What's the deal with this band? When and where did Del Noah start and
all that kind of rot?
A: It started around 1991 after Brent Walker (Brentelli del Meltormayo),
who played in a band called the Pivot Foots, and his apartment manager
Jeff Utterback (Floyd Lippencott Jr.), who played drums in surf bands
such as the Sliders, Insect Surfers and Boardwalkers, started jabbering
about their mutual interest in vintage front-motored drag racing and
greasy instrumental rock and roll. Brent started yammering about vocal
hot rod music and stripper instrumental music as well, and then started
writing a bunch of crazy vocal tunes like "Amish Drag Buggy" and "Mormon
Cycle Poker Run," plus hot rod instrumentals like "Hole Shot." The next
thing you know, he had to get a band together to play the stuff. Enter
Vince Meghrouni (Vincenzo del Eden-Rococco), formerly of El Grupo Sexo
and Bazooka, on sax, and Steeve Jacobs, of the Swamp Zombies, on bass.
So when did Del Noah actually first play live?
A: The first gig was at the now-defunct Bogart's in Long Beach in 1992.
The second gig, also in 1992, was on a bill with the Untamed Youth (during
their three-piece, Dave Stuckey-on-drums period) and the Insect Surfers
(with Jeff doing double-duty on drums). We also did an early gig at
Al's Bar with the Bomboras (the original Pam future-Neptuna lineup before
the ex-Finks guys joined) and the Boardwalkers.
Didn't you guys used to wear "moon masks" on stage--masks made from
giant round Moon Equipment stickers with holes cut in the cartoon eyes
to see-through? Whatever happened to those?
A: We wore those for the first four or five gigs, but they were really
hard to see through to play your instruments, and the other guys in
the band were ready to kill Brent for making them wear the masks.
Del Noah and the Mt. Ararat Finks? What kind of a wack name is that
for a band? How the heck do you expect me to fit your name on my marquee?
A: It was a stupid pun about Noah (of Ark fame) being the first gearhead.
Mt. Ararat was the place where his hot-rod ark ended up. People have
spelled it "Arafat" and "Arat." To make things simple, you can just
call us Del Noah.
I have read reviews that say that you are an offshoot of the Finks and
have former Finks in your band. Is this true?
A: No, we have no ties to the Finks. When the name Del Noah and the
Mt. Ararat Finks was coined, we had never heard of the Finks, though
ironically we would ultimately play shows with several of their post-Finks
bands (Bomboras, Huntington Cads, etc.).
So what's the deal with your line-up? I've seen you a bunch of times
and you always seem to have different members.
A: In 1995, after we recorded our 4 song EP for Dionysus (Big Sounds
of Del Noah and the Mt. Ararat Finks), Jeff and Steeve left the group
to form the Tiki Tones (with whom Steeve still plays). (Jeff had also
played with the Huntington Cads, Insect Surfers, Surfaris, and a number
of surf-oriented groups). To replace them, Brent drafted drummer Mudd
Plumbing (Mudhammed Surphraaka-Jabaar) and bassist Blair Walker (Blairich
von Damoclese) from his other band the Pivot Foots. Mudd had also played
in Long Beach punk legends the Falling Idols. In 1996, Eric Wilson (Eraqui
Warlordius) formerly of Sublime joined on bass, with Blair switching
to rhythm guitar and keyboards. This is the lineup that did the Del
Noah CD, Blower Explosion. In the latest lineup, David Bunoan (Davidian
von Titian), formerly of the Reverbrockets, has been playing bass.
What was your favorite gig?
A: The all-time favorite had to be opening for Link Wray at the Foothill
in Signal Hill in 1999, since he was a major influence on our music
and the hot rod sound.
How do you describe your sound?
A: We play vocal and instrumental hot rod and surf, "Las Vegas Grind"
style stripper-sax and crime jazz. We are faithful to the styles of
the original music, but there is always the influence of punk rock in
our music, even at its jazziest. Also, the lyrics of our vocal numbers
usually are a demented satire of various subjects put into the context
of late 50's and early 60's music. Though there is a strong "trad" element
in our sound, we try to avoid the boring "preciousness" that comes from
the slavishly imitative. We are influenced by people who were groundbreakers,
not imitators-like Link Wray and Jerry Lee Lewis-so we always stress
the intensity and throw in lots of weird twists that catch people by