Homage to horror
"We do things, and we seem to just freak people out, and we don't really think it's that bad, you know?" said Bill Lindsey, founder and longtime singer of local metal mainstays Impaler. "I mean, you've got black metal bands from Sweden that are burning down churches and killing each other, and rappers are getting shot and shooting each other, and that's more shocking to me than having the four of us dressed as zombies and pretending to be dead on stage, you know? In that sense, times have gotten harder, I guess. People call us shock rock, but we're more of an homage to horror movies and Halloween and things like that, and that's not shocking, per se. It's fun! We're more of fun, entertaining band, really."
Impaler first made real headlines when Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) campaign targeted Impaler for their negative impact on America's youth almost 20 years ago. Lindsey, now a father of two, was invited to speak on the band's behalf on numerous talkshows across the country, including appearances with Phil Donahue, on "Nightline" and on "20/20."
Said Lindsey, "Back then, when the PMRC thing was going on, a lot of these people jumped on the bandwagon tried to push their own agendas. They'd come to our shows, burning records and talking about the evils of rock'n'roll."
He laughed, sounding nostalgic. "It was fun! They picketed our shows, read the Bible at our shows and it was like a circus atmosphere. It was wonderful! I loved it. It's a shame. I don't know what to do to get those people fired up again, get them out to our shows."
- Sa April 30, 9 p.m.
Urban Wildlife Club, 128 N. 4th St.
$5 in advance, $8 at the door.
For a group that found itself catapulted into superstardom practically overnight, Garbage remains amazingly grounded in reality, as though constantly aware of how tenuous fame truly is.
Butch Vig and guitarists Steve Marker and Duke Erickson have seen many a band blossom, die and completely disappear - as many thought Garbage itself had done. "Bleed Like Me," their newest release - and first new record in nearly half a decade - embraces the sonic intensity that was drummer Vig's trademark sound as producer of Nirvana tracks "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lithium."
"We've developed sort of a rat-pack mentality to try to protect each other from the outside world," Marker said on the subject of survival. "It can be a pretty tough business, and there are a lot of people out there that want things from you. We also have all sorts of little 'Garbageisms,' where we sort of speak in code sometimes. We communicate at great length with each other using phrases that no one else would understand except us."
Maybe someday they'll write a song written entirely in Garbagese. Until then, we'll have to be content to hear frontwoman Shirley Manson singing about kinky sex, domination and subjugation in plain English.
- F April 29, 6 p.m.
First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N.