Shout at The Devil(heads)
Tahoe, psychobilly rock and beer: the perfect combination for a Friday night
In a musical era when so many bands try to hit the listener over the head with thoughts on how miserable everybody is and how much life sucks, The Devilheads say: “Have fun and get drunk.”
Formed five years ago in Lake Tahoe, The Devilheads take their cue from the psychobilly sound, preferring to stray from the beaten path of nü-metal bands and house music.
“Fun country, rock ‘n’ roll,” said guitarist and self-described shouter Jason McCoy of The Devilheads’ sound. “I guess it’s stripped.”
“American roots kind of stuff,” added drummer Shon Baughman.
“Not a lot of bells and whistles,” McCoy said.
While The Devilheads have a certain amount of roots sound to them, they add some punk rock aggression similar to the sound of late ‘80s Social Distortion, but a bit faster. Upright bass player Nate Alcorn, the kid of the group at just 16 years old, rounds out the three-piece band.
“We found him at a high school,” McCoy said.
Fitting in hasn’t been hard for Alcorn, who carries the same love of music that his older band mates have. But fitting in for The Devilheads has been a bit harder.
“We get paired up with bands that aren’t our style,” McCoy said. He said that the upright bass often gets the band weird looks while they are setting up.
Still, The Devilheads are slowly winning over people with their sound. Besides regular shows at Hoss Hogg’s in South Lake Tahoe, the band is getting out to places like Santa Cruz and San Francisco.
“We are kind of cracking into the Bay Area,” McCoy said.
And they say they aren’t worried about playing music for a living.
“We just want to play for a crowd,” McCoy said.
“Keep playing and writing songs,” Baughman said.
“The quicker you get there, the quicker it stops,” Alcorn added.
And The Devilheads play music that everyone can listen to—though many of their shows are 21 and over.
“It’s music that you can cruise to and listen to with friends or mom and dad,” Alcorn said.
“Like a mullet,” Baughman said, laughing.
“Business in the front, large in the back,” Alcorn said.
“The Devilheads—like a mullet. Cool with mom, cool with friends,” Baughman added.
But for the record, none of the members of The Devilheads has a mullet. And while they may not be a very serious interview, The Devilheads are serious about the music they play.
“You can write a meaningful song and still make it fun,” said Alcorn. “There’s a lot about life experience.”
But mostly The Devilheads want to see people having fun at their shows.
“We want people to get drunk and get so crazy,” McCoy said. “That’s what I do.” Baughman adds that while they want people to get drunk, they don’t want them to drive home.
“You know what’s cool about Tahoe?” Baughman asked. Then, not waiting for a response, he went on: “People go off—they drink. People are rolling around in beer.”
“Go take a whiff of the carpet,” Alcorn said.
On a final note, The Devilheads encouraged people to get out and see a band—any band. But preferably theirs.
“It’s cheaper than a movie, plus you can get drunk," McCoy said. "You might like it, you might not."