Music by VICE

Meet the Bassist Who Ruptured His Scrotum on a Glitter Cannon

The bassist in Dutch symphonic metal band ​Delain managed seven songs after a bit of stagecraft went horribly wrong in England last month.

by Joel Golby
Dec 9 2014, 2:40pm

Here's Otto

This post originally appeared in VICE UK

​ How many songs could you play on the bass immediately after a glitter cannon pummeled you in the testicle so hard it ruptured? At a guess, I'd say your answer to that is going to be somewhere between "zero" and "absolutely zero," and that is the correct number. 

But that is because you are not Otto Schimmelpenninck, the bassist for Dutch symphonic metal band ​Delain, who managed seven songs after he got aggressively glittered at a show in Birmingham, England, last month. And we're not just talking playing bass on those songs: He did some​ metal grunting sounds on them as well.

Fortunately, Otto is Dutch, so he has that kind of chill "Well, I guess I ruptured my testicle on a glitter cannon but hei, what can you do?" attitude that people from no other country can really emulate. I spoke to him about popping his ball sack in Birmingham, plans for his body's future health, and glitter cannons in general.

VICE: Hey, Otto. Where were you and what were you doing when your testicle got ruptured?
Otto Schimmelpenninck: I was in Birmingham, performing at a sold out O2 Academy show with my band, Delain.

How did your testicle get ruptured?
We have a special effect that shoots streamers forward during a particular song in the set ["The Gathering"]. It is a bit like a confetti cannon, but instead of confetti it shoots out long silver tapes. As they have to shoot up to 12 meters, they're quite powerful. Due to numerous circumstances I happened to be exactly in front of one (instead of as far away as possible) when it fired. And—lucky me—it hit me from behind, exactly in my gentlemen's parts.

The testicle thing happens around ​the 3:25 mark

Did you still manage to finish the show?
I did. The pain was pretty bad at first, but not alarming, but pretty soon it got to a level where it was really, really bad. So bad, in fact, I was afraid I would lose consciousness. I'm not sure how, but I managed to finish the set and come back on stage for an encore—a total of seven songs after the injury.

What does it feel like to rupture your testicle?
It, um, hurts a lot! At the moment of "impact" the pain was not as bad as I'd imagined. It was different from being hit or kicked in that area, in that it was a very sharp pain, like I had been cut. After half a minute or so the pain started to get worse, changing into the kind of pain you have when you've received a kick in that zone. I also had the feeling that I was bleeding, as I felt something flowing. When I got the chance to feel inside my trousers that appeared to be correct. I had been bleeding internally, quite heavily, and my scrotum had swollen to the size of a grapefruit.

"Lucky me—it hit me from behind, exactly in my gentlemen's parts."

How did they treat you at the hospital?
It took a particularly long time before I received any attention. I arrived around midnight, had a "take in" with a nurse around midnight (who didn't look, but just asked some questions), then I wasn't transferred to a cubicle with a bed until 2 AM. Those hours of waiting, sitting on the metal chair in the waiting room, were the worst. Then, around 3 AM, someone had a look and had me transferred to a specialized department. After some more doctors and consultants had a look at it I was operated on in the morning, around 8:30 AM. They opened my scrotum, released half a liter of blood there and saw there that, as expected, my testicle was ruptured, so they had to remove some blood clots and stitch it up. There was also some other damage (some shattered arteries, a broken membrane) which were fixed to the best of the surgeon's ability. Finally, my scrotum was stitched up again and recovery could start.

Will your testicle be all right?
There is a fair chance it will, but there's always the option it won't. Even now, one and a half weeks later, it's very painful and swollen, although apparently that's normal. If recovery goes as planned, things should start to heal pretty soon and I should have an ultrasound scan taken at the beginning of January, to see if it has healed well. If recovery does not go as planned (i.e., it remains swollen and I remain in pain) chances are it will not be all right. I'm not sure yet what the consequences of that will be.

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