Lacrymosa Aeterna

Recently, HorrorAddicts.net had an opportunity to interview Lacrymosa Aeterna and this is what we found out!

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1. HA- Who are all the members? What instrument do they play? Who writes your lyrics?

Lacrymosa Aeterna is a dark classical crossover duet project from Thessaloniki,Greece. George Palousis is the composer and producer and Vamptessa Debbie is the vocalist and lyricist. Occasionally, we also collaborate with Daniela Paleohorinou,who is a talented upcoming poet/writer.

2. What singers or bands inspired you growing up? Who are your favorite artists today?

Debbie: As a teenager, I was mainly inspired by old Tristania, Draconian, Myriads, Epica, Nightwish, Lethian Dreams, Dark Sanctuary, Artesia, Elend, The Sins of thy Beloved, Nox Arcana and Midnight Syndicate.  I used to listen to atmospheric/melodic/symphonic/doom gothic metal & dark neoclassical music at that time. And of course, Disney! I still love Disney movies and I really hope to give my voice to a Disney princess some day. I think it’s about time they made a Gothic romantic princess!

My favorite artists today are Hayley Westenra,  Meav,  Eurielle,  Anna O’ Byrne,  Secret Garden,  Destini Beard, Emma Shapplin, Abel Korzeniowski, Jeremy Soule, Camilla Kerslake, Narsilion, Dark Sanctuary, Artesia, Aythis

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George: In my early years, I was inspired by various metal bands such as Nightwish, Epica, Within Temptation, Tool. Slowly, I turned to film/symphonic music and my favorite artists are: Howard Shore, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Abel Korzeniowski, Yanni  and several classics.3.  When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and how did you start out?

Debbie: At the age of 16, when I took up my first singing lessons, I decided that I wanted to make a living by being a vocalist. My beliefs were and still are that life is short and everyone should follow their heart’s desire by choosing to pursue their careers according to their dreams and what they love doing the most and not by only being dependent on the amount of money they will earn. The first step that I took towards my dreams, was to join a gothic metal band at the age of 17. It was more of a school project and it only lasted about a year.

George:  At the age of 19, I quit university, so that I would have time and energy for music and it was at this age  I started composing and producing my own music. I began learning to play the piano by myself and I slowly discovered the whole symphonic orchestra and the music production.4. What non-musical things inspire your music? Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

Debbie: My inspiration lies in anything magical-derived from fairy tales. Also, I get motivated by dreams I had, favorite movie scenes, soundtracks, paranormal romance literature, life experiences and silence… I find great inspiration in dead silence, that’s when my imagination runs wild. I love taking long walks in the woods during twilight hours and when there’s a full moon. The atmosphere is so eerie and darkly enchanting during these times,that my mind always drifts away and I feel like the figments of my imagination can become real.

George: Anything could inspire me. There isn’t anything in particular worth mentioning,except long walks in nature,which are utterly rejuvenating and inspiring.thatbandphoto2

5. What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? Or, where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

 We feel that our greatest achievement so far is that we got discovered by a movie producer based in Hollywood a year ago and we had the privilege of writing the whole score of the Gothic Horror film “Pale Horse” which will be released soon this year or next. It should be noted that this work is unrelated to our Lacrymosa Aeterna music. We worked on this score as individual artists.

6.What are your favorite horror movies?

George & Debbie: Our list is huge since this is one of our favorite genres,so we’re gonna name the first ones  that come to mind right now. Insidious movies, The Ring movies, Mama, The Conjuring I,II , The Orphanage ,Silent Hill I, Haunter, Whispering Corridors 3:Wishing Stairs, Whispering Corridors 4: Voice, Cello, The Uninvited, Mirrors I, Dead Silence, Case 39, The Dark and the list goes on…!

7. What was the scariest night of your life?

We really can’t recall any night that would be described as a scary one. Maybe it’s because we love the night!

8. What is available now that the listeners can download or buy? What is the website they can find it on? What is the best social media site for listeners to connect with you on? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Other? Bandcamp? What are your web addresses?

We have released an EP called “Fables”, which contains all of our 5 songs,not including our yet unreleased 6th installment “Shrine of Eternal Elegy”. It can be purchased directly from us by sending a personal message to our facebook page or sending an email to: lacrymosaaeterna@hotmail.com or by contacting us through our website: http://lacrymosaaeterna.wixsite.com/lacrymosaaeterna

You can also find our songs  on Bandcamp,Soundcloud , and our YouTube channel.9. If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

We would love to perform live in a large venue in Prague. We admire everything about this city and we’d really like to share the stage with  our talented dear friend, Destini Beard.

 

10. What are you working on now for a future release? Are you on tour? Where can they see you?

We are currently working on the video clip that will accompany  our song “Shrine of Eternal Elegy” and they will both be released hopefully by the end of fall 2016. We are also working on a new song that will feature Destini Beard’s vocals. For the time being, we don’t do live performances.

Finale Guest: G TOM MAC

For the finale, Dan Shaurette interviewed with one of our favorite musicians, a legend in the industry of soundtracks for TV and film as well as playing on tour, Mr. Gerard McMahon, aka G TOM MAC.

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2017 marks the 30th Anniversary of The Lost Boys! Of course his song, “Cry Little Sister” is forever linked to the movie.

All through the 80’s and 90’s and beyond he left his mark on many film and TV soundtracks. The compilation album Full Circle of Mad Years runs the gamut from Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Chasing Amy and more. Hell, KISS covered his song “Is That You” on their hit album Unmasked.

He is still writing and performing. His music can be found in two upcoming movies. The new Lionsgate film Grey Lady which hits theaters this later this year, and you can spot G in the movie singing the movie’s theme song, “Eyes on the Prize”. Plus there’s the upcoming comedy The Best Thanksgiving Ever which he wrote all of the music for.

In 2017, he’s releasing a new album called THOU and he will be playing gigs around the country to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Lost Boys.

We hope you join us for the season finale, premiering October 22, to hear the interview with G TOM MAC. To find out more about him and his music, please visit GTOMMAC.com.

Terror Trax: Gild the Mourn

TerrorTrax

Recently, HorrorAddicts.net had the opportunity to interview Gild the Mourn about their music, band, achievements and of course the scariest night of their life. Here’s more…

HorrorAddicts.net: Please introduce yourselves, what you play and how you write your lyrics:

Gild the Mourn: We’re Gild the Mourn, a multi-instrumental two-piece Fairytale themed Gothic Rock band. I (Angel Metro) am the vocalist and my husband, Gopal Metro, does backing vocals and lead guitar. We co-write all of our music together. We play bass, program our synthesizers and produce the tracks in our home studio. Occasionally we pull out a flute, banjo, acoustic guitar, or some strange instrument Gopal built.

We write our own lyrics and they’re highly collaborative.  One of us will generally sit down and write up the skeleton for a song and the other will come in and flesh it out, then we sit down together to polish the whole thing up and make certain the lyrics work well with the music. We take a lot of inspiration for them from mythology and fantasy.

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HA: What singers or bands inspired you growing up? Who are your favorite artists today?

A – As a child I really enjoyed Rockabilly and Blues inspired music. Elvis was king. Being a huge movie buff I also really liked movie soundtracks. As a teenager I got into Punk, Goth, and Psychobilly. Some of my favorite artists are The Bolshoi, Camouflage, The Cure, A Spectre is Haunting Europe, Mount Sims, Faith and the Muse, Sisters of Mercy, Igorrr, Switchblade Symphony, Dr. Steel, Story of the Running Wolf, Specimen and Rosetta Stone.

G – Pre 1990: Einstuerzende Neubauten, Severed Heads, Skinny Puppy, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, Bauhaus, The Cranes, The Cure. 1990-2000: Faith and the Muse, Switchblade Symphony, Bella Morte. Post 2000: Tying Tiffany, O.Children, The Good Natured, HTRK, IAMX, Valravn. Pretty much anything dark in sound. Production wise: Sinead O’Connor (the vocal treatments on her early works are incredible!), Moody Blues (vocal distortion, rich synths, crazy mixing and mastering techniques), Tyrannosaurus Rex’s albums “Unicorn” and “Beard of Stars” (absolutely bizarre music that certainly is not for everyone), in a similarly strange vein PIL’s “Flowers of Romance”,

HA:  When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and how did you start out?

A – I’ve been involved with music throughout my life in one form or another. I sung and played a variety of instruments like bass and saxophone. I applied to attend Berklee College of Music Online in the Fall of last year, and when I received my acceptance letter that’s when I decided to go full force as a musician and build out Gild The Mourn.

G – I have been playing or performing music since I was a little kid, but I don’t think I knew that I wanted to do it professionally until I was about 11, when I first heard the Severed Heads song ‘Army’. I didn’t know music could sound like that, but knew that I wanted to learn how to make more!

Gild the mourn single

HA: What non-musical things inspire your music? Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

A- Gopal and I take inspiration from a lot of the same areas, it’s what drove us to form the band in the way we have. One of my favorite places to become inspired is in the woods. Whether I have an audio book or just my own thoughts, it’s a perfect place to connect and be inspired.

G – Fairytales, folklore, ghost stories, myths, legends, high fantasy, ancient works of religion. Our studio is the best place of inspiration for me, but we did our best to design it that way.

HA:  What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? Or, where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

A – Thus far we’ve gotten international airplay, magazine features, and even have been honored by a few of them which has been pretty freaking amazing. One of the most fun things we’ve done was speaking at DragonCon on the Horror Track’s “State of the Goth Scene” panel. We were there with several other musicians, many of them being our friends as well and we had a blast talking about music.

G – So far, we released some songs and people liked them. *grins*  Truly, though, we are deeply grateful to everyone who has supported us to date.

HA: What are your favorite horror movies?

A – The Evil Dead, 28 Days/Weeks Later, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, Silence of the Lambs, Interview With the Vampire, Hellraiser, As Above So Below, The Number 23, Battle Royale, and The Babadook.  Also, an honorable mention for the Attack on Titan Series.

G – Pumpkinhead; As Above, So Below; Alien; The Others; Let The Right One In; Ringu; Dellamorte Dellamore. Pretty much any quality supernatural or sci-fi horror.  Recently watched the short film, The Birch, and absolutely loved it!

HA:  What was the scariest night of your life?

A – We recently had a family member pass away and without going into detail watching someone walk out and not come back, well that’s pretty damn scary.

G – It’s been quite a while since I last truly felt scared.  I haven’t had anyone threaten or try to kill me recently, which is a good thing. I also haven’t felt haunted in quite some time; also a good thing.  Even in the worst of times, I always trusted that I would make it out okay.  Thankfully, that has been true so far. As a husband and father, though, the biggest fears I have are for the safety and wellbeing of my wife and son.  Not too dramatic, I’m afraid, but honest.  If anything ever happened to either of them, I would truly be heartbroken.

HA: What is available now that the listeners can download or buy? What is the website they can find it on? What is the best social media site for listeners to connect with you on? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Other? Bandcamp? What are your id’s/ web addresses?

A- You can find all of our music, including our album “I-VIII” on our website: http://www.gildthemourn.com/, and you can also sign up for our mailing list there to get the latest news and freebies!

As far as social media goes we are all over the place and love connecting with fans! We’re most active on Facebook, so connect with us at: https://www.facebook.com/gildthemourn/

We’re also really active on Instagram, which gives some fun behind the scenes and daily life content. You can check us out here: https://www.instagram.com/gildthemourn/

You can follow us on YouTube to catch our upcoming vlog here: https://www.youtube.com/gildthemourn

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

G-Once we get on the road, we would love to play Wave Gotik Treffen; any slot would be awesome.  Same goes for Whitby Goth Weekend.  Opening slots for The Cure, Peter Murphy, Faun or Depeche Mode would all be a dream. Truly, we would love to play shows with any other band in any genre that’s devoted to what they do and who are open to cross-genre pollination.  Music, art, film-making, writing, they are all about passion, dedication and storytelling!

A- We’re also planning on playing within the convention scene.We have an avid love for comics and videogames as do our fans, so we will definitely be making some con appearances!

HA: What are you working on now for future release? Are you on tour? Where can they see you?

A- The next big thing we’re working on is the release of our 2nd music video for our song “Greed”. We’re really looking forward to sharing the video with our fans. We’ve had a killer team to help us make it reality and we’ve also bought back Sam Eberle who some fans may recognize as the videographer from our 1st video “Shade”. Sam is crazy talented and we’ve been really fortunate to work with him.

We’re also developing a crowdfunding campaign with kickass perks so fans can help support us on the road for our first tour! We’ll have it launched later this year and we’re shooting to be on the road in the Spring/Summer of 2017. There will be lot’s of merch including the the Deluxe Edition of “I-VIII” on CD, our first physical release ever!

If you want to see us live get in touch with your local promoter, venue, or band and let them know! We are open to play pretty much anywhere as long the logistics work and it fits in schedule wise. You can contact us about playing your next show at: gildthemourn@gmail.com.

We’re also shooting to launch of our vlog soon, so even if you can’t catch us in person you’ll be able to interact with us Youtube. You’ll be able to ask us questions, leave comments, and maybe get a shout out too!

About the song Greed:

A- Greed is about a person’s greed manifesting into an entity and consuming them, which ultimately leads to their demise, or rebirth depending on how you take it. It’s written from the entity’s perspective as it confronts them. Having a King or another person being consumed by want or a magical object is a common theme in fantasy, so it was a relatively easy song to craft. While composing the music for it I had some personal matters that related to these stories, and it also inspired me to take it in that direction. We released it in February 2015 and are releasing the music video this Fall! Keep an eye out for it by subscribing to our YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/gildthemourn

 

Terror Trax: Jill Tracy

TerrorTrax

HorrorAddicts recently had the joy of interviewing Jill Tracy about her music, inspiration and some of her achievements…..

HA: Do you write your own lyrics/where does your inspiration come from?

JT: Yes, I write both the lyrics and music. Although the music always comes first for me. That’s the “way in.” The vocal melody will reveal itself early on, then words begin to emerge. I am a meticulous wordsmith to a fault. Some songs lay frozen in notebooks for years because I was never happy with one particular line. But then the perfect line may come to me, pop in my head, at a random time. The process of letting it go will often bring it back to you. As far as what inspires—it’s never any one thing specifically; that’s the beauty of it, the sheer randomness. It’s more of a sensory response to the immediate; a word or phrase, an image, a story, a mood, a fragrance, textures, colors, he allure of the unknown, the forbidden, anything that enables me to ‘slip into the cracks.’ It’s a process of being alive in that place, allowing the flame. My music is like a portal, a transport into another realm. When I write, I’m conjuring a magic place, getting out of this world for a while. It’s the grand escape hatch

HA: What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

JT: As far as bands go—most definitely Pink Floyd. They captured that cinematic mood, that dark, mournful beautiful devastation that transported you completely. Also Led Zeppelin, The Cure, David Bowie, T. Rex, early Elton  John, The Doors, Japan, later period Talk Talk, The Pretenders, Gang of 4, Psychedelic Furs, The Cult, Roxy Music, The Who, early Peter Gabriel, old Moody Blues, early Aerosmith and Black Sabbath, ahhh, so many! It was only after I began performing live that I became acquainted with more of the classical composers, oddly enough because I was always getting compared to them. My very first-ever review in the 1990s (Bay Guardian) described me as “Erik Satie meets The Cure.” And later it was a fan who compared my mysticism to Alexander Scriabin. I am forever honored that my work is resonating with people in that realm.

Jill Tracy Portrait by Audrey Penven

 

HA: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and how did you start out?

JT: I have always been drawn to the mysterious— fantastical, otherworldly imagery. Worlds sans-time. I was obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock, Bernard Herrmann, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Jean Cocteau. As a child, I tried to build a time machine in my bedroom closet. I thought one could travel through the shadows. I just wanted to live in those worlds. I read about time travel, the belief in other dimensions, spirits, ghosts—I would lecture to my stuffed animals about the solar system and constellations. All I wanted to do was to discover or manifest hidden worlds. I knew they existed. My mission was to figure out how to find them. I began making frequent visits to an  lderly widow who lived next door. Her home was encrusted with bric-a- brac, old photos and dolls—porcelain-painted Siamese cats with jewels for eyes. In the basement was an ancient upright piano, covered entirely in beige and gold-flecked paint. It sat next to the washer and dryer, under buzzing fluorescent lights. There was something atrocious, yet reverent about this thing. It kept calling me. I knew nothing about the instrument, but I kept venturing next door, poised on the golden bench for hours, letting thoughts and spectres rush through my fingertips, as it transported me far away. I didn’t know what I was doing– but didn’t want to do anything else. This became my portal. It still is. To this day, I don’t read or write music, it’s all intuited.

