Book Review: Welcome to the Show

Welcome to the Show 
Reviewed by Voodoo Lynn

Reading this anthology reminds me that not everything that is written is your favorite, standing coffee order and that sometimes, something different can be a good thing. There are enough stories here that are written by Bay Area natives to inject just enough truth (whatever that word may mean to you) to make everything plausible. As a lifelong Bay Area native, I have haunted various San Francisco bars and venues, especially when I was an intern at a well-established and known indie label. I have seen everything from burlesque to punk, to spoken word to I don’t know what the hell to call it. I have many fond memories of those shows and wouldn’t trade them for anything. The descriptions of this place, ring true to me.

Like every venue, the Shantyman has its own vibe. From its dark inception to its dystopian future of outlawed music, this venue follows a dark, sinewy path of death and destruction that both ravages the innocent and guilty alike within its infamous walls.

You have a selection of seventeen stories to choose from in this collection, so I know there will be something for everyone. I have to say this is one of the most diverse books I’ve ever read. Now, that’s not saying that I liked every story because I didn’t. In fact, there was more than one story that I felt fell short of the mark and could’ve been fleshed out more instead of giving it the ‘…and everyone died…’ ending. Having said that, let me take you through some of the highlights in this book.

The first story from this collection is “What Sort of Rube” by Alan Clark. This story is based in the 19th century and illuminates for us the very dubious beginnings of this infamous venue. It is narrated by a sailor, so the requisite amount of jargon is utilized but not so much as to take away from the story. It begins with one curse. A curse for revenge. A curse for love. Crazy, stupid love. And its basis is in, music. It’s always about the music. It is the alpha and the omega and through the burning fires of revenge, the stage is set for the damned and unlucky alike, to bear witness to the performances in the Shantyman.

The next story liked was “In the Winter of No Love” by John SkippThis story moves us forward to the summer of love era and a sense of the free love/freedom movement of the 60’s. It also takes us to the darker reality of that line of thinking, to the shattered dreams and memories of an idea that never came to fruition. The main character, Marcie, says that she “tastes” the history and creepiness of the venue and yet, she stays to watch the show of a lifetime. To me, that speaks volumes of the dark allure of the Shantyman. Interesting detail, the author mentions that Marcie is from Milwaukee and at one point, talks about how Marcie is 2173 miles away from the Shantyman door. 2173 is exactly how many miles San Francisco is from Milwaukee. Details. I love little details like that. So, aside from details, this story wins in the category of most unusually imaginative description of the end for the main character and all those poor bastards that was there for that show. I would’ve never seen that end coming. The ending, interestingly enough, is met by a character that reminds me of a very famous 27 year old poet/musician that died way too young. His character, this angel of mercy so to speak, exemplifies the 60’s philosophy on life. Plus, I totally dig the song lyrics in this story. Very groovy…

The last story I want to touch upon is “We Sang in Darkness” by Mary San Giovanni. It is the last story in the collection and it is by far my favorite. It’s set on the future, a sad, dystopian one that is totally plausible. Perhaps it is the conspiracy theory element that currently rings so true. With more and more criticism of fake news and mainstream media and its exclusion and downplaying of important stories, it is the conspiracy theorists that are gaining more traction and followers. Maybe I like the physics aspect of it discussing experiments with electromagnetic fields in the sky (can anybody say HAARP?) and how it was these experiments that caused one of the greatest tragedies of humankind, the complete utter ban on music for the safety of the planet all because the vibrations attract creatures from another dimension which are needless to say, dangerous. It is from here that I have my favorite quote from the story:

“I’d say I saw humanity there, but who’s to say that thoughts and feelings are the exclusive domain of human beings?”

Indeed. The story is so plausible that you can imagine the apocalyptic end of life and society as we know it and the beginnings of a new one, void of such an integral part of us as human beings- music. The main character perfectly illustrates how music has the power to help and change people for the better and we are reminded of how much we really lost because of him. Throughout this story I kept hearing the theme to the X-Files going through my head and though Mulder and Scully don’t arrive just in time, some feds at the end did and we all know what happens to eye witnesses to strange things and the feds…

I can’t say this is the best collection of stories that I’ve read but it is certainly a good one and I enjoyed it. It’s good enough for me to forgive what I call “The Little Story that Could’ve Been” that had a main character that reminded me of Alice Cooper placed into “Rock and Roll Nightmare” instead of Thor. I mention this because this story, that shall remain nameless, was one of my favorites until it just died a quick, uneventful, predictable death. I hope the author of it someday decides to expand on it because it could’ve been something.

