An interview with Jenny of Miss Behave and the Caretakers
Justin – What inspired you to start signing and get involved in music? When did you realize that this is what you wanted to do for a living?
Jenny - Growing up I listened to bands like: Nofx, Johnny Cash and a lot of ska punk bands. Present, it’s almost the same, I love that scene and I always will.
Jenny - Our debut album, “Daddy’s Freakshow” have a release date in the USA, by the end of October. Early November it will be hitting Europe. Our fans can expect one hell of a cool album, with blasting punk rock songs catchy lyrics and a sexy ass band, ready to take over the world.
Justin -Since getting involved with music and being in bands and such what would have to be your all time favorite show at this point?
Jenny - My personal favorite show was at Wave Gothic Treffen in Leipzig, 2003. 600 people in the crowd, all singing our songs. That was awesome.
Justin - Speaking of shows are there any tours in the works for you guys? Is there any chance of seeing you all hit the US in the near future?
Jenny - We’re planning a tour in Europe in 2014, and of course we will come to the US. The sooner the better.
Justin - Do you, or any of your fellow band members have any strange pre-show obsessions?
Jenny - We don’t do any strange things, just put our faces on, have a glass of wine and then we put on one hell of a show. But maybe in the future, if there’s a DVD, you’ll get a chance to see the inside :).
Justin - Last question when it comes to shows/touring but who are some of your favorite bands to share the stage with? If given the chance to play with whoever you wanted who would it be?
Jenny - It would be an honour to play with the mighty Misfits of course. Also bands like Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, etc. Maybe in the future, who knows?
Justin - If you never got involved in music what do you think you’d be doing?
Jenny - That thought never occurred to me, it’s not an option….
Justin - If someone stumbled upon this page and started reading this interview having no idea who you guys were why would you suggest them checking the band out?
Jenny - Because we are the coolest horror-punk band at the moment. You would be sorry for the rest of your life if you missed out on this.
Jenny - We got tired of working with complete morons, people who think that a band is 1 or 2 people and acting like nazis, we hated that. We wanted a band were everyone is equally involved in writing the lyrics, making songs and all the work that come with it. That would never had worked in The Spookshow, because of the members that we left.
Justin - What can fans of you, and The Spookshow expect from Miss Behave and The Caretakers? Will this band be a departure and be more serious and be a new chapter for yourself and the band?
Jenny - Definitely it’s a new chapter for us and our fans. As I said, this is a band, not a solo career. The songs are better, tougher, catchier and we think that our “old” fans will love us even more this time.
Justin - Jenny, has any of your lyrics ever struck a nerve with friends, family, or loved ones?
Jenny - My daughter thinks that I write weird and scary lyrics, but then she listens to Justin Bieber, so!!!!!
Justin - Since starting out in The Spookshow how do you feel your music has progressed? Is it what you imagined it would be?
Jenny – Well we were never involved in the making of the songs with The Spookshow. With Miss Behave & The Caretakers it feels like we are complete as a band.
Justin - What is the best way and place for fans to get a hold of your music and merchandise?
Jenny - Contact Crypt of Blood Records to buy the album. We will also be on Spotify and iTunes later this year. There will also be a distributor in Europe, just don’t know who yet. For updates, obviously follow us on Facebook.
Jenny - Poltergeist, it was my first…, The Excorsist, it’s sick as hell. The Omen, scary kids are always a hit.
Justin - Who are your favorite currently active horror-punk bands in the scene right now?
Jenny – The Misfits, they’re back with a vengeance. Tiger Army and Mad Sin also.
Justin - In closing I sincerely want to thank you Jenny for taking to the time to do this interview with Technicolor Terror. Is there anything else you would like to add or say to the fans and readers out there?
Jenny - Beware! Because Miss Behave & The Caretakers are coming to town!!!
- Thanks for reading everyone!
An interview with Jason Trioxin of Mister Monster
Where to begin with the awesomeness that is Mister Monster? Well in late 1998, a band was formed that would come to be recognized as one of the bloodiest acts in the underworld of punk rock. Mister Monster was started by singer/guitarist Jason Trioxin. The band formed, wrote, recorded, released, and played its first show within a matter of 6 weeks of forming as a band. Audiences at the 1998 Halloween show were blown away by Mister Monster’s performance, and the band’s first release, “Songs From the Crypt,” sold out its first pressing in a matter of days. Four pressings later, the band was regularly playing New Jersey and New York City, in front of packed houses. Need I say more? Of of the greatest bands to bless the horror-punk scene, let’s get this interview started!
Justin - Alright Jason so we’ve already officially met and know each other but for our readers and fans, could I get your name and position within the band?
Jason – Singer and Guitarist for Mister Monster.
Justin - Jason can you tell us how Mister Monster came to life and how all the band members came together?
Jason – Yea I was playing bass in a hardcore/industrial band as well as teching for The Empire Hideous. I had written a fistfull of new songs and the band I was playing bass for started to go towards that Limp Bizkit Jock Rock shit so I jumped quickly. I called Mars (From empire Hideous) and Jimmy Skinz (The Bulshaveks) and showed them my demos of Prom Night, Gore Whore, Tina N Freddy, Rat Pack, Nice Night For a Murder, Tina N freddy, Little Frankenstein, and Dead Flesh Gurl. So we learned the songs and after a few weeks went and recorded, “Songs Form the Crypt” to coincide with our first show. It was just meant for fun, just as an outlet for these punk songs I wrote. I never intended for Mister Monster to be the band its become. The fans did that.
Justin – So I’ve always wondered but how did the name Mister Monster come about? Is there a story behind the name? Also were there any other names that almost made the cut and would you be willing to share some of them?
Jason – It just fit, I didn’t know if I was gonna do a solo thing or what, there was just alot of options with that name. It was easy to understand. I got it from an old 80′s comic, I’ve come to find that it’s been used a few other times before and after I started the band.
Justin – Obviously a horror fan, what about the horror genre make you want to start a horror-punk band? What was….how do I say this, your, “horror defining moment”? Was it a cartoon, band, comic, movie, book, etc.?
Jason - Definitely the old Universal movies. I just liked the romance in all those old movies. Then when I was around 6 years old, my uncle showed me “The Return of the Living Dead” it had just premeired on HBO. I saw my first naked woman and my first brain eating scene all in the same night. Magic.
Justin - Kind of a random question but if someone come across this interview having no idea of Mister Monster, how would you describe the band? Why would you suggest people checking you guys out?
Jason - I’d say if you like the Misfits or the Ramones and you like your sad songs fast and your pop songs dark than check us out. We are not doing anything that hasnt been done before, we are just another band you can listen to and get into.
Justin - Jason, has any of your lyrics ever struck a nerve with friends, family, or loved ones?
Jason - Not particularly. Ive had people come up to me and tell me they really related to a certain song and their interpretation of it was totally off, but if they got something out of it and it helped them, than thats good enough for me.
Justin - Now when it comes to horror-punk or horror-rock or whatever people want to call it now, it’s a given that almost every band takes a major influence from The Misfits and in some cases Elvis Presley and rightly so being in a horror themed band, but my question is, if you excluded those two components or even pretend they never existed but that horror-punk still did. Who would be the biggest influence on Mister Monster? Who else highly influences you personally and the band?
Jason - Thats a fucking great question. Look Im not going to pretend that we pulled nothing from the misfits, thats ridiculous, my first tattoo was a crimson ghost for fucks sake, but i enever tried to copy them, I just listened to the same bands that Glenn (Danzig) listened to. Thats my advice, if you wanna sound like your favorite band, listen to THEIR favorite band. If you wanna sound like Mister monster, listen to the ramones, doowop and rockabilly, if you wanna sound like Motley Crue, listen to Slade and Sweet, if you wanna sound like Queen, dont even fuckin try it!! But to answer your question its tough but I’d say as long as Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, and Dion Demucci were alive, we’re all good.
Justin – So I have a question regarding a particular song, may favorite actually known as, “Amy Sue”. Is there a story behind this song and if so would you be willing to share it?
Jason - It’s not an amazing story. It’s my “Donna”. It’s the name of the girl I dated in my later teenage years into my 20s. It’s an honest song and I think people can hear that.
Justin - Give or take the band has been around for almost 15 years now. But during this time what is the most important thing you have learned personally and what do you think the band as a whole has learned?
Jason - Yea funny you should mention that but if all goes well we will be releasing a 15 year anniversary edition of, “Songs From the Crypt” remastered and on CD for the 1st time. We will put something up on BooWop.Com when we make an official announcement. But to answer your question, fans are the most important. I don’t care if there’s haters but whoever came to see us 10 years ago needs to keep coming to our shows, if I lose them than I’ve done something wrong. When I see people crying in the audience….theres no drug like it.
Justin - Since starting Mister Monster how do you feel your music has progressed? Is it what you imagined it would be?
Jason - I think it’s become a little more honest. Less about horror and more about my life. I was 16/17 when i wrote most of those songs, im 34 and alot of shit has happened to me since then so I started looking more inward for my lyrics. Not to say I wont still write campy songs. But there’s alot more personal songs lately.
Justin - What’s the best way/place for fans to get a hold of your music and merchandise?
Jason - Internet of course. HellsHundred.Com and ITunes
Justin - What are your top 3 horror movies and why?
Jason - Return of the Living Dead. The Wolfman. Bride of Frankenstein….They’re all romances.
Justin - Who are favorite and currently active horror punk bands in the scene right now?
Jason - Crypt Keeper 5, The Rosedales, Nim Vind, and The Serpenteens.
An interview with Tracy Byrd of A Gathering of None
A Gathering of None is a one man project that is headed by Tracy Byrd (aka TB) that now has turned into a full fledged quintet. His new project is the result of breaking molds and smashing musical boundaries and escaping the confines of just certain genres and blending them all together to bring something new to the table that everyone will enjoy whether you’re a punk, metal head, stoner, or whatever else, TB with his new band has brought something extremely refreshing. What is here is the outlet of a musician who wants to do something different and inspiring. Technicolor Terror has had the chance to chat with TB about his new band. So let’s start this interview already!
Justin – So Tracy we already know each other but for our fans and readers could I get your name and your position within A Gathering of None?
Tracy – Well, I’m Tracy Byrd (not to be confused with the country singer) or TB if you prefer. I am the main singer/songwriter in A Gathering of None and one of three guitarists.
Justin – Tracy can you tell us how A Gathering of None came about and how all the current band members came together? Was this something that was always in the back of your mind or something that has come up more recently?
Tracy – I have wanted to do something a bit more off my beaten path (Blitzkid, Vagora, Automatons) for years now. I have influences all across the board musically, and in early February of 2012, I went and recorded some songs all on my own that I had written that I initially had thought were going to be songs I would use elsewhere, but they were never exactly right for anything else other than what became AGON. This past November, I put the ball in motion and started working on this as my main outlet. The “Purging Empty Promises” EP is all just me. I did everything, the guitars, the bass, all the vocals and drums. You can tell too, especially the drums! Haha. But now, we have a full lineup. I am joined recently on guitar by Carlos Cofino (aka Loki from Darrow Chemical Company/the Doomsday Prophecy) and Doug Schwenker on bass (Darrow Chemical Company) along with Justin Osburn (guitars) and John K (drums) from Celebrity Sex Scandal and the Bloodfuckers.
Tracy - I think that everything I’ve done is still in there, you hear a song like “Just Be Still” and there’s definitely still Blitzkid in there, same with “Pathways” which is more akin to what I feel is a sound Vagora would do great justice with. My past is what established my songwriting, so bits of that are always going to be in there and that’s perfectly fine with me. But the newer material I have been writing is a bit heavier, a bit more stoner rock and mid to late 90′s post hardcore (Only Living Witness/Handsome/Quicksand/Helmet) along with the dreampop and melodic punk stuff. It’s a pro because I feel that we can do whatever we want and have an audience somewhere that’s going to get it. That is never a bad thing. And you know what? Given my past, I have to thank all of the Blitzkid and Vagora fans that currently support this new project. Those people and that scene have proven to be my biggest supporters and that is awesome and something I will gladly recognize. Having said that though, we seem to have fans across the board that like alternative, metal, punk, stoner rock. It’s just amazing the amount of support we have thus far and I can only hope it grows from here.
Justin – What made you want to become a musician and pick up the guitar amongst others? Instrumentally who were your biggest idols growing up?
Tracy - Honest answer. I bought the cassette “Who Made Who” by AC/DC from my mother’s friend at a yard sale for $1. After that I was hooked and then I got into bands like Guns N’ Roses, Megadeth, Metallica, and then later stuff like King’s X and Bad Religion. I was sold from that point on. Vocally, I take a TON of inspiration from Layne Staley, Jonah Jenkins, Doug Pinnick, Joey Ramone and Zoli Teglas. Guitar wise, Dave Mustaine from Megadeth, Pepper Keenan, Billy Corgan, Dimebag Darrell, James Hetfield, Brett Guerwitz, Billy Joe Armstrong (his leadwork on those first two Green Day albums is awesome!) and way too many more to mention.
Justin – Now we all know of your debut release, “Purging Empty Promises”. But is it too soon to ask if there is any new material on the way? Can we expect a full length anytime in the near future?
Tracy – Not at all. Immediately after I wrapped mixing on the EP, I started demoing out new stuff. As of right now, we have 18 songs to choose from for the next release, which will definitely be a full length. I’m also toying with the idea of putting out another EP first though, because for “Purging Empty Promises” I recorded 8 songs, maybe I will include them on the full length or just do that as a digital only release. But the next physical thing will definitely be a full length.
Tracy - I think my favorite song would be “Pathways” because it’s a very heavy song with it’s subject matter. It’s about lost relationships with people over the years because you know you fucked up and did alotta wrong instead of alotta right. Not only that but it was basically the first song I wrote for AGON. The opening two lines “Just turned 35, and it’s been about nine days” are absolutely true. I started writing that song nine days after my 35th birthday. So it’s special to me for those reasons. That song’s end gives you a choice, in the line “Search your heart today, which way will you go?” ya know? You can either keep screwing up and not learning from your past mistakes, or you can try to right yourself for yourself.
Justin – So I understand A Gathering of None will be embarking on a mini north east tour this September. Are there any other and bigger tours in the works? Is this a band that people will expect to be touring a lot?
I have had people tell me recently, that songs like “Just Be Still” and “Pathways” have really helped them out through some hard times or that they were inspired by the words in some way. That is a great gift to get from something you wrote to help yourself get some emotions out. The fact that ANY words I might write could help someone else or strike a chord with them is phenomenal. It’s one of the best things about connecting people through music. If it’s relatable, and it moves others as it did you? Then that’s a great feeling, and nothing else compares to it.
Justin – Give or take you have been involved and making music for more than 14 years now. During this time what is the most important thing you have learned personally? How do feel all this experience has helped you musically and as a musician?
Tracy - Do what you truly want to do and be honest about it and make yourself happy. It’s helped me because you learn as you go not what to do, sometimes at heavy costs, but you have to do what is best for you in the end.
Justin - What’s the best way/place for fans to get a hold of your music and merchandise?
Tracy - We don’t have an official website just yet, which will soon change. For now though the best way to get in touch with us is via our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AGatheringofNone or http://www.reverbnation.com/agatheringofnone
and we have our own merch store over at http://agatheringofnone.bigcartel.com
Justin – In closing I sincerely want to thank you Tracy for taking the time to do this interview with Technicolor Terror! Is there anything you would like to add or say to the fans?
An interview with Matt Feltwater
The Ghouls Night Out Festivals started out in 2001 and have been a huge success since their inception and though the festival dropped out of sight for a few years, it is back, and this time it is back with a vengeance that has been hyped to an insane degree and has it being one of the most anticipated festivals of the year and with tickets selling out almost as soon as it was announced it’s safe to say that Ghouls Night Out is fucking back! I have the pleasure of interviewing Matt, the brains and creator of the beautiful monster we all know as GNO and he has some very important news that he has chosen to share with Technicolor in this interview! So goodbye to the waiting, let’s get on with it!
Justin - So Matt we both already know each other, but for the readers and fans could you state your name and your connection to Ghouls Night Out?
Matt - I’m Matt Pathetic, and I have AIDS. Living with AIDS is a terrible thing, it’s sort of like being the Incredible Hulk, all this rage bottled up and you just want to cut your arm open and bleed all over everyone. Oh wait…this is a Ghouls Night Out Fest interview? FUCK! Anyway, I’m Matt Pathetic the commander in chief behind Ghouls Night Out Fest, a celebration of all things horror especially horror music.
Justin - Tell us how Ghouls Night Out started out. How did the idea come about and when did everything start to come together?
Matt - GNO started in 2001, while I was in attendance at the first Misfits 25th anniversary show in New York City. At that point the “resurrected” Misfits had broke up and this show should have been called watched the greatest horror rock n roll band of all time become a walking carnival in front of your eyes. I stood there in literal disbelief of what a joke that band had become. I thought to myself that night on the way back to where I was staying in New jersey, what if I organized a fest that showcased the best horror rock bands out there without the Misfits involvement. So I got back home to North Carolina and got to putting it together. I’ve been booking shows since I was around 15, so I had the know how so to speak but I’d never taken on something large to this scale before. So it was a learning experience. The first year had A LOT of headaches involved with it, like the emcee and my co-headliner dropping out in the days before the show, as well as the venue bailing on me shortly before the show was supposed to happen. But I’ve grown and learned from there, after all life is one constant project of trial and error. But it’s my baby, and I’m proud of it.
Justin - What was your “horror defining” moment Matt? What was your first experience with horror wether it was a book, band, movie, etc. and what started your love of horror-punk?
