This diary written by Patrick Briggs was included with the press kit for Psychotica's first album. I've typed it up as it gives an excellent history of the band.
October 22, 1994
Don Hill's, Manhattan - 5:15am
The club is dark now. Locked tight. Not that the insanity is over or anything. It has just moved on to an after hours location. I really love my "day" job here, but it's time now for me to head to by own after hrs. location... my own clandestination...
The Farm, Duchess County, NY - 8 am
Home sweet home. The people who live up near me, here in the mountains, I don't know who they are. And they don't know who I am. They hardly ever c me. Occasionally I'll go 2 the local mini-mkt. Incognito, of course. My friends say it's fun to go with me because if the looks I get. It's only me folks, Pat Briggs, the guy who fell 2 earth... I wonder if the clerks replay the security video after I'm gone?
November 13, 1994
coffee shop, Manhattan
Just met this waitress. 6'1" Swedish named Rica. She works at this coffee shop I go to. My Manhattan thinking spot. When I told her about "Squeeze Box," my Fri. night special at Don Hill's club, that I've been mgr. of DH's for several years, 6 pm to dawn, bla bla bla, she played me her demo tape. Incredible. But way too unusual - and interesting - for today's BORING music scene. (Kinda like what they said about MY music.)
Gotta get over to the club now. Squeeze Box tonite. Who would've guessed that putting drag-acts in front of a house band to do old punk covers would be such an amazingly popular success! But, hey, it's helping to pay for my house in the country!
November 14, 1994
Don Hill's, Manhattan
I'm thinking about that waitress. I didn't even tell her about my own music, jut a spoof, doing some covers, like Bow Wow Wow, stuff that fits in with Squeeze Box's sorta '70's-'80's "Max's KC" feel.
Tommy's a great bass player. He brought in some other musicians. But life is too great these days to even think I wanna get back into music on a serious basis. Who needs it! I used to want to be a rich and famous rock star (you know that, Diary!) but these days "I'm one happy dude, man!" And after all the shit I've been through, I @#!%& deserve it!
I really love my "day job". Running Don Hill's, I have a really eclectic life. I'm, like, Popular! I mean, I have everything I've wanted or needed.
Snails will walk and snakes will roll before Pat Briggs goes begging to any A&R creeps again!
5am - time to head for the hills... I don't mind driving 2 hrs ea way. In fact, it's a kind of therapy. I'm becoming myself again.
November 30, 1994
The Farm - 7:15 am
My totally split personality life works perfectly for me. The fantasmagoric underground club scene, it's so ultra-bizarre and unreal. The total opposite of my idyllic life here in the country. 6 acres of woodland. No neighbors. Total seclusion. This place allows me to dream up all of the things I want to do artistically.
The sun's up now. You're not gonna keep me up again, Diary. Time for bed.
February 13, 1995
Manhattan - 2 pm
Ever since I started Squeeze Box last year, Tommy has been after me - "Gotta get a band together," he says. "A real band. Permanent line-up." He knows lots of musicians in New York, but so do I, and I'm kind of tired of all of them! Anyway, Diary, don't get mad because U told him "ok," but only if we do it for kicks. And only if we call it PSYCHOTICA.
March 27, 1995
Psychotica came together this aft. at the club, and it's one very strange collection of humans. Very promising. Along with Tommy on bass, there's this old-school punker, ENAY, the original guitarist for White Zombie. He's perfect, just amazing. HENRY is a cello player I saw 2 yrs ago. The drummer's named BUZZ who'd played with Tommy and Enay in Youth Gone Mad.
Guess who round out this psychotic sextet? Remember that giant Swedish waitress, RICA? From the coffee place? It's a hunch on my part - but her singing is so orig. - like if Nina Hagen were a rapper - that I just know she has to be part of this. She speaks 5 languages! Wonder if she can do them all at the same time?!
This group of people, you wouldn't think they'd know ea other in real life. An d that's exactly the fucking point! With my penchant for making things outrageously visual, this Psychotica thing could be fun.
April 2, 1995
The Farm - ten o' 7
It's so quiet up here you can hear a spider fart! Oh, I forgot to tell you. At yest. aft's Psychotica rehearsal, this woman walked in and stood in front of us for, like 30 minutes. She says, "I heard you when I was walking by. I wanna sign you guys." She said her name was Amanda. I'm not looking for a record deal, and my reaction was "look, I really don't like being bullshitted around, so if you're serious, go ahead and do something. We're gonna be here Friday night, and if you're really serious, you'll come see us." Guess I was pretty rude to her, Diary, but what the fuck. Psychotica was put together to have some kicks. Period. Rock & Roll is so much fun when you have no ambition.
April 5, '95
Don Hill's - 6a
Psychotica's whole Glam/Punk fusion concept really worked tonight. They loved it when I came out bound to a cross with saran wrap! But listen to this, Diary - that person who walked in on rehearsal the other day? Amanda? She came up to me again and said "I wanna sign you guys. I wanna do a record." Her card says she's Amanda Scheer-Demme from Ventrue Entertainment/American Recordings. When she saw us rehearse, we were just in st. clothes, nothing visually exotic, so what she got off on then was the music. Her eyes must've popped tonight when she saw some of the theatrical stuff I was pulling!
