Live Evil: Psycroptic’s Todd Stern on Craziest Show, Dream Show and More

Psycroptic, 2019

Australian technical death-metal crew Psycroptic have been shredding out forward-thinking extreme music for the past 20 years and have played all sorts of concerts over that time — big, small, good, bad and ugly. The band has a slew of dates lined up for 2019, including the U.S. tour with Cannabis Corpse and Gorod noted below, in support of its stellar seventh album, As the Kingdom Drowns, released late last year via Prosthetic Records. Ahead of those shows, we talked to the group’s bassist and newest member Todd Stern about his first, worst, best and most insane gigs.

What was the first show you ever played?
Todd Stern Coffee House at Middletown High School North in Middletown, New Jersey, with [my band at the time] Counterfeit 20’s. Hilariously awful and lots of cover songs that we certainly couldn’t actually play.

What was your worst show?
Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey, with [my previous band] Abacinate, probably 2008. An all-day Battle of the Bands where you wait all day to play a 20 minute set and all of your equipment is completely fucked and you spend the whole set trying to fix it and end up playing one song.

What was your smallest show?
I have literally played shows in front of nobody apart from a sound guy and a bartender, COUNTLESS times. Thank you for making me admit that here. ☺

What was your biggest show?
Download Festival with Psycroptic in Melbourne just last year!!! SO SICK!!!

What would be your dream show?
This year’s Hell Fest in France!!! I’ve been so excited to play this fest ever since I first heard of it and now it’s finally happening! Seems surreal.