Let’s just pretend that Freud’s theories haven’t been discredited, so we can discuss a modern Halloween party in the only terms that make sense: the drives of sex and death. Around October 31, man’s dueling hard-ons for the womb and the tomb become purposely entangled: dudes dressed as celluloid spree-killers and six-foot dongs drink trashcan punch with“ sexy” cleavage-baring witches and reapers.
Industrial act Bozo Porno Circus — formed in Houston in 1991, and resurrected in 2009 after a five-year hiatus — the self-billed “horniest show on earth,” makes the perfect house band for it all.
“We play industrial music, but we grew up idolizing KISS and Alice Cooper,” Gerhard says. “So we try to have a very visual performance, with video art, fire-eating, S&M fetish stuff — we really try to pull out all the stops.”
Their live show features — in addition to Gerhard and all the aforementioned stop-puller-outers — original BPC percussionist Ador Charming, Pitbull Daycare’s Bishop, Anarki’s Danimal Sky, Chant’s Bradley Bills, Nocturne’s Chris Telkes, Sleep Now Yes’s Vision, and a group of dancing ladies led by Chicago’s Candy XXX. These women are known to make sparks fly the Viking way — by grinding their metal bikinis against power tools.
“You should get some good training before you do that,” Gerhard warns. “We’ve got some really tough girls in the band.”
The band’s October 29 show at Scout Bar, featuring a costume contest and “fetish dungeon,” is being sold as the “Nightmare in Stone Oak,” but — unless you’re a purity-ringed prude or have an unreasonable fear of holding a beltsander near your nipples — the concert sounds less like a dream you’d wake from screaming and more like the kind that requires you to quietly change your bedsheets.
But Gerhard says BPC’s songs — with names such as “Biker Sluts From Pluto,” “Release the Kraken,” and “Crank One Off” — are darker than the stage show suggests.
“There’s a sexy look to our band,” he says, “but our lyrics are full of dark apocalyptic messages with excessively violent overtones. We take a lot of inspiration from bands like Skinny Puppy.”
We’ll take his word for it. “Crank One” sounds like German leather-bar techno with Gerhard’s muffled growl doing an uncanny impression of Satan screaming the title into a chloroformed rag, and “Biker Sluts” is pure sci-fi freakout, complete with laser effects and drive-in-movie samples, while Gerhard’s vamping makes the arrival of intergalactic unshaven women of easy virtue sound like the end of the world.
Another of BPC’s better-known tracks, “Monsters Are Real,” has a personal significance for Gerhard.
The singer, a Houston native for 20 years, moved to San Antonio three years ago partially to be near friends, but also for work: He’s a cryptozoologist specializing in thunderbirds (the subject of his 2007 book Big Bird! Modern Sightings of Flying Monsters) and the ever-elusive chupacabra. As anyone who’s seen those hairless coyote bodies that pop up every month or so on the nightly news can attest, and Gerhard, as a published imaginary-animal expert, can professionally confirm, “There’s a large amount of activity here.”
When’s the last time you heard somebody say that about San Antonio? •
Watch Gerhard cryptozoologize some shit in History Channel special The Real Wolf Man, airing 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 28.