Terminally Ill Are Terminal Jokesters
The Anaheim punk-rap outfit booked a show scheduled for May 26 at Slidebar and promoted it with a flier that read, "Please, no date rapes, no homeless," printed alongside the show details. When the band arrived for the gig, the club management told them it was no-go; the event was canceled.
"We were just trying to be funny and retarded, just like how we are, you know, and they didn't find it very funny, apparently," singer Ryan Risetter says. Indeed. Slidebar owner Jeremy Popoff confirmed that Terminally Ill have been blacklisted from the club, calling the group's smack-talk "beyond unprofessional" and "immature."
And it's not just that Fullerton venue. Unit B in Santa Ana won't book them either, Risetter says, because the management doesn't like that they say "fag" and "faggot" in many of their tunes.
The band insist this sort of language isn't hate speech. They use it to mock the North County/Inland Empire "909 Bro" culture--the main target in the band's breakout music video, "The Bro Anthem," which features the band cruising in raised pickup trucks, ripping bongs, getting jacked on Monster energy drinks chased with Extenze pills, and spouting lines such as "What's up, bro, sag your Dickies low, and we'll lift our fucking trucks about as high as they can go. We'll mob out to Glamis; we'll mob out to Havisu. We'll all mob out and get some Orange County tattoos."
It's some pretty funny shit, actually (trust me, YouTube it), and pissing people off has been the band's modus operandi since the very beginning. "The band's name is Terminally Ill, and that's already making fun of people who die," Risetter says. A valid point.
"When people see us, it's like, 'Oh, these white kids are going to rap. Are you fucking kidding me? Are they retarded?'" Risetter says. "If we don't make fun of ourselves immediately, then we come off as these kids who actually think they're hard."