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a haze of bong smoke and reverb.

Here’s what we know: The company behind the “jankumentary” is called Bumbleton Communications. Raffy is listed on their website as Raffy Gerard, “Creative Artifex.” They seem to like making up words, these Bumbleton people.

The guy listed as Bumbleton CEO is Adam Ridley, the director of most or all their projects, which also include documentaries about another outsider musician named Dane Sturgeon and a pervy bar owner in Tucson called God. All of which bodes well for the coming Dwarr docu…sorry, jankumentary.

Anyway, here’s that trailer, which is a bit dark but seems to show Duane Warr rocking out before a rapt audience. Where the hell was this thing filmed? If we can squeeze more details out of Raffy and Bumbleton, we’ll share them here. Stay tuned.

Dwarr

A long time ago, back before bands could mix entire albums with a secondhand Macbook and a pirated copy of Pro Tools, a guitar-toting loner from South Carolina named Duane Warr set out to make the heaviest heavy metal album ever, more or less by himself. The fruit of his labor was a 1985 (or maybe 1984?) album called Starting Over that didn’t really sound all that much like metal, but definitely sounded like nothing else before it and not much since. Part Sabbath and (probably by accident) part Residents, Starting Over and an even more amazing 1986 album called Animals were pretty much ignored at the time of their release but have since become cult classics among fans of weirdo, lo-fi stoner rock.

Warr dropped off the face of the earth for about 15 years—supposedly after becoming a Born Again Christian and renouncing all his old music. But he surprised everyone by resurfacing in 2000 with a third album, Holy One, and even followed that up with a fourth LP, Times of Terror, in 2003. Seems like he’s still a bit of a recluse though: The guy who posted the only original Dwarr video we could find (seen below), added a comment on YouTube noting that “I used to run the Dwarr MySpace page, but unfortunately I’ve been out of touch with Duane for a long time now. There are even more Dwarr videos, but I only had permission to post this one.” And the write-up for the 2010 reissue of Animals on Drag City Records gives no biographical background at all, only this awesome quote from Duane himself:

“I was working 12 hour shifts down at the sweat factory. One day, I was having a bad day and had a problem with one of the older guys. All of a sudden he pulled his packing knife out on me. I felt a rage running up through me and went running at him. He put the knife away very quickly. That night I had the dream for the title song ANIMALS. In the dream, I ate the human flesh, I crushed the human bone, I was an animal.”

It’s possible that is all just an elaborate put-on and Duane Warr’s mysterious backstory is all just part of his shtick. Or it’s possible that he just doesn’t want the world to know that he’s actually this guy. [Update: We weren’t sure when we wrote that, but we have since confirmed that yes, that really is the man behind Dwarr, all cleaned up and selling real estate. Read this interview/article for the proof.] But we’re pretty sure he’s just a bonafide wackjob. And even though he’s kind of a terrible musician, he totally fucking rules. (P.S. The video has a weird, sorta pointless intro…give it about 30 seconds, it gets good, trust us.)

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