Anyway, I'm like, "Well, um, a record? OK.." But listen diary, everybody there was talking insane, OK? I mean some guy even goes "Psychotica is the future of rock & roll! I wanna put you in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!!! Fuck, that really convinces me this is all a bunch of crap!
It was a few days ago that Psychotica did its first show. Today, the paperwork from Ventrue Entertainment/American Recordings arrived. Looks like Psychotica has a record contract. I know, it's fucking unreal!!!
It was so sudden, so -- I don't know what to do! I mean, Christ, Psychotica's only been together a few wks!
Bit it's pretty tempting. Maybe Psychotica could be something great, Diary. I don't know. Most music is such a depressing drag these days. I'm always saying how eternally tired I am of bands full of ordinary suburban dirt clods being so "real" all the time. Could this be my golden opportunity to change things?
What could happen next?!
May 14, 1995
Rica's apt/7 am
That guy who said he wanted to put Psychotica in the R&R Hall of Fame? His name's Steve Sprouse, and he's the fashion curator there., and he really does want to put Psychotica in an exhibit! Christ, we just got signed to a label, and already we're getting into the Hall of Fame!!
Not only that, D, but our new mgrs are saying Psychotica's maybe gonna get to play the Lollapalooza second stage when it come s to NY in a few wks. That would be amazing. I'm not holding my breath tho. I'm not gonna let it go to my head, Diary. I ain't gonna quit my "day" job at the club, OK?
But I do wanna c the mystery and FUN put back into the music. I thin I can maybe do that ----
May 27, 95
The crickets are going wild this evening. They seem to be saying that this rock star crap can be really stupid and deceiving. It's basically a big lie, and you gotta have this sense that you're a person, with a real life.
I still live my everyday life, Diary. I mean, living in the mountains, commuting every day to the city, it balances me out somehow. The ducks, and deer, bears -- and these insane crickets -- it all keeps me centered. And as you know, up here is where I get my weirdest, wildest ideas...
June 1, 95
DH - 5:30 am
Well, another amazing Psychotica reaction at "Squeeze Box" last night. Another capacity crowd. There's definitely a buzz about this band.
I opened the show by coming out of a smoke-filled mirror ball egg! Completely naked! and sexless! Like an "Alien Barbie!"
People are saying "that was the most amazing thing I've seen in a long, long time!" It must be true, people desperately want someone to push the Rock & Roll envelope.
June 6 - Coffee Shop - 4 pm
I just told Rica. Tommy's here too. It's gonna happen! We're playing Lollapalooza in NY!!! Things are happening so totally fucking fast!!
Already I'm hearing people say "Psychotica won't be able to translate their dark underground vibe to the bright Lollapalooza light of day. And I wonder if they're right., Diary. I mean, shit, we're total vampyres!
I may as will go ahead and order a gallon of Sunblock 75!
June 28, 1995
I'm wiped out! Completely exhausted! Playing the Lollapalooza second stage was so amazingly cool! We're so grateful for this incredible opportunity to see if we could make our show work in daylight. And it did work, incredibly!!! I wore a rubber suit, and after playing in the hot sun I had a rover of body fluid streaming off me! Ayhhhhh! I think Psychotica beats the sartorial sclerosis of other bands!
It was great to see the crowd react to us. They'd never seen a band so, I don't know, "Androgynous"?
I think too much emphasis is placed on the front person as a sex god. Part of my experiment with Psychotica is to take the sex out of it. Call it "sans-sexual."
Psychotica is definitely the most sexually ambiguous band in America, though. On many levels.
As if there's not enough going on, this director called to say he wants me in his movie, "All Over Me." It's about two young girls, one is coming out of the closet and feels like she's in love with her best friend. I would play this guy who's a little older and a little hardened.
Bowels of Brooklyn
There's so much waiting around, making movies. This one's worth the effort, I think tho. It's along the lines of "Kids." It's very connected to the punk scene. Good thing my acting work wraps tonight. Gotta be at the studio in a few hrs to start Psychotica's album sessions.
Spring Street Studio - August 12? 1 am
Sorry I haven't written in so long, D. But we've been in this Little Italy rec. studio, a tiny underground crib where we'll be spending another 3 wks. don Fury is co-producing the record along with the band. He's the guy who's worked with just about every major hardcore band in NY, including the Seive. I figured he'd capture us with a hard punk edge and he's doing just that.
Diary, it's kinda gross who smoothly everything is going! I keep waiting for something bad to happen!
September 9, 1995
Everybody's so into recording this album. Great thing are happening. "Ice Planet Hell" is a song that just came together in the studio. A spontaneous recording. The basic tracks went down in, like 1/2 hr! And "Barcelona" was inspired by a Wagner symphony I heard somewhere. I wrote it with John Carruthers of Siouxsie and the Banshees. "Blue Fear" is about kids on the street carrying guns around in grade school. We even covered Devo's "Freedom of Choice."
