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Karen Black.

THE VOLUPTUOUS HORROR OF KAREN BLACK, aka Kembra Pfahler, is now reigning once again ... just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. The horror rock band was formed over 10 years ago by Kembra and former partner in chine Samoa (who's now pursuing Bluegrass endeavors), but the new line-up is held down by Adam Cardone on bass (formerly of The Toilet Boys), Michael Wildwood on drums (D-Generation, Chrome Locust), Dave Weston on guitar (Weston), and of course The Beautiful Girls of Karen Black (the dancers). The band's name (and schtick, as it were) is an homage to Kembra's love of classic Universal Studios horror archetypes like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and The Mummy. Currently in the midst of recording their fifth studio album, Actresstocrocy, the album and title track's namesake is a 1930's term based on political powers held by actors. Kembra finds this to be especially relevant today, given Arnold Schwarzenegger's present role as Governator. The actress, Karen Black, "epitomizes the classic and interesting Dark Lady of Horror." The Girls of Korea Black (Bijoux, Alice, Laure and Bambi) are based on these simple horror archetypes.

"Steven Tyler once said, 'rock and roll people wear rock and roll clothes.' They wear the clothes that nobody else can wear. I feel that The Girls Of Karen Black do the things that nobody else does--they're doing actions that have never been done before. They run the ship. They do all the most difficult images and performance aspects. Just like Uhura, very glamorously running the Star Trek ship, the Girls Of Karen Black set the tone for the show. No one can do what they do. And they are the most beautiful girls in Western civilization," says Kembra. Word.

So when I got to Kembra's to interview her, we ended up coming to blows over a King Diamond tape. She gave it to me, then suddenly couldn't part with it. Eventually I let it go.

How much fun was it when we took a cab up to the Apollo Theater in Harlem?

You mean for Showtime at the Apollo? I got free tickets from people hanging out in front of a methadone clinic in Mid-town, by my high-fashion showroom. But we were late, so we didn't get to rub the true stump.

What's up with your high-fashion line?

I decided to start a line called Kembra. because my band members needed something to wear while we're traveling all over on airplanes.

You mean you don't travel naked?

We are never naked. We are always covered with our trademark colors.

Like a gang?

Yeah. These colors are all cool tones like Pacific Ocean blue, cotton candy pink, and hepatitis yellow.

So why did you put the band back together?

Because Roy was mauled by his tiger and we're hoping to work in Las Vegas. We also need to get out of the house more.

How exactly would you describe the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black?

A classic meat-and-potatoes rock band. We play verse/chorus/verse/chorus, guitar solo, verse/chorus. We play formulate classic hard rock. It's driving music, fornication music, cleaning music, sporting music, tanning music ... it's music for hedonists.

What are some of the scariest movies you've ever seen?

Jaws and The Exorcist, Both of them are important horror movies. They're very interesting to me because there was an element of humor. It just seems so unrealistic that the devil would be hiding under your bed or that a 25-foot shark would be chasing after you all the time. The shark is a very iconic image That's why I put a shark in our show at BB King's, and my fashion show.

Do you have any heroes?

My brother, Adam Pfahler from Jawbreaker. He's my muse, because he is a very do-it-yourself person. He's been traveling and making records, raising kids and slatting his own business. He's taken the punk rock lifestyle to the next level. Very few people do that. He's created his own business and lives his life without working for anyone--DIY lifestyle. My nieces (Adam's daughters--Mimi, five, and Stella, two) are also my heroes and role models; although, they're going to have to do a few performances before they are completely heroes and role models. Hugh Hefner is another one.

So what's up with your all-girl skate team?

The Maneaters. We're a closet-case skateboarding team. We all hate each other's guts. We never see each other. The only trick I have any expertise in is the full Bertleman.

So how ya livin', Kembra?

Speak softly and wear a loud ethos. Word.
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Author:Filipone, Joanne
Date:Apr 1, 2004
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