Few bands could honestly be deemed "not for the faint of hearts" like the Genitorturers. They have always been the perfect blend of metal, industrial, sex, BDSM, and mutilation; and I must admit having witnessed these events there were more than a fair share of people who could not stomach what they saw. Gen has always been not only the visionary behind this carnival of the flesh, but one of the most commanding ring leaders on stage. She has worked side by side with her husband and death metal legend Dave Vincent (also of Morbid Angel), to make this the biggest show of sin one could imagine. Guess what kiddies? They succeeded!
With a new record having just been released, 'Blackheart Revolution', I decided to catch up with Gen on all that is in store for the Genitorturers. So sit back and pay attention ladies and gents, your mistress is speaking; Mistress Gen that is:
Rafi: You're just about to land on the tour and get started. Are you pretty excited about this?
Gen: Oh yeah man....We're real excited about the new record and that we're out playing these songs live for sure.
Rafi: It's been awhile since Genitorturers have released anything, what was going on during the gap time?
Gen: Well, you know, we're a live band. We do a lot of touring. Australia, Europe, America. We're constantly out there doing stuff in between. David, our bass player, is also in Morbid Angel. He just got done recording and touring with them. Also it's interesting, we started working on the record back when Joey was in the band and he played on many of the songs for the record. You know...it was different how we did the record. It was kind of a unique approach because each song is really different from each other, so we wanted different players to play different songs. Angel played on some songs, Joey played on some songs, and a couple of them Jackel and Hyde did some programming on. So, just that in itself, and recording ourselves, producing a lot of the same, and then finally once we got everything together taking it out to Scott Humphrey and having him put the magic tone touch on it to make it completely rock the wall...I personally think that a lot of the stuff that people try to flap out every year just to have something out is crap. I don't want that crap. We wanted to make sure that every song on the record was great not good and that there's not just filler shit on it you know. We've just never have been that kind of band. When we put out a record it makes a statement and that's important.
Rafi: Each record has been a complete jump in evolution for the band. It's evolved so far from 120 Days of Genitorture. When you're looking back at all of your previous material and matching it up with the new one, how happy are you with the evolution of the band?
Gen: Oh, it's amazing...It's leagues from now. Especially this record. This record is hands down one of the best vocal performances I've ever done in my life. I worked really really hard and just put a lot of true feeling into this one. I think that also, bringing in some new instrumentation makes it unique as well. With David pretty much writing a song in his head on upright bass, never even having played one before, and then they made him a bass and sent it to him and he literally learned how to play it just so we could record a song. It's pretty crazy really. In a weekend. Things like that, there's just some unique things about this record.
Rafi: Dave joined up with the band right before you guys did Sin City. I know that you guys are married as well. How has him working with Morbid Angel helped out with some of the dynamic changes with Genitorturers?
Gen: Well, it's interesting because originally The Genitorturers was a three piece band. We're a little bit more of a hard core kinda punk band to be honest. So, I played bass and sang, and as I started evolving the show more I was realizing that playing a bass and trying to do some of the things I was trying to do theatrically with the show just wasn't gonna roll. So I would get different bass players to play, and actually David played with us even before 120 days. He has filled in for me on bass, like I said I would get different people that would play. While he was out touring we had a different bass player that would play, then when he came back he would sometimes play. Actually he did the whole KMFDM tour with us in '95, he wore a rubber mask (laughs) it was funny 'cause a lot of people didn't even know it was him. His vocals are even on 120 Days. He's the low voice on "House of Shame". He was kind of working with us for a long time, people didn't really know it 'cause his main thing was Morbid Angel. He is an amazing musician first and foremost. Aside of being an absolute leader in the whole death metal genre, he, himself, has really become a great producer and a great song writer. He wrote 99% of the songs on this record, musically. He's just very diverse, and the same with Sin CIty, I remember when we sat down and started writing Sin City, our backgrounds for what kinds of music that we like are just so different that when you put it all together you get all of the elements of something but it's not any one thing.
Rafi: I was talking to a friend of yours, Etzle from Dope...
Gen: We're sharing drummers right now
Rafi: Yeah, exactly. That's kind of the funny part is that there was several members of Genitorturers that worked with Dope. Including Angel, and I know that Racci worked with them at some point, and now Andy from KMFDM has also been drumming for you. It seems to be one big musical family...
