By Jason Hall
The Wastedeads are an established San Francisco duo who are new to the desert. They aren’t a typical duo though. They are an in your face zombie duo consisting of Beth Zombie and Shawn of the Dead.
Beth and Shawn were amazing while still amongst us living, and decided in death, they’d form a punk rock duo unlike any other. Beth and Shawn both are up front and on vocal duties. Beth supplies the guitar and Shawn plays the drums standing up.
Some may shy away from a zombie band, but Beth and Shawn do it right. They are both amazing musicians and amazing and friendly people off stage. They make it fun. Their merch is equally impressive. They take canned pasta out with “Chef BoyArDead Brainsaroni” label’s on them. They also have candles and homemade scar trucker hats.
We sat down with Beth Zombie and Shawn of the Dead and had an interview about their pre and post death careers. (Obviously they were contained the whole time.) Be sure to catch The Wastedeads October 26 at Gadi’s in Yucca Valley and at Stickyfest on November 10.
Coachella Valley Weekly: Can you tell us a bit about your musical past?
Beth Zombie: “ARrghhhheeefffff aarrrrggghhhhh arrrRRRrggghhh — oops, forgot you don’t speak zombie! I have been playing in bands for many years playing bass and guitar. San Francisco punk rock bands — The Loudmouths, The Womentors and The Meat Sluts were a few I was in.”
Shawn of the Dead: “I’ve been banging on things since I was a kid and spent years in Drum Corp. Before my undead life I was a public school music teacher, and before moving to the desert I was drumming in San Francisco bands The Krypters and Fuzz Attack.”
CVW: How did the idea of The Wastedeads come up?
Beth Zombie: “I randomly went to a zombie pub crawl and found my true calling; I never realized how much fun being a zombie could be! I’ve always been a horror movie/zombie fan. Dawn of the Dead is one of my all-time favs. I thought it would be funny to do a zombie band where we just made videos that had captions with intelligent lyrics to grunt and groan singing. Becoming a full-on live band wasn’t the idea at first! The two-piece evolved (or de-volved) because I’d been in many bands and was tired of dealing with schedules, personalities… I wanted to try something with just one other bandmate. In the Wastedeads I play guitar through a bass amp and a guitar amp so the sound is full. Shawn plays drums standing up – a first for him! – and we stand next to each other on stage. Like Shawn of the Dead says, ‘Zombies don’t sit down!’”
CVW: What brought you two out to the desert?
Shawn of the Dead: “The zombie outbreak got cured in SF, so we needed a new place to infect!”
Beth Zombie: “The open space, the stars and dirtbike riding is pretty nice out here too.”
CVW: You’ve got some of the coolest merch I’ve seen. How did the Chef Boyardee and Vienna Sausages idea come about?
Beth Zombie: “It’s Chef BoyArDead and Blood, Guts, Fingers and Toes! Have you tried them? Sometimes they taste like carrots, peas or corn. They are very tasty. Sometimes we put them on shelves in grocery stores… coming to a Stater Brothers near you! We have some really cute Wastedeads panties too, and other zombie apparel.”
CVW: Do you guys have plans for an album?
Shawn of the Dead: “We have an album, Rot-n-Roll, that came out Halloween 2014. You can find it on our bandcamp, https://thewastedeads.bandcamp.com, along with some other songs as well. We have it for sale on CD at our shows.”
Beth Zombie: “We would love to do a 7” someday, something on splatter vinyl. Vinyl rules! I’m an old vinyl whore.”
CVW: How did you get involved in Stickyfest?
Beth Zombie: “We moved to Morongo Valley at the end of 2017. A friend sent me a posting by Sticky Doll who were looking for bands to play the fest. We answered it. Let the zombie apocalypse begin!”
CVW: Any live shows coming up besides Stickyfest?
Beth Zombie: “We are playing a van camp out on Rocktober 20 at the Palms in Wonder Valley. I am a vanner and do a website called DON’T COME KNOCKIN’ – http://www.rockinvan.com.”
Shawn of the Dead: “We hope to infect all the dive bars around here that have live music… we need to make friends with more local desert bands. Don’t be afraid of us, we don’t bite… that hard…”
CVW: Are there any other musical projects you guys are involved in?
Shawn of the Dead: “I’d like to play in a garage band, a la MC5, Sonics, Cramps. I’m looking for some desert rats to start that up with me! It would be nice to sit down and play drums.”
Beth Zombie: “We have a couple other bands too — The Hot Patooties which is more of a punkabilly thing, and Motorbitch, a Motorhead cover band is in the works. I’ve always wanted to be Lemmy!”