Tag Archives: blink-182

143 – Punk Rock and UFOs: An Interview with Mike Damante

Journalist and author Mike Damante took a left turn from covering mainstream entertainment and sports news in Houston to chronicling the weird world of the paranormal in his blog, Punk Rock and UFOs

mike damante punk rock and ufos
Mike Damante throwing up the horns!

With a lifelong passion for the music of punk rock and an interest in the weird, Mike Damante decided to take the attitude of punk music and apply it to the investigation of the unknown. While punk music can often have paranormal themes (just look at any song by the Misfits or a multitude of classic Vandals tracks), it’s the approach that punk music took to the status quo of the 1970s that Mike Damante is looking to emulate.

In the 70s, the music industry was all cocaine and big money, exemplified by the slick  sounds of Disco and the costumed denizens of Studio 54. Punk Rock was the antithesis of the laid-back California Pop-Rock sound of the Eagles. It was loud angry music created by dirty musicians in dingy clubs. It was piercings instead of glitter, mohawks instead of long flowing manes. It was the sound of a people left behind by a bloated hedonist beauty-worshipping culture and punk was their rallying cry of smashing that system.

That’s the attitude of Mike’s book and writing, Punk Rock and UFOs: Cryptozoology Meets Anarchy, is about questioning everything that you think you know when it comes to the world, especially the paranormal one.

Of course we talk about the most famous former punk rocker turned  UFO evangelist, Blink-182’s Tom Delonge who was featured in the news during the 2016 presidential election when his emails to fellow alien enthusiast John Podesta were leaked to the world, but we also go into other punk rock legends from Milo Aukerman from Descendents to Bad Religion’s Greg Gaffin. It’s a good mix of rock stories with paranormal tales and conversation.

If you’re interested in Mike’s book, you can grab it on Amazon right here. And make sure to follow Mike Damante on Twitter by clicking this link.

The song this week started off as a punk idea and ended up sounding like an adult contemporary song, ha! But sometimes when we’re writing, we just have to go where the Muse takes us. It’s an earnest track about looking back on a youth filled with paranormal adventure and all the memories and mistakes that come along with it. The track is called “Stories In The Dark”.

When we walked among the headstones,
On that August New Moon night,
That marble might have been cold,
But we raised the Fahrenheit.
And a summer is forever with,
not many on your belt,
But you know when the hurtin’ hits,
Yeah, the hurtin’ hits like Hell.
And you know when the hurtin’ hits,
Yeah, The hurtin’ hits like Hell.

There’s no point in saying sorry
For these twenty years gone past
No statute of limitations for
Acting like a jackass.
Time is always the best healer
Distance makes things much more clear
Even picking at a scab feels good,
Just in the rearview mirror.

These ghost stories in the dark
Oh my dear you were always game
Stronger than I gave you credit for
But crazy just the same
Tall tales that we tell ourselves
Do their damnedest to dull the pain
And you know every broken heart
Comes with a story
Best told in the dark
Comes with a story
Best told in the dark

Mystery by every corner,
Didn’t matter what we saw,
It wasn’t what we got that made you hot,
It was the quest that burned us raw.

Being on a pedestal just
ain’t easy as it would seem.
Well the young should never handle
Something fragile as a dream
I said the young should never handle
Something fragile as a dream

There’s no point in saying sorry
For these twenty years gone past
No statute of limitations for
Acting like a jackass.

Time is always the best healer
Distance makes things much more clear
Even picking at the scab feels good,
Just in the rearview mirror.

These ghost stories in the dark
Oh my dear you were always game
Stronger than I gave you credit for
But crazy just the same
Tall tales that we tell ourselves
Do their damnedest to dull the pain
And you know every broken heart
Comes with a story
Best told in the dark
Comes with a story
Best told in the dark

Tim Armstrong from Rancid on The X-Files?

Spoilers for The X-Files episode, “Home Again”…

Okay, in the mix of paranormal and pop culture, here’s is one of the strangest casting choices that I’ve seen, Tim Armstrong from Rancid, was in The X-Files!

You can hardly understand the guy when he’s singing, I was surprised that he was able to get out all of his lines and didn’t need someone to dub his voice over like an old kung fu movie.

Sunspot, our band, still plays “Roots Radicals” by Rancid all the time. We learned it back in high school (before there was guitar tabs and lyrics all over the Internet) and before you could find the words on the …And Out Come The Wolves album, so that means I had to listen to that song a thousand times to try and figure out what he was saying. Basically, I just grunted and made words up that kind of sounded like the song until the chorus.

I thought Armstrong might really be into the paranormal too (after all, he was in a band with Travis Barker and some of that Blink–182 Tom DeLonge UFO weirdness might have infected him) but no, the writer Glen Morgan, is just a massive Rancid fan, and I can’t blame him for that. Wendy and I saw Rancid at Lollapalooza and they killed.

The promo said that he plays the character of Trashman, but if you’ve seen the episode, you know that’s not really true. Actually, Armstrong plays an artist who isn’t the Trashman, but creates a sculpture that his anger at the mistreatment of Philadelphia’s homeless population imbues the artwork with life and compels it to a killing spree. His acting is just fine, he needs to play a scared weird artist type that looks like they’ve been sleeping on the street. Tim Armstrong fits that bill just about perfectly. He even mentions Tulpas, the mystical Tibetan thought-form. The idea that a belief or idea held strongly enough can be brought to life.

Mulder quickly corrects him that the Tulpa was a mistranslation of a different Tibetan concept and that Tulpas never existed traditionally, but the idea of them was created in a book (during the whole Orientalism craze of the early Twentieth Century), With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet. And that was a revelation to me, The X-Files taught me something this week!

Tim Armstrong X-Files
Ruby ruby ruby ruby so- oh God, there’s limbs everywhere!

Before the reveal, I thought it was more like the Golem, which is an inanimate object brought to life to do his master’s bidding, but there was plenty of nice and gruesome killing and horror movie fun in this episode. You get to see several snobby rich jerks literally get ripped apart by a monster that rides around in a garbage truck. So, that’s nice.

However, just because that Tulpas aren’t really a traditional Tibetan idea, doesn’t mean that willing a creature into existence – the thought form – isn’t an idea that’s taken life in it’s own right. I talk a little about my experience with Tulpas in our Cryptozoology Round Table episode. And for a great movie about thought forms, check out Wes Craven’s New Nightmare