Rundown Kreeps: Don't Eat the Cod

Christmas lights and art cascade around the Rundown Kreeps practice space. A silkscreen station is set up at the front of the garage-turned-practice-space, where the Kreeps have made their home. I am greeted by Richard Lamas, lead singer and guitarist.  Standing next to him is Anthony Melendez, Bassist/Randy Savage fanatic. Soon after, I am introduced to Steven Lamas, Drummer. Steve is accompanied by Lucy, a tiny grey kitten they had found a week earlier.
The name Rundown Kreeps is a combination of “Runaway Boys” from Stray Cats and “The Creeps” by Social Distortion. Anyway, let’s get to the interview already in progress.

TW: How would you describe your sound?
Richard Lamas: Well…we're…pretty terrible. We're like Ska, Punkabilly, Pop-punk, Rockabilly... we play what we like, honestly... We fit perfectly in a Pop-punk show...
Anthony Melendez: It's kinda funny, we originally played almost no ska whatsoever.
TW: What did you play originally?
RL: Psychobilly.
AM: But we never played around with Ska which is kind of ironic.
RL: Well, Robert is the one that got us into it. We saw the scene and we started going to backyard shows, and thru that we thought like “this punk bands pretty cool, let’s add some of that. This ska band’s pretty cool, let’s do some of that. Then the Toy Dolls… I love how entertaining they are on stage. Bands like that have always impacted me… but yeah, we’re talking too much, Lucy?
Lucy meows in the distance
TW: So how long ago did you guys start?
AM: Around this time 7 years ago. We started around November, December of ’09. We were like 15 years old at the time.
RL: We didn’t do much though, we played maybe twice, three times a year…. We did that for a little bit. I played some rockabilly bands, and [Anthony] were in another band called “Minor Corruption”. [Steven] was in marching band. We were all kind of busy. Without marching band [Steven] wouldn’t be as good a drummer as [he is] now… The band kind of sucked 7 years ago, technically, but we didn’t take it as serious until about 3 years ago. We recorded our ep and we started getting booked on Ska Wars and stuff like that. Like, alright, we can take this a little further than we have been, let’s take this a little more serious. So 7 years but really more like 3.
TW: How was playing Ska Wars?
RL: Good.
AM: Wow, way to give detail, way to hype it up! ... I remember the first time we playing Ska Wars was really fun, but I think the second time was just good.
RL: The second time around I think we gave out mouse ears. My girlfriend makes them. “Thesethreebones”, if you guys need any customized ears.
AM: They went like that! [snaps]
TW: Honestly, for us, that’s what set you guys apart from everybody else playing Ska Wars that year.
RL: Yeah, we had Mickey ears. There was always a big picture in Ska Wars. So, instead of giving people shirts, we were like “how the fuck can we come out in that picture?” If we’re on top of people’s heads, we’re definitely in there! And it looks like the crowd is there for us hahaha
TW: I saw the Meow Meowz music video. How was shooting at Meow Meowz?
AM: That was fun! There were a lot of kids. They were anal about it, the moshing I mean. It was a tight space.

