Guitarist & Bassist for the Heathen Apostles, The Cramps, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes

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Heathen Apostles Partnering With Gothic Tour Agency

Heathen Apostles Partnering With Gothic Tour AgencyThe Heathen Apostles are proud to announce their new partnership with Gothic tour agency Rocky Road Touring (@rockyroadtouring), a bespoke agency with offices in both the United States as well as the United Kingdom.

The band is excited for this new chapter, as the agency is already home to a large selection of icons spanning across the many sects of gothic music (such as Peter Murphy, Sisters of Mercy, Killing Joke, Fields of the Nephilim, and Diamanda Galas). Henceforth, the band will be represented abroad by agent Dana McDonald, and any booking inquiries should be directed to her via dana@rockyroadtouring.com. Offers are already starting to come in for 2024, so if y’all want us in your neck of the woods, be sure to reach out.

In the 1990’s Dana was invited to move to NYC to take the position as Exclusive Talent Buyer for the legendary, Coney Island High. The list of artists whom she booked and promoted at this point is an innovative, exciting, and very diverse roster including The Damned, Modest Mouse, John Cale, Incubus, Alan Vega, 311, Queens of the Stone Age, The Ramones ( last NYC show ) and the list goes on. Around the year 2000, Coney Island High closed and lots of her beloved artists came to her directly asking her to book them a NYC show. She ended up booking them tours rather, and also separately, managing artists, and her agency, DNA Artists was born. She also continued her career as an independent promoter in NYC cultivating weekly and annual events such as Small Beast and The Official ,Annual, Lou Reed Birthday celebration which she continues to co-produce and curate.

From 2017 and up until March 2020 Dana was Head Talent Buyer for renowned NYC venues, The Bowery Electric and Berlin ( NYC) where she booked and promoted 50 local, national, and international shows per month. Most recently she has been specializing in Artist development and booking International Tours. 

Chopper to Release Blend of Spaghetti Western Music and Dub Album

Spaghetti Western music & Dub Album - Chopper FranklinFrom the Ratchet Blade Records “Spaghetti Western Dub No. 1” press release: Get ready to embark on a sonic journey like no other as rock & roll veteran Chopper Franklin is set to release “Spaghetti Western Dub No. 1”, a groundbreaking album that fuses the vast, arid landscapes of Spaghetti Western music and the heavy rhythms of Dub Reggae. The single “The Scorpion Says DUB” will be out 11/17/23 and the album will have a January 2024 release date date.

In the spirit of the Clash, Bad Brains’ and Public Image Limited’s brews of reggae and punk, Franklin takes his own original Spaghetti Western compositions and remixes them with the deep, bass-heavy rhythms and echo-drenched soundscapes of Dub. This fusion of styles is something you’ve never heard before, and it’s all happening on Ratchet Blade Records.

Spaghetti Western music & Dub Album - Chopper FranklinIn a world where music can often feel predictable, Chopper Franklin’s upcoming album offers a refreshing departure from the ordinary. Known for his relentless energy and innovation, Chopper has played with legendary bands and artists (The Cramps, Wanda Jackson, Nick Curran), as well as creating his own projects, often pushing the boundaries of musical genres. “Spaghetti Western Dub No. 1” also features the epic vocals of Chopper’s Ratchet Blade Records labelmates Mather Louth (Heathen Apostles) and the Phantom of the Black Hills (hillbilly/thrash outlaws). They’ve sang on genre-bending songs like “The Scorpion Says Dub” (the album’s first single, out 11/17/23), “Blood, Tears and Thunder Dub” (a tale of a good man forced into an outlaw gang) and “The Ghost of a Believer Dub” (a story of a good romance gone bad) that transcend boundaries and invites listeners on an unforgettable journey.

The new Chopper Franklin album will be released in January 2024 and “The Scorpion Says Dub” single will be released Nov. 17th on Ratchet Blade Records, a label known for its dedication to unique and innovative music. With an impressive roster of artists who push boundaries and challenge expectations, Ratchet Blade Records is a great platform for this musical experiment.

