Interview – Devil VVorshipper

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Today is another one of those days where I break my own rules and on today’s interview we’re going to sit down with another one-man band. Keep in mind that the most important part of these interviews is to get to know the art of music and those talented people who make it. Today’s one-man band is a black/extreme metal band, focused on occultism, war history and esotericism, the Texas based: Devil VVorshipper (DVV).

Cross – Hi DVV!

Being a huge horror film fan, it can’t escape my eye the way you have spelled the W in the second part of your band name VVorshipper. Was it inspired from the “The VVitch” film by any chance?

DVV – Yes, I was directly inspired by that film to use that spelling. It’s one of my favorite films. I wanted a way to stand out a bit and this seem like a cool way to differentiate myself from any other bands that might share the same name.

Cross – I knew it! (Laughs) Why Devil VVorshipper?

DVV – Why not? It’s a theme that holds true to my life and seemed like an obvious name for a band.

Cross – First release of your band was on April 5 this year, a single, Black Goat God.  How long have you been working on music as DVV?

DVV – Officially under the Devil VVorshipper name, probably since that date. I’ve been involved in music my entire life and had other black metal bands as early as 1998 or so.

Cross – Do you play all the instruments you use in your music or just one or two and the rest digital?

DVV– Everything that you hear is a real instrument, played by me, even the drums. I started playing music at 10 years of age, so 33 years now.

Cross – Another single came right after the first one called, Vultures of Valor and VVolvenacht. Tracks that stick in the head. Why didn’t you get them out there on the same day? Any particular reason?

DVV – Probably more of an issue with me just hesitating or procrastinating. VVolvenacht was actually the first track I recorded with the express intent of releasing music as “Devil VVorshipper.” Black Goat God, Vultures of Valor, What I Found in the Lions Den and Divine Right of Kings were all songs that I had already recorded and I needed content to put on the bandcamp, so I chose those to add so that there would be more choices to listen to for people stumbling upon the site, hence the unique production quality of each of those releases. Also I had moved my studio into a different area of my house that offered different acoustics, so the production quality changed. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to stick to a more consistent sound.

Cross – VVolvenach has a sort of Death (the band) sound. What bands do you listen to and what inspires you as DVV?

DVV – That’s what is great about music: unique interpretations! I don’t hear any Death in that song but I certainly do appreciate the comparison. I have been influenced by a myriad of different bands and styles, from brutal American death metal, to Norwegian black metal and everything in between. Most people know I am obsessed with Marduk and Funeral Mist, I’d definitely say that those are my all time favorite bands but my influences certainly aren’t limited to them.

Cross – Most of the time you wearing a Marduk shirt so… Love ‘em too. Divine Right of Kings came out on the same day. Are they supposed to be songs from different albums? They all have a different cover art if you will.

DVV – Writing and recording music as a one man band takes time, especially when taking into consideration work and life. So when I am working on music I like to do one song at a time. Once it’s “finished” I move on to another. I like to make cover art for each release because I want to create a visual that ties in with the theme of that particular song. With the way that uploads are handled in Bandcamp, I can either upload a single, or an album, and since I work on songs one at a time, it just sort of happened this way.

I would rather release material one song at a time rather than wait until I have 7 or 8 songs done and release an album. However, once I have enough material, I more than likely will consolidate all of the tracks to one officially released “album.”

Cross – Most of my friends are in, a one-man band so, I kinda have an idea how difficult that is. Do you work on the band’s art too?

DVV – Yes, I do all of the artwork so far.

Cross – I dig em. Does DVV have pets? (If you say you don’t own a baby goat I gonna be pissed about it. Laughs.) I’m asking you cause that’s one of the main objects in your art covers. (For obvious reasons, that’s understandable.)

DVV Yes, I have two dogs. A Cane Corso and a Boxer. No goats yet although one day I might.

Cross – (laughs) I… I love goats. Dogs too. I’m a cat person though. What I Found in The Lions Den… is your next release. A bit different from the rest, till this point. What changed?

DVV – Well, getting back to being influenced by different things, this is a prime example. It was a bit experimental for me. I like to play around with different tones, different guitars, different amps. I also get bored really easily with trying to write songs that follow traditional structures or patterns. Lions Den was an example of me writing a song that was less traditional in structure. I took a melody that I had been playing and decided to build upon it, more like a soundtrack to an epic moment in a film rather than a radio hit, if you follow me.

Cross – In what I noticed you’re filled with tattoos. Any favorite one? (Something that means a lot to you.) Also which is your favorite tattoo artist?

DVV – All of my work is custom drawn by a guy named Jedi who owns Element Tattoos in San Antonio, TX. He’s a brilliant artist with great vision. My baphomet sleeve is my favorite.

Cross – I’m gonna check him out. Would be nice to have a look at that sleeve. You took a month break and came out with I Will Guide Thy Hand, another single for this year. First time we hear a bit of vocals there. Sample from “The VVitch” it says. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

DVV – Yes I moved my studio before that and took a long time to get around to working on something new. The sample is Black Phillip from The VVitch. I wrote that song specifically around that sample. I also was growing tired of writing instrumentals, but wasn’t sure if I was quite ready to start doing my own vocals again.

Cross – The Curse of Salvation, another May release. This one sounds War Themed. Even in the description of your band on your Bandcamp account it’s mentioned that the band focuses on war history. Do you like those type of books?

DVV – Yes of course. I love history and there is much to be learned about the human capacity to love, hate, create and destroy itself.

Cross – Definitely. Sword of Hatred, Crown of Sorrow. Killer drumming. A much faster pace than the rest of your other singles. This one came out as an instrumental at first and a couple months later you released it again, but this time with lyrics. You weren’t sure if you wanted it to have vocals the first time or did it evolve with time?

DVV – Thank you! at this point I was wanting to speed up the overall pace of my songs and showcase the drumming a bit more. The song was always intended to have vocals and lyrics but I hesitated and released an instrumental version first. Then I went ahead and just recorded vocals to see how it would do.

Back in 2015 I was nearly killed in a motor vehicle accident and sustained “catastrophic” injuries to my abdomen and torso. Ever since then, vocals were never really an option for me I felt. But I finally got tired of believing that I wouldn’t be able to do them and decided to try and regain my ability. I’m still working on it.

Cross – Damn! That must have been terrible. I’m really sorry to hear about that.

That being your first song to feature vocals, (I’m glad you decided to do that. It adds so much power to it) how does your writing process work?

Here’s a line from it… “A thousand years won’t last a day, gaining a past but losing tomorrow…” Killer!!

DVV – Thank you. The writing process is pretty typical I suppose. Just write what you know, as they say. Sword of Hatred…is heavily steeped in war and its overall damage to those involved.

Cross – So far that is my favorite song of yours. I really do like it. That great song was followed by another, same style and vocals too. The Spellbound Heart. When did you start to sing like that?

DVV – That’s been my vocal stype for a while I guess. When I was younger I did a lot more low growling than I do these days. I added a lot of high/low combinations as a bit of a tribute to the early days of satanic metal, as perfected by the first few Deicide albums. Glen Benton was an anti-hero of mine in high school.

Cross – I’m glad you mentioned them. Great, great band. It’s been a while since that last release. Are you working on something else?

DVV – Again, songwriting and recording takes time when you’re the only person involved in it. At least for me it does. I have to write the song, then record it, which means I’m the producer, engineer and player all in one. Every song is built in layers, and each of those layers can involve take after take after take to get it right. Then when I think I’m done, almost inevitably I will dislike something and decide to change it. So that then involves more time. As of November 2, I have released another track, The Darkest Path Shines Brightly. Check it out!

Cross – You can bet your goat I gonna. (Laughs) Does DVV like horror films? Any favorites?

DVV – Other than the obvious old classics, I am a big fan of The VVitch, Hereditary, Midsommer, etc. In truth I don’t spend too much time these days watching films, so it might take me awhile to get around to seeing films that have been out already.

Cross – I still have to watch The VVitch… What have you been listening to lately?

DVV – Marduk and Funeral Mist of course. But in between I listen to a lot of Coldworld, Domjord, Taake, Impaled Nazarene, Nagelfar (GER), Graveland, Bolzer, etc

Cross – Anything else you might like to add DVV?

DVV – Thank you so much for the interest in DVV! You’ve really done your homework with this interview and I definitely appreciate it!

Cross – I tried… Thanks man! Thank you for your time and your answers. It has been lots of fun!

DVV – Thank you as well! Hails.

Interview – Frozen Soul – Samantha

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Today is another one of those days where I break my own rules and interview another amazing artist. I have previously mentioned on my blogs that these interviews I am going to post on my web page are like a small window for fans and other people to explore bands and to get to know these talented artists a bit better.

I didn’t know this band was out there or the girl, I’m gonna have the pleasure to interview this time, even existed ’till a couple days ago. It’s a sort of, shame on me, and you’ll understand why as we go on with the interview. She’s the bass player for the death metal band from Ft. Worth TX, Frozen Soul.

Cross – Hey Samantha!

I’m going to ask you a bit about the band you’re in and little by little we’re gonna get to some questions that might be a bit more personal. Now, as I just mentioned you play the bass. When did you start playing guitar?

Sam – I started playing bass in the summer of 2018!

Cross – How did you get to become the bass player for Frozen Soul?

Sam – Well I’ve known Chad and Michael for a long time. They needed a bass player and I stepped in. My other band was about to split up, so it was perfect timing. I started jamming with Frozen Soul and it just worked… and the rest is history.

Cross – I’m sure many know about Frozen Soul but on the other hand there are people like me, who don’t.  Frozen Soul has 5 members, right? Can you introduce us, who and how they invest in the band’s creations?

Sam – Yes , Frozen Soul is comprised of five members. Chad on vocals, myself on bass, Michael on guitar as well as Chris, and Matt is the drummer. We all help write and bounce ideas off each other… it’s always a group effort.

Cross – Frozen Soul’s first demo “Encased in Ice” came out in 2019. This demo has a cover you guys did of one of the songs of deathgrind band, Mortician – Witches’ Coven (which has as intro, one of the most Haunting soundtracks of a horror film, Goblin’s Suspiria soundtrack, one of my favorite horror films of all the time. Argento’s masterpiece)! Why did you guys decide to cover that song and include it in the demo?

Sam – We all love Mortician, and we thought it would be a badass song to cover!

Cross – Frozen Souls’ second release was out at about this time of the year, last year. It was a split you guys had with Molder and Coffin Rot, called “Live in Chicago”. Is it from a one-night live show?

Sam – Yes… it was recorded last year in Chicago at Reggies while we were on tour. It’s available on VHS through maniac video.

Cross – Awesome! What do you think about splits, Samantha, how much do they help a band?

Sam – Splits are cool, I think it helps bands out quite a bit… especially if they’re in a similar genre.

Cross – You guys have everything ready for your first full length album “Crypt of Ice” which is coming out on January 2021. How much work was put into this upcoming album?

Sam – A lot. We have worked relentlessly on this album. I’m ready for it to be out already!

Cross – You guys recently released an official video for “Crypt of Ice” – the album title track. Was this your first time participating and being part of a metal video, Samantha?

Sam – Yes! We filmed two videos back to back in the same day. So Crypt ended up being the second one that we filmed. I was pretty exhausted haha.

