The Corn Is Back On the Macabre

There has never been a shortage of bands in extreme music eager to wed horror cinema imagery to brutal riffage, but few have ever managed to do so with as much skill, class, or cleverness as avant grinders Corn on Macabre.
A few months back the defunct band unleashed the towering, essential Discographic Violence retrospective LP, so it seemed as appropriate a time as any to ask bassist Brent Eyestone and vocalist Billups Allen if they had any particularly fond/oddball memories of performing under this unique moniker? And, as a corollary, how did the band go over at the Toxic Avenger 4 premiere party? The pair graciously agreed and sent along the following…

Brent Eyestone: Cherry Hill, NJ. We agreed to a show that was booked by a person that didn’t normally listen to punk or metal, but liked our band and heard we’d play at people’s houses. We roll up and the show is to be in a garage. With no P.A. No problem: Billups asks the kid if he has a VHS copy of Friday the 13th and performs the entire set singing into said VHS copy of Friday the 13th.

Lousiville, KY. It’s something like eleven in the morning. We’re about to play Krazy Fest V. Having been invited to play months in advance, you’d assume that it would be no problem for all band members to be present for load-in and perhaps even travel together to the gig. Nope. Cory decides to leave a day after us, drive by himself, and sleep at a rest stop. He arrives minutes before the set is supposed to start, pale as a ghost and muttering disparate, disjointed thoughts — the rest stop didn’t go too well. We perform in broad daylight while people jet ski behind us. Upon completion of the set, Cory finds an empty picnic table in the merch area under an overpass and falls asleep on it for hours. He wakes up covered in a half inch of dust from all the foot traffic. Meanwhile the singer from Drowningman is having a panic attack at noon because he spilled his whiskey on the stage. He stops singing and starts licking the stage, hoping to recover the whiskey he’d lost. I instantly became sixty-seven percent more misanthropic.

Fairfax, VA. During the last practice before Krazy Fest, Andy just starts stripping off all his clothes while playing drums. Eventually he gets down to nothing but briefs, starts yelling, and then runs outside. I follow immediately because I want to see where this is going. I get into the yard and see Andy with the briefs pulled down, rubbing his anus as hard as possible into the grass of the lawn. This was never explained by him to anyone.

In terms of the Toxic Avenger premiere, I actually don’t remember too much about the performance. That whole experience felt a lot like internet dating… Catfish, specifically.

Billups Allen: Both of my best memories involve Andy with his shirt off. One was when he was bonding with this really drunk older man at a Florida show. I sort of thought the guy was trouble, but Andy either saw something in him I didn’t or felt like keeping him occupied. Someone told me the man was being belligerent at some point in the evening and then gave me a vinyl copy of Nazareth’s Hair of the Dog. I should invent a better timeline that makes that story make more sense, but that’s how I remember it. Anyone reading should fill in the blanks; it’s better that way. The other was Andy diving into a crowd in South Carolina and for some reason you could hear him yelling, “South Carolina loves heavy music.” I remember thinking it was particularly strange as we were playing a song at the time. I don’t know what it sounded like without the drums. Whenever I think of South Carolina, I recall that they like heavy music. That bit of information comes directly from Andy Gale: a reliable source.

The Toxic Avenger thing was sort of a non-event if I remember correctly. The guy we dealt directly with was nice, but the general Troma vibe was disappointing. To be fair, maybe I imagined it was gonna be awesome. I don’t think the musical performances in general went over that night.