Thursday, July 18, 1985
The Michigan Daily
Dream Syndicate aims above cult status
Tonight beginning at 10 p.m., released?
A&M recording artists The Dream W: It will be out in January. The
Syndicate will perform at Rick's. show will be mostly from our new
Daily staff writer Robin Wojcik D: Can you tell me anything about
spoke with Dream Syndicate it?
vocalist/guitarist Steve Wynn. W: Nawww. It's hard to say. It's
Daily: Where did the name Dream different but it sounds like the Dream
Syndicate come from? Syndicate.
Wynn: Tony Conrad did a record D: Do you try to market yourselves
called Outside The Dream Syndicate, toward a certain audience? h
a record of white noise. It was kind of W: Yeah, anyone who wants to hear
what we do. I think bands like our-
appealing, selves play mainly to college-type
D: You had a remarkahly strong audiences. There's, a whole group of
Velvet Underground sound on your bands that get played on college radio
first release, The Dream Syndicate. ndgtosofgdrees.Ty
W: Yeah, that record sounded a and get tons of good reviews. They
w: Yoalk the Velvet U have a following among bar audien-
whole lot like the Velvet Un- ces and survive just doing that. That's
derground. When we made that EP nd i ting a t Tha
we'd been together three weeks, what we do. I think we are sort of a
There wasn't a real band identity yet. D- What are your goals? Do you
I like that record a lot. It's a lot more DW hstayourtgbald? Areyou
young sounding thati what we do a w to stay acult and? Are you
now Yes. You've changed W: No, no. We don't want to be con-
fined in any way. We want to do what
dr ticao d better believe it. We've like and hopefully a million people
changed largely because of changes D You'll just keep doing what
in personnel. Well you know we're you've been doing?
getting older. When I was 21 we did you eh, doin?
our first record. Now I'm 25. If we W Yeah, I think a hand like us can
stayed the same it would be artificial. do what we wanna do eventually.
D: You have a new member to Each time we go out that's more Steve Wynn (sunglasses) leads
replace Karl Precoda. people that hear us. very much gut emotion, more from
W: Right. Paul Cutler is the new D: Why did you choose your the gut than thebrain.
guitarist. The other band members psychedelic style? D: Some of your lyrics surprise me.
are Dennis Duck on drums and Mark W: It's just what came out. We They don't cover the normal male
Walton on bass. opened our mouths and it came out. subject matter.
D: When will your next album be It's that simple. Most of what we do is W: What the hell is that?
he Dream Syndicate into action tonight at Rick's. Cover is $5.
D: There is more of a psychological
bent to your lyrics. As you said
earlier, you're very emotional.
W: Well you know we don't usually
say we're gonna rock it through you
baby. It is a lot more mind expansion
'Assault'follows ramifications of terrifying night
The Assault in a concentration camp, and his
By Harry Mulisch father was indicted for Nazi.
Random House, collaboration. It is perhaps this
unique background which helps
185 pages, $13.95 Mulisch paint such full-bodied por-
NE NIGHT, during the last days traits of his characters.He depicts
Oof the German occupation of the Nazis as ordinary people who
Holland, six gunshots sound out in could also be butchers, while
the town of Haarlem. Anton Steen- civilians can be both victims and
wijk, aged 12, and his family rush to Nt oly does Mulich give us a
realistic account of a war-time act of
violence, but he shows us, through
the character Anton, that the War is
still very much with us in the 1980s
By Andrew C. Cerniski no matter how much we'd like to
bury it in the past. Mulisch writes,
the window and find the body of a For of course the name Adolf still
brutal Nazi leader outside their won't do. Not until people are
home. The Germans suspect Anton's called Adolf again will the
family and mete out a cold-blooded Second World War be really
behind us. But that means we'd
punishment. Anton himself is not have to have a third world war,
physically harmed, but what so we'd better do without Adolfs
psychological shock waves will this altogether.
violent incident impart across the Atothe novel progresses we catch
rest of his life? up with Anton at various stages of
Harry Mulisch spends the greater hpsiThen nt frist
part of his vivid, intensely his life. The imcident from his youth
psychological novel, The Assault, has left him emotionally numh. As a
answering this question. Mulisch young man he goes to the university
himself has the dubious distinction in stam and witnesses violentA
of knowing the horrors of World War anti-commustnds raions. A
II from hoth sides of the moh of thousands lay seige to the
hattie. His mother's family e-' headquarters of the Communist
died Party, but Anton feels all the flying
rocks, shattered glass, and bleeding
people is just so much child's play.
He calmly continues to follow his
course of study which, ap-
propriately, is anesthesiology.
Given the choice, Anton would
rather forget that one horrible night
in 1945 but he is allowed no choice;
the incident is a part of him. It is
why he is subtly drawn to death, why
he feels most comfortable amid an
angry crowd, why he falls in love
with his future wife among the tom-
bs of Westminster Abbey.
As if to plague Anton, Fate
repeatedly thrusts him together with
people connected with the painfully
remembered night. As each of the
people encountered add to his un-
derstanding of the events of that
night, Anton slowly discovers the
full truth is more horrible than his
partial knowledge. In the end we
come to realize that "the assault" is
not merely the execution of one Nazi
during the war, but the continual
assault of the past upon present-day
The novel has one potential stum-
bling block which Mulisch overcomes
handily. Since the first episode is a
complete, drama in itself, the rest
of the book is an extended denou-.
ment. It is difficult to prevent
readers from setting down a book af-
ter the climax of action, but Mulisch
keeps us turning the pages.
There are severalfactors which
account for this, not the least of
which is Mulisch's ability to evoke
powerful images which hold the
reader in place and tell more than a
chapter of explanation. For exam-
ple, one day, later in life, Anton is
inexplicably seized by panic and
fear. He tries to calm himself, put-
ting his face in his hands: Liesbeth
found him this way, motionless
but trembling, like a statue during
an earthquake. . . Anton looked
at Peter ' and tried to
laugh. ' Then his eyes fell on
the full shopping bag Liesbeth
had left on the table. On top lay a
package. Its paper wrap came
undone, unfolded like a flower,
and revealed a bloody hunk of
The Assault is the first Harry
Mulisch novel to reach the American
public, though he has been writing
since 1944 (when he was 17). He has
been a novelist, short story writer,
playwright, poet, essayist, and jour-
nalist. Hopefully, more of Mulisch's
work will find its way into English
than crotch expansion. But there is a
little of that too.
D: The last album had a western
Americana image. Did you pick that
as a theme?
W: Yes. I was very much
fascinated with that. We'd been 4
traveling and driving all these places.
You know, you're from California and
all you see is palm trees and conver-
tibles. Then you get out to Missouri,
Nebraska, and Iowa. It really affects
you. That's when I wrote all those
songs. The stuff now is a lot less into
that; it's in a whole different direc-
D: What's the audience like in Ann
Arbor? Or are they all the same?
W: No. In Ann Arbor it's wild and
D: Do your audiences dance much
to your music?
W: Oh yeah. The second show we
played in Ann Arbor was pretty wild.
People were slam dancing. That was
one of our crazier shows.
D: What was crazy about it?
W: That was the show that got us
signed to A&M records. All the Big
Wigs from L.A. flew out to Ann Arbor
to see that show at Joe's in June of '83.
After the show we signed with them.
Guys in three-piece suits were stan-
ding around in Joe's Star Lounge. It
was pretty funny.
D: Is there anything you would like
to say about the band?
W: The band tries to leave the
audience feeling drained of emotion
and spent. If we do that we're doing
D: That's atall order.
W: Not really, we seem to do it pret-
ty often. :r