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.
Artist: The Quintessentials
Album: Realm of the Great Old Ones
Label: Hawaiian Express Records (Psychical) / Infernal Records (Digital)
Woe to the Vanquished! | Al-Jilwah | Mail-Order Junkie | Demonica | Allie was a Scab | P.C. Game | The Devil’s Henchmen | Time | Jerkface | Midnight in the Black House | Nu’uanu Nightmare | The Time is Now! | Pan the Great! | Baby’s in Love | Scrunchy | Bubble Gum & Soda Pop | Love Bleeds Terror | The Hallowed Eve
Inferno | Drop Dead Gorgeous | A Better World | The Life For Me | Shannon was a Psycho | Graveyard Ghoul | Marie Infinity | Constipated Nation | Color My Rainbow Black | The Rats in the Walls | Rege Satanas! | Punk Rock Heroes | Tenth Key Willed | That Girl | Satanic Revolution | Under the Crescent Moon | The Horror Never Ends! | It’s In My Belly
This year has definitely been more than kind to the genre of horror-punk with new releases by Calabrese, and The Other along with the soon to be infamous festival Ghouls Night Out X and of course there is also Blitzkid’s farewell tour here in the US. This will definitely and without a doubt be a summer to remember for horror fans and the horror-punk genre. But amongst all these things there was something I was impatiently waiting for…more so than all the others, and that something my friends, is The Quintessentials new double album, “Realm of the Great Old Ones”!
The Quintessentials have been one of my favorite bands for awhile now and it’s hard to simply state reasons of why that is. I definitely consider the group to be one of a handful of bands that have been able to push the boundaries of horror-punk and where it can go (my opinion), like other bands such as the Cryptkeeper Five, Green Goblyn Project, The Browns, etc. Maybe with me being a Satanist it was finding a flat out Satanic punk band I could listen to and relate to and not have to listen only to Venom haha. Maybe it was the band’s ability to blend two of my favorite sub-genres of punk rock, pop and horror-punk together. Maybe it’s the band’s sound that makes them sound like The Ramones of today. I could go on but the list of reasons is endless and I’m here to talk about their new album and why you should pick it up, so lets get to it!
As I stated previously I anticipated this album more so than Calabrese or The Other’s new releases and believe me when I tell you that this album doesn’t disappoint! For starters it’s a double album (rare these days) with the first disc filled with brand new Satanic power pop/horror-punk hellfire tunes for your pleasure and then to top it off it comes with a second disc with completely remastered and redone versions of countless other Quintessentials classics from the bands first debut album, “The Horror Never Ends…” which just increases the listening the pleasure as there is nothing more than hearing new/updated versions of some of my favorite songs. You can think of it as The Quintessentials very own, “Anatomy of Reanimation Vol. 1″.
This album has about everything I love in a horror-punk release and everything I love about pop-punk. The recording is beautiful, the guitar is in full pop-punk swing, the bass makes sure you recognize it’s presence, the drums that every punk rocker grew up listening to and loves is pounding furiously throughout the album and the snotty in your face pop-punk vocals are the icing of this punk rock masterpiece. This band blends pop and horror amazingly and brings to mind pop-punk bands such as Screeching Weasel, The Queers, The Ramones, and The Lillingtons while also bringing to mind horror-punk bands such as The Suicide Ghouls, The Browns, early Misfits, The Pink Skulls, and The Reanimated. Instant classics such as, “The Devil’s Henchmen”, “Nu’uanu Nightmare” (my favorite), “Bubble Gum & Soda Pop”, and “The Hallowed Eve” will this album a hard one to put down and shows you that beautiful blend of horror and pop punk mixed together to create something special.
The Quintessentials definitely did all the right things with this album and I can honestly say that the wait while long was well worth it. This is an album that even if you’re not a horror-punk fan you can get into and same goes for if you’re not a pop-punk fan, and trust me, you don’t have to be a Satanist to enjoy what guys bring to your stereo. This album without any hesitation gets a 10/10 and I highly stress picking this up as I can’t say enough about it, just get the album and the music speaks for itself. Any fan of PUNK ROCK PERIOD will love this album. I truly hope you enjoy the album as much as I do and thank you for reading.
- Justin Stankus
Artist: Dr. Geek and the Freakshow
Album: The Wolfman…And Other Stories From The Lab
2. Back From The Dead
4. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
5. Vampires (The Truth)
7. Missy is Missing (Miss Graveyard Pt. II)
8. Punks Undead
9. House Of Wax
10. Mina Harker
I usually have a hard time starting out a review if you can believe that or not. But not this time! I’ll first start off by giving a big thank you to Germany for the countless gothic and undead gems you have provided us during the years! Dead Unites, The Other, The Crimson Ghosts, The Dead End Guys, The Fright, Dr. Geek and the Freakshow, etc. I could go on, but again, I simply want to say thank you.
Now with that small piece of business out of the way it’s time to get to the review. I’ll be start out by being straight and direct and to the point. I LOVE this album and I can’t emphasize that enough, I really can’t. Any fan of Blitzkid, The Other, The Fright, Calabrese, Horrorwood Ending, etc. is going to love what this band and album have to bring to the table and is quickly going to become a must have for you horror collection. Honestly sometimes I really hate doing reviews because I feel that like no matter what I write it will always come up short or not give the album the proper credit that the album I am writing about deserves which is the exact situation right now. It’s a little short which is really my only gripe I have with it for I definitely would have loved to have another 3 or 4 songs on the album, but that hasn’t stopped it from being one of my favorite and most played albums. I already know all the lyrics by heart and you already know that’s love when you know an album so well.
