Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, Thomas J. Potter fronted Bantam Rooster, a wild duo from Lansing, Michigan who cracked heads with a fervent style of hillbilly influenced garage punk. They played early shows with the White Stripes and even scored a mention in crime master Elmore Leonard’s novel Mr Paradise. Potter went on to play in a bunch of other bands including the Dirtbombs. All were explosive.
Potter is back with Choke Chains, a new band featuring members of Chinese Millionaires and No Bails and things seem to be getting just as explosive (and bloody). The gruesome new video for their track “Safe Word” stars Kevin Corrigan (Goodfellas / The Departed / Buffalo '66) and was directed by Nick Lloyd, who garage punk nerds may remember for the crazy sci-fi Human Eye video “Gettin' Mean".
Taken from their self-titled debut LP due on Black Gladiator/Slovenly at the end of the month, the video contains more hemoglobin than a queasy stomach can probably stand.
Check the video below and read a short interview with Thomas.
Noisey: Is that real blood?
Thomas J. Potter: We plead the fifth on that. Actually the unofficial source was from Bazooka Joe's last period. Eight gallons. How did Kevin Corrigan get involved?
We met at a Dirtbombs show in L.A and have stayed in touch. He's a fucking brilliant actor and musician. We had been kicking around the idea of doing a video with Nick Lloyd directing who was the last drummer in Bantam Rooster. Kevin and I had always wanted to work together in some way so this made sense. Eventually I'll lure him into the studio. Corrigan was also in the Matt Dillon directed video for Dinosaur Jr’s “Get Me”. One YouTube user who was an extra in the video claims Dillon only paid him $35.
How much did you pay the kid in your video?
We paid him in candy and fireworks. At one point he demanded a crushed up aspirin in orange juice and gin. Who is the kid? He has real cool creepy Village of the Damned/Shining vibe.
It’s William, our bass player Chizz's son. We knew he was fond of blood and wants to be on Saturday Night Live. He's wearing a wig. He actually has long blonde curly locks. Both he and Melanie (the Mom) gave great performances. Believe it or not this video was a family affair. Both Chizz's wife and Nick's wife assisted, my daughter helped out, Mark's wife Windy…my buddy Tone, whose house we shot in.
The Choke Chains LP will be available Jan 29 on Black Gladiator/Slovenly Recordings.