Tucked away amid the panoramic vistas of Oak Creek Canyon sits the headquarters of a local cover band that’s trying to keep Sedona weird. Inside the mountainside residence, there is a fraternity-like atmosphere as members exchange hugs, quips and jeers during a reunion that they call their Christmas — Halloween.
Most locals know them as The Naughty Bits, but once a year on Halloween, they become a DIY costume-clad group of performers known as Yin Yang & Zen Some.
It all began at a longsince-closed coffee shop that was once their old hangout spot called Random Acts of Coffee, where they tossed around
prototype monikers until Yin Yang & Zen Some became the one that stuck.
“Yin Yang came from [drummer Lou Moretti] and I as the rhythm section and starting the band originally,” said bass guitarist and founding member
Dylan Jung. There was supposed to be a rotating cast, but now there are five members — who make up The Naughty Bits — that have stayed together consistently, Jung said.
Guitarist Christian Jerman and frontman Nate Mullins fly in every year from the East Coast to fulfill the Yin Yang & Zen Some Halloween tradition. Mullins, who flew in from New York City, describes himself as the “chunky white Flavor Flav” of the band.
“I’m not actually restrained from being a musician or trying to perform music good,” Mullins said. “I get to concentrate on just being a total goofball and jumping around like a maniac, tear my clothes off and get people all excited. There’s lots of screaming, yelling and cursing.”
Lead singer and guitarist Jason Vargo said his job is to stand next to Mullins and “make him seem like he’s sounding really good.”
Uncle Marc Wolin, who plays synthesizer and trombone, said he has been called “Uncle Marc” since he was 18.
“I was already bald at 18 so the name sort of stuck,” he said. Wolin said he was playing with another group before he joined Yin Yang but knew he wanted to be part of the group.
“I just had to be in the band,” he said. “I was with another group and when I found out I had the opportunity to play with these guys, I dropped everything and lived happily ever after.”
To the members of Yin Yang, they are more than just a cover band; they add their own elements to a backlog of more than 300 songs and perform mash-up medleys and theatrical-themed shows. Past themes have included wizards, drag, surrealism and Illuminati. This year’s show is called Slumber Party Nightmare.
But it’s not just about the music or even the performances that keeps Yin Yang doing what they do every year. Half the fun is running with crazy ideas, Moretti said.
“Most importantly, these are my best friends who just so happen play the right instruments,” he said. “These guys are like my brothers. It’s kind of crazy that we keep doing it and never lose momentum.”
Moretti said the tradition is really just for them.
“We don’t care if anyone comes,” he said. “We’re going to do this anyway.”
This year’s “Slumber Party Nightmare Show” will take place on the following dates:
- Friday, Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. at Olde Sedona Bar & Grille S
- Saturday. Oct. 28 at 9 p.m. at The Monte Vista in Flagstaff
Yin Yang & Zen Some will also be making a special appearance on Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Forest Plaza area between Chipotle and Wildflower in Uptown at 4 p.m.