Bent on Reviving Forgotten Horrors:
An Interview with Psychedelic Witchcraft
Kelly M. Hudson
“Witchcraft is dead…and discredited…” is the phrase that starts the first EP by Psychedelic Witchcraft. But this band is indeed bent on reviving forgotten horrors, because with a stroke of the guitar, the bang of a drum, the throb of the bass, and the crooning of that siren voice, rock and roll has returned in the oldest form of all: wielding wild magic.
Album opener “Angela” is a tune that you cannot get out of your head. It serves as an earworm, informing your every thought as it weaves its way into your soul. All rock, part psych and part doom, “Angela” will stay with you for days. “Lying on Iron” is next and brings with it a fluid, Floydian sound, a ballad but not in the traditional sense. It is both moody and moving, with the voice of lead vocalist Virginia Monti carrying the tune to its mystical destination. “Black Magic Man” is a pure rocker and must scorch in a live setting. And finally “Slave of Grief” finishes this all-too brief outing, with plenty of psych and a nice Black Sabbath-inspired, freak-out ending.
All of this excellence from a band that is very new and fresh in a scene clogged with dozens of similar, Occult Rock-style groups. But Psychedelic Witchcraft sets themselves apart from the pack, mostly due to the force and power of their founder and leader, vocalist Virginia Monti. She is charming, intelligent, and funny. When I asked her the obligatory question about if she practiced the Occult at all, given the content of the lyrics and the name of the band, she responded with a hearty laugh. “Ahahahhahahah…a real Witch would never tell the truth about magic…so I will pass on that one…” This being an answer at once provocative, inspired, funny, and deep, all of which are trademarks of this talented young lady.
Kelly M. Hudson: What is your bio? Where is the band from, when did you start, and who are all the members?
Virginia Monti: Well my Bio is not that interesting, I guess. I was just a normal Italian girl that used to write songs for herself and that was it. I never expected to make a band and actually record my stuff for real. The band is from Italy, mainly Florence. The drummer, Daniele Parrella, and the guitarist Samuel Giuntinelli, are from L’isola D’Elba. The bass player, Marco Passaretti, is not from Florence; he is from the south of Italy. The band actually started 1 month ago; I think less than a month, because I recorded the EP with other guys, friends of mine from Florence that left my project after the recordings. So Psychedelic Witchcraft started as a solo project in the first place and then it evolved into being a real band.
KMH: What inspired you to start a band?
VM: Oh, I was in such a bad period for me some months ago and I was so confused. I needed to do something to prove to myself that I wasn’t that bad. Yeah, or something close to that, so I decided to record just a song in my home, just for fun, and then posted it for fun on Instagram. And boom! I had so many comments and reactions from people, I was amazed. And so I decided to try to write a few more songs and record it for real. So yeah, I didn’t plan to do this and even now that the EP is out, I wonder sometimes why am I doing this? But I keep doing it anyway…
KMH: Who would you say is your biggest influence, as a singer and as a guitar player?
VM: Uh…I am not a real guitarist seriously. I just use the guitar to write songs and melodies and riffs and that’s it; I don’t even use the guitar on stage. But if I have to pick a model for the guitar…well, Jimi Hendrix, for sure. And then for the vocals, I have so many role models because I am pretty divided into Blues and Rock, so I can’t just pick one. I can try to pick my favorites: Grace Slick, Ozzy, Dinah Washington, and Paul Rodgers. And of course Robert Plant.
VM: Another difficult question! I’ve loved horror movies since I was a kid, so it’s hard just to choose one. But if I have to choose, I will probably go to a classic one like “Rosemary’s Baby.” I love Polanski. Then another one that I really love is “The Devil Rides Out”… a wicked one as well.
KMH: What do you think of the concept of an afterlife? What will it be like, if there is one?
VM: I will love to “live” or better not exist in a place where there is no space and time. Lol! It’s pretty hard, actually. I don’t know anything about life or afterlife …but since things always change and always move…the merry go round never stops…and I don’t think that in the afterlife it will stop. Maybe we live again. Yeah, that’s probably what I am closest to believing.
KMH: What is your biggest goal for your band?
VM: Oh, well, I don’t know. For me it’s already a dream come true to actually be out there and having people listening to my songs and my music. I was joking with a friend of mine that’s in a band and I was saying to him: “I am NO ONE, so I am already lucky.” And he said “You are SOMEONE ..you are a person.” So I guess that’s what I feel now; I feel very lucky. And I don’t know what the future will bring us. We are just working very hard, walking the road, but we don’t know where it is going to bring us.
