Interview – Lance Lyon/Robot Snake

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There are times when one doesn’t have to look for inspiration, it finds you right when you need it and it comes from the most unexpected people. That’s what happened to me when I listened to Absent Friend off Did I Just Score? album, for the first time.

Lance Lyon, the artist, sent it to me so, I checked it out and loved how much passion and feeling was put into the whole album. So, I thought I’ll share this new finding with you all and invited Lance for an interview. Lance has been around with different music projects since very early in 2006, when he got out his first ambient, electronic, industrial release called, Before I Knew I Was Me.

Hi Lance! You ready for this?

Lance – Bring it!

CrossWhen did you get into making music, I’m sure it’s long before 2006?

Lance – Well, like a lot of 90s kids the grunge bug got me. I already listened to classic rock and metal that my dad introduced me too but grunge was like the first music of my own I discovered. I LOVED Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden and Nirvana. A buddy of mine got a guitar and we learned a bunch of power chord songs and thought we were the shit. Then I found out about PanterA! I pretty much gave up on guitar after I heard Dimebag. He was just sooooo good I knew I would never compete. In the background of all of that I was getting into electronic and industrial bands like NIN, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly and Aphex Twin so as I basically quit guitar I got more into synthesizers, samplers, drum machines and all aspects of programming. I would say this happened slowly from 1996-99. I think? To this day that is what I am into. I am a total gear junkie now!

CrossThat’s my exact thoughts after I saw Dimebag playing. (laughs)
Sir. London Clean-Lily is the name you used for your first releases. What does the name mean?

Lance – Haha, well that goes back to the classic rock love. If you didn’t already know Mr. Mojo Risin is Jim Morrison rearranged. When I was in middle school I did that with my name Lance Dillon Lyon. Sadly all I came up with was London Clean-Lily. Years later I made all these tracks and did not have a name for the project and I remembered that. That was not corny enough so I added the Sir. It at least abbreviates well to SLC. Honestly most of that stuff is anywhere from 10-20 years old. I am not embarrassed by the name but I am just kind of done with it. Anything coming out from now on (except one final compilation of older stuff coming soon) will just be Lance Lyon or Robot Snake.

CrossI know about the Mr. Mojo Risin anagram. Never would have thought you did the same for SCL. What catches the eye when it comes to the albums you released as Sir. London Clean-Lily is that each of them, but the mix album, are part of a Realm. Was it something to sort of connect with the project’s name or does it have a much deeper meaning?

Lance – Yeah I was just ripping off NIN with the Halo system. It’s a good way to keep track of chronological order.

Cross“Did I just Score?” was first released in 2011 as Sir. London Clean-Lily as Realm 2 but you released it again in 2016 under your name. This album is a bit different from the rest of the Sir. London Clean-Lily releases. Especially Absent Friend and the Outro. Is that why you decided to release it again?

Lance – Yeah, basically it was the only thing that really was comparable to my current direction. As I said before I was moving away from that name and wanted to take some of that sound with me. I will let you know if you download the full Realm 2 on bandcamp it has some extra remix tracks not mentioned.

CrossThat’s interesting! What inspired you for that one song Absent Friend and that Outro? There’s so much sadness, pain and soul in those two songs. (The whole album is great actually but, those are my favorites, Ugly Dungeon too.)

Lance – Absent Friend was about a couple things. A friend of mine was incarcerated for a while and that sucked but it was also just about losing anybody you care for. There was a family friend that passed as well. Just channeling all that. The others were less personal. I was just channeling horror scores my own way. The whole idea of that release was a soundtrack to a film that did not exist.

CrossI’ve had the pleasure to listen to a couple other materials you’ve been working on, different projects. I’m not sure if you’d like to talk about those but, what I want to know is, is there more of that style for the fans to explore like the ending of Did I Just Score?

Lance – I do have some songs similar in vibe. I need to get something together. I have this weird philosophy about writing music. I feel like good songs or tracks just are kind of out there in the ethos and if you work enough and make enough then every now and then you will tune in and kind of channel one of them. For example, I’ve written like 400-500 or more over the years and I only really, REALLY like about 40-50 of them. So like 1/10th?

CrossWhen can we expect something to come out from those other projects of yours?

Lance – Well, all previously spoken work was basically me solo but I do have a more traditional rock/metal band that I am in with my brother Jared. Our name is The Disease is The Same (TDITS). We are about half way through recording our debut. Maybe something by the end of the year?

CrossOh you sent me a couple songs of TDITS. Great stuff. Also, your brother is a great guitarist. Looking forward to TDITS debut release.

What gear was used for Did I Just Score?

