When asked if he can recall a dull moment during The Chop Tops’ 17-year career, Sinner, the drummer/lead singer of the psychobilly/rockabilly three-piece, mentions the monotony of travelling 30,000 miles annually. “It’s beautiful out there, but we just finished our 12th U.S. tour. After somewhere around the fifth or sixth time, you’re like, ‘Cool, seen it.’” He and his bandmates—Shelby (lead guitar) and Brett (upright bass)—rocked Australia last April, and Sinner wants to explore further. “I wanna go play a gig on Mars—as soon as they get a sustainable dome up there [or] whatever the hell they’re gonna do,” he jokes.
“Maybe Newt Gingrich can fuckin’ set that up for me.” The Chop Tops seem to win over fans everywhere they go. Sinner credits their popularity with “Our style of mixing up surf, with a little bit of punk with some Oi!, with some rockabilly and psychobilly, and throwing it in a blender and giving people something cool, fun, and high-energy.” Yet it’s the band’s drive to produce high quality music that sets it apart. That commitment motivated The Chop Tops to re-record its fourth album, 2001’s Evil Six, which, according to the band, wasn’t their best effort due to the unreliability and drug use of the producer and bassist involved. The second time around, Brett took over bass, and they headed back into the studio with engineer Mark Stein to re-record and get the album properly mixed and mastered. The result, Evil Six: Revisited, now available digitally, was worth the wait. But the band hasn’t stopped there. A seventh album is underway, and they’re working on reprinting their first few albums, including Revved-Up Rockabilly. These songs will be bonus tracks to their first CD release, Tales of Hot Rods, Hot Broads & Lucky Odds! Excited for its Catalyst Atrium show on Nov. 23, the band has a message for fans: “We don’t want people throwing up turkey all over the dance floor,” Sinner says with a laugh. “Take a walk, maybe stretch, have some Tums.” |
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $13/door. 423-1338.
Photo Credit Alex Thompson