Philly-based Eat The Turnbuckle was the second bloodiest show at GWARBQ 2016

by | Aug 31, 2016 | METAL, PUNK, THRASH & HARDCORE

GWAR wasn’t the only band at this year’s GWAR B-Q leaving a blood-soaked audience after their show. Eat The Turnbuckle, a Philly-based metal band who call their genre “ultra-violent,” gave those who attended their show an experience like they had never seen before.

GWAR wasn’t the only band at this year’s GWAR B-Q leaving a blood-soaked audience after their show. Eat The Turnbuckle, a Philly-based metal band who call their genre “ultra-violent,” gave those who attended their show an experience like they had never seen before.

Eat The Turnbuckle, inspired by Mexican Wrestling and GWAR styles of the past, put on a performance that included chair smashing among the band itself and the crowd that had gathered. Their bass player, Mike Hook, who goes by the name Captain Hook, calls the band a product of their Philadelphia-based environment.

“Philadelphia is a hostile city, the wrestling capital, so we’re definitely a product of that. We all grew up watching GWAR, watching these bands come up,” he said. “We try to just show what Philly’s about as far as wrestling goes. That’s the message… I guess the violent message.”

Last year, the group was banned from Scotland after having their Glasgow show cancelled once the description of their show, including band members making themselves bleed with cheese graters, was released.

This was the band’s second year at GWAR B-Q, which followed a month long European tour. While Europe was a blast, they were glad to return to RVA.

“I love Richmond,” Captain Hook said. “They are always great with us and they always treat us great and allow us to do our thing. You can’t ask for more.”

As the band’s bass player, he uses his instrument as a way to enjoy what he does every time he gets on stage.

“It frees me up to run around and do things, where if you drop a guitar it really drops,” Captain Hook said. “Sometimes I can get off the bass, go do a gimmick, come back and it’s cool. I enjoy doing that.”

Interacting with the audience is a big part of what makes Eat The Turnbuckle what they are.

“The energy for Eat The Turnbuckle was like something out of your favorite early 90s WrestleMania: hulking men stomping and screaming, head bashing, blood running down the sides of the face, while hard rock music played in the background,” RVA Mag photographer Ray Denson said. “For any fan of early 90s era pro wrestling this could be the music and show for you.”

Two European festivals, Wacken in Germany and Obscene Extreme Fest in the Czech Republic, stand out to Captain Hook with two favorite stories from the group’s recent tour. At Obscene Extreme, they set their amp ten minutes before going on stage, only to have in catch on fire as they plug it in. The group had other obstacles to get through prior to their Wacken show.

“We accidentally put gas in a diesel engine,” he said. “Me and Schlak, the guitar player, siphoned it out and then the hose that we had wasn’t long enough so we had to buy a pump and then pump it out. So we’re all beat up, drained the gasoline, showed up 20 minutes before tech, and then went and played Wacken.”

At the end of the day, the band’s mission stays the same—to put on a show that their audience won’t forget, no matter how much it takes.

“It’s the same goal that it’s always been,” Captain Hook said. “Ultra-violent, best show you can do, work hard. End of story, just work. If you can physically do it, you do the show.”

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner is the former editor of GayRVA and RVAMag from 2013 - 2017. He’s now the Richmond Bureau Chief for Radio IQ, a state-wide NPR outlet based in Roanoke. You can reach him at

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