Cross – As we mentioned earlier in this interview you guys do live shows. Now, this question has been bugging me. (Laughs) I read in a comment under a live show of Frozen Soul, it said this person has seen you guys play with Obituary. As a fan of theirs and I’m sure you’re one too… I mean, who ain’t? How true is that? When was it, what show and where?

Sam – We played with Obituary back on the 24th of February at Ridglea, in Fort Worth Texas. That was actually the last live show that we got to play before everything got shut down. We also filmed our set, and clips from that show will be used in the Encased in Ice video! It was an awesome show and definitely one for the books!

Cross – Wish l been there. Talking about Obituary can you be that kind Samantha and tell us your favorite Obituary album?

Sam – Cause of death.

Cross – You guys got a shirt design from Mark Riddick, (riddickart) in 2019. Was that difficult to get? (I’m a huge fan of his art. My first  three serious artworks were my modest versions of some of his artworks).

Sam – Not particularly… he actually reached out to us for the collaboration! I’ve always loved his art so it was an honor for sure!

Cross – Cool! And here we get to the part that we’re going to talk a bit more about you. Talking about Riddick and all, you’re a visual artist as well. A tattoo artist. When did you first start to show interest on the magic a person’s fantasy combined with a pen and pencil can do?

Sam – I’ve been drawing since I was a kid… I really was in awe of Graeme Bases illustrative books I had as a kid. Tex Avery cartoons really influenced me too as a child. I still love that style a lot!

Cross – Gorgeous illustrations, Graeme’s. I get told way to often to switch to a tattoo artist. So, I’m curious to know how different is for you to work on skin compared to drawing on paper?

Sam – Tattooing is incredibly difficult compared to paper, because there is a lot of variables. It’s quite stressful… and it’s permanent.

When you are tattooing a human being, you have to consider their pain tolerance, your hand speed, volts, needle groupings, the overall design/placement and how it will hold up over time, their complexion, and any movement whatsoever they make… will all affect the tattoo. Skin is alive, it bleeds. It’s permanent. There’s a ton of pressure and trust that goes into the whole process. It’s definitely not a career for the faint of heart. Paper is easy compared to tattooing for sure!

Cross – Do you have your own tattoo shop?

Sam – I do not. I’ve only been tattooing a little over a year now. I’d eventually like to have my own shop once I get some more experience in the industry.

Cross – As a tattoo artist do you have any favorites (tattoo artists that is)?

Sam – Joe Chatt, Wrest, and Panchos Placas.

Cross – Are you a horror film fan, Samantha? If so, do you have any favorites?

Sam – Yes I’m a huge horror fan! My personal favorites are Silence of the Lambs, House that Jack Built, and Mandy.

Cross – Nice picks. As a bass player which one is your favorite bass guitar and how many bass guitars do you own?

Sam – I currently own 4, and my BC rich widow is probably my favorite right now.

Cross – As a bassist I’m gonna have to ask you who is your favorite bassist?

Sam – Jo Bench!

Cross – Bolt Thrower, ha! What else do you like to do in your free time?

Sam – I like to play video games, paint and draw, and spend time with my animals.

Cross – Anything else you might like to add?

Sam – Wear a mask and get tattooed and listen to Frozen Soul!

Cross – Thank you for your time Samantha! It was fun. Much appreciated!


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I know I have previously mentioned on my blogs that these interviews I am going to post on my web page are like a small window for fans and other people to explore bands and artists I’ve collaborated with and to get to know these talented artists a bit better. Keep in mind though that the most important part of these interviews is the art and those talented people who make it.

That said, today I’m going to break my own rules and interview one of my Heroes; a notorious performer and song writer. His vocals have been described as “tortured laryngitis screams”. The one true mouth of the disinfranchised underground scene, Mike D. Williams also known as Mike lX – EyeHateGod + Arson Anthem/Corrections House/Outlaw Order aka 00%/The Guilt of… aka TgØ/Dead End America/Mike IX and the Southern Nihilism Front etc… (this is very exciting)!

Hey Mike, sir! How are you doing Big Brother? First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to make this interview happen. Much appreciated!

I know, you probably heard some of these questions being asked thousands of times, but let’s dig in!

Cross – At what age did you realize that all you wanted to do was sing and write songs?

Mike IXWell, that’s not all I do, but as far as wanting to be in a band, probably when I first heard Alice Cooper, early Aerosmith, Black Sabbath and The Who back when I was 8 or 9 years old. I started writing lyrics/songs when I got a bit older, being an avid reader and a fan of the written word. It was a natural progression.

Cross – Tell us a bit about your career prior to Eyehategod and how did Eyehategod happen?

Mike IX – I wouldn’t call it a career, but I was in many bands before EHG, mostly punk and hardcore but a few thrash type groups as well. Teenage Waste was the first one to make it out of the bedroom playing twice a week at a decrepit dive bar called the Rose Tattoo and other NOLA houses/venues with locals Shell Shock, the Sluts, Red Rockers, the Goners. After we disbanded, I started Suffocation by Filth, a punk metal crossover, heavy on the punk aspect plus we did some covers by Bad Brains, Sodom and Discharge. Crawlspace was next with friends who went on to Superjoint Ritual, Stressball, Hank III etc., we were more thrash influenced by Voivod, Death amongst others, but of course, with my vocals it sounded like neither of those two bands.

On tour with Shell Shock in ’86 as roadie/merch guy, which Jimmy Bower was now drumming for, we both talked about forming something slow and powerful, but raw and confrontational and mainly the music we were hearing in our heads.

Cross – Any other musical instrument(s) that you can play other than synth and hand drum (we’ve all seen you ROCK the hand drum on Housecore Radio, Acoustic Show with Philip H. Anselmo… Haha)?

Mike IX – I also play guitar.

Cross – I’ve never seen you play guitar. I sure would love to.

Mike IX – A few years ago, I got to play through Greg Ginn’s old customized Peavey amp that was used on the early Black Flag recordings.., that was special to me. I write songs on guitar and wrote some of the stuff on the second Arson Anthem album Insecurity Notoriety.

Cross – How much does Mike lX read and what kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Mike IX – I read constantly whether its online or books. Anything really. Everything. Books about music history are high on the list.

Cross – Is there a particular book or author that inspired you to discover your inner writer and the way you write? Any new book coming out anytime soon?

Mike IX – Charles Bukowski and I bet no one is surprised I said that. Bukowski showed me that writing doesn’t have to be flowery or nice, you can write the way you feel, the reality of life. There’s lots of other authors that I like and writers in bands as well. Darby Crash, Jeff Vandermeer, Clive Barker, Nick Cave, William Vollmann, Iceberg Slim, Kurt Vonnegut, William Burroughs + tons more…

Cross – I’m sure to those who know you a bit that Bukowski wouldn’t sound such a surprise. What does Mike lX do when he isn’t writing, reading, or touring?

Mike IX – Stare at the wall.

Cross – (laughs) I’m sure we all get to do that sometimes. Can you tell us a bit about your song writing process?

Mike IX – I don’t think it’s different from anybody else’s, I just write what I’m thinking. I just write what I want to hear, and it can come from anywhere; the streets, hallucinations, dream states, boredom, experiences with other humans. Pretty common process I believe.

Cross – Arson Anthem – Tell us a funny memory you cherish from all that experience with the members of AA (Philip H. Anselmo, Hank lll and Collin Yeo) that you have not shared yet with the public. Any chance for Arson Anthem to be back on stage?

Mike IX – Arson Anthem was a fun project coming straight outta hurricane Katrina and having been locked up and just having no rules but to do a band that returns to 80’s hardcore punk in a style that we wanted. I wish it had been taken more seriously and the records had been promoted more and not overshadowed by our other bands. The tour we did would have been way better if we had played major cities like NYC, Chicago, L.A. and others… The records are fucking great to me, and the songs hold up, however everyone is busy with their own stuff right now so who knows what can happen with that band.

Cross – Arson Anthem is one of my favorite bands ever. I do agree with you there Mike lX, the records are great. Born in North Carolina, lived in New York, and obviously in New Orleans, Louisiana. In which of these places do you feel like home and why?

Mike IX – I love all three and can feel at home anywhere. New Orleans obviously is where I’ve spent the majority of my time and hold it dear to my heart. New York and Brooklyn are magical to me, or they were in the early 90’s. North Carolina is my birthplace and can be a beautiful place in the mountains or The Outer Banks beaches.

Cross – Corrections House? Is there going to be a new release after “Last City Zero” in 2013 and what followed “Know How to Carry a Whip” in 2015? Or any live performances like in “Writing History in Advance”?

Mike IX – There was also a 7″ for ‘Hoax the System’ on War Crimes records. We are in talks about it. There is a possibility of doing more music in the future.

Cross – That would be great. Who is in charge of the visual performance of the band and who came up with the band logo?

Mike IX – We all decided that we wanted a ragged military look to the band, so we all agreed to that. Heath Rave; tattooist, artist, drummer (Wolvhammer etc..) designed the Corrections House logo.

Cross – He did a great job. Was there a reason behind picking the Last City Zero song to be the title track? Are any of those lyrics included in any of your books (we’ve seen you read from one book on stage)?

Mike IX – Yes, I read from my book Cancer as a Social Activity on stage and also the Corrections House war bible, which is a personal book of writings I carried with me during all the tours (of which there were many) and a lot of the words to CH songs are in those two documents. Also, no reason for picking Last City Zero as the title track other than the fact that we like that song, and it creates the vibe that defines the feelings we want to conjure.

Cross – There’s a rare video of you out there doing a spoken word poetry – reading poetry from your collection of poems “Cancer as a Social Activity”. What’s that like? Do you enjoy reading or reciting your own poetry in front of an audience? Is there any place online where your fans can listen to you read your poems (audio book)?

Mike IX – Is it rare? I don’t know what’s on there honestly besides the latest reading I did called ‘We All Die on the Very Last Page’ on CVLT Nation’s YouTube page. I have an affinity towards CVLT Nation and have the utmost respect for Sean and his wife who run the site.

I’ve done many spoken word readings all over the world. I mean every night on tour with Corrections House I did readings, but I’ve done so many solo ones also I can’t remember them all, I wish more were recorded and videoed. I’m going to be doing more when I re-release my book ‘Cancer as a Social Activity’ very soon. I once did a reading at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and John Sinclair, promoter/manager of the MC5 and notorious activist and poet/writer came out to hang out and I got to give him a copy of my book and my “Glass Torn and War Shortage” broken glass covered cassette. I’ve also read at various record and bookstores in the USA and Europe, I enjoy it immensely. An audiobook of “Cancer…” is something I’ll be working on in the future.

Cross – I really love that one, “We All Die on the Very Last Page”. Those who know me a bit, know about that one cause I bring it up as soon as I say Hi. (Laughs) It would be amazing to have “Cancer…” and your voice reading it in one place. I really hope it’s a really near future.

What kind of music was Mike IX into when he was 15 years old (they say you left home at that age)?

Mike IX – Wait, who’s “they”..? I was in a boy’s home at 13 years old for 4 years and I ran away numerous times to California and Texas and I lived alone in an $125 dollar apartment in Uptown New Orleans when my brother left me alone there, so it was all over the place. It’ll all be in my next book someday.

