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Joey Goes to China: Interview with Joey Keithley of D.O.A.

Joey Goes to China: Interview with Joey Keithley of D.O.A.

Date: Jan 05 2009

Themes: Alternative, Interview, Travel


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

As the leader of the first Canadian hardcore punk band, D.O.A., Joey Keithley has been performing political punk rock all over the world for 30 years. Well, not all over the world…yet. This week, D.O.A. will perform in China for the first time ever. Joey took a quick break from packing to talk to Jason on the phone. Listen to their conversation below.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Jason:  Have you guys ever been to China before?

Joey:  No we have not. This will be a first.

Jason:  And what do you expect the punk climate in China to be like?

Joey:  I don’t know. I guess I’m going there to find out. I’m also going there to find out.But it will be an eyeopener culturally, politically and musically. You know what? I’m hoping to stumble across some great Chinese band and sign them up to my record label.

Jason:  Oh are you? Cool. I wanted to ask you about the band’s slogan, “Talk – Action = 0.” I wondered if singing a protest song is talk or action.

Joey:  I guess in a sense you’re trying to inspire people to action, or inspire yourself, I suppose, right. It’s both, I suppose, right? You can change the world to a far greater degree by convincing people that you have a good idea and getting that idea to spread around as opposed to taking a violent method, which I’m not backing.

Jason:  Great. And the last thing I wanted to ask you is, we always have people define a slang term so our members can learn a new term and I figured an obvious choice is the name of your band, and I wondered if you could just explain what the name means.

Joey:  Yeah. It’s Dead on Arrival. It’s like a toe-tag. So when an ambulance picks up a body and they’re not quite dead when they arrive at the hospital, they stick a tag, I think on their right toe and it says, “D.O.A.” on it, because they arrived dead. So the most famous D.O.A. is John F Kennedy.

Jason:  Does it ever come up outside of a morgue?

Joey:  It’s a common thing in the band practice. “If you don’t get this part right, you’re going to be D.O.A.”

Jason:  Nice.

Joey:  We don’t threaten each other quite that much. But it’s something like that, like, “You’re D.O.A.” It’s gonna be curtains in some way or another.



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Joey has never been to China before, so he’s excited to learn what Chinese punk rock is all about. He says he’d like to release an album by a Chinese band on his label, Sudden Death Records.

A lot of D.O.A. songs are about political issues like the environment and freedom of speech. The band’s slogan is “talk – action = 0,” which means that if you only talk about making a change and never do anything about it, nothing ever changes. Joey says that singing a protest song can be productive because it can reach a lot of people and inspire them to action.

Finally, Joey explains the name of his band. D.O.A. is an acronym for Dead on Arrival. If someone is injured and then dies on the way to the hospital, that person is D.O.A..

But ideas and objects can be D.O.A. too. If you order a new computer, but it arrives broken, you could say it was D.O.A.. It was probably OK when it was mailed, but it was dead by the time it arrived to you. An idea can also be D.O.A. if it seemed like a good idea when you thought of it, but by the time you start explaining it to someone, you can tell it’s a bad idea. Joey also says that he and his band mates say, “You’re going to be D.O.A.” as a joking threat.

D.O.A.’s Chinese tour dates are below click here to buy tickets or visit D.O.A.’s MySpace page. Go to the Ebaby! blog to see more D.O.A. tour dates in Europe and the US and to read the rest of Jason’s interview with Joey.

Jan 9 – Mao Live in Beijing
Jan 10 – Vox Bar in Wuhan
Jan 11 – Yuyintang in Shanghai
Jan 12 – Castle Bar in Nanjing
Jan 13 – D-22 in Beijing

Is there punk rock in your city? What’s it like? Have you ever thought of an idea that turned out be D.O.A. or ordered something that arrived broken?



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Exceelent leason about Chines culture and commmenst politics.

I hope Chines  governemonet rules change and chines people could own their lands, homes etc.

06:28 PM Jan 05 2009 |

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