Gallery View (II)

Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon

The Show

The Show

Recently I had the good for­tune [Sidenote: Thanks to the good folks at Red Eye USA and tour man­ager Jonny Ver Planck (he’s also the band’s man­ager) for grant­ing me full access dur­ing the show.] to doc­u­ment the Reverend Horton Heat’s per­for­mance at Oklahoma City’s Wormy Dog Saloon in Bricktown. Five years ago, at a pre­vi­ous Horton Heat show, I was very pleased to dis­cover the music of open­ers The Tossers, a Chicago-based band that melds punk rock with Irish tra­di­tional music. This tour’s open­ing act was no less excit­ing. The Goddamn Gallows, who blend rock­a­billy, roots, folk, Americana, and coun­try music with just enough hard­core and punk […] to make your par­ents hate it, poured out enough sweat and snot in their ener­getic set to fill buck­ets. The band’s biog­ra­phy is all over the inter-webs, so I won’t repeat it here.

TV's Avery (III)
TV’s Avery (III), Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon (on tour with Reverend Horton Heat)

In addi­tion to the music, the audi­ence were enthralled by the onstage antics of accordionist/​washboard player TV’s Avery as he tor­mented bassist Fish-gutzzz, cov­er­ing the bass player’s mouth while he strug­gled to sing, rub­bing his dread­locks in the bassist’s chest while the Fish-gutzzz attempted a solo, and giv­ing his hap­less band­mate a “Wet Willie.”

Throwdown!, Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon (on tour with Reverend Horton Heat)

First row audi­ence were drenched as snot can­nons launched and bev­er­ages spewed. Immediately fol­low­ing one such inci­dent, I ducked down from my posi­tion at the stage left cor­ner, lest Avery aim for me and my cam­era gear. He looked straight at me and nod­ded in acknowl­edge­ment of my pru­dent action.

Their tour man­ager kindly passed my inter­view ques­tions to band mem­bers Mikey Classic (lead vocal, gui­tar, upright bass), Fish-gutzzz the Ignorant (vocal, upright bass), Uriah “Baby Genius” Baker (vocal, drums), TV’s Avery (accor­dion, wash­board, spoons, upright bass, drums, fire), Jayke Orvis (man­dolin, banjo, gui­tar), and Joe Perreze (vocal, banjo).

Goddamn Gallows have a web­site. You can buy Goddamn Gallows mer­chan­dise at Farmageddon Records, iTunes and Amazon.

The Interview

The Interview

Mercury Photo BureauMike, Since [the band is] so close to a string or jug band in [its] choice of instru­ments (and also […] mate­r­ial), would you ever con­sider adding old-time gospel or blue­grass har­mony to the band’s sound?

Mikey ClassicWe do add some old-time ele­ments to our songs some­times, as we see fit. Especially on the 7 Devils album, where we began exper­i­ment­ing with our sound a whole hel­luva lot more.

Mikey Classic after the Show
Mikey Classic after the Show, Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon (on tour with Reverend Horton Heat)

MPBSince the rac­coon inci­dent at the Checkpoint Charlie show in New Orleans, have there been any other par­tic­u­larly excit­ing or mem­o­rable gigs?

Mikey ClassicJust last month, a good friend of ours [Sidenote: That would be Hog Luvdog of the Sleazetones] was at our show com­plain­ing about how one of his teeth was wig­gly and falling out. He invited Avery to pull it for him onstage, fore­go­ing expen­sive den­tist bills. It turned out beau­ti­fully dis­gust­ing, and some­one posted the event on YouTube under Goddamn Gallows dentistry.

Goddamn Gallows Perform Unlicensed Dentistry

MPB Fish-gutzzz, when did you first real­ize you wanted to play upright bass? — or was it more a mat­ter of necessity?

Fish-gutzzzBack in 2001, my friend Dez and I went into a music store in Lansing, Michigan. We had been lis­ten­ing to a lot of clas­sic coun­try and psy­chobilly and wanted to look at upright basses. As soon as I played it, I knew I was doomed.

MPBHow’d you wind up play­ing Margaret Dumont to Avery’s Harpo Marx?

Fish-gutzzzDid you just call me a woman? Avery is a sick per­son and I got stuck next to him on stage. So basi­cally I got f*cked.