Black Flag mainly. But also; Germs, Dead Boys, Witchfinder General, Discharge, Pagans, electric eels, Die Kreuzen, Elvis Costello, Trouble, Venom, Negative Approach, B-52’s, Circle Jerks, DOA, Generation X, Talking Heads, Devo, UK Subs, State of Alert, the Fix, Meatmen, Teen Idles, Sex Pistols, AC/DC, Clash, Dils, Bl’ast!, Disorder, Fear, Deadline, Ramones, DRI, The Damned, the Sluts, Legionnaire’s Disease, Deadbeats, Robert Johnson, Peter Tosh, The Normals, Augustus Pablo, MDC, Shell Shock, Void, St. Vitus, Saccharine Trust, Judas Priest, Black Market Baby, Ozzy, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Minor Threat, Iron Maiden… the list goes on and on and on.

Cross – I’m glad you took the time to mention that many. All great bands. I’m sure many know most of them. Outlaw Order. Was that a one-time thing?

Mike IX – No, 00% exists in time and space and can re-emerge at any time. Outlaw Order has a lot of unfinished business and unsettled court cases pertaining to breaking and entering and theft. Our first bass player is in appeals and could possibly be released by the middle of next year (fingers crossed). I’m done with all parole and probation and ready for the next scheme.

Cross – Glad to hear that. Are there any artists that influenced your singing style? Have you ever experimented with, singing differently?

Mike IX – Darby Crash from the Germs, Ron Reyes, Dez Cadena from Black Flag. I’m certainly open to other styles and have experimented many times. It’s all about passion and feeling so wherever that takes me.

Cross – Most bands start with a self-titled album, instead Eyehategod waited until 2014 to come out with a self-titled album. Why is that?

Mike IX – Why not? We don’t care what people think and I didn’t know there were rules to what and when to name an album a certain thing… Lots of bands have done the same exact thing; Trouble, Discharge, Alice in Chains, Blue Cheer, the Cult, Crowbar (I think?) etc..

We decided to do it because our best friend and drummer Joey LaCaze died and he played on that album. We went through lists of titles for the record but out of respect and in the affair of being genuine we self-titled it. We didn’t want idiot journalists asking silly questions about what the title had to do with someone we love dying. I’m sure every band that’s done it has their own reasons.

Cross – You know, after hearing that, the album just got more special to me. You mentioned in another interview that you guys are working on a new album and that all was left were to add the vocals. Is the album done and if yes when is it launching?

Mike IX – The new album is done and has been sent off to the label, which is Century Media. It’ll be released next year but there will be some singles and video released sporadically before then.

Cross – That’s great! Can’t wait!
Do you have a favorite stage to play live? And speaking of live any touring plans in Canada or Europe once gatherings are made possible again? What can your fans expect?

Mike IX – We always tour every corner of the planet we can possibly reach so of course we will continue with that when possible. We were on tour from April 2017 until the pandemic lockdown so that’s what we do. We’ve played everywhere from Lima, Peru to Vietnam and Thailand to Wellington and Tasmania to Tel Aviv, so I think it’s safe to say we will be back to Europe and Canada (if Canada will let me in again!)

Thanks for the interview! Go to for tons of merch and our new split 7″ with Sheer Terror plus new album out next year!

Mike IX Williams/EyeHateGod Instagram: @southernnihilismfront and @eyehategodnola

Facebook: Mike IX Williams and @officialeyehategod

Cross – Thank you Mike for being so kind with me, giving your time to an unknown artist, for taking all this seriously, and for the great answers! It’s been a blast. I really appreciate you man. Thank you!!

Interview – J/Void

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The artist I’m going to interview today shouldn’t be new to you. I had him on an interview about horror films, about one or two months ago.

Back then I introduced him as one of my favorite YouTubers. Whilst everybody tries to find an already existing video to sit down and comment on it, this dude uploads his own content. He considers himself as relatively boring but, in this interview we’re gonna talk about how many inspirational things he got out there, lately, as a master of spoken word and much more.

I’m talking about J.

Hey J!

Cross – In the first interview, the first question I asked you was to tell us something about you and God! You kept it all a secret. (Laughs)

Other than doing other bands’ album reviews and film reviews you have this talent of coming up with great lines.

Back then, you had like… two or three spoken word poetry videos uploaded on your YouTube channel.

When did you seriously think of working on spoken word poetry?

J/Void – I am a bit of an aggressively private person at times. Information, details and ideas are there. Just run through a filter.

I used to write a long time ago. I had a number of notebooks that were a collection of disjointed thoughts. Periodically I would write over time. Some of it was lost in moves. Others just ruined. So I stopped for a while. I resumed it last year but the writing just sat there. One night when I wanted to make a video I had nothing in mind so I read off a little of it. Since then I’ve been expanding it. It has since become very cathartic.

Cross – Your first spoken word poetry release (on Bandcamp) came out October 1st this year. Called “Empty Words: Chapter One”. Why that title? And what happened that made you realize and decide to get them out there as an “album”?

J/Void – They were going to sit there on my YouTube but I decided that I wanted to release it as a series of albums. The idea behind the naming of it “Empty Words” comes from the idea that what I was writing was coming from different perspectives not just my own. And anyone that was to read or listen to it may interpret it however they want. If at all. Something only has value if you ascribe to it.

Cross – There you go, you ended that one with a great line.

As I have mentioned it to you in one of our conversations… I can find great lines in each one of them but the number 12, “They Don’t Write Obituaries for Man at the Bottom of the Bottle” is one of my favorites. How did you come up with it?

J/Void – The whole work is a collective idea around those people that don’t stand out. The large portion of the population that is trapped within a life of monotony. Like many, there are those that turn to substance abuse. There aren’t a lot of people out there willing to understand what causes people to go down that route. When a person dies, one that lived an uneventful life and more than likely died from complications related to alcoholism then people dismiss them. The same people that look down on those under those circumstances are the same that will celebrate the lives of a celebrity when they die.

Cross – You weren’t content with just one spoken word release for this month. You got another one right, after the first one: “Empty Words: Chapter Two”, which came out seven days after the first one and ain’t as log as the first release. Weren’t they finished at the time you decided to get out there the first release or, you couldn’t include more than 15 in Chapter One?

J/Void – I have more that I will continue to release. That’s why they are simply listed as chapters. I’m not sure how many there will be in this series. The second one was released shortly after the first because when I was going through the rest of what I had and saw that I had enough for another release. When I feel like I have enough recorded I will put out another chapter.

Cross – Cool!

The last one of Chapter Two “Your Hard Work is Vital to My Success, My Value is Greater than Your Understanding” sounds like you were just getting some frustration out of you and you never worked on them lines before. Is that what happened? Just trying to get to know a bit more on your writing process.

J/Void – That is one that has a large number of meanings behind it. It applies to aspects of my life as well as possibly a lot of others. Anything from working for a large corporation, oppressive patriotism or simply being exploited by family or friends. It was a bit of me getting out my frustration but attempting to do so from the manipulators point of view. And in some cases I feel like those attempting to control others with a grand vision in mind don’t have the capacity to figure out all the details that go into it. Nations fail, ideas fail, religions fail and people fail. Ego driven manipulation.

Cross – Have you ever thought of publishing them in one singular book or a couple books?

J/Void – I would like to. Everything that I have recorded is written down. If I were to put out a book it may vary from the original writings just as they vary from the videos. It’s art and is open to alterations.

Cross – If that ever happens I’ll get me a copy.

Now, no matter how many times we talked about art and whatever projects we were working on,  I would have never thought you did invest time in writing music. That came as such a great surprise to me when you released your first post-industrial noise album “Sign of Life is Repetition” with your one man band Void, which came out September 21st, this year, obviously. Tell us something about that. When did this other passion of yours start?

J/Void – I have always been very passionate about music. I unfortunately never had the talent to play an instrument. But it never stopped me from screwing around with things here and there. When I was a kid it was common for games to have a sound test menu. Select the individual sounds and try to create a rhythm out of it. Learned a lot about sampling and multi tracking as I got older. Then I started to use an app to record and alter what I wanted. After creating stuff for a while I said f*ck it and decided to start putting it out.

Cross – I’m glad you did. The music you make ain’t the kind I listen to but, it’s always a good thing to widen the frame in which we feel comfortable in. Be open to new stuff.

Why did you decide to call the band Void?

J/Void – I didn’t really have a name. But I figured that a lot of what I’m making is meant for interpersonal interpretation. Just as well as the idea of a void. It can be whatever you’d like it to be or nothing at all.

Cross – Your second album with Void, “Void of Time and Space” sounds more melodious than the first one, in comparison.  Did your gear change or did the inspiration change?

J/Void – I think the change there was simply just me getting more comfortable whith what I’m doing and how I’m going to work on expanding it.

Cross – Your next release “Innovator of Internal Violence” has such sound that it could give one a real bad anxiety. The last track, it gives one the feeling like if somebody is drilling a hole into their skull. I noticed Obsession, as a word, is used in at least, three songs in this album. Any particular reason?

J/Void – That was written over the course of a week or so. Though two of them I had the idea of for a long time. I was dealing with a lot of stress and I was also in a lot of pain. I wanted to convey that as much as I could. Obsession is used three times intentionally. It’s both to represent my own obsessive nature and my obsession of three different numbers. One of them being the number 3. Just as well it fits a lot of the ideas that I have that are circular and run in repetitious cycles.

Cross – Interesting.

We’re both Eyehategod fans and Mike IX has had a huge impact on both of us. You got to make an alternation of their first song on their “Dopesick” album, (one of my favorite of theirs) “My Name is God (I Hate You)”. Why did you pick that song?

J/Void – I wanted to use that song because it is abrasive and uneven. From the opening of broken glass and Mike screaming. It’s different and violent, one of the first songs of theirs I had heard. Stood out  I wasn’t thrilled with the outcome though. I may attempt to revisit it later on but I’m not sure.

Cross – I liked it. But I guess an artist is kinda never fully content  with the result of their work. In a way is how we keep growing, artistically.

Your last full album “Long Term Side Effects are not Currently Known”… How do you come up with these titles?

J/Void – Some of the album titles are responses to my reflection of the period. The overall theme that’s there.

Cross – Does the cover art have any particular meaning?

J/Void – Closest visual representation I could think of at the time.

Cross – The sound in this album, at least to me, is “Eraser Head” all over the place. What did J want to reach with that sound?

J/Void – I didn’t really think that was intentional but I can see where you could easily make the connection.

Cross – The album ends with “You’ll Never Find Out”. Is that about you or does it have a larger meaning?

J/Void – Both the opening tack “You’ll never know” and the closing track “You’ll never find out” are connected. There is a deeper meaning to them but that’s just for me. I wanted to leave that open because there are things out there that we all keep to ourselves and will never unveil.

Cross – That’s fine by me.

After your last album, you got two singular releases. As a matter of fact you started your Bandcamp with a singular release: “I’m Your Number One Fan”. Why wasn’t that included in any of Void’s albums?

J/Void – I wanted it to be on its own. Just a stand alone single for the time being. I may take that along with a handful of other tracks and compile them. But that is 20 minutes long. It would fit better as part of a split or a side of a 7”

Cross – You’ve been really productive these past months. Are you working on more spoken word poetry? What about new music?

