photo courtesy of http://www.mademoisellesphotography.co.uk
Every band’s story begins in its own serendipitous way, some more bizarre than others. The case of Bubblegum Screw certainly falls into this latter category, which makes sense given their raucous moniker.
“Mark and Zuri have a chance meeting and ‘moment of musical clarity’ while Mark administers him a cheap blow job in Hackney Park, circa 2006,” says the emerging band of glam punk rockers from London, albeit with an air of sarcasm. Such disharmonious rapport has no limits, and incidentally might prove creatively stimulating to their artistry. These five androgynously, sensual men in tight pants love the punk life, own the punk life, and make music distinctly about the punk life. Even their pre-show rituals are intentionally dysfunctional, including among the ravages, “arguing over song order, lateness, bitching behind each others backs, cognitive behavioral therapy, possibly mutual prostate massage (depending on the venue!).”
Bubblegum Screw has been described as descendants of ‘70s punk legends like Iggy & the Stooges and the New York Dolls. In fact, the new rock band’s look, sound, and attitude are so directly reflective of this era of music that the experience of listening to them feels almost like a memory. As if you’d found an old record in the back of your closet, dusted it off and gave it a spin. It’s all about the hard electric guitar; deep voice and shrill; angst and bad behavior. The band, which released their first full-length album this year titled Screwphoria, doesn’t mind the comparisons, however, as they highly regard the work of their predecessors, and do little to change the foundations of their roots.
“This is our first album, which is bound to sound a lot like our influences, most of which date back to the ‘70s,” explains the band, comprised of founding members, Mark Thorn and Zuri Warsaw (referenced in aforementioned fellatio incident), along with Zach Rembrandt, Sebastien Frey, and Ken Komoto. “Nonetheless, we are bound to reflect the world outside in our songs; mostly because we can’t lie. We are losers, and army of losers is growing steadily. Soon enough, millions will sing our tune. So in a warped way, this makes us more contemporary than some trust fund combo, which aspires to a certain level of sonic blandness in order to pass for a ‘contemporary rock band’.”
It should come as no surprise that the band prides itself on their unquestionably brash, if not repugnant statements. “Mark has anal warts on his fanny because he wipes back to front. The dirty bugger…,” is one such comment, a recent post on their Twitter feed, which is, of course, painted in leopard print. Bubblegum Screw truly is punk revived, exemplifying complete disregard for the center, as conceptualized by their persona, and the outlandish lyrics accompanying their recklessly musical opuses. Actually, it’s hard to think of another contemporary band that so fully embodies the imprint of groups like the Ramones and Joan Jett. Bubblegum Screw pulls their style from the “seedy glamour of ‘70s glitter trash and caveman stomp of ‘60s garage rock.” Indeed, you might imagine them smashing guitars at The Whiskey A Go Go on Sunset Strip, some dirty, ageless summer night in old Hollywood.
“Punk is for the attitude and honesty, glam is for the playfulness, color, and that beat that makes your hips swing,” the band notes, alluding to their dress code as further extension of such defiance. “I try to visually exaggerate my personality. My current stage attire involves a bright blue Freie Deutsche Jugend uniform shirt from East Germany.” (translation of shirt’s message: Free German Youth)
Currently, Bubblegum Screw is touring, promoting their new album, and likely destroying a few dressing rooms along the way. Up next specifically, “Well Mark has to take a shit right now, does that count? Just kidding! Baltic tour in November and second album, 2012!”
Fans can enjoy the entourage from a safe distance, as this is no band who’ll be signing t-shirts at the merch table after the show, when they could alternately be causing mayhem in the alcoves of the stage. Nevertheless, Bubblegum Screw is sure to ignite a crowd, and if their recorded music is any testament to the quality of their live show, their concerts will stop at nothing short of spontaneous eruption.
One request from the band, though: please carry your drink in a paper cup. “It does hurt to get hit by beer mugs when you’re playing.”