This Music Stoplight we hunted down The Isotopes in there forlorn looking practice spot across the street from a forlorn looking strip joint. After seeing The Isotopes preform most wonder if they are as crazy and vulgar as they appear on stage. Answer is quite simply yes, which makes for great music and a rather interesting interview.
The first comment I get that night: This is weird doing an article. Because every band comes off douchey when talking about their own music. Not that we aren’t douches, we just don’t want to sound like one.
How did the band get started?
It was a dark and stormy night ten years ago. Handsome B Wonderful and the original drummer started this surf rock odyssey. They got Trent Steel to join soon after, and they played as a three piece for a long time. We actually played at Lance Uppercut’s wedding, then he guested in on a few shows and wouldn’t leave.
It has evolved over a long time. Hercules, our old drummer, decided he didn’t want to play anymore; three years later he quit the band. So we found our current drummer, admiral awesome and after a while he decided to stick around as well.
What made you choose the name “Isotopes”?
It was the first thing we came up with that didn’t completely suck. Band names are tough, a lot harder than you think. You come up with something everyone likes and you find out its taken by some other band. Fortunately we are better than all of the other isotopes.
There is one Isotopes that plays all baseball themed punk music, completely terrible.
Best place to play?
We don’t have a best place to play but we do have a worst place to play, The German House. We need you to print this.
This guy named Ed, who we don’t think works there anymore, hates us. He called us racist and has cut us off in the past. This one time we showed up hours early to sound check and set up video for a DVD we were recording. After we set up we wanted to grab some food, he comes up to us and tells us to head downstairs and grab food from The Keg.
We walk down the staff hallway and ordered food, we walked around the front to get back in and he wouldn’t let us into our own show. He demanded tickets or proof that we were the band. Never again.
What made you nix the lyrics?
e really enjoy The Ventures and other surf rock from the 50s and 60s. This was all just supposed to be a side project were we just met once or twice a week and jammed, but it evolved into us actually doing something. Vocals never were part of the picture.
Which works out well for us since it seems to be the singer who always ruins the band. You go to a show and the music is great and then the singer is just awful; ruins the entire night. Vocals are the hardest to get right.
How do you choose which songs to cover?
I think we all just pick tunes that we think will all go over well live. We used to do a lot of obscure covers, songs that we like. Which is great because we play songs that no one else has heard before and people think we wrote them.
When did the go go dancers and special effects start?
This goes back to us not having a singer. We need to keep the audience entertained. We figured hot girls dancing around, dry ice, and confetti was the way to go.
But in all seriousness the girls do work hard and are greatly appreciated. They come up with all of the choreography themselves.
What kind of scientist are you?
Well, Admiral Awesome spent many a year in Sea Lab 2021.
As a good end cap to this article. When I asked if they had any projects in the works Handsome B Wonderful responded: “Well after your girlfriend blows me I’m gonna sit down and have a beer.”
Will I ever interview them again, probably not sober. But will I continue seeing them and drink with them any chance I get, you bet I will.
The Isotopes: We’re not huge but we are larger than average. Print that.