Origin: Charlotte, North Carolina
Genre: Punk rock
Years active: 1983–present
Honour Among Thieves (1988)
Raw Shit (1989)
Noise For The Sake Of Noise (1989)
Destructo Blitzkrieg (1990)
GG Allin & Antiseen: Murder Junkies (1991)
Southern Hostility (1991) (Man’s Ruin Records)
Eat More Possum (1993) (Man’s Ruin Records)
Here To Ruin Your Groove (1996)
The Boys From Brutalsville (2001)
Screamin’ Bloody Live (2002)
Badwill Ambassadors (2004)
Antiseen/Electric Frankenstein split 7″ split single (January 11, 2005, TKO Records 135 (United States))
Everybody Loves Antiseen (2006)
Antiseen (often stylized as ANTiSEEN) is an American punk rock band formed in Charlotte, North Carolina by vocalist Jeff Clayton and guitarist Joe Young, the sole members to have remained for the entire existence of the group. The name “Antiseen” serves as a deliberate deviation of the phrase “anti-scene” – the group not wishing to adhere to standard perceptions of punk rock in specifically and rock music in general. Musically Antiseen draw influence from groups like the Ramones or Stooges; employing short, heavily distorted chord-driven songs largely free of guitar solos or advanced musicianmanship. The band has a catalogue of over 100 LPs, EPs, CDs and DVDs recorded with various line-ups and have performed all over the world.
The band lineup currently includes vocalist Jeff Clayton, guitarist Joe Young, bassist Jon Bowman, and drummer Phil Keller. A great deal of their “classic” material, however, comprised Clayton, Young, Thomas O’Keefe and Greg Clayton.
n 1987, Jeff Clayton partnered with Thomas O’Keefe to form Judas Bullethead, an avant-punk outfit which released three EPs between 1987 and 1991. Clayton and O’Keefe performed under assumed identities controlled by the fictitious godhead known as ‘Charlie’. Although only performing in public three times, the records were critically lauded and have become collectors items. Reportedly there is an entire album of unreleased material.
In 1988 guitarist Joe Young released a solo EP, ‘Bury The Needle’ which featured several ANTiSEEN members. Jeff Clayton has recorded two solo EPs, ‘Jeff Clayton & the Slimegoats’ in 1988 and ‘Jeff Clayton & the Mongrels’ in 2009. The Mongrels featured Mike Hendrix of the Belmont Playboys on lead guitar.
GG Allin used Antiseen as his backing band on his Murder Junkies album. The band has stated that this album was a mixed blessing, saying that although they regret the “backing band” stigma that it gave them, they loved the way the album turned out.
Sometimes it seems like that’s all people wanna talk about. I don’t regret those days at all, but we have done more than just that. We miss GG a lot though. —Jeff Clayton
After GG Allin’s death in 1993 Clayton fronted Allin’s surviving band, also known as the Murder Junkies for several tours.
Clayton has also appeared as lead vocalist on the Alcoholics Unanimous EP ‘Dixie Fried’ and was involved as vocalist in the Simon Stokes tribute band ‘Conqueror Worm’(featuring members of Rancid Vat and Poison Idea), the album ‘Rock inferno’ by Australian band Rupture and has an uncredited backing vocal on Hank III’s ‘Damn Right, Rebel Proud’.
Clayton has also produced recordings by Hellstomper and Mad Brother Ward.
The band were also charter members of the now-defunct “Confederacy of Scum.” The COS were a loose collective of bands including Rancid Vat, Limecell, Hellstomper, Cocknoose, Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, Hammerlock, Before I Hang, and The Tunnel Rats. Many of these acts would unite yearly in various cities to stage a weekend long event known as the “Supershow”.
After several years playing regularly throughout the East Coast and southern United States, Antiseen embarked on their first major world tour in 1992 performing in 19 countries in Europe and North America. This was repeated semi-annually for the rest of the 1990s. By the close of the decade the group tired of the routine and began to focus on shorter trips concentrating on individual regions (e.g.;the west coast, east coast, midwest etc.) while returning to Europe for festivals.
