by Jodi Summers

Psychotica does not squarely fall into the realm of rowdy rock that established Hit Parader's reputation. In fact, Psychotica's music doesn't fall into any particular musical category. Yet Psychotica - whose music quite simply defies convention - are becoming an all-pervasive musical presence. Their off-the-wall live performances got them invited out on this year's Lollapalooza tour along with heralded headbangers Soundgarden, Metallica and Rancid. If that wasn't enough, Psychotica's look is so bizarre that frontman Patrick Briggs was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (even before their debut disc was released) because curators believed that "Psychotica represent the future of rock and roll." Psychotica's musical stance is so peculiar that they make Marilyn Manson look like the kid next door.

It's believe it or not, a well thought out plan. Last time the world heard of Patrick Briggs he was doing Sebastian Bach imitations in an '80's styled corporate rock band called RU Ready, a group that disintegrated before the release of their first album. Sometime in between here and there, Patrick mutated into an albino Iggy-meets-Ziggy androgynous creature that fronts Psychotica.

Hit Parader: How did you get from a group as mainstream as RU Ready to something as bizarre as Psychotica?

Patrick Briggs: RU Ready was too gross, it was Spinal Tap. It was so destructive for me, I locked myself in my house for a year to regroup. I went into a very deep depression and came out a different person, literally. I went through a metamorphosis. When I came out of it, an old friend of mine and I decided to start a club called Squeezebox. It became an instant sensation in New York. We took drag queens and put them in front of a house playing old punk covers. It became this incredible sexually ambiguous, creative scene. Psychotica was born out of that.

HP: How would you describe Psychotica's music?

PB: The music on the Psychotica album is very eclectic. It's just what comes out, I don't know how to put my finger on it. The band is very much a New York band.

HP: How would you describe the current New York music scene?

PB: Right now it's incredible. It's the most fun that it's been in 15 years, since the Max's Kansas City days. The scene is completely exploding. It's the mecca for new talent and entertainment possibilities. We're not the only band that's coming out of it. The Lunachicks have done very well, as have the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black and DeGeneration. A lot of bands are coming out of New York right now.

HP: What makes the music vibe in New York different from say Seattle or Chicago?

PB: It's sort of "anything goes". The beautiful part about the early 80's, which is where my heart really lies, is that there were hundreds of bands to choose from. Each band was completely different from the next soundwise and lookwise, and very easily identifiable. The bands in New York are not copycats of anybody. They're coming out with these incredible images that are distinctly them.

HP: What makes Psychotica unique?

PB: People want to live it up again, they're in the mood, they want to party again. Bands like us are giving it back to them. We're willing to take a lot of chances musically and visually, and our audience is really going over the edge with us. Rock crowds as a whole are bored seeing someone who looks like their next door neighbor onstage playing music. It's not to belittle bands that aren't big, fabulous and glamorous, but people are back into the old school entertainment ethics.

HP: What's more important, the image or the music?

PB: I see them as equally important.

HP: Do you see yourself as a solo act, or is Psychotica a band?

PB: Psychotica is definitely a band. Ena, Tommy, Sophia, Enrique and Buz are totally relevant to the vision. I could not be here without them. Psychotica is the first band I have been in where they're perfectly willing to take chances. They're willing to cross boundries. If you recall the male testosterone climate five years ago, bands were afraid of taking any chances because they would look like freaks. The members of Psychotica have enough confidence in themselves being men that they will go over any boundry and not feel insecure about.

HP: What do you hope to accomplish with your music?

PB: I don't think I'm talented enough to personally change the face of music, or do anything that profound. But I would like to light the fire beneath somebody who is. I'd like to be an inspiration.