Rocking to a Star Trek BandBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at November 27, 2003 - 6:52 PM GMT
There was a buzz of expectation in the air at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, one of Los Angeles’s top live music venues. The crowd gathered to see one of California’s rising bands, Warp 11, generated the anticipation.
Based out of Sacramento, Warp 11 has begun to make their presence known in America’s rock scene with their radio hit “Everything I Do, I Do With William Shatner”, a single from their latest CD Red Alert.
A lot of the audience members were diehard followers of the band, but many were like myself and my friends. We had heard a lot about the band, and were familiar with a few of their songs but had come mostly out of curiosity to see what all the excitement was about.
Playing together for more than three years, the band's first CD Suck My Spock brought them high praise and a loyal following among Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. The release of Red Alert, along with being featured on the Dr. Demento radio show, has added to their fan base, and this past summer Paramount filmed a Warp 11 concert for the Trekkies 2 documentary.
“Warp 11 is a band that must be experienced, whether or not you are a Star Trek fan,” enthused one reviewer. Mark Allen of Premiere Radio Networks said “Warp 11 is one of the best new bands in America...not since KISS has a band had this level of shtick, and an amazing sound backing it up.”
When you first see this band onstage in their Starfleet uniforms, you might momentarily think that this is a charade, or maybe even a parody band. But then they launch into the hard-driving title track “Red Alert” and you realize that this is no farce. This is serious, original rock and roll.
With lead vocalist and bass player Captain Karl Miller, Chief Medical Officer Jeff Hewitt on drums, Chief Engineer Brian Moore playing guitar and Yeoman Kiki Stockhammer providing vocals and dance moves, they’ve come to rock the joint.
“Are you guys ready to rock to a Star Trek band,” Captain Karl asked the crowd. With an appreciative roar the audience responded “YEAH!” and the band proceeded to give the crowd a high-energy rendition of the hit “Everything I Do, I Do With William Shatner”. “Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill Klingons” and Stockhammer’s sultry tribute to Data “My Electric Man” ratcheted up the heat, but the band was just getting started.
Over the next two hours Warp 11 proceeded to treat the enthusiastic and increasingly animated audience to a wide variety of fantastic music. Songs like the ballad “Suds me Up Sulu”. The bluesy “Seven of Mine” and the country feel of “Old Country Doctor” went right along with the head banging punk sound of “Sto Vo Kor”. Warp 11 poured their heart and soul into every song as the audience danced and sang along.
Some of my own favorites were “Give It Up for the Captain”, “Yeah Brother”, “Klingon Me Baby”, “Replicated Love” and the Pakled tribute “We Can’t Make it So”. Warp 11 draws you into their music with a compelling sound that won’t allow you to stay still no matter how hard you might try.
The lyrics are at times a bit raunchy and not for anyone who is easily offended. As one audience member commented, “This is definitely not what Gene Roddenberry had in mind.”
Probably not, but it was amazing music and an incredible show. I may have gone out of curiosity, but I left a believer. Musically the band has so much talent, and the ability to write lyrics that linger in your mind. They know how to have fun onstage and they make sure their audience has a great time.
You can find out more about Warp 11, listen to some of their music, or sign up to be notified of upcoming tour dates at the band's web site.
Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.