7 Shot Screamers
|7 Shot Screamers|
7 Shot Screamers (pictured: Planktin, Leahy, Sabella) in 2009
|Origin||St. Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Labels||Big Muddy Records|
|Associated acts||Clownvis Presley|
|Members||Mike Leahy, Kevin O'Connor (drummer), Dan Sabella, Chris Powers Jr.|
|Past members||Sarkes Roubanian|
Their music is a mix of classic Chuck Berry-inspired rock and roll, psychobilly, 1970s glam rock, and punk. They have released three albums: I Was A Teenage 7 Shot Screamer (2001), Keep The Flame Alive (2004), and 7 Shot Screamers In Wonderland (2006).
The band includes Mike Leahy on lead vocals, Kevin O'Connor on drums, Deano Sabella on lead guitar, and Chris Powers Jr. on upright bass. The name 7 Shot Screamers is purportedly derived from little-used European phrase "four shot screamer" (for a lightweight drinker), and reflects the band's love of alcohol.
On June 30, 2010, 7 Shot Screamers lead singer Mike Leahy appeared on the national television show America's Got Talent as his alter-ego Clownvis Presley, an Elvis Presley-impersonating clown. The judges hastily rejected Leahy's performance, and colorful exchanges ensued with the judges, with Clownvis telling host Howie Mandel that he "hasn't made anything good since Little Monsters."
Drummer Kevin O'Connor composed a film score for accompaniment of Buster Keaton's short film One Week for performance by The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra. O'Connor and 7 Shot Screamers bassist Chris Powers Jr. play in the ensemble whenever O'Connor's score is performed.
7 Shot Screamers started as a rockabilly cover band while its members were in high school. Their first exposure to a wide audience came with Al Swacker's The Greaser's Lunchbox show on KDHX (88.1 FM) St. Louis community radio. Swacker's praise of the band caught the attention of local venues.
In 1998, 7 Shot Screamers' self-released a 7" single, which sold over 1,500 copies. In 1999, they released their first album, the I Was A Teenage 7 Shot Screamer LP. The album featured music that leaned towards the rockabilly genre. It sold over 2,000 copies on the 7 Shot independent label before being picked up by Hepcat Records.
In 2004, 7 Shot Screamers released their second album Keep The Flame Alive, produced by Levi Dexter of The Rockats and mixed by Paul Roman of The Quakes. It was released under the Chicago-based Haunted Town Records label. It featured many songs that took on a darker tone than I Was A Teenage 7 Shot Screamer, and leaned more towards the rock and roll genre. The sound of the album is more polished than their previous album, albeit with a slightly emptier tone.
In 2006, 7 Shot Screamers left the Haunted Town Records label to join the St. Louis-based Big Muddy Records, which is owned and operated by Johnny-O & the Jerks drummer Chris Baricevic. Between tours, 7 Shot Screamers recorded and released a third album, 7 Shot Screamers In Wonderland. This album features a diverse range of songwriting styles, along with a new array of musical instruments, including brass instruments, string instruments, the flute, the acoustic guitar, and the piano. It has the cleanest sound out of all three 7 Shot Screamers albums.
After releasing three studio albums and going on three national tours, the 7 Shot Screamers have resided in their hometown of St. Louis, playing local shows and touring the nation almost nonstop. As Deano Sabella explains, "There's a great scene here, and there is no reason to go anywhere else."
7 Shot Screamers are regular performers at the The Rockabilly Rebel weekend in Indianapolis, IN, and at and the Heavy Rebel Weekend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They have opened for several well-known acts, including The Quakes, X, Rancid, The Turbo A.C.'s, The Nekromantix, and Henry Rollins. Quirky covers are a staple of 7 Shot Screamers' concerts.
7 Shot Screamers have been known to play as The Original Sinners with vocalist Exene Cervenka, of the Los Angeles punk rock band X, along with her husband, guitarist Jason Edge. The Original Sinners is made of all the 7 Shot Screamers members except Mike Leahy. The 7 Shot Screamers are the seventh and most long-lasting incarnation of the Original Sinners.
Exene Cervenka has said: "They are one of the best bands out there, out of the Midwest — you could say out of the country. Before the end of the year, one of my goals is to make sure that they get signed to a good label."
- I Was A Teenage 7 Shot Screamer (June 12, 2001) (7 Shot Records)
- Keep The Flame Alive (September 7, 2004) (Haunted Town Records)
- 7 Shot Screamers In Wonderland (August 18, 2006) (Big Muddy Records)
- "Friday Night Rumble, Vol.6" (Run Wild Records)
- "Rocked and Loaded, Vol. 2" (Rock-n-Roll Purgatory Records)
As The Original Sinners
- Noble, Andrea. "The 7 Shot Screamers hang with Morrissey, tour with Exene Cervenka — and make the Lou proud", "The Riverfront Times", May 3, 2006, retrieved November 26, 2006.
- Crone, Thomas. "7 Shot Screamers come 'home' to Way Out Club", "St. Louis Post Dispatch", May 6, 2006, retrieved November 26, 2006.
- 7 Shot Screamers (Multiple press quotes and biography), "Big Muddy Records", retrieved November 26, 2006.
- Henschen, Holly. Rock to be rekindled, "Daily Eastern News", retrieved November 27, 2006.
- PureVolume (contains some information about the beginnings of the 7 Shot Screamers), retrieved November 27, 2006.