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Lieutenant Facemelter: Major Air-Shredder

When the Reader spoke with Lieutenant Facemelter a year ago, shortly before the 2011 San Diego Regional U.S. Air Guitar Championships, the legendary San Diego–based air guitarist was talking quite the big game. So it was quite shocking when he chose to COMPLETELY BYPASS the San Diego stop after taking the grand prize at the Seattle stop prior to the event. For someone who is known to have a top secret training facility just off the shores of La Jolla, this was quite the metaphorical slap in the face for the San Diego Air Guitar Community, or SDAGC, as it is more commonly referred to.

In order to set the record straight, I met up with Lieutenant Facemelter at the same coffee shop where we chatted last year. He once again attempted to order a table keg of PBR prior to 9 a.m. and, once again, he was informed that not only does the coffee shop lack a liquor license, but that PBR still doesn’t come in the table keg variety. He then went on a 20-minute-long rant about how the phasing out of the party ball was the last great tragedy of the 20th century. Perhaps alcohol is a more preferable drug for this gentleman to indulge in than caffeine. We got down to business shortly there after.

R: So why do you hate San Diego so much? Why do you hate our freedom? Why don’t you just move up to Seattle if you like Seattle so much more than San Diego? You may be able to latch on to the tail end of the Grunge-Rock movement if you hustle back up there now. You think San Diego will care if you move? No one from the SDAGC even likes you anymore. Nobody attempts to swim to your top secret training facility anymore. The last reported attempt was in October 2011, and there is a rumor that guy was just making an excuse because he was too embarrassed to admit that he thought Mexico was west of the U.S.

LF: Now hold on a minute. The SDAGC and I have had our differences, but I'll always love the home town more than any other. Last year was an interesting predicament because I had an opportunity to party with America's premiere air band, Airpocalypse, during the same weekend of competition. So I traveled up to rock the PAC Northwest, drink whiskey out of a trunk, and set a few hearts on fire. Turns out Seattle is chalk full of closet Facemelter fans and I came home with a victory.  

R: What should the good people of San Diego expect from your performance this year? Are you going to grace the stage with an “I AM THE UNOFFICIAL FOURTH MEMBER OF NIRVANA” T-shirt? Is Facemelter going to be sporting a new flannel look for this appearance? Is there going to be some sort of logging theme incorporated into the proceedings? I’m surprised you aren’t more enthusiastic regarding the location of this interview, since Seattleites love their coffee shops.

LF: The flannel look is tempting and I DO love logging, but this year is going to be very different than years past. New style track. New style clothes. More ridiculous routine. People can expect the Facemelter they know and love, but on a whole new alcohol infused level. And just for the record, I hate coffee. Why aren't we at the Silver Fox? It's happy hour right now!

R: If you could do an air guitar routine which incorporated either “Touch Me I’m Sick” by Mudhoney or “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed into your routine, which would you choose?

LF: Creed is never the right answer when discussing air guitar.

R: Whaaaaa? Everyone knows that Creed was the more grunge-worthy act. It took me 10 years to get all the band members of Creed to sign this salmon-colored, not pink mind you, Creed tank-top which I still wear everyday. Do you think it looks good on me?

LF: The only thing Creed looks good in is a trash can.  

R: The SDAGC has imposed strict sanctions regarding your rumored appearance at the 2012 Air Guitar championships. How are you going to deal with how these may negatively affect your performance?

LF: Like I said before, I think the SDAGC and I are all right. We had a long talk over last year's debacle and they're welcoming me back with arms wide op— dammit! Now I have Creed stuck in my head. WHERE IS MY TABLE KEG?

R: Has your training regiment changed at all, or have you been sticking with PBR90X?

LF: I had a great run with PBR90X last year, but I grew out of it as I got in better shape. I've recently changed to Zumbeer and it's providing me with that new challenge I've been looking for.

R: How many faces are you expecting to melt this year? You know the odds-makers are low-balling you in Vegas for this event. Sad, tearful, betrayed faces are difficult to melt apparently. Why do you love to make the children cry, Lieutenant Facemelter?

LF: Vegas can suck my low balls for low-balling me. I'm not concerned with numbers. That's an amateur's game. The crowd will get their money's worth when I'm through with them. And don't give me that "love to make the children cry" crap. Kids love me. And by love I mean fear. And by fear I mean okay yea, I guess they do cry a lot.  

R: I am not sure if you were aware of this or not, but the monster stage at Soda Bar is approximately three-fourths of an inch lower than the monster stage at the Casbah. How are you expecting this to affect your performance?

LF: I'm not so much concerned about the stage as I am with the Street Fighter II machine they have on free play. There's a very real chance that if they call me to the stage when I'm locked in a fight with M. Bison, I might miss my chance to perform.

R: Did you get a chance to see any video of Six String General’s winning performance in San Diego from last year? If so, were you impressed at all with what you saw? Do you have any surprises up your sleeve for this year’s contest?

