The Hell Caminos
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The Hell Caminos


Band Rock Punk


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The Hell Caminos

If a scene implies a style, and a style implies a look, then this psychobilly posse will meet your expectations. With an all black get up consisting of tight jeans, shoulder cut shirts exposing sleeves of ink, ankle wrought bandanas, slicked back hair and enough eye-liner to make Little Richard woot, ?eGood golly, miss molly!,?f these pretty boys have their image bulls-eyed. Forming in 2004 with one album and an American west coast tour under their studded belts, The Hell Caminos set off to do it again with Lust and new enlistee Jesse Atomic (guitar, vocals).

Opening track ?eA Dark Place?f sets the mood for the album?fs higher nod to punk rather than a rockabilly approach, which may offset fans of their live shows. Trading twang for crunch, along with vocals such as those sang in ?eLust,?f with its pirate anthem sailors ahoy brings to mind psychobilly?fs greats, The Meteors. Unfortunately, the album lingers with dull, cliche, emo-screamo lyrics your 12-year-old MTV-savvy sister knows all too well. Tears aside, The Hell Caminos seem to be focusing on a pop chorus-heavy approach with their song writing, which is refreshing when it comes to Hawai?fi?fs tight knit rock scene. Ode to that small crowd, ?e18?Πis a fun, ballsy slap to those sharply marked, X-handed groupies And yes, ?eSound House,?f the now-defunct underage hot spot, is another song.

-Cory Asato

- Honolulu Weekly

1. PHOENIX : It’s Never Been Like That (Astralwerks)
2. YO LA TENGO : I Am Not Afraid Of You Will Beat Your Ass (Matador)
3. M.WARD : Post War (Merge)
4. J DILLA : The Shining (BBE)
5. SNOWDEN : Anti-Anti (Jade Tree)
6. BONNIE PRINCE BILLY : Cursed Sleep (Drag City)
7. JOHN COLTRANE : Fearless Leader [CD-Sampler] (Prestige)
8. NOUVELLE VAGUE : Bande A Part (Luaka Bop)
9. SEBADOH : III (Domino)
10. NOBODY & MYSTIC CHORDS OF MEMORY : Tree Colored See (Mush)
11. FOUR TET : DJ Kicks (!k7)
12. HOT CHIP : The Warning (Astralwerks)
13. V/A : Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited (Verve Forecast)
14. CESCHI : They Hate Francisco False (Net31)
15. THE LITTLE ONES : Sing Song EP (Branches)
16. WHITE WHALE : WWI (Merge)
17. LAMBCHOP : Damaged (Merge)
18. THE THERMALS : The Body, The Blood, The Mayhem (Sub Pop)
19. THOM YORKE : The Eraser (XL Recordings)

20. HELL CAMINOS : Through The Day & Through The Night (independent)

22. MUSE : Black Holes & Revelations (Warner Bros)
23. TAPES ‘N TAPES : The Loon (XL Recordings)
24. JURASSIC 5 : Feedback (Interscope)
25. BROADCAST : The Future Crayon (Warp Records)
26. SUFJAN STEVENS: The Avalanche (Asthmatic Kitty)
27. ADEM : Love and Other Planets (Domino)
28. STAR LEDGER : Cordalene (Dalloway)
29. CAMERA OBSCURA : Let’s Get Out Of This Country (Merge)
30. PEACHES : Impeach My Bush (XL Recordings)


By Burl Burlingame

Get the hell outta here! No kidding. The Hell Caminos are packing up their tools and are headed for the West Coast, where they'll play nightly until they're either DOA or spontaneously combust.

Hell Caminos Farewell Fundraiser
Place: Anna Bannana's, 2440 S. Beretania St.
Time: 8 p.m. Saturday

Cover: $7, 21 and over

Call: 783-4810

Which means, of course, that while they're gone Hawaii will be short one psychobilly band. To help them get out the door, there's a fundraiser Saturday night at Anna Bannana's that will also feature Black Square, the Malcognitas, Dolls Till Daylight, S1-Atomic, Cherry Blossom Burlesque, Kitty Chow and -- hell yes! -- the Hell Caminos. It's a lot of music for only a seven-buck cover.

The Hell Caminos are -- you'll be tested on this later -- Nick Danger on guitar, Handsome Jack on drums and Michael Camino on stand-up bass. AKAs, all of them. We cornered Michael the bass guy and asked where the names came from:

"I think naming a band is one of the hardest parts of starting one," said he, real last name Harrell. "We knew we wanted something with 'hell' in it. One day it kind of just came to us.

"A lot of bands have stage nicknames and we're no different. Nick Danger had his stage name well before we started as a band. I believe he was born with it. I can't be sure. Handsome Jack was named after a villain in a spaghetti western, and I just sort of acquired Michael Camino as our band progressed."

