BONER—Get Excited About Fort Collins’ Kitschiest Band

By: Avalon Clare

Typically when one pictures a classically trained cellist, words like “boner” and “abortion” don’t immediately come to mind. Cellist and vocalist Jessica Hazmat is here to change that misconception one line of dirty lyrics at a time. It all started more than six years ago when Hazmat asked some of her musician friends, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we had a band called Boner?”

Most of Boner’s songs were written while Hazmat was bored working at Whole Foods. She wrote the song “I Hate My Job” while on a break there, for example.

As the primary songwriter it might seem obvious that Hazmat would be the lead singer, although originally that’s not what she wanted. She brought her lyrics to her bandmates and asked them who should sing. After everyone read the lyrics they unanimously agreed that the singer had to be Hazmat, if only because all the songs are from a female point of view.

Known as Flaccid during acoustic sets, Boner is a self-described “joke band.” Their comedic process starts with picking a genre of music, like country for example, and writing a song in that style with ridiculous or vulgar lyrics and subject matter.

Boner has been through many incarnations over the years, but Hazmat has always been at the helm. She writes lurid lyrics and then sings and plays cello, usually while wearing a ball gown. Currently Boner also includes Ken on guitar, Ben on bass, and Spoons on the drums.

One thing the band has never done is release an album, but all that will change on Hazmat’s 32nd birthday. February 16th, at Surfside 7 will forever be remembered as the “Smile! Jessica Wasn’t Aborted” party, in addition to serving as the Boner CD release show.

Boner’s debut album was recorded at their bassist’s house and includes six classic songs such as “Shmabortion Blues” and “Nobody Loves Me Til 3 In The Morning.” The tentative album title is “Size Queen.”

Obviously part of Boner’s shtick is being offensive, but that’s not quite the entire picture. Many of Hazmat’s songs are kitschy political anthems written during the Bush era. With Donald Trump in the White House, the politics of many of her lyrics have become relevant once again. Boner’s most recent show took place right after the election, and Hazmat wore a pantsuit instead of her usual high-femme ball gown get-up. At one show the band passed out abortion punch cards. The band’s twisted sense of humor is not for the faint of the heart.

Boner was inspired by a combination of classical music and Weird Al, a weird combination for anything other than a cello-led joke-band. As a youngster Hazmat also had an affinity for Jim Carey. Although she has played the cello since eight years old and studied it in college, somewhere in the back of her mind she always dreamed of being a lounge singer. This inspiration came from none other than Jessica Rabbit, and is part of why Hazmat chose ball gowns as her official Boner wardrobe.

Boner has done a lot since their humble beginnings at an open mic night years ago. They’ve played FoCoMx and New Worst Fest leaving nothing but laughter and horrified looks in their path. This album has been a long time coming, especially for loyal fans who have been there since the beginning.

While it’s great to have friends singing along to Boner classics, nothing beats the shock value of people who stumble upon the band without knowing what they’re in for. Even at their very first show a table walked out. Hazmat’s response? She couldn’t imagine a higher compliment.

 

The Boner Playlist: 

1. “Poisoning Pigeons In the Park” – Tom Lehrer

2. “U Really Got a Hold on Me” – Sesame Street/Smoky Robinso

3. “Hot in Herre” – Nelly

4. “I Got Erection” Turbonegro

5. “Today Was a Good Day” – Ice Cube

6. “Symphony Number 5” – Shostakovich

7. “Area Codes” – Ludacris

8. “Luie Luie” – El Touchy

9. “Creeping Death” – Metallica

10. “Albuquerque” – “Weird” Al Yankovic

 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply