UNSEEN: Nessa's Night Out with Deadbolt
When Varla Magazine closed its doors, Vanessa Heart's article "Nessa's Night Out with Deadbolt" was lost.
Take a peek at these never before seen photos & interview with the original voodoobilly band... DEADBOLT!
Nessa's Night Out with Deadbolt
Article by: Vanessa Heart
Photography by: Sean Hartgrove
Deadbolt has been referred to as the "Scariest band in the world". Well, I'm not quite sure of that, but "Most Mysterious", for sure! This voodoobilly band came to Denver, Colorado for a 2-day extravaganza and every question I had was answered with nondescript responses, nonsensical answers and cynical jokes. I spent the majority of those 2 days drinking with them in bars and hotel rooms and the conversations were never dull....and neither were the shows. Harley would bring out a mini grinder in the middle of their set and sparks would fly all over the stage, it actually proved to be quite a feast for the eyes. Harley in good ol' environment destroying fashion, hair sprayed his hair and the hair of the whole front row of the audience, just to be sure that doos were intact and aerosol was still king. Naturally R.A. was lighting up cigarettes and passin' them around in the middle of their songs in complete defiance of the indoor smoking bans. I gotta say, I've never seen a show quite like theirs and it's just a fun, entertaining sight to see. Their sense of humor and defiant nature made them an instant wonder. So enjoy this interview with one of "The Worlds Most Mysterious" band.
- HARLEY DAVIDSON: Voodoo Guitar & Vocals
- R.A. MACLEAN: Bass & Vocals
- 3RD DEGREE BURNS: Bass & Vocals
- TANK: Drums
Vanessa: Have any of you been to jail?
Harley: All of us. Of course.
Vanessa: All of you?
Harley: Yes, certain violations.
Tank: It's classified, cases are pending.
Vanessa: What is the longest you have served?
Harley: Can't talk about that.
Tank: Cases are pending. I'm still supposed to be there - officially.
R.A.: Two words. Parole Violations.
Tank: Ankle bracelets.
R.A. I jawed mine off with my teeth.
Harley: When you see a hippie walking down the street, you gotta saw off that ankle braclet and run out there and viciously attack them.
Vanessa: Then you served jail time right?
3rd Degree: Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't.
Vanessa: How'd you guys get hooked up with the Helldorados? (Helldorados Car Club sponsored their Colorado show)
Tank: Cases pending.
Harley: Their friends.
R.A.: You say hooked up and it sounds like we're lovers.
Vanessa: One of the rumors about you guys is that you guys started as a joke. Can you elaborate on that?
R.A.: I'm not laughing I'll put it that way.
Harley: We were considered a joke band, that's why we got the title "Scariest band in the world", cause people thought, we were scary in a bad way, playing with some folk duo in a coffee shop. You know your first gigs, you take what you can. Scary, why, not cause we were dressed up like Frankenstein or Dracula. It was cause like, they didn't like us, cause we were different and that scares a lot of people.
Tank: The truck stops, it's time to scare the children.
R.A.: Time to play "Scare the children".
Harley: We're on tour and it's time to stop off and get a burger and it's like "time to scare the children", mothers clutch their children. Especially in the bible belt... "come here Josiah!"
Vanessa: Any upcoming tour plans?
R.A.: We're in a perpetual state of motion.
Tank: Depends on what you define as a plan.
Vanessa: Any U.S tours?
Harley: We took a few years off to take care of the European market.
Vanessa: Any of you have any side projects besides Deadbolt?
3rd degree: We can't talk about that.
Harley: Deadbolt is a jealous master.
R.A.: We're not being mysterious, we're just being vague.
Tank: Mysteriously vague.
Harley: Bi-sexual puppet show.
Tank: What?.... Don't use that word next to me.
Vanessa: That just makes me wanna ask a really odd question, but I'll skip it.
R.A. Is this your first time?
Vanessa : No.
