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CKY (Camp Kill Yourself) Biography

Last updated: 08/25/2010 11:00:00 AM

CKY (Camp Kill Yourself)-photo
Deron Miller - guitar, vocals | Chad Ginsburg - guitar
Jess Margera - drums | Vern Zaborowski - bass

"All we ever wanted was an answer" - "96 Quite Bitter Beings"

"Our fans are pretty much the antisociety, just waiting for the change," says guitarist Chad Ginsburg. "They know everything sucks, and they're not afraid to say it. They're not buying records. They're the most sarcastic and objective fuckers out there. They've just been taught that everything has been blown out of proportion and is pretty stupid, if you take a second to look at it."

On the surface, such disenchantment might suggest that CKY are on the rage rock bandwagon and digging the ride - after all, it's hip to be pissed - and their tremendous credibility in skate circles conjures images of "pop punks with a poo-poo pee-pee mentality." However, these preconceptions dissipate in the first measures of "96 Quite Bitter Beings," the opening track from the band's debut disc, Volume 1. The song's main riff is a scornful, detuned calliope to CKY's circus of discontent; heavy, but sufficiently deficient of the Kornabee tendency to rage without reason. Therein lies CKY's philosophy: eclipse and destroy flaccid, carbon copy entertainment and snore-rock via a unique sound, acute wit, and hardcore work ethic. Resurrect music at its purest and most creative by changing the sound, the perspective, and the landscape -
reestablish passion as the priority. But for such revolution to occur, there must be an evolution. Let's moonwalk back a few years...

In 1998, Deron Miller and Jess Margera, as the "neo-technical death metal" band, Foreign Objects, met Ginsburg while recording a CD at local Philly studio, where the producer/guitarist worked. They played a rough demo of what would become "Disengage the Simulator" from Volume 1, and Ginsburg was floored. "Fuck yeah, I'll work with you, because I was so sick of recording crappy punk bands and rap-rock. I knew that they had potential." Motivated by their disdain for the current state of music, the trio got to work, fleshing out some killer riffs and, in short order, Volume 1 was completed. Then things started to happen.

Margera's brother, Bam, a pro skateboarder, had appeared in skateboard manufacturer Toy Machine's popular Jumping Off A Building video, which featured CKY's song, "Genesis12a." Interest in the band's apocalyptic, quirky, neo-progressive rock spiked with the video's popularity, and in 1999, Landspeed Wheels released Landspeed: cKy, a compilation of Bam's comic vignettes and skate segments, which featured CKY's music as the soundtrack. A flood of orders for Volume 1 (and Volume 2, a two-disc collection of outtakes and prank phone calls) ensued, and the band scrambled to keep up with the demand. They had become celebrities in skate circles, landing slots on the 1999 and 2000 VansTM Warped Tour (only to be booted for protesting vendor prices) and acquiring momentum. CKY websites appeared on the Internet like a case of poison ivy, and attendance at shows swelled dramatically.

In February, Ryan Bruni, strictly a live bassist, was unceremoniously booted from the band, forcing Ginsburg to assume bass duties for a summer Canadian tour (at least until July Warp 2000, when the band lured bassist Vern Zaborowski into the fold) and a third Bam/CKY film, CKY2K, was released.It was even more successful, attracting MTV, who approached Bam about doing a show for them. That show became the current cult sensation, Jackass, and suddenly, CKY had a video for "96 Quite Bitter Beings" (a.k.a. "The Shopping Cart Song") in rotation on MTV. "We've done things different already," says Ginsburg. "[But] we had a video on MTV with zero record deal. I don't know the last time that happened."

Naturally, with that kind of exposure, it was only a matter of time before CKY was picked up and, in April 2001, they signed with Island Records. First order of business: remaster and re-release Volume 1.

The disc, having already sold 40,000 units on word-of-mouth with little promotion and distribution, throbs with the potential to change the face of rock. The band's synergy and Chad's production talents are manifest throughout, especially on "96 Quite Bitter Beings," the driving, anti-"Must See TV" disco-ditty "The Human Drive In Hi-Fi," the jazzy, atmospheric sorta-ballad "Sara's Mask," and the vitriolic Manson-esque dirge, "Rio Bravo."

"There's a couple little mix things I did with ["Rio Bravo"]," says Chad. "But generally, the bulk of the song is the first rough mix, and the first song we recorded together. When that hit, I knew it was fuckin' the shit, 'cause I just spent a lot of time on it - we all did. I used that song to demo the studio to other bands that I recorded, like, 'dude - check out what our studio sounds like!' And the studio sucked. It's just the record we made that sounded good."

Indeed, it does. It's heavy, melodic, accessible, and above all, original. And there's not a chorus on the record. "Try to get a deal with no choruses, these days," laughs the outspoken Ginsburg, who reveals, though sing-a-long choruses are "for pussies," there will be one or two on CKY's upcoming third album, which the tireless band is already recording at Audio Resources in Honolulu. Ginsburg explains that he, Miller, Zaborowski, and Magera can't help but "always be thinking CKY and doing CKY, so here we are, doing CKY."

And by CKY, they don't mean simply the band. CKY has become a fan-driven
movement, with the band as figurehead. "Somebody made a real mistake by putting us in this industry," warns Ginsburg. "We're definitely aware that the kids hate everything that's fuckin' on MTV. They hate it all. There may be some closet kids who are hiding those records but, as far as everything that's happening right now, it's all about to crumble. Everything's being retired. CKY will take over the name of rock and roll and piss on its face, I promise."

Thanks to Chris, CarBee024@aol.com for submitting the biography.


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