As I stated previously this is definitely a horror-punk band and album and yet, Dr. Geek and the Freakshow also bring bring something fresh musically although it may not be too obvious to everyone. When listening to the album I can’t help but feel a Oi! punk influence in some of the tunes that brought to mind other beloved Oi! punk bands I love such as Germany’s own Oxymoron, or Discipline. Whether this was just coincidence or was done on purpose is unknown to me, but something I enjoyed immensely nonetheless. The guitar makes me smile from start to finish and is probably my favorite thing about the album, it’s so solid and with tracks like, “Back From The Dead”, “Vampires”, and “Wolfman” it makes this album very powerful and something that is very hard to put down. The album is also extremely melodic but not to a pop-punk degree, but it definitely brings to mind bands like Robot Monster’s own Horrorwood Ending, Balzac, and even Bad Religion.
In closing this an must have album for your collection in my opinion and I highly suggest picking it up. It’s highly addictive from start to finish and these guys definitely know what they’re doing. This album is dark, melodic, catchy, and a joy all the way through. I really can’t say anything more except for what I have already stated which is that I thoroughly enjoyed and love this album and cannot wait to see what else this band has in store for us. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the album as much as I do!
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!
Album: The Suicide Ghouls
1. The Blood is the Life
2. She Bytes
3. Zombie Midget Stripper
4. Love You To Death
5. Santa Claus is a Pedophile
6. This is Horror
7. Dance of the Dead
10. Dead Girls Don’t Say No
11. Fear the Ripper
13. I Was a Teenage Frankenstein
The Suicide Ghouls are an amazing horror-punk band that crawled out of graves that reside within Columbus, Ohio in 2009. This is a group that is quickly starting to make a name for themselves and I feel that even that statement is not credit that should be due to this band. Playing with great bands including The Misfits, Calabrese, Blitzkid, Aaron Omen, Graveyard Boulevard, The Cobra Skulls, The Koffin Kats, and Juicehead just to name a few. The band is well known for their high energy shows that are described as one of a kind, and they always leave their fans wanting more. But what I want to know is why a band this great has not been picked up by a label yet.
As I stated previously, the biggest question for me is why is this band has not been signed yet!? I mean shit, it literally blows my mind. This is one dedicated band and it shows, the recording on this album is absolutely superb for an unsigned band and that’s just the recording, which also leaves the question of how much more this badass this album would be if they were signed (Labels I am talking to you, take the fucking hint!). These guys have been able to do something that is very rare in the horror-punk scene and something I always fucking love to find! That my friends, is horror-pop-punk! Yes that’s right! The snotty vocals, melodic tunes, and speed of true pop-punk which I hold so dear. With the dark vocals, terrifying tunes that blend so well with the pop punk side, and everything horror that I cannot put into words. This band has been able to blend two of my favorite sub-genres in Punk Rock to create an album and band that brings to mind bands such as The Creeps, The Quintessentials, Stepson, Crawling Chaos, or The Lillingtons. I also don’t believe I need to tell you that’s a real and I mean real good fucking thing.
With tunes like, “She Bytes”, “The Blood is the Life”, “Santa Claus is a Pedophile”, “Fear the Ripper” (my favorite by the way), and “Resurrection” it was and still is hard for me to put this album down. It really is that good. I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy the blending of the pop and horror on this album as it now doubles the appeal of the listener as well. I mean if I owned a record shop and was asked, “What’s a great horror-punk album?”, I would respond with, “Here, check out We Put the Fun in Funeral!” ”Oh you enjoy pop-punk?”, “Here! Listen to We Put the Fun in Funeral.” Like I said it doubles the appeal of the album and it’s something that’s refreshing to me. Because believe me when I say that I love horror-punk and could go on for ages, but face it you may deny it but we all get tired of the Danvis (Danzig/Elvis) hybrid vocals every now and again. That’s why bands such as The Suicide Ghouls and albums like, “We Put the Fun in Funeral” are so important to me. Trust me, this band has stuff going for them. The vocals are melodic, snotty, and scary, the music is amazing, solid, and on point, and the recording is phenomenal for a unsigned band. This is an album that not just a horror-punk fan should pick up but that a PUNK fan in general must add to their collection. Whether it’s Street, Crust, Pop, Ska, or Horror punk, this album has something for everyone to enjoy. I really hope you take my advice and give this album a listen and check these guys out. You’ll hear no complaints from me on this album. Epic.
- Justin Stankus
2. The Devil And His Band
3. Dance ‘Til You Die
4. The Rise of the Dead
6. Movie Maniacs
7. Somewhere Under the Graveyard
9. Come And Die With Me
10. Zombie Girl
11. I Can’t Sleep at Night
12. Strange and Scary
13. Radioactive Zombies
This amazing band started on Halloween in 2009 crawling out of the Hell fire pits of Bremen, Germany. Lead by vocalist Jamey Rottencorpse and his ghoulish followers, TomTom Scumbag (Guitar), Slimebag Die Well (Guitar), Mr. Snowy Claws (Drums), Moldy Oddfingers (Kaos-Pad, BG-Vocals), and Riot Earp (Bass). These soon to be superghouls which are currently signed to Dr. Cyclops Records are definitely my favorite band that the label has signed so far. Bringing to you an awesome mixture of old/new school horror-punk with a twist of metal, set the volume to 138 and there you have it.
