Genitorturers - Sex and Sadism

Just after they wrapped up a successful Australian tour in April to promote their brand new Blackheart Revolution album, the Genitorturer's super hot scantily clad singer (when onstage), and mistress in chief Gen, was happy enough to hook up with Metal As Fuck for a debriefing. And no, that wasn’t an underwear pun.

If you’ve never heard of Genitorturers before, it’s okay not to feel like you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 plus years. (This writer lives under a rock and he likes it—thank you, internet.) Blame the blank stares on the band’s uneven discography that often have several year gaps between albums. Genitorturers have been around since founder and frontwoman Gen’s PreMed days in sunny Florida. On this early part of her career during the late 80s, she recalls, “Moving from the very culturally diverse and artsy state of New Mexico to the plastic land of Mickey Mouse in Orlando definitely was a wakeup call and compelled me to start a band that was provocative and cutting edge. S&M and ‘Sexual Deviancy’ is not only fun and entertaining, but it scares the shit out of your average close-minded person. This really became a tool to provoke discussion and have a whole lot of fun in the process on stage. Everyone likes titties!”

Asked how the band found its niche, Gen pauses for a moment before answering.

“When Genitorturers started we were more of a hardcore punk band with metal overtones,” she explains.  “As different players came in and out of the mix, the band’s style evolved and changed. I was the original bassist and we were a three piece for a number of years in the early days with me on bass and vocals.  As the stage-show elements were developed, I replaced myself on bass with some amazing players who definitely propelled the music to greater heights. Most notably was Pawel Maciwoda, who is now bassist for the Scorpions and David Vincent of Morbid Angel.”

However, it wasn’t lost on this scribe—who did his research, mind you—that Gen pursued her music together with a career in medicine. How could she possibly cope in two demanding professions?

“It was a bit tricky,” she admits. “But the job I had at the time in the medical field luckily was unique and not nine to five. During the recording of our first album 120 Days of Genitorture (1993) I was working on-call as a transplant coordinator, a very interesting job where I was responsible for removing organs and tissues from the recently deceased. There were definitely a few nights that come to mind where I went from being in the studio screaming my ass out on vocals to getting a call and having to go on a ‘retrieval’. On one particular night I took our engineer on the call.  He was an avid smoker and to prove a point I took him to a call ,which involved a pretty brutal case of a man who had had have his throat and face removed due to oral cancer. needless to say our friend stopped smoking the next day!”

Without a doubt, the most striking aspect of Genitorturers are the sexual overtones of their music and image. It’s a stance that flies straight into the face of a conservative environment like Gen's adopted home, Florida. She considers such contrasts challenging. “

I think the conservative agenda serves a great purpose to continue exposing the fact that people generally are resistant to change,” Gen says.  “I think that the general mindset toward sexuality for the most part is evolving, however there are clearly still battles that need to be fought when it comes to accepting and understanding the many facets of sexuality.”

But the truth is, considering how overtly sexual mainstream entertainment already is, Gen and her band still have to come to grips with the fact that their shows come in two varieties: all ages and ‘adult’. Surprisingly, in an age when Lady Gaga can expose her privates in music videos and shoot fire from her boobs, Genitorturers still manage to offend a few uptight sensibilities. Gen is keen on sharing one particular event.

“During our performance in the night of our Blackheart Revolution album release and show in Tampa, a local church group organized a ‘pray in’ outside the venue. They ended up being taunted by 1,000 or so of our fans and left pretty quickly.”

Yet despite the odd minor ‘incident,’ everything’s been rather peachy for Gen and her sexually charged crew, except when someone runs afoul of the law. She adds with a laugh, “In the second year of Lolapolooza, the one with Ministry and Jim Rose, our performance caused a bit of a commotion and one of our performers was arrested. Since that time we have not had any major incidents aside from the occasional bible-thumping protester.”

Since Genitorturers and sex are inseparable, it’s best the discussion dive headlong into porn, which everybody likes. Or so this scribe likes to think, since he’s a dude.

“Porn is an interesting thing,” Gen declares. “It can be a tool to inspire naughtiness at times. But while there is some artful and erotic stuff out there, there is also a ton of uncreative crap.”

Such a response led to the question: Is a guy’s porn habit okay in a serious relationship?

“My answer about watching too much [porn] would require knowing what kind? I think many women would agree that it is a poor instructional manual for men in general. I have had many conversations with girlfriends who recount the distressing details of the boyfriend or hook up who seems to have been steered in the wrong direction by the whole figuring-out-what-to-do from porn thing.”

That said, Gen lends a sympathetic hand to distressed womanhood the world over. “I would say to any girl whose partner is into porn, maybe steer them toward something interesting, artful, and creative like [adult filmmaker] Michael Nin just to balance out the schlocky stuff.”

