Its been said on more than one occasion, by more than one individual, that you've got to be just a little crazy to want to play rock n roll... at least crazy like a fox. Ozzy's proven it, Manson's proven it, and countless others have tried to prove it--to widely varying degrees of success. And in that somewhat noble tradition of trying their best to out-rage and inflame their way to fame and fortune, here comes a band called Psychotica who just may rank among the most unusual acts ever to come tripsing down the rock and roll pike.
The brainchild of one Pat Briggs (who in a previous life a decade ago was the Sebastian Bach look-alike, pretty-boy frontman for a hair metal band called R-U-Ready), Psychotica seem intent on turning many of your well-established rock and roll perspectives inside out. As proven through out the groups sophomore album, "Espina", their ability to blend together seemingly divergent musical reactants--including heavy metal, goth, punk and a touch of traditional Spanish music-- has served to a quickly establish Psychotica's reputation as a band thatís got more to offer than just a strange look and an outrageous stance. In fact, according to vocalist Briggs (who is accompanied in Psychotica by guitarist/bassist Ena Paul Kostabi and cellist Enrigue Tiru velez), his band is designed to be a multi-dimensional, multi-cultural experience focused on expanding the often restrictive bonds of rock and roll.
"This is a musical experiment in progress," Briggs said. "I believe we're trying to accomplish things that no other band has even attempted--let alone succeeded. We're trying to remove the restrictions, break the bonds that so much music has. Rocking--while still being successful."
For Briggs and his unusual band, the road to rock n roll experimentalism has been-- as one might expect-- a most unusual one. In fact, it wouldn't be pushing things to say that Briggs has lived one of the strangest musical lives of anyone currently inhabiting the hard rock sphere. Going back a decade, his highly touted band R-U-Ready got a major media push by their then-burgeoning record label, only to see that disc never even released in the US for a variety of still mysterious reasons. Then soon after Psychotica's self titled debut disc appeared in 1996--at a time when the band seemed on the verge of something BIG after touring with Tool-- their label promptly up-and-folded. While such unsavory history might have been enough for some musicians to pack up their guitars and head for home, such activity only seems to further inspire the eve-unpredictable Mr. Briggs.
"Thereís no question that some unusual things have happened to me in my music career," he said. "But I donít waste my time thinking about what might have been or should have been. Things happen for a reason. Everything that has happened to me in my life has prepared me for making this album." Indeed from the opening riffs of "Ding Dong Dead" through the heavy-handed machinations of "Blind" to the bands highly intriguing cover of the schmaltz classic "MacArthur Park", Psychotica have offered up a text book example of hard rock eclecticism. Certainly itís not music designed for everyone; Briggs would have it no other way. But if your rock tastes run towards the unconventional and the unexpected, and your idea of a good time is having a laugh while you're banging your head, then perhaps "Espina" is the disc you've been waiting for all your life. It certainly promises to be startlingly different from anything else that currently may be inhabiting your disc collection-- exactly what you'd expect from a band whose motto is "Infiltrate, assimilate and annihilate"
"You can both screw and cry to this record," Briggs said. "You can take it seriously, or you can laugh. We leave it all up to you."
Continuing in the grand tradition of glamour goth, ESPINA is the long-awaited follow-up from Psychotica's successful 1996 self-titled debut album. "Our goal was to make a record leaning toward the romantic side because an album should be like a time capsule of your life that the moment," explains Pat Briggs, the flamboyant front man and main songwriter of Psychotica. "As a band we are feeling a bit more mature and a bit more sentimental in out own lives, and thereís no reason that those elements can't mix well together."
And they certainly do. "Too Late' the albums 1st single was inspired by the romantic breakup Briggs experienced years ago. "I remember sitting alone in my house just moments after this person had finished moving their things out and wishing that i could take it all back," sums up Briggs.
"I had just signed a record deal and caught a large case of 'Rockstaritis.' A very dangerous thing for any performer. I suddenly learned one of the major lessons of my adulthood. That you had to be careful about what moves you make in life, because sometimes you move forward on a course that you can't turn back on! I now see that you can be on top of the world and realize on all the way up there... you had alienated the people closest to you, who meant the most"
Thanks to mop for typing this out!