Punks with fuzzy wings
Fearies take stage presence to a new level.
Photo by Shannon Sturgis
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LITTLE ROCK Who are the Flameing Daeth Fearies? The North Little Rock cabaret punk rock band is composed of three members: Rusti Majere on guitar and lead vocals, Keyng Wawful on bass, and Snakey the Sneaky on drums and vocals. Real names are hidden behind humorous, carefully selected personas and wild costumes, and the band generally goes by first names only.
Rusti is the de facto leader, dressed for an interview in a "Hess is my homeboy" T-shirt and sporting pink, fuzzy wings. Keyng is decked out in an all-white, milkman's uniform, like a Leave It to Beaver extra except for the angelic, white wings. (His name is derived from a series of photographs during one drunken, late-night adventure with Keyng sporting a paper Waffle House hat.)
"Snakey the Sneaky is completely Id driven," the drummer said.
The bearded Snakey mans the drum set sporting pink- and black-striped zebra boots, a tutu and Jackie O shades.
"It's the most roomy and freeing outfit to play drums in ever," he said.
All three members of the Flameing Daeth Fearies either grew up or spent the majority of their life in and around North Little Rock or Little Rock. The origins of the band stretches back seven years ago playing house parties with Rusti as the only constant member. Since adding bassist Keyng and Snakey, Flameing Daeth Fearies have graduated to playing venues such as the Revolution Music Room, Juanita's and even opening for Muck Sticky at Memphis' legendary New Daisy Theater in June.
"I think that we have changed or progressed might be a better word," Snakey said. "It's become more rocking. There's more energy. I think with the entertainment value we provide it's worth it to come check us out."
The band welcomes the label of cabaret punk rock. It's punk rock with a sly sense of humor that pulls up its tutu and wades into metal, country, rock and funk territory; heavy on the comedy, pop culture and parodies of well-known tunes with crazy lyrics. The personal influences of the band range from Tool to Green Jello and GWAR, and Rage Against the Machine and Flaming Lips to Bad Religion, early Green Day, Moldy Peaches and Dead Kennedys.
"Bands that are doing things with interactive elements are interesting to me," Snakey said. "If it's interesting we like it."
If Weird Al or Andy Kaufman fronted a punk band they might record a tune such as "Tranny Granny," a parody of Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back" with lyrics such as "She's bringin' tranny back/These other grannies don't know how to act." During a live run-through of the tune Rusti coaxes a synthesizer sound out of his Epiphone Moderne - a dark sheep, stepbrother of the Gibson Flying V and Explorer with Rusti affectionately nicknaming his Gumby - by channeling it through his POD XT Live tone machine.
"I wanted something that sounded like a keyboard," Rusti said. "Something that was a little less crunchy, a little less industrial."
A tune such as "The Dolphin Song" is an acoustic, countryesque ode to a lover leaving her man for a dolphin while "4 Weeks Later" is a tale of weed loving with stuttering New Wavish power chords and a rumbling punk rhythm.
"I think we're different from the other local bands," Rusti said. "I think we have more fun than other bands."
Catching the Flameing Daeth Fearies live is unlike any other Little Rock musical experience. The trio is known for their event live shows, such as A Very Feary Valentine's Day and A Very Feary Christmas - with presents given away to attendees - and their stage show that has included rolling Keyng out on a gold toilet dressed as Elvis Presley.
"I think that's what we shoot for: What makes us laugh; what makes other people laugh," Snakey said. "Sometimes people think: 'Are these guys serious? What am I supposed to think about these guys?' We get a lot of reactions."
Besides the wings and costumes, Snakey's drum set is decorated in what is best described as a cross between a Mardi Gras float and the fur of a skinned Animal, the Muppet drummer for Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem.
"It started out for the shock value and evolved from there," Keyng said.
But the campy lyrics, wild stage antics and weirdly wonderful costumes are secondary to the music generated by the Flameing Daeth Fearies.
"I get sick of punk bands with no stage show," Rusti said. "We have so much fun playing those shows. It's not serious, but it's professional. We're having a lot of fun."
Throughout the band's history, the Flameing Daeth Fearies have released seven CDs and are in the process of recording their newest album, Brown Town: The Musical, with plans to hit the road for some extensive touring through the end of the year.
"I think it's hard to convey what we are just by listening to a CD," Rusti said. "I hope to get across that we're fun, but we have a lot of talent. We can bust out the jams.
"We're going to go after it this year."
The Flameing Daeth Fearies will make their next Little Rock appearance at Juanita's on Friday, opening for the Electric Acid Theatre: the sideshow bizarreness, chainsaw-wielding, rock 'n' roll show of Enigma and Serana Rose. The doors open at 9 p.m. with a $10 cover for the 18-and-up show.