"It's an honor to be a part of this show and to play with these bands because I consider all the bands we're playing with to be good examples of each field of music," says Descension's Astoroth Occultus, gushing like one of his gored stage props. "They're prime examples of talent in Kansas City, and I wish I could just go out and make the public in this town see the talent that lies with bands like this, because they're my favorite of each scene that they play in."
So concurs Patrick Butaky, Go Generation's guitarist/vocalist. "There's a lot of talent out there, there really is. It's really cool that we're having this whole lineup, as eclectic as it might be, because that way we can show our wares with other bands that care just as much about their music, even if it's not exactly the same. I mean, Descension is heavy metal, Jade Raven is amazing power pop, Tanka Ray is great street-punk, and we're _ I have no idea. Bryan [Kienlen] from Bouncing Souls said that we sounded new wave, and I have no idea what the hell he meant by that."
Jimmy the Kid, bassist/vocalist for that other punk band on the bill, Tanka Ray, claims to be a diehard member of the Go Generation fan club, but he alleges that bonds run even deeper between his band and Descension. "Chas Wood is pregnant," he says. "He's going to have Astoroth's baby."
While the groups unanimously agree on each others worthiness, they have a more difficult time coming to a consensus about how this show came together.
"It was actually a seed from a Descension idea," Occultus says. "I've been a Tanka Ray fan since forever and I just love punk. I'm a weirdo like that. Then our bass player KnightStorm IX talked with the gals in Jade Raven and they seemed like really nice people, so we thought, 'Okay, what we need to do is get Jade Raven involved.' Originally, Big Jeter was going to be involved, but apparently, I guess, there was a scheduling conflict."
Big Jeter's absence is indeed regrettable, because that merry band of backwoods hoodlums would no doubt have stirred up some trouble and thrown down either the gauntlet or a box of Bo's beloved Cocoa Puffs. That aside, Jimmy says it was actually an invitation from Jade Raven that brought Tanka Ray aboard. "There was some weird blood between our two bands, with them being super-pretty happy pop and us being ugly-smelling street-punk rock and roll," he explains. But King complicates matters by saying "Basically, we were just asked to play."
However it happened, the Blood, Sweat and Glitter show now serves a purpose beyond bringing together diverse guitar-slinging factions. Go Generation will use this concert as a CD-release party for its full-length debut Upturn. In other merch news, Tanka Ray plans to throw out some (presumably unsharpened) pencils emblazoned with its name from the stage. As this party favor implies, Blood, Sweat and Glitter is a festive occasion for the band, marking its last local gig before hitting the road with Portland, Oregon's The Knockdowns.
Currently in the studio working on its own debut full-length, Descension will, as Canvas might say, go nam on its fans by breaking in its brand-new set, the Vietnam Stage. "It's got a whole camouflage, netting, bamboo shoot kind of thing going on," Occultus boasts, obviously proud of his demonic carpentry. "We've used pieces of it in the past, but we've never brought out the full Vietnam Stage because everyone loved the Egyptian one. We did the whole pyramid thing with the mummies and King Tut and the sarcophagus. Then we did another show after that with the dungeon thing and everyone fell in love with that, so we've used the dungeon thing for about six months." Now the scene has changed again, but some standard props will remain. As Occultus assures, "We still have the electric chair."
Tanka Ray's Jimmy, an eager apprentice, might get this seat of honor, though he's hoping for a different distinction. "I want them to crucify me on stage," he wishes aloud. "I've got a feeling I'm going to be a huge Descension fan after this show." And if the majority of the punk and pop fans who come to see the other acts on the bill leave feeling the same way, then Blood, Sweat and Glitter has certainly done its job. It might not be as exciting as a literal battle-of -the-bands rumble, but fostering mutual admiration between fans and musicians who favor different genres will be of more lasting value than exchanges of catty banter and dis songs. Still, would it have killed these groups to humor the reality television/WWF fans among us with just a little trash talk?