PHOTO BY STEWART BARKER
The Quakes started in the fall of 1986 in Buffalo, New York. The original members were Paul Roman on guitar and vocals, Dave “the ace” Hoy on drums and Rob Peltier on upright bass. In the beginning The Quakes were playing neo rockabilly in the vein of The Stray Cats,Rockats and Polecats. Out of frustration with a lack of response locally,The Quakes started to play a lot faster and more aggressive adding punk elements to their music. The look went from pegged pants and bowling shirts to ripped jeans and combat boots. From that point on the band would be know as a psychobilly band.
In the fall of 1987, The Quakes sold all their possessions and moved to London England. London was ground zero for the psychobilly scene at that time.The band landed a spot on a psychobilly festival in Weize, Belgium. Upon returning to England, the band was stopped at customs and they were deported because they didn’t have work permits. The Quakes went on to do tour of Belgium and Germany supporting the Coffin Nails in early 1988.It was during this time that The Quakes were signed by Nervous records in London to record a full length album.
The band was living in London when their first self titled album was recorded. It was released in June of 1988. The album was very raw and had a style all its own. Popular songs from this album included “Pack our bags and go” and " Psychobilly Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”.During the summer of 1988, The Quakes played around London at places like Dingwalls and the Klubfoot. Upon his return to Buffalo,Dave “the ace”Hoy was killed when he was struck by a car crossing a highway. His death occurred a week before his 18th birthday.
In the fall of 1989 the Quakes reformed with Chris Van Cleve on drums. Van Cleve had been a member on and off and was a part of Roman and Hoy's previous bands. The Quakes were invited to play at the first and second Big Rumble festivals in England and did some small tours in Europe before recording another album for Nervous records.
”Voice of America” was released in June of 1990. The Quakes second album was a departure from the hard psychobilly of the first record. On Voice of America, The Quakes blurred the line between psychobilly and rockabilly. Brian Doran had joined as the bands drummer during this time.Popular songs from this album include “Puttin' out the flame” “Stick to your guns” and a cover of The Rolling Stones “Paint it Black”.
In 1991, Chris Van Cleve returned to play the drums. More festivals and tours in Europe followed including a full tour of Japan. Planet records in Japan recorded the Tokyo performance and released a live Cd from the show. A representative from Sony/Japan was in the audience and offered The Quakes a recording deal with Sony.
“New Generation” was recorded in 1992 and released in the spring of 1993 for Sony/Japan. The Quakes then did a 13 show tour of Japan. New Generation again took The Quakes in a new direction. This time the band fused rockabilly with new wave attempting to cross over into a broader market with more melodic songs and a polished production.The album sold well in Japan.
In 1995 ,The Quakes recorded their fourth studio album “Quiff Rock”.The band returned to their roots and stripped down the production.In a strange twist, the one song that had a bit of production “Thrills and sensations” , seemed to be a fan favorite from the album.The Quakes continued to play festivals in Europe during this time. Over the next few years the scene seemed to be dying. The Quakes would continue to play a couple big festivals in Europe each year but not much else. In 2000 There was finally some interest in psychobilly brewing in the United States. The Quakes played at the American Rumble in New Jersey on Halloween weekend. In January 2001 they started work on a new album.
“Last of the human beings” was released in October of 2001 on Paul Roman’s new label Orrexx records. This album was a mixture of old Quakes style and some new twists and turns. The album featured popular songs such as “Revenge is mine” and a cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s “Killing moon”. In 2002,The Quakes played more festivals in Germany. In May of 2003, they headlined the American Nightmare festival in Pomona ,CA. In July 2003 they played at the Calella festival in Spain and then did tour of Finland.
In February 2004, Paul Roman moved to Finland and put a new band together called The Paul Roman 3. The band was doing mostly Quakes songs from all albums and a few new ones in the same style. In the summer of 2004, The Paul Roman 3 did a total of 25 shows in Finland,Russia, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In October 2004, The Quakes headlined the Wreckers Ball 2 in Hollywood,CA. In January 2005, The Paul Roman 3 played two shows in the Ukraine. In June,The Quakes did a small southwest tour of the United States.
In December 2005, The Quakes 6th studio album “Psyops” was released.The album proved to be a hit with fans combining new wave with psychobilly. Several popular songs came off this album including “USA Psychos”, “I Miss You” and a cover of Real Life’s “Send me an Angel”.
