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ratbastard
NEWS   Extensive photo resposotiry, spanning the years 1995-1998 available here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1557280743801.2067360.1588715381&type=3
ratbastard - 17 AUG 1996/ CARDI'S (Houston)
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WES DODSON (GUITAR, VOCAL)
THOMAS 'SHENGAR' BANTA (BASS)
JAN MUNDORFF (VOCAL)
GARY THOMPSON (DRUMS)

HARRIS COUNTY TOUR '96

Muchos gracias to Jay Foster for preserving this footage through the ages.
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play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 01. Intro
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 02. Jefekep?
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 03. Flying Low (Bonus Track)
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 04. The Secret Game
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 05. LAST DOOB
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 01. Piss On You
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 02. Missy The Kitty Slayer Yeah
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 03. Crack Monkey
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 01. Christmas At Denny's
play lo-fi play hi-fi  ratbastard - 02. Co*ksu*ker Monkeyfu*ker
Jan Mundorff - vocal
Wes Dodson - guitar
Thomas 'Shengar' Banta - bass

Gary Thompson - drums (1995-96, 1998)
Chet - drums (1997)
Thomas Cross - drums (1998)
Robert Lee Williams ('Bobby TheCock') - session drummer (1998)

Assembled August 1995 in Montgomery, Texas.
Hung it up Halloween 1998 in Magnolia, Texas.
Why this name?
Jan and Wes selected the name one evening with the assistance of depraved, swirling impairments.
Do you play live?
From day one, ratbastard exalted an ominous mission statement that detailed a clear and concise list of objectives that had to address some particulars of the promotional materials peddled by their contemporaries (rightfully compelled in doing so, being dually appointed, self- righteous criticizers). Being keenly aware that shopping a demo was key to landing a lengthy tenure of shitty weekday gigs, and driven by nothing more than being paid in the wee hours with a bar tab being called even, their comprehensive, state of the art micro-scrutinizing protocol detailed an obnoxious celebration run a muck, defiling any and all First Amendment principals with rabid, parading obscenities, and completely void of any recognizable moral Christian inclination. The findings of their in-depth, scholarly research and development concluded that the first demo should be nothing less than a trade of divine compromises. This exchange of goods and commodities would usher in an era that would become forever known as the Harris County Tour ’96.

1997 saw more comfortable, recognized bookings. That year graced us with the honor of opening for the likes of iconic Houston goddesses, Manhole, notable Chapel Hill, North Carolina rockabilly legends Flat Duo Jets, and Suicide Kings (NY).

Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
*** PLEASE SEE THE ABOVE MENTIONED MISSION STATEMENT ***

Wes took quite a fancy to the locally released Willie Nelson tribute, Twisted Willie (Justice Records, 1996). The Justice Records label happened to be a Houston-area establishment, and without a care in the world, ratbastard submitted their 1995 debut three-song to Justice Records president, Randall Jamail.

Initially, Mr. Jamail seemed to harbor an interest in the band... that is, until he stuck that tape in his deck and was assaulted by the opening number ("Jefekep?", a wee vulgar sing-a-long about suckin' a dick).

Needless to say, we would never hear from Mr. Jamail or any other representative of Justice Records after that.

The entire ratbastard catalog would remain D.I.Y, self financed, and independent.

Band History:
Band History/ Bio:

*** ratbastard ***

WES DODSON: We started off completely aware that there would be no proverbial record deal. We drafted a pessimistic ideology: No band… this band, or any other band for that matter was going to last forever. With that out of the way, ratbastard was crafted from a blueprint that detailed very specific expectations of its winding down into disorder. Plagiarizing a timeless, self-fulfilling prophecy seemed a logical, realistic approach to what we knew was likely to become a daunting marriage/ business endeavor/ end-of-friendship arrangement between four people with penises. Even if other metropolitan Texas markets celebrated an occasional, varied degree of notable mention, we were cynically observant and keenly aware that the Houston scene of the mid 90's was a dried up heap of dung that was wasting away before our very eyes and ears.

