GX Jupitter-Larsen recalls the formative moment in 1979 when he was kicked out of one punk band too many, ostensibly for not knowing how to play his guitar. "People at that time talked about punk like it was noise, but it was never noisy enough for me," he says, describing his attitude in founding the Haters. "At first, I had a rule that no one could be in the group if they knew how to play an instrument. But soon I just got rid of instruments altogether and just started smashing stuff onstage. Must have done some 100 shows around the world where we would show up, tell the club or bar we were a punk band, and instead of playing any music we would just smash our instruments. Then we started to smash the stage itself. Then we'd destroy the whole club."
The Haters managed to trash venues for a good 15 years before finally wearing out every single welcome in the contiguous lower 48. Antics such as feeding live mics through grinders, tearing up wired-for-sound Harlequin romances, amplifying records with sand glued to them, and spraying the audience with a static-electricity-building ion gun assured small but eager crowds. The inevitable shutdowns began coming earlier and earlier in the night--at one Boulder, Colorado show, they managed to play for a full 12 smoke-filled minutes before angry management personnel and the police conspired to shut them down. Detonating one final smoke bomb, they managed to escape out the back before the entire club, as well as the building next door, had to be evacuated.
In recent years, the Haters have taken to staging their "concerts" in deserts, vacant lots, and empty buildings. Jupitter-Larsen, now closely associated with--surprise!--the Survival Research Laboratories (he does their videos), maintains that his performances are self-consciously entropic, as opposed to simply destructive. "Knowledge is the wreckage of mystery. Information is not as educational, as much as it is the textural debris of the act of communication," Jupitter-Larsen philosophizes. "Knowledge is the predictability of tendencies which reoccur most often. Explosions can change everything. And the Haters love blowing things up."