Psychostick Drummer Alex “Shmalex” Dontre – “It’s a black hole and a distraction machine.”
They’re back!!! The kings of comedy rock PSYCHOSTICK have a new album out now called “DO” and it only took four years to follow their extremely fan loved “IV: Revenge of The Vengeance”. And it wasn’t because they were lazy… NO! But because these geniuses of blending comedy, metal, heavy rock and the occasional spoof cover have been super busy releasing viral videos and touring the world.
How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you onto metal?
My caretakers, what you would call an “alien hive” were big on appropriating music from various planets. They would implement them into our own catalog, much like the Spotify database here on Earth, but far, far stranger. As for metal, we used metal and graphite alloys for our ships for a while, but now it’s mostly energy fields.
What got you started playing music and how old were you?
I started playing along to the sound on gravitational waves recorded over millennia and sped up to the 3:30 radio format. I was probably just hitting 3,000 by then…I think that translates to about 12 in Earth years.
How did you become a drummer? Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative/destructive?
I first start drumming by flinging asteroids at uninhabited planets. It’s way more fun than using a wimpy slingshot.
Were you forced to go to church as a kids, if so were you altar boys or participate in some other ways?
My hive doesn’t worry about the whole Earthling “my god is better than your god” thing, so no. Thank goodness.
How did Psychostick come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from? What other band names were considered?
Psychostick was assigned to us in the Great Hive Name Assigning in the Earth year of 2000! Think the assignment in the book, The Giver, but with aliens.
Your new album DO has you once again as a free agent, were their restrictions placed on the band by Rock Ridge that are no more as an independent artist?
Nope. Rock Ridge was always great to us. We just wanted to try something new.
You recently wrapped up a tour with Downtown Brown, how do you like winter tours compared to the summer? Did you get to play and visit any strange new places on this run.
The tour itself with Downtown Brown and Danimal Cannon was great! But winter tour conditions inherently suck because it’s cold and often dangerous traversing the mountains in a big van.
What motivates you, to keep releasing new music in the age of sharing and stealing? Does it dampen your creativity at all knowing that all of your hard work will be just given away possibly weeks prior to its official release date?
You question is inherently biased by calling it “stealing.” The Internet allowed Psychostick to emerge and achieve success in a way that would have been impossible prior to 1999 and Napster. Just remember, religious leaders resisted the printing press because it took power away from the church. Composers resisted the phonograph because they assumed it would make live shows irrelevant. The movie industry hated VCRs and one rep compared them to the “Boston Strangler.” Instead, repeated rentals bring in more money than strictly movie tickets. Adapt or die.
How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?
Ugh, as little as possible. It’s a black hole and a distraction machine. I like being able to see what bands are up to, but the increasing rate of obnoxious ads are quickly driving me away.
What are the plans for 2019 and beyond?
Visit my friends on Europa.
Dirty jokes, shout outs and final thoughts?
Be nice to your planet. The Hive won’t appreciate a pigsty when it finally gets here to enslave the humans.