FACES - Going Places

Pharoah is trying in its own twisted way to get itself  banned, but after Alice Cooper, Bowie, KISS, and Motley Crue, it takes a lot more than guys wearing make-up and garter belts to shock anybody. Still, after one look at these guys, it’s easy to believe Karl DeKira, lead vocals and guitar, when he claims the band members are all outcasts from other bands. “These guys would be getting $1,500 guitars and big amps while were out getting hairspray and make-up,” he says. Certainly a strong image has always been a part of rock ‘n’ roll but the androgynous look Pharoah has adopted would seem to have died it’s death in the 70’s. In a way though, its unoriginality makes Pharoah seem even more tacky. “We’re like the Liberace of the ‘80’s” DeKira says. The other members of this attention grabbing New Jersey sensation are Rikk Fabio (a guitarist who says of his playing, “I never had eight hours a day to sit there and practice so why be half-assed! You can’t top Eddie.”), Dennis Lords on Bass, Nelson Pop on drums and Scott Archer on keyboards. With it’s priorities intact, the theatrically minded band set about coming up with a stage show that would illustrate a combination of sex, glam and gloom. The show centers around the use of interactive video monitors. “We are playing out the dark side of everyone else,” Dekira says. “We’d also show it on the screen, the way everything gets twisted in the news, where violence becomes sexual and sexual things become violent. We’re doing what everyone else wishes they could do but they don’t have the guts.” I don’t know if everyone else wishes they could strip down to a garter belt and put flowers in girl’s mouths, but Pharoah does offer their audiences something different. “it’s almost like watching a live movie, which is what the band is. We’ve even experimented with mind-control tapes and scented fogs,” admits DeKira. This band will do just about anything to attract your attention. “If we can’t be on national TV, we’ll be on our TV,” he says. As for the music (did someone mention the music?) Pharoah is a unique in combining a revivalist glam-look with a more modern dance-conscious sound.“It’s different than the Dolls” defends DeKira. “They were trashy and even there music was trashy but our songs have commercial value.”Pharoah’s sound can be heard on their debut album, First Strike, released on Lipstick East Records. As for the name Pharoah, Dekira explains, “We’re like the modern Pharaoh’s. The Egyptians were the first glammers. The men wore makeup to reflect the sun. They wore jewelry. The Pharaoh’s were very image oriented.” Pharoah isn’t as outrageous as DeKira thinks it is, but then the band was once kicked off of a Miller Beer commercial for portraying the wrong image.

Lee Sherman