“The Neighbor of the Beast”? It's the kind of joke that sneaks up on you. For weeks, I'd been wondering, "Why is it 668 and not 667?" Staring at the trio's bootleg cover, it dawned on me: 667 would be the house across the street—668 is right next door.
I asked singer/guitarist Dominic Cagliostro if that was it. "Yup, that's right. It could've been 664, too." The name fits. 668 is Cagliostro and his neighbors, Vince Welke and Colin Dowell, who also make up the rhythm section from None of the Above. "I won't say who the beast is, though," he laughs. Originally an AC/DC cover band, a tribute to singer Bon Scott, the beastly neighbors found they could write their own material pretty easily. A month after they formed, they started playing out.
That might have something to do with how seasoned the performers are. Cagliostro has been playing on the scene since 1989 in acts like Jacobins, Beefcake In Chains and Dead On Point Five. He formed 668 just eight months ago in search of something a bit more boisterous. "I wanted to do something simpler," he says. "Dead On Point Five is more serious, more technical, a little heavier. 668 is more accessible, easier to listen to. It's not quite as esoteric." For Cagliostro, that translates to party rock--fun, hooky stuff that rides an up-tempo.
That he's making party rock a year and a half after he quit drinking is an irony not lost on Cagliostro. "This is a post-drunkenness band," he says. "I'd never played sober before, from when I was 15 to when I was 32 years old." There was some anxiety at first, he says. "It's hard to be in a bar, but you have to if you want to play. I want to play so bad." This is his passion, he says. This is his dream. "So I do it."
The upcoming CD, recorded with Little Kiss, will sport five original songs and three covers, including AC/DC classics "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Walk All Over You." If the four-song bootleg is any indication, the disc promises to be a metal/punk amalgamation, tightly written and totally singable with Cagliostro's awesome vocals atop a tight, thrashy kitchen.