Shock and Rawrb
Their song titles include such works of art as "Scrotal Torment," "I HATE Doing Laundry" and "The Jgermeister Love Song." But it's their touching ode to the mixture of barley and hops -- "Beer!" -- that's gotten them the most play, especially on XM satellite radio ("When it's warm it tastes real crappy / But cold beer will make me happy").
Like erudite rockers KISS, the band members take costumed personas on stage. Wack spoke with Psychostick lead singer the Notorious R.O.B. (a.k.a Rawrb!, pronounced "Rawb") -- he of the pointy hat -- while he was driving through Los Angeles, undoubtedly in search of an open liquor store.
Houston Press: The CD has the words "Do Not Eat" in big letters on it. Most painfully obvious product warnings are put there because of some sort of precedent. Did someone, in fact, try to eat one of your records?
R.O.B.: Well, we didn't want to take the chance and get sued. A pre-emptive strike against the lawyers. It's like those little packets of things that come in new shoes. We're just trying to save lives.
HP: The song "Beer!" has been your breakout song so far. What's your favorite brew, and then the one you'd prefer castration to drinking again?
R.O.B.: Killian's Red is the best. I can drink that until I go to the hospital with alcohol poisoning. The worst? A tie between Milwaukee's Best and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
HP: Then there's "Orgasm = Love," where you manage to mention, among other perversities, Dirty Sanchezes, Cleveland Steamers and Donkey Punches. I think it's one of the most romantic songs of the past decade.
R.O.B.: Yeah, that took us by surprise. We figured that people wouldn't like it, you know, because it's so disgusting.
HP: Do you anticipate that it will get played at a lot of weddings as the first dance for the bride and groom?
R.O.B.: It really should be. Let's hope so. I think that's the way romances are going these days -- getting into some gory detail about what you'd like to do with your lady.
HP: You set the elementary school standard "The ABC Song" to death metal music in "ABCDeath." Do you have any other educational, Schoolhouse Rock!-style songs ready to help the children of America read and write?
R.O.B.: Not right now. But when we do it live, sometimes people don't know the words to it. So that makes us start to wonder what's going on with society.
HP: You're on tour with Indorphine. In a tag team death match between your two bands, who wins?
R.O.B.: I think that we would win the fight because our drummer has a black belt in some crazy Korean fighting style. We'd just throw him at all five of those guys and he'd take care of it. But we like playing our dumb music with our friends. And it's always good that we can pull up to a venue at the same time, so we figure there's actually a show that's been booked.
HP: But your drummer always performs in a full-body cow costume. Would that inhibit his sweet moves?
R.O.B.: He doesn't really wear that anymore because it gets so hot on stage. And then it started to stink really bad. We're looking for a replacement suit.
HP: What about your trademark jester/stegosaurus-looking hat that you're never photographed without? How many of those do you have?
R.O.B.: Just one -- and that smells really great too! But I know where to get more. I should get some backups. Thanks for the good idea!
HP: Anything you want to do while you're in Houston?
R.O.B.: I want to go jogging in really tight shorts. That would be fun.
HP: Damn! You just missed the marathon!
R.O.B. That's too bad. We'll have to check the tour schedule next time.
HP: Finally, if you are still looking for a title for the record, I've got a great one. Ready? How about Frampton Comes Alive! Huh -- what do you think of that?
R.O.B. Uh, I'll take it to the committee. We'll get back with you.
HP: No problem. Glad to help!
R.O.B. But didn't someone already use that?
HP: I don't know. I just thought of it off the top of my head. n the event that the tour buses for Staind, The Bloodhound Gang and Cannibal Corpse ever collided on some mythical crossroads, the band that would emerge from the wreckage (stepping over the dead groupies, of course) would be Phoenix's Psychostick. The self-described "humor-core" group aims to blend heavy riffs with hilarity on their debut CD, We Couldn't Think of a Title.
Psychostick performs Sunday, February 4, at The Engine Room, 1515 Pease, 713-654-7846. Indorphine and Invitro also perform.
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