Gen: (Laughs) It really is, it's very incestuous. It's kinda cool, it's just odd. Between Dope, and Wednesday 13 and CombiChrist there's this odd like mixture of things, and Amen even because Joey came from Amen to play with Genitorturers, then he played with Combi but he also did a tour with Wednesday 13. Racci played with Genitorturers first, then went to Dope, then went to Wednesday 13. Now David is doing the Morbid Angel record so I have Nate from Wednesday 13 on Bass and Eric Griffin from Wednesday 13 and Murder Dolls on guitar. (Laughs) It's just crazy. So now we just need Racci to play for CombiChrist and Joey to play in Dope and it will be full circle.
Rafi: The best example that I give to people of something like that is the WaxTrax era. When there was so much transferring between bands. You're no stranger to the WaxTrax era, especially having worked with the legendary Dave Ogilvie.
Gen: Oh yes, he did mix a song on this record. He mixed "Tell Me"
Rafi: Awesome. It seems to me like he's always been a guy in your corner even as far back as 120 Days.
Gen: Dave Ogilvie mixed 120 Days. It was funny because that was a record that just, was a disaster. I absolutely hated the way the record company approached the recording and production of that record. When we first mixed on it I told the record company that I was going back to med school and that they could go fuck themselves. That I wasn't cutting the record and it sucks. It was funny because Skinny Puppy was coming through and so Ihung out with Kevin, I've known him for a long time, and I told him about the record, and I was like man I have to shape this record and it sucks, and he goes ya know what come up to Vancouver and we'll work on it and we'll fix it. So, I went up to Vancouver and hung out there for a couple of weeks. It was pretty neat because Motley Crue was in the A room, Scorpions were in the B room and we were in the C room mixing, all at the same time. It was pretty cool, and then I was like ok, now I like the record. We went and put some more electronic elements in it and we added some things, brought some things to life, kicked some other shit to the curb, and you know, made it the best that it really could be at that point.
Rafi: I read an interview with you awhile back when you guys did Machine Love. You were talking about how Ogilvie was working with you on the vocals for the cover of "I Touch Myself". Has he become the unspoken member of Genitorturers?
Gen: (Laughs) Well, the deal was, when we did the Stich in Time record, "Stitch in Time","Machine Love", and "Touch myself", those are three songs. He introduced me to Scott Humphrey and we went out and worked with him together, what was going to happen was Dave Ogilvie was getting his own label. So we did it to kind of showcase the first couple songs on the record. A Demo. Then unfortunately timing as it is, and the music business being what it is, that was right when all the labels merged together. He lost his deal that he was going to have, so we ended up putting Machine Love out on Cleopatra, really just because at that point he wasn't able to do the whole record label thing, he lost that. That's why half of that record is all re-mixes.
Rafi: I noticed the last time I saw you guys you played "Velvet Dreams" and the arrangement of the whole song has changed.
Gen: Yeah, I'll be honest, some of the keyboard and some of the programming was so old that it just didn't fit with the sound of the new stuff. So we went back in and we actually re-did "Velvet Dreams" for live and we also re-did "House of Shame" completely for live. So, you know we'll do that from time to time. Right now going back out with 'Blackheart Revolution' we're playing, obviously, a lot of new songs because we're really excited about the new record. But it's always fun to go back into some of the older stuff and like weave into it in terms of where you are now, make it more aggressive, make it darker more interresting. It gives it a cool approach I think. And I think even with the Gen-XX stuff, that's kind of fun for our fans, some of those electro versions and re-mix versions we've never played live. But, eventhough I have another record with Gen-XX original live material coming out, until that happens Ive been mixing it up and throwing in some re-mix electro versions of the Genitorturers songs, which is great because people never got to hear them live.
Rafi: Now the Gen-XX project completely took me by suprise. What motivated you to make something of Genitorturers that basically seems more fitted for a club environment?
Gen: A couple of reasons. Number one, I started doing a lot of work with these duo techno guys called Jackel and Hyde. They asked me to sing on some of their stuff, I did a re-mix of Lecher Bitch that was really bangin'. So we'd go out and I'd sing with them live at some of the festivals. We started working on more and more music, did some programming for some Genitorturers songs as well, and in the midst of doing that we came up with some songs that fit into another catagory. It was really really electro, there was no guitar or bass, just keyboard and drums, and we get asked all the time to play these big fetish balls that aren't really set up for a full rock band. So it also kind of makes sense for that environment. Just have more of a club-electro version of some of our stuff. I mean a Genitorturers show is a three ring circus and a lot of God damn work to put on a show. So it's a little easier to go out there with keys, drums, and me.
Rafi: So when people go to see Gen X, they're not going to be taken away from that whole circus fetish show from hell?
Gen: There's a whole different show that goes along with Gen X because they're different songs. It's really cool, it's super sexy, all the songs are very danceable. There's similarities but at the same time it's really it's own thing.
