Dan Schafer has been a part of Chicago's punk scene since the mid 1980's. Although usually credited under his real name, his best known by his psuedonym "Dan Vapid", which he used during his tenure in Screeching Weasel. Schafer got his start singing for hardcore bands, but since the late '80's, he has focused on playing pop-punk. Originally from Des Plaines, he now resides in Highland, IL. He is currently fronting Dan Vapid and The Cheats. In 2016, inspired by his own experiences as a father, Dan released a solo album of children's songs.
Dan Vapid and The Cheats
See main article: Dan Vapid and The Cheats
Dan formed Dan Vapid and the Cheats in 2011 following his split from Screeching Weasel and the Riverdales in 2011. Initially intended as a live act focusing on songs from his past bands (Screeching Weasel, the Riverdales, Sludgeworth, the Methadones) the band turned into Dan's primary focus, releasing their first LP in 2012.
See main article: Screeching Weasel
Nationally, Schafer is best recognized for his stints in Screeching Weasel. In the liner notes of SW's 1995 Kill The Musicians compilation, Ben Weasel noted that Schafer seemed to attend virtually every local show the band played prior to joining the group. Dan, Ben, and SW guitarist Jughead all resided in neighboring suburbs and became friendly after Dan's band Generation Waste played with Screeching Weasel. In 1989, Schafer became their bassist after the previous bass player had left the group. Initially christened "Sewercap" by the group, Schafer's stint in the band was short-lived. He and drummer Brian Vermin formed the side-project Sludgeworth that same year and that would soon lead to the break up of Screeching Weasel. Screeching Weasel played a reunion show in 1991, after which Schafer proposed the idea of reforming the group. Now renamed "Dan Vapid", Schafer played 2nd guitar for the group until more line up changes eventually pushed him back into his former role as bassist. He quit the group again in early 1994 and the band dissolved a few months later. Screeching Weasel reunited again in 1996 but Schafer left again in 1997. He did appear with the group in some one-off reunion shows in 2004. He was with the band again in 2009 when Ben Weasel resurrected Screeching Weasel and appeared on the band's 2011 album First World Manifesto. He left the group again in March of that year, shortly after the album's release, following Screeching Weasel's appearance at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX, where Ben Weasel got into a physical altercation with two women during the band's performance. After the split, Schafer stated he had no interest in working with Ben again.
See main article: Sludgeworth
Dan Schafer was the singer of this popular quintet from 1989 until 1993. The group split because Schafer wanted to continue with more of the pop-punk sound they were popular for while the other members wanted to pursue more of a funk and alternative rock direction. He has done several reunion shows with the group.
See main article: The Riverdales
In 1995, Schafer reunited with former Screeching Weasel vocalist Ben Foster (aka Ben Weasel) and drummer Dan Sullivan (aka Dan Panic) to form this heavily Ramones-influenced band. In the band, Schafer played bass and split songwriting and singing duties with Ben. Their song "Back To You", sung by Schafer, was featured in the movie Angus . The group also performed on a European tour with Green Day, which has been blamed by Ben Foster as the catalyst for the Riverdales' early demise (the group called in quits in 1997). In 2003, Schafer and Foster reunited with a new drummer to record a new LP. The band went on hiatus after that but returned in 2009 with a new drummer and a new record. The band ceased activity again in 2011 and Dan has stated that they will never reunite.
The Mopes were a short-lived late-'90s project featuring Dan, Jughead from Screeching Weasel, former Queers bassist B-Face, and drummer Dan Lumley. They released 2 CDs on Lookout Records but only made a few (3 or 4) live performances.
The Methadones started a side-project in 1993, but Schafer resurrected the band (in which he plays guitar and sings) in 1999. It has remained his main band until 2010, when declining interest and participation in other projects led the group to be shelved. The group has several albums and featured members of the The Bomb, Jeff Pezzati's band.
Noise By Numbers
Noise By Numbers is another project for Dan which also includes Jeff Dean of The Bomb. The band's first album was released by Asian Man Records in November 2009 and a follow up was released in 2011.
Schafer got his start singing for hardcore bands in the mid '80's. He joined Generation Waste in 1987 and appeared on their demo tape. The band attempted to record an LP in 1988 but it was not released in their lifetime (the band split that same year) and an attempt to issue it posthumously by guitarist Ted Domurat was stalled when he could not get all of the other members to agree to the release (Dan, in particular, was opposed to releasing the material). Dan did not write for Generation Waste and his growing taste for more melodic punk led to a decreasing interest in hardcore. Dan also made an appearance as a "Slaughterette" on the 1987 LP Those Who Laugh Last...Laugh Alone by Impulse Manslaughter. In his original liner notes to Screeching Weasel's compilation Kill The Musicians, Ben Weasel noted that Dan had previous sung for GW and another hardcore band called Igor Skulls, but other than this mention there seems to be no information to be found on that band. In 1994, Schafer toured as 2nd guitarist for the Queers, and is credited for playing on their 1994 LP Beat Off although his tracks were removed from the finished recording at the insistence of Ben Weasel, the album's producer. After Generation Waste, Dan had a short-lived band called The Subverts (not that Subverts) which included drummer Brian Vermin prior to the two of them joining Screeching Weasel but the band only played a show or two.