What's In a Name? Psychobilly Undertakers 13 Black Coffins

It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off, we're trying hard to decode Houston's oddest monikers in order to find a little meaning.
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Psychobilly is a genre whose entire purpose, in our opinion, is to achieve maximum delinquency, like a grindhouse trailer come to life. Thudding beats and tattooed sneers synthesize rockabilly, punk and Goth into what is undeniably the best non-dance music to dance to these days. RocBar presents one of Houston's best pychobilly combos, 13 Black Coffins, this Sunday 13 Black Coffins. We sat down at our computer with singer Ms. Melane (Who we assume also sat at her computer) to unearth the meaning behind the moniker.

Like a lot of bands, 13 Black Coffins were forced to name themselves simply because people kept asking them what they were called. You cannot call your band Untitled unless you all wear cardigans and stare at your shoes.

So the band settled on something appropriately spooky, 13 Black Cats. Fortunately, they did some checking and discovered that there already was a band called 13 Black Cats (which Young Mammals should have done, and Glasnost still needs to do), so they changed it to 13 Black Coffins. But, also like a lot of bands, they realized that the name, originally just an errant thought, had more meaning under the surface.

"We were all in bands before we started 13 Black Coffins," typed Melane. "All of us had troubles in our previous bands because of some kinda drama. The 13 represented the former band members we had left behind. Black, because black is freaking cool! And Coffins because we buried it and moved on."

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Maybe it's not Jim Morrison's reference to William Blake's Doors of Perception, but the sincerity cannot be denied. Still, the band's not without an existential side to go with its graveyard image. When we asked what you would put in 13 black coffins, Melane said, "There are a lot of things we need to just bury and put behind us. I'd fill them with all those things that keep us from doing well for ourselves."

Honestly, we were expecting the answer to be "beer," not the pain of regret and a desire for spiritual betterment. She reaffirmed her psychobilly creds a moment later with, "But there are also plenty of assholes on I-45 that I would love to drop in the ground!"

One of the greatest trends in modern mourning is the pimping out of coffins. So we though it would be only appropriate to ask what kind of tricking out each member of 13 Black Coffins would give to their eternal sleeve.

Rene (Bass): "Rene's coffin would be shaped like an upright, and it would have band stickers and graffiti all over it. And it would have the sweet scent of Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday. And it would terrorize every Starbucks on the way to the cemetery."

Dan (Guitar): "Dan's would be a tricked-out skateboard coffin that would rip the streets and sidewalks on the way to the cemetery.

David (Drums): David's would be a drumstick coffin with a Cadillac lid, rollin' on chromed out 22s, and collecting money from his hos all the way to the cemetery.

And Ms. Melane?

"My coffin would be in the shape of an old-school microphone - midnight black with purple flakes, my lyrics etched in platinum all around it and every 'I' would be dotted with a 1ct. diamond. And it would have a kick-ass sound system that moved souls all the way to the cemetery."

If you've got to go, go in style.

FINAL DEFINITION

13 Black Coffins: Noun. a) A unit of measure for assholes; b) Emotions left behind in order to improve how much you rock; c) More than 12, but less than 14, dark-colored interment containers.


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