Interview: Dov Dimant

Dov Dimant is the president of Capital Salvage Co. Ltd. I frequently explore his scrapyard located at 1919 Triumph Street in the East Vancouver Industrial district. I recently got a chance to sit down and talk with Dov in his on-site office amongst a sleepy cat and playboy centerfolds. We chatted about his work and about music. He's a really nice guy.


Scrapyard Forecast: So, Dimant...Is that French?

Dov: No, I get that a lot though. My origins are Polish actually-

SF: Oh, no way, so am I...and what was his name..(I was referring to the other employee out in the yard)

Dov: Sylvester, he's Polish too.

SF: Do you speak Polish at all?

Dov: No, not really. My Dad spoke Polish and my Mom was born here so she never learnt it. All four of my Grandparents are from Poland.

SF: Have you ever been interviewed before?

Dov: Well, on TV, a few news stories here and there, but..

SF: I noticed by your business card that you are the President of Capital Salvage, could you briefly indulge on how you came to acquire that position?

Dov: It's a family Business, my Dad bought it in 1992. I was working part-time in the Summers and holidays, learning the business, you know, hoping one day to take over. My father passed away in 2002. I got pushed into it a little earlier than expected, I have no brothers and he had no partners or anything, so that's it-

SF: So you were somewhat expected to step up?

Dov: Well, I was given the choice, you know. My Mother, who owns the business, she asked me if I wanted to continue or to go do my own thing. Like I said, I was interested in doing it one day so I had no problems, it's a good business. It's something I know, and I took on the challenge, and I've kind of grown into it now.

SF: Do you still work out in the yard with the scrap metal?

Dov: I do...I'm the truck driver as well, and I deal with customers, that sort of thing.

SF: As a president, what are some of your responsibilities?

Dov: I pretty much need to know how to do everything. Like I said, I drive the truck and I need to know how to do all the different jobs around the yard. I need to be able to deal with the customers, some paper work, driving, estimating jobs, giving quotes, that sort of thing. Basically, to be the face of the company.

SF: When you are out in the yard, handling the metal, and using the cutters and organizing, Is there anything that you think about in particular or does your mind sort of wander?

Dov: A lot of the time I'll crank up some music. So, I'm into the music you know, singing along, dancing, whatever. I'm a big sports fan, so often I'll think about different sporting events, or how the Canucks played the night before. If I'm doing something that's very difficult I try to motivate myself by thinking that I am the heart of the family and the family relies on this [company] and one day I'm going to have my own family, a wife and kids who are also going to rely on this.

SF: I was going to ask you if you were married or had a family-

Dov: No I'm single (Unmarried) and I just have a buddy that I live with. Well, I have a long time girlfriend-

SF: ...And that might turn into something eventually?

Dov: One day. I could see it happening. She's got her own career. But my Mom still relies on the income from this business, it's a trickle down effect.

SF: You mentioned music, what do you listen to?

Dov: Pretty much everything, a lot of Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae, a lot of foreign music from different countries. Really the only music that I won't listen to is Country and R&B. And I'm not into the pop stuff like Britney Spears-

SF: Womanizer- (I laugh because of an inside joke that Dov isn't aware of)

Dov: Ya, not my thing, but I like good Hip Hop. Roots, Jurassic 5 and all your classic rock.

SF: When you're working out in the yard, have you ever thought about the musical potential of scrap metal?

Dov: Well, my best friend is a drummer and we often get old cymbals and brass horns...

SF: Have you ever thought about it in a non-percussive sense? For example, the sound you might coax from scraping a shovel along concrete, or say, a piece of rebar against the edge of a step ladder?

Dov: Not so much scraping, but a lot of banging. Like drumming to a song [and thinking] what sound is this going to make? hitting a piece of metal in different spots, or in certain ways.
But, not so much the scraping or some of the other noises...mostly drumming.

SF: What if I told you that there were musicians out there who have framed their 25+ year careers purely around the sounds of scraping scrap metal? Would you be interested in hearing something like that?

Dov: Ya for sure...

SF: Ok, well that's what I've got here (referring to the speakers and Walkman I set up prior to our interview) and after I play this I'll just get your thoughts on it and then-

Dov: What's that group that does that, they tour, and they play with garbage cans and stuff like that?


Dov: Right. I've seen STOMP in Amsterdam, and I saw a group like STOMP in Israel.

SF: What were they called?

Dov: I don't remember.

SF: Ya, I've seen some of the STOMP dvd's and it's pretty interesting. It's very well choreographed...
I'm going to play the piece now. This is by a group called Organum, which, is mainly one guy name David Jackman who has worked with a lot of different musicians over the years. This is from the album 'Submission' dating back to 1988.

(I play a minute long excerpt of the track 'Cowl' from Submission by Organum. Dov stares blankly out the window. Track ends)

SF: What did you think of that?

Dov: My initial thoughts were that it sounds like background music to a horror movie or something like that.

SF: That is a lot of people's response to ambient/drone music in general. Often when I play something for them , they'll say that it sounds like horror movie music or a soundtrack to a disaster film. Do you think that there is anyway that you would put [music like] that on while out in the yard for your enjoyment?

Dov: (Pause) Uuumm...maybe a track. Maybe three or four minutes worth. You know, I listen to my ipod. I don't really listen to the radio. And it's very random. I just have 10,000 songs on shuffle and I'll get something from here (indicating with his hand) and a song from the other end of the spectrum. So, to throw that [music] in once in a while, I would probably listen to it. But if I had to listen to a whole album of that, or even maybe ten minutes worth it might... drive me crazy.

(We both laugh)

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Ok, so this interview:

a) is genius
b) cracks me up
c) proves you're a total freak
d) all of the above


I loved this.