Beatle Kill members Ben Wilcox, Jesse Calhoon, Phil Taber and Mike Kusy.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Beatle Kill members Ben Wilcox, Jesse Calhoon, Phil Taber and Mike Kusy.

Beatle Kill pack a punch

Local rock band doesn't hold back in high-energy shows


Past Event

Beatle Kill, rock

  • Thursday, September 25, 2008, 10 p.m.
  • Old Town Pub & Restaurant, 600 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • Not available / Free


Ben Wilcox, bass player for local rock band Beatle Kill, swears his band mates are livelier on stage than they are for a noontime interview.

"I guess we're not usually so quiet," Wilcox said. "But we did rehearse last night, and there was absolutely no alcohol abuse involved there. So we're pretty talkative this morning. We're also in search of some greasy food."

Along with Jesse Calhoon (drums), Mike Kusy (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) and Phil Taber (guitar), Wilcox is looking to give Steamboat Springs a little lesson in rock. The group started playing gigs in town this summer, and its members say they've drummed up a following in that time. With Beatle Kill's taste for fist-pumping original rock songs, it's not hard to picture its members working a bar crowd.

The guys in Beatle Kill like to think that they, like their tree-destructor insect namesake, are unstoppable. With plans for a short tour and heavy winter booking in store for the coming year, the band hopes to fill Old Town Pub on Thursday - and possibly break the Thursday-night bar sales record they set the first time Beatle Kill played that venue. The weekend after their show at OTP, the band will team up with 100-plus other acts when the Sky High Music Festival hits nine venues on the Front Range.

Wilcox, Calhoon, Kusy and Taber shook off band practice from the night before to sit down with 4 Points and talk about bringing more rock music to Steamboat, having fun with their shows and drawing inspiration from the powerful mountain pine beetle.

4 POINTS: Where did the band name come from?

MIKE KUSY: Just with all the beetle kill around here, it seemed appropriate. And it kind of fits our style, too.

4 POINTS: How does that name fit your style?

JESSE CALHOON: It's the way beetle kill takes over everything. There's not a lot of rock music in Steamboat, and hopefully we can change the scene in Steamboat to be a little more rock.

BEN WILCOX: If you had to define our sound, how would you define it? It's almost getting to a punk rock sound, but dropping back.

MK: Sexy.

PHIL TABER: But not over the top.

4 POINTS: So you're hoping that sound brings a little harder music to town?

JC: From what I've seen, especially growing up in the (Yampa) Valley, there's a lot of jam band music. You see other acts coming in with the Free Summer Concerts, but from a local aspect, you don't see a lot of people coming out of Steamboat that are playing a lot of rock.

BW: But we're all musicians - we're not against dancing bears.

4 POINTS: But you like this better. What is the typical Beatle Kill show like?

JC: It's high-energy, fun and a show for the eyes.

4 POINTS: A show for the eyes?

JC: We don't stand still - the guys up front don't stand still. We're just a high-energy band, so if you go to a show, you're not going to be just standing there.

4 POINTS: What do you go for, in writing songs for that high-energy sound?

MK: Humor, sexual attraction, real-life situations, fiction, nonfiction, beer, snowboarding - just whatever seems like it would be entertaining and get people moving and enjoying it.

BW: We're definitely not trying to be serious about it.


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