Wednesday, December 16, 2015

He Sold His Soul For Rock n Roll: An Interview with Rev Lower of Only Flesh

Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll - for most, a mere catchphrase. But for Rev Lower, frontman of the infamous band Only Flesh, it is a lifestyle. Only Flesh truly caught the public's eye when it became the first band to have it's singer publicly suspend from flesh hooks while singing, only to repeat the feat a few years later, and eventually outdoing itself by having its singer crucified onstage.

Yes, you read that correctly - crucified.

I personally got the chance to see Only Flesh live in concert at a Halloween party on Devil's Night, and was blown away by the high energy, insanely over the top show - a jaw-dropping blend of ear-splitting music, sideshow feats, body suspension, dark humor, and a whole lot more. The band describes itself as "taking the catchy elements from punk, the sleaze from glam, the intensity of metal, the rawness of industrial, and drowning it in a sea of drugs, booze, and unprotected sex" - and with a description like that, you know you want to learn more. So, without further a do, lets delve into the twisted mind of musical madman and frontman of Only Flesh, Rev Lower!

For those who are not aware of you or the band, could you tell us who you are and what Only Flesh is and what it’s all about?
Well, Only Flesh is in essence is a twisted variety hour TV special... at its core we are a band, but to say we are only that would be a mistake. We are also a flesh suspension troupe, sideshow act, grinder team, a whole circus of bad ideas. We mix punk, metal, and industrial to make our sleazy rock and roll come to life and have included live crucifixions, go-go dancers, flesh suspensions, human oddities, fire breathing, beds of nails and staircases of machetes, and a lot more to soil your imagination.

What was it that led you down the path to becoming a musician?
Growing up I used music to soothe myself and console myself in times of stress and heartache. I looked up to these rock idols and admired their confidence and charisma. I knew from a very young age I wanted to become that.

What are some major influences on your style of music?
We are influenced by many types of music and that is reflected in our jumps in genre from song to song. If we feel angry we will write a heavier song, or maybe if shits getting us down a slower more depressing song will surface. we have so many different styles of music we love so we never wanted to be limited to just one.

Only Flesh is known for incorporating sideshow feats into its shows; in a typical performance, what feats can people expect to see performed?
As far as the sideshow stuff goes, we have a bed of nails and a bed of machetes that I lay on as people stand on me; we also have a staircase of machetes, we do fire breathing and I get a cinder block smashed on my nuts. Other tricks will be the human blockhead and pincushion. We are always trying to learn more tricks to throw into the mix.

How was it that you became involved in the world of body mod and sideshow?
I've always been very interested in how far you could push the body and never content to look like the norm so I have always dabbled in different body mod. As i got older it became more extreme... teeth filing, tongue splitting, sub-dermal and trans-dermal implants, brandings, scarification, piercings, tattoos (including my eyes being tattooed)... Early on I always tried to add it into shows like piercings and blood letting.. as I learned more and became a professional piercer. I started doing suspensions and flesh pulls at our show (as a side note- we were the first band ever to have a lead singer suspended while he (me) sang and performed on stage, though another band takes credit for it; I wont name names only pointing out we did a year before them).

The side show aspect to us has really been a more recent thing in my attempt to show we are more than just a band who "does the hook thing. I want our shows to be something that you'll want to see despite the fact that you love the music or not. If your just wanting the music buy the CD... but if you are paying to see us live then I want to entertain you.

What are the most extreme feats/body mods you’ve ever done, on stage or off?
I have been crucified live on stage a couple times. That was pretty intense and something we very rarely do. I even had a custom cross made for just those occasions. We also set up a zipline that i suspended and slid down to the stage which was a lil scary.

(for footage of the infamous crucifixion - click here, if you dare)

What would you say have the best and the worst venues you’ve played in?
Hmmm... well, our last big tour we had 4 places cancel on us because they were scared of us.. which hurt our finances pretty bad because we were counting on the money for gas and lodging.. they booked us without doing any research then the day before (or the day of, in some cases) looked us up and instead of talking to us so I could calm them they cancelled and wouldn't listen to reason..... I'd say any place that does that type of shit falls in the category of "worst" venue, though I won't mention any by name. My favorite venues are the ones that help promote, treat the bands like humans and maybe throw some food down our throats... its rough being on the road and a little niceness really goes a long way.

Apart from Only Flesh, what other projects are you currently involved in?
I put everything I have into Only Flesh. I have dabbled in a couple things but they usually fizzle out to me always doing OF work.

Where do you see Only Flesh 10 years down the road?
We will all be dead but churches will be erected to celebrate the cult that is Only Flesh. My face will be on every dollar you spend while my sultry voice will be heard in every elevator and strip mall! Monuments to my heroics and backstage antics will be built and children will be named after me.... but not the ugly ones. I doubt I'll be alive in a couple years, with my lifestyle let alone 10!

If someone came to you wanting to start a band, or get involved in the world of body mod, what advice would you give them?
DON'T! There are too many already and most likely you will sound better than us and I don't need the competition!

As for body mods do your research, don't just look up YouTube vids... you can mess yourself up and other people! Learn as much as you can before doing something you might regret! But if its something you want to do, then do it! Just know some choices have consequences!

Thanks very much for your time, Rev! Where can fans go to find more info on you and Only Flesh? 
You can look us up on YouTube, Facebook, our label Rotten Records and at your local rehab center!


I'd like to thank Rev for his being generous enough to take time out of his schedule to do this interview. Be sure to check out Only Flesh at the links listed above, give their music a listen, buy the CDs, and support Only Flesh in their quest for world domination!

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