Canonizing Carnage

What do you call a guy who's old enough to remember "when Andre the Giant was skinny," but still puts on stage makeup and sings in a heavy-metal band?

Prophet, of course. He's the ringleader of local "carnimetal" band St. Madness. And he's stoked because he and his bandmates -- Altar Boy, Mad Marvin, Uno Mosh and Dark Soul -- are going to be playing at Glendale Arena before the June 11 Rage in the Cage extreme fighting event. Prophet, a "looongtime fan" of the WWE, thinks the marriage of maiming and metal works well.

"Our style of music fits that event," says Prophet. "We look like an evil KISS, but we sound like a mix between Pantera, Slayer and Black Sabbath."

St. Madness' music is filled with ominous, chugging power chords and brutally thunderous drums, but it's still fun and games even when someone puts an eye out. Special "guests" such as Satan, Carl the Clown, Evil Elvis, the Grim Reaper, and screaming nutcases in straitjackets tend to pop up in the crowd at St. Madness shows, and previous performances have included silly string, beach balls, strippers, monks, vampires and nurses.

"Our show is nutty," Prophet says. "It's like heavy-metal theater."

Nutty or not, St. Madness' music has been taken seriously enough to net the band gigs with the likes of Van Halen, The Misfits, King Diamond, Flotsam & Jetsam, Monster Magnet, and Fates Warning. California punk band Guttermouth even covered "Sexual Abuse" from St. Madness' God Bless America album for a cover compilation called Punk Goes Metal.

St. Madness' fifth album, Vampires in the Church, was just released on Nasty Prick Records, and the band plans to play several tracks from its new album at the show, including the fortuitously named song "Rage," which consists of relentless thrash-metal guitar strumming with Prophet screaming the word "rage" over and over on top of the sonic barrage. Prophet originally wrote the tune as a potential theme song for a friend who was trying to get into the WWE stable with the name Jason Rage. Jason didn't make the cut, but St. Madness will still get to realize "Rage" on an arena stage.

For the big show, St. Madness also plans to play a "Southwestern, Southern metal song" called "Arizona."

"It's a great honor. We get to play our song 'Arizona' for Arizona people in the biggest arena," says Prophet.

The band also plans to play the Pantera song "Walk" in tribute to former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was shot and killed onstage at a show in Ohio last December.

Beyond that, who knows? There might be some "blood" drinking, maybe some balloons, a little simulated murder and lots of moshing to songs like "We're All Going to Hell" and "Love's Butcher Shop."

Although St. Madness plans to rock Glendale Arena, Prophet won't be posing on the cover of Rock Star Monthly any time soon. Because seriously, he doesn't take himself seriously.

"It's all about entertainment," Prophet says. "We're not wanting to be rock stars. I'm too old to be cool. I just get up there and have fun. When people come to a St. Madness show, we want to give people a mental vacation. Hopefully, they walk away going, 'What the hell just happened?'"