Mephiskapheles on Dealing With the Devil, Gwar's Dave Brockie, and Flying Bottles
It was a high time for ska. The third wave was in full swing, and the circus horns of bands like Reel Big Fish were all over the radio. By 1995, Mephiskapheles had put out its first album, God Bless Satan, signed a distribution deal with Moon Ska records, and gotten the "Doomsday" video on MTV.
Two years later, Greg and the crew found themselves in Detroit during Devil's Week at the metal club Harpo's, opening for Gwar.
"The fans were throwing bottles at us," Robinson remembers. "We cut the set short by three songs, and then the promoter ran back, paid us, and told us to leave. The crowd was getting ugly, and the police wouldn't come down to that neighborhood."
In all, the men of Mephiskapheles actually spent three weeks on tour with GWAR. "The Melvins were opening for them, and they couldn't take the abuse from the fans. So they quit, and we got the call.
"That was a memorable tour, for sure. It was brutal. Getting shit thrown at us every night. But Dave Brockie, R.I.P., was one of the most dedicated people I've ever seen. Running the whole show. Rockin' out in a 100-pound suit. Managing the roadies and the slaves that filled the tanks with blood."
Throughout the mid '90s, they also played extensively with fellow ska stars like the Blue Meanies, Inspecter 7, and Less Than Jake, visiting Miami for the first time in the summer of 1995. "Florida was always great," says Robinson. "I know we played in Miami, and stayed in Miami Beach, and had fun."
And now that Mephiskapheles is back, Greg says he and the crew are ready to do it all again. "We're lucky to have many of the original band members. We have the original drummer, original keys, original lead singer, the Nubian Nightmare, AKA Invidious. He's a big guy. We just fell back into it and picked up exactly where we left off."
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Mephiskapheles. With Fotre, Saganaki Bomb Squad, Simple Principals, Stereotype the Masses, and Stop the Presses. Presented by Idle Hands Productions. Friday, April 4, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $12 via idlehands305.com. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.