Spotlight: Devil Runs the Truckstop

This month EU shines the spotlight on the Devil Runs the Truckstop. We caught up with Joe Gaskin, the band’s towering dreadlocked frontman, to talk about zombies, outer space and the future of musical performance.
It was the mid-seventies when Johnny Cash introduced the word “psychobilly” to the world in the song ‘One Piece At A Time’ to describe a pieced together Cadillac. Shortly after that, the term was appropriated by The Cramps to give a name to their unique blend of rockabilly and punk rock. And the rest, they say, is history.
Since then psychobilly has found mainstream acceptance due to bands such as Reverend Horton Heat, Necromantix and Tiger Army. It is a style of music that lends itself quite well to fun and interesting live performances and Jacksonville band, the Devil Runs the Truckstop have plans to take their performance to the next level.
DRT’s genesis was not the result of a couple of dudes sitting around talking hot rods but rather occurred via Facebook. “Damian, the bass player, messaged me and said, ‘Joe, we need to start a band! I really want to start a rockabilly band,'” laughs Joe. Despite his limited knowledge of the genre, Gaskin immediately discovered that it was the perfect medium for him to write songs about his favorite subject – zombies.
As Joe puts it, most of the songs are about “romantic run-ins with the undead.”
“All of the songs, when I wrote them, were telling the story of boy meets girl, boy dies, boy comes back for girl, she can’t accept it, so he goes on the lam looking for love but his hunger for brains ends up ruining everything,” Gaskin explains. And now, Joe would like to take those songs and turn them into a cabaret. A Riverside Romance, as it’s currently titled, would combine dramatic and comedic acting, dancing girls, audience participation and DRT’s live music to create something that will “make people laugh and think.” The project is still in its infancy, but you can count on Joe to follow through.
In the less distant future, the Devil Runs the Truckstop will soon be recording with Skinny Records, a new label put together by Tom Essex to support UNF-based bands. A compilation is scheduled to be released this month.


april, 2022