J/Void – I have a number of things written just not recorded. And some ideas I need to concentrate on as well. In addition to that I just finished an album that I’ll also be releasing a separate single with alternate versions of the track because I’ve been messing with it quite a bit. Part of a different album being worked on but that will take time. And a few other various ideas that are bouncing around.

Cross – You recently made a film review about “A Serbian Film”, (loved your take on that one) and “Suburbia”. Are you working on any other one, film reviews that is?

J/Void – Those end up being harder. I rarely have time to sit down and watch a movie. I have a stack that I would like to do but time is a factor.

Cross – I know you liked to draw before and I think you mentioned in some of our conversations that you would like to get back to it. How is that going? Would we have the privilege to get to see a sketch or something in the near future?

J/Void – Unfortunately not well. All the testing I’ve been undergoing have fucked my arm up even more so I haven’t had an opportunity to get back to that. All in due time though.

Cross – Anything else you would like to add J?

J/Void – I have a special mix that will be released on Halloween as well as a single for my next album. I had to cut a track down for time and then started mixing different versions of it.

Also, I wanted to say support independent artists and labels. The work that they do often goes unnoticed. There are an incredible number of artists out there that are working full time as well as trying to create and release various forms of art to express themselves.

Cross – Thanks for the time J, a pleasure!


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There have been so many things to do lately and I’m so late with this interview.

I planned to get Beastial Piglord (BP) aka Hudson to sit down with me and talk about his latest album release before it  came out but you know what they say, never plan things.  The album “Wiped Out.. Way Up” came out on September 12 this year and here we are almost a month later, finally, sitting down to talk about this masterpiece.

Cross – How you doing, Hudson? Been a while…

First of all why did you want the cover to have so much orange in it? Ain’t like WOWU was going to come on Halloween. Or was that your plan but you finished it earlier and you couldn’t wait to show it to the world?

Hudson – I’m just funny about things, I want every album cover to be a certain color, a different color from the last, same as the music.

Cross – When did you realize that the acronym of “Wiped Out.. Way Up” says, WOWU? (Laughs)

Hudson – When you pointed it out to me. Haha

Cross – (Laughs) This album sounds very different from all the albums you already got out there. What changed? It’s like you’re trying to get out of the frames of old-school experimental black metal. Are you trying to invent a new genre?

Hudson – My new goal is for each upcoming album to be even weirder and more genre bending than the last.

Cross – “Wiped Out.. Way Up” starts with “Taken Advantage Of” intro, “Reset Character” comes right after it  and, to me, the way it starts has a sort of “PanterA – Domination” feel to it. That riff is heavy and the song takes a turn to weirdness as soon as it gets to the middle. What gears did you use for this song, your Dean From Hell? And how did that riff popped in your head?

Hudson – I got the riff idea just f*cking around with a metronome I was using for a completely different song haha. Also that entire album was recorded with my 8 string schecter.

Cross – Interesting! Third track, “A Rift Apart” sounds sludgey. Was this a sort of leftover from Viorensilt (your April release for this year)?

Hudson – Nope! That song was meant for this album, however, 2 songs were leftovers from “Muzz” and I figured why not throw them on this album? (Piezoelectric and Clutz)

Cross – I actually named one of my kittens after your album, “Muzz”. A not so much known fact. (Laughs)

“Lurch” the fourth track of WOWU is a total freak show. It really is magnificent. (Laughs) How much horror did you watch to get that one song done?

Hudson – Haha It was just a drum beat I recorded and trimmed it to the sections I liked and then just followed the drum beat with the bass and went from there.

Cross – Next one is “Sullen”, totally different from the rest of the album, co-written and performed by Levi Clark. How did that happen? (My opinion, that is a great collaboration. Your guitar work in this one with your vocals add so much “pain” to it).

Hudson – I wrote that song and then last minute asked him to just ramble over the song and he did. And it worked nicely, he even recorded his part on a cell phone and the sh*tty quality makes it sound cool.

Cross – It does. I think “King of the Worms”, track number six, is the most eerie song of the album. What did you use for that “piano part”?

Hudson – I think you’re talking about the music-box that starts the song and goes all the way through. That’s my mom’s music-box from when she was a kid. I just wound it up and recorded and built the song around that. And the thing slows down the longer it plays so the slow change in tempo throughout the song is badass to me.

Cross – I loved it the first time I listened to it. (This album is a bit older to the two of us). And now that you mentioned it, I think you told me about it back then. “Hop The Twig” – can it be considered a love song? (Laughs)

Hudson – All my songs are love songs. Haha

Cross – Right! (Laughs) “Piezoelectric” was it named after the effect?

Hudson – Most of them have some meaning but that one was just something random I saw in a book and figured why not.

Cross – We got to track number nine, “Clutz”, without even noticing. (Laughs) I’m sure everybody can recognize that laugh the song starts with. Was that were you got the inspiration from, for this song?

Hudson– The song is about me because I’m clumsy as hell, and I also love “Tales from the Crypt”.

Cross – Who doesn’t? Let’s move to the next one. “Conformite Europeenne” that’s a deep title. The song to me sounds like some sort of spaceship confrontation. Is there a chance for us to see any of the lyrics?

Hudson – As always BP lyrics are for the listener to decipher. I delete all my lyrics aftereach song because I don’t think lyrics in this style of music even matter. It’s more about the music, the sounds your hearing.. Music has no language.

Cross – I kinda agree with that but still, as a book lover, I love me some lyrics. “Belulah Los Gatos” raw vocals. “This Was Your Life” is kinda same style with “Sullen” but this time you sang it all by yourself. Was that how you liked it or you couldn’t get Clark to sing one more? (Laughs)

Hudson – Haha I only want usually one feature on an album if I do have one.

Cross – Fair enough. The13th title, “Coiled”, what did you use for the ending of this song?

Hudson – Haha That’s just some random stuff I recorded and ran it through a bit crusher and an auto filter, some people will know what that is. Haha

Cross – “Uncultured Swine” what do you say at the beginning of the song?

Hudson – Just a bunch of absolute nonsense, inspired by King Buzzo from the Melvins lyrics.

Cross – That was my last attempt of getting a lyric out of you. (Laughs) I think I have one though. I don’t even remember to which song it belongs too, unless it has the title. I should check. (Laughs) “N. T. T” what does it stand for?

Hudson – Not This Time. Haha

Cross – Cool! The 16th and the last song of the album. Why did you decide to end the album with “Eye Biter”?

Hudson – I just think it fit really well as the ending song.

Cross – I read some comments on YouTube under your full album upload. They call WOWU a stew of King Diamond, Phantasm (the band), O.L.D, GWAR beauty. How do you feel about that?

Hudson – I like all those bands so that’s a huge compliment.

Cross – Not so sure about Phantasm or O.L.D (not that familiar with them) but, King Diamond and GWAR, love em!! What are you doing these days, are you working on another album? How different is it going to be this time?

Hudson – Yep!  I’m working on 2 albums actually. Haha I am always working on 2 albums at a time, usually recording full songs for one, and then recording the drums for the next.

Cross – That’s awesome! Y’all heard him, new album coming up. Let’s hope on Halloween. That be cool! Anything else you would like to add, Hudson?

Hudson – As always stay tuned, its only getting weirder.

Cross – Thank you for your time Hudson, always a pleasure!!!

Interview – J – Horror Films

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As you all are well aware, my two first Horror Film Interviews were with band members, which is great to know that bands you like dig horror films too. For this one interview though, I thought to change the tradition a bit and sit down to talk to a different type of artist. He’s a YouTuber and a master of spoken words. He has the talent to place the right word right where it belongs. In his YouTube content, for as long as I’ve known him, he never uses notes. Everything comes out of his mind and heart. One of the main reasons I decided to get him on board for my next Horror Film Interview is cause we share one common love, Nosferatu. Let’s let him tell us a bit more about himself before we get through the 20 questions.

Cross – Hi, J! How are you? I thought it would be interesting if you would tell us a couple things about yourself so we get to know you a bit better. Like for example, that huge, epic, Nosferatu tattoo you have on your arm. How did you get the idea and who tattooed it on you? We will talk about Nosferatu movies later on.

J – Hey Cross. I’m aright. Tired as always. I consider myself relatively boring. I’m a crane operator in a steel mill. Spend most of my time pouring metal. When I do have some free time I try to catch up on wrestling, movies and occasionally review music.

About the tattoo… There’s actually a long story behind that. It went through a lot of idea changes. It was going to be the shot of him in the hallway, standing. That was going to be on my forearm. My artist said it would just blur together after a while, he would lose too much detail. Then it was a lot of back and forth with ideas, for about three months.

Cross – Good you listened to him. The reason I’m starting this interview with this film is because the title leads me to some other great horror films I like. Robert Eggers’ “The VVitch”. To be honest I have never seen this film until the end, even when I re-watched it. My brother loves this film, but every time he was up to watch it, I fell asleep. Both times. (Laughs)

I’m sure many know why it’s called ” The VVitch ” and not with a W but, I want you to explain that to us and tell us something about the film. Make me want to go for it one more time and this time watch it till the end. Make me curious! (Laughs)

J – I watched the VVitch right when it was released in Blu-ray. I had seen a few articles about it that were pretty ambiguous because a lot of reviewers had trouble covering it. The film is slow, lumbering, drab and as it goes on I just got sucked in to the bleak despair that that family is struggling with. It’s a very human story and one that is tightly contained. To the level of suffocating at point. I prefer horror films to have that isolating feel. Then they rush ending, is amplified so much because of the pacing of the previous 80 minutes or so. I also love that they pull the trigger on this all being real. The Devil walks among them and he is there to guide Thomasin.

Cross – Gonna let you know when I’ll give it another try. It will be soon, ’cause I’m watching everything that gets mentioned in these interviews and I haven’t watched before or it has been a long time since the last time I’ve watched it.

Viy (1967). Not sure if you like old horror but this is one of my favorite witch films. Often spoken of as the first Soviet era horror film. Ever heard of it, J?

J – I haven’t heard of it but you have my attention with it being a Soviet Era film. I watched a lot of exploitation films from the 60’s and 70’s. A few local channels would run them Saturday nights. They were all chopped up and the dubbing was horrible but that added to the appeal.

Cross – They call him the “Master of Italian Horror” and the “Master of the Macabre”, Mario Bava. One of his greatest horror films, in my opinion always, is “Kill Baby Kill”.  Ever heard of Bava and this particular movie?

J – There is a chance I have seen “Kill Baby Kill” because it sounds familiar but I can’t say for sure.

Cross – Jumping to a totally different movie: Pascal Laugier’s “Martyrs”. Brutal, nasty, gruesome and not for everyone. It has such a low rate from what I expected it to have. What are your thoughts about it and the movie?

J – Shortly after “Martyrs” came out it was on the top of nearly every shocking and banned film list so I had to see what the buzz was about it. The film lives up to what people say. The mid 2000’s surge of French Horror was what the whole industry needed. It’s as gruesome as it’s contemporary counter parts “Inside” and “Irreversible” as well as “A Serbian Film” or even some of the over the top splatter films from Japan. But “Martyrs” is different. You’ll see a common theme with a lot of my favorite films in general, especially horror. They are usually minimalistic. And bleak. The most incredible part of that film to me is the years of trauma, all the plotted revenge, and then all the suffering was for nothing. There is no answer. Not one that the audience gets to find out. That’s the best way I have ever seen a film end without answering anything and yet still feeling fulfilled.

