Hammer of the Gazas

Chicago's Gaza Strippers take it all off and show their scars on a high-powered sophomore album

Thankfully, Sims tired of just cashing royalty checks and went back to fronting a band in 1998. "The Didjits were a much more simplified version of the Gaza Strippers. We tried to play everything as fast as we fucking could, tried to rock as hard and mean as we fucking could. It was just pandemonium. The Didjits were more 'punk hard-core,' while the Gaza Strippers are more '70s rock. Plus, we're a four-piece with two guitarists instead of a trio so we can play the Thin Lizzy and Queen style double leads I grew up listening to." For proof, witness the sinister, medieval dual-guitar runs on 1000 Watt's "Newburgh Housewives" and "Sex and the Drifter."

"Also, there's a groove to our music. It's a little more about shaking it, which seems to invite the women in a bit more, whereas the Didjits were more of a dude band."

On the heels of 1000 Watt Confessions, the Gaza Strippers are planning to release Electric Bible: The New Testament (on Triple X Records), an extended version of their European-only EP Electric Bible with bonus tracks, including live crowd-pleasers like "White Hotel."

The Gaza Strippers: From left, Mike Hodgkiss, Mark Allen, Darren Hooper and Rick Sims.
The Gaza Strippers: From left, Mike Hodgkiss, Mark Allen, Darren Hooper and Rick Sims.
Rick Sims (foreground): "Once you [buy into] the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, you sorta sold your soul to the devil."
Rick Sims (foreground): "Once you [buy into] the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, you sorta sold your soul to the devil."

Details

Scheduled to perform on Tuesday, December 12, with Caustic Resin. Showtime is 9 p.m.
The Green Room in Tempe

As for the band's upcoming Valley show, Sims is hoping the third time playing Phoenix will be a charm. "The first time we played some heavy-metal bar, where the promoter treated us nice but some bizarre heavy-metal band opened for us. Then we played some coffee-shop place that was supposedly all-ages. I don't know what the hell it was, but after that we vowed never to return. It was a little room where they sold little sodas. It was pretty dismal. Bad sound, no crowd and the feeling like 'You can play here if you want, we really don't want you, but go ahead and set up anyway.'"

This time around, the band is booked into Tempe's Green Room, a place big enough to house the Gazas' arena-size antics and enough wattage for them to say "Good night, motherfuckers" and really mean it.

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