As I’m sitting here drinking this blood red wine I ponder where to begin with this album. I knew from the very beginning that this was going to be an epic band and could not wait for this album’s release. I even remember telling Jamey to hurry this album’s release up for I couldn’t wait any longer. But for one I love the fact that this a horror-punk album from beginning to end, through and through. No slow ballads, no doo-wop inspired love songs (which I love by the way, don’t get me wrong haha) this is just straight to the point in your face scary horror-punk that would even make Danzig proud. I love the recording and sound of this album, it’s beautifully solid, not raw yet not overdone either, it’s just right! The dueling guitars of Scumbag and Slimebag is one of my personal favorites on this album, every song is solid and even though it’s simple the solo on, “Somewhere Under the Graveyard” is unbelievably epic and get’s me so fucking amped I find myself rewinding that solo over and over again and over course having one of my favorite lines from, “Night of the Living Dead” playing in the background just makes it that much more enjoyable. As a use to be drummer I always am picky with the drums when it comes to any album and Snowy doesn’t disappoint as the drums are on time, clean, and solid. Jamey’s vocals are some of my favorites, as he doesn’t try to imitate Danzig and doesn’t go for the super melodic tone most horror-punk bands tend to lean towards T.B. being an example, yet not going incredibly wretched like Saint Legions of The Lurking Corpses. It’s right in the middle and I love it, I will note though that I love both previously mentioned vocalists and am just using them as examples.
In closing there’s not too much more to say that I haven’t already stated. Some people will complain and say that this album sounds like every other horror-punk band or album but of course that’s to be expected, you’re not going to please everyone on the planet. But there’s something about the album that didn’t give me that same vibe, I definitely love this record and I personally believe that any horror-punk or horror-based music fan will highly enjoy this album and band and I highly recommend checking this album out. Also I don’t care what anybody says or if anyone hates me now, but Jamey’s face paint puts Graves and Goolsby’s face paint to shame with a boot to the face. Fucking EPIC!
- Justin Stankus
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!
1. Satanik A Go-Go
2. Full Moon Fury
3. Cycle Of The Wolf
4. Together We Own The Dark
5. Race With The Devil
6. Return Of The Living Dead
7. Episode 13
8. The Dead Zone
9. American Werewolf
10. Scream Queens
11. Forgotten & Dead
12. Days Full Of Night
13. Sometimes They Come Back
Like Surf? Like Horror-Punk? Like fucking Rockabilly!? Ever wish you could get all three blended and beautifully melted together!? Look no further my precious fiends because here is that epic album/band that has mutated all three into an amazing hybrid all their own. Werevilsdare hits you square in the face with something brand new and fresh to the genre that makes this album almost impossible to put down once picking it up, fuck I’m even listening to it right now, and that’s not a selling gimmick! I have not been able to take this album off my iPod since Mark shared their video for their epic song, “Return Of The Living Dead” back who knows when. I’m surprised my iPod hasn’t exploded yet from the multiple repeats of this album.
This album has so many good things going for it which makes it an irresistible musical treat for any fan. I personally like the semi-raw recording which in my mind makes the music all the sweeter, and fuck isn’t that how punk rock is supposed to be!? I absolutely am in love with the guitar in this record, it’s so solid and with songs like, “Return Of The living Dead”, “Episode 13″, “Full Moon Fury”, and “Days Full Of Night” I can’t help but pump my fist to every song while jamming to myself or driving in the car and making everyone think I’m a retard haha. But wait that’s not all! Remember how I was telling you all about how this awesome band was able to blend those three important elements together? Yes? Good! Because that is another big thumbs up on this record and to the people that pick this up, it has something for everyone whether you’re a diehard horror-punk fan like I am, a rockabilly kid, or a surf junkie. Any fan of horror is going to enjoy what Werevilsdare has to offer and bring to the table. Mark’s vocals is the icing on the cake for me on this album, it’s something you don’t expect on this record and it even caught me off guard. There’s no Elvis rockabilly hybrid wanna be to be heard and there isn’t the melodic soft vocals of most horror punks bands nowadays. Instead we are treated to a snotty rough powerful singer filled with emotion doing his own thing which is one of my favorite things about the album.
In closing really all I can say is you truly must be missing a large chunk of your brain if not all of it if you skip on the opportunity to pick up this record. This is the record any horror fan dreams of and I can’t say enough good things about it, in fact you wont find me saying anything bad about it. It’s play through value is amazing, every song is addictive and I could play this album all day long on repeat and not get tired of hearing it. There isn’t one song I don’t like, the cover-art is fucking epic, the band name is awesome and clever. Fuck this shit is good. Pick up this album right now, go jump into your hot rod, motorcycle, or hearse, pick up a fine young lady buy all the booze you can and blast Episode 13 as loud as you can and prepare for the night of your life.
