Something Wicked This Way Rocks

"Modern Irish Drinking Song" is a jig-worthy tune that addresses the inevitability of death and the importance of living a joyful life. Considering where the song was written, the following lines make a lot of sense: "Live it up and don't be hurt by those who call you a waste/Cause when they find them cold and stiff will a smile be on their face?" "I wrote 'Modern Irish Drinking Song' on a plane in turbulence, and I thought I was gonna die," recalls Zetts. "I wanted to be found grasping this. Among my ashes I wanted this to be the last thing I said to the world."

Zetts began playing guitar at the age of eight and started writing songs almost immediately. "I was always into making my own things," he recalls. "I didn't play, like, Spiderman. I would make up my own superheroes and stuff. I've done theater since I was 14, but I quit acting because I didn't want to walk around saying someone else's lines. I wanted to make something of my own."

Although Zetts attended Broward Community College, he never graduated, and, until Apathy was performed in 1995, he was mired in what he says were "vast years of just screwing up my life." Even after his musical enjoyed a successful three-month run at FPT, Zetts felt aimless. "I was at a point [last year] where I was pretty much ready to pack my life up and do a Jack Kerouac or something," he says. "I was just not in a good place, and Angela said, 'Don't go. You and me will make a band.'"

The rapport between Thomas and Zetts is a major reason for the band's creative spark. At Thomas' apartment they illustrate their comic timing with an old Martin-and-Lewis joke.

"Hey Ang, you take a bath this morning?"
"Why, is one missing?"
Ba-da-bump.

When asked about their plans for the band, Zetts and Thomas cry out "world domination" simultaneously, then hint at a line of merchandise, including Ickies toilet paper. In reality they don't have any such plans in mind. For Thomas, Them Ickies is a performance outlet preferable to acting at the moment. For Zetts, the band is the culmination of an extremely creative period in his life.

"I feel like I [hadn't] done jack shit," he admits. "In the last year, I feel like I've finally done something right. My entire life I was searching for the vehicle, the place, the thing to do. This band is the first thing I feel like I've done right."

Them Ickies will usher in Halloween at midnight, Friday, October 30, at FU*BAR, 909 Cypress Creek Rd., Pompano Beach (954-776-0660). The Icky Pickin' Treat or Trickin' Halloween Hayride will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 31, at Navigator's Cyber Cafe, 3548 S. University Dr., Davie (954-723-0800).

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