KMH: Do you have a favorite horror author? Also, what’s your favorite horror novel?
VM: Yeah, a lot like the movies…I guess apart from Dennis Wheatley, my favorite horror novel is Dracula by Bram Stoker. It was the first novel I ever read when I was, I guess 10 or 11 years old and it still remains my favorite one.
KMH: If you could be in any band, past or present, who would it be and what instrument would you play (or if you’d just sing)?
VM: FREE! I AM IN LOVE WITH FREE. SO YEAH! FREE ALL MY LIFE! Hahahahahha! And I would love to be the singer Paul Rodgers!! Yeah I love them so much!!!
VM: It’s very strange; I don’t plan anything, sometimes I have days when I write 3 songs in 1 hour and then I have months without writing anything. When I feel that I have things to say that are haunting my mind, I just grab the guitar and start to play. Usually I find a riff then move ahead with a melody and fit the words in it. That’s usually what I do. The hardest part is to actually write what I feel …because sometimes it’s hard and you feel a little bit of shame because you are actually putting yourself in the song. So yeah that’s the hardest part.
KMH: Who would be your Mt. Rushmore of Rock? You get to pick one singer, one guitarist, one bassist, and one drummer, all who you think are the greatest of all time. The only restriction is they can’t be from the same band. You can choose from just rock, from metal, or from any kind of combination.
VM: Yeah, I will do a combo because I love metal but I am not that huge of a metal follower; I am more into the hard rock, 70’s style. So I will do a combo.
Vocals: Paul Rodgers
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Geezer Butler
Drums: John Bonham
KMH: My favorite band of all time is Led Zeppelin. You seem to love them, too.
VM: They are actually one of my favorite bands of all time. I remember clearly the day when I was 8 years old, I picked from my father’s library Led Zeppelin II. I listened to it entirely…and when I woke up (because I felt like I was in a weird, powerful dream), my life changed forever.
KMH: Who would you love for your band to open for?
VM: Orchid, for sure…
KMH: Is there a particular country you haven’t visited that you would love to play in as a band?
VM: Yeah, the USA…California. It’s my dream since I was a young kid. I would love to visit San Francisco. I hope I will be able to do so one day; I hope soon…and with the band would be RAD!!!
VM: I am the singer, the songwriter, the manager, the stylist…ahahhahahahha, fuck! I think they will hate me one day. Ahahhaha!
And there it is, a glimpse into the life of the brainchild behind Psychedelic Witchcraft. Do yourself a favor and go support this amazing band. You can find their stuff via the links below.
Long Live Rock!
Preorders are open for the Zombiesuckers CD, “STITCHED TOGETHER” For $12.00 (PLUS SHIPPING) this piece of madness can be yours!
Limited to 100 copies, Stitched Together ships bundled with the 7″ single, “CREATURES COME ALIVE” and two buttons!
01. Endless Sleep
02. Mole People
04. Space Mutants
05. Evil Dead
06. Parade of the Undead
07. Astro Zombies
09. The Pale Child
10. Ed Gein
Calling all CREEPS!
Technicolor Terror wants you to join us on our forthcoming compilation, “SPLATTERPUNK! Vol. 1”
This will be released as a FREE DOWNLOAD with the possibility of a physical release later down the line (if demand is great and finances allow)https://wordpress.com/post/21403379/805
Send us an email with the subject line: “Splatterpunk: [YOUR BAND NAME]”
In the email, please include a 300DPI logo, links to your website, Facebook or bandcamp page and include your country of origin. Now with that out of the way, make sure your track is the HIGHEST quality (Preferably ripped directly from your MASTER COPY) Once you have that ready, please label the track as “BANDNAME_TRACKTITLE”
Failure to comply will result in beheading! Okay… No it won’t but please work with us here. Email it to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NO MISFITS COVERS…
ATTENTION BANDS WHO HAVE EMAILED US IN THE PAST YEAR. I AM GOING TO DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO APOLOGIZE FOR THIS LONG DELAY AND GET BACK TO YOU PERSONALLY. UNTIL THEN, YOU’RE FREE TO SUBMIT BUT I WILL BE WRITING BACK EITHER WAY
Give us your best, because we’re looking for some big names on this one, so give us all you got!