Cross – Here’s another not so old film: Ari Aster’s “Hereditary”. It got nominated for many awards, MTV movie award for the most frightening performance, for best actress and many others. Any thoughts about it? It didn’t do much for me though…

J – Ari Aster is a genius when it comes to story telling and misdirection. The film was written without any horror or supernatural elements to it originally. Once that was completed he added the rest. The core of it is a family struggling to process grief and how everyone handles it differently. Adding in King Paimon makes it so much better. Instead of some generic demon or being, Ari took the time to research everything. Using the proper sigil as well as the right attributes. But even without that aspect, seeing a family that already had its problems simply try to function, makes it more human.

Cross – You mentioned this one in one of our conversations… “Videodrome”. I haven’t had a chance to give it a try yet, but I sure do know David Cronenberg from “The Fly”, his most triumphant and accessible film to date. About “Videodrome” I’ve heard it is extremely brutal and violent. What can you tell us about it?

J – I think “The Fly” is his most notorious film. I stumbled across “Videodrome” on TV one day. I didn’t know it was a Cronenberg film until the end. I saw it in the late 90’s for the first time. The internet wasn’t as prominent as it is now. And so a lot of the elements in the film were still relevant. Parts of the BDSM subculture that get touched upon were unknown to the average person. Lots of shock films like “Faces of Death” were still few and far between. Max Renn’s drive to find more and experience everything through the screen hit close to home. As well as Brian O’Blivion being this cult leader that exists only on vhs. Now, nearly 40 years later the film is more relevant. The formats have changed from vhs and tube screens to our phones. We are living the reality that’s depicted. Hard to separate real life from the digital world.

Cross – That’s true. Let’s jump to a Sci-fi/Crime film, which for many might not be considered as a horror film but to me a horror film doesn’t need creepy scenes or blood to be a horror film. “A Clockwork Orange”, one of Kubrick’s finest movies. A misunderstood classic. What does this movie tell you?

J – I always saw the film as a good example of how people will adapt to society but don’t change who they are. The book has a bit more ambiguous ending, at least that I remember. But Kubrick’s take on it was clear. Simply go through the motions and show people what they want to see but you can’t change who you are inside. You can simply become better at hiding it. Along with that, the film has one of the most amazing scores out there.

Cross – I’m sure many know Kubrick from “The Shining”. Stephen King’s horror novel, which established him as a preeminent author in the horror genre. Getting back to Kubrick and his ” The Shining”, he can make your own room seem creepy and unfamiliar. Are you a “The Shining” fan J? Or a fan of Jack Nickolson’s performance in this movie?

J – I love “The Shining”. King’s work has had some rough adaptations. I know Kubrick took the skeleton of the books idea and created his own nightmare out of it and I think it’s much better that way. The insane amount to detail that he puts into every film that he made is otherworldly. There are no mistakes. The torture he put Shelley Duvall through was probably a bit too much. Jack Nicholson was a fantastic actor until playing the Joker broke him mentally. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Chinatown” showed how deep he could go even early on.

Cross – I’m glad you mentioned “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“ (great Book too) and “Chinatown”. You have a large amount of piercings, does that have anything to do with Pinhead? (Laughs) Clive Barker most known for his books, he’s one of the directors in “Hellraiser”. I’m sure if one is a fan of Barker they know he is a painter too. How many “Hellraiser” films are out there,10? And which one is your favorite?

J – It’s a pretty common question actually. If “Hellraiser” inspired my interest in body modification. It might have played a part in it but the next question will explain it more. I watched the first two “Hellraiser” films a lot growing up. When I was younger I was a larger fan of the second one. The exploration of psychology and the vision of hell in the end was amazing. But Clive’s universe is a bit different as I would discover later through a number of his books. Hell is simply another realm of existence. The massive landscape that you see is simply a temple there. As I grew older and understood the films more, the first one resonated more with me. Even though the Cenobites are only on screen for roughly 5 minutes they had the most impact. The story gets overshadowed. A woman who is tired of the life that she is living. Longing for something she had for a brief moment. A husband oblivious to her misery. And Frank. A man driven by an unquenchable desire for experience. Nothing in the world means anything to him. He is never satisfied.

For the series there are 8 that star Doug Bradley. Those are the ones that are more or less considered cannon. The additional 2 were made simply to hold the rights to the name. I think I’ve made it 15 minutes into “Revelations” and that was it. The final 4 films during Doug’s time were simply scrips that were adjusted to kinda fit into the “Hellraiser” universe. They are low budget but kinda watchable if you don’t want to really pay attention. I did read the original scrip to “Deader” and it was a much better film than it ended up becoming. Clive wrapped up his vision for “Hellraiser” with “The Scarlet” Gospels having it take place after the second film and ignoring the rest as well as both of the comic book series. I think he did an amazing job wrapping it up. I know he is a very active painter, his mind and his creativity never stop. He will do up to 3 paintings a day and that’s on top of writing on and off. Unfortunately he doesn’t do anything with them. Just stock piles his work.

Cross – He does painting exhibits with them I’m sure people pay to get inside. When this movie came out I was one year old. (Laughs) I’m talking about Dan O’Bannon’s “The Return of the Living Dead”. Classic! Hilarious! Educational too. One of the funniest zombie movies I’ve ever seen. Do you consider it as an intro to modern zombie movies?

J – I am a fan of most of the series. The second film is kinda meh. But Return was great. It was my introduction to the punk subculture as a kid. And it blends the right amount of horror and comedy. The third film takes the approach of being a tragic love story. That helped expand what you could do with a zombie film. They are simply the backdrop. Julia going through her transformation is where I saw for the first time that you could pierce anything if you really wanted to. Even though some of what she does to her body is exaggerated, a lot of it is still realistic. I started to look into it more and more as I got older. Also gave me the mentality of “fuck it, I’ll just do it myself”. 4 & 5 are bad but entertaining bad. Low budget fun.

Cross – Talking about zombies, Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” and the most famous line of a zombie film “They coming to get you, J!” (Laughs) How much do you like this one?

J – “Night of the living Dead” is probably the first zombie film I saw. As with most people. It set a new standard. Moved away from films like White Zombie. Romero found a way to critique humanity and culture while also scaring the hell out of people.

Cross – Love that last line. “Dawn of the Dead” another one of Romero’s movies, his second, the true classic. A blast. Considered as the best zombie horror film ever made. Do you agree?

J – I think it’s up there. The original might be tops. But I love the scathing criticism of consumer culture.

Cross – To stay in the world of the “living dead”, let me drop you a title that goes beyond the boundaries of the Supernatural to the half-world of the living dead, Mario Bava’s “Black Sabbath/ I Tre Volti Della Paura”. Another of my favorites. Ever heard about it?

J – I watched it as a kid because I thought it had something to do with the band Black Sabbath but that was it. I keep telling myself I should watch it again but it’s been about 30 years and I still haven’t. Maybe one day I will finally pull it off the shelf along with the dozens of other films I’ve bought and haven’t had time to watch.

Cross – I always thought they took it from there. (Laughs) Now it’s time to talk about Vampires. So we end this conversation right. “Nosferatu” (1922) Max Schrek, “Nosferatu the Vampyre” (1979) Klaus Kinski, “Dracula” (1931) Bela Lugosi, or Christopher Lee in “Dracula Has Risen from the Grave”?

J – Nosferatu and Dracula were staples in my house growing up. They are fantastic for different reasons. Max made a vampire terrifying. Bela showed how to make a monster wonderfully charming. I’m not a fan of the Kinski remake. It just didn’t really do anything for me. Though they are working on a new adaptation of Nosferatu being Directed by Robbert Eggers that I’m really excited about. His ability to tell a story with minimal dialogue and muted or black and white is perfect. His visual style is the ideal blend needed. I liked Christopher Lee’s approach to the roll. Added more terror. But that’s something he was always good at. Creating a fear inducing atmosphere. Not just his character.

Cross – The one with Kinski has a lot of atmosphere and that’s one of the reasons why I love it. Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, Cappola’s adaptation. I know this movie is like super loved but it never got me. Do you like it?

J – I have mixed feelings on it. Visually it’s fantastic. Gary Oldman is one of the best actors of all time. But a lot of it falls flat.

Cross – “Shadow of the Vampire” with William Dafoe?

J – Wonderful. I love the twist. I am a fan of meta work and I like that they took the idea of Max actually being a vampire and running with it. Defoe is another legend. His performance just adds so much to it. As well as the film being symbolic of the lengths that a director will go through to make a film.

Cross – “Interview With The Vampire”? I think it’s fun but not my cup of tea. Don’t like her book series at all. She goes too much around the bush in my opinion. Boring books. What are your thoughts?

J – I’m not a fan of the books. Good ideas but they just don’t do anything for me. I love the movie though. I think it comes down to casting. Brad Pitt and Tom Cruse were perfect. They did tone down the homosexual relationship in the film but I understand that wasn’t going to fly in the early 90’s but the idea still is there.

Cross – “Blade”? ” From Dusk Till Dawn”?

J – “Blade” is priceless. Solid action and entertaining. Has a pretty good soundtrack as well. Second one was all the mastermind of Guillermo del Toro. I don’t think a sequel would have worked with the same direction. Would have just been a repeat. He kept the action but amped up the horror. “From Dusk Till Dawn” is entertaining. But I don’t think it aged well. I liked it as a teenager but that’s about it.

Cross – “Let the Right One In”, the Swedish one. Do you like it?

J – I’m actually a fan of both the original and the remake. Though the American version doesn’t translate well in certain parts. But I really like when horror films take an established idea and run in a completely different direction with it.

Cross – I could mention so many other movies but I think we better let some for some other time (laughs. Second interview if you will). If there’s any other movies you would like to mention or suggest or if you would like to add something more…

J – There are tons I could go on about but I will end with two short ones. “Event Horizon”. Incredible cast. A very unique story. The bait and switch approach. It seems like it is simply going to be a dark sci-fi. Instead it dives deep into the idea of fear. What might happen when we play with technology that we don’t fully understand. And going to hell and back. That’s clearly a common theme for my interests.

And “Cube”. It’s kind of unknown. The first film simply offers no explanation. Just shows how people handle stress and shows how humans will break down rather than come together. And the film has no solid ending. I don’t count either of the sequels.

Cross – Would have to watch “Event Horizon”. You make it sound interesting. I agree with you about “Cube”. I’ve seen them all but the first one is what does it.

Thank you J for taking the time to answer all my questions. It’s been great talking to you as always. Appreciate it, thank you very much!!

Interview – Beastial Piglord – Horror Films

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Realizing how much I enjoyed my first interview about one of my passions: horror movies, I decided to keep on doing them. It helps me discover horror movies I haven’t heard of before and it’s real fun. Talking about horror movies makes me as happy as a child gets when they eat ice cream (laughs. Love ice cream by the way).

For this interview I talked to the one-man band, the artist behind one of the most productive, awesome bands out there: Beastial Piglord.

On our first interview we had about his music and stuff he likes, he surely admitted to be a horror film fan.

Cross – Hey Hudson! How you doing?

Hudson – I’m good.

Cross – First of all tell us what horror genre you dig more? No titles.

