Chilling Chat: Episode #189 – Lucifer Fulci (David Mark Stashko)

chillingchat

By the light of day, David Mark Stashko practices social work with special attention to addiction, recovery and homelessness. He is also an avid cryptozoologist and paranormal/supernatural explorer. He writes books and speaks about these topics in various circles and under the moniker of “Light, Darkness and Dreamscapes.”

At night, David often transforms into Lucifer Fulci, a character he created in 1994 for death rock legends, Penis Flytrap. Since the inception of Fulci, he has created/participated in horror conventions, numerous solo records, multiple extreme horror books, various short movies, music videos and is the co-creator of his current band, LORDS of OCTOBER, with fellow author and filmmaker, Paul Counelis AKA Uncle Salem.

Fulci is partnered with his Wife, Scarah Stashko, who creates the majority of the art for all his projects and is his morbid media muse for all things strange and beautiful.

Lucifer is an amazing writer and musician with a terrific sense of humor. We spoke of the paranormal, writing stories vs. music, and H.P. Lovecraft.

 

NTK: Welcome to Chilling Chat, Lucifer! Thank you for joining me today.

LF: Of corpse. I am honored to be here. Horror addicts rules. Thank you for having me

NTK: How old were you when you first discovered horror?

LF: I was probably about 7 or 8. I saw a commercial for The Exorcist on the tele and told my parents that I wanted to watch it. They told me not to, and if I did, I could not sleep in bed with them. I watched it.

And then I went to sleep in bed with them

Since then, I have had the infection of horror.

NTK: (Laughs.) Is The Exorcist your favorite horror movie? If not, what is?

LF: That is the loaded question of all time. To answer it plainly, it might be. I simply cannot say.

To give you a longer answer, a more real answer, it changes from time to time.

So, for today, I have been having a love affair with Dawn of the Dead again. And Zombie.

But The Exorcist has to be the one that will always remain closer to my little black heart

and a million more. I love so many of them and so many are meaningful to me. Really, it is so hard to say.

NTK: What is your favorite horror television show at this time?

LF: Lovecraft Country, most likely, as I have just discovered it and am having a love affair with it. Also, Raised by Wolves is a close second…for right now.

I finally finished the Outsider and love that, too, but not as much as those other two.

NTK: Lovecraft Country is based on a book. Do you have a favorite horror novel at this time?

LF: That is another loaded question. It is easy for me to say that I have a few all time faves, like Ninth and Hell Street by Chas Balun and Off Season by Jack Ketchum, but I also love to say how I love my own books a lot. That is kind of cheating…but each time I open an old one up, I think like, if I had not written it, I would love to be reading it. I recently read a portion of my book Vile Witches for an event called The Fall of April Ghouls Days…and I found that I actually enjoyed it greatly. But I dunno if that is cheating, to answer it like that.

NTK: (Laughs.) I don’t think so. What author has influenced you the most?

LF: Lovecraft, for sure. It was Chas Balun who really mentored me before my first novel, and I love his work, but over the years, Lovecraft has influenced me so much in my writing, in my music..its undeniable.

NTK: Did his work inspire any of your stories? What inspires you in your writing?

LF: Yes, by all means, there are a ton of short stories, like in my Collection of Horror series, just all over there, but I have a novella called The Elder Thing that was greatly inspired..and Wormutanous. I love my Howard Phillip.

It all depends on what inspires me..

its like..

Really, I get inspired by so many elements of the supernatural…music…Halloween…love stories, too. And then it’s just what I feel..and I try to not do the same things all the time..but that happens sometimes.

I used to want to make the goriest book ever made..and then I kept outdoing it..again. And again.

So yeah..

All kinds of things…from another world.

NTK: You’ve mentioned music and you’re a musician as well. Do you feel writing songs is the same as writing stories? Or do you feel you have to use a different part of your brain for each?

LF: Good question. It is similar, in many ways, yes. There is a lot of me that, when I create, it just sort of happens. When I sit at the keys and type, and the same with music…and then I try to organize it. I would have to say that with music, I have, so far, a broader range of emotion. I have a lot more love songs that I do stories about love.

NTK: What inspired “Blasphemy?”

