Dee Skusting & The Rodents are a killer 3 piece punk band out of Los Angeles. They just self released their debut EP “Freedom Lost”
PUNX: Who’s in the band, and what do you play?
Dee: I’m Dee, and I am the whipper; the whipper snapper. I whip these fuckers into shape.
Johnny: Johnny Rodent, drummer extraordinaire , backup vocalist, and I got this for Dee:
Dee is the main song writer, riff writer, guitar player, vocalist… she’s the main mama.
Chris: I am Christopher Clark, I play a 4 string guitar.
PUNX: How did the band form?
Dee: It was out of just wanting to play music. We were in different bands, Johnny was in Skulrot and I was in A Pretty Mess. Our bands were getting too busy for us, so we just started fucking playing. We started having fun, and it led to a bigger thing.
Chris: I joined like two years later. Even though I was homies with Dee, she still legitimately made me try out with like 6 other bass players. I don’t know if it was 6 months or a year? But I went in, and I killed it, I know I did, and she was just like “I’ll let you know…”
Dee: There was a lot of shit in between, we weren’t ready to really start the band until like last year.
PUNX: So were you guys playing out as a duo?
Johnny : Yes
Dee: We did a show at a fucking pizza place… a fucking god damn pizza place. Rock N Roll Pizza, That’s where we started it all.
Johnny: Oh yeah! it was an acoustic show
Dee: Dave Grohl owned that place… and it was actually fucking rad. A lot of our friends came out, and we were like “fuck, ok, let’s take this to the next level”
Johnny: We played a couple shows, Jimmy’s Place in Burbank…
Dee: We played anywhere, we didn’t fucking care.
PUNX: Any tour stories?
Dee: Chris is a wild fucking animal.
Chris: I actually consider myself a regular guy.
Dee: When someone talks about themselves in the third person, that’s when you know you got to watch out for them.
Chris: I’m a super regular guy. I have very traditional values.
Dee: So did John Wayne Gacy! He’d say “I was a nice guy, I loved kids…” he loved to kill the boys, and keep them down in the basement!
Johnny: So when Chris says “hey I’m a normal guy” and all this… The first tour we go on was all Fear And Loathing. He ends up butt fucking naked running around, we jump the fence for the pool. Thrash the hotel room…
Chris: I smoothed them out. I had the Jedi mind trick, because I’ve been doing fucking punk rock point missions forever.
Dee: We had the cops called on us. And then the next the morning, he tore the door down in the hotel!
Chris: I was so happy. We had just played these three radical shows with Maid of Ace and…
Dee: And we had to spend all the money on the door you broke!
Chris: I messaged you some money, I have a job… it’s not the first door I’ve broken.
Dee: …and that was the end of our tour.
PUNX: Who’s your biggest influence for this band?
Dee: I grew up listening to so much L7, Lunachicks, and Nirvana. They’ve been my biggest influences, still. Old school alternative shit, like even fucking Sinead O’Connor, my first tape I bought was Blondie, that still influences me. Sex Pistols, Exploited, The Ramones, Hole, The Wipers, The Clash, all that is still in my heart… but, what I want to be influenced by is my own band, by dirty fucking rodent Johnny, and dirty fucking rodent Chris!
PUNX: How’d you come up with the name?
Dee: Well my stage name is Dee Skusting, and then…I mean look at them… (laughs) I do gotta give props to Allison, my wife, from Maid Of Ace, she said “You’re the fucking Rodents”
Chris: Yeah she guest stars on our EP, she does some lead guitar.
Dee: She’s on tour right now… She’s at Rebellion. It was her influence, our influence, and us just being fucking Rodents.
PUNX: What’s you favorite part of being in a punk band?
Dee: Being able to do whatever the fuck you want. Punk is freedom. The fact that you don’t have to look the part, it’s an open book to what you feel is punk. Freedom of speech, and freedom to do what you want to do. I like expressing myself, and I want people to connect with me, and I think they do. I write about what’s going on and shit, but also we can fuck around and write about a dog pissing on a pole. That’s freedom.
Johnny: I like the emotional release of playing really aggressive music; also meeting a lot of like cool people too, like minded people in the scene.
Chris: It makes me feel like a kid. I was 5 years old when The Ramones movie Rock N Roll Highschool was on KDOC, and it changed my fucking life. Then I heard the Sex Pistols-
that was it, that’s when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. You get to be a kid eternally until the day you die.
PUNX: What’s your least favorite part of being in a punk band?
Dee: Not even punk, it doesn’t matter, but I HATE carrying my fucking gear. Being my own roadie.
Chris: At least you know its been done right when you do it yourself.
Dee: I’m not the big strong man i used to be (laughs)
Chris: I would like to see that, I used to watch women’s body building, I can imagine you doing that
Dee: I could bench press you right now, what do you weigh?
Chris: like 225?
Dee: Okay… maybe next week, right now I’m benching 200 (laughs)
PUNX: Do you have a favorite place to play?
Dee: I don’t really have a favorite, I just play wherever the fuck we go.
Chris: I live in San Pedro and the fucking raddest place to fucking play is Godmother Saloon on Sixth st. in San Pedro. James Intveld does Chicken Bingo Sundays, they have chickens, and these numbers on the floor. You buy tickets and you guess what number the chicken is going to shit on! She loves the chickens, she owns them.
Dee: NO ONE OWNS THE RODENTS THOUGH! (laughs)
PUNX: What’s next for Dee Skusting & The Rodents?
Dee: We have a few things brewing. Our unreleased song “Unkown” is on the Punks Against Dogfighting Vol. 1 compilation, which not only has a ton of great bands, but also all the money goes to the ASPCA. We’re all for it going to animals, and raising awareness ofthe cruelty of dogfighting. I really hope any kind of animal cruelty becomes a felony, and those people get what they deserve.
We have our CD release show August 30th@ Cafe NELA, which will sadly be our last time there. It’s for our EP “Freedom Lost” which will also be available on CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify, out of the trunks of our cars, etc.
Freedom lost is available as a digital download
Freedom Lost mixed/mastered by Dan Lucas @ Anchor Baby Recording (UK)
Freedom Lost recorded by Ulysses Noriega @ Laundry Room Recording
Photography by Deb Frazin