"Plenty of blood, blood everywhere usually," Robico Lopez intones, outlining in detail how he converts fans to the cause. "We've got a bubble machine, lights, and we wear makeup. Just eyeliner, nothing too heavy duty, but enough to get the rock across. Other than that, it just basically has to do with being shithouse mad, climbing on things, getting into it and getting people into it, getting them to tap their toe." Those who dare defy this rhythmic call might soon be treated to a gory example of what befalls anyone who dares to cross the group. "We've been talking to these model girls that might come and let us sacrifice them," Lopez excitedly explains. "We're definitely going to get some chicks into it, though. Total Lizzie Borden shit."
And then there are the pyrotechnics (a necessity for a band that proclaims allegiance to such undercover demons as Black Sabbath and Kiss), which turn any club into a fiery replica of the Deathray Angels' natural habitat. The explosions come courtesy of drummer Spider Rodriguez's brother Joe. "He's a freak: He's got, like, this huge gun collection, and he's totally into explosives," Lopez says before displaying uncharacteristic mercy. "We're only using them at certain clubs, just so we don't burn the place down if their roofs are that low."
However, Robico and the Deathray Angels might still set these venues ablaze with their horror-flick rock, 12 examples of which they preserved on record with Satan's Little Black Book. On this album, the band takes the cartoonish thematic excess of death metal and grafts it onto a heavy glam foundation, never leaving the unholy temple it has set up in the garage for full-tilt boogie, albeit the evil kind. "There was a lot of drugs beforehand and partying, but we're really satisfied with what we came up with," Lopez reports.
The band's nefarious plan is for the existing version of Satan's Little Black Book to serve as only the teaser for an epic collection of 30 dark ditties featuring the Deathray Angels' new lineup. "We got a new bass player, Johnny Hellbound. He played in The Revolvers for a little while," Lopez explains. "(Former bassist) Nick Deathray started this side project called The Big Iron, and I guess they're really taking off. We were kind of growing apart anyway, like musicwise he was more into playing punk rock, and we were all starting to get more into the rock and roll side."
With that departure and addition, the band also brought on another guitar player, freeing Lopez from his instrument-playing duties and making him better able to perform his theatrical antics. Lead guitarist Slappy Johnson is now being assisted by Dr. Chupacadre, who holds a Ph.D. in the science of kicking ass. "He was just a friend of mine that I've known for a while," Lopez explains. "We've played in metal bands in the past. I knew he had the skills way better than me, so I figured we could have two kick-ass guitar players and I could just sing and focus my attention on breathing fire and maybe playing keyboards and all kinds of stuff. It gives me free hands to do crazy stuff."
Idle hands, of course, do the devil's work, and the devil's work is most decidedly not playing emo music, the genre in which its dabblers choose to wrestle with and/or confront their personal demons in song, rather than giving a hearty salute to the demons that lurk far south of heaven. "I'm not a big fan of the whole KC indie-rock, weird-pretty-song thing at all," Lopez admits. "I mean, I have respect for it because it takes talent and all that kind of stuff. These guys are great musicians, but I would feel like a total asshole being that into yourself or into just being that sad or anything like that. No, rock and roll music is about having a good time." Besides, he suggests, who's to say the kids aren't faking it? "I don't believe that their life is that bad."
However, if Lopez's predictions come to pass, not only the emo kids but also everyone worldwide soon will be put out of their misery with the arrival of the new year. To prepare for such a black day, Robico and the Deathray Angels plans to spend the time leading up to it doing what the band does best, which is rocking without abandon. "We've got a show at Davey's, but we're probably not going to do the pyrotechnics there because we don't want to burn the place down, but we will at The Bottleneck and The Hurricane," Lopez says. "We might do them at Pauly's, too (Saturday, December 30). We might go a little bit crazy just because the next day is New Year's Eve. We did it that way so we could play one last show in case the world ends and then we can party and get all messed up on New Year's Eve. There's really no telling what might happen."