Oklahoma Punk Scene Dot Com #6
Mockingbird Lane is a goth punk/horror rock/death rock band from the Oklahoma City
metro area. The band has a new CD available entitled "2003 Demo." This interview was
conducted with lead singer/guitarist Christophe via email Oct. – Nov. 2003.
Dave: How did Mockingbird Lane get together? How has the band changed since
Christophe: Well, Mockingbird Lane has sort of been around off and on since the mid
90's. Never anything serious until I put it together again in May 2002. In the beginning it
was always just me, now it is Blizzard too. The current version of M.L. formed shortly
after the demise of Therogy. I was having my birthday party up at 66 Bowl and needed
another band to play. So I grabbed John & Brooke from Therogy probably less than a
week before the gig and taught them some songs. After the show I decided to keep doing
it. No more playing around in other people's bands. This is what I always wanted, and I
was more confident in myself as a songwriter to do it now. As for the band changing
since then... It's changed in a lot of ways. For one, we had a different line-up almost
every show because no one wanted to do it. They either hated the music, hated me, or
hated anything that resembled work. lol. I have so many stories I could tell about these
people, but I think it would be better left unsaid. There were a few who just couldn't do it
though. Like John, for a while he was touring with The Mimsies on the Warped Tour
and then he also moved to L.A. Over time some of the songs have changed a bit,
depending on the skill level of who was in the band at the time. We also got faster and
heavier there for a while because of certain metalheads that were filling in. Other than
that it has not been much else.
Dave: Your music seems to pull a lot from Goth influences. Do you consider
Mockingbird Lane a Goth band?
Christophe: I guess so. I consider it more Death-rock than goth, but they are basically
the same thing. All of the bands I have loved since I was a kid pulled a darker influence
into their songs. I was raised on pre-metal Alice Cooper. Songs like "Dead Babies" & "I
Love The Dead". I also remember wanting to be just like Ian Astbury from The Cult. I
listen to a lot more Goth bands from the 80's than any of the punk. So yeah, I guess we
are, I have a lot of gothic influences.
Dave: According to your web site you have done some music for and work with a
couple of independent films. How did you become involved with these projects? What
films have you worked with and how is the Oklahoma independent film scene (for lack
of a better term)?
Christophe: Well, both films are from local director Shawn Lealos
(http://www.starvingdogs.biz/). I became involved with him through his girlfriend at the
time. I used to work with her and she introduced us and had him listen to my songs. That
is how "Taken Under" got chosen to be on "I Know What You Need." Then when he
started on "The Devil's Playground" he just called me up because I was big, I think. lol.
As for the Oklahoma independent film scene, I don't really know other than that. All of
the other films I know are from the 80's. There was "Terror At Tenkiller" which was so
bad I loved it, and one with Tom Savini in it about Jack The Ripper. Oh, and Weird Al's
"UHF" was filmed in Oklahoma too. Sadly, that is my knowledge of Oklahoma films.
Dave: You use a lot of dark imagery in your music and on your web site. Are you fans
of the science fiction/horror genre? If so, what are some of your favorite books, films,
and television shows?
Christophe: My life revolves around it. My favorites for TV are "The Munsters" (kind of
obvious isn't it) and "Rod Serling's Night Gallery." Books, would be anything by H.P.
Lovecraft, "Rosemary's Baby" by Ira Levin, Clive Barker, Poppy Brite. A couple films
are George Romero's "Martin" & Craven's 1st "Nightmare On Elm Street." There are so
many more on all three mediums. I just grabbed a few from the top of my head. I could
go on for days.
Dave: How many releases does Mockingbird Lane have out? Do you have any plans for
a full-length album?
Christophe: So far, there are two releases. The "Taken Under" limited single and the
"2003 Demo." I think we are planning on maybe doing a short 6-song EP first and maybe
doing a full album later. I have not really put too much thought into it. I have not found
the members to complete the line-up as of yet and have been to busy teaching new people
to really work on all of that type of thing.
Dave: Not to ask a stupid question, but what exactly is death-rock? I've always thought
that was a form of heavy metal.
Christophe: No, it's not. Death-rock is basically, in simplest terms, goth-punk. Before
everyone started throwing the term "Gothic" around that is what they called the music.
Although, the bands at the time rocked a lot harder than all of the whiny goth bands of
today. Then you had bands like 45 Grave, Souxsie & The Banshees, The Damned, Eva O,
etc., etc. The bands had come from the punk scene of the time. I could give a history
lesson but it would be better to just go to http://www.deathrock.com/ for a good listing of
bands old and new.
Dave: Please forgive my barrage of questions about your band and the goth & punk
scenes but I have been reading up on goth recently and dying for someone to talk to about
it. Anywho... I found a pretty good site called A History of Goth
(http://www.scathe.demon.co.uk/histgoth.htm). The site goes through a fairly detailed
history of the goth scene and how it was born out of the punk scene. To me goth is a part
of punk (like hardcore, emo, and oi), but at some point there was a real break between the
two scenes. Now there seem to be a group of bands that are (whether it is intentional or
not) breaking down the barrier between the two scenes. Bands like The Undead, The
Independents, Mockingbird Lane, The Staggers, psychobilly bands like Tiger Army and
The Nekromantics, and the re-formed Misfits seem to appeal to punks and Goths alike.
Do you think this is a result of people disaffected with the goth and punk scenes or is this
something different altogether?
Christophe: I really don't know what to tell you. I've never really been "in" on the scene.
I do not know if people have become disaffected. I live in my bubble away from the
world. I have never even heard The Staggers, Tiger Army, or The Nekromantics. lol. I've
never paid much attention to anything outside of my direct line of vision.
Dave: What is your favorite movie to watch on Halloween?
Christophe: I've never had a favorite one to watch at a particular moment. It all just
depends on my mood or who I am with. Hell, I never even get to stay home to watch
movies on Halloween anymore. I am always playing a concert.
Dave: You recently performed an acoustic show at the Book Beat. How did that go?
What have been some of your favorite shows?
Christophe: Actually the Book Beat show is not until the 29th of this month. I have yet
to see how it will go. It is not my first acoustic show, but it is my first since Mockingbird
Lane started playing shows. I do my version of the singer/songwriter thing. I will
probably be doing only a couple M.L. songs. As for my favorite shows, right off the bat I
can say Lawton. They treat us well there. The kids are fun. The last show we played there
on Samhain, Dammit from Day Of The Sick sat in on bass and Corey from Eerie Ln.
sang on a song. It was a lot of fun. The girls don't get mad when I tie them up in that
town. So that is always a plus. Plus I got punched twice in one night. Once by a little girl
and once by Dammit, before he tried to stab me. It was definitely a fun time. One of the
funnest I have ever had.
Dave: Any final thoughts?
Christophe: Yeah, everyone should come out to our shows sometime. All the people
complaining that we never play anywhere near them need to talk to their local clubs and
get them to book us. We will play anywhere. And there have been a lot of people talking
shit as well. My suggestion to everyone who has not heard us, see for yourself what you
think. Don't be part of the herd, form your own fucking opinion. You can download
mp3's at our site and try to make it out to a show. Don't forget to check out our website
(http://mockingbirdlane.bravepages.com) and to shoot us an e-mail and let us know what
you think of everything.