They dont really believe in God andor flying saucers, but the three dudes in Biblical Proof of UFOs recognize a good band name when they see it. Drummer Michael Peffer is initially guarded about the names origin during a recent interview at the groups shared apartment in a seedy, mind-your-own-business Hollywood neighborhood. It just is what it is. I dont know where it came from -- nowhere. Then he relents. Basically, we saw it in a magazine some religious people were selling -- send away for the proof -- so it kinda stuck.
A lot of times, what happens is people take it literally, says guitarist Joey D. People come up and want to talk UFOs with us. Were not interested, were not UFO buffs.
It means nothing, Peffer says.
But at the same time it makes you think of many different things, says bassist Ray Piller, and question what youre force-fed to believe . . . Tenacious D is really where all our powers come from.
I just want to be ambiguous, Joey D says. Hes equally vague about any secret lyrical meanings behind new songs like PassiveAggressive. In the gently swaying intro, he teasingly croons, I know what youre thinkingabout my smoking and drinking, like a defensivecelebratory mantra, until hes inundated with his own superfuzz guitar and pulled under by Pillers agile, doom-mongering bass. PassiveAggressive could be about anything, and so could all the other songs. I prefer mystery in every aspect, Mr. D explains.
Were not going to tell you her name, Peffer says.
You can get anything you want now, Joey D says. Theres no mystery left. Led Zeppelin didnt document every waking moment like everybody does now. Ozzy Osbournes got a 24-hour-a-day TV show. Were not writing a book; we wouldnt be on VH1 Behind the Music or anything. Its nobodys business. We want to start the revolution, and nobody else does. Everybody wants to keep their job. My job is safe, forget the revolution.
Jobs seem to interfere . . ., says Piller.
Before relocating to Hollywood in 1999, the trio grew up in Lakewood, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, jamming since high school in various configurations, including an Allman Brothers tribute -- Electric Wine -- and local demigods the Duvalby Brothers. BPUFO began in December 1995 as a defiantly instrumental combo with Peffer, Piller and guitarist Ron Kretsch. We didnt want any singers, Piller says. Singers represented every fucking problem weve had in a band, says Joey D, who eventually replaced Kretsch.
So far, theres been little documentation of the bands Cleveland years -- the exhilarating Vishnu Were Here 7-inch (with hurricane-force instros Walkie Talkie and Liber Scivias) on CambodiaFlexovit and Cigar (from the Emo Diaries, Volume 2 compilation) -- but thats about to change with the new release of a self-titled full-length on English label Superfi. The tracks are heavy but not quite metal, with sudden floor-giving-way shifts, and daft titles like Axial Tilt Is the Reason for the Season, Jan Michael Vincent (The song seemed as frenetic as his life . . . up and down, Peffer says) and C.S.G.T.T.V. (as in Chris Smith Goes to the Vatican, inspired by the Keelhaul guitarist who once visited the Vatican and was told to remove his hat, revealing the still-raw pentagram hed had tattooed on his skull earlier that day). For freethinking heshers who dont always need the distracting narration of a singer, Biblical Proof of UFOs is a dramatic inventory of supremely tight and ponderously brutal riffage, although the all-instrumental CD, recorded in 1998-99, merely hints at the bands more expansive current incarnation.
It wasnt until they headed west that Joey D got on the mic. Id never sung a note until I moved here. Not out loud. Not even in the shower! The first song he wrote and sang, You Would if You Loved Me, with its call-and-response vocals pleading in the spaces between some awesomely apocalyptic power chords, has the kind of simple melody and lyrics that stay in your head for weeks. Longtime L.A. hard rockers Backbiter liked the tune so much that they surprised BPUFO with their own monstrous version at Spaceland last year. That was the greatest thing, Joey D says. Thank God they did it good! I hate to think that an awful band would butcher it.
In theory, weve been a bands band so far, Piller says. We dont mind! Were here to entertain the real hard-working musicians who tour for eight months at a time. When theyre home, off their tour, and they want to see a good band and not be let down . . . we might be there.
Biblical Proof of UFOs perform at Spaceland, Monday, April 1.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.