- HS, Justin (Nosebleed) Stankus
Artist: The Channeling
Album: Last Harvest
Label: Axe ‘N’ Head
2. Coroner’s Report
3. Cold Circuits
8. Bolt Neck
9. Pillars to Dust
Looking for that long lost horror-punk band you knew existed but could never find? Well here you are, I give you, The Channeling. This punk rock super group, which you could argue isn’t to that point yet, but will surely have your mind changed after giving this album a listen. There is no doubt in my mind that given time, this band will come to rival such bands as Blitzkid, Calabrese, old AFI, The Crimson Ghosts, etc. Fronted by founder Chris Mann (vocals/guitar), and accompanied by fellow band mates Richard Triggs (guitar/vocals), Ryan Bellegrave (bass/vocals), and Donny Morris (drums), these guys have come together to create something new and fresh for the horror genre and punk rock in general. This is really is an album that I’m not sure if I can fully express in words how good it is.
Take old AFI when they were good, and cross breed them with Church For Sinners, and the resulting mutation would be The Channeling. This album has so many good things going for it, starting with vocals. Chris’s vocals absolutely blow me away and capture the intensity of the band and this album so well, like a Davey Havok, but better, not as feminine, and not a cry baby. His vocals on Cold Circuits give me goosebumps every time I hear it and results in me replaying it again and again. It’s no wonder why it is one of my most played songs on my iPod. The guitar is superb, the bass is solid and epic, the drums are the icing on the cake, and the recording is flawless as well. Honestly, there is nothing I dislike about the album, and that’s the truth. I could listen to this cd all the way through back to back and not get annoyed or bored, it seriously gets better the more you listen to it.
This album has me so pumped for the future of horror-punk. With instant classics like Cold Circuits, Damien, Frighteners (as heard on Tony Hawk’s Project 8), Demonology, and Pillars to Dust. This album has it all for any fan, whether you’re a hardcore horror-punk fan or just getting into the genre, goth fans, or even just a regular punk fan. Then you owe it to yourself to go pick up this album. I’ve tried my best to express how good this album is and I still feel like I fell short of that expression. So get off your ass and pick this up! The first 31 online orders of the album will receive a free hand screened glow in the dark Last Harvest Ouija board, measuring 15.5″ x 10″. So get check out their Facebook and show them some support and ask them about the sweet deal! http://www.facebook.com/thechanneling
- HS, Justin (Nosebleed) Stankus
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!?
2. Drop Dead Gorgeous
3. A Better World
4. The Life For Me
5. Shannon Was A Psycho
6. Graveyard Ghoul
7. Marie Infinity
8. Constipated Nation
9. Color My Rainbow Black
10. The Rats In The Walls
11. Rege Satanas!
12. Punk Rock Heroes
13. Tenth Key Willed
14. The Girl
15. Satanic Revolution
16. Under The Crescent Moon
17. The Horror Never Ends
18. It’s In My Belly
When I think of horror-punk, two bands come to mind, The Misfits and Balzac. These bands were the very first bands in this genre I had ever heard when I was still an adolescent punk rock skater prick, and come to think of it Balzac was only the third punk band I had ever heard at the time in general, with only G.B.H. and The Misfits proceeding them. My first encounter with Satan’s hellfire (The Quintessentials) was a few years back while searching through horror-punk bands in maybe 2003-2004 I think it was? Shit I don’t remember, but at this point in time, I already knew all the big names in the horror scene, like The Rosedales, Blitzkid, Calabrese, Crimson Ghosts, The Other, Koffin Kats, The Misifts, etc. But The Quintessentials started my obsession with horror-punk and even planted the first seeds in my later interest in Satanism.
But on to the album that changed my life when it came to horror-punk that is. I looked at this badass fucking cover with a huge ass pentagram entitled, “The Horror Never Ends” and instantly ordered it (overnighted), needless to say my family was displeased with what I picked out, especially my mother when she opened the mail while I was at school. When I first heard the album I was in shock and awe, I mean when I ordered this cd I was expecting something like Blitzkid or something in the same vein to come out of my speakers. But what I got was horror-pop-punk, that’s right horror-pop-punk! I had never experienced this before, sure now I’ve heard bands like The Browns, or The Groovie Ghoulies but this was my first encounter with it and something I had never heard before. It was like listening to a snottier yet more melodic Sloppy Seconds, and at first it was so different I really couldn’t get into it.
But let me be the first to say that a few listens can make all the difference! After spinning this record a couple of times I was hooked and there was no throwing me back. It was so awesome to hear a band doing something completely different that didn’t sound like every other band and hearing a band that wasn’t interested in sounding just like The Misfits. I also loved hearing a band that tackled and attacked something I hated with a burning passion ever since I was a boy, religion. After my mother, a devout and pious Catholic who I love very much and miss to this day died of lung cancer I lost what little faith I may have had in religion and a hatred in God and all religion came to the surface the day she passed, and this album helped me so much in this part of my life. Kind of cheesy I know, but this band and album really help pull me through a dark time in my life and I have to thank them for that.
Great fucking Satanic horror-pop-punk, this band is utterly amazing and in my mind should absolutely be on the same level as bands such as Blitzkid or Calabrese. Just how much I have written about this album should be a testament to how good it is. This is an album that is still my favorite of all the ones the band has released so far. If you like pop punk, horror, satan, punk rock, or anything macabre then you have to pick up this cd. With favorites such as “Inferno”, Graveyard Ghoul”, “Drop Dead Gorgeous”, “Shannon Was A Psycho”, “Color My Rainbow Black”, “Rege Satanas”, “Satanic Revolution”, and “The Horror Never Ends” it’s hard to put this album down. I mean right there is more deserve of praise, when almost half the songs on the cd qualify for my favorite song then you know it’s a rare gem, and there’s still another half of the cd I didn’t even list. This cd is so good, and a must have for any horror fan, I can’t praise this band or album enough. Look up this band, show them some goddamn support and buy this album, you wont regret it!
