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'm not the only one who initially was 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 legendarily brutal shows didn't appeal to everyone, especially early on – Young says the North Carolina 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. According to Young, fans are flying in from as far as Europe to help Antiseen celebrate its 25th anniversary with a two-night blowout this weekend. If you go, expect a prop-filled, career-spanning set that'll include former members and lean heavily on its 1993 album “Eat More Possum” – along with more antics from Clayton.