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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Stacking The Deck with Tragedy
Friday, May 17, 2019

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

If you’ve ever listened to a disco song and wondered what it would sound like if it were done by Slayer, Tragedy is here to make your wildest dreams come true.

The gods of disco metal, Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees & Beyond is a six man outfit haling from NYC who have been rocking crowds all around the world for over a decade (photo: L to R – The Lord Gibbeth, Andy Gibbous Waning, Mo’Royce Peterson, Disco Mountain Man, Garry Bibb, Lance).

Their live shows are an incredibly fun time, which is why you’ll find people who’ve seen the band upwards of half a dozen times, and who will travel across state lines to experience Tragedy’s disco metal magic.

For the band’s latest project, a bevy of cinema classics were given the heavy metal treatment on Tragedy Goes to the Movies.


I caught up with Tragedy before their recent show at The Acoustic in Bridgeport, CT, to open up some packs of MusiCards, and the artists we found sparked conversations about the origins of disco metal, a musical about vampires and the Continental Congress that used the songbook of Paula Abdul, and booking Tragedy for your wedding.



KISS

You are a band that has flair when it comes to how you dress on stage. Is there a KISS inspiration there at all?

Mo’Royce Peterson: It’s kind of funny, I never thought of there being a KISS inspiration, but there are so many similarities, like I didn’t even realize Paul Stanley had all these shiny Flying V (guitars) until years after I had my own shiny Flying V.

But we have something really special in common with them – their song, “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” was the original disco metal song.

Was that something you drew from, or was Tragedy formed and then you remembered the song later on?

Mo’Royce Peterson: I probably heard it years and years ago and never thought about it, and I can’t remember how I came across it again a few years ago. I kinda remembered it being this controversy that KISS was making a disco song, and people were really upset about it. Anyway, we ended up doing it on a record that we did in English and in German.

That one song makes them the godfathers of our genre.



Paula Abdul

Disco Mountain Man: I was in musical within a play called Straight Up Vampire. It was a memorial to this woman who wrote a jukebox musical using Paula Abdul songs. She was obsessed with Paula Abdul.

(Straight Up Vampire) was about the Continental Congress, and they’re voting on a bill about vampires, and if they should be expelled from Pennsylvania, or if they have rights. A friend wrote it, and I was really into werewolves at the time, and I’m a big fan of Ben Franklin, so he wrote a part where I would play Ben Franklin, and I would turn into a werewolf later on. I got to sing “Blowing Kisses In The Wind,” and there was another senator in the Continental Congress named Senator MC Skat Kat, and I sang “Opposites Attract” with him because we disagreed on the upcoming vampire bill.

It made me appreciate Paula Abdul even more, because her songs were great.


Mo’Royce Peterson: Those songs, those are some great pop songs. Ya know?

They stick in your head.

Mo’Royce Peterson: They’re like Britney Spears, or ABBA, just so catchy.



Led Zeppelin / Jimmy Page

Garry Bibb: I got two cards. I got Led Zeppelin, and Jimmy Page. The two are somewhat related, I’m told.

Zeppelin is pretty much the reason that I ever played rock music of any kind. They were the first riff I ever heard, and also sort of the first show I ever saw.

I was born in 1994, and I was not raised by rock fans, at all, so really my first big exposure was seeing School of Rock in 2004. I went to the theater, had no idea what anybody was talking about, and “Immigrant Song” comes on when they’re in the van driving back from the audition, and I just thought that was the sickest riff – it’s still the sickest riff I’ve ever heard – and I walked out of that movie and thought, “Oh my God, I want to do this.” It was that riff that was the start of this.

A year later my uncle was playing keys, he was in Ian Hunter’s Rant Band around that time, and they played a benefit show with Robert Plant at the Beacon (Theatre) in New York. He got me and my mom tickets, and brought us backstage after they did “Black Dog” together. They did all this crazy shit, and I was like yeah, he’s that guy from that song from School of Rock. I didn’t really understand the gravitas of – this is Robert fuckin’ Plant.

(My uncle) brings us backstage after the show. It’s literally 3 o’clock in the morning, I’m 12, my mom is like, “We have to get the fuck out of here” – (she was) stoked, but also like, c’mon, enough already. He’s like, “I gotta introduce you to Robert Plant, I gotta introduce you to Robert Plant.”

Robert Plant – not coming out of his dressing room.