The Mau Maus of Los Angeles and New York

We came across this article on owaahh.com comparing the Mau Maus of New York with the Mau Maus of Los Angeles. For those that don’t know the two histories, it should be an interesting read:

The image that comes to mind whenever you hear of the Mau Mau is that of Kenya’s dreadlocked freedom fighters. Not a gang of Puerto Rican thugs or even a Hollywood band, right?

In 1954, a brutal gang appeared in Fort Green, Brooklyn. The Puerto Rican gang called itself The Mau Maus, of course after the Kenyans. This was at the height of the State of Emergency and Britain was filled with headlines about a bloodthirsty savage group of ingrates who were roaming the forest and defying the perks of being subjugated by a foreign power.

The Mau Maus of Los Angeles and New York

Gang members: L-R Carl Cintron, Carlos Reyes, Melvin Torres & Israel Narvaez (most likely showing the middle finger)

The Mau Maus effectively died out in 1962 with the conversion of one of its main leaders, Nicky Cruz, and the arrests of others. Others moved to rival gangs, but the history of the Mau Maus as an exceptionally brutal gang remained set. Cruz had joined the gang at the age of 16; he rose through the ranks through violence and uncanny leadership, becoming Warlord of the gang only six months later. He later converted to Christianity and renounced the thug life [I had to say that, it was just opportune].

The Mau Maus was formed by breakaway members of the Apaches. They first sought permission from the established Chaplains, another gang, to set up a Puerto Rican gang in Brooklyn. The gang took the name the Mau Mau Chaplains, more commonly known as the Mau Maus. Their insignia was the crimson MM for the Mau Maus right on the breast of special sweaters made for members.

Although gangs had roamed New York before the Fifties, the Mau Maus represented a new wave of teenage gangsters who were less unbridled about brutality than their older counterparts. The gang has been termed as the most feared gang in New York between 1955 and 1958.

________

There is another group, a music band, called the Mau Maus. The band was started in 1977 by Rick Wilder after the breakup of the Berlin Brats. It featured Wilder in the lead, Rich Sherman on drums, Roderick Donahue on bass and Greg Salva on guitar. The punk rock band was based in Hollywood, California. They appeared in the movies Rock n Roll High School albeit briefly, and Cocaine and Blue Eyes.

The band only has one album Scorched Earth Policies…then and now but is said to be working on the second one.

The Mau Maus of Los Angeles and New York

Mau Maus of Los Angeles, 1982

The band members changed often, but they all had a notorious reputation as trouble makers starting riots and shooting heroin. The group was, however, virtually unknown outside the LA punk rock scene because of Wilders aversion to major record labels. The Mau Maus of Los Angeles fizzled out in the 1980s, although its members still play to date.

Heathen Apostles in London – Giants of Gothic Americana

Heathen Apostles in London - Giants of Gothic AmericanaAs if plucked from a surreal spaghetti western, Mather Louth and Chopper Franklin made quite the spectacle, striding down London’s Pentonville Road in full regalia. That enigmatic sight not only awakened that mysterious voice in one’s head, that in moments of aging self-doubt makes us slip back into our leather trousers and cut-off cowboy shirts, but also sparked a throwback to Lux Interior’s pre-show red wine chase at Sainsbury’s before a barnstormer at the Town and Country in Kentish Town, many, many moons ago. The crowd erupted in jubilant cheers as the Heathen Apostles, giants of Gothic Americana, took the stage. Under the sonic leadership of the completely mesmerizing Mather Louth, with her stirring vocals and rhythmic guitar, they came alive. They dominated the stage as if they were vampire outlaws in a confrontation that could only end one way. Their performance, laced with elements of the surreal and the mysterious, unraveled like a vividly illustrated Nathaniel Hawthorne poem, with each musician playing a key part. Chopper Franklin’s fiendishly intricate guitar work, Thomas Lorioux‘s firm upright bass, and Luis Mascaro’s evocative violin added a rich depth to their sound.
Heathen Apostles in London - Giants of Gothic Americana

With the first haunting notes of Paint the Stars, we were swept away on a spiritual journey deep into the heart of Gothic Americana. The set was a gripping ride through spectral ballads and propulsive rock anthems that navigated through shadowy and mystifying terrains. Mather Louth’s resonant vocals, laced with an eerie undercurrent, twined with Mascaro’s assertive fiddle, piercing the creeping fog of dry ice, and stirring images of phantom prairies and forsaken souls. Her voice flowed seamlessly with Chopper Franklin’s guitar, which spun complex webs of sound, vibrating with the soul of Gothic storytelling.

