Rat Rod Magazine

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

THE HOLY ROCKA ROLLAZ

OK...if you're reading this magazine I can safely assume that you like Rock 'n' Roll music right?

Here's a band that takes punk and rockabilly and slams them together make a high-energy style of 50's rock that's becoming a staple of the Minnesota car scene. They are the Holy Rocka Rollaz. Let's be clear, though, this is NOT an 'oldies' band! There are no sappy love songs, no doo-wop or any of the other dreck espoused by the Hawaiian shirt and mullet set.

That crap can stay on the late-night infomercials! "We love Rat Rods because they are the punk rockers of the car world", says Mark Flora, guitarist and lead singer. "We want to be the soundtrack to the culture." The rest of the 'we' that makes up the band are Matt Alexander on drums, Paul Jongeward on stand-up bass, and wives Lisa Flora and Steph Alexander on backup (and sometimes lead) vocals. All are car nuts, but drummer Matt is the only one who really gets hands dirty.

According to Mark, the band has officially been together for two years, but the guys have been together for awhile as part of Mark's prison ministry band at the South Dakota State Penitentiary. Mark took the band duties over from his father-in-law, who had been doing it throughout the '70's and '80's. One night after driving home after an especially great show, they thought, "Why not do this at other venues?" They decided to try for some of the many car shows around the Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota area.

Sure enough, they became regulars at the weekly North St. Paul History Cruzer Car Show that runs every Friday night from June to September. You'll also be see them on the main stage at St. Paul's 11,000-car "Back to the '50's" spectacular on Saturday, June 23rd. The band will also help kick off the 2012 Rat Rod Tour in Mahtowa, Minnesota on September 8th.

Their biggest musical influences are a combination of Buddy Holly and the Stray Cats, with some Ramones and Replacements thrown in. And what about their sound? Mark fires up his Gretsch Tennessee Rose through "some good ol' tube amps" while Matt keeps rhythm on a Gretsch drum kit. Paul holds it all together with a stand-up bass they got on eBay "because it was really cheap!"

Next up for the Holy Rocka Rollaz are two studio CDs: The first is a tribute to such '50's rock icons as Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, while the second one is all-original 'Greasy Rockabilly', as Mark describes it. We can't wait!

The band would like to give special thanks to Sean Lawrance for the use of his car in the photoshoot. Also, these guys are looking for an old (as in tailfins old!) Caddy hearse! If you can help them out, visit their Facebook page: facebook.com/TheHolyRockaRollaz

 

Star Tribune

"A band that revives the vintage ’50s stomp of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran with fresh energy, the Holy Rocka Rollaz take over the Schooner Tavern in south Minneapolis on Friday to tout its new album, “C’mon & Shine On!” (9 p.m., 2901 27th Av. S.). Sideburns-adorned, hollowbody-wielding frontman Mark Flora played locally in the Law in the ’80s and started this trio a decade ago as a prison ministry band when he was working in South Dakota. So you know they’re no pansy band." 

Mason City Globe Gazette

GUESTS RAVE ON ABOUT WINTER DANCE PARTY

February 01, 2015 3:37 pm  •  

"It was a fabulous weekend," she said. 

A few representatives from the Surf stood at the exits to say goodbye to people as they were leaving.

"We didn't hear a single bad thing about the event," Lietz said. "They were absolutely blown away by the lineup and how great North Iowa is."

This year's performers included Frankie Avalon, Lou Christie, Bill Haley Jr. & The Comets, The Crystals, Brian Hyland, Chris Montez and Tommy Allsup.

Many new faces were in the crowd at the Winter Dance Party, which sold out again this year, according to Lietz.

She said a new band, the Holy Rocka Rollaz, played during the KRIB Record Hop and ’50s Luncheon at the Best Western Holiday Lodge on Saturday.

"People just loved them and raved about their performance," Lietz said.

Although snow began to fall on Saturday night, it just made it feel more like a Winter Dance Party, according to Lietz.

"We are looking forward to next year already," she said.