James Callahan

VIDEO PREMIERE: Old school Easton punk rockers El Destructo reignite with ‘Live That Way’

VIDEO PREMIERE: Old school Easton punk rockers El Destructo reignite with ‘Live That Way’
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An Irish 17th-century folk song passed down through the centuries from campfire to campfire, later to The Dubliners, then to the Thin Lizzy boys in 1963, and eventually found “her” way to metal chieftains Metallica, quips the following:

“Now some men like a fishin’
And some men like the fowlin’
And some men like to hear
To hear the cannonball roarin'”

Camp Rattler recently had the opportunity to finish up a passion project for a new-ish friend and partner in unsafe art, name of Thomas Waltemyer. Tom is a proud Pennsylvania gent with a Swiss Army knife holster of interesting and on-the-edge skills.

He lives in a 100-year-old farmhouse out in the sticks of the Pocono boonies. There he keeps bees, chickens, a brood of dogs, an aging half-pipe, and a fleet of mini-bikes for him and his young son, Thomas the III. He is also a small business entrepreneur, being the owner/operator of Pleasure & Pain Inc. Tattoo & Body Modification in Easton, as well as “pit security” for many PA nightclubs and venues.

Thomas has many interests and talents. However, the “standout” trait, the hot button, so to speak, and the actual reason that my fiancé Kristin Rose and I (plus our creative partners Jared Sokirka of Video Ninja Productions, the Altieris of Cult Movie Club Creatures, the folks at The Sanctum in Sugar Notch, and our entire band of fractured geniuses like this dude on set) got involved with him is that Thomas is fire.

He adores blowing things up. Creating controlled flaming scenarios of high, smoldering art… and he is down to be loud, hot, and heavy at the drop of a hat.

We first met him via text concerning his desire to be in the three-song extended video sequences that we were working on for Philadelphia hardcore band and social terrorist unit Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza. He then explained that he has designed and ignited serious pyrotechnics for a very notable list of clients: Bloodhound Gang, MTV, Bam Margera/CKY, Turbonegro, Skatopia, Thrasher magazine, “Viva La Bam,” Bad Luck 13, Eat the Turnbuckle, Shat, and Bloodphart. Yep… quite a mouthful.

He then said to me over the phone, and I quote, “Man, I have a lot of land and we can catch everything on fire if you want.”

Thomas and I were instant pals. We set the date and worked weeks on the pre-production and props; “Evil” Jared Hasselhoff from Bloodhound Gang even flew in from Germany to cameo in several scenes. We arrived at Thomas’ home, only to not be able to locate him at all. Doors to the home were open, his super friendly pitties were running around as our “welcome wagon” – even Evil Jared was there and sort of bewildered.

I will now cut to the punchline. We shot all day without him, on his land, with Evil Jared until approximately nine hours after our scheduled meeting time. Thomas wobbled out of a locked room in his home and explained that he had given himself a concussion the evening before as his dome piece smashed off the roof of his giant truck whilst off-roading in his fields post-bar time. We all thought, “This dude is volatile, at best.”

Flash forward a few years, Thomas has proven himself to simultaneously be a consummate man of his word while having a somewhat tenuous grasp of time itself. He has joined a handful of Camp Rattler big set build-outs to bring the flames. We love him.

That being said, during COVID lockdown, he mentioned that he was revamping an older personal musical project of his own called El Destructo, originally formed in 1993. We were excited.

It’s our pleasure, with a sly grin, we give to you El Destructo’s “Live That Way 2022.” This down-tempo, OG punk/grave rock/cowpunk track seems like a somewhat nostalgic ditty and super fun glance through the cracked windows of the psyche, life, and political views of our homie Thomas. Come down to Whitehall, bowl a few frames with us at Jordan Lanes, watch out for explosives, and enjoy!