The name, as memorable as it is, may have somehow slipped under your radar. Maggot Twat has come to be the best local metal band with a puppet drummer Chicago has ever known. With live shows that may include a sawzall eating through a guitar, bouncing ball sing-a-longs, and tin foil masks, Maggot Twat always makes sure you have a good time when you come see them. They play riff-heavy, fast metal laced with cartoon and video game soundbites. Their lyrics are akin to the funniest parts of a sexual deviant's personal journal. With two albums under their belt, "Stuffed Animal Orgy" and "8-Bit Apocalypse", the band is still pissing on metal's serious attitude in a manner that hasn't been celebrated since the days of S.O.D. and Anthrax. Now, finishing up their third album, they are showing new fans that metal can be talented and entertaining, but still be funny. Pizzer Manwhat, guitarist of Maggot Twat, was kind enough to take a break from working on the record to answer some questions about the group, puppets, Tourette's, and their upcoming album.
RS: How are things?
MT: Things are stinky and smelly as usual. I sit around way too much in my underwear and look at internet stuff. I am unemployed.
RS: Tell everyone a little about what the band is all about.
MT: Maggot Twat is all about being able to have a good time and act however you want. You can stand there like an idiot, you can run in circles, you can play with yourself, you can eat hot dogs on the stage, you can mosh and bash your head on the bar. As long as its fun. We keep the music heavy and keep the shows insane.
RS: When did you guys start out?
MT: We started the summer of 1998. I just wanted to start a death metal band that wasn't so serious. And then we went fishing and Spam caught a tin foil mask in the lake. It hasn't come off his head since.
RS: Where are you from?
MT: Des Plaines, IL. Spam now lives 30 min west of me in Hoffman Estates.
RS: How did you come up with the name Maggot Twat?
MT: We were sitting in fuckin' Denny's restaurant over by Palwaukee Airport like we always used to do. We were hangin' with our buddy's band, Sapphist, at the time. I asked
their singer, Tony, if he had any ideas for a band name and the first thing outta his mouth was "Maggot Twat". I didn't even think twice. That was the name.
RS: So, right now you guys are working on your third full length release. Can you tell us what it will be called?
MT: It's still untitled, but there's a couple ideas floating around. One idea is "The Imp of the Perverse" Which is mainly about Tourette's syndrome.
RS: It seems that 'Stuffed Animal Orgy' was largely influenced by cartoons and film, and '8-Bit Apocalypse' was properly influenced by video games. Is there a certain direction you're taking with this release?
MT: Yes, there is. It's mainly about having mental problems. I know that's been done a million times, but in my case its the truth. Haha. I've been battling a wicked anxiety disorder along the lines of OCD and Tourette's syndrome. I had it when I was a kid and then it came back to haunt me a couple years ago. I've been kicked outta bars, crashed my car, slept for days and had my ass kicked as a result of it. I've been on medications trying to control it but it's a mean mofo. I figured it's a good topic for a heavy metal album since I am actually living it in real life.
RS: What other music influences Maggot Twat?
MT: Not too much these days. When I turn on the radio it makes me sick. Its the same songs over and over and its not even fuckin good. That shit gets forced into your eardrums and melts your brain. That's actually what one of our new songs is all about. Its called "Eating Elvis' Shit" It's because of him that all these shitty bands are on the radio. Isn't it? Hes the king of rock n' roll.
RS: Can you tell us how it is coming along?
MT: All the guitars are tracked. We start vocals within the next 2 weeks. We can't wait to release it and play this shit live. It's gonna be super happy fantastic.
RS: Am I to understand that all writing, recording, and producing is done within the band?
MT: Yup... I write the tunes n' lyrics, Spam records it all, and we both dip our balls in the punch bowl and produce.
RS: I heard a while back that you were on the brink of signing to a bigger metal label, but were asked to change your name as a condition. Any merit to this rumor?
MT: No' that never happened. We were approached by Martin Atkins from Underground Inc. a couple years ago, but he lost his hard-on for us for some reason. We talked with a few other labels but none of them offered to sign us if we changed our name.
RS: Why did the band ultimately settle with Dark Star Records?
MT: Mainly because they're our friends. We've known Lloyd Freeze for years. He's the guy who booked our first shows at Penny Road Pub back in the day. We figured we might as well stick together and see how big we can grow this thing.
RS: What goes into your writing process?
MT: A whole lotta trial and error. Sometimes songs pour outta my ass like a morning after Taco Bell and Jack Daniels. But sometimes that Taco Bell and whiskey is like a cement mixer and I have to stick my finger up my butt to get a decent riff to come out. When I write a guitar riff, I'll usually come up with something and then turn it inside out with harmonics and whammy bar stupidity. It's fun.
RS: How has this process evolved during the band's existence?
MT: If anything, I think a little bit of structure has been added into the arrangement of the songs. But the style has pretty much been the same......I think.
RS: Your live shows always deliver. Not only is the music tight, but there is a lot going on visually. Can you explain a bit about what goes into a live show?
MT: Once the video is finished and we're ready to play out, it's all stupid from there on out. Before we go on you can find us at the Walgreens across the street buying toys and stupid shit to bring on the stage. We have to get into the right mindset just before we go on. Unicycling through the bar really helps me feel like a jerk off.
RS: How do you keep your live show fresh?
MT: I think the element of danger has always kept the shows fresh. Spam is always doing something ridiculous on the stage. And off. Things always break, sometimes the music and video freezes up, sometimes the shows get shut down. You never know how it will turn out
RS: Can you tell us the back story on Dick Pancakes?
MT: We could never find a drummer and it only seemed natural to have a fake drummer play fake drums. As for the name, I was playing some Playstation game and I entered my name in as Dickpancakes. I didn't even think at the time that I should use it. It took me a couple weeks to come back to the game and figure it out.
RS: Where does the band get those ideas?
MT: Drugs and boredom
RS: It seems a lot of the media tied into the band (website, film) is done within the band as well. Is this something that is a result of having a band, or is it more of a hobby/side job?
MT: All of Spam's computer and video skills are a result of Maggot Twat. In the beginning it was all we wanted to make Maggot Twat as awesome as possible. So he started teaching himself how to do all that stuff. But now he's making videos for other bands too. I am still sittin at home in my underwear pushing musical turds outta my ass.
RS: You have a video of the band and a few friends flying through space and across train tracks in a work van using green screen techniques. What is the name of this video and how did you come up with the concept?
MT: This is the song "Turbo Jagoff" to be released on the next album. The video idea was taken from the Naked Gun movies, where you see the cop car driving through all the different scenery. We figured it would be hilarious to put our work truck in that situation
RS: Where is MT headed in the next few years?
MT: As of right now, who knows. Its all up to the fans and people spreading the word about us. We've been around forever now. But we're still Maggot Twat. We will always be underground