Nick was in a punk band called Buddah Toy Soldiers, an emo band called T.V. Hair-Do, and a horror punk band called The Hit. "When we started the Hell Caminos, he brought all those influences to the table," said Michael. "It ended up being a good mix and a lot of good songs came out of it. Handsome Jack and I were in a rock band together called Dork. It was the first band I was ever in and had a blast. Jack has been playing drums a long time in Hawaii and in Seattle."

Just so we're on the same page, here's Michael's etymology of the "psychobilly" genre.

"It's a combination of '50s rockabilly and punk rock. Horror elements are a lot of times used in psychobilly bands but we've kind of kept away from that. We don't really have psychobilly shows here but if you go to one on the mainland, they're pretty amazing. When the genre was first starting off in the UK in the '80s, the bands felt you should leave your politics at the door, so everyone gets along.

"There's tens of hundreds of psychobilly bands in California alone now and it's still growing. We hope by playing shows here in Hawaii, we'll help the scene grow and hopefully inspire some kids to start their own band."


"Of course one of our biggest influences is Sun Records and a lot of their recording artists," said Michael, "mostly rockabilly artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins. ...They had a huge influence on the music scene back then and are still influencing countless musicians today.

"Also bands like Rancid, the Quakes, the Stray Cats, and other more modern bands have been a big influence on us as well. We all grew up listening to punk rock so it seemed only natural to start a band that mixed both punk rock and rockabilly."

Hawaii's psychobilly scene is apparently still pretty small -- er, let's say elite and discerning -- and the "psychos," or what you call people who listen to psychobilly, are limited to the Hell Caminos and another band called the Guttercats.

"It's always strange playing somewhere new in Hawaii. Especially the older crowd. People aren't sure how to react," said Michael. "Even though bands like us are a dime a dozen in California, we're pretty much the only band like us out here. In a place where reggae and Jawaiian rule supreme, it's hard to get our foot in the door. We've been lucky to find some great venues where punks and kids alike come out and see us."

Even so, the Internet has helped level the playing field.

"Ten years ago, if you were booking a tour, you had to get contact numbers in every city you were in and throw together a tour," said Michael, adding that MySpace has helped out a lot. "Even though I think it's the Devil, it's great promotion for bands and other artists. Almost every band is on it, plus venues and promoters as well. Through the Web site, we were able to book every night we're on the West Coast except one."

The Hell Caminos shows are also known for their enthusiastic burlesque ladies. Are they also touring the left coast?

"We wish!" Michael said. "Since it's relatively expensive to fly people out there, plus all our instruments, we're only taking our friend Megan. She's danced for us before. She'll be helping out with merch and being road manager. It should be fun."

© Honolulu Star-Bulletin --
- Honolulu Star Bulletin


"Through the day and through the night" (self-released, 2005)
"Lust" (self-released, 2008)



With folk and pop music topping the charts, the hep population of Honolulu, Hawaii was in distress. Michael Camino and Nick Danger, having met while playing in separate punk bands, decided that they were both ready to try something new, not just new to themselves, but new to Honolulu as well. And so, in January 2004, The Hell Caminos—who can only be described as Hawaiian punks who met rockabilly head on— were born.

Michael started with an electric bass. Nick with his electric guitar. They recruited Handsome Jack, another punker they knew, kicked away half of his drum kit and he became their standing drummer. Soon afterward, Michael decided his electric bass wasn’t working with the sound that was coming out of the band and he got his first upright bass. Never having seen a psychobilly or rockabilly band in person, the members of The Hell Caminos were evolving on their own—as creatures do when confined to an island—and the sound that was emerging had a strong punk feel, but also a distinct rockabilly pull.

Although they seem diametrically opposed, rockabilly and punk can work quite nicely together, as evidenced on The Hell Caminos debut CD, “Through the Day, and Through the Night” (self-released, 2005). As a three-piece, The Hell Caminos kept the stripped, raw sound and feel that pervades both traditional rockabilly and punk. But four years of playing locally, and two mainland tours helped them find their own sound and “refine” their stage act. The addition of rhythm guitarist and vocalist Jesse Atomic helped to round out the sound for their latest release, “Lust” (self-released, 2008).

In support Of “Lust,” The Hell Caminos head out on their third US tour beginning in Tacoma, WA and heading through Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Washington DC, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri—a daunting task by any standards—but Michael, Nick, Handsome Jack and Jesse are up to it. “We’re really proud of ‘Lust,’” says Michael. “With 17 tracks, people will definitely get their money’s worth!”

It’s important to The Hell Caminos that the fans are happy—all the fans. Michael promotes all-ages shows in Hawaii, remembering the times when he had to sneak into shows because there wasn’t a scene for the underage crowd. The days of the close knit punk scene are not forgotten to The Hell Caminos. Unity is still important. As is fun… and rocking shows, and playing good music. They’ve won two HUMAs (Hawaiian Underground Music Awards) to prove it—Best Stage Show and People’s Choice. Take that Don Ho!