HA:  Can you tell us about your Musical Seance work?

JT: I’ve learned to channel music spontaneously via various energy sources, whether found objects, environments, etc. The Musical Séance is a live traveling show, my long-time collaboration with violinist Paul Mercer. It’s a collective summoning driven by beloved objects the audience brings with them. Items of personal significance—such as a photo, talisman, jewelry, toy. This is a very crucial part of manifesting the music. Every object holds its story, its spirit— energy, resonance, impressions from anyone who has ever held the object, to the experiences and emotions passed through it. These compositions are delicate living things. They materialize, transport, and in the same second— they vanish. That’s the amazing thing about The Musical Seance— you never know what to expect, and each experience is entirely different, extremely emotional, for us, as well as the audience. It creates this rare synergy with everyone in the entire room. Often, the curiosities themselves are just as compelling as the music they inspire. We’ve encountered everything from cremated cats, dentures, haunted paintings, 16th century swords, antlers, x-rays, gingerbread man, a lock of hair from a drowned boy. But one thing I’ve learned is––everyone in the world has a story to tell that will break your heart.

Jill Tracy portrait by Neil Girling

HA: What is clairaudience?

JT: It literally translates in “clear-hearing.” As with clairvoyance, which means “clear-vision,” being clairaudient means the ability to hear things not of this world. I have always heard strange unexplained music. Often heavy and harsh, but compellingly exquisite, alluring, complex. I can’t even begin to describe it! It maddens me that there is no way that I could ever harness it to compose or record. It’s beyond anyone’s grasp. For the past few years, I have begun to hear people’s voices talking, it’s usually very urgent and fast, like they need to relay a message. I do believe in simultaneous realms, and that we have the ability to share a frequency, be an antenna, if sometimes only for a second. It’s a mingling of Time. I’m learning more about harnessing this gift, it plays such a key role in my ability to find hidden musical scores when I compose in unusual locales. I used to be leary of it, but now find it strangely comforting.

HA: What non-musical things inspire your music? Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

JT: It’s really about finding the quiet, so I can be fully receptive, like an antenna as I mentioned before. The Soul lives in the silence. You must be able to tune out to to truly tune in. Unfortunately, these days of on-demand, constant world-at- our-fingertips connection has destroyed our sense of mystery and childlike wonder. That breaks my heart. Monsters, marvels, lore, and legend—these are the things that make us feel most alive. Now there is so much constant NOISE—we think it enriches us, adds something, but really it is soul-stifling. We’ve lost our own identities inside the din. The Internet is a blessing and a curse. The ease to obtain information and connect with the world is glorious. But at the same time it’s destroying our individuality. Everyone is getting their news/views from the same sources and absurd algorithms, not looking outside, or challenging themselves to think further. We’re trapped in a giant echo chamber. There has never been a greater need to venture outside the cage, to seize our truth and authenticity. To be an individual now takes a great deal of effort. But so vital!

HA: What’s been your favorite achievement so far?

JT: My life’s work is about honoring the mystery…One of my greatest pleasures of late has been immersing myself alone in unusual locations, or a place with a strange story, and composing music as a reaction to that environment. The intense purity and immediacy is so exciting. You are hearing my raw emotional response at the piano. I’ve found myself conjuring the hidden score in decrepit gardens and cemeteries, on the antique Steinways of the (supposedly haunted) Victoria B.C. 1890 Craigdarroch Castle, an abandoned 1800s San Francisco medical asylum, and the Los Angeles mansion of a 19th century murderer. The lovely and difficult thing about this work is that I can’t prepare for it, as I never know what to expect. I must allow myself to be completely vulnerable; simply feel, and react. It’s not about me anymore; it’s about the music, the story. It becomes so much bigger than any of us. That’s the beauty of it. My huge dream-come- true is that I am first musician in history to ever be awarded a grant from Philadelphia’s famed Mütter Museum, to create a series of work inspired by its spellbinding collection of medical oddities. I spent nights alone at a piano amidst the Mütter’s grotesque cabinet of curiosities, which includes the death cast and conjoined liver of original Siamese twins Chang and Eng, the skeleton of the Harry Eastlack “the Ossified Man,” Einstein’s brain, The American Giant, books bound in human skin, and the Mermaid Baby. It was vital for me to be in the presence of these long-lost souls, as I composed and recorded. They become an actual part of the work and not just the subject matter. The project will include not only a music album based on the Mütter collection, but also an art book and memoir of my chilling experiences inside the museum after dark. All of my work will be factual. I’m done extensive research at the museum, even utilizing excerpts from letters and doctors’ records. I began this project in 2012, and have become completely swept up in the research.

HA: What was the scariest night of your life?

JT: This is a great question! People always ask me if I got scared inside the Mütter Museum alone in the dark, or if I get frightened when channeling music in a cemetery, asylum, etc. The answer is no. I am completely immersed in that moment— it is a feeling of hyper-realism. Being fully alive. Super-charged. It’s that same feeling when I’ve acted in classic Grand Guignol plays (famed Paris Horror Theatre 1897-1962.) Letting yourself be completely terrified onstage is a strange, exhilarating catharsis. Screaming at the top of your lungs in front of an audience is profoundly liberating. I’ve died onstage in many bizarre ways: Torn apart by a savage wolf boy, killed in a violent train crash, leapt off a balcony to my death, hypnotized by a mad scientist, locked in a castle tower with a demon, etc— The underlying thing is you know in your soul, underneath the fake blood and the layers of prosthetics and costumes, that you are going to be okay. BUT—I have been in some quite scary REAL-LIFE situations. I was in a near plane crash, as the airplane’s brakes went out. We had to prepare for an emergency landing on a foam-covered runway, hoping to slow down the plane. We had to remove all jewelry, belts, sharp objects, hold a pillow over our head, eyes closed, as we bent over our lap awaiting possible impact. I remember passengers screaming and sobbing. I was also mugged at knifepoint in a New York City subway alone at night. I instinctively ran after the mugger shouting within the empty concrete labyrinth. As I rounded a corner, he grabbed me. I was almost kidnapped in Paris by a strange man with pink hair and his two accomplices who locked me in the back room of a restaurant. I have discovered 3 dead bodies in my lifetime, in 3 different situations. In the midst of this real terror, your brain locks into that fight or flight mode— no time to feel afraid, you just do what you need to think clearly and get through it!

Jill Tracy composing music inside the Mutter Museum. Photo by Evil Numen (courtesy of the Mutter Museum)

HA: What are your favorite horror movies?

JT: I prefer the chilling, classic psychological horror, over the slasher-gore fest. For me, it’s all about the story, getting drawn in, and the fear of the unknown. (Our imagination is truly the scariest component of it all.) There are many great movies, but these come to mind: Eyes Without A Face (1960), The Birds (1963), Rosemary’s Baby (1968)—also Mia Farrow in the great lesser-known thriller The Haunting of Julia (1977), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original 1956), Mad Love (with Peter Lorre 1935), The Sentinel (1977), The Shining (1980).

HA: What are you working on now?

JT: I’m currently writing — resuming work on the Mütter Museum book and music project, as well as other new songs. I just began a lovely hibernation from live gigs to focus on creating again. I am also designing what will be a subscription-only series called The Noctuary (inspired by my love and lore of the Night,) which will feature exclusive music, videos, stories, private concerts, behind-the- scenes interviews, and more for subscribers only. I am excited to reveal the details! Please sign up to my inner email circle at JILLTRACY.com and you’ll be first to be invited to join The Noctuary!

HA: What is available now that the listeners can download or buy?

JT: I have 5 full length albums, plus various film scores, and singles, even a Christmas album— my dark classical interpretation of some of the more haunting old carols. Definitely the holiday collection for people who prefer The  Dark Season. As an intro to my work, I would start with albums The Bittersweet Constrain and Diabolical Streak.

Jill Tracy in front of the Hyrtl Skull Collection, Mutter Museum Photo by Evil Numen (courtesy of the Mutter Museum)

 HA: What is the website we can find it on?

JT: I offer some exclusive titles on my site unavailable on iTunes, Amazon, and other corporate shops. Plus no middlemen taking money for nothing.

HA: What is the best social media site for listeners to connect with you on?

Jill Tracy: Twitter: https://twitter.com/jilltracymusic

Official: http://jilltracy.com/jt/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jilltracymusic

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

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/jilltracymusic

Bandcamp: http://jilltracy.bandcamp.com/

 

Terror Trax: Scream Machine

TerrorTrax

 

HorrorAddicts.net recently had the opportunity to interview SinDelle M Morte of Scream Machine about their music, inspirations, and of course horror movies.

 

HA: Do you write your own lyrics/where does your inspiration come from?

SinDelle Morte: Yes, I write all my own stuff. I always wrote poetry and things like that as a kid, so this was really just a natural progression of that. Mostly my inspiration comes from current events and things like that, though I have written quite a few songs about serial killers and things like that. Basically, anything that horrifies people. LOL.

HA: What singers or bands inspired you growing up? Who are your favorite artists today?

SM: Are these supposed to be different? LOL. Mostly a bunch of hard rock and metal bands, to be honest. I take some inspiration in certain things, like from Rob Zombie or maybe BILE but most of it is stuff that would not even make sense at this time in relation to my music. Most of the stuff I listen to is the same kind of thing but I also like rap and punk, along with a huge dose of adult contemporary kind of stuff. If you can sing to it, chances are I like it.

HA: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and how did you start out?

SM: I mean, I was always a singer but I think if I had to pick, I would say when I was about 13 that’s when I really knew that I wanted to make music. I started out just messing around with music programs on the computer. It progressed from there. My early shit is God-awful but you know, luckily it got better. Lol.

scream machine

HA: What non-musical things inspire your music? Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

SM:I read/watch a lot of Stephen King and true crime stuff. I’m what we could call a “real life horror buff” too. I am very interested in that kind of stuff. I used to have a huge collection of crime scene photos and things like that on my old computer. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from that. I think I’ve written at least 3 songs about episodes of First 48. Lol.

HA: What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? Or, where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

SM: We had a chance to be part of a compilation that benefits people with cancer called, “Electronic Saviors.” We are really proud of that.

HA: What are your favorite horror movies?

SM:Oh man. The first one is probably the Halloween franchise. I love those movies. They are simple and terrifying. The Nightmare franchise is a favorite. I love the Child Play movies and most Stephen King movies. I’m old, man. I really liked the first SAW movie. It gave me hope for the genre as a whole. I saw Sinister a few years ago and was genuinely creeped out by a horror movie for the first time in YEARS, so that was really cool. I think “The Exorcist” is the scariest movie of all time, but I wouldn’t call it a favorite. It’s too scary to be liked. Lol.

HA: What was the scariest night of your life?

SM: I remember I had a dream one night about something in the closet in my room, kind of like how it is in “Cujo”.  I was an adult, not a kid. When I woke up it was pitch black in my room. I was so scared I could not  move. That is probably the most afraid I have ever been. I was too scared to even piss myself. LOL.

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

SM: Man, I don’t know. Anywhere where the people are cool and it’s not 1000 degrees. 🙂

HA: What are you working on now for any future release? Are you on tour? Where can they see you?

SM: We have a new release on the horizon called "Savages." That is slated to drop sometime this fall – probably around Halloween, of course. It’s done so we are just waiting for that. Then there might be a hiatus of sorts, because we are moving to an off grid property and may not be able to work on music for a while. We have to see what happens.

HA: What is available now that the listeners can download or buy?

SM: We have a LOT of stuff, from EPs to LPs and singles. About 30 releases.

HA: What is the website we can find it on?

SM: HorrorAddicts can find all of our stuff on Bandcamp . There is some that are free and some that isn’t. Our stuff is also available on most major digital outlets, like iTunes, Amazon, all that kind of thing.

HA: What is the best social media site for listeners to connect with you on?

SM: Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Other? Bandcamp? Facebook is still the best one to hit us up on.

HA: What are your id’s/ web addresses?

SM: Scream Machine Bandcamp ,    Scream Machine Facebook  Scream Machine YouTube   Scream Machine Soundcloud

KIDNAPPED BLOG: Lovecraft’s Legacy: A Chat with Ashley Dioses and K.A. Opperman by Alex S. Johnson

halogokidnappednotdate

ADAshley Dioses and K.A. Opperman are a young couple making waves in the contemporary Weird Fiction scene. I recently sat down with the two for a chat via Facebook Messenger to pick their brains. Gently, of course.

Alex S. Johnson: My first question is how you two first became involved with weird fiction–who were the authors that did it for you?

Ashley Dioses: Actually Kyle got me into weird fiction. I have always been a horror and fantasy fan but I didn’t know there was a weird genre and when he first introduced me to it, I knew that I was greatly missing out.

KAOK.A. Opperman: H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith are my two foremost influences. Lovecraft came first, and solidified my desire to become a horror writer. I think he’s had a greater impact on me than any other writer. Smith, however, first fostered my love for poetry, specifically–but that’d be a long conversation!

ASJ: Right, the complete CAS poetry collection is what, 800 bucks and five volumes or something. Where would you recommend starting with Smith’s poetry?

KAO: Haha, not that bad. It’s $75, three volumes in paperback.

AD: Hippocampus has three volumes and the third is translations he did. The Last Oblivion is where I started with CAS poetry and I was mesmerized by it. I’m just now working through the first two volumes of the rest of his poetry volumes.

KAO: Those new to CAS will want to seek out Penguin’s breakthrough volume The Dark Eidolon and Other Phantasies. The Last Oblivion (Hippocampus Press) is an excellent intro for his poetry, specifically.

ASJ: Do you think there’s a resurgence in weird fiction fandom, and if so, to what or whom do you attribute it?

KAO: There is certainly a growing interest in Weird fiction, in part due to the Internet and increased networking. The flourishing of small press publishers like Hippocampus Press, which focuses on Lovecraft and all things related, has something to do with it.

lastoblivinAD: I think there’s a resurgence because I believe a lot more people, even younger people like ourselves are starting to discover CAS. Possibly HPL because of how you can find references to his work through other venues such as games, movies, and other written work. By learning about HPL, you would learn about CAS, which are two great weird fiction writers right there.

KAO: There is also the stalwart efforts of luminaries like S. T. Joshi, who continue to edit excellent Weird volumes, which subsequently reach a wider and wider audience.

ASJ: you were both involved with a new documentary on CAS. Wow did that come about, and when do we see it?

KAO: Darin Coelho Spring contacted me out of the blue. He ultimately chose Ashley and I due to our relatively young ages (I’m 28), as he wanted to touch on CAS’ ability to reach successive generations.

ASJ: Why did he choose you?

AD: He had heard about us from Spectral Realms and when he found out how young we are, and poets ourselves, he wanted to touch on that type of audience. He wanted to cover that every generation finds CAS and loves him even though he’s so obscure.

KAO: He has seen (correctly) that we are fast working our way into the Weird Circles, and are students and burgeoning scholars/writers/enthusiasts of the Weird. We’ve made some great connections, and are authors ourselves. He also wanted our poetic expertise–I am primarily a poet for the nonce.

ASJ: How does one work their way into Weird Circles?

KAO: You have to be really Weird…. One must be bold, and unafraid to meet such formidable persons as populate the field–gigantic minds, scholars of the first rate, connoisseurs of the outré, savants of the first rate. And then, once you’ve befriended the right people, you have to have the skills to hang! Haha.

AD: Just people to know, I suppose. Spectral Realms was something I only knew about through other people, same with Weird Fiction Review by Centipede Press. The more people you know involved with the Weird world, the more opportunities you get, whether it’s being invited to submit somewhere or being invited to check out local places of note that involved authors or places stories took place.

ASJ: Are there initiation rites one should know about?

KAO: Blood was drawn, sacrifices were made, Cthulhu was raised for a brief time–I can say no more….

ASJ: who are some other authors of the Weird that may be more obscure to fandom but merit another look?

AD: Wilum Pugmire for sure! Ann K. Schwader is another good one, for poetry as well.

KAO: Wilum Pugmire deserves FAR more recognition. He’s a Weird Lovecraftian writer of the first rate. I also want to mention poet D. L. Myers, whose verse is somehow redolent of Lovecraft, yet somehow even more twisted in it’s sheer ghoulish energy. Adam Bolivar, too, writes some darkly strange Fairytale Weird material, and is a first rate balladier of the macabre.

ASJ: What do you make of Bizarro fiction and its being hybridized with Weird?

KAO: I think Weird and bizarro are kissing cousins…who am I to stand in the way of such amor?

AD: I actually don’t know much about Bizarro to be able to compare the two.

