Dephinger Is No Longer That Joke Band From 15 Years Ago

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Political correctness and punk rock don’t mix. Sure, there are bands that do the punk thing well and never say or do anything untoward or aiming to offend. These bands are neat, probably dress well, and are nice to their mothers, and the world is safer for it.

Luckily for us, Dephinger is none of these things (although we truly hope they are nice to their moms).

The local band, who originally was known as Dephinger Brownthumb, has been playing around town since 2000. Guitarist and lead vocalist Josh “Big Nasty” Golembiewski and drummer/vocalist Nick “Sludge Guts” Sewell have been with the band the entire time, and the relative newcomer, bassist Chris “the War Moth” Warmuth, has been with the band a little over four years now. On Saturday, November 12, Dephinger will release their first full-length LP, 40% Bad Ass, which is a collaborative effort between Scottsdale’s AZPX Records and Sunnyslope’s Rogers Aire Records & Refrigeration.

Yes, you read that correctly, possibly the world’s first record label that is also a refrigeration company. Only in Sunnyslope and only in America. We should all be proud.

More importantly, though, Dephinger is releasing this record on both vinyl and CD and is throwing a huge party to celebrate at Rips Fine Ales and Cocktails with the Phoenix Hooker Cops, the Early Grabs, Dirty Hairy, Quantum Colossus, and F Harsh. With a lineup like this, the Phoenix PD will have an easy night knowing where half the reprobates in Maricopa County are located, at least for a few hours.

We’re teasing, of course, but Dephinger has made a habit over the years of causing as much of a ruckus as possible.

“There is nothing normal about this band or anyone in it. We pissed off a lot of people in the beginning and we succeeded. We wanted to be a punk rock band to piss off the punkers. A lot of people think we’re still a joke band like we were 15 years ago, but they haven’t seen us in 15 years,” says Sewell during an interview in the band’s west Phoenix practice room.

Whether it was the band’s often ridiculous and hilariously inappropriate flyers or the lyrics to their spazzy blend of punk and skate rock, there has always been plenty about Dephinger to be offended by during their long local and national history. The band has definitely done their fair share of touring over the years, even if they have mellowed a bit recently on their road-dog ways.

“We’ve played 35 states. (On one tour), we did 12,000 miles in 21 days and did 20 shows in Andy’s pickup truck,” says Sewell, referring to former bassist and current member of Quantum Colossus, Andy Lane.

“We did King’s Fest in Austin. It’s like Lord of the Flies out there. It’s awesome. A bunch of ramps and bowls,” says Warmuth of a Texas skate rock benefit before Golembiewski chimes in:

“14-year-old kids with fifths of whiskey and cigarettes. It’s Texas.”

Much of the band’s hard partying days are over, though, which is probably a good thing.

“We learned a long time ago that there’s no sense in driving 2,000 miles to suck when you can suck in your own town,” Sewell says.

One thing that definitely does not suck, though, is Dephinger’s new record. The 15-track effort was recorded at Full Well Recording Studio about a year and a half ago, and was engineered by Mike Bolenbach and produced by Bobby Lerma. While the requisite skate punk is alive and well on 40% Bad Ass, the band also expands their sound to blend in elements of classic and stoner rock. Imagine mid-’90s Fu Manchu mixed with a band like Gang Green.

“It’s skate rock. It’s punk rock in nature and energy, with a little bit of that edge,” Sewell says.
According to Warmuth, the vinyl is a little scatological in nature.

“It’s pee pee yellow with booger green spots. It’s a value meal,” Warmuth says.

“I call it punk, heavy on the rock. My favorite band is Van Halen,” says Golembiewski, and that says it all.

Dephinger is scheduled to play Rips Ales and Cocktails on Saturday, November 12.

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