Beta Male
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Beta Male


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"Music breaks down prison walls"

Allison Hazel will put it out there for almost anyone — even inmates. Her four-piece band, Beta Male — voted Indy’s sexiest by Metromix readers in 2009 — played at the Pendleton Correctional Facility last year and found themselves inspired to help out the prison’s music program. They gathered friends in the local music community for a benefit concert at the Earth House Café, which will raise money for instruments.

It’s an unexpected holiday cause, but what else would you expect from the provocative four-piece? Hazel, along with husband David and members TJ Briggs and Jess Hack, plan on wearing nothing but paint for an upcoming showcase. And, as she details below, the prisoners loved the Lycra.

How did the idea come about in the first place for this benefit show?
We played the prison on July 4, 2008, and met the prison band, which practices weekly. They were really cool guys, and we accidentally swiped one of their cables. When we went to return it, we talked to one of the guys at the prison and realized a lot of their equipment is old and shoddy. They could use a lot of basic stuff to keep the program alive.

We’ve always felt a lot of solidarity with incarcerated people. I’ve had people in my family incarcerated, and it’s always been an issue close to my heart. I know prisons have largely abandoned a philosophy of rehabilitation, even though research doesn’t support that purely punitive policies deter crime. Pendleton’s music program is an exception. It gives guys a rare opportunity for creative expression, spiritual connection and an emotional outlet.

What does the program entail?
From what I understand, they’re allowed to practice whatever they want. One of the requests from us was a double-bass drum pedal, so there’s definitely some speed metal going on up in Pendleton. (Laughs.) Then they also play for church services on Sunday mornings.

When you played the prison, what was the response?
We were really surprised, first of all, that they even hired a band to play for the prisoners. We thought that was really cool. It was a rare time for the guys to kick back and have a tiny taste of the good life. They had an outdoor picnic and we played outdoors, separated (from the group) by a fence.

Jess and I always tend to go all out and really be provocative when we’re performing. We were wearing silver Lycra jumpsuits and hamming it up, and the guys really seemed to appreciate that.

I gave the sound guy a hug as we were leaving and didn’t even think about it — I’m just a huggy person. But it occurred to me after we left: When was the last time that a woman hugged him, especially one in skin-tight silver Lycra? It’s probably been a while. (Laughs.)

We think you’re onto something there. How’d you get the other bands to go in on this show?
It was a really easy sell. The bands that are playing have a lot of respect for each other, and everyone was on board with the cause as well.

Andy D. is just cool as hell, and his work is really political in a Vaudevillian sort of way. Jess, our keyboardist, is friends with Benny from Jookabox, and we asked him about it. The very next day he came back and said they were excited to do it.

Earth House is also thrilled. They’re a group of peace activists and people who are trying to accomplish things on this level, so they were all about working for prison justice.

Beta Male, along with Jookabox, Andy D and DJ Solly, play a benefit concert for the Pendleton Correctional Facility band at 8 p.m. Dec. 19 at Earth House Café, 237 N. East St. Cost: $5.

Beta Male
Formed: 2007
Favorite songs of 2009: “Aloha” by Uvula and “The Last Day of Magic” by The Kills.
Favorite local band: We get freaky with the (Andy) D.
Song you wish you’d written: Sometimes I think the most brilliant song ever is “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon.
Biggest rock star moment: Delivering a rousing diatribe on freedom, fascism and the USA to the convicts in Pendleton, over my guitarist’s rendering of Hendrix's “Star-Spangled Banner” on the 4th of July. I felt like Johnny Cash. - Matt Connor for, December 14, 2009

"Take Manhattan, Beta Male, Andy D @ The Melody Inn"

It seemed that a majority of Friday's crowd was on hand for Beta Male. A quick set change and Beta Male took the stage to much theatrics - evening gowns, body suits, and creepy matching see-through masks. Most of the performance was played to backing tracks, but the highlight of the performance was the band showcasing their musical talent by forgoing the iPod and allowing voices, guitars, hand percussion and keyboards to blend and carry the day. Patrons pogo'ed and chanted along with David Hazel's vocals, and exceptional backing from Allison Hazel on bass and backing vocals and keyboard work from Jess Hack left a satisfied crowd in their wake. Beta Male continues to evolve and excite. -

"Broad Ripple Fall Music Festival"

Beta Male took advantage of this energy, roaring out of the gate. P. David Hazel's new musical outfit may just be his ticket out of the sticks. It was a breathtaking show. Vess Ruhtenburg was, as usual, lighting the place on fire with some tasty guitar work. Their songs were Euro-trashy in a good way; they were angular and day-glo, yet organic enough to stick to the ribs...

Beta Male...easily the most scantily clad band of the night. The men wore tight black and white tank tops, the ladies spaghetti straps and one of the synth players even took a mesmerizing turn at the hula-hoop for a song (and she only dropped it once). Aside from the eye candy, drummer P. David Hazel handled lyrics from the front of the stage. Ringing guitar lines and melodic synthesizer riffs lightened the band's new-romantic dance rock. A cover of Porno for Pyros' "Pets" (heavier and more substantial than the original) went over well. A neatly composed line from one of their originals, "If I keep you to the end, it's still the end," submerged one audience member deep in thoughts of eternally unrequited love. - Nuvo Newsweekly

"Beta Male, Shiny Toy Guns"

I've heard a good buzz around town about this new act. Even Wayne "The Barfly" Bertsch recommends Beta Male. As for my take: I am mostly surprised at the technical skills and upper body strength of the lead singer, who is also the drummer — an uncommon combination in the music industry. But, of course, as I realize it's P. David Hazel from the former Extra Blue Kind, I understand.

