Metal bands get their reputations for doing radically different things. Van Halen is the ultimate party band, Judas Priest is the group that epitomizes heavy metal. Motley Crue just want to have a raucous good time. And W.A.S.P. is the most disgusting band around.
"Sometimes when we used to play the clubs I would stuff Hershey's chocolate down the back of my pants, " recalls monster guitarist Chris Holmes. "I would stick my hand down my pants and rub it in Blackie's face and mouth. Then I'd pull out some more and rub it on people's foreheads. They were totally grossed out."
For Holmes, bassist Blackie Lawless, guitarist Randy Piper and drummer Steven Riley, life is a lot more than just one metal tune after another. These days W.A.S.P.'s show is a constant flurry of bizarre activity as bandmembers pivot around the stage, set off rocket packs, drink blood from skulls and create general havoc. The gus in W.A.S.P. know it is their live performance and macabre image that makes them unique- and they wouldn't have it any other way.
"Life on the road is crazy," comments Lawless with a deviant gleam in his blue eyes. "It's like a zoo, only while most people go to the zoo, with us the zoo goes to the people. We're a traveling insane asylum because of the kind of audiences we attract and because of the image of the band."
W.A.S.P.'s Blackie Lawless: "This guy down the street opened a place called Rent-A-Rat. I'd go and get some and throw them into a meat grinder on stage. While I was performing it didn't bother me, but I'd come offstage afterward and I'd know what I'd feel like. We were going to put hamburger meat in the bottom of the meat grinder, so when you dropped the rat in, chopped beef came out. But we never bothered. Anyway, Robbin Crosby stole my rats."
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