Electric Mummy is a musical blend of Ramones and Rammstein, with punk rock tempos driven by speed metal riffs. But the Boston-based band really excels with its live show, employing strobes, black lights and other effects during its performances. Onstage, the visually arresting quintet appears wrapped head to toe in gauze, twitching like a Creature Features posse while blasting out songs with titles like “I Got the Rot” and “Damned.”
Bored with bands more interested in navel-gazing than showmanship, songwriter and guitarist Daniel “Dead Man Rocking” DeLay decided Electric Mummy would break the mold.
“I wanted to create something where every song had a different sound to it, and at the same time put on a visual show,” he says. “We should be interesting and entertaining characters to look at on stage. I started putting together the formula for the band that I wanted to see.”
Ruling out Twilight or Walking Dead homages — “anybody can put on a zombie suit, and vampires are overdone,” he says — DeLay came up with a more glamorous take on a horror movie staple. “Imagine if David Bowie was going to be a mummy,” he says. “That’s the kind of mummies I wanted to be.”
Amazingly, they pull it off; bluing flesh, bandage gauze and sexpot sass are embodied in the group’s female lead singer, named simply Filthy Dead, as she mixes it up with guitarist/singer Dead Body. The production is very elaborate.
“We have our own lighting guy and our own stage lights,” DeLay explains. “Most of the clubs won’t let us do real fire, so we devised these sort of Disney-style fire machines to enhance the effect, that blow reflective fabric in the air and then shine colored lights on them.”
There is a moment during every Electric Mummy set when the audience becomes the show — the mummification ritual. The exact details are murky.
“We get the audience immersed,” DeLay says with a sinister snicker. “More than that I can’t say, because the ritual is steeped in mystery and mystique.”
Born and raised in Southern California, DeLay earned a music degree from California State University, Northridge, before moving east to work as a software developer for Velir, a Somerville web design firm. He played in a few punk rock bands prior to forming Electric Mummy, and cites the Ramones and Iron Maiden as key influences for the band.
Given the macabre nature of its act, it’s no surprise that Electric Mummy is in demand around Halloween. “That’s the biggest part of the year for us,” DeLay says, “but it’s not our mission or goal to be just a Halloween band, and we generally play throughout the year.”
Though they’ve built a good following around their home base, playing clubs like the Middle East, the Sunday, April 22, appearance at Milly’s Tavern in Manchester is the farthest north Electric Mummy has traveled. Two of their members are from Nashua, so it will be a homecoming of sorts. “They’re pretty excited,” DeLay says.
The band released its first CD late last year, a self-titled three-song EP, and is offering a free copy to anyone purchasing tickets by clicking through to the band’s www.electricmummy.com website. There’s also a free download of “I Wanna Live Forever” available on the site.
“We actually have a whole album recorded, but the mastering is taking a while,” DeLay says. “We have eight songs ready for a full album, and aside from that we probably have five or six more that we rotate in and out of our shows.”
DeLay knows the music business is often a tough slog, but still has high hopes for Electric Mummy.
“I would love nothing more than to be as big as Iron Maiden and go on tour with those guys,” he says. “Most of the bands I see are just casual, and if I’m going to do it I want to do something that has the potential to go on to the next step. For me, it’s more than just a hobby. I love to create music and put on great shows, and if we can develop a following, get radio play and get on with some bigger acts that are doing tours, that would be the best.”