What: The Reverend Horton Heat, with Voodoo Glow Skulls, Big Sandy

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Domino Room, 51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend

Cost: $25 plus fees in advance, $30 at the door

Contact: volcanictheatrepub.com or 541-323-1881

If you think The Reverend Horton Heat peaked sometime in the ’90s, Jim Heath has some news for you.

True, the three-piece psychobilly outfit may have had its biggest radio successes in that decade, thanks in no small part to Interscope’s major-label muscle. The label released 1996’s “It’s Martini Time” and 1998’s “Space Heater,” as well as 1994’s “Liquor in the Front” in conjunction with Sub Pop, before the band left in the midst of mergers.

But as singer/guitarist/main songwriter Heath (whose stage name is also The Reverend Horton Heat) pointed out during a recent conversation with GO! Magazine, the trio has never been without a record label. Its most recent studio album, 2014’s “REV,” was widely considered a return to rockabilly form after 2009’s country-leaning “Laughin’ and Cryin’ With the Reverend Horton Heat.” And the band continues to draw audiences across the country.

“There’s some music writers and music know-it-alls that will tell me, they’ll go, ‘Well, back when you peaked, your career peaked,’” Heath said from his home just outside Dallas. “I say, ‘Well, just letting you know, back when you think my career peaked, was peaking — we make like five times more money now than we did back then.’ The band has continued to grow.”

Heath and company — longtime upright bassist Jimbo Wallace and new drummer Arjuna “RJ” Contreras — have slowed down to about 120 to 130 shows per year now (from a whopping 275 in the band’s youth). Still, that’s nothing to sneeze at, especially after taking a look at Heath’s schedule over the holidays: He returned home from a tour Christmas Eve, had a few days off for the holiday, then played a three-show solo tour, including New Year’s Eve. The band hit the road again this week, and lands at the Domino Room with ska-punk band Voodoo Glow Skulls and Big Sandy of the Fly-Rite Boys on Wednesday.

“I’m frantically trying to get ready for the next tour,” Heath said with a chuckle, “because we just got off the last tour.”

In recent years, the trio has supplemented its high-octane, punk-influenced sets with guest spots from artists as varied as Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, Social Distortion’s Mike Ness (at the fourth edition of the band’s psychobilly festival, Horton’s Hayride, last year) and former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra. Big Sandy, who has gotten the Horton Heat treatment before on previous tours, returns as guest artist for this tour as well.

Rather than push these guests into Horton Heat’s “Psychobilly Freakout” mode, Heath and company will study the artists’ recordings and recent live performances to get their performance “as close to how they do it now.”

“The first guy that we did it with was Lemmy Kilmister from the band Motörhead, and it was pretty awesome, you know,” Heath said. “I think one of the gigs was a surprise. We didn’t tell anybody; we just said, ‘We’ve got a friend who’s gonna come join us; give us a couple of minutes.’ And so, the crew guys brought a big old Marshall stack out on the stage, and here comes Lemmy, and we were off to the races. It was pretty fun.”

Along with “Laughin’ and Cryin’,” the guest spots are another example of the band’s constant musical experimentation. Heath is used to standing apart from musical trends — while Horton Heat is now considered a psychobilly pioneer alongside influences The Cramps, Heath’s throwback sound would often throw audiences and promoters for a loop when he was starting to perform solo in the mid-’80s. Heath and his nascent band would find a home with other musical misfits in the burgeoning punk scene around the country.

“A lot of it too is that rock ’n’ roll in the ’50s was a lot about the high-energy, straight-eight type of beat — Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard pounding straight eights on the piano,” Heath said. “When The Beatles hit, The Beatles did it; they did that. But then The Beatles switched, and The Beatles became all psychedelic. And then all of a sudden, rock ’n’ roll basically became a psychedelic form of folk music, in a way, and so that straight-eight thing was gone — the Jerry Lee Lewis pounding straight eights was gone; he switched to country.

“And so what happened is, it wasn’t until the punk rock came in — the Ramones, a lot of their songs go ‘bop-bop-bop-bop.’ The same thing with the Sex Pistols and The Clash, they had that,” he continued. “That rock ’n’ roll thing came back with punk rock, and so I really think that’s why the rockabillies fit in with the punk rock things.”

And of course, The Cramps were already introducing elements of rockabilly into a punk-rock milieu. When Heath saw the band live in 1979, he was already a big fan of blues and Americana music; that show and others helped solidify Heath’s musical future.

“I thought I was going to a rock ’n’ roll show; I didn’t really know that much about them in 1979,” Heath said. “But I showed up and they were playing these Duane Eddy-type guitar licks. They were playing the song ‘The Way I Walk’ by Jack Scott; they were playing ‘Surfin’ Bird’ and … garage rock-type stuff. I was going, man, this whole vintage rock thing is — for me, it was like, oh yeah, I’m into this.”

Wallace has been Heath’s right-hand man since 1989, but Contreras only joined in September after longtime drummer Scott Churilla quit his second stint with the trio. The hectic rehearsals to get Contreras up to speed not only on Horton Heat material, but other guest artists’ songs too, has contributed to delaying the follow-up to “REV.”

“In the middle of all that, we worked up 10 brand new songs, and we went in the studio and cut 10 new songs,” Heath said. “But I haven’t really had a chance to listen to them. Part of it that I listened to made me think that some of them are worthy and good (for) a new album, but some of them I think we either need to re-cut or maybe kind of write a few more or something.”

Fans can expect more vintage rock ’n’ roll from the trio — Heath teased some New Orleans-style piano playing on some of the new songs, as well as “a bunch of crazy noises,” though he also said it’s too early to know for sure. With tour dates slated through June, Heath isn’t sure when the band will have time to finish up.

And for Heath, the stage has always been more enticing than the studio, especially in the age of decimated record sales and online streaming.

“We play live music. We play music. On an artistic level for me, being a musician almost has nothing to do with going in the studio,” Heath said. “ … I think that the advent of the recording technology of the ’50s and the ’60s and especially in the ’70s, the amount of money just selling products just blew up so much that musicians quit being musicians and became recording artists. And so in a way, it needed to come back to this. It needed to come back to musicians playing gigs, as opposed to Pink Floyd releasing an album and their North American tour was four shows, and then they didn’t play another gig for eight years. That’s not us.”

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