"WAS THAT the show when you had the deer carcass?"
Listening to members of Gashdig and Threscher reminisce with their good friend Jen McCargar about their heyday 20 years ago is like listening to asylum escapees recap their trail of lunacy.
"Essentially, hanging out with all these guys back then was like Lord of the Flies in an urban setting," McCargar says. "You got people chasing each other, yelling 'piggy,' they're hallucinating, they're setting shit on fire..." The whole table of boys laughs and nods in agreement.
Gashdig and Threscher were two heavy-industrial, seductive-yet-abrasive, performance-art bands that serendipitously found each other in the early '90s between their respective homes of Portland and Eugene. Their shared lust for pig brains, cow blood, chicken feet, nudity, shotguns, fire, and smashed TVs made for a match made in chaos.
"It was the perfect mix of darkness and art. We both wanted multimedia, full-body experiences. The big rock experience without all the clichés," says Mathew "Drat" Diestler, guitar player for Gashdig. Now, two decades later, they've reformed—but this reunion of fiends is not all about reliving their brand of mayhem.
McCargar has stage four ovarian cancer, and when the idea of the two bands reuniting for a benefit came up, the troops were rounded up. Upon reaching out to see if Gashdig drummer Kenny Zimmerman was interested in doing the show, the band found out that he too has cancer and is currently going through chemotherapy. Naturally, Zimmerman is now a benefactor along with McCargar.
Even though Gashdig and Threscher seemed to have turbulent, drug-addled relationships 20 years ago, they're more than happy to come together for friends in need. From the sound of things, they're all getting a dose of joy from this show.
"It's awesome how everyone is coming together for our friends," says Drat. "We've been slightly estranged over the years and gotten older, but this reunion is really cathartic. We met each other when we were 15; my son is 15!"
So come down and empty your pockets. Maybe Gashdig and Threscher will fill them back up with meat and entrails.