LF: I'm always impressed with what Six String brings to the stage. He's no stranger to the USAG circuit and I expect him to bring it just as hard as last year. I'd say I have a few surprises up my sleeve, but my shirt doesn't have any. So I guess there's a few in my pants.... Wait, that sounded bad.

R: Out of everyone you have witnessed strumming thine sacred air guitar in San Diego, who has impressed you the most?

LF: You can never put your finger on just one guy — there's always a plethora of talent here. I will say this - I am looking forward to the return of three rookie phenoms from last year. Mr. Fanstachetic, Shredgar Winter and the Jolly Green Shredding Machine all impressed with a top 5 showing last year and all are hungry for more.

R: Have you heard from Dr. Donald Flamenco lately? Have there been any new advances in the treatment of melted faces?

LF: The off-season doesn't lend itself to that many incidents, but Dr. F and I have had a few run-ins during practice sessions and the occasional wedding reception. Fortunately the technology is moving forward and we're seeing much quicker recoveries than ever before.

R: Describe the joy you felt when you initially melted Mickey Rourke’s face. Were you frightened at all by his facial reconstruction, courtesy of Dr. Donald Flamenco, which was featured in the surprise hit film “The Wrestler?”

LF: Mickey Rourke looks like his face caught fire and then someone tried to put it out with a screwdriver. I did that man a favor by melting it off, but he insisted it return to form, so naturally we contracted Dr. Flamenco. Regardless, it was an honor to add him to my list of celebrity facemelters.  

R: The Air Guitar Championship’s will coincide with another moderately sized San Diego event this year, Comic-Con. Do you think comic book nerds have what it takes to grace the stage of an air-guitar competition?

LF: Absolutely! In fact, I am working with 2008 World Champion and host of US Air Guitar, Hot Lixx Hulahan, and commander of the San Francisco Air Force, Tiger Claw, to pass out flyers on Thursday to encourage them to sign up to compete, or take in the action from the crowd.  

R: A final point worth mentioning, even though it is quite obvious when you think about it, is that Soda Bar serves no alcohol, only soda, just like the name implies. Are you expecting this to affect your performance in any way?

LF: (Lieutenant Facemelter flips the table we are chatting at over and storms away in a huff. I can only make out the words "unbelievable" and "no respect." He was later seen leaving the local 7-11 with a PBR tallboy and a bag of Cheetos.)

R: I was only joking about that soda part.

The San Diego Regional U.S. Air Guitar Championships will be held Thursday July 12 at the Soda Bar. More information can be found at usairguitar.com

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When the Reader spoke with Lieutenant Facemelter a year ago, shortly before the 2011 San Diego Regional U.S. Air Guitar Championships, the legendary San Diego–based air guitarist was talking quite the big game. So it was quite shocking when he chose to COMPLETELY BYPASS the San Diego stop after taking the grand prize at the Seattle stop prior to the event. For someone who is known to have a top secret training facility just off the shores of La Jolla, this was quite the metaphorical slap in the face for the San Diego Air Guitar Community, or SDAGC, as it is more commonly referred to.

In order to set the record straight, I met up with Lieutenant Facemelter at the same coffee shop where we chatted last year. He once again attempted to order a table keg of PBR prior to 9 a.m. and, once again, he was informed that not only does the coffee shop lack a liquor license, but that PBR still doesn’t come in the table keg variety. He then went on a 20-minute-long rant about how the phasing out of the party ball was the last great tragedy of the 20th century. Perhaps alcohol is a more preferable drug for this gentleman to indulge in than caffeine. We got down to business shortly there after.

R: So why do you hate San Diego so much? Why do you hate our freedom? Why don’t you just move up to Seattle if you like Seattle so much more than San Diego? You may be able to latch on to the tail end of the Grunge-Rock movement if you hustle back up there now. You think San Diego will care if you move? No one from the SDAGC even likes you anymore. Nobody attempts to swim to your top secret training facility anymore. The last reported attempt was in October 2011, and there is a rumor that guy was just making an excuse because he was too embarrassed to admit that he thought Mexico was west of the U.S.

LF: Now hold on a minute. The SDAGC and I have had our differences, but I'll always love the home town more than any other. Last year was an interesting predicament because I had an opportunity to party with America's premiere air band, Airpocalypse, during the same weekend of competition. So I traveled up to rock the PAC Northwest, drink whiskey out of a trunk, and set a few hearts on fire. Turns out Seattle is chalk full of closet Facemelter fans and I came home with a victory.  

R: What should the good people of San Diego expect from your performance this year? Are you going to grace the stage with an “I AM THE UNOFFICIAL FOURTH MEMBER OF NIRVANA” T-shirt? Is Facemelter going to be sporting a new flannel look for this appearance? Is there going to be some sort of logging theme incorporated into the proceedings? I’m surprised you aren’t more enthusiastic regarding the location of this interview, since Seattleites love their coffee shops.

