Rocks Off 100: Melane Gutierrez, The Coffin Queen

Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.

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Who: 13 Black Coffins is a band that has always had a lot of problems. They were formed out of the ruins of several other acts that had fallen apart, mainly due to internal drama. Yet no matter how awkward their birth, any time they can get it together, they manage a pretty impressive psychobilly sound that plays nice in recordings and is even more amazing heard live.

Melane Gutierrez is the voice of the whole shebang, a dynamo who rolls over a listener like a Mack truck carrying a load of FEMA caskets. It's the sheer force of her singing and personality that enables the group to continue to exist, despite the constant changes. She's back with some new members to show off, and hopefully once again make a mark on the local scene.

Make no mistake though, whether she's out solo as Miss Melane or fronting her boys, hers is a talent that you will want to catch.

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

Home Base: In keeping with the constant flux of the band, Gutierrez crafts her passionate brand o'billy wherever she can find a good spot. The group has moved from a spot at Francisco's, to space in a t-shirt printing warehouse, and is currently call a dining room in their drummer's house their writing and practicing command center. Side note: Gutierrez likes the acoustics in his bathroom the best for singing.

Aside from an "unnamed club" where she was electrocuted on stage, Gutierrez has nothing but nice things to say about every club she's performed in, from White Swan to the House of Blues. The Continental Club is her home away from home, though.

One Good War Story: "When we were doing a little West Coast touring a few years back, we had the displeasure of running into this one jerk who decided to kick a mic through our kick drum head and try to dick us out of our cut at the door. Me being the Amazon I am, I stood in front of all the 'guys' from the other bands and told them unless they were going to fulfill our guarantee of $200 they needed to shut the fuck up and split that money evenly before shit got unreal! All the bands made $80."

More fun with Gutierrez on the next page.



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