Kbatz: Vampires versus…Vampires?

Vampire versus…Vampire?

by Kristin Battestella

book3 200x300So often vampires and werewolves are pitted against each other in the battle of the genre beasties.  However, more often then not, these terror titans work in tandem in fiction and media, creating a broader, richer tug and pull sharing in the horror medium.  My 2008 Eternal Press novel The Vampire Family has a family of vampires that can shape shift and transform into wolves and scary weres- and scary werecats, too.  My follow up series Fate and Fangs: Tales from the Vampire Family serves up vampires who prefer their wolf shapes in Book 3 Struggle. 

While it is easy to have books and ebooks either have all the monster magic together or for readers to find literature specific to vampires and werewolves and all the mixes in the spectrum, films have also scored on the presumed animosity.  The Underworld franchise tells of ancient vampire and werewolf wars- but fans of either creature can get their fill in these features.  Likewise Twilight has made the Team Edward and Team Jacob themes top sellers.  Vampires versus werewolves ideologies are good for business, simply put.  Whether for or against, reluctantly working together or struggling to love or hate one or the other, in the end, vampires and werewolves are good for each other.

Unfortunately, the current subdivision of the vampire genre is getting too divergent for its own good.  The watered down, lovely dovey, youth and glitter love vampire movement spurred by the Twilight craze has helped the vampire literature and media culture just as much as it may have damaged the genre.  Book, television, and movie markets are now flooded with vampire material- all in the same youth, teen romance driven trends.  As knock off begat knock offs, the quality pool has dropped considerably.  People are tired of vampires.  They think horror has been played, and all the sudden the same editors, publishers, and powers that be are now turning on the massive overdrive they helped to create.  Backlash is inevitable.drac_1513745c1

Soon people even forget what came before the glitter vampire.  Readers are afraid to take on another vampire story because ‘they all suck now’.  (No pun intended) The quality vampiric horror gets lumped into the problematic downward glitter spiral.  And when you the writer submits your hard worked, scary horror, medieval furthest thing from contemporary teenage vampire vampire manuscript, what does the publisher tell you?  The worst thing a writer can possibly hear:


And it isn’t just the ‘no’ that is the worst part.  It wasn’t that your story wasn’t well written or not just good enough.  It might be damn decent perfection and fit in just perfectly with what this publisher’s interests are.  But no, it is the fact that the marketing, timing, and overblown played mayhem of that other vampire type has just ruined your publication chances.  Well, doesn’t that just suck? (Pun intended)

So then, you see, the vampires versus werewolves theory is not what hurt your novel’s chances.  Rarely does a publisher say, ‘we already have a werewolf book, so we can’t take your vampire story.’ In fact it is quite the opposite, editors often look for both together to balance out  their catalogue and reader varieties.  They might even prefer books or series dealing with both monsters so they can cross reference all their categories.  How many times have you clicked on a publisher’s store links for both ‘vampire’ and ‘werewolves’ and seen the same books? Quite a bit I suspect.

Now, have you ever seen separate links for ‘vampire horror’ and ‘vampire romance’? The breakdown between the vampire medium is almost nonexistent in appearance, even if those readers and writers and vampires lovers in the know immediately know there is a difference.  How many times have you been in conversation with a fellow vampire lover and they say either ‘oh, that was too scary for me!’ or ‘This vamp was too lovey dovey for me.’  What’s sad is how many times has a reader passed on your book because they like one or the other and dismissed your book as being the wrong vampire type for them.

What then, must a vampire author do to remain relevant in a subgenre at war with itself?  Keep writing damn good copy!  Whichever side of vamps your on- either pure horror or paranormal romance- keep it good.  Keep your universe, characters, and tales true to what the manuscript needs to be its best.  Don’t give in to the mislabeling and trends.  Vampires rise and fall, go underground and subculture or rise up from the dead and reign supreme over media. Not too long ago, everyone wanted exclusively paranormal light and vampire romance, now call outs are returning to pure horror and uniqueness.  Make your creatures of the night stand out from the pack.  Keep them worthy of the hand in hand werewolf antagonism.  Good competition is healthy in fiction, writing, selling books, and reader’s choice.  Write crap copy and no creature wins!

To read more about Kbatz’ vampires, read her contribution to The Great Vampire Dispute.

Monster Mash with Versailles

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Monster Mash with Valentine Wolfe


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Monster Mash with Jenn Vix

Jenn Vix is becoming a regular here on Horror Addicts, as this is her third time on the podcast. I decided to catch up with her and play her new song, “Burn”. Jenn is a solo artist but does live shows with bass player, Paul LaFleur, and also just started working with a new guitarist. She describes her music as “dark, dancy at times, and a little quirky I suppose.”


I really enjoyed listening to “Burn” as it has some pretty heavy and deep imagery that one needs to be pulled out from under. So I asked what it was about and what it meant to her. “It means a lot to me, as I am a domestic violence survivor. The song is about that, and my experience with PTSD; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (I was diagnosed with it in 2004.) I’m still not as mentally strong as I was before it happened. I hope that one day I will be.”

Of the places she has played live, she said, “I’ve received a great response so far; no complaints here. I recently played a show where people were dancing in front of the stage. I love that! I’ve played in NYC, Providence, New Haven, and Chicago. I would like to go to London, Brussels, Edinburgh, and Berlin.”

Among her own works, she has a few favorites. “The first one is a track that I recorded with Reeves Gabrels, guitarist of The Cure; and formerly of David Bowie. It is titled ‘Speed of Light’. It’s mostly instrumental, and in 9/8 tempo. The other ones are ‘Burn,’ featuring Dirk Ivens, of Absolute Body Control, and Dive, and the third is a new track called ‘The Woman With No Fear,’ which is going to be on my upcoming EP, this autumn. It is based on a true story of a woman who has a rare, congenital brain disorder that began to destroy her amygdala in childhood.”

About her favorite bands, she said, “I like a lot of bands, but I’d have to say that The Cure, Wire, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Massive Attack, UNKLE, Tricky, New Order, Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Velvet Underground, Marc Almond, Lee and Nancy, Associates, John Foxx, Alan Vega, and Absolute Body Control, have inspired the Hell out of me.”


When she isn’t writing music for her solo projects, she also enjoys writing and recording soundtrack music for films.

Her current plans are “to release a new EP in the coming months, and then I’d like to go out and support it by doing more shows.”

What is her advice to new bands? “Don’t be afraid to send your music to big magazines and radio shows. I sent my first album in to Rolling Stone magazine, just for shits and giggles, and they ended up reviewing it.”

Horror Addicts can find Jenn’s music at jennvix.bandcamp.com, her back catalog on MySpace, as well as on Amazon, and iTunes. You can also follow her on Facebook.

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?


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.”


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.”


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.”

Unveil CD

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.”


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.”

Unveil live 2

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.

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.”


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.

Monster Mash with DE_TOT_COR

For episode 87, we are featuring the song “Distant Lights” by DE_TOT_COR, which is the solo studio project of Jordi MC of Barcelona in Catalunya, Spain. Jordi writes and plays all of the music but he has collaborated with artists from around the world. He told me, “it’s been amazing to work with all those artists. It brings a varied style of songs depending on the vocals.”

“Distant Lights” was the last song he re-worked. “It originally appeared on Gothic Light album (2011) and I did a new version for the compilation In case you have deleted all the previous songs.” (Which, I just wanted to add, is a brilliant name for an album. -Dan) “It brings the collaboration of Kari Berg on vocals (www.kariberg.com). It was great to work with her, who also did guest vocals for bands like Psy’Aviah or Chaos All Stars.”

I asked Jordi about playing in Barcelona, and he told me that “there is a ‘dark’ scene here in Barcelona, and obviously everything that surrounds you influences your music. I started this because I had fun making music. The bands you listen to influence your music. However Barcelona the city itself has never been an explicit influence for my music. From the beginning I thought of DE_TOT_COR as a studio-project. In general I don’t like to see instrumental bands to play live. I prefer someone who sings and talks to the audience. It’s a live show! However I can tell you I am working on arranging the songs for live shows at the moment. There are many DE_TOT_COR songs with vocals now, and I think they came out as a nice set. Maybe there will be some concerts in the future. I would like to play wherever in the world, no preferences.”

Outside of the usual labels, how do you describe your music? “That’s a very difficult question. ‘De tot cor’ is a Catalan expression that means ‘with all my heart’, ‘in all sincerity’. It is just electronic music, the music I like to hear and write. Nothing more. Let your readers have a listen, discover and describe it – detotcor.bandcamp.com.”

Which of your songs is your favorite? “The answer has to be ‘Strawberry panic’, because it was the song where everything started. Two popular dark electronic compilations selected the song and it was played in many dark clubs around the world. I still want to thank the Endzeit Bunketracks and Extreme Sundenfall compilations for giving me that chance in 2007.”

What has been the hardest part or most fun part of creating your own albums? “The hardest part is when you have to check the final result in different CD players and machines, before the mastering. The EQ of each instrument is really boring, you never get the point. On the other hand, the greatest part is when you find the perfect sound for a melody (a lead, an arp, etc). However the best moment is when you receive the CD and you can have it on your hands! I released a free compilation of DE_TOT_COR songs in December 2012 called In case you have deleted all the previous songs. We live days too fast and we write less than 140 characters to explain it. Albums are downloaded for free and deleted one hour later. There needs to be a second chance. It also means a break in the discography. In fact, the first working title for this free digital album was In case you have downloaded all the previous songs on Russian sites. As I read lately, we pay more for a coffee than for a music album. That was the inspiration.”

What music do you listen to? “One of the biggest influences was the band Reaper, with the first EP Angst and then the album Hell starts with an H. Apart from Reaper I’ve got a long list of favourite bands: VNV Nation, NamNamBulu, SITD, Rotersand, Assemblage 23… to name a few. I listen to indie-rock bands like Interpol, Editors, ILikeTrains, and more house-electro oriented music like Pendulum or Deadmau5. It depends on the day.”

Is there a style that you haven’t worked in that you would like to? “No, there isn’t. I’m just doing the style of music I want. Maybe when I was younger I would have liked to play in a heavy metal band, but now I’m fine writing melodies with the keyboards. I started playing the bass guitar and learning some music theory a long time ago. First I played on a rock band, but I decided to leave, cause it was not my style. Then I started creating electronic music with my computer. It was around ten years ago now, more or less.”

Do you listen to podcasts? “Yes, I do! Communion After Dark, Maschinentakt, Cyberage, The Oontzcast and some more. They play dark electronic music, both new and established bands.”

Do you have any other creative outlets? “I used to have a weekly radio show. Then it turned to monthly show, and finally I stopped, mainly because the radio station closed. I sometimes think about doing a podcast, but I haven’t got enough time at the moment. Anyway it won’t be the same as being in a classic radio studio, broadcasting live. So yes, I’m nearly always working on music when I’m not on my regular job.”

What’s next for DE_TOT_COR? “I am working on live versions for the songs. Let’s hope that there will be some DE_TOT_COR concerts soon. I can’t think of any new songs, I need to take a rest. I also stopped doing remixes for other bands. I want to concentrate on that song set for live shows.”

What advice do you have to new bands? “Have fun creating music and playing it. Always be sure to have the freedom to do what you really want.”

To find out more about Jordi MC and DE_TOT_COR, please visit detotcor.bandcamp.com, his blog at musicadetotcor.blogspot.com, and his Facebook page.

Monster Mash with Double Eyelid

For episode 86, we are featuring Toronto-based band Double Eyelid and their song “dead is better”. Singer and songwriter Ian Revell is the creative force behind Double Eyelid, who described their music as being “dark and glamourous and demented.”

In addition to Ian, Guitarist Karl Mohr provides backing vocals, Benjamin Mueller-Heaslip plays keyboards and piano, and Amanda Penner rounds out the group as a frequent guest performer on viola. Ian also plays some keys and does some drum programming. Of his bandmates, Ian said that “aside from their unique musicality they all bring their friendship and moral support. Karl Mohr also brings his considerable technical/recording expertise to the table, which has been of great value. Live the lineup varies depending on the show, we sometimes perform with all 4 of us and sometimes just with two.”

Their song, “dead is better”, gets its title from Stephen King. As Ian put it, “any true Horror Addict will recognize the title ‘dead is better’ as being a quote from one of the classics of horror, Pet Sematary. So this adapts that line to use it as a metaphor for going back to a toxic relationship that would be better left for dead.” Right now, “dead is better” is available as a single with a B-side cover of Christian Death’s “Spiritual Cramp”, which Ian added was “a pretty radical re-interpretation of a classic.  We are hard at work on a lot of new material and planning a bigger release this summer.”

When I asked about the band’s name, Ian explained that “‘Double Eyelid’ is actually an expression that was coined by the Chinese and is used by most East Asians to describe the difference between the eyelids of a Westerner and the eyelids of an Asian.  The Westerner’s eyelids are generally much fleshier, so the Asians refer to them as ‘Double Eyelids’.  I was living in Asia for several years and that’s when I first heard this expression.  Years later this had stuck with me — perhaps because it described something that made me ‘different’ when I was a foreigner in a strange land.

