An interview with the amazing punk rock queen, Tibbie X, bassist for Reagan Youth and many other bands, Tibbie has even recently recorded death metal vocals for Nemesis Imperium! She is also a punk vocalist, an accomplished actress, blogger, wife and mother to a two year old son. Tibbie X is the real deal!
Greetings, Tibbie! Why not give us all a little background info, who you are, what you do and have done so far?
I’m Tibbie X a New York raised punk rocker. I am presently playing bass for Reagan Youth and I’ve been involved in underground punk for almost 20 years. I love collaborating on projects with interesting talented people so that’s lead me to branch out from singing to playing bass, DJing, acting, I studied ninjitsu for a few years and I recently had a short story published in a book titled "No One Makes It out Alive: An End Of The World Anthology" (edited by Hydra M. Star available on Amazon)
So let's talk about the X-Possibles first. How long has that band been around, and are they still going strong?
X-Possibles started in 1997 when I met Guitarist Rikki Chips one night at St Marks Comics where I was working, we sat on the street after and talked/drank all night. I slept through work the next day and quit that job, X-Possibles have existed ever since. We became regulars at CBGBs, were very involved in the NYC underground hardcore/punk scene and toured all over Europe until our drummer Brandon Possible died in 2005. We reunited in 2009 to write/record 4 more songs with drummer Michael Wildwood of Degeneration and Kenny Young on bass. We played live shows until 2010. We made a limited edition glow in the dark 7inch of those songs available on X-Possibles.com. Presently Rikki Chips is not talking to me and I don’t know why so I've moved onto different bands and am working on videos for the songs X-Possibles recorded in the past.
DO X-Possibles have any specific influences? I notice a definite horror theme running throughout, is this a Misfits influence, or just natural?
I do love the Misfits but the horror is within me. I am naturally attracted to "the darkside" of things. I always related to Monsters, original outcasts who have trouble "fitting in" and are sometimes prone to violent rages instigated by mass stupidity. When X-Possibles started I was a big Cramps fan, I love Link Wray, Hasil Adkins, Slayer, and Rikki and I were influenced by 80's California Hardcore, Germs, Flipper, Agent Orange, Red Scare- all that great stuff. Our intention was to be an instrumental Horror surf band but we both had...a lot of issues..and the music became a sort of exorcism for me.
There is a video for "Six Times the Weirdness"- where can people go to watch that? Are there any more videos?
All the X-Possibles videos that exist are on YouTube. Six Times the Weirdness was produced by Devarez films. I have a long running obsession with the Zodiac Killer and I HAD re-create his reality. Patrick Devany producer/actor made my dream come true-literally. After constructing the Zodiacs killing outfit Patrick transformed into him and the SPFX by Michael Scardillo and Manny Serrano-would have made the Zodiac himself proud. We have another new video on YouTube titled "Mr. Knowitall" by Kevin Vonsper. I got as many NYC artists/punks/musicians in it as possible, we're all dancing like maniacs in my living room its pretty rad, like a modern day Hell comes to your house.
Speaking of film and video, you are\have been in quite a few television shows and even some movies- tell us about that, won't you? My two favorites would be the late great Vickers Bastard Gringo Movie titled "Son of Eyeball Man" where I play a chainsmokin’ whiskey drinkin’ sociopathic "tough mom" of a half man-half Rat and..a Human Eyeball. Good stuff!! Also of course Patrick Devany’s T.V. series "Zombie Hunters City of the Dead" where I’m basically myself, shooting and stabbing the undead. I’ve also randomly been on some major network shows, I won some money alongside author Michael Malice on Cash Cab, I got tattooed by Ami James on NY INK, and I check out a painting made of Hair on the east village little shop of horrors show "Oddities". Those shows were fun but I really really love to work in the underground Horror genre and I hope to do more of that in the future.
So how hard is it to be a "bad ass gun totin' zombie killer", a punk singer in one band, bass player in another band, actress, party animal and a mom and wife, on top of it all?
It is harder for me to not be creatively active, punk shows serve as an emotional/physical outlet for me. My #1 Love is my son Severin Alexandar he's my best friend and he inspires me to try my best. The only hard part is being away from Severin for days when I’m on tour, but playing music and meeting people all over the world is my passion so I do it for both of us, to fulfill my dreams and to make my kid proud.
So, word has it you're a Satanist... Care to elaborate? Has this had any impact on your careers, or any influence on your bands, like lyrical content, for example?
