Though they've yet to receive much ink or (much deserved) critical acclaim, The Make-Out Boys nonetheless had an eventful year that included a complete lineup overhaul, new album and getting banned from L.A.'s famed rock club, the Whiskey A Go Go.
Fronted by former Multiple Stab Wounds screamer Mario Gomez, The MOB burst out two years ago, immediately establishing a solid fan base on the merits of a blistering live show and a promising four-song demo. Then they fell apart and disappeared.
Gomez kept the faith and eventually recruited new members, including drummer Sasha (né Jason Vic, ex-Ghoulspoon), old MSW bassist Rick Blair and the singularly named Nathan on guitar. Judging from the looks, attitude and admitted vices of the band, it's no wonder none of them give last names, for fear of Johnny Law doing a warrant sweep at their next gig.
They seem to borrow freely, and rather adeptly, from the playbooks of AC/DC, The New York Dolls, MC5 and other perpetrators of filthy rock 'n' roll, in music and in life. The Whiskey show last summer was evidence of their ethos.
"Some of our fans chartered two busses, one from San Diego and one from Temecula, and it was pretty wild," recalls Gomez. "Nathan rode out with them and it was pretty much a Mötley Crüe-like scene on the bus. They all got to the show very drunk."
The Whisky has a "no bus" rule, so the band parked the huge vehicles away from the club, but word got out. To make things worse, some fans in the front row were booing the opening band and screaming for The MOB, "which wasn't cool," Gomez admits, "but what can we do?"
Gomez recalls with sinister glee, however, the best part of his night-two girls making out in front of the stage.
"I kept egging them on, telling them they could do better than just that," he explains. "And they did. Nudity was involved and little girls' fingers were inserted where little girls' fingers probably shouldn't be.
"When the [Whisky manager] called, she said "We don't allow chartered busses or rude fans, and we definitely don't allow underage groping.'
"I was so happy I had to call all everyone I knew and tell them we were banned from the Whiskey for underage groping. I thanked the lady."
Since the original demo, The MOB has released a full length, Teenage Thrills, and has premiered almost enough material for a second proper album at recent outings.
If all goes as planned, you should be hearing a lot more from the Boys this year. Gomez says Marky Ramone contacted him and is interested in helping them produce the next album, and Gomez is flying to New York in two months to work on a new project with Ramone.
"I've known Marky for a few years and have been on tour with him a few times, just as a friend, but never wanted to bother him with my own music," Gomez says. "He only heard it after a roadie left the demo on the stereo and he's all, "Who's this?'
"Another person who was really supportive was Dee Dee, before he died. He heard the demo and also said he liked it.
"I started the band to try things out and see if it would work. We don't care about record contracts and shit-we just wanted to put it out there and get people's reactions. I'm having a great time doing it, and if I'm getting good reactions from The Ramones, then I'm gonna keep on doing it."
As heartening as encouragement from rock deities is, it's the adoration of another element Gomez is really shooting for, and apparently getting.
"Tough guys and meatheads were the reason Multiple Stab Wounds broke up," he explains. "But tough guys don't come out to see a band called the Make-Out Boys. But chicks do-lots of 'em, and that's the way we like it." ©
If you'd like more info, too bad. The Make-Out Boys don't have a website or any gigs booked. But they rock, so watch the club listings.