Our approach left us with few expectations... and even fewer disillusions of grandeur. To personify our backass vision, the opening bars of "The Secret Game" (1995) were intentionally shat forth as they might have been spitting out teeth at the end of a live track; presented with a signature “Damn, I’m glad THAT’S over” mock relief. With each successive effort, we would devolve a little more. If our inception was forged of precision/ garage/ slop metal, then our twilight efforts illustrated a more whittled down content that reflected a primal, stripped down relevance. We reversed engineered ourselves. That was our business model.

(22 April 2012)

JAN MUNDORFF: Things would pick up in the fall of that year when Wes, Shengar, Gary Thompson (a drummer Wes had recently recruited) and I assembled at a studio near Lake Conroe that Wes had spent the previous year building. By now, both Wes and I had both got our hair cut in an effort to stay employed, and our interests had also begun to lean more towards punk rock. Shengar's playing and writing style had a distinctly “Oingo Boingo” influence. After a “production meeting” and and hour and a half of obnoxious laughter, The four of us adopted the name ratbastard. What came out of the session that followed contained the trappings of what would later drive the fans wild. Shortly after, they would release, along with B-side classics “ The Secret Game” and “Last Doob”, their first single “Jefekep?”, which would later become the band's anthem.

(January 2012)

THOMAS 'SHENGAR' BANTA: I got a call from Wes, asking if I would [be interested] in laying some bass tracks down on a four song demo that he had recorded with Jan and a cat named Gary. I said “ok”, and a few days later received a four track demo that I listened to about 100 times straight. I have to be honest; I had no idea how to record and was in a bit of a pickle. I had some ideas on what I wanted to lay down but had no talent in recording. I gave Wes a call, and said I would like to do the recording with band (that was my way out of the pickle). A few days later I drove up to Lake Conroe, where Wes had moved to and built a studio. He met me at a gas station, and boy did he look different,! He had cut his f***ing hair off and dyed it red! I followed Wes to his home/studio and met up with Jan and Gary, and some cat that I can't seem to remember his name.

Now I was secretly interested in joining the band but had to play it cool. After a few introductions and some things to start the creativity flow, we played a few songs… and a few more… and a few more. During a break, with more things to help the creative flow, Jan ask me if I was going to join the band. Wes seemed mortified and said "Shengar is already in a band.” I didn't know if that meant "shut up this f***er can't play a lick and sucks" or what. Like I said, I was already wanting to play in this band, but I had to be cool. I told Jan that my band had split and I would love to join. Some more creative smoke was smoked and we came up with the name ratbastard!

(01 January 2012)

http://www.soundclick.com/ratbastard
http://www.reverbnation.com/ratbastard
Your influences?
Butthole Surfers, Gwar, Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Flat Duo Jets, Asylum Street Spankers, dead horse, Manhole, Hates, Yuckmouth, Red Naked...

Blah blah blah.... blah blah blah, blah blah blah.
Favorite spot?
Once the band had a comfortable feel for the lackluster Houston music environment of 1996 (i.e. the dying hair metal scene and snooty, trendy inner-loopsters), they were happy just to get the wind knocked out of them. In Austin the following year, they were blown back by a seething gust of talent and competition, proving to be a much needed, inspirational kick up off in their ass.

Relocating was briefly discussed, but nothing would ever become of it.
Anything else...?
An extensive ratbastard photo repository, spanning the years 1995-1998 is available here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1557280743801.2067360.1588715381&type=3

An Easy Death For A Hard Life: The Depraved Soundscapes and Rancid Audio Imagery of Wes Dodson (published @ www.rivetheadmagazine.com, 21 Sept 2012):

This hour long, 29-track podcast of all-Wes-related recordings span his waste of life between the years 1994 and 2012, and also includes 11 rare, ratbastard-era outtakes and demos.

Free download here:

http://kitsworld.rivetheadmagazine.com/2012/09/21/rhr-podcast-xi---an-easy-death-for-a-hard-life.aspx

Digital Imaging Copyright © 2013 Wes Dodson
Opening for Suicide King @ Emo's, 1997
ratbastard, Release, & Jinkies @ Instant Karma - 0
@ STINKY STUDIO'S (Houston), 1997
ratbastard/ Stinky's Studio/ Houston, Texas/ 1997
Copyright ©1998-2013 All Rights Reserved.
1997
Red Naked, ratbastard, The Hates @ Mausoleum - 30
Stencil Logo (c.1996)
@Emo's Houston, 1997
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