The Creeps at Technicolor Terror!
Kelly M. Hudson
Despite all the recent social tensions, on this past Memorial Day weekend, Baltimore opened her arms, lifted her hands, and flashed the devil horns for the world to see. And it went down in a parking lot just under a couple of overpasses, on a mild spring Friday, a hot Saturday afternoon, and a scorching Sunday.
Maryland Deathfest celebrated over twelve years of existence just a few days ago and did so in its usually style, with a dash of grace and a whole lot of moshing. This was only the second year I’ve been able to go, and while last year’s line-up of bands was more to my liking (I’m more of a Black Metal and Doom guy than a Death Metal dude) this one was nothing to shirk at. From Death Metal masters Obituary to Doom greats like Goatsnake, there was a little something for everyone, including some Traditional Metal by the mighty Twilight of the Gods and Thrash by Canadian band Razor. There was blasphemy and beer, guys wearing horse heads, one dude dressed like a chicken, and the return of the fellow I’ve dubbed Speedo-Man from last year. And yes, this is a perfectly-sculpted man who walked around all weekend clad only in a pair of Speedo’s, grinning like he just won the lottery. More on him in a bit, though.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Deathfest was begun in 2003 and from its humble beginnings has become one of the most recognized and valued metal festivals in the world, and that’s saying something, considering all the goodness Europe brings us every year. This is without a doubt the premier festival in the United States and it is so professionally run that at times it almost feels unreal. The bands are slotted about fifty minutes each on stage, and with two stages, they are constantly rotating. When one is finished, within five minutes and a very short walk, another band is firing up. It can be non-stop metal for about twelve hours each day, if you so choose. There is also an area set up full of picnic tables and shade so you can take a break from the hot sun, and this is conveniently located to the side between the stages, so you never miss a note being played. The music runs like clockwork and in my two years of attending, I’ve not experienced one problem or delay. And that is amazing.
Did I mention the merch tents? Oh, dear Lord Satan, there is nothing quite like the merchandise at Deathfest. From vinyl to t-shirts to patches to books to bootleg music and dvd’s to hats and even hand-crafted jewelry, you can find just about anything to please your metal heart. There’s also a surprising variety of food trucks set up so you never go hungry or thirsty (there’s more beer than bands). And, on an additional note, the port-o-potties are some of the best I’ve ever been around. Yes, you read that right. Most even had handy hand-sanitizer dispensers in them. Now, over the course of the weekend, things can get ugly in there, but by and large, most of the metal folk are pretty courteous to one another.
There is one main venue, and that’s the Edison Lot, the place where I hung my hat for the weekend. But there’s more metal if you want it, and it goes down at the Baltimore Soundstage and Rams Head Live, where literally dozens more bands play before, concurrent, and after the Edison Lot. I’m not rich so I couldn’t afford a ticket to these other spots, but I heard great stories about these clubs, and they featured such bands as Jex Thoth, Conan, Yob, Ghoul, Napalm Death, Portal, D.R.I., and Melt Banana, to name a few.
For the most part, every band I saw was killer and if they weren’t, they were still pretty damned good. A lot of them were making their U.S. debut, even though many had been around for a long time. These bands would include Bulldozer, Vulcano, Primordial, Bloodbath and Arcturus, if my memory serves me right. And if it doesn’t, don’t hold it against me; my brain was rattled from three solid days of headbanging.
Some personal highlights for me: Triptykon was amazing, playing songs from the Celtic Frost days and some of their own tunes, as well as one Hellhammer song. Tom G. Warrior was incredible, and the lady playing bass stole my heart; so grim and brutal and yet so beautiful. It was great to finally see Primordial, Aura Noir, Vallenfyre, Twilight of the Gods, and Amorphis. And speaking of Amorphis, the event closers played their entire Tales From a Thousand Lakes album straight through. They were pretty damned incredible.
But it’s not just the bands that make the event, there’s also the vendors and the fans. I want to give a big shout-out to the Relapse booth for not only being so cool and friendly, but for also having some affordable vinyl for sale. You can’t find records for $15 much anymore, and they were slinging them like hash-browns. And a special mention should be made towards Hell’s Headbangers, as well, for also having affordable product, and tons of it. But you know, it wasn’t just those two tents that rocked, all of them did, really. When I was frantically scrambling to buy an Emperor t-shirt for a friend of mine on Saturday night, all the booths were helpful and cool, sending me to different vendors where they thought they might have spotted one.
