By Andy Greenwald
Updated April 16, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Off stage, lostprophets are six mild-mannered, goofy (though, it must be said, immaculately coiffed) Welsh boys. On stage, they’re a snarling, screaming, six-headed rock & roll beast — cracking ribs by diving into the crowd, hitting each other with instruments, and exhorting the audience to do exactly as they say. Because of this, American audiences are now devouring their storming second album, Start Something (which has sold more than 200,000 copies so far), and its screamotional first single, ”Last Train Home.” ”Our first American show was in Grand Rapids in 2001,” says singer Ian Watkins. ”There was no one there, and it was on the world’s tallest stage in the world’s smallest room. But we didn’t care — we’re just having a laugh.” Here’s a look at what goes into their explosive live shows.

LEE GAZE, guitar ”Ian’s the only one that doesn’t warm up — we all need to. He should warm up, you know? The only reason he doesn’t is because he says Mike Patton [former lead singer of Faith No More] didn’t warm up. It’s ridiculous. I need a half hour alone before every show. Being on the road for so long is tough — luckily our crew parties harder than we do. All I need is some time alone, to eat healthy and to work out, and I’m fine.”

STUART RICHARDSON, bass ”In a large arena you’ve got to be a ringleader. You may feel a bit stupid and cheesy doing it, but you’ve got to tell people when to jump. Because once you see them moving in waves, you get goose bumps every time. I remember when I was 14 and went to see Pantera, and I wanted them to tell me what to do. Besides, if we didn’t perform like this, we’d turn into big fat lard-asses. We need a cardiovascular workout on stage, dude!”

IAN WATKINS, vocals ”A lot of American bands are superserious before a show — they stretch, go to the weight room…all this f — -ing shite. We’re drinking cherry Cokes, eating cookies, and watching a movie five minutes before we go on. The one thing I can’t handle is making eye contact with kids singing the wrong words, because I feel embarrassed for them! I have to look away really quickly before I see him realize he’s singing the wrong thing!”

MIKE CHIPLIN, drums ”I have to wear the same outfit every night. It never changes: black T-shirt and black shorts. Then I always have to put all my jewelry on — even if I hadn’t been wearing it — just to take it off and give to my drum tech. I have to do something to make him feel special! Then we play the show, and Ian will throw bottle caps at me all night, and the rest of them will spit water on me. Every. Single. Night.”

MIKE LEWIS, guitar ”I was having a bad show one time and Ian kicked me in the ass on stage. So I turned around and stabbed him in the guts with the neck of my guitar. Such a good thing to do with your singer while he’s singing — poke him as hard as you can in the guts! And yeah, I like to make Mike, our drummer, laugh while he’s playing. I’ll spit water on him. Why? Because he’s got a miserable face on stage! He always looks unhappy!”