#NGHW News: Episode 148

Hello, my Horror Fiends!

This week I’m filling in for your favorite news reporter Adelise since she will be gone for a few weeks. Nicole Kurtz is this week’s guest judge. She is the publisher of Mocha Memoirs Press.   The contest for our horror contestants this week was to write a horror story about an original monster of their creation. The stories this week were fantastic. With just a little tweaking, these stories could be perfect.

Nicole Kurtz is this week’s guest judge. She is from Mocha Memoirs Press. She has brought great personality to the judging of this contest and I can honestly agree with her choices this week.

Nicole’s top three favorites this week, in no particular order, were:

The Guardian – Naching T Kassa. The judges loved the originality of the story. The poem as well was just beautiful. They did think that the story ran a little long.

Whiskey Noir – Daphne Strasert. They loved the story, it was scary and gritty, noir done right. The judges did wish that the main character kicked butt without depending on the guy.

Nightmarescape – Jonathan Fortin. They thought the story was beautiful and poignant. It was very imaginative and a great adventure. The voice wasn’t as much loved because they didn’t like the person. But, to be fair, first person is great when done right.

Another top contender was Jess Landry – Nessling. They loved the main character and the tree monster. It didn’t quite make the top three, but it was amazing.

All of the contestants this week got a breakdown of their strengths with their writing from previous contests as well as their weaknesses.  They received advice on how to further their writing by digging deeper, taking these critiques, and pushing it out into their writing. It can be hard to take critiques but if you can learn to take them and mold them into something great.

The countdown has begun! This was the last challenge before the semi-finals. All nine contestants did such an amazing job this year. This boot camp was horrendously hard and I am so proud of each and every one of them. The top nine contestants are as follows:

Ninth Place – Jacee Martinez

Eighth Place – Fien Gots

Seventh Place – Adele Marie Park

Sixth Place – Sumiko Saulson

Fifth Place – Harry Husbands

Fourth Place – Jess Landry

DRUMROLL PLEASE: The top three contestants who will be moving on to the semi-finals to battle it out for a published novel through Crystal Lake Publishing are:

The top three, in no particular order, are: Naching T Casa, Jonathan Fortin, Daphne Strassert!

Great job writers. I have loved each and every submission you guys have worked on. It’s been a hard year and I can honestly say that this years contestants did phenomenal.

Until next time, stay scared!

  • Kenzie

 

 

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#NGHW News 137

Hello Addicts!

I tell you what, I thought I was excited before but now, that I have seen what our fearsome 15 are capable of, I am just about imploding with dark delight.

The stories we experienced this week were the words that won our 15 a spot in this comp and it is easy to see why they got in. Some stories made me laugh (maniacally, because my sense of humor is a little messed up) I even got a little teary-eyed. And of course the goose bumps…

And isn’t that one of the best parts about horror?

That moment that turns your skin to gooseflesh, sending a shiver over your body, creeping you out and possibly (if you are so lucky) making you a little skittish.

This is what these authors managed to do in just 100 words.

It takes a lot of talent to write a great 100-word story and our fearsome 15 just nailed it. I’m totally glad I am not on the judging panel because that would be bloody hard.

We also got to learn a bit more about our 15, which was cool. You can learn more about them and even connect with your favs by going here and following them up on the social media. I have spoken to the authors and have a few messages for all you addicts out there…

“I loved listening to all our stories. It felt amazing and I’m still smiling now. I’m enjoying the contest and the challenges set, so far, lol, I’m grateful that I was picked to participate. I’m just so happy about it. I’d like to wish us all good luck in the coming months and a huge thank you to all who arranged the contest and judges and everyone behind the scenes. A big thank you to you as well” -Adele Marie Park

“I’m feeling proud to hear something I’ve written read out on such a well-produced podcast. I’m proud that I’m competing alongside such great horror writers and I’ve really got my work cut out for me.

I just want to say how awesome it is that horror has incredible writers to keep the genre alive and that this contest is doing such a great job of showcasing them. I loved everyone’s stories and it only makes me more excited to see what everyone can produce as the contest develops.” -Harry Husbands

“I am enjoying myself very much, I am writing, and I hope we (as in the addicts) can keep reading the beautiful stories that all the contestants write. I think success is that, to just “make good art” … as Neil Gaiman would say.” -JC Martinez

This week, Emz and Dan also discussed the reasons why these 15 were chosen and why you, if you entered, may have been passed over. So if you entered but are not a chosen one, don’t be disheartened and sit there in the corner screaming “WHY!?” Take a listen, they shed some light and some of the things that they talk about are super important for aspiring writers.

At the moment, all of our 15 are on a level playing field, but that will all change next week … Only the 3 stories will air on the show next week. But only one of them will win that challenge and take home that weeks mini prize.

So, who will you follow? Perhaps you will be on #teamcat – the Dothraki speaking goth – or #teamtimothy – our West Virginian Stephen King – or #teamjess – the girl-next-door who appears sweet on the outside but is creepy on the inside. Let us know in the comments or on the social media.

Stay spooky!

Hugs xxx

Adelise M Cullens

 

February Theme: Black Horror History Month

Hey Addicts!

This month is one of my favorite: African American Horror History month!

I have had the pleasure of working with some authors that we saw last year this year and a couple of new ones! This is going to be a great month of horror and the African Americans that contribute to it.

Movie reviews by Crystal Connor is back! We have missed her, and I feel her new format brings more of the action to our blog. So great to see her back!

Books!! books! We have reviews of African American Authors and even a special blog post from one I personally got to review. Don’t miss out on Jeff Carroll’s contribution and my review of his books.

In the middle of the month, we have a week of kidnapped blogs from Siren Calls Publication. The author Maynard Blackoak kidnaps HorrorAddicts to talk about his new anthology Eerie Trails…

of the Wild Weird West. This will be a fun week as well when we get to know him, and his works.

 

James Goodridge is back with a few contributions and one woman I have not heard of.. be sure to stick around for this and more from Goodridge. He always has some awesome personal experience to share with us!

 

J. Malcolm Stewart is back with some great insight on movies and pop culture… I loved it, and I hope you do too!

 

So, we have as Emz would call “old blood” and “new blood” this year… but we have great surprises and quality reads this month. Watch for these and more this month. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have.

As always, let us know by commenting or emailing us at horroraddicts@gmail.com we love hearing from you!

 

Until March, try to get some good sleep as we will have some Disheveled Dreams on tap for you…

 

Stacy Rich

HorrorAddicts Blog Editor

R.I.P. Aleister Tennyson Hobbs of Dead Sea Surfers

Our condolences go out to the family, friends, and fellow fans of Aleister Tennyson Hobbs of Dead Sea Surfers. Aleister lost his battle with cancer and passed away on October 11, 2011.

After being diagnosed with diabetes in 1999 and dealing with organ failures as a result, Aleister rallied back and turned to music with a vengeance. In November of 2010 however he was diagnosed with throat and neck cancer and chose radiation and chemotherapy over surgery.

In May of 2011 we featured Dead Sea Surfers on Episode #60, and we will miss Aleister and his music.

His funeral was held on Thursday, October 13th at the Akard Funeral Home. He is survived by his wife Beverly.

Inside Horror Music with Claus Larsen & Leaether Strip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SM:  What is next for Leaether Strip and you?

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

(read about the release here:

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

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

www.myspace.com/leaetherstrip

www.facebook.com/leaetherstrip.clauslarsen

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

Inside Horror Music with Saints of Ruin

Saints Of Ruin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SM: What’s next for Saints of Ruin?

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

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