And who's that hiding behind the lanky, skilled bassist, Tyler Bowman? Why, it's Indy's own legend — Vess Ruhtenberg, wailing riffs of steel on his electric guitar. So much for being inconspicuous! This talented local has his hands full. He's also a member of the hit rock band Action Strasse (see the review of their show from the Melody Inn on Oct. 5 in this week's NUVO).

Then I see two fashionable keyboardists moving their hips to the trance-like rock and synth harmony. Jess Hack wears movie star sunglasses while hitting her Korg keys, and P. David's wife, Allison Hazel, celebrates her birthday with a tiara on her head and a sway in her step as she pounds on her Alesis synth.

Beta Male's straight-ahead, late '90s rock sound, tinged with distorted, electronic goodness, makes songs like "Husband's Girlfriend" and "Mirrorball" melt in your ears.

While "Alpha Hazel" (Allison) puts on a show all smoke-and-mirrors-like (she even dances in a hula hoop like a high-paid stripper in front of the gaping crowd), she nevertheless plays her keyboard with a similar sensual grit of Sarah Balliet, the platinum-haired cellist from Bloomington's Murder By Death.

With P. David's nearly perfect vocals, Ruhtenberg pushes the band forward with crescendos and signature guitar licks. Bowman plays a funky bass line like a Zeppelin master, just more modern. And the highlight, other than the highly addictive song, "Mirrorball," comes when Beta Male covers the Porno for Pyros's "Pets."
- Leslie Benson for

"The 'Rip Bursts at the Seams"

Beta Male arose earlier this year from the ashes of Extra Blue Kind, with bassist Tyler Bowman and singer/drummer P. David Hazel recruiting Allison Hazel (P. David's wife) and Jessica Hack on keyboards, and local veteran Vess Ruhtenberg — once of the Zero Boys — on bass. With a decidedly low-tech approach, their music is highly listenable, energetic and attractive, a 1960s pre-new wave feel. Their MySpace page has some of the wackiest band descriptions and philosophies out there. Just go read it if you don't believe me.

NUVO: How did this get started?

Bowman: It just sprawled out of P's imagination and creativity. He was wanting to do things different. It was the whole idea of the Beta Male thing in general, a secondary behind-the-scenes kind of guy. It's a very sex-influenced band. And really, just trying to get a little bit deeper and darker than Extra Blue Kind — maybe not serious, but more of a new wave kind of sexy dance band.

NUVO: You emphasize a lot of live performance on your Web site; tell us more about that.

Bowman: The stage shows have really come together well. We all came from different bands and all had different live experiences. It's a really energetic show. We plan to do some video projection; we're a very visual band. It's a really energetic and crisp kind of show. P. David's really set on this idea of every song taking on its own life. So what we hope to do with this projection is to have different video aspects to each song. The songs do have a lot of meaning and a lot of depth, and we want to get that across in more ways than just performing them. - Nuvo Newsweekly

"IMN On Track: Beta Male"

Beta Male may have started out as a side project for Extra Blue Kind frontman P. David Hazel, but the band has solidified after a series of personnel changes and taken on a life of its own. Hazel and his cohorts have added a healthy dose of New Wave sensibilities and . . . well, sex to their already-strong songwriting and performing skills.As proof, we offer tracks from both MySpace and Musical Family Tree - check the links. Beta Male will also perform live as part of Masterpiece in a Day in the Fountain Square neighborhood this Saturday. -

"Beta Male voted Indy's Sexiest Band 2009"

Bass player Allison Hazel says it all: "There are other sexy people doing their thing, but no one else really whips it out and plays with it the way we do." Skin-tight silver outfits and hula-hoop routines are part of a provocative band history that includes cop-on-cop love in the video for "Husband's Girlfriend." The polyamorous-themed song is a signature tune for Hazel, keyboard player Jessica Hack, vocalist-drummer P. David Hazel and adjunct guitarist T.J. Briggs. "The people in 'Husband's Girlfriend' aren't trying to shock or anger anyone," Allison says. "They just found themselves in a situation and decided to break with convention -- live their own lives." Next show: Beta Male will appear nude July 3 at an undisclosed house concert. - Metromix


Check for sneak-peek tracks from our upcoming EP, killer pics of our visual show, video, and some of the great things reporters, bloggers, producers, record labels and other music industry types have had to say about us (god love 'em). Also featured on



Voted Indy's Sexiest Band by Metromix readers! Provocative, energetic, and engaging with absurdist costuming (everything from electrical tape to head-to-toe body painting) and crazy theatrics (we've been known to be "delivered" to stage in a crate as "Real Dolls" who come to life, play a set and are carted back away). 

Our all-orginal new-wave inspired tunes touch on polyamory, feminism, sex, BDSM, child-freedom, sexism. Deliciously relevant. Salaciously subversive. Dark, but above all else, danceable. Imagine Lady Gaga seducing Prince with Robert Smith in the corner perving on it. And we wrap up it all up with a bombastic, cirque-like hula hoop performance that gets crowds screaming.