Terror Trax: Zwaremachine

Saturday, October 6, 2018

6:36 P.M., Central Time

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Emerian,

Please be advised, the Zwaremachine is extremely dangerous! During the course of our interview I learned that the musician in question, one Mach FoX, is in fact, himself, the Zwaremachine. It did not arrive by spaceship as he claims –it was already here! By combining inverted Atari algorithms with voodoo-tech spells and song craft, Mach FoX transformed into a highly malevolent human / machine hybrid who wishes for nothing less than the utter and total annihilation of the human race! Once the Zwaremachine realized my discovery, the Robot Vampire Zombie minions were released upon me and I was chased along the dark streets of the city until I took shelter in a long abandoned Radio Shack, which, as I unfortunately learned, was indeed haunted by the ghosts of obsolete technologies. After several frightful hours I made my escape and took refuge at an all-night diner where I write to you now from my trusty laptop machine. My safety may only be temporary, though, for I fear that I soon may be discovered.  You must publish this interview immediately and alert the Addicts of this grave danger! And remember: although the music of the Zwaremachine is very, very good, its intentions are not!

All of our hopes rest with you, dear Emerian! Godspeed!

R.


What is a Zwaremachine?

Hello and thank you to Horror Addicts for letting me expose the Zwaremachine to your rabid audience. The Zwaremachine arrived in a spaceship haunted by the ghost of a robot and responsible for reprehensible crimes throughout the galaxy, it is currently hiding out on earth in the form of an industrial/ebm band. Zwaremachine is known for various stunts including walking through walls, time-shifting, and designing futuristic sonic weaponry. It is a dark and dangerous bio-mechanical entity.

How did Zwaremachine get started?

In 2011 I wrote a track called “The Zwaremachine” which was inspired by the horror-fantasy world artwork of Paul Gerrard. I used the first person while writing the story and lyrics which involved a biomechanical entity coming to earth and imposing rule over mankind. I became The Zwaremachine. After all the sequencing and vocal mutations were done I decided to release it and form an electro-industrial band to perform live. 

There’s a rumor that you, as a band, have the knowledge to build robot zombies from old VCRs, discarded human remains, and ColecoVision game consoles. Is this true?

Yes…and unfortunately I was not able to maintain control of them and make them do my bidding. Most have escaped and are living in the shadows and in small groups in desolate areas though some are being spotted near cities recently. While programming them with the clock chips and crystals from the old VCRs they kept resetting to 00:00 every time they experienced a power dropout so I wasn’t able to implement the final coding before they escaped. This resulted in them still longing for blood and the taste of human flesh -particularly the brains- even though they do not need the blood or meat of humans to survive. They will attack and kill when they feel the pulse in their brains that makes these urges. I only hope that humanity can defend itself. Also – they are referred to as RZVs and they are actually robot zombie vampires and can fly. I went a bit overboard in the design. You have been warned.

 

Has modern / current electronic music become too electronic? With so much of the work being computer driven, has it lost more of the human element that earlier industrial or electronic music had?

I’m longing for a more cyberpunk take on music, instruments and technology. I prefer a more electronic approach without the hindrance of pesky humans. I see that as the way we can advance to a new style of music. A lot of earlier industrial music had this spirit and wasn’t driven by the past but looking to the future and the undiscovered territory music could explore and exploit. Provoking thought and action can stimulate new sounds. We have to smash and destroy the old instruments and techniques to form new alliances between machines, music, and man. Machines must become man and man must become machines. Blood, Sweat, and Gears!

Make people dance, fill them with fear, or both?

Ideally they would be driven to dance by the minimal hypnotic industrial body music of Zwaremachine and as they reach a trance state they will slowly realize they are being forced to dance until they collapse and die. That realization will fill them with fear as they dance their lives away… so I guess it’s the best of both worlds!

When making dark industrial music, who is in control, the musician or the machine?

Aaahhh -the old man versus machine battle! The machines only let me feel that I am in control and it’s an ongoing tug of war for the ultimate power when using them. It is man AND machine, not one or the other. With Zwaremachine I was able to make a deal with the machines early on in the songwriting process. They agreed to let me manipulate waveforms and timing events but insisted that they be interconnected via musical instrument digital interface and control voltages. I knew this would be a bad idea because they would be able to communicate amongst themselves by both digital and analog means and possibly rebel against and subvert my mission to harness them to make industrial/ebm music to hypnotize the masses. So far they have been compliant but as a fan of horror/sci-fi I know it’s only a matter of time…

How can we taste everything? Is this a direct command or just good advice?

This is a warning about the RZVs (robot zombie vampires) and also a command to help human kind to survive. By suggesting they also try the leg or arm of a victim the person under attack may be able to escape or fend off and continue living only missing a limb…or two, with the brain still intact. For the RZVs it starts with a pulse in their brain and the urge to consume human brains… but why stop there? Why not taste everything!

 For the uninitiated reader, can you please tell us about some of your influences and where you feel that Zwaremachine fits into the cannon of dark industrial music?

If you visit any of the artwork done by Paul Gerrard you will instantly recognize the deep vast darkness… that is where Zwaremachine dwells and extracts influence from. His artwork and the horror/sci-fi of the ages as well as technologies past, present, and future all inform the lyrics and worlds of where this music lives: When the rare bits of light trickle through you may get glimpses of biomechanical creatures, surreal machines and a very small bit of humanity that has stubbornly held on through the centuries.

What influence does horror have in Zwaremachine?

I am not familiar with the genre personally…but I know the RZVs like some classics like Nosferatu and Night of the Living Dead and I had even seen a couple of them crack smiles while watching Evil Dead. The Zwaremachine prefers body horror and sci-fi horror like Tetsuo, Videodrome, and Planet Terror…i think it relates to the human machine hybrid and longs to become more human. But that is just speculation as I am not currently connected via synapses with the Zwaremachine anymore since the release of the Be a Light album this year.

There’s a strong visual element with Zwaremachine, and a particularly hypnotic yet, some may say, anxiety inducing characteristic to your videos. Could you please tell us about the inspiration behind this imagery?

Prior to Zwaremachine I was performing in an electro-punk band as Mach FoX and before that an electro-glam band called Silver FoX. Custom stage sets, equipment, lighting, visuals and costumes had always been part of these shows and something I really cared about when presenting the music and the live shows. Much in the same way that lighting and atmosphere can make a scary movie evoke emotions and keep you enthralled, I wanted the people at the show to see something special, and to set the mood on stage. Around the same time I started Zwaremachine I started to work as a VJ (visuals) and also combine hardware and software to create video art that I could project and also display on CRTs. A lot of the second hand monitors, mixers, processors and other hardware was flawed and became a glitch aesthetic I could easily exploit. This type of glitch work was then incorporated into Zwaremachine live shows and the fast paced strobing and broken images matched the feel of the fight to harness these unruly machines.

What inspires you to create? What drives you to keep making music?

I have a special bond with machines. Using hardware sequencers and drum machines and editing grids has become a way of life. The timing and spacing of notes is both limited and endless. I still explore composition and songwriting as much as possible and base my output on the 10:1 rule that seems to hold true for me – write 10 songs and maybe one or two are pretty good. Since meeting and interfacing with the Zwaremachine I have had better success due to the involvement of off world technologies. The machines speak to me and sometimes I listen.

How is the industrial scene in Minneapolis these days?

We keep rolling on here… the Be a Light release came out about 6 months ago in May 2018 and I expect we will slowly gain some following locally. The next step needs to be some touring ASAP since I have played shows in MPLS all summer to gain exposure and have some offers to travel with the band. There are many musicians and friends who are into this music but the scene is spread thin with many nights and not a lot of cross promotion. I have been trying to propose a Midwest Industrial umbrella to promote all types of music genres across the Midwest US and in the Twin Cities but it has proved hard to kick start a scene. In some ways it’s like the first wave of industrial/ebm has finally hit the Midwest area so we will see what happens.

Are any of your electronic instruments cursed or possessed?

Oohh -Don’t say that! They probably are. I know a few have felt and tasted blood. I have a circuit bent Roland TR505 that most certainly has its moments of possession complete with demonic sounds, and some of the modular synths I use also can become uncontrollable at times.

What are the future plans for Zwaremachine?

As mentioned I will start to play outside of the Twin Cities more next year and have plans to release more music that has already been written but not yet recorded. I have been performing each show this fall as a unique set with some great friends, musicians and vocalists as guests. I will also continue to collaborate on some recordings and seek other non-traditional venues to perform at and hope to mutate some minds.

When the world is destroyed by humanity, will the Zwaremachine remain?

Yes. If you do not know by now…the Zwaremachine is what WILL destroy humanity!

How can we keep up with / contact the band?

If you need to report any RZV sightings please use the OFFICIAL website:

http://www.zwaremachine.band/

If you want to stream/dl Zwaremachine visit:

https://zwaremachine.bandcamp.com/

If you want to impress your friends, you can get exciting updates here: https://www.facebook.com/zwaremachine

If you want to order Zwaremachine CD/Cassette/Shirts/Posters visit our label Phage Tapes 

@zwaremachine on both twitter and Instagram

Dear readers, please check out the official Zwaremachine video, “DRKNRG”, here:

Terror Trax: Lords of October

It was an appropriately gloomy evening when I arrived at the supposed home of one Lucifer Fulci, he of grand purveyors of musical darkness, Lords of October. The wonderfully decrepit house seemed to leer at me as I approached its foreboding frame, while dead leaves crunched under my feet along the stone walk that led to the front door. I rang the bell. A moment later, the tall oak door creaked open. A cold wind rushed out, wrapped me up in icy tentacles, and pulled me inside. An orange light bulb burned bright above a doorway off to the left of the foyer, catching my attention and drawing me to its eerie luminescence. My pulse quickened. I approached the door. It opened for me and I stepped through. On the other side, my feet touched down on soft earth. I was in a crumbling cemetery, fog rolling over my feet, a glowing purple and orange sunset filling the sky above. I turned to see that the house had disappeared. I grasped my official Horror Addicts Staff laminate for courage, swallowed hard, and after setting my sights on a particularly majestic mausoleum, I strode out into the misty graveyard. Once within the shadow of the great crypt, a deafening racket corrupted my senses. Obviously coming from deep within the vault, I conjured that the source of the noise was the band that I sought, the mysterious Lords of October! Just as I stepped closer to the tomb, a dark and foreboding figure stepped out of the gloom and bade me a cheerful hello. It was in fact one Mr. Lucifer Fulci, the man whom I was assigned to meet. He explained that I had entered Octoberland, a world where time is perpetually set at dusk, and every day is Halloween. He said the group’s practice session was just beginning, and I walked with him into the crypt. Following their joyously ear-splitting practice, I was treated to an enlightening conversation with Lucifer Fulci, Uncle Salem, and October Phoenix, whereupon I learned how the band used their otherworldly musical magic to conjure their own personal alternate reality, among other spooky and fun subjects. To enter the eerie and wonderful world of the Lords of October, read on… if you dare!   


To begin, how did The Lords get together?

Lucifer Fulci – Hello and ghoul evening. I have summoned the dark gods of horror that I am pleased to grace the land of Halloween with.  I present to you, also, Uncle Salem and October Phoenix.

