As long as he can remember, local musician Dustan Sheehan has been in love with ’50s and ’60s pop culture—specifically, old horror movies and early rock ‘n’ roll.
He’s been marrying these two obsessions the past decade with his horror-punk group Stellar Corpses. They wear dark clothes, sport an upright bass and sing a ton of songs about vampires and goblins—only instead of playing traditional swinging rockabilly, they lean towards pop-punk territory.
“None of us are really good rockabilly musicians so it just comes out more simplified. I think that brings the pop-punk element to it,” says Sheehan.
But despite the scary-movie subject matter, their songs aren’t really spooky. They have more of a camp element instead. Everybody in the band likes different music, but the Misfits is the one band they can all agree on, Sheehan in particular. He’s devoted thousands of listening hours to them, dissecting their lyrics, trying to figure out which B horror movie each song is referencing.
Sheehan wants to have that same quality in his songs. Some are obvious, like “Cemetery Man” which is about the movie of the same name, whereas their tune “Vampire Kiss” more covertly references The Lost Boys.
There’s always an element of tongue-in-cheek,” says Sheehan. “That’s my favorite kind of stuff. I don’t try to take myself too seriously, or my songwriting, or this band. It’s all about having fun.”
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26. The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $8/Adv, $12/Door. 423-1336