If you’re a fan of psychobilly (the horror-themed bastard son of rockabilly), you should be well aware of the Nekromantix. The influential trio was founded in 1989 in Copenhagen, Denmark, by vocalist/bassist Kim Nekroman and has released eight scorching albums of rip-roaring tunes such as Curse of the Coffin and Gargoyles Over Copenhagen.
You probably also just bought the band’s eighth LP, What Happens In Hell, Stays In Hell (released Aug. 2 on Hellcat Records), and plan to attend Monday’s concert at the newly expanded Monterey Club in Fort Lauderdale with The Howlers and Brain Chips.
So, as the Monterey rushes to get their new concert space ready for the Labor Day onslaught, let’s dig up a few tidbits about the Nekromantix, Nekroman and his one-of-a-kind “coffin bass” …
Nekroman is married to Patricia Day of the HorrorPops, the band she fronts and plays upright bass. Nekroman switches to guitar and joins the HorrorPops when he isn’t touring or recording with the Nekromantix. The couple met at a 1996 festival in Cologne, Germany. They relocated from Europe to Los Angeles in 2002.
Kim Nekroman plays his "coffin bass" at Churchill's in Miami on July 20, 2010. (Photo by Moe)
Nekroman’s first “coffin bass” was made out of an actual child-sized coffin, but newer models were constructed over the years to achieve better acoustics and collapsibility for easier transportation.
Nekroman was a submarine radio operator in the Royal Danish Navy for eight years. He told the Houston Press in 2002 that he would blast punk music, such as psychobilly originators the Cramps, while on duty.
The band played its first shows in the United States in 2000, capped by a slot on the annual New York City “Psychobilly Rumble.”
In February 2001, Nekroman gave a demo of new songs to Rancid singer/guitarist and Hellcat Records label owner Tim Armstrong, resulting in the Nekromantix signing with the Los Angeles-based label and releasing the album Return of the Loving Dead in 2002. It was the band’s first album widely distributed in the U.S. and helped make the Nekromantix a leader of the emerging psychobilly movement on the west coast.
The discography of the Nekromantix consists of eight studio albums, one live album, three singles, and three music videos. Dead Girls Don’t Cry (2004) and Life Is a Grave & I Dig It! (2007) were the only two to appear on the Billboard charts. The former was the No. 43 independent album and the latter was No. 21 on the Heatseeker chart.
Besides Nekroman, the band currently includes guitarist Franc and drummer Lux. More than a dozen musicians filled those slots over the years, including the late drummer Andrew Martinez (aka Andy DeMize), who was tragically killed in a 2009 auto accident in California.
Lux performs with the Nekromantix at Churchill's in Miami on July 20, 2010. (Photo by Moe)
Lux, who replaced DeMize, also plays drums for the California thrash metal band Sacred Storm. She was also a longtime member of an all-female progressive/experimental rock band called Mystery Hangup.
Lux plays drums wearing stiletto heels. She told The Metal Pit website that she’s tried regular shoes (as well as sandals and even barefoot) but that as she got older and her heels got taller, she just got used to it.
Lux has her own website – LuxDrummer.com – where she sells autographed sticks and drum heads as well as posters and Sacred Storm albums. The site also includes lots of photos and video, news and articles written about this “drum goddess” and “metal maiden.”
Monday, Sept. 5 – Nekromantix with The Howlers and Brain Chips at The Monterey Club, 2608A S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. (954) 598-1887. Ages 18 and older welcome. Tickets $15 in advance online at Slammie.MusicToday.com and by phone at (800) 594-TIXX. Also $15 at the door, 8 p.m.
Inspired equally by historic Polynesian Pop and the modern Tiki renaissance, Jim "Hurricane" Hayward aims to use his acumen from 20-plus years of independent concert promotion and 30-plus years in journalism to bring a greater awareness and appreciation to the vast ocean of Tiki culture and its many tributaries. Since the early '90s, his Slammie Productions has presented live shows featuring hundreds of indie artists: Agent Orange, Dick Dale, The Nekromantix, Exene Cervenka, The HorrorPops, The Phenomenauts and many more. Now, he's launching The Atomic Grog as a vehicle to promote Tiki culture and its music, art and cocktail scenes.
A lifelong student of mid-century pop culture, Jim solidified his appreciation for the Atomic Era in his childhood in the 1960s. His father promoted custom car shows featuring George Barris classics such as the Batmobile and "Munsters" cars and his earliest memories of Tiki come from visits to some of the era's vintage restaurants. In the mid '70s, his family settled in the Sunshine State, where he graduated from the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. He has spent more than 30 years toiling at several of the state's major daily newspapers as a writer, editor and for the past 15 years as a Web producer.