Hudson – Pretty much any genre as long as it’s from the 60s-early 2000s.

Cross – In our first interview when asked to name a horror film who scared you to death when you were little you said, Jonathan Liebesman’s “Darkness Falls”, was it? How old were you when you first watched it and why would you suggest it to horror fans now?

Hudson – Yep, “Darkness Falls” scared the s**t out of me when I was a kid. I was maybe 12 when I saw it for the first time and it made me terrified to turn the lights off for months, its not scary now, but as a kid it definitely freaked me out.

Cross – I know you’re a huge H.P. Lovecraft’s fan. I mean you have a portrait of his, tattooed on your leg. (I hope that ain’t something you didn’t want me to put out there). Stuart Gordon’s “Re-Animator”. Let’s talk about that. What can you tell us?

Hudson – “Re-Animator” is definitely on my list of favorites. It’s just the perfect combination of horror/comedy/suspense. Watch it and see.

Cross – I don’t think there are many horror fans who haven’t watched “Re- Animator“ once. Another Lovecraft based horror film directed by Stuart Gordon is “From Beyond”. Satire and artistry mixed with the slime. What do you think about this film?

Hudson – I absolutely love it, and Jeffery Combs who played Herbert west in “Re-Animator” also stars in this movie, its just another perfect example of a classic 80s horror film with no CGI. All puppets and hand crafted effects.

Cross – Talking about Lovecraft, it has been said that Carpenter’s “The Thing” was inspired by Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madnesses”. Nothing official though. What do you think? Are you Hudson a “The Thing” fan?

Hudson – I have a lot of “favorites” haha and “The thing” 1982 is definitely one of them. Pure brilliance.

Cross – Here’s another Lovecraftian movie. “The Whisperer in Darkness”. Every time I mention it, I also say this to people “If you are an H. P. Lovecraft’s fan and haven’t seen this yet, please slap yourself, then see it as soon as possible.” (Laughs)

Do you know about this film Hudson?

Hudson – Nope. I tend to stay away from modern movies in general. Haha

Cross – This one is something you would like. I mean what are you still doing here? Go watch it!!  (Laughs)

I think it’s fair to name some of your favorite Lovecraft tales, after all his work has been a gargantuan inspiration to many horror artists. If you could not include the ones which inspired these movies we just talked about, which ones would be your favourites?

Hudson – THE LURKING FEAR!! Paranoia at its finest.

Cross – Just one?! You’re killing me. (Laughs) But I totally agree with that one. In my first horror interview with Mike, from The Tell Offs band, we talked about Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, but with you I would like to talk about “The Funhouse”. You suggested it to me some days ago and I loved it. What would you say about ” The Funhouse”? In some reviews I checked, it didn’t look like people fully got this film.

Hudson – You either get it or you don’t, I don’t see what’s not to get, its funny, creepy, suspenseful and action packed. A great thriller and I’d recommend it to any horror film fans.

Cross – Here’s another Tobe Hooper’s horror, mystery and suspense “Eaten Alive”, known as “Death Trap”, “Starlight Slaughter”, “Legend of the Bayou” and “Horror Hotel” with the one and only Marilyn Burns and Robert Englund. Does it ring any bell?

Hudson – I’ve seen over 2,000 horror movies so some of them I have forgotten about.

Cross – It happens. I usually go for a weekend horror film marathon and at the end of the day I mix em all together. (Laughs)

In my very first horror film interview we talked about “Scream” movies too. You own a Ghostface mask. That means just one thing: that you love “Scream” and Wes Craven. Many dislike the “Scream” movies, (*whispers* I’m one of them) why do you like em?

Hudson – He reinvented horror with those movies, the same man who reinvented horror with “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, who thought he could do it again? Well he did, and countless movies have taken inspiration from the “Scream” films. Because that’s what the scream movies are. Just a big spoof of all the big horror films.

Cross – Here’s a Wes Craven movie I enjoyed, “The People Under The Stairs”. You watched this recently, right? How was it?

Hudson – I loved it, I love a horror movie with a good moral to the story.

Cross – “Bigotten”, E. Elias Merhige. How did you find out about “Bigotten” and why do you love it? I know you love it! (Laughs) Maybe not as much as I do, but I know you do.

Hudson – It’s a visual representation of a nightmare for real.

Cross – Right on point. “The Blob “. Chuck Russell directed it and Kevin Dillon with his mullet plays Brian, a teen anti-hero, who rocks up on his motorcycle to rescue the whole town. Tremendously revolting and wonderfully funny. The effects are superb in this film and the Blob itself genuinely scary. Another one of your suggestions. What does this movie do for you?

Hudson – This movie feels even more spectacular now, because it actually reminds me of the real world we live in now.

Cross – That’s what I thought when I watched it. Lerry Cohen, “The Stuff “. Almost similar to “The Blob “. One of the lines of this movie is , “Are you eating it or is it eating you?” You seem to like gelatinous monsters (laughs). “The Stuff” ‘s effects are surprisingly good. What do you think about that?

Hudson – It is very similar to “The Blob”, but it’s more of satire on American consumers than anything else, its funny and super entertaining.

Cross – An incredibly perfect movie for 1922, Benjamin Christensen’s human sacrifice “Häxan” (The Witches) . His second film after his debut in 1914 with “Det hemmelighedsfulde X” (The Mysterious X). Ever heard of any of these two?

Hudson – I have never heard of that one.

Cross – It’s one of my favorites, “Haxan” that is. You should give it a try. I’m curious to know if you ever heard of one of those films that people either adore or despise, “Basket Case”? There are three of them, but I do like the first better. Such a great film. What do you think?

Hudson – I’ve seen the first one and I fucking loved it.

Cross – There’s a horror comedy I like (another one of your suggestions) Dan Aykroyd’s, “Nothing But Trouble ” where he plays the Judge. Tell us how much you like this movie? Another fun character of Aykroyd’s is  Beldar Conehead , Donald R. DeCicco. (Laughs) Coneheads (1993 ) is hilarious. Do you agree?

Hudson – Yeah “Nothing But Trouble” is another horror/comedy that I adore. Great story and great actors. Coneheads is also a fantastic comedy.

Cross – “The Devil’s Rain” (1967). You mentioned it the other night. How was it?

Hudson – Never got around to watching it!! I am soon.

Cross – There’s a horror/crime film I remember you watched sometime ago. Not sure if that was your first time checking it out, but I’m talking about Henry (Michael Rooker): “Portrait of a Serial Killer”. What did you think about it?

Hudson – Yep, this is one of those more realistic horror/thrillers and it’s definitely a good movie for non-horror fans.

Cross – Are you Hudson a fan of “The Exorcist”? Story by William Peter Blatty, one of my favorite books. One of Linda Blair’s greatest performances. They say that some audience members in the ’70s fainted after seeing Dick Smith’s grisly makeup effects on Blair.

Hudson – This one also creeped me the f**k out as a kid, love it.

Cross – We talked mostly about old horror films. Is there any recent horror film that you might like to suggest? Or anything else you might like to add?

Hudson – Every once in a while a good one comes around, I mean “The Human Centipede” was actually very entertaining and had a good story throughout, but people only seem to talk about that one nasty scene, which is the least important part of the film, and as non horror goes “Joker” 2019 was brilliant, a perfect movie. If you take out the name Joker it’s pretty much a psychological thriller, its incredible.

Cross – Thank you for taking the time, once again to answer to my questions! It’s been awesome! Thanks again!

Hudson – Thanks for having me, Cross!

Interview – Mike – Horror Films

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When I first started this blog/interview series, I mentioned that the most important part of these interviews is art and the people who make it. Art is a wide genre and horror films are a huge part of this genre, at least to me. I enjoy watching horror movies as much as I do enjoy drawing or exploring/listening to music (heavy music usually) and obviously my humble “trying to be” a guitar shredder (laughs).

To talk about horror films and those who make them, one needs a horror fan obviously. If you all remember, most of the band members I interviewed recently, showed their love about horror films, but the only one who did show more excitement about getting to sit down and talk about this passion, was Mike of “The Tell Offs” band.

Cross – Hey Mike! How is it going?

Mike – Hi Cross! Down live-stream on the 29th, let’s go! Haha

Cross – Hell Yeah!!! (Laughs) You ready for this? Hah!

Mike – I am sooo ready!

Cross – First of all, tell us what genre of horror films do you like? Do not mention titles!

Mike – Ok so, I’m open to whatever. A good movie is a good movie but I seem to gravitate towards gore and slasher type films. The gorier the better! I’m actually not crazy about paranormal stuff or exorcism type stuff. I want murder and blood in my horror for some reason, I dunno haha!

Cross – On our first interview we had, you said your favorite horror film is, Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (one of my favorite movies of all time. The Beautiful, Marilyn Burns and the Giant, Gunnar Hansen).

When was the first time you’ve watched it, where were you? What did the movie spark in you? Why do you love it as much as you say you do?

Mike – Ok so! The original “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”. I was probably about 8 years old? I was watching a movie from the 1980s, this comedy called “Summer School” with Kirstie Alley and Mark Harmon. In the movie, two of the students were obsessed with “ The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”. I somehow managed to convince my dad into letting me rent it during a blockbuster trip. Starting to show my age here haha. I had this little TV in my room with a VHS player attached to it. I watched it there in my room, by myself. It scared the living s**t out of me, but I friggin’ loved it.

Cross – I hear great words from people I know who had the chance to meet Gunnar Hansen, a real great person. Have you ever had the chance to meet him (I would have loved to)?

Mike – I never have, sadly!

Cross – Paul A. Partain (Franklin Hardesty). Many people say he has been a pain during the shooting of the movie and not many like his performance. I do love him in the movie though. What are your thoughts about it?

Mike – Well if he was a pain in the a**, it sure didn’t stop the movie from being a classic! Franklin surely isn’t my favorite character in the movie but he’s essential and he became essential in “The Texas Chain Saw 2”. Again, all the little things about this movie. I kinda found myself having sympathy for Franklin. Here’s a guy in a wheelchair that kinda got dragged on this trip and then you have that one scene where they are all upstairs having a great time and he’s all alone and he starts spitting up at them in disgust? I dunno, I kinda felt for him. I mean, I’m not in a wheelchair and I’m blessed by way of that so I’m not complaining but I’ve been a 3rd wheel a few times in my life haha it’s not the greatest feeling in the world.

Cross – I agree with you there.

Are you a Dario Argento’s fan Mike? His “Suspiria” (in Latin means “sighs”) is a treat for my eyes and not only that. The greatest part of the movie is “Suspiria”’s Soundtrack, by Goblin.

Mike – I have never seen or heard of this movie but this is another reason why I’m glad we’re doing this! I don’t claim to be a know it all but I sure as s**t wanna be! This is added to the list!

Cross – It’s not slasher as you like them but it gonna stay with you, trust me.

Mike – After I watch it, I’ll let you know. Hey by the way….you got me goin’ with the death metal band Portal. Brilliant music. Haha

Cross – One of the scariest, greatest, darkest bands out there, Portal that is.

They made a remake of “Suspiria”, Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” (Thom Yorke, Radiohead’s singer did the soundtrack, which  reminds me of Philip Glass somehow… the composer and pianist who made the soundtrack for “Candyman”. True genius…). In my opinion they should have called it something else but it wasn’t bad at all. Sorry I keep talking about it. (Laughs)

Mike – Well, I will get back to you on this one too, but I did love Candyman!

