Dude, this is a joke

Crunk-rock big band Terminally Ill rip into you and all your bros.
  • Crunk-rock big band Terminally Ill rip into you and all your bros.

Many bands thought the worst thing about the collapse of the major-label music industry was that there was no longer anyone to pay for music videos.

Orange County’s Terminally Ill, making their San Diego debut Friday night at the Merrow in Hillcrest, showed the world they could make their own videos.

Terminally Ill, "Living the Dream"

Equipped with a caustic sense of humor that they aimed at OC bro culture, the seven-member “crunk-rock” group figured out how to make homemade videos that prove you don’t need a Hollywood budget to move the needle.

“We filmed ‘Bro Anthem’ as a joke,” says Ryan Ripsetter, one of the band’s four rappers. The band included references to suburban Orange County, Monster energy drinks, jacked-up trucks, and bro-speak to make a tribute to white-trash party culture.

“We said, ‘This is not bad. Let’s actually do this.’” So, they formed the band — Terminally Ill — three years ago.

Terminally Ill seems to follow the lead of two other Orange County bands — the Surf Punks and the Vandals (“I Want to Be a Cowboy”), with the concept that a band can lampoon certain subcultures with over-the-top lyrics and wild onstage imagery. “If anybody takes yourself so seriously, we’re going to go to town on you and rip you apart,” says Ripsetter.

Past Event

Castoff, Terminally Ill, Strike Twelve

  • Friday, March 20, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Merrow, 1271 University Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+

Live-at-home juggalos, burnouts, and body tats were targeted by the punk/rap revue onstage and in their videos.

“There are so many people in Orange County and in the Inland Empire with big egos...we like to rag on people to show they are idiots.”

Lyrics from “The Bro Anthem”: “I love chrome shocks/ I wear black socks/ Famous Stars and Straps/ Muther fucking rocks/ I don’t give a fuck/ I drive a lifted truck/ If you talk shit on Kottonmouth Kings/ I’ll fuck you up.”

Not everyone got the joke.

“When we first came out, there were a lot of bros who didn’t get it. Some people said they wanted to kill us. We were, like, ‘Dude, this is a joke.’ I guess we did a pretty good job of mocking if you can’t tell it was a joke.”

Check out the videos at terminallyillband.com. The band joins Chango’s Psychotic Garage, Castoff, and Strike Twelve at the Merrow Friday night.

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