They haven’t toured a lot, but so far the gigs have been good. “Ottawa in particular has been good to us and we’ve made some fans and good friends there.  I would love to tour all kinds of places, in particular the US, South America, the UK and Europe. We’ve done some interesting gigs.  One of the most special was one we did in an art gallery as part of a launch for our video.  I was so thrilled with the quality of the imagery in the video that I pulled a bunch of stills from the master the director gave me and made them into these huge photos, then stuck them up on the walls so it was a whole exhibition.  It was a great time, a very unique event.”

Ian has been musically active since he was about seven or eight years old. He added, “We make music because it’s fun and we are compelled to. I like all kinds of stuff, garage rock, gay disco, Bach cantatas, dead divas.” Amongst his favorite bands are Sex Gang Children, Bauhaus, the Cult, Rozz Willams, and David Bowie. As for other styles of music, “there’s nothing I’m dying to try though I do want to keep expanding the Double Eyelid sound in gradual ways.”

He did add that he listens to podcasts, especially those “that feature good music.  I don’t think he’s actively doing it anymore but George Demure used to do a podcast, you should look it up, very funny.”
Amongst his other creative outlets, he said, “I’ve done a lot of photography and was pursuing that quite seriously for a while but I have basically stopped that because I only really need one outlet at a time.”

Next up for the band is to finish their first full-length album, and then “send it all over the world and try to put together a decent tour.  And definitely make another video, we have formed a strong creative partnership with Steven Cerritos (director of our first video) that I value very highly and look forward to exploring further.”

When it comes to advice to other musicians, he wants you to ask yourself, “What is your legacy going to be?  If you aren’t doing something new, it’s not worth doing.  If I want to do something and there is a single other band out there that can do it already, I won’t do it.  Make your mark and make it yours.”

To find music from Double Eyelid, they are available for download all over the place – iTunes, eMusic etc.  He HIGHLY recommends Bandcamp, and added they will soon have merchandise for sale there, and may even do some Bandcamp-only releases. Check them out there at DoubleEyelid.bandcamp.com/. Other than that, their main website is DoubleEyelid.ca, which lists tour dates, etc. He did suggest that if people get in touch via Bandcamp or Facebook and say they heard them here on Horror Addicts, “I guess we could give them a treat … ;)”

Monster Mash with IN LEGEND

InLegend1Our featured band for our Season 8 opener is German goth-rock band In Legend. Lead vocalist Bastian Emig also brings something you don’t find in many rock bands today: a pretty epic piano as the cornerstone instrument. Rounding out the band are Daniel Schmidle on keytar, bassist Daniel Wicke, and drummer Dennis Otto.
Bastian has described their sound as being like “Tori Amos on cocaine”, and I can understand the sentiment. In Legend evokes powerful classic sound with a fresh, loud rock presence.
Bastian is also a drummer, and for what is an interesting twist, he plays drums for metal a-cappella band Van Canto. That’s right — I said a-cappella… with drums.
Back to In Legend, the song we are featuring is “Pandemonium“. This was one of the songs on their first EP Pandemonium (2010) and their debut album Ballads ‘n’ Bullets (2011). This song embodies the spirit of the whole album, in that it is passionate and powerful while also being tender and insightful. The video is quite remarkably done as well.
in-legend-band1Speaking of their videos, the In Legend YouTube channel is also something that you must see. Their main page has something akin to an interactive DVD menu. In addition to videos of many songs, they have some “play along” videos, which display the sheet music with a note pointer to help you keep time. Make sure you also see their play along videos which look like a piano version of Guitar Hero using a video game called Synthesia. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.
Right now, the band is hard at work on their second album, so I was not able to interview them in time for our season opener. However, if their sophomore effort is anything like their first, I think we can all grant them a little grace. Kudos to them on their hard work and I look forward to hearing more from this band in the future.
You can find out more about the band at their home page InLegend.de, as well as on FacebookMyspaceYoutube, and beyond.

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 Goddamn Zombie

For this episode, we are being attacked by a Goddamn Zombie from New Jersey, and their mind-munching melody “Hurrah, Huzzah“, off of their debut album, Handbook for the Recently Diseased. I chatted with Will Bozarth, who is the arranger for the band, who creates “perhaps 90% of the music. On our debut album, “Handbook for the Recently Diseased”, I wrote everything musically except for the bulk of “Hurrah, Huzzah!” and the eerie music under the spoken word tracks. I program the drums and keyboards, then record the guitar and bass.”

Then there’s Zombi T. Astral, “the lead singer and primary lyricist of the band. That’s just the standard title that you’d expect to read in the liner notes of any album ever. Ultimately, he’s the one that brings the show to the audience at every appearance we make. He has the props. He has the blood. He has the makeup. Without him, Goddamn Zombie would be infinitely more stupid than it actually seems.”

I chose “Hurrah, Huzzah” for our Horror Addicts to listen to, but I’ll admit that it was hard to choose a song from the band to play, as I agree with Will’s succinct analysis of their songs: “they all kick ass and will rip your socks through your anus.”

Seriously, I’m going to need some new socks. Then again, he described their hardcore style as follows: “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh If you put 26 styles of music in a blender, put the goop in ice cube trays, then put the frozen mixture in to a glass, then poured liquid funeral music over the crazy ice, drank it, then promptly vomited everything out in to a dirty toilet… that’s what you’ll get… oh, from the point of view of a zombie. Yeah.”

They recently played a tour with some bands they admire. “The only ‘tour’ that we’ve done thus far was on May 6, 7, and 8th of 2011. We had the honor of sharing the stage with Novembers Doom and Woods of Ypres on those three dates. They are two of my absolute favorite bands ever… David Gold, THE guy from Woods, passed away in December of 2011. It was a shock to every last one of us, and I’ll cherish every moment that I got to share with that guy. I’m not going to get too personal about it, but we’re 3 months away from it being one year… that shit sucks. On that tour, we played in: Worcester, MA at Ralph’s, Brooklyn, NY at Europa, and Wilmington, DE at MOJO 13.

“Besides there, we’ve played in Peachtree City, GA (right outside of Atlanta), assorted venues around Philly and NJ… We were supposed to play in Indianapolis, IN, but that wound up having to be converted into a solo acoustic performance by myself. We’ve got some stuff cooking coming up.

“As for places we’d LIKE to play? Anywhere, honestly. Each show takes a lot out of us, so the conditions have to be right. We’ve played most of our gigs over the last 2 years without payment, and that’s going to change coming in to the new year. In all seriousness, my dream gig since the band started was to play at Rock & Shock in Worcester, MA. It’s a fairly large Horror and Metal themed convention… We have the honor of playing Saturday night of their convention this year! We’re opening for GWAR and DevilDriver on Saturday October 13!

That sounds like an awesome show coming up. I bet a lot of our listeners would enjoy that convention and concert! So, how do your fans react to your music?