Cross – Rob Zombie. I’m sure we both know him from his music but he does horror movies too. I’m not that much of a fan of his horror movies (don’t get me wrong, they’re beautifully shot) but… you’ve got to love Sid Haig and Bill Moseley (here we go, back to Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2”, Chop – Top… laughs) in ” The House of 1000 Corpses”.  What can you say about all that (too much happening on that train of thought)?

Mike – I love Rob Zombie’s films. Besides his recurring cast, I tend to lean more towards gore with my horror movies. I like feeling a bit uncomfortable. If I can think about a movie long after I’ve watched it, and think about specific scenes later, I feel like it’s a good movie or at least resonated with me, again going back to “ The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”. So many little scenes I just think about from time to time and it’s just eerie. But with gore, there’s also a visual that I find pleasing which you just touched on saying they’re beautifully shot.

I feel that with “House of 1000 Corpses” (this one in particular), “The Devils Rejects” and “3 From Hell” which by the way got a bit of heat but I still enjoyed it, I feel that visually, Rob Zombie takes a page out of the book of “ The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” with these movies. That uncomfortable, unsettling feeling. And again, the cast of characters is just so damn strong. So many one liners, and the music is so damn good, in all 3 movies. I’m ashamed to say I just discovered Suzi Quatro last year thanks to “3 From Hell”. And I also think that the final scene in “The Devil’s Rejects” with “Free Bird“ is just breathtaking.

These three movies sure do take me on a wild ride. I also love the look on people’s faces who say they’ve seen this movie and I have to remind them that Dwight Schrute is in “House of 1000 Corpses” haha, I also really enjoyed “31”, which to me was like Rob Zombie’s version of “Saw” if “Saw” didn’t suck (sorry folks, I’m not a fan) and “The Lords of Salem” was really good. I may be biased though because I love the town of Salem, Massachusetts. I’ve been there quite a lot and it’s a damn good time. I also have issues with remakes sometimes but I thought Rob Zombie’s take on “Halloween” was very enjoyable. I thought he put his Rob Zombie spin on it while doing the original plot justice but also added more depth to the origins of Michael Myers. Who he was and why? All that stuff. Wasn’t too crazy about the sequel though. Seemed a bit unnecessary but that’s just me.

Cross – Ain’t a “Saw “ fan either. About “Halloween” we’ll get to that in the next question. Enjoyed “House of 1000 Corpses“, I’ve been a fan of Sid Haig since Ralph Merrye in “Spider Baby”. Which one was your first movie of his?

Mike – My first Sid Haig movie was actually the 1971 James Bond film “Diamonds are Forever!” Sid Haig was just fantastic. May he rest in power.

Cross – Michael Myers, Jon Carpenter’s masterpiece “Halloween”, my favorite!!! (told you we’ll get to it) with the iconic Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Mike – We touched on this earlier. Yes! I love “Halloween”! Between “ The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and “Halloween”, these movies were definitely a gateway in horror movies as a young boy.

Cross – How many Halloween movies are there?

Mike – Haha oh boy, there’s been lots right?

Cross – Way too many. (Laughs)

Mike – I mean you had the first 6. The third one not involving Michael Myers. You had H2O which I thought was pretty stellar. Then you had “Halloween Resurrection” which, my god what a piece of s**t haha… and then the most recent one which I thought was good. I wouldn’t have named it “Halloween” but that’s me nitpicking haha. So not including Rob Zombie’s, we have had 9? With a tenth on the way this fall? Did I nail it?

Cross – Haven’t watched them all, told you my love stays with the first one but, I think you nailed it. (Laughs) Which one do you prefer?

Mike – Besides the original, I really enjoyed “Halloween 4”. Michael Myers mask kinda sucked haha but I thought the story was strong and we really need to give a shout out to Donald Pleasance because I don’t care how many remakes you do… he is and always will be Dr Loomis haha. May he rest in power.

Cross – I’m a huge fan of F. W. Murnau’s “Nosferaru”. I’m sure it shows in my drawings (laughs). My favorite silent movie ever, and I do love immensely “Nosferatu the Vampyre” with Kinski and Adjani. Which one do you like better?

Mike – “Nosferatu” rules! Again, eerie. One of the best things about the older horror movies is that they’re so old it makes them even scarier. Sometimes I feel like horror movies aren’t meant for a massive budget. Nobody wants to watch Die Hard here. Haha

Cross – That’s a Venom song. (Laughs)

Mike – With that said, I like the original better BUT! I enjoyed “Nosferatu the Vampyre” a lot. I thought Kinski’s take on the count was really good. He had this sympathetic approach to his character in a way. If that makes any sense. Haha

Cross – How about Bela Lugosi as Dracula (music was composed by Philip Glass later on, I mentioned him earlier. Laughs)?

Mike – Lemme tell you something, put Bela Lugosi on a screen staring directly into it for 1 hour straight with them bug eyes he does and I’ll call it a horror classic. Bela Lugosi for me is to horror what The Beatles are to rock n’ roll. Nobody will ever touch him and he planted the seeds whether he realized it or not. Also, shout out to “White Zombie” another one I love.

Cross – I’m sure he knew how good he was. And all you said there made me happy. I couldn’t agree more.

When we talk about horror films we have to mention Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead”. The first movie is my favorite. Which one does it for you and have you watched the TV show “Ash vs Evil Dead”?

Mike – The first movie is absolutely my favorite and I haven’t watched the show yet! It’s on my list of stuff I need to watch along with “Suspiria” now!

Cross – Are you Mike an Alfred Hitchcock fan? “Psycho”, the perfect nightmare. A classic!

Mike – Oh “Psycho” has to be a top 10 all time, am I right? That would be a good one for Halloween! I could be Norman when he dresses up like his mom!

Cross – (Laughs)

Mike – All I’d need is a dress, a wig and a knife (a styrofoam one of course haha). Maybe next year. This year I’m gonna be Walter from the Big Lebowski. Haha sidenote, Hitchcock… loved “Dial M for Murder”.

Cross – You already planned it huh? And that’s a good one too. Everytime I talk about Hitchcock, Roman Polanski pops in my mind. To name some of his horror masterpieces, “The Tenant”, “Repulsion”, “Rosemary’s Baby”. He has many other great movies, but since we’re talking about horror I’ll stop there. Ever heard of him or any of these films I just mentioned?

Mike – Rosemary’s Baby was great, only recently found out Mia Farrow was married to Frank Sinatra and I’m deeply ashamed by that. Haha another thing Roman Polanski did that was great was marry Sharon Tate, she was beautiful!

Cross – They didn’t stay that long together though, Sinatra and Farrow. And Tate, she was stunningly beautiful.

Rod Serling, unmistakable voice. I’m a Mad fan of his work. From “The Twilight Zone” to “Night Gallery” and his books too. He died two years after his participation in the ” Encounter with the Unknown”, a horror/mystery film. Do you know about him or the TV shows? Any thoughts?

Mike – Well surely I know “The Twilight Zone”. Funny quick story, last year I went to a Phish concert in upstate New York with my guitar player and a couple of friends. By the way, not a big jam band guy, but they’re great musicians and my guitar player lets me take him to see bands like Anthrax, Slayer and Eyehategod so I feel like I wanna go to a Phish show sometimes because he loves them haha. Anyway, we got a hotel to spend the night and I brought my DVD player. Having gotten a bit drunk… ok really drunk and maybe there was some hippie lettuce present… not too sure haha… when we got back to the hotel I was the first one to pass out. That was maybe around 1am. About 4am I woke up and my guitar player had put “The Twilight Zone” on because it’s on Netflix. So by that point they were all asleep so I sat up for a couple of hours eating Doritos and watching “The Twilight Zone”. End of story. Hahahaha

Cross – Bullshit Artist. Does that ring a bell? (Laughs)

Mike – If anyone hasn’t seen “The Greasy Strangler” yet, see it! I ain’t playin’. Hahahaha what a movie. Nothing like it.

Cross – You tell them Mike!!!

Chucky, Jason, Freddy Krueger, Ghostface… which one does Mike like the most?

Mike – Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh… this is tough……. I’m a “Friday the 13th” guy overall but I’m gonna say Freddy, I just think he’s got the most depth. I have a sister whose 4 1/2 years older than me so around this time, the movie “Scream”, was really big… right or wrong it was big haha. I remember being in 4th grade and in a catholic school no less. Haha everyone dressed as the Ghostface that year. Except me of course, I don’t remember who I was. But there’s a scene in that movie where they’re all watching “Halloween” with Jamie Lee Curtis. So I feel like interest in “Halloween” came about with my generation based on that so I had seen that movie around this time too and while I loved “Halloween” and still do believe me it’s one of my favorites, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” resonated in a totally different way. I’ve seen it a zillion times now and I still have that same eerie vibe at 32 that I got watching it at 8 years old. There’s nothing like it.

Cross – I Love Matthew Lillard but I ain’t a Scream fan. “Eden Lake” (2008), “Hatchet” (2006), “The Midnight Meat Train” (2008), “Tucker & Dale vs Evil” (one of my favorite horror comedies), are you a fan of any of these Mike?

Mike – “Tucker & Dale vs Evil” was awesome! Plus the fat guy got the girl. Speaking as a horizontally challenged man myself, that’s always good. We need more of that! Haha

Cross – He sure did. (Laughs)

Not sure how much of a Black Flag, Henry Rollins (love him!) fan you are, but he did appear in some horror films: “Wrong Turn 2 – Dead End” and “He Never Died”, to mention one or two. Have you seen these two and what do you think about them?

Mike – I love Henry! I feel like when you’re a big Phil Anselmo fan, you have to like Henry by default I mean c’mon! Haha I’ve never seen these films but I’m intrigued. Did you ever see “The Chase” with Charlie Sheen and Kristy Swanson? Henry is in it. Reeked of 1990s. Great cameos by Anthony Keidis and Flea from the Chili Peppers too haha… dammit I miss the 90s!

Cross – Yeah I’ve seen it. How Henry says, if I like an artist I want to even know wtf they had for breakfast. (Laughs) Talking about Phil Anselmo…

American Guinea Pig movies. The second one “Bloodshock” premiered on Housecore Horror Film Fest part lll in 2015, I believe. I haven’t watched the last two ones though but are on my list. Ever heard of them Mike, do you like any?

Mike – Never heard of any of these but I’m tellin ya right now, if there’s ever another Housecore Horror Film Fest I don’t care where it is, I’m going.

Cross – If that ever happens, and I really hope it will soon, we have to sit down and talk about that experience.

We talked mostly about sort of “old horror” movies. Any other ones you’d like to suggest or talk about, old or new, Mike? What are your feelings about the horror genre nowadays?

