Boxers and Blisters: an interview with Y-Incision's Michaelous Cage
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
On March 2nd of 2019, Y-Incision kicked off the Flux Amuck The Alternate album release show. After all was said and done for the night, the question still rippled between bandmates and crowd members alike: “Holy shit, did you see Y-Incision? What WAS that???” Well, we found out exactly what after their set. Brian, Brandon, and I joined a pantsless Michaelous Cage at his merch table for the following:
BRIAN: What’s it like doing a show in your underwear?
MICHAELOUS: It’s liberating, naw, it’s awesome. It’s just an extra thing to bring to it. We’re obviously influenced by grindcore is kind of the main thing. But all of us love gore-grind, porno-grind, so like those sub-genres of grindcore. And that stuff can get pretty gory and pretty sexual so we kind of like to put that element in there too. We were already told a couple of times that this is the tamest show they have seen from us in a while. We get even more ridiculous. Yeah, because we didn’t have any dildos tonight, I didn’t show my junk to anybody, so.
BRIAN: Well, shit, why not? Hope it wasn’t on our account.
MICHAELOUS (CONT.): No way, no way. [Michaelous digs through a box for an XL shirt to accommodate a patron]. We try not to get political or anything like that, but it tends to come out sometimes. But main theme here is fun. Just having fun, being crazy, being wild. On the flip-side, everybody is extremely sensitive anymore so it is like, in a way if there is going to be anything political about this band, it is going to be, “Fuck you.” Just be proud of who you are. You don’t need no sympathy, you don’t need to be a victim. Just be proud of who you are, and if no one likes it, fuck ‘um. So there are two sides to it: It can be political if you want it to be, it can be social awareness if you want it to be. But if you just want to have a good fucking time, you can do that too.
JEREMY: So typically, there’s a divide between and person and a persona, so like masturbating on stage, in your underwear, covered in blood. But here you are at the merch table still in your underwear, you haven’t bothered to put on pants, so I’m assuming that there is not a lot of divide between person and persona.
MICHAELOUS: Probably not. I never really thought about it like that. It’s a part of like- I’ll speak for myself- I don’t know what Tim and Tony and Chris, what gets them off about this band. But for me, personally, it is like really freedom, just being proud of who you are, and if you offend anybody, that’s their problem. And like doing an interview in my underwear at the merch table, yeah man-
JEREMY: That’s you!
MICHAELOUS: Yeah, I haven’t thought about that. But it seems like the longer this band keeps going, the more the people and the personas are becoming the same.
JEREMY: That’s interesting, so it’s like the band is seeping into you.
MICHAELOUS: Yeah, especially anymore. This band is my top priority, so.
JEREMY: I think that shows.
MICHAELOUS: Yeah, so I put everything I can into it. And I’m grateful for the other guys to be a part of it.
JEREMY: They don’t mind when you fuck with them all the time, so it works out.
MICHAELOUS: And they give it right back, too. I mean like, me and Tony, me grabbing his balls almost every fucking show, that’s just become an every show ritual.
JEREMY: Par for the course. If you’re going to be on stage with Mike, you’re going to get your balls grabbed.
MICHAELOUS: Yeah, yeah! It could very well happen.
JEREMY: You got a pretty gnarly blister on your thumb there.
MICHAELOUS: Oh, yeah, that’s from masturbating. No, actually from shoveling snow. Shoveling snow for the past couple of weeks. You get the blisters there. I didn’t put gloves on, I was just like, this shit needs to get done! Then by the time I was done, I was like fuck, I forgot to put gloves on.
BRIAN: You guys have a split EP out with Rimjob.
MICHAELOUS: Rim-fucking-job! Yeah, these are our boys from Kansas City. We love these guys. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Karl Dahmer. He’s a pretty well-known artist, doing bands and stuff like that, so he is the lead vocalist for Rimjob. A plug to Karl Dahmer there. So, those are our friends from Kansas City, they got a gore-grind band going there.
BRIAN: So what is the advantage of doing a split EP?
MICHAELOUS: All-around it is just completely more advantageous, because everyone pulls in money- for us, like everyone pooled their money together, it costs everyone like 80-90 bucks. We went to AJ Kershner in town at Off-The-Record Studios. Not only that, but it’s cross-promotion. That’s what makes it really cool. Like whatever we sell, they are getting Rimjob’s name, and whatever they sell, they’re getting Y-Incision’s name, so it just works out better for everybody.
JEREMY: Who did the art for Disasturbator? [Y-Incisions previous release.]
MICHAELOUS: Karl Dahmer. Yeah, this is Dahmer’s stuff. That’s actually Dahmer’s design, too, but it’s just a high-definition still off a porn site. [Indicates toward a shirt on the table.]
BRIAN: That is a literal split penis.
MICHAELOUS: It is a surgically split penis and a vagina.
BRANDON (Slime and Grime photographer): A classic.
JEREMY: Is that where the band name comes from; Y-Incision?
MICHAELOUS: Actually, when we first started, we were just thinking grindcore we know, but we didn’t really know what directions it would take us. Y-Incision was just a cool name and it hadn’t been taken- we googled it- no one’s used it, and we are kind of all about gore and all that stuff too. So we just wanted to stick with that, with the autopsy thing. But what really influenced our sexual side was Rimjob. Rimjob has had a major influence on this band. I cannot say that enough. Karl Dahmer is one of my fucking heroes. So they really brought a lot of that sexual shit out of us. We have inspired each other, that’s for sure.
JEREMY: What do you guys got coming up?
MICHAELOUS: We got a 5-day tour in April. We got a couple shows in July. We got one in Dallas. We got a few other shows here and there. It’s shaping up to be pretty busy year already.
JEREMY: So are you Omaha-based?
MICHAELOUS: Anymore half of us are in Omaha, half of us Lincoln. Like we’ll say we’re a Lincoln band, but me and Chris live in Omaha, Tim and Tony live in Lincoln. So Omaha-slash-Lincoln.
JEREMY: You got anymore shows coming up around here?
MICHAELOUS: Our next show will be after our 5-show run in April. We’re due down in Wichita and Denver, then Sioux Falls, Minneapolis, then here. So our next show here is April 23rd at the Lookout. We’re shooting a music video. We already got half of it and the intro done. Then on April 23rd at the Lookout, we’ll finish shooting it at that show. So we’re kind of marketing that show as the music video shoot show. I’m really excited about that.
BRIAN: I like your “Stop breeding, start anal” T-shirt. So, what’s the story behind that?
MICHAELOUS: I think Tony came up with that. It just rings. I kind of think that came about because Tony is gay, so he will say stuff like that anyway. And I don’t want kids, at all, so I’m all about that too. It’s a win/win. Two members of Y-Incision are gay, so it is again, part of that attitude; freedom, be who you are, let it all hang out there, man. Just have fun. Just have fun. There’s a lot of sexual freedom in this band, if you can’t tell. So I really don’t know, it just has a good ring to it. And it stuck, it really stuck. Like people have requested this shirt- we had to make two orders of this shirt. People would be like, “You got any of those ‘stop breeding start anal’ shirts?’” And we got sick of saying we were out all the time, so we had to make another order then another order.
JEREMY: Thanks, this was awesome.
MICHAELOUS: Right on, guys. Thanks for checking us out. You guys have business cards?
JEREMY: Oh shit, we should get business cards!
MICHAELOUS: You should, those things work really well.
[Black Hole Sun plays over the PA as we depart. A subversive anal joke from the universe or coincidence? You decide.]