Just like many of the Shantyman’s performers and audience members. People whose lives were cut short within the venue doors. Whether it’s cults, sea creatures, time travel, or vampires (I told you there was variety) I’m sure you’ll find your own ticket to ride within the pages of this anthology.

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Winternight Whisperings Valentine Wolfe

Darklings, Listen!

 

Winternight Whisperings is upon us! The newest Valentine Wolfe album, Winternight Whisperings, is here in digital format and on it’s way in physical form. And what’s more, we’ve got THREE shows coming up to share our version on holiday music with you all.

 

The idea is simple: we’re inspired by the 19th century tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. We felt we weren’t the only ones wanting to revive that celebration. After The Ghosts of Christmas Past in 2015, we started thinking about ways to play this music live and, of course, create more music for a haunted December.

 

The result is Winternight Whisperings: 8 ghost songs, one ghost story featuring Tally Johnson, and two metal songs to make your spirit bright.

 

 

You can also buy digital copies there if you can’t bear to wait.
Our local Greenville fiends can join us on Tuesday, December 18 at Hughes Main Library. We’ll be telling ghost stories with Tally Johnson. 6:30-8:30, No cover, all ages, too! Details are here: https://www.facebook.com/events/578057502664712/

 

And finally, we’ll celebrate on January 5 with a final Christmas Haunting: We’ll be bringing Tally down to the Wynne-Russell House in Lilburn, GA for an evening of dark ambient music and ghost stories celebrating Twelfth Night! Tickets are VERY limited, get yours here: https://timetravel.events/tickets/

Most of the music we’ll be playing at the shows are dark ambient/soundscape songs. We may play some metal at the Poe House; the other shows will be more…brooding.

 

Make your plans to join us now, and we can’t wait to celebrate this holiday season in our own way with you all. And we would love to know your favorite tracks from Winternight Whisperings…please let us know?

 

Marley was dead, to begin with…
Braxton and Sarah

Chilling Chat with Harry Husbands

chillingchat

Harry Husbands spends the majority of his day in an office. In the evening, he writes furiously all the disturbed imaginings dwelled upon while completing banal admin tasks.Harry Husbands He crafts tales with subtle terror that are dipped in humor and roasted slowly over an infectious passion for all things horror related. He also performs and records songs from his house in Peterborough, England.

Harry is an unassuming, gentleman of horror. We spoke of writing, inspirations, and influences. 

NTK: Welcome to Chilling Chat, Harry! Thank you for chatting with me today.

HH: No problem at all, Naching. Thanks for having me.

NTK: How old were you and what was the first thing that got you interested in horror?

HH: It’s hard to say exactly what age it was because I always remember being interested in horror. A very early memory is going to—what we would call—a fancy dress shop around Halloween time. I was so intrigued by the scary masks and props.

NTK: Did you like horror movies as a kid?

HH: I loved horror movies as a kid, even though they’d give me nightmares. I was scared of a lot of things, but I was equally fascinated. I watched The Exorcist when I was quite young after begging my parents. I couldn’t sleep for many nights afterward, but it was worth it.

NTK: Did this love of horror movies and horror lead to writing? Why did you start writing horror?

HH: Absolutely. I was massively into Goosebumps—as most other wee ones were at the time—and I thought the idea of being a writer was really cool which probably tells you a lot about the kind of kid I was. My Nan had an old typewriter and I got to work on my first novel. It was about being stranded at sea and surrounded by all kinds of monsters. I think it ended up being three pages long but I was hooked on the notion of being able to create my own scary stories. The fact that I could weave creepy tales from my own noggin was addictive.

NTK: You’re an accomplished musician and songwriter. How does this talent transfer to your writing?

HH: It’s all about manipulating the form to try and evoke an emotional reaction from the listener or reader. They’re completely different ways of doing it, but the basic idea is the same. In music, you can use a dissonant chord, or a slightly out of tune note; in writing, you can use a well-placed adjective or a short, punchy sentence. A lot of my songs tend to end up as stories, and two of the albums I’ve done have been concept albums. I guess storytelling is just a part of who I am.

NTK: Do you have a muse?

