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They’re Going To Skin You Alive And Dip You In Clorox

By: Liz Ciavarella

They’re the soundtrack to your most vile nightmare; the sounds dancing in the minds of serial killers across the land. They’re the band your parents forbade you to see; the band that made your mom cry; the band that made you kick your baby sister with a steel boot toe, pierce your genitals, slash your wrists, scar your forearms and snort riddlin. Scream till your nipples pop. No one will hear you. They’re HEIDNIK and they want you for an anal probe. Hailing from the steamy bowls of Philadelphia, PA, HEIDNIK is the band destined to rule your world. Having shaped a cult following with a mere 4-song demo of grind-ridden filth HEIDNIK is built upon the sheer principal of pummeling all in its path. They’re more than a band. They’re a religion that will make you strip naked, shit in the woods and cover yourself in vanilla bath gel or at least that’s what they hope.

My first confrontation with the underground makers of crust came on a cold, October night days before Halloween. A Halloween house party brought me to a foreboding area of Philly where needles run rampant but people don’t (they’re all cracked out and carelessly strewn across park benches). Intrigued by the HEIDNIK hype I traveled 2 hours to a house unfamiliar to me. Upon entering I was met with the foreboding faces of Halloween, non of whom I knew. A girl dressed as a botched abortion patient, a bloodied baby doll swinging from between her legs, blood splattered all over her all-white clothing, welcomed me to this house of horrors and led me to the basement where I was told to wait. There were men dressed as woman and women dressed as men and sea monsters and priests and me, dressed as a school girl harlot with antlers, felt somewhat out of place and threatened.

Drunken revelers moved about as I wondered when the band would come for me. The abortion girl seemed assuring. "They’ll be here soon" she whispered then closed the door. One red light played the role of luminance in this lonely, musty basement. Instruments and amplifiers lined the walls, cobwebs hung from the ceiling and an abandoned refrigerator threatened to open its doors to reveal packaged body parts and Budweiser. Alone in a basement, waiting for HEIDNIK. This is where I would die I was sure.

As if by divine intervention, a figure appeared to me. Clad in black plastic pants, a Bride-of-Frankenstein wig, gauntlets and a menacing smile, vocalist, Little Bitch, welcomed me. "I didn’t think you would come." He said. How did he know I was coming? With corpse paint masking his identity and blood dripping from his goat -t, he took my hand and led me to a room I hadn’t noticed upon my initial tour of the basement. The room was cozy and somehow disconnected to the rest of the house though bone chillingly cold. He motioned to a sofa in the corner and we sat. His blue eyes pierced me. He could see through me. I placed a tape recorder on the coffee table and lit a clove cigarette. Swallowing hard I began my dig for a better understanding of a band that’d somehow kidnapped my soul. But why serial killers? Gary HEIDNIK was from the same part of Philadelphia as us. Little Bitch began, Norway, Philly. He is our guiding light and inspiration and the reason we’re alive. No other serial killer could even come close to comparison. Gary HEIDNIK was more than a serial killer, he was a divine being, a god in human flesh if you will. His words were commanding and goose bumps crept up my spine. His voice was steady and monotone. Perhaps we should start at the beginning. December of ’99 was the actual forming of the band. Three of the original members, Hot Sausage, Chinstrap, Fat Fuck, were already in a hard core band called Frontline. He paused to adjust his sack and light a Winston, When they broke up, those three decided to move onward and Rhinestone Cowboy and I joined and became what we are. We had one member change. Fat Fuck went AWOL and White Bo took over on bass. We all knew each other from previous bands and decided it was time to join forces and rawk out. His words are gentle and somehow soothing. How could this mild mannered grind sage churn such gutting tunes? We’re a highly volatile combination of grind, death, hard-core and stoner rock, he quips still toying with his package seeming slightly miffed by the snugness of his plastic pants. With just the right amounts of homosexuality, porn, shitting, nudity, dirt, drug abuse and what trash to make everyone happy. HEIDNIK is brewed with Brutal Truth, S.O.D., Cryptopsy, O.J. Simpson, Deicide, Jack Kevorkian, Napalm Death, mass killings, beating crack whores, pick-up trucks, fast food, alcohol, porn. Little bitch seems pleased by his own words. He pauses our interview to find more alcohol returning quickly with beer. If we could be our own food group we would be beer. he proclaims simultaneously belching. I hand him a freshly rolled, THC-laden somethingerother. He accepts with an appreciative smile. Pimping one four-song demo, HEIDNIK are all about needless violence, killings and crust. Now legendary songs Epilepsy, Duct Tape and a Knife, and Monster Under Your Bed are convulsive, threatening and eerily subliminal. ’Duct Tape and a Knife’ is all about Gary HEIDNIK. We added a bit of HEIDNIK (the band) idealism to the plot. Gary HEIDNIK was a man who was serious about his work here in Philadelphia, Little Bitch rants happily invigorated by our joint session. He had a lot of things going on in his mind. So do we. He killed people too. ‘Epilepsy’ is a lovely little poem about human insanity, he continues. It combines the thoughts of just some everyday ‘Joe Fuck-Up’ going postal and murdering hundreds of people and just the mindset of what HEIDNIK portrays live and in our music. With the sudden trend in school shootings among other acts of senseless violence, does it really do the band justice to fill the ears of our youth with even MORE to leave them desensitized by gore. Do you think parents claiming that music from the likes of bands like HEIDNIK influence kids to engage in haphazard acts of bloodshed? I ask. My words are non-existent to him as he angrily scratches an irritated part of skin between his ass cheeks. Do you smell that? thrusting his finger towards my nostrils. I think I accidentally shit myself. It itches like a motherfucker. Not knowing how to reply to this, I sit and let him itch on taking another hit.