September 21, 1995
I stood there in AWE for an hr. Everything's behind a chain link fence. Trent Reznor, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, L7 and... ME!!! "Patrick Briggs from Psychotica!" They've got us in a display, mannequins and stuff, in the Amhet Ertegun Hall of Costumes. I'm on my neon cross bound in saran wrap. I only wish Madonna was included. You know she's my favorite shape-shifter.
This is so gratifying, Diary. I mean, remember all those A&R people in NY who'd always rejected me saying "your bizarre ideas just will not work in places like Cleveland, Patrick!" And here I am now, in all my anatomically incorrect glory, on display in Cleveland, USA. at the Rock & Roll Hall of fucking Fame!!
Tell me now that I'm too bizarre for "America's heartland!"
November 30, 1995
Moby is interested in Psychotica! Talks about is all the time in interviews. He wants to remix our song "Cybernation."
December 5, 1995
I guess Iggy Pop liked the HOFame exhibit as much as I did, because he asked Psychotica to go on tour with him in the Spring!
January 15, 1996
The "Ice Planet Hell" photo shoot on my pond went great yesterday aft. Lots of snow. They photographed me barefoot in a white rubber suit looking like the Silver Surfer - except for my silver mohawk!
April 9, '96
Opening for Iggy Pop is better than even my expectations! It's great to see the reaction of the crowd, who're tired of watching ordinary looking guys with flannel shirts and guitars. What they really want now is an outrageous show! And I think we gave them one.
Next, we're off to Baltimore to headline a place called the 8x10 Club.
3 am, a Stuckey's type place
I-95, N. Carolina
You are not gonna believe this shit! Tonight in Baltimore it was just awesome. I looked in the audience and there's all these huge bikers out there and I'm going "how did this shit happen?"
After the show, when I came out I was a little nervous but they asked me to sign my name on their helmets! And here I was expecting them to wanna beat the shit out of me!
Psychotica's got a life of its own now. And there's nothing I can do about it.
Back to the van, now. We're headed for the BMG Conference in Miami (Never seen so many little holes in road signs before!)
The Hi! 95 Motel 6 Carwash, Bumfolk, GA
Can't sleep. After the other night in Balt. I'm convinced that American is totally ready for something as extreme as Psychotica. You know me, D. I'm totally an extremist! They wanna c the ENTERTAINMENT brought back into the entertainment business!
I mean, is there an audience out there we can't win over???
Pink Flamingo Motel, Miami Beach
We opened for Slayer tonight!
People asked me before we went on if I was scared but y'know, D, we had a really good reaction from those headbangers tonight. Slayer's crowd has great energy and they were really cool to us.
People have never seen or heard a band like this. Psychotica, this whole concept, it shouldn't work together, but it does! We give a big and glamorous performance that's overpowering and overwhelming. The show is really coming together.
Obviously, Psychotica is appealing to a diverse audience, and I can't wait for our album to come out so we can tour full force. Alot of people TALK about changing things, but I'm willing to stick my neck out!
Psychotica! Psychotica! Psychotica! Psychotica! Psychotica! Psychotica!
Don Hill's, May 10 96
Ventrue just called. It's official: Psychotica is slated to be the main stage openers at this summer's Lollapalooza! Opening for Metallica, Soundgarden, Rancid, the Ramones, is a perfect spot for us! Psychotica is an absolute curveball! Hardly anybody fucking knows us... yet.
People here are asking me what Psychotica is gonna do at Lollapalooza. We're already getting kind of notorious for pushing the envelope. I'm not gonna say specifically, but people will be able to c -- and maybe hear -- the show from as far as 5 miles away.
Maybe we shouldn't perform "Freedom of Choice." I've heard that Devo might be appearing. It would be a dream to perform it with them. I would love to get their blessing.
Wish I had time to write more, Diary. I'll try later, maybe, at the club.
I'm insisting on keeping my job with Don because it's really easy to get into this overnight success thing. I'll run the club from the road. Why not?
I completely worship Don. He and I have a real father/son relat. He's always offered me a space to develop my creativity. I think that if I ever play Mad. Sq. Garden I'll still probably go to work at Don Hill's afterwards!
Psychotica's first Lollapalooza date is in Kansas City on June 27. But we're kicking off our tour at Squeeze Box on June 21st. It's gonna be this huge bash, old Hollywood style. Everybody's welcome - if they can get in!
June 4, 1996
Every day there's some new surprise. Sophia Ramos from "Sophia's Toy" joined rehearsals today. She's gonna fill in for Rica who can't come with us on Lollapalooza because of some immigration thing. Sophia is totally different from Rica. Sophia is petite, she's a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx, she's a melodic-styled singer, she's... Christ - she's the next fucking Tina Turner, I think!!!
June 14, 1996
My whole life, every day, is getting ready for these Lollapalooza shows, the biggest shows of my life. Night and day it's all I think about.
June 21, 1996
So this is it. My last transmission to you for a while. I don't care if they arrest me, or if Psychotica freaks people out! Our record's coming out on July 23, we start Lollapalooza next week and I'm gonna go the whole nine yards this summer. Wish me well!!!!