ASJ: I think there was a panel at Necronomicon called the Future of Weird Fiction that addressed this question, is why I’m asking.Kanyeweird

KAO: I think there’s plenty of overlap. Some of what you find in Smith is, I think, Bizarro worthy. “Empire of the Necromancers,” for instance, and so much more….

AD: I heard of that panel but have not been able to find video of it.

ASJ: Kanye West, Reanimator is one of the titles I was thinking of.

AD: That sounds a bit too silly for my tastes.

KAO: One of Smith’s chief attributes was his vast imagination. He thought up scenarios and images almost impossible for the average person to fathom. Such is the nebulous borderland verging on the shadowed land of Bizarro….

ASJ: I’ve heard several commentators say Smith is difficult. Maybe he uses some recondite vocabulary, but his prose is clear and even gripping. thoughts?

AD: Other than his vocabulary, I don’t think Smith is difficult to read at all. I found HPL far more difficult to read than Smith.

KAO: He IS difficult–that is beyond doubt. His vocabulary is a real test even for some of the academic elite. BUT–it was all for *effect*–the sounds of words, the sonorous rhythms, the bewitchment factor. Some enchantment is too high for average person to fully grasp. And so it is sought by savants, poets, and devotees of the strange and fantastic–though even they, at times, perish on the purple paths of lamia-haunted Averoigne….

ASJ: How long have you two been writing, and what have you had published? crimsontome

KAO: I’ve been writing since my early 20’s, so–6-7 years, perhaps. My crowning achievement, to date, is The Crimson Tome (out now from Hippocampus Press). It is full of rhyming, metrical poetry heavily influenced by CAS and HPL, all covering the many shades of horror and dark fantasy. Weird poetry is the technical term–the same meaning as with Weird fiction. I’ve a scattering of other publications, fiction and poetry, but none equal the release of The Crimson Tome!

AD: I started writing since I was in middle school, but I didn’t get published until the end of 2010, I believe. I was first published in the Horror Zine with two poems. It wasn’t really, until last year that I got on a roll and started getting published in more places: Spectral Realms No. 1-3 from Hippocampus Press, Weird Fiction Review from Centipede Press, Weirdbook issues 32 and 33 from Wildside Press, Xnoybis 2 from Dunhams Manor Press, Gothic Blue Book Vol 5 from Burial Day Books, and Necronomicum Issue 4 from Martian Migraine Press, among others.Necronomicum_title

KAO: Look for Ashley and me in Spectral Realms, Necronomicum: The Magazine of Weird Erotica, Weirdbook 31, Ashley in Weird Fiction Review 5, me upcoming in Nameless Magazine and Weird Fiction Review 6, and the both of us in the upcoming Gothic Bluebook. I’ll also add that I wrote an article for this month’s HWA newsletter, on my poetry and it’s Gothic elements. Oh–and we have articles in Hippocampus’ new edition of the infamous Book of Jade–mine’s on necrophilic imagery and it’s symbolic importance! Lovecraft praised The Book of Jade as a Decadent/macabre volume of unusual morbidity and merit. Personally, it is one of my top favorite books of poetry–once I have lovingly read several times.

Faire Garb and Cosplay: Dressing Your Dreams

 

Tonight Kbatz is in stitches with seamstress Susan of Dress Your Dreams, a historical clothier in Manheim, Pa.

 

How did you get started in the Renaissance Faire circuit and making period garb? How has the costuming and role play niche changed since you started?

I started as a volunteer working behind the scenes at a small Faire in Central Jersey…sewing and prop making, mostly. I had a few people ask me to make something for them for personal use, and was paid for sewing, which I loved to do. I had a season or 2 of running my own shop before the Faire folded, & was seen by the vendor coordinator of Professional Actors Resource Forum (PARF) and invited to vend at their event (Celtic Fling) so they could see if we would be a good fit for the Pennsylvania Faire. The event was a blast; I pretty much sold out of clothing!!

The biggest change has been the influx of factory made costuming copies of individual shop designs, and the speed at which that now happens. 15 years ago, a vendor might design an item, have about 3 years of being the only vendor making that item, and then see knock-offs coming from China or India or Pakistan. Now the market has the knockoffs arriving 6 months after a designer creates a new style. From dresses to menswear to corsets, you might get 1 show season before the knock-offs appear.

On a positive side, a designer can be as creative as they wish, since there is now a greater market for unique clothing…either garb or streetwear, everyone feels freer to wear what they feel like, instead of copying a particular era or look, so I just make what I feel like making, and sooner or later, the item will find its owner!!

 

You have a shop at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire during the summer festival season. Are patrons up for dressing in medieval garb or do some ‘norm’ folks take convincing to get into the spirit?

We get a good percentage of patrons who garb & even create a persona for the garb; I’d like to say about 60% or more come dressed in garb. There is a greater number of non period garb & fantasy creations recently, which delights me!

One way to get non-garbing patrons in the spirit is to encourage the children, who frequently ask for something (I wanna be a pirate! …princess !!) so I make it a point to have some flexibly sized pieces to create an outfit within a 20-30$ price point, since that seems to be the average a parent will spend for a child’s outfit ! Once a child has dressed up, parents sometimes get in the spirit as well!

 

Recently, you’ve branched out from Faire fashions and Pirate styles to Victorian and Steampunk designs. Are the eras more similar in style than we realize? Which period is your favorite to dress?

The eras use different designs and fitting, but some clothing pieces, skirts in particular, can be interchangeable. The Faire styles I make are within the merchant/peasant level for the most part, & for Steampunk the style is chosen by the characters class level as well, so the similarity runs in clothing choice. I really don’t have a favorite era as much as a favorite style choice…easily adjustable sizing with elastic & drawstrings & versatility in use from character to character. I will admit to favoring separates over 1 piece dresses.

 

10428015_656792094452497_4957654715945735832_nCourtesy of Shecktor Photography

 

What do you say to people who don’t understand the fair and costuming lifestyle? Have you ever had a negative experience or do you have a favorite Faire moment?

I recently saw a comment on the internet that said everything about cosplay vs. other fandoms perfectly…. It was the one that showed a picture of a sport fan with paint on his face in the colors of his team, wearing a shirt with a team logo & number on it, holding a pennant, and the comment was, “why is this fan, with a home filled with sporting memorabilia, considered normal, yet this fan “ and a picture of a costumed Star Trek fan, & a picture of a wench at a Faire “ considered weird?”

I have been at a few shows where the parents didn’t quite get why people were dressed up in different outfits, but once they saw that the fans were just enjoying being with like-minded friends, they not only appreciated the efforts of fans, but of the vendors as well. I’ve even sold garb clothing to people who have never been to a faire, because they saw the comfort of wearing some of garb designs as daily wear!

I have had moments in the shop where I hear the dreaded comment “why is this stuff so expensive, I can get a Halloween costume for $10 at Wal-Mart!” But I just say to myself “different strokes for different folks!” and smile, and keep right on giving attention to the shoppers who are really looking for what I make!

Every show, if I am lucky, there is the moment where someone, who has been looking for something special, sees a piece of clothing I made on the rack, picks it out, sees that it fits (even if we need to tighten the elastic!) & falls in love…& the price is within her reach…tries it on…& twirls!! The happiness on that customers face is my high point of any day! Each piece I make, I’m waiting for it to be found by its owner …& I love when it is!

 

Where can customers – er costumers! – find you online?

www.dressyourdreams.com is my website, and while the items there are mostly basic garb pieces, you can email a question with a picture of what you are looking for & I will be happy to see what I can do.

On Facebook, I have a page for Dress Your Dreams, and a group as well. Even my personal FB, Susan Belloff, has pictures of Dress Your Dreams at shows ( my favorite personal cosplay is Ursula the Sea Witch from Disney’s Little Mermaid, and I have posted pictures of my work there too.)

Thanks for the opportunity to share my work & fandom with your followers !!!

 

Thanks for chatting with HorrorAddicts.net!

Uniting the Internet’s Horrors: The Horror Blogger Alliance

 

Tonight Kbatz is chatting with Jeremy, Curator for the Horror Blogger Alliance!

 

When and how did the Horror Blogger Alliance come about? Why start a blog uniting fellow horror enthusiasts?

So many of us in the beginning of our blogging sites based on horror had no direction, hoping that someone would just find us hidden amongst 1000’s of blogs. Originally a brain child of Carl Manes [http://www.ilikehorrormovies.com/] and few other savvy horror site owners came up with this idea to bring us to a home. I was fortunate to have sort of taken over as the founders have moved on with other projects, stopped blogging or had just too much on their plates.

We have recently began adding members back to the command chair as it’s becoming difficult for me to maintain the HBA as I once did. So now new contributors and friends are leading the way into assuring we stick around as long as we can.

 

The HBA is free and anyone is welcome to join so long as their blog shows their horror love. How many members do you have? Is it difficult to maintain such an extensive database?

We are open to horror/sci-fi and all themes horror yes, though we might need to tighten the “becoming a member” as many people start a blog and don’t know what to do with it. Not having a plan seems to see the newest members die like flies at our feet. Have a plan, make a post a few times a week, don’t make the posts so complicated it’s hard to maintain.

It’s funny in the start no one thought to keep good records; we have over a 1000 members and only a few hundred emails that are organized. We have begun to edit the master lists of members to update, delete and just say hello to our friends. There are good people out there, good people with horror sites we cannot wait to still reach.

 

HBA-NM-2015

 

You’ve done different contests and fundraisers, including a horror t-shirt donation drive and have now branched out to Twitter and Facebook. What are the rewards of being involved in such scary networking?

Oh it’s been awesome, people have branched out using those media sources like Facebook and Twitter, we in the past had a HBA Facebook page and we forgot it was there and no one knew the access to it. We have started seeing our numbers jump as we post more, though it’s a slow go until the new team is fully ready.

Contests and fundraising are the hardest things to keep up with as once again our restructuring is happening. We had it for awhile to make a $12 a year or $1 a month just to keep up and maintain the site for giveaways. It’s not all gold; many members are in the same boat financially as me… we are all struggling to just be heard. We do have a sweet new design coming, designed by the same person whom made the prior two.

 

What are the future plans for the Horror Blogger Alliance? Can it grow indefinitely? Do you like the mass possibilities or is being a niche horror community more fun?

Our plan is to keep the doors open and welcome everyone who has the love for Horror to have a home… a place “Where the Monsters Live”

 

 

 

Where can our horror compatriots find the HBA online?

Horror Blogger Alliance

Twitter

HBA Facebook II

 

Thanks for chatting with Horror Addicts.net!

Thank you!

Meet Author Sumiko Saulson, #109

Sumiko SaulsonThis week we have author Sumiko Saulson. Sumiko’s one talented chick! She has a new book, Happiness and Other Diseases, coming out this month, she is a brilliant journalist, artist, and also plays in a band. Talk about an urban Renaissance woman!

For #109, she brings us “I, Stammer (in Disbelief)”, a first person story about a misogynistic bus driver named Harold Stammer who just can’t believe how superstitious his family and friends are about the Craigslist Killer.

Let’s find out some more about Sumiko’s horror tastes.

HA: What was the spookiest night of your life?

I hate to admit it but, having post traumatic sleep disorder and bipolar disorder I’ve had a lot of spooky nights. It’s hard to pick out just one. But some of the scariest ones were around the time my grandmother died in 1980. We had just moved to Hawaii and there were a lot of creepy noises I wasn’t used to, some of which were natural, animal sounds such as the ones that the cows on a nearby farm made. Being from Los Angeles, I wasn’t used to them. I was also having nightmares because I’d recently, ill advisedly, read Dune at the age of 12. I was starting to have hallucinations, so I am not sure if the experiences I had were real, but cabinets in our house were banging open and closed all night. Later, my neighbors said there were ghosts in the town we lived in, Pahoa. They alleged it used to be a leper colony, but I don’t believe that is true.

HA: What is your favorite horror flick?

Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors. I had a hard time explaining to my 28 year old fiancé why, but it was the first horror flick I saw as a teenager that I thought was about my generation. That terrified and amused me.

HA: If you were to battle a hoard of zombies, who would be your dream team fighting next to you?

Michonne from The Walking Dead. She’s awesome! But not beside, in front. I’d be behind hiding in a metal locker or something hyperventilating.

HA: What is the most horrifying costume experience you’ve ever had?

I had this perfect Lucy wedding dress costume I’d made myself, Lucy from the Bram Stoker’s Dracula movie, a couple years after it came out. One time I was at Halloween on the Castro in San Francisco and some a*hole purposely burned my train with a cigarette. Now THAT was horrifying.

HA: What is your most recent work for sale and what is it about?10687036_10152720329052246_3965942528566808353_n

Happiness and Other Diseases is a dark fantasy about Flynn Keahi, a conflicted young man whose nightmares are starting to have real-life consequences.

Flynn Keahi has had a rough year. His nightmares are starting to manifest in reality, but no one believes him. Terrifying creatures are trying to cross out of dreams into the physical realm. Only Flynn can stop them – but doing so might cost him his life. Complicating matters further, one of these creatures cannot help wanting him — in every forbidden way. Will she be able to save him from his fate? Can she even protect him from herself?

Find this book on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Other-Diseases-Somnalia-Book-ebook/dp/B00MQC0BHW#

HA: How do you create stories? What is in your writers tool kit?

I use a computer to write, I use a notebook to write character sketches and take notes about plot direction. I also draw in a drawing pad sometimes. I posted some of the cartoons I drew related to Happiness and Other Diseases on the website http://www.HappinessAndOtherDiseases.com

HA: What era do you feel most at home in?

Definitely this one. Why would a woman of color want to live in the past? I have more freedom now, I believe, than I would have had in another era. Besides, I love video games. If I couldn’t stay here, I would have to choose some destination in the future.

HA: Who is one person you’d like to meet, living or dead, and why?

Edgar Allen Poe. He was my first writing rock star. I still love him.

 HA: Where can readers find you on the web?

http://www.facebook.com/authorsumikosaulson
www.sumikosaulson.com

Meet Author Alexander Beresford, #108

BeresfordPICThis week’s author is Alexander Beresford, author of Charla, which David reviewed last November. Alexander has a new book, Doll Face coming out soon and brings us a piece of flash fiction this week called “Needs”. “Needs” is about a man who has lost his mind. He receives an unexpected call from a special love interest from his past while he’s in the middle of living a moment of indulgence while experimenting with things he had only fantasized about, respecting little of anything, engaging in selfish, psychotic curiosities.

Alexander has a twisted way of bringing us disturbing characters that you can’t stop reading or listening to, even though you are horrified at what’s going on. Let’s find out more about Alexander.

HA: What is your most recent work?

Alexander: I have a new novel coming out soon called DOLL FACE, but my most recent published work is CHARLA, the story of a sexy mother who hates her daughter and manages to secretly bring her pain and discomfort. So creative is Charla in satisfying her unsettling needs, that even Amelie grew up unaware of her mother’s deranged feelings towards her. With Amelie all grown up now, it has become harder and harder for Charla to quench her morbid impulses without getting her hands dirty. So, one lonely dawn, Charla experiences a very weird event that sparks the idea of summoning a demon to disrupt her twenty-five year old daughter’s perfect, pretty little life. She puts the sick plan into action … and the demon moves in!

HA: What was the spookiest night of your life?

Alexander: I’m not sure how much of this I can reveal, but a friend got permission to visit a famous political figure’s unused house currently being restored and known to be haunted. This friend, my girlfriend, and I entered the house at night, out in the woods, with no electricity, with our ghost hunting equipment and began to investigate for fun. We heard all kinds of noises, saw strange shadows and things, our equipment went nuts, we heard a voice in the EVP recording later, it was crazy. We didn’t last long in there, it was incredibly creepy. Whatever was there didn’t like us visiting for “fun”.

HA: How do you create stories? What is in your writers tool kit?

Alexander: I use a laptop and a program called StoryMill which helps me stay organized. I will usually write in one spot, on the couch next to the baby grand piano in my living room. I prefer to write early in the moring and late at night. I’m simply too distracted to get much done in the middle of the day, though I try.

Charla cover front finalHA: What era do you feel most at home in?

Alexander: I like technology and other advances, I like this era just fine.

HA: Who is one person you’d like to meet, living or dead, and why?

Alexander: I would like to meet Clive Barker. He is a brilliant writer and a person I am certain I would enjoy hanging out with. I’d like to speak to him about writing, art and creativity in general.

HA: What is your favorite horror flick?

Alexander: I’m fond of the classics, Exorcist, Carrie, The Omen, Friday The 13th, Halloween.

HA: If you were to battle a hoard of zombies, who would be your dream team fighting next to you?

