Intense Nick Checks Out Batusis

I have just picked up some exciting news about this new rocking project which will very shortly hit the streets worldwide. It is the brainchild of SYLVAIN SYLVAIN (NEW YORK DOLLS) and CHEETAH CHROME (ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS / DEAD BOYS). The EP which will soon be released EP also features Enzo Penizzotto (bass) and Thommy Price (drums) – the driving rhythm section for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. What a line up, this is one hell of a rock’n’roll supergroup oozing with class, style and drive. These accomplished rockers really know how to throw a great sound together, oozing with good ‘ol tongue in cheek ‘bad to the bone’ punk style. If this don’t get your motor running then nothing will, check out the samples at the Batusis myspace.com page and better still get your own copy from Smog Veil records. www.smogveil.com

Batusis features Sylvain’s salacious, piano-spiced workout ‘What You Lack in Brains’. Cheetah’s ferocious, righteously dark ‘Bury You Alive’ and the barreling instrumental ‘Big Cat Stomp’ and also a cover of ‘Blues Theme’, originally performed by Davie Allan and the Arrows for Roger Corman’s 1966 biker flick The Wild Angels, starring Peter Fonda (whose character, Heavenly Blues, lends the song its main title).

It was during playback of the latter track that the band found its name. The band toyed with a great many different names until they were listening back to ‘Blues’ Theme’ and Sylvain started doing this dance where he drew his fingers across his eyes. Cheetah asked him ‘what is that?’ and Sylvain said, ‘It’s the dance Batman does!’ The next thing you know, Cheetah gets his laptop out and starts to Google it and then tells me the dance is called the Batusi. Need I say more!

Batusis 4-Track EP
Track Listing:

1. Big Cat Stomp
2. What You Lack In Brains
3. Bury You Alive
4. Blues’ Theme

Batusis makes their highly anticipated live debut concert performance at America’s premier music gathering

SXSW, in Austin, Texas on March 18.

Batusis SXSW Premiere
http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/5678

* Thur., 3/18 – Prague, 10:00 p.m. – Austin, TX
* Fri., 3/19 – Cheapo Music, 5:00 pm – Austin, TX
* Includes Miss Derringer and the BellRays

The SXSW performance will be followed by a nationwide UK tour during the first two weeks in May, all of which will coincide with the vinyl and digital download of the 4-track EP on May 4th (see UK tour details below).

The self-titled 4-song EP will be released in the US and UK on May 4, 2010. The debut recordings will be released on collectible multi-coloured vinyl, with eco-friendly recycled content jacket and full colour two-sided insert, and also on digital download.

Cheetah Chrome has known Sylvain since 1975 and was strongly influenced by The New York Dolls. They are both mad keen about rock’n’roll and knew that they just had to come up with something, and I am rather pleased about this, they sure rock!

Producer Ken Coomer, who has worked with Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Tim Finn, and was a former drummer for Wilco and Uncle Tupelo, oversaw the recording of the 4-song EP over a five-day period during November 2009 at Nashville’s top studios—Westwood Sound, 16 Ton and Creative Workshop.

Cheetah & Sylvain - Picture courtesy of Anna O’Conner

Cheetah asked Ken for a sound which would ‘peel paint and piss people off’. They may have got partway there but the sound which was created pleases me very much.

Engineer Charlie Brocco (George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac), whom Sylvain raves about as “wonderful,” also contributed another experienced hand to the recording.

