Halloween is when babies in reflector vests go "Twick or tweat" and smiling neighbors ask, "And what are you supposed to be, little girl?"
The night before Halloween, however, is when the freaks come out. It's when the paint-huffers with missing fingers limp down the street in search of discarded furniture to rub against and neighbors, with their backs against the front door, cry out, "Why won't you leave us alone?" And yes, it'll get even weirder when Sweat Records hosts lo-fi psych kings Black Moth Super Rainbow at the Stage on Devil's Night.
Tom Fec is the mastermind behind all things BMSR, as well as a solo artist who records even stranger sounds under the moniker Tobacco. And Fec's exactly the sort of guy with whom you'd want to get spooky. So... trick or treat, Tobacco?
"The only trick I ever did," Fec tells us from his ghoulish compound in Greater Pittsburgh, "went far beyond Halloween. My next-door neighbors were these born-again Christians, and they really annoyed the shit out of me. So every day for three or four months, I took one egg and threw it on their roof."
See, Fec was able to extend Halloween from a night to a full season. Take that, Chanukah. But what did the neighbors say?
"They're like, 'Why do we have all these eggs coming from this one direction?' They were coming over the trees, and the way they were splattering, you didn't have to be a detective.
"My parents just grounded me. It was only eggs, and those shits wash off."
But for that crime, Fec wasn't permanently confined to his room, rattling a tin cup against the bars of his crib till the day he moved out. There were plenty of Halloweens when he dressed up and wreaked havoc in the streets.
"I usually just tried to create my own monster guy character," Fec says. "I love, like, shitty latex masks, the ones that are kind of thin and bad. I never liked the idea of wearing a costume. Not the stupid mask that goes with the shirt.
"Probably my favorite costume is the one I made for our record label. And I'm allowed to say this because I'm Italian... But it's this Italian guy with this giant mustache, pockmarks, and it's really fucking gross."
It's also the mascot of sorts for the record label, Rad Cult, that Fec created to release his albums. Needless to say, it's the mask equivalent of a little black dress for weirdos everywhere.
"It goes with anything," Fec attests, like some kind of strait-jacketed Tim Gunn. "You can go out in it with nothing but underwear or really little shorts. Or if you're not crazy, you could wear it with your everyday clothes."
That's less crazy?
"It all depends."
Best of luck finding your own, though. "I got it on tour with the Flaming Lips, and it's the only one I've ever seen, and I don't want to fuck it up, since I use it for the logo."
Now, as Fec and Black Moth Super Rainbow will be in Miami for Halloween, they might haunt your doorstep and demand some candy. So you better stock up on sweets. But what does a BMSR freak like to eat?
"It's a toss-up," Fec says. "I don't mind Bit-O-Honey. I guess I really like the Tootsies. I haven't had either in a while."
Pennies or an apple with a razor blade in it?
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"Pennies. Because the apple is a little dirty. But if you knew the razor was in there and you had something to do with it, I'd take the apple."
Anything we should avoid so our roof doesn't get turned into an undercooked omelet?
"Honestly, I hate popcorn. Old popcorn in a bag. Old popcorn balls. We got that shit all the time. I would take an apple over that."