When Death comes, it wears a sparkly red tie and matching derby. Well, the drummer…
- Posted on Jul 9th 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Instead, when the band takes the stage next Thursday at the Ottawa Blues Festival, it's going to plug in and hope for the best.
"That's what we did before," Kroha tells Spinner, thinking back to last summer's shows, the Gories' first since 1993. "I'll practice by myself and go over the songs on my own, and hopefully Mick will do the same. And you know, Peg and I, it's just like getting on a bike and pedaling."
If any band could eek by without a rehearsal, it would be the Gories. Formed in Kroha's bedroom in 1986, the group set a new standard for primitive garage rock, shucking away such niceties as cymbals and bass guitar and stripping the music to its irreducible core.
According to legend, O'Neill joined the band having never sat behind a drum kit, which might explain her patented petulant-cavewoman thump. If Kroha and Collins were relatively more experienced, they together did the work of a single guitarist, the former playing chords, the latter single-string leads.
Taking inspiration from blues, R&B and trashy '60s proto-punk bands, the Gories released three studio albums and a slew of singles. Like so many of history's most influential bands, the trio was largely unknown in its time, and even at the end of its run, as it entertained offers from major labels, Kroha says, its hometown shows drew no more than 75 or 100 people.
Last summer, by contrast, the Gories played to adoring crowds throughout Europe, and this year's six-date run includes sure-to-sell-out club shows in New York City and Hoboken. The Gories will also perform July 31 at Lincoln Center as part of the Detroit Breakdown, a concert featuring fellow Motor City acts Death, Question Mark and the Mysterians and Mitch Ryder.
Now all the Gories need to do is figure out what they're going to play.
"I imagine we'll probably get together at some point and talk about it and talk about what we think our best songs are, or the ones we enjoy playing the most," Kroha says.
"We actually have conference calls now," he adds, revealing that one of rock's most minimalist bands has moved boldly into the 21st century. "I bought an iPhone last year with my Gories money. It has a conference-call feature on it, so I'll get one of them on the phone, and we'll merge the calls, all three of us. It's been really fun talking all together, because when it first started out, we were really just friends, and we're still friends. None of us has really changed that much."