October 27, 2012

Interview with Dynamo Marz of The Deadites

Hailing from the mean streets of Necronomicon, Massachusetts are a band of monster-hunting, pro-wrestling musicians known as The Deadites, who, on this very night, will be playing their 16th Annual Halloween Extravaganza at the Lucky Dog Music Hall in Worcester along with other musical artists and friends. Before the insanity of what's to be their biggest weekend of the year, I chatted with Deadites frontman Dynamo Marz, who you may remember as the first person who was ever featured on the Death Rattle's weekly 13 Questions segment. Dynamo was nice enough to pull the curtain back just a little and talk about the band's origins, the numerous colorful members of the group, their other non-musical endeavors, and what inspires them to do what they do, amongst other things. If you live within a reasonable driving distance of Worcester and don't have anything to do tonight, there's a spot at Lucky Dog's dancefloor with your name written all over it. If not, enjoy the interview anyway and please support The Deadites by checking out any of the links below.

Death Rattle: When did The Deadites form and what was the driving force behind putting a band together?
Dynamo: 1992. As to why, it was the same as it it is today: to raise money to fund our other exploits.

Death Rattle: Your band has a very theatrical style and image. Was there a particular influence behind this when you started?
Dynamo: That's a very good, very simple question that has a very long 3 part convoluted answer. Let me try and tackle this. First off, the people in the band have secret identities for very practical reasons. Hidden in our ranks are doctors, teachers, lawyers, Indian chiefs. The masks afford them the opportunity to be in a band with a loudmouth like me and not have to deal with any of the negative politics of… well, being in a band with a loudmouth like me. We also piss off a lot of people... people from every walk of life and species. It's nice to not have that follow you home
Secondly, and maybe more importantly, Hollywood has society conditioned to think that handsome or beautiful equals noble or brave or heroic: worse over that people who look different or act different who are not celluloid cliché. Well, those people are best-possible-case-scenario outsiders, but generally they're monsters, they are freaks, they are deviants. Now, I'm aware of how heavy-handed this is going to sound, but our masks make us the ultimate outsiders, and our masks show our people that we're a band of outsiders making music for other outsiders, and you don't have to be handsome to get the girl, you don't have to be thin to be the hero, you don't have to beautiful get the standing ovation. You just have be the best YOU you can be and work what you have as hard as you can work it and you can be the STAR! The HERO! THE CHAMPION! It doesn't matter how fat you are or how old you are. Just be the best YOU you can be and you can do whatever you want to do. The Deadites are a musical Midian calling all the other outcasts to come home. Transforming the world one person at a time into a place where you won't be judged. But it starts with you. If you think being different makes you a weirdo then you are a weirdo, but if you love being YOU, you will succeed. I want you to look at my ugly mug, this hockey mask next to me and say if those freaks can get up there and rock the house, I can too!!
And lastly when we diversified our organization in the 90s and decided we wanted to start making music to make money to further our other exploits, music had gotten lazy on just about every level. It was getting harder to tell the people in the crowd from the people on stage. Now you can say there's something romantic about that, but if I pay 50 bucks to see you play, at least go to Walmart and get a $5.00 button-down shirt and a $6.00 tie! The music I loved was always very different and always diverse, but they all seem to have one thing in common. Bowie, Kiss, Men without Hats, Depeche Mode, Alice Cooper; in their own way these bands all dressed for the rock.....

Death Rattle: For those out there who haven't heard The Deadites, how would you describe your music and, for the sake of categorizing, what genre would you say that you fall under?
Dynmo: Dark wave... Goth pop... Industrial? I don't really know. What do you think we are, Death Rattle?
If the score from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK had a tryst with Depeche Mode, what genre would that be?

Death Rattle: How has your style - musically and visually - evolved over time, if at all?
Dynamo: When we started, we didn't know how to sing or play. Now we know how to sing and play a little bit (very little). As far a visuals go, I think our stuff just looks better because some one makes it for us (Tiny makes his own masks) now as opposed to raiding Hot Topic and the Halloween store.

Death Rattle: You guys have done some work for the wrestling promotion CHIKARA as far as making custom music for them. How did this relationship come about?
Dynamo: Johnny Wolfenstein set it up. We were supposed to do music for a CHIKARA video game. The rest happened very organically. Ophidian is our boy, so it was great to write his theme song. I'd love to do a song for Mike [Quackenbush] or [Hallowicked]. They are good guys and good friends. My dream theme is Jigsaw. He's the most underrated guy on the indys. I love his work.

Death Rattle: What have some of your biggest obstacles been throughout the existence of the band?
Dynamo: Being too different. We are not Metal enough for the people that liked Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, but way too tough and aggressive for the Synthpop kids. Postal Service fans usually faint as soon as we hit the stage.