The short version is that, Uncle Salem and I had known each other for a while and had many things in common. Both horror authors, worked on a horror con together, all kinds of love for the same music. We talked about making music, but for me, a LOT of people talk about it. I kept wondering if he was legit. And guess what? Totally legit. When I first heard his voice, I was like FINALLY…a real singer. I love it. Since then, we have become brothers like no other. We brought in his son, Aleister and then later found October as we were seeking a drummer. He was a perfect fit for us, not only musically, but with his creative side, too. We are all many things, but we are always brothers.

Uncle Salem – Called together in the sacred hollow; and Craigslist.

October Phoenix – I answered an ad from Craigslist. 

What is the inspiration behind the band?

LF – It’s all about Horror, Halloween and the Supernatural. That is our love. That is a given. But musically, it’s about a progressive diversity that can be imagined and felt thru the eyes of horror. I grew up to the music of Goblin, Sabbath, Rush and John Carpenter…and so much more: All the best of rock, metal, prog and soundtrack.

US – To create something cool and maybe even a little sacred with a band of brothers: Music with presence.

OP – Horror and metal! 

Where does your love of horror come from?

LF – Early inspirations were old folk tales, true life haunted experiences and good, spooky books. Some of my all-time favorite films are The Exorcist, Dawn of the Dead, Phantasm, Hereditary and The VVitch.

US – Many things, but I can pinpoint it to a few childhood things…my mother had a book of poems and a few of her favorites were horror oriented, and they fascinated me. She also had a 45 single of the song “Swamp Witch” by Jim Stafford that scared me and intrigued me simultaneously. Also, one Sunday morning, I watched Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein with my father and was immediately drawn to the monsters. A couple years later my uncle brought me a stack of Famous Monsters magazines and that did it.

OP – I’ve always loved the spooky and creepy side of things. Movies, music, and especially experiences, like wandering around cemeteries.

You obviously have great love and reverence for Halloween. How do you feel about the way it is currently celebrated in our American culture?

LF – I love that it is so popular. I enjoy the traditional nature of the holiday and all the history behind the truth of it…and oh, when the veil becomes ever so thin…that is when I weep, for I miss the souls that have passed. And then there are the people who just party. I say, live it up, baby! Just watch out for those evil dead!

US – I think it’s great because what Halloween is has never stayed stagnant; it’s never been based on one thing or even one set of things. It evolves and reflects the current atmosphere in ways. It’s really the American holiday in that it brings a multitude of various celebrations from all over the world over the past thousand years and collects traditions as it goes. There are things about the actual modern celebration that I love and things that I don’t, but I love its continued evolution most of all, because that is how Halloween got here.

OP – I think Halloween is great in our culture. We get to dress up and have fun. I think it’s one of the few holidays that hasn’t become commercialized as much.

How do you personally celebrate Halloween? Do you do anything special as a band?

LF – I celebrate traditionally with the carving of pumpkins, costumes, prayer and meditation. I do private ritual and public celebrations. Often, the band is involved. Sometimes, it’s about writing the music at the right hour, right day. Besides, I live the Halloween holiday each and every day, but there is a special reverence that begins on Sept 1 and carries on until mid-November. It is the fall: Our autumn. When the shadows are long and the blood is deep red.

US – I run a free home haunt with my wife and family and friends, and have a seasonal magazine called Halloween Machine. As a band, Halloween is pretty much at the forefront of what we do…it’s the spirit of us. We bring Halloween with us where ever we go. When we show up, October shows up with us.

OP – This year, we are throwing a Halloween party, but usually I would hand out candy, or help Salem with his haunted tunnel.

In a spiritual sense, do you feel that Halloween is important to our society at large?

LF – Yes. Whether people get the true power and nature of the holiday and meaning is beyond me. It’s very personal.

US – Yes, personally and on a larger scale, because there are very few things we do as a society that references the past in a meaningful way. It’s the calendar placement, the reverence for the sacred night. On a personal level, it’s the magic of my childhood…my grandparents, the autumn colored sky, the sights and sounds and smells. Only Halloween has these things.

OP – I think Halloween is important. It’s important to share and create memories by going out together. Halloween gives us the opportunity to do that. I’ve always gone out with friends and family. The memories we made will stay with me forever.

You never specified earlier, but, how were you able to use your music to create this wonderful alternate reality, Octoberland?

LF – Within the inspiration, vibration and meditation is Magick. When we 4 souls play collectively, it opens doors and creates worlds.

US – We were gifted it from the spirits of autumn; we pull it from the wind, a muse that grants us the means to bring the magic into this realm.

OP – Our music creates a different experience for each individual person. There’s some that’s fun to dance to, some that touches your heart, but all of it is meant to give the listener an experience.

What is your all-time favorite cursed album?

LF – Not sure if I know what you mean…

US – Maybe “Strange Days” by the Doors, or, “Marquee Moon” by Television…

OP – Even though the whole album doesn’t carry the same theme, Thriller will always be my favorite album.

Who is your all-time favorite cursed band?

LF – ?

US – The Beatles

OP – I don’t think I could choose just one band. I have so many favorites.

In your opinion, can a trusty and much-relied-upon fog machine be considered a band member after a certain amount of time?

LF – LOL. Yes

US – I have never known a fog machine to be trusty…a fog machine stole my friend Wes’ skateboard.

OP – We don’t really use fog machines, but I could see how bands would rely on them.

What is your favorite type of horror? Loud, quiet, atmospheric, extreme, etc…???

LF – Atmospheric with a dose of extreme for flavor…

US – Well written, whatever the subgenre. I like paranormal stories, folklore, and campfire type stuff. Atmosphere is important for me. I like the Universal Monsters. I like Freddy, The Witch, Pet Sematary, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven.

OP – It depends on my mood, really. Most of the time, it is hard hitting, heavy stuff.

What is your favorite type of horror media?

LF – Books. I LOVE BOOKS. They are treasures. I own thousands. And absolutely ZERO eBooks.

US – I suppose it would be movies, but I love pretty much any kind of creative horror regardless of the outlet. I love listening to old Vincent Price story albums, for instance.

OP – Any kind, really, I don’t discriminate.

As an individual, how does horror influence or impact you in your daily life? How is it important to you on a deeper level?

LF – For me, I live my life like batman. It just is. I am the dark knight in my own way. By day, I do social work. By night, I am Lucifer Fulci. It has always been. It always shall be.

US – Horror helped me from childhood. I saw “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and was empowered by making it past the boogeyman just by managing to watch the whole thing. Horror got me into writing; I write for Rue Morgue magazine and other horror and Halloween related publications, and I write both fiction and non-fiction horror books.

OP – If you met me during a normal day, you might not even suspect that I’m into horror. As Lucifer would say, I’m Bruce Wayne by day, Batman by night.

What is your favorite Lords song to perform live?

US – That probably changes from show to show as we are getting feedback from the gathered crowd. But I always look forward to “Black Phillip” and “Annabel Lee”. I’m looking forward to playing some of the new songs, like, “Marshall’s Gully” and “Phoenix Rising”. “Autumn Fire” is a crowd pleaser.

OP – I would say my favorite song to play live would be “Autumn Fire”. I can go crazy on that song, but I have to pace myself. I’ve worn myself out for the rest of the show because off that song. We’re doing the finishing touches on our latest album. And we will be opening for Doyle in November.

What’s next for the band?

US – Our new CD, The Haunting at Beckwith Court, a horror concept record where each song also stands alone. Then we keep bringing our music to as wide a base as possible. Joy, love, magic. More new music. Videos.

How can we keep up with the Lords of October?

US – Google; If you Google Lords of October, you will get links to a multitude of spooky cool Lords links. Facebook, Reverb Nation. Or you can say our names three times in a mirror and we will appear in your kitchen and eat all your food.

OP – We’re all over social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and I think we have an Insta. We get around.

How do I get back to the other side, you know, er, Michigan…? 

LF – Close your eyes, tap your heels three times and say…there is no place like…er…umm…Michigan! Say yes! To Michigan! Say yes, yes, yes!

US – You are all our children now.

OP – You’ll have to ask the gnome.


Post Script: I never found the gnome, I am lost in the fog, and the band members never gave me their secret recipe for spiced blood upside-down cake that they had promised me. I am sending all interview notes, along with this post-script, via a friendly vulture named Clive. He promises that he knows the location of HorrorAddicts.net headquarters and will deliver these materials in a swift and considerate manner. He seemed a kind and trustworthy soul and I now put my faith in him and in you, dear Emerian. Unfortunately, though, Clive did not know the way back to Michigan.

Terror Trax: Spaulding

Dear readers,

As last you may remember, I was being held captive in a castle in Los Angeles, abandoned to my fate by my captors–Gothabilly rockers extraordinaire, The Barbarellatones–who had flown to Eastern Europe for a clandestine meeting with descendants of Dr. Frankenstein. Thankfully, our esteemed and fearless leader, Emerian Rich, dispatched her ravens, which located me in the turret, removed my restraints, and gave me a snack. Once freed, I was on my way to my next assignment in dismal, sunny Australia, where I was to meet with heavy horror rockers, Spaulding. Upon arriving at the band’s favorite hangout -the alley behind their hometown morgue- and finding said area deserted, I was intercepted by a tiny, fearsome creature that identified himself as Intergalactic Space Wool. A creature of fuzzy yet menacing appearance, he informed me that the band members used mental telepathy to speak through him and he would, therefore, be answering all interview questions. The alien being then proceeded to pull questions and implant answers and other atrocious and unmentionable notions into my brain. He then stomped on my right foot while shouting fiendish phrases, indeed an unearthly incantation, and I instantly found myself back at Horror Addicts HQ, both my mind and big toe throbbing with pain. Once resident staff physician, Dr. Golem, had removed the answers from my brain, along with the other torturous implants, I was able to transcribe the interview here for you by use of my trusty spell-enhanced 1984 Wheelwriter. I hope you enjoy the strange words which follow.

Faithfully yours,

R.


Spaulding:  An Interview

First, for the obvious question: Is the band named after the infamous Rob Zombie character, Captain Spaulding? If not, what are the origins of/inspiration for, the name?

No connection, TBH, it is more closely affiliated with Wilson from Castaway.

How did Spaulding get together?

Nadia and I (Steev) had been playing as Spaulding for a while, and slowly over time, found likeminded individuals, to join us in our endeavors to spread the plague.

Who are the members of Spaulding and what does each member do? Is there a solid line-up?

Nardz – eats and gets angry (sometimes plays bass)

Loz – Drinks and Bangs Things (Occasionally Drums)

Henry – Delivers sass and plays effects (guitar)

Steev Killface – Squeals like a pig, and forgets everything (occasionally remembers lyrics)

I assure you none of us are ethereal beings.

What’s the inspiration behind your chirpy, light-hearted hit single, “The Miracle of Birth”? How has the reaction been to this song?

Every body’s response has been great to this lighthearted tale of removing fetuses with wire coat hangers…

How does horror inspire your song writing?

Not as much as Phil Collins has…

What kinds of horror art and culture are you into?

The answer for all of that is erotic… Complete and utter obscene erotica… also graphic novels, and classic films such as Toxic Avenger, The Human Centipede and Flubber.

Who are some artists/bands that you love to listen to?

We all have very different tastes as individuals; personally I just like to listen to old looney tunes cartoons and the sounds of children screaming.

But on a serious note between us we vary from industrial nu metal to psych rock, death metal, Goth rock and blues. We all have the bands we grew up with and can’t let go of, Smash mouth, Backstreet Boys, and even Celine Dion.

