Marilyn Manson isn’t scary, Satanic metal bands aren’t really scary, most goth rockers and gangster rappers don’t bother us. Odd Future and Cannibal Corpse don’t even make us nervous. We’re seasoned music journalists here at MTV Iggy. But there are still some people making music out there who we’re not at all ashamed to say scare the crap out of us. We’re not saying their music creeps us out. They scare us as people. Many musicians are arguably more dangerous than these ten, but these are the people who give us nightmares, each in their own special way, and remind us there’s a thin line between genius and criminal insanity. Happy Halloween.
10. Dan Deacon
We’ve heard about what goes on at Dan Deacon shows with all the audience participation and whatnot and his whole scene sounds like a dangerous cult. Just look at this music video. Sure, it seems like a fun, artsy project by some cool, positive kids. But what are all those signs and symbols? Wake up, sheeple! He is obviously trying to program America’s youth for sinister purposes. Someone is clearly singing backwards on this track. Mark our words, Deacon is the most dangerous man in Baltimore.
9. Diamanda Galas
Galas can make her voice sound like the gates of Hades are opening up and all the demons and damned souls are coming above ground because their football team lost. On the one hand most of her songs are actually super sensitive/smart stuff about how capital punishment is a huge problem that needs fixing and also the AIDS crisis, but we would be scared to be alone in a room with her. What if she did that thing with her vocal chords at close range? We could I have a heart attack and die and it would be the perfect crime. This clip is an oldie but a goodie. Look at Jon Stewart!
8. Blood on the Dance Floor
We asked our Facebook followers who scared them and they reminded us about Blood on the Dance Floor. We had tried to block them and this icky, terrifyingly nonsensical video out of our memories. Followers, you’ve forced our hands. The rest of you, we’re truly sorry, because you won’t be able to unknow this evil. “Bewitched” is basically the music video equivalent of The Room, because the only coherent elements are misogyny and sucking. We sleep less easily knowing these manchildren are out there somewhere.
7. Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is scary for numberless reasons. But most of all because her dead-eyed demeanor and apparently meaningless lyrics make us start thinking all that crazy shit on Vigilant Citizen about mind control and the music industry is true after all. Maybe that’s why the “epic” music video/half-baked fashion editorial for “Ride” is so impossibly grating. Subliminal messages are just commercials you can’t skip.
6. Takehisa Kosugi
Takehisa Kosugi is a world renowned experimental musician and composer associated with the Fluxus movement. All of this is well and awesome. But he has this one composition in a performance art/experimental music genre known as “danger music” that gives us the willies. The piece “Music for a Revolution” instructs the performer to “Scoop out one of your eyes 5 years from now and do the same with your other eye five years later.” Happily, we couldn’t find any video of this.
5. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Most of the time we feel like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is just super adorable and so fashion forward she’s practically a time traveler. But it’s just better not to think too hard when we watch her videos. Like, seriously, this might be her least weird video and it is killing my brain. She has creepy faceless back-up dancers and then the moon barfs pink goo on her. What is going on?
4. Boyd Rice
Boyd Rice makes experimental/noise music and hangs out with white supremacists and was total bros with late Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. He skeevs us out for a lot of reasons, including his dabbling in fascist nonsense/imagery. He wraps it all in some pretty astounding BS, but we have categorical proof that he’s one of the scariest asshats in the underground: Dude had a tiki bar for about a year.
3. Phil Spector
More like Phil Spectre, amirite? The gun-toting record producer and songwriter has a conviction for shooting actress Lana Clarkson and, according to ex-wife Ronnie and historical record, he imprisoned The Ronettes singer in his mansion and threatened to kill her if she ever left. There’s so much more. He might be behind bars, but it still sends a shiver down the spine whenever I hear “Be My Baby,” which is awful because that song is the best thing ever.
2. Vybz Kartel
Don’t get us wrong, we all love Kingston Story. And we’re not terrified of Jamaican dancehall artist Vybz Kartel because of those two murder charges he in jail for. It’s that Vice, of the perma-smirk and calcified tough-guy stance, thinks he’s scary. And maybe it’s the tension in the song itself, but Kartel’s suave sang froid in the “Go Go Wine” video is a little bit chilling.
1. Varg Vikernes
It’s hard to pick just one black metal dude as a scary nuts exemplar. Okay, no it’s not. Varg Vikernes. He’s a seminal figure in Norwegian black metal and a white supremacist who denies being a white supremacist. He went to prison for a long time after being convicted of murdering his Mayhem bandmate Euronymous and burning down some Medieval churches. The fact that it’s all a very long story involving a lot of other heavily armed suicidal/homicidal metal heads does not make him less of a nutcase. Since his release from prison he has continued to release critically acclaimed music under his solo band name Burzum.
This, coupled with his insane anti-Semitic rantings in the wake of the terrorist attack in Norway, has met with some disgust from the metal community. The only mitigating factor is that, last we heard, he was living in seclusion, safely away from other people, which is best for all concerned.
And then there’s this outtake from the documentary Until the Light Takes Us: