I had to miss another meaning with Buchannan and his interesting groups, for a big and interesting show opportunity. I heard of a beaten up but popular strip-bar called The Wylde Zebra looking for a good dance or industrial act. I laughed and thought “I’M a good dance or Industrial act” and had a talk with the manager. Soon enough, Stripped Cog Nightmare had a gig at a strip-bar. But this was an important opportunity, as word on the night was that a few big shots in music hung around here: engineers, artists, producers, etc. Any chance counts, and this was the most likely I’ve come to.
I made sure that the set list was upbeat: songs about ass-kicking, drinking, and f*cking do the trick. I cleaned my bass-guitar ’til it shined and replaced that wonky speaker cabinet that stands next to slEDGe. I was excited, to say the least.
But the show wasn’t easy. I was fortunate to not run into technical difficulties, but audience participation was not as cool. A drunken spectator tried to feel up on one of the girls, which led into a scuffle with the security, which led into a stray bottle hitting Scott Hemato(new guitarist) right in his Jackson Flying-V’s body, setting him off, and putting a pause to the show. I let Scott sit out the next few songs to check his guitar while we played “Unearthing Coffins”, which had a small enough guitar role to be played by slEDGe’s right hand(His Kurzweil keyboard with a B.C. Rich Warlock Guitar sampling) while his left played the synth melody on his Roland primary keyboard. Scott joins back in for “Dusk Before Lust” and he played exceptionally well.
And that, sadly wasn’t the end of the problems. As I move into the bass bridge of “Swallowing White, Bleeding Red”, I begin to hear a man screaming his bullsh*t at me. I play through the song, and right as I finish, I kick Scott’s budweiser bottle right into his face. That was when his buddies tried to get a hold of me. I knew I could take them, but I wasn’t sure if the Masquerade would survive a scrawny goth-rocker beating the crap out of a couple of drunken assholes. I played it cool, told them like it was, and bought them a round of drinks.
Then I offered to play a request, which I immediately regretted, as it was “Walk” by Pantera. I have no problem with the song, but it wouldn’t fit the venue very well. But we played on and held our breaths as to hope that we didn’t ruin the atmosphere of the bar (Strippers have to dance to SOMETHING, and I find “Walk” hardly danceable). Luckily, nothing really changed. The strippers adapted well, and everything kept flowing.
In the end, the show was great. We finished off with “Twilit Embrace in the Back of an Alley of Insert-Town-Here” with Scott and slEDGe trading off their solos perfectly, and SLyMe not missing the crescendo after the first chorus. I have no clue as to if Scott wants to keep playing with us, nor if any stuffed suits were informed of our bad-assery, but we were payed well and sounded awesome, so any other factor can suck-it, with no pun intended on my nature.