Lance – I used a computer mostly with Reason but I did use an SP-808 Sampler, a Dave Smith Instruments Evolver and a Kawaii K3.

CrossThere are different guitarists mentioned in Before I Knew I Was Me. Do you still collaborate with those guys?

Lance – Well, I do stay in touch with Ryan but he lives far so we don’t collaborate and the other dude was just a guy I knew my freshman year of college (2001) and I have no idea what happened to him.

CrossYou do vox too on your songs right? Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Lance – I have but I think my solo stuff will be just instrumental from here on. With TDITS I share vocal duties with my brother. I mostly do metal/screaming but I have a few songs where I sing. It is not my strong point!

CrossAny new surprise collaborations for the upcoming releases?

Lance – Well, there are a couple maybes and one in the works. Mostly drummers as that is one thing my brother and I cannot do. One of them that is in the works has done the “20 questions with Cross” before. Another one that has already recorded was the drummer of one of my favorite bands. I will just give a tiny hint. The first word in their name is Type and the last was Negative. Maybe that hint would help. Hehe

CrossHmm, hmm. They probably gonna guess ’em both.

I’ve seen a couple pics of your studio, where you come up with all these great sounds. How long did it take you to get all the stuff you need for your art?

Lance – Over 20 years really but in the last 10 it has really taken off because I have gotten my life together a bit more financially. What better thing to do than blow money on music!

Cross(laughs) I agree. You have one other passion that I know of, 3D. How is that going?

Lance – I just got into 3D printing but yeah, it blows my mind what technology can do. Stuff like that and VR was what I dreamed of as a kid. I still want to know when the flying skateboards are coming.

Cross(laughs). What else does Lance like to do when there’s free time, other than getting drunk and losing balance in the house security camera? (laughs) That’s epic!

Lance – (For reference check the video here.)

Well, I am married and have two kids and that is a large part of my life. #1 actually! But I still do plenty else like go to concerts, play videos games (anything from NES to PS5), make comedy videos and occasionally do stand up, sometimes fly a drone, microdose, listen to tons of music. I rarely watch tv but if I do it is comedy or horror.

CrossStand up too, nice. Five albums which built your music taste? Go!

Lance – Shit…I cannot settle on 5, I have to do 10 and even then that is going to be different tomorrow.

NIN – Fragile,
Pantera – TGSTK,
Front Line Assembly – Epitaph,
Black Sabbath – Sabatoge,
En Minor – When the Cold Hard Truth….,
Tool – Undertow,
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Vol 2,
Down – 2,
The Black Queen – Fever Daydream,
Telefon Tel Aviv – Fahrenheit Fair Enough,
Coil – The Ape of Naples.
Whoops, even then that is 11.

Cross(laughs) The more the better.
This is a MUST question on “20 Questions With Cross”. Not sure if you’re a horror fan but you kinda said you are. Name a couple favorites if you have any?

Lance – The Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I like part 2 as well. Who doesn’t like Bill Moseley? Speaking of, gotta plug this. I worked on a couple tracks with Drew and Lyric from Warbeast and Bill Moseley on a project called Mr. Machine. I honestly don’t know what the status of that is but here is a link to the page: Mr. Machine

Sorry, got sidetracked…back to the horror. I freaking LOVE horror and live it. Some other favorites include Phantasm, The first few Hellraiser films, The Devil’s Rejects, most anything Marcus Koch put’s his name on. If you have not seen 100 Tears check that one out. There really is just soooo much! I love anything with Vincent Price. He is AMAZING in the Alice Cooper – Welcome To My Nightmare flick. I can’t believe I just now mentioned Alice Cooper! I freaking love that guy! But yeah, Love horror and the horror con scene too. You will find me and my family at Texas Frightmare Weekend every year fucking shit up! Maybe another time we can talk about Hit (The Game).

CrossLove Bill. Mr. Machine are a great band, awesome to know you’re part of it too. Love all those you mentioned but would have to check out 100 Tears.
What have you been listening to lately?

Lance – It changes all the time but I have been on an electronic or industrial kick lately. Some John Carpenter, Boy Harsher, 3Teeth, Author and Punisher, OhGr, FLA, The Black Queen, Coil, more John Carpenter, Telefon Tel Aviv, Coil, Atari Teenage Riot, Skold, NIN, David Bowie.

Cross I’m sure you attended many live shows. Are there any that left a mark? (You should mention the pic you have with Oderus’ cheeks. Laughs.) 

