It is a rare feat for even the most established of bands to reach the twenty year mark together. This Saturday night, Pinellas County's own horror-punks Boney Fiend, will be celebrating that momentous milestone together with all of their friends and fans.
Originally known as Rare Form, the band was formed by guitarist Jimmy Bone back in 1992. He had kicked around various line-ups for a few years before finally settling on singer Jake Crash, bassist Harold 'Lurch' Post and drummer Jonny Fiend. It was during this incarnation that Crash, who was already not keen on the band's current name, suggested a name change. 'There were like 10 other bands using the name', said Crash, 'Jimmy created the Boney Fiend character on old Rare Form flyers. We were clamoring for a name and one day I (looked at it and) said, “How about Boney Fiend”'.
Twenty years later, the original and current line-up of Boney Fiend is on full display at FUBAR in Downtown St. Pete, to celebrate twenty years as a band, friendship and camaraderie. The original line-up is now affectionately known as 'Old School Boney Fiend'. They have been practicing their upcoming 45 minute set for the last few weeks in preparation for the anniversary show.
It wasn't always fun for some. After a few years of recording music and playing out of town shows for little to no money, the lifestyle took its toll. Crash had just lost his sister, whom he was very close. Lurch ended up joining another band full time that had originally started off as a side project. Crash credits his own hardheadedness when he made the ultimatum to 'call me when you get a bass player that’s worth a s--t'. That is when the remaining members of Boney Fiend found Mikey Fiend, who had just departed from the infamous Tampa toilet punkers, Mega Smegma.
It was then that the band took a different approach to who they were. Instead of calling upon Jake Crash to resume vocal duties, Boney Fiend continued on in a different direction. Now pared down to a three-piece band, all the members now agreed to share lead vocal duties. 'If I write lyrics that Mikey or Jimmy sound better singing, I gladly defer to them.' says drummer Jonny Fiend. It seems that the formula has worked. Jimmy, Jonny and Mikey have been playing a solid 15 years together now. They have opened for the heroes in The Misfits, Fear and Marky Ramone, just to name a few. They have played to empty rooms on a week night. Boney Fiend is living the dream.
'We'll be playing together 'til one of us croaks. Or goes to jail' - Jimmy Bone
When asked the secret to their longevity, Mikey Fiend says that they have 'no delusions of putting in 110%, working hard, getting signed, and "making it" like some other bands. So, if we do nothing more than get together every Friday to play beer and drink songs that we love, we're cool with that'. While he admits that there are sometimes large gaps between shows, Mikey contests that they've never gone longer than three weeks without getting together to rehearse and play music.
It's kind of a slippery slope', says Crash when asked if '21st Century Boney Fiend' and 'Old School Boney Fiend' could co-exist as separate entities within the Bay area music scene. 'I would love to work with these guys on a full time basis again, and I would in a second. I (just) don’t ever want to be in a position that takes anything away from the current Boney Fiend. The Boney Fiend brand has really been solidified over the last 15 years by what they’re doing now. Besides, what the hell would we even call ourselves'?
'At this point most folks don’t even know that there was a different lineup in the first place. It's a pretty good age test'. - Jake Crash
Boney Fiend has also invited their friends band, Lazaras from Cocoa Beach, Florida to play. In honor of the anniversary show, Lazaras will be onstage as Skurvy The Clown, as they were once known when they first formed. Both bands used to play shows together during each others early formation. Alberto Rivera, of Lazaras/Skurvy The Clown reminisces, 'The first time we played with Boney Fiend, it was on a Thursday night in Tampa at the Brass Mug, before an audience of several. With his head shaved, Jake looked like he was method acting his way toward Anton LaVey, or a rabid Telly Savalas. The band kicked off with Sonic Reducer and plowed though one memorable song after another. They were tough as nuts and fun to watch. Afterwards, Jake was recovering at the bar. His head hung heavy, as he tried downing fosters and waters in great huge mouthfuls. He’d eaten a bunch of ephedra before the show, goosing his performance, no problem. I watched someone try to talk to him and all he could do was nod or shake his head. His voice had been misplaced. Apparently, he’d left it on stage, somewhere'.
Rounding out the evenings performance will be St. Petersburg's own Doll Parts. There is NO COVER to enter FUBAR, but you must be 21+ with proper ID. Doors open at 8PM.