Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to email@example.com.
Regardless of genre, a musician's sound indirectly reflects his or her identity. To wit, some females are dainty pretty girls by nature; these girls typically own an all white power-suit and/or dress. Some have been through some serious mess, which you can usually identify by the "Baddest Bitch" moniker that follows their name. Some are sappy, head-in-the-heavens type girls: naturally, these girls play Midwest-style piano. And some should probably have some sort of pay-to-view Web cam set up at their homes.
A rare few, though, have impulsions that drive them to become lead singers of a ratty punk-rock groups. Meet Shit City High, punk band by way of Austin led by female vocalist MansRuin (do with that what you will) with a penchant for high speed three-chord riffs and usage of the term "asshole."
We've had our eye on SCH for a while now, but have only now have worked up the nerve to interview them after a few emails urged us to do so. (We're quite intimidated by confident independent women, it would appear.)
Hear three songs after the jump, as well as read about what atrocious name "Shit City High" was actually better than, getting naked and making "scenester douche-bags" bleed from their... well, just read it.
Rocks Off: You all may or may not have realized this, but the name Shit City High doesn't exactly evoke the prettiest of images. How di--, actually, why did you all pick that name?
Pablo: What better way to insure that we won't get on the radio?!
P: Irony is what we do best, as you can tell with our band name and song titles. Besides that, I wanted a name that captured the "filthy-trashiness" of every city and to me, every city is a shit city and every night is a "shit city high!" And, luckily, SCH won over "Diabolical Dick Suckers!"
MansRuin: I wanted the Diabolical Dick Suckers but the guys weren't going to have that!
RO: Wonder why that was? Seems reasonable enough.
MR: I did like The Bloody Lips as well. Shit City High is cool.
RO: Did you all realize that 40 percent of Shit City High has "Demon" as part of their pseudonyms? Seems kinda odd, we think.
P: In Rock and roll Satan wins every time, right? Actually, Ken Demon was given his name because he has this evil grin that is his smile. Plus, he has a glare that burns right through you!
RO: That sounds painful.
P: "Demonboy" was a nickname given to Don by Texas Terri when they were in the Stiff Ones together. Odd? Maybe, but there's nothing that makes sense about this band to begin with.
RO: Ha. Good point. What do you all think about the possibility of Kanye West posing nude in a magazine or two? We're quite stoked about it. What are the odds of getting you all to pose nude in a magazine?
P: On a bearskin rug a la Burt Reynolds? That would be awesome! As for SCH, the only one worth posing nude in a magazine is MansRuin. Of course, if there was a magazine dedicated to us called The Lordz of Assrock we would be nude all over that rag... hint-hint.
MR: Im feelin' Pablo on a bear skin rug. We actually have a photographer that's down, we just need the rug. I'm sure if you Google me enough or find the right people you'll find nude photos of me.
RO: For our money, "2 Hot 4 Rock" is SCH's best song. It pounds, but is just slick enough to not caricaturize or ironize Mans Ruin's voice. Can you all talk a little about the process you all went through to complete that song? And are we mistaken, or did we hear here proclaim that she'll make one's asshole bleed? And if so, again, why?
P: I wrote the song when I was in the Black Novas (ATX), but the band broke up so I had a complete song with lyrics and no band to play it with. So when MansRuin and I formed SCH, "2 Hot 4 Rock" was the very first song we did and it's been apart of us and our set ever since.
Yes, the lyric reads "I'll make your fuckin' asshole bleed!" It's a sarcastic song with outrageous narcissistic overtones that's meant to be a stab at all of the scenester douche-bags that are like, "Hey look at me! I'm too hot for this rock n roll shit!"
MR: I'm a huge Turbonegro fan and it struck me to be in the same category lyric-wise. We took it from the Black Novas knowing it was a great song that had never been recorded and people needed to hear it!
RO: Okay, we tried to avoid it, but we feel obligated to ask how SCH came to be. We imagine it evolved from a pleasant conversation during a Sunday afternoon brunch. Am we correct?
P: Actually, MansRuin and I formed a band when I first moved to Houston from Austin called the Bloody Lips, but it imploded before it even started. After months and months of ads and MySpace emails, we finally found Nate who [became] our bass player. Months and months after that we finally found Ken (Stretford, Gun Crazy), who became our drummer. We just recently got Don Curliso (Texas Terri and the Stiff Ones) as our second guitar player.
RO: What kind of music do you all listen to first thing in the morning? We ask because we're fans of punk, but it's probably the last thing we want to hear early in the morning. We find Feist to be quite enjoyable, however.
P: Early punk like The Undertones and Nikki Sudden is a great way to start the day.
MR: It depends on when and where I'm going. If it's really fuckin' early talk radio is where it's at. Just jumping in the car, I'll listen to whatever was in the CD player, probly the Germs.
Nate Fox: Sports radio.
Ken Demon: Manowar!
Demonboy: Talk radio.
RO: When, where, and for how much can people see you all live?
MR: Well, if you're paying the right price you can see me whenever you want.
P: If it were up to me: anytime, anywhere. I think we need more all-ages clubs in this town! We have a pretty big fan-base that's under 21 and wants to see us, but [has] no place to see us except the Meridian. And they won't let us play there anymore.
RO: Ummm, why?
P: We've played the Meridian twice. [We] sold $300 worth of tickets for one show and the club fucked us and didn't pay us. As a form of "make it up to you guys," the club booked us as direct support for the Misfits. Well, we sold around $100 worth of tickets for a show that was already sold out and the wannabe promoters at Jetspeed Music Group switched our direct support time-slot because we didn't "sell" that many tickets and, again, we didn't get paid.
We got tired of getting fucked by the club and called them out on it. We then told the club and Jetspeed to get fucked and fuck off in front of 600 kids! They didn't like that too much so they kicked us out and banned us. Oh well, no loss to us. We don't do "Pay to Play!" Don't ask, don't ask - fuck off!
RO: You all immediately just became cooler. Anything else you want to make sure gets mentioned? Now's the time to do it.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
P: Life is sweet, playing is fun, free shit is cool, touring is better, and the idea that we will be recording our debut album w/ Steve Albini is crazy!
MR: I like free stuff and if you give it to me I'll wear it [and] promote it. People like me, dammit, even if I am the meanest "Rock & Roll Bitch" in Houston! - Shea Serrano
Keep tabs on Shit City High via myspace.com/schtexas.