When Cactus Chainsaw's singer said the band's list of influences was possibly a higher number than his criminal record charges, I took it with a grain of salt (courtesy of a cheap tequila shot).
But within the first 20 seconds of listening to their music, I could hear the band's specific influences, from Ministry to Muddy Waters. It's a bit too simplistic to categorize them as bluesy metal -- just ask their fans, who label them everything from Southwestern rock to swamp metal to --wait for it -- desert hillbilly metal. Yes.
Cactus Chainsaw's sound and metalhead appearance rep the AZ heavy scene well. Lead vocalist Dirty Voxx comes from Perpetual Death Mode, while bassist Prickly Joe hail from the now defunct 12 Ton Sledge. Both guitarist Cactus Rob is on guitars and drummer Mike "Chainsaw" Driscoll come from New Jersey.
Formed in 2009, these guys channel an eclectic mix of influences into their heavy blues-based rock, along with a whole lotta blood, sweat and beers.
Songs like "Brute Force Mentality" kick off with the rise and fall distorted guitars, while the vocals of "Audacity" channel a young Phil Anselmo (pre-heroin days), with guitars that makes one think Cactus Chainsaw could open for such acts as Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, or Bullet for My Valentine--which they are currently vying to do by participating the Rockstar Uproar Festival Battle of the Bands online competition.
Getting ready for the band's next show this Thursday at the Steele Horse Saloon in Phoenix, Singer Dirty Voxx spoke to Up On The Sun about what years of loud music and Harleys have done to the band members, and the musicians they dream about performing with.
Up On The Sun: Have you guys had a debut album yet?
Dirty Voxx: Not yet..as soon as we can. We do give out demos and you can hear us on ReverbNation. We're just four guys who have led a lifetime playing music, who finally found something that seems to work.
UOTS: What are your feelings about the Phoenix scene?
DV: The number one dislike is the heat! You can't make a living out here. But there are vast musical opportunities, fans are loyal....as far as favorite venues go, any place that doesn't tell the guitar player to turn it down. Yes, we play loud! Years of high volume music and Harleys have made us deaf.
UOTS: Cactus Chainsaw has a ton of musical influences that are easily heard in all the songs. I know each member has different influences, but what are some for the band as a whole?
DV: Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Ministry, Prong, Tower of Power, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Muddy Waters, Iron Maiden, 80's thrash (Slayer, S.O.D., etc.) KISS, Van Halen (David Lee Roth years of course.)...this list could go on longer than my criminal record...as far as external factors, just life in general creates enough material.
UOTS: You guys are pretty raw and straightforward. What's something the band can't perform without, minus the instruments?
DV: Who said we had performance problems? (laughter). Ambition, fans and each other.
UOTS: You guys say that blood, sweat, tears and beers (and a lil' 420) goes into the band's soul for the music. What are some other favorite poisons?
DV: Jaeger, tequila, PBR, Bacardi 101...and we are always up for suggestions.
UOTS: Any current music you're jamming out to, or cover songs you guys wanna perform?
DV: We jam to our stuff. And no cover songs.
UOTS: Given the chance, what musicians would Cactus Chainsaw want to share the stage with?
DV: We're all different. Me: Little Walter, Willie Nelson, Lemmy (Kilmister). Joe: John Paul Jones, Tower of Power, Iron Maiden. Rob: Eddie Van Halen, Tommy Victor, Ministry. Mike: The SWORD.
Cactus Chainsaw are scheduled to perform tonight, at The Steele Horse Saloon in Phoenix.