If Cancer appeared tough and out-of-control, she had another side, says her friend Superheroines guitarist Eva O. "She had a lot of charisma," says O. "She was strong, but at the same time, she looked so fragile onstage. But we know she isn't. She's lived this long; she's lived through all of that."
Here's a little proof of that strength. After being a junkie for 12 years, she decided to kick the habit alone. "I did my own form of brainwashing," Cancer says. "Instead of going to get high, I would buy a piece of jewelry. So now I have this amazing jewelry drawer. Some days, I think I'd still love to get high, but then I realize I have responsibilities to my kids and my band."
The clean-living policies of Penis Flytrap mean no partying during practice or gigs. The band also bring several roughnecks to their shows, whose job it is to keep the druggies away from Cancer. "It's like Goodfellas, except they're Gorefellas," says Fulci. "We stick together, and we're wary of new people for a long time."
It's an unapologetic lifestyle, but not one that's scornful or contemptuous. The last words I hear after our interview from the woman who gave herself the caustic name Dinah Cancer? "Drive safely!" And she meant it.
Penis Flytrap perform at Repent at Sandraella's, 815 S. Brookhurst, Anaheim, (714) 635-8040; www.repentclub.com. Sat., 9 p.m. $7. 21+.