Alexander: Probably no one you would’ve heard of. People I trust, strong characters, fighters, intelligent people, my friends Rey Armenteros, Alex Armenteros, and writer and long time friend Wesley Gurion for starters.

HA: Where can fans catch up with your newest work?

Alexander: www.AlexanderBeresford.net

Meet Writer Jay Hartlove, #103

Hartlove HeadFor HorrorAddicts.net, #103, we have author of the Isis Rising Trilogy, Jay Hartlove. I met Jay at BayCon (a Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Convention) a few years ago. Last season he was on the show as part of our “Answer Five Fast” author quiz. For #103, he’s bringing us a short story called, “A Day with Daddy.” It is a Twilight Zone style story about the power of familial love.

Let’s find out a little more about him.

HA: What is your most recent work for sale and what is it about?

Jay: Daughter Cell is the second book in the Isis Rising trilogy. It continues the adventures of our detective Sanantha Mauwad, the Voodoo psychiatrist from The Chosen. This story starts out as a medical thriller but quickly turns into a very dark exploration of the soul and the nature of evil. I am now writing the third book in the series, Isis Rising. Desiree Macklin, the survivor of the cloning disaster in Daughter Cell comes into her own destiny opposing pure evil. Love my evil. Love my souls. Love my strong female protagonists.

HA: What was the spookiest night of your life?

Jay: Spooky would have to go back to night when I scared the hell out of myself with dark imaginings as a child. Let me tell you about creepy and awesome much more recently. A few years ago I was driving home late at night from the Benicia Clocktower where I was in charge of decorating for a huge fantasy ball. The wind was blowing off the bay so hard it actually howled. There was a full moon with clouds racing in front of it. I was exhausted, fighting to keep my car on the road. My head was already filled with fantastical visions from the work I was doing. So I turned on the radio to keep company, and what comes on? Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” I cranked it up and let the moment overtake me. Living the dream..

HA: How do you create stories and what is in your writers tool kit?

Jay: I prefer the computer for its word processing. If I can’t get to one I use my smart phone to make notes. If I have time and no computer, then I use paper. I found myself in a hotel room with a couple hours to kill recently and I grabbed a legal pad and ripped out another chapter of Isis Rising. I wrote my first novel (an embarrassingly autobiographical sword and sandal fantasy that will never see the light of day) entirely in spiral bound notebooks. Of course that was so long ago I did not have a computer. Once I was done, I went and got a computer and used it to edit the book. The experience of seeing it the second time strictly as an editor was very enlightening.

Daughter CellI do a lot of research for my writing. The Isis Rising Trilogy is a secret history, with the events of the story inserted into real world events between 2001 and 2009. So I do lots of reseach to get it right. I also draw on many religions and history in my writing, and that needs research too. So when you talk about a writer’s toolbox, for me it’s more about resources than equipment.

I am inspired by music. When I can find the right song that feeds my conception of a story, then that touchstone keeps me going. For The Chosen the song was “The Who’s Behind Blue Eyes.” For Daughter Cell it was The Scorpions’ “Loving You.” For the mermaid romance I am writing as an online serial, Mermaid Steel, the song is The Plain White T’s “Rhythm of Love.”

HA: What era do you feel most at home in?

Jay: I wouldn’t want to live in any other era, if only because of the medical and communications technology we have now. When I am playing on paper, I love going places where people feel and react based on what makes sense for them where they are. I have a lot of fun in ancient Egypt, mountainous Haiti, and jungled Malaysia in the Sanantha books. I have a Jules Verne project I love to toy with, so I get the appeal of Steampunk. And I am having all kinds of fun in my mythical mermaid village.

HA: Who is one person you’d like to meet, living or dead, and why?

Jay: Michael Crichton. His courage to combine genres and break whatever molds he needed to tell the the stories he wanted to tell has been an inspiration to me my whole writing career. I consider it the highest praise I could get when a critic said my work reminded him of Crichton.

HA: What is your favorite horror flick?

Jay: Pumpkinhead. About as dark and personal a fairy tale as can be told. And it introduced me to Lance Henrickson.

HA: If you were to battle a hoard of zombies, who would be your dream team fighting next to you?

Jay: Ernst Blofeld, Anton Phibes, Erik Lehnsherr (aka Max Eisenhardt), Darth Vader, and throw in Megatron for good measure. Supervillains know how to get the job done.

HA: What is the most horrifying costume experience you’ve ever had?Reading pic

Jay: I had myself sealed up in a mummy suit for a couple of hours for a stage presentation. There was no ventilation, and the temperature continued to rise the whole time. The presentation was a huge success, but by the time my roadies cut it open, a cloud of steam hit them. Me steam. I was delirious but thankfully not permanently harmed.

HA: Where can readers/listeners chat with you?

Jay: I hang out a lot on Facebook. I’ve got pages for all my current projects up there. Jayhartlove, Chosenthebook, Mermaidsteel, Snowwhiteplay. And I’m on Twitter @jayhartlove.


To find out more about Jay, visit his blog at: jayhartlove.wordpress.com. And to find out about The Isis Rising Trilogy, check out jaywrites.com where he has posted the research that went into the books in a series of essays that are under Tarot cards you flip over. Lots of interactive fun there. Don’t miss his reading of “A Day with Daddy” coming in episode #103.

Bodycounters.com Tallys the Dead!

Kbatz is tallying the dead tonight with the gals from Bodycounters.com!


First and foremost, how did the Body Counters come about in 2006?

Stacey and Dana were trying to get over some bad breakups and looking for ways to distract ourselves. We spent a lot of time drinking beer and watching movies together and since we didn’t want to see any romances or love stories we gravitated towards movies where a lot of people die. It was cathartic and helped heal our broken hearts, filling them with a love for counting bodies.

 

When did you envision that this could be such a wild website with your own merchandise and appearances at shows like Monster Mania?

 

At first we just kept the list on a piece of paper but as it started to grow longer than one page we realized that we needed to share this information with the rest of the world. Dana had a little experience with web design so we bought the domain bodycounters.com and put the list up there for everyone to see. It was a few years before we added merchandise and started going to conventions like Monster Mania.


How did the rules come about?

The rules developed over time. At first we didn’t have a rule about every body counting and only counted the humans, but the more movies we watched the more discussions we had about what should count and what shouldn’t.

 

You encourage fans to ‘harass’ and contest your tabulations. Do people really complain, argue, and give you a tough time? Or are they all in the fun with the rules and counting?

Some people do complain and argue, but we encourage that because we welcome the feedback. Sometimes a fan will come up with a question we hadn’t thought of before or find a loophole in a rule that makes us go back and redo a count. Most people are very much in the spirit of it and all about the fun and try to stick to the rules. We love all our fans, even the ones that harass us!

 

You have a certain amount of snark on your website but your counts and statistics are very detailed and organized in searchable databases, tables with voting options. Are the wit and methodical just part of your personalities or does the subject matter simply require the right amount of humor and precision?

It’s probably a little of both. That is definitely our personalities shining through in the comments and “awards” we give out to certain movies, and keep in mind this was just on a piece of paper in the beginning and just our own inside jokes. When you’ve watched over 1,500 movies with this level of attention to detail, you also start to notice how little things like lighting and music can make a big difference. And while we do like to have our fun and keep rule #10 enforced, we are also very serious about accuracy and making sure our counts stay true to all the other 9 rules.

first con 

Viewers would presume that you are counting deaths in horror movies or looking for a lot of blood and bodies, but you review all genres of films with as little as no deaths or one or two bodies as well as tally apocalyptic deaths. How do you decide what movies to watch? What kind of body count do your prefer most?

 

We try to let the fans decide what movies we watch for the most part. The to-do list on our page has voting buttons so we know what bodycounts everyone wants to see next. We also get a lot of suggestions at Monster Mania every year.

Our favorite kind of bodycount is one that has all of these things: a romance we can’t handle, a renegade cop who plays by his own rules, a crazy/drunk old man who warns everyone but no one listens to him, a gratuitous shower scene, and of course it needs to have at least one body!

 

How does the Samuel Jackson motherfucker counting fall under the body counting rules?

When Snakes on a Plane was getting all kinds of hype on the internet before its release, we loved how the fake trailers people made on the internet actually changed the future of the movie. Someone made a trailer where Sam Jackson said “I’m sick of these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane” and the response from the internet was unbelievable. The movie producers pulled Sam Jackson back in to re-shoot that scene because it wasn’t really from the movie but they knew everyone would be disappointed if their favorite line from the FAKE trailer wasn’t in the real movie. This movie was our 100th bodycount (which seemed like a huge milestone at the time, now look at us), and we had a big party to celebrate. We thought it would be fun to also count the motherfuckers from Samuel L. Jackson in addition to counting the bodies, and another statistic was born.

 

You’ve done body counts for 1,500 films.  Do you ever get tired of tallying the dead people, pets, and planets? Can Bodycounters.com go on indefinitely?

 

No, we will never get tired of it! It has completely changed the way we watch movies. There is a steady stream of new movies getting made all the time, and we feel like we haven’t even put a dent in the total film universe even though we have counted more than 1,500 movies. If we ever do find that we run out of movies to count maybe we’ll consider TV shows…

 

Thanks for chatting with Horror Addicts.net! Where can fellow counters find you online?

bodycounters.com

facebook.com/buddybodybags

twitter.com/bodycounters

 

Making Philly Macabre – Frank Horror

Who knew Pennsylvania was such a hot bed for Independent Horror Film? Kbatz chats with Frank of the the aptly name Frank Horror Independent Film Production Company tonight!

When did you start making scary independent films? What are the pros and cons of working and filming in the Philadelphia area?

My first film, The Visitation, was shot in November 2011 and released in 2012 under the banner of my production company, Frank Horror.  The second film, Dig, was shot in Spring of 2012, is in the final stages of post-production, and will be released for a limited local run in the coming months. While each of these films runs within the thirty-to-forty minute range and is a self-contained story, they will be released along with a third short to create a feature-length horror anthology with the title, Openings.  Filming has wrapped for Openings as of June 2013, so anticipate a release for this horror trilogy sometime in 2014.

Aside from Openings, I just completed a fourth short film titled, Diaries.  Filming for Diaries took place in June 2013 and marks Frank Horror’s first film working with the Screen Actor’s Guild.  Stay tuned for more information on its release.

All of my films have been made locally in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, including parts of New Jersey.  The benefit of being based around Philadelphia is that there is a thriving independent film industry here.  I’ve found that if you have a strong script and you know how to network, it’s very easy to find and assemble a competent crew willing to devote their time and their skills to help pull off the project.  I feel really indebted to my crew and all the behind-the-camera folks who helped make my films a reality.  There is also a strong acting community locally whose members, as a whole, are very close with and supportive of one another.  I think that’s a plus.  The only drawback that I see to filming in Philadelphia is that there doesn’t seem to be enough of a market to sustain local actors full-time, so you have dedicated actors who put in whatever available time they may have on nights, weekends, etc. and as a filmmaker the challenge is to find creative ways to work around everyone’s schedule and pull the film off in a timely manner.  I would say that scheduling is the most difficult aspect to negotiate with independent film.

Watch the film trailers now: http://frankhorror.com/films.html

The Visitation Poster (with credits)

You make shorts and features, quiet horrors and carnage. How do you decide what length or tone is needed for a picture? Does the plot dictate the production or the gore?

Well honestly, my first film was a learning process so I felt it would have been way too ambitious to start right off the bat with a feature-length script.  So there was a conscious decision to make The Visitation approximately a half-hour in length.  That first film really dictated the length of the next two films, since I wanted to make three separate stories but ultimately tie them together into a feature.  So I guess the process for me is to initially determine the scale of the film that I want to make and then develop the story to fit within that framework.

As in any good story, absolutely EVERYTHING must come from the characters.  The plot is determined by the characters, not the other way around.  I don’t know any way you can boil the creative process down to one specific formula to follow because that formulaic approach to creating becomes stale and stilted – I think the best way to describe my process of screenwriting is to start with some ideas for pieces of scenes, snippets of interesting dialogue and maybe an overall theme about what I generally would like to write and the mood I’m trying to invoke with it.  Then characters are developed and their goals, motivations, weaknesses, struggles – those are the aspects that give life to the actual plot and storyline. So the story feels organic and driven by the characters rather than just setting down a plot and having two-dimensional characters jump through plot hoops.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have three-dimensional characters that the audience can relate to and care about, because that’s how you get to them.  That’s how you scare the audience: you make them invest themselves in your characters and then put those characters in some horrifying situations. There are a lot of independent horror films out there who rely upon gore and explicit nudity to carry their films, and that style of trash cinema has its own niche but I don’t create those types of films.  I think that gore and nudity is all too often used as a crutch for otherwise weak writing.  Now that’s not to say that I’m some kind of a prude or don’t appreciate gore and nudity; they certainly are tools that can be used very effectively in a horror film, but they need to be used sparingly and at the right moments to increase their impact.  I believe in creating suspense first and foremost and then, when the moment is right, hitting the audience with a particularly visceral scene or a bit of carnage, but that absolutely has to come secondary to the suspense.

Plus, it’s human tendency to fill in the gaps of what they don’t see in a film with their imagination, and the horrors that the imagination can conjure always prove to be more frightening than anything you could possibly show them on the screen.

Tell us about your recently wrapped feature DIG.  Was it a difficult shoot and production considering the onscreen secrets and family isolations?

Dig is all about secrets.  It tells the story of one woman struggling against herself and her own inner demons.  On the surface she works diligently to maintain the plastic veneer of the wife and mother with an ordinary and happy family, but the secrets she keeps threaten to spiral out of control.  After filming The Visitation, I decided to pivot and write a decidedly different type of story as a follow-up.  Unlike The Visitation, which is a supernatural film that relies on suspense to invoke scares, Dig is a psychological thriller that follows more of a pattern set forth by movies like The Exorcist or David Cronenberg’s The Fly – rather than provoke fear, the film provokes dread.  And by that, I mean that in the very beginning of the film we’re telegraphing to the audience exactly where we’re going with this film and they are left to wonder how do we get from this point to that ending?  So the audience watches as things deteriorate and get worse, and dread builds as you move towards the ending.  Dig was the first script that I’d written to follow that particular story trajectory, so it was a bit of a challenge for me, but I believe it was ultimately executed really well, both in the writing and by the actors who had to step into the skins of these characters.

As far as the filming process itself, we shot a lot of it late at night outdoors in a large yard that was ringed with woods, so the biggest difficulty we faced was ticks and mosquitoes.  That, and the scene demands dictated that the crew and myself were constantly digging holes, filling them back in, digging more holes, filling them back in – we all got to be quite competent with shovels.

 

You also shoot “unsettling” photo series and have some slightly saucy photos on your website. What is it about the ‘not for the faint of heart’ type material that appeals to you? Are there any horrors that make you squeamish or plots that cross the line?

Nothing crosses the line.  There is no line — there can’t be for me, anyway.  Horror is all about finding societal taboos and pushing them to make the audience feel unsettled, uncomfortable, horrified, shocked.  There can be nothing off-limits when you want to achieve that.  The trick is to do it tastefully and in the context of a strong story – if you can pull that off, you can keep the audience along for the ride no matter where it goes.

What appeals to me about this is the ability to move an audience emotionally.  A comedian tries to accomplish this by evoking laughter.  But my aim is to evoke fear or dread – that’s not to say that a good horror film may not draw out other emotions throughout the course of the story, but the ultimate goal is to frighten.

You also have a web store of calendars, t-shirts, and other Frank Horror wares. Are you interested in branching out into other merchandise or media? Or do you prefer to remain film focused, local, and independent?

I’m always interested in opportunities for new markets and mediums, but my main focus right now is film.  There’s a certain collective magic in seeing a script that you write transform into a finished film.  From the actors to the Director of Photography to the editor to everyone involved, each person lends their talents and their efforts with their own interpretations and skill sets until you have this thing of yours — this script that you gave birth to and watched grow into a greater beast because of all the collective input.

That creative collaboration that I like to foster on my projects is a luxury that comes along with running an independent film company, because I ultimately have the freedom to run a production however I want.  Certainly I would entertain offers to work with the backing of a studio or a bigger film company in order to create horror films on a grander scale, but in the meantime I enjoy running the productions myself and ensuring that everyone involved has a voice in the finished film.

2014 pinup horror calendars available now: http://frankhorror.com/store.html

 

What are you working on next and where can we follow Frank Horror online?

Well, I continue to post ongoing horror photo series in the gallery page of my website (http://frankhorror.com/gallery.html) and I’ve got two films that are in editing right now.  In the meantime, I’ve got two feature-length film scripts in development and I’ll be looking to bring on investors for those films.  I have a couple of other exciting collaborations potentially in the works, but I’m going to stay hush on those for the time being.  Better to whisper past the graveyard until those fresh horrors are ready to rise.