That said, Gen is eager to gab about the new Genitorturers album, Blackheart Revolution, which came out late last year and has brought the band—composed of Eric Griffin on guitar, bassist Nate Maner, and a drummer named Angel—back on the touring circuit across America, Australia, and Europe.

On the work she and her better half (Morbid Angel’s David Vincent) put behind it, she doesn’t hesitate to discuss the smallest details, including why it took several years to prepare a follow up to its predecessor Flesh Is The Law.

“As you may know Evil D, aka David Vincent, began touring again with Morbid Angel in 2002, as well as maintaining his duties in Genitorturers as writer and producer,” Gen explains. “There are really just so many hours in the day, to be honest, and again, our unique approach to the production of each song was just time consuming. We like to tell ourselves ‘We will release no song before it’s time.’ Also in the interim of touring with Genitorturers, while David would be out with Morbid Angel, I started working on a side project that is more electro called GEN-XX and recording vocals on song collaborations with Scott Weiser of Jackal and Hyde and Tim Skold ( Marilyn Manson/KMFDM).  At this point we also have an album’s worth of material for GEN-XX and have been performing live with this project as well.  So we have quite a lot going on.”

Despite the packed schedule, Gen and Vincent did make an effort to put in the proper amount of studio time for a worthwhile release that would do justice to the Genitorturers’ legacy.

“In general the recording process was fun and laborious. We opted to record the bulk of the album in our own Compound Studios. This is also where we recorded Sin City (1998). However, between the two albums (Flesh Is the Law and Blackheart). David and I really stepped up the gear on the front end so that we could essentially get the quality and  tones we desired. We recorded most of it with Motu Digital Performer but ran all the guitars, vocals, and bass through Vintech and Neve style analog strips which gave it a really warm sound. Vocal wise we were excited to get an endorsement with SE electronics and were gifted some uber high end tube mics, which once again really warmed up the vocals.  The recording process did take some time because we took the different approach of producing each song on its own with different players and instrumentation. [It wasn’t] the typical guitar-player-goes-in-the-studio-and-records-all-the-guitar-tracks-to-all-the-songs. Also, yes, we are a live band and ultimately taking time away from touring and live shows for both David with Morbid Angel and both of us with Genitorturers was tricky.”

Among the batch of fresh material these sessions produced was the new album’s standout soon-to-be-a-classic anthem, Cum Junkie. Of it, Gen says, “[It’s] a fun song because it essentially takes more of pop dance style and we’re making it a bit more ‘dirty, bad, and wrong’, as I like to say.  Overall the music and songwriting has evolved greatly, as I think listeners of Blackheart Revolution will notice this instantly. Quite a bit of thought was put into each song to make it stand on it’s own and become unique. The last thing we were interested in was putting out a record where after you have heard the first three songs you have essentially heard the record.  That drives me nuts. David and I both wanted to do something that was a bit retro in this approach, ala Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare that album takes you on a journey, tells a great story, and to do so incorporates many different styles.”

Luckily, all the sweat seems to have paid off given its reception among both the Genitorturer faithful and their new converts. “

[It] has been very exciting,” says Gen on the album’s feedback. “Our long time fans have given us an overwhelming response. They are digging the exceptional production and are appreciative of this despite the fact the album took so long to produce. The biggest compliment that I hear is that it was worth the wait. Also due to it being available widely on the internet, we have garnered a shit ton of new younger fans that are just discovering the band for the first time, which is exciting. These fans come to the shows not knowing that we also have a provocative stage show and are pretty blown away.”

Speaking of ‘provocative stage shows’ and being ‘pretty blown away’, Gen shares a titillating experience (for guys) during a recent gig of her side project. “Last weekend at our GEN-XX show there were five girls that I guess thought were we filming for Girls Gone Wild or something and proceeded to get completely naked and go down on each other on stage. That didn’t suck. It was especially funny because it was in Florida I had a ton of friends from college and med school who I had not seen in over 15 years and all are doctors and lawyers who were like, ’Wow, I guess we can see why you bailed on medicine for rock n’ roll!’”

Still releasing albums and touring after 20 years since the band’s inception, when asked how she has managed to survive for so long, Gen cites two reasons that have kept her motivated.

“Number one is the fans. We have the most awesome dedicated fans who have supported us over the years and are always there for us when it comes time to experiencing the next chapter in our ongoing saga, so to speak.  Number two is that I personally am just entertained as fuck when I get on stage and do my thing with a great bunch of players and performers. A lot of the show elements are spawned from my very bizarre sense of humor and as long as I am having fun every night, I will continue to carry the torch for a revolution of the ‘blackhearts’. These are the misfits and miscreants, those who are not afraid to hold hands with me and walk down a deep and dark path.”


Blackheart Revolution is out now on Retribution Music