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Chris Sawicki has this burning desire to light up a room.
They don’t call it death metal for nothing. Indianapolis four-piece band Church Tongue had a penchant for setting guitarist Chris Sawicki on fire in the middle of some heavy riffs.
Music blogs have called the stunt “dangerous” and “dumb,” which is to say quite gnarly and cool, with Axl Rosenberg of Metal Sucks declaring that Church Tongue—who also “blow,” by the way—will only achieve minor notoriety as “‘That band with that dude who set himself on fire’ and then will be called nothing because everyone will have forgotten about them.”
The band itself, which currently has more press materials than music videos, used their online exposure to drum up publicity for their friends’ projects. (You can listen to one of their own brutalizing songs, “Eyecon,” over on MediaFire.)
Strangely, Sawicki is no longer listed as a member in Church Tongue’s Twitter or Facebook bios. That’s just how fast the music industry moves in the midwest, folks: One minute you’re in flames, the next you’re going solo.
Sawicki was ambivalent about the whole thing, tweeting at critics and diehard fans alike.
@truestofchill that’s totally fine.
— Hand Me A Beer (@ChrisSawicki23) March 18, 2015
If you have a problem with my friends being set on fire, you clearly haven’t met my friends.
— Mitch Vice (@mitchvice) March 17, 2015
Just the sort of schisms and infighting you’d expect from any hardcore rock niche, but let’s not forget what really matters at the end of the day: an all-consuming sense of nihilism.
Fucking light me on fire and don’t put me out. Fuck my life.
— Hand Me A Beer (@ChrisSawicki23) March 17, 2015
Hot take, bro.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'