What does Psychotica mean? According to Webster, it's an affliction pertaining to or caused by psychosis. Psychotica has its own sense of reality, only witnessed by "the special ones."
Their music and live shows are a unique mixture of Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Ziggy Stardust, Dio and balls. That's right, there is enough testosterone in Psychotica's music to make any vintage or present day headbanger happy and yet enough of today's sound to keep them on the cutting edge.
We had a chance to talk to the unique and colorful frontman Patrick Briggs about the band that surprised people at this year's Lollapalooza tour.
RRR: Where did Psychotica form and how would you describe yourselves to someone who never heard of you?
PB: The newest dance craze! (Laughs) We came from a club in NYC called The Squeeze Box. The club and music was a much needed antidote to the city's "hair band" rock culture. As for all the theatrics, well that's something music today is missing. In New York most of the bands are theatrical minded and there is a strong performance art scene. New York is a melting pot, there is always a crossover of some sort.
RRR: How exactly do you land a record deal before your first gig?
PB: (Laughs) You got to be good. It actually solidified after our first gig. We were rehearsing for our first gig at the club when an A&R person strolled in and loved us. After he saw our first gig, he knew his hunch was right.
RRR: You were a pleasant surprise on this year's Lollapalooza tour, how was the tour for you?
PB: It was awesome! Although for me personally I was recovering from a back injury. I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I would have liked. We received an incredible response from the kids, not necessarily by the credits (laughs). I expected a little slack from the Metallica crowd, but they dug us. I think the joke has gone farther than we expected. (Laughs)
RRR: You also made it into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame this year...
PB: Yeah. I'm on a neon cross bound in Saran Wrap. They have me as the offspring of Bowie and Iggy Pop. We are modern day glitter rock. We are standing next to Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson and L7.
RRR: Where do your ideas come from for your songs?
PB: I get lyrics from visuals I see in my head. I do things from a Broadway perspective. I try to visualize the entire package.
RRR: You do a cover of Devo's "Freedom of Choice." Why?
PB: Believe it or not they are one of my biggest influences on the planet. I just wanted to do a cover on this record and the Devo tune was
perfect. We added that glam version to it (laughs). We even met the Devo guys and got their blessings, which was great. We are doing a
video for it.
RRR: Where is Ice Planet Hell? PB: (Laughs) It's about life in Weedier CA. I grew up in that suburban "everything looks good on the outside scene and is completely sick under the surface." That's what the song is all about. Remember the movie "Heathers," that's how we all grew up. (Laughs)
RRR: You saw the a lot of mosh pits at Lollapalooza, what are your thoughts on them?
PB: Our crowds are very considerate, for some reason we don't attract assholes, which I'm really happy about. Maybe it's the presentation of the band. We seem to have a more thinking crowd. As far as I'm concerned the mosh pit is part of the show, I've been in them myself. I don't want to see anyone get hurt, but if that's your idea of fun go for it.
RRR: Do you think what you wear on stage is important to the statement your music makes-- what is your statement?
PB: Absolutely, it gives the crowd the whole vision. I don't know if I have particular fashion statement to make. I think I have a certain fashion sensibility that no one else has. I'm definitely influenced by the new wave. I like to approach things in the futuristic "what-people-might-wear- in-the-future" thing. A lot of things I wear are industrial products that you normally wouldn't use as clothing. Like rubber suits or cellophane.
RRR: I see you co-wrote a tune with Pittsburgh's David Werner, where did you meet him?
PB: I met Dave in New York. He brought me to Pittsburgh where I spent a lot of time recording. It's one of my favorite cities in the country.
PB: It's very underestimated as a nice place to live, by which I was very shocked. I had a preconceived notion of what the old Pittsburgh was about...old, rundown, industrial scene. It's really quite beautiful. I'm looking forward to coming back.