The Von Deer Skulls

Von Deer Skulls

France is kicking ass this week. Not only did they win their group in the first round of the World Cup, they also won the even more prestigious* Weird Band Poll. How do you say “Congratulations!” in French? It’s basically just the sound of a champagne cork popping, right?

The winner of the June Weird Band Poll is a mysterious trio from a town whose name makes giggle, because I am a 44-year-old adolescent boy: Brest. (Heh.) They’re called The Von Deer Skulls and unfortunately, there are no breasts in their music videos, just lots of creepy people in skull masks sitting around drinking absinthe under blacklight to a soundtrack I’m gonna call ambient doom rock. Plus some claymation. That part’s almost as cool as breasts. Actually, the whole thing is pretty cool in a David Lynch sorta way. It makes me think of severed ears and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

The Von Deer Skulls aren’t related, at least not by birth. Leader/guitarist Peter Von Deer Skull is from Canada and is “the son of the Shadows of the Canadian forest,” according to the band’s Facebook bio. Bassist/screamer Hektor Von Deer Skull is an “androgynous, semi-deer/semi-wild boar, he comes from Schwarzwald in Germany.” Their drummer/lead singer is actually two people: Freke and Freyja Von Deer Skull, twin brother and sister, one a wolf and one a lynx, from the Faroe Islands, halfway between Norway and Iceland.

Does all of this sound like it might be totally made up? Yeah, well, that’s possible. Peter Von Deer Skull has shared a few secrets with us about the inner workings of the band, which we can’t reveal here. Let’s just put it this way: Hektor isn’t actually a wild boar/deer hybrid. That’s all we’re gonna say.

The Von Deer Skulls have released an EP on Bandcamp called It’s Time to Paralyze that reveals some other sides to their sound. They rock out pretty hard on occasion, like on this track “The Way to the Shadow.” It takes awhile to get going but trust me, it’s worth the wait.

We’ll leave you with their most recent video, which is even more mysterious and spooky than “Bitches of the Wood.” What’s coming at the end of 2014? Tell us, Von Deer Skulls! Why must you toy with us so?

*Kidding! Our polls are totally not more prestigious than the World Cup. But maybe they would be if we only had them once every four years.

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June Weird Band Poll: Vote for Emily Brontesaurus, Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt, Tonttu, the Von Deer Skulls, or Zapoppin’

So are you glued to your TV this weekend, watching all the World Cup action? Well, pry yourself away for a few minutes, because we’ve got a little weird band World Cup heating up right here. Yep, this month, we’ve got five bands representing five different countries (the U.S., Britain, France, Finland and Germany), all hoping you’ll yell “Gooooooaaaallllll!” as you click the little button next to their name. Well, the guy representing Germany is actually an American, but the U.S. team has a German coach this year, so it all evens out.

Voting, as usual, will drag on way longer than it needs to, concluding at midnight Pacific time on Sunday, June 22nd.

Ready for all the hot band-on-band action? Here we go:

[Sorry, this poll has closed. Check back here Wednesday, when the winner will be revealed. And bookmark this page to partake of future polls. We do a new one every month(ish).]

For more on this month’s bands, read on:

Emily Brontësaurus

Emily Brontesaurus

Emily Brontësaurus is a duo from Durham, North Carolina. To the best of our knowledge, neither of them is a sheep. I think the sheep is more like a mascot, like Flavor Flav or that one guy in Pavement who just plays tambourine and screams a lot. They have one self-titled album out, which you can check out on Bandcamp. As their Bandcamp bio says, “We don’t really stick with any genre. One track may sound totally different from the next. This is intentional.” We try not to play favorites in these polls, but I gotta say: These guys might deserve to win on the basis of their band name alone.

Sean Derrick  Cooper Marquardt

Sean Derrick Cooper Marquat

Actually, forget what I just said about Emily Brontësaurus; Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt is a pretty righteous name, too. With a name like that, you need either be a musician, a poet, or possibly an NPR reporter stationed somewhere war-torn, but with really good musicians and poets. Cooper Marquardt splits his time between Berlin and Chicago and describes his improvisational technique as “accidental guitar.” Here’s a SoundCloud link to some of his solo work and here’s a video of him jamming with his experimental noise project, The Return of The Think Thing, on the streets of Berlin.

Tonttu

Tonttu

Tonttu are an “anti-gnomemartialindustrialneofolkmetal” band from Finland, led by a guy who calls himself Tonttufindergeneral Hanz-Baal, or “TFG” for short. All of their music is dedicated to the annihilation of gnomes. They do not reveal themselves in photos for fear of gnome reprisals. Here’s one of their tracks on YouTube, and here’s a link to their album, Anti-Gnomen Divisionen: Mastering the Fine Art of Gnome Eradication. Yes, they really, really hate gnomes.

The Von Deer Skulls

The Von Deer Skulls

The Von Deer Skulls are a trio from France made up of siblings Peter Von Deer Skull (guitars), Hektor Von Deer Skull (bass/screams) and Freke-Freyja Von Deer Skull (drums/vocals). Or wait, no, actually Freke and Freyja are twin brother and sister who share drums and vocal duties and the other two aren’t releated. Or they might just one crazy guy wearing lots of different outfits in his videos. It’s all rather confusing and probably not all that important, to be honest. What’s important are their creepy outfits and even creepier music. Here’s their Bandcamp and here’s one of their videos, “Bitches of the Wood.”

Zapoppin’

Zapoppin'

This band from Cornwall, England calls their music “powerskiffle” and it does indeed sound like a bunch of people on way too much caffeine trying to play the folksy British Invasion hits of yesteryear. You can hear their EP Ugly Musick on SoundCloud and learn more about them on Facebook.

So there you have it. Remember to cast your vote before midnight Sunday, June 22nd, and may the weirdest band win.