Friday, August 31, 2007


Usurper is a band that I’ve followed for a number of years now. Ever since their debut, "Blood, Guts, Dinnertime" came out in 2001, I’ve been riveted by their odd, dark mixture of Norwegian black metal and NY "no-wave." I found out that they’d broken up recently, so I decided to track down their enigmatic lead singer/songwriter, Viktor Dank, and ask the all-important question; Why?

Rumors had circulated on the internet about how Dank had not only fired the other two band members, but had literally eaten them. I saw this is rumor as just that. A rumor. Probably fueled by Dank’s intensely sick mind, his press agent or his management, DankBlack Enterprises, all three of which circled back to Viktor Dank.

I pulled up to a very non-descript duplex in a part of Vermont that Viktor promised me not to reveal before I started the interview.

"So," I began, "is there any truth to these rumors?"

"No, no, that’s just a lot of hoakum," Dank fired back, sipping on his herbal tea from a mug shaped like a skull. "It was the same reasons why all those bands broke up. You want the music to go one direction, everybody else wants to do something else. I wanted it darker, sicker. Clem and Marv wanted to be more on that NoWave junk. I mean, I appreciate that disjointed shit, sure. But I wanted to keep it hard and dark, you know? We’re not just NoWave, man. We’ve always been a creepy mixture."

"Wait. I meant is it true about this supposed cannibalism? I tried to get in touch with Clem and Marv and I can’t seem to find them amywhere."

"Hey, I’ve been in a lot of bands, man," he replied, "and I can only think of, like, three times where I actually considered the idea of eating them. And that was usually because they missed a gig or showed up too drunk to play or broke a string or something."

"Isn’t that a little harsh," I asked.

"I take this shit seriously and a band is not a democracy. Not one I start, anyway. It’s my band. If I fire you or pick your bones with my teeth, that’s my choice, you know?"

I don’t know what to say to that. Dank has a way of playing everything he says as if it’s part of the Gothy act.

At that point, Viktor started showing me around his place. Lots of what you’d expect. Blood-red velvet drapes, skull imagery, black, black and more black. A prize item of his décor was a decorative, skin-toned lampshade. He went on and on about it to the point of nausea (on my part, at least). Upon closer inspection, I noticed an intricate formal design on it. A snake eating its own tail, forming a perfect circle with the name "Darcy" in the center. I quizzed him on this detail.

"Oh, weird," he replied, "never noticed that before."

As he invited me down to what he called his "musical torture chamber," I told him that I needed to use the restroom.

"Take a right past the sarcophagus," he said. "Hurry up, though. There’s something down here you’ve got to see."

He headed downstairs, I lurch towards the sarcophagus, then zip back towards the lampshade. I inspect it further as the sounds of metal riffs and what sounds like a band saw seeps up through the floorboards.

I spin the lampshade around, making two full revolutions of "Darcy," then notice something on the inside. A dot. A brown dot, to be exact. I take the lampshade off, put the thing around my head and get the dot ½’’ from my nose until I realize what it is. It’s a mole.

"A fucking mole," I said to myself aloud.

"You done up there," I hear from below.

I jump and my heart raced as I replaced the "Darcy" and bust ass out of the place.

When I get home, I dump my copy of "Blood, Guts, Dinnertime" into the trash. The back cover stares up at me. A band photo. The burly drummer, Clem, stares back with a menacing smile. His arms are folded, sticks in hand. On his left arm I can make out a tattoo that says, "Darcy."

I dump coffee grounds on it.




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