Go to a Metal-friendly venue in Connecticut on any weekend and the odds are that you will find the denim vested Metal enthusiast known as Rape Machine. He’s not just another casual observer in the crowd. He’s right up there in the front row banging his head for every band’s set, all set long supporting the local talent. Rape Machine is passionate about the CT Metal scene and very opinionated about his views. When other people are sitting at home bitching that there is no Metal scene in Connecticut, He’s out there doing something about it.
In a scene where Metal bands far out number the Metal fans, Rape Machine is a rare commodity in the community. Dedicated to CT Metal, he’s out there every weekend spending his time and money supporting our Metal scene. He’s the one buying your CDs and t-shirts at your shows and keeping the energy high during your set, modeling what a fan should be doing to support the bands. The CT Metal scene needs more Rape Machines for it to thrive. Next time you see him at a show, walk up to him and thank him. Friend him on facebook.
I met up with Rape Machine at the Mayhem battle of the bands event at The Webster Theater for an interview.
Agrippa: Ok, first of all, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
Rape Machine: The elephant in the room?
Agrippa: Rape Machine. Where the hell did that name come from?
Rape Machine: Ah. There was a bunch of friends of mine that were just joking around and, well, I’m a horrible person who finds rape hilarious, so...that’s kind of how it started. Then I said, if I ever started a band of my own, that’s what I would call it.
Agrippa: How long have you been hanging out in the Metal scene in Connecticut?
Rape Machine: Actually, I haven’t really been a part of the local Metal scene for very long. I just got into it because of Nasty Disaster. I saw them at the Elm Bar and they were great. I followed them to Cherry Street and I’ve been going there regularly ever since.
Agrippa: Do you know the guys in the band or is it just kind of something you showed up for?
Rape Machine: I know them in a sense that they recognize me in the front row of their show, but that’s about it.
Agrippa: So, what was your first exposure to metal? Not necessarily local, but Metal in general.
Rape Machine: My very first exposure to Metal was when I was young. It was...My mother, for what ever reason, she was into the oldies, but she really liked “Enter Sandman” by Metallica for some reason. That was was my first real exposure to Metal and I’ve always liked that song from before I found out it was from the start of their shit period, ya know? I still like it, because they were really good.
Agrippa: If you could put a show together with three Connecticut bands, who would they be?
Agrippa: Just for the record, that was unsolicited.
Rape Machine: Let the record show. I like Leveler too. Those guys are good.
Agrippa: How about national bands?
Rape Machine: Like American nation bands?
Agrippa: Let’s say international bands.
Rape Machine: Probably Opeth, Amon Amarth, and...let me look on my vest for some inspiration. Maybe Obituary. I don’t think they’d fit in that lineup, but I love those guys.
Agrippa: Sounds like a pretty killer lineup. Speaking of the vest - Give me some history about his thing.
Rape Machine: The basic history of the vest is that we found it in the garbage. Found it in the garbage and cut the sleeves off in order to make this vest Metal. I wanted to make everything about it fucking Metal. I just went with all the bands that I really liked. This took a long time. All the studs. All the shit was done by hand. It’s been a work in progress.
Agrippa: There are probably a handful of good Metal venues left in Connecticut. What’s your favorite to visit?
Rape Machine: Hands down: Cherry Street Station.
Agrippa: As a fan, what would be your advice for bands?
Rape Machine: My advice for bands? How about less fucking breakdowns and more fucking music. A lot of these bands have a lot of talent and that’s a lot of dead air. They’re not utilizing the talents of the band. Let’s face it: I like Death Metal and I like the growling, but the fact is that’s the least important part, you know? Anyone can really do that, well maybe not anyone. In that particular part of the song, that’s all you hear is some guy trying to go as low as he can go while absolutely nothing is going on behind him. That’s my advice. Do that less. BUt, kids seem to love it.
Agrippa: How about advice for Connecticut Metal fans?
Rape Machine: Go to the fucking shows. I see these bands with hundreds of “Likes” and twenty people at the shows. Go to the fucking shows. That’s my advice.
Agrippa: When you go to a show and your looking to find a band that you like, what do you look for?
Rape Machine: Well, first I look for something that tends to be a little more old school. I’m set in my ways. Getting on in years, ya know? I like a Thrashy sound, but I also like that Melodic Metal sound. I look for sounds like that in everything I listen to. Basically something that i can just describe the sound as “Metal”. You know it when you hear it.
Agrippa: I’ve seen you at just about every venue that I’ve been to. From what I see, you’re out every weekend at some show. What was the most disastrous show you’ve ever seen?
Rape Machine: This one’s pretty disastrous so far.
Agrippa: In terms of things that happen on stage or...
Rape Machine: Oh shit. The most disastrous thing I ever saw was when Leveler played their very first gig. Nick’s bass fell and the head broke right off. The show must go on. They borrowed a bass from somebody. They played fewer songs than they could have, but...That was...It caused me pain and I had nothing to do with it.
Agrippa: How do you feel about “Battle of the Bands”?
Rape Machine: I always hear that they’re rigged. I personally think they’re rigged. A lot of times I think that there’s just...everything is just geared toward the type of band that would be more likely to fill seats, which makes sense from a monetary standpoint, but you can’t factor out the fan reaction. Sometimes I feel they do that. I’m not fully convinced that the bands aren’t picked ahead of time and they just put on these shows to make money.
Agrippa: Any last words?
Rape Machine: Keep it fucking Metal.