So my memory of that night is that his tour manager comes out of the dressing room, closes the door, and then says, “Mr. Plant is … occupied.” So then my mom turns to me and says, “Oh, he’s probably pooping,” so for years I had the story in my head – Robert Plant was taking a shit, and he couldn’t meet me. Obviously he was fucking someone in the dressing room.

That was the first rock show I ever went to.

Have you met him since?

Garry Bibb: I have not. He walked by me once when I worked for Sirius Radio and I had a heart attack. That was it. His pants brushed against the back of my chair.



The Doors

Andy Gibbous Waning: I always liked The Doors because my brother played them a lot, so I heard them along with whatever else he played – Mercyful Fate, AC/DC. I kinda just listened to whatever he had on because I was 5 and a half years younger and I didn’t know what to do yet except listen to The Beatles.

So The Doors I got to hear a lot, and learned to appreciate them. Then in college someone put on a production of The Doors right as the movie was coming out. He was this terrible director, and he claims that the movie ripped him off because he had the idea first to do a play of it. I was like, alright.

He conceived of The Doors first!

Andy Gibbous Waning: I played Ray Manzarek on keyboards and got to learn a bunch of cool parts and everything, and that was fun, but the play was miserable.

Terrible?

Andy Gibbous Waning: Terrible.

The guy (who played Jim Morrison) looked like Jim Morrison, and he was fine, but there was dialogue in it … like once he had a girlfriend, and it was tearing him apart from the band, and he was doing drugs, one of us had a line, “Dude, it used to be about the music.”

Everyone: {laughs}

Andy Gibbous Waning: It was so bad. That was one of the plays I was embarrassed to be a part of, and didn’t tell anyone to come see.

But I like The Doors, and I felt bad that we shit all over their existence.



Annihilator

Canadian rock band.

Mo’Royce Peterson: Yeah, Canadian metal band, I believe, on Roadrunner. I don’t think I’ve ever heard them, but I had a manager in the ‘90s, and I think the peak of his career was that he managed Annihilator. I remember when I was getting to know him, kinda reading his resume, the big thing on his resume was that he managed Annihilator, and he was the only manager ever to get a metal band a shoe deal.

Everyone: {laughs}

Mo’Royce Peterson: I think they were Reeboks, but I’m not sure.

It was the early ‘90s, I think, and the metal bands all started wearing like white basketball shoes, kind of untied.

If you guys were to get a shoe deal, who would you want it to be with?

Mo’Royce Peterson: T.U.K.

{shows large, shiny, silver platform shoe}

On my God. You can’t play ball in those.

Mo’Royce Peterson: Oh I could.



Billy Idol

Mo’Royce Peterson: He’s kind of amazing. He came from the ‘70s punk scene.

So many of those bands you listen to, especially that real hardcore punk London scene, you listen to it now and it’s just not much to listen to, but (Billy Idol’s ‘70s punk band) Generation X sounds really good.

And when it comes to his solo career, “White Wedding” is a great wedding song.

Mo’Royce Peterson: We played that at someone’s wedding.

You’ve played a wedding?

Mo’Royce Peterson: Yes.

I need to know the Tragedy wedding experience, because while I don’t have a girlfriend right now, if I get one, and get married, this seems like an awesome idea.

Mo’Royce Peterson: I gotta tell you, we probably get, I’m not joking, probably 100 wedding requests for every wedding that we play.

Garry Bibb: I got three of them at the St. Vitus show. Three different people asked me. Two of them may have been a couple. They asked me separately.

Mo’Royce Peterson: I think what happens is, I think they’re sincere when they ask, and then it gets to mom, or dad, or grandma, or grandpa, and they’re like, “Oh no. You’ve gotta be kidding me,” but we’ve done three.

Garry Bibb: At least three. I’ve done three.

Mo’Royce Peterson: OK, so four, because we did the one at Terminal 5, that was the first one.

Disco Mountain Man: You know when you buy a CD at a show, there’s like that sense of urgency – I want to support this band now, and buy a CD. You don’t usually sell CDs outside of shows as much as you do in shows, so with those 100 (wedding) requests we should have a form and say pick a date now, put a deposit down, and then when grandma or grandpa says, “I hate the Bee Gees” …

Mo’Royce Peterson: I don’t think that’s really the issue, typically.

Disco Mountain Man: Grandma goes, “I really hated KISS’ ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You.’ I do not want any part of that at my grandson’s wedding.” Then we go, well, we have your deposit.

They could give out CDs as rehearsal dinner gifts.


For more Tragedy check out letsmaketragedyhappen.com, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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