LF: That is a kind of funny story, because like I was saying before, I have tried to outdo one gore book over another..over the years..but for this one, I felt a real desire to touch into the satanic type of realm. Just for fun. Not to mention, I had made a new friend around the same time. Her name is Soma and some of her images, art, creation, they inspired me. She is also the cover model for that book. So, in a lot of ways, she inspired me…but it is a work of fiction. She is not really a demon…or is she? (Laughs.)

NTK: Do you outline your books and stories? Or do you write by the seat of your pants?

LF: Definite outline. I will come up with an idea..and then I will think of the full story, break each idea down to chapters and then start from there.

I tend to jump around sometimes, but I still stay pretty grounded in the core story.

NTK: Do your characters have free will at all? Or do you control their every move?

LF: I am their master, their Lord. I am in control of all of their little lives…unless they gather their own self-awareness. Then the game is over.

NTK: (Laughs.) You’re a cryptozoologist and supernatural/paranormal explorer. Have you ever participated in any paranormal investigations?

LF: Yes, the real deal. I have been a part of, party to and experienced more than the scope of this conversation allows. What I can say, with no reservations, is that it is all real. All of it. There are other worlds before our very eyes and things within it. Sometimes they speak and show us, other times, they sing in our dreams, but yes, I have known for many a year that this world is only one of endless worlds.. if we keep our eyes open equally as our spirits, we shall feel what most people fear.

At one point, many years back, I channeled a spirit to a family I knew in Los Angeles and answered questions I could not have known the answers to. It was strange and wonderful

And it allowed some kind of closure to previous issues they had. And I had no idea it was happening until it was over.

I don’t mean to sound hokey at all, these things have just been with me for many years.

NTK: What is your favorite curse?

LF: My favorite curse? I am not sure I have one! (Laughs.) But I do like that movie, the Curse of La Llorona. It was pretty cool.

NTK: How about your favorite curse word?

LF: Well, I am not sure. I can bet you 666 dollars that my friends would say that it is FUCK. There are just so many ways to use it. I hardly ever use it in anger, unless I am by myself.

NTK: What does the future hold for you? What work do Horror Addicts have to look forward to?

LF: The future looks grim and bedazzled by horror…so it’s awesome! Currently, my solo record called The Elder Sign is near completion. There are a few songs and videos for it out there now, but I have been taking it slow since the pandemic struck. I love it, though, it’s a lot of heavy metal fun. For my band, Lords of October, we are about to start working on our next effort, Cryptozoology, again. We have had enough of this COVID and are taking measures to practice safely and record, too. We had only begun that record when Covid hit. Lots of groovy ghoulie songs. I have a story, along with my Lords of October frontman, Paul Counelis AKA Uncle Salem, on a new Bigfoot compilation called “Unimaginable.” It’s a lot of fun…I use my real name, David for that story…and another book of my own called The Anomaly. So much more, really…I do a podcast now, I Love Lucifer, and then there are other books, films…all kinds of stuff that people can read about at

There is more stuff always brewing…I just wanna get back into the world and play live again. I miss the people. I miss putting on the makeup and becoming Lucifer.

I could go on, too, ya see, because I am working with a lot of talented people, always, usually the guys in my band and the guys behind the Flint Horror Collective, which is a group I am a part of here in Michigan.

NTK: Thank you for chatting with me today, Lucifer! You’ve been a wonderful guest!

LF: And you have been a wonderful host. Thank you for this opportunity

Now, Addicts, enjoy this music video from Lucifer’s band Lords of October!

Addicts, you can find Lucifer on Ghoul Cast, in his short horror film The Idol, and in his former band–Penis Flytrap. You can also read his Guide to the Italian Cannibal Film.

 

Terror Trax: Lords of October

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


To begin, how did The Lords get together?

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

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

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

October Phoenix – I answered an ad from Craigslist. 

What is the inspiration behind the band?

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

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

OP – Horror and metal! 

Where does your love of horror come from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your all-time favorite cursed album?

LF – Not sure if I know what you mean…

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

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

Who is your all-time favorite cursed band?

LF – ?

US – The Beatles

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

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

LF – LOL. Yes

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

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

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

LF – Atmospheric with a dose of extreme for flavor…

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

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

What is your favorite type of horror media?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your favorite Lords song to perform live?

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

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

What’s next for the band?

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

How can we keep up with the Lords of October?

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

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

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

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

US – You are all our children now.

OP – You’ll have to ask the gnome.


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