Matt - HA! This is a great question. My first horror defining moment comes at the age of five, it was July and my mom was getting ready to take our Siberian Husky for a walk to the park. I threw a huge SHIT FIT because I wanted to wear my devil costume from the previous Halloween to walk the dog in. Keep in mind, again, it’s JULY. So just to appease me and stop my 5 year old rage from going any further she put the costume on me and a proudly paraded my happy ass to the park. So there you have it, Matt Pathetic has been obsessed with monsters since at least age 5. There’s also the fact I was a rotten little shithead as a kid, I used to go stay with my Grandmother once a week while I was younger and I had this habit of sneaking into the kitchen opening the refrigerator putting all my monster toys in it (giant spiders, rubber lizards, giant rubber snakes, skeletor, godzilla, the wolfman etc) in the fridge quietly. Then sneak out to the porch and ask my grandmother to get me a drink, she’d open the fridge and freak out. I would die laughing at it because she would freak out and make this hilarious shriek that still to this day echos in my head and gets a chuckle out of me. So yeah, trick or treat since 1980! I think I was born defective or something.
Justin - How does it make you feel that you have Blitzkid playing their last North American show at this upcoming festival? How do you feel about Blitzkid? What do they mean to you personally and what do you think they have done for the horror-punk genre?
Matt - Wow. Blitzkid first got in contact with me to play the very first Ghouls Night Out Fest, but the line up at that point was full. But that did not turn Goolsby away from bombarding me with an onslaught of getting onto this show. He sent me a HUGE press pack, some of which to this day I have pieces of laying around. He emailed me like twice a week to find out if someone had dropped out and if Blitzkid could take their spot. Finally as the show moved closer, Blitzkid’s chance came as Red Reaction had informed me they would not be able to make the show. That day, I remember meeting Blitzkid for the first time and being taken back by just how polite they were and how into the concept of GNO they were. This was also the first time they met Mister Monster. Tracy and Goolsby where the BIGGEST supporters of GNO out there. In fact after the first one, they maintained in steady contact with me and I built GNO2 the next summer around them and Mister Monster. The third year was kind of rough waters, a certain other festival showed up on the scene and basically caused a rift between Blitzkid and I. But by the time GNO rolled around we both agreed to the fact that GNO is a part of Blitzkid and Blitzkid is a part of GNO forever. So they played the third year. After that year a lot went on and GNO became less of a priority in my life, I never intended to never do it again but I wasn’t running out getting ahead of myself for the next year like I did in years past. Last November, I was doing a show with J.V. Bastard’s metal project THE DOOMSDAY PROPHECY, and J.V. and I were talking about GNO. He basically told me, GNO needed to come back because there was nothing like it anymore. It was run out of town by copycat festivals, but it’s the original. Shortly after that Blitzkid announced their intention to cease being a band at the end of the year. At that point, I was like FUCK THIS these guys are my friends and they supported me HARD back in the beginning. Granted they took off to their own well deserved success, and we hadn’t spoke in years but I knew if the world needed GNO it was now. As a celebration and sendoff to Blitzkid, they earned this one. So I started back at it. Here we are now one month away from the biggest GNO EVER and it’s thanks to people like Blitzkid in the early years, and now the success is due to people like Technicolor Terror, horror-punks.com, Gore Noir Magazine, and the Graveyard Greaser Gang who help make this show what it is. Ten years ago a lot of people used to say Blitzkid sounds like the new’Fits, well being involved in this scene for a decade I can say nowadays there’s a lot of bands that sound like BLITZKID. And that’s a testament to just how far they’ve come not just as musicians, but as people. They are charismatic and they genuinely care about their fans, which is why they’ve left a mark on so many people. Blitzkid means more to me, over the course of my 20′s then I could ever find words to describe. I’d like to think I’m a tiny part of their success and their history, and to give them this sendoff is my pleasure. Thank you Blitzkid, thank you.
Justin - So can you shed some light on some bands that have caught your eye recently? I’m wondering if there are any bands that you could possibly tell us that you would like to see on the hopeful next GNO Fest XI?
Matt - Oh man being in this spot, I’m FLOODED with bands wanting to play the show next year. I’m definitely not going to lie and say I hear a lot of good bands, I hear a lot of bullshit. It’s weeding through the bullshit to find a band that is not only unique and doesn’t try to sound like someone else, but also is catchy or are great musicians so on and so forth. That being said, there’s a few I found after I filled out the initial line up to this year that I think will make perfect additions to GN0’13. The Renfields are an awesome power pop horror rock outfit that I don’t think get nearly the exposure to this scene that they need. There songs are catchy like the Ramones and Teenage Bottlerocket. The Curse Of Sorrow from PA are amazing musicians that will definitely be associated with the festival going foward check them out! And there’s Black Cat Attack out of Canada, they’re just completely original and I love them and what they do within the confines of this genre. I’m not gonna let all the cats out of my bag as far as what I’m looking at next year, but I’m trying to make GNO come “home” so take that for what it’s worth and look into it as you will.
Justin - This question could have gone along with the last one but whatever, but obviously this question is about GNO XI. Is there going to be one? Will it be next year? Will it reside in New Jersey? Is there any information you can share with us about it?
Matt - When I first started GNO my intention was to do it in a different location every year, so that way people who traveled far didn’t have to travel as far the following year. This is still my plan with the festival going foward. It’s never been in the same location twice, and it never will. There’s been a very vocal online movement to bring GNO to Cincinnati next summer, I’ve also looked into Philadelphia as well, New York is obviously the dream that has to this point eluded me but the more I keep going the more I think it’s a possibility. The more noise you make so to speak each year, the less you can be ignored so the bigger the show gets the sky becomes the limit for it. That being said I know I hinted above at GNO coming “home” next year, and that’s personally where I’d like to see it happen. But plans are always evolving and nothing is set in stone at this point, but there has been small talk about next years fest between me and certain members of the GNO crew. Everything will be revealed in good time.
Matt – Absolutely, later this year I’m going to be launching GNO Records a label that will cater to this genre of music.. There’s some other talk between myself and some bands about potential releases going foward who I’m currently not allowed to mention by name due to negotiations sake at this point but I can say one certain band I’m working out an agreement with is also playing the show this year. I’m looking foward into this new venture and hoping all the fans of horror rock get behind this label and help make it a success.
Justin - That’s fucking awesome! So how long have you had this idea of a GNO label for? Was this something that you had in the back of your head from the very beginning or was this something that picked up steam more recently?
Matt – I’ve always wanted to start a label, I’ve been involved in everything in the scene from being in bands, to writing for a fanzine, to booking shows I feel like this is the last and biggest conquest I could ever challenge myself with. I never knew a good name for my “dream” label and one night I was sitting here at my desk and I basically facepalmed myself and was like WHAT THE FUCK it’s been sitting here right in front of me this WHOLE time and I never realized it. Through the past ten years there’s been horror rock labels before, but they flopped. Ten years later I’m still entrenched in this scene, and I’m not going anywhere this is home to me so why not help some of the smaller bands out and help return some luster and deserving credit to the bands who haven’t made a huge name for themselves yet. There’s strength in numbers, and I truly feel like this is my mission to rally the troops to make ourselves even more known. Collectively we can take over and carve out our own niche even bigger then it currently is.
Justin - Now it may be a little soon to ask but with the label just starting out are there any bands that you wish to sign? Have you signed one already and if so could you share with us who it is?
Matt – The first official GNO Records release is going to be a re-recorded, repackaged, version of Boneyard’s debut album from 2004 called Back To Coney. Boneyard is one of those bands who I feel are an unnoticed gem in this scene. Until now, I’m backing these bands up and I’m going to help bring them up to the level of attention they absolutely deserve. Boneyard subsequently will also be releasing a new E.P. further down the line on GNO Records called Sometimes They Come Back, but for now we’re focused on the first album. Boneyard is one of those bands that need to be recognized because I feel like they’ve gone unnoticed by this scene for far too long, hell they even broke up until I managed to talk them into doing a reunion show this past May. Now they’re back, and I hope they stay around for awhile to come. They’re such great guys and their music is fun it needs to get out there more so then what they had the ability to do previously, and I feel if I can help them out to get their name and music out there even more then so be it. I’ve been given this show and the masses have rallied behind it, now let’s do something responsible with it and help push horror rock to the next level.
Justin - Getting a little off topic but still staying on track, I have heard of your desire for a pre-party for GNO. Is this something that will be happening this year and if so is there any info you can share with us? Bands, events, location?
Absolutely, the preparty show will be taking place in Secaucus NJ at a venue called the Blue Room the night before GNO on August 3rd. The line up currently is: Rictus Grim, Boneyard, The Casket Creatures, The Curse Of Sorrow, and The Children Of October. 10 bucks, over 21 (sorry underagers I went out on a limb for ya at GNO I can’t work every miracle in the book) and start around 6-7pm. There’s also one more potential band that I’m currently trying to have return after a long absence. We haven’t 100% been able to iron a deal out yet but hopefully something comes through soon. So the last band will remain undisclosed until very soon I hope.
Justin - Matt I sincerely want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview and especially grateful for choosing to announce this incredible news through Technicolor Terror! It means a great deal to us and again we thank you for that and for your time. Before we end this interview is there anything you would like to add or share with the fans?
Matt - GNO RECORDS/GNOFEST/TECHNICOLOR TERROR/GRAVEYARD GREASER GANG/WHB RECORDS/GORE NOIR MAGAZINE/ HORROR-PUNKS.COM
We’re taking over. And there’s nothing anyone can do to stop us.
An interview with Bobby of Calabrese.
Calabrese is a horror punk band from Phoenix, Arizona that formed in 2003 by Bobby (Guitar/Vocals) and Jimmy (Bass/Vocals) and they later integrated their other brother Davey (Drums) to be the final piece to the puzzle. Calabrese combines Gothabilly looks, B-movie drive-in lyrics and a Death Rock sound that is heavily influenced by bands such as The Misfits, AFI, Danzig, Samhain, horror films and Halloween. The band’s first full-length album, “13 Halloweens”, was released on Spookshow Records in 2005. Their second album, “The Traveling Vampire Show”, was released in 2007. Their latest album, “Calabrese III: They Call Us Death”, was released in 2010. Distributed in the U.S., Japan, Europe, and through the Internet, Calabrese are quickly gaining an international audience. But let us finally begin!
Justin – Hey Bobby, so you and me have already been introduced to one another and been in contact for awhile now, but for the fans and readers could I get your name and the rest of the member’s names as well and your positions within the band?
Bobby - This is Bobby, I play guitar and sing and drink a bunch of coffee. Jimmy plays the bass and sings, and Davey pounds the drums and a jumps around a lot.
Justin – So Bobby can you tell us how Calabrese came to life and how you all came together?
Bobby - All three of us are brothers, so it was pretty natural to be hanging out and listening to music…except we never did that shit. Ha! Me and Jimmy were playing in other bands, but it was him who pulled us together to start our own thing. Everything we were doing and hearing at the time sucked, so we wanted to start a band playing the music WE liked and WE wanted to hear. Punk rock, Misfits, skateboarding, whatever. We recruited Davey, and since he never touched the drums before, we beat him into emotional scum, molding and forming his mind into the rock and roll maniac he is today.
Justin – Now with all of you being brothers, do you think that this strengthens the band even more so than if you were all unrelated? Has this ever presented itself as a problem? Growing up with an older brother I know all about brotherly fist fights but has this fact been nothing but positives for the band?
Bobby – I haven’t been in any other bands long enough to compare both sides, but I think it’s pretty cool being in a band with your brothers. Yeah, we get into arguments and want to punch eachother in the face, but at the end of the day…we’re still brothers and we’re still a band. It’s easier to be mean and yell and scream at eachother, I think, because friends can just up and leave once you’ve crossed their line. With us, there is no line! This is for life, man!
Justin – Now why was “Calabrese” chosen as the band name? Is there a story behind the name? Also were there any other thoughts that almost made it and if so could possibly share some of them with us?
Bobby – We wanted something cool, something that would stand out and look powerful and sound gnarly. The Coffin Daggers was an idea, but we quickly learned that EVERY horror themed band is named the Coffin Daggers! We even thought of something like “Transylvanian Bandits”, but it was all too goofy, I guess. Aside from the Ramones, we pretty much took the idea of using our last name from our Lord Master, Danzig, and went with “Calabrese” (even though “Danzig” nor “Ramone” was really their last names, ha!). We thought it sounded like a cool Italian horror director’s name, or a secret word for “fuck you!” At least that’s what we hoped. Plus, who wouldn’t wanna have their name plastered on t-shirts and albums and comic books? It’s gnarly!
Justin – As an obvious horror genre fan, what about horror and the imagery brought you guys together to start a horror-punk or horror rock band? What was your “horror defining” moment Bobby?
Bobby – I dunno, man, it’s hard to say. I just remember really liking monsters and evil things and Satan shit. Like, anything that was affiliated with the devil was both awesome and scary and weird. I blame Jimmy, though, he had all the cool stuff that I found while sneaking into his closet. Horror movies, Dungeons and Dragons toys, monster masks, whatever. They always say that you like what scares you, or so I think that’s what they say! Musically, when I first heard death metal and Slayer and stuff like Deicide, holy crap, that was some scary stuff. I liked the imagery and all that, but later I discovered the Misfits, which was the perfect blend of fucked up lyrics, catchy choruses and ATTITUDE. It was evil AND fun. That’s where we all came together, musically. Plus, there’s no fucking way I could play the guitar like Kerry King!
Justin - I have heard your music being used when I have watched independent films such as Chainsaw Sally, etc. How did you guys get involved in these films and are there any other movies we can catch your tunes in?
Bobby - We usually get asked to be on the soundtrack, and being the whores that we are, we always say yes! So if you’ve got ANYTHING that even slightly resembles a film and need some tunes, hit us up! The more the better. What have we been in so far?: The Graves (as Seen on the SyFy Channel) Blood On The Highway Hoodoo For Voodoo Prison A Go Go Chainsaw Sally Zombie Punks From Beyond The Grave Cabras Horror Film: The Movie No. My Other Possessed-Zombie Girlfriend Hack Job BAM, bitch!
Justin - Now I remember on one of your albums, I saw that you had/have a warning advising your listeners to not use a Ouija board and try contacting the dead while listening to your music. Now what’s the deal!?
Bobby - The deal is that it’s EXACTLY true and don’t do it! Ever! I mean, hell, if you REALLY wanna risk it…by all means, go for it! Just be sure to get it on film!
Justin – It may be a little soon to ask, but is there any new material in the works? Can you spill any guts for us that want more!? What can fans expect from Calabrese in the near future?
Bobby – Yeah! Right now we’re finishing up thirteen songs for the new album, which will be recorded in April and hopefully be released in May. We’ve got all the pretty pictures of ourselves taken, most the lyrics are written, album cover drawn, etc. We’re damn close and I’m super stoked on it!
Justin – Speaking of new material, I have had a lot of fans demanding me to ask if there is a possible all acoustic album that may be in the works or if they can expect an acoustic track on the next album?
Bobby – Ever since we did an acoustic set at Atomic Comics to release our comic book, yeah, people have been dying for some acousti-brese! And I’m not gonna lie, we’re totally into it, and I think a lot of our songs translated pretty well into the land of the unplugged guitar. Nothing’s set for the new album, but we’re thinking about coming out with an all acoustic album sometime next year, with new versions of old songs, totally brand new songs, anything we can whip up! We’re gonna try our hand at making it pretty unique, or at least something that doesn’t sound like it’s gonna be boring as hell. C’mon, when you hear “acoustic album,” you automatically think, “it’s gonna suck ass!” So we’re gonna try to avoid that route. We’re gonna make it cool, trust me!
Justin - If someone stumbled upon this interview and continued on reading having no idea who Calabrese was, how would you describe the band? Why would you suggest people check you guys out?
Bobby - We’re the world’s greatest horror rock band! What more can be said? Oh, that we’re really awesome dudes, too, and have an excellent VHS collection.
Justin – What has been your favorite show you guys have played so far since starting the band?
Bobby – I’d be a douche if I said that EVERY SHOW EVER WAS THE GREATEST SHOW WE EVER PLAYED, so there ya have it! You rule, Every Show We’ve Played!
Justin – Speaking of shows! Are there any big scale shows in the works? Is there any chance of seeing you guys on the East Coast anytime soon? If so please don’t forget NC!
Bobby – We try to hit up most of the US at least once a year, and of course, that means the east coast! St. Louis to Chicago to New York to Boston. Wherever people are foolish enough to let us play, we’ll be there!
Justin – Last question when it comes to touring but who are some of your favorite bands to share the stage with? If given the opportunity to play with whoever you so desired who would it be? Do you possibly have an awesome/crazy story you could share with us about life on the road?
Bobby – There’s a lot, but I always like playing with the Koffin Kats. They’re just a lot of fun to be around and are super professional. Oh, and they love to party and get fucked up! All time dream band to jam with? I don’t wanna be obvious, but Danzig. Like, “Lucifuge” era Danzig. Like, SUPER BIG MUSCLES era Danzig. That’s not weird to say, is it?
Justin - Do you, or any of your fellow band members have any strange pre-show obsessions?
Bobby – I feel like I’m always starving before we play, but I had eating before. I feel the hunger makes you rock harder. No, I’m not saying I like the feeling of wanting to pass out and die, but I hate feeling full and stuffed on stage. It weighs down the rock, man! Also, coffee and a toilet. I like to drink coffee before shows, and I like to have a good bathroom sanctuary. I like to think in there, clean up, whatever. All I care about on the road is a clean, sanitary and moderately private bathroom! It’s amazing how powerful and beautiful a decent bathroom becomes on tour!