To stay abreast of all the new developments and releases at Frank Horror, visit http://frankhorror.com/ and make sure to check out the online store for dvd’s, the 2014 horror calendar and horror art prints: http://frankhorror.com/store.html.  You can also follow us on facebook to get updates, behind-the-scenes pics and other little terrors!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with Horror Addicts.net!!

Thank you! See you in nightmares.

 

Meet Frank Horror when DIG has its world premiere at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, NJ  as part of the Bizarre AC weekend December 13 -15.  For ticket information, visit bizarreac.com.

Zombies Taking Over Atlantic City!

‘Ello My Undead Friends! Tonight Kbatz is having a little exercise with Charlotte and the team from the Atlantic City Zombie Walk!

How, when, and why did this annual “organized public gathering of people who dress up in zombie costumes” begin? What’s the Haunted Tales Theater, presenter of the Zombie Walk?  

Zombies are HUGE in pop-culture right now.  Between the hit series, “The Walking Dead” and Brad Pitt’s movie, “World War Z”, even if you’re not “in” to zombies, you can’t help but notice they’re everywhere.  This is Atlantic City’s official 1st Annual, Atlantic City Zombie Walk.  It’s a city-wide, weekend long event, starting on Friday, October 18th with a Zombie Golf Tournament, and our “main event” , The Zombie Walk” on Saturday.  After the walk, zombies are set free to roam about the city, using their purchased wristbands to receive discounts, at all our participating businesses, until Sunday evening.  In addition to having a fun party for zombie enthusiasts all weekend long, our goal is to help raise money for  the Humane Society of Atlantic County .  It will also help boost local businesses, since our busy season has come to a close.  Russ Eisele, the Owner of Haunted Tales (a special effects theater on the Boardwalk, that comes to life as the stories unfold) came up with the idea to have a zombie Walk in Atlantic City. 

ZombieWalk2013_6 5x10 (2)

Your goal is to make a spectacle of pillage amid the Boardwalk and beyond. How do you keep the antics in the macabre spirit whilst also keeping the event family friendly?

Keeping the antics in the macabre spirit is easy…It’s a cult following that people really get into.  Costumes, make-up, gore and different aspects of creativity go a long way.  Not to mention, it’s only 12 days before Halloween!  There are a lot of children out there who are really into the zombie craze.  It’s like a mass Halloween party!  It can get a little graphic, with the special effects and make-up some people use.  We have to trust that the parents of these children know whether or not their child is “ready” to experience the sights that they will come across that weekend.  It’s a peaceful, fun environment for all ages to enjoy, if you like zombies, blood and gore.  We’re gonna have zombie contests, a live band, one of our local radio stations will be there, etc.  Like I said, it’s gonna be like a mass Halloween party, theme being “Zombies”. 

What do the beach folk, casino fans, and other normal folk think about zombies talking over Atlantic City for a day? Why is this kind of post-season, post-Sandy event good for the local community and businesses?

So far, we’ve gotten a great response from everyone we’ve mentioned this to.  People are excited for this event.  Major cities around the world have been having zombie walks, runs, proms, etc. for years, and it’s usually for a charity.  It’s important to “pay it forward” or to “give back”.  That, and human spirit.  It’s about time that we have one as well.  Not to mention, it’s something different that this city has never seen before.  This post-season event will help businesses who normally do most of their business for the year, during the summer season.  Depending on the weather, it can be a struggle to keep things afloat, the rest of the year.  Putting money back into the local economy is instrumental in keeping people in business, having jobs, etc.  Sandy took it’s toll on a lot of people, but, we are fortunate that we have bounced back and doing what we do best; offering a variety of dining, shopping, nightlife, attractions and entertainment options for all ages.  

image002

Beyond the Walk, you offer other contests, radio hosts, music, even a Zombie golf event.  Winners of the Best Makeup and Overall Zombie will also be featured in Walking Dead Films next project Zombie Death Camp. How much is too much? Have there ever been any scary encounters or problems with zombiefolk getting out of hand?

How much is too much?  That’s a good question!  We’re a city.  We have lots to choose from, lots of variety.  You may prefer to visit your favorite spots, or try something new.  Either way, options are always better than the alternative.  If everyone were the same and liked the same things, this world would be a boring place.  We want people to have great memories, lots of FUN and for them to tell people about their experience.  That, and we want our zombies to multiply, year after year.  As far as zombiefolk getting out of hand, we hope not.  It’s supposed to be a fun environment.  You can have fun or you can have drama….which FEELS better?  For me, fun ALWAYS feels better!     

A portion of the event proceeds goes to the local Atlantic County Humane Society No Kill Shelter.  How did this association come about?

The owners of Haunted Tales are HUGE animal lovers, myself included.  We wanted to pick a charity that was close to our hearts.  Animals are helpless in a lot of ways.  When they’re domesticated, they rely on us to take care of their needs.  They can’t speak and say “Hey, I don’t like how you hit me or starve me.  Why do you neglect me?  Why do you tie me up in the backyard and I can’t play?  I can only walk around in an 8ft. radius and BTW, I’m thirsty and I can’t reach the water bowl!”  It’s very sad.  We wanted to do what we could, to help an organization who wanted to save these lives.  Not extinguish their lives, just because the shelter was getting crowded.  A life is still a life, and a life is meant to be lived! 

Make up artists will be on hand to trick patrons out in their undead best, and your website provides tips on how to dress like a zombie – from cut up old clothes and zombie brides to walking the walk and grotesque limbs.  Why do you think zombies and zombie themed events are so popular today?

Honestly, I have no idea why zombies and zombie themed events are so popular right now.  It’s just one of those things…  There are Car Clubs, Elk’s Clubs, Red Hat Societies, Elmo Fans, Star Wars, Comic and SyFy Fans, just to name a few.  Why not Zombies?  Why not BRAAAAAAINS? 

Where can we find you online?

Online, you can find us on our website:  ACZombieWalk.com
On FaceBook:  2013 AC Zombie Walk
Twitter:  @ACZombieWalk
We’re also on Foursquare!

Thanks for taking the time out to chat with Horror Addicts.net!

Thank YOU! 🙂

Reel Splatter Productions: Keeping Amish Country Bloody

Greetings Addicts! Kbatz here getting my gore on with Mike Lombardo of Reel Splatter Productions, an independent film team based outside Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Evening Mike! Do please tell us Addicts, how did a splatter film studio find its way to Amish Country? How long have you been making movies?

Well, I was born and raised in this concrete jungle known as Lancaster county. When most people hear Lancaster, PA they think farms and horse and buggy drive by shootings, but the part of the county I live in is fairly boring suburbs, just outside the city. It sounds strange, but this area is actually a great place for filmmaking. I’ve been making weird little splatter flicks in my backyard since I was a kid and I officially started Reel Splatter Productions about 10 years ago. Since then things have obviously grown into much larger and complex projects and I now do a fair amount of FX work on other people’s productions, but I still love it here in Bumfuck, PA. There are lots of cool locales to shoot in and I’ve been lucky enough to band together with some fellow weirdoes that like to play with fake blood too. I would not be able to do it without them, and I don’t think I could find a better crew anywhere else in the world! Besides, if you look at some of the indie splatter greats like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, they came from small little suburban towns like mine. Something about being surrounded by ultra conservative, close minded assholes really gets the creative juices flowin’.

You mix up the blood and comedy but also promise weird and necrophilia extremes. How do you find a balance between the humor and hardcore?

Haha, I don’t. I pretty much just write whatever pops into my head and I let it exist as it does.  I have a really bizarre sense of humor and I write what I would like to see on screen. Someone once told me that a short I had made, “Where Has All The Laughter Gone?” which is a sort of art house parody that has a depressed clown shooting himself, made them feel guilty for laughing. I think that sort of became a subconscious goal of mine since then. I love the juxtaposition of the goofy and grotesque. There’s nothing I enjoy more than skewing the tone of a movie by mixing a scene of hardcore violence with  totally inappropriate comedy. It keeps the audience off balance and they end up laughing uncomfortably as someone gets their neck hacksawed open so deep it opens like a pez dispenser. It’s really wonderful sitting in a crowd at a film festival and seeing the looks of confusion and laughter/disgust on people’s faces as they see some of this stuff. They have no idea how to react to what they’re seeing.  I mean, I think it’s completely okay to laugh at this kind of stuff, its not real, its rubber and corn syrup, it’s all for fun and I want people to have a good time. I’m not trying to give anyone nightmares for the rest of their life.

Your website warns those easily offended to not proceed thanks to all forms of sick stuff, yet you also promise no nudity. Why not? Where is the line of exploitation or going too far in a production?

That little warning bit was actually a riff on the ad campaign for one of my all time favorite movies, “Lucio Fulci’s Zombi”. It said that the film contains scenes of graphic violence and gore but no explicit depictions of sex. I always thought it was kinda funny and I am in love with 70’s exploitation film ads, plus at the time of writing it, it was fairly accurate. The thing is, there will be some very graphic nudity coming up in a short film called “Charnel House”. It’s a necrophilia love story and it contains a fair amount of nudity, both male and female.  I don’t have any problem with nudity or sex in a movie as long as it serves a purpose, I don’t like nudity for the sake of nudity. I feel the same way about violence and gore. As long as it serves the story I don’t think there is a line to cross. A good example is “A Serbian Film”. An absolutely morally reprehensible and sickening movie that depicts things I never thought I would ever see on film. I think it’s brilliant and I don’t consider it exploitation in the least bit. Everything they showed was completely necessary to the narrative and it served a purpose in the story. It never got to the point of gratuitous and I felt like it was as tastefully done as it possibly could be while still showing it.  There is certainly a line that you can cross into exploitation and that’s a fine line I try to keep in mind. Sometimes it suits the scene but it’s very easy to go too overboard with a gore scene or a sex scene it becomes boring. The audience becomes desensitized and it ceases to have an effect on them.

 Which comes first, the artistic idea and story or the special effects and creative gore? Do you think of a great use for a chainsaw and build a film around it or is it the other way around?

It really depends on the project. Most of my ideas come in random fragments while I’m slaving away at my pizza shop day job. It could be a cool death scene or a random joke or even a title that pops into my head. I scribble it down on an order slip and put it my pocket for later use. I have certainly written movies around FX scenes but generally I think of a cool concept or storyline and then figure out the gore (if any) depending on where the story goes. Sometimes there will a new technique or FX set piece that I really want to experiment with so I’ll figure out a way to incorporate it into the script.

What’s this I hear about bathrooms and pizza mixing with Lovecraft for your latest project “The Stall”?

I am a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft. “Pickman’s Model” is one of my favorite short stories and I grew up watching all of the Stuart Gordon/Brian Yuzna Lovecraft movies. I also have an unhealthy obsession with tentacles, so it was only a matter of time before I ended up doing a Lovecraft movie.  “The Stall” is the latest and most technically challenging short I’ve ever done. It’s about a young pizza shop employee who ends up trapped in a public restroom during the Lovecraftian apocalypse. It has lots of tentacles and slime and a splash of bitter food service satire. We actually filmed a section of it at the pizza shop I work at so it took on a strange meta quality for me during the production. It was a grueling shoot, the bulk of it was shot in the winter and we were lying on an ice cold concrete bathroom floor in an old factory covered in blood and ultra-slime for seventeen hours at a time with no heat and no sleep. I mean that’s pretty standard for a Reel Splatter shoot, and I am lucky to have a totally gung ho crew of maniacs working with me or none of would be possible.  I’m surprised no one got pneumonia!  We’re finishing up the post production now and it should be out on DVD and playing at film festivals very soon.

The stall poster final New

How did you get the nickname Dr. Chud? What’s the appeal of low budget, bad, 80s horror anyway, and why do you want to make films in that vein?

The name Dr. Chud came from another of my all time favorite movies (at the time of this writing, I believe I have about 168.5 favorite movies of all time), C.H.U.D. A wonderful slice of 80’s cheese about urban decay and sewer dwelling homeless people mutating into flesh hungry monsters. That combined with my love of old creature feature hosts spawned the name Dr. Chud. I created a character that wore a gas mask and a trench coat and spent his time foretelling the Apocalypse on a cardboard sign and I gave him the name and he became our mascot/logo. I ended up with the nickname because I always play him and he sort of became a symbol of my creative alter ego. At the time of his creation, I was unaware that one of the many revolving members of the punk band The Misfits (a band of which I am not a fan) was also named Dr.Chud. It has caused some confusion in the past, but the two are completely unrelated.

The appeal of bad 80’s movies is hard to pinpoint. I think what attracted me to them as a kid was just the sheer outrageousness of them. They all kind of have this “out there” quality and that gives them a certain personality and heart that is lacking in most films. I love anything goes mentality of them and I really want to capture that sense of fun in my own work. The practical FX (however cheesy) also always fascinated me and was a great source of inspiration.

 

 

What are your goals for Reel Splatter? Do you hope to remain indie or make it big? What do you hope your viewers take away from your films?

My only goal for Reel Splatter is to keep making movies and entertaining folks. It’s never been about getting big or making money. I just love playing with fake blood and making people laugh. If I have to do that with my last $50 from the pizza shop and not eating for a few days or if I have studio backing and I have millions to spend, the attitude and dream is the same. John Carpenter summed it up perfectly once on set of “They Live”, he said “When it stops being fun, we stop doing it.”

Where can our fellow Horror Addicts watch your films or find you online?

You can check out our DVD “Suburban Holocaust: Reel Splatter Volume 1” and the upcoming DVD of “The Stall” at www.ReelSplatter.com

We also have a youtube www.youtube.com/reelsplatter

And for the latest updates and contests please give us a LIKE on www.facebook.com/ReelSplatter

Thanks for taking the time out to chat with Horror Addicts, Mike!

Thanks for letting me ramble! Keep it reel folks!

-Mike “Dr.Chud” Lombardo

 

Monster Mash with Alkemic Generator

Episode 92 brings us music from Italian EBM trio Alkemic Generator and their dark, dance-inducing song, “Scream“. This song in particular puts me in the mind of Lacuna Coil, another Italian band as it happens. The other tracks from their new album, The Oniric Geometry, inspires similar comparison with their high energy electronic rock. I enjoyed the whole album, with “Illusion” being another standout favorite as it highlights the operatic voice of lead singer Sanja Aveic. It also has some quotes by Nikola Tesla. How can you not love that?

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When I asked about their song, “Scream”, Sanja described it like this: “Have you ever found yourself in situations when you were in one place only because you had to be there, because your duty obliged your feet to stand at one place rather then another? Well, this song was created in a moment like that, when I felt too tight in my own skin, and when only thing I desired was to liberate my spirit free. This song was my escape from what I had to do, into the direction of what I wanted to.”

Alkemic Generator combines the talents of engineer Leo, lyricist and singer Sanja, and guitarist Kinki. They described their work together telling me that “Leo acts as an engineer; using his keyboard, and programming skills he outlines the structure based on the words written by Sanja. Then Kinki, with his guitar and programming ideas, adds the finesse to complete a look of this structure, and at the end, a female voice reunites all the components together, building up a stable assembly of oniric inspirations. Our music is a mirror of our deeper feelings, the part of our inner world which is very rich (not from material point of view) and curious. The music we do is a constant play of fantasy, creativity, and exploration, all placed in one, and wrapped in a resistant envelope which assures its strength.”

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The Oniric Geometry is their first album, but they told me they have “already fired up the engine for production of the second one. We would like to keep our primary stamp, which can be found on our first album, but also consider the innovations which could make the new product even more (musically) valuable.”

For this talented trio, nothing is better then a live performance, but they are still finding their audience. “We love to play our music live, sharing our emotions and experience with people that are listening us. But, we confronted huge difficulties while organizing our eventual play here in Italy. Partially, this is because people prefer to listen to DJ sets rather than a live show. On the other side, Alkemic Generator is a novelty here, so we are about to show who we are, and what is the music that we are actually doing. We still have to build our reputation. Yet, we have played a bunch of shows in the last year, all in Italy, but we hope that our new CD will open more possibilities to play in those places where the public would like to hear us, wherever they might be in the world.”

Sanja then also added, “I must say that we are still breaking the barrier between us and public. I believe this is because we are bringing something a little bit different in EBM music. The arrangements have particularities which have to be discovered and listened with attention. At least I hope this is the reason why people that we have in front of us are so static, while we try to fill the place with energy during our performances. It seems like they still don’t trust us enough, and the only way we can earn their trust is to give our best on stage, which is the thing we are constantly doing, no matter if we play for 10 or 100 or 1000 people.”

