Death Hymn Number 9 Says Marvin Gaye Was a Pussy Ass!

It was a disappointing zombie crawl

Creating within a genre they call gospel/power/violence, Death Hymn Number 9 have been leaving a wake of white face paint, fake (and real) blood and broken barroom furniture across the SoCal club circuit since forming last spring. Think of it as classic OC hardcore-meets-'50s surf rock-meets-'60s Detroit garage . . . as played by zombies. Fronted by vocalist Paul'e'wog, and backed by Sleazy P on drums, Lord Misteriosos on bass and guitarist Rack 'Em Frack 'Em, the Fullerton band are a brutal reminder that thrash isn't dead—it's undead.

 

OC Weekly: How'd you guys become thrasher zombies?

Rack 'Em Frack 'Em: In the early '60s, we were part of the Motown Records studio backing band called the Funk Brothers. When Marvin Gaye had his first hit, we were asked to be his touring band for his first national tour. When we were passing through Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we stopped at a run-down gas station to piss and try to score some swamp dope. As we were walking around, we were ambushed by a group of smug, shit-talking zombies. They chewed on our brains while we were yelling for Marvin Gaye to save us—but his pussy ass just turned the bus on and left us to fend for ourselves.

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What a dick move! How long were you stuck in the swamp?

Forty years. Our first order of business was to track down and murder Marvin Gaye, but we soon found out his father shot him. Without anyone to take our rage out on, we decided to go find a local band at some dive bar, kill them for their gear and start the first gospel/power/violence band.

 

Nice. So, your shows get pretty physical. What are the worst injuries you and your instruments have sustained?

Since we are dead and feel no pain, it's become hard to gauge the concept of injury these days. The biggest financial burden for the group is the buying of chairs. I go through a chair at almost every show.

 

Yeah, you play the guitar on a stool. Why is that?

Standing up just seems like a waste of time and effort. I would rather sit down.

 

You get a great guitar tone—gritty yet clear; warm, but it cuts. What are you playing through to get your sound?

I use two 4-inch-by-10-inch Fender Hot Rod DeVille amps and a 2-inch-by-12-inch Mesa Boogie cab. My goal is to drown out one's thoughts via decibels.

 

Your sound is a bit of a throwback to the late-'70s OC hardcore scene—TSOL and D.I. come to mind. Are you conscious of that?

We're more interested in combining big-band drum beats with thrash guitar playing.

 

What other artists might you call influences?

The Cramps, Howlin' Wolf, the Sonics, Mississippi Fred McDowell, the Oblivians, Link Wray . . . And we're also influenced by a lot of local bands, such as Dahga Bloom, Audacity, Ghostlimb, Cum Stain, Wonder Wheel and a lot more.

 

You're primarily doing club shows around SoCal. What's next for you guys?

We don't have plans to tour the States, after getting fucked by Marvin Gaye. But we are in the works of setting up a 10-day tour of Japan in December, then we're shooting to get a DIY European tour set up for the following summer.

 

What about new recordings?

We have another 7-inch coming out in September on Vitriol Records, then we're doing a split LP with Dahga Bloom on Vitriol that will be coming out in October.

 

This column appeared in print as "Marvin Gaye Was a Pussy Ass!"

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