Bad Habits

NunZilla's punk-rock catechism will leave you praying for more

"But you know what's really weird? I went into the convenience store that's in the same buildingas the church supply place right afterwards, and I was feeling all creepy about the shirt-thing, and there [were] all these display cases with stuff like crack pipes and bongs and cock rings."

Then there was that photo shoot with the Arizona Derby Dames' Schoolyard Scrappers team in late February, when NunZilla showed up to pose with the team at photog Andy Hartmark's suggestion and almost caused a brawl. According to the band, one of the roller girls refused to pose with Jason dressed as a priest, saying she felt it was sacrilegious. The team captain insisted, and a heated argument ensued. "I thought we were gonna see a fight," Kenyatta says.

In the end, everyone calmed down and agreed that posing with NunZilla should be optional. A few of the derby dames opted out.

"I felt kind of bad," Tana says. "We don't think anything of it. We're just having fun, and it kind of came to fruition there that somebody might have a problem with it."

"I didn't feel bad about shit," Ken-yatta says. "I don't know why she was so upset when she was dressed up like a Catholic school girl with her boobs hanging out."

"I told her, 'It's only a shirt,'" Jason says. "I'm drinking a 40 [ounce] the whole time we're taking the fucking pictures."

Tana has another theory for Jason. "It could have been that cucumber wrapped in tin foil that you had in your pants, sweetie."

The members look at it this way: If the Virgin Mary can appear on a tortilla and Jesus can appear in a tree in New Mexico, then why can't four Phoenix punks wear clergy costumes and scream out silly songs about eating souls?


NunZilla's first show, on December 31, 2005, at the Cypress Lounge, should have been an omen.

"I've got a scar on my head from the first show we ever played," Jason says. "I hit myself in the eyeball just about as hard as you could fuckin' hit yourself in the eyeball. The drumstick came back and I closed my eyeball, and it was like, Wham! Just super-hard, like where you hear noise in your head. I thought I'd yoked my eye."

So Jason ran to the bathroom after the song, determined that his eye was okay (even though it was all watery and red and "hazy and out of focus") and got back onstage to finish NunZilla's set. The real carnage was about to begin.

Jason had cracked a cymbal before the show, but he'd talked Nick (a.k.a. "Sludgegutts"), drummer for local band Dephinger, into letting him borrow his brand new, expensive cymbal. During NunZilla's last song, two of Jason's old friends in the crowd took a rolling chair and did a high-speed launch into his drum set, knocking over Sludgegutts' cymbal and cracking it.

Kenyatta recalls the moment it all came crashing down. "[Jason] leapt over his drum set and caught his friend in midair and took him down."

"I freaked the fuck out," Jason says. "I dove head-first at my friend I've known since I was 12, and I had to kick his fucking ass. But I couldn't hit him in the face, so I was jumping up as hard as I could and landing with my ass and elbow on his head. It was pretty violent. So I'm kicking his ass, and there's broken glass everywhere, and I put my hand in this broken bottle. And when we finally stopped, there was blood spurting out of my hand."

Jason was the first person admitted into the emergency room at Thunderbird Hospital on New Year's Day 2006.

"That was a great show," Kenyatta says. "Fabulous first show."

Then there was the time NunZilla played during a hockey game intermission at Castle Megasports, right out on the ice, and kept sliding all over the place in front of a bunch of baffled kids. And the show in Las Vegas, when Jason wore his priest's shirt through a casino, carrying three beers and two shrimp cocktails, much to the chagrin of casino security, who followed him and tried (unsuccessfully) to grab him for questioning. "I totally dodged them and ducked behind some slot machines," Jason recalls.

And of course, there are always the blow-up Godzillas.

"The best is when you can kick the dinosaur and hit the guy right up front in the crotch," Tana says. "Like the power kick! After one show, this one guy came up and was like, 'I couldn't believe it, I was just standing there and then I got kicked in the crotch with this dinosaur! I love you guys!' He was so happy it happened to him."

"You can get a lot of momentum with those things, if you're standing close enough," Kenyatta adds.

And that's what NunZilla thrives on — the insane aesthetic of the live show. "Visuals, it's all about the visuals," Kenyatta says. "Give 'em something to watch."

It's about flexibility, too, or maybe just the willingness to be bizarre. "We're like a spaghetti Western," Jason says. "We could do anything in this band. Somebody could play a banjo. I might just tap a cymbal for our next big hit."

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5 comments
Skatergus
Skatergus

OOHH, OOOh, I know!!! Instead of Taryndactyl.........Shnozzilla!!!

Sister of the Last Breath
Sister of the Last Breath

Give me a break! I know punk and this isn't punk. Total Chaos would crash on my living room floor when they still lived in their mama's houses. This has no edge, ergo is not punk. Got an idea for a new name (and gimmick) for you guys. Paul Shaeffer and the Housewives. Better fit. Y'all ain't even half sexy enough to pull off Nunzilla. And Taryn, Digital Underground called. Humpty Hump wants his nose back.

Rowdy Roulette
Rowdy Roulette

Love The Article, Love Nunzilla. They are just great down to earth peeps. The School Yard Scrappers LOVE Nunzilla ;)

Lisa
Lisa

Please Nuns and Father Stone Come to my town and show these people how to have some fun. I must say however the scene is very tight and holy. These guys just need a little loosening up a bit. I remember hanging out with Father Stone back in the day of jumping fences to skate empty pools. The kids here need to worship NunZilla.

 
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