Rock and ‘vroooooom’
April 9, 2009
Once it put all its parts together, Scattershield started going as fast as the cars the metal band sings about.
The formation of the quartet is a longtime idea that has been realized by guitarist Robey O’Day. His other goal is to finish building a Jungle Jim funny car. The two projects are linked.
“I’m building a new 548-cubic-inch blown injected alcohol funny car motor to take to the races, and I want my band members to be my crew members,” O’Day said. “I’d like to race the event, and that night play the show. That’s my long-term goal.”
O’Day described Scattershield as if it were a funny car.
“Danny (Barnes, the drummer) would be the crankshaft, Jack (Coe, the singer) would be the ignition system, Boyde (Wenger, bass) would be the tires and I would be the fuel,” O’Day said.
That combination has written several motor-sports-themed tunes such as “Quarter-Mile Man,” “Drive It Like You Stole It,” “NASCAR” and “Throttle Therapy.”
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“It’s amazing how fast all this comes together,” Coe said. “We’re writing songs faster than we can finish them.”
Coe and O’Day have been friends since they attended South Tahoe High School in the early 1980s. Although they’ve been in numerous separate bands, it was a mutual interest in motor sports that bonded them.
They did play together in an ’80s cover band, Top Dead Center, about 10 years ago. They wrote a couple of car songs then, which have been dusted off for Scattershield.
Wegner, the former owner of Mad About Music, has played in a variety of bands from different genres, including punk, prog and jazz. But he hadn’t been in a band in 10 years, and he never intended to join one. But he became friends with O’Day through a mutual interest in cars and music, and he wound up plugging his bass into an available amp.
He’s pleased to be a Scattershield part.
“I think everyone pretty much agrees,” Wenger said. “It’s easy, it’s simple, it works. We all get along. It flows. It’s fun. We’re like a bunch of old, retired jazz musicians playing metal.”
The old musician moniker doesn’t apply to the 22-year-old Barnes, who also plays with another band with older musicians, Deep Fryed Mojo.
“I wanted to play with an older crowd just because I could learn so much more from their experience with life and music,” he said. “I think that’s a great way to develop your way of playing music and a way to live your life, just to learn from people you admire.”
Barnes’ audition with the band quickly became a rehearsal.
“Danny walked into the room, and we played a couple of songs we had previously written, and it was as if Danny had been in the band forever,” O’Day said. “He clicked like that. Danny inspired me to really go forward with this because of his playing and his abilities to do the heavy metal style.”
O’Day’s guitar work has an ’80s flavor.
“(He’s) stuck in the past in a really good way,” Wenger said. “It’s that simple.”
Coe comes with the same attitude and flavor ” and he doesn’t sound like the Cookie Monster, which is so common nowadays with speed metal.
“After hearing Jack sing, people are amazed,” O’Day said. “His range is somewhere between Queensrÿche and Judas Priest or Skid Row style. Jack’s vocals are very strong; high-ranged but clear. There’s no growling.”
“There’s nothing like playing a song for a crowd for the first time and having them by the end singing the lyrics because they can understand them,” he said.
Scattershield is working on a demo CD with Mitch Haberman’s Meyers studio, South Shore Sound. The band plays its third show on Friday, April 10, at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon, opening for Valient Thorr, a North Carolina metal band that has a song on “Guitar Hero.”
Lochhaven was one of the many bands in which O’Day played. It’s bass player was Chuck Garric, who now plays with Alice Cooper. Considering the tattoos on his arms with funny car logos, being a part of a motor sports-themed band could end up being O’Day’s ultimate project.
“My brother was drag racer from the ’60s, so it’s been in my blood since I was a little kid,” O’Day said. “My first car was a 409 Impala that my brother handed down to me. I eventually sold and used it as a stepping stone to get my first funny car. I raced a ’66 Chevelle for years called ‘Chevy Metal.’ My next goal is to finish my famous Jungle Jim car and go out and run the Jungle Jim and go play.”
Who: Valient Thorr, Oribiter 500, Early Man and Scattershield
Where: Whiskey Dick’s Saloon, 2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
When: Friday, April 10
Time: Doors open at 9 p.m.
Phone: (530) 544-3425
This week’s cover story about the new South Lake Tahoe band Scattershield celebrates music and motor sports. Here are Lake Tahoe Action’s top five car-themed songs:
5 ” “Hot Rod Lincoln,” Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen
4 ” “Low Rider,” War
3 ” “Cadillac Ranch,” Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
2 ” “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” Primus
1 ” “15 days Under The Hood,” New Riders of the Purple Sage