Batusis UK 2010 Tour Dates

Monday May 3: Glasgow O2 ABC2
Ticket Price: £10.00
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Book online: www.ticketweb.co.uk
Venue website: www.o2abcglasgow.co.uk
300 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JA

Tuesday May 4: Sheffield O2 Academy2
Ticket Price: £12.50
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Book online: www.ticketweb.co.uk

Wednesday May 5: Liverpool O2 Academy2
Ticket Price: £12.50
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Book online: www.ticketweb.co.uk

Friday May 7: London Islington O2 Academy
Ticket Price: £13.50
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Book online: www.ticketweb.co.uk

Saturday May 8: Hatfield Forum, University of Hertfordshire (The Attic Room)
Ticket Price: £12.50
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Book online: www.ticketweb.co.uk
Venue website: www.forumhertfordshire.co.uk/../../
University of Hertfordshire, College Lane,
Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB

Monday May 10: Oxford O2 Academy2
Ticket Price: £12.50
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Book online: www.ticketweb.co.uk
Venue website: www.o2academyoxford.co.uk
190 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE

Tuesday May 11: Southampton, The Joiners
Ticket Price: £10.00
Box Office: 02380 632 601
Book online: www.seetickets.com
Venue email: info@joinerslive.co.uk
141 St Mary St, Southampton, SO14 1NS

Wednesday May 12: Bristol O2 Academy2
Ticket Price: £12.50
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Book online: www.ticketweb.co.uk
Venue website: www.o2academybristol.co.uk
Frogmore Street, Bristol, BS1 5NA

Thursday May 13: Birmingham O2 Academy2
Ticket Price: £12.50
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Book online: www.ticketweb.co.uk
Venue website: www.o2academybirmingham.co.uk
16 – 18 Horsefair, Bristol Street, Birmingham, B1 1DB

Here is my interview with Cheetah Chrome

Nick – You have a great musical background creating and shaping styles over many decades, which are your favourite era’s during this progression?

Cheetah Crome - photo by Anna O'Connor

C.C. – I have to say the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. There was so much creativity then that you haven’t seen since. I hated the ‘80’s for the most part, especially hardcore, and the ‘90’s were even worse. I rarely listen to anything made after 1975, really, and if I do it’s usually by an artist from that time! Luckily I spend more time playing music than listening to it ! About the only time I have to listen is when I’m driving.

Nick – Do you have any further projects up your sleeve or is Batusis a long term project?

C.C. – Rocket From the Tombs is still a living organism, if a bit dormant. I expect something will happen with that. I do consider the Batusis a long term project as well; it’s best to keep busy!

I am involved with a couple of other things on a lesser scale. I play guitar on a track by the Butcher Boys, and still do solo shows.

Nick – You were/are a great Batman fan, how would you feel if you were given the opportunity to provide soundtrack material for a modern Batman movie?

C.C. – Are you kidding? Where do I sign?! I love all of the new Batman flicks with Christian Bale; Michael Caine has always been one of my favorite actors. Plus, that would give me unlimited street cred with my 5 year old son and his friends!

Nick – I like what I have heard on www.myspace.com/batusis, are you a fan of the modern media set up?

C.C. – I’m sure I will be when I figure out what it is! No, I’ve embraced the new technology wholeheartedly, and think it’s a very healthy thing, or will be once the novelty wears off. Right now I think it takes up too much of people’s lives, distracting them from important realities like who is running their countries; but the instant access to new things is wonderful, and the DIY possibilities keep getting better..

Nick – Also leading from the previous question is there an album in the pipeline?

C.C. – Oh yea – we have a hell of a lot more than three songs in us!

Nick – Who are your favourite UK punk acts/bands and why?

C.C. – I’ve always loved the Damned and the Stranglers, mainly because no two things they do sound the same, and they kept evolving. And the Pistols, of course, because everything they did sound the same and they never evolved at all! I do like to sit down sometimes and go through a stack of old UK punk singles – there were so many good ones!

Nick – In your view how do the U.S. and UK punk scenes compare?

C.C. – Well, I’m fairly out of touch with any sort of trends these days. Since I’ve been raising my son and writing my book, I haven’t had time for much else. The US scene, last I saw, was pretty much Green Day, who aren’t a bad little band. I hate seeing them get slagged for being commercial when they were one of the only bands to openly criticize the Bush administration and really have stayed true to the punk spirit. So what if they sell records – the message is getting out! Hopefully I’ll have more time now to catch up on new music, I never have the headphones off when were traveling!

Thanks to Cheetah for his time

And also

To Anna O’Conner for the photographs