Before a performance, Dave Moody can get Dee Snider's makeup on in 15 minutes, wielding makeup wipes and eyeliner pens like weapons. Sitting in his house and sharing his process on a Zoom call, it took him a little bit longer.
Moody, the newest addition to rock cover band Hairball, performs as the Twisted Sister lead singer and Gene Simmons, bassist and co-lead singer of Kiss, as well as singing hits from other groups. Hairball will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Waterfront Convention Center, 1777 Isle Pkwy, Bettendorf. Tickets cost $25 and are available online.
Each rock star Moody changes into is an icon, due in no small part to the makeup they wear on stage. Just as much as the clothes and headbanging hair, audiences love the way Moody and the other singers get done up as their favorite rock stars.
Moody started his transformation with white. He painted pale shapes on his jawline and over his eyes and brows, leading into his forehead. As he moved onto painting blue above his eyebrows, emphasizing the clownishness of the look, he spoke about the six months since he joined the band.
"It's just been great, the fans have been great," Moody said. "The music is what I grew up on, so that was easy. I really enjoy the songs we play, the guys are fun to hang out with and we just we laugh every day. I mean, look at me, I'm putting on makeup on a Zoom call — what else is there to not laugh about?"
Before he joined the group, Moody had never put on makeup, beyond maybe some eyeliner. He's been a professional musician for all of his adult life, and previously played bass with Billy Ray Cyrus for 10 years. This isn't his first cover band either, he used to perform with an AC/DC cover band called Thunderstruck.
After he was done painting blue points reaching up toward his hairline, Moody moved onto painting red triangles on his cheekbones, connecting to the white along his jaw. He used a makeup wipe to square off the white and red, then took a setting powder to ensure the paint would dry and stay on.
Using an eyeliner pencil that he said would maybe last him one more application, Moody drew a thick outline around his blue brow and eyelids. The final pieces are a beauty mark, which Moody put right beneath his right nostril, and red lipstick.
"It's just a process that you go through on a daily basis, this would be something that I do every day while we're out on the road," Moody said.
While Moody exaggerates Snider's makeup to ensure the audience can see it behind the wig that's consistently in his face, he takes no liberties with the makeup of Gene Simmons. The Simmons character is still fairly new to him, and since the makeup is so symmetrical and recognizable, he really takes his time with it.
"When you get that Gene makeup on, I can't explain it, it transforms you, it makes you a different person," Moody said. "When you see that on your face you start to understand why he is the way he is."
The musician has played in the Quad-Cities several times over the years, and is excited to come back to Iowa. They're some of the best rock-and-roll fans around, he said.
His advice to those trying an iconic rocker's makeup for Halloween is to take your time and don't sweat mistakes — that's what makeup wipes are for.
"It's trial and error," Moody said. "There are no mistakes. It's like Bob Ross says, happy mistakes, happy accidents."