Think The Misfits meets The Munsters, and what you get is Fang Gang. As an associate told me once about the group, “They’re very tongue-in-cheek Horror punk, and very Jersey.” Wait a minute—have we stumbled upon Danzig’s Seventh Son(s) of a Seventh Son? And they all have a sense of humor, too? Sign me up.
In between short blasts of hardcore punk recorded with primitive technology and long stretches of horror gags, the Elizabeth, (or Elizabethtown, as you’ll soon see), NJ trio have been erupting on stages like The Meatlocker in Montclair, and next you can find them at The Loft in Paterson on June 29.
Their upcoming EP, A Blood Supreme, will be self-released on the super-trending cassette format and Bandcamp and SoundCloud for digital.
Oh, and by the way, they say they’re vampires.
Totally not weird at all.
Can you tell us a little bit about where you’re from?
RALPH: We’ve been based out of Elizabeth, NJ since it was called Elizabethtown. This city has had so many problems, that 3 vampires can fly under the radar for centuries. I used to party pretty hard in 1600s, so I don’t remember too much about the old days except everyone had really stupid hair. Myself, included.
MARK: We’ve traveled a lot too. Ralph and I spent time with Bela Lugosi during the Hungarian Revolution of 1919 where we founded a number of different workers councils. I taught him how to be a vampire, he taught me to be a little more expressive with my face…
Ah, I see….
BRETT: I landed an awesome government job in Newark in 1867. Surprisingly, no one has noticed that I have been there that long. It’s kinda annoying. I haven’t been promoted since 1955.
Yes, I can see how that could be frustrating… but, uh, about your band—how long have you been playing together?
RALPH: Well we’ve all had musical projects in the past, but they were all pretty pretentious. We reached a point where we wanted the easiest and simplest way of expressing ourselves. To be our true selves. Punk rock is supposed to give you that outlet of true expression. So we started writing simple heavy songs about real things in our life: ex-girlfriends, being vampires, cops, cell phones.
Right, about being vampires, I’m glad you mentioned that because honestly, I really can’t—
MARK: There are a lot of bands that take on the vampire image, they are all charlatans though.
BRETT: I think Lux Interior of the Cramps was probably legit.
MARK: True, and Keith Richards, but he’s an asshole.
Gentleman! If I may get back to the interview, please…. Ok, let’s switch gears a bit. Can you tell me about some of your influences?
MARK: Call them tryhards, but we actually do enjoy The Misfits, The Damned, and Black Sabbath. But we can never forgive Ozzy for the reprehensible act of biting off the head of a bat and his role in creating reality television programs with The Osbournes.
BRETT: The need to feel and taste our fans. We love our fans.
Wait—did you just say ‘taste’?
RALPH: I can do without fans. I just need fangs. We definitely need to start the Fang Gang Fang Club.
Fangs? Alright, then… moving right along, shall we? What about your writing and recording process? Can you tell us what it’s like?
MARK: We write everything on the fly and record everything onto a boom box. Really fantastic technology.
RALPH: Seriously. People keep telling us that you can record ideas on a phone. I think we all know what a phone is good for. It’s a tool for ignoring boring human conversation. But writing music? That stuff needs to be recorded onto tape like Satan intended.
Uh…. But, of course… I think. Well, what about a latest release. Can you tell us about your upcoming EP?
MARK: A Blood Supreme is our upcoming EP. It’s a testament to the feeling that you are constantly being drained by society.
I thought maybe it was a play on John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.
BRETT: Yeh. Society does it. Definitely not Vampires.
RALPH: Yeh, definitely not by Vampires. Don’t blame us.
Ok, sure, why not…. I mean, 2020 is right around the corner. “Vampires. Don’t Blame Us.” I can see that on a button, probably on someone’s jacket at Trader Joe’s.
MARK: We initially thought of concealing the fact that we were vampires but decided to wholly embrace it. Moods have really changed in recent decades to be more tolerant and accepting of those outside of the norm. It’s really a wonderful time to be an open vampire.
BRETT: The world is finally ready to embrace literal parasites.
Ok, then…. Well, this has been… fun. So I guess being a member of the undead means who needs goals as a band, then? Right?
MARK: With an eternity ahead of us, who needs goals? We must build an army of vampires and humans alike to overthrow the social order. We must build a Fang Gang of mass proportions.
BRETT: We wish to hold our very own fang gang blood drive. Our fans can donate what they can, and we will take care of the rest. Ideally we’d like to make it a weekly thing.
RALPH: I just want poser bands to cry and give up music when they hear us.
So what are your plans for the rest of 2019, at least?
RALPH: Damn. It’s 2019 already?? Time flies. Do they still have Billboard charts? I heard it’s important to get on those. We gotta get on those charts.
Check out the first single from Fang Gang’s A Blood Supreme, “Blue Blood,” right now!!
And be sure to follow them on Instagram: @fang_gang_band