Home / Local Music / Crappy Dracula Releases a 'Fantastic' Concept Album
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crappy Dracula Releases a 'Fantastic' Concept Album

Read into those quote marks however you will

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The trouble with trying to talk to Crappy Dracula is that the information they present is almost never on the level. They prefer a swirling, surreal comedy routine with the interviewer set up as the straight man.

When asked why he had a bandage under his right eye, for example, guitarist and vocalist Justin Kern says simply, "Government troubles." When asked to elaborate, he gives a long, complex answer involving the IRS, FBI and the NAA (the "National Association of Acronyms") and him being hit in the face with a briefcase.

"Don't get him started on zoning laws—cool down," bass player and vocalist Dug Belan says, holding out his hands in a halt signal.

The band, which also includes Brock Gourlie on drums, says they formed in 2006 ("or 2007—is this one of the hard questions?" Belan asks). They also say they are most often told they sound like 1980s soft rock hit-makers Air Supply, although evidence suggests they are actually more likely to be compared to eccentric punk acts like The Dead Milkmen.

Kern says his favorite part of being in the band is "when we go to the orphanages and small villages and see all the smiles on the co-eds and pro wrestlers in the audience." Belan says for him it's the "space travel" and the band's association with NASA.

What can be accepted as fact is that the band has just finished six months of work on an album titled Fantastic Dracula, which they describe as a "concept album." Belan says, "It has to do with the modern world as viewed through the eyes of an imbecile."

Belan goes on to say the album includes "12 to 20 songs, depending on how you define music," and includes songs like "Earth Sucks" and "The Computer That Learned to Watch TV."

The album debuts at an April 15 show at the Cactus Club, a venue where the band is received "with mild acceptance ranging to mild amusement," Kern says.

The band claims they will be playing the Cactus Club show in "costumes."

"We're going to be wearing these outfits, which are the same clothes we wore to the recording studio for this album," Kern says, as his band mates laugh.

After that show the band heads out on a tour to "nowhere good," according to Gourlie.

Needless to say, the band's humor is sometimes lost on its audience. Belan recalls playing a show with some grindcore bands. He says Kern started the set by asking the audience of metalheads, "Who's ready to laugh?" The audience was completely silent. After they played their first song, "Naked High School," there was a quiet pause before a sole voice yelled out, "You suck!"

Other places at which the band has received a poor reception include an experimental noise show and "Booby's sub shop in Carbondale, Ill.," Belan says.

The band spent some time speculating on a dream concert. They agreed that classic rock 'n' roll singer Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon would share the bill with them, as well as metal legends Dio. They also say the show would include "a live stage version of Teen Wolf Too performed by the spirit animal of Rodney Dangerfield and Lindsay Lohan," Kern says.

If you don't get a chance to catch the band, you might hear the album anyway. Kern claims he's working on a proclamation for the city of Milwaukee that requires "all residents to spend 41 minutes, by law, listening to our albums or sitting quietly in a corner."

Crappy Dracula's album release is Friday, April 15, at the Cactus Club with Fatty Acids and Sprout.
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