I hate to keep coming back to this, but after I gargled my piss on the internet I received a lot of heartfelt missives from urine enthusiasts the world over. One very intrusive fan even searched my DNS registration and sent me a text with my father’s name and address, warning me to be careful. That incident in particular made me very paranoid that someone was going to break into my apartment and cut my head off on webcam. Months later, the same guy sent me a video entitled “Wawd Ahp,” saying he thought I would be “into” it. It is below and NSFW.
I watched the video and enjoyed it greatly because it made me feel less afraid and insane. So I decided to interview its creator, Steve, partly as a form of solace from real life, and also because anyone who makes a video of themselves fucking their own decapitated head is probably pretty cool. Here is what happened.
VICE: I want to talk about masochism.
I don’t want to intellectualize your video too much because that generally makes things shitty, but I’ve never seen anything like what you did. Maybe I just don’t watch enough things...
I mean, I’m not a rapper but I did want to make a movie, and I do want to make a movie, and I just wanted to be honest about it. “Cut your head off.” It’s how the creative process felt. It was stressful, and I had to be abusive with myself in order to get it done.
That’s meta. May I ask if you were thinking of Riff Raff at all?
Riff Raff and Alien from Spring Breakers came out after I had put in cornrows and shot it. Whatever. White guys with cornrows—that’s a thing.
It’s totally a thing. It exists.
It’s very real.
Do you watch lots of videos of people getting their heads cut off in real life?
No. You mean like those Mexican drug lord ads? No, I don’t watch any of those. When it’s real it’s horrible.
It’s a huge bummer.
Yeah... I don’t get a boner at all when I see real violence.
I said “bummer.”
Oh, "bummer.” Oops. I get a bummer-boner. An inverted boner.
I thought your video was cathartic. It was like a nice little hug for anyone who’s seen a snuff film.
Do you watch snuff videos?
I could see you being a big snuff freak. Just based off of your pee gargling article, where you gargle your own pee.
Ah, yes, that fine piece of journalism.
That’s pretty hardcore. Is it real?
It is real. People thought it was apple juice and I was like, “Well, shit, it should have been.”
I could tell that you were struggling there, trying to get it down.
Steve, what is your number one fear, or fears?
Oh man. My number one fear is dying alone. Or humiliation. Like in public. You know in 8 Mile where he forgets all of his lyrics? That sounds like the worst thing in the world. Just humiliating yourself in front of people who are funnier than you, or people who you’re trying to impress.
That’s crazy—it seems like you deal with that inherently in your work.
Well, we all have to deal with that.
That’s true. Like every day. Moment to moment…
I have a theory that if you do stuff that is possibly humiliating all of the time, then that sort of diffuses the rest of your day-to-day humiliation potential.
Maybe that’s why I related to you fucking your own head so much.
Yeah. Do you feel that way?
Yeah. Hence the pee gargling.
When you gargled your pee and wrote about it were people like, “What the fuck, I’m so embarrassed for you.” Stuff like that?
Yeah, but also a lot of people reached out to me who seemed like they were repressing their own desires out of a fear of being humiliated. I guess in writing it I was just like, Hey, come talk about it with me.
Right. People were attracted to that.
Yeah, that’s why I was wondering what kind of people have been reaching out to you.
Just freaks like you, Kara.
Some people on Facebook have said, “Good job.” And then you. And that’s it.
Did it get banned?
No. Well, Vimeo banned it for a day but I wrote them a thing and they apologized. They must have a system where a bot automatically takes it down after it’s been flagged so many times.
So people were flagging it.
Well, yeah, because enough people on Gizmodo, who also wrote a thing about it, were like, “Ramreuhrufaramfbredo.” It was only that one day. I went insane. I was really upset. [mocking himself] I was really upset.
Do you actually have a sister named Danielle?
Yeah, that’s my older sister. She’s a writer. She writes murder mystery novels and she spends a lot of time by herself, writing, and going crazy and abusing herself, mentally. So that’s why it was for her. Because she can relate to an abusive creative process.
That’s incredible. That’s not what I was expecting at all. Everyone I showed it to wondered if she was real.
Yeah. Someone on Gizmodo said, “I think she would have rather got an Amazon gift card instead.” But she is real. And I love her. And I wanted her to have—whatever, words are coming out of my mouth.
That is actually really sweet. You said in an email you were working on a movie.
Yeah, I’m making a feature-length called Ski Bandits. It’s a love story and it’s funny, and it’s psychedelic, and it’s aggressive, and I haven’t even written it yet, so how dare I say anything.
When do you think? 2017?
Oh man, hopefully before then. That seems really far away from now. I’ll be 30. I have a lot of talented friends who I really want to show off.
Last night “Wawd Ahp” won the Jury Award for Anarchy at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It's nice to know films where people fuck their own decapitated heads in a bathtub can find an audience in 2014. Congratulations, Steve!