LF: The flannel look is tempting and I DO love logging, but this year is going to be very different than years past. New style track. New style clothes. More ridiculous routine. People can expect the Facemelter they know and love, but on a whole new alcohol infused level. And just for the record, I hate coffee. Why aren't we at the Silver Fox? It's happy hour right now!

R: If you could do an air guitar routine which incorporated either “Touch Me I’m Sick” by Mudhoney or “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed into your routine, which would you choose?

LF: Creed is never the right answer when discussing air guitar.

R: Whaaaaa? Everyone knows that Creed was the more grunge-worthy act. It took me 10 years to get all the band members of Creed to sign this salmon-colored, not pink mind you, Creed tank-top which I still wear everyday. Do you think it looks good on me?

LF: The only thing Creed looks good in is a trash can.  

R: The SDAGC has imposed strict sanctions regarding your rumored appearance at the 2012 Air Guitar championships. How are you going to deal with how these may negatively affect your performance?

LF: Like I said before, I think the SDAGC and I are all right. We had a long talk over last year's debacle and they're welcoming me back with arms wide op— dammit! Now I have Creed stuck in my head. WHERE IS MY TABLE KEG?

R: Has your training regiment changed at all, or have you been sticking with PBR90X?

LF: I had a great run with PBR90X last year, but I grew out of it as I got in better shape. I've recently changed to Zumbeer and it's providing me with that new challenge I've been looking for.

R: How many faces are you expecting to melt this year? You know the odds-makers are low-balling you in Vegas for this event. Sad, tearful, betrayed faces are difficult to melt apparently. Why do you love to make the children cry, Lieutenant Facemelter?

LF: Vegas can suck my low balls for low-balling me. I'm not concerned with numbers. That's an amateur's game. The crowd will get their money's worth when I'm through with them. And don't give me that "love to make the children cry" crap. Kids love me. And by love I mean fear. And by fear I mean okay yea, I guess they do cry a lot.  

R: I am not sure if you were aware of this or not, but the monster stage at Soda Bar is approximately three-fourths of an inch lower than the monster stage at the Casbah. How are you expecting this to affect your performance?

LF: I'm not so much concerned about the stage as I am with the Street Fighter II machine they have on free play. There's a very real chance that if they call me to the stage when I'm locked in a fight with M. Bison, I might miss my chance to perform.

R: Did you get a chance to see any video of Six String General’s winning performance in San Diego from last year? If so, were you impressed at all with what you saw? Do you have any surprises up your sleeve for this year’s contest?

LF: I'm always impressed with what Six String brings to the stage. He's no stranger to the USAG circuit and I expect him to bring it just as hard as last year. I'd say I have a few surprises up my sleeve, but my shirt doesn't have any. So I guess there's a few in my pants.... Wait, that sounded bad.

R: Out of everyone you have witnessed strumming thine sacred air guitar in San Diego, who has impressed you the most?

LF: You can never put your finger on just one guy — there's always a plethora of talent here. I will say this - I am looking forward to the return of three rookie phenoms from last year. Mr. Fanstachetic, Shredgar Winter and the Jolly Green Shredding Machine all impressed with a top 5 showing last year and all are hungry for more.

R: Have you heard from Dr. Donald Flamenco lately? Have there been any new advances in the treatment of melted faces?

LF: The off-season doesn't lend itself to that many incidents, but Dr. F and I have had a few run-ins during practice sessions and the occasional wedding reception. Fortunately the technology is moving forward and we're seeing much quicker recoveries than ever before.

R: Describe the joy you felt when you initially melted Mickey Rourke’s face. Were you frightened at all by his facial reconstruction, courtesy of Dr. Donald Flamenco, which was featured in the surprise hit film “The Wrestler?”

LF: Mickey Rourke looks like his face caught fire and then someone tried to put it out with a screwdriver. I did that man a favor by melting it off, but he insisted it return to form, so naturally we contracted Dr. Flamenco. Regardless, it was an honor to add him to my list of celebrity facemelters.  

R: The Air Guitar Championship’s will coincide with another moderately sized San Diego event this year, Comic-Con. Do you think comic book nerds have what it takes to grace the stage of an air-guitar competition?

LF: Absolutely! In fact, I am working with 2008 World Champion and host of US Air Guitar, Hot Lixx Hulahan, and commander of the San Francisco Air Force, Tiger Claw, to pass out flyers on Thursday to encourage them to sign up to compete, or take in the action from the crowd.  

R: A final point worth mentioning, even though it is quite obvious when you think about it, is that Soda Bar serves no alcohol, only soda, just like the name implies. Are you expecting this to affect your performance in any way?

LF: (Lieutenant Facemelter flips the table we are chatting at over and storms away in a huff. I can only make out the words "unbelievable" and "no respect." He was later seen leaving the local 7-11 with a PBR tallboy and a bag of Cheetos.)

R: I was only joking about that soda part.

The San Diego Regional U.S. Air Guitar Championships will be held Thursday July 12 at the Soda Bar. More information can be found at usairguitar.com

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