Originally created 06/29/01

Shark Devilles full of sound and ... fun



The Shark Devilles don't have a message. The Augusta band isn't out to save the rain forest or the whales, and they have little desire to wax poetic about their inner demons.

They just want to rock.

Unpolished and proud, Shark Devilles cranks lo-fi, high-energy tunes that draw liberally from rockabilly, blues, punk and 1960s garage rock. The Sharks believe that more than carefully crafted songs, rock should be about spit and swagger, attitude and, most important, fun.

"It's very important," said Adam Fulmer, whose psycho-stomp vocals propel the band's deceptively simple songs. "People are tired of going to shows and watching bands trying to be serious. They want to have fun. They want to jump around and dance and have a good time. They are tired of the tortured artist. This is rock 'n' roll."

Adopting a stage persona that draws equally from Keith Richards, Eddie Cochran and the sadder but wiser delinquents from '50s high school hygiene films, this is a band unafraid to wear its goofiness on its sleeve. That's just part of the show, and for the Shark Devilles the show is the thing.

"When people see us, they should see four guys on stage goofing off, having fun," said drummer Mike Leaptrott. "We don't care about how the music sounds, and neither should they. We just want to have fun. We've played shows that were terrible. But people were into it, so we succeeded in what we wanted to do."

Although the Shark Devilles willingly troll around the edges of rock obscurity, they are not alone in their appreciation of classic-rock sounds and a straight-outta-the-garage attitude.

"There's a whole kind of a rock 'n' roll scene out there that's about people getting together and having a good time," said guitarist Vaughn Holmes. "They know they are never going to make it. Most can't even do it for a living. You know it's sincere because they never make any money and you never hear them on the radio. They just love to play rock 'n' roll."

While it seems unlikely that the Shark Devilles will be churning out any precisely crafted pop symphonies in the near future, the members admit that writing good songs, no matter how simple, remains a priority.

"If you write bad songs, nobody is going to move around," Mr. Fulmer said. "You have to write something with a good, infectious beat, something with some driving vocals, to get people to jump."

The Shark Devilles recently upgraded from trio to quartet, recruiting Jason Fulmer for bass duty. The band plans on taking the new model Devilles out for a spin, playing some live dates in the next few months. But as always, the emphasis will be on the visceral pleasure of rump-shaking rock.

"People will see four guys on stage goofing off and having fun," Mr. Leaptrott said. "We don't care about how perfect the music is or how we look. We just want to have fun."

Online extra

The Shark Devilles The Shark Devilles You can hear the Shark Devilles' I am Rock and Roll by clicking on the above link. You also can hear a snippet of the song by calling INFOLINE at 442-4444, then dialing 8100.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or suhles@hotmail.com.