Punk Heroes the Dictators Reunite for Their First New Material in 20 Years
Hear their comeback tracks "God Damn New York" and "Let's Get the Band Back Together"
Published Apr 21, 2021Out of nowhere, New York proto-punk legends the Dictators have reunited to give us their first new material in 20 years. Today the band released the new songs "God Damn New York" and "Let's Get the Band Back Together," and you can hear both now.
While the Dictators have largely been silent for years, founding members Andy Shernoff (singer/bassist/songwriter), Scott Kempner (rhythm guitarist) and Ross the Boss (lead guitarist/Manowar icon) have all got back together, with founding Blue Öyster Cult member and infamous cowbell player Albert Bouchar helping out on drums.
Notably absent from the reunion is Handsome Dick Manitoba, who previously handled lead vocals. And yes, that's the same Handsome Dick Manitoba that forced Dan Snaith to change his stage name from Manitoba to Caribou and was later charged with domestic assault in 2018, so maybe it's for the best he's not involved.
"Scott and I had lost touch with Ross but we were brought together by some Dictators business," explained Shernoff in a press release. "Once it was settled, Ross suggested we play together again. It was literally the last thing on my mind, but Scott was enthusiastic, so I sat on it and eventually said ok and damn, I am so glad I did as it's kept me busy during the pandemic."
He continued: "I wrote 'God Damn New York' with my wife before we got married for a video that never got made. When I was presenting new song ideas to everybody, this one got a thumbs up. So I changed the key, re-wrote the lyrics to give it some Dictators swagger, and voila, the first new Dictators song in 20 years. It's sort of a love/hate letter to New York City."
He also had some things to say about "Let's Get the Band Back Together," adding: "My buddy Jesse Bates had a song called 'Let's Get the Band Back Together.' I thought it was really clever and funny so I asked him if I could fool around with it and put my spin on it. He said go for it, so I made few changes and recorded it on my own a few years ago but it was just so perfect for the Dictators that we couldn't resist."
Shernoff went on to explain that the Dictators are planning to release more new material this year, as well as hope to tour in 2022.
For now, check out "Let's Get the Band Back Together" and "God Damn New York," which has its own video, down below.