As reported by ViceNews
Before he killed nine people in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday, Connor Betts was deeply involved in the misogynistic, male-dominated “goregrind” or “pornogrind” extreme metal music scene. It has a regional following in the Midwest and is known for sexually violent, death-obsessed lyrics and dehumanizing imagery depicting women.
Over the past year, the 24-year-old shooter occasionally performed live vocals in the band Menstrual Munchies, which released albums titled “6 Ways of Female Butchery” and “Preeteen Daughter Pu$$y Slaughter,” with cover art showing the rape and massacre of female bodies. He also performed with a group called Putrid Liquid.
Now one of Betts’ bandmates, Jesse Creekbaum, 25, is taking the recordings down. He says he’s removing them out of fear the vulgar music he produced will make a cult hero out of the murderer, who was killed by police at the scene. He’s also received death threats online because of his association with Betts.
Creekbaum, who has been writing and recording music under the name Menstrual Munchies for more than five years, says he did it mostly as a joke and now is sickened that Betts apparently took it all seriously.
“I feel shitty having let him be in the band, doing those lyrics,” Creekbaum said. “Because I know, like, whereas I saw it as a joke — like, ‘Let’s play this and we’ll shock some people,’ and then the people that we know laugh — he didn’t see it as a joke. He was like, ‘Fuck, yeah. We’re gonna do this.’”
“It’s like, Jesus Christ, how much of this was like real life for him?” he said.
In addition to scrubbing the internet of the band’s recordings, Creekbaum is reaching out to anyone who has hosted his songs or videos to ask them to remove those, too.
“It’s like, Jesus Christ, how much of this was like real life for him?”
“I took it all down. I’m trying to get everyone I know to take all of it down,” he said. “I don’t want to be associated with it. I don’t want it blowing up. I don’t want him romanticized. I don’t want any of this romanticized. I want people to erase him from history.”
THE PORNOGRIND SCENE
The Midwest pornogrind scene exists in an obscure pocket of the larger grindcore genre and consists of a handful of bands who often play shows to each other or to small audiences. Even better-known bands in the genre writ large, such as Germany-based Cock and Ball Torture, have just thousands of Facebook fans.
Menstrual Munchies often performed with other regional acts like Necro Cannibal Ass Grinder, Bill Nye da Nazi Spy, and Cunt Torch, playing festivals like the Pornfieldz of Illinoise Grindfest or a former venue in Columbia, Missouri, called UPS — Under the Porn Shop, named for its location beneath the Venus Adult Megastore, owned by the mother of fellow scenester Zach Walton, of the band Groin Mallet.
In a phone interview, Walton, who has booked Menstrual Munchies at that venue, said the pornogrind scene is tight-knit and that he and his friends have been devastated to learn what Betts did. But he doesn’t believe the content of the music contributed in any way to his actions.
“It’s just the music we love, you know, like, it’s fun to play. It’s energetic and there’s nothing else like it. So we play it,” Walton, 29, said. “And then we get people like this, who, you know, are fucking sick in the head, who get into our scene and ended up killing nine people and almost, you know, putting a bad name on our scene. And that’s not fair for the rest of us.”
Betts was not involved in any of the writing or recording and only performed as a live vocalist for Menstrual Munchies. Nevertheless, Creekbaum said he removed the band’s Facebook, Bandcamp and YouTube pages from the web. But a saved version of the Bandcamp page found on the Internet Archive reveals the sexually violent and demeaning album titles and artwork.
Creekbaum says he feels conflicted: On the one hand, he believes music and art do not cause people to commit murder, but on the other hand, he feels guilty for having associated with someone who carried out violence similar to the kind he portrayed in his songs.
Creekbaum said he contacted the Dayton police immediately after hearing the news, but said they hadn’t replied to him, although he said the FBI visited his home on Monday to interview him.
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