Lance – Oh yeah, hundreds over the years. That’s a tough question. I know Black Sabbath/PanterA was up there in 99. Two of my all time favorites! Also NIN at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin. I went to the first 2 Housecore Horror Festivals. I have a ton of great memories from those. The first one I made a deal with the late great Corey Mitchell (RIP) to win a fake contest to “introduce Down” but in reality I just proposed to my wife on stage beforehand. So, I got engaged and then saw one of my favorite bands ever. Top that off with Author and Punisher, EYEHATEGOD with Dale Crover, Goblin, Portal, Gwar (there is an interesting picture with me and Brockie out there), Superjoint, Corrections House, Skrew, Pig Destroyer, Honky, Danzig doing a half Samhain set and half his solo material. Phil came out TOTALLY wasted and sang Mother with him! But yeah, those where special! I’ve seen so many great bands I could talk about this all day long really! Music is my life plain and simple. I will leave it at that.

Cross Lance and I are probably the only people who have an En Minor tattoo. What’s your next one going to be and do you have a favorite from those you already have?

Lance – Yes we are as far as I know! I rep it with pride. I have also been listening to their record and Live at the Orpheum! My next logical tattoo should be a good ole fashioned CFH right? That is where a lot of who I am today started!

Cross Oh I need that too!
Anything else you would like to add Lance?

Lance – Thanks to anyone who checked this out. Look out for Lance Lyon, Robot Snake and The Disease is the Same on all the major download and streaming services! That old SLC shit is out there too if you know the google. Now that the self promotion is done I want to add one final thought:

Ahem, The world has flipped the fuck inside out over the past decade and there is a WHOLE lot of bullshit out there. DIVISION is the goal of most all mainstream media on both sides of the court. Every day there is something new we are supposed to be mad about or want to cancel. This will continue for as long as we allow it! The only way out of this is by unifying! Find the love! THEY CANNOT STOP US ALL! DOWN WITH THE MAN!!!!

Sorry, that just needed to be said as it is something I myself forgot for a little while. Anyways, PEACE!

Cross Thanks Lance, it’s been a real pleasure!


Interview – Joey “Blue” Gonzalez/Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals

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Looks like Santa came right on time to drop off a Christmas present for me this early morning. And obviously I thought to share it with you all, right away.

This is going to be my last interview blog for this year and I will resume the interviews next year.

I would like to thank every artist who’s been part of this year’s “20 Questions With CROSS” blog interviews. I can’t thank you guys enough for adding magic to my every day working routine. Thank you all!

Also, a big thank you goes to all those people who felt like spending a couple minutes or more of their life to give each of the interviews a read. Thank y’all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

What makes this interview very special for me is that the drummer we’re going to interview today is part of many bands I’m a DieHard fan of, and of course it’s a pleasure to have the chance to talk to such an unbelievable talent.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Jose Gonzalez, known as Blue, plays drums for several bands on Housecore Records; Warbeast, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Superjoint.

Hello Blue!

Cross – First of all why do they call you Blue? In interviews and whatnot, you seem a very joyful person. 

Blue – When I was younger I got nicknamed little drummer boy Blue so I guess it was a combination of a little drummer boy and a little boy blue it just kind of stuck.

Cross – When did you realize playing drums was what you wanted to do in your life? 

Blue – When I was 12 years old I got behind a drum set at a church youth group night and after a few months of just going specifically to play drums I was pretty much hooked and then I got my first kit when I was 13 so yeah 12-13 years old.

Cross – Pure talent right there, didn’t take you long to be noticed. You’ve been playing with Demonseed before Warbeast but the latter is where I got to know you as a drummer. I know you guys started Warbeast in 2006 as Texas Metal Alliance to change it to Warbeast in 2008. You were 16, right? Bruce Corbitt, Scott Shelby and you were the founding members… Who did you meet first, Corbitt or Shelby? 

BlueI met them at the exact same time they both approached me at a Demonseed show and Bruce kind of started talking about giving me this demo and if I was interested maybe playing drums. Then not long after that, like almost immediately after that, Scott came up to me and he pretty much said you’re my drummer and I learned the songs.

Cross – That’s awesome! How is it to work with Bruce Corbitt, the Wizard of Gore, and Scott Shelby, The Beast of Gammacide? 

BlueIt was absolutely awesome, they’re my brothers and they taught me a lot and Bruce he told me when I was 17 years old I’m gonna get you signed and within a year he did that. He got the band signed.

Cross – From the debute Destroy to Krush the Enemy and Enter the Arena, you guys kept being as heavy as it gets. But the Enter The Arena gave birth to one of the funniest, awesome music videos, ever. With the dark narration of Philip Anselmo to Scott Shelby reading Brock Lesnar’s Death Clutch book and featuring the Hitchhiker from the original, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Edwin Neal.
Blue, you started it all by stealing that bong from the corpse, didn’t you? (laughs) 
Who’s idea was it and how does it feel to be on the same video with Edwin, how is it to work with him, him being a professional actor and all? 

Blue – Oh it was pretty cool it was the first time we really did a music video, a music video of that kind of magnitude. It was a lot of fun, it was a big adventure. We went from a cemetery in Arlington and drove around some back roads and as grueling as you can imagine it being like running out of gas on tour, we kind of were running out of gas while we were filming so it’s pretty awesome, there’s real emotions there.

Cross Warbeast been on Housecore Records since day one. You recorded everything at the Nodferatu’s lair. Is there any memory you cherish from all that, that you might like to share with us? 

Blue – Well we’ve had lots and lots of awesome times at the Lair, but I think one of my favorite memories is one of the very first videos I ever took on my computer before you know like video messaging was cool, before these TikTock‘s and all this other stuff. I took this dumb little video in the studio and it’s just me, Bobby Tillotson, Scott Shelby and Andre Karst and we’re about to do Destroy and it’s just a 30 second video of us just saying the dumbest shit and then I put slow motion to it and it doesn’t even mean anything. It’s not promo or anything like that it’s just us in the studio being completely excited to be there to record and it’s like every time I see it I just he just takes me back to being, you know there, and how excited we were and just how much fun it was to be in the studio.

Cross – That’s not the only video you’ve been part of which has a horror icon starring in it. The Greasy Strangler, Michael St. Michaels calls y’all for Medication Time in Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Choosing Mental Illness, official music video. A masterpiece, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” themed, work of Mike Holderbeast and Kate Richardson Anselmo. 
How was it to be Chief Bromden for a couple hours? How fun is it to hang out with Big Ronnie? 

Blue – Oh big Ronnie is a total blast Michael Saint Michaels, he was just an absolute gentleman and he had some amazing stories you know from his time in Hollywood and been an actor. It was just really cool to have somebody that you know they wanted to be there and do something different and it is it was awesome. It was a blast, and then to be tall for a few minutes it’s kind of funny too.

Cross (laughs) From Warbeast to Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, how different was it for you as a drummer? 

BlueWarbeast is a Texas thrash band so it is a lot more straightforward upbeat tempo and as far as The Illegals it’s drastically different. There’s some thrash influences there, but there’s just a whole spectrum of influence is going into that you know really diving deep into the extreme metal side. So I think if anything Warbeast kind of prepared me for what I was going to be in for with the Illegals.

Cross – There’s a video of you playing on drums, Walk Through Exits Only, which shows your sick drumming skills from up close. Do you use the same gear as back then? When the video came out it said, somewhere down where the links were listed, you were going to switch to ProMark Sticks and Czarcie Kopyto pedals. 

BlueIn the recent years I was fortunate enough to get Tama drums which you know is my hardware as well. I did end up getting Czarcie Kopyto pedals which are absolutely fucking amazing and I had peridore sticks and went back to Promark just for a little bit, more consistency. I’m glad I  did they are absolutely awesome do not regret it, the D’Addario family treats me very well and Paiste cymbals absolutely come in 100% and they’ve just been super supportive. I couldn’t be anymore happy and feel like I’m taken care of by my companies. I can honestly say that I have what I want and pretty much all the equipment I’ve ever been dreaming of, I have it and it definitely makes me excited to play drums and makes me excited to use my gear because everything is top-notch and top-of-the-line.

Cross – I know I asked Stephen Taylor in my last interview but it been a while so, when can we expect another album from The Illegals?

Blue – Hopefully next year, hopefully 2022 is a better year and and we can get out of this Covid funk and get back to doing some stuff with everyone. In the meantime we’re going to be writing, we have a lot of riffs compiled so we’re just gonna start going through it and start pre-production here soon and hopefully crank out a fucking ripper.

Cross – Can’t wait! By being the drummer for The Illegals you and the band had the chance to help Philip perform for the first time a PanterA tribute. If I remember right I think it was a Friday night, November 16, at the Viper Room, Los Angeles. 
You guys been doing that for a while now since then, including A Vulgar Display of PanterA, Livestream April 9, which was a blast. What can you tell us about all that experience? 

Blue – It’s extremely humbling and surreal to be a part of something like that. I mean as far as taking the PanterA tribute to the masses and as a full set and a full show, we are death metal band so it was a lot of work to do to get all that material solid, but I mean it’s awesome we’re all big fans of Philip and PanterA so it’s absolutely a blast for us to do. I’m just honored to be a part of it and if the people want it you know The Illegals are happy to do it, but I think we’re interested in writing our own material now and adding some new music that hopefully people will enjoy and just to keep the ball rolling.