“That’s a tricky question. People don’t really know how to respond to us unless they already know the music. Fan-wise? All I can say on that matter is I’ve been learning not to rely on how our fans react, mainly because the only reaction they give us is online. Getting the local people to support us live has been a pain in the ass for the last 2 years, and it seems like only two people have pried their asses out of their chairs to see us… Yes, that’s you Laura James and Mike Dadura. We’re eternally grateful for you two. Sure, a lot of people “support” us online, but that doesn’t exactly generate to album or ticket sales. Prying their asses out of chairs to come to a gig seems like an impossible feat nowadays, so we’ve decided to primarily focus on horror conventions and zombie-themed events. They have a built in audience that seem to enjoy what we do, so it’s definitely a better feeling than playing for 1 person, the sound guy, and the bartender.”

Are there stories from any gigs that stand out? “Our fog machine set off the fire alarm at The El Bar in Philly half way through our sound check, and they kicked us out. Does that count? They let us come back and redeem ourselves, though. That first show of the 2011 tour was pretty awesome. We had a decent reaction from the crowd, and just being able to perform in front of two of my favorite bands? I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything.”

I always love to hear the story behind band names. What was the inspiration behind “Goddamn Zombie”? “Sorry to disappoint you with this one, but it isn’t really that fascinating. I work overnight at a retail store. Someone asked me if we had ‘any of those zombie movies’ because he ‘loves them goddamn zombie movies’. I wrote it down and saved it for a rainy day.”

It may be hard to choose, but which of your songs is your favorite? “Probably ‘Human Reflections’. That damn guitar riff follows me around to every musical project that I do. I also wrote the lyrics to that one, so I might be biased. Our new CD titled Gory Hole has been in the making for over a year now with various ups and downs, causing the delays. We’re getting close and close, and we have various donations from some VERY cool people (Laura, Adolfo, Derick, Kevin, Gary, Jami just to name a few) to help ensure that we will release a stellar product. I promise you all that we will get this mishmash of crazy to your ears in due time. We wanted it for this Halloween, but it’s looking like possibly November at this point.”

Who are your favorite bands, and who has influenced your music? “Here’s a list of bands that I’d put in my current ‘favorites’: Nevermore, Candlemass, My Dying Bride, Solefald, Green Carnation, Anathema, Devin Townsend (anything he does, really), Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Dark Angel, Death, and Ace of Base. Zombi usually mentions KISS, Alice Cooper, Adam Ant, Britney Spears, Mich Simoni, and DomRocks.com. Musically, you can hear bits and pieces of all of them.”

How long have you been writing, composing, or playing? “I got my first guitar 12 years ago, but I’ve been playing music since the mid-90s. I wrote a ballad to my German Sheppard, Rinny, on a piano when I was 6. I took a long break and started writing music that sounded like a shitty version of Metallica, so basically stuff that could’ve been A-Sides on St. Anger. In 2003, I started a band called Distorted Mind. We had a pretty strong local following, and even had our EP distributed in a lot of places. Now, it’s zombies. ZOMBIES! Zombi’s been decomposing for years, too.” Rimshot.

Do you listen to podcasts, and if so what kind and which ones? “I don’t always listen to podcasts, but when I do… it’s Without Your Head Radio, East Coast Horror Radio, Valley of Death Radio, and Novembers Doom’ss’sss’s’s’s’s’s”’s’s’s’s’. They cover various horror, convention, and metal news.”

When you aren’t working with the band, what do you like to do? “I’m a total autograph nerd. I’m flying to horror conventions around the country, going to New York City at least once a month to wait out by stage doors… It’s so much fun. Other than that, I have other music that I do. I have depressive acoustic music which I’m also recording as a doom metal release. I recently released a lyric book from selections over the last decade.”

Finally, what advice do you have to new bands? “We’re all out of our minds.”

The band will be making the following appearances:
September 22: Infect Scranton (Taylor, PA)
October 13: Rock & Shock (Worcester, MA. opening for GWAR and DevilDriver)
October 20: The Fallout Shelter (Aliquippa, PA. playing with The Wakening, Joey Molinaro, and my acoustic stuff will open the show)
October 26: Psycho Trail (Medford, NJ. we’re playing with Jody Price, who is Vincent Price’s grandson)
October 31: Psycho Trail (Medford, NJ. playing with Death For Hire
November 15: Chicago City Limits (Schaumburg, IL. playing with Maggot Twat, First Jason, The Ugly, and Grave Robber. This is the pre-party for Days Of The Dead)
November 16: Reggie’s (Chicago, IL. opening for Novembers Doom, EARTHEN, and more TBA)

You can find the band online at GoddamnZombie.com (their ReverbNation page) and goddamnzombie.bandcamp.com, plus you can follow them on TwitterFacebook, and MySpace.

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.

Monster Mash with Per-version 69

For episode 80 we are featuring the song “In-difference” by Italian rockers Per-version 69, fronted by Antonio Tari, and bandmates Mirco Rizza, Amelia Anna, and Ginger LAngella. They now call Miami, Florida their home.

Their latest album In-Decency brought a new challenge as Antonio never recorded electronica and synths before and the song “In-difference” was a milestone. He added, “After spending a lot of time studying electronic sounds and synths I came out with that song and I’m really proud of it. I also really love the guitar solo in that song.”

The band name, “Per-version 69”, would seem self-explanatory, but double entendre aside, he said the name balances “both the electronic-industrial and the perverted nature of the songs. Version 69 sounds like a software version, but the 69 you know what it is.” The band’s logo is pretty sexy as well.

Outside of the usual labels describing music, when I asked about their style, Antonio admitted “this is hard to answer, maybe it’s some kind of metal with a lot of electronic. The lyrics are all about sex and horror. Since I first discovered music, I wanted to be part of it.”

When it comes to other bands, he said, “I love 80s hard rock music. My all time favorite is Van Halen, but it has nothing to do with this band, so I would say Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie. I really hate reggaeton. It’s fun to see girls dancing to that music, but it sounds horrible.”

When he isn’t creating music, Antonio is an app developer. “I write Android and iPhone applications. It’s a creative job, I like it.”

He also has some great, simple advice for new bands: “Work hard, it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock.”

You can find tracks from their latest album on Reverbnation and MySpace, and you can follow the band on Facebook, and Antonio himself on Twitter.

Monster Mash with CALM of ZERO

For Episode 79, we are featuring the song “Autumn Angel” from the London-based acoustic duo known as CALM of ZERO, formed by singer and lyricist Sonya Aurora Madan and guitarist and composer Glenn Johansson.

Though they live and play in London, they both hail from further points. “We live in London and have been trying to grow up here for a long time. Our roots are far away though, Glenn was born and grew up in Sweden and my roots are somewhere in the foothills of the Himalayas.”