3rd Degree: Be gentle with her.
Vanessa: Yeah, be gentle with me
Vanessa: What are some of your musical or non-musical inspirations?
3rd Degree: Liberace.
R.A.: Sam Peckinpah.
Harley: Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry.
R.A.: Drunk, sexist, and movie director.
Harley: If we can exploit anything and make it into a Deadbolt song, we will. Maybe were watching TV and something will come up.
R.A.: Like "Hit gone wrong", you know, we're watching The Shootist, John Wayne and Richard Boone. He gets all blasted away and he says "I'm taking this one for Albert" and falls on the ground and you're going first of all "Who the fuck is Albert?". Second of all... what a great fucking line. So you know somehow that becomes one of our songs.
Harley: You know how in the mid-90's they had those postal massacres. The one guy on TV, who is going "He was nice, he would pet the dog." So we incorporate that into a song. "He would pet that dog." Other then that....What does that mean? "He would pet that dog".
Vanessa: So the song, Mrs. Valdez. Is that a particular person? Who is Mrs. Valdez?
Harley: Well, we can't get our lady friend upset. She's a real person, back in the day. Hispanic persuasion.
Tank: Persuasion (laughs)
3rd Degree: Hispanic Perversion.
Harley: She was a very portly woman.
Tank: Big boned.
Harley: We came to love her.
You guys have been around since 1989, how do you feel your music has changed from then to now?
3rd Degree: Not one bit, not at all.
Tank: We're back slabbing it.
Harley: The only thing that has changed has been the record label. Cause they like realized, you fucking weirdos sell more albums then all these other bands on the roster. When we first started it was like "Who the hell are these people, what the hell are you? Are you Rockabilly? Joke Rock? Industrial?"
What label are you with now?
Harley: Deadbolts got kind of a constitution...one day Tank tried to go on stage in a Michael Jackson vest, Sergeant Peppers, but see that's a violation of dress code 11-14.
Tank: Harley doesn't tuck his shirt in anymore. Violation of dress code - Article 3.
Harley: Whoah, Whoah, they don't make T-shirts long enough, and I'm fat.
Tank: You said it not me! You shouldn't have eaten that extra piece of pizza today.
R.A.: Society MADE me what I am.
Harley: Why do you think we wear leather vests? Beer belly camouflage.
Tank: Leather girdle.
Harley: Man girdle.
Tank: I thought it was like one of those restraining walls to keep rocks from falling out.
Harley: It looks macho in its approach.
Vanessa: Do you guys have any plans for any upcoming albums?
Harley: We always have 4 or 5 rotating ideas and whatever feels right, we'll just do it.
Tank: We're looking for a cello player right now.
R.A.: Zempher. Won't return my phone calls. Zempher, king of the pan flute. Does chariots of fire.
Vanessa: Soooo... upcoming albums?
Harley: We will start recording in 2 months.
Vanessa: Any names figured out?
Tank: None of your business
Harley: That's what it's called: "None of your business" - we mostly improv a lot, we have 3 or 4 ideas and what feels best, we'll go with and usually what starts off as one project name will turn into something totally different.
Vanessa: And is it like that for all the albums?
Harley: Pretty much, yeah.
R.A.: Well it's like the last album, we all just sat in the recording studio.
R.A.: Me and Tank sitting on one sofa and Gary and Harley on the other. And we're like, okay lets think of some lyrics, then we're like Harley think of something! And he says "He walks the streets with the Frightwig on". And we just wrote a song, using that one thing. Which became the song "Frightwig" which is on our last album, which you can buy at Cargo records.
R.A.: Some of our stuff is really just spur of the moment.
Harley: If you try to plan something then you lock yourself into something.
Tank: Then you're expected to perform, ya know and we just can't be expected to perform. We don't like expectations.
Vanessa: Have you ever considered having dancing midgets on stage?
Tank: They got rid of Les a long time ago.
