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03 May 2019

A Brotherhood of (Creepy) Creeps: The Mask-Wearing Surf-Punk Masters of Mayhem Return to Pappy and Harriet's

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The Creepy Creeps. The Creepy Creeps.

The Creepy Creeps is a wild San Diego band that puts on one of the best live shows you’ll ever see.

Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Saturday, May 11.

The Creepy Creeps is a surf-punk band made up of members of bands including The Locust, Struggle, and Tarantula Hawk. Onstage antics include crowd-taunting and heckling, and the members wear themed masks for each show (like, for example, Planet of the Apes).

During a phone interview with Creepy Creeps guitarist Dave Warshaw, he said they’ve never performed sans masks.

“It’s always hot (under the masks), but it’s never unbearable,” Warshaw said. “We’ve been doing this for 20 years, so we have what it takes. We never take it off. We’ve been in some pretty rough situations where it’s been really, really hot. Even when the room is baking in the summertime, we still have to keep it on, and the show must go on.”

Warshaw explained the genesis of the band’s spooky vibes.

“A couple of us were involved in other projects, and we just wanted to be in a garage band,” Warshaw said. “At first, we didn’t really know where we were headed. We were just going to do a haunted garage band. It led itself into this.

“An interesting fact is that myself and the drummer—we went to high school together, and we’ve known each other since we were 15. The keyboardist, he and I were in The Locust together. … Next year will be (the Creepy Creeps’) 20th year. It’s never had different members, and it’s always sort of been like a family thing. We’re in it together, and it’s a brotherhood of creeps.”

There is also an offshoot of the band.

“The Creepy Creeps is exactly what it is: It’s what we do when we’re having fun with our family and friends,” he said. “We all have our things that we do on the side. It’s a really cool band where if somebody has something going on, we don’t argue about it, and that’s fine. We work really well together. We have the Creepy Creeps, and we have Creepxotica, which is an exotica version of what we do as the Creepy Creeps.”

A Creepy Creeps show can be a rock ’n’ roll religious experience for some.

“We present ourselves with a bit of humor, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Warshaw said. “I think we always include the crowd. … It takes a minute to learn what they’re seeing. Now it’s to the point where if people come, and it’s their first Creepy Creeps show, they leave changed. It’s pretty rad to see how stoked people get, and when people come up and tell you (how happy they are)—and then they buy all your merch. We’re lucky like that. I don’t know why.”

They always love coming to the desert and Pappy and Harriet’s, Warshaw said—in part because of the unpredictability.

“I love the idea that you can have dinner and watch the craziest band perform right in front of you—whether you’re there to see it or you have no idea. That could be all the way from the Creepy Creeps to Paul McCartney showing up on a Sunday, and nobody knows,” he said. “You never really know what’s going on out there. It’s very different, especially when it comes to a steak house.”

Before ending the interview, Warshaw insisted on making one thing known about one of the opening acts.

“The Schizophonics and the Creepy Creeps are always in a battle with each other,” he said. “They’ve been plugging this DJ battle that we’re doing against them. I just want to make it known that we thrashed their asses in San Diego in April.”

The Creepy Creeps will perform with The Schizophonics and The Loons at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, May 11, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets are $12. For tickets or more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

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