Bratwurst give meaty performance at HomegrownIf you’ve seen Bratwurst perform, you can understand why the longtime band is allowed certain options not open to most bands during Homegrown Music Festival.
By: Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune
If you’ve seen Bratwurst perform, you can understand why the longtime band is allowed certain options not open to most bands during Homegrown Music Festival.
Bratwurst gets to pick its time slot: It must be the last show of the night because things get messy.
And it gets to pick its venue, because only a few bars will have the band.
That’s what happens when raw meat plays a starring role in a band’s industrial rock show.
“It’s far more performance art than music,” front man Tyler Scouton said.
Bratwurst plays at 12:30 tonight at RT Quinlan’s Saloon. Bad Miranda and Duck Duck Punch play earlier in the night.
Bratwurst started about 12 years ago playing computerized music and creating enough catchy songs to play a coffee shop, bar or house party.
“Then I got bored,” Scouton said.
He filled a teddy bear with baggies of liver and meat spread. Then, during the show at a record store, he took a bat to it.
“All the meat came out and people went wild,” he said. “I kept adding goofy things to (the performance).”
Scouton balled up a handful of raw meat during last year’s Homegrown, squeezed it above his head then rubbed it into his face, where it hung in chunks.
He had packets of meat inside his coat, and meat oozed from his chest.
Scouton banged on a garbage can, incorporated a cackling doll and cranked up a power saw. The prop-filled stage included a mannequin head, a street sign and wheels. Commercials for Hormel chili played on a screen behind the stage.
In the past decade of meat play, he’s learned a few things.
“Beef livers,” Scouton said. “You can wring them out like a beef sponge.”
Also: Forget about pig ears.
“I didn’t realize how hairy they were, and they had ear wax,” he said.
He prefers fresh, seasonal meat for performances. A few years ago Bratwurst threw smelt around the Main Club in Superior.
This year’s show, which features Jason Ratajek, Ben Tryon and Brennan Atchison, will have a new introduction and a few new instruments, including 50-gallon barrels and scaffolding.
Bratwurst regularly plays Homegrown, but other gigs are few and far between. Scouton said it takes a lot to recover.
“I’m sore for a solid week,” he said. “Every ounce of energy I’ve had is spent on that show.”