Frightening Flix meets Kbatz Krafts: Decorating Like Dark Shadows!

Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz details the inspirations, budget, logistics, and compromises in outfitting a basement studio with a Dark Shadows theme. From carpet and painting to walls and storage, come along for the pros and cons of taking on a redecoration during a pandemic lockdown.

 

 

 

Next Kbatz defines the vintage seating and multipurpose work zones in the re-envisioned Dark Shadows inspired basement studio – complete with maximizing spaces, aesthetic heating options, and craft organization tips. There’s also a not so intrusive cat and one pesky basement pole.

 

 

It’s heaps of orange for the Dark Shadows inspired basement with unique furniture, thrift finds, pumpkin crafts, retro refreshed lamps, and textile accessories as the studio starts coming together into a cohesive room despite bugs, ugly fluorescent lighting, and the struggle to stay motivated in difficult times.

 

Stay tuned for the finished results!

 

For More Kbatz Krafts as well as Frightening Flix, revisit:

DIY Cardboard Tombstones

Dark Shadows Video Review

Dracula (2020)

For more Project Photos, Follow Kbatz Krafts on Facebook  and  thank you for being part of Horror Addicts.net and enjoying our video, podcast, and media coverage!

Kbatz Kraft: Goth Parasol Upgrade

Last year I picked up an old cane umbrella at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for half the $1 sticker price. Yes, fifty cents! Though functioning, this decades-old umbrella feels delicate. Areas on the black canvas are faded and there are a few pinprick holes in the fabric. However, with the right details, this for pennies find can become the perfect goth parasol!

While the honey-colored wood handle and point are superior to modern plastic, the color doesn’t match any of my summer straw hats and bags. Fortunately, a day’s work with 80 grit sandpaper, a generous coat of Jacobean stain, and a semi-gloss topcoat create a fresh, dark finish. Rather than a recognizable bamboo or cherry, this wood smelled sweet when sanded – perhaps a good old hickory. For walking, this all-black exterior cane is sophisticated, but I left the interior stem its original warm wood color. When opened, the vintage shaft advertises old fashioned craftsmanship compared to cold contemporary metal, and inside the canopy where the notch locks there’s a piece of tape with the previous owner’s name. Instead of destroying such unexpected history, I stuck the price tag next to it, embracing a fifty-cent, fifty-year conversation piece with a story to tell. Thanks, Joseph!

After the rough stuff comes the expected parasol lace. Gathered straight lace from that three dollar cumbersome clearance roll last seen on my Victorian Bonnet became a delicious flounce sewn around the end point easily enough, but this was not going to become multiple tiers of bridal shower ruffles or baby bows and cutesy swag. More time-consuming lace both hand-gathered and machine sewed on a black ribbon was glued down to cover the faded canvas edge – just enough romanticism without being twee or too heavy. Although I couldn’t do much about the overall faded fabric, those pinprick holes could be disguised with sequin ribbon from my stash. Trails of sequins were glued over the imperfections, which when open, reflect some sunshine for a final ooh la la. Did I forget to mention this has a cute little button closure instead of lame modern Velcro? Oh yes!

With on hand craft supplies, $4 stain, and sandpaper found in the garage, for under $12 I have a priceless looking parasol with history and craftsmanship that can’t be found in those tiny yet expensive and not made to last Halloween knockoffs. Certainly, there are much more involved ways to do a complete parasol retrofit, but with the right affordable materials and glam vision, anyone can ritz up an umbrella for a sunny day in dark times. The most difficult thing here was waiting on fair weather to work outdoors. I’m too superstitious!

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts or Frightening Flix including:

Gothic Thrift Alterations

Upgrading Masquerade Masks

Gothic Romance Video Review

For more detailed Project Photos, Follow Kbatz Krafts on Facebook! 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kbatzkrafts/

Kbatz Kraft: Gothic Dark Shadows Sconces

Anyone else love those giant candelabras in the Collinwood foyer on Dark Shadows? Over the years I’ve collected some fine iron stands and hefty glam candlesticks, but such tall electric faux mood is obviously tough to find. This past holiday season, however, inspiration in creating my own imitation struck thanks to wrapping paper rolls and Christmas tree ornaments. Yes!

Upon finishing the wrapping paper, I swished the empty cardboard roll like a lightsaber as you do, but could these large tubes become a supersized Halloween Candle Cluster? Tea light toppers seemed too small, but eureka the Dollar Store came through once again with oversized light bulb shaped ornaments! Of course, they’re supposed to hang upside down, however sitting upright on top the cardboard rolls they’re perfect for that mid-century mood. A few hours and mixed coats of orange, red, and gold paint later, that bold flame faux was in full Dark Shadows effect. The location in mind for these candle imitations, unfortunately, is a small spot with little floor room for any ornate base – perhaps a re-purposed tall lamp or plant stand. On what then could I set my faux candle rolls? I spent the winter browsing ugly brass and plastic sconce shelves in the thrift store yet none were the right size, shape, or material for this old fashioned Dark Shadows look. Sconces would keep the floor free, but perusing home improvement stores didn’t yield any kind of affordable corbel or ye olde wooden plaque, either. Then, #stayathome forced my search online, and after a late night scouring on Amazon, I finally found a set of reasonably sized sconce shelves with an ornate scroll motif in the spirit of those big old candelabras. My black heart could see passed their white finish thanks to some handy burnt umber paint! The interior scrolls were painted black for dark definition, and after two umber coats, a yellow ochre dry brush added a bronzed patina.

Initially, the cardboard rolls were cut into four twelve-inch and two fourteen-inch candle pillars. Glue drips around the top created that faux melting wax, and the painted bulbs were glued on top. The bulb height, however, made the candles too tall for the shelves, so they were cut down to two ten-inch and one twelve-inch pillar per sconce. After a white base coat, more yellow ochre mixed with a dash of brown added dimension to the glue drips before mixing the white with the yellow ochre for a creamy, antique finish. The completed candles with bulbs were glued to the sconce, though the candle base felt bare compared to the Dark Shadows lamps with metal foliage accents. A $5 roll of metal craft trim from Amazon worked splendidly once painted with black and ochre for an aged look and glued in place (and I used the remaining piece to make an impromptu tiara, as you do in a pandemic amirite?) Although I spent more than usual for the sconce shelves at $20 for a set of four, the “only a few left” and delayed shipping fears are what really kick-started this three-day project into action. With $2 for wrapping paper, $6 for the bulbs, and $5 for paint and glue sticks already in stash, $38 total is an affordable, fun homage compared to a much more complex electrical redesign or antique purchase.

These gothic mock sconces were a case of working with what I had, finding inexpensive items to use in new ways, and paying more for a completed vision. It’s difficult to hold out for the right pieces or even see creative value in these tough times, but ideas and inspirations can still become a reality! There is however, a certain irony to making fake Dark Shadows candles imitating a real electric lamp that was fake candles – “vampires pretending to be humans pretending to be vampires.”

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts and Frightening Flix including:

Dark Shadows Video Review

DIY Cardboard Coffin

Painting it Black

For more step by step Project Photos, Follow Kbatz Krafts on Facebook

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kbatzkrafts/

Kbatz Kraft: DIY Flower Pens

I love zany pens – especially goofy or oversize flower pens and buy a bunch at a time whenever I see them in the Dollar Store so I have a back up when one runs out of ink. Yes, the bane of these fun conversation pieces (that no one can nonchalantly steal from us overprotective pen lovers) is that eventually, the ink ceases to flow. Occasionally I’ll leave a cool one in the pen cup, but then you inevitably end up grasping for that one working pen among the pretty but useless accumulation. Bulk pen options online look to be only cutesy daisies or rose wedding favors that feel cheap – a bud topped on a pen wrapped in ribbon. Well then, I can do that my tacky self!

Our on hand ingredients are simple:
*back to school clearance stick pens
*assorted thrift store flowers
*dollar store floral tape.

1.) After cutting single stems from the floral bunches to the length of the pen without its cap, hold the stem and pen firmly together and start wrapping the tape at the bottom of the pen.

2.) Once it is tightly started, continue winding the tape around the pen and stem – the green tape sticks to itself and any rough spots can be smoothed.

3.) At the top of the pen – just beneath the flower – the tape edge can be folded to cover the pen top.

OPTIONAL: On a few flower pens, I hot glued extra leaves from the floral bunches beneath the flower to hide any troublesome gaps.

Mine are red flowers with just the green floral tape stem, but for more dramatic looks one can use a longer flower length, feathers for faux quills, or go totally goth garden with black flowers and a black wrapped ribbon finish. My bunch inside a reused dark candle jar looks misleadingly real, and my husband said, “So THAT’S where you’ve been hiding the pens!”

This craft feels deceptively simple and almost not even worth sharing. However, during these stay at home initiatives, it’s the perfect time to revitalize old artificial flowers as something both summer vase decorative and useful fresh for that new at-home office or classroom. The kids can ritz up their writing utensils with bemusing toppers with this spare change fun, and the best part is that when the pen runs out of ink, you can remove the flowers for another project and make more themed pens per season.

Halloween pen bouquets, oh yes!

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

Repurposed Black Topiaries

Creepy Cloches

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkins Video

For more Project Photos, Follow Kbatz Krafts on Facebook! 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kbatzkrafts/

Kbatz Kraft: Gothic Thrift Alterations

For those looking to build a vintage wardrobe or add sophisticated pieces to your closet, second-hand shopping such as Goodwill or thrift stores is a great way to find unique styles at affordable prices. Occasionally, however, a great outfit may have one or two problems – a missing button, hemming, or other size adjustments. Even if you are new to sewing or fearful of minor tailoring, this kind of customized alteration can really make a thrift find zing.

In this video, Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz shows you easy fixes, quick stitches and taking in tricks as well as what to look for such as detailed handwork or designer extras. For a few dollars and some sewing practice, altering thrift finds can lead to unique trendsetting and fashion that makes you feel good.

 

Thank you for being part of Horror Addicts.net and enjoying our video, podcast, and media coverage!

Our Horror Addicts.net Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/horroraddicts.net

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Tell Kbatz what you’d like to see with our Online Survey: https://forms.gle/3CE4LjFTLLxxyedK6

 

 

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including: 

Upgrading Masquerade Masks

Victorian Bonnets and Capes

Gothic Romance Video Review

For More pictures, Follow Kbatz Krafts on Instagram! 

 

Kbatz Kraft: Upgrading Masquerade Masks

It’s that time of year when masks pepper the stores – ritzy but cheap playthings for an evening masquerade or Mardi Gras. I picked up a few at the Dollar Store and found another at the thrift shop, and although these are a little flimsy or faux plain, that just means they can be properly jazzed up with more feathers, glam, and accessories.

Of course, one can immediately tell the difference between the slightly more expensive three dollar thrift mask compared to the two different Dollar Store styles thanks to the central red plumes and structured mask. The sequin trim had come undone in a few places, but outside of those glue gun repairs, this didn’t need anything else. I actually found another small red and black mask in my stash – clearance from Joann’s with lace designs and a solid shape but otherwise plain. Adding red and black feathers anchored with a black flower jazz up one side, and although I am tempted to ritz it up further, it’s feminine and petite style creates a his and hers bargain with its thrift mate. The purple Dollar Store mask is embellished and sturdy, but one measly flower is hardly a worthy accessory! Contrasting yellow feathers from a feather assortment add immediate pop alongside purple ones while white feathers match the silver and white trim already on the mask. With hot glue on the stems, I layered and arranged the feathers behind the flower, and beneath it I glued some dangling, glittery purple berry picks invoking grapes and bacchanal flavor. Also from the Dollar Store, these little balls chip or break off easily, so I secured trouble spots with purple glitter hot glue sticks. These accessories have visual weight but aren’t heavy on the mask, and a dash more feathers on the left corner create festive balance to complete the look.

More holiday picks and swirly clips from my craft stash certainly look party-ready, but they are much too heavy for the black Dollar Store mask. It has a lot of moody black feathers on its right, however, the mask itself is flat and flimsy. Unlike the others, this also has a holding stick rather than a tie around the head. In need of heft in glam without weight, long black leaves from Dollar Store bunches did the trick – creating height and three-dimensional shape for the flat facade. A new gray and silver flower also cut from a cheap floral bunch anchored the leaves while silver glitter branches become lightweight but eye-catching sprigs. At this point, I went overboard adding shiny branches around the top and bottom of the mask for more dimension and trim before anchoring the left side with a sparkly little bat. This did make the mask feel heavy – I probably should have backed it with some sturdy materials before I decorated it – but I couldn’t resist something a little, you know, Kbatz. To compensate for the heft, I added a tassel and ribbon tie at the bottom of the stick, so one could let the mask dangle at the wrist while one dances, as you do.

Outside of eight dollars for four masks, costs here mainly come in hot glue, feathers, and florals if you don’t have already have a craft stash. Even when calculating those crafting essentials likewise found affordably at the dollar or hobby stores, upgrading cheaper masks for a night or two of revelry costs far less than the elaborate but expensive and not necessarily better quality masks found at the Halloween shops or party chains. These Dollar Store upgrades are an affordable way for anyone to get creative with something customized and unique at the masquerade. Why not? Go wild! There’s always room for another feather!

 

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

Re-purposed Black Topiaries

Creepy Cloches

Victorian Bonnets and Capes

 

Thank you for being part of Horror Addicts.net and enjoying our video, podcast, and media coverage! Join the Costuming Conversations on our HorrorAddicts.net Facebook Group or tell Kbatz what you’d like to see with our Online Survey

 

For Additional Photos, visit Kbatz Krafts on Instagram!

Kbatz Kraft: Mini Coffin Tray

Have you ever hung a table picture frame and been so annoyed by the little stand in the back interfering against the wall that you’ve ripped it off? No? That’s just me?

I looked at these little picture backs with my cheap and spooky mind and thought, “Gee, they look like coffins!” But what could I do with them to show off their unusual shape? Some kind of cemetery diorama like the ones we used to make in school would be decorative but not necessarily useful. Would it be more efficient if this little cemetery was displayed openly on a serving tray? Kooky yet functional! Rather than cheap plastic or a Halloween themed platter that would be flimsy or too cutesy, I found a great old fashioned tray at Goodwill for $2. This chipped and worn cream with gold scroll work was going to become brown for that earthen look – the paint known as ‘nutmeg’ strikes again!

Obviously I could not repaint the entire intricate scroll design but went over some of the vine motifs on the corners in lime green paint for a creepy brier look. Of course, this lucked upon step was time consuming and took a few coats of both the green paint as well as the surrounding brown. I am not an artist, but I am a perfectionist, and some of the brush strokes are apparent if you take a closer look. After three or four coats, I could convince myself real creepy vines and cemetery dirt would have imperfections, however there are probably better stencils, brushes, and skills if you are intentionally going for an elaborate Halloween design. Although this paint doesn’t specifically say it glows in the dark, the lime is bright enough to do so – another fun bonus!

Despite already being dark, I painted the frame stands turned coffins black, hiding lingering sticker marks on the back while the brush strokes became fitting faux wood grain. I wanted a simple ‘R.I.P.’ in white to emphasis them as coffins, but the white paint picked up the marker tracings, leaving the phrase, well, peach. Maybe one could excuse it as a touch of Halloween orange, but I didn’t like it. When I started to go over the letter again with the brush I used for the black paint, I ended up with another ‘happy accident’ just like Bob Ross says. The darker dry brush picked up some of the surface texture – aging my peachy R.I.P. Like vintage erosion. Whew!

At last, my little coffin family was ready to go on the tray, staying upright with some basic glue and tape. After touching up the bottoms of the coffins with more black and covering the rest of the tape lines with my trusty nutmeg, I glued some green moss around the bases. This covered my imperfections and base support with a final spooky mound, and if you look closely, I used green glitter glue sticks in case any of the glue shows. Naturally, one should not put food directly on this kind of painted tray nor use it for a lot of grabby trick or treater hands. True artists would probably also use some sort of glossy sealant to protect their designs, but for me, a shiny top coat didn’t go with the graveyard mood.

Of course, one doesn’t have to make a three dimensional cemetery tray. Kids can spend a fun October weekend painting much simpler platters and gluing on an array of bugs, spiders, fake fingers, toy eyeballs, or anything that fits your Halloween theme. This idea works perfectly as a fun centerpiece whatever your inspiration and style, obnoxious picture backs or not.

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkins

Spooky Spellbooks

Tea Stained Labels and Spooky Bottles

Creepy Cloches

It’s a Pumpkin Cat House

Kbatz Kraft: Paint it Black

Like The Rolling Stones said, sometimes when you want a little morose, all you need is a hefty coat of black paint. A $4 grab bag of bowl filler from our trusty Mr. Goodwill helped me prove this theory as traditional balls and gourds became rustic orbs and goth glam. Shiny brass or holiday gold candlesticks and sconces likewise become sophisticated, useful pieces year-round, and Dollar Store frames turned into expensive-looking conversation pieces.

As discussed in my Re-purposed Black Topiaries project, painting floral items black is more involved, but worth the spooky look. When I picked up another holiday vase filled with pine and poinsettia greenery for $3, out came the flowers and everything else was spray painted black – tacky gold base, leaves, stems, and all. Touch-ups were needed for some of the smaller needles, but now I have a black floral base that can change with the season. After some cream and blush color flowers on the empty picks for the summer, it’s all black flowers for Halloween, red for the holidays, purple for winter, and white for spring. Customizing fake flora displays at the craft store can get pricey, but for $5 including spray paint, I have not just one one of kind centerpiece, but five.

Perhaps everything all black all the time would be too much for some, but one or two black accent pieces can be classic or rustic to suit your décor without being expensive. After last year’s Spooky Bottles and Tea Stained Labels, black paint came to rescue when I wanted to add more creepy jars to my shelf. Saving a few unique bottles from the recycling, painting them black, and wrapping rustic twine around the tops adds a touch of mystery to any apothecary. Have anything broken and useless lingering in your garage? I took apart the base of a damaged silver lamp, removed the wiring and painted the pieces black for a few more goth candle holders.

When my mom gave me this little lantern house – bought for pennies at the thrift store – I was tempted to keep the tin look. However, it felt a bit too country amid the rest of my décor. So I painted it all black for a fun light not just for Halloween, but something that can be used year-round. For those fearful of bigger crafts and projects or those hesitant to go bold and expensive with dark, sophisticated colors, painting smaller items black is a can’t go wrong, affordable touch for any room or season.

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkins

Spooky Spellbooks

Tea Stained Labels and Spooky Bottles

Creepy Cloches

It’s a Pumpkin Cat House

Pumpkin Ottomans, Oh Yes

DIY Halloween Candle Clusters

Kbatz Kraft: Cardboard Tombstones Video How-To!

Why paint just one box gray when you can make use of all your cardboard boxes for an entire DIY Graveyard?

Check out Yours Truly Kbatz in My Latest Video for details on the pros and cons of making your own Cardboard Cemetery!

 

Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz gets a little BATTY in showing how you, yes YOU can make your very own Customized Cardboard Tombstones for the BEST Halloween Haunt in YOUR Neighborhood! Also featuring Giant Pumpkins, Scary Basements, and One Pesky Feline.

 

Thank you for being part of Horror Addicts.net and enjoying our Video, Podcast, and Media Coverage!

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkins

Spooky Spellbooks

Tea Stained Labels and Spooky Bottles

Creepy Cloches

It’s a Pumpkin Cat House

Pumpkin Ottomans, Oh yes

THE CROW Twitter Watch Party – Tonight

RFBANNER

Horror Addicts, in honor of the new book release, Requiem in Frost, HorrorAddicts.net and Jonathan Fortin would like to invite you to a Twitter Watch Party! We’ll be watching the dark and brooding beauty of 1994’s The Crow, beginning at 8 pm PST tonight.  So, pop your popcorn, take a seat, and get your tweet on.

WHO: Jonathan Fortin and HorrorAddicts.net

WHAT: THE CROW Twitter Watch Party

WHERE: Twitter

WHEN: Tonight at 8:00 PST

Stay Spooky!

THE CROW Twitter Watch Party

RFBANNER

Horror Addicts, in honor of the new book release, Requiem in Frost, HorrorAddicts.net and Jonathan Fortin would like to invite you to a Twitter Watch Party! We’ll be watching the dark and brooding beauty of 1994’s The Crow, beginning at 8 pm PST on Tuesday, October 1st.  So, pop your popcorn, take a seat, and get your tweet on.

WHO: Jonathan Fortin and HorrorAddicts.net

WHAT: THE CROW Twitter Watch Party

WHERE: Twitter

WHEN: Tuesday, October 1, 8:00 PST

Stay Spooky!

Kbatz Kraft: Re-Purposed Black Topiaries

When macabre aficionados such as ourselves are looking for unique wares, it pays to shop at your local thrift stores, Goodwill, and charity shops. One of a kind donated items and inventory rotate regardless of season – meaning not only can you get Halloween items in June, but you can also find other holiday items to take from trash to sophisticated treasure.

I’m always looking out for florals, wreaths, or other stems to cut up and Kraft, and I stared at these Christmas style fruit bowls and toparies for quite some time wondering how I could Halloween ’em up, so to speak. Spray painting the fake, dated brass bases was an obvious choice, but the glittery fake waxy fruits of yore were not paintable. For $2 a piece thanks to the Goodwill half off tag, however, I could go with the gothic glam of red apples, purple grapes, and gold pineapples.

At home, I took the bowls and trees apart, sorting the fruits in bags to assure I was putting the right stems back into their correct topiary. Yes, the bases would be gloss black, but I decided to spray paint the leaves black also to further contrast the fruits. It took multiple coats for as much full coverage of the leaves as possible. Of course, the styrofoam core absorbs a lot of spray paint, and the fabric leaves certainly needed touch ups after drying for a few days. Fortunately, regular black acrylic craft paint did the trick for any of the green undersides remaining, although when totally dried, some of the leaves looked more gray than true black. Rather than more coats that may not have any better result, however, that touch of gray adds a black, but old, aged, memento mori style.

There was actually a full size fake tree in the store as well, the kind that retails for $100 green and more for autumn or black tree varieties. Even for $8, the based was damaged and there were just too many leaves to spray paint once, twice, three times, or touch up every single one. After seeing how these leaves took to the black paint and touch ups, I’m glad I passed on that big, leafy tree!

Certainly nothing was going to be in the exact same place when it came time to put the assorted fruit arrangements back in their rightful spots. It took a bit of sticking here, having to remove a pick there and arranging to make sure there weren’t too many pears or apples in a row. All this pick and play, however, did get a little messy. Glittery bits and bobs got everywhere! Be sure to line your table or floor with some paper or plastic and keep the vacuum or broom handy.

This isn’t a family friendly project, more something for the Victorian florist indeed. It also takes a bit of luck in finding the right floral nothing to make into gothic something. However always keep an eye out for holiday greenery you can take for a Halloween spin. For two toparies, two fruit bowls, and a few cans of paint, I paid under $12. My cheap self was ecstatic to see the original price of the tall toparies when I peeled the Goodwill sticker off the bottoms: $24.95 each!

Initially these pieces looked old, sentimental, and eighties faux expensive. There was a time when this kind of artificial style was everywhere each December. Store bought autumn topiaries, Halloween trees, and festive fall bowls today are often very expensive, too – a luxury item not easy to find or cost effective to make. By shopping alternatively for older seasonal items with an October eye, you can save heaps of time and money without sacrificing on the dark, sophisticated décor.

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkins

Spooky Spellbooks

Tea Stained Labels and Spooky Bottles

Creepy Cloches

It’s a Pumpkin Cat House

Kbatz Kraft: Cardboard Tombstones Video How-To!

Why paint just one box gray when you can make use of all your cardboard boxes for an entire DIY Graveyard?

Check out Yours Truly Kbatz in My Latest Video for details on the pros and cons of making your own Cardboard Cemetery!

 

Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz gets a little BATTY in showing how you, yes YOU can make your very own Customized Cardboard Tombstones for the BEST Halloween Haunt in YOUR Neighborhood! Also featuring Giant Pumpkins, Scary Basements, and One Pesky Feline.

 

Thank you for being part of Horror Addicts.net and enjoying our Video, Podcast, and Media Coverage!

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkins

Spooky Spellbooks

Tea Stained Labels and Spooky Bottles

Creepy Cloches

It’s a Pumpkin Cat House

Pumpkin Ottomans, Oh yes

Terror Trax: I Ya Toyah

Band Name: I Ya Toyah

I am One Woman Army, Ania Tarnowska:
lyrics/composition, recording, production, vocals, guitar, keyboards

Website: iyatoyah.com

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

Opeth, Iron Maiden, Nine Inch Nails

Who are your favorite artists today?

I have a lot of favorite artists, varying in styles and it’s impossible to state just one as it’s endless list of talent I admire every day.

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Observation, conversation, nature

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

It is a Forest with a Bit of the Light- a spot in the woods not far from where I live. I named it myself but it’s my to-go place when I seek mental relaxation and peace.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

I’ve been honored to share the stage with Mortiis during his North American Tour, as well as with Grendel. I had a pleasure working with Rhys Fulber and have him remix one of my songs, “Flashback.” Mostly though, I feel the greatest achievement is to be a part of the amazing industrial electronic scene – it is a priceless experience.

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

I love playing at Crucible, Madison WI. I adore their stage, sound and green room plus hospitality and vibes of everyone…I love Reggies rock club in Chicago and really enjoyed playing at The Forge, Joliet. Another amazing place I cannot wait to return to is Club Anything, Milwaukee WI. Owner Todd is a sweetheart and the place has a certain magic that feeds you with very positive energy.

What are your favorite horror movies?

I love Strangers. It is more of a thriller but I like the authenticity of the plot. Psycho is another good one. Anything Hitchcock and David Lynch.

What was the scariest night of your life?

I was 12 and was on my way back from music school ( I studied guitar, piano, and vocal performance). My dad drove the car and we got into an accident. I remember being terrified that he will die…I ended up being the one that almost did- but I don’t remember it as I was already in a coma. The fear of losing my dad and having to tell my mom about it was paralyzing.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

I’d love to play at the venue called Dalhalla in Sweden. It is built on the rocks and shaped like an amphitheater. The setting in nature is absolutely magic and so is the sound. It is on my bucket list and as far as an opener/lineup goes, I don’t even know as there are many logistics involved, some of which would probably be out of my control.

What are you working on now for future release?

Currently, I’m working on releasing the remix of Puppet song done by Adoration Destroyed. Together with Lumbra Records we are filming and putting a dark-themed video for that song. I’m very excited as the remix is amazing!

Final thoughts.

I want to thank you for your support! You coming out to my live shows and supporting my releases makes what I do possible. I love you! ♥

Kbatz Kraft: DIY Halloween Candle Clusters

Why spend heaps on battery operated candle sets when you can save your paper towel and toilet paper rolls to make your own DIY Halloween candle clusters? Recycle, craft, and help the planet!

Of course, the reason it took me so long to do this project was because I thought there was a technical aspect to the candles – running wires from each light to a bottom base or arduino breadboard with a smartphone remote or toggle switch. To the at home computer hobbyist such advanced lighting schemes are no problem, but regular ole me had no idea how you could glue drips around a tea light yet be able to use its on off switch. Fortunately, our own illustrious horror hostess Emerian Rich made the simplest observation that there must be a shelf inside the roll to hold the candle. Huzzah!

Armed with such wisdom, I traced circles onto a piece of cardboard, cutting them out and trimming each to fit a roll before taping and gluing them inside at the tea light depth. Next I bunched my two clusters together with ten tiered rolls cum candles each, varying the designs so they are symmetrically asymmetrical rather than matched or mirror images. By stacking or cutting rolls, I could make the tiers taller or smaller, taping and gluing the rolls as needed. Rather than spray painting everything Halloween black, I chose red paint for year round décor. I debated painting all my rolls and going around their rims with the glue drops a la wax motif before gathering them together. However, I suspect that would mean I was painting in unnecessary hidden spots or stuck with glue in places that didn’t fit.

On to my trusty glue gun, I added globs of glue drips around my rolls – long drips, short lumps, globby pieces in all the nooks and crannies. Obviously, this is part of the candle look, but once hardened, the glue also added stability to the bunch and the rolls became quite sturdy. This is a time consuming detail that took a day to dry before touch ups, and in addition to clear, I used red and silver glitter glue sticks, hoping they might add a sparkly touch. For more realistic attention to detail, I also did a glue ripple around the bottom of the bunch. After Round One, I could see spots that needed more waxy drip effects, so I did another layer of glue globs to conceal any problem spots. At first, these looked really bad, obviously cheap, and barely held together. It’s not as simple as it looks – oh Etsy, glue drips and toilet paper rolls make tea lights look like big candles, yeah Pinterest!

Indeed, with different textures, thin cardboard, glue, and tape, these clusters needed several coats of paint. The more I painted and glued, fortunately, the more they really started to look like candles. The tea lights themselves also needed several paint coats. Rather than buying red that had a red light, I chose the white tea lights for their realistic glow. Originally, I wanted to do these bunches in an aged off white or creamy color. After seeing how many coats it took of red, however, I’m super glad I didn’t choose a light paint where all the tea lights could illumine every T.P. imperfection. For my final coat, I added a drop of darker paint called ‘Berry’ – last used in my Spooky Spellbook DIY – to the red base. I painted both clusters in this slightly darker hue, not worrying about every little crevice, resulting in an antique, realistic look. Now instead of obvious recycled materials, that a la wax dimension is what you see first.

For something more substantial than a plastic tray or no base at all, I picked up two silver plated trays at Goodwill for $2 each. Both clusters actually fit on one larger tray – a classy centerpiece that fits in right through all the holidays. Overall, this project took about four days with the drying time between coats as the biggest hurdle. One should also make sure the tea lights still fit as you add your gobblely glue trim. Some became snug and need to be wedge in gently. After the ins and out to turn them off and on, a few have chipped, so expect touch ups if you are going to repeatedly poke and prod at the candle lights. The 8 ounce red acrylic paint was $4 and a pack of 24 tea lights was $8, both from Amazon. So for around $16, I have two stylish, unique candle clusters compared to at least $20 for one from Spirit or gasp $80 at Pier 1 – neither of which appear to be available online this season. Of course, with store bought battery candles, once one burns out or there is a remote timer problem, they often don’t work anymore. When one of these goes bad, I can just change the tea light!

Though not necessary a family friendly project, one can customize these faux candle clusters – creepy face designs, blood drips on white candles, go huge by using tubes or piping instead of towel rolls, or dozens of individual rolls can become an entire room of Harry Potter floating ceiling candles. We all certainly use enough T.P.!

Revisit more Kbatz Krafts including:

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkins

Spooky Spellbooks

Tea Stained Labels and Spooky Bottles

Creepy Cloches

It’s a Pumpkin Cat House

Pumpkin Ottomans, Oh Yes

Terror Trax: CADAVERIA

CADAVERIA

Cadaveria, vocals
Marçelo Santos, drums
Peter Dayton, bass
Live guitarist: Enrico Toselli
CONTACT:
http://www.cadaveria.com
https://www.facebook.com/cadaveria
Twitter: @cadaveriaofficial
Album/Song/Tour
We are excited about right now Far Away From Conformity, remixed and remastered:
http://www.cadaveria.com/web/shop/far-away-from-conformity-cd-digipack-2017/

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

Venom, Mercyful Fate, Sepultura.

Who are your favorite artists today?

Tool

What non-musical things inspire your music?

Cinema, poetry, life.

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

My soul.

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?

To release five studio albums, a double DVD and many music videos, to play lots of gigs all around the world and to be 100% independent.

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

Mexico always welcomes CADAVERIA with a great enthusiasm and we love Mexico back.

What are your favorite horror movies?

Profondo Rosso, Nosferatu, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari

What was the scariest night of your life?

When I discovered I have a cancer.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

I would like to tour the US.

What are you working on now for future release?

I’m writing some lyrics for CADAVERIA sixth album.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?

Enjoy every single moment of your life.

 

 

FRIGHTENING FLIX: Revisiting Poe Video Review

Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz (and a special feline guest) discusses new appreciations in revisiting the short fiction of Edgar Allan Poe including The Fall of the House of Usher and The Tell Tale Heart in addition to comparing and contrasting the Vincent Price and Roger Corman Poe Film Adaptations.

 

 

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FRIGHTENING FLIX BY KBATZ: Penny Dreadful Season 3

Penny Dreadful Season Three a Disappointing Finale

by Kristin Battestella

I loved me some Penny Dreadful. Previously, I watched the First Two seasons twice or more before writing my reviews a few months after I had simmered in the immersion of all things sophisticated Victorian macabre. I re-watched the entire series again when finishing this obviously late review, but Season Three’s still blindsiding finale and haphazard resolution of the series undermines the glorious potential that was yet to be found in Penny Dreadful.

Year Three hits the ground running with some delightful circumstances in “The Day Tennyson Died.” Our quirky little family of evil fighters – Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), and His Monster (Rory Kinnear) – is scattered about the globe from London to the Old West and Africa to the frozen north. Their townhouse base is shabby with covered furniture and piled mail before the titular solemn and lovely poetic references reconnect old friends with tenderness and sympathy. After all they’ve been through, those in London are allowed to stew and cry – unlike the unforgiving railroad and lawless land of the New Mexico Territory. Though blindingly bright compared to the British bleak, there’s an underlying ominous to the witches and werewolves among the lawmen. Letters from Africa with burials made right also find Chiricahua Indians in the most unlikely Zanzibar alley while faraway frozen trawlers debate cannibalism and melodies remind monsters of when they were men. Famous names face racism at Bedlam as pale minions with anemia excuses lurk. Penny Dreadful has a lot to do but does it with superb conversations, new allies, and bloody vignettes. “Predators Far and Near” adds vintage photography, jurisdiction technicalities, a modified barber’s chair for experimenting on patients, and fear of the gramophone cylinders recording one’s sin. Therapy confessions recount prior indiscretions, but the prescription for godless loneliness is doing something innocent and happy no matter how small. Women debate on light and dark souls while men bond over their love of daughters and a son not birthed to them but bound with their suffering. Talbot family history, ritual chanting, and colorful vision quests counter the sophisticated Victorian science lectures and whimsical memories of adventures the likes of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. Unfortunately, our dreadfuls are more familiar with lunatics and monsters rather than childhood heroes, with Jekyll and Hyde-esque transformations on crazed victims, deceptively charming courtships, a wise Apache woman reminiscent of the fortune teller in The Wolf Man, and a desert full moon to aide one’s bone cracking escape.

Unholy alliances between witches and the Wolf of God continue in “Good and Evil Braided Be.” Is it the beast or angel, good or evil that’s the real persona? Does the mind create phantoms and demons to explain the darkness and pain? Do you bury the animal inside or unleash it? Between the werewolf curse, divided locales, tug and pull father figures, and hints of Hyde, Penny Dreadful creates superb dual themes alongside several racial moments and of the time derogatory Native American comments. Sophisticated light and dark visuals and good and evil motifs are interwoven against crudeness, triumphing over those who define what’s black and white or right and wrong solely based upon skin tone rather than soul. The audience isn’t hit on the head with the social commentary, but one scene beautifully addresses the sadly still lingering attitudes upfront. New, risky hypnosis techniques further retrace past darkness and despair in Episode Four “A Blade of Grass.” Memories and present offices blur in a dreamy act with current doctors and familiar faces in unexpected places uncovering new revelations of a forgotten padded white room. In camera foregrounds and backgrounds accent the confined or expanded four walls as needed with overhead views, zooms, face to face close ups, and wide angle warped. Finite descriptions of precious few details, amplified sounds, and demon shadows match the kindness of an orderly or the evils that await. Precious blankets are taken away amid growling, crying, straight jackets, and water torture. Can God find you in a place like this or are you alone? Our patient fears the evil within and wants to die over the betrayals and sins committed, yet the tender bonding with her jailer turned poetic advocate provides an unlikely compassion. Whether you can face yourself in the mirror or not, these fugue state manifestations overcome evil with the truth at Christmas in one excellent parable. The least amount of effects, minimal characters, and few locales leave nothing but the emotion and anguish upon their faces. It’s divine, just everything television should be and perhaps the best episode of the entire series.

And then, somehow, Penny Dreadful went to shit.

