D.I. is a Southern California punk band featuring ex-Adolescents and Social Distortion drummer Casey Royer on vocals. Royer formed the band after he and former Social Distortion original member Rikk Agnew (also formerly of Christian Death), left the original Mike Ness Social Distortion crew.
Since forming in 1981, D.I. has had many line-up changes over the years and Royer has been the only constant member of the band. The rotating line-up usually consists of former members of the Adolescents and Social Distortion (including the Agnew brothers, Rikk and Alfie Agnew). The band has continued to work, although they have had inactive periods, which include the band going on hiatus between albums. During their years of touring and recording albums, D.I. have never gained a huge mainstream success, but they have influenced many of the mostly formed in the 1990's melodic hardcore punk and punk rock revival bands, including Face to Face, Guttermouth, Jughead's Revenge, The Offspring, and Pennywise. Members of the band also joined up with Daddy X and the Dirtball of the Kottonmouth Kings, to create the punk rock band the X-Pistols, in 2010.
Early history (1981–1986)
D.I. was formed in 1981 after the Adolescents' first break-up. Their original line-up consisted of Casey Royer on vocals, Tim Maag on guitar, Fredric Taccone on bass guitar, and Derek O'Brien on drums. The band combined the Orange County hardcore punk sound with a decidedly surf and new wave style on their debut self-titled EP. The EP featured five songs, including "Richard Hung Himself" (originally written by Steve Roberts while he played for the Adolescents, recorded with the Adolescents and later re-recorded with D.I.), "Venus De Milo", "Reagan der Führer", "Purgatory", and "Guns". This EP was later reissued as Team Goon with extra tracks including versions of Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part II" and Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge".
The band's first studio album Ancient Artifacts was a more straight ahead Orange County-sounding album that included a new version of "Purgatory" from the EP. Not long after the release of Ancient Artifacts, D.I. returned to the studio to record their second album Horse Bites Dog Cries, which was not released until 1986 (although the album itself has copyright date of 1985). This is generally considered their best studio album.
Two more albums and hiatus (1987–1992)
Before recording sessions for their next album commenced, guitarist Rikk Agnew left D.I. in 1987 to pursue his career with the Adolescents, who released two more albums (Brats in Battalions, and Balboa Fun*Zone) before breaking-up again. Agnew was replaced in D.I. by Hedge on bass guitar. Alfie Agnew played guitar, and Bosco was switched from bass to second guitar. Eventually Mark "The Kid" Cerneka replaced Alfie. The resulting album, What Good Is Grief to a God? (1988), was a commercial failure. After the 1988 US tour, "The Kid" left and was replaced by Sean Elliot. In 1989, D.I. released their next album Tragedy Again.
Return and more line-up changes (1993–2010)
A live album, Live at a Dive, was released in 1993. After Stevie DRT left the band, original drummer John Knight rejoined, and their fifth album State of Shock was released the following year. Chris Roboson and Steve Lyen joined and continued playing from 1995 to 1997. The band lost their record label soon afterwards. After two years of strictly playing live shows, and original guitarist Tim Maag replacing Roboson, D.I. headed back into the studio around 1997 to record what would be their follow-up to State of Shock and shopped the tracks around to labels without finding a taker.
Numerous line-up changes went on before they solidified their current line-up, consisting of Royer, Chckn (guitars), Clinton (guitars), Eddie Tatar (bass) and Joey Tatar (drums). Royer remained the only constant member of the band. D.I. continued touring for years and released their first original album in eight years, titled Caseyology, in 2002. Caseyology was followed up five years later by On the Western Front (2007) released on the Suburban Noize label, with all music and lyrics written by Royer and Tatar. In 2009, the band released the tracks "Potbelly", "D.I.", "The Dehumanizers", and "Embrace The Kill – Shut the Fuck Up and Listen!!!" through PB Records.
Recent activities (2011–present)
In March 2011, Casey Royer was arrested for child abuse, child endangerment and overdosing on heroin in the presence of his 12-year-old son. The child abuse and child endangerment charges were dropped, but he was sentenced to a 90-day jail term and placed on probation for three years for the substance abuse misdemeanor. After this, Royer got clean and sober, and D.I. returned to touring and playing live shows.
In 2012, the band released a new 7" EP, United We Slam through Hand Grenade Records.
|Dates||Members & prominent instruments||Releases|
|1985||Ancient Artifacts||Debut album.|
|1986||Horse Bites Dog Cries||Contains material from Ancient Artifacts.|
|1988||What Good Is Grief to a God?||Contains a re-recording of "Johnny's Got a Problem".|
|1989||Tragedy Again||First D.I. album not featuring re-recordings of any song from their previous albums.|
|1994||State of Shock||Also re-released with Demo EP Bonus Tracks recorded 1996–97.|
|2002||Caseyology||First studio album since 1994; also features re-recordings of original songs and features live tracks on some versions.|
|2007||On the Western Front||Second D.I. album featuring only one re-recording of a song from their previous albums.|
EP, compilation and live albums
|1983||D.I.||EP; released again in 1987 as Team Goon, also contains four bonus tracks.|
|1987||Rat Music for Rat People, Vol. 3||Compilation (CD Presents, 1987)|
|1993||Live at a Dive||Live|
|1999||Short Music for Short People||Compilation including various other bands.|
|2003||Best of D.I.||Compilation|
|2004||Redefining Scenes 2||Compilation including various other bands.|
|2012||United We Slam||EP containing 4 new original songs, the first to be released on the band's own label Hand Grenade Records.|
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- Team Goon aka D.I. The album, retrieved 19 September 2015
- D.I.: Horse Bites Dog Cries (1987), retrieved 19 September 2015
- Biography, retrieved 19 September 2015
- DI: Tragedy Again, retrieved 19 September 2015
- O'Neill, Brian, D.I.: State of Shock, Allmusic, retrieved 19 September 2015
- Interviews: D.I., 10 August 2007, retrieved 19 September 2015
- D.I., retrieved 18 September 2015
- "Rock Legend Arrested for almpst OD'ing". TMZ.
- "Royer (D.I., Adolescents, Social Distortion) sentenced to 90 days April 12, 2011". Punk News.