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!