Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fiberglass Freakout preview part 3: The Volcanos


Deep Cutz:
6/21 Bohemian National Home
The sweet shimmy-shake surf rock of the Volcanos will be on the opening-side of the 10-band line up at the Fiberglass Freakout. To even skim the history of the Volcanos is to just view the tip iceberg for the Rick Mills/Chris Flanagan legacy – not so easily summarized as many band profiles, hell, these guys could have an entire book written about them at this point. The cool, driving pipeline grooves and jittery sun-soaked tones of their invigorating surf-project, which started in 1994 (with bass player Dave Fragale), is just the latest in a line of collaborations between the two musicians, who have been playing/working together since 1980.

The indelible 3-D Invisibles were started in 1981 brewing a lightly grimed punk and early 60’s garage pop. Shortly after, they started a band called the Zombie Surfers, which, expectedly, planted the seed for the Volcanos. “The Zombie Surfers did a mix of surf instrumental covers and horror novelty records,” said Rick Mills (aka Creepy Rick.) “The Volcanos is kind of an upgrade of that, with more focus on original material and the guitar interplay.” The line up includes: Mills (guitar), Flanagan (guitar), Bill Bowen (drums), and Mark Brainerd (current bass.) "We've done other spin-off bands over the years with basically the personnel, each with a different niche genre: The KAOS Killer (60s spy), Screamin' Savage & the Cavemen (50s & 60s trash rock & roll), the Hellbenders (spaghetti western flavored instros and gunfighter songs), and our most recent venture, the Meltdowns (British beat meets garage). The Volcanos is just part of our history of projects."

Mills has been playing guitar for 40 years and has been in bands since the late 70’s, starting on the Detroit punk scene. His resume includes: The Seat Belts, R.U.R. and the Crayon Killers.

The Volanos, meanwhile, have released 2 albums, Surf Quake and Finish Line Fever, scorching side-swiping cruisers and beach side swingers filled with that enthralling and golden 60’s surf vibe. They’ve played shows throughout the country, on the Surfari USA tour, the Las Vegas Rockaround and the Chicago Exotica show (with Rick’s idols, the Trashmen.)

Asked what drew him surf in the mid-80’s…Rick said, “That's hard to pin down. Probably in part due to my punk days of stripping things down to basics. It's more tasteful, more of a "band" sound, as opposed to a bunch of guys wacking off on their instruments. Plus, it represents an era that's appealing to me. Having fun in the sun in the 60s. I don't know, it's just COOL!

The Volanos play second, at the Bohemian National Home, Saturday, 6/21.

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