Holiday psychosis

Psychostick wants the audience laughing while they mosh.

How Psychosticks hats stay on while performing is a mystery for fans.

Image by Psychostick

How Psychostick’s hats stay on while performing is a mystery for fans.

by Spencer Doar

What: Psychostick with Screaming Mechanical Brain and Ten Count Junky

When: 8 p.m., Tuesday

Where: 7th Street Entry, 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis

Cost: $8 advance, $10 at the door

Ages: 18+


For Psychostick, getting tooled up for a show requires nothing but a desire to rage, a few funny hats and a distaste for the holidays.

The decade-old, humor-metal band based out of Kansas City, Mo., is touring and performing their holiday material during their “Santa’s an Asshole” tour.”

“We got really tired of hearing the same Christmas songs every year, so we decided to make our own,” lead singer Rob Kersey said. “It’s more of a ‘We’re tired of this crap, so here’s some cynicism for you.’”

It doesn’t take long to see the truth of Kersey’s words as tracks off the album “The Flesh Eating Rollerskate Holiday Joyride” have titles such as “Jolly Old Sadist” and, as if it couldn’t get clearer than this, “Holiday Hate.”

Psychostick gained notoriety six years ago after the viral success of its song “Beer,” which started popping up on XM satellite playlists.

Lines like, “I like beer because it’s good / I drink beer because I should” epitomize members’ sometimes simplistic sense of humor and the Seussical quality of their tracks.

But they take it seriously. They don’t have day jobs and have dedicated themselves to the proliferation of what they have deemed “humorcore.”

“We’re not writing cookie-cutter songs here,” Kersey said. “We want to enjoy playing these songs every night — we don’t want to sit there and roll our eyes and think, ‘Here we go again.’”

They want the same from the fans, but Kersey realizes that goofy lyrics, hard-driving beats and slicing riffs from electric guitars are not the normal metalheads’ equation for a good dark time.

“[This is for] anybody who enjoys aggressive music but is ready for a different emotion,” Kersey said. “One of our sayings is that it’s okay to pit while laughing. We want you to enjoy the concert, but we don’t want you to let back on the energy at all.”

When Kersey walks on stage in his signature rainbow-colored, jester-style spike hat, audiences know that energy will come during the performance. Add bassist Matty J “Moose” Rzemyk, whose Bullwinkle headpiece is equally attention-grabbing; a mohawked Alex Dontre on drums and guitarist Josh Key, who has a penchant for Asian attire, and you get a kooky group of talent.

As for the name Psychostick, Kersey has no answer.

“The best I can say is it’s completely and utterly random,” Kersey said. “We’ve learned the hard way that psycho is kind of hard for people to spell — looking back, I might have chosen something else.”