While CALM of ZERO is a relatively new project by the duo, they’ve got a fine pedigree from their former Brit-pop days as members of Echobelly. “We started a band called Echobelly in the nineties, signed the obligatory record deal and toured our arses off around Europe and America.  There are many places that we missed out on playing though such as Indonesia and the Shetland Islands, both would have been interesting and very different.”

Of their fans, Sonya added, “CALM of ZERO is pretty new, so a fair number of our ‘fans’ have come from our previous incarnation.  Lots of stories but they usually involve drugs so I’m not sure they really happened.”

The name CALM of ZERO infers to me a peaceful state of rest. As Sonya explained “I have always been intrigued with the power of word combining. CALM of ZERO takes you somewhere but it is a feeling that’s open to interpretation.  It originates from reading an article on the magic that happens at zero degrees temperature, but it could just as well be from the countdown during hypnotherapy from 10 to 0.”

It is interesting to compare their sound between their old and new bands. “In our previous incarnation as Echobelly, we were a loud rocking band so after the split we felt like we wanted to do something different, at least for an album or two. From the break up of Echobelly to the first CALM of ZERO album, we had gone about three years without recording anything so it was really exciting to have a blank canvas so to speak. We were totally free to do what we wanted, there was no band just the two of us. At the moment it’s kind of alternative acoustic but we’re working on a full band album which will be a lot more full on.”

When I asked about their favorite song, she said, “Aahh!! Its like you’d tell your children (if I had any) ‘We love you all the same!'”

Of their musical influences, they said, “We listen to all sorts of music, classical, Indian, blues, Country, Jazz anything that moves us. Have listened a lot to early American folk music, right back to the source of it all. Glenn has been listening to a lot of Gene Clark recently.” Sonya added, “I hate all musicians!! My only criteria is that the music has to connect with you somehow, it has to move you, it has to create a reaction within you. If it doesn’t I’m not interested.”

When the music stops, what do they like to do? “As far as creativity goes, the songwriting is enough for me. When we are not doing that we enjoy a few rounds of kickboxing.” Of course, right now they are busy working on their second mini-album, Acoustic Sessions 2.

Finally, I loved their answer when I ended with my usual query about what advice they have for new bands? “Only that advice is overrated.”

Among the usual social haunts of YouTubeTwitter and Facebook, and the necessary venues of MySpaceReverbNation, and SoundCloud, you can of course also find them at CalmOfZero.com for a mailing list and so much more to enjoy.

Monster Mash with Devil-M

Devil-M is our featured band for episode #74 and they shared with us their song “Revenge of the Antichrist, Pt. 1”. I was able to interview many of the members of this German Industrial band.

Max Meyer, the band’s frontman, admits that “it’s quite difficult to describe how everyone plays together, ’cause we’ve switched the bandmembers far too often. Besides me there’s Julian who’s in the band since January 2011 and brought so much energy to Devil-M. He will be the drummer for our future concerts but still play piano/synth for our upcoming album. We also have Kevin Colditz on the guitar. He’s not that often on tour with us because of his other bands but will always be a great artist for the three Revenge of the Antichrist song parts. For our upcoming concerts I’m proud to announce that my brother Jonathan will be on the keys, background vocals and do some samplings. Plus Lars Everwien, an awesome artist playing percussion, guitar and bass. We (Julian and myself) have a good feeling with this line-up.”

Of the song “Revenge of the Antichrist Pt. 1”, Max told me, “it’s a tough and rough song and will be one out of three parts for our upcoming album Revenge of the Antichrist. The energy in this track is great, you can feel its power riff by riff.” With that I totally agree.

Max started Devil-M as a project in late-2002 in Schöningen/Helmstedt, Germany and said, “it seemed that I was the only one liking experimental and depressive music around me and so were the offer of these kind of styles. So no, there is not a single influence this region could have consider and that’s good. Otherwise Devil-M would sound like any other Industrial/Experimental band.”

Devil-M has played mainly in Germany but Max noted that they “had some cool virtual concerts on Myspace and StageIt. It would be awesome to see a chance for playing on the Mera Luna Festival in Germany and the Kinetic Festival in Canada.” Julian added that it “would be nice to be in Peru with a Peruvian Panflut Group.”

When I asked about the origin of the band’s name, Max told me “probably there is just a dumb one. I tried to create a tribal with the letter M and put some horns on it. A Devil-M. That’s it.” Heh, that’s still pretty cool in my book.

Outside of the usual labels describing music, Max said, “it’s quite impossible describing your own music, if you’ve made it with heart.” Julian described it as “Rich in variety. I think there are many styles of music that create Devil-M.” Lars then added, “for me, the music is an expression of our inner feeling. The darkness, the pleasure, the hate, the love. Everything we feel. And I like to get goosebumps, hearing Max’s voice.”

Of their favorite albums so far, Max said, “it’s definitely Kannst Du sterben, our current release, especially the track ‘Another heart Inferno’. While listening to it I always feel hopeless, the song is one of the most depressive tracks I’ve ever listened to.” Julian added, “me, too, but the songs are ‘Inside You’ and ‘Hold Me’, because I love to play the song on drums and keys.” Lars made it unanimous, saying, “it’s also Kannst Du sterben but the songs are ‘What We Need’ and ‘Inside You’. I like the oppressing atmosphere and the scream Max does in ‘Inside You’. I have goosebumps every time.”

Max described the album itself as “quite an emotional one. Kannst Du sterben is just a follow-up from the 2009 EP Willst Du sterben in which I described my thoughts and feelings for a girl. I later took on a relationship with her but we broke up. So, KDS is just like an end result. I’m done with her and I’m already in a new relationship and it’s one of the best ever. But I doubt I’m done with the concept of Willst Du sterben as a whole, ’cause both releases are also about my Depression and self-hating. Maybe in 4 years there’s a possibility to continue.”

Just in listening to their songs, I would describe it as a mashup of Pink Floyd and Marilyn Manson. Max confirmed this when I asked about the band’s influences: “Marilyn Manson, Pink Floyd and Combichrist. But also Underground Bands like Skindive, Dumper, Wormparade and Daniel Laufer.” Lars added, “the heaviest influence for me is Katatonia. Jonas Renkse is an amazing songwriter. They have so much emotions in their songs. Also the band Samsas Traum is still an influnce for me. I’m not really a fan of German lyrics, but Alexander Kaschte has the talent to play with metaphors, that cause a fairytale in me.”

The members of the band have varying backgrounds with music. Max said, “I started writing music when I was 12. My parents bought a piano and I got some lessons. Some time later I wrote my first composition but lost it. As far as I remember it was based on A Minor.” Lars has played guitar for 5 years and said, “everything is taught by my own. I sing and scream. Someday I want to play cello. Writing lyrics is for me the perfect way to relax and reflect past situations. I began with writing poems and now it’s lyrics with thousand of metaphors.” Julian added, “since 2010 for myself. But now for Devil-M.”