Justin – If you could tell your fans 4 bands you think they should check out immediately, who would they be and why?
Bobby – Umm…I wish I knew some secret treasures! But the best of the best right now? Like, what I’m jamming to on the way to practice? I’m rocking The Damned, Swingin’ Utters, Hour of the Wolf and Hot Snakes.
Justin – Your top 3 horror movies. What are they and a tad bit of info as to why? Also your favorite comic book and character? I will take this opportunity to quickly give a shout out to my hero, Shadowhawk! I love you man!
Bobby – I like a lot of 70′s and 80′s horror, leaning more towards the 70′s these days, though. I love fucked up giallos and splatter comedies like “Dead Alive” and “Fright Night”. ”Slumber Party Massacre” kinda stuff is always fun, and anything with a rockin’ soundtrack and a lot of boobs! AS far as comics? I was always into Marvel growing up, then got waaaay into DC Comics…until the recent switcharoo of every major characters origin story, which can go ahead and die already. I put so much time and effort into learning all that garbage and they decide to tell me it was for nothing? Nuts to that! Anyway, now that THAT’S out of the way…my favorite characters are always minor, like Booster Gold or something. I like Guy Gardner and Nightwing, now that I think about it. Frank Castle, a lot of Batman’s rogues and The Boys! Great comic by Ennis. Oh, and Hawkgirl! Because she’s hot. I think.
Justin – Horror punk seems to be fairly popular genre in Europe while failing to catch on in the US. Do you agree with this statement? Whether you agree or disagree why do you feel this way?
Bobby – It seems pretty radical over in Europe, yeah, but I think it’s alright in the US, too! If you blend it all in under one giant umbrella, with rockabilly, psychobilly, rock and roll and punk rock, I think there’s a large audience roaming the land like a group of wild dogs. Plus, I can’t complain — we have dedicated friends and fans coming to the shows, that’s all that counts!
Justin – I absolutely love the artwork for all the band’s albums especially, “They Call Us Death III”. How do you go about choosing an artist and once chosen do you give them free reign over the design or does the band go over the ideas beforehand?
Bobby – We love kick-ass artwork, so everything we do has to look awesome! We usually search out artists, but sometimes they come to us. More the merrier, I say! We always give everyone ideas, and in turn, we’re given ideas and suggestions right back. And it always ends up swell. With “They Call Us Death,” we sent Eric Powell a few photos of us posing for reference, and he painted that whole damn cover art based off of us looking tough in our living room! Something simple like that and it turned into pure gold, baby!
Justin – Bobby who was/are your biggest idols when it comes to the guitar?
Bobby – There are tons, dude! Every few months I discover a guitarist that makes me wanna throw my axe in the trash! So many guys rule, it’s mind-numbing. But if I could sound like anyone, and could rip off really well (which I try to do all the time!) it would be Greg Sage from the Wipers, John Reis from Rocket from the Crypt, the dudes in Man or Astroman?, Motorhead, John Christ, Ron Asheton, I like the guy in Burning Brides, Greg Ginn in Black Flag, ACDC for the BEST GUITAR TONE EVER, the guitarist for the Bronx, Hot Snakes, Black Sabbath and of course, Johnny Ramone! A lot of the time it’s not how well you play, it’s how HARD you play. Wear your guitar low, ground your feet and turn it into a machine gun! Bleed all over it!
Justin – Being in a horror rock band I can’t help but ask if any of your lyrics ever struck a nerve with friends, family, or loved ones?
Bobby – No way, they’re just as weird as us! They dig it!
Justin – When it comes to horror rock in general there is no denying that every band takes a big influence from the Misfits and Elvis Presley and rightly so! But my question is this. If you had to exclude these two influences, then who would be the next biggest influence on Calabrese? Who else highly influences you personally and the band?
Bobby – Rock and roll bands, through and through. I grew up on a lot of metal, goth, surf rock, anything with cool guitars and great vocals, so we’re all over the board here. I guess the next biggest band that made me want to pick up a guitar would be The Ramones or Black Flag. The Dead Kennedys really got me going, too. A lot of punk rock stuff that had attitude and style. That’s all you need — attitude and style!
Justin – Out of all the band’s albums which is your personal favorite and why? What are some of your favorite songs to play live? My personal favorite is, “Eyes Down” and for this fact I wanted to know if there is a story behind the song or any personal meaning behind it?
Bobby – I like “They Call Us Death,” but I like “The Traveling Vampire Show,” too, because it’s great to play live! Lots of stuff like “Saturday Night of the Living Dead,” “Vampires Don’t Exist,” and “Voices of the Dead.” They always get the crowd going, and that’s always great. I never wanna be the kind of band that plays filler and avoids killer. Fuck that! Play the hits or go home! ”Eyes Down” is fun to play, too, I really like the melody. Most of our songs are vaguely based off of books or movies, but I think that one was just a collection of ideas, maybe. Jimmy writes half the lyrics, I write the other half and then we put them together! So it’s all kinda hectic and like a split personality, ya know? So, in essence, to answer your question…I HAVE NO IDEA. Ha!
Justin – Give or take the band has been around for 7 to 8 years? (Please correct me if I’m wrong). But during this time what is the most important thing you have learned personally and what do you think the band as a whole has learned?
Bobby – I think we’ve learned how to be a band, how to play together, how to tour. Something like playing more than two shows in a row was insane to us when we first started! We also learned how to sleep in a van and live off of peanut butter and beer!
Justin – Since starting the band how do you feel your music has progressed? Is it what you imagined it would be?
Bobby – I wanna think so, and that it was all natural progression, but who knows? I try to emulate my favorite bands, and I get into different musical kicks every other month, so again…who knows?
Justin – In closing I want to sincerely thank you Bobby for taking the time for doing this interview for Technicolor Terror and we really appreciate it! Is there anything you would like to add or say to the fans?
Bobby – Thanks for everything! You make the shows fun, the parties wild, the daily crap bearable. We ain’t shit without ya!
Justin – Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed our interview!
An interview with John and Bret of Beneath the Cellar
Justin (Apathy) Stankus
Beneath the Cellar was founded in the summer 2006 in Orange County, CA. Though the original lineup has since moved on, lead singer and guitarist and founding member Johnny Macabre still has the band marching on at a incredible and strong pace. Since the additions of bassist Chris and drummer Bret, the band has achieved a tighter sound and are currently in the studio fine tuning the new songs for the new and upcoming record. Beneath the Cellar has been one of my all time favorite horror-punk bands and I keep wondering why a band that is so good and has so much has not been signed yet. Honestly all I can say is there’s truly great things to be heard with this band, if you haven’t checked them out yet please do. For I have been a devoted fan since hearing them back in 2007. But let us finally begin!
We’ll start the interview off with a simple: what’s your name and what do you do in the band?
J – Howdy, I’m Johnny and I vocalize and play the guitars
B – I’m Bret and I play drums
What was both of your musical “moments”? When did both of you realize that making music is what you wanted to do for a living?
J - I have wanted to make music since I was in grade school. Ever since I picked up the guitar I wanted to write music and express myself.
B – When I was in high school before I ever played drums, I saw Joey Jordison of Slipknot do a drum solo and I said “that’s what I want to do”, haha.
So this question could be directed at you both but how did Beneath the Cellar come about? How did both of you end up in the band?
J - I started the band with a few friends in late 2005. We really started it just to have fun and play music, it evolved into what it is today over time. Members have come and gone but it has always been the project that has been close to my heart. lol…
B - I was a fan of BTC before I met any of the guys. Long story short, made friends with them and the original drummer couldn’t do it anymore and I already knew the songs from obsessively listening to their CD so I was asked to join.
J - The name was kind of inspired by Henrietta from the movie Evil Dead 2. You know, she was buried beneath the ground in the fruit cellar haha. Why that came to mind I don’t know, but we all agreed on the name and it just kind of stuck. We were toying around with too many names to think of at first, to tell you the truth I don’t even remember them, I don’t think they were very good haha.
Obvious horror fans, what was it about everything macabre and the imagery of horror that brought you guys together to start a horror-punk band? What were your “horror defining” moments? Whether it was a comic, movie, cartoon, band, video game, etc. and why?
J - Actually we never intended to be a horror punk band at first. I think it probably manifested from what I was listening to during the time when the band started. I’ve always loved anything and everything Danzig and I was/still am a huge Blitzkid and Balzac fan. For the first record at least those were my two biggest influences on the music side. The lyrics were formed more from personal anguish lol. I definitely am always inspired by horror, it’s the genre I identify with them most. Although we haven’t had too much artwork done yet I am always inspired by comics, I still collect to this day. Art has always been something I enjoy doing when not working on music.
B - My mom showed me a book on Jack the Ripper when I was much younger and since then I’ve had a fascination with anything related to horror or the macabre and I love music why not do something that incorporates both.
I cannot stress enough how much I love the album guys! I especially cannot get enough of the epic tune known as , “Taste for the Blade”. Was/is there a story behind this song? It is my favorite so I must know. What are your favorite songs to play and why?
J - I wrote the song about my sister who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2005. It is basically about her and my feelings following her passing. I have never been religious but it was a real loss of god kind of time for me. Right now my favorite stuff to play is the new stuff that’s gonna be on the new record. As for the old record I like to play True Hell and Ali Baba probably the most.
B - I also like playing the new stuff but my favorite to play off the old record are probably True Hell and Devour and Console.
Another thing I love about the album and the band is your vocals John. Most horror-punk bands have no shortage of Danvig vocals (Danzig/Elvis hybrid) which isn’t a bad thing to me, but sometimes it gets pretty old. But to me at least it doesn’t seem like you were trying to achieve those exact kind of vocals though I can still hear a big influence. I have gone on to say that besides the great Danzig and TB Monstrosity that your vocals are my favorite in horror-punk so far, especially on, “True Hell”. Is this how you’ve always sung? Or did you purposely try to steer clear of most of what the other bands were doing?
J - Truthfully I think I learned to sing by belting out Danzig songs while i’m driving lol. But what was important to me was not to mimic any artist and kind of make it my own. I think people will see that my vocalization has evolved when they hear the new record. Not that I’ve totally dropped my old style but I have tried to vocalize more natural as I’ve continued to perform, I feel like it’s always changing for the better.
Bret, who are your biggest influences when it comes to drumming? John, who were/are your idols when it comes to the guitar?
B - I grew up listening to a lot of metal and watching Joey from Slipknot got me into drums but my list of favorite drummers is endless. If I had to narrow it down to 3 it would probably be Ray Luzier (not a huge Korn fan but the guy kills the kit), Travis from Blink, and Shannon Lucas form The Black Dahlia Murder.
J - You probably wouldn’t be able to tell but I am influenced a lot by a plethora of artists. Everything from Paul Allender from Cradle of Filth to Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers. Recently I’ve been inspired a lot by Die from Dir en Grey. Obviously I am influenced by a lot of horror rock but I like artists who continue to progress and change with their playing.
Is there any new material in the works? Can we expect a new album anytime soon? What can fans expect from Beneath the Cellar in the near future? Spill some guts!
J - Definitely!!! The new record is pretty much already written we are just working out the kinks in the songs. We are also supposed to be putting out an exclusive track on an upcoming horrorpunk comp. As for the record it’s gonna be coming out in the first quarter of 2012 for sure!!! Expect great things!
B - The comp is Rest in Horror From Monsterfiend, and that should be out early next year.
If someone stumbled upon this interview having no idea of who you guys were. How would you describe Beneath the Cellar? Why would you suggest people check you guys out?
J - That’s a hard question, I guess if you had to compare us to other groups you would probably start with bands like The Misfits, Blitzkid, The Spook, AFI. I don’t know where people would put us, we just do what we do and hope people enjoy it. I guess the best way would be to listen to the music haha. Why should people check us out?? Because we fucking RULE!! lol
B - I hate describing the band haha, because it’s not just horror-punk, I like to call it melodic punk.
What has been your favorite show since starting the band?
J - Probably playing with Blitzkid, or this big festival show we played at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles before they closed it down. That was the best live sound setup we have ever had.
B - Opening for Calabrese in Vegas. Not necessarily cause it was an amazing show but just all the fun I had before during and after the show. It was an awesome day.
Speaking of shows! Now I have to ask, are there any big scale tours in the works for you guys? Is there any chance of fans seeing you guys on the East Coast anytime soon?
J - Possibly, the real reason we don’t tour much is money. We would love to tour all over but we just don’t have the cash. Unfortunately we are a poor band lol we have to do everything ourselves while still sustaining a place to lay down at night. But it will happen eventually i promise!
Last question when it comes to shows but who are some of your favorite bands to share the stage with? If given the opportunity who would you guys love to tour with?
J - I love playing with Order of the Fly, they are really great people, Calabrese is also really fun to share the stage with! I would love to share the stage with the Butthole Surfers!!
B - I like playing with The Order of the Fly, Calabrese, Stellar Corpses and The Wreckin Kats. If given the opportunity I’d like to tour with Wednesday 13 or Blitzkid.
Do either of you possibly have an awesome/crazy story you could share with us dealing with life on the road?
J - I’m pretty tame I guess, as i’ve gotten older I don’t really like to get trashed at shows anymore so I keep it pretty calm I guess. I’ve had a lot of substance abuse problems that kind of keep me from getting out of hand lol. Bret is a different story, that boy loves to get trashed!
B - Like I said Vegas was fun but I don’t think I can share details, haha. One of the funniest though was probably when we played San Diego. I got plastered after the show and don’t remember much till after I woke up and apparently I had given out my debit card and ended buying booze for everyone and had a bottle of wine and a 30 brick leftover. I was broke for a week after that.
John, has any of your lyrics ever struck a nerve with friends, family, or loved ones?
J - I think my mom and dad had a lot of emotions come out because of the theme of my sisters death driving the first record.
If you could tell/suggest 4 bands for your fans to check out who would they be and why?
J - The Rosedales, The Melvins, OSI, and Despairs Ray
B - The Order of the Fly are a great band and awesome guys (and gal), Murderland has some bitchin’ tunes, I’m really digging the Darrow Chemical Company stuff and My Buddys in the Wreckin Kats put on a rad live show.
Your top 3 horror movies. GO!
J - Night of the Living Dead, Gozu, and Shaun of the Dead
B - Return of the Living Dead, Flesh for the Beast, and anything with Vincent Price.
B - We should have merch in the next few months if all goes well but you will be able to pick up our merch at http://www.theskeletoncrue.com.
The band has been around for a few years now. During this time what is the most important things each of you have learned personally? As a band what has Beneath the Cellar learned?
J - I’ve learned a lot about myself, too much to write. I’ve learned that I have a bad drug problem and I’m terrible with money lol. As for the band we have learned to let everyone have their own influence, it really makes the songwriting process go a lot smoother.
B - I learned to stop drinking before playing a show haha. And don’t leave gear lying around without someone watching it. I lost a stick bag I just got for christmas with $100 worth of brand new gear and unused sticks at a show.
When it comes to horror based music or horror-punk in general there is no denying that every band takes a big influence from The Misfits and rightly so. But my question is, if you had to exclude them, then who is the biggest influence on the band?
J - For me I would have to say Balzac and Blitzkid.
B - I’m a huge Bliztkid fan, especially when they happen to have a good drummer haha.
Since starting the band how do you feel the your music has progressed?
J - I feel that we have progress tremendously as a band and as separate musicians. The new songs are more progressive than anything we have ever done before, I think we all fell like were doing something thats gonna be really special.
B - I didn’t start the band but I know playing in BTC has pushed me to be more creative with my druming.
In closing I want to give another big thank you to John and Bret for taking time to do this interview! But before we let you go, is there anything you’d like to add? Anything to say to the fans?
J - To everyone who has been there for us in one way or another to help us out we really thank you, you are what drives us to keep going. And also I would like to thank you for interviewing us, much thanks mate!!!
Big thanks to everyone that supports what we do, Fans, Family & Friends, we couldn’t do it without you.
Hope you all enjoyed the interview!
An interview with Chris Mann of The Channeling.
Justin (Apathy) Stankus
The Channeling is a force to be reckoned belting out of Orange County, CA which is headed by lead vocalist and guitar player Chris and accompanied by his bandmates Rich, Donny, and Landon. A horror based punk rock band, The Channeling have to offer you some of the best music I have heard in a long fucking time with their debut full-length, “Last Harvest” on Axe ‘N’ Head Records, which I have gone on to say and still believe, without a doubt to be the best horror-punk album of 2011 hands down. Yeah that’s right, I’m saying this stuff impressed and blew me away more than Death of a Demon’s, Blitzkid’s, or the Crimson Ghost’s newest releases. This is truly a band that has one hell of a unique sound which is super addictive and makes this band one that stands out amongst a already crowded genre. If you do not pick up this album, you are without a doubt and in all sincerity, a fucking idiot. But let us get on to the real reason you are here! Let’s start the interview!
Hey Chris, so you and me have already been introduced to one another and been in contact for awhile now, but for the fans and readers could I get your name and the rest of the member’s names as well and your positions within the band?
My name is Chris, and I sing and play guitar. Richard Triggs plays lead guitar and also sings, Donny Morris plays the drums, and Landon Hell plays bass and provides vocals as well.
So Chris can you tell us how The Channeling came to life? How did all the members come together?
