Space Rock Time Bomb

Crash Street Kids head back to the '70s, with just the beer lights to guide them

Given the sound of their records, there's no reason Alice Cooper wouldn't love the Crash Streets Kids. He even let them spend a week in his rehearsal space before their first big show at Venue of Scottsdale, working out the kinks, or "making sure that Nigel doesn't get stuck in the pod," as Adams puts it, referencing one of the funnier scenes in This Is Spinal Tap.

The band's first runthrough at the Cooper space was, fittingly, a nightmare. "I'll never forget it," McKay says. "We're running up and down these ramps. We do three songs and take a break so they can tweak the PA. So we go back to the dressing room and we're just looking at each other, like, 'What are we doing here? This Crash Street Kids shit, this is hard.'"

They got their act together by the time they got to Scottsdale, though, and all that hard work paid off. "People really, really dug it," McKay says. "And what was interesting to us was how the younger kids responded to it. At our shows now, there's a very large, young, 14- through 16-year-old contingent. And it's interesting that they'd be into it, although I guess they hadn't really seen a spectacle like this. And then, of course, we'll get the 50-year-old dude who's, like, 'Man, I saw Mott the Hoople in '74, and I just love you guys."

Crash Street Kids
Giulio Sciorio
Crash Street Kids
Giulio Sciorio

When it came time to work on the music for Chemical Dogs, the band approached it from the same, "Hey, we'll try anything as long as it seems fun" perspective that had made recording that first album such a blast.

"My favorite [example of that]," McKay says, "is 'Mandy and the Leapers.' A.D. said, 'You know what this song needs? A tap-dance solo.' We actually got a chick to come down here and tap dance."

Then there's "Sweet Sexsation," their Al Jolson moment, inspired by Adams' initial reaction to a suggestion that they come up with a segue song such as Alice Cooper's "Mary Ann."

"I go, 'I'm thinking Al Jolson. Ha ha ha,'" Adams says. "Ryan comes in next rehearsal with fucking Al Jolson. So we listened to two hours' worth of old Al Jolson music and got really high."

And then they spent a good 10 minutes writing "Sweet Sexsation," a ragtime-flavored novelty that perfectly captures the mood they were after. It sounds as if they threw on a 78 and made a beer run, complete with the sound of a needle touching vinyl.

There are no bad ideas, Adams says, "until we try it and go, 'Oooh, that was a bad idea.' Every idea, as insane as it is, it at least gets addressed. And then, it either gets the thumbs-up and howls of laughter or thumbs-down and howls of laughter. Either way, it's all right. We'll do anything. We're like giggling schoolgirls, listening to vinyl and someone saying, 'Wouldn't it be funny if . . .' And if the general reaction is, 'That'd be nuts,' that's usually a go."

Though Chemical Dogs is the Crash Street Kids' second concept album in a two-part series, McKay says they were careful not to let the music take a back seat to the story. "The concept was in place," he says. "But what we tried to do was make each song kind of stand on its own. So it's conceptual, but it's not overtly conceptual."

As to why it's so much darker than the first one, Adams says they had to make it darker because that's what happens when you make it big. You head straight for the dark side and start acting like an asshole. But McKay is right when he points out that it can only get so dark with these guys on the case. "When we say it's our dark record, it's not like it's a super morose, Jeff Buckley, woe-is-me, look-how-shitty-my-life-is kind of record. It's still a Crash Street Kids record."

There's been talk of killing off The Kid the next time out, but really, it's too soon to tell.

Whatever happens, though, it's bound to be another concept album.

"If you can thread a story line from song to song to song," Adams says, "isn't that what an album was supposed to be? It's like a photo album. You don't have one picture of your trip to the Grand Canyon next to a picture of Christmas at grandma's. There's 20 pictures of Christmas at grandma's. To me, that's what an album is. Not just a collection of randomness. It quite often can be — and the way we look at it, maybe should be — one grand story you can subdivide into a million different situations and relate to them."