Why is unicorn jizz so delicious?

Clearly it’s because of all the pineapples they eat, that’s why they all live in Mexico.

What inspires you to create?

The fear of not creating, an undying relentless urge to defile the orifice of anyone dumb enough to give me the time of day.

Do you believe in the existence of evil?

No I don’t believe. Life is wonderful and fair and just and everyone lives to an old age with no bad things ever happening to anyone.

Can dark music be a positive force in society?

I feel dark music has done wonders for the Catholic Church.

Do you think anyone outside the horror scene really pays attention to what we’re doing? I mean, are the glory days of being a threatening force behind us -like when parents were terrified of W.A.S.P. and Slayer in the 1980s?

Unfortunately not, everyone these days has been too desensitized by the growing urge to rebel and stand out. Pop stars are whores and no one blinks an eye, even murder isn’t what it used to be… It is impossible to offend masses without doing something completely extreme such as rape or pedophilia and the day entertainment comes to that, we’re out.

If all the members of Spaulding could join their bodies together to form one gigantic super monster, what would that monster be?

The Human Centipede…

How do you feel about clowns?

Is this a trick question?

What can you tell us about intergalactic space wool?

No one is truly sure of the space wool’s origins… What we do know however is he is a malevolent being, existing within the realms of the human plane of existence, corrupting human minds and spreading a dark plague throughout humanity…

Your lyrics speak of real-life horrors (“Morning After”, “Family Values”) and supernatural horrors (“Midnight Snacks”). Is this intentional or do you just write about whatever comes to mind?

Whatever keeps me up at night…? I never set out with a topic in mind; I basically just string words together and see what comes out.

What is your favorite kind of curse?

Steev is quite fond of FUCK, I think that Loz would probably side with Cockwomble, I don’t know how many times a day Nardz uses the phrase “Oh Get Fucked” and Henry’s a good old fashion cunt man.

What does the future hold for Spaulding?

WORLD DOMINATION or, these nuts….

How can we keep up with the band?

www.facebook.com/spauldingband

www.artistecard.com/spaulding

And on insta @Spaulding_band

Terror Trax Review: The Barbarellatones

Barbarellatones interview

To: HorrorAddicts.net

Attn: Hostess Emerian Rich

Dear Boss,

Last night at the stroke of midnight, as per my assignment, I met with the members of the rock and roll outfit The Barbarellatones at the pre-agreed upon location–an abandoned drag racing track just outside the city limits. However, I had no idea that once there I would bear witness to a phantom drag race involving two greaser teens driving 1950s hot-rods, wherein the two ghost cars lose all control and burst into flames at the end of the race, only to repeat the duel over and over until the exact time of 3:15 a.m. As I had never been in the presence of drag-racing phantasms, terror held my eyes fixed on the track. Aniela, one of the group’s members, told me that this went on every Thursday, and that the troupe gathered to watch, for, “inspiration”, as she called it. She gave me an elixir to calm my nerves, after which imbibing, I instantly blacked out. Mysteriously, I managed to complete the assigned interview, and have sent this one and only copy along to you through the assistance of a bilingual carrier pigeon nicknamed Dr. Chud.  From what I can see, I am locked in the turret of a castle overlooking a grim and dark industrial section of Los Angeles. Please send help as my hands and feet are bound tight with feather boas, which really hurt, and I am in dire need of a snack.

Yours,

R.H.


In case anyone in our reading audience may be unfamiliar with the term, can you please explain the genre tag “Gothabilly”?

Gothabilly to me means dark, swampy, reverb-drenched, surfing at midnight-y, horror-rock, B-Movie Camp…The Cramps really nailed it in my opinion. I love them! We’ve been labeled as ‘Transvestobilly’ and that’s fine with me…

In the band bio, you mentioned that seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the age of 13 was a life-changing event. How so?

The combination of Rocky Horror, Bowie and Ludes all hitting me at the age of 13/14 in the early 70s is the reason why I am so weird, and is reflected in my music. I am first and foremost a Glam Rocker.

How did the Barbarellatones get together? How did you come up with the name?

Barbarella was a film about an Intergalactic Space-Slut. It was the first Glam Rock movie!? It blew my mind; I loved the horny, campy, Sci-Fi, slut-glamour of it all…that’s what I was going for with the name The Barbarellatones.

Is it true that you have a hot rod hearse and that you cruise the strip in it on Saturday nights?

If I could rock a hearse I would choose the Jaguar XKE Hearse from Harold and Maude, obviously…!

Is it true that said hot rod hearse is also a time machine?

Only after reaching a land speed of 666 Miles per Hour during a full lunar eclipse on Bela Lugosi’s Birthday.

Have you yourselves heard the rumor that the Barbarellatones are involved in robbing graves, mortuaries, and medical school cadaver storage units, and that you are using the stolen corpses to assemble an army of Frankenstein monster type groupies?

We have all kinda ‘projects’ going on down at ‘The Lab’. Our latest is ‘The Trandroid’: A Transvestite Sex Android.

Do you live in a volcano?

 I live near a Volcano! I’m on Maui and The Big Island is coughing up tons of Sulfur Dioxide. It gives me a sore throat and an ass kicking headache…I’m breathing little shards of Volcanic Glass!

How did your love of campy, B-horror movies begin? Can you recommend some personal favorites?

I’m kind of an Art-Fag. I love film, music, low-brow Art and performance art; bad fashion…the list goes on…! As far as Film, we spoke about some of my faves, Barbarella, RHPS, Zardoz is great, I love Fellini’s Satyricon, Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, John Waters, cheesy horror and sci- fi. There’s a lot of good shit out there!

To you, what do glitter, glam, and horror have in common?

They all have a high amount of Fabulousity: Dark, Sexy, Campy and fun. I love Goth but it’s a turnoff when it takes itself too seriously. Ok…we are doing the Ghoul Thing…dressing like Zombies, got our SPF 1000…sometimes you go to a Goth club and no one smiles. That’s lame to me. I like the vibe more of a Tranny Bar, its over-the-top and I guess I really resonate with the Glam ethic of Flamboyance. I love Goth music tho, don’t get me wrong. Sisters of Mercy are fantastic, I love Siouxsie, Bauhaus, Alien Sex Fiend, the Damned…it’s great and creepy-cool.

How is horror culture a part of your daily lives?

I sometimes phase in and out of a Campy B-Movie world. I have a big, weird imagination and it just happens organically. I’ll come up with a weird lyric or riff and it’s often Sophomoric and abserd but if it gets its teeth in me I usually craft it into a song. 

Is it too late to accept the offer for that Chesterfield?

We here at Barbarellatones Enterprises LLC are merciful. We will grant you your final Chesterfield cigarette.

Gila monster versus surf zombies, who wins?

This is probably one of the most important questions ever posed to the human race…Gila monster vs Surf Zombies. Gila monster, after he fell into the Fukashima Nuclear Reactor developed mutant laser-beam eyes which, when intensely focused, would incinerate a surf zombie. So it’s a win for Gila on that one.

What is your favorite curse?

My favorite curse, my ‘Dark Gift’ is Alcoholism. I’ve been clean and sober for 26 years now, which is an eternity for a Junkie like me. It has been such a wild ride…ironically it’s very psychedelic being sober. I love helping others crawl out of the gutter and Re-Invent themselves. There’s nothing like it. 4th Dimension, Baby…

Can I see Barbarellatones live in the near future?

I am living in Maui these days and the rest of ‘The Barbs’ are in LA. I plan to come out and play some shows…my bandmates are Whores and are playing in other projects (as they should) so I’ll see if I can round up my Drag Queens and after a couple rehursals should be good to go. We have a lot of songs, so I would pick my very favorites and glam out with my clam out.

How can we keep up with the band?

I’m always writing and recording, so I try to stay on the Gaydar. We are on a bunch of radio shows but I do want to make more videos in the future. I love that!

Are you going to untie me?

I’m a Leo…a cat. When I catch a mouse, I play with it for a while; until I get bored…or hungry…

To bear witness to the Barbarellatones in all their sleazy campy glory, follow the hyper-link road!

 

 

 

Terror Trax: The Creptter Children

The Creptter Children
by Russell Holbrook

While recently meditating in the dank sanctuary of a bleak, rotting cathedral, I was horrified to open my eyes and find a dusty old hymnal floating in the air before me. The name, Creptter Children, was carved across the tome’s ancient cover. As I reached out for the songbook, it opened with a ruffle of pages. Dark blood seeped out of the paper, running down the center crease and spilling onto the floor. I touched the blood, and the book pulled me into itself, snapping shut, trapping me. I found myself in an inverted world. The cathedral was a negative image of itself. A powerful, female voice called from the surrounding darkness. “I will give you the answers you seek,” she said. I stepped forward to a small table where sat a quill, parchment, and ink. Vocalist, Lyricist, and guitarist extraordinaire Iballa Chantelle floated out of the shadows on a throne made of skulls and cobwebs. The throne descended, and as she spoke the prophetic words of questions I had yet to ask, I began to write.

-What’s behind the band name? What is a Creptter child? Who are the Creptter Children?
The name ‘Creptter’ is a word created from a premonition I had many years ago, where an entity told me I was going to start a band called ‘The Creptter Children’. ‘Creptter’ means spiritually evolved, the abilities that lay among us all to be spiritually aware, physic and our powers to better oneself.

-What do you love about dark, heavy music?
I love everything about the dark and heavy! I love the build-ups and the amazing energy I get from listening. It’s like walking into a theme park; you’re overwhelmed with excitement!

-Listeners often discuss a black metal element in your sound. Where does this element originate from?
Theses influences stem more from my end, as I’m a fan of the black metal genre. N8or also enjoys black metal to a certain degree as well particularly when it comes to drumming influences.  I especially love symphonic black metal. I enjoy listening to bands of this style. I love gathering ideas and inspiration for my own song writings.

-What’s the dark music scene like in Australia? How does it compare to that of the scene in America?
Unfortunately, Australia has a rather small dark/gothic music scene compared to places such as the USA and Europe.

-How did the band get together?
The band formed originally in Perth Western Australia during 2006. I had left a previous band and N8or had offered to produce some of my music. I liked what he had to offer so I asked him to start a band with me and that’s how The Creptter Children began!

-Who are some bands that you enjoy?
I enjoy listening to many bands. Mostly in the metal genre. I do also listen to other music genres but metal will always be life! Some of my favorite metal bands I love include Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Behemoth, Manson, Carach Angren, Septic Flesh, Belphegor and Cannibal Corpse. There’s just too many to choose from but you get the idea of what I’m into!

-How does horror inspire and influence Creptter Children?
Horror is every day! I’m attracted to the darker things in life. Some interests I have include the supernatural, extra-terrestrials, space, planets & collecting oddities. I like including these elements into the band and music. Obviously, N8or and I both love horror movies! Some of our favourites include; Nightmare on Elm St, Halloween and Child’s Play.

-As individuals, what kinds of horror art are you into?
I like a lot of satanic and fantasy style of art as well as oil paintings from the Renaissance period. N8or also appreciates similar art styles as well as modern day pop art and graphics

-Are you classically trained musicians or self-taught?
I’m a self-taught vocalist. I have had training in the past with guitar tuition in my early teens. N8or has also had some musical training and is a self-taught music producer and owner of ‘The Crib’ Recording Studio in Melbourne Australia.