The project started with just myself back in 2004. I really wanted to write and record an album all on my own, which was an idea that inspired me upon hearing Rikk Agnew’s, “All By Myself” solo record. So throughout the years, I would be writing and recording what would ultimately become the, “Less Summer EP” and “Last Harvest”. It was during those years that I put together a live band with good friends whom I’ve performed with in other projects. Of course people come and go, or you are just trying to find the right fit. We all continue to support each other, but I believe this current lineup is the strongest I’ve worked with in any band. We’re all seasoned road-tested musicians, and we know what to expect after years of playing together.
Why was “The Channeling” chosen as the band name? Is there a story behind the name? Also were there any other thoughts that almost made it, if so could you name a few for us?
I decided on, ‘The Channeling” not just because of its immediate relation to the supernatural, but also because creatively, I could do anything with it. I don’t feel locked into any specific genre where if I wanted to try something drastically different, I’d have to change the name.
Still having an active role in Intro5pect what caused you to start The Channeling? Was it something that came to you as a kind of spur of the moment thing or was it something that you always had in the back of your mind?
I’ve always wanted to front my own band, that’s just where I’ve always pictured myself. I love getting out there, and don’t get me wrong, I have a blast in the other band, and I’ll always feel fortunate to have shared those “character building” moments on tour, whether it’s sleeping on some mystery mattress in an abandoned slaughterhouse in France, or playing in front of 5,000 people at a festival in England. I would love to experience all of that with The Channeling. Hopefully with less mystery mattresses.
As an obvious horror fan, what about horror and the imagery brought you guys together to start a horror punk, or more horror based band? What would you say was your “horror defining” moment Chris?
I’m glad you ask that, because I never deliberately strived for The Channeling to be a “horror-punk” band. It’s not like I abhor the genre at all, of course I very much embrace it. Like anyone, I just wrote what I knew and could relate to, and it just happened to leak into it. There are only like 3 songs on the record that are truly rooted in horror, and the rest are more universal themes. As far as “the”horror defining moment for me, it was the time I got to stay home from school back in kindergarten to watch the network premiere of the original “The Haunting”.
I cannot stress enough how much I love the album, I love the record so much I have gone on to say that Last Harvest is the best horror punk album of 2011 in my opinion. What are your favorite songs to play and is there a story behind each one? If so please tell us. Also would you tell us the story behind Cold Circuits as well? It’s my favorite so I had to ask for that one.
I appreciate that greatly! The positive feedback is very encouraging. Choosing favorite songs to play? Hell, all of them, if we have the time. Each song definitely has a story behind it, which is partly why the record took so much time to complete is because those experiences hadn’t happened yet, and of course I wasn’t without a few distractions. Writing the record was a very humbling experience, and you learn to just be honest with yourself and let go. Cut the ego and the ‘mystique’ bullshit and just go for it. People will relate to you more. I am glad that you enjoy Cold Circuits! I honestly try to avoid interpreting songs, as my interpretation can differ from the connection that any other person has already made to it. I just wouldn’t want to risk ruining that for anyone. And no, I’m not being ‘mysterious’.
Another thing I love about the album and the band is your vocals Chris. When you listen to most (and I stress most) horror based bands it’s almost always the same thing. A melodic singer trying to achieve a Elvis/Danzig hybrid. Where yours sounds more like a less feminine and less whinny Davey Havok, it’s something really refreshing to listen to and gives it a much more punk attitude and aggression, where most bands are very melodic and slow. Was this something you had kept in mind and wanted to stay clear of? Or is this just how you’ve always sung?
Again, thank you! I appreciate it! The irony is that I never really listened to AFI. I just sing naturally, I don’t really think anything of it, nor am I trying to emulate anyone. When I first started out singing, I made the mistake of every beginner by trying to sound like my influences. After a while you smarten up and realize the world already has a singer that sounds like that, and they’ll always do it better than you, so stop wasting your time. Find your own voice, as nobody else can sound like you.
It may be a little too soon to ask, but is there any new material in the works? A split? 7 inch? Shit, even a new album!? Can you spill some guts for us that want more!? What can we expect from The Channeling in the near future?
We have indeed been writing new music, on top of what I was already demoing for the next record, even while I was finishing Last Harvest. Everyone in this band is great to collaborate with, and its been very productive. Whether it will be a split/EP/Full length, time will tell. We are also in pre-production for a video for one of the songs, and the concept is fantastic. It’ll have to be a surprise for now, but those who ordered the album online will be receiving some cryptic clues when it gets closer to completion. (Another benefit of buying the record, the fun lingers on!). But at the forefront, the focus is on getting Last Harvestout there to as many human beings as possible.
If someone was reading this not knowing who you or The Channeling was how would you describe the band? Why would you suggest people should check you guys out?
When I try to describe the music, for some reason I tend to give visuals. And this will be no exception. I would say try to imagine the house in POLTERGEIST. Now imagine a band in the garage of that house, playing music while coffins, corpses, and ghosts are flying out from all directions as the ECTO-1 (covered in marshmallow) inexplicably crashes into the side of the house. If you can relate to that, then you should definitely check us out.
What has been your favorite show you guys have played so far since starting the band?
It would have to be our CD release show. I had been dreaming of that day for the longest time. We sounded great, the bands were terrific, and we got to see some old friends again.
Speaking of shows! Are there any big scale tours in the works? Is there any chance of fans catching you guys on the East Coast anytime soon?
A tour is inevitable! Where and when we tour will be up for deliberation. It’s been real tough for bands lately because of gas prices, so we want to be sure we are planning the most efficient tour possible, while reaching as many people possible.
Last question when it comes to touring but who are some of your favorite bands to share the stage with? If given the opportunity to play with whoever you so desired who would it be? Do you possibly have an awesome/crazy story you could share with us dealing with life on the road?
It’s always fun playing with Deadman Walking. When we tour in Intro5pect, we’ve always enjoyed going out with Citizen Fish, Leftover Crack, Anti-Flag, and Moral Dilemma (UK). We were lucky enough to play the Rebellion Festival for two years, and share the stage with bands we had grown up listening to: The Damned, Vice Squad, Dickies etc. It was surreal. But it’s the tours where you are out on your own that have the most interesting stories: Homeless people finding a way into your van while you are the only one sleeping in it, waking up to a semi-conscious drunk person about to puke on you, spilling a jar of Nutella all over your pants just as you are about to be inspected by the French border patrol, pretending to be asleep in a studio apartment as the host deems it necessary to express his love physically to his significant other just 2 feet above you, and of course, Waffle House.
Do you or any of your fellow band members have any strange pre-show obsessions?
If it was really that strange, they have been wise not to share it.
If you could tell your fans 4 bands to go check out immediately, who would they be and why?
New Model Army, Devics, Carved, and Deep Stirrings. They all are very unique and distinct from each other, but there is something in there for everyone.
Your top 3 horror movies, what are they and a small tad of info as to why.
Ugh, only 3? Not fair. But here goes. 1) The Haunting. 2) Poltergeist. 3) Evil Dead 2. Ghostbusters 1 & 2. House On Haunted Hill. Frighteners. Reanimator. Pet Cemetery. And The Gate. There. Three. I’ve always preferred the films that were more psychological and played up the paranormal element.
Where can fans go to get a hold of your music/merchandise if they don’t already know?
http://www.TheChanneling.bandcamp.com, iTunes, http://www.TheChanneling.net
If you buy the record from us, you get a limited hand screened glow-in-the-dark spirit board. Its cooler than it sounds, trust me.
Give or take the band has been around for about 2 or 3 years now? Please correct me if I’m wrong because I’m actually not positive about this fact. But during this time what is the most important thing you have learned personally and what has the band as a whole learned?
You’re pretty much always learning. No matter how much you think you’ve got a grasp on something, another thing will always come along in attempts to humble and derail you. The important thing is to fight through it, and not lose the meaning in your music in the process.
Since starting the band how do you feel your music has progressed, is it what you imagined it would be?
Over the years, I definitely believe I have become more focused and confident in where I want the sound to go and how it represents the band. I can safely say its where I hoped it would be, and it has been very energizing.
Now when it comes to horror music there is no denying that every band takes a big influence from The Misfits. But if you were to exclude them, who is The Channeling’s biggest influence? Who else highly influences you personally and the band?
Personally, New Model Army, Samhain, The Replacements, Devics. Rich is really fond of Refused, G.G. Allin, and Verbal Abuse. For Donny, it would have to be Dave Lombardo from Slayer and Bill Stevenson from Descendents. Landon, I rarely see NOT rockin the Lower Class Brats shirt, but he also listens to Descendants, Op Ivy and Dead Kennedys.
Now this is one of my signature questions that I ask every band I interview. But what is your view on religion? I have always seen religion as a obvious subject when talking about horror-punk, but it always seems like I hear about something else whether that be video games, ghosts, killing your girlfriend, or Tina. Not saying any of those things are bad at all! But how do you feel about it personally? Is it something that influences your music and the band?
I’m not religious and neither is anyone else in the band. It’s one of those things that I just don’t really feel the need to touch upon with the music because it has nothing to do with me or the bands concept. For me, it’s always been about exploring the idea and possibilities of life after death, whether it’s the form of energy or full torso apparitions, and who knows what else. It just interests me.
In closing I sincerely want to thank you Chris for taking the time to do this interview with me and being so patient with my lazy ass haha. Before we end this interview is there anything you would like to add for us and for the fans?
We shall see you soon!
Seriously though, go check this band out immediately!
An interview with Shane of The Lurking Corpses
Justin (Nosebleed) Stankus
The Lurking Corpses formed in 2001 out of Fort Wayne, Indiana and believe me when I say that this band will rip the flesh off your bones and you will “Scream and Scream Again” as you are “Waiting To Die”. Dark and sinister horror-punk filled with influences ranging from underground legends like Mercyful Fate, Samhain, The Misfits, and even Venom. You will bare the “Mark Of The Devil” once you’ve heard Lord Vladimir Von Ghoul’s horror shriek “He Kills Night After Night”. These guys are a group that should be one of the most talked about bands when it comes to horror-punk, blending the genre flawlessly and reflecting their collective love of classic horror punk anthemic qualities as well as death and thrash metal elements added in for good measure. The Lurking Corpses will leave you begging for more, even if it means the end of your life!
So Shane can you tell us how The Lurking Corpses came about? How did all the members come together, and how did you guys come up with The Lurking Corpses as the band’s name? Who came up with the name?
We formed in the fall of 2001. I came up with the bands name. Due to being a huge horror film nut, I wanted to name the band something that sounded like it could be the title of an old horror movie.
How would you describe the band’s music? To me it sounds like an awesome unique brand of horror-punk with tinges of metal and thrash, and to me I consider you guys a horror-punk band but a unique one at that. Others have gone onto label the band as “Zombiecore” or “Horrorcore”. If you had to say, how would you describe your music? There’s no need to label it if you don’t want to, just how you feel about it.
As an obvious horror fan, what about horror and the imagery brought you guys in to start a horror based band? What was your “horror defining” moment? Was it a movie, obsession, band, serial killer, book, etc.? What started your love of the macabre?
I have been a self-proclaimed horror geek since I was a kid. I used to read the old E.C. horror comics from the 1950′s and fell in love with monster movies at a young age. I still enjoy these activities today. I’m also an avid reader of True Crime. All of these things have been a huge inspiration to the band.
When faced with writing new material how does the band go about doing it? What usually inspires you, is there a certain process you go through? Kind of a dumb question I know, but I find be surprised by a lot of band’s responses.
We all contribute musically in the song writing process. We usually will write the music first, and the lyrics come afterword. I write all of the lyrics.
Is there a new album in the works? Can you spill some guts on this subject!?
Waiting for a Heartbeat with Horrorwood Ending
So rarely has a record caught me so off guard as Horrorwood Ending’s debut full length “Waiting For a Heartbeat” had that I couldn’t turn away. Everything about the record just fits, from the lyrics the music and the vocals come together beautifully to create a melodic horror-punk massacre worthy of any horror fans record collection. Technicolor Terror and myself are honored to have had the chance to interview Horrorwood Ending who, without a doubt should be and hopefully will be up there with the likes of Blitzkid and the Misfits in the years to come!
We’ll start the interview off with a simple: what’s your name and what do you do in the band?
Ryan Waltz, Guitar and Vocals
Ryan Lannon, Drums
Mike Leamons, Bass
How did ‘Horrorwood Ending’ come to be, what inspired you to form such a band?
RW – When the band first started it was just Lannon and I. We really just loved the misfits and given our musical talent at that time it seemed like the only logical choice.
Prior to Horrorwood Ending were any of you in other bands?
RW – This is my first and only band I’ve ever been in.
ML – I was in a handful of other bands, but have always been around Horrorwood since their first show.
RL- Waltz and I tried for a long time to get a band going and nothing worked out until Horrorwood.
How did you meet?
RW – Lannon and I met in 7th grade. I stabbed him in the hand with a pencil and he slugged me. the friendship was instant.
ML – My first band was playing a basement show, and Waltz was there with one of the other bands. I met Lannon just before the first Horrorwood show, when my band at the time had a cookout, and all of those guys came up.
What’s the history behind the name ‘Horrorwood Ending’? because to me, the came isn’t derived from the horror genre itself but rather from the sense of hopelessness one feels in the search for their own personal ‘happy’ ending. Now, I’m curious to know how far I struck out on that one and know what it all means to you.
RW – You’re very close so don’t feel bad. We were struggling for a name as all bands do and I setteled on Hollywood Ending. Where the guy gets the girl and everyone ends up living happily ever after. Lannon countered with Horrorwood Ending and It just felt right.
Your album ‘Waiting for a Heartbeat’ is a welcomed breath of fresh air with a sound reminiscent of a darker, earlier Bouncing Souls (which in my opinion is a good thing) what are some of your influences that the casual listening wouldn’t expect?
RW – Top five on my mp3 player right now are Alkaline Trio, Gaslight Anthem, The Old 97′s, Honorary Title, and Bruce Springsteen.
ML – The Boss and Billy Joel.
RL- Have to agree with waltz. I listen to alot of metal but we try and keep that out of there.
Now this questions expands well beyond bands, movies or even books. What is it that keeps you all going and causes you to come back for me? What is it that inspires you on a daily basis to keep doing what you do?
RW- Personally its almost like second nature. I wouldnt know what to do if I wasn’t doing this.
ML – It’s my escape from all the shit of every day. You know, it’s those few hours each week where you can let it all out, and it just keeps me level.
RL- music is my passion playing together gives me the chance to sit down filter out the world and only worry about our music.
What are some of the bands, books or movies that have inspired you or at least knocked your socks off recently?
RW – Everyone on my list of casual listening with the exception of Alkaline Trio are all new music to me that has knocked my socks off. I wish I read more, I just started in the world of comics Its been a blast and as for movies. Nothing. Most of whats coming out nowadays is trash.
ML – I’ve really gotten into Springsteen in the last year, and the more I get into his collection of music, the more amazed I am.
RL- Ive had a hard time finding new music an movies that grab my attetion so ive been digging into my colletion of older things to find the wow moments.
What amazes me about the ‘horror-punk’ community is the companionship that comes from it and compared to the other subgenres in the punk scene it’s probably the smallest as well, especially when a small band from Mexico or Germany releases a demo and never plays a show and yet they’re almost able to garner their own cult following. It’s also a scene where everyone seems to know each other or at least have a few mutual friends. Do you think that this works because the scene is so small and with the exception of a few people here and there it’s also very much apolitical, would such a thing work on a larger scale?
RW – As long as there are sites like this run by people who love the genre its gonna be fine and anything is possible.
RL- every time we play a show with another horror band there is always a friendship made.
Rather than focus on the clichéd trappings that come from the horror-punk genre (don’t get me wrong, I love those) your lyrics come mainly from within and seem to look primarily at the horrors of life: lost love, heartbreak and loneliness that’s peppered with the occasional B-movie imagery to create something that’s surprisingly relatable. Was it important for you guys to create such a sound rather than follow the safe and well-traveled path paved by countless others?
RW – It was more out of maturing. We have almost a entire other album of stuff that is just like everything else out there that is recorded but just never released. So when It came time to start writing and recording what would be “Waiting” I just kinda decided at least lyrically I wanted to make myself happy and write what was important to me.
Horrorwood Ending is currently signed to Robot Monster – a label known for signing only the finest horror-punk bands. How did this ‘marriage’ come to be?
RW – I was friends with Travis Broyles since he was a co-owner of Crypt Of Blood records and after we went into the studio I showed him a rough demo of “Ready To Die” He told me the next day that he would like to offer us a contract. I’d hate to say but we have parted ways with the label. No bad blood just a lot of differant variables came into it.
ML – I absolutely love my aspect of this story. I was hanging out with Waltz and Lannon one day before I joined the band. We had been talking about music, and I expressed an interest in playing bass with them. So we had maybe 2 or 3 practices together, when Waltz texted me asking if I had heard from Lannon. It was at that point that I had heard about Robot Monster being interested in the band. I really didn’t know how to take it, seeing as we never had the “you’re in the band” talk. Once everything was clarified, and I was officially in the band, all I remember thinking was “fuck, now I have to go out and actually get some decent gear”.
RL- The best part was when travis offered us the contract i had lost my phone an waltz was in a frenzy for 3 days trying to track me down to see if i was interested in signing to “RM”
We love you over here at Technicolor Terror! So how has ‘Waiting for a Heartbeat’ been received by the fans and critics?
RW – We’re getting off to a slow start but definatly better then anticipated!
ML – Like Ryan said, it’s been a slow process, but from what I’m hearing, it’s been nothing but good things.
What was the recording process like?
RW – LONG! It took us over a year to record, mix, and master the entire album.
ML – Long and tiring. I don’t think I’ve spent more time at a Wawa then I did while recording this album.