- HS, Justin (Nosebleed) Stankus
1. Poison The Airwaves
2. Season of Nightmares
3. Everyday Is Halloween
4. Vulgar Acts
5. Dead Ted
6. Is That All You Got
8. Black Days
9. Killer On The Loose
11. Hole In Your Soul
12. What Dreams May Come
13. Coming After You
14. Toxic Zombies
15. You’ve Survived
16. Billy Likes Beer
When I think of horror-punk and the West Coast, one name comes to mind, California. Never is there any shortage of psych0/rock-a-billy/horror-punk/street punk/ANY punk to be found in the state. Which is why I think most bands on our country’s ass end get overlooked if they don’t reside within California. For me, it all started in the great North West when I found an amazing band, The Quintessentials out of Oregon. Heard of them? If you haven’t you should. But anyway, it was then that I realized I was missing out on an awesome yet unknown horror scene that didn’t involve California, hard to believe I know. I was bombarded with bands like The Quintessentials as you already know, the Gruesome Boys, Church For Sinners, Dead Vampires, Schoolyard Heroes, and of course Toxic Zombie!
Instantly starting off with an epic intro to the album, “Poison The Airwaves” this album lets you immediately know what you’re about to be getting into. With this band there is hardly anything to pick at when it comes to something I don’t like and I’m fucking serious. I love the harmonizing and vocals on the album and the guitar is incredible with solos that could rival/put any metal band to shame. But what blows me away the most is the drumming, maybe because I play the drums? I don’t know, but they speak to me, they’re crisp and clean and it’s one of the many things that makes me love this album as much as I already do! With amazing songs all around, some of my favorites being, “Season Of Nightmares”, “Everyday Is Halloween”, “Dead Ted”, “Gypsy”, “Black Days”, “Split”, “Toxic Zombies” (my favorite), and of corse “Billy Likes Beer”. This alone should be a testament to how good this album is when more than half the songs on the album all challenge for my favorite song, and even the songs I didn’t list are still fucking amazing. Just do yourself a favor, go check out this band, show them the support they deserve, and get your hands on this album because it’s fucking epic!
- Justin (Nosebleed) Stankus
Artist: Beneath the Cellar
1. True Hell
2. The Horror
3. Daydream Graveside
4. They Remain Unseen
5. With the Dead We Walk
6. Devour & Console
7. Ali Baba
8. Friend of the Devil (Grateful Dead Cover)
9. Just One Body to Go
10. Nightmare Killing Spree
11. Beneath the Cellar
12. Taste for the Blade
Holy fucking shit! This album is one of the greatest hidden gems I have ever fallen upon, and I seriously can’t stress that enough! If I was talking to you face to face I’d be spitting and yelling in your goddamn face about how great this record is, and this is an unsigned band as well. How the fuck this band is unsigned is beyond me, anyone who has passed on signing this band must have been/is too busy playing with dog turds. This band’s album, “Taste for the Blade” has been playing non-stop on my iPod since I got the record for a reason. With my second favorite vocalist after TB on this record, this album surely won’t displease any horror fan. With epic vocals, GREAT recording (by the way for an unsigned band), awesome guitar, and speed speed speed! This is the horror-punk I fucking love and have been waiting for, with just the right amount of melodic tunes and punk rock pace mixed together beautifully. This band hits the nail right on the mark of what real horror-punk should sound like. I can’t resist re-playing every song on this album before I can go on to the next one, shit I probably play every song about 4 to 5 times before I can let it go and move on to the next one. I’m even listening to the album now, I can’t resist writing about it and not jamming out to it.
It’s hard to even really think of a band to compare these guys to, which is so awesome. I mean for a band that is able to keep it’s music so simple and yet so epic while not sounding like every other band is incredibly rare nowadays and something that is beyond awesome and deserves praise. This album hits you square in the face with, “True Hell” and does not release it’s fangs until the album is finished with the slow and awesome Doo-Wop ballad, “Taste for the Blade” which even then still has that energy from the rest of the album and doesn’t kill the momentum in any way. With my favorites being, “True Hell”, “They Remain Unseen”, “With the Dead We Walk”, “Taste for the Blade”, “Nightmare Killing Spree”, and “Beneath the Cellar”. This is one of those classic albums you rarely find nowadays where you can listen to every song and never get bored for a second. Fuck they even do a Grateful Dead cover and I fucking hate that band, and they’ve been able to make me not stop listening to the song. In closing this album is a must have for any horror-punk fan or just plain horror fan in general, the music is fucking epic and the speed makes you want to punch someone in the face. Do yourself a favor and go out and pick up this album immediately! Lets show these labels that this band deserves the recognition that it has earned.
- Justin (Nosebleed) Stankus
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.