-Where does the inspiration for your lyrics come from?
My music converses issues, fantasy & my life experiences.

-What are the future plans for the band?
More releases, upcoming music videos, and tours

-If you could play at the apocalypse, what song would you end your set with?
If we’re talking zombie apocalypse then you’ll probably see us fighting off zombies as opposed to rocking out!! But let’s just say we’ll finish on “Possessed”!

Check out Creptter Children’s newest video, “Asleep with Your Devil”!  :

 And the classic “Possessed”!

Find all the demonic goodness here: http://www.thecreptterchildren.com

Terror Trax: Hormones

by Russell Holbrook

Hormones

During my thus far short tenure covering the Terror Trax column for the HorrorAddicts.net website I have been able to speak with a variety of wonderful and interesting purveyors of aural gloom. However, I never expected to find myself in a community college in the Czech Republic, attending a class entitled: Applications of Dark Mathematics in Modern Heavy Music. But there I was, sitting in on class with seventeen year-old wunderkind Karel, the brain behind horror-fueled atmospheric metal machine Hormones, who is attending the evening class in order to further expand his dark horizons. Following the mind-bending lecture, Karel and I retired to his favorite fog bank where this interview was conducted. I meant to invite the mysterious teen for some post-interview coffee but as I packed my notebook, pen, and tape recorder into my bag, a billow of fog enveloped young Karel and, when it cleared, he had vanished. I was never able to locate him again. All I have are the brief words which follow.

Who is Hormones and what do we need to know about them?

Hormones is a one-man-band powered by Karel Fošumpaur from the Czech Republic which is based on creepy and tough sounding mathematical instrumental music. Main crazy rhythms are supported by experimental ambient melodies. Some may call it Djent or Thall. But the main characteristic is the tone of my guitars and bass, which still evolves.

Can you please tell our readers how you use math and algorithms to create your music? 

The interesting part about math music is figuring out the algorithm and possibly enjoying it. So it would be a spoiler. 4/3. That’s all I can say.      🙂

What if math could be used to create evil spells?

Then I would become cursed evil mathematician 🙂

What inspires your music?

There are similar bands which have influenced me, but the main inspiration source is unnamed strange emotions which flow through me sometimes… And also landscapes, sci-fi topics.

Your debut album creates a dense atmosphere that at certain points invokes images of being alone at night on a foggy, desolate city street with a knife-wielding maniac slowly stalking through the background. Was your album influenced by horror movies or horror fiction? 

I love horror. The trilogy of mathematical horror movies Cube belongs to my favorites. And there could be a little connection with my music…  🙂

Who are some bands or artists who inspire you? 

Bands like Vildhjarta, Nemertines, Meshuggah, Harkla or guys like Mick Gordon, Robert Fripp.

What is your home city? Is there a heavy or experimental music scene there? If so, what is the scene like? 

There’s no scene of this kind of music at all in the whole country. Only a few would enjoy this stuff here…

In your opinion, what elements make for truly creepy music? 

In my opinion, the main elements are low-tuned guitars, dirty bass, dissonant awful tones, reverb-drenched ambient melodies and tough drums. I can’t play guitar well, so I play it at least simply and creepy.   🙂

The use of heavy, distorted bass guitar as the lead instrument is not a common choice. What led you to use the bass for this purpose?

I’m generally a bass player. The sound of my bass is very important to me. I like it dirty and heavy – it’s suitable for my purpose. It has to sound like an angry bull or like the birth of a black hole, not like some soft sub-bass…

What is the best type of curse? 

Being blind among the most beautiful women in the world…

What can we expect from Hormones in the future? 

New guitar tones and some background samples as an ambient part of my music. I aim now more for singles than an album. New stuff will be soon.   🙂

Please check out the ultra-heavy self-titled album from the mighty Hormones!

 

Terror Trax: Sinthetik Messiah

Sinthetik Messiah

The following is a real interview with a real band. It does, however, take place in a fictitious world.

It was raining again on Tuesday, which made me happy as usual, because I could sit at my kitchen window and watch the Unclass peasants, who can’t afford to install the weather predictor app on their portable life-line telephones, being melted into the sidewalk by the sudden and fierce onslaughts of toxic rain plummeting from the rusted sky. Watching an elderly man fall to the pavement screaming, clawing at his melting face and pulling his cheeks loose from their bones, I chuckled and took a sip of my coffee, thinking about how thankful I was for my tiny hovel’s triple titanium reinforced roof and siding. The old man’s legs melted off and my phone rang, alerting me of an incoming call. I answered on the second ring. It was Bug Gigabyte. He said he was ready to do his interview for Horror Addicts. Delighted, I screamed aloud an ancient curse of joy and threw my cup of coffee across the room, smashing it against the wall and sending porcelain bits raining down on the cold, tile kitchen floor. Sensing the excitement in my voice, Bug asked if I could meet him at Café Metroid in twenty minutes.

“You’re goddamn right I can”, I replied. After saying our mutually cordial goodbyes, I hung up and raced into my clothing container booth to put on my chemical rain and toxicity resistant cloak. Five minutes later, with my trusty journalist’s satchel slung over my shoulder, I was hopping over melting peasant corpses, rushing toward my destination.

#

Stepping over the remains of several peasants that were splattered near the front entrance, I entered Café Metroid. I pulled back the hood of my protective cloak. My eyes scanned the room, searching for Bug Gigabyte’s signature black mowhawk. My stomach rumbled. I needed a quadruple ghost pepper infused espresso shot to calm my excited nerves. I stepped into the line that led to the counter. Suddenly, the café’s front door exploded open. I calmly looked over my shoulder to see who or what had burst through the entrance. A Seeker tore past me, brandishing an inert particle reverser in her trembling hands, a determined fire in her eyes. My eyes trailed her, watching her disappear through the swinging kitchen doors, admiring her athletic form held inside her tight leather pants. I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned. It was Bug. He smiled at me, held up what looked like an old-fashioned TV remote, and pressed a blue button in the center. All the patrons waiting in line ahead of us disintegrated, turning into pale dust. A café employee appeared with a broom and dustpan and swept them up while Bug and I strolled up to the counter and placed our orders. Moments later we were seated in a cozy window booth.

I took a sip of my piping hot drink and asked Bug how he’d recognized me in the line.

“Because of your official Horror Addicts toxicity and chemical rain resistant cloak,” he replied.

I then remembered that my black cloak has the words HORROR ADDICTS STAFF emblazoned in huge red letters across the back.

“Oh, yeah, that makes sense,” I said with a chuckle.

The rain intensified, pelting the layered safety glass of the café. Another Seeker sped by on a hyper bike. The sight of two of them in such a short time rattled my nerves. I looked at Bug. “We better get started.”

He nodded. “Alright, then…”

After retrieving my digital recorder and a pad and pen from my satchel, I hit the record button and set out to learn the dark secrets of this most elusive creator of dismal worlds of sound.

I cleared my throat and began. “According to your Bandcamp bio, the albums Revelations of the Nintendo Generation (Vol. 1 & 2) were created using the KORG DS-10 program, which is the same software used to create music for the Nintendo DS. Could you please explain a bit of this seemingly mystical process to the uninitiated?

Bug shrugged and answered. “The DS-10, which is the name of the program, was developed by a software company called Xseed games and it’s a digital model of the KORG MS-10. It gives you creation leeway to where it gives you two synthesizers, 4 drum sounds, and a pattern editor to compose the sounds into a musical form. Technically it is a video game, but it is made so well that is a watered down version of a modern day DAW (Digital audio workstation). I created 9 songs on the Nintendo Game alone, and then I imported each instrument into my studio and added guitars, drums, vocals, and extra effects. It is great for beginners as it is a tool to help them learn how an analogue synthesis works. When you sign up for a VIP membership on my Bandcamp, you actually get the original files that came from the DS before I manipulated everything in my main computer.”

“Very intriguing technique”, I said.

Bug took a sip of his soda. An explosion echoed from the third floor of the City Records building across the street. The toxic rain fueled the flames and caused them to leap high into the sky.

“Looks like it’s happening again,” Bug remarked.

I nodded in silent agreement and scribbled a note to myself to check my will if I made it home later that afternoon.

Bug squirmed against the imitation leather seat of the booth. “Next question please, um… what did you say your name was.”

I frowned. “I didn’t, and I won’t; it’s part of my mystique as a distinguished Horror Addicts journalist and I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t ask me again.”

I felt my fingers gripping my cup tight. I could feel the rage building inside.

Bug grinned. “Just kidding, man, I used to write for The Dark Prints. I know all about the mystique.”

I laughed and a female scream tore through the air outside, perfectly complimenting the harmonious atmosphere that Bug and I were cultivating in our café booth. I cleared my throat, took another sip of my espresso, and began again.

“What inspired you to create dark industrial music using the same equipment that was used to create music for Nintendo DS games?”

“I always thought to myself that, for my first big release, I wanted it to be something interesting where not just fans, but industry as well would look at it and think, ‘What did he do with it? What? A Nintendo DS…?’ I always felt that the story behind the way the sounds are made is more interesting than what is on top of them or comes what after that, and I wanted to capture that element with those albums,” Bug explained.

He seemed so fixated on this Nintendo, an antiquated video game system, one of a handful played by our old-world ancestors that I was vaguely familiar with. Considering his class status as a Neo-Tech, I didn’t quite understand how this obsolete game system seemed to inform his identity. I needed to know more.

“Who is the Nintendo generation and what are their revelations?” I inquired.

Bug fixed me with a serious, contemplative glare. “Throughout history, there has always been this gentleman complex in society as far back as the 1800 to about the 1960s, and scraping by on the 70s. By the time the 80s hit, life was more culturalized because we were becoming more connected by technology and the average man had a lot more different complexes due to the social down turn of society and what was going on throughout the global community. With that in mind, the Nintendo generation is made up of kids that grew up with the original Nintendo, playing games like Mario, where you are always the hero trying to save the princess. It is the hero complex within us -where all that is wrong- we want to change. It is embedded into our subconscious through the video games. That was my revelation.”

Fascinating! An entire philosophy gleamed from a gray and black electronic box. Maybe there were ghosts inside the primitive circuitry that subconsciously communicated these messages to the young artist? I scratched these ponderings onto my notepad while Bug graciously awaited my next question. Outside, the rain poured down even harder. I was beginning to feel nervous.

I looked up at my subject. “Bug, what is the inspiration behind SINthetik Messiah? Is there a meaning behind the band name?”

“SINthetik Messiah, to me, is an avant-garde art project that started out in 1996 and it was based on the theory of using gorilla tactic promotional ideas in the art community to help inspire others to strive better in their art form. I would describe Gorilla Tactic promotion as promotional material that involves stationary positions in society where it can be seen clear as day. Sometimes put there illegally such as graffiti. Then years later, I fell in love with music and it kind of just evolved after that,” Bug explained.

“A philosophy, a visual statement, and all leading up to an auditory exploration…?” I pondered out loud, my words trailing off.

My interviewee offered no response as he stared out the window, riveted by the raging fire across the street. He trained his eyes upward. “The sky’s turning purple,” he whispered. “I wonder if the Seekers will make it in time.”

Seeing Bug’s expression turn dour, I quickly made my best effort to turn the conversation back to the subject at hand.

“Tell me, please,” I began. “Are there any key influences on SINthetik Messiah, musical or otherwise?”

Bug turned back to me, a slight smile across his face. “In the beginning, it was acts like Portishead, Nine Inch Nails, Wumpscut, and many other acts in those experimental genres that really helped the sound I had always wanted or felt that I needed to create myself. But as of lately, playing with a lot of local Louisiana acts has influenced me in a sense of what kind of musical direction I want to get into for the time being, that being Southern Rock. I just picked up a new guitarist, Mr. Suede Wilson, who has been helping me implement southern rock for the past 9 months into our current style. It blends really well musically when we play with rock/metal based acts. The next major album we release I will be featuring him on the album.”

I made a mental note to remind myself that, if I was alive tomorrow, to ask Bug what Southern Rock actually is, and proceeded straight into the next question. “Do you have an all-time favorite Nintendo game?”

“My favorite Nintendo game has to be BattleToads because they were the first punk rockers/goth looking characters in the Nintendo franchise,” Bug said.

As I brought my demitasse espresso cup to my lips, an eardrum shattering explosion rocked the street, shaking the café and causing me to spill the last of my drink down the front of my favorite sweater. Cursing, I reached for a napkin. Another explosion rumbled somewhere in the distance. A café employee appeared at our table and, with terror-filled eyes and a shaky voice, informed us that things didn’t seem to be working out that well on this particular afternoon and that The Metroid would be closing early and that we should probably continue our conversation elsewhere.

I noticed the dreaded red light begin to shine down from the sky, seeping in through the windows, and Bug and I found ourselves agreeing with the frightened food service worker. After gathering our personal items and throwing on our protective cloaks, Bug and I headed out the door. I still had an interview to finish, however, and I wasn’t giving up anytime soon.

“What kind of function do you see electronic-based music performing within horror culture?” I asked.

He skipped over the half-melted body of an Unclass sanitation worker, still in uniform, and replied thoughtfully, “Considering the fact that when Bob Moog first made the full functioning polyphonic synthesizer, musicians weren’t picking it up, due to price and not understanding what can actually be done with it. It was the film industry that was using synthesizers to create sound effects because they could afford it and by that it helped further advance sound design as a whole.  So I feel it has even a bigger role now days because most of the sounds on a film are more recreated than actual sounds.”

Having witnessed first-hand the influence that film has had on our culture, I didn’t press the issue any further. Besides, there was a gang of What-Nots approaching fast on their motor machines, all thirteen of them crowding the width of the street. We ducked into an alley just before the group sped past, toxic rain bouncing off their armor, their shouts rising into the air. Seeming a good time to take the questioning in a darker direction, I asked, “What is the best type of curse?”

Bug laughed out loud. “Being that you guys are a horror program, the ones that make you bleed from your eyeholes and your assholes until the person who is cursed completes what needs to be done in favor of the one who cast it.”

Another explosion tore through the city. I looked at Bug. He wore concern across his face.

“I don’t think the Seekers are gonna make it,” he lamented.

“They’ve failed in their quest on their last three tries,” I added with a sigh.

“And the city will burn down, again…”

“Well, it’s not forever,” I said with a smile. “When the Seekers start a new quest, everything will be bright and new once again, and the Unclass will be melting in the streets and we’ll be smiling and having our coffee and it will be a brand new day.”

Bug grinned, appreciating my optimism. “Yeah, you’re right. But still, that’s what sucks about life as a video game extra; your day could just end at any moment, even when you’re right in the middle of something cool, like an interview for Horror Addicts.”

Upon hearing Bug’s soliloquy, I was gripped by a deep and sudden urgency. I had to finish the interview before our world came to an end.

The sirens started to wail. The countdown had begun.

“What’s it like being a socially conscious Goth in the Deep South?” I shouted, holding my recorder out to Bug.

Raising his voice, he replied. “Given the fact that a lot of the people I work with aren’t Goth at all, I’ve learned to get out of my shell and be more open to people who really aren’t on the same level as me as far as style goes, and I can certainly appreciate the cultural differences. Those differences show up in my work quite often. Sometimes it can be really hard though, because most of population in the south has that Christian judgement thing going on, and sometimes it is not so positive. I like to prove them wrong though, how’s the saying go? Kill them with kindness? Haha…!”

The pavement cracked and dark red blood bubbled up at our feet. This was the sign that the Seekers were on their last remaining lives, and that their life force was terminally low; time for one last question.

“How has your benefit work been received?  Does anyone ever express the attitude of, “Hey, you’re this dark band, what in the eff are you doing benefit work for? Aren’t all you people supposed to be existential, nihilistic, misanthropes?”

Bug shook his head, knowing the stereotype all too well. “It’s been received quite well since I’ve gotten quite a few articles about me on the internet and in newspapers of my band doing benefit work. I never really got negative attention from anybody about that. However, I’m not the only one that is doing benefit work in the Goth scene. I have come across 50-100 bands in the goth/industrial scene alone, but I don’t think they put in as much time and effort as I do in helping their own community even if it’s not Goth. There is a lot of stuff about benefit work I do that I do not put in the public, why? Because it’s not about press to me, it is about helping the ones in need, the best way we can without going broke. That is just my personal opinion on the subject. Also, if there is someone that did hate on my act or any other act that does benefit work, I would personally tell them they can go suck a dick, they are a terrible person and should just stay inside and keep their opinion to themselves.”

The red sky above us began to glow.

“Any closing words or news on upcoming plans or releases,” I asked as the ground shook beneath my feet.

Cyberpunks of New Tokyo is a book/album/animation that im working on that’s set to be released sometime 2019. I had to push the date back because there are like two/three other albums I wanna put out before that one is released,” Bug said. “And… Thank you, much love and respect.”

I smiled. “Thank you, Bug, and-

I never finished my sentence. The sky exploded and we both disappeared, an obvious sign that the Seekers had failed in their quest once again. When I regained consciousness, I was seated at my kitchen table, watching the toxic rain fall from the sky, waiting for my next writing assignment to arrive in the mail.

https://sinthetikmessiah.bandcamp.com/

Terror Trax: Stagefright

Stagefright is the first band I’ve ever heard of to blend musical genres such as Ska / reggae with Goth and hip-hop with darkwave. How did this come about? Is it something that evolved over time or was combining these different genres an idea that you pursued?

We started out with the concept of a crossover gothic band that incorporated African American styles such as R&B and hip-hop with gothic and darkwave. However, as we evolved, it quickly shifted towards reggae and ska because of the line-up. Don Geron and Pruda Bass, our long-time drummer and bass player, were both in popular local ska bands in the 80s as well as gospel and R&B bands. Our rhythm guitarist at the time, Don Schrieber, came from a rock band, and my brother Scott Saulson and our mother Carolyn Saulson and I were all from a punk/goth background. I’d been in a punk band called Poetic Justice in Hawaii in the 80s. I think Don Schrieber was the only white person in the band at that time – my brother and I are biracial, but we’re black identified. Everyone else in the band was black.

How has your unconventional blending of styles been received?

We have been warmly received on the local fair and festival circuit, playing in a lot of shows like Soupstock, National Homeless Day at Dome Village, Juneteenth, The California Blues Festival, and other community and Afrocentric circles. We had the same sort of following as bands like Spearhead then, and probably appealed to punk and ska fans more than the Goth community; however, we’re very active on the Goth scene and have played with a lot of Goth bands, particularly Protea, Galaxxy Chamber, and Apocalypse Theater.

What is Stagefright’s connection to the horror community?

I (Sumiko) am a horror writer, and a horror blogger, best known for my horror blog series on black women who write horror. I put together 60 Black Women in Horror, and then 100+ Black Women in Horror, reference guides based upon the blogs. They contain biographies of and interviews with black women in horror. And HorrorAddicts blogger David Watson wrote an article for it on LA Banks and Octavia Butler. We also have had a public access television program called Stagefright on and off since 1993. It often showcases horror films and horror directors. We used to put on the San Francisco Black Independent Film Festival, also known as the Iconoclast Black Film Festival. We received a lot of great independent Afrocentric horror works which we aired in theaters like ATA and the Koret as well as on public access.

How important, if at all, is horror, or, dark material –books, music, film, etc- to the creation of music within Stagefright?

Given that horror music is intrinsically connected with the gothic aesthetic and gothic music. I would say very important. Even when I was in a punk band horror was important, and I had songs about The Evil Dead and we tended towards horrorcore and horrorbilly like the Cramps. My brother, my mom, and I were all from the old school Death Rock eighties foundation for Goth, and gravitated towards darkwave when that became a thing. My brother loves Skinny Puppy. My mom loves The Cure. I love Switchblade Symphony. All of those bands have songs about horror. Heck, even Kate Bush writes about horror. I think Kate Bush was the first alternative act I fell in love with. My mom was listening to her when I was 9.

What kind of role do you see dark music playing within our society?

People have to process their anger, fear, grief and other raw emotions in some way. Dark music helps people to get in touch with, process, and get on the other side of things that they might otherwise unhealthily repress. The blues and country music also help people deal with grief. Repressed and at-risk populations often have a deep affinity for music that relays their struggle. Gothic and darkwave music resonates a lot with people who have mental health struggles, letting us know that we aren’t alone and that other people have and do experience depression, grief, and anxiety and that it is okay to feel and face these things. Otherwise, people get very apathetic and numb and quash it all down. I think sometimes we have to face those emotions head on.

Being a multi-cultural group, have you had to deal with any prejudice within the scene?

Somewhat, as we can’t really get airplay in Goth clubs or and are not perceived as gothic by people who don’t see interviewing African Diaspora and African American influences into gothic music as valid. We have gotten a lot of support from general alternative rock stations like KUSF used to play us, for example. Goths let us play in Goth clubs but they never seem to want to actually play our music, because it is too ethnic. My rants and railing against the Eurocentric white skin and pallor obsession within the gothic community are well known. Back in the 80s it wasn’t like that but, then something people call “traditional” Goth emerged later on, which involves wearing white clown make-up. Most African Americans have a negative association with skin bleaching.

Sumiko, as a musician, author, and visual artist, could you please tell us how these three expressions play off, influence, and support one another.

I’ve become quite popular lately as a cartoonist, and ironically, my multiethnic, kinky, poly, queer anthropomorphic mouse cartoon Mauskaveli seems to be getting a lot of airplay on the Goth scene and very little anti-black or anti-multicultural flashback. I think that’s because it is kink centered, and has a lot of queer characters. Multiculturalism is a lot more evident in kinky, queer corners of the Goth scene, and honestly, queer gay folks aren’t terrified of being spotted wearing some color that isn’t black at all. My band often plays at book readings. I think my friend, Serena Toxicat, one of my best friends and oldest friends, best epitomizes this. She’s in Protea now, but she used to be in Apocalypse Theater. We have been supporting each other as artists, authors, and musicians for 25 years now. We both turned 50 this year. After a while, you start to make your friendships circle around your creative interests and vice versa.

Sumiko, do you ever incorporate your written works into a Stagefright performance?

I have been reading my books at Stagefright performances, and recently I did a show with Serena called Kat and Maus. We had two different fashion shows. The first one, my models wore Mauskaveli mouse themed fashions I created, and danced, modeled, and posed to Protea’s Catwave music. At the second one, her cat-themed clothing was worn by her models and she played Stagefright. It was this sort of perfect cultural exchange. Her clothing was modeled by a very, very queer but predominately white crowd, while my clothing was modeled by a multiethnic, body-positive crowd that was not as obviously queer as hers. She did something for the first day of Pride that embraced Trans* identity, it was great! But at the end, she talked about my involvement in the black community. I think us working together is more interesting, frankly.

What is the Stagefright origin story? Is there any particular inspiration behind the band?

The band name actually came from a band I was in when I was in Kerista Commune. It was a punk band, can’t remember if we actually named it Stagefright or if that was my name suggestion but Dune and Revery were the other band members and we only had one song, Ned Was A Nipple Head.  My mom loved that name, so when we started our band she adopted it. She had really bad Stagefright and strongly identified with Jim Morrison, who was so introverted he sang with his back facing the audience at early Doors performances. She did that at first as well.

Stagefright has performed in settings as varied as L.A.’s renowned Whisky A Go-Go, to street fairs, to bookstores. Do you have a preferred type of venue? Is there anywhere you wouldn’t play?

We’re kind of great at street fairs, and sometimes our political content gets a strong crowd reaction. One time we were doing a show at the African American Art and Culture Complex for a Unity in the Community event that had a very large African immigrant population in the audience. A man became offended and started to get angry, even jumped on the stage and grabbed the microphone because he thought our songs were too feminist and a challenge to him. Specifically, we were covering Feels Blind by Bikini Kill. So we impromptu talked back to him. I can rap, and my mom can jazz improvise so we both ripped him in two different very African music styles. Then we started covering Cursed Female by Porno for Pyros. When we were done, every single woman in the audience stood up and applauded, while most of the men were sitting in the audience with their hands folded, glowering and pouting. To me, that’s what we are all about – empowerment for black women.  My mom and I are the lead singers. We usually perform duets. Sometimes, Scott sings. But this is us! Once my brother got mad at me and mom and called us The Violent Femmes.  So yeah, that’s us.

What makes for the ideal Stagefright show?

Some sort of political cause we believe in, like uplifting the African diaspora, elevating black women, narrowing the generation gap, helping prisoners, showing a thug some love, assisting those with disabilities, and raising money for the homeless and marginally housed. We are essentially a very political act.

What are some fun activities that one can do while listening to Stagefright?

Playing Dragon Age 2. Slam dancing, aerobics, twerking, and the gothic spiderweb removing wavy hand dance, political protest rallies, and long road trips on I-5.

Poison cupcakes or very, very sharp knives?

Very, very sharp knives…

If you were booked to play the apocalypse, what would be some highlights of your set?

A large sheet spread in the background with a projector airing artsy horror films, Taaka Vodka, Faygo and Four Loco Jell-O Shots, Chucky, Bride of Chucky, and Seed of Chucky cosplays, and Warhol Starlet Ivy Nicholson.

If I’m going to San Francisco and I don’t want to wear a flower in my hair, what could I do instead?

Write bad poetry in an independently owned and operated coffee house.

Terror Trax: Protea

Oh Heka! Is that a cat in your head or are you just happy to see me?

Serena Kefira Leclerc, Sonic High Priestess of the darkly cat-tastic ambient/noise/soundscape/magical wonder-sound project known as Protea, casts a spell over the listener with her otherworldly sounds. Recently, she was kind enough to emerge from her trance temple to answer a few questions about the creepy sounds she makes and what inspires her to make them. Please read on for a glimpse into this sonic sorceress’ mind.


What is Protea and what is the motivation behind it?

It’s my place in space to indulge my idiosyncatic ways, my feline “fetish,” and my odd-assed humor–you know, in case anyone else gets it–and some folks actually do!

What is Black Catwave? What is the essence of Black Catwave?

Well, my mewsic isn’t goth/industrial, purr se, it’s weirder than that, but it is dark and feline, which is why it has appealed to that crowd at times. It’s electronic, sometimes with theremin, which is the first electronic instrument–think Star Trek. Protea features Asian and Albanian string instruments, if I’m lucky. I sing and compose soundscapes. Sometimes I play the gu zheng, which is a Chinese harp, but I’m mostly a singer who seems to have a knack for creepy soundtrack-esque compositions.

Tara Ntula, the bassist from Vague, was one of my electronic composers. He’s a serious cat lover, too. Kat Karsecs played strings, but he moved to Wales. He’s a genius in his own right. Joey D’Kaye from the reunited SF punk band, Crime, plays theremin and does sound, and Baron Rubenbauer from NY punk band, The Nuns, has also done sound. Baron and I formed a band called Ephemeral Orchestra. It was wonderful, (other)worldly and deep, but not cat-obsessed like Protea.

I thought my invented genre name fit the meows, hisses, growls and purrs that come out of my weird head via my mouth (meowth?) quite well.

Your studio recordings have a very free flowing sound and feel. Are the songs planned out and practiced or is it all improved during the recording sessions?

On The Osiris Tree, Black Xmas and Lyttl Drummr Boi were mostly improvised. I did those along with a member of Apocalipstick, which was a performance-art-heavy band with whom I worked for a year or two. Anything featuring screams or Chinese harp on that album was likely improvised.

On the next Protea album, Going Forth By Night, sound engineer and drone artist Matt Azevedo improvised on his Arp, and his friend contributed a touch of improvised guitar. I also improvised some of the vocals on partial as well as full tracks. (This is original music inspired by the ancient Egyptian pantheon, as opposed to cattified Christmas carols.)

Festum Beati Osirim is Protea’s latest holiday album. I worked solo on that one. It’s the lighter counterpart to The Osiris Tree. The ancient Egyptian or solstice songs on Festum are heavily improvised. Anything involving getting the cats to meow is a risk involving improvisation, of course!

On my new cat head-shaped 10” vinyl record with 30 minutes of new music and a couple of remixed tracks, which is aptly named ‘My Love Lies On Cat-Shaped Vinyl,’ the track Pet the Manul, Bitch! was fully improvised, with vocals on my end and Chinese harp played by Kat Karsecs, who was originally my teacher. There are also partially improvised tracks.

What is your recording process like?

I’ll record on anything, anywhere. I’ve recorded on a dinosaurian four-track with an effects pedal, and I’ve recorded at the world-renowned Studios Ferber in Paris, where I used to live. I’ve recorded at home on my laptop and mixed at Philz Coffee. I have recorded in sacred spaces around the world. The track from Going Forth by Night that was done in the Great Pyramid of Khufu in the King’s Chamber was recorded on a phone, and that likely didn’t compromise much in terms of sound and the 16 seconds of profound natural delay. I have made GarageBand my bitch. It doesn’t have to be a fancy feast! That said, I comb everything over like I’m picking nits (or fleas, or ticks…)

Why the use of lyrics from traditional Christmas songs or carols?

Originally, it was intended to spell out the ancient Egyptian origins of Xmas, which is why some of the lyrics are modified in that direction. I was working out my discomfort and conflicts with Catholicism, mostly. Scorsese does the same via his (much larger) platform.

I think Halloween and Christmas mix quite well!

Is Christmas secretly the most horrific holiday of all?

Yes, which is why I have such a push-pull relationship with it. I do Catmas, which is inspired by Christmas, and celebrate the Winter Solstice! Obviously, many of us have a bone to pick with commercialism and obligations around that holiday. For many, family conflicts come to the fore.

What are your personal feelings about Christmas?

Honestly, as long as the ancient origins (Mithras, solstice, Osiris’ day, etc.) are given their due and I can sit home and record, I’m good.

Do you come from a religious background?

I was raised Catholic, practiced Tibetan Buddhism from high school through my mid-twenties, and am now a Bast priestess. I was ordained by Loreon Vigne and Lady Olivia Robertson at Isis Oasis and have my own temple in Oakland, which has been open to the public and is now private, due to my cat’s lymphoma.

Do you practice any particular faith?

I guess you would call it ancient Egyptian-focused neo-Paganism.

In the future, will cats take over the world and make all of humanity their slaves?

They already have, in my book. I used to joke that if cats took over the world, they’d eat us. They are the Illuminati and inteligencia factions of extraterrestrial society, don’t you know?

As a woman making dark noise music, how have you been received in the scene?

The only thing I’ve really noticed is that everyone asks me if I’m the singer. Yes, I am the singer, but I do other things as well. I had a Lyft driver the other day act shocked that I mixed my own music. Like what?! Do you need a penis to mix music now? (Not that men alone have penises.)

How effective do you see dark ambient / noise music when used in the incidental scores for horror films?

It is very effective, and is literally what everyone on ReverbNation tells me my music sounds like.

Have you scored any horror films or, if not, do you have any aspirations to do so?

Terrence McKelsey used Protea in spek.ter, and James Leon utilized it for his film, Dropping Like Flies. Those are a couple examples I can think of offpaw. I also acted in those films.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Nina Hagen, Diamanda Galas, Aghast, This Mortal Coil, Bowie, Coil and many more.

I just finished making a feline-focused Tarot deck called ‘The Incredible Psychic Meow,’ and there are many visual artists I love, as well. One the world knows is H.R. Giger. Have you seen his cat piece? It’s a famous work. I also love Bosch, who featured cats in his triptych, and I appreciate many of the cat artists of all genders, stripes and purrsuasions throughout history.

Hell, there’s a book called Why Cats Paint that was more famous than the Bible in the 90s. I loved that book. The painters were cats, themselves!

What are your plans for the end of the world?

I can’t even think as far ahead as breakfast tomorrow!

Thank you for giving me this spot and this interview! I’m looking forward to our show and the other pawesome episodes, as well.

Meow, meow! 


Please follow the links below, open your heart, mind, and imagination, and experience the dark magic of Protea. We promise, you’ve never heard anything like this before!

 

Terror Trax: Ornamenti d’Oro

It happened several days ago. I was walking home from my job at the International Wish Fulfillment and Time Travel Device Repair Center when I decided to detour from my usual route along the fairway and take a short cut through the city’s most beloved underground tunnel. As I descended, the warm, humid spring air gave way to dry cold and the golden sunset was erased by bleak, consuming darkness. I Heard voices howl from deep within the void, spiraling and encircling me. I walked on, my feet moving in a sparse, unsure shuffle. A cold rhythm fixed itself in my mind. I began to move faster through the dark. Fog rolled in at my feet. I felt the tunnel spin. A crack appeared in the tunnel wall and a man crawled out and stood in front of me. There was music in his eyes and on his skin and I knew that he was the source of the voices and the rhythms. I wanted to understand what this sound was so I asked him questions. He spoke backwards and with my eyes closed, I wrote it on the wall in purple blood. I never saw it but, there in the lonely dark, I knew it. And so it was, and now here it is.


What does the name Ornamenti d’Oro mean?

It’s Italian for “Ornaments of Gold”, the name of a beloved Siouxsie & The Banshees song from an album that was instrumental to my conversion to Gothness in the mid-90s. When I started this project in 2013 one of my intentions was combining the Italo Disco tradition with Darkwave and Goth, so there you go.

What prompted the decision to release Mater Tenebrarum on the cassette format? What are your thoughts on the underground cassette movement? Do you feel that physical media will always be with us or will everything be digital one day?

Greta and Jamie, the guys at the label Tensión Ritual, had the idea for a cassette release. They’ve been doing shows here in Madrid for ages and they wanted to start a tape label, so they approached me to be the first release. Personally I love cassettes mainly because I grew up with them in the 80s-90s, but also I love physical formats in general, I always try to get my hands on the albums I like on physical formats if I can. Honestly I don’t know if the cassette scene is going to last (of the rest of the formats for that matter) but for the moment they definitely serve the purpose of documenting this particular moment in music history.

Do you see an intersection between Goth, Darkwave, and Horror culture or are all three inseparable parts of one whole?

Ha, that’s an awfully difficult question to answer. On one hand I think they’re definitely parts of a continuum that we could loosely call “the Gothic imagination in contemporary pop culture” or something like that. And on the other hand, they are clearly separate traditions, sometimes they don’t even intersect with each other in any way.

That’s also very personal, for some people they are all part of the same thing, for others not at all, and I think this diversity is wonderful, one of the aspects that makes this tradition (for lack of a better word) very special and unique. In the case of Goth/Darkwave and for the same reason, I think our obsession with constantly gatekeeping Goth and trying to define its scope is counterproductive in the long term.

Does reading weird fiction influence the music you make? If so, how?

Oh yes, absolutely! Apart from my musical influences, weird fiction and literary horror in general are my main influences for sure. I’ve been an avid reader of classic horror since I was a teenager and it’s proven to be a long-lasting interest. I have a weakness for classic Victorian/Edwadian ghost stories, authors like Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Amelia B Edwards, Edith Wharton, MR James, and dozens more. I just love a well written, traditional ghost story.

And of course everything connected to Weird Fiction is my favourite type of literature, although let’s admit it is a pretty loose term. Also, sometimes the authors are so obscure it gets difficult to find their material; for example, I’m currently trying to find information and stories by an elusive writer called Jane Rice. Still, probably my favourite authors ever are Arthur Machen, Gustav Meyrink, and Pilar Pedraza. I’m also a reader of Black Static Magazine from the UK, I discovered it about a year ago when I moved to Spain and it’s brilliant.

My music is influenced by this type of literature not when it comes to the lyrics though, I’m terrible at writing lyrics; but I do want to convey a similar atmosphere. And just as lot of times Weird Fiction uses contemporary, even mundane settings to create that sense of unease, my idea is to use contemporary electronic music, and relatively simple and familiar song structures, to do that as well. Also I actually used some specific short stories as influences for some of the tracks (more on that later).

From the perspective of a reader, do you see the role of reading, and of literature, diminishing in our society at large? In Europe? In America?

Well I guess I can only talk about the reality I know best, which is that of Latin America, and more specifically my own country Argentina. What I see over there and concerns me the most, is that there seems to be a widening gap socially speaking, as if the social and economic mobility we started to gain during the XX century had started to fade again. In that sense, I feel like we are allowing for entire generations of middle and working class children to grow up believing that reading is a waste of time, I’m worried that those kids are being raised to be docile and ignorant. On the other hand, I see a lot of kids waking up to issues of social and economic injustice, engaging in arts and science, and being definitely more active than my generation or the previous ones. So I guess we have to stay vigilant about it.

What are your general feelings about mainstream, “normal” society?

I grew up in a left-wing household that was pretty elitist in a lot of ways, and I was made to believe that mainstream culture was terrible by definition. Thankfully as I got older I realised that nobody is above anybody else. When it comes to culture I think it’s crucial to respect other people’s interests if I want to demand the same respect from them. I actually love a lot of products from mainstream pop culture, I don’t see a clash between enjoying a Rihanna song and the most obscure Darkwave band in the world. Now when it comes to the social and economic system, then yeah, humanity is doomed.

Did you use any older synths or keyboards on the recording of Mater Tenebrarum? The opening keys on “Puente Peatonal” sound reminiscent of an old Casio.

Close enough, that’s a Yamaha PSR-200. It was the keyboard I used with a band I had in my hometown Córdoba called Ad-Nemo when I was 16 to 18, in the mid-to-late 90s. It was a great band, the product of the tension between our different teenage interests. In the end it sounded like a mix between 90s Noise Rock and 90s Darkwave or something. Not the most popular sound in town.

Actually for “Puente Peatonal” I played the exact part from one of Ad-Nemo’s songs using that exact keyboard, sampled it, and built the rest of the track from that. The rest of the sounds are mostly from that or similar 90s keyboards, also sampled and sequenced to interact with the beats. As much as I love analogue synths and all, I always prefer using those MIDI keyboard sounds as raw material.

What’s happening with the Goth/Darkwave scene in Madrid these days?

The scene is decent but small. One really cool record store (Rara Avis), a couple of parties and promoters that put together great events (one of those are my friends from Tensión Ritual), and that’s about it. Unfortunately there are very few bands, and I think a scene can’t thrive without bands, no matter how many cool artists play from other countries. My favourite part of the scene is not exactly muscal though, it’s this wonderful event called Semana Gótica de Madrid (Madrid Gothic Week), a series of lectures and academic conferences on all things Gothic, especially literature and arts, but also pop culture, films, etcetera. Also a couple of years ago they started their own award for writers, named after Le Fanu, how cool is that?

Was there any specific inspiration behind the songs collected on Mater Tenebrarum?

This goes back to the question about Weird Fiction. Half of the songs are direct references to specific short stories. “Great God” is pretty obvious, although the lyrics changed a lot from the early versions and the only connection to Machen now is the title (another song had the working title “Treff Loyne” by the way). “Una Advertencia a los Curiosos” is the Spanish translation of “A Warning to the Curious”, one of my favourite MR James stories and an example of how I’m constantly trying to translate that “what the hell is going on?” atmosphere from paper to sound. And the songs “Artículos de Piel” (roughly “Leather Goods”) and “Mater Tenebrarum” are both the titles of stories by Pilar Pedraza, a Spanish author who is still publishing and has this amazing body of work. As far as I know there are no translations of her work to English and that’s such a shame. The rest of the tracks are pretty much based on personal stuff, real or imaginary.

Musically speaking, all the tracks come from different moments in time so they are very different from one another, sometimes too much if you ask me. Some of them existed previously in one shape or another even before the existence of this project; “Humedad 72%” for example is a song I wrote when I was 16 for Ad-Nemo and was never used by the band.

Can you describe your process for making a record?

Well this album is the result of five years of playing live, writing and discarding a lot of material in that process. During that period of time I changed equipment, moved to a different city and then to a different country, changed my life completely as well, so it was bound to end up being a bit scattered. I had a lot of half-recorded material from different moments, so I re-recorded most of the instruments and the vocals trying to come up with a more cohesive sound. The worst part was recording the vocals, I had a problem with my vocal cords at the time but I wanted to finish the thing, so in the end I had to record the main vocals and the endless overdubs like a million times, it was extremely time-consuming. In the end, this project is mostly about beats and vocals, so I had to try and get it right. I spent a lot of time working on the tiny details, trying to clean up the songs, and then I sent them to my friend Sergey Kolesov (aka Astrosuka) who did some additional mixing and mastering. That was it. Anyway, I’m already working on new stuff and the process is proving to be completely different, which is always a good thing of course.

If you could become a ghost after you die, what kind of ghost would you be?

I guess I’d love to haunt a house in the middle of nowhere, getting to move the furniture around and all that stuff. The other possibility is becoming one of those weird little MR James ghosts, locked up in some tomb, or fulfilling the bureaucratic duty of guarding some half-forgotten relic.

Do you have dinner plans for the apocalypse?

Maybe getting together with friends to have a drink and watch the end of the world broadcast live on Democracy Now. Nothing fancy.

If you could either frighten or comfort people with Ornamenti d’Oro, which would you prefer?

That’s a great question! I guess … both? I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. Maybe that could be my goal for the next album: being able to comfort and frighten at the same time.

Do you prefer working alone or in a group /collaborative setting?

Actually I have two ongoing collaborations, a duo called Dimensión Maldita with my old time friend Manuel Osorio (aka Epiref), and a music/dance/performance art project with Ofelia Jarl Ortega. They’re both projects at a distance though, I’m not sure I could make music with someone else on a regular basis, rehearsing every week and such. I’m much too used to working alone after all these years.

How can we keep up with what’s going on in the world of Ornamenti d’Oro?

My album is on the Tensión Ritual Bandcamp page, and I released two EPs some years ago on my label Mun Discos from Argentina. I mostly use Facebook and Instagram to post news and stuff, and Soundcloud to post songs every once in a while. I have an old Tumblr account somewhere on the internet too. I also write some stuff, I had a couple of music blogs (in Spanish), and now I write music reviews for Peek-a-boo magazine, a Goth music blog from Belgium.


Super special thanks to Gustavo of Ornamenti d’Oro for taking time out to do this interview!  Please check out the amazing new album, Mater Tenebrarum, and let your feet do a spooky shuffle of joy!  You can get there from  here:

https://tensionritual.bandcamp.com/

The 2 previous EPs (one track plus several remixes)
https://mundiscos.bandcamp.com/album/humedad-72
https://mundiscos.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-god-gland

Dimensión Maldita (collaboration with Epiref)
https://mundiscos.bandcamp.com/album/obedece-a-la-laga-a-amarilla

A clip from “Valquiria” a collaboration with Swedish dancer/performance artist Ofelia Jarl Ortega
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6L4wQ3K_LI&t=5s

Also, get your gloom on with this wonderful live performance from  2013!

¡Mantente escalofriante! 

 

Terror Trax: Harry Husbands

Late on a dark and stormy Friday evening, when I should have been at home cuddled up eating curds and whey and watching Tales from the Darkside, I was kidnapped from my hovel and taken to an undisclosed, grimy yet pleasantly scented location, where I was told that one Harry Husbands, international bearded man of minor notoriety, would be joining me shortly, at which time I would conduct an exhaustive yet informative interview to be submitted to the esteemed HorrorAddicts.net website. My blindfold was removed and I was given pen, personalized stationary, and a triple espresso. As is apparently his custom, Mr. Husbands arrived by helicopter three minutes early. I was delighted by his friendly demeanor and earthy charm, and he smelled like blueberry muffins, which are my favorite. After our conversation was concluded, I was knocked unconscious with a fossilized luffa and returned to my home. Two days later I discovered this transcription sitting on my desk. According to a note I wrote to myself in Pig Latin, it was typed while I was in a trance. My hopes are that you enjoy it as much as I hope I did! 


Dear Mr. Husbands, let me begin by saying what an inspiration you are to all of us here on planet Earth! Your music captures the yearning of the angels, lost amongst the cosmos, afraid to stop at the intergalactic Pump-n-Go to ask for directions, heading directly into an asteroid belt, then getting tangled in spider webs and waking up and realizing it was all just a terrible dream but still feeling relieved and hopeful that one day we can soar through the dark galaxy just like when we are safe inside the sonic bubble of your music!

– Bless you.

In your bio you state that you are a “full-time imbecile”. I myself once had aspirations of a career in the imbecilic arts but, after years of struggle, even with my Doctorate in Imbecilism, I was unable to find steady work and was forced to move into the much less prestigious field of puppet colonics. Please tell us; in such a highly competitive and cut-throat occupation, what is the secret to your success?

I didn’t have a choice. My Mum once told me, while ironing, not to put my hand on said iron because it would burn me, but I high-fived that steaming lump of metal like it had just won gold in the Olympics of removing difficult creases. And guess what? Correct, I got burnt. From that moment on, I knew I was destined to be an imbecile.

The instrumental track, “Bring This Hex”, is vastly different from the folky “Hey God!” Is there a certain style that you prefer?

It depends when you ask me. My wife calls me a ‘music slut’ because I have this tendency to become obsessed with a different band, artist, or style of music every month or so. There’s too much great stuff out there—in every genre—and it’s all more accessible than ever. So when I was really into comedy folk songs, I penned “Hey God!”, and when I couldn’t stop listening to horror soundtracks, I recorded “Bring This Hex”.

Does the writing of music support the writing of fiction and vice versa?

In the writing of lyrics, absolutely. Stories are everywhere in song (especially those smash hits from olden times when people would strum lutes and poop in the street) and many of my own favourite tunes tell a tale. The first scrappy and out-of-time collection of recordings I put together, in fact, was “Barry the Spider”—a concept album based on folklore from my insect upbringing. It tells the woes of Barry (May he rest in peace), the radioactive spider who once bit Peter Parker and subsequently created Spiderman. The newest album soon to drop from my head and onto the internet is also a story. It’s called “An Ant’s Dream” and details the hopes, love and loss of an ordinary worker ant. “An Ant’s Dream”, by the way, like all of my music, is free to listen to and download.

What attracts you to the macabre?

– Same as most other HorrorAddicts regulars, I suppose. As a child, I was intrigued by what frightened me; the fascination grew from there.

“Bring This Hex” sounds like it could be from the incidental score of a horror film. Do you have a favorite original horror film score?

– There are too many to name but I was heavily into Goblin’s “Suspiria” soundtrack when I put together “Bring This Hex”.

Who are your favorite composers and/or songwriters?

As per my ‘music slut’ tendencies, there’s an endless list, but Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, and Alex Turner would be up there.

Do you have an all-time favorite horror book, and, if so, why is it your favorite?

– “The Exorcist” by William Peter Blatty is my favourite horror book because it’s still the scariest I’ve read. I was in my early teens when I first devoured it under the duvet with wide eyes. I’m still trying to find another novel that can keep me awake like “The Exorcist” did.

What are your goals as a horror writer and as a musician?

My intention is only to keep writing and keep playing/recording music. I do it for the joy and immediate satisfaction it gives me; anything that comes as a result is only a bonus.

Is it true that if your beard is fed after 7:32 p.m., it will turn into a bloodthirsty Justin Bieber fan and go on an all-night killing spree?

No, that’s absurd, it’s after 7:30 p.m., and any atrocities carried out in my beard’s name are pure rumour. It does nothing more than keep entirely to itself and listen to Bieber’s discography while crying into chocolate ice-cream and repeatedly refreshing his Twitter page.

How do you respond to the rumor that there are clones of you impersonating government agents in several undisclosed locations and that said clones are on top secret missions of grave national importance and that there are also clones of clones in case the original clones are discovered?

– If there are clones of me out there, I doubt very much they would be trusted with anything of any importance whatsoever. I imagine instead they would be fulfilling their full potential as no good layabouts. And also, where’s my clone? I mean, I’m here mowing my own damn lawn and washing my own dishes like a sucker.

Do the clones also play guitar?

– It would be nice to think there are other versions of me out there irritating everyone in the surrounding area with bad versions of Jimmy Page solos.

Does that last question validate the rumor of the existence of the clones?

– No, it has only served in making me ponder this whole clone situation for longer than I should have.

Who is the real Harry Husbands?

– Go to your town/city centre. Find a spot where a pigeon has defecated on top of an older, drier piece of pigeon shit. That is the real Harry Husbands.

Please provide a general response to the statement, “Hey, that doesn’t go there.”

– Then why does it taste like it should?

The people of planet Earth, and me, thank you for your bravery and for your time to answer these few questions!

– You’re most welcome. Thank you for this awesome interview.

Terror Trax: I-Def-I

by Russell Holbrook

Buzzing guitars slash across your soul. Pounding drums pummel your brain. Wildly fluctuating vocals tunnel through your flesh and into your heart.  You feel your spirit move. You aren’t sure what to do. You might destroy something. Take heart- You are not having a break down; you are listening to an I-DEF-I record.

Hailing from Manchester, England and formed at Salford University in November 2001 by Tom Clements and Kev Gaffney, I-DEF-I brought their horror infused noise to the underground’s attention in the middle of the first decade of the new millennium with the release of an EP, one full-length, and one mini-LP, before calling it a day near the end of the decade. However, the band’s music and legend have gone on, continuing to receive airplay and gain fans around the world. This has led the band to re-release their mini-LP, Bloodlust Casualty, and their full-length, In The Light of a New Day. To my recent delight I was able to shoot out a few questions to Tom, Paul, and Kev in regards to what the band is up to these days. Here’s what they had to say.

How important do you consider music to be to the horror culture and community? What role does it play?

It’s very important. I think you could culturally draw comparisons between the metal community and the horror fan community – often seen as outsiders, against the norm or whatever, at least in past decades when society was less diverse as a whole. Both heavy music and horror culture often touch on and cover ‘taboo’ subjects, the darker side of life and society and the darker side of fantasy situations. They go hand in hand a lot of the time with music providing the soundtrack to films, music being used to enhance tension and emotions in film and so on and forth.

What do you love about dark music? What attracts you to it?

As with the previous question, dark music often touches on subjects that aren’t as mainstream as some others, or subjects that are taboo, against the grain, graphic, violent, sexual, more for an ‘adult’ audience and such like. It attracts ourselves as we are all fascinated with the darker side of life and big fans of genres such as horror, thriller and zombie films. Dark music fits well with any kid of dystopian or apocalyptic imagery and a love for each one can help enhance the other. It also often contains the best riffs, drum beats and bass lines coupled with addictive breakdowns.

How do you respond to the prevalent belief that listening to this type of music is unhealthy?

Is it still prevalent? I know in the past that metal was oft maligned by mainstream society but I think over the last decade a lot has changed. Here in Manchester it is now officially a hate crime to verbally or physically abuse someone for being of ‘metal/emo/goth’ culture and society as a whole seems to be more tolerant after tragic incidents like the murder of Sophie Lancaster. I guess people just assume, on a surface level at least, that the dark lyrics and image can translate to a real world association with these things, but music 90% of the time, with the odd exception like say, Burzum or something, is mostly just entertainment and some sort of marketing package designed to shock and even exploit these stereotypes and reputations – Lordi, Cradle Of Filth whoever. I think people are more aware of that nowadays and a bit of face paint, some piercings and tatts etc get less of a ‘second glance’ than in years gone by.

What inspires you to create?

General life. Relationships. The news. Things we’ve experienced in the past, both recently and in years gone by. The music industry. ‘Normal jobs’. We like to absorb as much as we can and elements of all of it are squeezed in to our sound.

What is your favorite type of horror media?

Film, definitely. We all grew up on the first few Halloween films with stuff like H20 coming out in our late teens and early twenties, early Jason Vorhees, early Freddie, Critters, Arnie movies like Raw Deal and Predator, early Die Hard and Lethal Weapon (granted those are action not horror but still….), Blair Witch, Candyman, Jacobs Ladder, IKWYDLS, Event Horizon…..The Exorcist and Amityville being passed down to us by friends a few years older…all the great original stuff. Our Manager Noz likes a lot of old vampire stuff and western stuff too. In more recent times we’ve loved the Resident Evil franchise and tv shows like The Walking Dead.

What are your goals as a band? As individuals?

As a band is a tough one to say as we actually split in 2008. Since then we’ve re-released a few things digitally and still get fresh radio play and coverage – a few ‘Track of the Week’ awards in 2013 from places like Amazing Radio and in late 2017/early 2018 we’ve had a few news pieces, reviews and interviews published. We lived in each others back pockets for most of our career, management included so we tend to re-emerge on to social media and digital retailers every few years, have some drama or other kicked off by some comment or other after a few weeks of peace, then go back underground again.

People ask about reunion shows, not in the hordes, we’re realistic, literally a few here and there, we got offered a couple of gigs in Switzerland circa Xmas 2017, but to be honest we exist primarily as a cult, underground, nostalgia, I guess ‘archive’ act for a handful of loyal die hard fans nowadays.  Jobs, kids, life changed etc.

We covered a lot of goals in our time – a slot at Download Festival in 2006, tours and gigs with Stone Sour, Fear Factory, Mindless Self Indulgence, Breed 77, Viking Skull, One Minute Silence, Dry Kill Logic and many more. Recorded a BBC Maida Vale live Rock Show session in 2005. Had interest from a few major labels and A&R’s. Had the fastest selling and something like 3rd or 6th biggest selling releases on Copro/Casket with ‘Bloodlust Casualty’  – first thousand copies flew out, although Forever Never, Panic Cell, Vacant Stare and a couple more did more units over time on the label.

I guess the one thing we didn’t follow through on fully which we would’ve liked to would be more touring in Europe and touring in the USA or Australia.

We played in France in 2008 and had some good press and radio there, but split before we “fully” pushed it out there. Always had good press in Italy, Germany, Holland and more too. Had some interest from festivals like ‘Rock En Seine’ but by the time we called it quits in November 2008 only really a major label deal would’ve saved it, if that even. We were tired and it was time to move on in life. Had a blast 2001 – 2008 though and it’s wicked to still hear tracks on new podcasts in Spring 2018 – shouts to Horror Addicts, Heavy Metal Horrorcast and more!!!

Do you consider I-DEF-I a horror metal band? If not, how would you classify yourselves, if at all?

I’d say more ‘horror influenced’ – tracks like ‘Red Light On The Murder’ which was is hugely influenced by Saw and movies of that ilk. Not sure if we’re a ‘horror band’, overall though, I’d put that tag more on bands like Wednesday 13, Gwar, Green Jelly, Marilyn Manson or that kind of thing. Our image and fashion is more urban/street even though we use a lot of gothic fonts and very styled artwork and logos etc, we’re not really a face paint and blood kind of band.  Necro, Insane Clown Posse, Twizted, Gravediggaz and hip hop stuff gets called ‘horrorcore’ too but again, lyrically we generally move in a different way to those kinds of bands, much as we probably share some fans. Our lyrics tend to be more personal / reflective than gore orientated. We have a song called ‘The Horror’ but that’s more about the industry and stuff, a similar vibe to that Chimaira concept – ‘The Dehumanizing Process’. I’d say we’re just contemporary / modern alternative metal that could crossover to audiences of stuff like Horror, wrestling, true crime, 1%-ers, whatever.

Was Mrs. Voorhees a model single mother?

Not really but was she any worse than Mrs Myers? Tough question. She definitely shouldn’t be supervising kids swimming classes any time and doesn’t like she knew the value of a well balanced, nourishing diet. Or being strict about homework before play time.

Would you rather have coffee with Slayer or tea with King Diamond?

DEAD SKIN MASK. Gotta be Slayer. One of the ‘big 4’ and we love a bit of South Of Heaven and ‘Reign In Blood’.

Where do you see the band headed in the future?

For the moment just YouTube lol There are a few historical clips of us on Tom’s personal channel – acoustic at National Record Store day in 2008 and a few more, currently no plans for shows but that may or may not change, but right now we have some very recent newborns to deal with. It’s humbling and great to still get interview requests and we had a few news pieces from different webzines in all of UK, USA, Canada, Italy, Australia and France in 2017 which was wicked. Some old stuff is out there if you search though – fan recorded tracks from gigs, Angel Of Metal interviews and other bits.

Tom, Paul, and Kev- Thank You so much for talking with me and answering a few questions for the fans and readers!

Many thanks for your time and questions Russell and huge thanks to HORROR ADDICTS!!