In Defense of Ska

In Defense of Ska Ep 74: Mephiskapheles (Andre A. Worrell, Michael Bitz, Greg Robinson)

June 15, 2022 Aaron Carnes Season 2 Episode 74
In Defense of Ska
In Defense of Ska Ep 74: Mephiskapheles (Andre A. Worrell, Michael Bitz, Greg Robinson)
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Last year, Loudwire published an article with the headline, "Satanic Ska is a Real Thing That Actually Exists." The satanic ska band they were referring to was New York-based Mephiskapheles. And the band has existed for over thirty years.

But mixing ska music and tongue-in-cheek Satanic imagery is only one attribute that distinguished the group from their 90s ska peers. Their music was unlike any other group. On their debut album, God Bless Satan, they mixed traditional ska drums & Skatalites-inspired walking bass lines with experimental, menacing songwriting and strange, jazzy horn lines. And for their 2nd and third albums, Maximum Perversion & Might-Ay White-Ay, they went even further into avant-garde territory.

Today, we chat about Mephiskapheles' entire interesting career with singer Andre A. Worrell, bassist Michael Bitz and trombonist Greg Robinson. We talk about their deep love for The Skatalites and The Scofflaws, and how their goal in the 90s was to displace The Toasters as the top New York ska band.

We also talk about working with Victor Rice and Bill Laswell on God Bless Satan, their numerous vehicle problems, the origins of "The Bumble Bee Tuna Song," how they managed to get the "Doomsday" video on MTV, and we even talk about their label and lawsuit problems in the late 90s that sent the band on hiatus for several years. 

But we also talk about what the band is doing now, from touring all over the world and meeting eager fans to holding online seances to still blowing the minds of people that never imagined that satanic ska was a real thing. 

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(Cont.) In Defense of Ska Ep 74: Mephiskapheles (Andre A. Worrell, Michael Bitz, Greg Robinson)