Label: Pirish Records
1. Partner In Crime
2. Fetus Eaters
3. I Created a Monster
4. Video Creep
6. Vanna White
8. 3 Sixes
9. Scum and Villainy
10. 666 Dead End Drive
11. Hacksaw Romance
13. Vile World
Holy fuck, where the hell do I begin? I first found this amazing band a couple years ago while searching through new horror-punk bands to check out and stumbled upon Murderland’s debut release and gem, ‘Lights Out” and it was love at first sight/listen. Basically imagine The Misfits and Coffin Caddies combined to cause an epic big bang, then the Gill Man ate was created of this bang, only to give birth shortly after (lets pretend he’s asexual for a moment) and then Calabrese took care and raised the infant band. That band would become what you now love, Murderland! I cannot say anything bad about this band, even if I wanted to. Seriously, if you think there is some sort of flaw to this group or dislike the band at all, then you deserve to be stranded in the middle of nowhere in a infinite rainstorm of dog piss!
When I first heard, “Prelude to a Kill” I was blown away, I didn’t really know what to expect after the few years that had passed since the release of, “Lights Out”. Was the Murderland I first heard and loved still gonna be there? Was it going to stay in the same direction? Were the lyrics that made every other band seem like a PC band still be around? These were just some of the questions I had and awesomely, the answer to all these questions were yes! I love this release for so many reasons, one could be the way the band is able to have that somewhat pop-punk sound yet still keeping it scary and at an epic street punk pace. I really see the band as the true successors of the sound that The Coffin Caddies created, not being overly melodic and poppy, yet not being too aggressive and raw as well, while being able to mix both styles and create absolute bliss to the ears. And in my mind this is what a true horror-punk band is and should be, this is horror and fucking punk rock. Songs with references to cutting off nipples, boners, necrophilia, mutilation, and creating monsters, this album would make Danzig proud! How could any horror fan not enjoy what this band or album has to bring? Songs like, “Partner In Crime”, “Headcase” (my favorite by the way), “Video Creep”, “Mortuary”, and “Scum and Villainy” always get me pumped and I can’t help but blast the volume. In my mind every song is epic and flawless and there was nothing I didn’t like about the album, except maybe the wait. And when the intro to a album has anything from Ghostbusters, you know it’s going to be a fucking gem! So if you haven’t already picked up this album then you fucking need to! Murderland is the shit and so is this album, I hope this review hopefully helps to sway some of you fiends into buying this masterpiece! Also stay tuned for I will be interviewing Murderland within the coming days, something you don’t want to miss!!!
- Justin Apathy
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!
Artist: Horrorwood Ending
Label: Robot Monster
1. Prologue: Escape
2. Back From Hell
3. Never Die
4. I Was A Teenage Zombie
5. Just Another Nightmare
6. Heres To You
7. Ready To Die
8. The Room
9. Waiting For A Heartbeat
10. From Here To Eternity
11. Code Blue
12. Down By The Cemetery
13. Hells Too Good For Her
Epic, melodic, fast, fun, and horrifically good! This is just a few of the things I could say about Horrorwood Ending’s long awaited debut album, “Waiting for a Heartbeat”! Signed by the epic Robot Monster label (which always signs epic horror-punk bands), this album has nothing but good written all over it, and surely wont disappoint. When an album has been able to push aside Blitzkid’s, Apparitional for top spot on my ipod then you know it’s good. I can’t say enough good things about this album, it has quite a melodic tone like most horror-punk bands nowadays, yet the band is still able to keep that punk rock speed and sound, especially keeping it somewhat raw in the recording which I love. Letting you know you’re in for a horror-punk treat this album hooks you in right from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the end. With sing-along anthems like, “Here’s To You”, “Back From Hell”, and “Ready To Die” it’s hard to put the album down, the icing on the cake for me was the amazing tune, “Waiting for a Heartbeat” I seriously must have re-played this song at least 10 times when I first listened to the album, then I was finally able to move on to the rest of the album.
In closing, “Waiting for a Heartbeat” is a great album and is a must have for any horror-punk or hell, ANY punk fan. In my opinion there is nothing about this album that I do not like, it is one of those rare gems that are hard to find nowadays were you can listen to every song without hitting “skip” and can replay the album over and over without getting bored. Fuck, get your friends, grab some beer, buy this album, and get ready for an epic party. Because this album is going to give you major eargasms and give you that party. I can’t help but sing out loud whenever I listen to this album, resulting in noise complaints and scaring my dog. I very much look forward to Horrorwood Ending’s future and what is in store for us musically. Pick up this album, you wont regret it!
- Justin Apathy
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.
Artist: The Crimson Ghosts
Label: Fiendforce Records
1. Here They Come
2. Liber Sanguinis
3. Spit Black!
5. Dein Nachtmahr
6. Ghastly Ever After
7. Aokigahara (Sea of Trees)
8. The Body Bag
9. Living Carrion
10. The Creature
11. Ophelia’s Song
12. Last Words
13. There Will Be Blood
On “Sharing Prey”, the 2009 published split single with “Die Monster Die”, The Crimson Ghosts gave you a small taste of what was to come with their upcoming release Generation Gore with the song, The Body Bag. And sure this review is a little late, but it doesn’t matter, not to me at least. Because, here comes Generation Gore! Bloodred, crushing, and epic is just some of the things I could say about this band’s fourth output! Ghoulish fiends rising from the depths of Germany, this album is the definite highlight of their career so far, and the search for their own path through darkness is over ultimately. Never before has razor sharp riffs and melodies cut into one’s brains like they do on this album!