Cross – You’ve played in a couple of Hank Williams lll shows. Are Superjoint done? Also have you been to Europe first with Hank lll or Warbeast?

Blue – As far as Superjoint being done I wouldn’t say Superjoint is ever done, you can’t kill bad grass! Also, I believe Hank 3 was actually the first one to take me to Europe. He took me to Europe when I was 22. That was a really really fucking awesome time and then the second time I went I was with Warbeast, when we we did that tour with DOWN.

Cross – Love what you said about Superjoint there.
How did it feel to fill in for Jimmy Bower in the En Minor Livestream at the Orpheum Theatre? (I think that’s one of the most beautifully made shows, ever!) 

Blue – It started off as me filling in for Jimmy, I think now I’m pretty well established as a live drummer for En Minor. We’ve done the livestream and a couple shows and every live performance has been, been myself behind the drums. So I think I am the actual drummer now.

Cross – Hell yeah! We love Jimmy but now we’re kinda used to see you behind the kit in En Minor shows. Are you working on any other project we don’t know of? 

Blue – I do session work for friends and for people. I am a drummer for hire. I like to be creative and you know, to help people you know, see a vision come to life. It’s pretty awesome for me so I don’t mind working with all kinds of genres, but yeah I do have a project that I sing and play drums in, it’s called III Witches. I’ve put it out there a little bit but I don’t really push it too much. I kind of like the mystique behind it and I’m mostly super self-conscious of me singing because I’m a drummer not a singer so it’s me just pretending.

Cross – That’s awesome. I should do more homework, I missed that one, somehow.
Can you name five albums or songs that inspired you to become the drumming machine you’re now?

Blue – Yes super aspirational album – Sabotage Drumming album – Reign In Blood, Reinventing the Steel, Far Beyond Driven.
A specific song – Painkiller by Judas Priest.
And tons and tons of shit Gene Hoglan’s been on.

Cross – I know you’re a horror film fan… Can you name your top 5 horror films of all time? 

Blue – Absolutely not, but I can tell you that The Thing and Dawn of the Dead are my all-time favorites, but The Thing is my all-time favorite.

Cross – You can’t go wrong with those two. Not sure how much of a gamer you are but knowing that you’re part of that generation… Do you have any favorite ones? 

Blue – Oh I’m on Call of Duty fanatic. I like online games and I like yelling at my friends and random people.

Cross – (laughs) What has Blue been listening to lately? 

Blue – Whatever my lady Rose has on her playlist. I don’t really choose and if not her playlist I just listen to the PanterA set list of the songs that we play to go over and practice. I just listen to those religiously. That and lately the Dover Brothers album Floyd’s Fables, incredible incredible record by some really awesome humble and talented dudes.

Cross – I’m glad you mentioned them and their Floyd’s Fables, really great album.
You recently moved to New Orleans… I know you visited in many occasions, touring with the band and all, how do you like it living there? NOLA is one of my favorite places on the face of the world, I’d love to move there someday… 

Blue – Oh it’s, it’s pretty killer. We have a nice place and we get to hang out with some of our best friends and if we complained who would listen.

Cross – Anything else you might like to add for your fans Blue? 

Blue – For anything and everything related to Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals go to Thank you guys for all the support, we love you. We can’t wait to get back out there and play some shows, in the meantime check out the website and keep yourself informed, updated and love you!

CrossThank you for your time Blue, I really appreciate it! It’s been a great pleasure!

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Interview – Larry Pike / Battle Axe Massacre

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This is my first time interviewing a drummer and thought was best to start this interview by revealing that fact. My first and last time behind a drumkit was probably in 2011 maybe 2012? When I’ve been left alone, at the bar I used to work at, adding the last touches on the visual part of the stage. Just a couple minutes before the band they had playing live that night, started their show. Needless to say, I almost ruined that drummer’s kit. (laughs) 

The artist I got in for this interview has been behind the drumkit for a long time. Amazing skills! Brutal deliverance. He is the drummer for the evil thrash metal band Battle Axe Massacre, Larry Pike.

Hi Larry, thank you for being willing to do this interview!

Cross – As I mentioned, you’re the drummer for Battle Axe Massacre. Will get to the band soon. First, how did Larry end up being a drummer? When did the love of sitting behind the kit and killing it, start?

LarryI started out as a jazz drummer in school in 1990. I kinda sucked at it for a couple years, but I just kept sticking to it, lol and after a few years I began to show a lot of improvement. It has been my passion ever since.

