Looking for the ultimate in concert souvenirs?
How about getting your body pierced on stage by the lead singer of the band you went to see?
That service is offered by the Genitorturers, an Orlando, Fla., industrial-metal band that just signed with I.R.S. Records subsidiary Shock Therapy.
As part of the band's shows, singer Gen does piercings on volunteers from the audience--and we're not just talking about ear lobes. She'll oblige virtually any anatomical request, from nose to nipple.
Gen also pierces herself during shows--"play piercings" that are designed to heal quickly, she says, complementing the eight "permanent" holes she's accumulated on various parts of her anatomy. The group's "120 Days of Genitorture" album won't be out until May, but the label has already sent out publicity photos showing the singer piercing her own nipple with a thin wire.
The shows, which have drawn comparisons to predecessors ranging from Alice Cooper to the Plasmatics' Wendy O. Williams, also involve S&M theater with bondage and torture scenes.
Here's an act that the tabloid TV shows, clearly, are going to love.
I.R.S. came across the band when Nick Turner, a former member of the band Lords of the New Church and head of Shock Therapy, began searching for the most unusual bands he could find for use in a film project.
"This floored me," Turner says. "I thought that someone had to sign this band, so I did. It's cutting-edge music and a cutting-edge show. . . . People are getting bored with drugs or whatever. Life is dull, so they're looking for new kicks."
Says I.R.S. President Jay Boberg: "This is real, not an act. It's not something created to get attention. This is their lifestyle, not a calculated act to garner attention."
Parry Gettelman, rock critic for the Orlando Sentinel, doesn't buy it.
"A lot of people here have gone to shows to see what all the fuss is about, and the fuss is just that they do gross stuff on stage," she says. "At one point they have a stooge in the audience who pretends to be an old man protesting the show. They drag him on stage and strip him down and strap him to a rack and pretend to torture him. . . . It's all just shock."
But Gen insists that it is for real, in part a reflection of her day job: She's works in a transplant organ clinic, where she removes eyes from dead bodies to be transplanted.
"It just happens that my reality is shocking to people," she says. "What I do for a living is just as shocking as my act."