Prom Body Take Us on a Tour of Tucson

This Arizona quartet lift the lid on Tucson's fashion, sport, music, and cuisine. These guys are beyond strange and we love them like we love ranch and bacon covered crinkle fries.

Oct 9 2014, 5:00pm

Earlier this year we premiered "My Paradise" a video by Tucson scuzz rock outfit called Prom Body. It was the moment we fell in love. The video had a large part to play—a combination of playful, absurd, and silly stylish—matched perfectly by lo-fi goodness and an endlessly zippy guitar line. Then they dropped their debut album, Naughty by Natural, this past summer and it became clear that their charm was not one video deep. There's no Arizona coastline, but then that didn't stop London's Male Bonding making beautifully bashy surf rock. So! We decided to track down Prom Body so we could get to know them better. This is a glimpse into their weird world in their own words.

Prom Body hails from the 520 Funhouse, a castle of cactus on the southern butt of Arizona. Sandwiched between the Mexican border and the republican hellscape that is Phoenix, Tucson has developed it's own unique way of life. Let us be your attaché to the sun baked freakery that is Tucson culture.


Our tour begins where your hunger goes to die. Depending on who you ask the Tucson food scene is either booming hard like two twelves in the trunk, or it's just oversaturated with adventurous but pretentious (pretenturous, if you will) "new" cuisine. But you're asking us and we land safely somewhere in the middle. The signature staple of any proper Tucsonans diet is the Sonoran Hot Dog.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

This is a hot dog wrapped in bacon topped, traditionally, with pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, jalapeno salsa, mayo, and whatever else you can think of to fit between your buns. Just cram it in there! Here we are at El Güero Canelo cheersing our Sonoran dogs after a long day of being Prom Body. The best way to wash down your Tucson style wiener is with an ice cold Topo Chico.


Photo: Yu Yu Shiratori.

Topo Chico is like the Mike Tyson of mineral water, it'll nibble the ear off of any rich man's San Pellegrino. Imported from south of the border it packs a monstrous fizz, cures severe bowl bubbles and has taken the place of beer since Mike gave up booze. Drink cool, stay cool.


Photo: Patrick Foley.

Another, and slightly healthier, food staple is Eegee's—Tucson's answer to a certain sandwich company named after a public subway transportation system who will remain nameless. With a menu varying from grinder style sub sandwiches and crinkle fries covered in ranch and bacon bits to soft pretzels and hotdogs all of your snack bar favorites are glorified here. Eegee's is most known though for their fruit blended frozen slush-like drinks. They have a rotating flavor of the month and you can buy any size from a tiny cup to a 30 gallon bucket.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

Mike is a type 1 diabetic. For the most part his diet consists of lentils, odd, native roots and locally raised, slaughtered and raw animals. Namaste. Pictured here is Mike and his cat Tabouli deciding which fruits and veggies should go into food murderer.


Despite the full frontal food abuse we subject our bodies to one priority still prevails: the draping of our earthly temples in super sexy summer friendly attire. Starting from the bottom now we're here. Footwear. Pimped out human skin cowboy boots from the Tanque Verde Swap Meet in south Tucson is how we get G'd up from the feet up.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

Every single person in Tucson wears shirts with Low riders and weed leaves plastered across the front. Here's Mike wearing a "Laugh Now Cry Later" short sleeve gem that just screams, "Enjoy life right now because you'll be dead soon."


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

Here's a little thing about bling. There's no wrong way to wear your ear wear. Gay or straight, it's all great. One ear or two, it's up to you. Scope out these one of a kind Prom Body lobe loungers gettin' straight shiney in the gleam of the Tucson sun.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

Each member of Prom Body is notorious for flawless daywear. In Tucson there is an expectation to be upheld: "If you're steppin' out it, you best be 'bout it." We abide. Eveningwear is a different beast though. Whether it's college bros wearing those Affliction shirts bearing huge sparkly crosses, or cheerleaders in shorts that give their underwear an excuse to wear underwear, the competition is tough. We have a secret weapon—local fashion designer Yu Yu Shiratori. Wielding an unparalleled talent for creative and impressive work we're extremely lucky to have her designing our stage costumes.


Photo: Michael Fay.


If you want to paint your breasts and hug a stranger or make a guitar out of an old bicycle and then play it with the severed hands of a blind child, Tucson will support your artistic ambitions. If you just want to observe, that's cool too. Here is a mural by Andy Steinbrink and Nicholas Shelton painted on The HangArt Space's wall.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

The kings of all things visual or otherwise are Tucson art Carne & Queso, a collaboration spearheaded by the seven headed cobra himself. Prom Body is blessed to utilize the heavenly skills of these carpenters of coolness. Patrick Foley and Caleb Gutierrez are seen here printing original Carne & Queso designed PB shirts.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

Local tattoo artist Kenzo Butler at Pharaoh's Horses Tattoo Parlor has been gracious enough to help Mike permanently cover up the scarring from the severe burns he experienced upon his atmospheric entry. Mike's dog Waffle can be seen in this photo having his portrait done. Kenzo's art can be seen at here.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

There is a place in Tucson where it is said that once you enter you come out different. Changed. Illuminated. A password must be used to breach the gate but no amount of words can describe the wonder that lies beyond. It's a domain of pure pleasure and monumental pain; though even the pain is beautiful. Topaz. This is where music and art make love and records are born. Joel and Krysta Leshefka are the keepers of the sphere. This is Prom Body's home.




We understand the importance of keeping these Prom Bodies fit. North America and Mexico have the highest obesity rates in the world and we basically live on the warm spot where they kiss. So we've decided to build lean mass and mean ass. Some people make movies about white men not being able to jump, well check out Matt getting so many different types of high at The downtown Y.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

"Tucson's got a booty, she's got curves and she's got beauty" — Michael Fay

The mountains of this region are full of tales. Stories trapped in the Ocotillo [this is a type of desert plant btw] like the bars in a cell. Like the one of Nadine the Scorpion Queen who was born in a dream but died with the stream. There are many places where the sun doesn't shine and where wildcats play with the pigskins they find. Every now and again we'll have Prom in the hills and the picture is such that we have to take stills.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

The desert is no place to find yourself ill prepared. Mike is always ready with the necessary tools to ward off high glucose levels. After a bout of Sonoran dog indulgence the time has come to lay the sweet demon to rest.


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

Learn to burn and heal how you feel! Harnessing the power of the sun while simultaneously harnessing the power of marijuana can mend you in ways you never knew you were broken. The extreme pressures of being a musician in Tucson—like what time to have band practice, where to get coffee, or which swimming pool to crash instead of practicing—can pile up and make you feel like theres a bunch of dog shit on top of your back. Shovel it off with a Solar Toke!


Photo: Nika Kaiser.

Thanks for letting us baste your brain with the buttery beauty that is Tucson, AZ. We seem to only be known for extreme, dry heat, monumentally embarrassing political naughtiness, and Calexico. Hopefully by unbuttoning our blouse a bit you'll be able to get a peek into this culturally abundant dwelling in the desert.

Prom Body Tour Dates

10/21 - Philadelphia - Kung Fu Necktie*
10/23 - New York - The Trash Bar (CMJ)
10/24 - Brooklyn, NY - The Flat*

10/25 - New York - Gallery Sensei*

* with Weird Womb