My Musical Adventures

Industrial Strength: Psyclon Nine, Imperative Reaction, Dismantled, We Got This Far @ DNA Lounge, 9/29/09

“You’re not on the list”.

Not the way I like to start a show. Someone at Metropolis dropped the ball, but….it happens. So I bought a ticket.

It’s 8:30…and when I walk inside, locals We Got This Far are already on stage. I saw them open for 16volt earlier this year, and really liked their sound…..local industrial bands are few and far between. I would like to see what they would sound like with live synths and drums to make their sound a bit bigger. I spoke with the bassist after their set, and it sounds like big things are happening for them in the near future. Definitely a band to keep your eye on.

Dismantled is a three piece, one of which is a female on keys who looks like the Posh Spice of industrial music. She’s gorgeous- that is, if you’re ok with a hot girl with black paint smudged all over her. I wouldn’t exactly say her musical prowess is why she is there (her hands barely moved on the keys), but her energy is quite a spectacle. I found their sound to be largely less dynamic than the other bands on the bill, but they weren’t bad.

I’ve been waiting a while to see Imperative Reaction. My friend referred to them as a boy band- based on the female crowd reaction, I think they kind of are an industrial boy band. There was this one girl up front that I kept geeking out on- she knew every word and kept grabbing on to the singer’s leg whenever he came near. At the end, he bent down and kind of hugged her head….I was very happy for her. Most of my time was spent ogling the drummer- Joe Letz. I thought he looked really familiar- turns out I had a similar reaction when I saw him in Combichrist earlier this year. My perspective for watching him was better this time- he was positioned sideways on the left side of the stage, so that was facing me in the balcony. He loses sticks more than any drummer I’ve seen- but new ones just magically appear in his hands. He’s very intense. But the best part was when my ears perked up when I heard him play the drum intro to NIN’s ‘You Know What You Are’….one of my absolute favorite NIN songs live that I hadn’t heard on the final tour….I died a little with excitement. Then I was like…did I just hear that? So I tweeted about it…..and boy do I love twitter. One of my followers filled me in: Letz is from Combichrist, filling in for the IR drummer who was injured in a motorcycle accident. And….get this….Letz is Trent Reznor’s mic tech’s cousin! Todd, the guy who I’ve stood behind countless times….crazy. Then he played the intro to ‘Discipline’……le sigh. Anyway, I thought they were quite good- and they seemed to really like the crowd as well. They mentioned that they were treating this like the final show of the tour, even though they still had one date in San Diego….that “didn’t count”. Ha! So someone played a trick on them and passed out a bunch of packages of peanuts in the crowd, and everyone threw them on stage. Letz opened up a pack and and spread them out on the drums and played on top of them. Then someone bought them a round of shots. I think they ended up playing for longer than Psyclon Nine did.



youtube from warhawk7

Between sets I got to briefly go backstage, which at DNA is what is normally the loungey dance room on a regular club night. It reminded me of videos/photos I’ve seen of early NIN and Manson tours backstage- dirty, makeup and hair products everywhere, empty alcohol bottles, and a cloud of baby powder. Yeah, lot’s of baby powder….no cornstarch….though someone did point out that baby powder is cornstarch, so…whatever. But it was kind of humorous to watch the Psyclon Nine guys get their pictures taken right before going on stage as I’m inhaling a smell that reminds me of babies.

I like Psyclon Nine because they merge industrial and black metal well. The word that comes to mind is ‘demented’. Especially the bassist, who reminds me of Manson’s character in Party Monster…..just demented as fuck. He keeps his mouth stretched wide open almost the entire time.


They started off with a bang- the singer and guitarist went flying into the crowd.

Even though the crowd had thinned a bit- it was getting late- there was a pretty good pit going for this set. The vocalist screeched and screamed all over the stage- his spikey, cartoonish hair never faltering as he trashed around. He seemed genuinely pissed off the entire time.


At the end of the set, he went up to the drums and tried to light them on fire…but it didn’t work. So he picked up a keyboard and threw it at the drums instead. Yes! I love watching musicians break stuff. They left the stage, and the crowd was pretty quiet in their yelling for an encore. But they did eventually come back out for one song- and successfully lit the drums on fire. This was cool….I can buy into a gimmick that involves fire. The drummer continued to play, even when the fire extinguisher came out and they had a tough time putting it out! I think he may have been singed.



By then it was almost 2am. It was an industrial strength evening.

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