'We don't have a bass player, but for some reason when people see us for the first time, they think Davida [Milkes] plays bass," says Buzzkill Romantics' singer/guitarist Jason Hee. "I don't know why anyone should be surprised to see a three-piece with a female lead guitarist...Try saying to her, 'You play pretty good for a girl' and see what happens."
The bluesy hard rockers came together in the summer of 2003. Hee was fronting the more pop-oriented Rookie Card, and Milkes was in R&B group SDBO (San Diego Beat Organization). She brought in SDBO alum Charlie Brownell (founding drummer for the Nephews), and by July 2004 they'd made it to the legendary punk club CBGB in New York. "It was a long way from playing Nikki Sixx in a Mötley Crüe cover band," says Hee.
When asked to describe their music, Hee says, "Someone compared us to Urge Overkill...[that] the Nash Kato influence is unmistakable. I have no idea what that's supposed to mean." The Buzzkill Romantics appear Saturday, January 29, at Scolari's Office with the Displaced and the Stereotypes.
WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
1. The Von Bondies, Lack of Communication ("Angst, sex appeal, swing, electric guitars, and reverb.")
2. The Court and Spark, Bless You ("Moody cosmic American music that's not afraid to take its time.")
3. Royal City, At Rush Hour the Cars ("Clumsy, romantic, and knowingly earnest.")
4. John Coltrane, Giant Steps ("If I had enough time on a desert island, I might be able to figure everything out on this record.")
5. The Beatles, Abbey Road (" 'The End' is pure joy.")
1. Can ("Avant-garde '70s rock.")
2. The Ruins ("Japanese progressive stuff.")
3. Sparks, Kimono My House ("Pop music from 1974.")
4. The Pretty Things ("From London, circa the late '60s.")
1. The Church, Priest=Aura
2. Sneaker Pimps, Splinter
3. Television, Marquee Moon
4. The Cure, Disintegration
5. David Bowie, Scary Monsters
Hee Root beer float ("Simply delicious from start to finish.")
Brownell Water ("Or pastis [licorice liquor] for the early and homemade mescal 'tequila from Sonora' for the late.")
Milkes Beer ("Love all beer, and red wine, and vodka.")
Hee Brazil, Star Wars, Sleeper, This Is Spinal Tap
Brownell Even Dwarves Started Small ("1970, Werner Herzog. If you're reading this, I want my disc back, Alfred -- you shmuck.")
Milkes Lost in Translation, Fahrenheit 9/11, Annie Hall, Love and Death, Naked Gun, This Is Spinal Tap
WORST SONG YOU'VE EVER HEARD?
Hee " 'A Million Years' by Human Drama. They should win some sort of award for how bad this is."
Milkes " 'We Built This City' by Starship. There's so many, but I may have to agree with VH1 on this one."
BEST CELEBRITY ENCOUNTER?
Brownell "Hanging out with Rick Springfield talking music and culture on the set of High Tide [short-lived 1995 TV cop show starring Springfield and shot around San Diego]...we almost did a remake of his early hit 'Speak to the Sky.' I don't think he would have liked it."
Milkes "I worked room service at the Hyatt years ago and met Barry Manilow. Well, actually, I brought him a Caesar salad. Nice guy. No, really."
Hee "Guitar Center parking lot, four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, to four of our friends. Or the time we played a rockabilly bar in Las Vegas and were told to stop fucking with our pedals and play a song. Or maybe the time we played Humphrey's Backstage Lounge after an evening of acoustic singer/songwriter types -- a tourist tipped us $20."
GINGER OR MARY ANN?
Hee "Mary Ann had a better smile."
Hee "Jackson Browne and David Crosby at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. I was falling asleep, so my mom took us home a few songs into Jackson Browne's set."