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.
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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.