The first time I saw Antiseen singer Jeff Clayton cut open his forehead with a broken beer bottle was in the mid-'90s at the Ritz (now Stir) on Independence Boulevard. He and his band were opening for the Ramones, I was sitting on a pool table a safe distance away.
I didn't think the blood was real – until I saw him later working at Repo Records with a lumpy scar the size of my knuckles woven into his skin. I wasn't the only one initially skeptical about his antics. “I've seen them follow him into the bathroom (after the show) to see if it was real,” said co-founding guitarist Joe Young, who once broke his ankle jumping off a speaker.
Antiseen's brutal shows didn't appeal to everyone, especially early on – Young says the N.C. punk band was so notorious at one point in the mid-'80s that “most places hung up on us. We'd say, ‘We're Antis–' and … click.”
But today, the band has an international following. Young says fans are flying in from Europe to help Antiseen celebrate its 25th anniversary with a two-night blowout this weekend. Expect a prop-filled, career-spanning set that includes former members and leans heavily on 1993's “Eat More Possum” – along with more antics from Clayton.