Of course I had to ask, what’s the origin of “Alkemic Generator”? “Well, we expected this one. At the beginning, we were inspired to create a name with scientific connections. And why, you might ask!? It’s simple. When we are not Alkemic Generator, we are scientists. Well, most of us are. That’s why we selected the name NAG (which is a component of a bacterial wall) initially, but even if we liked it, the sound of that word was too simple. So, while we were trying to transform this simple NAG-word into something more complicated, we ended up with the acronym Noise Alkemic Generator. Within this name, we tried to combine some of the principles of our work occupations as researchers-biologists (Alchemist) and physician (Generator) together with the sound (Noise). Later on, our dear collaborators from Nilaihah Records revealed to us that NAG had a meaning, which was everything but appropriate, and so we have changed it, and since then we are officially Alkemic Generator.”

“Oniric” means “relating to dreams”, so with an album titled The Oniric Geometry, it is obvious that the band would find inspiration in dreams. “Our dreams lay behind all of what we do. We can say they are our general inspiration. But then, there are some more specific events or personalities which could trigger an idea inside of us. That is the case for the video for which we are writing a storyboard in the moment. This video clip is inspired by the novel The Wizard of Oz, by Baum, and we are very excited to finalize it.”

Kinki told me that his favorite song of theirs is “Voices Of Devotion” because “in this song we have mixed some ethereal moments with powerful beats.” Sanja added, “I feel extreme power when I sing ‘Illusion’, since it carries a story so strong and particular as the man that created it was.” This, I believe, is in reference to Nikola Tesla.

Of their favorite music and bands, Kinki said, “I love Feindflug, Combichrist, Freakangel, and many other EBM artists; but the most important artist from the electronic scene, in my opinion, is Wumpscut. I’m so proud that our remix of his song ‘Gabi Grausam’ was choosen by Wumpscut for the tracklist of DjDwarf 13.” Sanja added, “I am particularly devoted to the Rock music from 60-70’s. I must be honest and say that my vocal orientation was led preferentially by Tarja Turunen and Anneke (The Gathering). I also admire Vibeke’s way of interpretation. Thanks to them, the bands they sing in influenced my musical orientation in part. I must not forget Lacuna Coil, too. Considering EBM scene, I am impressed by the work of Diorama, and then there are also Diary of Dreams, and Assemblage 23.”

For Leo, music has always been a part of his life. “I started to play piano when I was 9. By the age of 15, I started to compose my first music, and by the time I played with my first band. Now I’m 40, but I still have the same desire to make the music come out from my brain.” For Sanja, playing music came later. “A courage to enter into music more seriously arrived quite late. I have already overcome my teens when I started with classical music, then arrived Rock, and finally, with Alkemic Generator, I reached a completion I have always dreamed of; at last I have started to write it as well.”

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When the band isn’t together making music, they each enjoy some eclectic distractions. Leo said, “my job as a project manager is quite creative itself, every single day. It takes a lot of time and energy, making me very busy. But doing some sports in my free time is always appreciated.” Kinki said, “I always have my hands full of things to do. When I don’t hold my guitar, I have my hands busy with laboratory staffs, ‘playing’ with my microbes. Then, concerts are my hobbies; I like so much to hear my favourite bands on their live shows.” As for Sanja, she said, “when I am not writing, or reading, well, then I am around fixing the things in the house, or outside in the garden, planting. Another thing that I really like to do is biking, or simply walking for miles during a city touring. It’s important to be in the open air.”

They do also listen to podcasts and online radio. “We listen mostly to podcasts of Italian webradios which promote local music. Then, we are wandering, in search of EBM/Goth web stations, since there are not that many of them in Italy, but none is more frequent than another.”

What’s next for the band? “At the moment, we’re searching for a booking agency which can assure us live shows, and which can promote us in the best way. We are working for the first videoclip realization, and we have started the studio sessions for the second album. We believe our music deserves to be heard. Also, considering that we are a new band, we need feedback so we can meliorate what is not good enough.”

I normally ask band members if they have any advice, but they told me that since they are a new band, they are waiting for some advice. To them I say, please visit HorrorAddicts.net and read the other interviews and seek out the wisdom of those we’ve featured before. I have no doubt that this band has a bright future ahead of them.

Follow Alkemic Generator online at SoundCloud, ReverbNationFacebookMySpace, and Twitter.
Listen to their Bandcamp digital music downloads, as well as on StorenvyiTunes, and Amazon.

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.

Paranormal Books and Curiosities – Bringing the Spirits to the Shore

Tonight Kbatz is chatting with Kathy and the ghostly gang from the Paranormal Books and Curiosities Shop and Museum in Asbury Park, NJ!

Thanks for taking the time to chat it up with Horror Addicts.net!

How did the idea of a paranormal shop come together when you first opened in 2008? Did you find Asbury Park or did Asbury Park find you?

I had reached a breaking point in my former career.  While I loved what I did there did not seem to be much forward movement for me doing it.  I decided that I could put all of my skills and creativity into something that I was passionate about and my future would then be in my own hands.  Of course, I wasn’t sure how to do that! I tried a bunch of different approaches, started writing my book, scouted a tour site and ultimately, I decided the time had come for a brick and mortart destination spot for Paranormal enthusiasts and Paranormal Books & Curiosities was born.  Asbury park seemed a natural fit, it had a stormy history and it was interesting and unique and I thought Paranormal would fit right in.

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Now that ‘paranormal’ topics are arguably more popular than ever, how do you define your shop and inform against those who would call such themes evil, occult, witchcraft?

I find most people who come in are curious, even if they are afraid.  I don’t consider it my job to convert or convince anyone of anything.  I just want people to be able to explore their interests safely.  So, when someone comes in an asks me if I am a witch or if I worship the devil (this happens way less frequently than someone asking me if I am psychic or just saying “boo”) I tell them the truth, which is I am not, but there are a bunch of books on the front shelves that can help them with any questions they may have about those things!

How do you decide what books, merchandise, equipment, and oddities go in the store? Where do you get your more unusual museum pieces and exhibits?

I decide based on my own interest and the interests of my customers.  I can tell you that the store I have now is not the one I opened.  It is far more diverse than it was in 2008.  My customers have helped mold and shape it by the questions they ask.  As far as The Paranormal Museum, some items are artists renditions of legends but most relics I have either found in my travels or have been donated to The Paranormal Museum.  Many people have objects that are interesting to them, but they feel uncomfortable with them.  I am happy to make room for those items and to tell their story.

Do you have a ‘curiosity’ of which you’re most proud? What’s the weirdest object you’ve come across?

This is tough.  I have so many favorites!  One of the pieces in The Paranormal Museum that I truly love is a cutting from the Oleander Tree from The Myrtles Plantation.  The Myrtles is one of the most famous hauntings in America and it’s seminal story concerns a poisoning by oleander from this particular tree.  I love the idea that we have the DNA if you will, of a haunting.

Speaking of DNA, I also have a strand of Andrew Jackson’s hair.  Ole Hickory, as he was known, spent a few sleepless nights investigating the Bell Witch in Tennessee and that earned him a place on our wall.

Weirdest is tough, because they all make sense once you tell the story…but I do have a Palo Mayombe cauldron complete with bones and blood ash..I suppose some would think that weird.

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In addition to book events, you also host psychics, ghost lectures, and weekend ghost tours in the shop and surrounding community. Have you ever been frightened by any encounters? In twenty years in the investigative community, how much legitimate activity have you witnessed? Any false claims or debunkings?

I don’t know that I have ever been frightened, but certainly I have been made uncomfortable.  I consider myself to be quite skeptical, although I don’t generally “debunk”.  I try to explain.  “Debunk”-ing implies that there is some kind of hoax or intentional fraud and I don’t find that to usually be the case.  I have often been able to experience what is claimed by witnesses, but have interpreted my experiences differently than they. I can’t put a percentage on it, but I would say that paranormal activity is far more rare that contemporary field enthusiasts (ghost hunters) would have you believe.  But it is not non existent.  There is something that people are experiencing. 

How did the Paranormal BC Investigative Team at the store come together? Has the more recent popularity of ghost hunting shows and events helped or hindered the long active investigative community?

My team came together organically.  I get a lot of people asking to join or asking to “come along” on investigations.  The truth is I investigate much less than many other groups because it is very time consuming and a lot of people who ask for investigations are more curious to see what investigators do than they are concerned that they have activity.  Some of my team members came on public investigation and I liked how they approached the subject. It is all about the “fit”.

I think the TV Shows have done both good and bad, but overall I would lean toward good.  They have given a broad audience the vocabulary to discuss what we term paranormal.  That is good.  That helps start and continue conversations.  The bad is that they have created an entire army of weekend investigators armed with equipment they only understand from watching TV shows.  Is that bad?  I don’t know.  But I know it is frustrating to many people who have been investigating for 15-20-25 years.  Still, I don’t see how it has to negatively impact anyone’s legitimate research or study.  It is annoying for the old school people, but then again, sometimes I think there is a little too much territorialism in general.

My recommendation to people interested is what it has always been.  Read, learn, read, learn.

 

How do you deal with any jokesters, non-believers, and other norms who think its all hooey?

I don’t mind that, provided they are respectful.  I get it.  I’m not sure where I sit on these issues myself from day.  I am always questioning.  That is what it means to be a student of something, you question it to learn.  That does not mean I tolerate condescension though, or mockery.  If you have already made up your mind and are comfortable with what you know or believe, you should have no reason to disrespect other people’s journey to their own decision.  The key is to be smarter and more articulate than your heckler!

You were also involved in several Hurricane Sandy projects. Did you suffer much damage during the storm? Now that summer is upon us, has the clientele returned to the beach? Do you have any special events happening during the season?

I hesitate to even complain about our losses because in comparison to so many others they were minimal.  Of course we lost several months of business, which as a small business is very difficult to overcome.  But we were so grateful to be able to help our neighbors in the little ways we did.  Time will tell if the people will return, we haven’t seen it yet, but we are hopeful!  We have tours and seances, investigations and how to classes, psychic readings, book signings, pretty much something each week! Each month we have what we call a “Paranormal Weekend” where people can attend a paranormal event Friday/Saturday/Sunday and make a mini vacation out of it. 

 

What purpose does the Shop and the companion museum hope to serve along the Jersey shore?

I think we are different.  We are unique.  We offer people the opportunity to explore strange and unusual things in a beautiful setting.  I think we reflect what is so “cool” about New Jersey and specifically, the Jersey Shore.  I like to think we are a place people are proud to turn their friends onto. 

Where can we find you online?

 

www.paranormalbooksnj.com

Thanks again for taking the time to scare it up with Horror Addicts.net!

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 The Jesus Cleaver

Welcome back from our mini-hiatus, Addicts! For Episode 88 we are featuring the song “Europa” by Australian dark alternative band The Jesus Cleaver. Singer/songwriter John P. Shea is the core member though he collaborates often with other artists. As he puts it, “I handle all of the writing and production duties, and most of the instrumentation. We were briefly a 2-piece around 2002, with [3] on bass, when we did our first live show. Now, we’re focusing primarily on recording. [3] did some bass parts on the debut album, A Private Encyclopaedia, and I also recorded backing vocals for the track ‘Rend’, which featured Brisbane singers Angie Draper and Tanya Quinlan. For the current album, Life In Clouds, we also got a guitar part for ‘Empty’ recorded by Brisbane alt-rock outfit, Blu Blak Truk. So overall, I’m trying to balance my need for total control with actually getting things done in a reasonable time frame. But I’m also cognizant of creating artistic dependencies. I guess a loose collective of special guests is a better description, depending on the requirements of individual songs. That being said, I think that the possibility of collaborating with other artists is getting more and more intriguing. But I also like the built-in sense of isolation that seems to permeate our work.”

The Jesus Cleaver

“Europa” is his latest single from the current album, Life In Clouds. “It’s hard to describe how important this particular track is. It represents a culmination of a lot of things musically, but more importantly, I think that the lyrics present a pretty vivid picture. It’s quite up-tempo too, which is a bit of a first for us. The song is about how far apart things can get, and also how close things can come together. It’s about raw desire, about being completely infatuated, irrespective of how long things have been going on for. It draws a bit from David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, in that a long journey is implied. The song title is reflective of that as well, and the artwork hints at two bodies in mutual orbit. Whenever I buy a new album, the first thing I do is read all of the lyrics. For this sort of audience, hopefully there’s something really strong on offer. Our lyrics underpin all of our songs, and everything begins with the lyrics in the first instance. That being said, the track could equally get skipped as soon as my vocals come on!”

The Jesus Cleaver is based in Brisbane, Australia, which is where John grew up. “Brisbane has a very diverse music scene, and has been home to acts ranging from the Bee Gees, The Saints, The Go-Betweens, and Savage Garden to name a few. In the late 80’s, Brisbane indie artists faced the height of a pretty oppressive cultural environment. A lot of indie acts were around at the time, and the city’s community radio station, 4ZzZ FM, was (and still is) a big part of the pulse of things.  This was when I first started writing, and getting more deeply exposed to the local sub-culture. In terms of influences, it’s difficult not to have textures from acts like those of the line up of the first Livid Festival somewhat engrained. There are quite a few videos from Brisbane acts around at that time on the ‘That Striped Sunlight Sound’ blog as well. Andrew Stafford’s book, Pig City is a great read for anyone interested in this aspect of Brisbane’s cultural development, and more broadly, Clinton Walker’s Stranded: The Secret History of Australian Independent Music is also an important reference. But more broadly in terms of influences, 4ZzZ shared a lot of the indie ethos that BBC presenter John Peel espoused, and UK labels such as 4AD, Beggars Banquet, Rough Trade and Mute were very well represented in playlists of the the day. In fact, Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ (Factory Records), was still doing well in the station’s 1988 Hot 100. US labels such as Alternative Tentacles were also in the mix, so hopefully that paints a bit of a picture. Our main influences are dark alternative acts such as Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, as well as people like David Bowie, Kate Bush and bands such as Depeche Mode.”

How do your fans react to your music? “There are two aspects to this. In the first, I have a close group of friends and artists that I play new releases to. One of the biggest buzzes I get is in seeing them quite perplexed (for example, “Girl With No Name”), or pointing out what the song means to them, or other tracks or styles that it relates to, some of which I might not have heard of previously. All of these different tangents that the song is provoking. Secondly, for our broader fan base (an attribute which we can barely lay claim to), occasionally, we’ll get some positive tweets on particular tracks. That’s something I really thrive on. But overall, I think that music listening has become a very passive experience these days, despite the abundance of social media. Hopefully, some of our work will be good enough to prompt a conversation here and there, otherwise, we’re just another unnoticed tree falling in the forest, so to speak. We’re so far removed from the mainstream, but that in many respects is a very good thing. As an underground act, we’re not beholden to anyone or any corporation. We’re completely in control of our means of production and our artistic destiny, and we run our own small-scale promotion within a small but loyal sub-genre. If people view that as interesting, and take the time to discover and explore our art, then, fan by fan, I think that we might eventually achieve something resembling a following. In the mean time, we’re concentrating on getting better and better at our craft, and entertaining ourselves and close friends along the way.”

Europa

Of your music, do you have any favorite songs? “I guess each time I finish a new song, it’s the new favorite du jour. So at the moment, it’s ‘Europa’, and before that it was ‘Empty’. ‘Empty’ was a pretty important achievement, and a lot of production went into its rather murky, menacing mid-bass sound, and overall sense of power and intimidation. That track is a combination of some interesting musical loops and crescendo, and the guitar part from Blu Blak Truk is pretty decimating at an appropriate playback volume. ‘Luscious, which was our first single from the debut album, A Private Encyclopaedia, also has a special place, especially considering how long that song existed in a very abstract, avant-garde form. During production, the bass and guitar parts were added on top of the droning strings and free-form percussion. Before this, the song was very sparse.”

How would you describe your music? “That’s the hardest thing I find about being involved in music production and promotion – writing about your own work. I really appreciate the gift that some music journalists have of naturally being able to go on at length and in such descriptive language. For me, a song is a song. You either play it once and forget it, or you turn it up because it fills you up with something, it makes your existence that much better for that moment, or even the whole day. At least that’s my experience with my favorite songs.

I find it especially hard because we don’t clearly fit into a particular genre, and even song to song, there’s a great deal of variety in our work. There are hints here and there, and at times some of our influences make themselves more clearly known, but maybe its a process of joining the dots, from what has come before us, and the various directions we’re heading toward.”

