Reindeer In the Sky…

Image of The Mighty Deerlick courtesy of Google Images

The Mighty Deerlick morphs into ‘The Mighty Reindeerlick’ only once a year — the veteran Milwaukee pop-punkers’ music takes on the majestic qualities its namesake also grows into only come the holiday season. Fan-belt’s Erin Wolf talks to The Mighty Deerlick’s Dave Reinholdt about the transformation that behooves this band whenever the snow starts to fly.

When did the Mighty Deerlick turn into the Mighty Reindeerlick? What was the inspiration?

I think it was about ’91. We just thought it would be funny for some unknown, punk-ish band to release an all Christmas record, like it was the last thing anybody would expect from us. We had a stupid title “Bells To the Wall”, so we ran with it. None of us are any more infused with the Christmas spirit than any other Joe-Eggnog. We just thought it would be silly. Since 1991, we’ve done a Christmas show every year — we’re sort of expected to. A guy came up to me in a bar two years ago and asked when our Christmas show was, and told us it didn’t feel like the holidays to him unless he saw our show. Yup! Rudolph, Charlie Brown and The Mighty Reindeerlick! ‘Tis the season!

You write original Christmas songs — is this easier than just doing covers, or is it more fun?

Well, honestly, we only have one Christmas original left in the set list…well, okay two, if you count “Sled” which is just a rewrite of another simple Deerlick song called “Skate”, which ironically, could have been left untouched as a person can of course, ‘skate’ during winter. We never were a very bright band. The other Christmas songs in the set were just taken off old garage rock comps. Covers are always just easier, and if nobody’s heard of ’em, you can be sneaky and just not announced who wrote it. We don’t lie and claim ’em as our own, and if asked, we’ll admit they’re not ours, but they’re simply more fun to play and hear than any song we could write on our own.

Explain what prompted you to turn U2’s “Bullet the Blue Sky” into “Reindeer In the Sky”?

That was the idea of our guitar player, Bob. He’s a big U2 fan, and somehow got it into his noggin that this would be the perfect song to rewrite, record, and give away at our Christmas show two years ago. The fun for Jack (bass) and I was to give the lyrics the old Weird Al touch and Christmas-up the words. We recorded it in Bob’s basement and I actually love how good it sounds. It should be on our MySpace page if anyone’s curious.

Got anything special planned for your show at Points East Pub on the 20th? Costumes? presents? Snowball fights?

Snowball fight, eh? Probably a bad idea as I’m sure the other band would get the worst of it. On the costume front, the outfits always have to be inspired or an impulse buy at Value Village, so if I can’t find anything silly before the show, you might just have to see my belly for an hour — trust me though, it’s an endlessly fascinating belly. Lately, it seems that it’s the unplanned or unexpected that turns out to be the special part of the show. We’ll walk on stage with three chords, a set list, good intentions and make with the stupid. I heard some announcer say the other day that “the road was lousy with cars” and it seemed a really funny way to say the roads were crowded. Let’s just say our set will be “lousy with stupid”, and call it a day. 

The Mighty (Rein)Deerlick and STaLL will play Points East Pub (1501 N. Jackson Street) at 10 p.m. Saturday, December 20th.

MP3“Reindeer In the Sky”, The Mighty Reindeerlick


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