CrossThe first release of Battle Axe Massacre came out in 2013, called Kill Yourself… Or Die Trying. A really Evil, Heavy album. While I love the idea of the album cover being just the band’s name logo, I’m curious about the title. What’s the story behind it, was it a two song pick combination?

LarryKill yourself or die trying, is indeed two separate songs that go together. It came from a saying my friends were saying, “Be there, or die trying!”

CrossKill Yourself is probably my favorite track on this album and if I’m not mistaken you did the vocals for it and for the previous track, Seabrook. Uncommon for a drummer to sing. (Yeah I know y’all can name a few.) Have you been doing that before?

LarryI’m a song writer and a vocalist as well, and I play guitar. I wrote and sang the vocals for Seabrook, and Kill yourself on the first album, as well as 3 others on the second record. I’ve been working on music with Adam Huge since we met in middle school!

CrossI’ve only seen you behind the drums, I didn’t think you play guitar too. Awesome!
In three years from Kill Yourself… Or Die Trying, Battle Axe Massacre published the second album, The Phantom. I Liar, has this Portal kind of riffs. So dark and evil, fills my soul with happiness. Which of the songs has the most difficult drum part to play live? War and Rust sounds really busy. Sick song.

LarryI, Liar is a fun song. I’d say one of our better songs. I’m so glad you enjoy it and love that it feels your soul with happiness.  We just made a video for it, actually.  It’s got a lot of parts and I put a lot of energy into it. That being said, it’s a tie between that and Seabrook as far as being difficult to perform live. It’s like turning a chore into pure enjoyment!

CrossWas going to ask you later on about the video, Larry!! (laughs)
Talking about live shows… You guys did live shows before the album came out. Do you remember when and where was your first live show with Battle Axe Massacre and something you would remember from that night?

LarryFirst show of Battle Axe Massacre was at a place called, “Plan B” in Portland. We opened for another band I was playing in at the time, called, “Hotter Than A Crotch!” We played a few originals, and a few covers.

CrossBattle Axe Massacre got an official music video for Eating Eachother off Kill Yourself… Or Die Trying, in 2015 and another one for the album title track The Phantom. Something you’d like to share from those experiences?

LarryEating Eachother” turned out great! WE were a two piece at the time. Still one of our favorite songs today. The Phantom was way rad to film! I love the opening is a scene from, “Holy Mountain!” Our favorite bar was next door to our rehearsal space called, the Twighlight Cafe & Bar. That’s where we shot it. The bassist from my other band, “Roanoke”, filling in on bass for us.

CrossIs there a possibility of a new album any time soon?

LarryThere are new songs ready to record. They are even dirtier, heavier, and harder than our previous efforts.  We’re still working on who we will have produce it for us. The Phantom was engine-eared by Billy Anderson, so probably gonna have him do the new stuff. He knows our sound?

Cross – That’s good news!
You guys working on a new music video in what I heard. Can you spoil something about it, will it be a new track too? (you spoiled some earlier)

LarryThe new video is just about to drop, and perhaps it already has by the time you read this. It’s part a horror story and we filmed it at my place in the woods! The song, “I, Liar.”

CrossWhen you mentioned it was going to be that song I felt like I just made a wish and it happened. (laughs) Any live shows? (I know many bands are struggling on that part because of the virus.)

LarryNo live shows for us for right now. It’s still crazy covid time, but when the time is right, you bet your pineapple curried ass, we’ll be back at it, haha.

Cross(laughs) I knew you’re a huge fan of The Doors and Jim Morrison but I didn’t know until recently that you’re actually Jim Morrison for the The Doors tribute band, The DOORS of Perception. We’d like to know more about this project of yours. There’s not much to be found about it. Can you put some light on it?

LarryI’ve been listening to the Doors since I was little. Started doing the Doors tribute a few years ago. Nice to change it up a bit, ya know!? We had the songs pretty tight, then covid came and screwed us out of shows. But it’s a temporary hiatus.

CrossHopefully we get to see you as Morrison soon.
What gears does Larry use and likes best, from the sticks, pedals, cymbals?

LarryI have a few kits, but my favorite is my Tiger stripe WFL pre Ludwig kit. It’s a 26″ kick drum, 14″ Tom, and 18″ floor tom. I use a Tama snare drum. Zildjian A custom, and K custom cymbals. Tama double kick speed cobra pedals, and vic firth sticks.

CrossAny advice for young drummers or musicians out there?

LarryMy son plays drums a bit, I always encourage him to practice a lot, and listen to what he enjoys and figure out patterns, repeat.

CrossPractice makes perfect for sure. Can you name three or five albums that shaped your music taste?