What was the inspiration for Life In Clouds? “Life In Clouds is about existing in a particular state of bliss, and perhaps in denial, too. It’s otherworldly in a sense, in that it can’t necessarily be attained, or transitioned to. The tracks on the album loosely explore various facets of this, particularly in an inter-personal sense. Hopefully they fit together, and the title track is certainly deeply aligned, or central to this theme. The video for ‘Mercy’, which was the first single from the album, tries to portrait some of this as well in its imagery.”

Who are your favorite bands, and who has influenced your music? “I’m a huge fan of SWANS and Michael Jira. I recently saw them perform in Sydney, doing ‘The Seer’ live. Michael is a remarkable writer, and, for example, songs from the period “‘White Light from the Mouth of Infinity’ (1991) / ‘Love of Life’ (1992) / ‘The Great Annihilator’ (1995) are immensely inspiring. His recent work is very powerful, in that musically, he’s stripped things down to very simple phrases or passages of energy, yet these are being orchestrated continuously in a purposeful way. I’m still trying to rationalize the live show. I get the sense that he has a very personal vision of destruction that he’s trying to convey. For a writer of his experience and accomplishments, to realize that this is a truth that he has arrived at, and that this is what is literally being pounded into you, it’s pretty close to a spiritually cleansing. I came away from the show more as a survivor, questioning everything I’ve ever done artistically. It was much more a sense of emptiness than of being elated. It’s pretty hard to describe, but the fact that his work is so strong and powerful, and yet so out of phase with the rest of the universe, that’s pretty compelling in terms of a measure of his dissatisfaction with the status quo. Peter Hook did his ‘Unknown Pleasures’ show in Brisbane a little while ago, and that was very close to a transcendental atmosphere being formed in the venue – the energy of the songs, and their raw emotional charge, not to mention the Northern accent. I’d love to see him again with ‘Closer’. In fact, we’ve had a pretty good run lately. Blixa just came back and did a great Einstürzende Neubauten show, and Peter Murphy was pretty sublime as well – he added a good helping of Bauhaus tracks, including ‘She’s In Parties’, which is one of my favorites. Ninth, his current album, is definitely one of his best yet.”

Are there any other styles of music that you like? “I’m reasonably omnivorous, and my music collection has albums from artists such as the Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday, Shostakovich. It’s pretty eclectic. Not expansive, because in my youth I was constantly saving money for synths and drum machines, and I tend to be interested in complete bodies of work, which at the time precluded some of the more peripheral interests.”

What type of music turns you off? “I still have scars from The B52’s being played at our high school formal.”

Is there a style that you haven’t worked in that you would like to? “In terms of new styles, it wouldn’t be impossible for something more orchestral to turn up, or perhaps something harsher, maybe some more guitars and percussion samples, but not necessarily agro-tech. I think we’re way too humanist to get into that sort of territory.”

How long have you been writing, composing, or playing? “I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, but most of that early stuff hasn’t seen the light of day. The debut album, A Private Encyclopaedia, was in many respects a ‘best of’ for a lot of that earlier work. In terms of composing and playing, I’ve been into the music technology side of things for a long time, and started out with hardware sequencers running MIDI synths, and then a drum machine. When I was in high school, I read Paul White’s Home & Studio Recording magazine religiously every month. I’ve slowly accumulated all of the studio gear one tends to accumulate, but there are still a few things on the eBay saved search list!”

Life In Clouds

What has it been like creating your albums? “In many respects, creating an album is an act of pure vanity – at the end of the process, you’ve got something unique that you can play instead of everyone else’s work. It’s a very demanding process, and yet it’s something that I’m completely comfortable with. It’s taken a long time to get there, and you have to learn a lot about your own limitations, but ultimately, you’re imposing your own sense of style throughout the decision making. With today’s tools, the possibilities are practically infinite, so having a clear sense of purpose for each track is critical. Sustaining this through the entire recording process is important, because I’m trying to convey, in musical terms, the emotional state of the lyrics. The music is really there just as a support mechanism, and at times, it can be quite strange indeed, compared to most conventional songs which probably emerge the other way around. The work so far on the second album has been a lot smoother than the first, apart from the small matter of being hospitalized for abdominal surgery after recording vocals for the track ‘Empty’. On the production side of things, I’ve got a clearer perspective now on what works and what doesn’t work. Because each song is different from the next, the actual path to completing a song might go down different roads, but aesthetically, things seem to be ending up in the right place. There are still a few songs to go though, so I still have a little apprehension around how they’ll turn out.”

Do you listen to podcasts? “In the very early days, I used to be a regular listener to quite a few podcasts. It’s so refreshing to be able to listen to shows that are actually entertaining. Some shows have come and gone (including my own, ‘Afterglow‘), but podcasting is still a critical outlet for independent media. I try and keep up with some of the dark alternative DJ’s, such as DJ Bronxelf, and now I’ll have to check out the HorrorAddicts archive too! Lately, I’m listening a lot to Radio National on the ABC. When cars have built-in mobile internet and podcast receivers, I’ll definitely be getting back into this medium. I think it needs this sort of convenience to really take off. Well, for me at least, mainly because I can’t stand ear buds or listening ‘on the go’.”

John P Shea - self portrait

When you aren’t working on music, do you have any other creative outlets? “Lately, I’ve been doing some vintage synth restorations. I don’t have a lot of free time, so that turns into a very slow process, especially if parts aren’t available. For one part, a 30mm travel slide potentiometer, I only found one supplier, and they had a minimum quantity of 1,000 units for orders. It took about 3 years for the part to turn up on eBay, and the seller would only ship to the US. By a remarkable coincidence, I was in Florida at the time, and got them sent to the hotel, so that was a bit of a win. I’ve actually re-manufactured some slide switches, where the aluminum-wrapped baton had been snapped off. I found a similar NOS (New Old Stock) part on eBay, as there wasn’t a modern equivalent, but its plastic mechanism (inside the switch housing) was slightly over-sized, so that required a lot of careful work to size it down (and not damage the baton, nor the housing). It’s amazing the level of mechanical engineering contained within the humble slide switch. There are notches on the sides of the housing, and a tiny spring with ball bearings at each end is located perpendicularly through a hole in the base of the baton, which is actually an inverted “T” shape. The ball bearings sit into the notches, which gives you that *click* feel as the baton moves back and forth. There are a set of very delicate contacts on the underside of the inverted “T”-shaped, and these mate with the switch terminals, which are molded through the plastic base, around which the housing is folded. I had to keep the original underside of the “T”, as this was molded to suit the contacts, so this meant that the top half of the original base had to be cut off, and the sized-down replacement “T” glued on top. The actual electrical switching is done as the mechanical movement of the baton drags the contacts over the terminals. You don’t really get any sense of appreciation for the design until you take one apart and try and re-build it. Everything has to fit within pretty fine tolerances. A labor of love, but you’ve got to be able to switch LFO waveforms, right? Not exactly Rock’n’Roll, but you wouldn’t have Rock without a soldering iron!”

Anything not so synth-geeky? “I also started some research for a long-form writing project, but that’s on hold for now. It was great to step back into some of the local University libraries again. I’m the kind of person that gets a buzz out of research and analysis, particularly if you’re doing it the old fashioned way. It’s important to have distractions from music though, and things like studio maintenance (and continual upgrades), as well as things like the graphic design side of things, they’re all something I enjoy.”

What’s next for you and the band? “The remaining tracks for the album Life In Clouds are what’s on the immediate agenda. All the lyrics are ready to go, but I haven’t started any pre-production yet. I mentioned the collaboration thing previously, that might also be an option. I’m pretty much always writing, but I haven’t got anything clearly formulated yet for the next body of work.”

Do you have any advice for new bands? “Just to be very, very clear about what your motives are for being involved in music. Many of the traditional aspirations are not compatible with the current reality, so you have to frame things within your own reality. If that’s something that other people can get into, then all the better. Many music projects don’t necessarily consider an end date either, so if you’re not achieving certain things within a certain time frame, then don’t be afraid to pull the pin. Making music is a deep, deep pit that you can pour yourself into. At times, it seems like you can never do enough. I’m fortunate in that The Jesus Cleaver is a project that seems to function best when deprived of nearly all of its oxygen. You also need pretty thick skin if you’re doing underground promotion, as you’ll be ignored almost all of the time. People’s attention is such a rare commodity these days, but music has that ability, like nothing else, to make a deep connection with the listener, and that’s my main interest.”

All of The Jesus Cleaver’s songs can be streamed in full, for free at any time at music.thejesuscleaver.com, and downloads of the albums and singles are also available in various formats. To find out more about John and his music, visit his official site at thejesuscleaver.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. To keep up-to-date, you can also subscribe to the band’s mailing list.

Best In Blood Season 6 – Nathanael Munn

nateauthoraward

Hello, all you Horror Addicts out there! Are you ready for a new and a frightening good year of horror?! Well to get this year started I have an interview with the one and only Nathanael Munn, our Season 6 Best in Blood author.

I started off by asking Munn how he felt about receiving the title, to which he replied, “Well I felt surprised and honored really. It’s a good feeling to know that other people were entertained by one of my stories.”

He then added, “Well I’m not for speeches, but I would like to thank Horror Addicts for giving me the opportunity to share my work with their fans. And a really big thank you to all the Horror Addict Fans that listened and downloaded my story. Without them I could not have won.”

Now, what got our daring author into Horror in the first place you ask? “That’s a tough one. It’s not a story but rather real life. I believe my house was haunted by something. As a kid I had many a terrified nights tightly balled under my blanket. Listening to footsteps walk up down our long hallway followed by chilling feelings of not being alone. Sometimes hearing whispers. Without getting into much detail many things happened that even thinking back on it creeps me out little. I rely on my on the memory of what I was feeling at the time to aid my writing. Plus I like to let imagination run wild. But if you want to know a book that creeped me out the most when I was younger, here you go… I read a book called Hell Board by Dana Reed when I was in the 5th grade. It freaked me out. I never looked Ouija Boards the same way again… I think that book tied into the specter that haunted me at night led me down the path I have chosen to follow.”

All you horror fans better get yourself prepared because Munn is planning on “taking horror fans on new incredible journeys through the mind.” And, though Nathanael hasn’t made the plunge into e-books yet he did inform me that he is currently working on a Webzine. He also has a novella being released in March of 2013 titled, Derivation.

If fans want to keep up with what Nathanael is doing or contact him you can do so at the following places:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arcanum-Axiom/191155884381
www.arcanuaxiom.com
https://www.facebook.com/natel.munn

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.

Monster Mash with Third Realm

Our featured band this episode is Third Realm, which is the project of Nathan Reiner of Buffalo, NY, who shared with us the song “Pallor Mortis”. When Third Realm plays live, Nathan is joined by Melanie Beitel on keyboards, John Fitzgibbon on guitars, and Mike Reiner on drums. As Nathan puts it, “Each of them bring their own unique element, we mix together experimental and traditional approaches. It’s been a good experience performing and moving forward with this current lineup. It’s definitely difficult to box my music into a few genres because I have been known to bounce all over the place. For the sake of convenience, I am currently labeling my music as Dark Wave / Electro / Industrial. This gives listeners a general idea of what to expect but in no way guarantees a strict dedication to those genres.”

“Pallor Mortis” has a very “horror-oriented vibe”, as Nathan put it. “The actual meaning of course represents a stage of death. For me, in relation to creating a song, it is sort of a fantasy. I imagine myself coming face to face with several hallucinations and challenges I must overcome in order to advance in life after death.”

He waxes just as poetic when he explained the band name. “Third Realm represents a belief that we are all observing a hologram projected from a parallel universe. There is somewhat of a science fiction attachment to it, although scientists are starting to admit this theory could be true. For some reason, I associated this belief with a specific realm, the Third Realm. I created this idea several years before ever recording a song but decided to stick with it once the name started to gain recognition.”

The band is based out of Buffalo, NY.  Nathan told me, “I grew up here, but I often find myself missing Aspen, Colorado. I lived out there for awhile, it was a great experience to step outside of the limitations of being trapped in one town. In terms of location influencing my music, absolutely not. I’ve never adapted the mannerisms of the people living in any city, it’s interesting to come across individuals that are a cliché representation of where they grew up. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, as long as you maintain an open mind. I just don’t like when people start to lose their inner self.”

So far, they have only played in Western New York. However, he added, “I would love to play in Germany, a couple of international shows are currently in the works. There has been an overwhelming amount of positive reactions to the music, especially internationally. It’s very humbling, it certainly inspires me to keep creating. I think there is something that happens at every show that stands out, be it negative or positive. Whether it be a sound guy that is outside smoking when the stage monitors are completely blasting or not on at all, people mocking you because you are playing a different style of music than the other bands that night, or people legitimately enjoying your set. Every show is a learning experience especially when you step outside of your comfort zone.”

It may be hard to choose, but which of your songs or albums is your favorite? “It is certainly hard to choose for a couple of reasons. One, I am rather modest and two, I am self critical of everything I do. The tracks that hold the most emotion are the ones I find myself listening to. ‘Suicide Note’, ‘Romantic Death’, ‘Delusional Ecstasy’, ‘Pallor Mortis’ and ‘Love is the Devil’ would make the list. This is not to say I don’t enjoy my other songs, these are just the ones that have the most personal attachment.”

What was the inspiration for creating your latest project? “With my latest album, Beyond Good and Evil, I wanted to accomplish a couple of things. First, it was a chance to expand musically and spiritually. I spent more time on the songwriting and wanted to make sure I was creating something that I was personally attached to, and not just create something with a cool beat, bass line, etc. I think it’s possible to accomplish both, yet so many songs are coming out (mainly from mainstream pop ‘artists’) that sound cool, but have little meaning. In fact, they don’t even sound cool, but rather cheesy. Next, I wanted to blend together elements from all my albums. If you listen to all of my albums, I think you’ll notice the collaboration of styles coming to life on the new one.”

Who are your favorite bands, and who has influenced your music? “Peter Murphy, Nine Inch Nails, Nick Cave, Covenant, IAMX, Diary of Dreams. My favorite bands happen to be the ones that influence me the most as well. I am always creating, so when I respect a band and find myself really enjoying them, it’s partly because I hear elements within their music that I would like to implement into my own. I could see myself starting a Black Metal / Thrash band. I started experimenting with music about 16 years ago. My main initial focus was on piano, synthesizers and sampling. I just recently started dedicating more time into learning guitar.

Do you have any other creative outlets? “Music is my only real creative outlet. When I’m not doing that, I could be seen at other concerts, occasionally at an Industrial club, maybe even doing the basics such as karaoke, video games and reading, because after all, it still exists.”

Do you listen to podcasts? “I do. I’m currently digging the Oonztcast by COMA Music Magazine, Gothic Paradise Club Radio Top 10 & The Requiem.

What’s next for you and the band? “To pursue a bigger label and slowly put together a new album. There are probably going to be some bigger shows in the works as well.”

Finally, do you have any advice for new bands? “I would say, be original. Music has exploded into so many sub-genres that you really don’t hear much anymore that you haven’t heard before. With that being said, I’d also say put genuine emotion into your creations, that will give you a unique voice, a trademark of sorts.”

You can find Third Realm’s music almost everywhere. iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, eMusic, FIXT, BandCamp, Google Play, Rhapsody, MySpace, etc. Your local music shop should also be able to order their CDs. The band can also be found on ReverbnationFacebook, and VampireFreaks.com.

Monster Mash with Marc Vale

OK, so, there’s the cat, man. A groovy cat. “Dracula’s cat?” Maybe, but right now I’m talking about Dance Monkey Dan, man. You know him as Marc Vale. The Man, the Myth, the Legend! Writer and drummer extraordinaire! Horror addict and bon vivant! He’s humble, too. As he puts it, “I’m a drummer, started off a drummer and still say, ‘I’m just a drummer.’ My music is personal; it can be complicated or very simple. It just depends on why I wrote the song. Did I want to try something rhythmically challenging or did I want to set a mood with one note.”

The song we are featuring is in fact “Dracula’s Cat” which is a really groovy, jazzy, Zappa inspired piece.

Marc currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, but is originally from Ohio. “I grew up in Ohio, but then moved to Venice Beach, CA. RUSH was big in Ohio and I took to their music really early in my teens.”

Dance Monkey Dan is his solo project, but he’s played with bands in the past. “I’ve been in many bands, in many different genres, jazz, blues, metal, country, big band swing, reggae, and classical. Places I’ve played: Venice Beach, Long Beach, LA Strip, Ventura, North Canton, Massillon, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and others. Places I’d like to play…the rest of the world!”

Were there any gigs that stand out? “It depended on what band I was in, most people, mainly other drummers, would hang out with me and we’d talk drums, some would ask me how I learned certain styles and stuff. The drunker the fans, the better they loved us, and the more the clothes that came off, but that’s another story.” Ah yes, drummers.

