Attn: Hostess Emerian Rich
Last night at the stroke of midnight, as per my assignment, I met with the members of the rock and roll outfit The Barbarellatones at the pre-agreed upon location–an abandoned drag racing track just outside the city limits. However, I had no idea that once there I would bear witness to a phantom drag race involving two greaser teens driving 1950s hot-rods, wherein the two ghost cars lose all control and burst into flames at the end of the race, only to repeat the duel over and over until the exact time of 3:15 a.m. As I had never been in the presence of drag-racing phantasms, terror held my eyes fixed on the track. Aniela, one of the group’s members, told me that this went on every Thursday, and that the troupe gathered to watch, for, “inspiration”, as she called it. She gave me an elixir to calm my nerves, after which imbibing, I instantly blacked out. Mysteriously, I managed to complete the assigned interview, and have sent this one and only copy along to you through the assistance of a bilingual carrier pigeon nicknamed Dr. Chud. From what I can see, I am locked in the turret of a castle overlooking a grim and dark industrial section of Los Angeles. Please send help as my hands and feet are bound tight with feather boas, which really hurt, and I am in dire need of a snack.
In case anyone in our reading audience may be unfamiliar with the term, can you please explain the genre tag “Gothabilly”?
Gothabilly to me means dark, swampy, reverb-drenched, surfing at midnight-y, horror-rock, B-Movie Camp…The Cramps really nailed it in my opinion. I love them! We’ve been labeled as ‘Transvestobilly’ and that’s fine with me…
In the band bio, you mentioned that seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the age of 13 was a life-changing event. How so?
The combination of Rocky Horror, Bowie and Ludes all hitting me at the age of 13/14 in the early 70s is the reason why I am so weird, and is reflected in my music. I am first and foremost a Glam Rocker.
How did the Barbarellatones get together? How did you come up with the name?
Barbarella was a film about an Intergalactic Space-Slut. It was the first Glam Rock movie!? It blew my mind; I loved the horny, campy, Sci-Fi, slut-glamour of it all…that’s what I was going for with the name The Barbarellatones.
Is it true that you have a hot rod hearse and that you cruise the strip in it on Saturday nights?
If I could rock a hearse I would choose the Jaguar XKE Hearse from Harold and Maude, obviously…!
Is it true that said hot rod hearse is also a time machine?
Only after reaching a land speed of 666 Miles per Hour during a full lunar eclipse on Bela Lugosi’s Birthday.
Have you yourselves heard the rumor that the Barbarellatones are involved in robbing graves, mortuaries, and medical school cadaver storage units, and that you are using the stolen corpses to assemble an army of Frankenstein monster type groupies?
We have all kinda ‘projects’ going on down at ‘The Lab’. Our latest is ‘The Trandroid’: A Transvestite Sex Android.
Do you live in a volcano?
I live near a Volcano! I’m on Maui and The Big Island is coughing up tons of Sulfur Dioxide. It gives me a sore throat and an ass kicking headache…I’m breathing little shards of Volcanic Glass!
How did your love of campy, B-horror movies begin? Can you recommend some personal favorites?
I’m kind of an Art-Fag. I love film, music, low-brow Art and performance art; bad fashion…the list goes on…! As far as Film, we spoke about some of my faves, Barbarella, RHPS, Zardoz is great, I love Fellini’s Satyricon, Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, John Waters, cheesy horror and sci- fi. There’s a lot of good shit out there!
To you, what do glitter, glam, and horror have in common?
They all have a high amount of Fabulousity: Dark, Sexy, Campy and fun. I love Goth but it’s a turnoff when it takes itself too seriously. Ok…we are doing the Ghoul Thing…dressing like Zombies, got our SPF 1000…sometimes you go to a Goth club and no one smiles. That’s lame to me. I like the vibe more of a Tranny Bar, its over-the-top and I guess I really resonate with the Glam ethic of Flamboyance. I love Goth music tho, don’t get me wrong. Sisters of Mercy are fantastic, I love Siouxsie, Bauhaus, Alien Sex Fiend, the Damned…it’s great and creepy-cool.
How is horror culture a part of your daily lives?
I sometimes phase in and out of a Campy B-Movie world. I have a big, weird imagination and it just happens organically. I’ll come up with a weird lyric or riff and it’s often Sophomoric and abserd but if it gets its teeth in me I usually craft it into a song.
Is it too late to accept the offer for that Chesterfield?
We here at Barbarellatones Enterprises LLC are merciful. We will grant you your final Chesterfield cigarette.
Gila monster versus surf zombies, who wins?
This is probably one of the most important questions ever posed to the human race…Gila monster vs Surf Zombies. Gila monster, after he fell into the Fukashima Nuclear Reactor developed mutant laser-beam eyes which, when intensely focused, would incinerate a surf zombie. So it’s a win for Gila on that one.
What is your favorite curse?
My favorite curse, my ‘Dark Gift’ is Alcoholism. I’ve been clean and sober for 26 years now, which is an eternity for a Junkie like me. It has been such a wild ride…ironically it’s very psychedelic being sober. I love helping others crawl out of the gutter and Re-Invent themselves. There’s nothing like it. 4th Dimension, Baby…
Can I see Barbarellatones live in the near future?
I am living in Maui these days and the rest of ‘The Barbs’ are in LA. I plan to come out and play some shows…my bandmates are Whores and are playing in other projects (as they should) so I’ll see if I can round up my Drag Queens and after a couple rehursals should be good to go. We have a lot of songs, so I would pick my very favorites and glam out with my clam out.
How can we keep up with the band?
I’m always writing and recording, so I try to stay on the Gaydar. We are on a bunch of radio shows but I do want to make more videos in the future. I love that!
Are you going to untie me?
I’m a Leo…a cat. When I catch a mouse, I play with it for a while; until I get bored…or hungry…
To bear witness to the Barbarellatones in all their sleazy campy glory, follow the hyper-link road!