Rockabilly is considered one of the earliest forms of rock music as it blended country styles with rhythm and blues in the 1950s. The genre began to evolve over the decades and the psychobilly genre was born as it updated that old school sound with a punk rock flavor. Detroit’s own Koffin Kats is one of the bands continuing to innovate that sound today.
Koffin Kats’ roots can be traced back to June 2003 when lead vocalist and bass player Vic Victor, guitarist Tommy Koffin, and drummer Damian Detroit came together to form a rockabilly/punk band. The group became a regular staple at many of Detroit’s local venues, but they had ambitious of being a national touring band. It was Damian Detroit who told his bandmates in the summer of 2003 that he wanted to be playing in California by that time the following year, and in July 2004, they were.
The band continued to grow and change over the years as new members came and left. While the lineup changed, the goal always remained the same: create new and exciting music that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
“The main idea behind punk rock psychobilly and what is known as rockabilly is to create a new sound and grow into it. There are hundreds of bands and we don’t want sound like everyone else,” Victor said. “We have released nine albums, and each one is different, which is exciting.”
In their 15 years together, Koffin Kats spent most of their early years on the road and picked up sounds from all over the country. While the band wouldn’t consider themselves a strictly Detroit band, they acknowledge their Detroit roots.
“The Detroit scene always generates hard working musicians, it is something to really be proud of,” Victor said. “Musicians have embodied the hardworking city really well.”
2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Koffin Kats and while a lot has changed for them since then, the original lineup is actually the current lineup. Everyone is back and the band is gearing up for another hard rocking tour. The tour will kick off on Thursday, March 22 at the Token Lounge, and the band will be joined by Goddamn Gallows and Against the Grain, two bands Koffin Kats is very excited to have along.
“We love wild shows and this tour is going to be a wild every night. We always aim to give a high energy show, and we think [Goddamn Gallows and Against the Grain] will do the same,” Victor said.