So of course, I had to know the origin of “Dance Monkey Dan”. “My kid asked me to do something and my wife said, ‘Yea, Dance Monkey.’ I took that part and added Dan since that’s a term used in Japanese martial arts, like 7th dan or 10th dan. So I envisioned this kick-ass monkey pulling off a round house kick and thought, that’ll work.”

Then I asked him which of his songs was his favorite. “Right now… ‘King Lord Fudgy’.” Dude. How could you not dig a song named “King Lord Fudgy”?

His favorite groups and musicians includes: Frank Zappa, RUSH, TOOL, Van Halen, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Rage Against the Machine, The Police, Aaron Copland. “Everything but stupid–I left my wife for my pick-up truck–country music.”

He was intentionally nebulous when I asked about how long he had been playing music. “Playing for lots of years, writing songs a little less than a lot of years. I don’t mean to answer like an ass, I just don’t want people to know how old I really am!”

As he is a podcaster himself, I know he listens to podcasts, but wondered if he listens to any that focus on music. “I haven’t yet, but I haven’t been looking either. I think I will, just to see what people are talking about.”

As a creative cat, I wondered if he had any other artistic pursuits. “I write my stories. Other than that and music, I’m pretty booked.”

Does he have an album of his work available to listen to and buy? “Nope, never really thought about it. I don’t sing and instrumental music doesn’t sell much.” That might seem odd, but I know at least one other musician who is just happy to make music and maybe, someday, he’ll produce an album as well. Or sell it online. Eventually.

So then, what is next for this dance monkey? “Continue writing studio music scores, like movie soundtrack type stuff for my podcast stories, or for people that want my music in their podcasts.” He also added, “I’d like to get together with some jazz fusion players and see what we could put together.”

Finally, I’ll leave you with his sage advice. “Remember, ‘No one wants to hear your shit,’ so market yourself well, stay in control of your art, read your contracts well, don’t get screwed by the music business, and don’t spend all your money on sex and drugs.”

You can find Marc Vale online on his blog at www.marcvale.blogspot.com, and he has some tracks available to listen to on Reverbnation.

A Sneak Peek at Inkubus starring Robert Englund, William Forysthe

When people are asked to name some of the most prolific actors in Horror, the name that will come to many lists is that of Robert Englund. To many he will be best known for his role as Freddy Krueger.  However, Englund has stepped beyond this role and has been in many films since the Nightmare on Elm Street film series.  In the film Inkubus, he’s back to play the key character in the film.  Along side Englund is Horror icon, William Forysthe.

The rest of the cast is composed of individuals such as Joey Fatone, Jonathan Silverman, Michelle Ray Smith, and others.  Horror Addicts had that ability and fortune to speak with actor Tom DeNucci, actress Dyan Kane, and director Glenn Ciano.  In the interviews you will get to hear the passion they all have for their film and some of how the film was made.  Listen to these interviews on Episode #71 of HorrorAddicts.net.

Horror Addicts would like to thank those at Woodhaven Production Company for giving us the opportunity to speak with those in the movie and it’s director.  I hope fans will enjoy the discussions, but more importantly find a way to see the movie.

Inkubus will be in select theaters from Oct 28th-Nov. 3rd.

1. Providence Place Mall Cinema, RI
2. Warwick Cinema, RI
3. Showcase Revere, MA
4. Showcase Bridgeport, CT
5. Island 16: Cinema De Lux, Holtsville, NY
6. Multiplex Cinemas at Town Center Plaza, East Windsor, NJ
7. Springdale 18: Cinema De Lux, Springdale, OH
8. Valley Art, Tempe, AZ
9. Magic Lantern, Spokane, WA
10. The Dark Room Theater, San Fran, CA
11. The Times Cinema, Milwaukee, WI
12. Sanibel Island Cinema, Sanibel, FL

More information can be found at their Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/InkubusMovie?sk=info

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.

A Discussion with Ned the Dead

Greetings HorrorAddicts.net fans and friends.  I want to take a moment and give you all a sneak peek into the mind of a Northeast Wisconsin Television performer that has graced the small screen for over twenty years.

This individual is simply named, Ned the Dead, and has been sharing his love of horror films with television viewers in some form or another for decades.   I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to sit down and interview Ned the Dead for Horror Addicts.

This interview will be upcoming and shared with the rest of you as you will get to hear the over thirty minute conversation that I had with Ned.

Ned is a unique gentleman of over fifty years old and gives insight into the background of his show, the future of Ned and his thoughts on Horror films.

You will also get a glance into the man’s unique humor as he crack  quips that will have any listener laughing as they here this discussion.  You will get to learn secrets into the man’s life and also the man known as Steve who is behind Ned the Dead.

As  you listen to the interview I’ll make sure to ask Ned to explain why he must keep hitting a board on set, which has become part of the normal behavior.  Ned will then explain that this action is called “spanking the plank” and of course you will need to listen to the interview for the purpose behind the spanking.

Most importantly Horror Addicts you will hear an interview from a gentleman that simply loves the job he is doing.  You should hear this coming from the near glee in his voice as he explains his show and those around him.  We cover everything from the beginning of his career, to thoughts on other hosts and his ideal movie cast if he could make a film.

I hope  you will all take time and listen to this interview when it becomes available in the HorrorAddicts.net feed and please share your comments here.  Most of all those who take time to listen to the interview will get to find out how Ned will be able to reach viewers outside of Northeast Wisconsin in what could be only a few months.

~~Knightmist

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 Saints of Ruin

Saints Of Ruin

Saints of Ruin has taken the Goth/dark rock world by storm. Already popular internationally, the release of their first full-length album “Nightmare” has garnered them some very well-earned respect and praise in the United States. I had a chance to speak with Ruby Ruin, lead vocalist for SOR and ask her some questions about Saints of Ruin and what drives their music.

SM: First of all, your music is awesome. The fans here at HorrorAddicts dig you guys BIG TIME. The first thing that really hits me about the bio on your website is that Tommy Dark, singer and bass player for what became Saints of Ruin journeyed to California from New York when he found you. What is the story behind that? How did you guys meet across a country and what were you doing before that?

RR: Oh, it is a great story: Tommy Dark was in a band on tour here in San Francisco and played a show with my band. We became big fans of each other’s talents (and were mutually attracted as well). It took three years for us to finally come together and he moved to SF in 2006. We started the band, got married and the rest is history. Funny how love at first sight can work out.

SM: How has Saints of Ruin evolved over time, sound-wise and as a whole band?

RR: I think the sound has not changed dramatically except in that our writing has changed as we get to know our market (audience) better. We have learned what our fans like and strive to do more of the same rather than just to write and preform whatever comes out. Also, our lineup has changed and now the synth sound and harmony vocals have evolved to be more cohesive with the material.

SM: The Industrial and Goth genres are full of A LOT of subcategories and as a fellow Industrial musician, I know it can be difficult sometimes to decide where you should place your music to get the best reception from listeners, especially when you don‘t really WANT to categorize and label your stuff. Which niche or category do you think Saints of Ruin fit in the best and why?

RR: Our record label categorizes us as “Classic Goth Rock” but I think we have very little “Classic Goth” in our sound. We are rarely “new-wavey” and not death-rock but more epic like European bands such as HIM, Lacuna Coil and Tiamat. However we do have a touch of Cult, Sisters of Mercy and Concrete Blond in our sound. We are really a dark rock band in Goth clothing with a touch of horror-slash-vampy sexuality.

SM: Which Saints of Ruin album would you say is your favorite so far (if you had to choose) and why?

RR: We only have our debut 5-song EP “Fairytale” and our first full-length CD “Nightmare” so far, so it would have to be “Nightmare” because it is a maturing of our concepts and writing skills. It also showcases our diversity while sticking with a theme.

SM: What do you think is the biggest inspiration for the music for you personally (as in, what inspires you to write a song)?

RR: In my case it is actually dreams. I often wake with a hook in my head and get up in a daze to write it down. When Tommy writes he is usually practicing when he stumbles upon something catchy. Then we flesh our the ideas together.

SM: The SOR song “Halloween” is the theme on HorrorAddicts right now. What is the story behind that one?

RR: That is an anomaly of our writing style. I told Tommy that I wanted to write a song that embraces the concept of Goth culture. He wrote the lyrics in an hour while the rest of the music took a month. It came out reminiscent of Voltaire’s
cabaret style. It is fun to perform and anthemic.

SM: I saw video of SOR playing The New Orleans Vampire Lestat Ball last October and you guys were great! How was it?

RR: The whole experience was epic! That was probably my favorite show we have ever played: a Thousand decked-out Vampire fans at a gorgeous venue all centered in the mysterious City of the Night. New Orleans is crawling with Vampire freaks throughout Halloween weekend. This year the whole thing is being called Undead-Con filled with music and costume events, book signings, vendors, etc. We will be playing again this year and the theme is “Memnoch’s Resurrection.” Check out Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat Fan Club, or ARVLFC and Endless Night. It is an unforgettable experience.

SM: Who would you name as SOR biggest inspirations musically (as far as sound)?

RR: We don’t necessarily sound like them, but some of our favorites are Rammstein, Type O Negative, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains and Led Zeppelin.

SM: Who would you name as your own personal musical inspirations, like vocalists you admire, etc.?

RR: My favorite vocalists are PJ Harvey, Robert Plant, Amanda Palmer and recently Mona Mur. We just got back from a partial tour with Slick Idiot (original members of KMFDM) and Mona Mur has been collaborating and performing with EN Esch for quite some time. She is amazing. My new heroine.

SM: I see that you guys are passionate about animal welfare and animal rights [‘Murder of Crows’]. As a HUGE advocate of animal rights myself, I commend you for that. Would you say there is any one message you want to get across to people with your music, or a message you want to come across the strongest?

RR: No, there is not one message, Tommy is particularly sensitive towards animals, though we are all animal lovers. I think we all just recognize that humans are pretty fucked up. There is a lot of injustice in the world and suffering is a part of the human experience. I think we will always write songs that touch on depressing subjects to some extent. That said, we do write love songs and violent songs as well.

SM: You guys have gotten a lot of recognition lately. Has that changed anything in your lives?

RR: Not so much except that we are sometimes recognized in public. And we were recently asked to endorse a cosmetics company. Not only are they using a photo of me advertising Black Magic Mascara in Gothic Beauty Mag next month, they also have created our own line of dark nail lacquers after Saints Of Ruin. I even have my own color named after me! That is pretty cool. We don’t quite make a living off of our music yet but we hope to tour Europe next summer. It is great that our name recognition is taking root in both the horror and Goth communities.

SM: What’s next for Saints of Ruin?

RR: We are just finishing our summer shows here in California and plan to get working on all of the new material that is in the pipeline. We will begin tracking new songs this fall and will hopefully release a new album at the beginning of 2011. We will play a few shows around Halloween here in San Fran and in New Orleans. We are shooting our first video next month so check our website in early September: http://www.saintsofruin.com. We plan to have a few new bone-chilling tunes ready for horror fans real soon.

So there you have it: Inside Horror Music with Saints of Ruin. Thank you to Ruby for being so gracious and forthcoming. We are looking forward to their new album!

To introduce myself…

My name is SinDelle Morte. I am the newest staff member here at the ALWAYS darkly-fabulous HorrorAddicts. I will be handling music interviews. If there is a band you would like to see interviewed, please don’t hesitate to let me know! And of course, you can always make your request to our Horror Hostess, the beautiful Emz.  

Cruelly Yours,

Sin

13 Questions with Laurel Anne Hill

For my first article and to kick off the New Year, I interviewed award winning author Laurel Anne Hill.

Laurel is most noted for her debut parable, Heroes Arise. Hill is the featured author of Horror Addicts episode 33. She was asked by our very own Horror Addicts Hostess, Emerian Rich, to submit a story for the Vampire themed episode.

When asked about the request, Hill stated, “I’m delighted that Emerian invited me to submit a story and elated that she liked the one I created for the occasion.”

The story she wrote for all the Horror Addicts out there is titled, Wings of Revenge. Here’s a sneak-peek into Hill’s thoughts and inspiration for Wings of Revenge. “…I strove to create a scary vampire tale minus most of the traditional clichés. In other words, no garlic or crucifixes. No handsome dead guys with pale skin. No fainting ladies. In fact, Carlotta, my human main character, is self-confident and used to taking risks. Additionally, I selected the “our vampires are different” trope to flavor Wings of Revenge with a measure of unpredictability.”

Hill has already written two short vampire themed stories, Eternal Poetry and Real Vampires Don’t Snore. “However, [the] vampires in Wings of Revenge aren’t sympathetic. They’re evil. [Hill] wrote Wings of Revenge to confirm that [she] could write a scary vampire tale.”

She was asked her opinion on how the “classic” Bram Stoker vampire compares to “modern day” vampires created by authors such as Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer. Hill replied, “As I read novels by Anne Rice, I felt her vampires’ humanity and separation from humanity. Above all, I felt their sensuality and sexuality. To a far lesser degree, these types of feelings arose when I read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. Bram Stoker never brought me that close to Count Dracula. Stoker even distanced me from his mortal, first-person point-of-view characters. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published in 1897, and Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, over 75 years afterward. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight was published in 2005. Writing and life styles changed during that span of time. Vampires in modern literature reflect such changes.”

Laurel Anne Hill has been on Horror Addicts before as a judge for the Wicked Women Writer’s Challenge. Mrs. Hill stated, “I loved serving as a judge for the [WWWC]. What an honor! The quality of the podcasts impressed and inspired me.”

She believes that “many factors contribute to making a good writer. Some of the most important include passion, determination, and attention to craft–breathing life into stories instead of sucking all the life out of them.”

Mrs. Hill, herself, worked in the pharmaceuticals/health care industry for 40 years. But, she has been writing stories pretty much all her life. “Actually, I first wrote stories before I learned how to read. I told my stories to my older sister and she wrote down the words. I continued to write until graduation from college, when marriage and a demanding career led me down a different path. Then, in 1991, a mysterious illness hit me. My back muscles went into near-continuous spasms for six weeks. Prescription drugs helped make the agony bearable but generated hallucinations. When the Grim Reaper appeared and taunted me for not writing, I reorganized my priorities.”

Heroes Arise, Mrs. Hill’s most notable work, was published in 2007. When asked how it felt to have her parable traditionally published, Hill replied, “Having a book published by a traditional publishing house felt different than having short pieces appear in newspapers or zines. The first time I held the hard-cover edition of Heroes Arise in my hands, all I could do was say, “Ohhhh.” The reality of being an author hit me at that point.”

Hill enjoys writing, her favorite genre happens to be fantasy. “I love world building, especially when the world I’m creating has room for magic.” Her husband, David, is usually the person to do the first read of her completed work. But “occasionally, [her] writing group does the first read.”

Mentioned on her website as her current project is Plague of Flies, a historical novel set in California 1846. When asked about it Hill replied, “[Plague of Flies], was my current project until earlier [2009].  The story wasn’t coming to life on the page. I switched to doing a rewrite of my earlier novel manuscript, A Light from the Mountain….In the meanwhile, I attended various science fiction/fantasy presentations given by publishers at conventions. I learned that a futuristic science fiction/fantasy work from a non-bestselling author probably wouldn’t be publishable in the current market. My agent (who loved A Light from the Mountain) had passed away a couple of years ago….As a result, I’ve rethought both A Light from the Mountain and Plague of Flies. I’m reworking A Light from the Mountain as steampunk/fantasy set in the late 1800s. Plague of Flies will remain set in 1846 but I’ll develop the novel as alternate history/magical realism.”

Look for Hill’s Thar be Magic; a “pirates and magic short story, [which] is scheduled to appear in the Rum and Runestones anthology (Dragon Moon Press) in 2010.”

You can learn more about Mrs. Hill at her Red Room and Vox blogs. Where you can find “announcements regarding events, podcasts, and slide shows.” Hill also started a podcast in August of 2009 titled Welcome to my Bedroom Closet. Her podcasts usually contain “readings of her work” or “advice about writing”. Look forward to many podcasts from her as she mentioned she “prepare[s] flyers about Welcome to my Bedroom Closet and distribute[s] them at conferences and other events. My podcast is a long term project to increase my platform as an author.”

You can find Laurel Anne Hill’s blogs at these links: http://www.redroom.com/author/laurel-anne-hill and http://laurelannehill.vox.com.
You can also find her postcasts and listen to Eternal Poetry and Real Vampires Don’t Snore at http://laurelannehill.libsyn.com.
Heroes Arise is available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle format.

Episode #33 of Horror Addicts will go live January 14th, 2010 at http://www.horroraddicts.net