“I was in the back by the bar talking to a friend when they announced our category.” Dylan Wills plays bass in the Suicide Chords. “I got out my phone and got ready to video our band name if it came up on the Jumbotron. But when they announced the award went to Author & Punisher, I said to my friend, ‘I’ll be right back.’ I grabbed my beer, and I headed for the stage.”
The Suicide Chords, a romance-metal band, was nominated for Best Hard Rock Album for A Process of Self Worth at the 23rd annual San Diego Music Awards at Humphreys on October 16. But Author & Punisher got the win in the same category for Women and Children.
“When I got up there, the girl handed me the trophy. I grabbed it, and I stepped up to the microphone and I said, ‘Nah, nah, nah. No disrespect. No disrespect to Author & Punisher. But Suicide Chords is the best hard-rock album of the year.’ Then I looked down at the audience. I said, ‘I’m Kanye.’”
At first, the three other members of the Suicide Chords were unaware that their bassist was in the process of hijacking an award. “We were all still at the bar and we looked up at the Jumbotron,” drummer Clay Hackett says, “and we said, ‘Man, that guy sure looks like Dylan. Wait a minute — that is Dylan!’”
Wills says that when he walked back down off the front of the stage he was told to turn around and exit backstage instead. “I’m thinking, I’m busted now, but no. They’re all saying congratulations and the photographer is taking pictures. So I started kissing the trophy and licking it, and he started snapping away. He says, ‘Good job Rex.’ And I’m thinking, like, Are these gonna be evidence photos? and Who’s Rex? Is he the Author & Punisher guy?”
Author & Punisher is Tristan Shone, a one-man doom-industrial metal performer. “He builds his own instruments. He really shouldn’t be in the hard-rock category. Maybe industrial,” Clay Hackett says, “but not hard rock.”
Did anyone call to correct the mistake or, at the very lest, to complain about the heist? No. “If the SDMA people call and say we gotta give it back, I’ll probably just shine them on. But if they really push the issue, we’ll make sure the trophy is in every video we do and every picture we take, like the Travelocity gnome. But if the Author & Punisher dude calls, I’ll give it to him. I didn’t take it to burn him. I took it because we are the best hard-rock band. I’d say, ‘Man, let’s get a beer, maybe collaborate on a song: “Dylan Stole My Shit.”’”