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RIYL: Hillstreet Stranglers, the Dead Kennedys, Zillion Happy Volts, the Reducers
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- "Punk-Rock Politico" · March 21, 2012
Inception: San Diego, 2011
Influences: Gang of Four, the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Torture the Flag, Hillstreet Stranglers, Chronic Masterbators, Karbunkle
Punk power trio Civil Satans includes Dicky Demonic, Haldon Levay, and Levay’s wife Marge Smartbacon.
Dicky Demonic has been thrashing it out in North County punk bands with his in-your-face, lefty politics since the mid-1990s. Demonic has been known to go off on cops, the rich getting richer, and corrupt politicians in his lyrics and between-song banter onstage.
One song from his band Civil Satans shows that his activist side has a sense of humor.
Gay Republicans like small government cuz it’s good for their stocks/ They don’t really like small government but they like big.
“Republicans want small government when it suits them,” explains Demonic. “They like it when it has to do with deregulation because that makes them money. But they want government to get bigger when they want to take away women’s rights or gay marriage rights.”
Barney Frank may always be on the opposite side of the aisle/ But Larry Craig’s bathroom policies make them both go wild.
He admits some of his lyrics may escape the average punk rocker. His bandmates have been known to scream at him onstage to quit talking and start playing music.
When he started playing punk at 18, Demonic was into prominent punk bands, such as the Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks, who were more politically aware.
“Now a lot of bands stay away from that stuff. They are more into partying and beer. But if people stop paying attention to what’s happening around them they could get in trouble. Sometimes people get offended but I don’t care. Their ignorance is offending me.”
Demonic is best known for his ten year stint in The Hill Street Stranglers, which released three albums and two EPs.
As you might guess, Demonic is not a fan of police. One of his songs is “Surveil and Oppress”: “It’s about how Oceanside police spend all their time writing tickets instead of protecting the public.”
Demonic says that he once railed onstage about the misdirected priorities of Oceanside police while there were officers in the bar. “I got pulled over shortly after that. I couldn’t say for sure that I necessarily got pulled over because of what I said, but I would not be surprised.”