WHO NAMED THE BAND: MotorHezbollah branching out

GigCity Edmonton MotorhezbollahIt’s not like MotorHezbollah has a huge Lebanese following or anything.

Even so, “We’ve had some Lebanese people come up to us and just say they love the name, because I guess the organization is based in Lebanon,” reports Billthy Animal Hersche, drummer for the local Motorhead tribute band playing Friday at DV8.

The deeper meaning behind the story of the name begins and ends with Hersche blurting it out at rehearsal one night. The boys got a chuckle out of it, and decided then and there that MotorHezbollah shall be the name of the band. Bam.

Here again is evidence that a noteworthy name can be more interesting than the band that bears it. No offense to MotorHezbollah or Motorhead fans or to sneeze at paid gigs, but every musician knows that devoting one’s career to the music of others is a dead end street. Check out the 2001 documentary Tribute for more on this topic. You’re pretending to be someone you’re not, playing music not your own and accepting applause not meant for you. Might as well be an actor.

“You kind of lose your identity,” says Hersche, who shares the stage with vocalist-bassist Slemmy Nukemeister, and guitarists Shreddy Clark and Cory the Beast Lindstrum – not their real names.

Band names usually reveal a lot about the people who chose them, their sense of humour, their courage, their propensity to rock out. As for living with the band name, Hersche reports no complaints so far from people offended about associations with an alleged terrorist group, but there was no disrespect to terrorist victims intended to begin with.

“I don’t mean to be advertising it, but we’re trying to poke fun at them,” says Hersche. “It has raised a few eyebrows. But yeah, you want attention. I guess this is one of the ways to go about it.”

More interesting from this same crew of musicians is the formation of their new original band called Dead Guy’s Eye, which will open for MotorHezbollah on Friday. The name was chosen because Dave (Shreddy) Clark suffered a punctured eye at work and got a cornea transplant – literally a dead guy’s eye.

As for the music, “it’s pretty similar,” Hersche says, to their beloved Motorhead. While there are plans for Dead Guy’s Eye to record a CD and try to make a name for themselves beyond their cover band career, they’re not ready to give up playing Motorhead songs just yet.

“I’m a diehard fan,” Hersche says, “and I think we do such a good job at it that I’d hate to see it go. But we would like to start work on our originals, get a CD out, and all that. Some of our own creativity would be nice to get out to the public.”

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