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Class War Is In Session: Chip Kinman brings fresh kin to reconstitute The Dils

Chip Kinman with his son Giuliano on drums perform the The Dils song Class War at a sold out show in San Francisco at Bottom of The Hill
Chip Kinman live on stage in San Francisco 7 20 2019 at Bottom Of The Hill

It was a great thrill to catch Chip Kinman, his drum bashing son Giuliano Scarfo and their energetic hair whipping friend Brian Melendez on bass all rip through a set of Dils classics at a sold out Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco for the fortieth anniversary of The Temple Beautiful. In this video Chip Kinman, now 63, mentions a recent cover version of his song “Class War” by Ty Segall and seeing the “younger set” get into the music has inspired him, before he plays it himself with his spritely new backing band.

Since the death of his brother Tony, with whom he co-founded The Dils in the late 1970’s, Chip’s finally seen fit to revisit the beloved band’s past punk rock glories and brought his son along to revive their fiery message laden music, that blended the best of power pop and the brashness of early punk.

The Dils, founded by brothers Chip & Tony Kinman arose first out of suburban Carlsbad, California in late 1976, and soon relocated to San Francisco, later moving to Los Angeles and even recording some of their seminal material in Vancouver CA. Their tight brotherly harmonies fed into fierce , fast tunes oft with fearless political stances, made them one of the preeminent punk bands up and down the West Coast. Use your cursor to navigate within the 360° video embedded below Chip Kinman recounts recording “Sound Of The Rain” in Vancouver with late drummer “Zippy Pinhead“, whose supportive father was in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and wasn’t keen on lyrics about dead cops.

The brothers dropped The Dils name by 1981, and went through various incarnations over the years including Rank & File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation, but never performed again as The Dils. Prior to this latest iteration, the last Dils gig was in 1980 at Blackie’s in Los Angeles (Black Flag opened the show.)

Here’s the whole Dils set from the show as shot from deep in the jostling joy that was the pit down by the floor wedge monitors at stage front by Gil Warguez on a trusty Sony MV-1 synched to the audio from one of my stray cams that caught a slight bit more vocal…

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