Fish-gutzzz (I)
Fish-gutzzz (I), Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon (on tour with Reverend Horton Heat)

MPB Uriah, did you ever fan­ta­size about join­ing the cir­cus when you were a kid?

Uriah “Baby Genius” BakerDidn’t care for the cir­cus horses and goats. And ele­phants freak me out.

MPBGinger Baker, Keith Moon, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Baby Genius. Sound about right?

UriahGinger Bread? Keith who? Buddy what? HAHAHA and I don’t know, maybe just Baby G is all they need to know, so stop ask­ing! Love you; ’bye?

Baby Genius (II)
Baby Genius (II), Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon (on tour with Reverend Horton Heat)

MPB Avery, did the “vil­lage idiot” rou­tine exist from the start, or did it come about grad­u­ally? How have you refined it over time?

TV’s AveryThe vil­lage idiot rou­tine. Well, let me first off applaud the rather indel­i­cate way in which you phrased the inquiry. Routine inher­ently denotes mechan­i­cal per­for­mance of an estab­lished pro­ce­dure; what I strive to accom­plish is a purely unique and spon­ta­neous per­for­mance every night. Granted there is some rep­e­ti­tion (regur­gi­ta­tion might be a more appro­pri­ate descrip­tion) but in whole I think we accom­plish some­thing novel. So, to sum­ma­rize, if you attend our show, I’ll bite your genitals.

MPB Please don’t bite my man bits.

TV’s Avery[…]

MPBEveryone in the band is pretty heav­ily inked; no sur­prise for a band with its roots in Punk. Your arms are tat­too-free, and in the band’s press-kit you “com­plain” that your fel­low band mem­bers lured you away from a good job. Are you hold­ing off on arm tat­toos as a safety net for future employment?

TV’s AveryYes, but purely in pur­suit of crim­i­nal enter­prises. I’m too far gone now to return to polite soci­ety. Visible tat­toos and other such iden­ti­fy­ing marks would be a lia­bil­ity. I’ll still have to potato-peel the one off of my hand, however.

TV's Avery Does Drum Duty
TV’s Avery Does Drum Duty, Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon (on tour with Reverend Horton Heat)

MPBJayke, you played an “F”-style man­dolin at the Wormy Dog show, but I know that’s not the only man­dolin you own. Which is your favorite, and why?

Jayke OrvisI started on an “A”-style because they’re, like, fifty bucks. The one I’m play­ing now is cus­tom built for me by Weber. Out of the two man­dolins I own, it’s my favorite.

MPBYou guys have all the instru­ments needed for a string band except the fid­dle. Ever thought about adding fid­dle to your own multi-instru­men­tal­ist resumé?

JaykeI’ve tried to play fid­dle before, but it was atro­cious. I rented one from a music store for twenty bucks and attempted saw­ing out notes. At the time, I had a Bluetick Coonhound who would start howl­ing like crazy any­time I picked it up. It was awful, so to feel bet­ter I turned around and sold the rented fid­dle for 150 bucks. Never look back!

Jayke Orvis (I)
Jayke Orvis (I), Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon (on tour with Reverend Horton Heat)

MPB Joe, was the deci­sion to inject more “Roots and Americana” influ­ence into the group’s compositions/performances an organic one? How did it come about?

Joe PerrezeI’d say it was pretty organic. Before I hopped on full time, Jayke was tak­ing care of the banjo work, giv­ing us our strongest “roots” sta­ple, 7 Devils. Before that, Mikey laid down all the banjo heard on Ghost of th’ Rails. When I joined for the record­ing and tour­ing for 7 Devils, I was just an exten­sion; an extra set of hands to enable us to have all the instru­ments all the time, all at once.

MPBDoes your style of banjo play­ing owe more to Earl Scrugg’s three-fin­ger style, or to nine­teenth-cen­tury “frail­ing,” or to some­thing else entirely?

Last Smoke
Last Smoke, Goddamn Gallows at the Wormy Dog Saloon (on tour with Reverend Horton Heat)

JoeIt’s mainly clawham­mer and frail­ing banjo, with bits of fin­ger pickin’ and flat pickin’ mixed in. I would say I’m a clawham­mer player who switches up every cou­ple of songs.


Photo Gallery

See these pic­tures + the Reverend Horton Heat on my Flickr pho­to­stream.

About Chris J. Zähller

International Man of Mystery. Cocktail Nerd. Occasionally designs websites. Sometimes snaps a picture or two.

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