Metal just got even more animalistic
As the only sounds most furries make are those of sweet, depraved lovemaking, we sat down with a group that actually creates music -- Extreme Turbo Smash -- to talk about the Denver five-piece's particular brand of snout-banging zu-metal, which you can catch live in a couple of weeks at Moe's.
Thrillist: Were you all friends? How did this all get started? Reindeer and Panda: Coronado Elementary School. Panda: And we always joked about [forming the band] up until like five years ago. Then we played a Starbucks, and we told them we were like a mix between Dave Matthews and The White Stripes. We didn't have any songs, we didn't have any structure. [We played] half of a song soft so they'd think we were legit, and then broke out, and they were furious. They pulled the plug on us. We decided, "Hey, that was funny. We should do that more." So we put together a list of names...and...went to the mall and got food and went through our list. And Extreme Turbo Smash was on there. That was awesome. Let's do that one. Reindeer: I think it was between that and Extremely Hot Lava, and Extremely Loud Explosion. Bunny: Bunny helped with that a little bit. Panda: I don't think you did. Reindeer: I'm pretty sure you didn't. Thrillist: No one likes a bass player. No one. Bunny: Including myself. Well, my mom loves me. Thrillist: So what's spinning on your record player now, and is your record player operated by the Flintstones bird? St. Bernard: I just bought some vinyl today and I threw on Sharks' "The Joys of Living". Reindeer: On mine, I have, "Private Eyes Are Watching You" because I found it at Savers and I thought it was super funny. And it's sitting in my garage. Panda: I think the only vinyl I own is Chuck Mangione. Feels so good. Thrillist: Speaking of albums, we need you to rank some: The Scorpions' Animal Magnetism, KISS' Animalize or Ke$ha's Animal? Polar Bear: Ke$ha's for sure. Reindeer: Do those other bands have boobs? No. There's your answer. Thrillist: Soo, sweat must just be a big... Reindeer: It's f***ing, so gross. Polar Bear: It's gotta be at least 110-115 degrees in our costumes. Smell the suits and tell us how much... Bunny: It doesn't smell like s**t. Reindeer: No, it does. Bunny: It's sour sweat. Gross. Reindeer: Playing in these things is im-f***ing-possible. If you think you can play your instrument, wear one of those things. It's back to square one. Thrillist: How do you see the instruments? Reindeer: You can't. Bunny: That's part of the show. Thrillist: It's a band of sort-of Stevie Wonders. You're all virtuosos. You guys just feel the music. Reindeer: Yeah, we sure feel it. And screw up a whole lot. Bunny: It's worth it though. If Panda Bear drops the mic, he can't find it. Panda: I go through three mics a show. Reindeer: If anyone in the band drops anything, it's f**king gone. Polar Bear: I have like ten picks on my head. Reindeer: If I drop a drumstick, it's the last I'm going to see of it the whole show. There's no getting it back. Bunny: That's why you fill up that jar with 10 drumsticks. Reindeer: And when the bassist's bass comes unplugged, he won't be playing for 10 minutes. Panda: One of our shows, we didn't have vocals for three-fourths of it because I was just yelling in my head. Even between songs when I was just talking, like, "Hey guys, thanks!" Like I didn't even know, because all I hear is my voice reverberating around my head. Thrillist: So, playing in a costume: more artistically freeing, or ball-freeing? Reindeer: Definitely not ball-freeing. St. Bernard: It's like playing metal in a sauna. Reindeer: But less room. Panda: Bunny, how much v**ina room do you have in that? Bunny: Not too much. I've got a wicked bush in there. Thanks for asking, bro. Panda jerk. Thrillist: So what're your songs about? Panda: As far as songs musically-wise, it's hard to say, because people don't want to be in this band if you can imagine that...We've gone through like 17 guitarists. Our lineup has changed once a year for forever. Panda: But we finally have a good solid group so our songs are becoming each one more like the other, rather than like, "Hey, there's this song." Lyrics-wise they're about either how we're better than everyone else as people, a band, or as animals. Or girls. Thrillist: Do you think there are any bands out there with a stranger music/ costume dichotomy than you guys? Reindeer: If there are, we'll fight 'em. Bunny: We're doing pretty good on WeirdestBandInTheWorld.com. We're pretty high up there. Thrillist: Anything else you want Denver to know about you? Bunny: Tell 'em to come to our show in August. St. Bernard: All of 'em. Panda: Every single one. And if they don't come to every single one of our shows, they're jerks and we don't like them. And I'm glad they don't. Bunny: They'll get attacked by a lot of cute animals.