For Max, the hardest part has been in writing the lyrics. “After so many years of composing music it’s still nearly impossible writing your thoughts on a piece of paper. That’s also the reason why I love concept-albums; you can listen to a whole story instead of being compressed in just about 4 minutes. The most fun parts are the recording sessions for the lyrics, ’cause everyone who takes part on them is still surprised for my screams and they interpret something completely different.” Lars added, “I never created a full album. But in my own band we wrote a few songs. And it was hard. Not because of time or something. Because of mind. It was hard to write about things I lost or things I failed. But in the end it helped a lot.”

Max listens to podcasts, although not that often. “For example it’s ‘Incoming Fire’ from Grave Concerns, and recently Horror Addicts, too.” We’re glad to hear that, Max!

So what’s next for Devil-M? Max said, “the next big thing will be the upcoming shows we’re attending. Besides that we’re just recording the long awaited album Revenge of the Antichrist. It took about 8 years finishing the story and now we can write the songs for it and record them. It will be out next year.” Lars agreed, adding, “Yes, it’s gonna be a huge piece of art. I’ll play the guitar and some bass-lines.”

What advice do they have for new bands? Max suggests, “don’t just work out for a label sign, you won’t appreciate it. Try performing when you already know that you will fail or you won’t appreciate people still buying the tickets for seeing you. And please, appreciate everyone who listens to your music, it could be your next fan.” Lars had something fun to add: “Haters, make me famous! Fuck the others and do what you like.” Finally, the wisest words cam from Julian, who waxed poetic: “Respect unicorns and rabbits. They smell tasty.”

If you want to find out more about Devil-M, you can download every single track they have released on their website (at www.Devil-M.de) for free! Max said, “music should be for everyone, not for those who can afford it.” You can also find them at JamendoMySpaceFacebookReverbnation, and all the usual haunts, I’m sure.

Monster Mash with Cancer Killing Gemini

“Farm house, porch light
Let’s go inside and stay for the night
Come see what I found
‘Is it a big ancient book where the words move around?’
Just then the old man
Flailing around with a knife in his hand
Outside, best part
Never would’ve guessed that the car wouldn’t start”
— “Horror Movie Song” from Cancer Killing Gemini
Welcome back to a new season of Horror Addicts. With this new season we went on the hunt for new theme music, and we scared up the perfect song from a great band: “Horror Movie Song” from Cancer Killing Gemini. Cancer Killing Gemini is a rock/electronic band from Boston, MA and describes their sound as “McCartney and Mutemath Meets Nine Inch Nails”. They introduced themselves as follows (I don’t have the heart to chop this up, it’s too awesome): “I’m Eric, the singer, producer and songwriter. Chuck plays guitar and likes pie. He is also an excellent recording engineer. I consult with him often on recording and mixing. Andrew is the master of bass, funk, and style. Max plays keyboards and lends homo-erotic humor to all situations. Frank plays drums and is involved with any of the professional photographs or video for CKG.”

HAWhen I asked about “Horror Movie Song”, Eric said that he was in the middle of writing the song when he heard from Julie at Grave Concerns about the contest. “The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We were able to record and mix with about a day to spare before the deadline.”

CKGCancer Killing Gemini has one of those band names that begs me to ask about what inspired the name. Eric said, “Cancer Killing Gemini started as a lyric in the song ‘Christcontrol’. At the time, I assumed cancer from cigarettes or genetics would be the way I’d leave the planet. The other half is that my birth sign is Gemini. The secondary meaning behind the name is the story of a relationship gone horribly wrong. Cancer (she) is killing Gemini (him) slowly.”

The band is recording and releasing one song every month for free, forever! Eric explained, “We’re trying to navigate the ‘new world of free’. Everyone expects something for nothing these days. Going against that tide is futile, BUT, putting a limit on free is reasonable. Our most recent 2 songs are always free, so if you stay current with the band, you can have all our new releases without spending a dime. The back catalog is always there for purchase. Fans who join up next year get the same deal but there will be 3 albums worth of catalog for purchase.

“A benefit I hadn’t considered when we started was how much of a living history this would become. You can hear the band evolve if you listen in sequential order. We’re not stockpiling songs and releasing them one by one; we’re recording every month. If a new song gets written next week and I want to push the schedule back a month to release it immediately, that’s what happens. It’s quite a bit of work but it’s also really fun.”

The band has only been doing gigs together for less than a year and told me about one of songs they perform live. “We have a song called ‘Prescription Drugs’ about taking antidepressants / antipsychotics, etc. Sometimes when I’m introducing the song, I’ll list off some common drugs (prozac, ritalin, etc). I love when people raise their hands as I call out ‘their drug’. The song is all about getting past the stigma of needing help once in a while. If own can own it, you can get through it.”

The band members have a very eclectic taste in music. “Between us, the influences include Black Keys, Jeff Beck, The Jesus Lizard, Ministry, Fiona Apple, King Crimson, Dr John, The Beatles, Deftones, Foo Fighters, Ray Charles, Big Black… it’s all over the map.” Eric added that he also likes Britney Spears and is “not a huge fan of jazz.”

Eric has been involved with music since he was 13. “The first song I remember writing, playing and recording was called ‘Sterile Rabbits’. It was about sterile rabbits. My last major project was a female-fronted electronic band called kittymonkey. Cancer Killing Gemini is decidedly more masculine, more lyrically straightforward and sarcastic, more fluid. While we do incorporate electronic elements into our sound, everything on stage is played live. There are no backing tracks / loops. I love the freedom of playing without sequences.”

“Between the music, graphic art, video, social media and music business, my creativity is pretty well 100% focused on music in some shape or form. Chuck and Andrew both paint (in very different styles), Max likes to fix and restore old electronics and Frank stays busy with web and video projects. 2012 is our year for video. We just shot the footage for ‘Taxidermy Song’. ‘Horror Movie Song‘ may get a video by spring.”

Eric has some great advice for other bands, much of which he shares on their blog. One piece of advice that stood out which I don’t hear often is “make videos or die,” which ties into their desire to produce more videos this year.

If you would like to hear more great music from CKG, you can visit their website at CancerKillingGemini.com, their Bandcamp page, on Facebook and on Twitter (@CancerKillingG). Also, CKG set up a discount code for downloading music from the Bandcamp page: horroraddicts

Monster Mash with Sonik Foundry

“All your thoughts have been compromised
Can’t control what’s in my mind
Your sanity no longer whole
I’ve lost my grip, I’ve lost control”
— “Darkness Falls” by Sonik Foundry

For our music this time around, we have EBM/Industrial band Sonik Foundry from Maine. Lead singer Nikademus formed the group in 2008 originally as a solo project, but now works with percussionist Malic Acid. Nik writes all of the music and lyrics, does the arranging and mixing at his own Hitman Studios. More than just drums, Malic Acid brings in the gritty screams and animalistic stage presence. All together Nik describes their sound as “a very unique flavor of industrial, almost aggrotech EBM with a slight rock element; with a melodic and ‘Understandable’ vocal accompanied with gestures and body language ‘kinesics’, that convey and sync with the meaning behind the music.”

