By now you’re probably one of the millions around the globe who’ve watched the viral video featuring one of the more entertaining drummers we’ve ever seen (if not, drop everything and watch it now!). The band tackling ZZ Top’s “Sharp-Dressed Man” is the perennially touring covers act Rick K. and the Allnighters (“America’s Most Exciting Show Band”), and the drummer—who became an Internet sensation last week thanks to the power of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter—is Steve Moore. Since the video (which was shot nearly two years ago at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa.—about two hours northwest of Philly) went viral, Moore’s been getting thousands of emails and Facebook friend requests a day. But last Friday—on virtually no sleep—he got on the phone with us from the Menominee Casino in Wisconsin, where the Allnighters played the night prior, for his first official interview since becoming an online phenom. Be sure to read the complete interview on our music blog, Make Major Moves.
So I started seeing links to the video pop up on Facebook last weekend—is that when this all started?
“Yeah, roughly about five, six days ago, something like that. All these people kept emailing me these different links to the video. I go on YouTube once in a while to watch old Buddy Rich videos and drum stuff and things like that. I guess every couple months or so I’d jump on YouTube and there’s our “Sharp-Dressed Man” and it’d have maybe 5,000 hits and eight comments. So people started sending me the links and it was like ‘Well, big deal, the damn thing’s been up there a year and a half and I don’t wanna watch it again!’ But then people started throwing that term ‘viral’ around, and honestly I didn’t know what that term meant. I spend all my time practicing and reading drum books. So I Googled ‘going viral’ and I went, ‘Oh shit, that’s pretty cool!’ So I jumped on and I was like, ‘Does that really say 100,000 views?!’ And then right after that my computer started going ding, ding, ding, ding. One email after another. It’s been crazy.”
Is it kind of like winning the lottery?
“It really is, and I’ll tell you this—and this isn’t a load of shit to make me sound like a nice guy or anything, this is just honestly the truth: In the past 60 hours or so, I’ve literally slept about two hours because, you know, whenever someone sends you a Facebook request, a lot of times they’ll send you a short little message, and I felt like a putz just going ‘accept’ without writing anything back. And I didn’t just wanna write back ‘Thanks–Steve,’ so…it wouldn’t be long, but I at least wanted the person to know that I read the damn thing and it wasn’t a cut-and-paste response. So it’s been pretty intense, and they’re just coming in too fast now. Part of me hates that because … it sounds silly, but the reason you are where you’re at is because of people, and I’d rather basically not sleep for two weeks and get everything out of it that I can and thank every person and make them feel good, and then sleep two weeks from now versus ‘Yeah, I’ll get to that … ’ It’s really important to me.”
How do you feel when you see the video characterized as “drummer goes to the wrong gig”? It seems like a swipe at Rick K. and the Allnighters, you know?
“I have mixed feelings about it because everybody in the Rick K. organization, they’re great people. It’s really hard when you see everyone else in the band get ripped to shreds, because they’re nice guys. However, removing that element from it, I can clearly see why people think that. If you just jump on the website and you read ‘drummer goes to wrong gig’ and then about a minute into it you’re like, ‘Good Lord!’—I can clearly see where it would look like Tommy Lee or Keith Moon playing for Wayne Newton. I get it. And I gotta be honest with you, man—a lot of the comments on YouTube, man, they’re funnier than hell! I mean, I can laugh at ’em. It doesn’t offend me because they’re funny, man. Some people really come up with some good stuff.”
Are your bandmates taking it well?
“They seem to be. They’re only human. I’ll put it this way—if they’re upset, they’re certainly not saying anything to me about it. But even though they may not say it, I feel like, ‘I know this is hurting you, man … ,’ and I hate that.”
Obviously they have to know that something like this, you don’t really have any control over it.
“Yeah, and that is the point. It’s not like I sought this out. I just started getting emails from people. I haven’t posted a thing or done anything. It’s just a phenomenon.”
But you’ve definitely become the focal point of the band now.
“Well, the thing is, I do that same sort of thing most of the show. Not all of the show—I try to have some taste [laughs]. But still, a lot of people aren’t catching the fact that Rick K., he’s not even in the video. That’s the guitar player singing. So it’s really not a good representation of the entire show. It’s just one song. Rick announces it, and a lot of people say, ‘What’s up with the announcer guy?’ Well, that’s the singer! But unless you watch two or three videos, you don’t put that together. Most people will watch “Sharp-Dressed Man,” and then they’ll see we do “Wipeout,” and maybe they’ll watch that. And that’s usually where their attention drops off and they run along to the pissing cat or whatever else it is. By then you’re competing with the farting dog or something. So unfortunately, Rick gets the bad end of the stick because people never realize that it’s his organization and he’s the singer.”
Rick K. and the Allnighters will return to Knoebels Amusement Park for a four-day engagement July 6 through July 9, three shows a day (1:30pm, 6pm, and 8:30pm).
More info at rickkandtheallnighters.com
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PW's Music Issue 2014