Mike – Let’s see, well if you wanna ever gross out non horror movie fans show them the movie “Terrifier.” Art, the Clown will not appeal to them. Hahahaha

Cross – I go with “ Blookshock” and “ Nekromantik “ for that. (Laughs)

Mike – Let’s see what else… so, I’m a big pro wrestling nerd. There’s a wrestler whose retired now but his name is CM Punk. He’s ventured out into acting recently and he starred in a horror film called “Girl On The Third Floor.” Came out last year. Kind of a haunted house type flick. I thoroughly enjoyed it so check that out and listen… I may get hung for this but seeing as how I have the platform I’m gonna do something that not a lot of people have done and that’s openly admit my love for the Kevin Smith horror movie “Tusk.” I friggin’ loved it. Yes, the plot was beyond ridiculous, the idea of it is stupid but the acting. First of all you’ve got Michael Parks. A genius. Then, I’m gonna tip my hat to Justin Long because… spoiler alert here… there’s a scene where he’s drugged by Michael Parks character and when he comes to, he’s all out of it and realizes that his leg has been cut off. Justin Longs reaction was superb. Because seriously imagine that happening.

Cross – No spoilers Mike!!! (Laughs)

“Tusk” has been on my list for a while now. Every time I mention “The Greasy Strangler” people suggest me “Tusk”.

Mike – Lastly, Johnny Depp’s cameo was literally out of this world. Another deep cut Johnny Depp transformation. The movie was so universally panned when I’ve told people to watch it, they didn’t even realize it was Johnny Depp I had to tell them later. Haha! Anyways, I do like my horror movies older usually but there’s been some gems here and there. I just hope they stop remaking the classics. How many “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” remakes can they do? And did we really need to reboot “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street”? No thanks. I understand remakes have been happening forever but some performances are just so timeless I don’t see how it can be done. Not horror but I’ve heard of a “Scarface” remake coming? How can you possibly top that movie in general let alone Al Pacino’s performance in it? Haha end rant.

Cross – I know, right? Make your own f*****g movie!! (Laughs)

Thank you for taking the time to answer to all my questions, Mike. Can’t thank you enough brother, it has been a blast!!!

Mike – Thanks for the time Cross this was fun let’s do it again, sometime!

Interview – The Tell Offs

CROSS Artworks


I know, I have previously mentioned on my blogs that these interviews I am going to post on my web page are like a small window for fans and other people to explore bands and artists I’ve collaborated with, and to get to know these talented artists a bit better. Keep in mind though that the most important part of these interviews is the art and those talented people who make it.

That said, today I’m going to break my rules of interviewing artists I’ve collaborated with, and for this third blog of the series, I am very excited to interview Mike of The Tell Offs band, from New York!


Cross – Hi Mike, how ya doing brother?

Mike – Hi Cross!

Cross – I did some research prior to the interview preparation and there’s no information about your band at all out there. Not even on the band’s Instagram. All it says is where you guys are from, and how many members the band has. Let’s start from there.

The Tell Offs band is a five member band from Rockland County, New York. Can you name the guys and what instruments they play, including yourself too?

Mike – I’d love to! The usual suspects in The Tell Offs we have Mike K on lead guitar and backup vocals, Joe H on the four string thing and backup vocals, John O on rhythm guitar/keyboard/saxophone/backup vocals and Brandon P on drums and I’m lead vocals and occasionally I play some rhythm guitar. Poorly. Haha!

Cross – Does The Tell Offs (the band name) has a much deeper meaning than what it already says?

Mike – Absolutely……… not. Hahaha we were originally Dirty Mike and the Boys for several years but it was sort of a nonsense name that was meant to be temporary. On top of that, there’s other groups out there named Dirty Mike and the Boys. So after many years and many band name lists, we finally landed on the Tell Offs. We thought it worked! Granted, our general longtime fanbase tend to still refer to us as Dirty Mike but that’s ok. The Tell Offs will stick in due time haha.

Cross – How did you guys start the band, how did y’all get together?

Mike – Oof. Long story but I’ll make it short. Brandon, the drummer, and I went to the same high school and we were in a band together in high school. Joe, the bass player, went to our high school as well and we all had a lot of mutual friends even though I was a grade below them. Anyways, that band Brandon and I were in, reunited for a one off show back in 2012. After a drunken text convo on Thanksgiving 2012 between Brandon and I, we decided to get something going and in early 2013, this band was born!

Cross – Did the band have five members since from the start?

Mike – Actually no, the first three years we were a four piece. John joined in 2016, but he was a friend of the band and had made music with some of the other guys in bands before. We thought it would be a great added dynamic to include him. We couldn’t have been more right, it’s been great!

Cross – In my research, I found out The Tell Offs band have a couple songs/originals out there. Did you ever think to get them all together in an EP? Any similar plans in the near future?

Mike – The first few years we were strictly a bar band doing cover songs. In late 2017, we started doing originals. We have a lot of plans to get our original music out there! We’re still kind of in early stages of things and unfortunately this whole pandemic screwed up some of that progression but the wheels are spinning, we’ve got more ideas in place. It’s comin!

Cross – You guys do live-shows, right? How do you like playing live?

Mike – I love playing live! It’s such an incredible release. We pride ourselves on our live show. I think it’s our best quality. We engage with our crowd. We try to make them feel part of the show. My microphone is your microphone! I’m much more comfortable playing live than I am recording, I’m very stiff when I record. Perhaps that’s in my head I dunno but yea. Especially now that we’re getting older, all of us now in our 30s, every time we play live it’s a blessing.

Cross – Favorite place to play live?

Mike – Hmm, well I’ve been playing live shows since I was 14 years old, I’m gonna be 32 today haha. The two places I’ve played that sorta are my personal claims to fame is I’ve played CBGB’s twice and I played the Chance theater in Poughkeepsie New York. Both great places. These days? Our hometown bar that doesn’t exist anymore, it shut down a couple of years ago now, Blue Ribbon Tavern in Chestnut Ridge, NY was historic for us. So many great memories and not even just for us. That place was around for a really long time whether under different names or whatever the case. One of my best friends in the world, his parents had their first date there back in the early 1980s! We were sad to hear that place shut down. Casa Del Sol in Nyack, New York has become a staple, they’ve been really good to us. Shout out to Tommy and the crew there!

Cross – What gears do you guys use for your music, mic and all?

Mike – Shure mics and all kinds of other madness hahaha, I’m not the tech guy in the band clearly.

Cross – I know some of your music tastes cause we talked a bit a couple times, but what does inspire you as a band?

Mike – Oh yes we have! Make no mistake I’m the big metalhead in the band! Haha but what inspires us as a band is our love for rock n roll and the camaraderie that goes along with being in a band. A brotherhood for sure. A gang if you will. An extremely non violent gang. Haha.

Cross – If you could have a chance to open for a band you admire (which blew you away when you attended their live show), which one would that be?

Mike – Well given the kind of music I play, I’ll say that if I could ever open for the legendary Texas Fort Worth Rock n Roll band The Toadies, I’ll be waiting with bells on. Haha

Cross – Something about you Mike, when did you start to play guitar and what do you like more, acoustic or electric ?

Mike – I’m the world’s worst guitar player, make no mistake about it, but I write songs. So I have fiddled with a guitar in some way for probably about 12-13 years. I prefer electric because I can jack up my electro harmonix big muff and riff away, and it masks my lack of ability. Haha

Cross – You do write the lyrics for the band, right? How does that process works? Many song writers read a lot, do you?

Mike – I do write lyrics for the band! Not all of them mind you but a fair amount. We’re all responsible for our original music but as far as lyrics it’s generally music first, lyrics second. I tend to take the Metallica approach where we jam out on something we’ve got kicking around and I’ll just mumble some sh** over it until something sounds good. And a lot of it becomes muscle memory. I become obsessed with our riffs and eventually I come up with some kind of vocal melody. I’m a Zamboni driver by day. A lot of harmonies and melodies have come while operating the Zamboni. There’s some deep cut information for you. Hahaha

Cross – How and when did you discover that you could write your songs and sing?

Mike – Well I started singing in bands when I was 13 years old. And in some way shape or form, I’ve contributed to the songwriting process for any band since. Whether I do any of this stuff well is up for debate haha.

Cross – Any favorite singer?

Mike – Besides our beloved Philip H. Anselmo? Haha well I am the metalhead in my band. Don’t get me wrong the other fellas can get their Metallica on and stuff like that, but I’m definitely the metal fanatic… but having said that just like say, a Phil Anselmo, music is music. I always say I was corrupted by Metal but I was raised on Elvis, the Beatles and all kinds of oldies. Mike K, the lead guitarist, likes to joke with me that on those random nights, the drunker I get, the older my music gets haha. But a short list of singers I adore? Phil Anselmo, James Hetfield, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Vaden Todd Lewis, Chris Cornell, Frank Black, Mia Zapata, Joey Ramone. That was short right? Haha

Cross – I love food. What about you, what’s your favorite dish (can be sweets too)?

Mike – Haha oh boy food. You delicious bastard. Well, being raised in an Italian American household, I like my carbs. Bread and pasta are vicious to my gut. Lol make no mistake the guys in The Tell Offs love their food. We are men of great taste. Haha actually sure I enjoy sweets but sweets aren’t really where my girth comes from. It’s bread for me. Ya know people throw super bowl parties and they break out the massive Italian combo. Then suddenly they put it away and break out cake and cookies. By the end of the night I could care less about the cake and cookies let’s do another run of Italian combo! Haha

Cross – Are you Mike, or any of The Tell Offs’ band members, a horror fan? If yes, your favourite horror movie?

Mike – We are all big movie fans, but I’ll go out on a limb and say I’m probably the biggest horror movie aficionado in the band in the sense that I’ll go pretty deep, but my all time favorite has to be the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Feel free to interview me again separately so we can go deeper on this one haha!

Cross – In what I’ve observed you’re a sport’s fan. Your favourite sport: Baseball, Basketball, Football?

Mike – Ah yes. I do enjoy my sports. New York Yankees, New York Jets, New York Rangers, Brooklyn Nets fan here. The New York Yankees probably get talked about the most amongst the band. The thing that really moves me about sports is the camaraderie. It brings people together and for me it’s a little slice of home. When I go on vacations or something I usually always bring a yankee shirt with me. Mike K the lead guitarist and I are regulars at Yankee stadium and Joe the bass player is a lifelong Yankees fan and a filthy good baseball player. Joe if you read this I’m gonna make it a point to get to more of your games I promise! Haha

Cross – Do you like traveling, Mike? Any place you’d recommend traveling to?

Mike – I don’t travel enough. But as messed up as this may sound, I grew up going to Atlantic City, New Jersey a lot. My parents liked their poker but it’s cool, fortunately they were fairly responsible about it, but I grew up getting used to complimentary hotel rooms haha. I’m not a gambler at all but there’s a nostalgia I get when I go because I guess it was the family vacation growing up. A simpler time. I kinda dig that. Queue the corny music! Haha

Cross – Are you guys working on any new material?

Mike – Always. Lots in the vault. It’s all about time for us. Some members are married. Some members have children. We all have jobs and things that occupy our lives. Time is limited but we’re back and playing now so we’re gonna make some moves you’ll see.

Cross – Is there anything else you might like to add or any message you might want to give to your fans?

Mike – Thank you CROSS for taking the time. Yes, everyone reading, please follow my band The Tell Offs on Instagram @thetelloffsband you can listen to some of our original demos on our soundcloud, the link is in the bio and we just launched our new website ….new pictures, new music, new merchandise, new content in general is coming! Oh yea and CROSS, GETCHA PULL!

Cross – This interview has for sure made me chuckle. Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions and Happy Birthday Mike!