In short, if you’ve never been, you should go. It’s fun, there’s lots of great people-watching to do (you could stare at all the different battle vests all day long), and music that will shake your testicles and your ovaries.
And what about Speedo-Man? Well, last year he strolled around, soaking in the attention. And to be honest, because I’m mostly a hateful person, he got on my nerves. Who was this guy with the sculpted, bronzed body, and where did he get off thinking he was so damn cool? When he showed up again this year, I rolled my eyes. Was I going to have to put up with his narcissism once again? And was I the only one irritated by his arrogance?
Turns out, I wasn’t. In a cheap shot that I will always remember, this muscular dude standing in front of me during one of the shows spotted Speedo-Man in the mosh pit and said loudly, “Not again!”
When Speedo-Man danced by, the muscle dude shoved him hard, sending him flying through the pit. Speedo-Man crashed to the concrete and popped back up with a skinned elbow. He ran at the muscle guy, got into his face, yelled the words “Not cool, man!” and flipped him the bird. Then he wisely backed off and disappeared for a while, thinking it best to preserve his pretty face and physique for a possible return to next year’s fest. Muscle guy turned around and said to me, “I put up with his shit last year and I couldn’t take it anymore,” and then stalked away. And while it was a cheap shot and Speedo-Man probably didn’t deserve it, the entire section I was in applauded when it went down.
Such is life at a metal fest.
Welcome to New York City years after the plague has hit. But just because the Big Apple has been quarantined doesn’t mean that everyone inside is safe! Flesh-eating zombies roam within the confines of Manhattan…but they’re not the only predator that’s poised and ready to strike! Who or what is this new menace? – Marvel Comics
After years of false starts and rumors, George A Romero’s own brand of corpses is finally heading to the small screen. Demarest (the production company behind Kevin Smith’s Tusk) announced Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, the development of George A. Romero’s 15-part Marvel comic book series, “Empire of the Dead.”
The series will be written by Romero and longtime partner Peter Grunwald, and executive produced by Romero and Grunwald with Demarest’s Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson.
Romero, a man who needs little introduction amongst the horror community, inadvertently unleashed the scourge of zombies upon us with the release of his iconic “…of the Dead” films (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, & Day of the Dead) and directly inspiring the creation of Robert Kirkman’s “Walking Dead” comics/series.
The question itself could be this: When is enough—enough?
Survival of the Dead was quick to jump on the then up and coming found-footage bandwagon, falling short of the charm that some of these FF-style films hold. The acting was shoddy, effects were uninspired and the camera was too pristine. The intended style worked against it and left the viewer feeling like they were watching a movie rather than a horrific slice of life.
Fast forward a couple of years, Romero’s western, Survival of the Dead continued from the beginning of the end, set on an isolated island, pegging two warring families and heavily laced with clunky humor.
Time will tell how the series will play but with the recent slew of horror projects hitting the small screen, I sense a watered down, over saturation of the market that might be capable of alienating the most hardcore of fans.
What are your thoughts, let us know in the comments.
Sinister – One helluva scare!
Something has happened during the last couple years, mainstream horror films have not only made a comeback, but they’ve actually gotten good, too! For this, I’m thankful. I’ve never cared for the brash and in your face experience of gross out, balls to the wall torture porn films — with the exception of the first ‘Human Centipede’ and I am relieved to see them on the decline.
I mean seriously, think about it: The Last Exorcism, House of the Devil, Paranormal Activity, the Innkeepers and Insidious. Those flicks have provided me with some of the best scares in recent years. And as an avid horror buff, they’ve left me looking over my shoulder and kept me hesitant about closing my eyes at night.
Everyone was telling me about Sinister, it assaulted my face book and clouded the blog-o-sphere up until its release on video. So of course, I went into it thinking– yeah, I’m sure it will be as good as [Insert: Innkeepers/Insidious/etc.] and, well, I was wrong.
The movie was so much better.
I will admit, I’m a bit biased when it comes to movies where the central character is a writer. I instantly latched on to the character of Ellison Oswald, a failed true-crime writer whose fifteen minutes of fame is far behind and has left him grasping for his next big hit. His quest to rekindle his New York Times Bestseller status, has left his family is in tatters, having moved from city to city so he could follow the juiciest, bloodiest crimes.
