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We Talked to Jeffrey Robens of Killing Spree About Their Bar Rescue Concert

We Talked to Jeffrey Robens of Killing Spree About Their Bar Rescue Concert
Killing Spree

If you watched the Rocky Point Cantina episode of Bar Rescue you may have noticed a lot of weird things about the episode--like how the bar they rescued is now boarded up and closed. Here's one you might not have caught: Local metal band Killing Spree playing to someone else's crowd. We talked to lead singer Jeffrey Robens about the switch, being asked to play for a reality TV show, and how metal shows really did at Rocky Point.

Up on the Sun: So was there any indication you would play this role as the scourge? No, not at all. They acted like we were doing them a huge favor the whole time.

"You guys are what's wrong about this place, hey can you play another four songs," like that? No, they just kept saying thank you for playing, and thank you for helping us out. The reason they asked us to play, because they asked us the day we went down there, is because they couldn't use any footage of the national band, because they would have to pay for that, their agencies or what not, is what I'm thinking. And none of the bands signed the paperwork to let them use their music.

So how does it feel to be depicted as the scourge? (laughs) I don't know. Realistically, I don't think we really got viewed that way, but then again, all my friends know what's going on, I don't know what people who don't know us would think seeing that, and then seeing this band and hearing .5 seconds of our music and being like, oh man.

You know what really sucks, there were a lot of girls there the night we played. And I don't know if you remember seeing in the episode, but they didn't show any girls. Remember that?

No, but it did seem like they wanted as many women in there as possible [at the end]. Absolutely. And the ratio at our show, I'm pretty sure it was 45 percent women, 65 percent dudes. There were a lot of chicks there, and it never showed any pictures of the crowd when there were chicks there, because I remember some of my friends and employees from work that are girls came to the show, and I remember there being at least four or five just from Crabby's alone. So all of our girl friends that came, I don't know, it was kind of weird. I'm just trying to think about it and ask all the girls who came to let me know. But next time you take a look at the video just think about that when you watch the first couple of minutes, when they're talking about the before.

Is that the usual ratio of women at your shows? It's usually almost exactly like that if not 35-75--there are always more dudes than girls. But that's natural, it's at a bar where--

But a significant amount of women? Yeah, I've always seen girls there, I always notice girls there, especially at metal shows. There's a lot of girls that go to metal shows. There are a lot of girls that just go to metal shows, that look like normal, regular--to someone who doesn't understand what it is that happens at these shows, that look like regular everyday girls.

What about other shows there, nonmetal? You don't see a lot of girls at hip hop shows. I don't go to a lot of other shows anymore because the venues are all pushed around and I don't know who plays where. All I have for an example is Crabby's, because I'm always there on the weekends. We get more girls for cover bands and tribute bands and stuff like that than we do for original bands, but we don't get any metal there, so I can't even say that.

We usually only ever have metal bands there on the most successful nights. I don't know, the whole thing's funny to me. There's no reality in reality TV.

The end part was pretty good. The end subtext where he said he was making six thousand dollars more a weekend or a night, when the bar closed down, what, two months after they turned their cameras off? But everything else seemed pretty on point, except for that last part. Havana Cabana seemed not thought through very well.

Was Rocky Point weeks from closing? No, I don't think so.

 

After Bar Rescue: A boarded-up Havana Cabana
After Bar Rescue: A boarded-up Havana Cabana
Dan Moore

I don't know any of the ins and outs of that part. It seemed like the place was, and I hate to sound like a dick, but if anything there was bad money management going on if they were really weeks away from closing, because there were few times I saw that place empty when it was open.

For the metal shows and hip hop shows, I saw lots of people in there. It was open for any concert in general, and whenever it was open I'd usually see lots of people in there. If there weren't any shows going on, they weren't open.

What do you think about Jon Taffer? I thought that was pretty lame [that they ignored the fact there were more than just metal shows there], and I remember what time of year that was--that was pretty much three weeks after college left, and they're talking about how it's supposed to be a college bar and there are supposed to be college kids there, and [yet] it shows them doing this whole thing when there's no college in session. I thought that was interesting. But the metal thing, I wasn't really insulted by any of it. They didn't insult us, which I thought was nice.

So that's footage of you performing? That was us peforming. There was only one part that was the Faceless, and that was the mosh pit, because there wasn't that many people there when we played. They kind of subbed out the crowd a little bit. Some of it was our crowd, and some of it was all the younger kids and the mosh pitting and all that crap. All the negative stuff seemed to be the Faceless show.

But to anyone that goes to a metal show, none of that stuff was a negative. At least those kids are doing that instead of shooting heroin up.

So you did make the episode? Yeah, in the first fifteen minutes there was a whole lot of us and our friends and they even played some of our music from the live performance, so that was cool. I didn't watch the credits but they didn't really make a huge deal out of who we were or anything, which kind of sucks, but that's okay.

The reality of what happened speaks more for itself. As soon as they made it not a metal venue anymore, the place closed down.

Niche market or not, they screwed that place up by trying to create a different niche market, which is college students.

It just seems like once they turned the cameras off, everything went back to the way it was, except that it was that shitty pastel color. Our CD release was like, I wanna say three or four weeks after that happened. And it was at Rocky Point Cantina. I can't remember the dates. They just converted it back to the way it was except for all the counters were painted--they didn't do any construction, they just redid the lines for the beer and stuff, and painted the walls, and put gross pictures of old ladies smoking cigars everywhere.

No Cuban sandwich menu, cocktails, etc., they just went back to being a concert venue again? Yeah. They still had the stuff, but they didn't even have a menu done before the bar closed. They just had those ones they made up with three or four items on it, and then they had their old menu, and they just went back to serving all the old stuff, the fried crap people like at bars. They were probably making the same amount of money before they came in there.

It was all just a bunch of metal shows. From what I understand, they weren't open like they wanted them to be, open during lunch and all that crap, because no one came in. From what I recall they tried it for a couple of days and then it didn't work out.

Other reactions? I thought it was funny. But then again I have a really good sense of humor, so I don't know when it comes to things that are... the stuff that was real was funny to me, because I recall what happened and then it being funny, but the stuff with their family, that just sucks.

I don't know how much of that was real, or how much was fake, but some of it seemed real and some of it seemed fake. Like the fact that he went out of his way to make Scott tell his parents that he was a disappointment was kind of shitty. No one in TV Land really wants to see that. I mean if they do, I dunno, I didn't want to, because I knew him. But whenever they do that on any other episode I always look at him like, come on, don't be a dick.

Do you think Bar Rescue brought about the end? From the outside it sorta looked like it from the information that they gave up, but then again they lied like twice in the episode.

What were the lies? To be certain, the lies where they supplemented our crowd with a national band's crowd, to make it look more rowdy and disruptive, I guess, is what I'm thinking, and then at the end, where they said that the bar was making this six weeks later, when that was moments from it being closed, and it was nothing to do with them that made them more money.

And that manager guy, that guy who they said they brought in to manage the place, I never saw that dude once--all I saw was Scott [Massimiano, manager], still, after the filming of all that stuff.

Have you talked to Scott since the episode aired? No, the only person I vaguely talked to was Kim [LaRowe, metal promoter], but it was through Facebook, so it wasn't like we were really talking. Everyone was just complaining or commenting or whatever.

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Rocky Point Cantina - Closed

1001 E. 8th St.
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-968-7879


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