2006 was a big year for The Quakes. It has been 20 years since the band started. A 34 show US tour followed. The Quakes then did 23 shows in Europe in October. In 2007 The Quakes re released the album Quiff Rock which was originally on Tombdisc records. The new release on Orrexx records had 8 extra songs and extended liner notes. Kenny Hill was added to the line up on slap bass .The band did a short southwest tour of the USA.
In October of 07, The Quakes returned to Europe for a month long 28 show tour. 2008 started with the addition of Juan Carlos on drums from Phoenix AZ. The Quakes played a few shows in Arizona before headlining the Psychomania festival in Potsdam Germany.In June, The Quakes played a sold out show at Safari Sams in Hollywood CA. In 2009,The Quakes embarked on a 20 show west coast tour staring with a sold out show in Hollywood at The Fonda theater. The tour was to promote the new album "Negative charge."The album was the bands seventh studio album and was released on Orrexx records. The band traveled to Germany over Easter weekend to play at the Satanic Stomp festival. This is the 22nd edition of the long running psychobilly festival. The Quakes hit the east coast on a 14 show show tour in May.
In September, The Quakes headlined the Hollywood Showdown festival. In 2010, The Quakes headlined the Psychobilly Meeting, a long running festival in Spain and also headlined the Rock n Roll Jamboree in Finland. In July,The Quakes made their first trip to Brazil. They were featured on a national television show as well as a radio interview and an article in Rolling Stone magazine/Brazil. In September, the band headlined the Bedlam Breakout festival in the UK. In October, The Quakes did a series of warm up shows around Arizona before heading to Europe for a 10 country, 21 show tour to promote the vinyl release of Negative Charge.
In 2011,Paul Roman and Kenny Hill recorded a cover version of Duran Durans’s “Planet Earth” for a compilation album on Cleopatra Records.
In 2012 The Quakes welcomed Wes Hinshaw in on bass taking over for Kenny Hill. Wes had been practicing with the band for a year prior because Kenny lives in San Diego, a 6 hour drive from Phoenix. On May 10, the new album Planet Obscure was released on Orrexx records. Later that year,The Quakes played at the Ink & Iron festival in Long beach California as well as the Psychobilly Meeting in Pineda,Spain. A European tour started in September 2012 taking The Quakes to 13 countries for a total of 31 shows to promote Planet Obscure. During the tour,The Quakes headlined The Psychobilly Earthquake festival in Bremen Germany. In May of 2013,The Quakes headlined The Psychomania festival in Potsdam,Germany. They played at The Vex in Los Angeles in June and did a special Halloween show in Chicago. In December The Quakes returned to Brazil for a show in Curitiba and Sao Paulo.
In September of 2014, The Quakes headlined the Long Beach Psyclone festival in Long Beach California. A new Ep called “Live By The Sword” was also released on Orrexx records that same month. A European tour followed in October taking The Quakes to 13 countries in 4 weeks including headlining the Psychobilly Earthquake festival in Bremen Germany.
In 2015 The Quakes were one of the headliners at the Psychobilly meeting festival in Spain. In 2016 The Quakes celebrated their 30 year anniversary by playing their usual yearly shows in Phoenix,SanDiego, Los Angeles and a trip to Northampton England to headline the Bedlam Breakout festival.
In June of 2017, a documentary was made by Paul Roman chronicling the bands early days and was released on YouTube. The digital single “Psycho fest” was also released. In October, The Quakes Headlined the Tawastia Stomp in Finland. The new single “Winter Drag” was released in January of 2018. A video for the song was shot in Flagstaff AZ. In April, The Quakes played in Las Vegas and then headlined the Mayhem festival in Los Angeles. In July, they were one of the headliners at the Psychobilly meeting in Spain. In 2019, The Quakes played in St.Petersburg and Moscow Russia. It was the first time the band had played there in 13 years.
Other Musicians who played with The Quakes and or the Paul Roman 3
Alvin Lapp- played most of the drums on Quiff Rock and made two trips to Europe with The Quakes.
Mika Railo- played bass in the Paul Roman 3.
Slim Salminen-Played drums in the Paul Roman 3. Aki Savolainen- played bass with The Paul Roman 3 and The Quakes.
Tommi Hänninen- played drums with The Paul Roman 3.
Laurie Valkonen- played bass for The Quakes in 2005.
Kevin O’Connor-played drums on the east coast USA tour in 2006 and at the psychobilly meeting in 2012.
Mike Minnick-played drums on the southwest tour USA in 2007.
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