When the Gromble started their spin-off band Sega Genecide back in 2010, they figured it would be a fun way to knock out some ‘90s tunes on a Friday night, and nothing more. After only a few gigs, they’d already built a following. By the time New Year’s Eve 2011-2012 rolled around, that following was rabid. Their sardine-packed show at the Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach cemented the band’s status as one of the wildest cover bands in town.
While on-stage, a friend of theirs who was working at the bar reported on how crazy things got beyond the band’s sightline.
“She said this guy at the bar pulled out his dick and started pissing on the bar,” Askin says in disbelief. “She then told us he left his credit card and gave herself a big tip. It turned out it was a guy we knew that we didn’t even know was there.”
The next morning when the band went to pick up their check, the manager told them that a guy was dancing on shattered glass and there was blood everywhere, and that a woman passed out on the floor in her own feces.
Nothing will top that sheer madness of that show, but Sega Genecide has allowed the Gromble to enjoy themselves in a less serious fashion.
The band’s name, an obvious play on ‘90s gaming system Sega Genesis, is an ode to the music they grew up on and a way to corner the market in the local tribute band scene.
“A big impetus for us starting the band was that at the time (late-2010) there weren’t any other 90s tributes in Orange County,” Askin says. “It started as a way for the Gromble to get paid as we had some recording dates coming up and we needed some gear and figured that we could make some money playing these ‘90s tunes.”
In order to make each Sega Genecide gig a success, Askin says he’s band morphs into heel mode and are far more raunchy than they are as the Gromble. Though they play songs ranging from rappers like Eminem and DMX, rockers like Nirvana and New Radicals and pop like Alanis Morissette and Smash Mouth. Some of the band’s favorite songs to perform aren’t of the rock variety. Instead, Askin says that Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” and Bloodhound Gang’s “Bad Touch” are hits. “People love the saxophone in person,” he says.
Even when they don’t want to be tied to that band, at a Gromble gig in Newport Beach, Dennis Rodman famously joined the band on-stage, rockin’ out to “Give Up the Funk” by Parliament and Sublime’s “Pawn Shop.” But the former NBA champion isn’t the only celebrity to give the band their endorsement.
The Sega Genecide gigs are only on the weekend, which suits the band just fine and allows for the quartet to enjoy being on-stage as much as the fans like kicking back with a few beers and hearing hits from two decades ago.
“It’s nice to be able to get on stage and be a total kind of piece of shit as a joke,” the singer says. “People have fun and it’s a party, that’s for sure. It’s goofy stuff that when you look at us you’re going to think that we’re going to do. Hopefully people are having fun, but not shitting on the floor.”
Sega Genecide perform at the Wayfarer Sat. April 16, 10 p.m. $5. 21+ For full details, click here.
Daniel Kohn is a writer based in Southern California. With bylines in an assortment of outlets, Kohn primarily specializes in music with other interests ranging from sports to food. As a transplant, Kohn loves the beautiful weather and is glad he no longer has to deal with brutal winters. If you see him, say hi and of course, he’s always willing to down a beer or two…if you’re paying.