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PSYCHO GYPSY
PSYCHO GYPSY

SINCE OUR REFORMATION, PSYCHO GYPSY HAS PLAYED IN COLORADO, TEMPE ARIZONA AND HOLLYWOOD CALIFORNIA. AT EACH SHOW THE WELCOME WE GOT WAS BEYOND EXPECTATIONS. WE THANK EVERYONE SINCERELY FOR ALL THE SUPPORT. IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD HOWEVER FOR 2008, WE HAVE TO RAISE THE BAR SO TO SPEAK. FOR THE REUNION LAST YEAR WE DECIDED TO GIVE SEVERAL FORMER GYPSY MEMBERS TIME ON THE GYPSY STAGE ONCE AGAIN. FOR EDDIE AND TIMM, SHARING TIME WITH OUR OLD FRIENDS BOTH ON AND OFF THE STAGE WAS TIME WE ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF. ESPECIALLY TO ERIK AND JOEY WE THANK YOU. THE DRAWBACK HOWEVER WAS THAT EACH SHOW WE PLAYED LAST YEAR HAD A DIFFERENT LINEUP WHICH MADE THE VIBE DIFFERENT AT EACH SHOW. THE COLORADO SHOW FEATURED EDDIE ELECTRA, TIMM TANTRUM, JASON DOCKTER AND A GREAT FRIEND OF TANTRUM'S JOSH DRAVEN WHO CURRENTLY DOES ARTWORK FOR GYPSY. THE PHOENIX ARIZONA LINEUP CONSISTED OF AGAIN EDDIE, TIMM AND JASON AND ORIGINAL GYPSY LEAD GUITARIST AND ARIZONA'S GUITAR GOD/VIRTUOSO JOEY CARTER (NOW OF ARIZONA FAVORITES RIZON) AT THE END OF THE SHOW ERIK "BD" ST. ERICKSON JOINED GYPSY FOR A FEW SONGS. PSYCHO GYPSY THEN MADE THEIR WAY TO HOLLYWOOD. ERIK WAS CHOSEN TO PERFORM AT THE HOLLYWOOD SHOW HOWEVER JASON GOT KNOCKED OUT OF THE LINEUP FOR THAT NIGHT DUE TO AN EXTREME INFECTION IN HIS ARM MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO PLAY THE DRUMS. IT WAS DECIDED THAT TANTRUM WOULD STEP BEHIND THE DRUM KIT FOR THAT ONE NIGHT. NOW THAT GYPSY HAS CELEBRATED IT'S PAST WE NEED TO LOOK INTO THE FUTURE WHICH REQUIRES THAT WE NOW HIRE A PERMANENT LINEUP. BACK IN 2000 ERIK WAS UNABLE TO PERFORM 2 BACK TO BACK SHOWS IN ARIZONA DUE TO ILLNESS. THE GUITAR PLAYER FROM THE OPENING BAND WAS BROUGHT IN AND PLAYED BOTH SHOWS NOT ONLY WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS BUT WITHOUT ANY REHEARSAL EITHER. THAT GUITAR PLAYER WAS JERRY VAYNE OF FOXY ROXX.NOT ONLY DOES THIS MEAN JERRY WILL NOW PLAY WITH GYPSY. BUT IT ALSO MEANS THE SOUNDS OF TWO GREAT BANDS WILL BE BROUGHT TOGETHER TO MAKE ONE INCREDIBLE SOUND. JERRY AND TIMM HAVE ALREADY COLLABORATED ON TWO GREAT SONGS FOR LAST HALLOWEEN AND CHRISTMAS WHICH WERE PLAYED IN ROTATION ON ROTTING FLESH RADIO REALDISNEY.COM METAL EXPRESS RADIO BRAINGEL RADIO AND SEVERAL OTHERS. THE SUCCESS OF THESE SONGS MADE HIRING JERRY A NO BRAINER. SO HERE IS THE LINE UP FOLKS.

JERRY VAYNE

TIMM TANTRUM

AND EDDIE ELECTRA

WE ARE ALSO ANNOUNCING THE RE-RELEASE OF OUR DEBUT ALBUM FEATURING NEW PACKAGING, NEW ARTWORK BY JOSH DRAVEN, LYRICS AND A TRIBUTE PAGE IN THE BOOKLET FOR OUR LATE DRUMMER MYKEL.(RIP) THE ALBUM WILL SOON ALSO BE AVAILABLE ON SEVERAL MAJOR MUSIC SITES FOR MP3 DOWNLOAD AS WELL AS AVAILABLE FROM THE MYSPACE PAGES. OUR NEW ALBUM (WHICH WAS PUT ON HOLD IN ORDER TO PLAY THE LIVE SHOWS WILL BE DONE THIS SUMMER FEATURING GUITAR WORK FROM JERRY VAYNE) MORE DATES FOR LIVE APPEARANCES WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON. SHOW &035;1 WILL BE IN COLORADO SPRINGS COLORADO. THE DATE FOR THAT SHOW WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON. ANOTHER PROJECT THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE TO GYPSY FANS, IS A METAL SOLO PROJECT FEATURING TIMM TANTRUM AND ERIK "BD" ST. ERICKSON. EDDIE ELECTRA HAS ALSO BEEN WORKING ON SOLO WORK FOR FUTURE RELEASE SO STAY TUNED FOR THAT. AS YOU CAN TELL WE HAVE NOT BEEN SITTING ON OUR ASSES AS OF LATE. THIS WILL INDEED BE THE YEAR OF THE GYPSY!!!!!!!!!!KEEP IT LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
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