UV Rays play two shows Saturday, July 22, at the Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Avenue, 454-2966. 3 p.m.: Runnamucks (per Wilcox: "totally awesome party thrash"), Hounds of Hell ("sleazy Guns-n-Stooges"), Bad Taste ("teenagers playing '80s hardcore classics") and Radagast ("filthy, crusty doom"). $7.All ages. | 10 p.m.: Runnamucks, Teenage Harlets, and The Secretions. $6.21+.www.myspace.com/uvrays
The best thing ever?
The UV Rays' new debut CD, Night of the Living Dudes (Garage Pop Records), is a truly tight and blissfully bloody 12-song punk-rock slamifesto. With rumbles of Johnny Thunders and exposure to Germs, the UV Rays have evolved from cocky, shouty brats to cocky, shouty brats who have recorded a CD of anthemic and trashy thrash. To celebrate the release of Dudes, the UV Rays will attempt not one, but two shows at the Bug Jar on Saturday, July 22: all-ages ruckus at 3 p.m. followed by 21-and-over bedlam at 10 p.m.
The trouble is that the notoriously, uh, festive UV Rays --- that's singer Kevin Wilcox, guitarists Mark Rapone and Pat Welch, bassist Luke Crozier, and drummer Paul Pieramico --- are often merely shells of their former husks after just one performance, so I recently grilled Wilcox over, among other things, the feasibility of this dubious scheme. When the spotlight meets the stage you'll find him ricocheting about, flaunting a delicious disrespect for his own wellbeing. On terra firma, however, Wilcox is startlingly peaceful, but his baked surfer delivery is at slight odds with the wily smile equatoring his face...
City Newspaper: Do you really think you can pull this double-show thing off? Seriously.
Kevin Wilcox: We've been talking about getting drinking coaches, or should I say mouth guards, to make sure we don't go too far. The plan is to not drink until we start playing the first one. Hopefully between then and the second time we play we can have a little self-control. But that's the beautiful thing. We don't know; can we make it? Anything could happen. I can't wait to see.
How important is it to the UV Rays that the under-21s be included in the shows?
I think anyone who doesn't do it is missing out. When we play for the kids it's normally way fun. The kids know the words and they sing along and they run around. That's the scene I came from. I still feel very much connected to it, more than the Garage Pop or Bug Jar scene, even though I love all that. The kids have a lot of passion for the music, and that's all they're into.
So does that mean that as you stare down 26 you have less passion?
I'm not a typical adult. I think a lot of people grow up and lose the piss and vinegar. I still feel very full of all of it. The kids are just realizing there's all this bullshit out there and they're pissed off. People just start to accept it, but I'm going to keep yelling about it as long as I can.
You've got one of those kids [bassist Crozier] in the band now.
He came down and auditioned. He's the perfect last piece. He's 18 and it's good to have that youth and excitement in the band. It's also good to have that 30something knowledge and wisdom. It's a pretty good mixture right now.
Was it the vintage equipment collection that made you want to record with Dave Anderson at Saxon?
Very much so, yeah. He had all the old '70s shit and that's the kind of sound we wanted; you know, Dead Boys, Ramones. Didn't really come out like that, though.
Aren't you happy with
Yeah, it's radical. Wild guitars, crazy vocals. It's probably the best thing ever.
How'd you hook up with album cover artist Jeff Gaither?
He's done some of my favorite album covers. I first found out about him from Accused album covers, and I always thought he was the raddest artist. I looked him up on the internet, told him what our idea was, and he had a pretty good price, a great hand, so he drew these wild party zombies. He made us a little logo and everything. Real classy.
The headline of the UV Rays cover story in City two years ago screamed, "Because they've got nothing else." Is that still true?
Hell, yeah, it's true. I have less now than I did in that interview. I got fired since then for making flyers for the band, I've worked harder for the band, and it's taken more from other facets of life. It's all we got. We don't do it for money. I have to play rock; I like to yell, I like music.
Ultimately what do you see for the UV Rays?
I see the UV Rays as one of those bands that 15 or 20 years after we break up someone will find our album and be like, "This rules!" and we'll be totally huge after we're all dead. I'd like to think otherwise. I guess I'm just pessimistic. But I'm not letting that hold me back; I'm still going to press my fuckin' hardest, 'cause what else do I have?
Um... nothing else? According to what I read.
Yeah, I read that somewhere, too...