HH: I don’t have a muse—not in particular anyway. It sounds like a cop-out answer, but I’m inspired by so many things it’s hard to pin it on just one.

NTK: Where do your ideas come from? Do they just come to you out of the blue? Do you dream them? Or both?

HH: Everywhere and anywhere. We live in a fascinating world, in fascinating—and scary—times, so there’s plenty of places to pick ideas from. I’ll have a bunch go through my head and it’s about picking a good one then nurturing, feeding, and burping it; eventually, it will become something bigger and often completely different from the initial image or thought that entered my head.

NTK: How did your story,“Goose Meadows,” from Campfire Tales come about?

HH: Like most story ideas I’ve had, it came partly from a real-life situation and partly from the dark place in my brain where all the horror I’ve absorbed lurks and festers. Goose Meadows is a real place, not far from where I live, and I did drunkenly walk around it at night time after someone’s 18th birthday party. I didn’t come across anything eerie or supernatural, only a large amount of litter. Throw it in the dang trash, folks.

NTK: That’s amazing you came up with this story from such a mundane incident. Do you exert much control over your characters? Do they have free will?

HH: I’m definitely a seat-of-the-pants writer so I have little control. I don’t plan anything other than a very basic premise for the story; it’s up to them how it turns out.

NTK: You wrote “Goose Meadows” for the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. Did you enjoy the contest? What was your overall experience?

HH: There were elements of the contest I enjoyed very much, and other elements I didn’t enjoy so much. I had only just begun to take writing seriously when I entered so it was eye-opening, for sure. I started to realise just how many writers there were in the world all doing exactly the same thing as me, and that’s equally inspiring and kind of soul-crushing in a way. I suddenly didn’t feel like I was doing anything that was worth selling to a publisher. I have never had much confidence in myself and that made it difficult for me. After either not hearing anything about something I wrote on the podcast, or having negative comments, I started to try and tailor my later pieces so they would do well in the contest which was a big mistake. What’s so great about fiction is that every writer has something unique to bring to the table, based on their own lives, and I think I should have stuck to what makes me unique rather than trying to fit into what might get me some good feedback or better points.

NTK: What do you think makes a good Campfire Tale?

HH: It has to be scary. Simple as that. It’s the only reason people actually do the whole campfire tale thing—they want to be scared. Annoyingly, as a writer, that’s one of the hardest things to do.

NTK: What authors have influenced you?

HH: So many! As I mentioned the Goosebumps books earlier, I’d have to say R.L Stine. The obvious answer, Stephen King. There’s also Shirley Jackson, M.R James, Adam LG Nevill, and many, many more.

NTK: You have a very dry wit and sense of humor. Do you enjoy comedic horror?

HH: I do, very much so. They’re my two favourite genres combined. I love when I find comedic horror done right because I think it’s so hard to do. Being funny is tough, being scary is tough, being funny and scary is extremely difficult and rarely done right. It’s such a treat when it is, though.

NTK: Which horror/comedy movie is your favorite?

HH: It’s tough,campfiretalesfinal but I’d have to go with Shaun of the Dead.

NTK: Is that your favorite horror movie? What is your favorite?

HH: I’d say The Exorcist is my favourite. For me, it has yet to be beaten in terms of sheer terror.

NTK: Do you have a favorite horror TV show?

HH: I really loved the Masters of Horror series because I enjoyed seeing all of the director’s different styles.

NTK: Harry, what does the future hold for you? What do Addicts have to look forward to?

HH: I really have no idea what the future holds for me. I’m just gonna carry on creating in whatever capacity feels good to me. At the moment, I’m mostly into writing and recording music and might have some new songs uploaded soon. I should have a story coming out in a new anthology, hopefully early next year, that’s admittedly more bizarre than horror. I dunno, we’ll see!

NTK: Thank you for chatting with me today, Harry. It was fun.

HH: No need to thank me, Naching. It’s been fun for me too.

Addicts, you can find Harry on Twitter.

MUSIC REVIEW – Ein

Today we’re taking a look at the upcoming release “Lethargic Breakthrough” by French progressive black metal band Ein. Ein is a one-man band fronted by Nox, featuring multiple guest vocalists and a violinist to create their debut release. Taking a unique approach to the genre, Nox’s black metal release implicates elements of death metal, atmospheric ambience, noise, and syncopated rhythms and time signatures. These elements make this a standout release worth of any extreme metal fan’s catalogue.