The crowd was held captive by Mather’s powerful voice during songs like Lily of the West. Simultaneously, Chopper’s feverish guitar work in Gravedigger’s Song and Long Gone Lonesome Blues created a seamless blend of Americana with Gothic allure. The musicians’ harmonious interplay, bolstered by Lorioux’s rhythmic prowess and Mascaro’s poignant violin, further captivated the audience during Two for the Road and Without a Trace.
Heathen Apostles in London - Giants of Gothic Americana

The atmosphere was dense as Get Outta Dodge and The Reckoning reverberated through the venue, making its very foundations tremble. The spectral melodies, captivating visuals, and the dark allure crafted by Heathen Apostles surrounded the audience in a world between reality and the supernatural, evoking a sense of adventure and mystery.

As the twilight fell over Islington, the echoes of the soul-stirring fusion of Gothic Americana and Country and Western continued to reverberate through The Lexington. Even as the embers died down, we were left yearning for more. The Heathen Apostles had etched themselves into our dark hearts, ensuring their spectral melodies and mystical storytelling would stay with us long after the last note had faded into the night.

Heathen Apostles in London - Giants of Gothic Americana

Heathen Apostles Live – Good Times and Bloodgrass Music

It was the night Bloodgrass came to the dark environs of the Six Six Bar in sleepy university city, an unusually large flock of jet-black crows seen above the ever-reaching spires of Cambridge. The portents were heavy and the anticipation was high. Cutting a swathe across the country on their first U.K. tour, Los Angeles outfit Heathen Apostles were bringing their Gothic grace to the many, whispers of good times and bloodgrass music an irresistible draw.

Heathen Apostles Live - Bloodgrass Music

Heathen Apostles have been casting their own particular spell for a decade now, their own brand of blackened Americana bringing a stark and much needed contrast to the saccharine filled confection that Nashville has made its billions from. They’re an incredibly tight and powerful outfit, the only thing bloated being the rotting corpses in their songs. There’s an authenticity here that keys into the reality of the Old West, grit sprinkled with the Gothic as if Tim Burton directed TV show ‘Deadwood’ but toned down his more archly camp sensibilities. Certainly, the musicianship is dazzling and the songs themselves reveling with an intoxicating atmosphere.

Whilst the lighting in the Six Six is always frustratingly mainly from the back with little to shine onto the performers except light from the bar itself, the darkness and backlit effect worked well in this instance, the band bathed in red and somewhat shadowy. With the glorious voice of Mather Louth, tinted with a Southern burr, the Apostles have the perfect singer to tell tales of things that should be left in the twilight world between Heaven and Hell, her delivery bringing it all to life. Next to her, the foreboding tall, thin figure of Chopper Franklin exudes rock ‘n’ roll from his every move, his guitar and mandolin used with dexterous and deadly intent. Completing the quartet, the driving upright bass of Thomas Lorioux is a thunderous and relentless force, breathless in its drive and the violin playing of Luis Mascaro is the lightning to Lorioux’s thunder as it darts in and out, sometimes dancing but equally capable of bringing a deftly unsettling air.

Heathen Apostles -Bloodgrass Music

Capable of doing elegiac as well as the frantic, there’s a great dynamic at play as the heavy ‘Death’s Head’ and a galloping ‘Fools Gold’ stand shoulder to shoulder with the frisky ‘Shady Grove’ and the folk of ‘Roots Run Deep’. New material hits the spot too as ‘Black Hawk’ illustrates just what a rich seam of material they’re digging and with ‘Gravediggers’ touchingly dedicated to the late, great Mark Lanegan and the grandeur of their cover of Hank Williams ‘Ramblin’ Man’, the outfit show they’ve certainly got the style and talent to continue to work this fertile land.

Closing with the buoyant drinking song ‘Two More for the Road’ and a tremendous ‘Without a Trace’, this black-clad gang rode out of town with smiles on their faces, their job here done and their willing victims slain by glorious murder ballads. Magnificent.

Review by Paul Monkhouse