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Interview:
Off! is on, but not necessarily forever
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Dimitri Coats wears many hunts in the all-star punk band Off!

Coats, who also plays with Burning Brides, formed Off! as a vehicle for Black Flag veteran Keith Morris, with members of Redd Kross, Rocket From the Crypt and Hot Snakes filling the lineup. But doubling as the group's manager makes Coats' life in the band a bit more complicated than he'd like sometimes.

"There are times when I have to try to separate myself from everything and just play my guitar," says Coats, 44. "I don't really want to care about, 'Oh, how many records did we sell?' and 'Where did we chart.' But it's actually reached a point where we're debuting on Billboard and playing on national TV and all of that stuff.

"And in my head it's still just this little band that started out wanting to put out 7-inches (vinyl singles) and play. So it's gone way beyond the threshold of our imaginations."

Coats says he and the rest of Off! are "really proud" of the group's third album, "Wasted Years," which came out in April. But he also gives fans as well as his bandmates pause when he talks about seeing an end to the band in the foreseeable future.

"I think we should be done. I really do," says Coats, who's also working with members of Soundgarden in a new side project that has yet to be named. "Instead of making a bunch of videos or something, I think we should do just one short film, kind of like our version of the Monkees' 'Head' and then I think we should be done.

"I 've said that to everybody. Everyone gets quite, but no one's disagreed with me so far. So we'll see. I do this all for Keith, really, so it's up to him. I'll keep going as long as he wants to do it."

Off!, Cerebral Ballzy and Nasa Space Universe perform Friday, May 9, at Small's, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16. CAll 313-873-1117 or visit www.smallsbardetroit.com.

Web Site: www.smallasbardetroit.com

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