"We're the uncircumcised Ramones," explains Turbonegro's sailor-capped bassist Happy Tom. The Norwegian sixpiece has plied their Ramones/Black Flag-inspired glam metal for more than a decade now, lead guitarist Euroboy laying down solos like Tom Scholz tweaking on Kraków crystal meth, with 1999's masterstroke Apocalypse Dudes engraving their name permanently on the rock & roll Stanley Cup.
With titles like "Rendezvous With Anus," "Don't Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker," and "Good Head," these denim demons veer into Spinal Tap territory, yet they've managed to carve out a spot among rock's elite as evidenced by their Spirit of Independence trophy at this year's Kerrang! awards, where they were fawned over by none other than Metallica's James Hetfield.
"You get awarded for being a loser your entire life," says Tom. "It's better to be a beautiful loser than a boring winner."
"Deathpunk" has always been the band's pre-ferred genrification, but these days "it's suburban opera punk," explains the bassist. "We've stopped calling it 'deathpunk,' which sounds kinda cold, even a little Gothic, and we're about as far from Gothic as you can get, I hope.
"We've started calling it rainbow rock - and when people ask us, 'What about the darkness?' we say, 'Hey, if you take all the colors of the rain-bow and smear them together, it's pretty dark.'"
Turbonegro has given rock a much-needed boot in the ass, inspiring a rapidly growing fan club, the Turbojugend, which includes a rabid chapter right here in Austin.
"When you were growing up, that was the main part of rock & roll: being a fan," says Tom. "We say that Kiss has an army, and we have a navy."
With a scalding new album, Scandanavian Leather on Epitaph, and a tour taking them across the world - including their first-ever visit to Australia next month - Turbonegro is back from the asylum and ready to celebrate Emo's 11th anniversary with a fat kiss from their razorblade lips.
- Mark Fagan