Rat Bastard and Scraping Teeth Are Back for The Worst Band in America Tour 2012

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Scraping Teeth's Rat Bastard at his home studio in Miami Beach.
Hellish hiss and skull-splitting feedback explodes into a swirlingly atonal shit-cloud of expertly terrible guitar noise, erratic yet superprecise drum strikes, droning bass, garbled shrieks, and totally indecipherable lyrical chatter. That's the sound of Scraping Teeth. And it's the fucking worst.

No, really. Almost 20 years ago, Spin Magazine launched an anti-talent search, asking bands all across the country, "Do You Suck?" And immediately, hundreds of entries flooded the music mag's mailboxes like little gift-wrapped nuggets of excrement.

Some sucked. Others really sucked. But only Scraping Teeth sucked so bad that it was like giving head to a dude who's stuck on the shitter with diarrhea.

And ultimately, that's why this self-described "confrontational rock" crew from Miami was finally named "The Worst Band in America" as part of a four-page spread titled "Cream of the Crap."

Explaining the selection in Spin's May 1993 issue, then-senior editor Mark Blackwell expounded upon the "painfully boring' awfulness of Scraping Teeth, writing, "The Teeth are bad ... Tiresome, effects-ridden guitar and weak vocals from Rat Bastard. Flat, plodding bass and weak vocals from Fishfungus. Out-of-sync, sloppy drums and weak screaming from Dimthingshine. And, unlike many of the entrants, they're a real band, not a joke -- three years old and still suck."

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Scraping Teeth's Broken Record plaque, received for being The Worst Band in America.

It was a major accomplishment for Rat, Fish, and Dimthing. After winning (or losing?) the magazine's crap contest, they were personally presented with a Broken Record plaque by Blackwell, Spin publisher and Penthouse scion Bob Guccione Jr., and ad man Fred McIntyre. They even scored a $500 cash prize. ("We just gave it to Dimthing," Mr. Bastard remembers. "He spent it on digital drums after his kit got stolen.") But most importantly, they would be known forever as the Worst.

"We were actually playing way before that whole thing, though," Rat interjects. "Back in the late '80s, there was another lineup with Flex and A.J. Mazzeti. That was the original Scraping Teeth. And it was the lineup that opened for the Flaming Lips at the Cameo Theatre."

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Rat's endless wall of mementos, including a snapshot of the Cameo Theatre marquee from the night that Scraping Teeth scared the Flaming Lips outta town.

For Mr. Bastard, this late '80s gig, warming up a dangerously wasted South Beach crowd for Wayne Coyne and crew, was probably the moment when his band finally matured as a brilliant turd. "We ripped through a two-hour set and the Lips were in another world," he says, snorting. "I don't know how long were supposed to play! But we just kept going. And actually, we weren't even on the stage. We were on the floor. And there were these girls dancing onstage behind a white sheet. They were all on acid or whatever."

Location Info


Churchill's Pub

5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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