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:

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The Last Days of Jesus : The Last Circus Album Review

 

The Last Circus sounds like circus music meets doom. That’s a good thing! The intro song sets the scene where your musical mind will be taken through a journey of upbeat, funky lyrics and nice brass instruments.

Overall, I felt like this album could be relistened a few more times. I love the beats, the lyrics are clear that it might sound like a happy song full of rainbows, you need to run. The Last Circus starts in a circus as it should considering the name. You venture outside on the streets to Hop Hop away to learn emotions and revenge. Ending in a nice piano based duet ending up right back in the circus you started.

This album has great vocals, pretty good goth influence. The beats and melody remind me of some 80s happy to be sad lyrics blending with melodies that climb their way to the next Big Top.  The brass instruments are an excellent addition. This album is a fun compilation of styles that you wouldn’t think to merge, but done in a flawless manner.

 

I have not heard of The Last Days of Jesus before they requested an album review, but I would definitely recommend at least one listen through of the album. Especially if you appreciate bass, driving rhythm, and lyrics that make you feel like you are in the circus… the circus of life, emotions and of course Jokers…. Just watch out for the aliens

 

I would give this album a solid 4 out of 5 … I am not afraid of clowns or jokers… but aliens on the other hand….

 

What do you think of The Last Circus, Addicts?

Terror Trax: Grave Of Thorns

TerrorTrax

Our featured band for episode 135 of the podcast is Grave Of Thorns. Recently we asked them a few questions about their music:

 1. Band name and member names/what instrument they play. Who writes your lyrics?

7-496-desolation-1Our band is Grave of Thorns. We have two members, Thorn and Ron Graves.

Thorn ~ I write all the lyrics and sing.

Ron Graves ~ I play all the instruments.

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

Thorn ~ I was really inspired by the Virgin Prunes, 45 Grave, Christian Death, Subhumans, Skeletal Family and Alien Sex Fiend. They’re still my favorite artists but more recent artists that I like are Crimson Scarlet, Fangs on Fur and Dystopian Society.

Ron Graves ~ My journey began with gothic rock and synthpop such as The Cure and Depeche Mode, but my tastes later turned darker to bands like Ministry and Skinny Puppy.  Today I enjoy all things heavy, with a few favorites being Hocico, Excision, and Meshuggah.

3. When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and how did you start out?

Thorn~ I wanted to be a musician all my life but I thought it was an impossible dream that required years of music school that I could never afford. Then one day I just thought I can do this on my own, so I did.

Ron Graves ~ I’ve never been obsessed with being a performer, but I’ve always wanted to create.  I was exposed to music theory, vocal performance, music notation, and guitar from a very young age, but my obsession with music production over the last 10 years is why I’m making music today instead of other art forms.

3-540-the-belfry4. What non-musical things inspire your music? Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

Thorn~ I’m inspired by my life experience, dreams, adventures, the plights of society and politics. The places I mostly go to be inspired is my mind and nature.

Ron Graves ~ I find patterns and contrasts a motivator to create.  When the internal struggles of hope, fear, desire and despair aren’t enough, nothing beats a walk through downtown Oakland.  There you can see really feel wealth and poverty, art and vandalism, love and hate, all shaping the city’s soul.

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

Thorn~ The greatest achievement of our band is our self-titled 4 song EP Grave of Thorns. We have yet to play live. I really enjoyed seeing my lyrics come to life and sharing that with like minded souls around the world.

Ron Graves ~ The greatest achievement has been seeing our EP from conception to completion.  The most enjoyable moments were found in the creation process and finally being able to share our work.

 6. What are your favorite horror movies?

 

Thorn~ I have a lot! Here are some from my personal collection: Kwaidan, Susperia, Nosferatu, The Hunger, The Crow, The Underworld Series, Vampire Hunter D, Vampyr, Classic Universal Monster Movies, The Fall of the House of Usher, Flatliners, The Alien series, Gothic, The Lost Boys, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,  Poltergeist 1982, Blood: the Last Vampire, Let the Right One In, Shaun of the Dead, The Craft, A Chinese Ghost Story.

 

Ron~ I love the suspense of Alien, the horrific humor of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, and the gruesome effects of The Thing.

7. What was the scariest night of your life?

Thorn~ That would be telling. But I can say that I had a recent night of terror when I had an episode of sleep paralysis. I’m forming it into a song.

Ron Graves ~ My scariest night was when I was around 10.  I was in my bedroom and I saw the bathroom light turning on and off every couple seconds from under the crack in my door.  I opened my door to see who was doing it, but the light stayed off at that point and no one was there.  I spent the rest of the night buried under my blankets, wide-eyed and bathed in cold sweat.  After that, I was beset by nightmares nearly every night until I moved out of that house

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

Thorn~ We have videos of all four songs from our EP on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9TzsPAYXgD-m_iLPNvuQOg

Ron Graves ~ We have a self produced EP available for free on Bandcamp at https://graveofthorns.bandcamp.com/releases

Message and like the band on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/graveofthorns/

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

Thorn~ I would love to play at The Castle Party Gothic Festival in Poland with Alien Sex Fiend.

Ron Graves ~ Nothing beats playing to the home crowd in the SF Bay Area, and any of the great local bands could open for us. There is so much talent here it would be hard to choose!

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

Thorn~ People can see us on YouTube. I continue to write lyrics.

Ron Graves ~ We do not have live shows booked at this time but please like us on Facebook to be notified of updates.

Terror Trax: Gild the Mourn

TerrorTrax

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

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

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

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

guild the mourn double

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gild the mourn single

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

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

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

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

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

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

HA: What are your favorite horror movies?

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

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

HA:  What was the scariest night of your life?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

guild the mourn shadow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the song Greed:

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

 

Terror Trax: Jill Tracy

TerrorTrax

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

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

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

HA: What singers or bands inspired you growing up?

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

Jill Tracy Portrait by Audrey Penven

 

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

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

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

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

Jill Tracy portrait by Neil Girling

HA: What is clairaudience?

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

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

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

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

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

HA: What was the scariest night of your life?

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

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

HA: What are your favorite horror movies?

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

HA: What are you working on now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Official: http://jilltracy.com/jt/

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

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

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

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

 

Terror Trax: Scream Machine

TerrorTrax

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

scream machine

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

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

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

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

HA: What are your favorite horror movies?

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

HA: What was the scariest night of your life?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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