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July 4, 2013 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Bands across the country experiment with shady reputations, but we believe we might have found the skeeviest of them all.
WHERE: The Bridge
WHEN: 8 p.m.
The 4 Skeevy Dudes mix talent with lovable debauchery like a mid-Missouri version of The Replacements. Named in the Butthole Surfers tradition, the dudes like to keep things light — Miller Light, that is.
Lead vocalist Trinity “T” Scott says the group didn’t want to portray itself too seriously. “We tried to give ourselves a little bit of a comical approach,” Scott says. “At least people can make fun of us and maybe see there’s a little bit of talent behind it. It’s kind of a trapdoor.”
A comical approach, indeed. As one might expect from a band with such a title, these skeevy dudes from Jefferson City don’t have a problem finding the fun in their musical experiences. Before a show, guitarist Joe Amsden tells Vox he likes to indulge in a few drinks. Scott agrees, adding his own spin to the pre-show ritual — ditching his shoes.
Scott plays almost every show barefoot.
“Shoes inhibit all of the energy coming from the music,” Scott says. “I can feel a lot of the vibrations (going barefoot), and it helps a lot.”
Bassist Chad Brown has been known to go a step further than ditching just shoes. After playing a show in a dress, he decided he had to one-up himself by going completely nude, a show we’re sure fans won’t soon forget.
Chris Loeffler, the drummer, is nicknamed “Animal” and has a tattoo to prove it. Brown deems him “Chief Skeeve.”
His bandmates fondly note that though he generally keeps the band (and himself) together with tight percussion, Loeffler rarely makes it through a performance without vomiting. The quick, sweaty sets paired with the alcohol consumed before a show evidently leads to some sticky results. “I’ve seen him clear the bottom bar at Roxy’s by grabbing a trash can and falling into it,” Amsden says.
But after his business is taken care of, the dedicated drummer heads right back to the sticks. “We always give our full 60 percent,” Scott says. Amsden also notes that people seem to consume more alcohol than normal when jamming with the 4 Skeeves. “People get really, really drunk at our shows for some reason.”
Rides home from shows prove rather colorful, as well. Amsden recounts one trip in particular on the way back from St. Louis where he had to body check Loeffler to save Brown’s face from the intoxicated and half-asleep drummer’s stream of urine. Loeffler’s stream was directed instead toward the interior wall of the sliding door as the van barreled toward the nearest exit.
Despite such wild antics, Amsden sees Loeffler as an integral part of the band. “He’s a hell of a drummer,” Amsden says. “Anybody that plays with him sounds 10 times better.” Brian “BC” Craig, a friend of the band and singer for Don’t Mind Dying, says they’re really not all that skeevy. “They’re crazy just like any other crazy group of guys playing rock music all day,” Craig says.
Amazingly, these four skeevy dudes do squeeze in some time to get serious about their music. They intend to have a CD released by Aug. 2, just in time to play a show with Black Stone Cherry at the Cole County Fair the same day. They also hope to score a booking agent and a tour soon.
The band shares the same philosophy as Spinal Tap’s seminal keyboardist: “Our biggest plan is to just have a good time all the time. Putting smiles on faces is what counts,” Amsden says, laughing as he adds that they also wouldn’t mind free beers at a show or two.