RL- it did take a long time mostly due to lack of experiance. It was our first full length album so we had no idea what to expect.
The record is so unique in many respects. Like picking your favorite child (every parent does it regardless of what they say) what are some of the songs on the album that really stand out to you?
RW – I’d say Back From Hell, Ready To Die, The Room, Code Blue, and Hell’s Too Good For Her. If I were going to make a sample CD for someone that would be It.
ML – The Room, Code Blue, and Hell’s Too Good For Her.
RL- Back From Hell, Waiting For A Heatbeat and Teenage Zombie. Its just so raw an striped down, fun to play and watch the crowd move.
Alright, so the album hasn’t been out that long but it’s never too soon to think of the future. What can we expect from Horrorwood Ending in the near future?
RW – Were trying to play as many shows as possible and also were going back to the studio July 15th to record our next full legth.
ML – Working on as many levels as we can. Booking gigs, writing and recording our next album, and just trying to get the word out there.
Any tours planned in the coming year?
RW – It’s possiable but as of right now, no. Like I said before were going into the studio in July to have our next album done by the fall so fingers crossed for a winter tour.
In fact, with tours in mind. Any bands in particular you’d like to tour with?
RW – Trio, I can dream can’t I?
ML – I have to agree with Ryan about Trio. I just hope our livers are up for it.
Any important or life altering tidbits of knowledge learned while on the road?
RW – I always thought I would hate to travel so being on the road and finding out I love it is really nice. While that doesn’t apply to everyone it was still life altering for me.
ML – Don’t drink 8 cups of coffee after drinking all night, and try to drive home after a show.
RL- Make sure you drive to the venue so someone else”mike” has to drive home.
So as this interview comes to an end. I would like to thank you all for your time and give you the floor to give thanks/shout outs/slander and threats to anyone or anything you’d like to add.
RW – I’d like to thank you and Justin for giving the album a listen and taking your time to review it.
ML – I just want to thank everyone that’s supported us along the way. You’ve all contributed in some way to us getting where we are, and I am extremely greatful for that.
RL- Thanks to anyone who has/will buy our album, everyone who comes to our shows, and all our friends.
An Interview with Alex Story
by Kevin Millikin
Alex Story is one man you really don’t want to fuck with. After releasing countless records through Cancerslug, Alexinash and fronting the crushing ‘super group’ Gorgeous Frankenstein alongside ex-Misfits Doyle Wolfgang Frankenstein and Dr. CHUD is at it again with his latest outlet ‘The Ultra Creeps.’ his already impressive discography itself takes up a huge portion of my ipod. So, what follows is by far one of the best interviews with one of the most humble and well respected vocalists around today.
What inspired you to originally form a band like Cancerslug?
Hatred for music and people.
What is it about horror and its imagery that attracted you to it?
Life is horror… from the birth process to the death process it is blood and pain and the excitement found in both.
You’ve been actively working on Cancerslug now since 1999 and have since become on of the most prolific musicians on the ‘horror’ punk circuit, releasing numerous albums a year and most of which are without a set band. Was this something you intentionally set about from the get-go or did it just come as a natural progression of revolving members?
Honestly i just never had a regular set of members or even a home base, I move around so much. I get bored if i stay in one place to long but I’m always writing songs and over the years many of my friends and fellow musicians have done shows and albums with me because they believe in the work I’m doing. I’ve been fortunate enough to have many great musicians see merit in the material and want to participate in the cult.
I’ve tried to go back and count how many releases you have under your belt both with Cancerslug and your other side projects but always draw a blank as most discographies are incomplete or none existent. So I feel it’s best if it were to come from the horses’ mouth. To this date, how many records have you release?
I kinda like people being unsure about how many releases demo or otherwise have been released. I think it would be cool if after I’m dead some kid that was into my shit just constantly kept digging up random rare and unreleased material. That’s what was great about being into obscure music pre-internet, I remember driving to other states to dig up rare bootlegs of my favorite bands back in the day so all I can say is there is A LOT of material out there and there will be A LOT more before I’m done. The good the bad and the ugly
it all paints one big picture together
Of all of those which is the one that stands out the most in your mind and why?
I’m always happiest with whatever new album I’m working on and I don’t just say that to sell the current project. It’s just that, at any given time, that’s where my head is and so the most current disk usually reflects the current state of the movement my personal war and your only as good as your last battle
You’ve said in interviews before that 2009’s “Tales of a Butcher” is Cancerslug’s proper debut. What is it about that particular record that sets it apart from everything else you’ve done in the past?
It was the first one released officially in stores, every other album was pretty much a demo given away for free online even though there were lots of bootlegs sold in stores, butcher was the first official release from the band and the only reason that it wasn’t given away for free was because it took a lot of money to make that album happen and to get all those great musicians together in one place at one time. It could have only happened with label support and so we called on our friends at drink blood records, those guys spent money to make that album happen and worked hard to promote it, so I wanted to make sure they got a return on their investment. They will also be releasing our newest album “BY SPIRITS UNCLEAN” on an even wider scale, so this album will pretty much be our second official release even though we have countless demo albums out there, this new material needs to be properly distributed because it is the strongest most spiritual album to date
Cancerslug has been hailed as one of the vilest bands in America by Rue Morgue Magazine, much like the punk rock equivalent of Cannibal Corpse. From what part of you do such vile and horrific things come from? Where does the real Alex Story end and the lyrical one begin?
The art is always a representation of the artist, most of it is very personal, some is not literal, however some is. It’s not up to me to explain where I fit in, it is up to the listener to figure out where they fit in or if they even do fit in. This is more than a band, the slug cult is rising and people will see what we do.
Has any of your lyrics ever struck a nerve with friends, family or loved ones?
I should hope so as well as with total strangers otherwise I would be full of shit
You align yourself with the concept of wolves and the werewolf with such themes being prevalent in many of your songs (Shapeshift, Rise of the Wolf, winter and lone wolf) what is it about this that attracts you to it?
As men we suppress our true natures, the animals inside but pushed far enough and the beast will come out. Our true skin will break through, fists to claw, tooth to fang. We are all capable of metamorphosis in our own way most people are just too scared to give in to their primal side but it can be a great strength to pull from.
The vast majority of your music is released freely online. While I’m sure this has helped you reach a wider audience, it must be difficult financially. How has this (if any) effected your ability to tour or release merchandise and that sort of thing?
I’ve never made money off the band, it costs me money to do it. Tours pretty much pay for themselves and keep us alive but i don’t do it to be rich or famous otherwise I wouldn’t make the kind of music I make and I wouldn’t give away the demos in whatever form of completion. This is like religion to me more than entertainment. This is something you can’t put into words. I’m not so one dimensional that I would say “music is my life” but it is a very important part of who I am and what I am trying to do is use my art to get people (even if only a select few) to see things from a different perspective.
When will we be seeing the follow up to ‘Decade of Decay’?
If you mean phase 2… then never….. originally I had planned on doing a two part album to celebrate the first ten years of Cancerslug… D.O.D. phase one was just the rough demos for the album and I was going to do a proper studio version for phase 2 but I have a short attention span and I kept writing new material, so what started out as one kind of album has now grown out of control into its own thing and no longer has any connection to those demos so we will be releasing a completely stand alone album now called “BY SPIRITS UNCLEAN” we record next month.
You’ve become sort of a cult icon in the underground. How’s that feel for someone who really seems to stray away from the spotlight?
I never wanted to be like a “rock star” or whatever, That’s why I call my solo stuff “Cancerslug” not “Alex Story.” Its just about the art but I’m glad that a lot of people all over the world seem to get it and it has allowed me to meet and work with a lot of artists that I grew up respecting. I honestly just want to do good work, it’s all about the end result to me
Recently George “Corpsegrinder” of Cannibal Corpse give Cancerslug a huge shout out in a recent interview with Burning Angel, how does that feel?
George is a really awesome guy. I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with him several times now and don’t think I would be overstepping bounds to call him a friend. It’s always good when someone you respect tells you they like your work.
As of lately you’ve been serving as the vocalist for Gorgeous Frankenstein alongside Left Hand Graham and former Misfits, Dr. CHUD and Doyle Wolfgang Frankenstein. How did all of this come about? Who approached who?
I grew up with a total love for the Misfits. They were the first band a really became a “fan” of as a kid and Doyle was the reason i started playing guitar. I loved the brutality and “don’t give a fuck” kind of approach he took to music. Those old bootleg videos and magazines I grew up on really made me respect him as an artist and performer. He had a clear vision for what he wanted his band to be but as it was his first band to put together on his own, it took him a while to make it exactly what he wanted to be. The riffs and playing were there, he was just looking for a way to make the rest just as brutal. I think he is one of the most underrated people in the biz, he is the strongest rhythm guitarist ever in my opinion and just needed a little help with lyrics and focusing his ideas into what he was trying to do. ‘Seems he wanted to bring that old school “Misfits – Earth AD” or “Damaged – Black Flag” aggression with a thrash metal quality of modern heaviness. He liked my Cancerslug stuff and so he asked me if I would help him write some songs. We spent like a year and a half just writing together and came up with some really amazing stuff but then he told me; ” no one can sing this stuff like you, and we all want you to do it” so I said I would sing for his band as well. Now I think we have one of the strongest live acts around and we are just starting to record the first of several albums that we will release back to back to show just how brutal this band should have been from the start. I think its really going to blow people away.
Lately demos of the songs “Made in Hell,” and “Man or Monster” have been surfacing online both of which appeared on GF’s debut record. Will these songs eventually be rerecorded on the next record?
We have two full length albums planned first but then we are going to re-work the first album with the full band – just for the fans who have asked for us to do it
* Among those what other songs will be/have been rerecorded because as I remember in older interviews when Goolsby still handled vocals, they discussed the possibility of redoing the first record with the then current lineup. Is this still a possibility?
I’ve got demos of every song with me singing and demos with Doyle singing believe it or not but we wont put any of those out. The ones that leaked were just a few old tracks that fell through the cracks somehow. Like I said we will release that album redone with the full band after the two albums of all new material
Fans of the band are well familiar with some of the new tracks: “Headhunter,” “When I Dream, I Dream of Dead Girls,” “Mark of the Beast,” and “Dark Gods Arise.” Can you give us a hint in regards to the songs that will be making their way onto the record?
I don’t wanna give away too much now. On the last tour we did, we played a different set of all new songs every night to see wich ones we enjoyed playing live the most. The ones we liked the most will be recorded along with a bunch of songs that NO ONE has ever heard. It’s great material and everyone in the band has been pushing themselves to do the best work they have ever done. We really want to make it something new and special.
With all the new songs / bootleg videos that have been popping up on you tube one of which was a track entitled “Land of the Dead,’ was this done as an intentional stab at Jerry Only of the Misfits (and Doyle’s brother) or was it just a coincidence?
We have been working on songs for years now, we had that song called “Land of the Dead” long before Jerry put out his. His just came out first, maybe it was coincidence. Although we did have another song called “The Devils Rain” on our set list at the shop and now I hear Jerry is calling his album “The Devils Rain.” I thought that was funny but I don’t know… maybe he is just fucking with Doyle or maybe its just a coincidence. Doesn’t really matter… We are not trying to compete with what those guys are doing, we are just trying to make a couple of great albums and give the fans a killer fucking live band
What’s the recording process been like for the new record? What’s done? Waits still needs to be done? Since many of us have been waiting impatiently since you were announced as the new vocalist, can you give us an idea when the record will drop?
Doyle and CHUD have been working for several months building their own studio. Glenn gave Doyle the go ahead to produce the new album himself so this will be totally Doyle’s vision. We are taking our time on it because we want it to come out sounding exactly how it needs to but we are rolling now and we have a shit ton of awesome demos to choose from and i can tell you the sound is amazing… its just soooo fucking heavy, so fucking aggressive. I love it and I love being a part of it.
How has it been working with someone as iconic as Doyle?
He is really one of the best people I’ve ever worked with. It’s like he was totally my hero growing up and now I consider him to be one of my best friends, so that’s pretty awesome. I just want to do my part to make his band as great as I always knew it could be because I think he deserves it he’s really a great guy.
The Danzig influence in your sound is undeniable, what was it like not only playing your first show with Gorgeous Frankenstein but also opening for Danzig?
Well of course Danzig is my biggest influence, he is my favorite artist all together and he taught Doyle to play guitar. Doyle grew up with him so of course there will be an influence in the sound but I also think we really have our own thing going too. It’s funny because ever since I started doing music two of my biggest goals were to play with Doyle and to do a tour with Danzig by joining this band I’ve accomplished both of those goals. It’s awesome.
Aside from Gorgeous Frankenstein, you’ve recently started yet another band called “The Ultra Creeps” what can we expect from the Ultra Creeps and what are your motives behind this new band?
M and the girls (Cassie and Helen) have just been having a lot of fun… trying to do something different. Its just like really dark concepts but put together in a really fun sort of way. It allows me to explore other sound textures that wouldn’t fit in my other bands but the overall effect is just as dark just with softer, more feminine quality that can be, in some ways even more sinister.
What can we expect from the Ultra Creeps in the future?
Al lot I hope. I really enjoy the project and love working with the girls, so hopefully a full length album and tour will happen soon.
What can we expect from YOU in the future?
In closing, I want to thank you for your time and for doing this interview and ask if there is any shout outs, thanks, threats or slander you want to give?
Just to say: love us our hate us, just make your OWN opinions and don’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks.
An interview with Thomas of The Dead Next Door
Justin (Apathy) Stankus
The Dead Next Door is a horror-punk band from Gothenburg, Sweden that was formed by Dr. Hans Orloff (vocals and bass), Jonathan Poe (guitars), and Thomas Lovecraft (drums) in April of 2005. Their debut album, “There’s No Business Like Horror Business”, was released in March of 2008. The band is slated to release it’s very anticipated new album, “It Was Hell Down There” in the near future! This band is not to be trifled with and is definitely one of my favorites bands out of Sweden. A band that needs more recognition than they already have, I cannot say enough good things about this group and their music. If you are looking for epic horror-punk that never gets old and will keep you listening for hours on end, then look no further, because you just found them!
So let us begin! Obviously we already know you’re name, but just for the sake of a proper introduction may I please get your name and position within the band?
Nice to meet you. The name´s Thomas Lovecraft. I play the drums, I´m responsible for some of the, “woah-woah-woah´s” that are out of tune and I write the lyrics. That´s how I roll, baby!
How did everyone come together and what inspired you all to form The Dead Next Door? The name also makes me wonder how the name came about, I assume the movie played a part?
Well, we´d been playing together in one constellation or another. I and Dr. Hans Orloff (the lead singer) had been part of a pop-punk band called Guitarmageddon and we pretty much realized that no matter how we look at it, the most fun we´re ever gonna have is when we play Misfits covers, so that’s when got together with our guitarist, Jonathan Poe, to perform some Misfits song under the name Psycho ´98. Then Guitarmageddon dissolved and a couple of years passed and we started playing some Misfits songs again, just for fun, when we just said, “Hey, why don’t we try to write some Misfits songs of our own?”, and that’s how we got started. The name comes from the movie with the same name. If you’ve seen it, it´s one of those kind of movies that we’ve seen a million times and whenever we’re drunk we tend to quote scenes from it and to be honest, the name kinda rolls nicely off the tongue. The movie is extremely low budget but pretty great and I really recommend it. Despite the constraints of a low budget film it’s very ambitious in both scope and story and hopefully that’s how people feel about us, as well.
When you look at the state of the horror-punk scene, it seems to be surviving in the U.S. But when you look across the globe to the likes of Germany, Sweden, and Europe in general, for example, it seems to be THRIVING! Would you agree with this statement? Whether you agree or disagree why do you think so?
Well, I wouldn’t say that it’s thriving here in Sweden. There are a handful of horror bands in Sweden, (at least that I know of), like The Spookshow, The Nighshift and Zombiesuckers so I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the genre is thriving. However, it does exist which is a hell of a lot more than it did just a couple of years ago so I guess we’re on the right track. Swedes have always been more into Metal. Punk isn’t that big. However, in Germany it does seem to be thriving, like you say. Goth has always been big in Germany and I guess it’s that kind of sensibility in horror-punk that appeals to the Germans. You know, if you live on a continent where it’s dark six months out of the year, you’re bound to become pretty gloomy and I guess that’s why certain genres are popular here.
Of all the genres to chose from, why punk rock? What about punk lured you in and what was your first experience with the genre?
Well, my very first experience with punk rock was when I heard The Ramones´, “The KKK Took My Baby Away” at the tender age of nine and I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I didn’t think it was possible to create that kind of music, with that kind of drive and melody. After that there was no turning back, really. It really hit a nerve with me and from there I found Bad Religion and later on, The Misfits. I still think that punk rock is the purest of all genres because what it all comes down to is sort of a distillation of music at its best where you strip away solos and all that shit, which The Ramones were masters at, and just focus on writing a great song with a great melody. Nothing else matters.
This question could have easily gone with my last question. But I feel it needed to be separate from the other. So the horror-scene seems (to me at least) to be primarily dominated by Psycho-billy and Rock-a-billy bands rather than horror-punk bands, it seems like horror punk is on the bottom shelf of the three most of the time. Why did you guys as a band chose to go the horror-punk route?
