A towering pillar of human sweat, Don Bon Dio, Love Butter's bassist and co-vocalist, announced the next song as a tribute to family values. The band then rushed into "Meat Hook Belt," an odyssey of terror where a family is tormented by the evil presence of some unimaginable butcher's tool. The lyrics were horrific, yet somehow the audience broke into smiles. "What the...?" This was the scene at Love Butter's most recent gig.
Love Butter exploded onto the San Francisco punk scene in the early 90's as the brainchild of Don Bon Dio (bass, vocals) and Kevin 7-11 (guitar, vocals). Jimmy "Crack" Corn's drumming genius added rhythmic sensibility to an otherwise chaotic whirlwind of punk / pop melodies punctuated by throat-scorching lyrics. Bon Dio clears the air up front, "We're definitely a tongue-in-cheek band... and in our case the tongue is probably severed!"
How did these three unlikely individuals create such a bizarre musical beast? 7-11 answers, "It was weird and totally unplanned. Don and I met when we were DJs at local radio station, KFJC. At the time, the station was producing a radio soap opera. They were writing this story-line about a punk band named Love Butter. We were invited to compose and perform the band's theme song, even though they knew we had no measurable talent. We recruited this dude named Rob Pongi to write and sing the vocals. Rob was this insane guy from the east coast with a deep psychotic hatred for his job, and the ability to express that psychosis through these wonderful stream of conscious lyrics. Together, we recorded the "Love Butter Theme," which received some radio airplay."
Bon Dio jumps in... "We got excited that our little joke band was getting attention, so we decided to keep it going. We soon lost Rob, who moved to Japan to form a noise band. Kevin and I started writing new material, and we played a few parties using his drum machine. We got pretty good as a duo, but to play live or record, we really needed a (human) drummer." "That's the nebulous role I fill," chimes in Corn. "When I first met Don and Kevin and listened to their homemade tapes, I thought they had to be kidding about trying to form a real band. But after I took them up on an offer to sit-in and jam, I then realized these guys could really ROCK! And here was a chance to play with a band that had no preconceived notions of musical structure." 7-11 recounts with a smile, "Yeah, he thought the two of us sucked as musicians, but he knew we kicked ass anyway".
Love Butter does rock in a unique way. It seems that each song fills a different indie rock genre. "I Need More Memory" evokes the sing-song melodies of The Fall. "Meat Hook Belt" could have been a Killdozer classic. "Geek from Walnut Creek" is a retro / cow-punk anthem. "The tunes were meant to be stupid but fun," says Bon Dio. Corn injects, "Yeah, that's stoopid with two O's!" 7-11 summarizes, "We just want people to have a good time -- you know, rolling around on the floor and all that." And judging by their last gig, Love Butter's fans were up for the challenge.
Celebrating its timeless appeal, Love Butter presents the 25th Anniversary Edition of its seminal album, King Lung Meat Market. Digitally recorded in 1994 with a live mix and no overdubs, you're sure to either enjoy or be repulsed by it. Either way, Love Butter will have succeeded in its twisted musical mission.