LarryABSOLUTELY, MetallicA – And Justice For All, PanterA – Vulgar Display of Power, Skid Row – Slave to the grind, Sepultura – Chaos A.D., and ZZ Top, all day long.

CrossWhat have you been listening to recently, Larry?

LarryI Listen to a bit of everything. Usual Suspects, Superjoint Ritual, Dr. John, Goatsnake, Cardigans, English Minor, Trouble, Van Halen, The Doors, Hendrix, Beatles, Slayer, Alice in Chains…

CrossBig fan of almost all you mentioned. In a short conversation we had, you said you like reading, what does Larry like to read?

LarryAlways reading something. Philosophy, autobiographies, anything Hunter S. Thompson. I’m reading a book called, “Secrets of the Talking Jaguar.”  And reading Jim Morrison’s complete writings.

CrossIs Larry a horror fan, can you name a couple horror films you like?

LarryI love Horror! Creature from the Black Lagoon, any Vincent Price, Creepshow, Friday the 13th and so many more.

Cross Those are cool. Price is pure magic.
Your first time attending a live show, what band was it? Last? One that really had an impact on you.

LarryMy first concert was Cinderella, The Long Cold Winter tour in 1989. Most recent concert was KISS with my son, last Friday! Most memorable, is definitely Skid Row with PanterA in Feb. 1992!

CrossYou had a really good spot there in the last one.
You have a great relationship with your son, inside jokes like Thing 1 & Thing 2… (laughs) How do you make it all work that good?

LarryI love my son. We’re pretty tight. We have many fun adventures behind us and ahead of us. I’ve taken him to lots of shows too. His favorite band right now is Primus!

CrossHe’s is in a good path. What does Thing 1 & Thing 2 like to do when you get some free time?

LarryThing 1 and Thing 2! We travel, ride bikes, flip eachother’s shit, and he loves James Bond just like me. We watch those films over and over, haha. He wants to be an actor and pharmaceutical grower, haha he’s also damn near 18!

CrossHe sure can do both. Anything else you would like to add, Larry?

LarryCheck out my other band Roanoke! @Roanoke doom, I believe! We have some things in the works as well!

CrossI’ll drop some links down below. Thank you for doing this interview Larry, It was really fun.

LarryThank you!




Instagram Roanoke:

Interview – Stephen Taylor/The Illegals

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Once again, I have the honor to interview one of the most talented musicians and one of my recent heroes – Stephen Taylor! He’s a guitarist and a bassist who has played in Alt-Country, Hardcore and Heavy Metal bands. To mention a few: Spunk, 16 Horsepower, Woven Hand. 

Stephen Taylor took over Bass duties in Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, when Bennett Bartley left.

Also, Stephen plays along many other super talented musicians like Jimmy Bower, Kevin Bond, Steve Bernal, Calvin Dover in Anselmo’s latest, southern Gothic/Dark Americana project, En Minor. 

Thank you Schteve (laughs, I hope I’m allowed to call you Schteve) for taking the time to make this interview happen. So exciting!!!

Cross – I’ll start it with one or two questions about you showing interest towards music and your first steps as a musician. When did you get your first guitar? Was it an acoustic, an electric or a bass? 

StephenI have a photo of me with my first acoustic, at around the age of 5 or 6. Only memory of it is through that photo. I’ll have to dig that up, cause now I’m wondering if it was an old Kay, or Silvertone. Not really sure who bought it for me, or why. I can’t recall any musical interest at that age. Now fast forward 2-3 years, at 8 or 9, I will share this, which forever will stay ingrained in my mind, and only realizing a deeper connection a few short years back. On a visit to a distant relatives farm, in Valparaiso, Nebraska, I wander into living room alone. There is a turntable, a record with a dude wielding a sword on the cover, and a set of headphones. Curious me, puts on headphones, drops the needle, and volume cranked from last listener. War Pigs off the Black Sabbath Paranoid album is what was now being blasted to my impressionable mind. I suspect this was the beginnings for me. Only found out a few years ago I share a birthday with Tony Iommi. February 19th, and to make it even weirder, my wife Jeanine, shares her birthday with Randy Rhodes December 6th. These are signs and wonderment. Keep the Sabbath!

Cross – I didn’t know about your wife sharing a birthday with Randy but I knew you do share a birthday with Tony. Me too. How awesome is that?! Can you mention a couple of your childhood/youth favorite bands or albums?