The song we have from the band is “Darkness Falls”, which as Nik explained, “is about a close friend that lost it, he let everything go, and lost his mind, and became evil.” The song definitely has the feeling of sanity spinning out of control, and even though there is shouting of lyrics full of emotion, the song is not harsh like some EBM, which gets kudos in my book.

Nik came up with the band’s name while playing with synonyms of “Sound” and “Factory”. He said, “SoundFactory did not sound original, and it was kinda cheezy. I don’t want to be mistaken for that old 80s band C+C Music Factory. pfft. So I created Sonic Foundry. I then learned that a software company used to exist with this name but they were bought out by Sony, so I used a ‘K’ instead of a ‘C’. To this day, I still get flak, but I don’t care, I like the name, and being that I did not know about the software company when I created the name, it was original as far as I was concerned. I did not rip it off the software company as many might think.”

When the band plays live, they get some pretty awesome fans at the shows, and even venue promoters have given them some incredible feedback. “Fans this year seem to react in shock and awe, which is really exciting to us. I’m glad we could make such music and perform in such a way that gets such a wow-like reaction. Fans and promoters keep telling us they never seen such energy, and such a powerful stage presence and coordination. We were like, ‘Really? Wow?’ Every show we did this tour had the fans and promoters in sheer delight. We had to hear the phrases ‘You guys were F@#king Awesome’, and ‘You f@#king Rock!’ a hundred times from the fans and promoters at The Shelter (Das Bunker) Atlanta, ZombiFest in Louisville, KY, The Shrunken Head in Columbus, OH, and The Southern Gothic Festival in NOLA. Two promoters said ‘you need to get known’ and ‘someone has to spread the word about you guys’. One promoter said that we brought tears to another band’s front man’s eyes, which left me kinda speechless. I didn’t think anyone in this scene cried, lol… as my 17 year-old daughter would say… OMG! For the first time, while performing at SOGO, we were cheered on after we finished our set, like a classic riot! They wanted more! So we did an encore! It was 2:30AM!”

“Darkness Falls” is one of the songs on their new album Parish of Redemption. The album and really the direction of their music has been about breaking away from what other groups are doing. Before this album, Nik said, “I was just following suit from the sounds of the industrial scene. And then it hit me… I thought to myself, this scene needs change, everybody is doing the same old ootz, and the scene is dying because of the same old same old music. So I wrote music that was very unusual, but very dancy and very industrial, and after adding guitar and accent drumming, it flowed like wine and spread like soft butter. It was full and juicy, yet harsh and mean, and full of energy! So, I was sure that we would redeem ourselves with this unique creation, and thus far, my predictions were right, and the style I created, paid off! At the moment, my favorite [new song] is ‘Severance Pay’, because it is our opening song. It starts out all calm and usual, and then it blows up like a firecracker and that’s when the shock and awe begins, and doesn’t stop till we stop.”

Nik has been in countless garage bands and numerous side projects all of his life, starting as a DJ in his teens during the 80’s. Of musical influences, he said, “I really don’t have any particular favorite band at this time, and my influences change constantly. I come from a very, very musically diverse lifestyle and have grown through many fads and eras of music styles ranging from metal to punk, to freestyle, to house, to jazz and classical, to EBM, Rap (dirty south and west coast) to R&B to screemo, industrial, aggrotech and goa. Pretty much every genre except country. I just don’t care for county music, which is perhaps the reason why I epically failed at producing a country album for a local country/southern rock band. I grew up in NJ and had many time periods of different ethnic socialization.”

While pondering what the future holds for the band, he said, “Well, we are under a 5-year contract with Nilaihah and have many more albums to produce, so we will be quite busy. I can’t say what the sound will be like but it will always keep true the Sonik Foundry sound, and will prolly get crazier and crazier as we find new ways to blow away the crowd. For me it’s all about the fun, and want to keep it fun, a hobby of sorts, and never work. I’d like to work on some experimental, perhaps some Ambiance and some other hot stuff like dubstep, but dubsteb is so loved and hated at the same time. But you gotta admit, dub is hot and everyone is doing it or thinking of doing it. Our next album is going to be quite interesting I’d say. I’d like to do a few songs that break into some dubstep and Aphex Twin-like sound as an experiment perhaps. Maybe, who knows.”

His advice for new bands really applies to living life and is sound advice for everyone, I think. He said, “Well, first thing is love what you do, never take it to seriously, stop fighting over headlining and get there in the future by your fans and pleasing the promoters rather than fighting with them for the spot. Be true, be honest, be friendly and compassionate, earn your keep, be a team player, carry your own weight, contribute, never act in haste or be compulsive or careless. Think before you ink or speak, help others and be happy. Be modest, don’t get cocky, don’t get full of yourself and think you are the best, there is always someone better then you. Play it smart, and play hard, be yourself… if you are good you will get there and gain fans that like you for you!”

If you would like to catch the band live, they are done touring for the most part, but have a few one-offs here and there. They will be performing with Imperative Reaction, God Module, and System Syn in Philly on October 2nd at the Starlight Ballroom, and one other show at QXT in Newark, NJ possibly soon. Keep an eye on their website at Sonikfoundry.com and their label Nilaihah.com to find out more. You can also grab their music at iTunes, Amazon, Amie Street, FIXT, and the like, plus you can follow them on Facebook, VampireFreaks, and MySpace.

Horror Addicts #065, Rhonda Carpenter

Horror Addicts Episode# 065
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Intro Music by: Saints Of Ruin
1960’s | Rhonda R. Carpenter | Carinval of Souls | Subliminal Code
Find articles at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

Listen by clicking the play button below:

| glimpses | ghosty quartet | 2ndlife addy poll | 1960’s music |
| carnival of souls | paranormal news break | what is scary? |
| horror books | free fiction friday | 5 abandonded places |
| abney park rpg | brooke sheilds as morticia | them | horrorcon |
| gothhaus | midnight syndicate | uk events | jeffery wilson |
| mike mcgee | zouch flash fic contest | usa events | subliminal code |
| rhonda carpenter |

Quills – fans name the address poll! Vote!


Paranormal News Break

5 Abandoned Places

Brooke Sheilds as Morticia?

