“I hope you know what you’re getting into,” says the anonymous roadie for the elusive, enigmatic, abrasive and off-kilter hard-rock band, Badd Butt.
Frontman/guitarist/songwriter Sidney Ogilvie Stringer is clad in a Metal God T-shirt, an open, yellow zebra-print vest, black spandex aerobics pants stuffed into bunched-up white gym socks and high-top Reeboks. He slurs and snarls in a very heavy English accent. “Oi, are you the fut’n newz-paipa laidy?!”
He introduces me to the posh-accented, glassy-eyed, beautiful- haired guitarist Killian Preasuremore and the volatile drummer Melvin Beatins—who licked my hand when he shook it—and the band’s “token American,” bass player Michael Lee Hunt.
The ‘80s-rock-star wardrobe style prevails all around: torn jeans, sunglasses indoors, pleather pants, knee-high leather boots over black stretch pants, bandannas, flaming skulls and British flags.
The band members spew unintelligible slurs of Cockney gibberish, throwing the F-word around like rice at a wedding, leaving in pairs to go “chat” and coming back sweaty, flushed, giggly and sniffing. They claim they’re preserved by drugs and hand cream, and fueled by alcohol, pharmaceuticals and porn stars. The “Tennessee Sauce” (Jack Daniels) is passed indiscreetly.
When I ask them what part of England they’re from, they spit out, “Northern fut’n Bri-tin, fut you! Thiz iz our first tyme in Re-no since Melvin and aye got out of fut’n rehab!”
Sidney smiles, explaining that the band was on a temporary hiatus while he and Melvin unsuccessfully attended an elite detox clinic in Thailand. “They bleedin’ well frew me aht!’ Melvin barks, with part contempt and part satisfaction.
After Sidneythrows a rock-star-grade temper tantrum about the choice of opening song, the band finally starts its performance with a great deal of panache and energy. Each song’s beats and melodies are gritty, raw and varied. The vocals are like Banshee screams, free from any Ashley Simpson-like studio pitch correction. The songs are original—absolutely no Iron Maiden covers.
The lyrics are abusive, lurid, belligerent, venomous and indicative of the things Badd Butt knows best: deviance and debauchery. “Tribal Maidens” is about pillaging and ransacking. ("Rest now tribal maidens, for we’re coming to mount you"). “The Party Room” is about a venue for sex and massive drug consumption ("I like the way you love, but I’m getting with your friend"). And “Rock, Speed, and Women” basically speaks for itself.
Then there’s the stage performance. Oh, the stage performance. Red faces, tongue-lashing, whiskey-spitting, fists synchronized in the air—and guitar humping. A lot of guitar humping, done while the band members stare at their own reflections in the studio glass.
Badd Butt is the complete antithesis of today’s modern rock. No synthesizers, backpacks, moody emo haircuts or whiny lyrics. Just an evasive dichotomy of music and words as soft as an early morning wake-up with a bucket of ice water in the face, as digestible as a stomach full of razor blades. These guys are definitely assholes, no two ways about it.
As corrupt as this band may be, I will attest that its performance is entertainment in every sense of the word, and definitely worth seeing. I would like to live one day of my life like a Badd Butt song, just once. As we speak, they’re probably up throwing televisions out of hotel-room windows.