Rafi: Like you had mentioned before, Genitorturers has always been one of those staple live bands, people always come out just to see what you guys are up to next. I have to wonder, especially when you're attaching the slaves to the spinning circle, have any crazy incidences happened that weren't planned?
Gen: (Laughs) Of course, here and there. When we used to do the big torture rack that had the spinning bed there were times here and there where I wasn't paying attention.The thing came down on me and knocked me out one time (laughs), but you know, shit happens, what can you do?
Rafi: The reason I got started in music was because I was helping out with the booking at a place called House of Heresy in Kentucky. It's long since shut down, but I remember you guys played there, and the one thing that shocked half the crowd and left us talking for years was the fact that you guys included play piercings in your live shows. Was that a tough territory to go down since I'm sure that some cities wouldn't allow it?
Gen: No, there's always things you can do. Back then no one was really piercing. It was a very underground thing. When I first started doing piercing, you couldn't go to the mall, you couldn't go to the tattoo shop, you could only go to a couple of places. Maybe New York and San Francisco to get it done. So it was just something that evolved, it was a part of what I was doing at the time. 120 days was very De Sade, therefore the show became very De Sadian. Each time we put out an album it has a concept attached to it. The show evolves, my character evolves along the way. It just sort of came along with the territory for what we were doing for that record.
Rafi: The one thing you just mentioned De Sade. That was the one thing that stuck out to me because of the title of the first album 120 days of Genitorture. It always had me looking at 120 days of Sodom and Gammorah. How much did Marquis De Sade's literary works actually affect you, and are there any other writters that are influences on you?
Gen: Well definately De Sade's works were indeed influential to me on that first record. I think that looking at the way that he was kind of persecuted for pushing the envelope of sexuality at that time, and drawing a lot of parallel with my character for Genitorturers in terms of being provocative and provoking people to experience new things, and the backlash that you receive for doing something like that. I would have to say that Clive Barker also inspired some of my early stuff. We have a couple of songs that was inspred by him. Other than that I just kind of draw a lot of influences from the world around me. I try to find new ways for my character to inishiate a roll.
Rafi: What's the plan for Genitorturers once the tour wraps up with CombiChrist?
iGen: Well, we've got the album Blackheart Revolution coming out in Europe, Australia, and South America. So we're probably going to be touring in 2010. We're also going to be scheduling another leg of The Genitorturers tour for our fans in the South West, West Coast and the Mid-West since what we're doing now is just a little bit of a cheater tour that's just kind of hitting the East coast and parts of the MId-West and Canada.
Rafi: I really like the DVD for Society of The Genitorturers. I was wondering, are you guys ever going to be putting something like that together again?
Gen: That was a real interresting, kind of conceptual thing that I put together. We always do kind of different art projects. The most recent thing that we're doing is releasing these 7"s fromt the album. They're all conceptual. The first one being "Cum Junkie". Which has the studio version of "Cum Junkie" on the A side then on the B side you get the Gen-XX electro mix. I don't know if you've seen the photo layout for it yet, but each one of these 7"s that we're doing in the series are super over the top. This is our chance to really give our fans what they want and really bring some concepts to life.
Rafi: When are those going to be released?
Gen: The 7"s are out now, people can order them from our website. There aren't that many left. We're taking a few out on tour and some just went out for distrobution in stores, so there are some record stores that are carrying them, but once they're gone, they're gone. We didn't make that many of them so, they're like gold now (laughs). "Cum Junkie" was a lot of fun because of the photo shoot too, and because we did clear vinyl with three versions of splattering. So you have the white cum splattered one, the clear with red and white, the cum and blood splattered one (laughs), and then we have the castration one which is just blood splattered. It's prety crazy though.
Rafi: I have to ask, with all the younger generation of fans that we have on VF, a lot of them are starting to get turned onto The Genitorturers. What's the best advice that you can give them in their pursuits of music or just for happiness in life?
Gen: To do what you love, and to follow your dreams in every way. Don't let people mislead you from doing that. Have faith in yourself in being and becoming what you want to. The music business is not easy. If you think it's easy then you're going to fail. You have to know that it's a lot of man power to make things happen these days. We've been told so many things, we've even been asked to change our name. I know that some people don't know who the hell we are, especially because we haven't put out a record in a couple of years, but once you start doing your research about the band and start finding out our history it definately opens up a whole new world in terms of what we do. You know, it's not just a flash in the pan, here today gone tomorrow thing. We're striving to bring people a new chapter of something that's really special and unique.