Psychobilly band Graveyard Shift rehearses for a show.
It’s hard to make a living playing psychobilly.
That’s the fusion of the music genres punk and rockabilly.
Ben Grim, with a stand-up bass and a stand-up ‘do — a hair-sprayed spike atop his head — works two jobs because there aren’t that many gigs for his band, Graveyard Shift.
Like his hybrid music, Grim’s hair is the evolution “of a Mohawk and a pompadour.”
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He says it’s a low-maintenance quiff, springy, with a hint of color, and evokes a unicorn.
As a musician, he went from playing the electric Fender bass to the upright, making the switch by fixing a wooden table leg onto the body of the guitar and extending the strings.
Though not the best of instruments, “It worked for the psychobilly image.”
Now he owns a sturdy double bass that cost only $300 used and can endure his jumping up on the instrument and continuing playing without missing a beat.
Grim says it’s a move that’s part of the genre.
The band’s first gig was at a Bainbridge Island middle school, to an audience of a dozen or so.
Playing mainly original music, Graveyard Shift has one album to date and is not to be confused with two other groups with the same name — a metal band from Finland and a U.S. rap trio.
Grim’s musical taste includes the old Tacoma bands The Sonics and The Wailers, an Austrian band called the Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space, and punk rock.
But, “I’m not a big grunge fan.”