Jeffery Wilson

Mike McGee

Zouch Magazine

Having trouble with the audio button above? Try this direct link:

h o s t e s s: Emerian Rich
s t a f f
Knightmist, Sapphire Neal, David Watson, Ed Pope, Dan Shaurette
Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email emzbox@sbcglobal.net
c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s
t a p i n g . s t u d i o
Quills, A Place For Writers on Second Life

Monster Mash with Subliminal Code

Soldier Of Hell EPOur band this week is Subliminal Code, an EBM band from Venezuela. Since they are on the road, we were unable to interview them in time for this episode. However, here’s what I’ve been able to dig up on our boys from Maturín.

The group was founded in 2010 by Raul Junior Padron, who works keyboards and sequencers. His brother Raul Jose Padron joined later in the year as vocalist. In February of 2011, they were joined by bassist Carlos Marcano.

Raul Junior was influenced by many genres but claims EBM, industrial, metal, synthpop, and Goth as the band’s pedigree.

Their first EP which was released in 2011, Soldier of Hell, has come a long way since their original demo. It is from this new album that our featured song, “Sin of Pleasure” is from. The lyrics of the song are in Spanish, but a quick translation shows that the song, as the title suggests, is about giving in to the sins of the flesh.

I really enjoyed the song, but I would say that they earn their self-described genre of “Harsh EBM” by the singing, which is definitely dark, menacing, and mysterious. I would add that the band’s music is a fresh take on the EBM genre that I normally hear predominately from Europe or here in the States.

If you would like to learn more about the band, their Facebook page is the clear winner, at facebook.com/SubliminalCode. They can also be found on ReverbNation and they have videos available also on YouTube.

Monster Mash with HORRORFALL

So you want something different? This week we have a band so alternative they aren’t a band! Well, OK sort of, but I’ll let them explain. This week we’re featuring “Cracks In The Walls” by HORRORFALL, which is the studio project of Colin C. Allrich and John Girgus from Los Angeles, CA.

John explained, “The band started as a collaboration between the two of us aiming to create music more strictly for a licensing capacity as we were both fairly well established in our own projects. Over the year, it evolved into an idea Colin had for a looser musical collective involving some of his more recent collaborators.”

Colin added, “At first it was just us programming, playing guitars and trading vocals. As things started to grow, we invited some of our musical friends to contribute in various ways to the project. Cora Ripatti who I’ve worked with as a vocalist for some years now has come on to sing and song write for us, as well as Tammy Tomahawk (Cinderella Motel). I also invited Danny Fluck to do our live drums and Zac Venne to add his guitar skills.”

The song which the guys sent our way is a bewitchingly dark yet smooth track entitled “Cracks In The Walls”. Colin told me, “I think I can speak for John and say that we are quite fond of it. I started the initial programming and building these synth arps (sic) and he took to writing some melancholy vocals to it that we ended up seriously vocoding (sic) into something kind of haunting. It’s definitely our darkest track on the EP and it was the first one to spring to mind”.

The song itself was born from the title which Colin came up with and John took over from there. He said, “I like to elaborate off the existing titles. It gives me a launchpad and direction and usually surprising. It all comes down to relationships as it relates to drywall and plaster. You will eventually see the flaws in everything. It’s a simple matter of disillusionment. It was a time in my life when I was experiencing a great deal of that. Dreams were ending. Shines were fading. It’s got a defeated glow to it. I recorded the vocals on a hotel holiday while the inspiration for the content slept away unwittingly into a portable setup and a handheld mic. We turned it into a robot. An android with what little emotion left or developed shown as regret. It felt creepy and faded to do, and I think that was just perfect, but like I said… it’s not something I’d really like to have to go through again, but it was a bit cathartic. I do remember it fondly.”

Since HORRORFALL is a free form collective of artists it would be unfair to try to classify their music, but in their current incarnation, Colin has dubbed their sound as “Deadwave” and I dig that. I also loved it when John described it as “a punishing storm at sea with the odd melodic lighthouse.” You know, that touches me somewhere deep inside, man.

As for the name of the project, that was Colin’s idea. “I’ve always been fond of the written word, and especially plays on words. Karl Hyde (Underworld) has been a huge influence on me and how I write, as I literally grew up salivating at his every word. So it started from a simple stream of consciousness session in one of my notebooks as I scribbled it out. I had the intention of starting a project with it, and it just happened that John and I were talking about a real collaborative effort between us that I finally suggested it. Unfortunately that’s the real boring story of how it came about.”

Both John and Colin are transplants to Los Angeles and admit that the City of Angels is more than just a home. John said, “I grew up a few hours east. I do consider it my hometown now as I have been here over 12 years. I am an Angeleno. It seeps into everything I do. The city’s influence is immeasurable.” Colin traveled even farther, “I found my way out here for art school from Boston, Massachusetts. I would have to say that there is a lot of L.A. in my process of writing for the project. There’s some strangely broken yet idyllic atmosphere to L.A. thats very compelling to me. I love the urban decay of the street art, something I focus on in my art & photography on my blog.”

Another way that L.A. has helped the project is by shining a spotlight on them. Their single “Necroplasm Fix” was featured in the season three premiere episode of HBO’s hit vampire TV series, True Blood. John confided, “It’s garnered a great deal of YouTube hits, I’ll tell ya that. As uncool as it is to admit connections, the music supervisors are friends of mine and I work with them closely and often on various projects. In an effort to maintain cred however, it must be said that music can only be used if it’s right for the show. They’re very strict. Alan Ball has to like it, and I’ve never met the man. End of story. It’s true what they say about a connection getting a foot in the door, but that’s where it ends. The rest is up to you.”

In addition to other activities away from the project, both guys shared with me that they are fans of podcasts. John listens to Moheak radioBuzzbands.la and dublab. Colin listens to Adam Freeland’s podcast and Warren Ellis’ 4am Podcast. For a laugh he also recommends Matt Berry’s podcast if you’re a fan of British humor.

Finally, they had some wicked great advice for new bands. John’s words of wisdom? “Quit. Get a job.” Colin on the other hand elaborates, “You’ve got the two sides going at it, for example the guy from Cake recently said that ‘music will be nothing more than a hobby to people in the next 10 years.’ Which I can see from his standpoint why he would want to say that. He’s part of the ‘old machine’ that generates record deals, and brick and mortar CD sales that really don’t exist anymore. Then you got guys like Trent Reznor who have some interesting ideas on how this new model of music can work. I guess I’d say just fucking do it, make music, put it on SoundCloud, give it away for free, and have fun. Because if you aren’t and you are looking for more than self entertainment at this point, you’re in for an uphill battle.”

Besides their website at Horrorfall.com, you can find their music on iTunesAmazon, etc. You can also stalk them at twitter.com/horrorfall, and watch their videos on youtube.com/horrorfall, including the video for “Cracks In The Walls”.