Harley: If we get to gun them down.
R.A. Maybe some ritualistic sacrifice.
Harley: If we get someone in the crowd with a high powered rifle to pick them off - one by one.
I'm tired of the midgets.
Tank: Vertically challenged.
3rd degree: Midgets were like 10 years ago.
Vanessa: Ever been protested?
Harley: Yeah, I mean they haven't brought signs or anything.
R.A.: 99% of the people that come to the Deadbolt shows, they get it. More like 99.9% ...but there is always that .1%, that one dork that doesn't get it. It's not every show, just once in awhile there is that one guy who gets really offended. We had this guy, almost commit suicide, he had corn rows and we were rippin' on him and I honestly thought he was gonna kill himself.
Harley: Yeah, and then we talked to some guy like 10 years later and he said "Yeah, know that guy was the biggest jerk in town, but after that, he just hid and took the corn rows out".
Vanessa: So you laid into him at the show.
R.A.: Yeah, so we did him a favor.
Harley: The crowd now, is mostly Deadbolt fans, but then it was like 40% Deadbolt fans and 60% just there for the show. And you could just hit on them and rip them apart.
Tank: People like to be abused!
Harley: Yeah, they like that.
Vanessa: What were any of your previous bands before deadbolt?
R.A.: The High School marching band. 1978 - 1980.
Tank: What about Strangers?
Harley: I would like to add that part of Deadbolts mission is to destroy the environment through illegal hair spray.
R.A.: Toilet flushings!
Harley: Gas guzzling cars!
Tank: Big trucks!
Harley: We don't recycle!
R.A.: On earth day, I flush my toilet 20 times in a row.
Gary: And throw transmission fluid in it.
Tank: I throw my car battery in the trash can.
Harley: We are actively trying to destroy the environment. All of us. That is one of our goals, besides just entertaining people.
R.A. I'm surprised Al Gore didn't talk about us.
Vanessa: So do you think Deadbolt is single handedly responsible for the destruction of the ozone layer?
Harley: One can only hope.
Tank: Small percentages.
R.A. We can't take full credit.
Harley: If like a hundred people try to live green, it takes like 6 of us to destroy it.
Tank: We own our own styrofoam factory.
Gary: We go polar bear hunting in the off season.
Tank: Club baby seals.
R.A. You know those plastic beer can holders. Yeah, I collect them and chuck them into the bay.
Tank: Poor baby seals.
Harley: ..and you know if we see one of those electric cars parked somewhere, we'll fucking slash the damn tires.
Tank: Fucking piece of shit cars. I mean no acceleration.
Harley: We did that to a couple people. This guy, goody 2 shoes pulled into Starbucks. We went over there and slashed his tires, and popped out a few windows. I hate those fuckers.
Vanessa: Did you really do that?
Harley: Hell yeah!
Vanessa: Anything provoke it?
Harley : NO! Just he thinks he's so green environmentalist.
Vanessa: (Smiles) Fuck the environment.
Harley: YEAH! We try to destroy it. We all drive 60's cars.
Vanessa: Could that be a future song? "Deadbolt destroys the environment?"
Tank: Since you thought of it, NO!
Harley: We're not political.
R.A.: We save that for Bono.
Tank: Did you say boner or Bono?
Message from 2011 - On that note the interview was over... I walked away laughing and saying to myself "How am I going to write an article on this?". It was then that I decided just to translate the interview word for word for the readers of Varla Magazine, so that they may be able to get some insight as to who Deadbolt really was. These guys through the years have become pals of mine and I even have some ridiculous photos with members of Deadbolt at the infamous Casa Bonita (Yes, the place that Cartman was in love with on Southpark, it's real!) on the kiddie rides. So if they come off as "scary" or "mysterious" because they wear their sunglasses at night, just know that they aren't all that frightening... but don't quote me on that... I wouldn't want a voodoo spell cast on me. Cheers. - Vanessa Heart