Meet “The Brains” of Modern Psychobilly

Digging the untamed sounds of the renowned Montreal trio

The Brains (Image: Stomp Records)

Psychobilly is a confusing but inclusive collaboration of music influenced by everything from the rockabilly movement of the ’50s and ’60s to New Wave, Punk, Pop, Hard Rock, Metal and all that exists in between.

Such is the evolution of The Brains. No, not the classic Atlanta New Wave group, but rather the three-member psychobilly band from Montreal, Canada, consisting of lead singer and guitarist Rene De La Muerte (Rene Garcia), bassist Colin the Dead (Colin Irvine) and drummer Gui Kitty. 

Formed in 2001 by Garcia, Johnny Montreal (bass), and drummer Franck O’Brains (François Demers), The Brains built a dedicated following that took the Montreal club scene by storm. They pump out a blisteringly loud blend of punk, hard rock and rockabilly infused with humorous Goth-themed imagery. Combined with its slickly produced show that included creepy costumes, elaborate makeup and glow-in-the-dark contact lenses (check out their eyes in their video for “Take What I Want”), they were an instant hit in a Canadian punk scene hungry for something “different.”


VIDEO: The Brains “Take What I Want”

Despite switching to a more conventional look (due to Rene’s contact lens-related eye troubles), they ventured forth with their “horroresque” sound. Their local popularity exploded, resulting in an invitation to contribute their first original song, “It’s Over,” to a 2003 psychobilly compilation album entitled Zombie Night in Canada. In 2005, the band released its freshman album, No Brain, No Pain, to mixed reviews. Ever determined, they worked relentlessly to tighten and refine their sound. Their efforts were successful, evidenced by the 2007s album Hell n’ Back and 2009’s eponymous third LP and its first on the Stomp label.

In 2010, they released Zombie Nation, featuring a more aggressive rock-driven sound concurrent with a shake-up in personnel and instrument assignments. Johnny (bass) left to pursue other interests, replaced by Colin the Dead (Colin Irvine). New band member Pat Kadaver assumed drum duties while Franck O’Brains moved to a short-lived role as second guitar. Franck left the band, and the remaining trio recorded 2011’s Drunk, Not Dead.

By this time, The Brains had become firmly ensconced in the psychobilly music movement, touring extensively throughout the Americas, Europe and beyond in support of their albums and backing a wide swath of acts, including Mad Sin, The Offspring, The Reverend Horton Heat, The Real McKenzies, The Creepshow and many more.

The Brains (Image: Facebook)

The Monster Within was released in 2013, followed by 2014’s The Cover Up, a four-song EP covering tunes by The Cure, Billy Idol, Depeche Mode and Soft Cell. 2015’s Out in the Dark, supported by newly joined drummer Philippe “The Beast” Pinard. Their touring schedule exploded, frequently taking them throughout North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, and even Russia, resulting in a five-year recording hiatus that ended with the critically acclaimed studio LP, Satana Tarantula. This was their first release on Cleopatra Records and included guest appearances from HorrorPops’ singer Patricia Day and legendary ‘billy guitarist Danny B. Harvey of Swing Cats and The Devil’s Daughters fame.

The trio, including replacement-turned-permanent drummer Gui Kitty (who joined five years ago), continues to grow its international and cross-cultural fan base, a testament to their quality material, impeccable musicianship and sheer bad attitude. They’ve become a staple in the Psychobilly sound, and as anyone who’s seen them live will attest, they bring a raucous and infectious energy that will have you crowd-surfing and head-banging until your brains fall out!




Steve Kirwan
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Steve Kirwan

Steve Kirwan, Executive Editor of, is a seasoned whiskey influencer with over 25 years of experience reviewing and writing about whiskey, wine, and related topics. He's also a drummer and guitarist with an intimate knowledge of guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, and all things drum-related. When he's not reviewing whiskey or writing about rock and roll legends, he's working on writing the definitive book on American Single Malt Whiskeys. Follow Steve on LinkedIn and FaceBook.

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