The Yeastie Boys might be simultaneously the best and worst band in Orange County right now–a good old-fashioned punk rock cover band that takes itself so un-seriously it's got a circus theme.
Started three years ago as a way to replace typical cover band pitfalls with red noses and flourescent curly wigs, our little local Yeastie Boys (not to be confused with the Oklahoma homebrewers club of the same name) might have lost this year's OC Weekly's reader's choice award for Best Punk Band, but that won't stop them from bringing clown-filled lyrics and a refined Ringling Brothers aesthetic to adults and open-minded children across the county.
The band's endless roster of clown-clad members are known for throwing popcorn, cotton candy and peanuts at slightly suspecting fans during its raucous sets, which take place at whatever venue hasn't banned them yet. This weekend, that list includes Queen's Wharf–an old time seafood restaurant along berth 55 in the Port of Long Beach–where the Yeastie Boys will help anchor the all-ages Punk Rock BBQ #2, a make-up show for the September 25 punk-and-skate event that was unexpectedly shut down by Costa Mesa PD.
Founding clown Dirt Williams (aka Dirt Clown) took some time to check in before blowing up inflatable penises for tomorrow's show.
OC Weekly (Sarah Bennett): So…why clowns?
Dirt Williams: I've been called a clown my whole life, so I guess I am finally living up to expectations.
Are you sick of visual ICP comparisons?
Yes, the comparison ends at clown.
You seem to have invented the genre of clown punk. How is that different from other forms of punk?
Besides the obvious? Less serious, more fun I suppose…
Why do you have so many rotating members? How many are there total?
My member rotates often, as for band members there has been 17 or so – anywhere between 7-12 at any given show. It's quite a circus. We have had members from Adolescents, D.I., 45 Grave, China White, the HATED, the Chiefs & others – some are full time clowns & others are special guests, our shows are like Pee Wee Herman theater popcorn – you never know what surprise you might find.
What venues have you been kicked out of and why?
I don't want to mention any by name, but they rhyme with: Malaxy Theathre, Salex's Bar, DiPiwasas, Mold Towne Pub, The Breast, Grand Bromance Rivergloat, Joke Joint, Slidenard and probably a few more that we are not welcome back to. Why? I'm guessing it's mess that seems to happen at every show which can be pretty impressive even by clown standards.
Why should you have won Best Punk Band [in this year's OC Weekly best-of reader's choice] over Social Distortion?
Have you not seen one of our shows? Next year we hope to be nominated for both best & worst punk band.
This weekend's Punk Rock BBQ at Queen's Wharf is a makeup show. Tell me about the first one?
The first one was real fun right up until the cops shut it down.
Didn't the cops come in the middle of your set? What does that say about your music and stage energy?
At least they let us finish the set. One officer asked us to play at his kids birthday party, I'm guessing he either liked it, or we are in for a surprise 'occupy' type beating.
Was there ever a thought that you wouldn't play the make-up show? What are the promoters like and what else do they put on?
Because we wear make-up? I get it. Leave the jokes to me sweetcheeks. It's the same promoter that puts on the 'Punk Rock Picnic', which is the biggest punk rock event in OC every year. We've played there the last two years & its been a lot of fun.
If this weekend's Punk Rock BBQ is guaranteed not to get shut down, does that make it less punk rock?
I don't think anyone can guarantee that any punk show will not get shut down, but we can guarantee a good time during our set. Keep an eye out for flying clown penises during the song 'Clown Dick' this Saturday….and bring the kids! We promise not to shower with them.
The Yeastie Boys perform with D.I., The Generators and more at Punk Rock BBQ #2 at Queen's Wharf, 555 Pico Ave. Long Beach. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/206547, Sat. 11:30am-9:30pm, $15, all ages.
Note from event website: This is a make-up show for all who attended and paid for the first Punk Rock BBQ, your wrist bands, ticket stubs will get you in free. If you bought your tickets on brown paper tickets website, we have your name on a list, just bring your ID.
Sarah Bennett is a freelance journalist who has spent nearly a decade covering food, music, craft beer, arts, culture and all sorts of bizarro things that interest her for local, regional and national publications.