It was because of the Misfits, really. What they did so fantastically on those original recordings was that they managed to create this completely original genre where you mix 50′s doo wop with the punk rock drive of The Ramones but with lyrics inspired by horror movies. I’ve been a horror movie freak since I was a kid, so naturally this appealed to me but to be honest, it’s really those woah-woah-woah’s that sealed the deal for us. It was an amazing sensation to realize that “hey, here’s this guy with this amazing voice singing about the same obscure movies that I watch”. That was mind-blowing! I mean, listen to a song like “Astro Zombies” and if the sound of Glenn Danzig’s fantastic voice bellowing out that chorus doesn’t get you going, there’s probably something severely wrong with you. But it’s that sense of fun that comes along with singing a song about zombies stalking the planet, but done to the tune of a cheery pop song, that basically made us start the band. Anyone can sing a love song, right? However, if you halfway through the song realize that the girl you’re singing about is dead and the guy who sings the song is the one who killed her, it makes it a hell of a lot more fun for me. I was always interested in playing in a horror-punk band because I thought that I could do a halfway decent job with the lyrics, since I’ve been immersing myself in the genre since I was old enough to read, basically. I’ve always had a love for the overtly melodramatic in lyrics and horror-punk is one of the few genres where you can actually get away with singing lines like “The devil’s been laughing at me/because I was born to live in misery” or whatever. It’s an extremely emotional genre, but without the depression that goes along with most of today’s EMO-bands, and that’s one of the things I love about the genre.
I absolutely love the new album, seriously it is so good and I can’t get enough of it! When can fans expect the release of the new album, “It Was Hell Down There”? What were your main influences on the record? And what is your favorite song off the album?
Thank you very much. I really appreciate that. We hope to have it out there before the year is over. We’re probably gonna self distribute it but hopefully in time for the winter, it’ll be out there. Well, my personal favorite tracks are “Agnes, Dead Things Can’t Cry” because I think it has a certain drive and energy to it that I like and “At The Graveyard”, which was our attempt at writing a sort of 60´s Ramone-style ballad and I think we did an acceptable job at it. You know, when it comes to our influences while making the first record, it was definitely old school Misfits and classic 50´s songs. When it came time to making the second album the 50´s influence had become a bit bigger and that’s basically where we are today. Unlike every other horror-punk band, which seem to start out as pure horror-punk only to morph into some sort of metal/trash-hybrid band, we’re moving in the direction of Ramones and Elvis, instead. One might say that we’re regressing, instead of developing further.
Now it’s obvious that The Misfits have a huge influence on The Dead Next Door, and I’m sure any horror band or horror fan has a huge love/influence from The Misfits. But if you had to exclude them and name your next biggest influence, who would it be and how come?
The Ramones, without a doubt. The Ramones and Elvis, I’d say, and much for the same reason: the voices. Both Joey Ramone and Elvis Presley had this ability to sound like whatever they sang about, they really meant it, whether it was sniffing glue or your burning love. And let’s not forget the fact that the Ramones wrote some of the best songs ever.
Who are your favorite bands to share the stage with?
Well, our friends in The Spookshow and The Nightshift are always great fun to play with. We’re have an upcoming show here in Gothenburg with Blitzkid and our fellow Swedish horror-punk buds The Zombiesuckers, which we’re really looking forward to. We used to do a lot of shows with this local band called Rawmania, which unfortunately aren’t playing anymore, and I have to say that those guys are our favorite band to share the stage with. Great band, great guys!
What is the best/favorite show you have played so far?
I really can’t say. We were probably too drunk to remember it. Our release gig to celebrate the first album was pretty great, though. Lots of people, lots of beer, and lots of fun.
Does the band have any pre-show obsessions/rituals?
Not really. We just hang out, have some beers and try to make time pass as quickly as possible. We don’t even have a favorite beer, come to think of it. This isn’t good for our image! We’re not complicated enough. Before the third album is released, we’re gonna have to develop some weird rituals before the show. Like sacrificing puppies while listening to the soundtrack to “The Exorcist” or something… We’re gonna have to work on that one.
When faced with writing new material, how does the band go about doing it?
Basically I write the lyrics and then Dr. Hans comes up with the melody and then we all gather at someone’s apartment to flesh it out. It’s pretty uncomplicated and it’s all done over a couple of beers. We never ever jam to get a song written! The song is almost always written before we try it out and once it’s done, we change very little.
What is your personal view, as well as the band’s view on religion? With most bands in the scene when I listen to them 98% of time I hear the usual. Murder, necrophilia, ghouls, horror movies, and of course killing your girlfriend. Most of the bands don’t seem to put much focus on religion, and the only band I have really interviewed that seem to take religion head on was The Quintessentials. How do guys feel on the subject? Does religion play any part or have any influence on your music?
None. I someday hope to become a Christian and then lose my faith, just to go through a religious crisis because I think that would be great for one’s creativity. Hell, just look at Nick Cave! The guy’s made a career out of that. So basically, I’m hoping to one day be falling from grace.
Your top 4 favorite horror movies, go!
My god, this is the hardest question so far. I could go on and on about this. The first one would have to be “Jaws”, without a doubt. I spent an entire summer without going into the water around the age of seven or eight. It’s the movie that got me interested in horror to begin with. Then I think I’d go with the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, because just like “Jaws” it’s still genuinely frightening. However, I guess I would have to make it a tie between the first “Texas Chainsaw” and the second one, which I also love. I guess that the second one is the one I’ve seen the most times and it’s the kind of movie that I just marvel at. It’s a goddamn miracle that this movie exist, because it’s pretty amazing the level of weirdness that this movie contains. It’s so over the top and so freakishly bizarre that I am just filled with awe, whenever I watch it. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is without a doubt my favorite horror franchise. “An American Werewolf in London” is also one of my all time favorites. I remember being really confused by it, due to the mix of horror and humor, which I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around, as a kid. But you know, that scene in the subway still makes me queasy. As the last one, I´m gonna go with the Spanish-American “Pieces” from the early 80’s, which is frankly one of the most entertaining movies ever made. It has everything: gratuitous nudity, chainsaw beheadings, weird music, dubbed lines and a fantastic ending. If you haven’t seen this film yet, you haven’t lived life to its fullest. The tagline is “You don’t have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre”, which kinda lets you know how great this movie is. Seek it out! I could go on and on but I’m rambling now…
What are your top 3 favorite horror-punk bands currently in the scene?
I think the best bands out there are American Werewolves and The Independents. I think that one album that Mister Monster put out was fantastic, but I guess you can’t call them current because they haven’t released anything since then… I’m gonna go with Nim Vind as my third choice. He’s awesome and a great song writer.
What is your favorite song to play live? Also what is your favorite album out of the two so far?
I always enjoy playing “Switchblade Sister”. That song always gets a good response. I personally like the second album much more than the first one. There are a number of things I’m not completely satisfied with on the first one. The second one came together much more like I imagined it would. We wanted to make a record that fused horror, punkrock with a 50’s style of song writing and I think we succeeded. Unlike so many things I’ve done in my life, this album is actually one thing I’m proud of.
What is a day in the life of The Dead Next Door like?
Unfortunately, very un-horror like. We all have regular jobs but during the weekend we slip into our bloodstained shirts, like a bunch of demented crime fighters (minus the crime and the fighting, of course), to spread our gospel of horror, broken hearts and open graves.
I love the artwork for your debut 2008 album, “There’s No Business Like Horror Business”. Simple yet horrifically amazing! How is an artist chosen for the honors and who comes up with the ideas for the cover? Can you spill some guts on the album cover for the new album?
The covers have been designed by our good friend Mikael Langfos and he’s given free reign when it comes to designing them. We might have some sort of basic idea but most of the time it’s definitely him that comes up with the great ideas and then we just take credit for them. The new album cover is gonna be great! Mikael’s responsible for that one, as well. It’s similar to a 70′s style horror movie poster, with the kind of color scheme they had back then, and it looks amazing! It reminded me of some of the Spanish horror movies made back then and that’s always a good thing, if you ask me.
Your debut album was released via Dr. Cyclops Records, is the upcoming album still being released on the label? Fellow bands The Nightshift and The Zombiesuckers have dropped the label, stating displeasure with the label. Is the band still signed to the label and have you encountered any problems?
No, we’re not signed to the label and they still owe us copies of our own album, as a matter of fact. I don’t wanna badmouth them because after all, they did put our album out there and we really appreciate that but I guess it ain’t easy running an independent record label these days. Of course we were promised a lot more than what we received but I don’t think that they did this purposefully. I just think that things didn’t pan out the way they planned to.
The Creepshow, The Nightshift, The Zombiesuckers, and of course your band are the only bands I know of playing horror-punk out of Sweden. Are there any other bands we should know of? And how is the scene out in Sweden?
The Spookshow. They’re awesome. Although, I haven’t talked to them in quite a while so I don’t know if they’re still active. I sure hope so because their first two albums are fantastic. Check them out! The horror-punk scene is pretty nonexistent, unfortunately.
What can we expect from The Dead Next Door in the future?
Some (hopefully) really good songs. And I can tell you one thing: you’re not gonna have to wait this long before the next album comes out. Other than that, I know about as much as you do about what the future holds in store for a bunch of degenerates like us. We wouldn’t say no to a record deal. But if you’re reading this and live somewhere in Sweden, I’d recommend you visit Gothenburg May 14th, when we’re playing with Blitzkid. That’s gonna be a blast!
Are there any big scale tours in the works? Any chance of seeing you guys in the US anytime soon?
Unfortunately not. We’d love to go but unless you got some sort of management that sort of thing just isn’t realistic. We need to find ourselves some kind of patron of the arts, like all the starving painters have, someone that supports them and pays for their expenses. That position hasn’t yet been filled.
You get to play 4 covers by Danzig WITH the man himself! What are they? They can be from The Misfits/Samhain/Danzig.
Oh man, that’s a tough one… I think I’d go with “Skulls”, “Astro Zombies”, “Some Kinda Hate” and “Blood and Tears” from the “Danzig II: Lucifuge” album, just because I haven’t heard him perform it live and it’s one of my all time favorite songs ever. But if we’d ever get the chance to back him, he could be reading out aloud from the phone book, for all I care. It would still be awesome, because… well, he’s Glenn.
This is one of my signature questions. Let me set it up for you, so your band is HEADLINING the GREATEST Halloween party in history, nothing in the future will come close and nothing in the past could rival its greatness! You get to chose 6 and only 6 supporting horror-punk bands (past or present). Who are they?
First of all, I don’t think we would be headlining this show. You just said that this would be the greatest Halloween party ever, right? Well, then you wanna play as early as possible and get that out of the way so that you can hang out, get liquored up, enjoy the other acts and party. Anything else would just be stupid. But here’s how I would have it go down: The evening would start out with us opening, just to get the crowd warm. Then Nim Vind would enter the stage, followed by Mister Monster. After this The Independents would blast onto the stage and blow everyone’s mind. At this point I guess it would be a good point to have some sort of a costume contest or something. You know, to give everyone a chance to run to the bathroom and grab a smoke and whatnot. After this, American Werewolves would plow their way through their set. At this point in the evening, things are about to get serious and since this is the future, where we live in perfect world, Jerry Only have made peace with Michale Graves, Doyle and Dr. Chud so they take to the stage and perform the “American Psycho” and “Famous Monsters” albums in their entirety. After that, Graves would assume a somewhat more of a background position because then the man himself, Glenn Danzig, would make his entrance like the godfather of horror-punk that he is and they’d play all the old classics. That, my friend, would be the greatest Halloween party, indeed. Throw some burlesque dancers in there, and I won’t think we’d ever leave…
How do you feel your music has progressed since first staring the band?
Like I mentioned earlier: we’re definitely moving towards more of a 50’s feel, I think. The first album was us trying to sound like The Misfits, the second one has got more of a Ramones vibe going on.
The band has been around for 3, maybe 4 years now? Please correct me if I am mistaken. During this time what is the most important thing you have learned personally, and what do you think the band as a whole has learned?
I guess the thing that we’ve learned as a band is not to take anything for granted. We’ve been promised a lot since we formed the band in 2005. We were basically guaranteed a spot on the “Cabin Fever 2” soundtrack but nothing happened there. I guess the lesson is that people who work professionally in the music business are not capable of giving you a straight answer. I’m not saying this because I’m bitter because I’m pretty content where we are today, you know, just writing songs and putting them out there and doing a show every now and then. We’ve given up on being teen idols in Japan by now and that’s fine with us. But I think young bands who are just starting out should be aware of this, that if you ask a music rep what time it is, he’s gonna answer with a question and you’d be lucky to get something sensible at all out of him. But I guess that’s also part of what I personally have learned: that what I enjoy most about music is writing songs, not performing them live, even though that is a lot of fun. But I get the most pleasure out of the actual songwriting itself.
In closing I sincerely thank you for taking the time to do this interview, and in closing is there anything you would like to add?
Just that this has been a lot of fun and that people should look us up on Facebook, because let’s face it: myspace is dead, and get in touch with us. I also think that you should swing my personal blog, The Last Blog on the Left, where I write about horror movies. It’s located at: http://svearikeslag.se/movie/wordpress/ and on Facebook, as well: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Last-Blog-on-the-Left/321297861200
Thanks for taking the time and hope to hear from you soon.
Until next time: take scare!
The Dead Next Door is a band that is fucking epic and have nothing but better things coming their way! Be sure to pick up their album, “There’s No Business Like Horror Business”. You can find it on iTunes, and Amazon to name a few, trust me you’re gonna love what you hear! Also be sure to pick up the new album once it’s released, for it is an instant classic! Also I would like to thank The Dead Next Door for taking the time to do this interview and I hope you all enjoyed the read!
- Justin Apathy
An interview with AC of The Ruined.
Justin (Apathy) Stankus
The Ruined are an epic 5-piece horror-punk band from Peterborough, UK with influences including The Offspring, The Misfits, Ramones, The Cult and The Damned. The band consists of: Nekro (Vocals/Keyboards), Dammit (Guitar/Backing Vocals), The Cream (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Ian (Bass) and AC (Drums). The band formed in the summer of 2004 and have since completed numerous UK tours and a European tour, along with releasing many split EPs. Their long awaited LP, “Hear Lies”, was released through Rowdy Farrago on Halloween 2006 to a ravage of fans salivating like zombies and critics moistening their vampire fangs. It was met with overwhelming praise and the album has received positive reviews in fanzines and popular music press. At the launch party for ‘Hear Lies’, they also unveiled the video to lead single ‘Death Will Be A Lady’. The band is currently shooting for a new video and are expecting to release a new album in the near future!
Alright AC let’s do this! I am super excited to get this interview underway!
Paging Dr. Bonzzo (The Nightshift)
First off, I want to say thank you for this interview. I have been a huge fan of the band since the release of “Los Muertos” in 2008. Second, I want to give a nod to my favorite Nightshift song and ask: How did you meet Elvis in hell and how is he doing?
He is doing just fine. I’ll bet he is having a drink with Lucifer every day. That song seems to be most peoples favorite song. It’s kinda funny when you think about it because it almost did not make the cut for the album. We had big trouble finding the right sound for that song. But it turned out pretty damn fine.
The Nightshift formed back in 2005 and from the beginning the band was posed to create a horror themed listening experience. What was it that inspired you to perform this genre?
Well, Me and Mr. Frazz played in another band at that time. But when that band fell apart, Mr. Frazz told me he wanted to play Horror-Punk. Honestly I did now know what he was talking about, but I joined him. Lucky for me, horror-punk was just my kind of music. And the genre felt very healthy and growing at that time.
What originally attracted you to horror-punk?
That could be a long and complicated answer. But all that needs to be said is: The Misfits.
Shortly after forming the band begun to record demos (which I have not heard) so I am curious to know how the band has changed and evolved over the last 6 years.
We have evolved over the years, by taking steps into other genres and sounds then punk. We are all big fans of punk. But aside from that we have very different taste in music, so that’s very good when we make music.
Also, does the band have any plans to release your previous demos in the near future so people like me who haven’t heard them before can be granted the pleasure?
The first and only “demo” we did was “Your fiend, our friend” and it will be available for free online along with all our other music, as soon as our website is fixed.
When faced with writing new material, how does the band go about this process?
Plain and simple, someone brings an idea. And then we sit together and put the Nightshift sound on it. We have one unwritten rule when it comes to songwriting: No limitations to genre, sound or style. We will try anything and make a song about what ever, as long as we can be proud of the end result.
Your debut record has released via Dr Cyclops Records to which the band was displeased with the way the label handled the release. Now, I have heard the same from the Zombiesuckers (previously signed to Dr Cyclops Records) if you don’t mind me asking, what exactly went down?
We were promised a lot. Distribution, Shows/tours etc. They failed to deliver on all promises. It took them 2 years to get all our own CDs shipped to us. So it was simply not an option to work with them on another album.
Your latest EP was self-released by the band. Will this mark a change in direction on the next record or will you be seeking out another label for its release?
We will probably look for some kind of a representation. And if we find a deal we like we will probably take it. But we could do it on our own as well. No problem at all.
When can we expect a new record?
Honestly I have no idea. We just replaced our drummer and are rehearsing to get a full live set. But there are new songs in the making and as soon as we feel ready we will start putting them together. We did not get rid of our original drummer, he is the second guitarist now. We have our own studio, so as soon as we are ready we can record. We have recorded and produced both “Los Muertos” and “Devils in the sea, and God in London” ourselves in our studio.
Can you give us any details in regards to it?
More melodies, more genre swapping, and more sing along!
Recently, I interviewed the Zombiesuckers and in all honesty both bands are the extent of my Swedish horror-punk knowledge. Are there any other bands in Sweden currently playing this genre?
Some years ago there was a bunch of bands. I don’t know anymore. We have the two already mentioned and then The Dead Next Door and The Spookshow, but other then that I not familiar with any more.
