MAY 25, 2007

LUCY: What is “voodoobilly”?

3RD DEGREE: We kinda coined the term for lack of a better one. The word "voodoo" has always been thought of this mysterious dark magic and we’re kinda this unknown entity that’s not easy to describe. We’re not psychobilly, we’re not a surf band, we’re not considered a punk band. We’re just a strange rock and roll band. If I had to break it down, I’d say it’s about 13% rockabilly, 51% surf, 8% punk rock, 7% true crime novels, 16% B-movies, 3% Black and Decker, and 2% inside jokes that some certain people seem to get. The pioneering rockabilly guys in the 50s were making this weird, dangerous, out of their mind, rock and roll. That’s where the "billy" part comes in. I guess we’re just kinda carrying the tiki torch into modern times. We’re not interested in rehashing or trying to get the authentic sound of Peggy Sue meeting the guy in Dad’s Oldsmobile at the local malt shop. It’s more like real life tales … and real life is creepy and weird. Just open a newspaper. Voodoobilly is the seedy underbelly, the dark side. It’s the stuff that gets swept under the rug. It’s the steamer trunk in the basement you have to pry open.

LUCY: How did Deadbolt come together?

3RD DEGREE: Harley and Les Vegas (original drummer) started the band as a reaction to the late eighties hair/metal/grunge bands that were flooding the San Diego music scene. It was like "all these bands suck … let’s start a band and just do what we’d want to see onstage if we were still in the paying crowd.” R.A. Maclean agreed to join on bass after being offered a carton of smokes. I joined a few years later with Coffin Boy as “The Wall of Thunder” ™ about the time the Tiki Man cd was released.

LUCY: Why is Deadbolt the “scariest band in the world”?

3rd DEGREE: Let’s see? Four middle aged men in leather jackets, with sunglasses on, well over the legal alcohol limit, playing with fire, smoking while using Aqua-net, skill-saws, and electric guitars, while attempting karate on a booze soaked stage … I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?

LUCY: Please explain: “The Wall of Thunder.” ™

3RD DEGREE: The "Wall of Thunder" ™ is the patented Deadbolt dual (sometimes triple) bass sound. Voodoobilly needs a lot of low end, that “feel it in your chest cavity” bass frequency to sound right; rockabilly tends to be real tinny and clicky sounding … We’re at the opposite end of the Richter scale.

LUCY: Why are you so deeply in love with Jewel Kilcher?

3RD DEGREE: Honestly? Well for starters nobody could wipe down a coffee shop booth like Jewel. Her section never had an ounce of pancake syrup residue on the table. The ketchup bottles were always full, never had to ask for extra napkins. She was on it … and we always had a parking spot at the beach. We’d just look for her van, ram the bumper a few times to wake her ass up. She’d drive off terrified and we’d have beach front parking!

LUCY: Explain your fear of clowns?

3RD DEGREE: 3 words: JOHN WAYNE GACY … You can never trust a clown. There’s a lot going on behind all that make-up. One minute they’re face painting, or making balloon animals at a kid’s birthday party, the next minute those same kids are buried in a crawlspace under a house!

LUCY: Do any of the members of Deadbolt surf, or is the surf music influence strictly inspired from other bands you guys dig?

3RD DEGREE: Harley and I surf. We both have longboards … When it’s too crowded in the water we’ll pull up in the Winnibago blasting “The Ride of the Valkyries” from “Die Walkure” by Wagner on the stereo, “Scares the hell out of the slopes!” The line-up clears out pretty fast! Also Harley’s the only guy I know who surfs in engineer boots.

LUCY: Who's your favorite surf rock musician or band?

3RD DEGREE: We all dig Dick Dale. He’s the “King” for a reason. I also like a lot of the more obscure 60’s surf bands: The Crossfires (feat. Flo and Eddie, which later became The Turtles), The Lively Ones, Eddie and the Showmen, The Nobles, The Revels. There was a lot of great surf bands in the 60s that had matching “uniforms” and equipment. Those things are an influence on Deadbolt.

LUCY: The Crossfires were great. I love their song "Out of Control." What punk band gets Deadbolt approval?

3RD DEGREE: Hands down it would have to be FEAR … The name alone sez it all!

LUCY: Yeah, Fear’s “I Love Livin' in the City” is definitely a punk rocker keeper. What does going “gunguindo” mean exactly?

3RD DEGREE: Actually it’s spelled “gongwipdu.” It’s a Swahili word for a mental disorder that surfaces only in females. It’s caused by a blood borne pathogen spread thru contact with infected mosquitoes. Imagine your basic PMS multiplied by 10.

LUCY: Tell us a scary Deadbolt road story:

3RD DEGREE: Road Story? There’s been many … OK, one time in New Orleans after helping ourselves to the Counting Crows “top shelf” backstage booze supply (don’t ask) and many hurricanes, we stayed up and out all night drinking & thinking our roadie was the most sober one, at least enough to drive us to a friend’s house, WRONG! We sideswiped, or more like hit and ran, a moving van, (while people were unloading it!) turned down a busy one way street the wrong way, right into a head-on chicken run with an oncoming police car. We thought, whoops that’s it! Tour’s over! The cops kinda slowed to a stop, smiled, gave us the “have a nice day wave” and let us pull around them! Gotta love the Big Easy!

LUCY: What lies in the mysterious future of 3rd Degree?

3RD DEGREE: What do I look like the Amazing Criswell? I haven’t a clue!

Ah thanks, Lucy.

LUCY: It was a sin-cere pleasure, Mr. Burns.


"3rd Degree/Deadbolt Interview" by Lucy Hell
Lucy Hell Deadbolt photo by BMH © 2007 Mystery Island Publications. Edited and formatted by Bradley Mason Hamlin. Published May 25, 2007. Photos of Deadbolt from the collection of 3rd Degree Burns. All rights reserved.