While the release features non-traditional elements of melody and rhythm, it doesn’t make the music any less accessible. The guitar lines are memorable, abrasive but beautiful, and an overtone of melancholy hinges on the outskirts of this release’s horizons. In fact, a culminating, if not obligatory traditional French-style post-black metal and shoegaze song carries this album to a triumphant conclusion with the track “Momentum”. Nearly an Alcest shoutout, this track should ring strong to any newcomers to the genre and is strongly reminiscent of the iconic French black metal sound. The stark contrast between crushing heaviness, melancholic riffing, and even ambient electronic breaks keeps this release interesting and driving forwards without sinking into the trap of monotony that many amateur black metal musicians do.

Lethargic Breakthrough is available via Mourning Light Records on Halloween 2018.

For HorrorAddicts.net, this is Jeffrey Kohld Kelly

Ein online:

https://www.facebook.com/EinBlackMetal

Purchase Lethargic Breakthrough:

https://mourninglightrecords.com/shop?olsPage=products%2Fein-lethargic-breakthrough

Terror Trax: Zwaremachine

Saturday, October 6, 2018

6:36 P.M., Central Time

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Emerian,

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

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

R.


What is a Zwaremachine?

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

How did Zwaremachine get started?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What influence does horror have in Zwaremachine?

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

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

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

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

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

How is the industrial scene in Minneapolis these days?

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

Are any of your electronic instruments cursed or possessed?

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

What are the future plans for Zwaremachine?

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

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

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

How can we keep up with / contact the band?

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

http://www.zwaremachine.band/

If you want to stream/dl Zwaremachine visit:

https://zwaremachine.bandcamp.com/

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

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

@zwaremachine on both twitter and Instagram

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

Terror Trax: Lords of October

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


To begin, how did The Lords get together?

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

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

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

October Phoenix – I answered an ad from Craigslist. 

What is the inspiration behind the band?

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

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

OP – Horror and metal! 

Where does your love of horror come from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your all-time favorite cursed album?

LF – Not sure if I know what you mean…

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

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

Who is your all-time favorite cursed band?

LF – ?

US – The Beatles

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

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

LF – LOL. Yes

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

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

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

LF – Atmospheric with a dose of extreme for flavor…

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

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

What is your favorite type of horror media?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your favorite Lords song to perform live?

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

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

What’s next for the band?

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

How can we keep up with the Lords of October?

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

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

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

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

US – You are all our children now.

OP – You’ll have to ask the gnome.


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

MUSIC REVIEW – Empathy Test

By Jeffrey Kohld Kelly

After just completing a successful UK tour, it seems all to right to take a look at London synthpop artist Empathy Test’s remastered album “Losing Touch”. Empathy Test is not a newcomer to the electronic scene by any means, but their novel mainstream recognition within various electronic subcultures arguably happened overnight. The nostalgic and dreamy synth lines have gathered fierce attention from ravers and industrial rivetheads alike, each respectively identifying with some captivating aspect of this band’s truly panoramic discography.

To pin this band to a singular genre would be a disservice to the musicians and fans alike; drawing noted influence from post-punk and new wave artists, Empathy Test stands tall in a classification of their own, standing out proudly against other bands who simply fall into the category of new wave revival. Not a revival band in the slightest, Empathy Test’s music is charged with bright innovation, markedly with vocalist Isaac Howlett’s gentle, songbird-style vocals. A complex, yet effective atmosphere compliments all of their songs, begging to not be confined to the restriction of headphones alone. Indeed, this music is something that deserves to be experienced to its full capacity live if at all possible.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a chance to hear the yet unreleased “Incubation Song” from Empathy Test’s upcoming EP at their live performance in Manchester England, and while I can’t share that song with you today I can promise you that you’ll love it. Building on their own musical concepts, Empath Test continues to innovate and reach to broader horizons with this upcoming release, and we can see nothing but the best for them.

You can pre-order Empath Test’s upcoming EP “Holy Rivers | Incubation Song” featuring remixes by The New Division and Man Without Country on their Bandcamp profile. The EP will be released worldwide on Halloween, 2018.

For HorrorAddicts.net, this is Jeffrey Kohld Kelly

Holy Rivers | Incubation Song on Bandcamp:

https://empathy-test.bandcamp.com/album/holy-rivers-incubation-song

Empathy Test online:

https://www.empathytest.com/

https://www.facebook.com/empathytest/