I’ve always found your sound to be interesting, with music ranging from acoustic, punk, hardcore and even a hint of metal through in here and there for good measure. Which is a enjoy because it shows that your influences aren’t just limited to punk rock. What are some of these influences that you drew from to create the bands unique sound?
Well our different tastes in music and our writing rules with no limitations to genre and sound makes it easy to try new/different stuff. For me personally, I came from playing both Punk, Death Metal and furious hardcore and I loved it all. So its not hard to incorporate that into my songwriting.
Many of the songs on the record are void of horror movie references. With this in mind, what are some of the films, books or movies that influences you on a daily basis?
I don’t know really, I’m a sucker for Crime novels, that’s kind of lame but I can’t help it. I listen to different music all the time. Right now I listen a lot to Kaizers Orchestra, Opeth and Hoffmaestro. So no punk right now, but I always go back and listen to the classics. Bands like Misfits, The Creepshow, Metallica, Bad Religion or In Flames will make me feel good. Any day of the week.
What can we expect from the Nightshift in the future?
New awesome songs and a lot more shows! Also in the near future all our music ever recorded will be free to download!
In closing, is there anything you would like to add?
Thanks for the interview and the review!
Join us on facebook to get the full free totally awesome download! And check http://www.thenightshift.se out to download the latest EP! Rock on! // Dr. Bonzzo
An interview with Johnny B. Morbid himself!
Justin (Apathy) Stankus
A “one man band” (on all recordings) then a five piece horror assault when playing live! This band was never supposed to leave the confines of studio walls, but when people began to take an unexpected interest in what Johnny B. Morbid had to offer, things quickly changed. It was intended to be a side project of the former vocalist of a metalcore band named In Memory Of (myspace.com/inmemoryofnj) but it soon took on a life of its own and cast all other musical projects into the shadows leaving Johnny B. Morbid in the spotlight. As more & more people began taking interest in this project, Johnny B. Morbid recruited 3 close friends to back him up as a live act. The rest leads up to the Johnny B. Morbid we now know and love!
Alright so let’s get this thing going Johnny! I am also a huge fan and am excited to begin!
How did everyone meet and come together to form Johnny B. Morbid? How did the name of the band come about as well?
I was in previous bands with the members of the original line up. It was only supposed to be a solo recording project for myself just to get things out of my system because I was already in a band at the time. I wrote and recorded the 1st album all on my own. It was written and recorded in August 2005 and released in October of 2005. It was suggested by a friend/band mate (Mark E. Mortal) to play the stuff live, and I figured why not. The name is just a play on “Johnny B. Goode,” a song written by Chuck Berry. The alias “Johnny B. Morbid” was going to be my name in a Misfits cover band that never came to be. That was the original idea, to just do a misfits cover band for fun once in a while but I decided to just do my own material instead….but I kept the name.
An interview with Chrisz Quezadii of Back To Zero
Justin Apathy Stankus
Back to Zero’s music is full of great terrifying melodies and can be heard on rue morgue radio and horror punk compilations from around the country. In 2006 Brilliance through simplicity was found with their debut album Go Go Ghouls and will only continue to grow with these ghouls, especially after the release of their horrifying 2009 masterpiece Dimension Of Fear!
So. Let us begin! Let’s start by first getting your name and position in the band?
Chrisz Quezadii. Father and Giver of life for Back to Zero, I sing and play lead guitar.
How did everyone come together and what inspired you all to for Back To Zero? How did the name come about as well?
It started in 2003 as a project under the name Illuminati, which later became the name Back to Zero in late 2004-2005 with the same members. The name is slowly proving itself, pending on what will become of this world, a full blown zombie apocalypse or a 50.0 Earthquake (joke). Dont want to scare anyone. Well the name just means where ever you are in your chapter of life or just when you feel things are going good that you will end up, or be taken back to where you started. Kinda like a reverse effect on life or evolution.
When you look at the state of the horror-punk scene, it seems to be surviving in the U.S. But when you look across the globe to the likes of Europe for example, it seems to be THRIVING! Do you agree with this statement? Whether you agree or disagree why do you think this is?
I would agree with this statement and it is a great question. We know there is a lot of crappy music out here and a few things can contribute to this, Television Networks, Radio, and the Government can be to blame for brain washing the weak minds of our youth. Kids are taught to follow a set of rules of whats hip and cool at an early age starting with our schools, and then punishing individuals for being different. There’s still lots of great music out here in the U.S. but because they don’t sound and look like all the robots from American Idol/etc. getting exposure will be a bit more rough. Crappy music exists all over the world but I’m not exactly sure why other countries like Europe or even Brazil are keeping it strong. But it’s a wonderful thing to see that they have great taste and do appreciate the music and always show the artist’s that play for them much love and appreciation. The United States needs our youth to grow up with maybe a more anti-government mentality approach in life, a strong love for the macabre, and more radio airplay for horror punk.
Of all the genres to chose from why punk? What about punk rock lured you in and what was you first experience with the genre?
I grew up listening to old rock and roll and metal in the 80s and 90s. I was first introduced to punk rock in my early teens and quickly fell in love with it right then. It was mostly the feeling of being able to do whatever you felt like and not caring what you were told, and having absolutely no respect for authority. I spent what little money I had in the early 90′s on punk shows and cds. The Clash, Social Distortion, The Adicts, Minor Threat, Subhumans, Crass, and the Ramones were just some of the bands that got me hooked. My very early days started out listening to Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest and was later mixed with punk rock. I still am a big fan of the fore mentioned bands to this day. The final topping on my music pizza was when I heard the Misfits for the first time, I was at a friends house and Static Age was playing and I was blown away. It was different from the punk rock I was used to hearing and the things they were singing about had me pumped. It was when I first heard the infamous song Last Caress that the hairs on my arms were standing. I was pumped and excited for this band. I quickly ran out and bought up whatever shit I could find from the band. All my influences were just thrown together in a blender and served raw.
This question could have easily gone with my last question but oh well. So the horror-scene seems (to me at least) to be primarily dominated by Psycho-billy and Rock-a-billy bands, leaving horror punk on the bottom shelf of the three. Why did you chose to go the horror-punk route?
Yeah its popping up all over the place now. There are some big inspirational names behind these genres from Johnny Cash, The Cramps, The Meteors, and the Stray Cats. I am a big Cash and Cramps fan, but again it’s just what I grew up on, being metal and punk. Though some folks have mentioned hearing small bursts of Rock-a-billy in our sound, but that might just be from a little Johnny Cash or Social Distortion influence. We are not a Rock-a-billy band.
Now every horror fan or band obviously has a love or has/had a huge influence from The Misfits and I’m sure you guys see them as a big influence on your band as well, but if you had to exclude them and name your next biggest influence, who would it be and how come?
Hmm I guess I would have to say Janet Jackson (joke). I was influenced from a wide variety of great artists long before The Misfits. The Misfits obviously paved the road for horror punk and are indeed a huge influence on our sound yet we do not only base our sound on them. The solo work from our music is also influenced from metal. I would probably say that Motorhead has been a big influence for us, crossing the 2 genres together with a fast punk metal sound and if I had to add one more it would have to be the very early beginning of Social Distortion, the Mommy’s Little Monster album dropped a little turd on our sound you could say.
The band has been together for 7 to 8 years now if I am correct? If this is wrong then please correct me. During your time as a band what have you learned? Or maybe in better terms what is the most important thing you’ve learned thus far?
Yes 7 years sound about right. Basically we found that there are right ways and wrong ways of doing things in the music business, and everyday you have to learn how you should have properly done things when you did something the wrong way. Mentors are for showing and teaching you the ropes of how the music business works, and taking all the help you can get is good from anyone and anywhere. Promotion is very important and I wish we could have done a little more of this in our earlier days, otherwise how else are people going to hear about the shit you have going on? You can never have too much promotion, for the music scene today is very tough you really have to stick with it and keep working at it no matter how bad it might be sometimes. Stay positive and continue to write great music that has great meaning and comes from your heart. Also don’t drink from sick people when your touring, always stay healthy and positive!
What are your favorite bands to share the stage with?
We have played with lots of great bands! The Adicts were a lot of fun, and T.S.O.L. was a wild one ride ending with a big riot of punks, leading police to shut down half of Hollywood as they shot rubber bullets and tear gas at us! Wednesday 13, Youth Brigade, Michale Graves, Koffin Kats, Rusty Eye, Blitzkid, The Other. There is nothing more great than sharing the stage with someone you have been listened to for years!
What is your personal view, as well as the band’s view on religion? With most bands in the scene when I listen to them 98% of time I hear the usual being murder, necrophilia, ghouls, horror movies, and of course
killing your girlfriend. Most of the bands don’t seem to put much focus on religion. How do guys feel on the subject, and does religion play any part or have any influence on your music?
Religion can be a sensitive subject for many, and I have no problem with it. Our songs do touch on the subject of acts of man and the evil things they are capable of/doing. I like to write a lot about things people fear, but only in cases where they have been proven to be true. We do have a few songs that are more Sci-Fi but only because we wish and hope that they are true. We can only hope a zombie apocalypse is at hand! Hauntings have also always been very interesting to me as a child and still are today, I always loved reading about them and watching films about it. Music can be a very powerful tool to describe or to educate, and how bands choose to do it is up to them. We do not have any songs about necrophilia, the closest we would have to this subject would probably be our song Filthy Whore. Which is about the love and hate for prostitutes from a serial killer’s perspective. You probably won’t find us writing a song about pulling out our cocks and giving it to some dead woman. We wrote our first zombie song in 2005 titled Zombie Marathon for the Go Go Ghouls demo which had great meaning, being 100% inspired by the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead film which was also a few years before many of the newer bands picked up on it if that counts for anything. Yes you hear lots of zombie songs now especially with all the newer bands who undertook a zombie song writing spree, zombie here, zombie there, zombies in fucking underwear. Basically we would never insult anyone’s religion or tell someone to go kill their parents in a song. Back to Zero’s song writing focus is based mainly on true stories, events, the world’s history, and some Sci-fi. This is stuff we love to write about and will continue to do for future albums. If any of these do focus on religion so be it, it shall be written.
Your top 4 favorite horror movies, go!
The Shining, Psycho (1960), IT, and An American Werewolf in London (1981)
What are your top 3 favorite horror-punk bands currently in the scene?
Shadow Reichenstein, the Crimson Ghosts, and Blitzkid
What is your favorite song to play live? Also what is your favorite album out of the two so far?
This is tough, they are all just so fucking great! I guess it would be a tie between Flooded and Lycanthropy, but there are a couple that we have never played live so this can possibly or basically be a “To Be Continued” question.
Can fans expect any new tunes sometime soon? Any EP’s in the works? Can you spill some guts on the subject!?
We are actually in the works for a new album this year! The story boarding has already begun, and the order of our releases did not work out the way we had originally planned due to a split in our original lineup in 2007 when Jon Young left the band. In 2006 we released a 9 song demo titled “Go Go Ghouls” the tracks were of low quality recording, having only been around for 1 1/2 years, it was recorded in an non-studio environment and totally d.i.y. but it sounded ok to release as a demo so we proceeded. Our 2nd release was Dimension of Fear, a full length studio album released on Sep. 6th 2009, with completely all new tracks which halted the the Go Go Ghouls release. We do not have a release date for the new album as of yet, but we will be working overtime to be sure to have it done by the end of the year or hopefully sooner. Seven tracks off the “Go Go Ghouls” demo will be re-recorded in high studio quality this time along with around 6-7 new tracks. The album does not have a name yet but these things will fall into place once we begin the artwork process. This has been a long awaited release for us and we are very excited to finally get the ball rolling now that Jon Young has rejoined the band! It will be very good to finally see these tracks make its way digitally and physically throughout online and offline retail outlets such as itunes, interpunk, etc. If you do own the 2006 Go Go Ghouls demo then save it for good keeping, for there were only 500 copies made and we don’t ever plan on releasing or making anymore. You might find these recordings years from now maybe on itunes but that’s about it.
Your 2009 release, “Dimension Of Fear” is my favorite release from the band so far, and on of my favorite songs (my sister’s as well) is found on this album, Lady of Death. What were your main influences on this record, and what was the main influence for Lady of Death and what is the song referring to for those who may not know?
Very Good! All things horror inspired the writing process for Dimension of Fear. I have always been a big Twilight Zone fan and you can see it in the the albums artwork, which also helped in the writing for the track, “The Unknown”. We can also thank Mr. Jack The Ripper for helping us write the song, “This Horror”. Lady Of Death is basically part two of Demon Girl off Go Go Ghouls which continues the story of a lost soul’s love for a girl who can only bring him death and misery, and to anyone else who falls for her, they will be damned to hell. Lady of Death can be compared to the similarity of the comic book character Lady Death by Brian Pulido. If you have not read it then check it out! There is also a Lady Death motion picture which I enjoyed very much, a great anime film, definitely watch it!
What is a day in the life of Back To Zero like?
A lot of reading, watching films, playing guitar, song writing, and screen printing!
This is one of my signature questions. So your band is HEADLINING the GREATEST Halloween party in history! You get to chose 6 and only 6 supporting horror-punk bands (past or present). Who are they?
The Misfits, Balzac, Shadow Reichenstein, Blitzkid, Nim Vind, and the Crimson Ghosts
Are there any big tours in the works for Back To Zero? East Coast maybe? North Carolina perhaps!?
There are shows in the works, and we will be doing the Cancer Sucks 4 benefit show this year along with some shows around California and Nevada. All our shows are booked by us so please be patient and bare with us til we are working with a professional booking agency which will happen following the release of the new album later this year. There is nothing more great than releasing a new album and a great tour to back it up!
Inevitably now that I am in the closing segments of the interview I have to ask. Who were/are your biggest influences on you personally and your band and why?
Jimi Hendrix for making me want to pick up a guitar and play this shit since I was just a little boy. Vinnie Paul for making our drummer start hitting pots and pans with sticks at an early age. All the greats Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karlof, and Lon Chaney for giving great inspiration to horror cinema today and all of us. Everybody who fought or lost their lives for freedom in world war 2.
In closing I sincerely thank you for taking the time to do this interview, and before we finish this up is there anything you would like to add?
Music wise, don’t take what’s just served to you on the radio, look outside the box, and go out and find it! Don’t live your life to be so easily programmed to what others want you to be. Be your own individual and stay positive.
- Thanks, Justin
Thanks Chris! You can check out Back To Zero at their Facebook/Myspace http://www.facebook.com/backtozero or http://www.myspace.com/backtozero! Check this band out, your ears wont be disappointed, and if you come across Go Go Ghouls or Dimension Of Fear be sure to pick it up!
- Justin Apathy!
An interview with Les Hernandez of The Quintessentials
Justin (Apathy) Stankus
The Quintessentials was founded in 1998 in Honolulu, Hawaii, by Les Hernandez, formerly of The Catalogs and Crawling Chaos. The Quintessentials have appeared on numerous compilations from Hawaiian Express Records, “The Horror of it All, Volumes 2 & 3” (World Horror Network), “The Black House: a Tribute to Anton S. LaVey” (Black House Tribute Records),etc. In 2006 The Quintessentials relocated from Hawaii to Portland, Oregon, where they continue to melt faces off with their atomic sonic horror-pop punk fire from Hell! The band has released three albums over their hellish career, releasing “The Horror Never Ends…”, in 2001, followed by their second, “Pentagonal Revisionism”, in 2004, and in 2005 their third full-length album, “Legends from the Grave”. The band has two more albums slated for release in the near future, the 13 track mini album “Sarah Alice is DEAD!” set for April 30th and “Realm of the Great Old Ones” to be released some time soon (I hope)!
Hey Les! So let us get started! P.S. this is officially my first interview, so if any of my questions seem retarded I do apologize! This is a first for me!
The Quintessentials have one weird ass name, especially for a punk band. So before we go any further I have to ask, how did the name come about?
When I first started this band back in 1998 I was calling it The Products. As fate would have it, there was already a band with that name putting out records, so I needed to change it. Being that The Queers were one of my favorite bands, I wanted something similar that fans of theirs might stumble on in record stores. The word “Quintessential” means the essence of something, or its quintessence–the most important part of it. In alchemy there are five elements: earth, air, fire and water. There is also a fifth element, which is that which holds the other four together and is a part of each of them. This is what we call the Black Flame or Satan. Hence, The Quintessentials was the right name.
How did everyone come together and what inspired you guys to form The Quintessentials?
I was in a band called The Catalogs back in Hawaii and we got some notoriety. We even recorded a 7″ for Mutant Pop Records. That ended and a good friend and I started an overtly Satanic punk band called Crawling Chaos. When that died I wanted to keep both bands alive in a new project, so I started The Quintessentials, which was a mixture of both The Catalogs and Crawling Chaos, being that most of the music from both bands was mine anyhow. From that point forward we’ve had many members come and go, but the core remains myself and my songs.
In the way of inspiration, whatever is obsessing me at the time. The Ramones have been a huge inspiration, as has Screeching Weasel. Horror stories like those by H.P. Lovecraft also had a huge role in inspiring this band, as well as old horror films.
Horror-punk seems to be surviving in the US, were as it seems to be THRIVING in Europe. Why do you think that is? And do you agree with that statement?
I do agree!
I think that’s because in America we see more real horror on a daily basis. There’s no need for fantasy on that point. Hell, you never know when you might get beat to death with a crowbar outside of 7-11. Europe has more atmosphere. More room for fantasy.
Why not start some Satanic death metal band? Of all the genres out there, why punk rock? What about punk lured you in?