TW: How was touring?
AM: I hated Richard so much, I hated everybody, but I hated him especially.
RL:  In Oklahoma a lot of people who came out were friends. We had an awesome time, but we had to be back in California the next day. We had to drive like 22 hours. We stopped in New Mexico.
AM: Stopped at some diner at like 9 at night.
RL: We were so quiet, and so awkward. Like, I hate all of you mother fuckers.
AM: Yeah, but the thing is it wasn’t like quiet quiet. What happened is we were just talking shit. Especially to Noel.
RL: We were all done, tired, cranky, I wanted to strangle somebody.
AM: I wanted to strangle [Richard] in Oklahoma. New Mexico was fine, but in Oklahoma I wanted to kill him.
TW: Was it worth the experience?
RL: I didn’t talk to anybody for like a good month after, expect for you guys. We were all done with each other’s shit. We’re all really god friends, but we needed a month away. We need a break.
AM: We’re just dicks!
TW: Did you stay in hotels?
RL: Aw no we never stay in hotels. Hardly ever. We stay at friend’s houses, in our trucks. I’ve slept on stages before.
RL: We make all of our own merch. We plan all of our own tours. We press all of our own stuff. We’re very self-sufficient. We’re not a big band, we don’t have the funds to do so. For a working class band, staying in a hotel every night isn’t even a possible reality.
TW: I saw a lot of art in [your practice space].Do you all draw?
RL: Not really.
AM: I’m an aspiring artist in my own right.
RL: It’s more like the people around us. I can play guitar, that’s about it. Our girlfriends are artists, and we have a bunch of friends that help us sometimes.
We then spent some time talking about some drawings in the room. Funny at the time, but it doesn’t make sense to publish it here.  I also try asking them about movies. Completely out of left field. If you’re curious, Anthony likes Fantastic Planet.  Then we trail off about Throbbing Gristle, and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Anthony and I share a love for him… Randy Savage. Fuck yeah. He was Bone Saw in Spiderman. Ooooooohhhh Yeeeaaaaaaahhh!!!
TW: What inspires you?
AM: Wrestling is big one; video games is another big one. People on the freeway inspire me.
RL: Protesters on the freeway?
AM: No, that’s another – we’ll get to that later. I’m talking about people who drive on the freeway. People who don’t know how to drive.
RL: What inspires me? ... Everything, really. Everyday life.
TW: What kind of video games do you play?
AL: Ohh, Don’t open that! Don’t do that!
TW: Steven, you’ve been quiet over there. What are inspires you?
Steven Lamas: There’s so many things that sum up who I am as an individual, things that inspire me. That you can’t put it all together.
RL: A lot of stuff, Everyday stuff, you know? Yeah, I mean, unfortunately we’re in a situation right now where there’s so much to write about, given the past election.  We’re going to the studio finishing up our album in December. Political affairs. Love, nonsense. Anything, really. As humans, we’re not built to have just one emotion. There’s so many things to think about during the day that can be ideas for a song. I don’t see what a songwriter or an artist should have to pick only one and have to focus the whole band or whole music under that particular scenario. A lot of political bands strictly write about political stuff. A lot of what you hear on the radio is strictly love songs and party songs and nonsense. I’m totally distracted. The cat.
Lucy that cat refuses to not be noticed.
RL: (cont.) There’s so much to write about, it’s hard to answer that question.

