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Feature for

May 2012

Thee Icepicks



Band Name: Thee Icepicks

Genre: Aggressive Surf

Geographical Area: Maine, USA (New England)

Interview with: Dr. Tourette St. Vitus (guitars) and Public Emily #1 (theremin, samples, drums) by email on 4/30/12

1. What is the current line-up of your band (include band member names)?

Dr. Tourette St. Vitus - guitars
Public Emily #1 - theremin, samples, drums
D. Capitator - bass
Chef Bloodbath - drums
Capt. Durbin Randypoison - guitar

2. How and when did you get started with your band?

In the frozen wastelands of Maine on February 6,1966, a small group of east coast surfers and slacker musicians hiked up Barker Mountain at dusk to try out the newest snow-riding craze, "The Snurfer." As they descended in the moonlight, a lone wolf's howl created a massive avalanche, crushing them into the frozen rock in an instant of sudden death.

Years pass, and the world falls into its current dilapidated, pre-apocalyptic state, and in 2007 as our super-heated planet melts the world's cold places, the long forgotten group of corpses are awakened! Thawed out by the evils of man! In a haze of hunger and confusion, the group slowly lurches their way from the mountains back to their beloved beach and their old surf break... but the hunger of their zombie vessels could not be restrained, and they began to feed on the beachgoers... but when a nearby transistor radio playing a familiar song grabbed their attention, it seemed instrumental surf music was the only element strong enough to curb their desire for human flesh! The group knew what they had to do... THEE ICEPICKS were born! They donned the skimasks, goggles, and turtlenecks from their old gear to hide their hideous disfigurements and took to the stage!

... And 300 shows later we are stronger than ever!

3. What bands or music have influenced you most?

Dick Dale, The Ventures, The Mummies, Man Or Astroman?, The Phantom Surfers, The Bomboras, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Laika And The Cosmonauts, Agent Orange, Dead Milkmen, Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, KISS, Motorhead, Judas Priest, ...also Ennio Morricone, Leo Kotke, Pepe Romero, Al Dimeola, ...also The Stooges, The Sonics, MC5, 13th Floor Elevators, Question Mark And The Mysterions, Lothar And The Hand People, The Monks, ...and from Boston, Gein and the Graverobbers, The Nebulas, The Crimson Ghosts, DMZ, Lyres, Upside Down Cross, AxCx, Kilslug, Psycho, The Transplants, Le Peste, Toxic Narcotic, Disrupt, ...and from Portland (our hometown) and all our amazing friends from the Northeast, Shutdown 66(RIP), Cadillac Hitmen (RIP), The Brood (RIP), Bludgeon (RIP), Spankburger (RIP), The Bruisers, Covered in Bees, Swampwitch Revival,
just to name a few, and all the many amazing bands we play with still out in the scene all over our town and the rest of New England and New York City and beyond that we have had the honor of meeting and sharing the stage with... way too many to name!

4. What is the break down of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or recordings?


Half and half... new originals always being written.


5. What recording have you done?

"Surf... Below Zero! with THEE ICEPICKS" (promotional 7 song EP self-released D.I.Y. in 2009)
"The Yeti" (single) (Cocksmoker Chunk Records Eat This Tape Compilation on cassette 2011)

"Hypothermiaddicts" LP on Chickpea Records COMING OUT VERY SOON!


6. What kind of gear do you use?


Early recordings and shows:
guitar - '65 Airline 60 Watt Bass Head
1980 Marshall A cab
'66 Barclay Bobkat
Danelectro Spring King Reverb Pedal
Foxx Tone Machine
theremin - Burns B3 Theremin
'85 Marshall 50 Watt combo 1x12
bass - Fender Rumble 100
Epiphone SG shortscale
drums - '65 US Mercury 3 piece trap set
Sabian Medium Ride
Zildjian crash + hihat
Remo Embassador Coated Heads

Current lineup:
guitar - 1998 Fender American Special Stratocaster
1990 Peavey Classic 50 4x10
Danelectro Spring King Reverb Pedal
Foxx Tone Machine

theremin - 2011 Burns B3 Pro Theremin
Peavey 60 watt 1x12
bass - Crate 100 watt combo
Danelectro (silvertone knockoff style) bass
drums - '65 US Mercury 3 piece trap set
Sabian Medium Ride
Zildjian crash + hihat
Remo Embassador Coated Heads

7. What is your bandís favorite food/beverage?

Geary's Pale Ale, Mt. Gay Rum, Rib-B-Q's, human BRAINS!!!!


8. How do you get gigs?


Lots of internetting and lots of friends from years of mutually supporting the music scene, and cool dudes like Unsteady Freddie and Frank Wood and Knaughty Sarah.


9. What are the difficulties you find playing your kind of music in your area?

We are blessed to live in an area where music is embraced and we have no trouble playing in almost any room of which there are many here in Portland. I guess our only real difficulty would be playing out too much, but most people don't even recognize us so, it isn't really a problem!


10. What positive attributes does your band have that sets you apart from other bands (of any genre)?


Welp, we are not in any way a similar sound or look to any band popular or otherwise; the surf sound does tend to attract new ears often, so we have played to more people than we could ever count at this point... but we can safely say that if you want heavy sounds and crazy stage shows and don't mind it fast and loud, then we are going to knock you out every time!


11. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool youíve used to further your bandís musical path?


Support. You have to like your friends' music and work with them to show the listeners that it is a community they can be a part of; we all go to as many shows of our friends' bands as we can and they usually do the same for us - it's just that mutual respect and support that will get you playing to bigger crowds and in turn bigger rooms... our biggest show has been at our local music hall to about 500 or so local friends and students from the area, on a Tuesday!


12. Whatís the most interesting performance experience youíve had?


Whoa too many crazy nights to even remember, too X-rated! But once at a beach party in front of the world's largest sand castle we opened for a duo that were kids 7 and 9 years old called Michael And Marissa. They did covers and totally rocked!


13. What do you hope to get out of being a NESMA member?


More friends and fans and shows with cool bands, and also the honor of being in this great group!


14. Anything else?


Surf is changing and the new bands will reflect that as time goes on... We want to be part of the change and try to bring a new sound to the genre with a fast heavier crazier feel... some people in our scene don't like it and they can go take a walk... we are gonna keep playing and being known as the craziest surf party band in our area, and hopefully help usher in a totally new sound where thrash meets twang! And meanwhile scare the pants off some folks and party it up! Thee Icepicks say to you all, Twang Long and Prosper!



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