Yes I am a LaVeyan Satanist and it has a huge impact on my entire life in every way. I don’t live my life by the book so to say, but I agree with the Philosophy. I am accountable for my own reality. I don’t passively wish for things to happen by degrading myself to some imaginary authoritative "GOD". It’s my responsibility to bring my dreams to life. The Greater and Lesser magic Anton wrote so beautifully about it, the energy of focus and action, manifesting your own destiny into existence. I just love it so much! I wrote a song titled "Superbia" about the hardships I went through in life and how Satanism helped me evolve and live with pride. How I honored my life by creating another life and not self destructing. Rise above!! I think the Satanic Witch should be mandatory reading for teenage girls everywhere, it’s really empowering!
Do you ever find that people look down or don't take you serious, either because of gender or your choice of religion? What's your response to them, if so?
Luckily, the important people like my bandmates and fellow musicians take me seriously. Close friends sometimes just roll their eyes if I say Satanist, it’s ok I don’t have to justify my beliefs to anyone. People hear Satanist and they think we are dancing around in capes conjuring Demons...which honestly sounds like a great time to me...but I don’t do that. The thing that really makes me crazy is when guys- who aren’t even IN bands start lecturing me about songwriting or how I should sing. They brush me off and say something like, oh you just scream all the time. NOT TRUE! I have a very intense vocal range and my songs are personal stories from the heart. Uncensored truth resonates, and that’s why I get emails from kids all over the world about my music and the guy playing acoustic guitar singing about some bullshit he saw on the news is alone and lecturing me like I give a crap about his opinion. Ha! So yeah it happens...but I just nod politely like their advice is making a big difference in my life and continue on my merry way.
You have been known to proclaim yourself as a "Gender fluid Satanic rockstar"... What do you mean?
The first time I dressed in drag as Jerry Only for my Misfits cover band Ghouls Night Out it felt entirely natural. When I play bass I feel a strong male/sexual energy that I didn’t know existed in me, I fucking love it! I’m like a very feminine tom boy. I also say Satanic Rockstar because Satanism is living true to yourself and that’s how I’ve always handled myself onstage in bands.
You also mention on your Facebook page that you host a live blog- is this still going on? What's it all about?
A few seasons ago the on T.V. show Hoarders on A+E there was a possum living on a woman’s front porch. I started a facebook for the Possum, assuming the possums identity as a television superstar and I began live blogging commentary during Hoarders episodes, kinda like Mystery Science Theater. Thousands of people joined the possum page including Geraldine Thomas the PRODUCER of Hoarders, Matt Paxton, Cory Chalmers, Dr. Robin Zasio, Dr. Melva Green (Lashes) - all the therapists and "treasure stealers" even the hoarders themselves come to the possum page during the episode. The original commenter’s are like professionally funny, they are the "Possum Posse"! I welcome everyone to join us over on the Possum facebook page every Monday night at 9pm during Hoarders-its hilarious. Facebook.com/The.Possum.From.Hoarders
Moving on to another band of yours, tell us about "Ghouls Night Out", please!
Ghouls Night Out NYC is an all girl Misfits cover band that started in 2008, Glenora was our singer who started it and I joined as a bassist but Glenora moved away so I took over as Danzig and just like the real Misfits we've had many different line up changes. We play out twice a year, on Halloween and for the Brooklyn Zombie aftercrawl party its crazy fun.
Okay, Reagan Youth... They are one of the forefathers of the entire hardcore punk movement in the late seventies and early eighties, and arguably the seminal influence on the entire east coast for punk- have they always been around, or did they just get back together recently?
Reagan Youth has a huge history, too much for me to write here but Wikipedia has a great overview of the tragedy’s and triumphs. It is amazing to be playing in this band, I used to play their album in my bedroom when I was an angry teenager while jumping on my bed punching the walls and cursing out my parents..now Paul Cripple the original guitarist is my musical mentor, its a dream come true. Also our drummer Mike Agro, he's INCREDIBLE. He plays with his whole body like a wild animal! He's making me a better bassist I can feel it in my heart when we are in synch.
So how did you end up in that band? Do you find any flak coming your way, because you're so much younger, or female?
I tried out for vocals in 2005, Paul liked my voice but didn’t want a female singer which I agreed with, it changes the whole dynamic. Years later their former singer played bass in X-Possibles and told me RY needed a bassist, so I got to audition and everything fell into place. I practice a lot because I believe its very important to NOT suck, I just don’t know any other women in NY Hardcore right now. I feel like Im being tested sometimes at live shows, punk fans do not fuck around but I love the challenge and it feels SO GOOD to get sweaty hugs and compliments after we play. I’ve been compared to Lemmy- I can die happy. I am a part of carrying on the legacy and message from the original singer Dave Insurgent, that is an HONOR so I treat it that way.
