Houston Music

Fanged: Houston Rockers Brawl With Self-Proclaimed Vampire On Tour

Maybe the band should have expected strange things to happen when they headed out on tour with Hollywood Undead. Considering their own name, American Fangs, this couldn't have come as a complete shock. Because it sounds more like something that would happen in an episode of HBO's True Blood.

Last week the Houston alt-rockers were winding their way through the upper Midwest with masked L.A. men Hollywood Undead when several members of their five-piece band were involved in an altercation with a fan outside the La Crosse Center in western Wisconsin. According to the La Crosse Tribune, a 23-year-old man assaulted a guitarist for Hollywood Undead after throwing a barricade through the window of that band's tour bus. Fangs guitarist Nik Slimp was roughed up in the ensuing scuffle, and wound up chipping a tooth.

Oh, and one more thing. The alleged assailant, one Scott Mehtala, reportedly told police he was a vampire and asked to see one sympathetic-looking officer's tattoo. Perhaps more pertinently, Mehtala told police he was high on heroin and had a blood-alcohol content of .12, the Tribune said.

Fangs lead singer Gabriel Cavazos remembers Mehtala as a large, "pretty intimidating" fellow. He says the band had already played their set that night, and Slimp and two other guitarists in the band were outside the venue changing clothes when they spied Mehtala apparently trying to break into the Hollywood Undead tour bus.

"They tried to calm him down, and he sucker-punched one of them, and the other two got to him and beat him up," Cavazos told Rocks Off Tuesday on the way to that evening's Fangs/Undead show in Clifton Park, N.Y..

Slimp is doing fine now, the singer adds, likening the battered guitarist's post-brawl appearance to the title character of '80s B-horror movie The Toxic Avenger.

"Actually today is the first day we're like, 'Wow, you don't look like total crap," says Cavazos. "He looked like the Toxic Avenger. His face was pretty banged up. He had to have a tooth grinded down because one of his teeth were chipped from the punch.

"But it was good," he adds. "After the fact we couldn't stop laughing."

Once again the moral of the story, Cavazos agrees, is "drugs are bad."

The singer says he was actually inside watching Hollywood Undead when all the vampire excitement happened. He says he enjoys mingling with fans after the group performs. Inside the arena, he chuckles about his vampire-fighting bandmates, "is where they should have been."

I was [wondering], "Where are the guys at?" and our bass player comes in covered in blood," recalls Cavazos. "He was like, 'You won't believe what happened.'"

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray