By ERIC SCHELKOPF
As the puppet host of popular Chicago TV dance show Chic-A-Go-Go, www.roctober.com/chicagogo, Ratso has proved himself to be the coolest rat on the local music scene.
Ratso and his supergroup, The Rabbits, are one of the bands that will perform Nov. 30 at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago, to celebrate Roctober Magazine's 20th anniversary.
The show will feature the best masked bands in the world, including Nobunny, Party Bat and Rhythm Chicken. The show starts at 9 p.m., and tickets are $10, available at www.ticketweb.com
I had the chance to talk to Ratso about the upcoming show.
Q - So Ratso and the Rabbits will take the stage for the first time as part of the upcoming show. What should people expect? What do you think of that band The Goblins?
We will not only be taking the stage for the first time, we will be meeting for the first time minutes before the set. It will be our first concert, first practice, and first introduction to each other, so what you should not expect is us to be stiff or over-rehearsed.
This will be a loose, spruce, garage punk happening! The Goblins did the theme song for my TV show so I can honestlysay I've listened to them at least 919 times!
Q - Why are masked bands better than non-masked bands?
Because people are ugly.
Q - What kind of music do you listen to and who are your musical influences?
I listen to both kinds of music...punk and rock! My favorite artists are the Good Rats, Rat at Rat R, Rat Scabies, the Swamp Rats, RATT (first album only), and the Rat Pack.
Q - You've interviewed so many bands as the host of Chic-a-Go-Go. Any moments that stand out for you? What bands were you glad to see on the show?
That's a hard question...it's like being asked to pick your favorite child, and rats usually have 24 babies
in a litter, so I know what I'm talking about.
But it was cool to meet the Shirelles, Shonen Knife, Sharkula, Shellac, and Shannon and the Clams. I have a thing for "SH" bands.
Q- It must have been a thrill to see Morgan Freeman's character watching the show in the movie "The Big Bounce." What was your reaction?
My reaction was "It's about time!" I think there should be more movies where people watch TV in them. I
like TV better than movies so it would be great to get to watch a little TV whenever I go to the movies.
Q - What advice would you have for bands that are starting out?
Come on Chic-A-Go-Go...it's your stairstep to stardom!