We feel that denim out-rocks leather at all levels. Leather is for empty, little people. Denim is for us big guys," says Turbonegro bassist Happy-Tom.
If you don't have a mustache, you have a day to grow one. Facial hair -- the ever-flowing variety, of beaver-pelt thickness -- isn't a prerequisite, nor is a "Kutte," a custom-made jean jacket whose back is emblazoned with the logo of a certain badass band from Norway.
But if you're going to wade into the Sin City Bloodbath at the Double Down Friday, both will come in handy. A night of drinking, sore kidneys and savage rock 'n' roll done in the name of Scandinavian deathpunk greats Turbonegro, the Bloodbath is a gathering of some of the 2,200 chapters of the band's worldwide fan club, Turbojugend, which is kind of like the Kiss Army for hairy dudes and degenerates of all persuasions.
Donning sailor outfits and yards of denim, the Turbojugend faithful is among the most dedicated and debauched fan bases in all of rock 'n' roll.
"The music does kind of have a Dadaist movement behind it," says Daniel Dieterich, president of the Turbojugend Madison, Wis., chapter and frontman for Midwestern rippers Brainerd. Dieterich helps organize the Bloodbath, now in its seventh installment, which makes its Vegas debut on Friday. "You're either extremely smart or really, really dumb to enjoy this stuff."
One of the greatest bands that mainstream rock fans have most likely never heard of, Turbonegro's defining album, 1998's "Apocalypse Dudes," stands shoulder to shoulder with The Dwarves' "Blood, Guts and ..." and the New Bomb Turks' "Destroy Oh Boy!" among the greatest underground rock records of the '90s.
The band boasts a sound that practically bursts apart at the seams with man-rock conventions -- beefy, corn-fed guitars, fist-pumping, shout-along choruses, a bulldozer rhythm section -- but they quickly deflate all that machismo with a winking, tongue-in-cheek homoeroticism and songs about baking pizza and shopping for wigs.
Because Turbonegro tours sporadically, especially in the States, Turbojugend events have become regular gatherings across the country, kind of like the rock 'n' roll equivalent of the Lebowski Fests for fans of the cult classic Coen brothers film.
At the Sin City Bloodbath, a clutch of hard-hitting bands such as Brainerd, the Hitchhikers and Vegas' own Pigasus will take the stage amidst lots of drinking games, giveaways, good tunes and bad behavior.
"It's just tons of fun, laughing at ourselves, laughing at culture and saying all the stuff that you're thinking, but that you normally wouldn't say," Dieterich says. "Here, it's OK to just go ahead and spit it out."
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476.