An ogre of a man stomps down the stairs and bum-rushes our meeting area. He’s clad in a 3-sizes-too-small, tattered, hot pink t-shirt reading "Wildwood", a picture of a sunset backing the chipped decal letters. Leopard, spandex pants barely shroud his genitals as he manages to wedge a heaping wad of sausage meat between the spandex and his skin just above his crotch area. I think I just shit myself, he quips proudly unaffected by my presence. I realize it is guitarist Hot Sausage in all his sausage loving glory I did too dude. Little Bitch jumps from the couch digging deep within his crack to excavate some sort of scent and color to woo his band mate. I made skid marks I think. Little Bitch seems pleased. I’m confused and amused all at the same time.

Quit trying to talk to your kids so much. Just beat them more. Little Bitch demands. Confused by his comment, I realize he’s referring to my question from earlier before butt scratching; poop flinging and sword fighting re-sculpted the vibe of things. Feeling as though the tone in the room is just a wee bit too amped, a share in my freshly packed peace pipe. Little Bitch accepts with glee. You know something? Fuck that, he snaps. I don’t even want people to memorize my lyrics. That’s not the basis of our music, he continues referring back to the explanation of some of the band’s lyrics. We don’t have sing-alongs and finger pointing chants. Our lyrics don’t mean shit. It’s all about the music. That’s how we feel. Maybe someday we’ll print lyrics but I doubt it.

Beyond the obscenity, clever costumes and total recklessness, there’ just no denying the fact that HEIDNIK is perhaps one of the most pit inducing, raging, innovative works of grind-core magnificence to grace the planet since Brutal Truth’s Extreme Conditions... You know, one time I coughed up a bog ‘ol blood clot in some green shit he volunteers. I was sick. It kind of twitched when it hit the floor. I actually tripped and slid through it across the floor while I was singing.

Pleased that the interview was back on track, I wanted to gag. But it’s the absolute insanity and unpredictability of their live performances that makes HEIDNIK virtual legends in their own time.

They rarely use the stage and have no mercy on anyone who stands in their way. We talk about previous performances and I remind him of the fan who ate his own vomit on tape for the band and the over-enthused, slightly drunken fan who stripped nude during a performance before Little Bitch tied a string to the fan's penis and walked him around the room. Memories. Every show we’ve ever done has been mayhem starting with the first show we ever played, he says with pride. We have pretty much broken something of ours (equipment, each other etc) and the places around us (mirrors, glasses, mics). We don’t go in with the sheer purpose of wrecking shit. We jus go kind of nuts, make the pit and give people something to dance around. We normally have some kind of nudity, vomiting, bloodshed, switching of instruments, beer throwing or some such shit going on. Wait till the HEIDNIK home video comes out. As the hours pass, we realize that the band is about to perform. Little bitch, stoned, drunk and bewildered by my interest in his band, rises from the couch. I need to go find my sausage before I play but thank you. He grabs my hand, squeezes hard. I tell him I’m staying for the show. Only if you get naked and drink beer with us afterwards. I graciously agree. Heidnik is currently preparing to release a new demo and will perform at this spring’s Grindfest on April 29th at CGBGs in NYC. Catch then live with MORTICIAN, EXHUMED, DEEDS OF FLESH, DISGORGE (CA), DISGORGE (MEXICO), ABORTED, SEVERE TORTURE & more! For more information contact: