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The strangest band you’ve never heard of

By Sheroog Kubur, September 15 2022

For every band that takes themselves a little too seriously, there’s at least one band that revels in the absurd. Fetus Blasters are a local noise band that has gained somewhat of an audience in their short time on the scene. Their popularity seems to afflict those in tune with the local music scene — managing to fight their way onto CJSW’s chart list for several weeks and playing shows at Vern’s or house shows when applicable. For those who aren’t familiar with the scene, they seem nothing more than a bizarre band with a weird name and minute social media presence. Taking an dadaist approach to music, the group is more like an anti-band — emphasizing the importance of authenticity while maintaining that there is no deeper meaning to what they do. The group highlights that they prefer to only be interpreted on a surface level — deeper interpretations of their music and concept are not welcome in their world. 

The madness of the group is apparent before they even open their mouths. The lineup is fluid at best and comical at its worst — each individual track is composed of people who were offered a chance to work on the song, ranging from contributions like playing the triangle or drums to being present while recording the song. This means that while there are band members there isn’t a clear definition for Fetus Blasters as a band. There doesn’t seem to be a set crew, although the members that seem to be at the core are Atticus Mortimer, Marcus Bacon, Mark Weinstein and another local noise artist ctrl_alt_rock. Weinstein claims to not be a member but instead simply the manager, but the other members clarified that he sometimes nonconsensually fills in on drums, hence his presence. 

“I’d say there were about 20 members before I joined the band,” said ctrl_alt_rock about the lineup. “[Mortimer and Bacon] have a room where they record music, sometimes they bring in strangers, and they make a banger.”

As a band, their presence was loud. Members would shout over each other, take breaks to indulge in squid-flavoured snacks and demand being asked questions. Each response was weirder than the last, eventually divulging into tangentially related conversations about how the group came to be or what causes them to make the music that they do. 

“We are doing this music because we have the same dream and we are real,” ctrl_alt_rock explained. 

The dream in question is not simply one of making music, but instead a lucid dream involving Biblically-accurate angels bestowing the members with the concept of Fetus Blasters. 

“I had a lucid dream once, and I saw an entity that was taking the form of my aunt and my current mother,” explained Bacon. “She had arms, but it was a total of six sets of arms on each side, and she told me about Fetus Blasters. Also, everyone in the band had the same dream.” 

By piecing together the story amidst the attempts at explaining the prophetic dreams and inspiration behind the name, the tale is quite mundane given the build up— in 2016, Mortimer and Bacon started plugging soundbites from Mario Maker into the audio editing software Audacity until something sounded good. It eventually evolved to borrowing audio from YouTube and Drake songs until their sound was established. 

However, in a local music scene dominated by bands that are quickly becoming revered, pop stars that are redefining what pop music means and rappers that are using their music to make sense of the world around them, what makes Fetus Blasters stand out? Is it the fantastical song titles, brazen fursonas or absurdist presentation? 

When getting to know the group, it becomes immediately clear that they’re more like an inside joke than a band. The members revelled in the unexpected, incorporating performance elements to a simple sit-down interview — such as ctrl_alt_rock removing his Nirvana tee to reveal a Led Zeppelin one underneath, or Mortimer reciting My Chemical Romance lyrics when asked about his background in music, or Weinstein explaining the motif of fetuses and abortions or the continuous references to Deandre Crow. The band is a bad acid trip brought to life, and begrudgingly so. 

“We’re giving back to the YYC community with this band — the underground community, the furry community — without Atticus we wouldn’t give as much support to the furries,” said ctrl_alt_rock, unprovoked. 

Therein lies the absurdity of Fetus Blasters — they’re not a serious band. They make music and have products as proof of their creativity, but they’re nothing more than that. They’re a couple of friends who get together to make a song and occasionally engage in fantastical performances that are more comparable to performance art than genuine concerts. The members and their creations are real, but the band is nothing more than proof that if you’re desperate you can acquire an audience. 

If you manage to make it through the questionable album titles and aggressively-political song titles, their music is available digitally. They are famously anti-Spotify, so supporting them through Bandcamp would be the best option. However, parts of their catalogue can be found on Spotify and Apple Music. If you’re particularly lucky, you may also catch them outside of the Palomino Steakhouse handing out physical copies of their albums to people passing by.

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