For anyone who loves The Misfits, which every horror should! This is a band that deserves a listen, they are very similar to the Misfits “American Psycho” era and have the same type of melody, epic punk rock and lyrics about everything macabre! This is their fourth full length album and is comparable to previous albums in that it’s the same vibe, but is much more polished and boasts better production then their earlier offerings. Their melodies on the album are great, but not so much that it loses any of its punk rock edge. Songs like Unleashed, Ghastly Ever After and The Creature are anthems that you will want to listen to over and over again. This is one of the great fucking things about this album, it is so easy to listen to, and something that never get old. While the formula is nothing new and follows the same direction from start to finish it really works for this type of music. There were a few surprises on this album where they ventured a little off track on songs like Spit Black and The Body Bag, but these were great ventures and the Ghosts pulled them off without a hitch. Be sure to give this band a shot, and if you do, I would recommend the earlier stuff, but starting off with Generation Gore wouldn’t be bad either.
- Justin Apathy
Artist: Church For Sinners
Label: Robot Monster
2. City Of The Dead
3. Kiss The Rose
4. Lady Killer
5. Black Hearts Rejoice
6. In The Graveyard
8. Paris After Dark
9. Seaside Suicide
10. When Tomorrow Ends
11. Southern Belle
13. Summer Broken
14. A Finger Hold In Death’s Embrace
15. The Hymn
16. Desperation Proof
When I was first introduced to the horror punks Church For Sinners was through their debut EP, Making Monsters, I instantly felt as though the band was dipping their toes into the great lakes potential! While the EP was solid, it was also rather safe, and as a whole, somewhat middling. I can’t say it lasted the test of time, but then again the seven tracks did serve their purpose, and had me place Church For Sinners on my list of bands with promise and worth checking up on.
Now, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from an eventual follow up to the EP, but I was hoping for the best. What I found in their recent full length, Of Prayers And Pestilence, was the “best” I was hoping for and even surpassed my expectations and I say that with the utmost truth and flattery! Now far from mediocre, Church For Sinners has completely been submerged in the spirit of ambition, and in the process, branched out for one of the truest, and most widely appealing horror-punk releases of the year.
For their newfound secret, look no further than at Of Prayers And Pestilence’s run time and overarching breadth of sound. With sixteen tracks pushing an hour, the band finds plenty of time for solidifying their core and exploring and developing numerous tantalizing tangents without ever sacrificing their essence.
The first four tracks revisit their already established brand of melodic horror-punk found on their debut EP, but infused with a new, crisp layer of polished hooks. Vocalist Andy sounds and reminds me a lot of 90’s era Davey Havok of AFI (had he enjoyed a happier upbringing). Combined with a chorus of band-wide backing harmonies, each with their own slightly altered pitch, “City Of The Dead” for example. An underlying air of carefully controlled chaos prevents such meticulous planning from dampening the band’s wildest moments.
After thinking you know what Church For Sinners is all about, the band throws in their first big twist. “Black Hearts Rejoice”, which includes familiar riffs, but here Andy then takes on a new guise, lowering his tone and taking a noticeable take from Dan Adriano of Alkaline Trio. His dictionary informed, image-rich description of dark and light concepts like “Bloodstains” with “Love” for example, achieve a captivating sense of morbid playfulness. It soon becomes clear that Andy, is like a doppleganger with chameleon-like qualities. Other directions take the form of a 50’s informed crooner in the song, “In The Graveyard”, a southern punk rock piece in, “Southern Belle”, and a blisteringly intense shout-fest bringing to mind names such as Leftover Crack in “Seaside Suicide”.
Combined, all this difference makes Church For Sinners’ dark messages of worldly vice feel fresh and new! What some critics may cry as “ordinary” in this album, becomes less apparent as Of Prayers And Pestilence progresses, especially when punk rock gems like “Paris After Dark” pop up nine tracks in, there then is little room to yell afoul about this album.
When all is said and done, Church For Sinners exists free from the traditional confines of horror and successfully integrate a slew of other exciting inspirations. Many people speak of horror as having a restricted vision, to them I say give Of Prayers And Pestilence a spin and try repeating that same sentiment.
- Justin Apathy
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!
Label: People Like You
1. Head Over Hills
2. They’re All Dead
4. The Awakening
5. Mr. Sardonicus
6. Mr. Gore
7. The Bat Whispers
9. The Perfect Sleep
10. Moonlite Veins
11. Cedar Bluff
12. Jane Doe #9
13. Casque Of Amontillado
14. The Iscariot
15. She Won’t Stop Bleeding
Alright so with this review I decided to take a new route and do a track by track review of the album especially with it being Blitzkid and it being their new album! So let’s begin!
Head Over Hills starts the album off with a harsh kick to the face with a never relenting tidal wave of gang vocals and screams advising us: “Don‘t loose your head!” Drawing on the lore of Washington Irving‘s ‘headless horseman’ before swiftly transitioning into Goolsby’s haunting croon matched with some of Blitzkid’s most brutal drumming and sonically devastating guitar work since the track ‘Demon Machine’ off of 2006’s ‘Five Callers Below.’
They’re All Dead is a ‘too the point’ punk rock anthem with enough strength to make the most jaded zombie fan crack a rotting grin. Following the account of a lone survivor of the zombie apocalypse: “I used to have a family and I used to have close friends, now my lone companion is his shotgun in my hand.” ‘They’re All Dead,’ is the perfect sound to the latest Permuted Press novel.