In 2003 Antiseen staged a twentieth anniversary concert in Charlotte which featured many past members of the group participating during the show. The set was professionally filmed and released on DVD.
In 2004 Steel Cage Records released a “coffee table” book entitled Destructo Maximus. The contents include interviews with current and past members of the band, testimonials of friends and fans, press clippings, reviews and over 300 captioned photographs chronicling the bands history to that point. It also features fan artwork, a poster and flyer gallery, song lyrics and a full discography.
In 2006, TKO Records released a tribute album entitled “Everybody Loves Antiseen” which features 58 various artists including Hank III, ZEKE, Thomas O’Keefe, Chaos UK, Limecell, Texas Terri Bomb and Jeff Dahl, Simon Stokes and notorious rap legend Blowfly.
O’Keefe started “Thomas O’Keefe and the shitBirds” with Ex-Antiseen Drummer Barry Hannible in 2008 to perform at the Antiseen 25th Anniversary show. They played a few shows in 2009. They currently remain on hiatus due to O’Keefe’s schedule.
Antiseen has also collaborated with Hank Williams III. The band has appeared on split 7″ EPs with HANK III, Electric Frankenstein, The Hookers and Blowfly.
O’Keefe has spent the last decade as the Tour Manager for Columbia Records band Train.
Music and lyrics
The lyrics of Antiseen deal with issues such as the military (“Stormtrooper”, “Pledge Allegiance to the Bomb”, “Warhero”), a love for the South (“Trapped in Dixie”), independence and pride (“Glad I Am The Way I Am”, “Fuck All Y’All”, “No Apologies”), and songs that defy political correctness (“Animals, Eat ‘Em”, “F.T.K.”, “Spare Change”, “Watch the Bastard Fry”). Antiseen’s lyrics, which the band has described as satirical, are confrontational and caustic. Critics of the band have claimed that Antiseen’s lyrics are racist, homophobic and misogynistic. However, the group has included female, African-American and homosexual members in past incarnations.
According to the band’s published biography, Destructo Maximus, Clayton writes most of the lyrics, although on their most recent studio release, Badwill Ambassadors, Sir Barry Hannibal and Doug Canipe handled most of the songwriting duties.
The band has a strong love for professional wrestling. They have displayed this by making musical tributes to various wrestlers, including Cactus Jack, Sabu, Terry Funk, and Abdullah the Butcher. Non-specific songs include “(I’m a) Babyface Killer” (sung from the viewpoint of a heel) and “From Parts Unknown” (a tribute to wrestlers who wear masks).
Additionally, Antiseen has covered songs by artists such as Hank Williams Sr., Skrewdriver, Ernest Tubb, Hellstomper, GG Allin, Anti-Nowhere League, Black Flag, Broken Talent, Alice Cooper, Dave Dudley, Bob Dylan, Roky Erickson, George Jones, The Kinks, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blowfly, Curtis Mayfield, Roy Orbison, Ramones, Rancid Vat, Rose Tattoo, Steve Sadler, Jumping Gene Simmons, Jack Starr, Sun Ra, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Stooges, Talking Heads, The Trashmen, and The Troggs.
Early Antiseen performances featured bizarre theatrical stage props involving mannequins, fake blood and pyrotechnics. Such performances found the group often banned from clubs unused to such presentations. Eventually the group tired of the logistics and legalities involved with a theatrical stage presentation and phased it out of their act, while increasing the physical mayhem of their stage antics – often destroying their own equipment. Vocalist Clayton began employing acts of self-mutilation, often cutting his face or arms with shards of broken glass or pounding his head with a microphone drawing blood and abrasions.
Guitarist Joe Young is a member of the Libertarian Party, and states that he has voted libertarian since 1978. In 2000, Young ran for state house as a Libertarian. Young ran for city council in 2001.
The band members have stated that Antiseen is an apolitical band, although their songs have satirized extremist politics.