Strap on your seat belts kiddos, put on your 3D glasses, and get ready for The Mad Doctors!
They’re a Brooklyn-based band who take the essence of B-movie sci-fi and horror flicks from the ‘50s, like “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and “The Blob,” and bring them back to life with some hard core surf rock! These punkers will get you screaming, “It’s alive! It’s alive!”
Comprised of three crazy punk rockers that go by the names Dr. Seth Applebaum (guitar), Dr. Josh Parks (bass), and Dr. Gregory X (drums), the three put on quite the show–bringing all the energy in the world, dressed in their white lab coats.
The band started around five years ago without any real plans to actually become a band. The drummer, Dr. X, tells BTRtoday that he always wanted to learn how to play drums, but his older brother didn’t allow it because it was “his” thing (as older brothers do). However, while X was living with a roommate that had a drum set, he figured it was time to learn.
Applebaum and X have been friends since meeting in film school in Boston; Applebaum would drag his amp to X’s place and they started recording. “We just banged out really primitive surf rock stuff just for fun—we never really thought much of it,” X confesses. However, a few years later, after moving to NYC, a friend of theirs who studied music at Berkeley heard their demos and told them to get ready, because he was booking them a show.
“He was like, ‘well, I’m gonna book you a show, so write some songs,’ and we were like, ‘okay…’” X explains. “So, I played my first show at 23 [years old], which I think is comparably old, and we sucked… but we all loved it!”
Their most recent album “No Waves, Just Sharks” comes out April 14 on King Pizza Records–X’s own record company.
The album name came serendipitously while playing a show in Pittsburgh, PA. One of the bands that also played that night complimented them and it was a light-bulb-going-off moment! “We were hanging out outside [after the show] and one of the dudes comes up to us, and he’s wasted, and just goes, ‘man that was fucking awesome! You guys are like really heavy surf! Like, no waves, just sharks!’ and we were like, ‘that’s it, that’s the record!’”
The album is filled with the Mad Doctor’s style of embodying B-movies and tracks about paranoia and losing your mind. “A good example is the song ‘She’s A Psycho,’ which is based off the movie ‘Serial Mom’ by John Waters,” X explains about the songwriting of Seth. “A lot of the lyrics vacillate in that area, it’s this kind of B-movie, claustrophobic, I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-with-my-life, meditation.”
According to Greg, a lot of the B-movie inspired intros were recorded while having a party at his apartment with tons of other Brooklyn artists!
The record release show will be at Brooklyn’s Our Wicked Lady on April 14 with Crazy Pills, The Royal They, and Stuyedeyed—if you’re in town, you’re not going to want to miss this!
King Pizza Records is also a serendipitous happenstance for X. The Mad Doctors were looking to release their album, but couldn’t settle on anyone to do it through. “I thought if we’re going to self release it, then I might as well put it under a name and start putting out some other friends’ stuff,” X describes. “We were doing our own thing and didn’t really fit into any of the prescribed scenes that currently existed.”
The name King Pizza came from X—he and his band mates had a ritual of going to the pizza joint around the corner from their place after every show to have their 5 a.m. slice. At the time, X was trying to think of a name for this record company he was creating. He admits that he was sort of obsessed with the word “King”—he was listening to a lot of King Tuff and even wrote a short screenplay called “King.” So, while enjoying a classic NY slice, he thought, “well, King Pizza sounds pretty cool.” Thus, King Pizza Records was born.
The Mad Doctors are currently focusing on playing more shows and trying to plan more touring. They also intend on recording at Silent Barn in Brooklyn to put out a new EP by the end of summer or early fall. So make sure to keep an eye on these crazy guys!
Check out The Music Meetup to listen to their music, and hear the full interview with Greg Hanson of The Mad Doctors.