Series writer and creator John Logan hands Penny Dreadful over to new writers mid season – a maneuver suggesting a viable transition rather than leaving unknowns to resolve your planned finale with rushed characters and compressed stories. Andrew Hinderaker (Pure Genius) pens “This World Is Our Hell” with The West as a barren purgatory full of symbolic multi-layered pursuits on who the righteous should save or whom the evil would kill. Water is scarce among the grave sins and shame worn as redemption; forgiveness versus temptation comes in revealing fireside chats recounting past ambushes and the difficulty of serving multiple masters – fathers, duty, Lucifer. Unfortunately, these lofty topics are undone by nonsensical mysticism. Witches can summon snakes to conveniently wipe out pursuers but cannot heal injured mounts or conjure water and dying people somehow have enough energy for awkward evil sex after days of thirst. The Victorian mad science and desert shootouts jar in an anchor-less back and forth when the confrontations between our converging father figures are more interesting. Lengthy exposition on past horrors feels odd in a series that often shows rather than tells. Why not have an entire Talbot past hour the way “Closer than Sisters” showed us how Penny Dreadful really began? Otherwise the audience is left confused over who’s really at fault for the faithful turning evil. It was Ethan’s dad’s fault for making it the army’s fault who made the Apaches to blame??? Penny Dreadful always had pacing issues and uneven characters, but this Old West excursion could have ditched the dead weight characters and been back to London in half the time. I don’t think it is necessarily Hinderaker and newcomer Krysty Wilson-Cairns’ fault, but “No Beast So Fierce” throws even more at the screen with too many threads regarding who’s evil or who’s the law amid busy shootouts, vampire minions, Bedlam serums, how to kill a man tutorials, Egyptian wonders unrealized, and new steampunk introductions. What’s supposed to be important – monsters being kind to sick children or sassy sword wielding new characters? If the key to defeating evil is holding fast to loved ones, why has our family been apart all season? Perhaps one writer should have been responsible for one set of characters the entire year, as Dracula’s apparently content to wait out the cowboy adventure while other isolated and aimless immortal plans go round and round and pull Penny Dreadful apart at the seams.

Penny Dreadful has an innate melancholy – cemeteries, grave digging, mourning shrouds – but the dark romance is used for unnecessary preachy in “Ebb Tide.” Separated characters finally meet, but one knock on the door and a brief scene reconciling the past and present is not enough. Friends that could fill this empty manor and fight the bloodshed are pushed away while our team in the West doesn’t heed ancestral warnings. Despite insisting London is home, characters remain obstinate just for the sake of creating drama, leading to contrived betrayals and more speeches begging for the fast forward button. Touching conversations on who will bury whom are interwoven with weaker plots, straying from the core and repeating exposition we already know. Visions unite players who have been apart but such mystic conversations and wisdom on rescuing one another from darkness should have happened much sooner – two episodes ago, nobody cared. Krysty Wilson-Cairns writes the quick at forty-three minutes “Perpetual Night,” and it’s the shortest episode of Penny Dreadful when the series desperately needed more time. The boys rush back to Londontown amid foggy cityscapes, morbid voiceovers, tasty frogs multiplying, and rats amok. Dead wolves and toothy minions everywhere require swift blade work and fireplace pokers to stave off vampire infections – but no one thought to call Dr. Frankenstein away from Bedlam’s dungeon when people are said to be dying by the thousands? Penny Dreadful bites off more than it can chew, takes too long to achieve what matters, and spits out the excess when there’s no time left. Ironically, the “The Blessed Dark” finale also delays, saving choice moments with its stars rather than going full tilt with the dream hazy, bodies on hooks, and bats as sad lullabies over the special credits recap the sad state of our separate characters. It’s very exciting to see the reunions and werewolves fighting vampires in true monster mash up fashion as it should be – Dr. Jekyll passes by as Dr. Seward hypnotizes Renfield! As a season finale, this hour provides closing moments on some toiling plots. However, as a series finale, it barely resolves anything. Brief mentions on her destiny, his destiny, and previous prophecies don’t make sense anymore, and Victor literally bumps into the gang at Bedlam. The team is together again by accident! Major moments with his monsters earn one scene each, and none of those super strong immortals join the End of the DaysTM battle. Instead, bad ass walking down the street filler and a few ridiculously outnumbered pistols struggle with conveniently confusing action choreography. Bitter ties to the First Season become unrealized tangents, and new characters are inexplicably more steadfast than our original crew. Four episodes ago, life was worth fighting for but now isolated characters give up because the script says they should in a one hundred and eighty degree turn that’s painful to see end this way.

Vanessa Ives begins alone, a recluse living in squalor before rising thanks to words and wits with her therapist. Eva Green’s heroine cleans up and humbly restores the manor. Despite losing her faith, Vanessa is inspired by Joan of Arc’s confidence and says she will remain resolute. Oddly, she doesn’t seem as psychic or intuitive anymore and fails to recognize evil tendencies she previously pegged so astutely. It’s sad to see Vanessa open herself, revisiting innocent things that make her happy or having a man’s company once again end in terror. She’s willingly hypnotized to face her repressed psychiatry treatment, addressing her past doubts, regrets, and battles with Lucifer. “A Blade of Grass” shows her at rock bottom before a ray of hope and renewed prayers – if you believe in evil, then you must believe God is there to defeat it. Unfortunately, Penny Dreadful squanders the Lucifer issues, fast tracks Dracula, and circumvents Vanessa’s body and soul versus the fallen brothers with a past event cheating viewers out of a current victory. Vanessa can sense and see Kaetenay when the plot says so, but her lack of psychosexual possession and failed insights inexplicably have her give up despite knowing overdue help is on the way. Green saves this sloppy writing and deserved more hardware for Penny Dreadful. I don’t blame her if she recognized the tone had changed and was ready to depart. The series could have continued in searching for an evil Vanessa as an absent lead a la Blake’s 7 rather than two scenes with bad girl red eye shadow trying to make up for rushing to resolve Vanessa’s story. Josh Hartnett’s Ethan “Lawrence Talbot” Chandler is also not only reluctant to see his real father, but he’s angry at being adopted as Kaetenay’s Apache son. Ethan knows there is blood on his teeth and his soul deserving of punishment and wears his guilt on his sleeve. Unfortunately, his history comes from three different sources – so for all this New Mexico excursion, we don’t get a clear picture. The Wolf of God also spends about fifteen minutes being evil, standing up for Hecate over Malcolm because he won’t repent and belongs in hell. Ethan speaks evil prayers at the dinner table, but isn’t this the guy who’s Latin single-handedly exorcised Vanessa? His reciting of the Lord’s Prayer in the finale feels hollow thanks to his satanic reversal just a few episodes earlier. Was Ethan’s western escapade and Vanessa’s evil each meant to be it’s own season storyline? They both have a scene or two of darkness, and one moment in the finale doesn’t make up for Ethan’s back and forth. Meanwhile, Sarah Greene as Hecate travels in white, an unassuming Gibson girl who loves horses and animals but loathes people. She wants to be evil beside Ethan, but her powers are both handy or nonsense as needed. Hecate kills unnecessary to teach him a lesson and lingers too long in this uneven capacity – crowding an already busy Penny Dreadful while not being a character in her own right. The English Sean Glider (Hornblower) may be an unusual choice as a U.S. Marshall, but his crusty ways balance the British tidiness of Douglas Hodge as Inspector Rusk as they pursue Our Mr. Talbot. Rusk may ask for tea in the bar car and insist Scotland Yard Inspectors do not carry firearms, but he doesn’t underestimate the ruthless West. He begins to believe the Occult upon his case and does take up more violence as the blood on their path increases – before a thankless end, of course.

The beard is back for Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm, and even if he doesn’t know all the details, he’s ready to respect Wes Studi’s (Geronimo: An American Legend) Chiricahua Kaetenay if it will help save Ethan. Like an oasis in white in the mostly unlikely place, it’s wonderful when Malcolm and Ethan finally meet up for some shootout action. However, Malcolm really doesn’t have a whole lot to do this season beyond listening to Kaetenay. Most of his dialogue is responsive filler, and even before the surprise series finale, I suspected Dalton would not be returning for Season Four. You don’t keep a talented name without giving him quality writing, and Malcolm ends up repeating the same plot. Chasing after lost lamb Ethan, fighting a vampire to rescue Vanessa – he’s again saving his family even as his travels keep him from his home and any relationship with Victor. Malcolm could have returned to London post-Africa, maybe to meet Catriona sooner or dislike Dr. Sweet, as it’s a disservice to reduce him to little more than Kaetenay’s sidekick. That said, yes please to more of Studi’s set in his ways Apache. He still scalps because old habits die hard, but he doesn’t drink and believes one can’t die until his purpose is served. Granted, Penny Dreadful is trading the mystical negro trope for the mystical Apache stereotype, but the moonlight visions and enigmatic destiny talk tie the blood, suffering, and wolves together. Kaetenay pushes on after Ethan no matter what – he and his people have endured much but he’s prepared to face this darkness over London. There should have been more time for his revelations, and Penny Dreadful only makes use of Kaetenay when needed. It takes seven episodes for Ethan to heed his warnings about what is to come, and he should have mystically connected with Vanessa from the start. As Ethan’s father, Brian Cox (Coriolanus) also has some great one on one’s with Malcolm. They are wonderfully alike, right down to the conquest map on Jared Talbot’s wall, the mountains named after him, and an empty home as the cost. However, a boat load of family history that Ethan already knows is repeatedly told rather than seen, leaving Talbot Senior unevenly written with sorrowful or crazed exposition amid one gunshot and stand off after another. Had we seen the first terrible shootout that has him so angry, then this second battle in his ranch chapel would have had much more meaning. Kaetenay provided connecting visions when necessary, so why not have some kind of mystic Talbot dream that showed the betrayals and horrors causing all this pain?

Fortunately, Rory Kinnear’s Creature aka Caliban aka John Clare has some superb redemption on Penny Dreadful. He won’t harm a dying cabin boy, recalls more about who he was, and realizes who he may yet be after touching moments in the Fourth and Fifth episodes showing his life before his death and resurrection. He is again at the window or in the eaves, on the outside peering in on those that think he is dead. The Creature risks rejection and reaches out despite the pain, blossoming from being an angry violent child to almost the man he used to be. His resurrection allows Caliban to find his family – only to loose it again thanks to innocence versus the unnatural. This season, Clare is almost totally separate from everyone else, alone on this sympathetic journey beyond too brief moments with Vanessa, erroneously on the fringe without even seeing Dr. Frankenstein. He may piece together his past, but not enough was done with the connection between Vanessa and the Creature. She recognizes him, but not him her, and Penny Dreadful cops out by resolving their past in a flashback. Again, just because we the audience saw it does not mean the characters themselves received any current resolution. Why didn’t Caliban ever knock on Malcolm’s door? He would have been welcome in this misfit family dang nabbit! Reeve Carney’s Dorian Gray and Billie Piper’s Brona cum Lily Frankenstein, however, should have stayed home. By his very nature, Dorian is a supporting character that never changes. They aren’t missed when absent but Penny Dreadful uses him and Lily to shoehorn in some kind of modern feminism vengeance that goes nowhere fast with repetitive, ad nauseam speeches. Whether it is justified man hate or not, the appearance of Jessica Barden (The End of the F***ing World) as Justine perhaps a la the de Sade wastes time with back alley torture, nudity, and bloody threesomes. The warped justice is all over the place with even less to do Dorian getting stabbed for funsies before he gets bored from having seen such depravity already. Episodes grind to a halt with their round and round male behavior psychoanalysis, briefly tossing in suffragettes and violence that makes them just as bad as the abusers from who they claim to rescue women. Penny Dreadful has done better psychosexual themes, and compared to Caliban’s soul searching, Lily realizes her humanity too late in one great soliloquy that should happened the moment she was reborn, and Ethan never finds out Brona has been resurrected!!!!

Harry Treadaway’s junkie Victor Frankenstein becomes a mopey little piss ant bent on proving his superior science can conquer death, and he arrogantly thinks he can perfect on Jekyll’s methods. Maybe there’s a parallel between his wanting to create angels instead of monsters and Lily’s superior woman army, but their uneven storylines barely intersect beyond a few redundant stalker scenes and never factor into other plots. Victor goes about getting Lily back in the worst way possible, becoming like his originally angry Creature in a fitting poetic justice. He’s deluded in thinking Lily owes him anything, and it should be a great destructive character arc. However, rather than having him freaking call on Vanessa while they are both in London twiddling their thumbs, Penny Dreadful treats Frankenstein as an afterthought before one last lesson on how to be a human rather than the monster. One poetic voiceover from Victor such as, “Sir Malcolm, I hesitate to confess it now, but I must inform you I have a singular talent for defeating death as we know it…” could have ended Penny Dreadful in a uniquely twisted vein. Sadder still is that Shazad Latif (Mi-5) as Dr. Jekyll somehow turns into a handing Victor the scalpel lackey. He has history with Dr. F. – roommates and dare I say something more – and faces much “half breed” Victorian racism. Jekyll despises his white father but wants his acclaim and title to help prove his serum on anger and duality. Simply put, there is no way he was intended as a throwaway character and we deserved to know him more. Although scheduling conflicts necessitated the departure of Simon Russell Beale as Mr. Lyle, his being written off as going on assignment to Egypt just begs to be told! Did everyone forget all the prophecies on Amunet and Lucifer or the hieroglyphics carved onto the vampire bodies? Of all the friends still about London who never bother to visit, it’s Lyle who draws Vanessa out and into therapy because thanks to his closeted sexuality, he understands what it is like to be unique and alone. Of course, he might have mentioned Perdita Weeks’ (The Tudors) thanatologist Catriona Hartdegen when they were studying all that Fallen Angel and Mother of Evil stuff. She’s a woman of occult science fencing and wearing pants who doesn’t blink at the thought of Dracula being in London. Her one on one scenes with Vanessa are well done with possible replacement or lover vibes, “It’s ‘Cat’ for you, as in cat o’ nine tails.’” Wink! She calls Malcolm “Sir M” and I would have liked to see more of them together, but Catriona’s style provides a steampunk cum The Time Machine and albeit meaningless potential. Her cool fighting skills are ultimately convenient and inexplicable – if we weren’t going to learn more then all these superfluous characters should have never been introduced.

We are however given some divine new characters with Patti LuPone returning to Penny Dreadful as Dr. Florence Seward – an alienist said to have distant Clayton ancestry due to her resemblance to LuPone’s previous cut-wife role. Though rigid and progressive, Seward is there to heal the ill, who aren’t bad or unworthy, just ill. She calls out every politeness or mannerism, pegging Vanessa’s loss, isolation, and depression in delicious two-hander scenes with award worthy dialogue and delivery. A moving session recounting Vanessa’s tale, however, makes the doctor strike up a cigarette. She refuses to believe the paranormal causes or that vampires are after her patient, but she does understand pain and has some murderous history of her own. Samuel Barnett’s (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) seemingly innocent Renfield is Dr. Seward’s secretary, but his red light district cruising leads to bloody encounters and insect snacks. Where Penny Dreadful initially had to dance around the Stoker limitations, these superb character interpretations deserved more than this season’s rushed attention. Christian Camargo (Dexter) as zoologist and charming widower Alexander Sweet is a man smitten using rapid fire science references to woo Vanessa, but his reveal as Dracula is too darn early. This romance seemed so happy and Sweet is almost empathetic, but evil lurks in the House of Mirrors of all places! He doesn’t want Vanessa’s submission, just to be seduced by she, the Mother of Evil and serve her. Sadly, unraveling toppers instead go unresolved. After admitting he was directly responsible for Mina’s demise and all of Season One, Penny Dreadful lets Dracula exit stage right and we aren’t supposed to notice? What is worth noticing are the trains, dime western action, and steampunky flair alongside our usual penny blood, gore, buzzing flies, broken necks, and bat silhouettes. The cobwebbed and boarded manor opens the windows and clears the dust as the camera focuses on the period touches – vintage motion picture cameras, spectacles, brandy decanters, nibs, and ledgers contrast the hay, canteens, wagons, saw dust, and Native American motifs. The fashions are a little more modern, but the museums, taxidermy, skeletons, and specimens in jars invoke Victorian sciences amid the carriages, cobblestone, and tolling bells. Although some CGI backgrounds are apparent with a foreground actor and fakery behind, the desert vistas, mountains, and ranch compounds create bright lighting schemes to contrast the British grays, developing a unique style like nothing else on television.

Unfortunately, with NBC’s Dracula long gone, Crimson Peak’s less than stellar box office, and Penny lost too soon, the promise of more Victorian horror and a new dark romanticism appears short-lived. Whether the cast or Logan wanted to depart or Showtime disliked the production expenses, something behind the scenes was the final nail in Penny Dreadful‘s coffin. The two hour finale burned off the last episodes yet advertising promoting the event as a season finale later backtracked with the series’ fate. More merchandising opportunities never seemed capitalized upon, and there was little award campaigning. Having had Season One available on other streaming platforms might have helped the show find more audiences, however Penny Dreadful wasn’t available on Netflix until after its cancellation in a tidy Three Season binge package. The series’ props have been auctioned off, so it appears no one shopped Penny Dreadful to any other networks. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but in late 2015 while this Third Year was filming was also when Tom Cruise swept in to take over The Mummy and start Universal’s highly anticipated but ultimately D.O.A. Dark Universe monster revival. Did somebody squash the competition? Maybe it isn’t as simple as that, but I will always be skeptical of Logan and Showtime’s he said/she said claiming that this was always how Penny Dreadful was supposed to end. With new locales and more colorful literary characters among our beloved team, why couldn’t Penny Dreadful sustain itself? Previously, one could overlook any small inconsistencies because the sophisticated scares and morose design far outweighed any negatives. This season, however, becomes a chore to continue and is best left at Episode Four. After finishing Dexter and losing interest in Homeland and Ray Donovan, we’ve canceled our Showtime subscription since Penny is no more. There were other ways to do Penny Dreadful justice than this, well, what seems like internal sabotage, but gothic viewers shouldn’t let this rushed Season Three dampen what has otherwise been a stellar and macabre program.

GOTH: The Game of Horror Trivia Video Review

Hello, Addicts! Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz here with a special Video Review of my awesome Thrift Find Goth: The Game of Horror Trivia!

 

In Addition to Goth: The Game of Horror Trivia, briefly I also mention some Lovecraftian and atmospheric games including Arkham Horror, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, and The Grimm Forest.

Be sure to check out more of our Game Reviews at Horror Addicts.net, and don’t forget you can get interactive, answer trivia questions, and tell us what kinds of Horror Media you would like to see – by Horror Addicts for Horror Addicts! – on our Facebook Group.

 

 

Book Review: Violent Violet by Tara Vanflower

Violent Violet is the most authentic snapshot of young goth/club life that I’ve read to date. If you want a look in to the drama, mood, and world view revolving around young, broken, baby bats, this is your look in.

