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He got bikers to go against me

Sickstring Outlaws learn about band brotherhood the hard way

Sickstring Outlaw Ron Houston: “A band is like siblings. You’re going to have arguments just like family.”
Sickstring Outlaw Ron Houston: “A band is like siblings. You’re going to have arguments just like family.”

A gooey mess regarding band finances led to an ugly departure of a four-year member and some malicious slurs between bandmates including “thief” and “deadbeat.”

Singer/guitarist Ron Houston founded the Sickstring Outlaws 12 years ago. The local country band seems to be on a roll. They have a colorful itinerary (at the Sports Arena after a February 20 Gulls game, and at the birthplace of the Beat Farmers, the Spring Valley Inn, March 12). They have a new CD (Electric Moonshine) and a sharp new video for lead single “My Best Girl.”

Video:

"My Best Girl"

...by Sickstring Outlaws

...by Sickstring Outlaws

Bassist Drew Zollo was in Sickstring for four years until he walked after a couple of biker-bar fundraisers got ugly.

“We were doing two benefit shows the same day at two different biker clubs. One at the Eagles Nest in Lakeside and one at Saddle Tramps near Viejas. We were expecting to make $600 each show. But the first show we only got $135, and the second we got, like, $220. Ron started freaking out, and I told him to chill out and he could take all my pay. He said, ‘Dude, you’ve been fucking the band all day long.’ He got some of the bikers to go against me. That’s when I said, ‘I’m out.’”

Zollo, a contractor who owns a tile-and-marble company, says things got really sticky when he covered the production costs for Marc Desisto, who mastered their album and who had previously worked with Dwight Yoakam. Zollo also says he paid the entire $1100 fee for an animated video by Frank Cromer. When Zollo left the band, he admitted, “I took it down from YouTube.” Houston admits he said things on Facebook about Zollo he should not have said, which led Zollo to say, “YOU HAVEN’T PAID FOR SHIT...stop trying to friend my friends. Grow up, you broke back fake! Who is the real thief here?”

There were more ugly confrontations involving the disbursement of a gofundme account and the the $900 fee that Zollo said he covered for the run of 1000 CDs.

Jon Campos & the Incurables appear Saturday, February 20, at Jim's Vista Lounge.

In order to avoid trainwrecks like this, the two outlined what band members should do to cover their asses.

“I’m learning you have to have contracts on everything. Including a code of conduct,” says Zollo.

“I would say treat everyone with respect,” says Houston. “A band is like siblings. You’re going to have arguments just like any family...anytime one bandmember spends more than others, you’re going to have problems...and we stopped drinking while the band is playing.”

Sickstring Outlaws appears Saturday, February 6, at the the Landing in El Cajon. Zollo’s new band, Jon Campos and the Incurables, appears February 20 at Jim’s Vista Lounge.

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Sickstring Outlaw Ron Houston: “A band is like siblings. You’re going to have arguments just like family.”
Sickstring Outlaw Ron Houston: “A band is like siblings. You’re going to have arguments just like family.”

A gooey mess regarding band finances led to an ugly departure of a four-year member and some malicious slurs between bandmates including “thief” and “deadbeat.”

Singer/guitarist Ron Houston founded the Sickstring Outlaws 12 years ago. The local country band seems to be on a roll. They have a colorful itinerary (at the Sports Arena after a February 20 Gulls game, and at the birthplace of the Beat Farmers, the Spring Valley Inn, March 12). They have a new CD (Electric Moonshine) and a sharp new video for lead single “My Best Girl.”

Video:

"My Best Girl"

...by Sickstring Outlaws

...by Sickstring Outlaws

Bassist Drew Zollo was in Sickstring for four years until he walked after a couple of biker-bar fundraisers got ugly.

“We were doing two benefit shows the same day at two different biker clubs. One at the Eagles Nest in Lakeside and one at Saddle Tramps near Viejas. We were expecting to make $600 each show. But the first show we only got $135, and the second we got, like, $220. Ron started freaking out, and I told him to chill out and he could take all my pay. He said, ‘Dude, you’ve been fucking the band all day long.’ He got some of the bikers to go against me. That’s when I said, ‘I’m out.’”

Zollo, a contractor who owns a tile-and-marble company, says things got really sticky when he covered the production costs for Marc Desisto, who mastered their album and who had previously worked with Dwight Yoakam. Zollo also says he paid the entire $1100 fee for an animated video by Frank Cromer. When Zollo left the band, he admitted, “I took it down from YouTube.” Houston admits he said things on Facebook about Zollo he should not have said, which led Zollo to say, “YOU HAVEN’T PAID FOR SHIT...stop trying to friend my friends. Grow up, you broke back fake! Who is the real thief here?”

There were more ugly confrontations involving the disbursement of a gofundme account and the the $900 fee that Zollo said he covered for the run of 1000 CDs.

Jon Campos & the Incurables appear Saturday, February 20, at Jim's Vista Lounge.

In order to avoid trainwrecks like this, the two outlined what band members should do to cover their asses.

“I’m learning you have to have contracts on everything. Including a code of conduct,” says Zollo.

“I would say treat everyone with respect,” says Houston. “A band is like siblings. You’re going to have arguments just like any family...anytime one bandmember spends more than others, you’re going to have problems...and we stopped drinking while the band is playing.”

Sickstring Outlaws appears Saturday, February 6, at the the Landing in El Cajon. Zollo’s new band, Jon Campos and the Incurables, appears February 20 at Jim’s Vista Lounge.

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