DECATUR - The 2011 Decatur Celebration has no shortage of musical groups that will grace its stages. But only one of those groups comprises 5,000-year-old, decrypted, animated ghouls.
That group is Here Come the Mummies, which will make its first-ever Decatur appearance the evening of Saturday, Aug. 6, holding back not an ounce of the salacious content the band's fans have come to know and love.
"Our funk emanates from a supernatural libido," said group spokesman "Java Mummy," resident speaker and "lady's mummy." "Whether this is innate, or a result of our curse has been a thousand-year-old debate."
Ask a member of the band a question, and that's the sort of response you're likely to receive. The nine-piece group never breaks from its mummy gimmick, appearing on stage fully wrapped and ready to go. The rare interviews the group gives are conducted only by email - mummies, after all, do not speak, with the sole exception of when they sing on stage.
The actual identities of the mummies also are an unreleased secret, although it is typically said among the band's fan base that they hail from Nashville and employ at least one Grammy Award winner.
The one thing they all do seem to share is a scandalous sense of humor, especially Java.
"I am the dirty boy of the group," he said. "The energetic, naughty one that signs your lady's cleavage with a Sharpie."
Listening to Here Come the Mummies music, picking any one member as "the dirty one" would be an undertaking. With album titles such as "Carnal Carnival" and "Single Entendre" and track names such as "Horizontal Mambo" and "Attack of the Weiner Man," the band is rarely, if ever, subtle in its imagery or its content. During the show, Java even briefly morphs into an alter ego, the "sexual stuntman" Libido Knievel.
"Libido and I are not the same being, though we are fundamentally dependent on each other ... like Bruce Banner and his anger," he said. "Without the helmet, I am not the stuntman, and without me, Libido is just a banana with wristbands. I am not sure you could print many of his stunts, but the one I am most recently proud of involved triplets, a Slip ‘n Slide, a donkey and a volcano."
If Java Mummy is to be believed, the band can never truly stop, as a condition of the terrible curse that empowers their near immortality. Instead, the mummies are doomed to perpetually roll on, performing live shows and recording funky albums.
"Until the bananas turn black and fall off the tree, we will keep at it," he said. "We have been very busy undead boys. It is our curse, and our delicious burden to bear. We are currently working on a new recording, and the aim is to have it ready this fall."
Thankfully, the music itself gives Here Come the Mummies quite a bit of room to experiment, keeping its members from growing bored, even after thousands of years. Utilizing the full range of guitar, hand percussion, keys and brass sounds they have available to them, the music fluctuates anywhere from 1970s-style James Brown funk to Latin-infused dance beats and even the occasional tender ballad. As Java puts it, the group "harbors very little and explores much." Future dreams include starting a Here Come the Mummies clothing line, although the mummy failed to mention whether this would mean tee shirts or funerary wraps.
For audiences gearing up for Decatur Celebration, though, Java Mummy offered one final piece of advice to those thinking of attending the show.
"We recommend a daily stretching routine beginning one week prior to the show," he said. "Jumping, gyrating and thrusting is hard on stiff joints and muscles."