Psych-O-Positive is a self described "psychedelic cave punk band" based out of Hoboken, NJ. USA.
“If you took all the great punk bands of the 80’s (like Gut Bank and Sexpod) and threw them in a blender with the best Riot Grrrl and Antifolk bands of the 90’s (like The Aquanettas, The Sprinkle Genies, and tranceSenders) and you let that blender spin for the aughts to late teens and then at the dawn of 2020, you took the blender and threw it full force into a brick wall, the sound of the glass shattering and the slow spill down the wall would sound just like Psych-O-Positive.”
The Story of Psych-O-Positive
Few bands have enjoyed the level of anticipation that surrounded the first public performance of the indie Hoboken NJ-based quintet, Psych-O-Positive. The buzz was palpable nearing their March 2017 debut gig at Maxwell’s, the legendary club on Washington Street in Hoboken, NJ.
Celebrating convalescence with a benefit concert for beloved writer and internet radio host Jack Silbert, The Hudson Reporter, Nj.com and HMag lifestyle magazine all reported on the appearance of Hoboken’s supergroup before they ever hit the stage.
This arose from the fact that all members of Psych-O-Positive had fronted their own bands at one time or another. With the release of their debut single, “Blood (coming out of her whatever)” in October of that same year, their supergroup reputation solidified in what HMag.com described as “relentless rocking.”
Self described as “psychedelic cave punk,” a term coined by drummer Karyn Kuhl, the band was formed by musician Debby Schwartz, best known as lead singer and guitarist for the band The Aquanettas and bass player for the P.G. Six Band, as well as for her solo career at both Mercury and Twin Lakes Records. Schwartz is the driving creative force behind the band, and was able to bring a powerful group of accomplished musicians together to create a new subgenre of punk, blending political and psychedelic music.
Drummer Karyn Kuhl is also the critically acclaimed guitarist, singer and songwriter of the eponymous Karyn Kuhl Band. She formerly fronted NJ punk bands Gut Bank and Sexpod. Her drumming style is powerfully primitive, owing largely to her punk roots. Journalists and music scene regulars are consistently thrilled to see Karyn behind the drums, holding it down for Psych-O-Positive.
Guitarist Andy Gilchrist lives across the river in NYC. In his youth he was a founding member of AndyPanda, The Troals and The Milky Substance. Later, he would go on to form the legendary New York City antifolk band The Sprinkle Genies, playing regularly at Sidewalk Cafe and CBGB. He provides vocals as well as lead guitar, and has often been described as part cephalopod and part 70’s Nauga Monster.
Judy Ann Nock, also from New York City, plays the electric sitar, bringing a decidedly distinct psychedelic vibe to the band. Before joining Psych-O-Positive, Judy was the lead singer and guitarist for the 1990’s East Village rock band, tranceSenders, best known for their extended hedonistic residencies at Hilly Kristal’s art club adjacent to CBGB’s, CB’s Gallery 313, where they played regularly every Friday night. Judy Ann is also an author of the Modern Witchcraft series of books published by Simon & Schuster. As one of the lyricists for Psych-O-Positive, listeners can sometimes uncover occult references and witchy vibes in her contributions to the band.
Louie Zhelesnik began his career in the band Seven Goat Day and went on to participate in The Postman Opera. He plays guitar in Psych-O-Positive, creating layered sonic soundscapes that cement the psychedelia. Louie is also the band manager, bringing a wealth of creative acumen to the band’s digital presence. From lyric videos to print graphics, Louie has distilled the aural elements of punk psychedelia into visual form as an auteur. Best known for large scale multimedia art events, Louie has also been the driving force behind events such as Exhibit October and has been known to produce popup speakeasies, as he is a master at making a scene.