The Great Unwashed on vinyl
Punk Rock frontman, (and almighty skate legend), Duane Peters' latest stint in the recording studio did not add another musical blowtorch to his substantial discography, but instead enlisted a slow-grinding croon reminiscent of Tom Waits.
It's not entirely uncharted territory for Peters, 51, whose latest musical outfit, Duane Peters and the Great Unwashed, released the full-length record, "Beautiful Tragedy," exclusively on vinyl with startup Black Vinyl Limited, based in Huntington Beach, Calif.
"I kinda been doing somewhat ballads since U.S. Bombs, at least one a record," explains Peters, who reckons he's sang for about 30 bands over the past three decades. "And on Die Hunns 'You Rot Me,' [T.S.O.L. keyboardist] Greg [Kuehn] played on a few tracks... then he wanted to start playing these lounge-sounding, smoky barroom tunes and we wrote a few songs here and there. We played Bombs and Hunns and Frank Sinatra covers live and so we kinda just kept it going."
Peters and Kuehn had known each other for years through the Los Angeles and Orange County punk scenes, and became better friends when Die Hunns played shows with T.S.O.L. Kuehn, a classically trained pianist, told ESPN.com that he started writing songs specifically with Peters in mind.
"I just started writing some tunes based on his life, things he gets himself into," Kuehn said. "I told him to come up and sing on some stuff, and it worked out good. Then we started writing more together. I mean, what do you do when you're a 51-year-old punk rock dude? You can still do the punk, but you want to do something different too, and age gracefully."
"I always wanted to hear that part of Duane," Black Vinyl co-owner, Darren "Drak" O'Conner, told ESPN.com. "I knew he could do Tom Waits better than Tom Waits."
O'Conner launched Black Vinyl Limited with John Lucero, owner of Black Label Skateboards, which sponsored Peters for several years. O'Conner and Lucero are both longtime friends of Peters and fans of his music and skateboarding.
Lucero told ESPN.com that the label is working on an Unwashed single, featuring a previously unreleased song about Peters' son Chelsea "Chess" Peters, who was killed in a car crash in 2007 at the age of 20.
Peters says that the Unwashed will likely "put a few little barroom shows together around town" this fall. In the meantime, he's nursing a broken foot, designing a signature shoe for Iron Fist, and looking for an established record label with the resources to promote and distribute the 11-track "Beautiful Tragedy."
Until then, it's available on vinyl through Black Vinyl Limited and digitally at bandcamp.com.