A band’s sound is so personal and so much dependent upon each musician’s experiences and expectations. Experimenting as band with a mix of genres can result in something very distinctive and unique, but it can also be daunting. Some questions any band that blends music styles together will come to a crossroads with are: “What genre are we playing anyways?” and “How do we market our music to reach out to fans who will appreciate it?” Subcultures like punk, rockabilly and psychobilly have die-hard fans, a scene that supports live music, and a long list of rules and expectations. Strangely, the genres that are the most dedicated to preserving a spirit of irreverence, rebellion, and good ol’ rock and roll are often the most rule-driven. In many ways they have to be in order to survive and continue to be identifiable. At times the paradox of a set of strict rules around music subculture that is supposed to challenge prevailing mainstream music can be exhausting. The Ripkatz have been called everything in the book from Rockabilly, Punk, Country, Psychobilly, and Alternative Rock. We have also been called posers and told that we don’t have a defined sound by some while in a bar with other people who lined up to buy our records and asked about our next shows. Live music performance and being vulnerable with an audience can be so raw and so rewarding.
Ultimately, we have found that building an audience around an original sound can work and that real fans are often made one show at a time. Sometimes it takes a person who claims no particular allegiance to any subculture to understand what the heck we are creating. Hell, sometimes we aren’t even sure. Other times people who come from different music subcultures can totally identify with our sound and can get past the fact the we regularly bend and break rules in various genres. What we do know is that we appreciate the input of our fans and critics and are proud to be a part of the music landscape at so many great shows.