Death Rattle: Talk a little bit about each member, the role they play in the group, and how they became involved in The Deadites.
Dynamo: Ok, I'll tear through this stream of conscious style

Round Trip Jones was the first to join way back when. He's come and gone a few times, but now I'm sure he's back to stay. On stage, he's the life of the party. We set up his keyboard in the back of the stage then look up and he's in the front row dancing with three green women and a naked fat girl flailing his arms and tossing candy like a spastic monkey who's being riddled with bullets. It's a sight to be seen! He's completely awesome! One of my best friends of all time. My ace both on stage and behind the screams! Like family to me

Oracle: An amazing vocalist. I think she can care less for us, but I love her. She was just a kid when she hooked up with us. In her early 20's. That's way too young to be hanging with us pirates. She is super devoted, but I'm pretty sure she hates us. Her voice is flawless: a producer's dream. Live, her vocals hit you like a train then tucks you into bed. Awesome, awesome voice. I look at her like a little sister I'm pretty sure she looks at me like a filthy weird uncle. Such a great voice. Don't even get me started on how beautiful she is... those eyes... her folks did some good work with that girl. But you know what? As hot as she is, as good of a singer she is - and you would not know this if you didn't know her - she is like a super genius. Crazy smart. Insane smart

Rev. Ethan, he plays bass, he plays trumpet, he plays percussion, he sings. I fucking love that dude. Every time I look up onstage and see him, I just get a big smile across my face. I call him my uncle. Just fucking absolutely love him, which is crazy because he's possessed by a thousand angry demons, but at the end of the day if you can make that guy smile you know you're doing your job right. I just fucking love him. He has legit saved my life on more the one occasion.

Mz. M: I could rave all day about Mz. M. On a very technical level, she's my muse 'cause I'm constantly struggling to become a better writer to keep up with how incredible of a performer and vocalist she is. It's hard to be objective when she's such a huge part of my life. Other then Tiny, no one in the band knows me better. She runs these races up mountains! She, like, crawls under barb wire! Tosses javelins! This all goes down in the pouring goddam rain! Then she goes home, bakes some cookies, shows up in a little sun dress looking sweet as can be. I don't think she is a real person. Its just not fair. So cool and sooo beautiful. I dare you - double dog dare you - to spend 5 minutes with her and not fall in love with her. Her biggest asset is she is the most normal and the biggest weirdo in this outfit; a duality that I think directly coincides with her longevity.

Andy Christ, our keyboard player, when I hear that maniac's name I think two things: hard worker and fucking hysterical. He keeps us laughing from the minute we enter the club to the second we leave the club at 4 in the morning. He's also really, really respectful to Tiny's music. He's really, really thoughtful about what he interjects to the mix in a live setting. The band is better because he is part of it.

Ares is one of our percussionists. He's been our best friend and our legit bodyguard for so long, it just seemed natural to have him up on stage and hit stuff......

Kervin: our newest victim [laughs]. Our brother from another mother! He was the singer/songwriter for one of my favorite bands of all time, ColorBlind. A killer voice, great guitar player. It's a real honor to have him on stage with us. He's more of a studio guy now, but I can't wait for his schedule to open up more and get out in front of people. The dichotomy between his voice and my voice is really going to blow peoples' minds in a live setting.

Tiny Wight: He is a mad genius. One of a kind. Everything I have ever done is better because he was 1/2 of it and he is 100 percent of the reason anyone cares about our music. The best song writer ever (and a hell of a dancer).

Fabio Freezy: He's devoted, I'll give him that.

Death Rattle: You and Tiny Wight seem to be the key members of the group as far as writing music and acting as the overall presence of the band. Do the other band members other than the female vocalists participate in recording, or are they strictly part of the live element?
Dunamo: Well, on the latest EP, our original guitar player Skip 13 appears on the track "New Murders in the Rue Lounge!" Our newest member Kervin, he sings the hook on "Too Ugly for Heaven". He's soo amazing! I'm hoping he plays some guitar on our full-length. It's just unbelievable to be in a band with him. You will also be hearing more Ethan on upcoming releases. He sung on a lot of our previous recordings but not on this most recent one. As far as THE BIG SCARY MONSTER HUNTS AT MIDNIGHT goes, it was me the girls and Kervin vocally. Tiny wrote and performed all the music. Andy Christ voiced that awesome intro. We try to use everyone in every aspect as much as their schedules allow.

Death Rattle: How many of the current members have been around since day one?
Dynamo: Just me and Tiny. Folks come and go, but we created it and we will be there when it crashes and burns.

