A Band in Bondage

Postshow arrest leaves Eroticide feeling down and out in Mesa

Being arrested was humiliating enough. Being hauled off to the police station in full stage attire--which for Eroticide singer Charles Delk means wearing a black leather restraining mask and a latex phallus that would induce penis envy in a snake--was more than he could stomach.

"I was dragged off to the police station in costume with a big boner and everything," Delk says, recounting the events that ensued after a recent show at the Nile Theater. "People were gawking and making comments about how sick and twisted the show was."

The Mesa Police Department had been trailing Eroticide for eight months after a lurid flier found in a fan's car prompted suspicion that the band's performances contained sexually explicit material. Then on Friday, August 1, 35 law enforcers--15 in plainclothes--stormed the Nile to catch the members of Eroticide with their pants down.

They were not disappointed.
At 10:45, band members took their places behind an ebony banner that read "Eat, Fuck, Kill." As the banner lurched to the floor, a green mist parted, revealing a nightmarish spectacle. At stage left, a woman was suspended by her ankles from wooden gallows. Thick chain links appeared to cut into her flesh. Upstage, two female dancers minimally clad in patent leather hugged and kissed and occasionally squirted each other with a substance that might have been mayonnaise.

In the center of the action, Delk stood bare-assed. Custom-made contact lenses made his eyes look milky white, and fake blood glistened through the holes of his leather garb. A modern-day S&M Romeo, Delk sauntered toward a rubber vagina the size of a mako's jaw (this thing's evil--it's got teeth), buried an arm deep inside and extracted a bloody doll. As another song kicked in (Eroticide churns out droning death metal which serves as a perfect backdrop for its theatrics), Delk reached for a hunting knife and--in true Gwarlike fashion--sawed off his phallus.

As if Delk hadn't racked up enough Brownie points with the fuzz that night, he strapped on a new phallus, one with the mayo stuff in it, and simulated sex with the dancers.

Suddenly, a member of the audience mounted the stage. "What's your point?" he said into the microphone. "What does all this mean?" A short-fused Delk replied, "You have two seconds to get the fuck off the stage!" The man refused to leave, whereupon Delk punched him in the face and threw him off the stage.

Delk said later, "I'm kind of in another world onstage. I can't see out of those contact lenses at all, and I heard this guy protesting and didn't know where he was. Finally, when I told him to get off the stage and he didn't listen, I gave him a push. When he came back at me, I floored him."

When Delk exited the stage, he was cuffed by a police officer. "At first, I was thinking it was this guy's dad retaliating for my decking his son," Delk says. "I was thinking, 'I'm gonna have to fight a big dad for making his son look stupid.' But then he threw handcuffs on me."

No charges were filed, but Delk, drummer Joel Whitfield, bassist Troy Mulder and guitarists Phil Hampson and Steve Jasinski, plus several dancers and stage techs, were arrested and held in custody for several hours at the Mesa Police Station before being released with no bail required.

Mike Lira-Pino, Eroticide's production manager, claims his rights were violated. "I was getting ready for the last song to end when an officer grabbed me by the hair and threw me out in front," he says. "I went to the back to see my wife, a dancer in the show, and they had arrested her. There was no notification, no rights were explained, nothing. It was a total destruction of rights, a total bad example.

"Besides," he adds, "the girls were all of age, they were fully clothed and they had latex around the nipples to prevent secretions, which is all in accordance with the law."

Then why were they arrested? According to detective Lisa McWilliams, one of the two case agents in charge of the investigation, after observing the band for almost a year, the Mesa Police Department "determined that Eroticide was not a good thing for minors to be seeing." McWilliams says the band violated Arizona's obscenity statutes, which prohibit "furnishing obscene or harmful items [including live performances] to minors." The band has yet to be charged, pending a decision by the County Attorney's Office. Meanwhile, band props confiscated from the show remain in the hands of the police.

One show at the Nile left a lasting impression on McWilliams: "The singer simulated intercourse with a rubber vagina, then pulled a bloody doll out of the vagina and ate the umbilical cord," she recalls. "He masturbated [in a simulated way], ejaculating all over [women posing as] nuns, and simulated having intercourse with them. Then he took another dildo with spikes on it and simulated intercourse with a baby doll. Even with a 21-and-up crowd, he still would be violating Arizona statutes."

Corey Adams, who promotes the majority of the Nile's shows, says he had passed on Eroticide. In fact, when the band was being hauled off to the clinker, he was fast asleep at his parents' house.

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