If you ask me, punk was an angry expression of disgruntled youth from the seventies and eighties, and most bands took that message to the streets via their music; do you think in today's jaded day and age of kids who think AFI and Greenday are punk, that this is futile? Is punk truly dead, at least in theory and ideals?
Punk is a world wide movement of freedom and that can never die.
True Punks look out for each other, even though we may be strangers we are all on the same team and we are usually connected through mutual friends. We are a survivalist family. I’ve helped complete strangers in other countries that I met through X-possibles get off heavy drugs. I’ve met punks on the street when I was travelling who cooked dinner for me and gave me a place to stay. Ya know Greenday and those pop/crap commercial bands I suppose they are talented (cringe) but their music is just entertainment. There are political punk anarchist squats in Europe that house refugees, hold art shows, renovate historical buildings and provide free living spaces for artists. It’s really tremendous and alive!
Movements like "Occupy Wall Street" seem to be somewhat "punk", in terms of people trying to express themselves. Is this a futile effort, in your opinion? Where do you see punk ideals in relation to things like "Occupy Wall Street"?
I think Occupy Wall Street had a great D.I.Y inspirational start, all different types of people united for a common purpose and what I feel is SO important is it changed communication. It became an individual responsibility to broadcast the TRUTH online such as exposing police brutality at peaceful protests, rather than just depending on the media to cover it. (which they weren’t) The "Human Microphone" blew me away.That unified self reliance is very punk. What I dont agree with personally is the identifying as a victim status and the 100% absolute pacifist mentality. I think thats the futile part that gives the movement a hippie reputation and its hard to take that part seriously.
So it seems that Reagan Youth has had it's share of tragedy in it's past, yet the band has still maintained a presence on the punk scene- why is this?
Paul Cripple is an unstoppable force of true real-deal punk rock and he honors his best friend Dave Insurgent with hardcore loyalty. Plus the fans support us, as long as they come to the shows the band will live on.
What do you see coming in the future for punk as a whole, or even just Reagan Youth?
Reagan Youth has one last album to record, all the songs tell the story of Dave Insurgents life and the album will feature a buncha the original hardcore musicians who were around and part of the movement. As for the future of punk Id like to see more serious women musicians like Madame St. Beatrice's band Dust Angel with both Paul and Mike from RY in it.
How do you feel about music these days, in regards to the punk or metal underground? Do you feel it's still there, like a strong network, or has apathy and things like downloading in the internet killed things off?
I have to say I do not know anything about new music besides Dust Angel. Maybe I like Die Antwood, I don’t really get it yet. I think the internet helped make it easy for everyone to have access to everything really but it killed the thrill of stalking an album at the record store and scoring something really special. I’m old, what do I know what the kids are doing. J.R. you will keep metal alive with your music and record label!
Punk has always been against establishment and tradition- Satanism has always maintained something similar in it's doctrines. Do you think there is a definite link between the two?
Absolutely, what I love about Satanism is the self preservation. Self destruction is romanticized in punk and I’m sick of losing friends to addictions. I can only lead by example but I will not die of a drug overdose and I am always available to offer help to ANYONE suffering from drug or alcohol dependence.
You recently recorded a song with The Quintessentials, a horror psychobilly band out of Hawaii, fronted by a Satanic Warlock; how did that come about, and where can we check this out?
Warlock Les Hernandez contacted me on facebook to correct a broken X-Possibles link and I had a momentary groupie freak out because I’ve loved his band since the 1990's. We got to talkin and I flew out to Portland with my husband Nico and new little baby to record "The Devils Henchman" with the Quintessentials. The CD is available on their website and for a sneak preview of our LIVE recording check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzL7eEYWzdQ
What lies in the future as far as movies, music, motherhood, Satan and tattoos for ya, Tibbie?
I have my hands full with this almost 2 year old kid and Reagan Youth tours. Oh I got to record vocals alongside Charles Lupula in his new Death Metal band "Nemesis Imperium", It was really challenging singing so fast I LOVED it! The album will be available soon on their website. Life is unpredictable so I’m always open to fun opportunities in the future.
Okay, lady- wrap this thing up for us- say what needs to be said, and thank you for your time!
I recently jumped into a cab and then asked the driver "hey are you off-duty?" He said " girl, why did you not look first before jumping in" and I replied "What fun would that be? At least this way I have a chance! " I think that’s a good way to live life. Thank you J.R. for this interview- I look forward to raising Hell with ya in the Mormon state. Cheers to the future and HAIL SATAN!! XO
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