Death Rattle: Your big event is an annual Halloween performance involving yourselves and other bands and artists that you're friends with. Talk a little bit about these Halloween shows, how they came to be, and what they mean to you as a band. 
Dynamo: Like anything else, we wanted to be on a big Halloween show. No one asked, so we made our own. As far as what it means, think Wrestlemania, Christmas, The Super Bowl and Halloween rolled into one.

Death Rattle: The EP, THE BIG SCARY MONSTER HUNTS AT MIDNIGHT, is currently available on iTunes and other online retailers; when can we expect a follow-up, and will it be another EP or a full-length?
Dynamo: Full length, baby! I'd say by next Halloween at the latest. We are writing some stuff I'm really happy with. It's tough because other bands just have to write songs and maybe play shows. we have 2 podcasts, a comic in the very early stages, and we are trying to get some sort of visual media in front of folks' eyes very soon; movies, music videos, stuff like that. So you write, then you stop to do this other thing, then write some more. I have waited forever for this to come out, so I'm not going to rush it, but it's in pre-production and moving along nicely.

Death Rattle: Judging by the lyrics of some of your songs, it's safe to assume that you're H.P. Lovecraft fans. Talk a little about the Lovecraft influence, and are there any other people or films you draw influences from when writing music and lyrics?
Dynamo: Lovecraft writes about stuff crawling outa the ocean. The ocean scares the crap out of me. He also writes about the unknown. I use Lovecraftian imagery to describe how terrified I am of seemingly mundane things like relationships and other general uncertainties normal folks have adjusted to by the 6th grade. One of the earliest things [Tiny Wight] and I bonded over was cinema. Horror! Westerns! Kung Fu! All that stuff is in there: the feel, the music, the sleaze, the balls. All that stuff poured onto us off blurry VHS tapes and we regurgitate it back into our music. There was this dance club Manray. I can't cite any one band, but I can cite the ocean of sexy leather-clad bodies getting down in every corner of that place. The overall mood of that club profoundly influenced us.

Death Rattle: Who came up with the whole mythology behind the band, and was each member responsible for creating their own characters?
Dynamo: It made its self. No one made it. Every hing we do in real life is more crazy than anything anyone could make up. We hunt monsters. It's what we do. For real. If you want assume that I mean that metaphorically or with some sly symbolism, that's for the listener or viewer to decide. If you take what I say literally, that's awesome. Whatever you need to take away or project onto or assume to our - I guess you can call it - mythology is for the people who enjoy it to decide. I'd never tell a dreamer what to dream or a skeptic what to disregard. But please don't think I'm being coy or dismissive. I admire you to much for that, but we are as real as you or any one else thinks we are.

Death Rattle: Since starting The Deadites, what has been the most rewarding thing for you guys?
Dynamo: This band has afforded me the opportunity to have adventures, wrestler, write and perform music, meet and work with some amazing and talented people, and I have done it all with my best friend. Who could ask for more?

Death Rattle: Thanks a lot for the interview. If there's anything else you'd like to say before we wrap this up, please feel free.
Dynamo: We talked allot about music stuff, but I'd like to take a second to thank guys who helped out, like MonsterZero, Duncan Arsenault, Paul Dagnello, D-Rock Ring (who doesn't work with us any more), Pyscho Patrick, Mike Ravenshadow, Jack Ketchum , Twelve-Gauge Calhoun, Dr. Light, The Red Queen, Grimbro, Roger Lavallee, and especially Johnny Wolfenstein for working so hard to get the word out and help us get over. No one ever would have herd or seen us with out you. And, oh yea, photographer Louie Dupree. That guy makes us look like a rock star. Who I won't forget is you, Aaron! You are soo awesome to us. Thank you soooo much!! Same goes for John Ross from Feed My Ears and Will and Samurai from The GGTMC!

One last thing and I'll stop boring your readers.

Some one very importantly has has a crazy bad year. Let's call her Jez. Dealing with health stuff that scares the hell out of me. The Deadites talk about fighting monsters, but everyday this girl wakes up and does battles with real life demons from within her own body. Publicly, since The Death Rattle has giving me a soapbox, I'd like to just let her know how brave I think she is. If I was 1/2 as strong as her, I have no idea what I'd do with it, so here in front of the world, from me and all the DSTS.... Jez... The January girl... way to fight! I'm proud of you! Your strength is a huge inspiration to all of us!
Thanks, everybody, and keep reading The Death Rattle! Love it! Appreciate it! It's the best thing going!!!


The Deadites on Facebook
TrickorTreatRadio.com - Trick or Treat Radio on iTunes
Trick of Treat Radio on Facebook
The Cryptocast on YouTube

1 comment:

  1. Hawaiian Giant of Horror, Death Rattler Aaron, you asked the tough questions here, in this hard hitting interview with Dynamo Marz. Thank you for everything you do. We're glad to call you a friend.