No Second Coming for Dead Jesus

In the end, maybe Dead Jesus broke up because its members were getting a sense of humour about the whole “black death metal” schtick – and that, friends, is the kiss of death.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of dour-faced, inner-circle, moping around in the metal scene,” admits bassist Lord Bedingfield IV with a laugh. “It’s ridiculous. But you know what? Dead Jesus has always had a sense of humour. Our show is a party. We’re not trying to frighten anyone. We’re not trying to impress anyone with how dark we are.”

But just try to out-dark these guys. After 12 years of being pretty much the darkest damned band in Edmonton, Dead Jesus will play its last show ever on Easter Sunday at the Mead Hall (10940 166A Street). There could be something special to mark the event. Think Alice Cooper on meth. Do not stand in the front unless you want to get spattered with blood. Do not eat anything thrown from the stage, no matter how delicious it looks. Fans know the drill: It’s Dead Jesus.

Another issue with Dead Jesus – whose music is somewhat critical of organized religion – is that the musicians don’t seem very dark in real life. There are two vocalists in the band. Evilglen, who sings high, like an eagle, should be called Niceglen. Their previous co-lead singer Org666, who sang low, like the devil, used to cut himself, roll in barbed wire, tacks, etc, while he performed, suffering not for our sins but for our entertainment. Off stage, he’s a normal guy. Haven’t met the new frontman Daemonikus. He’s probably bummed out because he’s only been in the band couple of months and then it breaks up. Lord Bedingfield IV, first name Andy, is a pleasant fellow. Perhaps these metal guys get all of their negative mojo out on stage so they can lead normal, happy, well-adjusted lives at home. Psychologists should look into this: Death metal therapy.

But Bedingfield has had enough. “It’s time for me to do something else. I’m no spring chicken,” he says.

He says he’s starting to repeat himself, which is a huge “red flag” that you should pack it in. Bedingfield thought Niceglen would just hire a new bassist and carry on much the same way the band did after Org666 was swallowed into a flaming crack in the Earth after a particularly blasphemous show. (Not really. Calvin is the man’s real name. He’s still on the scene, booking bands for the Rendezvous Pub, among other pursuits) But Evil/Niceglen pulled the plug. They could’ve played the farewell on Good Friday and announced their reunion on Sunday, which would’ve been funny, but the gig was already booked before they decided to quit. There will be no Second Coming for Dead Jesus.

Some last questions for Lord Bedingfield IV:

Q: Do you think you got through to people or were you just preaching to the choir?

A: I think we got through to a lot of people. We get some spooky quotes from fans. People said they started their bands after seeing us. I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything.

Q: What I mean is: did you cause anybody to lose their faith in God?

A: Hopefully they didn’t have any in the first place.

Q: Are you an atheist?

A: I think when you say you’re an atheist, you’re really taking a stand on the whole issue. I find that the issue of spirituality is something very private and personal. I find the whole organized ideals behind it quite silly and superstitious. I’ll never call myself anything. I think what I think, I do what I do. We’re outspoken against organized religion because we think it causes a lot of harm. It’s like an irritant in society.

Q: What are you going to do now?

A: I’m probably going to sell all my stage gear and set up a recording studio in my house and then just see what comes out of my head. I’ll be like Apollo, no images.

Q: Wha?

A: The Greek God Apollo. He never saw his own face.

Q: If you’re a non-believer, why do you know so much about religion?

A: You have to understand something before you reject it. It is fascinating that sort of idea can take such a deep root in the psychology of the species to such an extent that it directs their growth.

Q: You’ve heard the evolutionary explanation for religion – people who believe are happier and produce more children, so the God gene gets carried on?

A: Having sex with Asian girls also makes you happy – probably more than the Bible.

Happy Easter, everybody.