- Yes, they wear black and cut themselves. But the Koffin Kats guys sure aint emo.
Vic Victor performs so hard, he bleeds. Really. Sometimes, the tuning pegs on his stand-up electric bass swing down and hit him in the head.
Sometimes, the blood comes when his Koffin Kats bandmates, drummer E-Ball Walls and guitarist Tommy Koffin, bash Victor's face with their instruments.
Other times, Victor does the dirty work on his own, punching himself in the head to reopen his wounds.
"We want to give people a sight to see," Victor says over the phone from a tour stop in Florida. "Give them what they pay for."
And though their upcoming Colorado Springs show at The Rocket Room is, ironically, free, expect them to be keyed up and thrashing around nonetheless.
"When we're on the road," Victor says, "we've been doing the same songs night after night. It seems boring to just stand there. And everything's magnified. If you stand still for one song, it seems like you weren't doing anything up there the whole time."
Along with the smashing and bleeding, Victor says, the Koffin Kats play live twice as fast as they record. Their album, Straying from the Pack, sounds like they've put a jackhammer on rhythm.
Victor and Koffin decided to start a psychobilly band in 2003 after frustrations with separate projects. By the end of 2004, they had toured to California and back, which garnered the attention of Hairball 8 Records. Three years later, they haven't stopped touring.
Victor says when they first began, they'd go out for two months and then come back home to Detroit for two months just to make enough money to get out on the road again. This past year, though, Koffin Kats were able to make enough money touring to stay on the road, playing a new show every night for weeks without a break. Constantly performing, Victor says, keeps the band fresh in the minds of the audience members.
"We see the same people we met at our first shows," he explains, "and they keep bringing their friends."
The Kats' upcoming performance at The Rocket Room will be their first in the Springs. Victor says his band has always tried to play here, but wasn't previously able to find a venue that would play its type of music until now. That happens when you're a psychobilly act.
But despite Victor's melodic crooning and bass, the band has started to move from the country edge indicative of psychobilly and more toward the movement's punk rock elements. It's a small change, but an important one.
"In the 'billy scene, a lot of songs, chord-wise, timing-wise, are rewrites of other people's music," Victor says.
Regardless of what the band's labeled, he won't complain: "We've got the funnest below-minimum-wage job in the world."
The Rocket Room, 230 Pueblo Ave.
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 8 p.m.
Tickets: Free, 21-plus; call 447-4990 for info.