For the three members of local horror-punk group Head Casket, there’s nothing to fear about zombies. In fact, singer and guitarist Rick Deschamp, bassist Brendan Brose, and drummer Nicole Hatchet all seem pretty comfortable with the idea of hanging out with the undead. “Zombies aren’t scary,” Deschamp says. “They’re awesome.” Elaborating on why he and his bandmates are drawn to the reanimated, the singer explains, “It’s one of those things in pop culture that really never goes away. Zombies have been around for years—no matter what, they’ll always be a part of our culture.”
The reason behind zombie’s staying power, as far as Deschamp is concerned? “Nobody wants to die,” he shrugs. And what are walking corpses but a victory over death? And so even while the band members frequently apply makeup to give themselves a ghoulish pallor, their music, by contrast, is bouncy and jubilant—albeit in a morbid way. Take “La Diabla (Go To Hell),” available to stream on the band’s website. It’s an up-tempo, punky tune, reminiscent of “Punk Rock Girl,” a song by one of Head Casket’s major influences, The Dead Milkmen. Citing other major influences, The Clash and The Misfits, the band tries to focus on playing songs that are high energy and easy to sing along with. It would seem that if Deschamp, Brose and Hatchet were raised from the grave, they would view the transformation not as a curse, but as an opportunity to party. “That’s why we love writing these songs,” Deschamp says. “We just want to have a blast!”
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. The Poet and The Patriot, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. No cover. 426-8620. 21+.