The Young Werewolves
Esmeralda the Gypsy
Reads Tarot Cards For
The Young Werewolves
Philadelphia is a blue-collar east coast city known for greasy cheese steak cuisine and a history rich in horror tradition. Frequent tourist haunts include Edgar Allan Poe’s house and the dreaded Eastern State Penitentiary, home to notorious gangster Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton. From a musical standpoint, the city is celebrated for its R&B and Hip Hop roots, but it’s also historical as an early Rock n’ Roll epicenter with pioneers such as Bill Haley and the Comets concentrated around the City of Brotherly Love.
Under the radar are horror rockers The Young Werewolves, who released their second full-length CD, Cheat the Devil, earlier this year just in time for Halloween season. The recording follows the band’s 2004 self-titled release which was well received in rockabilly, psychobilly, garage, surf and death rock circles. Comprised of guitarist Nick Falcon, bassist Shewolf Dana Kain and drummer Jonny Wolf, the trio write and sing their own compositions harnessing the urgency and energy of a stripped down punk rock volcano. Horror Garage assigned local gypsy fortune teller Esmeralda to sit down with the band for a tarot reading and a short interview minutes before the full moon lit the midnight sky. Here’s what she uncovered...
Esmeralda: [Turning the first three cards upright] Ah. These first three cards are interesting, The Devil, The Moon, and Death, but not surprising given the three of you have all been cursed as werewolves.
Nick Falcon: Cursed? We happen to believe it’s a blessing. Hey, why don’t you put those cards away and tells us tales about things we don’t know?
Esmeralda: How uncomfortable is it on stage with all that fur?
Jonny Wolf: We make do for the most part. We try to keep our human form for the duration of our performances so that the hair doesn’t get in the way. It’s the least we can do for our fans. There are worse ways we can be. The pleasures of one species always require the blood of another. We prefer to give them a taste of our music….as opposed to tasting what they’re made of.
Esmeralda: You have songs titled “Mischief Night” and “Halloween.” Which holiday do you like better?
Nick Falcon: “Mischief Night” is spookier because there's a better chance of getting in trouble and it's also our Shewolf's birthday. Presents are good, but candy doesn't hurt either.
Esmeralda: What makes a werewolf scary and what scares a werewolf?
Jonny Wolf: If you have to ask those questions, you never read Marvel Spotlight #2 or Werewolf By Night #25. Police nets and the hangman’s noose are as scary as silver bullets sometimes.
Esmeralda: What’s in your garage?
Nick Falcon: A 1972 Cadillac Coup DeVille, two screwdrivers, a mannequin, a rusty scythe, a pile of sheet music and a box of old Stetson fedoras. Jonny's got a ladder and a bag of lime for reasons unknown.
Esmeralda: How did you get Sid Haig involved in your project? He makes for a great devil on your CD artwork.
Nick Falcon: Sid’s down like a hellhound. But it’s strange how everyone thinks that Sid is in the photos on the recording. He was executive producer, but the cat on the cover is the genuine demon, ol' Louie Cypher, Beelzebub himself. We let everyone believe what they want. Little do you humans know that we double crossed Satan on your behalf.
Esmeralda: Before you decided on the name Young Werewolves, what other band names did you come up with?
Jonny Wolf: Atomic Hot Rods, The Shoplifters, Mister Blister, Center City Spoilers, Soul City Arsonists, Jet Rock Lovers, The Carjackers, Fall-Out Skelter. We also considered any of the gang names in the Warriors movie.
Esmeralda: There’s a song on your self-titled debut “Curse of the Cocaine Mummies.” Have you been keeping up with Hollywood’s latest Mummy franchise starring Brendan Fraser? And do you think the mummies will finally finish off Brendan?
Nick Falcon: It will probably happen in episode 19, “The Mummy Meets the Werewolf.” It's a super villain team up, giant size edition. One bite does the trick, good old werewolf fever.
Esmeralda: When does a young werewolf hit middle age?
Shewolf Dana Kain: According to Wikipedia, sometime around 666 years give or take a feeding season or two. But you can never trust anything on Wikipedia.
Esmeralda: Where do werewolves vacation?
Shewolf Dana Kain: Six Flags over Transylvania. I like to work on my graveyard tan while Nick and Jonny hang out at the haunted house and ride Dante's Inferno Flume Ride.
Esmeralda [slowly unfolds three more cards upright]: The High Priestess, The Wheel of Fortune and Justice. I sense an uneasiness, a restlessness.
Jonny Wolf: Too much wolfsbane and many a late night party make for madcap meltdowns time to time, so it's no wonder the Tarot's tipped in our favor. However, the spoiled spare ribs last night probably account for the uneasy feeling gurgling up from our stomachs.
Esmeralda: Spoiled spare ribs? What other kind of ill-advised treats do the three of you like to munch on?
Shewolf Dana Kain: Just like Warren Zevon’s Werewolf of London, we enjoy a hot plate of Beef Chow Mein now and again. Mangled chicken gristle is also a band favorite... washed down with a glass of vintage Merlot, of course.
Esmeralda: Last year AMC used your song “Halloween” to promote John Carpenter’s classic film of the same name. What other outlets do you think would be a good fit for your brand of werewolf music?
Nick Falcon: We’re always on the hunt for a good placement or two. Over the summer A&E used a track from our new record on Dog the Bounty Hunter which was way badass and nothing would be cooler than if Hollywood came a knockin’ for a taste of our lycanthropy.
Esmeralda: Does getting lumped in the Horror Rock genre feel limiting? It seems like all you need to do is learn a couple of guitar chords, put on some makeup, and smear fake blood on your face. It’s a beaten-to-death cliché going on almost two decades now.
Jonny Wolf: Maybe even longer -- the whole Psychobilly thing has its roots in the 1970s. For us, the passion and pleasure of making music came first, being pigeon-holed into all the sub-genres and niches came second. With us it was never about putting in a set of fake fangs, it was always about pounding the hell out of our instruments in the most creative way possible. Other bands can play up their costumes, we’re okay just playing our music.
Esmeralda [Drawing three more cards from the shuffled deck]: The Ace of Cups, the Sun and the King of Pentacles. Your chemistry is definitely strong, and I may need to resort to my crystal ball to see what else is in store for the three of you.
Nick Falcon: No worries. It’s all good. We have shows to play and hearts to break so we may have to reschedule, besides the clouds are starting to clear and something tells us that you may not want to be hanging around when the full moon lets loose across the night.