Death Metal is too cliché. It’s been done and all the bands sound alike these days. Rarely do any of those guys ever really know what real Satanism is. They rely too much on the ideas Christianity put in their heads.
From the beginning, Punk Rock was always about thinking for yourself and not following the herd. Not being a blind consumer and standing up for yourself in the face of adversity. It falls completely in line with genuine Satanic ideas–ideas not from monotheistic deity worshipping white-light religions, but from something much more deep and carnal.
With most horror-punk bands in the genre at this moment most go for a more melodic sound, examples being Blitzkid/Calabrese/The Other/The Rosedales/Koffin Kats/Mister Monster/etc. where as your band seems to a have a more aggressive snotty pop punk sound, why did you guys chose this route? I love the horror pop punk by the way!
Basically because every Horror Punk band and their mothers want to sound like the old Misfits. I love the Misfits, but I don’t want to be them. Bands like the Ramones have songs about horror as well, but they’re not well known for that stuff. I wanted to get my ideas and music across in a fun way without trying to re-do a certain sound from the genre, but even that’s hard to do nowadays.
Being a huge fan of Anton LaVey and his novels, and even those of Magus Peter H. Gilmore. Did LaVey have a influence on you or the band as whole, and has The Church of Satan ever shown you support of any kind or personally contacted you?
Anton LaVey had a HUGE influence on me. A friend even played him my old band’s demo once and said he liked what we were doing. I’ve been in contact with Peter Gilmore since I was about 18 years old, when he was early in doing The Black Flame magazine. We’re still in contact. In fact, two song intros on our next release feature the voice of his wife, Magistra Peggy Nadramia. They’re wonderful people.
I’ve been a member of the Church of Satan since 1997 and currently hold the position of Warlock (2º). This band has contained more than a couple members over the years and other members have shown their support. Magister Matt G. Paradise mentioned us in his book Bearing the Devil’s Mark, Magus Gilmore hooked us up with a History Channel documentary that featured two of our album covers, Warlock Corvis Nocturnum is releasing a book which we played a small part in. There have been more examples of this than I have room for here. The Church of Satan has been extremely supportive and I’m extremely grateful!
Something I enjoy very much about your band and wonder at the same time is the band’s view on religion. With most bands all I hear about the majority of the time is murder, necrophilia, ghouls and ghosts, and horror movies. Yet none ever really seem to put much focus on religion were as you guys seem to take it another level and attack religion head on. ”Jesus Christ can suck my dick!” off Puppets For Christ was something that stuck with me, especially after my mother passed away when I was 16 and I shortly lost any faith I had in the first place after she passed, at least when it came to god. What are your personal views on religion not only within the horror punk scene but in general? And what effect does it have on your music?
My personal view is that everyone has a religion–even Atheists. Whatever your obsession is–that thing you can’t live without that you always come back to in troubled times–that is your religion, whether its an idol, a comic book, a cartoon.
Mainstream religions are always concerned with making everyone conform to a mold. That’s what the Nazis tried to do. There’s no room for individuality or natural instinct. Mainstream religion hampers and attempts to stamp out all of our natural desires and calls us evil for being who we really are. That causes brain damage. It splits the psyche and creates unnecessary guilt and other, deep problems. This is why today’s society is so fucked up and warped. In this sense, I hate religion.
That’s a tough one! I really like playing The Black Pope live, but with so many songs it’s tough to choose. My favorite album of ours is probably our first, “The Horror Never Ends…” I re-recorded the entire thing due to the original’s lower quality, but who knows when that will be released. “Legends from the Grave” has my favorite production quality and overall sound. “Pentagonal Revisionism” has the best ideas laid out.
What can fans expect from your upcoming albums Sarah Alice Is Dead and Realm of the Great Old Ones?
With the “Sarah Alice is DEAD!” release, it’s more of getting back in touch with our fans since I moved from Hawaii to Oregon. This contains tracks recorded both before I moved (and before we released “Legends from the Grave”), as well as tracks written and recorded since then. Some were originally only meant as demos, but sounded like they should be released.
With “Realm of the Great Old Ones” I wanted to go back to “The Horror Never Ends…” in a way. All new songs, but a similar vibe. Very dark, yet poppy and Satanic.
Is there any big scale tours in the works for the future? East Coast perhaps?
I would love that! We don’t have any big tours in the works yet due to all of this new music I need to get out and the writing I need to do. I’m sure if enough people demanded it, we’d find a way to make it work.
What is a day in the life of a Satanic Quintessential like?
Promotion, time with my dog (a rescue who was severely abused), time with my wife, good horror movies and laughs. Sometimes a Guinness will magically appear as well.
The band has been around for about a good 13 years now, over all this time what have you learned?
That the old adage, “If you want something done right, do it yourself!” is true. I’ve learned not to waste time waiting for someone else to do something for me, because it’ll never get done and there would be no more music. Hell, that’s why instead of waiting for a drummer to show up I hired another CoS member in Canada to record the drums for “Realm of the Great Old Ones.”
Rule number one: humans will always let you down if you give them the chance to.
You are headlining the GREATEST halloween party in history, you have 6 choices of supporting horror punk bands (past and present) who are they?
Diemonsterdie, Samhain, Calabrese, Other, Church for Sinners and the Misfits (old line-up with Glenn Danzig).
Inevitably now that I’ve asked the last question. Now I have to know, what are some of the bands that have influenced you and why?
The Ramones because they started it all by bringing what was essentials 1960s girl-pop into the realm of the electric guitar. Misfits for obvious reasons. Screeching Weasel for keeping that “Fuck You!” vibe alive while still being fun and catchy. Early 1980s Black Metal like Venom and Bathory, as well as early ’90s Black Metal like Emperor, for their raw, dark sound. Bands from the 1960s with that Phil Spector sound. I like a lot of different types of music.
I want to sincerely thank you again Les for taking the time to do this interview and in closing, is there anything you’d like to add?
Yes, for those wondering just what the Hell genuine Satanism is and to clear up any misconceptions folks might have, they can go towww.churchofsatan.com – the source on the real thing.
Thank you so much Les, your band means a great deal to me and you taking the time to do this interview means a lot! Can’t wait to hear the band’s new stuff! Reges Satanas!
An interview with Captain Morgue of the Zombiesuckers
Hailing from Sweden, the Zombiesuckers have managed to mold their own unique blend of horror punk rock n’ roll. Combining equal parts Misfits with an aggressive, tongue in cheek dose of horror superstar Wednesday 13 to create something that’s as entertaining as it is frightening. Technicolor Terror! is pleased to give you this frightful interview with guitarist Captain Morgue of the Zombiesuckers!
The Zombiesuckers have one hell of a name (if not one of the most eye catching ones to boot) so before jumping too far into this interview. I gotta ask: what is a Zombiesuckers and how did the name come about?
Zombiesuckers is probably the result of weird minds alike. It just came about very random actually when I was listening to Bourbon Crow with our old bass player. They have a song called Suck My Dixie, and it just became Suck My Zombie from a horror perspective. This was right when the band was starting up so we were looking for stuff to use, and thought Suck My Zombie sounded fun, which then turned into a song title instead. So a twist on that one created Zombiesuckers. Suck My Zombie also had a Part 2 later on, which nowadays are called We’re Only In It For The Brains which is on our full length album.
What is a day in the life of the Zombiesuckers like?
I guess that depends on if you see it as the life when we’re Zombiesuckers, or the actual people that makes it what it is. We all have regular jobs, as we need to make our living like everyone else, and some in the band even have kids (yes, they’re THAT old). So for us individuals the life is very different, but when we get together and do our thing we’re all on the same level. We rehearse at least once a week to keep the creativity flowing, and right now we’re working on the follow of to Tales From The Undead which is gonna be killer. We even got some cool stuff lined up that probably many will find exciting once the news hits the ether! Other than that we try to get as much gigs as possible to show the masses what we’re all about.
For me I think the Zombiesuckers part is a lot bigger in an ordinary day than the others as I do all the promotion as well as keeping all the social media pages up to date. I try to always come up with something new, something to update so that people don’t just forget us and keep getting in touch with what we’re doing at the moment.
When I think of Sweden, well… I don’t really know what I think about but horror punk isn’t one of the first things that come to mind (No offense) and while I’m a fan of Zombiesuckers and the Nightshift, that’s as far as my knowledge of Swedish horror punk goes. How is the horror punk scene there?
I think if you ask anyone what they think of Sweden they’ll say either blonde pretty people, or polar bears as some actually think they walk the streets over here. So you’re probably one of very many to not think of horror punk. And that’s natural as the scene isn’t very big over here, I guess there’s like a handful established band besides us and The Nightshift as you mentioned, which are a great bunch of guys. The scene seems to be growing though, you see some new faces entering the scene now and then, so I hope they keep fighting to help the scene. Many bands in our genre probably quit seeing it’s so hard to find the right crowd around here.
Horror punk seems to be a fairly popular genre in Europe while failing to catch on in the US. Why do you think it is much more acceptable there compared to elsewhere?
I think USA might be spoiled with music in general since there’s so much going on there all the time, so people forget to appreciate what they have and thus the smaller genres falls victim of being overrun with what’s more popular at the moment. Although if it wasn’t for the US we wouldn’t have the grandfathers of horror punk, Misfits, as well as other bands like Blitzkid and Wednesday 13′s projects that’s been in it for a long time and helped inspire a lot of other to fight for horror punk, including us.
I don’t know if the scene is that much bigger in Europe generally, but a big part of it is in Germany for sure. I think Germany is the largest in the entire world when it comes to the scene with a lot of great acts helping each other out and spreading the word all over. Hopefully it will break the borders and keep on spreading so the rest of the world can see what they’re missing out on.
How did every one come together and what inspired you to form the band?
I’ve been listening to Misfits for along time which brought the attention to find more bands like them, so you stumble on a bunch of great stuff eventually. So I thought, why can’t we do something like this here in Sweden? Said and done, me and the original bass player and drummer got together and all shared the same idea, and started rehearsing mostly just for fun. It just grew on us naturally after that and we kept on going. Shortly after that we put out an add that we needed a singer, and Von Ripper showed to audition. To be honest, at first we thought like what the fuck is that when you first heard him sing, but then you heard the unique sound that it brought to the band unlike many other horror bands and it was no doubt that we were right.
That was around September 2007, and a lot has happened member-wise since then. We switched guitars players about 3 times, drummer once, bass player once and also added a 6th member on sampler/sound effects. Myself and Von Ripper are the only original members left, but it feels as if the ones we are at the moment are more original as we work together in a much better way and we have loads of fun doing it.
From the countless genre s out there today. Why did you guys choose to perform horror punk?
Playing horror punk brings so much in than any other genre, as you have everything else surrounding it. The live shows are more alive as you can make so much more theatrical, which is very important for us. We always try to come up with new stuff to add to the experience of seeing us live. We want to entertain the ones who come to see us, not only their ears but the visual experience as well. And we all enjoy the transformation that we go through before a show, setting up all the props on stage, getting the zombie-face on and what not. It’s just so much more fun than other genres.
If I go to a live show I don’t want to see 5 people standing nodding their head and just play, it needs to be more than that to be worth it nowadays.
The band has been together now for the better part of five years. Over all this time what have you learned?
I think we’re still trying to learn to stop and think and try to do the right thing, before jumping in to something to just get it done faster. But most times we seem to fail on that one, haha!
I think we’ve learned to listen to each other a bit more though, since we’re all different and can bring in different things in to creating the music that we do. And you can tell that by the result of what we’re doing, it’s getting better and better all the time. The new album will tell you that!
Your debut album ‘Tales From The Undead,’ is a very aggressive record where as many other bands go more for a melodic sound. The sound clips are well placed and eerie keyboards and gruff vocals around it out nicely. I think it’s such a great album, how has it been received elsewhere?
Yeah we didn’t write the album to fit the masses just to make it sell, we made an album that felt like us. It’s pretty much a combination of what we’ve been doing the 3 years prior the release, and I think it turned out great. It’s not like the sales have been hitting the roof, but the fact that people are actually paying to get our music in days like these is a great response. It makes creating music more rewarding, not for the money, but for the acceptance amongst the horror punk fans worldwide. So I’m not entirely sure how it’s been received, I guess as expected. But it’s still weird when there’s an order coming through from some kid in Indonesia or what not. How did that kid find us?
What was the recording process like?
It was very painless and didn’t take very long time at all. We had everything written and done before we entered the studio. All together with instruments, vocals, effects and stuff it was done in about 2 weeks if I remember it correctly. Took way longer to get it mixed and done on the other hand, as the sound tech would have to sit and fiddle with all our mistakes and it would drive him insane.
It’s always fun to record songs, to go from just having a drum track to adding everything else piece by piece and hear the song grow into the final product.. and just feel happy about the result.
The EP “Wolfbrigade” was released via the use of torrents, while “Tales From The Undead” has been released digitally through Dr. Cyclops Records in the US with only 300 copies being pressed onto CD. Was this done more based upon budget restrictions or do you feel as though CD’s are becoming more and more of a dead format?
Budget is always a factor, so that’s a big reason for it. We had a deal to release Wolfbrigade physically, but like many other times it was a lot of talk and less of walk part. So we had that deal walk the plank and just didn’t want to wait longer for someone to pick it up. We just wanted people to hear what we’d done and didn’t really care how. So I just put it on Pirate Bay as a torrent and let people have it for free.
For Tales we only had a digital record deal, but we wanted it as a real physical album as well so we made a limited edition digipaks for it, for the fans who wanted the real deal. But yeah I guess CD’s are dying a bit, bit there’s always gonna be people who buy them, people like myself who wants to hold the actual CD and be able to put in the shelf with the rest of your collection. So we’re not gonna cave for that and keep pushing to get real releases. The next album will probably be available on Vinyl as well, cause Vinyl’s are just way cooler. And they actually seem to be coming back a bit lately.
The bands website (www.zombiesuckers.com) really seems aimed towards the fans in an age where the majority of everyone simply relies on Myspace or Facebook with only the basic needed to get by. You really run the full gamut of music, countless live and behind the scenes videos and personal blogs. Is it important to put yourselves out there, well past the point what the others are doing?
It’s very important, a very large piece of who we are rely on that. We always wanted the fans to be able to get closer to us and just see what we’re up to on a regular basis. Like I said earlier we aim to always have something out there that’s fresh. Whether it’s a live video or a video blog, or pretty much anything at all. Just sign of life, telling others that we’re still active, still pushing forward.
The music scene is competitive, doesn’t matter what genre you play. We try to be one step ahead all the time, and it’s not even hard to do it the way we do cause we enjoy doing it. It comes very naturally to us nowadays, and we rarely do anything without a camera getting stuff on tape, so that others don’t miss out on the fun. I love watching that kinda stuff myself when bands you like publish something. It’s entertainment, more bands should do it, it’s all just a good laugh in the end.
While the album features sound clips from the likes of Hellraiser, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead. Those aside, what are some of the other films that have influenced you as a person or as a band?
Like many others the old classic franchises as Halloween, Hellraiser, Elm Street and such are a big influence. The way they are as movies is just a great combination, with the horror part as it should be but still the campy stuff that makes you laugh half of the time while watching. That makes them so much better comparing it with new horror movies that all seems to rely on shock horror all the time. It gets very predictable once you seen a few of them.
A lot of our songs are based on movies, and there will be a few more of those on the next album as well. One day I was just watching Beetlejuice at home and thought that this could turn out to be a cool song. So I started writing some stuff, and the result will be on our new album.
Inevitably, now that I’ve asked the last question. Now I must know, what are some of the bands that have influenced you and why?
A given one is of course Misfits for obvious reasons. Other than that Wednesday 13′s different projects have been a big influence as he took it a bit further visually, and just makes everything he touches into something great pretty much.
But I listen to a whole lot different stuff that all influence in different ways. Other than the horror punk I listen to 80′s metal, skate punk, folk metal, melodic death, hardcore, power metal and what not. They all have their great parts that makes music the amazing thing that it is, it has variation. So I guess listening to a lot different stuff influences me in the way I think when doing music, it doesn’t make it as one sided as it could turn out otherwise. Maybe a bit too much as our drummer has been telling me to stop making the new songs so Metal lately, and take it back to the punk rock vibes. Will I succeed? Time will tell!
When can we expect a new album?
Hopefully end of summer! We’re writing and rehearsing new stuff all the time, and I think we have about 7 or 8 completed new songs at the moment. So we’re gonna keep on writing and have something out there as soon as possible. Much will rely on finding a new home label-wise as well as the one we had for Tales didn’t really do it for us with the ambitions we have.
Can you spill your guts about what we could expect from it?
You can expect Zombiesuckers, doing what we always do! It’s gonna be a bit more melodic than the previous one I’d say, but also dome heavier tracks on it than what we had before, so it will be a good combination.
Any chance that the Zombiesuckers will be invading the US anytime soon?
We’d love to play the US as soon as possible. But since we don’t have any backing when it comes to booking shows, we also have to finance everything ourselves. And going to the US from Sweden costs a lot. Right now we’re aiming for Europe, getting our name out there. And when we’ve done that it’s probably easier to set something up that’ll be worth the while going over to the US. But when we’re invading, we’ll be doing it with full force, spreading the horror!
I wanna say thank you for doing this interview and in closing, is there anything you’d like to add?
Thank you for the chat, and a big thank you to all our fans out there. Without you we’d have to sit at home listening to our stuff ourselves and that wouldn’t be as fun as sharing it with you guys! And for you who stumbled on to this interview by accident, check us out, it’s worth the 5 minutes!
Be sure to check out the Zombiesuckers online at http://www.zombiesuckers.com