In the dark recesses of Southern England, there is an underground rumbling that’s bony hand looks sure to break from it’s current grave and reach the living masses anytime soon. The rumbling? A street gang of misfits and graverobbers that collectively are known as ‘The Texas Drag Queen Massacre’.
With a mixture of Alice Cooper, Kiss and Marilyn Manson and every slasher movie your Mom warned you never to watch as influences, the band is becoming as famous for it’s sound as it’s outrageous stage show where coffins creak and blood is often spilled. We dragged frontman Al B. Damned, (Vo-Kills he would say), and bass player Giblets from the crypt to quiz them on dead girls, horror movies and what other band’s are wearing this Season…
“When we formed the band we wanted to share our music with others, have fun and put on a good show. There’s too many fucking bands that wear what they wear at work and just… STAND THERE! We wanted to do something different. When we started the band everyone seemed to be conforming to the stereotypical shit that record companies were pumping out at the time, and we’re just not like that.”
So what are you like? I have heard comparisons between you and the Murderdolls and Wednesday 13.
“Yeah we get that a lot, but we do understand it. I mean there’s not many people to compare us to. Older fans that don’t know Wednesday 13 say we sound like Alice Cooper all the time because that’s who they know. We go for more of a gritty horror rock style and just hope people like it.”
The Texas Drag Queen Massacre (TDQM) have also been known to court controversy and recently, so rumour had it, Wednesday 13 stole a song of theirs and recorded it himself. I asked the boys for their comment.
“Well there were a few problems back in the “Violence Is Golden” (first album) era but TDQM and Wednesday 13 are friends now and we’d like to keep it that way”.
“We feel great. The album has done really well, far better than we ever imagined. The Muns-Tour was real fun, we got to spend time with some great guys that were in great bands and with our new manager we’re so much more confident and comfortable. Everything does feel on the up and up.”
Playing live is obviously very important for you. Can you describe how you approach a live show and what has been your most memorable performance to date?
“There’s a lot of planning into our show, so much organising and sorting everyone and everything out, but it’s all worth it. Normally our stage show is based on how much room there is available at the venue. Our most memorable performance has to be at the Concorde 2 in Brighton (England) on April 22nd this year. The atmosphere was great and we had a great time.”
What’s with the props on-stage? I hear that Al-B Damned often appears from a coffin when you play?
“The props really help us get into character, they also set the scene for the fans, reminding them of our roots and influences, the classic horror movies. We believe that the most important part of a show is the entrance, and what better way to enter than inside a six foot long coffin?”
Devilish chuckles all round but I ask the guys if they had any concerns that such theatricals could backfire on them in the future ala Kiss?
“Yeah we have thought about that but I don’t see myself doing any Michael Jackson hair on fire impressions any time soon.”
Ok, so let’s step back…..how did you guys meet and what’s with the band name?
“Al. B. Damned and Stitches met at a party back in 2003. They formed the band along with Face. Later on after an original member became ill Giblets stepped in and became a permanent fixture on bass.
The band name was created in 2003 when all of us were big ‘Frankenstein Drag Queen’ fans and we dressed up in drag for shows. It was just a mixture of one of our favourite horror movies and drag queens. Later when we changed our sound and image we were thinking of changing our name but everyone knew us as The Texas Drag Queen Massacre so it stuck. We like it and we think it sounds cool.”
As you will see from their website, (www.texasdragqueenmassacre.com), the guys clearly value their fans and recently ran a competition online to find the TDQM honorary ‘dead girl’.
You must have received some crazy entries, care to part with any? What will the winner receive?
“Ha ha… That competition was great. We did have some weird ones in there, I mean some of those girls really looked dead. We had one that was dressed up like Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride that was cool and a few naked ones but Worm (lead guitar) took those home. The winner was from Australia which was kind of cool and she won the golden 13th copy of “His And Hearse” and “Night Of The Living Dead Girls”, the first ever “Dead Girls Skinny Fit T-Shirt”, an Honorary Dead Girl 2006 Certificate plus a load of other cool stuff from the band.”
Any plans to dig up any of the other entrants?
“Well that would certainly be telling. Our t-shirts read ‘Necro is the way to go’ so don’t knock it til you’ve tried it…hehehe.”
S o can you let us know your influences and what’s currently on your stereos?
“Kiss are amazing and we are all influenced by them. We love the glam rock of T-Rex and Motley Crue. We’re also influenced by Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson. I’m (Al. B. Damned) currently listening to Stone Sour’s new album and Giblets is listening to Hatebreed.”
So before closing your respective coffins, what can we expect next from TDQM? Also, having evolved so quickly over the last few years, what is the long term goal of ‘TDQM’?
“We want to release a new album which we have just started writing and want to tour again DEFINITELY! Our long term goal is to turn the band into a full time career, meet new people, play bigger, better and more frequent shows and just simply have fun.”
I’m sure Charles Manson’s version of fun was similar but get along to a TDQM live show and you will see that the boys can really rip up a hell of a storm, surprisingly capturing this unique blend of anarchy and all things macabre on vinyl also. However, should you see them walking the street near you after dark you’d be well advised to run in the opposite direction!
To purchase TDQM’s new album ‘His And Hearse’ or the new single ‘Night of the Living Dead Girls’ visit the band’s website: http://www.texasdragqueenmassacre.com.