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Blog and Interview by: Maryssa Rose Chavez
Photography by: Jinni J

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol is a metal band located right here in the heart of Austin whose music is a fantastic compilation of multi genre sounds. They are fun metal that you can't help but move your body to. The band is comprised of Leo Lydon, who is the lead vocalist and guitarist, Sean St. Germain, who is on the drums, and Aaron Mezdorf, who plays the bass and does backing vocals.
In this Art Talk, we were able to get an inside look into the the minds and musical inspiration behind their sound.

We first worked with Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol (RBBP) at our 2019 Dark Arts showing here at Raw Paw, and ever since then we have been printing their amazing merch. They are always creating iconic and memorable designs for tee's, that reflect their bands "good time metal" vibe. Jinni J was able to snap a couple photographs of Leo and Sean and their t-shirts for this Art Talk, and we are excited for you all to learn a bit more about them. 

Photography by: Jinni J
Leo Lydon left, Sean St. Germain right

Maryssa:
What is your major inspiration for making your art/music?

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol:
We all come from different musical backgrounds, but collectively with this band we are very inspired by the drive to create a fun, cathartic energy in our music, and to share that with everyone who comes to our shows and listens to our records
Aaron:
That and a healthy dose of Marc Bolan, personally, that "I am my own fantasy", mentality.

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Maryssa:
What does the name, “Rickshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol” mean and where did it come from?

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol:
The name doesn’t really mean anything. Back when Leo started writing music for the band the name just sorta popped in his head and we’ve decided to stick with it. It has inadvertently led to a lot of amusing nicknames and really solid merch/art opportunities.

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Maryssa:
If you could describe your band in one word what would it be and why?

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol:
This is always a tough one, but I think if we only had one word to describe the band, I think we’d like it to be Fun. We are a metal band, but behind everything we write and the stage show we put on, we want there to be an air of fun, lighthearted, good timey-ness to it. We take our work very seriously, but when we get on stage we want everyone to know that we are having fun and that we want everyone to have fun with us.

Photography by: Jinni J

Maryssa:
Who are your biggest inspirations for your unique music style?

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol:
 We take influence from a lot of different music, both as a band and as individual musicians. When we started making music it was very garage rock, lo-fi, groovy stuff sort of in a Jack White/Queens of the Stone Age type of vein. As we kept developing the sound and the tone, little bits of stuff like Pantera, Meshuggah, and other kinds of metal bands we grew up on started to sneak their way into the songs. At the end of the day I think what we are constantly working on is taking our influences and synthesising them with the sound/direction we want for the band in our head. If anything makes us “unique”, I think it probably lies in the fact that we all listen to a whole lot of music, but we don’t want to make music that sounds like what we listen to, we want to make music that sounds fresh.

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Maryssa:
When you see people out in public rocking your shirts, how does it make you feel?

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol:
Honestly it feels amazing. The merch table itself is such a great place to meet people/talk to folks/really build a solid connection with the people who come to our shows and dig our music, and then to see those shirts in public, especially if it’s someone any of us don’t necessarily recognize is a really really rewarding feeling. We’re also very lucky to work with a number of amazing artists on our designs, and to see their amazing work being displayed in public is also super tight.

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Maryssa:
One piece of advice for any up and coming bands / musicians?

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol:
Again, another tough question because there are so many different ways to approach the music industry these days. I think the biggest piece of advice would be to really really REALLY mean what you’re doing with the music you make, and with that have solid goals in mind for where you want your band to go. If you want to be successful, it has to be the most important thing in your life. Make sure your band is working on making great music, make sure every musician is working on constantly improving their craft. Obviously that varies depending on what your band wants to do. For us, we’ve always been on the same page that we want to be a touring band, so the work we’ve done has been towards that.
There are other bits that are also super important (having a good quality social media presence is very necessary, having great merch is a must, especially if you are touring), but none of that matters if you don’t have a bunch of killer musicians who make killer music that are all driving towards the same goal.
Aaron:
You gotta commit, both feet in the grave. You must be present to win at all times.


"If you want to be successful, it has to be the most important thing in your life. Make sure your band is working on making great music, make sure every musician is working on constantly improving their craft."

Photography by: Jinni J

Maryssa:
Do you have a dream venue that you would love to play at?

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol:
I will die a very very happy man after we get to get absolutely stupid in the upstairs room at the Worcester Palladium in Worchester, MA. Leo and I (Sean) both grew up in Massachusetts and that was basically THE venue for hardcore/metal shows.
Aaron: growing up seeing shows in ATL I'd have to say the Tabernacle is at the top of my list, and Red Rocks has always been a dream.

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Maryssa:
Do you have any dream collaborations that you would wish to make happen?

Leo: King Buzzo, Les Claypool, Gene, and Dean Ween
Aaron: the Danzig sings Elvis album was pretty much it right??

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Maryssa:
Top three fictional characters? --- go!

Sean: Roland of Gilead, The 11th Doctor, Atticus Finch.
Leo: The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, Sweetums, Edgar the bug from Men in Black.
Aaron: Snoopy, The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood), Cool Hand Luke.

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Maryssa:
What do you imagine it would feel like to enter a wormhole?

Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol:
I imagine it would feel like a grotesque destruction of the body down to an atomic state, and then hopefully a successful re-atomization on the other side. What would it be on the other side? That's a question for another day.

Thank you RBBP for all of the insight you have provided for us, and allowing us to learn about the inner workings of your band. You can find all things RBBP on Instagram and on their website, where they sell their merch and post announcements for their shows. Their next upcoming show on March 27th is currently sold out, but keep an eye out for their next one. 🤘