On the second night of Festival Kinetik 2010 in Montreal, Caustic was going to be closing the night out after bands such as Leaether Strip, 16volt, Vomito Negro and Chemlab. Most times I’ve seen Caustic, I’ve done something to fuck with Matt Fanale onstage, such as sneaking up behind him and dumping ice down the back of his pants, or assaulting him with ranch dressing during a performance. Before you assume I’m just a terrible person who likes to ruin Matt’s performances, this is really all an extension of Caustic’s awe-inspiring and chaotic performance at the Indoctrination Festival back in 2006, which included Robin Hood-themed gay porn being displayed via projector while Matt duct taped his microphone to his chin and squeezed a douche out over the audience, as well as prancing around with a rubber chicken either down his pants or taped to his head after festooning the stage with pictures of naked men receiving fellatio from other naked men. As I was part of Kinetic Noise, the production group that put Indoc on, at the time, I have always felt a bit of responsibility towards trying to contribute to Caustic shows being obscene and absurd when I attend them, typically with Matt’s wholehearted approval. If he tells you differently he’s a lying son of a bitch and you should stab him in the face because fuck you matt fuck you god damn it
Anyway, if there’s one person who’s legendary in this musical genre for being just plain out there, it’s Jared Louche of Chemlab. I’d never met Jared prior to Kinetik, but from the stories you hear about him from others, you get the impression that hanging out with him was typically something like being run over by a tank made out of empty alcohol bottles being driven by Timothy Leary. This, along with a vague recollection that Jared and Matt were working on something together (which turned out to be , featuring Jared, Matt, Phil DiSiena and Marc Plastic, and is still lurking somewhere on the horizon), Jared seemed to be the perfect person to invite to participate in what I hoped would be my masterpiece of Caustic-fucking-with.
See, Matt had grown this giant goat-man beard that made him look more like a homeless person than he normally does. In order to complement his hobo chic, I’d picked up two dozen giant costume pirate beards and had distributed them to various luminaries around the festival (including Brian Graupner, Katja Lunde, Eric Gottesman and Mike Jenney, who were Matt’s live band for the performance, Lenny from Cenotype, Tim from Synapscape, Mike Treveloni and Jacob Rouse from Alter Der Ruine, and a handful of other ne’er-do-wells whose identities escape me). When Emmanuel Lewis Handjob came on, we were to storm the stage, don our fake beards, and dance around like idiots, and then take a hike. So, I approached Jared before Caustic had hit the stage, explained the plan, and asked him if he’d like to participate. His response:
“You know, as a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, I find that really offensive.”
I had absolutely no idea what the hell to say to that. I stammered out an apology, saying I didn’t quite understand but I respected his decision, then it dawned on me: Beards… Beers… I clarified that I had said fake beards and not beers.
And that’s how I got Jared Louche to say, “Well, I feel like an asshole now.”