Psychotica

Psychotica

BandRockGothic

Grounded in a hard Gothic crunch and enlivened by rap and industrial inflections. But flamboyant singer Pat Briggs and an ear-shattering bass track lend the cuts a spirited grandness,which is as entertaining on headphones as it is on stage.

Biography

Imagine a band who gets signed to a major label after their first rehearsal, is invited to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at their first gig and asked to play Lollapalooza at their second. Sound totally crazy? But it all happened to the New York group Psychotica.

Psychotica started early in 1994 in a small downtown club in New York City called Don Hill's, managed by one Patrick Briggs. Briggs' own life story could fill a book (at this point a movie is actually being discussed). Born in Southern California, he was drawn to the theater at a young age, making his stage debut at the age of 8 in a community theater version of "The Seven Year Itch". He ran away in his early teens to escape an abusive home and supported himself hustling on the streets through his teenage years. He credits prostitution with having saved his life, remarking that otherwise he might not have escaped alive. He eventually pulled himself together & kicked a serious drug habit.

promo picture of Psychotica Even after all he's been through he lives without regrets. "I don't think I'll ever get rid of a lot of that stuff. In some ways I hope I don't because it sort of carved me into who I am now. It's not a bad thing anymore. Now it has helped me do something positive. Had I been an accountant in LA instead of a prostitute, I probably wouldn't be doing what I am now and be as happy as I am."

From LA he moved to Hawaii and worked as a dancer in hotels (in his words "sort of tacky-choreographed Solid Gold type shows"), then moved with a friend to NYC where he danced at the Pyramid and the Cat Club (owned by Don Hill) and bartended at Mars.

He worked his way up to managing Don's next club while pursuing his ambition of starting a band. Unfortunately at this time the metal "big hair bands" were at their peak in popularity, and Pat made his biggest mistake in allowing the record companies who signed him to completely mold him into what they wanted him to be. He constantly struggled with the A&R reps who wanted to tone down his personality and repress his sexuality, constantly telling him "you can't be too wild". His glam metal outfit R U Ready narrowly missed record releases with several companies, including Mechanic, which went under eight weeks before their album was set to debut. Pat describes this period as the lowest point in his life; ashamed that he'd let others take control of his life, he essentially locked himself in his house for a year and set about reinventing himself.

Enter Michael Schmidt, a talented young fashion designer who'd worked for the likes of Madonna and co-managed Don Hill's. Briggs and Schmidt set up a partnership & took over the club every Friday night to create their own ongoing party. They gathered a post punk house band and invited local drag queens to sing along and MC the affair-- and so SqueezeBox was born. It attracted a hip stylish crowd of widely-mixed gender preferences looking for entertainment on the cutting edge, as well as performers like Joey Ramone, Green Day, Marc Almond, Courtney Love and Debbie Harry. And always one to juggle a number of projects at once, Pat also joined the original cast of the then unknown off-Broadway musical Rent - a present-day Lower East Side update of La Boheme - playing the part of Professor Tom Collins.

Tommy Salmorin, a bartender at Don Hill's, kept urging Pat to start a band with him to perform at SqueezeBox, but Pat, soured by the music industry, steadfastly resisted until Tommy assured him that it would be "just for fun". So on July 22, 1994 to provide another act for Squeezebox they got some musician friends together and gave their first performance as Psychotica. Squeezebox mistress of ceremonies Misstress Formicka introduced them to the crowd and Pat was carried through the audience strapped to a cross amidst wild strobe lights, clad only in "pants" of clear saran wrap and thigh high blue glitter platform boots. They opened with "This Town" (originally performed by the Go-Gos) and their short set included covers old New Wave hits by Bow Wow Wow ("I Want Candy"), and X Ray Spex ("Oh Bondage, Up Yours!") along with some early originals.

They enjoyed themselves so much they decided to write some original material and chose the name Psychotica after a song Pat had written. Between the two of them they knew plenty of interested musicians. Tommy brought in two guys he'd been in a punk band called Youth Gone Mad with - drummer Buz and guitarist Ena Kostabi, who'd been the original guitarist for White Zombie in their infancy. (He appears on their first 7" "Gods on Voodoo Moon")

* Pat invited along Enrique Tiru-Velez, a talented cellist from a classical music conservatory and completely traditional music background. Enrique had caught Pat's attention a few years prior when he'd booked Enrique's previous band Nine Ways to Sunday. Nine Ways had been an eclectic ensemble also consisting of former members of art-rock band Polyrock and soon-to-be Nine

Discography

Pandemic 2008
Espinia 1998
Pschotica s/t 1996

Set List

10 songs, 1 cover.
Set is about 30 minutes long.