Thursday, January 19, 2017

Genki Genki Panic!: My Favorite Chattanooga Horror Surf Punk Band

Genki Genki Panic!

Carlos Satana: guitar
Bionic Vapor Boy: drums
Photo by Phil Thach Photography
Davey Snakes: bass


GAD!: You guys have a sound that is truly its own. How would you describe it?

Carlos Satana: When people ask I generally just tell them that it's kind of like what would happen if Gwar and Fantomas wrote the soundtrack for a Hanna Barbera cartoon, with lot's of exotica and noise rock thrown in.

Davey Snakes: We usually tell folks Exotic Horror Surf but we’ve been known to at times describe to ourselves as Spookzotic, Chudrock, Tribal Surf, and occasionally we delve into some Noise Rock, Postpunk, and Sludge.

Bionic Vapor Boy: It’s kinda like an alien transmission, received in the future from Jupiter’s melted moon Io. where the wave’s are sick and the alien babes are lookin hot as hell in their 16 cup bikini’s. it naturally inspired them to incidentally invent surf music. meanwhile there’s a party in a spooky, tricked out, blinged up hearse where the dead and creatures of the night are all ballin’ out to that. Just getting so rowdy. A little bit like that. But a little more realistically, it’s just the sound of us having fun, making the music we want to hear.

Who first came up with the idea and how did it all begin?

CS: I started the band back in Dec 2014. We'd been trying to find a singer for my old band Uncle Touchy for about 2 years with no luck and then I just sold everything I owned, quit playing and even listening to music, and lived out of my car for another year and a half after that. Around Oct 2014 i bought a guitar and started writing songs again. I'd always wanted to start a horror surf band so I ran the idea by my friend El Fatsquatch who played drums. We got together and jammed a few times and wrote the entire first album in about 4 weeks without a bassist. He had to quit due to health issues and we had a few friends fill in for some shows until we arrived at the current line up about a year later.

Where do you draw your influences from?

CS: Ive always mostly listened to movies scores, stuff like Vic Mizzy, Danny Elfman, and Les Baxter. I grew up in the 80's and lived next door to a video store. I was obsessed with werewolf and vampire movies as a kid and it's kind of carried over to my adult life. As for bands, Oingo Boingo and White Zombie were huge influences for me...Bad Brains, Faith No More, Gravediggaz, Bone "e1999", Fantomas, Korla Pandit, and Unsane are some of my favorites as well.

DS: besides a love for Horror Movies, comic books, super nintendo games and 80s/90s cartoons we've all had a pretty extensive Punk background and a love for some of punks wierder bands (Shellac, Butthole Surfers, Jesus Lizard, Melvins) I grew up really big into Frank Zappa, Mr Bungle and Man or Astroman. Satana turned me on recently to some of Martin Denny's Exotica Suites and that’s definitely added to the writing process. We love GWAR. The list could go on and on on.

BVB: I came up listening to punk, post-punk, noise rock and Jamaican music, you know stuff like that. but now I’m really into hip-hop and breakbeats. I mean it could change tomorrow. just stuff that feels genuine or gets me amped. And that’s not even diving into the personal things that inspire me everyday. Hitting those drums really give me a catharsis

Where does the name come from?

CS: We started off playing surf versions of alot of video games themes. Things like Castlevania, Tetris, Metroid, etc. We wanted something that would reference that stuff as well as convey the gross humor of our song titles. We basically just took Doki Doki Panic (the name of the game that became Super Mario Bros 2) and mixed it with Genki Genki which was a really gross tentacle porn site that I used to torture my friends with.

Have you guys ever thought about adding vocals?

BVB: We’ve kinda flirted with the idea and had them in small doses here and there. I think it could be neat to have a few different vocalists come in and collaborate with us on a set of tracks, but only if it feels right. all of us are pretty open minded and want to experiment with all sorts of music and sounds, we just don’t wanna force anything. If vocals are meant to happen, they’ll happen

DS: Genki Genki Panic neither denies nor confirms that we’ve had vocals or will have vocals in the future.

CS: The whole thing started bc we couldn’t find a singer and has grown out of that. I've always over written and never left enough space for vocalists anyway, so what we do works pretty well without one.

Chattanooga is one of my favorite cities in the South, one reason being that there are so many great punk record shops. Do you guys have a favorite?

BVB: Well I usually just pirate all my shit online and I’ve been paying for some streaming services cuz I’m young and fresh and broke. I’ve got a little stack of vinyl however, which I do appreciate in a different way. A good portion of it came from Mayfield’s All Killer No Filler. The name explains their store pretty well, and they’re good people with good taste.

DS: Chads was pretty cool back in the day. We like going to mckays, theres always random treasure there.

CS: Mayfields and Mckay are two of my favorites as well.

Who would win in a fight? The Wolf Man or The Creature from the Black Lagoon?

BVB: I’d rather them just make love, and maybe have offspring but I think The Creature from the Black Lagoon would definitely be on top.

DS: Can wolves swim? I got my money on creature from black lagoon.

CS: Wolf Man, any day of the week.

What do you guys have planned for the future and where can people find your music?

BVB: We’ve got so much planned, we’re just taking it as it comes and doing whatever we can to let people know we’re out here trying to get weird with surf music. Right now we’re getting ready to go on a tour in mid-November through the south to Louisiana and Texas, and we’re hitting 2017 strong and are planning to go north-east again to NYC and some other cities. we want to tour some more places that we haven’t played across the US next year but it’s all in early development as of right now. We’re also constantly working on writing and recording some new material. The next thing we release will be bigger than ever before. We’ve been talking to some people and throwing around some ideas for doing some music videos and creating more youtube content. You can find our music at genkigenkipanic.bandcamp.com and also be sure to add us on Facebook to see the latest, dankest, exclusive stuff.
DS: We got our first week of tour as this lineup coming up in November its always a hoot taking the circus on the road.

CS: Yeah, what they said. We have a ton of shows coming up. If you make it out to one, come say whats up to us. We're also working on our next album thats gonna be insane. I'm talking Melvins Houdini meets Outkast Stankonia/Atari Teenage Riot/Evil Empire but you know.. still kiiiinda surfy?

Any last words?

BVB: We dem boyz

CS: Klaatu barada nikto?

DS: Listen to Genki Genki Panic!!


Interview by Dakota Gilliland
[Also appears in GAD! Zine Issue 13]

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