Atlanta punk-rockers the Luchagors feature vocalist Amy Dumas, the onetime WWE diva formerly known as Lita. High-flying singalong choruses never sounded this smokin’. Don’t write her off as cheesecake, though: In one brass-knuckles chorus she warns, “Don’t pick me up / I’m not your baby.” It sounds like she still has a pile-driver with your name on it.
Jessica Alba almost ended Dumas’ wrestling career. Seriously. Kind of. In 2002, the redheaded Lita was catching fire as the WWE’s newest superstar, a turbocharged femme fatale famous for the hurricanrana, a leap from the top rope onto an opponent’s torso that sent grapplers tumbling. So popular was Dumas that she was invited to make a guest appearance on the sci-fi/action show Dark Angel, which featured Alba in the title role. That same move nearly cut her career short when a stunt double botched the move, sending Dumas crashing down on her neck, cracking three vertebrae. Fifteen months later, she returned to the WWE, and remained at the top of its ranks until last year.
Now Lita is on the road again, but this gig isn’t as exacting. It may be the first time most of her fans have seen her on a real stage, but music isn’t just a new hobby. Dumas talked to Scene about her wrestling past, her rock past, her rock present, and her rock future.
When I first heard about the band, I assumed it would be a pop-punk thing, but it’s more of an old-school punk-rock sound.
I’ve always been into punk-rock. My wrestling character, at first, was an exaggerated version of who I was at the time: a skateboarding tom boy. I always went to a lot of shows. When I couldn’t go to shows, it felt like I was in high school, and I was tardy or absent.
What kind of music were you into?
Some of my favorite bands are the Lunachicks, the Plasmatics, and the Avengers. My first show was 7 Seconds and the Circle Jerks. 7 Seconds are my favorite band of all time. I didn’t have my first drink until I was 24. I was straight-edge, like “I’ve got to do these things like this because 7 Seconds says so.” But 7 Seconds is a very different thing than the New York City straight-edge – less frat-boy, more accepting, like, “We’re all in this together; let’s get along.”
Did you just start playing?
I’d played in a few bands before. I went to high school and college in Atlanta, and I lived in DC for two years after that. I’d played in a couple bands back in DC before I was wrestling. With the wrestling schedule, you put everything on hold for a while. Shane [Luchagors guitarist Shane Morton] and I played in a band with Guy from Fugazi… just a project band for a few shows, nothing big. Once I knew I’d be retiring, [music] had been on my mind, and I started going to more shows and thinking about playing again.
Does the show have anything to do with wrestling?
I had a great experience, and I was able to retire at 31. And I’m hoping that my wrestling fans will come see what I’m doing now, but it’s really important to me that’s it’s not ‘Lita and the Luchagors’ -- we’re a band. Nobody’s more important than anybody else. I wanted to do it right. I co-write the material, and I’m very deeply involved in every aspect of it. We’re calling this the Down With the Naysayers tour. We’re going out and proving that we really can do it.
What are the sets like?
We play some covers. We doing Bad Brains’ “Sailing On,” the Cro-Mags’ “Hard Times.” The Avengers’ “We Are the One” is my favorite song. And we do a Misfits song, “Die Die My Darling.”
The Luchagors pre-tour warm-up kicks off in Cleveland 8 p.m., Friday, November 9, with the Struttin' Cocks, Lesser Known Poffos, Al & the Coholics, and 3 Pump Chump. Tickets are $10 (18+ only). The Hi-Fi Club, 11729 Detroit Ave., 216-521-8878. -- DX Ferris