They land, unknowingly to them into the center of one – when Ellison moves his family into the very house he’s writing about. Strange happenings begin to occur, starting instantly with the return of his eldest son’s night terrors.
Around this time, Ellison discovers a box of super eight movies stashed away in his attic complete with a projector. Setting it up in his office, he soon discovers that the reels contain the recordings of the very murder he’s writing about along with a few others, dating back to the 1960’s.
Though the methods differ — drowning (Pool Party ‘66), burning (BBQ ’79) and a starting lawnmower run over (Lawn Work 86’) — a common denominator remains through them all. A family is murdered, while their child is never found.
Before long, Ellison becomes enamored by the tapes. His drinking comes into fruition as a string of paranormal occurrences unfolds around both him and his children.
While I won’t getting too far into the plot with the fear of giving too much away. Every scene – dialogue and image work diligently together to create a well-crafted web of suspense and ‘edge-of-your-seat’ nervousness with no fat or filler in between. They build steadily, gaining momentum as the film hurdles towards the final and unforgiving destination (also known as House Painting ‘12)
While the mythos of the lead villain, an ancient deity named Bughuul, draws heavily from that of the boogeyman — seen throughout the film as a child’s drawing entitled, “Mr. Boogie.” He remains 100% realistic and never traverses into campy territory.
The same could be said for the movie as a whole. It remains beautiful in every aspect. From the script, actors, direction and cinematography, they all come together to create a truly terrifying cinematic experience.
In the end, my only real regret is that I didn’t experience this in theaters.
1. Intro of the Unknown
2. Bad 2 Hearse
3. Not Forgotten
4. Sweet Screams
5. Tales of Agnes
7. Gore On The Dancefloor
8. 2 4 5 Trioxin
10. Say Goodbye to Sunlight
11. Tale Of The Beast
12. Bark Of The Beast
13. Evil Comes Home
So where and what to say to start off this review? Well…let’s just start it off by sating that this album is a fucking epic listen!! The Casket Creatures’ new full-length entitled, “Tales from the Unknown” does not disappoint and is one of the best unknown gems I have heard in a long time. I only received this masterpiece about two days ago, maybe less, and let me tell/stress that since hearing it the first time round that songs have been played on repeat multiple times, the album itself has been played over and over, shit I’ve even gone to bed the past two nights listening and finally passing out to the album on repeat. It’s that good. Seriously though, this album has so much going for it, the vocals are excellent and some of the best I’ve heard since Beneath the Cellar, I am in fucking love with the guitars on this album, and the bass and drums are also quite solid while the recording is incredible for an unsigned band.
Something else that I adore on this album is that it is truly a “horror-punk” album, it’s scary from beginning to end. It’s something I have noticed more and more every time I listen to the album. The bands stays on that scary raw edge yet still keeping that melodic sound and still being able to sway away from going too soft on us which (in my opinion) I think most horror-punk bands are leaning more towards now, most band (in my opinion again) never or always never seems to have any shortage of scary/horror themed lyrics but musically I feel some of that horror is lost musically. The Rosedales, later Blitzkid, Nim Vind, 1476, etc. for some examples, fuck I’m not knocking any of those bands by the way, I love everyone of them dearly!
This band and album reminds me a lot of old school Blitzkid, Wednesday 13, and a tinge of Balzac (musically of course haha) but still keeping there own unique sound and originality. I think the only gripe I have with this album if anything is all the intros, I love the first track and it doesn’t bother me and I understand that they’re trying to portray the album as a story which is awesome and unique. But I feel this way because I would rather have had these intros replaced with more badass tunes from the band. But with songs like, “Bad 2 Hearse”, “Agnes (my favorite)”, “Gore On The Dancefloor”, “2 4 5 Trioxin”, “Bark of the Beast”, and “Evil Comes Home” it’s very easy for me to overlook this one and only gripe I have. In conclusion I have to say that “Tales from the Unknown” is a gem that I feel any horror-punk fan will find something to enjoy, sure they aren’t Calabrese, Blitzkid, or Mister Monster but that’s something I love about these guys and this album. It’s something new and refreshing to listen to, I highly and stress highly that you should go pick up this album for it will have something for any horror-punk fan to enjoy, young or old. It is sure to do nothing but please you and it is easily becoming one of my favorite albums in my collection!
– Justin Stankus