Sludgehammer Fights Back — So Can You!


Have you ever thought punk music isn't confrontational enough? Between circle pits, sub-culture infighting and a generally offensive stance, I suppose more aggression could be a good thing (sarcasm).

Eric Burstyn actually agrees -- punk music has just calmed down too much. He fronts Sludgehammer, an aggressive trio out of Brooklyn. And he will fight you. For real. During shows.

Well, OK, mostly it's really intense wrestling. But by all reports Burstyn's live energy and theatrics is a sight to behold. The hammer falls tonight at Legion (790 Metropolitan Ave.). Come get rocked. In the face.

Burstyn explains.

Why anyone would want to do this:

It’s fun. I think a lot of bands, in particular punk bands, are too non-confrontational and they’re just really boring. So I try to rile people up, give people their money’s worth, entertain people. If you’re watching car accidents, why not be part of a car accident?

What it takes to pull off a show:

I think to be a worthwhile entertainer, you either have to be really talented technically, or really great songs. And I’m not really technically talented and I think the songs I’m writing specifically, I don’t think they’re anything special, so I’ve got to bring it in some other way. I mean, the songs are pretty good, I like the songs.

Crowd reactions to being physically assaulted:

A show I played recently, at one point this guy grabbed me and put me in a headlock and was trying to ram my head into a wall. We had to get broken up. And then later I talked to him and we were friends. He started showing me self-defense moves.

There have been a couple times when I’ve come close to being beat up. This one time I tackled this girl and her boobs popped out of her shirt. And her boyfriend grabbed me and pulled up a fist and he was huge. But then he let the fist go. He could have killed me.

The most recent show, I played at Trash Bar, where no one really showed up. There were all these other guys there from this band called The Rumblers, these hot rod dudes, all these stocky guys from Queens. They were really nice. So I thought, these guys are cool, they didn’t seem to be bothered by me humping them or whatever. They were throwing me around a lot. One guy pushed me down and was wrapping a microphone cord around my mouth. It was a little macho. At one point, this guy threw me and I landed on a trash can and hurt my leg really bad. Just hit the ground, get back up, do it again.

Versatility of equipment:

I had a friend make me a mic cord that’s 30 feet long. Pair that with the house mic and I can get out into the crowd about 50 feet. Sometimes I can even leave the room that I’m performing in.

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