Blutsauger (German for Blood-sucker) is a cold, dark introspective track that is much more in the vain of Goolsby’s collaboration with acoustic/goth punk outfit 1476 with the track “Der Vampyr” rather than Blitzkid previous thrash endeavor “Nosferatu” telling the story of a vampire coming to terms with what he has done and all that he has become. While I do enjoy Nosferatu the most out of the three, I rank this song as the second best out of the three and a good solid track. This is also my favorite song off the album.
The Awakening I know it, you know it. We all know this song well. A while back, when Blitzkid first announced the release of Apparitional, the Awakening was released via the ‘People Like You” website to promote its pending release and served as a worthy teaser for the months building up to its release. The song itself is comprised of all the elements that make a Blitzkid “classic” reminiscent of Mary Shelley’s classic tale.
Mr. Sardonicus the epic scope of this track can easily be summed up in one word: Doyle. Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, legendary muscle bound axe man of Misfits, Gorgeous Frankenstein (who Goolsby spent a stint servicing as both bassist and vocalist for a short while) fame contributed the guitar to the song. ‘Mr. Sardonicus’ is a haunting little ditty that follows the life of the fictional character portrayed in the 1961 film of the same name directed by the great William Castle about: a man whose face becomes frozen in a horrifying grin while robbing his father’s grave to obtain a winning lottery ticket. He tries to force a doctor to cure him, but eventually dies when he can no longer eat or drink. The song itself sounds as though it could have been right at home on their previous record ‘Five Cellars Below,’ and that isn’t a bad thing either! Though this is a song that makes me miss TB a whole lot, and is a song I would have rather had TB playing guitar to. It’s still epic though!
Mr. Gore While this song features everything that makes Blitzkid what there are something about Mr. Gore falls short of what it could have made it a true classic and comes across as generic song by Alkaline Trio and I just can’t put my finger on it as to why because I wanted nothing more than to absolutely love every song on this record but in the end Mr. Gore falls flat and is just one track worth skipping.
The Bat Whispers This track screams classic Goolsby all the way, and easily erases the disappointing sounds of Mr. Gore out of my ears. Though this is definitely an amazing track with its Goth infused punk rock reminding me 1476 again, there is just something I don’t like about it so much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a track you don’t want to skip, I just personally enjoy fast Blitzkid more and I wasn’t able to like this song as much as I wanted to.
Wretched Easily my second favorite song off the album, the song is so good that it always seems shorter than it actually is, causing me to put it on repeat! I can’t get enough of this song, and it definitely has a feel of Dementia off Five Cellars Bellow to me, but it being the Goolsby version of it instead. I have nothing bad to say about this song.
The Perfect Sleep This song is mediocre at best in my mind, the guitar in the beginning really annoys me. Goolsby seems to scream the perfect sleep the entire song and honestly, I think this song was just a filler for the album, I always skip this song. Though I don’t hate it, I don’t like it either. I’d suggest staying away from this song though.
Moonlite Veins This is the Blitzkid I love! Perfect drumming, Goolsby hits this song spot on, and the backing vocals always give me the chills and I find myself constantly repeating the second half the of the song with Goolsby screaming “it’s coursing it’s coursing it’s coursing it’s coursing inside my veins!”. I can’t get enough.
Cedar Bluff I don’t need to say much about this song, I absolutely love it and have to hold myself back from putting it on repeat while writing this review.
Jane Doe #9 I remember hearing this song when I saw Blitzkid open for the Nekromantix like a year, maybe a year and half ago, I remember it being a lot faster than this version. But hell, I loved it then and I still love it now, about an unidentified murdered woman hence (Jane Doe). Rumor has it the song is about a girl Goolsby dated/knew, but that’s something only he will know. Because I’m not going to ask him if thats true.
Casque Of Amontillado I unfortunately dislike this song very much, it’s annoying and I don’t like it. If you are a fan of Five Cellars Below and songs like The Torn Prince, Starlite Decay, Terror In The Haunted House of Vanishing Riders then this is right up your alley. I loved those songs too, but this song just doesn’t seem to have that same feeling and vibe and just doesn’t feel like it should be in this album.
The Iscariot This song isn’t bad and I love it, a nice mellowed out tune to start finishing off the album. As corny as it sounds this is one of those songs that I blast when the weather nice and want to go for good ole cruise!
She Won’t Stop Bleeding Ending the album on a high note with the high energy punk rock anthem She Won’t Bleeding, when I first heard this song live by Blitzkid on knew it was gonna be on the new album I was so excited and for good reason! Awesome punk rock chants, fast, great drums, amazing guitar, Goolsby fucking nails it as usual. Then to finish it off, a very eerie alternate take of Head Over Hills. I love the piano, and in my mind Goolsby does his best singing to date on this take. Fantastic.
In closing I have to say that this album is a must for any horror-punk or Blitzkid fan, sure there are a few tracks here and there that I could go without. But it all really depends and comes down to the listener, for me I grew up with my favorite albums being Terrifying Tales and Let Flowers Die and sure, I loved Five Cellars Below but it definitely wasn’t my favorite album they put out. What I do love about this album is Blitzkid’s return to their punk roots. Sure there are still remnants of Five Cellars Below still on the album but it’s not a bad thing. Because I love everything this band has put out. So definitely go buy this album, it is a must.
- Justin Apathy