TW: You mentioned a new album?
RL: It’s the songs from the EP with a few other songs. It’s going to be our first album. We’re hoping to hit overseas next year, and Canada. We want to take this DIY as far as we can take it. It’s cool to play in LA. A lot of bands do that, but at the same time if you only play LA, you’re screwing yourself. There’s so much competition there that, you do a show, it might be a dud because there’s 5 other shows going on that night. As opposed to people going to shows in Oklahoma, Arizona, or New Mexico…
TW: Where’s your favorite place that you toured?
AM: Oklahoma!
TW: Could you share a story of Oklahoma?
RL: Some guy tried to suck Anthony’s dick during a show.
AM: I forgot about that! ... Let me preface this by saying I’m not against that! If that’s your deal, then that’s fine. But basically what happened was we were playing our set in a basement. We were in the middle of a song…
[Lucy meows]
AM: (cont.) We were in the middle of Jungle Book, and keep in mind almost everyone where we were playing were half naked. They had no shirts on. It was hot down there. I was playing in my shorts and a t shirt cause it was really hot, and the guy that actually did it. I could tell he was loaded on some shit. He was drunk and whatever the hell else he was on. He was the singer of one of the other bands that performed that night actually. Which makes it even funnier. Crack Rock, that was the name of the band. Yeah, go figure… I thought he was messing with people at first, but then he comes to me. He gets down on his fucking knees. He puts his mouth, the region right here where you eat, right here on my crotch and I swear he tried to suck my dick.
RL: He did it twice, he went back for more.
RL: And we hadn’t showered in days. It was baaaad.
AM: And then he tried to do the same thing to Aaron.
RL: They had to pull him away. Aaron wasn’t having it.
AM: No. He hit him. Aaron was just fed up with everything at that point, we all were… Shout out to Crack Rock, made me feel a little sexier… I think we have more funny Texas stories than Oklahoma stories though.
This is a good time to take a pee break.
RL: So we were in El Paso, we played a show in some dudes garage. We meet this dude, we think he’s a little weird at first. He was like 19, but he looked 35. He was cool, but he was a little eccentric. So we go – and he was buff as hell – he helped us unload, which was nice of him. So we’re done playing. It’s 2 in the morning, and we’re hungry. We don’t know where to go. He mentions this place that’s open all the time.  “Nothing else in El Paso is open at this time except this place. I’ll take you, if you guys wanna follow me.” We start following him, and already he’s seeming a little weird. He does this Chinese fire drill by himself. We get right by the freeway, and he goes and parks his car, gets out of it, and runs around it. Goes back in it. We’re thinking this is a little weird. Anyway, we finally get to the place. We’re ordering, and you know how at this hour it’s only either breakfast or dinner type things. They get to him and he’s like “Yeah, I’ll have the cod.” Which, this place does NOT look like they sell cod. It would be like going to King Taco and asking for the cod. It just doesn’t make sense. So he gets the cod. We’re eating our dinner, and he’s fighting playfully with noel looks at him and says “You better shut up before I fart on your cod!” and then, that joke was taken so far. Anthony dared him to do it. And it got into the weird guy’s hands, and he’s like “You’re fuckin’ doin’ it.” He grabbed his food, put it under Noel and said “You need to fart on this!” and Noel’s freaking out, he didn’t know what to do. He ended up farting on the fish, and Anthony ate it. We were all grossed the fuck out. So he leaves we leave, we go our own way. So we’re driving from San Antonio to El Paso; it’s Steven and Wolfgang driving, Anthony’s asleep. So six hours later, he wakes up and says “I need you to pull over right now. You need to pull over RIGHT NOW!!” We’re like what the fuck? And he’s like “PULL OVER, PULL OVER, PULL OVER!!” We pull over, and you see Anthony, in the fucking desert, it’s summertime. It’s like a good 113 degrees AT LEAST in Texas. Anthony RUNS out of the van, bare-foot, and takes a shit on the side of the freeway. And mind you, when you take a shit on the side of the freeway, you point your ass to the desert! – Not Anthony, right to the van. We all saw. It was nasty. We’re waiting and like fuck what’s he doing? And all of a sudden you hear him say “Alright, well, anybody have any napkins?” You threw out your underwear after, didn’t you?
AM: No, I changed afterwards though. Once we got to San Antonio, I took advantage, I took a shower right away.
RL: It’s fun when you plan it out yourself, because you appreciate it more. You know you’re not gonna stay in any high-end places. So you always get the skeeviest stories. It’s worth it. That’s what we live for, it’s fun… We once took a white friend on tour with us. We’re driving down El Paso, and you can see Juarez right there, and seriously, he says “where’s the wall?”… White people on tour.... I think we’re fucked with Trump, would’ve been fucked with Hillary. I think everybody wants to live in peace, but the situation at hand is just not letting us do it. It should be easy, but it’s not, and that’s sad.
TW: Any last thoughts?
RL: We’re on Facebook. We’re working on a website that hopefully comes out the same time the album comes out. We have all our merch on Facebook and Instagram, DM us if you want some stuff.
Final Thoughts:
RL: Anthony is a butt. I mean, if you like Ska, Punk Rock, Rockabilly, Psychobilly, we have videos on YouTube, Check us out on Facebook, Like us, Follow us on Instagram, Thank you guys for reading! Those are my final thoughts.
AM: Richard don’t know nothing about a hot dog. Randy Savage is the King. He’s the king of the world, thank you.
Steven was too entranced by Lucy to give us any final thoughts. He loves his kitty.

RL: We hope to be on Ska Wars next year. (Vote for us)
Dec 9th - Viva Ska Vegas. It’s a festival, we play on the first day. (VSV Facebook)
Dec 17th – Punk Rock Burlesque, Spike’s Bar & Billiards
Jan 14th – Old Towne Pub

We recommend this song: Pulling Pins
Rundown Kreeps: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


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