Violet is an angry, jaded, tormented goth whose friendships and atmosphere cause her to spin out of control. Drug abuse, sexual violence, and drunken fights infect her world. Her savior could be a mysterious stranger she meets one night, but I was never quite sure if she wanted to be saved or not.

Roman is a man with his own damaged past. He’s quiet and mysterious, but when Violet gets into trouble with her abusive ex-boyfriend, he jumps into the fray and protects her as best he can. Usually a man that stays out of the drama, something pulls him into Violet’s despite his general distaste for her lifestyle in general.

Later in the book we meet Lux and his sensual companion Mylori, who are my favorite characters. As a vampire fan, I really want to read more about them as they hold the most interest in the story for me.

Violet is a deeply flawed and damaged character. While reading, I kept thinking how I wanted to smack her out of it, but being an elder goth, I suppose I have just outgrown her drama. She’s self-involved and self-destructs by making bad choices. Does her genetic makeup guide her, or is it a symptom of abuse that has created this world she lives in? Her drama with men can be explained in a simple line from the book, “No man she had ever been with had been kind to her.” A sad state, but one that she seems to crave as she keeps returning to this sort of man.

For those of you interested in this type of atmosphere: club life, drama, relationship train wrecks, you will love it. For those of you of the elder goth set, you might find the constant drama tedious. I have to say, whatever you feel about Violet while reading, this is a really good character sketch of a girl who does not comprehend herself. I think we’ve all known girls like this—or perhaps have been one—and all we can hope is that she realizes her worth before she self-destructs.

While this book does contain vampires, it is not inherently a vampire novel. The vampires do not show up until late in the game and while they are intriguing, they are not what drive this tale. This is a tale of a girl lost to her own faults and (I hope) going to learn some big lessons in the sequels.

Violent Violet is part of a three book series. All of these book can be found at Amazon.com.

Submission Call for Guest Blog

This is a site FOR HorrorAddicts, BY HorrorAddicts.

Deadline: Ongoing

Guest Blog is your chance to share just a little bit of your work with the HorrorAddicts.net readers.

*200-1000 words flash
*Must be horror or fit in one of our **Approved Themes below.
*This is for free posting on our HorrorAddicts.net blog, exposure only, with link back to your work.
*At the end of the submission, please include your bio (100 word max), url, and attach a cover pic or author pic.
*Send all submissions to: horroraddicts@gmail.com, SUBJ: Guest Blog

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**APPROVED THEMES: Dark Fantasy, Monster, Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Clockpunk, Alternative, Goth, Metal, Industrial, Avant-garde themes. Erotica only if it tastefully falls into horror / goth / fetish culture. If your submission is in the Science Fiction / Fantasy / Thriller / Suspense or any other genre, please email before submitting with a 2-3 line query. If it seems like it fits, we might make an exception.

For full submission requirements, go to: SUBMISSIONS

Finale Guest: The Count

For the finale, coming October 22nd, we will have several guests. Our Horror Host guest is… The Count.

countThe Count is the owner and proprietor of The Belfry Network as well as the Cemetery Confessions podcast and The Requiem podcast. He’s been a goth for sixteen years, a podcaster for nine and a father for three. His first claim to fame came as a live DJ for goth and industrial events, and since then he has pursued his passion of cultural studies by writing articles, creating podcasts, and interviewing academics and musicians alike.

Listen to #136, the finale for this season, and hear a great interview conducted by Emz in which The Count shares with us his thoughts on goth culture, musical influences, and what it’s like to be a goth dad in our age.

blefry2Download The Belfry Network app where you can listen to goth and horror podcasts produced by the best goth/horror podcasters including The Count’s Cemetery Confessions and The Requiem, as well as HorrorAddicts.net. Listen, download, and favorite your casts. The app also holds your place so that you can pause and return without missing anything. The best goth/horror cast app ever, tailored specifically for you and your dark little heart!

An Interview With Goth Drag King Jean Batt

Ever wonder what its like to perform in a burlesque show or dress up in drag. Recently I was able to interview Jean Batt about what its like to be a Drag King:

How did you find out there was such a thing as drag kings?

13956969_10153706521041560_1665133699_nI guess I always knew they where around in many different forms. I watched a lot of 30s and 40s movies when I was younger and a lot of the movie starlets of the time would wear drag for different movies and magazines. The real kickers that this was and is an art form where the films Victor/Victoria and Just One of The Guys.

What made you want to get into it?

I was a kid when I started out. But I was a tomboy or a gender non-conforming kid who played heavily with gender. It was a way of expressing my male side openly. I never had to hide it, but this let me be a boy when my mind felt male.

When did you start performing as a drag king?13937028_10153706522181560_1512938405_n

I was a baby by drag standards when I stared out. I was only 13, in junior high, the very first time I went on stage a king. By high school I was doing impersonations of male rock stars mostly. And in a school of all girls, I would be cast in a few school plays as a boy because I was comfortable doing it.

A lot of people don’t even know that Drag Kings exist, how do you battle stereotypes?

For the most part I have been lucky and not had to deal with much stereotyping. Usually just the explanation of kings being the flip side to queens works. Even had a comedian MC one time explain it and it really clicked. Also with being a performer that skirts the line of trans so closely, the trans community sees me 13937045_10153706526306560_1281609788_nas a part of them and one of their representatives.

Do you get any flack from others in the Drag community for being a woman?

In all the years I have done drag, I have never gotten flack. If anything, I have been given a lot of respect for being born female, gender fluid and close to trans. This has been celebrated by some of the drag powerhouses, including the Queen Mother of Drag herself, Sondra St. James.

I have actually had more flack from being a goth, furry, kinkster, nerd and burlesque dancer and crossing these into my drag than my gender identity. Some welcome it, but many of the old school glam queens have been fighting the changes that I represent. I have been actually threatened with violence (yes, this was dealt with.) I have had so many try to change what I do and what I represent so I “can get more gigs”. But I am doing way more shows and events by being who I am than trying to fit in a mold someone else made.13941097_10153706525141560_1625326624_n

What’s the hardest thing about being a Drag King?

It’s literally a pain in the breasts. Binding can be very painful. As a woman, I am more than top heavy and when I bind my breasts down fully to do burlesque (I dance as a man or trans man and I’m one of the only if not the only transman in burlesque out there). I wear four layers of binding at times to make the male body line. I have been asked if I’m going to have top surgery to make this easier, but I have no intention of that.

What is your favorite thing about being a Drag King?

Oh gods, there is a lot. I love a lot of the people. I have people who I see as my family in the drag community. And I met my best friend doing it too.
I have been able to do shows all over the place and have competed even at the national level doing drag.
The people I have preformed for have been mind blowing too. Anyone from NASA scientists to members 13989437_10153706523971560_488282619_nof The US Congress (both doing drag and trans burlesque).

Who influenced you?

I have been doing my own thing for the most part. But if I had to pick a few they would be John Belushi, Rozz Williams, Dave Vanain, Gary Oldman, Jim Morrison and the cast of Interview With A Vampire (save for Tom Cruse).

 

How long does it take for you to get ready for a performance?

It used to take me three hours to get ready, but now it takes me about an hour to get into my usual costumes and full gothboy makeup. Naturally the crazier stuff takes longer to do. And on really hot nights, I have a very simple eye, lip and foundation I do that takes maybe ten minutes at most. It looks good on stage but not for photos.
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What is it like for you backstage at a performance?

There is a joke with a number of promoters that it’s a given that I’m the first performer to show up and actually help get things set up. It may be a joke, but there is a lot of truth to it. I’m the performer that is texting if I’m even running five minutes late. I usually show up close to ready to hit the stage so organizers turn to me to help herd cats or to do the check in with other kings and queens or dancers.

14011969_10153706525616560_1856003706_nSome shows run like clockwork, on time and perfectly. Others, it’s totally crazy and unorganized.
Most of the time, everyone is helping each other backstage to get into gear and face. But there is sometimes the one diva that doesn’t want to play with the rest of the group or has to much of an ego to mix with everyone else.

How do you choose what music you will use and what the act will be about?

First off, I chose songs I actually love. Even if there is a theme to the show, I try to pick songs I love that fit in. Passed that, it’s playing with costumes, props and makeup that fit the theme and who I am.

Do you make your own costumes?

I try to. I used to do film costuming a while back so I know a lot about building costumes.14017575_10153706524716560_515702538_n

However, I do turn to artist friends when it comes to national competition. These costumes have to be beyond what you see at most shows. This is the best in the country so things have to be perfect. And it puts my friends artwork on the national stage and helps get their names out there.

Do you create your own choreography?

Yes, even my burlesque dancing is all mine. Once in a while I am lucky enough to learn a few things from other dancers, such as how to do a death drop safely at my age.

What is the process for making costumes and how long does it take you?

It depends on things. Some of my costumes are just out of my closet. Part of the joy of being a gender fluid goth. I have a trans burlesque piece that has crystal incrusted boxers that took me about ten hours of hand work to do.

For more information on Jean check her out on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/djneshamah

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My Melancholy Life: CONTROVERSY ISN’T BEAUTIFUL

MyMelancholyLife

So…CONTROVERSY.

Does it seem like some kind of fussing is just everywhere this summer? I mean more than usual even?

It’s the hottest part of the summer here and people are bored so they talk. (and talk and talk). Online, at the coffee shop, in line at the store, at the PokéStop.

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When the temperatures climb, it seems tempers get shorter and among the wonderments that the internet has brought us in its bag of the cheaper techno-tricks is much more immediate and free access to global gossip.

A 24 hour Entertainment Weekly style of gossip-mongering inundates YouTube and everyone will agree at least to an extent that Tumblr is a mess. Kat von D (and others) called out Jeffree Star who had called out Kylie Jenner earlier in the month. It’s really been a smorgasbord at the Celebrity Circus this July (even leaving OUT the politics!)…

Shots are fired with call-outs, then everyone responds, and then replies to the responses. I have not seen this much kerfuffle since the Lime Crime/Doe Deere scandals.

Behavior, makeup quality, CONTROVERSY! I follow some beauty vloggers but most of the people I like are too busy hauling new products, reviewing summer goodies and anticipating the fall and holiday 2016 collections to get involved in the gossip. My current faves are Lisa Eldridge (professionalism and technique), Tarababyz (for epic hauls). But there are ALSO the entire channels that have popped up to just dish the gossip, spill the tea, read people so harshly and throw a bunch of shade in every direction in the form of ‘having an opinion’.

When did that happen and why are we watching them? Epic views for nothing really more than…mean gossip dished daily? No, I draw the line at this. Maybe you will too after you think about it.

It hit the Gothic community too this month, over a video “40 Years of Goth Style (in under 4 minutes)”, and the responses and replies to replies. Yes, I also have my opinion about it but no, I really don’t think it merits a video response for people to watch me reacting to it. I’d rather people formed their own opinions from the source, and then discuss them with me. I have toyed with starting a makeup review and alt lifestyle YouTube channel but I really question the content when videos are actually reactions to the source of anything and nothing more than opinion. Possibly helpful when choosing a lipstick or a salad recipe, deadly when forming our actual opinions, views and outlooks about anything very important simply because it IS second hand news, filtered through the reaction of another person first. I can’t get behind that.

If there is anything I have personally learned from seeing these controversies, opinions and reactions come and go is that what I sometimes take away from it has an effect on me. On my mood, on my outlook and on my general way of seeing things. Garbage in, garbage out, so they say.

I DO think it is important to be informed about many things, including being a well-informed consumer and supporting (or not) those people and businesses whose belief and values align with our own to a certain extent but I also feel there is a point when watching this ‘window on the world’ has become just another time-wasting bad habit to somehow get sucked into. It can seem too vivid and sometimes commands too much attention that it really doesn’t deserve when the things in our own lives really can benefit more from our attention. So I say, “Watch but watch wisely and in a limited and aware fashion, be choosey and think for yourself”. Do not just give your attention to these ‘controversies’ for the sake of the latest little tidbit of juicy gossip. It can steal your time and focus!

Mimielle sig, orange

**Some final words of caution for my fellow makeup mavens: Cheap Chinese products, the Ali Express and Ebay “dupes” for more expensive makeup like the Lime Crime Velvetines, many higher end eye shadow and face palettes and popular items like the Kylie Jenner Lip Kits can be tempting, it’s true. But they may or may NOT even be safe to use at all and there is really no way to tell since they are not governed by any cosmetic review board or agencies like the FDA in the US or the European Commission so please be cautious rather than sorry and search for your less expensive dupes at the drugstore or from trusted online companies. Indie brands and lesser known companies like Sugarpill, Notoriously Morbid, Violet Voss and Makeup Monster are amazing lately and Colorpop is fast becoming a trusted budget brand as well, with many great reviews on Temptalia.com.  NYX is a favorite around here, and they have amazing colors and good sales at Ulta. Ingredient labels on products from Ali Express and similar selling agencies may or may NOT even be truthful since they just copy a photo of the packaging so there is no guarantee those cosmetic copy ingredients are even safe to use on your skin, especially on your lips and eyes. Not worth the risk.

 

Terror Trax: Leper and Skot Shaw

TerrorTrax

Leper is the musical and artistic expression of Skot Shaw. Using hauntingly melodic vocals, driving keys and brooding guitar, Leper orchestrates a compelling sound combining elements of goth, industrial, dance, and rock. All the while, Leper exudes the shadowy, emotional eeriness that defines a goth band. Leper’s influences and inspiration are drawn from many different sources creating a musical tapestry woven with the threads of despair, struggle, and redemption.

The band consists of:xvn
Skot Shaw—guitar, vox, drum programming, synth, lyrics
Jennifer Mercy—backing vox
Justin Filizole—synth
Anastasia Bird—synth
On occasion Otto Jensen or Craig Weitz

Their musical inspirations are Men Without Hats, The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Pink Floyd, Resurrection Band, Saviour Machine, LSU the choir, and Star Flyer 59.

Skot initially became interested in music as a child, but he didn’t get his first guitar until he was sixteen. “I started playing along with whatever albums I had around at the time,”

“I started playing along with whatever albums I had around at the time,” Skot says. “Usually about three hours a day, every day.” He then graduated to playing in his youth group at church. Later, other garage bands he could sneak into.

10941822_10152650018290806_8875543476140406334_n (1)Recording has been Leper’s greatest achievement so far and their label, Grrr Records, is excited about the Leper release, Beautiful Gray Day. This full-length album mixes electronic, industrial and rock genres and features dark, emotional themes of loneliness and malaise that are rimmed with romance and hope. Even the album title, Beautiful Gray Day, communicates the idea that the beauty of love and hope can be experienced in something as seemingly dark and depressing as a gray rainy day.

When not playing music, Skot likes to write in cemeteries and is inspired by nature like the rain, lakes, and woods. He’s an avid horror movie viewer and his tastes sway more toward the classic style found in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Others, and The Woman in Black.

4When asked what the scariest night of his life was, Skot had many answers. The tragedy of losing his cousin in a motorcycle accident and his brother being burned by gasoline top the list. He’s tormented by spirits.

“The feeling you get right as your falling asleep, that something malicious and horrible is there in the room with you. You know if you could just wake up it can’t bother you anymore or if you could just say the name of Jesus or something it will leave. It becomes a question of faith and willpower. Who has more?”

Coming in the future, Skot is working on two different side projects: “All is Vain” by E.V.P., which is reminiscent of Pink Floyd, and “Pivot Claw” by Ball Peen Hammer, which sounds more like Nine Inch Nails.

If you’d like to see Leper live, they will be at three festivals in June and July. To find dates and locations, as well as Grrr Records Releases, go to:  http://www.grrrrecords.com/leper and if you’d like to hear their self-releases, go to: https://leper.bandcamp.com/

My Melancholy Life: Some Resources and Information About Elder Goths

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Hey Addicts, Mimielle here following up on one of the questions we received from June in Dead Mail recently June writes

” I feel like I am too old to turn Goth but I just realized I’ve been one all my life without dressing like that. Now that I am 53, I know that people will think I am odd dressing that way at my age. What can I do to ease into the style without freaking out my conservative friends?”

I had quite a bit to say in episode #126 and here are some of the followup links and resources I promised.

 

 

Here is a cross-section of goths over 30, many types, many looks and ways of self-expression!

 

Some capsule wardrobe ideas including pieces that can pass in the “normie” world as well~

Thrift them, shop your closet, have a friends clothing swap night, maybe they have some secret Goth-y things hiding away!

on wednesdays

 

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The free walk-in beauty services my local Sephora currently offers that could all be done with a more Goth twist:

  • Smoky Eye, (dark and a bit dramatic)
  • Essential Eyeliner (ask for Gothic cat eyes)
  • Polished Brows (arch them!)
  • Flawless Foundation (the perfected base for anything else)

 

…and finally, a couple of shots of my ‘eldergoth’ look, from earlier this year. My main style is Gothic Lolita but I range afield into Shiro (white Goth) and yeah, I have me a Stevie Nicks poncho, boots and some swirly skirts too!

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mimi crystal bridges

To tell you a secret though, I do not feel any more ‘eldergoth’ now than I felt ‘baby-bat’ when I was young and using a sharpie as an eyeliner!

Lagniappe…how a good friend ‘sees’ me in her drawings 🙂

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Mimielle sig, orange

 

 

 

 

 

 

HorrorAddicts.net 122, Dario Ciriello

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Horror Addicts Episode# 122

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

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dario ciriello | glass android | mario bava

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

27 days till halloween

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Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Addicts-Guide-Life-Emerian/dp/1508772525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428730091&sr=8-1&keywords=horror+addicts+guide+to+life

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Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

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Emerian Rich

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David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick, Mimi Williams, Lisa Vasquez

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The Passing of Sir Christopher Lee

 

news.moviefone.com

by A.D. Vick

On May 27, 1922 Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was born in London, England. He was the son of Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Trollope Lee, of the 60th King’s Royal Rifle Corp and Countess Estelle Marie Née Carandini di Sarzano, whose lineage traces back to Charlemagne, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. With such an aristocratic background, it is not surprising that young Christoper would go on to create a distinguished and record-breaking career in his own right.

After the end of World War ll Lee became interested in acting and made his film debut in 1947, taking on a one-line role in a Gothic romance film entitled Corridor of Mirrors. By the year 2007 however, he had set a record for the most screen credits of any living actor with an incredible 244 film and TV appearances over the course of six decades.

Lee had difficulty breaking into the acting scene during the early part of his career due to his being considerably taller than most actors chosen to play the films’ leading roles. The break he needed came in 1957 when London-based Hammer Film Productions asked him to play the role of the monster in The Curse of Frankenstein. Due to the success of that film, Hammer signed him up for future roles, which often involved him playing the villain opposite his friend Peter Cushing. Some of the most notable Hammer films he starred in included Horror of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy, which was released in 1959. Hammer Film Productions produced a number of sequels during the 1960s into the early 1979s during which time Lee continued in his role as Dracula. Although he is well known for his roles in horror films, Lee also starred in films representing other genres such as the 1974 James Bond film, The Man With the Golden Gun.

Due to his earlier successes, the actor moved to Hollywood during the late 1970s. America’s movie capital failed his expectations however, and Lee only made minor film and TV appearances. Eventually, he moved back to Great Britain where his slumping career underwent a revival. During the 2000s he was given the role of Saruman The White in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Count Dooku in Star Wars; Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

Christoper Lee’s deep operatic voice inspired him to pursue a musical career as well, where his achievements ranged from his singing the soundtrack on a film entitled The Wicker Man to his recording of two full-length symphonic metal albums. In 2010 he received the Spirit of Metal award for his album, Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods event.

In June, 2001 Lee was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his service to drama and in June, 2009 he was created a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his work in both drama and charity.

On June 7 of this year, Sir Christoper Lee departed this world. His talents, abilities and achievements far exceed the mere outline of his works, which appears on this page. He was a most distinguished actor and gentleman who will be deeply missed. Still, his incredible contributions to horror, fantasy and music will remain with us for many years to come.

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DSCF1060A.D. Vick is short story writer living in Northwest Arkansas and is the author of a blog entitled The Gothic Embrace, which features a variety of topics of interest to the Goth subculture. He is also involved with the maintenance and preservation of some historic cemeteries and spends his quiet time with one rather large cat named Mr. Gray. He enjoys listening to a variety of music, which ranges from heavy metal and dark wave to classical, and takes great pleasure walking through the woods and burial grounds that surround his home.  

This Freshest Hell

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Most people know what its like to feel like an outcast at some point in their life. Lily knows all to well what its like to not fit in but all of that changes when she’s getting harassed by bullies and Maggie the new girl in town comes to her rescue.  Now Lily finally has someone to relate to and is no longer alone in the world. Together they struggle against bullies, rebel against society’s rules and reject anything normal.

Also they share a love of alternative music, have psychic abilities and have both been scarred by a traumatic past.  One of them wants revenge on the person that tormented her and One night the two girls perform a  sinister spell that will bring them the power to get revenge on anyone that has harmed them.  Their desires are fulfilled and they become vampires with an unstoppable blood lust.

This Freshest Hell by Natasha Ewendt is like two books in one. The first part covers about 12 years in  Maggie and Lily’s life and the second part is their life as vampires.  I enjoyed how this book is set up, I related to  Maggie and Lily and didn’t mind that there wasn’t much action right away because I was so into their story.  I enjoyed hearing the girls philosophy on life and how they try to find peace of mind. I can’t say they are trying to find happiness because only one of them seems to be looking for it. One sad part of the book had one of the characters in an abusive relationship saying that she thought she could be normal but it wasn’t possible. Another favorite scene in the book was when Maggie witnesses a bully tormenting an autistic child. She runs to his rescue, kicks the bully to the ground ,as the bully starts to rise  she stares him down while the autistic child runs away. Despite these girls being looked at as freaks by society they are compassionate to others and I found myself rooting for them.

Because the first part of the book made you care so much about these characters it made the part where they became vampires that much better. the two of them change personalities, learn to hunt humans and you see their relationship dissolve as they become creatures of the night. Lily’s first kill was chilling as you see her try to keep her humanity and not give in to her blood lust. Another one was when Maggie gives one of her victims the most gruesome death imaginable. I also loved the description of the mansion the vampires live in which is on an island out in the ocean.

My only complaint about this book was that I would have liked more information on the three ancient vampires that Lily and Maggie live with. What we hear about them is intriguing but I would have liked to learn more. I also thought more time should have been spent on the creature that created the vampires.  I think the main idea for this book though wasn’t that this is a vampire novel but instead it was a book about two girls finding their way in life and Natasha Ewendt did a good job of getting the point across. This Freshest Kill shows that books about vampires will never get old as long as they can make you care about the characters.

 

 

 

World Goth Day Observance Spans 2 Worlds

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In all worlds and situations, acceptance is often taken for granted. When intolerance rears its ugly head, sometimes people have suffered and some have died for being who they are, dressing as they choose, expressing themselves overtly. One of those people was a young woman named Sophie Lancaster, a Goth.

Almost 7 years have passed. We do not forget.

Founded in 2009, May 22nd is World Goth Day, a time to gather, to celebrate, to remember and reflect. Since it is on Thursday this year, many will celebrate on the weekend with club events, picnics and other outings but I keep the day with a public luncheon in one of the most visible places in my own local comfort zone, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. This year we will take a group photo in the 20th Century gallery among the Warhols and dine under a 1.5 ton steel heart by Jeff Koons. We don’t just passively remember each year, we are visible. We represent.

Find events all over the world here.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation

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Focused on creating respect for and understanding of subcultures in our communities, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation also works in conjunction with politicians and police forces to ensure individuals who are part of subcultures are protected by the law. Merchandise purchased here benefits the foundation.

For those who don’t have or can’t attend or start a local event, WORLD GOTH FAIR 2014 will be taking place in Second Life on Cursed, Sium & Port Seraphine on May 15th – June 1st, & proceeds will benefit the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. SL merchants, DJs and residents have gathered to play, sell and socialize. The 3 sims full of builds are amazing to see and I confess, my Second Life avatar, Fauve Aeon has done some shopping already!

Here is the DJ lineup for the day (times in PST):

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And lastly, I will leave you with some photos from the Fair.

Stay Beautiful, Addicts, in ALL worlds! ~Mimielle (and Fauve)

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Mimielle’s Monday a la Mode : Coping With The Evil Day Star

Hey Addicts, spring in the Northern Hemisphere often means a few less layers, a little more skin showing and venturing outside in the daytime more for activities. Until they invent an actual Goth du Soleil SPF 1000, we will have to make due with the highest broad spectrum SPF we can that find isn’t pure Zinc Oxide paste.

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Do not be fooled by the 10 and 15 SPF sunscreens in  your powders and concealers, unless they are applied at 1 tsp per face, repeated every 2-4 hours, they are not giving you sufficient sun protection. Neither are your sunglasses or your car windows. Also, only UV rated umbrellas and parasols also really protect (though reflected sun foils them as well) and clothing with fabrics like Sunbrella, etc. One or two bad burns can have an effect on skin, causing photo damage that can take years to show up so here are a couple of my recommendations for those who are not nocturnal:

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Neutrogena UltraSheer with SPF 100

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Lumiebre Umbrellas and Parasols with UV Protection

 

Maybe one day…

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but until then, be smart about your sun protection.

Stay beautiful, Addicts ~Mimielle (of the Night)

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Manga Review: Doors of Chaos by Ryoko Mitsuki

doorsofchaosI happened upon Doors of Chaos by accident while on vacation in Los Angeles, visiting a store called Anime Love. This manga by Ryoko Mitsuki is about twin sisters who control the four doors that protect their world from descending into chaos. Clarissa is the key to open the doors. Mizeria is the key to close the doors. On their “coming of age” day, their guardian and teacher, Rikhter, kidnaps Clarissa and begins to open all the doors through which demons pour through. Mizeria, the sister left behind, is suddenly introduced to a race of people who have been sent to protect her. She is completely confused. She thought she was the less powerful sister and that Rikhter was noble. She soon finds he is using her sister Clarissa for his own gains and that Mizeria is the only one who can stop the destruction of her world.

This manga’s art stays true to the intricate goth-loli style. The girls are clad in multiple petticoats and long hair in ribbons with elaborate tattoos trailing all over their pale skin. The men of this world are clothed in a mix of traditional Victorian frock coats with ascots and French Renaissance breeches with knee boots. The other worldly creature that comes to protect Mizeria is more of an anime waif with bandages like Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion. He wears what looks to be animal skins, chains, and sports the same sort of tattooing the girls do. There’s also a freaky guy cloaked in what can only be called a trenchcoat length straightjacket.

The art in this manga is top shelf. If for no other reason, pick this up to stare at the excellent artistic style of this manga. It doesn’t have much of those annoying reiterations that some anime books have when the chapters switch. The story is good and the dialog makes sense. There is a touch of the slave fetish in this book as well as very mild nudity. Demons are a touch gorier that normal, but violence is nothing out of the common way.
I recommend this manga for any anime reader and one of the few I would read a traditional novel about.

Clocks, keys, demons, and an excellent story, what more can you ask for in a manga?

Monster Mash with Versailles

For our Finale, we have the versatile vocal stylings of Versailles and her song “Queen Of The Sinister Freaks”. I wanted to save this one for last because it reminds me of our Hostess of Horror, Emz!

Versailles is the solo project of Dianna St. Hilaire. Though she does write and produce all of her music, she said “I do have musicians play live with me though. Usually just a guitar player at this point.  My amazing boyfriend Francis Gonzalez does my stage designs and is now helping me create the music video ‘Queen Of The Sinister Freaks’.”

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Her publicist, Giddle Partridge, describes her music as “intoxicating, dark synth, sexual-based gloomy yet erotic adventure into an orchestra”. Diana described her style as “dark and melodic.  I have very intense melodies.   Some is intense piano almost a classical feel and others is a more darkwave sort of sound with lots of synths.” She has also been referred to as the “Gothic Tori Amos”, which is saying something, as personally I would consider Tori Amos’ music to be dark and gothic. (Don’t judge me.)

She wrote the song “Queen Of The Sinister Freaks” with Kim Fowley. “It means a lot to me because I consider Kim to be a very good friend and I haven’t co-wrote many songs in my life.  Also because I am in the process of creating a new music video for the song and I want people to hear it.  ‘Queen of The Sinister Freaks’ is a representation of me and my life in the way that Kim Fowley sees it.”

The name of her band has changed a little over time. “I love the name Versailles.  It came to me years ago.  At first I was Versailles’ Suicide.  Which is probably more suiting, but in 2003 I changed it to Versailles.  The reason behind the name was the history of King Louis.  First of all I have relatives that fought for the Palace of Versailles.  But my main interest was King Louis’ obsession with destroying the monarchy through social death.”

Diana has had the opportunity to tour and play her music at some gigs that stand out. “I’m based out of Los Angeles.  This is not my hometown.  I’m from Albuquerque, NM.  I moved out to Los Angeles about 10 years ago to pursue music.  I think living in LA has influenced my music a lot.  I think that before I came here I was a bit of a newbie and I didn’t realize how far I could really take my music.  LA has pushed me in so many ways to be a more competent artist.  I have played throughout most of the US.  Maryland, Savanna, NOLA, San Antonio, Houston, Lubbock, Austin, Albuquerque, Denver, Chicago Joplin and many others.  I would sadly say that I have not played NEW YORK yet.  I would love to play in New York!  I have had some very interesting fans.  I had a fan once drive from Mexico in the middle of the night to Hollywood just to see me play.  I have had people bury their relatives with my music.  Gigs that stand out to me would be my latest gig at Boardners bar in Hollywood.  It was a beautiful night and I had quite an amazing stage set up thanks to Francis.  People loved it.  There were at least 100 people there which was great for a Tuesday night in Hwood.”

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“Queen Of The Sinister Freaks” is one of the songs from her current album, Targets, produced by Kim Fowley. “I would say the opportunity to work with Kim Fowley was the inspiration on that one.  How often is it that someone gets to work with a man like that?  Also I just did a new music video for my song ‘Cold’.  This was written and produced by me.  This music video was inspired by my recent trip to Puerto Rico.  Very excited about this.  Beautiful place.  The hardest part of creating my albums has been the mixing part.  That part always drives me crazy.  The most fun part is always the composition.  I love creating new things.  Creating an album makes me feel that I have accomplished what some  people believe to be the impossible.  There are people I’ve met that have been working on their albums for years.  Right now I’m starting a new project and it is working with Dubstep.  This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and finally have gotten the chance to do.  It’s quite challenging thus far because it is something I’ve never worked with before.”

Diana has been playing music since she was a little girl.  “I taught myself how to play piano and compose my own music at a very young age.  I believe I was around 6 years old.” Music is only one part of her life.  “I paint, I do acting.  Right now I am trying to put my head around creating an iPhone app.  Let’s just say I’ve finished the interface drawings.  I do web programming and graphic arts.  That would be about it.  Oh and I like hiking and running.” She does also listen to some podcasts.  “I have spent some time listening to the Darkest Hours and Stench Radio.  There is also one called BlackRose Radio.”

What advice do she have for new bands?  “Tour, tour tour.  It is fun and worth it.  More worth it than playing crappy dive bars in your home town.”

You can find her homepage at VersaillesBand.net, and find her music in all the usual haunts, like iTunesCDbaby, as well as on services like Spotify, YouTube, and Geezer. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.

Monster Mash with Valentine Wolfe

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Singer Sarah Black and bassist Braxton Ballew make up this episode’s featured band, Valentine Wolfe, a Victorian Chamber metal duo. That’s right, I said “Victorian Chamber Metal”. Their last album used the phrase “Steampunk Macabre” — I like that, too. Braxton said, “We also perform Dark Ambient Soundscapes. Usually, if this is too vague, we tell people if they like Emilie Autumn and Nightwish, we like to think they will like us.” Furthermore, we’re playing their song “Annabel Lee” from their new album, Once Upon a Midnight, which is themed around Edgar Allan Poe. Be still my little goth heart.

Braxton told me, “‘Annabel Lee’ is one of the songs off of our newest endeavor. It is a graphic novel plus full length album all about Edgar Allan Poe. The graphic novel tells a story and the music follows along with it. The story puts Poe in an alternate universe where all of his stories and poems are his reality and so we set his work to go with that. Also, we feel it’s a great first ‘single’ off the new album, one that has all of the elements that make a Valentine Wolfe song: beautiful vocals, brooding classical bass, and slamming drums and distortion. The visual artist who did the cover of our last album, Jacob Wenzka, agreed to take a larger role this time around. He has drawn a graphic novel for our story about Poe. The album is not strictly programmatic, but it does follow a story in a very similar way to Silverthorn by Kamelot. I suppose the idea started when we saw a sketch Jacob had drawn of Poe. It was amazing! We thought we would like to see more. We had also been setting Shakespeare to music and that prompted us to think about how much fun it would be to set some of Poe’s words to music. His poems are so lyrical anyway.”

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For the Horror Addicts who are Deathstalker fans, you may recognize the namesake of the band. Braxton confirmed that, “Valentine Wolfe is a character from the Deathstalker novels by Simon R. Green. He has somewhat of a depraved nature and we relate to that!”

More than just a duo, Sarah and Braxton are married and have been making music together since 2006. “We sometimes collaborate with other musicians and especially other artists, but we like to keep the main core as just a duo. We currently live in Greenville, SC. We moved here from Athens, GA. I would say that living in Greenville has certainly had a big impact on our music. Braxton works as the Education Director for the Greenville Symphony. That huge connection to the classical world has kept us from going in a fully metal direction. We have written music for three Shakespeare plays now: The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, and The Winter’s Tale. All of those were made possible by us living in a city that is so supportive of the arts. We have the Metropolitan Arts Council which really brings the whole community together through an impressive array of artistic endeavor.”

With such an interesting style of music, the venues they have played are rather diverse. “We’ve played venues ranging from dive bars to art galleries. We really love playing fan conventions…it seems that’s the best overall fit in terms of finding people who are interested in our music. I think it helps we’re pretty geeky ourselves. We have played at several different conventions including Raven Con, AnachroCon, Upstate Steampunk, ConCarolinas, and DragonCon. We would love to play at Wave Gothic Treffen or Whitby Gothic Weekend or even Wacken Open Air some day! Our fans are so amazing! They are willing to travel to see us perform in different cities and we really appreciate that. One thing we’ve seen it that at conventions, especially one where we’re new, the crowd always seems to get bigger and bigger while we play. Just about every show is special-cliche, maybe, but true. I think my favorite odd story was a show where I (Braxton) was doing solo bass soundscapes with looping. A gentleman asked me what instrument i was playing, and rejected my answer of electric upright bass to tell me it was, if fact, a cello (Hint-no, it isn’t). I was still playing and looping the entire conversation, which made it even weirder.”

Their favorite bands and musicians are as varied as one might expect: “Bach, Verdi, Handel, Mozart, Debussy, Ives, Copland, Beatles, Iron Maiden, Insomnium, Opeth, Nightwish, Kamelot, Amon Amarth, Dragonforce, Ronnie James Dio. Braxton’s favorite bass player is an amazing player named Renaud Garcia-Fons. He’s also really into Francois Rabbath.”

Braxton summed up his musical tastes with a quote by Duke Ellington: “There’s only two kinds of music: good and bad, and I like both.” Braxton really only gets turned off to music that “seems to prioritize mass consumption to the exclusion of any other interesting features. But he thinks you can learn anything from anything (He listened to a Justin Bieber album for a group of kids, and was astounded at how the meaning of the song could be conveyed in only 3-5 seconds). We both think it’s better not to spend too much time concerning yourself with what turns you off, and just focus on music that really excites you.”

Is there a style of music that they’d like to try? “One style that we would like to explore more of is film scoring! We have written scores for plays so far and have done short movies for the internet, but we would love to do more! Braxton especially is a huge fan of what Philip Glass did for Dracula and we would love to do a film score for a feature length silent movie. We’d love to do an old one or a completely new one that is just in the style of an old one!”

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Both have been making music for quite a while. “Sarah started on piano in elementary school and kept up with that up through college. She got a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Composition from UGA. She has been taking voice lessons with Lisa Barksdale most recently. Braxton is a late bloomer-bass guitar at age 14, double bass at age 18, composition at 20 (apart from a few aborted attempts in high school). However, he’s kind of old-he’s been at this for about 20 years as a pro.”

What has it been like to produce their latest work? “It’s always exhilarating and terrifying. You get an idea that sets your passion on fire, and it becomes an obsession. At the same time, you hope and want your peers and your audience to get into what you’re doing. The hardest part is waiting. Works of quality take time. Sometimes, you want to just work and work and work, and the hardest part is knowing when you pass the point of diminished returns. The most fun part has been playing the new songs live, and seeing the savage joy they trigger.”

How has producing their latest album been different than their previous work? “There are two basic differences: we blended the composition/performance approach. Generally, in the classical world, you write a piece, sending it out into the world more or less fully formed, and then you learn and interpret the piece through rehearsals and performances. Sometimes you get to revise in a rehearsal, but not often. This time, we played everything we wrote either live or in the rehearsal studio several times through. It enabled us to add small and significant touches to everything. On our first two albums, we wanted to explore EBM and electronica. As such, there’s synth basses and other electronica textures we play with. For Once Upon A Midnight, we fully embraced our inner metalhead. There’s still electronica, but almost all limited to double bass (there’s a bit of piano here and there). So while we’re still very much a band who loves electronica, I’d say this album is definitely gothic metal.”

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Music is so much a part of their life, working together as a couple and a band, there’s little time for diversions. Sarah said, “Not working with the band? We didn’t even realize that was an option! We are a married couple and we spend just about every waking second involved with some aspect of music making. It is nice for us because we both have the same passion and drive to immerse ourselves in a non-stop musical adventure. We do also enjoy reading and movies. That is where much of our inspiration comes from. Braxton says pretty much just music, books, and movies. I’m into video games, too. I really have ambitions to make a silent movie one of these days.”

They do occasionally listen to podcasts, but only “sporadically, and we listen to those done by people we know. Jim Ryan is a good friend of ours who has several podcasts he is involved with. Here’s a link to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/every-world-news/id328217881  I think the only ‘celebrity’ ones we subscribe to are Mr.Deity and when they were active, DGM’s Hot Tickles. We’re much more likely to check out the individual episode here and there; most of the time, we’re listening to demos, sketches, or inspiration. We really want to make time to listen to more podcasts because Neil Degrasse Tyson also does podcasts and he is so interesting to listen to!”

So, what is next on their radar? “We need to finish up the recording and mixing on this current project but after that, we’d love to travel around for more shows. We played at several conventions last year, but we want to try to get to twice as many this year! So we have some great new music that we are finishing up and the next step will be sharing that new music with as many people as we can reach.”

They have some great, practical advice for new bands. “Watch the Ira Glass video on the gap between taste and execution as much as you can. If you want to make this your main source of income, limit your debt as much as practical. Follow your own instincts as a fan-in other words, what kinds of shows do you like going to? What kinds of sounds, experiences, etc, do you value; that is, more importantly than even money: where do you invest your time? If you can get a clear answer to those type of questions, you can get a pretty accurate road map of your trajectory. Oddly, don’t obsess too much about being ‘good’. Everyone defines that differently. As long as the best show you play is your next one, that’s a pretty good way to think about it.”

Listeners can find out more about Valentine Wolfe on their home page, ValentineWolfe.com, and listen to their wonderful music on BandcampiTunes, Amazon, Google Play, last.fm, and YouTube. You can also stalk them on Facebook, but beware, they might just stalk you back.

Monster Mash with UNVEIL

For episode 91 we are happy to bring back one of our favorite bands, Unveil. The goth-punk metal band from Sherbrooke, Quebec, was formed by songwriter and guitarist Alain Robitaille, a drummer named Pom, bassist Mr. Lee, and now includes lead vocalist Jow. Alain explained, “Unveil is a rock band with a dark edge. One could say, we are metal heads playing gothic rock songs with prog influenced arrangements. The band was officially born in 2004 out of the desire of good friends to play music together. This gave me an outlet to use songs I had stashed in my ‘secret garden’ for the past 20 years.”

The song we are featuring for this episode is “Empty”, from their album CODEX NOCTEM, which was just released in June 2013. Alain sent us “Empty” because of its theme which is near and dear to my heart: vampires. As he put it, “vampires [are] my favourite horror character. But you won’t find bats, fangs or red lined caps here. You have to listen carefully to ‘unveil‘ the truth. This is our first official album and it was entirely self-produced. The only outside help we got was for the mastering. We are now working on material for a second album.”

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The band thrives on playing gigs. “Playing concert halls is always fun because you get the chance to bring the full stage show. But what we really enjoy is playing the odd gig in town. Record stores, radio stations, you name it. Last year, we played at a Zombie Walk. Now that was a totally different experience. One song that stands out at every show is ‘Hide’. It’s the kind of song that makes you jump around. On Halloween 2010, we presented a very special event called ‘The Story of Sarah‘; a multimedia production combining a short film within a rock concert. More than a year of work went into that show and we got a fantastic reaction. We are looking at the possibilities of creating an acoustic version.”

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Alain’s many musical influences have shaped the band, including the name. “I am a big fan of the 70’s prog movements with bands like Genesis and Pink Floyd being major influences.  From day one, we knew that we wanted to combine elements of storytelling into our show. Stories shrouded in mystery in which you unveil clues to uncover the truth.”

As for the album’s title, he added, “A codex is the first incarnation of the modern book. So CODEX NOCTEM is a fitting name for a first album built around a collection of songs about the night. Producing an album is a lot more work than I first envisioned. The hardest part is the same as with any artistic creation: letting go. You can always improve your creation, but you have to let it go to let the magic begins. Only then can listeners get an emotion out of your work. I am involved at every creative level with this band. Anything related to Unveil has passed through my hands. That includes recording, video editing, web design and a whole lot more. For the “Story of Sarah” project, I actually wrote two short stories. Who knows, maybe one day they will become audio books.”

What music does he like to listen to? “I listen to a lot of music and my favourite artists continually change. I would say Black Sabbath, Katatonia and The Mission are major influences of my song writing style. Alice Cooper and Rammstein are my reference in stage productions. I’m also a big fan of the Finnish Rock scene (Charon, PoisonBlack, etc.) I like many styles of music. But if you want to grab my attention, any type of music with a little dark side will do the job. Emilie Autumn, Birthday Massacre, Peccatum, etc. I personally think that there is good stuff in every music style, but you sometimes have to dig a little deeper to find it. We are currently working with a local DJ to create a dance floor version of one of our songs. Now that is really far from our comfort zone. A dark ambient track would also be a fun thing to make.”

He also listens to podcasts, including some familiar to us. “I listen to very few podcasts asides HorrorAddicts. I really enjoyed the Night’s Knight series and I’m looking forward to sink my teeth into Lilith’s Love. I am also a big fan of The MetalCast.”

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So what’s next for Alain and Unveil? “Now that the album has been released, we can start working on our new stage production. We are working with a set designer to create a show where storytelling is woven into a rock show. I am reading various fairy tales to get the creative juice flowing.”

Finally, what advice does he have for new bands? “Don’t be afraid of who you are. Create music that you like, not music to be liked.”

Unveil’s new album CODEX NOCTEM is available now for download from their Bandcamp page. CDs will be available at Musique Cité in Sherbrooke: the last independent music store in town, and also from CDBaby. You can follow the band on Facebook and MySpace.

Summer Goth Fashion Basics (No Pixies Allowed!)

Summer is hot but that’s no reason to abandon a Haute Goth look and our beloved black. Better still, summer sales are in session so I’ve gone a-hunting for you…

The secret is to mix and match according to the temperature and occasion. Collect some new key pieces from my 31 handpicked ShopSense favorites, since I’m guessing you may already have some similar goodies in your closet. I’ve chosen things that will take you from the gym to a fancy date-night, key pieces that can be dressed up or down.

Go hunting locally and thrift some black jeans to distress (cheese grater and bleach spray, anyone?) and cut them to fraying bits! Grab your favorite Dr. Martens. I’m going to try and snag the Victorian Flowers for Moi-self, don’t you know!

Stay tuned to the next HorrorAddicts Podcast for tips to accessorize these time-tested basics.

The Gothic Tea Society: Keeping the ‘Net Macabre

The Gothic Tea Society: Keeping the ‘Net Macabre

By Kristin Battestella

Kbatz here taking a midnight brunch this evening and spending a few moments with Wednesday Black, mistress and founder of The Gothic Tea Society website!

The Gothic Tea Society Page describes the Society’s focus as attention toward “all those Macabre, Arcane, Creepy, & Dark things we can’t get enough of” in addition to the promotion of the Gothic Culture and arts. How did the creation of the blog come about? Why did you feel the need for such a site back in 2009?

I created the blog as a vehicle to explore, discuss and visualize those things that I define as Gothic.  While there is a general conception of what is Gothic in our shared cultures, there are also many subtle and not so subtle differences that just add to the complex beauty mixed with macabre that to me, defines Gothic.

My own concept of ‘Goth’ has a pretty wide angled lens, so I knew that there would be others who might appreciate my eclectic tastes. I was right, there are lots of people with a similar view.  I try to include all leanings of Gothic, from the most basic old school to the Cyber-goth crowd. I really think there is room for everyone.

One thing I focus on are dark and alternative artists. There are some really talented gothic leaning artists out there and I have had a great time over the last few years being introduced to them, usually by the people who read The Gothic Tea Society Blog and FB page. This year, I have started a series of interviews with Artist whose work I have found incredible. They are all so creative and talented, but they all have a different eye, and they all have interesting stories. I also use The Gothic Tea Society to promote Artists, Gothic shops ( Online as well as Brick and Mortar) and Events world wide. All readers are encouraged to share their own wares or favorites.   Of course I always appreciate efforts to spread the word about The Gothic Tea Society FB page and Blog. Anyone who follows The Gothic Tea Society Facebook page knows that I also welcome ‘shameless self promotion’

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The Facebook companion page for The Gothic Tea Society has over 20,000 likes.  Did you ever think there was such a huge online community in need of refined Goth media?

Yes, I did. The great thing about The Gothic Tea Society is that there is something for everyone. As a result there are many readers who have a sense of ‘gothic appreciation’  but would not consider themselves to be Goth. I have had people write to say that they are ‘Goth curious’  or that they enjoy things with a gothic feel but due to a variety of reasons they aren’t comfortable openly expressing it in their daily dress and decor.

Once considered the nonconformists of the club, Goth stylings have become much more mainstream and wow, I want to say popular. Do you think there are still misconceptions about the Goth and underground communities today?

Sure there are. Most commonly that anyone ‘Goth’ has something to do with Satan or some sort of Anti- Religion agenda. That if some one finds beauty in ‘darkness’ it is because they are depressed and unhappy. In our culture (western) wearing black is for funerals and mourning so if you wear black all the time you crave sadness and despair.

Speaking for myself, I do adore death culture and by that I mean the  beautiful art, history and ritual associated with it.

I am an avid cemetery lover and photographer. I also love skulls, skeletons, halloween and bats too!  I find quite a bit of beauty in things macabre. But all that said I do not enjoy slasher and bloody horror or violence. That surprises some people, but to me one is natural and the other quite unnatural and unnecessary.

How do you handle some of the hateful spammers and normals who erroneously think that any and all Goths, folks who dress in black, Halloween enthusiasts, Wicca practitioners, Satanists, Zombie survivalists, punk, emo, etc. groups are one in the same evil and scary people?

Actually, to date, I have rarely encountered that sort of  internet troll harassment. The way I see it is , if my blog or page offends you in any way. .  then click off of it! You need not expose yourself to something that upsets or offends you. We all have that free will.

I am careful to keep clear of anything political and I will delete any post that attempts to get political. I will also not allow rants or porn posts on The Gothic Tea Society. There are lots of pages and places for those things, GTS is not one of them.

Anyone who groups all the people that you mentioned under one label does so out of their own ignorance. I personally don’t have time to debate with the uninformed.

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The GTS offers news, interviews, and photos both Victorian and sophisticated and modern or punkish in humor.  How do you define Goth for yourself and the Society? Are the sub divisions, Goth specializations, and new labels good or bad do you suppose?

As I mentioned, I try to include photos, stories, and links that someone with very eclectic Gothic tastes might enjoy. I am sure not everything is for everyone, but I try for a good mix and I think I do ok.

I have a pretty encompassing Gothic scope. In my view,  something is ‘Goth’ if it has a certain, sometimes undefined dark beauty, or melancholy aura about it. It is more of a feeling of macabre esthetic that defines it for me.  I feel it as much as I see it.

I think the various sub divisions are great. Each one exists because someone said ‘ Yes, this feels like me, but I also want to add this twist’. They add it and a new look, music or piece of art is created!

You also helm several more creepy sites and pages including The Daily Witch, November Obscura, and Wednesday’s Attic.  How do you manage such an online active lifestyle? Do you have a specific schedule or is it certain arcane material per page?

The Daily Witch is a fun eclectic witchery page on Facebook, created for the sole purpose of sharing my favorite witchy finds from around the net. I try to post at least one thing daily, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

November Obscura is a company that my husband and I founded together as an outlet for our photography and travel projects. It has a Blog and a FB page as well. We have a plethora of blog posts upcoming on that one. Currently there are all sorts of topics in the Blog, including lots of cemeteries!

Wednesdays Attic is my personal Blog. There I post about things that I find interesting. I find many odd things of interest so I include things like that. It is somewhat macabre and strange because , well, it is my blog.

Schedule! That is a word that follows me around quite a bit because I spend at least 5 days a week on a tight one! I work full time with a very long commute. I use the commute to plan blog posts, interviews and projects. Ok, sometimes I talk on the phone too, but hands free of course!

I use a little time before and after work each day to check in with my funny creative and interesting friends on FB on my own page, then share, and post on The Gothic Tea Society’s FB. If I have a Blog to post such as an interview I usually do that after work on a weeknight. I also have a few incredibly clever friends that I have met through The Gothic Tea Society that contribute to the blog. I have taken notice of them for their original style, creativity and keen wit and I invite them to become contributors to the Blog. They are marvelous!  I am open to guest bloggers as well.  It can be time consuming but it is a labor of love.

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Who are some of your inspirations or favorites of the aforementioned Macabre or Creepy in literature or television and film?  What music are you listening to right now?

Literature- I was always a huge Anne Rice reader. My favorite books are ones about death rituals, art and cultural mores. History, religion, and folklore.

Most of my TV watching consisted of documentaries or historical biographies, that was until I became hooked on Six Feet Under and then Dexter. (I am sensing a theme!) 

I confess to being a rather Burtonesque style Goth. I give Mr. Burton quite a bit of credit for bringing black and purple out  into the light of day, and making it ‘cool’ to love the arcane and creepy!  His movies and characters have allowed a great many people to embrace the creepy they didn’t even know they had in them.

As for music, unlike most who find their way to Goth through music, I found my way through Art and other visual media. My preferred music is found between 1920 and 1950.  I particularly love Violin, Cello and piano.

I am not listening to anything now, except my cat who is complaining to me.

What social advice or styling tips would you give to the budding Goth enthusiast? How is one to stay true to themselves and not be a poser in today’s era of trends, changes, and wannabes?

Find what you like, what feels good for you and go from there. I don’t think there are hard defining lines on things like ‘what is gothic’   anymore so terms like poser and wannabe are obsolete.  The only boundaries that exist are the ones you put up or allow. It’s ok to be eclectic.

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What’s your favorite part of administering the Gothic Tea Society?

The fabulously interesting readers! I have met so many fascinating people!

Thanks Again Wednesday for taking the time to speak to Horror Addicts!!

My pleasure. Thank you for your interest in The Gothic Tea Society!

To get in on the Goth action yourself, visit The Gothic Tea Society at the following links:

http://gothicteasociety.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/GothicTeaSociety

http://novemberobscura.blogspot.com/

The Cemetery Photos featured here tonight are also from Ms. Wednesday and November Obscura.  Awesome!

Monster Mash with À Rebours

For our season finale, I could think of no one finer to conclude our musical meanderings than Ian Stone of À Rebours [ah reh boor]. I discovered his music in 2007 and I have endeavored to keep in touch with him through the years. It was a real treat to be able to tap him for the finale.

Of the band itself, Ian is “the founder, singer, guitarist, programmer, and songwriter. Ryan Holmes is the bassist, and John Cole is the drummer. Ryan and John both bring that outside viewpoint along with an expert-level of musicianship to the mix. I write the songs from start to finish and I present them with pretty much a finished product, with a bass part and drum part already written. Although I’m proud of what I create, I’m still insulated in my little creative cocoon. Ryan and John generally play what I’ve written, but when either one tweaks something or suggests a change it’s always fantastic. Both of them are outstanding and we all like textures and unexpected left turns, so their perspectives are welcome. They’re really the first ones I’ve felt comfortable letting in to the creative process in that respect. I’ve had such bad experiences with band mates before that I always had the idea that À Rebours wasn’t going to be a democracy. Haha! Thankfully I am privileged to work with a couple of guys that will add taste and texture instead of cliché and mediocrity.”

His debut album, Vanish, is always in my listening rotation (not just around Halloween) and the songs are deep, sometimes playful, always hauntingly beautiful pieces. It was difficult for me to choose one song to feature on Horror Addicts. In the end, I picked the song that seems the most Poe-inspired to me, which is “Cardiac Thanatosis”.

What was the inspiration for this song? “Naturally heartbreak is the general theme, but I wanted something that took the feeling in a different direction. At the time the music was starting to take shape, I was reading The Villain’s Guide to Better Living by Neil Zawacki and there was a section in there about how important it was to get rid of your heart before someone got to it. The book suggested cutting it out and hiding it so that good guys couldn’t poison you with things like regret, sympathy, kindness and those types of things that would kill your evil mojo. I thought, ‘There we go. How do you protect yourself against heartache? You’ve got to make sure there’s nothing to break!’ I was reading this in early 2005 or so, I think, or early 2006. It wrote itself from there. My songwriting tends to go like that: once a seed idea has germinated the whole song just kind of unfurls out of itself.”

He added, “Incidentally I’ve had many late night, alcohol-saturated discussions with friends and fans about whether or not the song is figurative or literal. I like for the listener to derive some of his or her own meaning from it, but if you ask me I suppose my response depends on my mood. I’ve defended both sides. The sketch animation video I did for that song ends with an image of a screaming guy with a massive suture on his chest. Is it symbolic, or literal? Hmmmm…”

I first discovered you about the time you packed up and left Phoenix, AZ, for the “bright lights” of New York. How has NY treated you since then? “Haha well let’s clarify that I went to upstate NY, not New York City. Going to NYC would’ve been a significantly different experience—better or worse, I’m not sure. But I would say that as far as the band goes it was a setback. I built up the beginnings of a solid fan base in Phoenix, and then I left it behind and never really built something as good here. The decision to move had nothing to do with music, and in the long run it’s been overall good for my life…not easy, but good in the end. I met my new wife out here after all. For my music, though, it’s been difficult, and may very well have been a blow À Rebours won’t bounce back from. That’s depressing. I have a lot of music still inside clawing at the walls to be let out. I have some stories to tell about the things that happened to me in New York and about the things I’ve discovered about myself. You can’t, however, spend too much time dwelling on the whole ‘coulda-shoulda-woulda’ thing, or playing ‘what if?’ all the time because it’s pointless. It just causes emotional unrest, you know? So I suppose now I just need to get to making lemonade, if you know what I mean. I just need to release my music and keep trudging forward.”

Where are some of the places you have toured/played? “Played all over Phoenix before I left. In the North East I’ve played all over the Southern Tier, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, some places in PA, all the way down to Ohio, Connecticut and over to Michigan.”

Where would you love to play that you haven’t yet? “I haven’t gotten to play in NYC yet, which I’d like to. I really want to play in Europe, too; I think audiences there are more in tune with À Rebours’ musical style and I’ve just fallen in love with Europe every time I’ve traveled there.”

Do you have any stories of any gigs that stand out? “Haha not any good ones! Any band will tell you that there are more clusterfucks on stage than visits from angels, so lets just say that we have our share of those! But, to answer you, I guess one that stands out in my mind was when we played Mohawk Place in Buffalo alongside Tearwave, who at the time was on the Projekt label, and Woven, who were from LA and touring. Overall the show was an epic dud because, like, five people came. Total bust—and Tearwave were hometown heroes there. It kind of baffled all of us. Bad timing, I guess. It happens. But each band setup nevertheless, played like we were playing to a stadium and were cheered on by the other two bands. It was kinda cool. The energy from fellow musicians and the enthusiasm and support for what each band stood for was just awesome. We played so great that night, haha of COURSE!”

I know that “À Rebours” is French for “against the grain”, but what does it mean to you, and why the evolution of name from “Maxwell’s Demon”? “À Rebours stands for being fiercely unique and independent. To me it means not only trying to find an oblique way of doing things, but also making a point to do things differently. It’s about existing on a level apart from the everyday ignorance, mediocrity, and herd mentality. It’s about being an outsider by choice and savoring the delicious experience that offers.

“I switched from Maxwell’s Demon because À Rebours just resonated with me and more accurately described what I was aiming for. I figured I’d have one shot—my fifteen minutes—to say what I wanted to say to people so I’d better make it count. Or at least be as accurate as possible.

“About that time, oh I’d say 2005 I think, I was also submitting an early version of ‘This Winter’ to Projekt for their unsigned band compilation. Again, I wanted a name that cast the light I wanted cast on the music I was presenting. It was the first time I was putting my music out there. That compilation never materialized, but it was the thing that solidified the name. In retrospect, Maxwell’s Demon probably would’ve been easier for people to pronounce!”

It may be hard to choose, but which of your songs is your favorite and why? “On Vanish, I’d say my favorite is ‘Dust‘. Amongst the newer songs, my favorite is ‘The Parliament of Rooks.’ That tune is split into two parts and bookend the album, but as a whole I’d say it comes the closest to capturing the bleak, melancholy sound I’m always trying to create. There’s a live version of the second part on YouTube, if one is interested in hearing it.”

Outside of the usual labels describing music, how do you describe your music? “Way back on MySpace I used to describe it as ‘deliciously melancholy rock.’ On our Facebook it says ‘If Edgar Allan Poe had a rock band, this would be it.’ It’s a collision of rock, shoegaze, goth, progressive, and probably a few other things in the mix. Sometimes it’s bleak and introspective, sometimes it’s dense and defiant. Put equal parts haunting, Tesla experiment, postmodern romance, and message from space into a shaker with ice, strain into a chilled soul and garnish with loud amps.”

Who are your favorite bands, and who has influenced your music? “Oh my God that’s asking for an encyclopedia recital! My favorite band of all time is the prog band Fates Warning. I grew up on them, learned so much from trying to play their music and they still capture that same vibe lyrically and atmospherically that resonates with me. I have everything they’ve done and just about every side project from the members.

“Outside of that I could name a ton of artists that inform my style: AFI, Bethany Curve, Jean-Michel Jarre, Peter Murphy’s Carver Combo, Trivium to start. I’ve had stages where I couldn’t get enough of things as widely different as Jack White, Iron Maiden, or VNV Nation. I’ve got a huge music collection. Real honestly, anything that I hear that I like is a potential influence. It all enters some kind of mental cauldron and bubbles back up somewhere.

“I know Ryan and John are both big fans of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, Iron Maiden and Rush (as am I). Ryan has a Jazz degree so there’s that side of his playing that figures in. John is a high school band teacher so he naturally has to command a ridiculously huge repertoire and that kind of knowledge naturally informs his playing.”

What other styles of music do you like? “Classical. Middle Eastern. Ambient and atmospheric. Electronic, Industrial and Dance. All kinds of rock and metal. I’ve been getting into sick and sleazy blues—not like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Eric Clapton kind of blues, I mean like chilly, raw, remote, bar on the edge of town at 4 in the morning kind of blues. Just to name a few things.”

What type of music turns you off? “I just CANNOT get into contemporary country. Old C&W has some valid merit and of course great musicians; I still don’t much care for it though. The stuff nowadays we call country just completely turns me off. Induces nausea, even. Most contemporary R&B and pop music kills me a little inside, too. Outside of those I can usually find something I like in just about every genre.”

Is there a style that you haven’t worked in that you would like to? “As far as genres that I’d like to explore, I’d like to go in a couple of different directions. One, I’d like to do more electronic. There are more keyboards and sequenced parts in The Parliament of Rooks album than in Vanish, but it’d be fun someday to go full on industrial-EBM or something. Second, I’d love to do something totally and unapologetically heavy metal. Something like Trivium or In Flames. Now, I don’t believe À Rebours is the medium to explore those avenues, so there might be side projects in the future, or perhaps a revival of Maxwell’s Demon outside of À Rebours. I need to get Parliament of Rooks out and the third album done as well, though, before I even entertain those ideas!”

Speaking of, how soon can we expect to have The Parliament of Rooks available? “Well that, my friend, is the million dollar question, LOL! 2013 at the earliest, hopefully not 2014 or beyond. I’m trying to balance optimism with realism. At this point that’s the best I can offer.”

How has producing The Parliament of Rooks been different than Vanish? “Compared to this, Vanish was a breeze. With all of the times that files have been lost or corrupted, that life has gotten in the way and shut me down, and now of course factoring in the physical distance from my label and their resources…it’s been very frustrating. The songwriting aspect is always the most time consuming because I obsess over so many aspects of a song. That being said, writing definitely went faster for POR than for Vanish. However, once Vanish got the green light to produce, it went fairly quickly. This album has been anything BUT quick or smooth. It’s been terribly frustrating. The music was all written three years ago!”

Do you listen to podcasts, and if so what kind and which ones? “I have listened to some, but I just don’t feel like I have the time to subscribe to them. I’ve tried before, and iTunes just ends up full of podcasts I never listen to. Then I get so fed up I just delete the whole lot. I feel lucky to have time to read a book for crying out loud.”

When you aren’t creating or playing music, do you have any other creative outlets? “Absolutely!! Music is actually my second avocation. I am a freelance illustrator/designer and I run a business called Moulin Diesel. I did all the artwork for Vanish from the tray card and J-card to the disc. Moulin Diesel did À Rebours’ website and graphics, too. Art is really the thing that feeds my soul. Music is a side dish. I’m passionate about both, don’t mistake me, but my art definitely takes precedence over my music, especially at this point in my life where the music is caught in a swamp and my art is doing well. Not to mention art actually creates an income, whereas the music most definitely does not. But alas, we don’t do creative things for the money, only for the enjoyment. Nevertheless, one has to eat, n’est-ce pas?”

Indeed, so what’s next for you and the band? “Finish recording and release The Parliament of Rooks. That is job number one. And then, of course, play shows to support it. Given Ryan and John’s schedules, however, that second piece is tentative. Ryan’s in Connecticut playing with the band Echo & Drake which is dong fantastically well. I’m really proud of him. John, as I said, is a high school teacher so he’s really only free during the summer. I need—NEED—to release this album though and tell the story of the third album, of which I’ve already been writing for. We’ll see what the live schedule looks like, but one way or the other I need to keep sharing the music I write.”

What advice do you have to new bands? “The ‘music business’ is a sham designed to grind you up and package you as a money-making commodity for the people running the business. Avoid it. Be your own boss, learn some business practices and run your band like a business. It won’t be any harder work and you’ll be happier in the long run. And when I say treat it like a job, that means full time at the very least. It’ll require that much and more to make it into something. I think that’s why À Rebours hasn’t done better: life got in the way and I never put the 110% it took to make it. When I tried, other things suffered and cost me emotionally. For better or worse, I believe the band could’ve been more and probably still could be. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that presently it’s not and shouldn’t be my main focus in life.”

You can download their music from iTunes and Spotify, or purchase the physical CD directly from CD Baby or from their website in a merch bundle. Merchandise is available at their website: maurautius.com, as well as some other stuff on Cafépress. They are also on ReverbNation and MySpace. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter as well.

New Theme Song Band: Cancer Killing Gemini

So many bands entered this contest and had awesome tracks,
that it was a super hard task to choose our new theme song band.
Some of the bands were so good, we asked them to be featured next season
and they will be reaching your earbuds soon.

However, the HorrorAddicts.net staff narrowed it down to
the song we thought best emulated the show’s spirit.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to announce our newest theme song band:
Cancer Killing Gemini!

Listeners will find out more about these blokes on the
premiere of HorrorAddicts.net, Season 7
beginning in April 2012.

Until then, check out their site where you can hear a new song monthly
and listen to the new HorrorAddicts.net theme, “Horror Movie Song”.

http://www.cancerkillinggemini.com/wp/

Hug A Goth Day

Hey Horror Addicts, Wednesday, August 24th is Hug A Goth Day. So if you know a goth or see a goth walking down the street, make sure that you give them a hug.  Hug a Goth Day is meant to pay homage to Sophie Lancaster who was brutally killed after being attacked by strangers for being goth in the United Kingdom.

On August 11th 2007, Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Rob Maltby we’re walking home when they we’re brutally attacked by thugs just because they we’re different. Rob tried to stop the attackers but they overpowered him. Sophie cradled her boyfriend’s head and begged their attackers to stop, but instead of stopping they kicked her until she was unconscious.

Both Rob and Sophie we’re beaten into comas. Two weeks later, Rob came out of his coma but Sophie did not. Sadly Sophie died on August 27th when her family decided to take her off of life support. The teenagers who participated in the attack bragged to some other teenagers saying that they did “something good.” There we’re also other kids who witnessed the attack.

Thanks to the witnesses, two of the attackers we’re sentenced to life imprisonment and three others were sentenced to prison terms for the attack.  A police detective said that the attack was one of the most violent murders that he had ever come across and the attackers did not feel the least bit guilty and joked with their parents about what they had done.

Though Sophie Lancaster’s life ended in a very tragic way, she will never be forgotten. Her boyfriend Robert Maltby put on a display of his art that was inspired by Sophie to honor her memory. Also on October 6th 2007, a concert was held in Sophie’s honor featuring 10 bands. Also a fund was set up in her honor called: S.O.P.H.I.E.(Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere).

So in honor of Sophie Lancaster hug a goth on August 24th and think of all the people who have been discriminated against just because they were different.

For More information on Sophie Lancaster and Hug A Goth Day, check these websites out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Sophie_Lancaster

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125094830909524

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzAj4WsF3VE&feature=related

Horror Fashion: Steampunk / Fetish Swimwear

This isn’t exactly promoted as swimwear,
but any addict could be proud going to the beach in one of these beauties.

If you’d rather not go out in leather,
this will give you some nice inspiration to make your cotton and
spandex into unique outfits that are more Horror Addict
friendly than your regular old beach wear.

‘Course, if your tastes lean towards hanging out in an old
steam-powered factory, you’ll know just what to wear!

Monster Mash with Plasticoma

“I think I am decay
I am evil
My thoughts are never pure”
— From the song “Champagne and Razorblades” by Plasticoma

Our featured band this week is Plasticoma, a dark electronic trio based out of Johannesburg, South Africa, also known as Jozi. Plasticoma was founded by vocalist and writer Jaco Brewis. Rounding out the group are guitarist Shawn van Staden and bassist Derik Nel. Their song we are featuring this episode is “Champagne and Razorblades”. Much like the song from our previous episode, this song also embraces the theme of insanity. (Both songs really speak to the Malkavian in me.) However this is where the similarities end, as “Champagne and Razorblades” is a much darker, heavier track.

In Jaco’s own words, “I thought it was a good track to go with the theme of horror. I came up with the idea at work one day when I was feeling really sad and depressed but happy at the same time, so I thought this is ‘Champagne and Razorblades’. So that was the concept — happiness in darkness but slightly more psychotic. When we were recording the track Shawn had this idea to take the concept further and make it like a mental institution song, where in the verses we would talk like background voices of me the patient and Shawn the shrink. We also recorded some throwing of chairs and things. It was a lot of fun and it come out the way we wanted to.”

Plasticoma got its name when Jaco recorded a song for a gothic compilation album and then realized he needed a name for the then solo act back in 2006. His girlfriend Emma had suggested “Plasticoma” among others. He said, “I immediately liked it as I pictured someone in a coma but wrapped in plastic, kinda like a plastic morgue. Also I liked the name as it sounded fresh and it was the direction I wanted to go in, full electronic dark music.”

He described their music as “experimental in a lot of ways, as we are fusing heavy guitars and a lot of synths. It is still electronic music but also alternative and sometimes even rock electro if there is such a thing.” About his band mates he added, “we work well as a team. Shawn is a bit of perfectionist and I tend to quickly just write riffs and chord progressions. After that, me and Shawn will normally put a lot more work in, finer details and textures will be put in. Derik adds some solid bass lines that makes the sound fatter.”

Their album, Frei, and its title track comes from the German word for “Free”, and was written as Jaco puts it, “when the first member of the band and I parted ways, and I was well let’s just say very p* off. So I wrote the song to make me free of all B.S. But I never write songs about singular events so it became my break away song from all that bothers me in life, to make me free from this pain, make me free from this flesh, and so on.”

Jaco has some great advice for new bands, “Keep going! Write the music, don’t judge the music. It’s easy to be over-critical, keep your dream alive. See where you’re going and you’ll get there.”

For fans of the band in Johannesburg, you can find them most of the time playing gigs in nearby Pretoria at Full Moon Lounge under V.A.M.P. parties. Their record company, Koffin Kidz Records (how can you not love that name), books all of their shows and also owns the club. Jaco added, “we haven’t played Cape Town yet, and as a goth cliché, I’m going to say we would love to play in Germany, like a tour. That would be amazing I think.”

You can find the band online at http://www.plasticoma.co.za/, as well as on ReverbNationMySpace, and on Facebook.

Press Release: Veronique Chevalier Update

Veronique Chevalier Update

* * * Veronique Announces Partnership with SJS Promotions * * *
Ms. Susan Soares, Founder of SJS, shall now be conscientiously bombarding vous with all news Veroniquey. We are most honoured to welcome her & look forward to a lovely working relationship, as we pick up greater eSteam!

* * * PDX Gear Con & Back to The Pacific NW! * * *
Excitement is at hand, as well as a-foot! The event producer of Portland’s first-ever Steampunk Festival – PDX Gear Con, July 23rd-25th, (who happens also to be the producer of the acclaimed Rose City Steampunk Film Festival), had the excellent taste to include La Moi as one of his first invited Honoured Guest Perv-ormers! Also appearing are Erica UnWoman Mulkey, Vernian Process, Wanderlust Circus & Vagabond Opera, among many others!

Visit the Official PDX Gear Con Website for further info:
http://pdxgearcon.com/category/performers/

Well, that’s enough excess “braggage” for this round. Please feel free to send moi an Aetheric Telegram with any questions/comments/kudos! (Complaints shall be duly ignored- forewarned is four-armed. 😉

With great affectation, er, affection & eSTEAM,

MADemoiselle Veronique
The Original Mad Sonictist

Monster Mash with Witness the Apotheosis

“They say I suffer from insanity
Just between friends
I’m not suffering at all
I kinda like it here”
— From the song “Asylum” by Witness the Apotheosis

Witness the Apotheosis is a darkwave/industrial duo from Athens, Georgia and consists of Terance Schmidt and Zak Vaudo. Both provide vocals, electronic programming and compose the music. Zak also plays cello while Terance plays other instruments. In describing their synergy, Terance said, “Zak is certainly better with beats then I am, I tend to get things started, then Zak will bring a lot to the rhythm. I tend to do pretty well with creating melody – basslines, arpeggios, that sort of thing. Zak has much more experience with the genre of music that we make; he’ll pull us back in that direction when I go too far towards my rock roots.”

The song they shared with us is “Asylum” from their debut album Monomyth. The voices inside my head that scream at me from behind my eyeballs totally love this song. Apparently I’m in good company. Zak told me that “aside from being a fan-favourite, ‘Asylum’ has always just jumped out as one of the more unique songs in our lineup; it showcases our blend of style backgrounds better than any of our other works.” Terance added, “it’s the song that we have the most fun with on stage. My favorite memory playing that song was one time we completely freaked out our audience with it. After the song they just stood there, silently. I looked back at them and said ‘your silence is all the applause I ever wanted.’”

Both Terance and Zak were originally from Queens, NY, but met in Athens, GA. Terance is a fan of the music from Athens. He said, “I enjoy the B-52s, REM and Pylon especially. Music Hates You is also an influence. The bass in Pylon and REM is something I think I may draw from somewhat.” Zak noted that there isn’t a lot of electronic music in Athens to draw from, saying, “the last one that had any influence on me was Unavox. I let Terance pull the rock elements; electronic music tends to resonate the most with me.”

Myself, I love the little references to Greek myth in their band name, album titles, and such. Terance mentioned the time he sought advice from an oracle, in this case, a tarot deck. “I did a tarot reading to get some idea of how things might work out with Zak and I doing a band. It came up with the World card, which is the best card in the deck to draw. In the explanation book for my deck, one of the lines was that ‘they will all come to witness the apotheosis’, so that was a good sign. Apotheosis means becoming god-like. I like to say that when you get up on the stage and do your thing, you transcend ordinary humanity and become something more, so the name really makes sense to me.”

Even though they enjoy playing gigs, they both agreed that creating new music was more fun. Inspiration has come from many places. For Terance it has even come from just walking down the street. “Asylum started out with the line ‘I really like the flowers but what did they do with my mind?’ I was walking down Washington Street in Athens to Hot Corner Coffee when it came to me. I started writing lyrics for it and thought it would be funny. Then it got more serious, and yet still funny. It’s rare that I sit down and say, ‘Now I’m going to write a song about X.’ Instead it’s usually things that come out spontaneously and then we’ll build on them; that seems to work best.” Zak added that “the album Monomyth draws its inspiration from Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, as does the band’s name (the Apotheosis is one of the many steps on the Hero’s Journey). The Monomyth is the singular idea, the foundation of the myth. This debut EP is our foundation.”

Witness the Apotheosis

After Monomyth, they created and released When the Night Comes. As Terance puts it, “Monomyth was a ‘gotta have something done for Frolicon,’ a convention we played. I was literally finishing it up just in time to burn it and go.  When the Night Comes was more of a remix album of the title song. It was really cool to hear what other artists did with this song that we wrote. The track I find most interesting on it is “Modern Prometheus”, which is some very out-of-genre music for us that I started playing with late one night and Zak reading a poem over it. I never imagined I’d like it as much as I do.” Zak added, “for me, I really wanted to create a single that showcased one of our favourite songs and the transition it had undergone (with the ‘New Wave Cut’ being the first draft and the ‘Album Version’ being its reinvention). It was imperative to me that any remixes of the track were strikingly different from anything else on the single; I hate remixes that sound like they’ve been added in as filler. The Dark Clan and Creation bring extremely unique sounds to the track, giving the song new and engaging faces.”

To check out the band, visit their Bandcamp site at witnesstheapotheosis.bandcamp.com. You can also find them at ReverbNation, MySpace, Facebook, and in all the dark corners of Athens, Georgia.

Do Goths Have To Work Harder Than Norms To Get Respect In The Workplace?

Do goth or alternative lifestyle employees have to work harder than the norms?

I am a gloom cookie, a mistress of the dark, a “goth” as the norms call us. I wear black clothes, color my hair, and sport elaborate makeup. I’ve worked for employers that don’t care what I wear and ones that have dress codes that make me alter or tone down my look, but at the core I am still me and I will be me whether they like it or not. Those of us who live alternative lives… whether you be a goth, lolita, punk, gay, or have an uncommon religion, are different. We see things differently. We process things differently and have different answers to mainstream questions. Some of us hide or disguise our differences so that we can have a simpler life, but in the end, we are different and you have to be a pretty good magician to hide it at all times, even in the workplace.

I don’t have to tell you that the “norm” perception of us is bad. Apparently we are evil, devil worshiping, spell casting, curse making, sexually perverse, murderous fiends who will stop at nothing to “turn” them     (fill in the blank- goth, gay, evil)   . God forbid you fall into two or three of these different alternative categories. To them, a gay male, goth, pagan, has one intent: To corrupt their way of life and turn their sons into flaming voodoo priests! I’m not going to tackle how we change that impression in this post… that is so much bigger than ourselves. However, given that the impression of the general public is this, do we have to work harder in the workplace to prove our usefulness? To earn respect, do we have to be better, faster, and sharper than the “norms”?

I think we do. Because not only do they think we are “weird”, they also believe that we spend our work hours thinking “weird” things. It doesn’t matter that your cube mate is obsessed with her pet tabby cat and has pictures of the feline plastering her side of the cube wearing sweater sets. No, that is an acceptable hobby. Yet if we mention just once about a concert, book, or a movie we like, they instantly place us in the antagonist position. I can hear the conversations by the water cooler. “Omg… she said she just LOVES the Saw movies. What do you think her house looks like? Do you think she has meat hooks and table saws? Do you think she’s going to kill us all?”

Something that goes along with their perception of us is that we are lazy or try to get out of work. You know, because we need time to plot our destruction of their lives. Do you feel like, as a goth in the workplace, you are treated unfairly or held to a higher standard? Or perhaps judged more harshly because of your outward appearance or special interests? Do you find that you have to work harder for respect when your “norm” co-worker is constantly late and plays Farmville on Facebook all day but earns kudos easily? Do you think the way you dress or things you enjoy on your off-time hinder you from getting raises, promotions, or special incentives?

I once worked for a company where I was the token goth. I was the person they liked to put on the forefront to show others how diverse they were, but even known as the diversity proof, the stereotypes didn’t end. The fact is, unless you are willing to abandon your look or personality completely, you will be discriminated against. Until our general populace starts to really accept people’s differences in truth- not just in word, we will have to continue to wear down the prejudices that plague people of our kind.

I’ve worked with people who thought my dress code had something to do with my religion and they were shocked when I handed out holiday candy. Hum… do all Catholics wear pink? Not really… so why would all people who wear black be Satanists? It’s a color people! Just saying. A lot of these stereotypes are not even logical.

I’ve been blamed for bad business deals because I like the number thirteen and good friends (or not so good friends it turns out) have accused me of putting curses on them. I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to plot against you. If I had the ability to cast voodoo magic, I would definitely use that power to improve MY situation in life… not bring yours down. Here’s an interesting thought: If the majority of norm public doesn’t believe magic or spell casting is real, why do they assume we can wield it against them?

I’ve worked for good people too. Ones that understood or at least try to allow for my way of life, but these are not common. Why? What’s going to happen if you get close to a goth? I have to admit, there is a slim chance of getting black eyeliner on you, but beyond that, we are good people. Sure, there are the bad apples, just like any set of people, but for the most part we are kind, imaginative, interesting people and you are missing out on some terrific friendships.

I pride myself on being good at my job. No matter what the task is, I take time management and execution very seriously. I am a perfectionist and list maker and I rarely slack off. I work hard and I expect to be treated kindly and respected by my co-workers and managers. For these reasons, I have been able to earn respect at several companies by showing what I can do, but it wasn’t easy. If I was the cookie cutter worker, would I have more opportunity for advancement sooner? Who knows. It feels like it. Being a goth in the workplace almost feels like being on probation from day one. Guilty until proven innocent.

Because we are constantly trying to break down the stereotypes and work harder to prove we are not flakes or idiots, do alternative lifestyle people in the mainstream workforce have more stress in their lives? Do you find yourself getting sick more than others do or feeling exhausted at keeping up the charade? How long is the life expectancy of a goth in the modern office? I bet that’s one they haven’t tested! Why? Because we may melt in the light of day?

I’ve been very sarcastic in this post, but I really want to know. I’m interested in your view on this subject. How do you feel you are discriminated against in your office? How have you dealt with the hurdles you’ve faced? If you are not a goth, and are scared to get to know us, why? What fears can we break down for you? What makes you so scared?

THE EDWARDIAN BALL 2011

THE EDWARDIAN BALL 2011

The original, turn-of-the-century extravaganza returns with a two-city celebration of music, dance, circus, Gorey & more!

SAN FRANCISCO :: Friday & Saturday Jan 21-22
at The Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness, San Francisco
Doors & Show 8pm-2am both nights, all ages welcome
Plus — FREE daytime shopping Sat Jan 22, 12-6pm

LOS ANGELES :: Saturday Jan 29
at The Music Box @ Fonda, 6126 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles
Doors & Show 8pm-2am, all ages welcome

FRI 1/21… THE EDWARDIAN WORLD’S FAIRE (SF)

Exposition of Technology by KSW * The Edwardian Midway * Dark Garden Corsetry * DJ GlobalRuckus (PDX) * Flynn Creek Circus * Vima Vice Squad * City Circus * Vernian Process * Shovelman & more.

Tickets $28-38 + very limited $75 VIP, all ages welcome, doors/show 8pm.

SAT 1/22… 11TH ANNUAL EDWARDIAN BALL (SF)
Featuring a live, original performance of Edward Gorey’s “The Eleventh Episode” by Co-Hosts Rosin Coven & Vau de Vire Society * “Belle of the Ball” Jill Tracy * Miz Margo * Fou Fou HA! * Delachaux *
The Gomorran Social Aid & Pleasure Club * Portrait Studio & more. Tickets $38-48 (VIP sold out!) All ages welcome, doors/show 8pm.

BOTH NIGHTS (SF)…

Steam Powered Tea Garden by KSW * Cabinets of Wonder * Hall of Fine Arts * Sideshow Oddities * Ballroom Dancing * Vendor Bazaar * Gaming Parlour and much more!

AND… FREE DAYTIME SHOPPING SAT 1/22! (SF)

Find that perfect outfit, accessory, trick or treat for The Ball, or for anytime! Free daytime shopping hours in between the Friday and Saturday nighttime events. Changing rooms available. Full bar for 21+ with ID. Entrance at 1270 Sutter Street, lower level of event only. FREE, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, NO TICKETS REQUIRED!

SAT 1/29… EDWARDIAN BALL 2011 LOS ANGELES
Featuring a live, original performance of Edward Gorey’s “The Eleventh Episode” by Co-Hosts Rosin Coven & Vau de Vire Society * “Belle of the Ball” Jill Tracy * DJ Xian (LADEAD) * Miz Margo * Fou Fou HA! * Delachaux * Dark Garden Corsetry * Ballroom Dancing * Vendor Bazaar * Parlour Games & Special LA guests!
Tickets $28-35 + VIP Packages * 21 & up w/ID, all ages ok with adult chaperon.

THE EDWARDIAN BALL is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author Edward Gorey. Set in “Edwardian” times, this multi-media festival has grown over the past decade from a small underground club night into an internationally recognized event, even earning the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

The Edwardian Ball has been called “the quintessential must-never-miss event of the year,” “a defining annual San Francisco tradition,” and “a literary circus of the highest caliber” for good reasons… come see for yourself!

Tickets & Info: www.edwardianball.com

Edwardian Vendor Bazaar Daytime Hours
A leisurely day of shopping & gaming – FREE -12-6pm

Find that perfect outfit, accessory, trick or treat for The Ball, or for anytime! Free daytime shopping hours in between Friday and Saturday nighttime events. Changing rooms available. Full bar for 21+ with ID. Entrance at 1270 Sutter Street, lower level of event only. FREE, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, NO TICKETS REQUIRED!

We have just a few vending spots still available for both San Francisco and Los Angeles but they are going fast – more information here or contact Anna the Vending Queen anna@edwardianball.com.

Learn to Dance for The Ball!
Vima Dance offers group & private lessons to all

Step out in style and learn to dance for the Edwardian Ball!

Vima Dance Studio is once again hosting ballroom dance classes for the aspiring Edwardian. Classes run from November through January, at a very special rate for Edwardian Ball-goers, including:

FREE Intro to Ballroom Classes. Learn the basic step in six partner dances. This is a great class if you are not sure what you want to learn and want to sample a bit of everything. Early Bird Special – Free Classes in November and December. Drop-ins are welcome!

$8 Salon and Variety classes. These group classes will offer a more in-depth look at some of the classic ballroom dances: Viennese Waltz, Tango, Slow Waltz, Fox Trot and even some Rumba! (Group Package 16 classes for $128)

Edwardian Intro Package: 1 private lesson for $30 (single or couple). One on one introduction to ballroom dancing, or refine dances that you already know.

For schedule of classes visit www.edwardianball.com/dance

Vima Dance Studio

560 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

415-977-0203

www.vimadance.com

www.facebook.com/vimadance

Inside Horror Music with Claus Larsen & Leaether Strip

Unless you have been living under a rock since the 80’s, you have no doubt heard of Leaether Strip. HorrorAddicts had a chance to catch up with Claus Larsen, the man behind the machine and speak with him about his newest project “Dark Passages” and some other things as well.

SM: First, let me say that I am actually a big fan of Leaether Strip. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. And Happy Birthday! I know it’s a little late. Let’s jump right in: “Dark Passages” is your first foray into writing soundtracks, etc. How did you like this experience? Would you do it again?

CL: Thanks so much. It has actually been a dream of mine to compose music for films, even before Leæther Strip was started back in 1988.  John Carpenter’s soundtracks made me start to collect soundtracks, and his music has been a big inspiration for me. So getting the “job” to write music for “Dark Passages” was a dream come true, and I hope that it will open doors to that world of films. I would do it again for sure if I got the offer.

SM: How did it come about that you collaborated with director Cesar Cruz to do “Dark Passages?” Did he approach you? Had you worked together before?

CL:  I had never heard of  Cesar before. He asked me about 2 years ago if  I would be interested in writing the title theme song for his movie- I needed to read the script first to see if it inspired me of course. It was a very intense story and I said yes right away. Problem was that I was so full of ideas that one song wouldn’t do it for me, so a few months after I began I had over 60 minutes of music. Normally composers only get a few weeks to complete a soundtrack, so having all the time in the world, plus, only to have the script to inspire me was amazing for me. I bet all soundtrack composers would kill to have that amount of time and freedom.

SM: Was it in any way easier to write music based around a defined plot or subject matter? Was it in any way more difficult? How would you say it is different from the way you normally write songs, if at all?

CL: I approached this project in the same way I do with my “normal” work.. I read the script 2 times. Placed it in a drawer and then started on the title song. It was in a way kind of relaxing to do cause normally my lyrics are very personal and its not always easy to turn yourself inside out and being as honest as I am.  You would think that it was easier to write about other peoples stories, but  it’s not.. As soon as I started I was right there with the people in the story and the whole process quickly became as personal as a “normal” Leæther Strip song.

SM: What would you say is the overall theme or tone of the album?

CL: I think it’s the darkest album I have ever done. I might not be as harsh sounding, but I really moved around in the darkest places of my thoughts while writing this. I had some really “fun” nightmares while recording it too. I was also told that the actors in the movie listened to the soundtrack to get prepared to act the scenes out. I am very happy with the result, and I hope this is the start of something for me, and for Cesar, because he’s a huge talent, both visually and as a writer. He’s going places and I hope he’ll take me with him.

SM: Who would you say are the biggest influences in your work?

CL: There are many, but to pick the most important ones I would have to name Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, John Carpenter , Gary Numan and Skinny Puppy.

SM: If you had to pick a favorite piece of your own work, could you do it and if so, what would it be?

CL:  The album that have had the biggest impact on my life is “Solitary Confinement” from 1992. It was my breakthrough and it has opened many doors for me and I still get messages and questions from listeners concerning that album. But for me they are all favorites.

SM: You have played live MANY places. What has been your favorite live show so far?

CL: Yes, after my stage “come back” I have been really lucky to get to play a lot of shows. It’s been amazing to get out there to meet the people again, and I never thought that would happen again after my back problem started to get nasty in 93. The most fun gigs I played were in Dessau, Budapest , Philadelphia and London, and that doesn’t mean that the others were bad. I have actually been lucky so there haven’t really been any negative gigs.  I have met open arms and kindness at every show so far. I like the club gigs best because I get to play my full 90 minute set and there is time for the sound check and not so much stress before and after the shows. Another show that also meant the world to me, was the concert I played with Skinny Puppy last summer here in Denmark.

SM: What remix are you the most proud of or do you think turned out the best?

CL:  For me the best one is a new on that’s not released yet, but will be out soon I hope. An old 80s Song by Wang Chung called “To live and die in LA”, from the movie with the same title. The original  is one of best songs ever written if you ask me. They asked me to remix a new song of theirs and I did that, and took a chance to ask if  they would let me fiddle with that old song.  I was also just asked by Frontline Assembly to remix a song for them so I cant wait to get started on that.

SM: As a fellow musician, I know that sometimes it can be difficult to smash your music into a category or genre. That being said, what genre would you say YOU think Leaether Strip fits into, if any?

CL: I think that Dark Electro fit’s my sound pretty much, but for me personally its still “just” songs.

SM: Are there any artists you would like to work with that you have not had a chance to work with yet?

CL: I love working with other people so sure, there are many. It’s very inspiring for me to remix for others or having guest’s on one of  my songs. Dirk Ivens just said yes to do a guest vocal for a song on my coming Klutæ album. And I plan to ask Gary Numan, Ogre, Marc Almond and Darrin Huss in the near future for a guest vocal, but they don’t know it yet. After I asked and got a “yes” from Andy Sex Gang for the guest vocal on “What have I done” from the “Mental Slavery” album, I found the guts to ask some more. If I get a no then at least I asked.

SM: What direction do you see Leaether Strip going in as you move forward? Has this changed at all since you started?

CL: I have no idea. I always just go where the music is taking me. Evolution doesn’t happen when we think about it, it usually comes like a thief in the night.. Also, the devoted listeners knows that I move around in all sorts of genres, so they are hard to shock. I do have a wish to maybe record a 2nd Serenade for the dead. But right now my time is devoted fully to the new Klutæ album “Electro Punks Unite”.

SM: What would be the main thing you hope to achieve or get across to people with your music?

CL: The same as we all dream about. To have an impact on other peoples life’s. If I can help one person somewhere with my music as much it has helped myself, then nothing has been in vain.

SM:  What is next for Leaether Strip and you?

CL: I already got a lot of bookings for concerts for next year, and I expect to have the coming Klutæ album ready for release next spring. Then I start working on “Retention no4”, which will be for “Underneath the Laughter”.  I also got some new Leæther Strip songs in the works.  I also made my first Christmas song ever, for a compilation titled “Black Snow 2”.  It’s a tragic song about John Blacksmith titled “It happened on Christmas Day.”

(read about the release here:

http://emmo.jgs-media.de/(mmrzkqbak0bo0aejhvacff55)/content/shop/details.aspx?ProduktID=15872&KategorieID=32&keyword=black%20snow

You can check the confirmed concert dates on my Myspace site or my Facebook site.

www.myspace.com/leaetherstrip

www.facebook.com/leaetherstrip.clauslarsen

Claus is very excited about his newest projects and we are too! We are definitely looking forward to what this awesome band brings to the table. They always deliver. Can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Inside Horror Music With Robbie Quine

If “glam goth” could be personified into one band, self-proclaimed “intergalactic space sluts” Robbie Quine & The Barbarellatones are definitely it. With their very catchy gothabilly sound and humorous lyrics, they definitely poke fun at themselves and the goth scene. However, their list of accolades reminds the listener that The Barbarellatones are no joke. In addition to receiving radio play and glowing reviews from many scene magazines, their song “Fire of Love” was used in the “Luxury Lounge” episode of The Sopranos.

In the end, The Barbarellatones really must be seen to be experienced fully. According to Robbie, they feel strongly that rock music should be sleazy and glamorous. And baby, they bring it. What else can you say about a band that covers “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show that well? All the way to the hilariously catchy and almost anthemic “Grab Your Ankles,” The Barbarellatones deliver.