Concert Pub North hosts a veteran band tomorrow night, one whose fans travel across the country to see it perform and has been shredding faces since some of you were just a gleam in your old man’s eye.
The iconic Misfits are headlining the show, but we’re alluding to the openers, Houston’s own SID SEVENTEEN. The homegrown metal act has been sharing its brand of “100 percent adrenaline and mayhem” with fans since 1993. Lead vocalist David DeCasper said the group has been described as an “M1 tank rolling downhill out of control.” If that’s the case, then SID SEVENTEEN has definitely picked up speed in 2015 and is on course to lay waste to all in its path.
Even with exciting projects to tout, DeCasper won’t commence discussing his own band without first talking Misfits.
“We opened for the Misfits a few years ago and Jerry [Only] was incredible," he says. "One of the nicest people you will ever meet. We are all huge fans of the Misfits so getting to share a stage with them is a big moment for the band. Our bass player, BJ [Mewis] is a Misfits fanatic, so for him this is always one of the best shows we do. It’s not every day you get to play with a legendary band that changed the landscape of music.”
Maybe not, but SID SEVENTEEN has enjoyed its share of high-profile opening gigs. There’s been Queensryche and Devil City Angels, Jackyl, Kill Devil Hill and In This Moment, to name a few. The band works with promoter John Escamilla at Jetspeed Entertainment, who trusts the band will “act like it’s been there” once it arrives to open any large show.
“Getting a slot on a larger band’s bill is a killer opportunity for any band, but it comes with its share of elements," DeCasper says. "Knowing your role in the show is key. You’re an opening act. Your band is on their stage, playing in front of mostly their crowd, so the laundry list of do’s and dont’s is extensive. It’s definitely a 'do what you’re told, when you’re told' kind of deal. We have been at this a long time so we know the ins and outs of the game. For a new band getting their first slot, the best advice I can give you is don’t mess with the tour manager.”
DeCasper and Mewis are joined by lead guitarist Gready Hunter and David Najera on drums. The group is currently cohesive, but SID’s fans have seen them split; once, in 1995, to reform for a single night in 2000, then take a near decade-long hiatus and return in 2009. Since then, the band has taken shape into its present lineup, which has meant moving forward on some long-overdue projects.
“When it comes to shows the band has always taken the attitude of quality over quantity," DeCasper says. "We have always felt each show should make sense and be something that is going to be good for the band. We do about four to six shows a year with most being around our home base of Texas, but we are finding ourselves branching out more and more."
“When we added our new drummer, Dave, one of the first things we had planned was to hit the writing process hard," he adds. "We have begun recording a few new tunes and a wickedly-heavy cover of the Judas Priest classic, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’. Recording is a completely different animal than playing live.
"Fortunately for us, we made the decision to record at Magik Studios with Karim Korsheed, who is an incredible producer," continues DeCasper. "We write a new song, and taking it into the studio with Karim and his vision and talents adds to the overall song. It’s great when you can find that producer who knows the band so well he can add to the music just as if he was the fifth member. We should have some new music released very soon.”
One thing the band has done that younger bands might not be savvy to is securing endorsements. Within the last year, SID SEVENTEEN was endorsed by Schecter Guitars, whose artist roster includes Avenged Sevenfold and Nikki Sixx. Pura Vida Tequila, which is co-owned by Godsmack’s Sully Erna and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, has also endorsed the band.
“I met with the guys from Pura Vida on Godsmack’s bus in Vegas and it was on from there," DeCasper says. "Now we have tequila at every show! Orale!”
We asked DeCasper what’s changed about Houston music since SID SEVENTEEN had its first band meeting more than 20 years ago.
“Music in general has changed, and the music scene in Houston has changed right along with it," he says. "Social media has given bands an entire new avenue to promote and stay active, but selling CDs is much harder now. People are more willing to download a song than an entire CD. The scene and landscape in music has also changed the way the bands record. We are now recording one or two songs and will release them. Then go back in and write and record a few more and release them.
We believe its more beneficial in today’s market to always have something for release rather than waiting months to release a CD. People want instant gratification and always having something new for them keeps their interest,” he said.
“Writing new music and performing live never gets old. That feeling you get when you find the right melody or play a new riff is magic. It keeps you coming back for more. Performing is a drug all unto itself. That moment you step on stage and hear the crowd is something that stays with you for life and keeps you coming back. We believe the key to longevity is loving what you do and always striving to be better. Personally and collectively each person has to strive to be a better musician and better band member.”
And, about those avid fans who traveled across the country to support a longtime favorite? They’re the main reason SID SEVENTEEN keeps rolling, like a heavily-armed tank downhill.
“We are extremely lucky to have such loyal fans. We have people that are at every show no matter where we play,” DeCasper says. “We have fans that have been coming to see us for the entire time this band has been around. Last year, we had 36 people fly from Houston to Los Angeles to see us play at The Whisky a Go Go! That was incredible. I think our fans know they can always rely on the band delivering 100 percent. They know it is going to be an alcohol-fueled, all-out rock show.”
SID SEVENTEEN opens for the Misfits Saturday, Nov. 7 at Concert Pub North, 2470 Cypress Creek Pkwy., with special guests the Guillotines, She Demon and Godless, a Danzig tribute. Tickets are available here.
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Jesse’s been writing for the Houston Press since 2013. His work has appeared elsewhere, notably on the desk of the English teacher of his high school girlfriend, Tish. The teacher recognized Jesse’s writing and gave Tish a failing grade for the essay. Tish and Jesse celebrated their 33rd anniversary as a couple in October.