A few days ago I received a wonderfully weird video called “Big Fat Spider Lady” from the band House of Weirdos. The short film tells the tale of three brothers in the Bronx, and the sorry fate of the youngest sibling after his run-in with the song’s namesake.
It is ridiculous, and a lot of fun. The same can be said for the film’s soundtrack. The song “Big Fat Spider Lady” is a hard rocking, expertly executed and totally bizarre tune about, well… a big fat spider lady. The track sounds like some long lost recording of Black Sabbath covering a Frank Zappa song, and everything about that is cool as hell.
The man behind the madness is veteran rocker, Kiss impersonator and NYC dad Tom Pressano. The Static Dive sat down with Tom (virtually) for a quick Q&A about the song, the video and House of Weirdos.
6 Questions with Tom Pressano from House of Weirdos
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been writing songs and doing originals since I was 14 years old; my first band from middle school was called Abdulla and the Gang (yes, that was our name–I kid you not). We used to dress as prisoners and all of our songs were themed on prisons, like “Alcatraz”, “Rikers Island”, etc. In my twenties my songwriting took a more serious turn with influences like Dylan, Pink Floyd and King Crimson. Many years later, I put the originals aside and founded a KISS tribute band–KISS ALIVE NYC, and we were very popular in the northern east coast. I played Gene Simmons’ The Demon and would spit blood and fire every weekend.
Who are the band members in House of Weirdos?
In 2015, House of Weirdos began as a project with a few childhood friends after a long night of drinking. Bobby Fonti, an old friend and, like myself, is a singer songwriter; we are joined by Apollo Cannito on lead guitar and Dan Gamma on drums. Apollo and I have known each other since we were 5 years old, playing on the streets of 187th street in the Bronx, Little Italy.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My influences arise from the classic rock genre–anything from The Beatles to Bob Dylan to Pink Floyd; Apollo brings in his guitar tastes from Clapton and Hendrix with Bobby bringing in his influences with the 90’s grunge bands.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
I was born on the cusp between the Baby Boomers and Generation X, lol. In other words, I love a variety of American pop films and television–the classic Universal horror films,”The Adventures of Superman” with George Reeves and “The Six Million Dollar Man” with Lee Majors. I could literally watch “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” at least once a week—no joke. It drives my wife and three boys crazy. I know people like to binge-watch Netflix and all, but I prefer a binge with Adam West and the 1966’s “Batman” instead.
What was the inspiration for “Big Fat Spider Lady?”
Well, interestingly–my drummer Dan and I were watching some old “Night Gallery with Rod Serling” episodes one night at his place. In one episode, “A Fear Of Spiders”, the protagonist, after rejecting a female neighbor one night is haunted in his home by a giant spider. Dan was obviously shaken by the episode–which I found totally amusing since the spider in question is so cheesy.
I started making up lyrics like—“She’s coming to get you…she’s the Big Fat Spider Lady, Dan!” Of course, even though he was clearly upset by the spider in the episode, he added to the words and the next day I put it to music and recorded the song on GarageBand. I’ve had that video idea for “Big Fat Spider Lady” in my head for years; I was finally able to talk my kids into filming it with me.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
Since House Of Weirdos has lots of material that we are sitting on, I’d love to continue creating fun videos that represent the imagery of that particular song. Since the guys that I play and record with have families, jobs and other commitments, it’s hard for everyone to find the time. I’m sure many musicians can relate to that.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Yeah Bob, I’d like to say thank you for creating websites, posts and blogs like this one so that songwriters and bands can share a platform. I hope House of Weirdos can share another video with you guys sometime in the near future.