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Chili Peppers singer gets off on Off!

for Journal Register Newspapers

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The all-star hardcore punk band Off! recorded its first full-length album backwards.

Guitarist and producer Dimitri Coats says that he started "Off!" by setting a date for mastering the recording -- usually the final step of the process -- then scheduled two days in the studio to record its 17 tracks. "It's kind of a masochistic thing on our part, but we like to put ourselves in extreme deadline situations," says Coats, 42, who formed Off! with Black Flag singer Keith Morris, Redd Kross bassist Steven Shane McDonald and Mario Rubalcaba, who plays drums in Rocket From the Crypt and Hot Snakes.

"That pulls out a certain kind of energy and urgency and intensity in what we're doing, which is what we're looking for. It felt a little bit like work, but as far as work goes, it's a pretty good job."

The "Off!" album's release, meanwhile has been trumpeted by a potent friend -- Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis, who's been sporting at Off! baseball cap "every night, every show, every interview. He wore it at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, even," Coats says. The upshot is that Off! has "sold a lot of hats," though Coats isn't sure how many fans Kiedis is converting to the band.

"I think people jsut see him wearing the hat and think it's a slogan or something," Coats says. "I'm sure half of the people who bought the hat don't know it was a band. But we're opening for them (in Los Angeles), so we're bringing a ton of hats and we'll see what happens."

Off! performs with Refused on Wednesday, July 25, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29.50. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheater.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheater.com

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