Based out of St. Petersburg, Russia, the premiere horror surf band Messer Chups, kicked off their first US tour early this month. The band’s mesmerizing and talented bassist Zombierella, was featured here three years ago, in a brief interview that focused on her instruments of choice. At that time, she favored a beautiful 1966 Daphne blue Fender Mustang, which she has since given a rest, in favor of her current working horse, a Danelectro Longhorn. As this goes to press, Messer Chups is at the Surf Guitar 101 Convention at Alpine Village in Torrance, California, where many US fans are excited to see and hear them in person for the first time. US fans reading this, check their tour poster below to see when the band will be playing near you. I can truthfully say that they were everything I expected and more, and seeing Zombierella in the flesh was an unforgettable experience.
The above video, shot at The Ritz in San Jose on August 7th, features them playing one of the few covers they do; the Munsters’ Theme. Even though Zombierella tells me she likes her Daphne blue Fender Mustang, which is back home, just as much as she likes her Danelectro Longhorn, I’m sure her Blue Baby is jealous. (Video courtesy of Kyle Gilmore)
August 7, 2016 backstage interview with Zombierella
ZOMBIERELLA: No, it’s not the first time. With me, Messer Chups played in New York once.
CHRIS: Oh, really. What year was that?
ZOMBIERELLA: It was maybe 2008. It was like eight years ago.
CHRIS: It was just one show?
ZOMBIERELLA: Two shows in New York.
CHRIS: Ah, okay ….but this is your first tour of the United States?
ZOMBIERELLA: Yeah, this is out first tour (of the US).
CHRIS: And this is your first time in the San Francisco Bay Area?
ZOMBIERELLA: Yes, our first time.
CHRIS: So, how do you like San Francisco, so far?
ZOMBIERELLA: We didn’t check the City, but we will go tomorrow. It’s our first time in California and for our style, it’s really good because the surf (sound) started here, so it’s like, we should visit.
CHRIS: I saw your schedule and you’re very busy. You’re playing here at The Ritz in San Jose tonight, and tomorrow you’re going to play at the Elbo Room in San Francisco, and then at Winter’s Tavern in Pacifica, on Wednesday night, correct?
CHRIS: Yes, so when do you sleep? Do you sleep on the bus, on the plane….?
ZOMBIERELLA: I was sleeping on the plane last night ….a little bit. Right after the show in Columbus (Ohio at Hot Rod Hula Hop) last night, we drove to the airport and flew to Dallas and ….never sleep.
CHRIS: (Note: Despite such a hectic schedule, she didn’t show any signs of lacking sleep) Now, I interviewed you through Facebook three years ago and I asked you questions about your basses, and at that time, you played a Daphne blue Fender Mustang. Did you bring it with you on this tour?
ZOMBIERELLA: No, I’m playing with a Danelectro Longhorn.
CHRIS: Why did you change? Do you still like your Blue Baby?
ZOMBIERELLA: Yeah, I will never sell it or do something with it, but ….I don’t know, I wanted to try the Danelectro because it’s also like, classic one for surf and for this style of music.
OLEG: It’s very easy for the tour because it’s light.
ZOMBIERELLA: Yes, it’s lightweight and I think it has a long sustain. Its style is vintage, that’s why it’s quite a loud bass and even though it’s like made of plastic, it sounds good.
ZOMBIERELLA: Mmmm, both. I like both, really. The Danelectro is my working horse.
CHRIS: I notice you play with a pick, always.
ZOMBIERELLA: Yeah, always.
CHRIS: Have you ever played with your fingers?
CHRIS: Do you have and (musicial) influences. What Bass players have influenced you? Any female bass players ….Tina Weymouth, or ….
ZOMBIERELLA: Mmm, I don’t know, I like the classic stuff ….the Surfaris …
CHRIS: I interviewed another female bass player from Russia; Bass Girl Mascara. She’s from Moscow and in a band called Leopard Bonapart. Have you heard of them?
ZOMBIERELLA: Yeah, I just saw some pictures of them, but I’ve never heard the band. I don’t know the band.
CHRIS: Yes, and they’re in Moscow and you’re from St. Petersburg.
ZOMBIERELLA: Yeah, I checked once. Maybe they’re more popular in some places in Moscow.
CHRIS: Okay, well this was really great that you took this time for this interview, I know you’re really busy and you get interviewed all the time …..
ZOMBIERELLA: I think my brain is not working right now, because I didn’t sleep and my brain is like slow.
CHRIS: No, that’s okay, it’s amazing to see you. I didn’t think you were a real person, I thought you only existed on the Internet (laughs). There’s one more thing I wanted to ask you. In one interview, you said many people compare you to Bettie Page and they say you look like Bettie Page and you seem tired of people telling you that you look like Bettie Page. I’ve said you don’t really look like so much like Bettie Page, but maybe a little bit of Bettie Page with a little bit of Vampira, but (you have) your own style.
ZOMBIERELLA: Yeah, now I’ve changed my bangs to a more 60s style. I mean, Betting Page did dancing and …. she’s a model.
CHRIS: Yeah, she was a model, not a musician. Do many people often say to you “Oh, you look like Bettie Page!”
ZOMBIERELLA: Maybe if they compare, they mean I’m good-looking and ….I don’t know. Yeah, I have bangs.
CHRIS: Okay, so is there anything you’d like to say to your fans in the United States?
ZOMBIERELLA: The tour has just started so see you everywhere guys, in the US. Check the dates ….and go show up and drink!
See and hear more of Zombierella and Messer Chups at:
Their Facebook Fan Page
Their Albums at Amazon
About the author
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English, traveling, and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the monthly magazine, Effective.
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