StephenI can totally remember the first records I saved up for and bought on my own. Ha! I even remember where, It was at Woolworth’s in Gentilly La. (suburb of NOLA for those outsiders) (Gentilly People!, for the insiders). And the records were , Kiss “The Originals”, “Alive“ and The Eagles “Hotel California”. At this time, Kiss was an obsession. And I really wanted to play drums at this age, I remember taking the pots, and Tupperware out, and beating on them with wooden spoons. I still can’t play the drums, but that’s a whole other story…

Cross – As I mentioned at the beginning, you took over Bass for Philip Anselmo & The Illegals, on The Illegals debut album Walk Through Exits Only, after Bennet left. Then, you switched to axes for the second album “the voodoo metal” – Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue. (Laughs, I love that you called it “the voodoo metal”  in an interview.)

StephenI believe I was referring to the “Metraton Nganga” path we went down, before the recording of choosing.

Cross – Which does Stephen enjoy more, playing Bass or Guitar?

StephenIt wasn’t til The Illegals that I’ve ever played bass in a band, or at all really, I mean, besides just plucking around on one. I had to figure it out, I don’t think I really grasped the concept of bass til the second tour of Superjoint. In The Illegals, we were a 4 pc at the time, and I was up front, grinding away like a guitar player, which was called for to an extent. Jumping on with Superjoint, now a 5 pc, I learned that I had to get back in the pocket, play the backfield so to speak, make eye contact with Blu, turn off the distortion, and slam the strings. I realized I had to give Jimmy space, and get in my own lane.

Cross – Oh, I always thought you’ve been playing bass as long as guitar just been switching on whichever was needed for the project you were playing for.

We have been waiting for ages now for new material from The Illegals. There’s been a couple posts from different members of the band letting us know that you’re all working on that. How much longer do we have to wait? We’re hungry for new music.

StephenYeah, I don’t like those updates, for that very reason. I mean, I’m always creating, so are all the other guys. We have a lot of songs, half songs, partial songs, riffs, ideas. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll make it to a record. 

Cross – It was inspiring when it happened. Knowing that we all were going nuts not being able to leave home. Can you give us some tips on what path are The Illegals going in the next album? The first two ones are similar, in the sense that you know that’s “The Illegals sound”, and also totally different from each other.

StephenThe Illegals is really Philip’s baby. It goes where he allows it to flow. He is the common thread that identifies “the sound”. Actually on our last get together, we were chatting about how to approach it. We like to experiment, so to me, anything’s possible.

Cross – With The Illegals, you had the possibility to play for the first time Pantera Tribute shows, with Slayer too. The latest being the Vulgar Display of Pantera LiveStream in New Orleans, which was a blast for the fans. 

StephenWhat a great honor that was to be part of Slayers final campaign!

Cross – How much did you guys feel the difference of the crowd from those first shows with the Livestream which didn’t have that many people attending in the same building but so many were watching it from their home?

StephenThe Livestream was one of the most intense things I’ve ever had to prepare for, and to pull off. Live is live. But a 15 song live to broadcast, playing PANTERA is on a whole other spectrum, you’re literally being filmed, and being multi-tracked, so you have to be as close to studio quality as possible. And “you’re playing” is only one part of that equation, once you get the green light, it is what it is, so make it good! Kate Richardson put together a great team that brought that to fruition. It was an awesome set-up!

Cross – It was a blast, seriously! You guys getting back on doing couple Vulgar Display of Pantera shows soon?

StephenYes, we are scheduled for a few fests in the states here soon.

Cross – How did Stephen ended up with Superjoint? Was it planned for an album after the Housecore Horror Festival shows?

StephenBlue and I were at “The Lair” doing illegal stuff. I believe he was already penned for the drum seat once the band decided to do reunion for the “Horror Fest”. I offered to sit in with band and rehearse with them til Hank3 was available. That’s how that happened.

Cross – What happened with Metraton Nganga? There were some rumors about this new project you guys were working on: you, Blue/Joey Gonzalez and Philip Anselmo, a couple years ago.

StephenIt’s still there, festering. This was a writing session that went, awry, a path that had to be explored, it sits, in darkness.

Cross – Hopefully soon we’ll have a chance to listen to some Metraton Nganga.
En Minor. In my opinion is the most beautiful thing heavy metal icons like Philip and yourself could ever come up with. I want to thank you personally, and the whole crew who worked their asses off for the En Minor Livestream at the Orpheum Theatre. Y’all did an epic work. (We’ll get back to that in a bit.)

StephenThank you. A couple ideas were thrown out, I think Kate soaked it in, and put together a great experience, and production. Kudos goes out to her for organizing all that!

Cross – I’m glad you mentioned Kate twice already. I hope she knows we fans appreciate her hard work.
En Minor started with you and Philip and with time other artists became part of this project. You mentioned in a couple interviews on the Livestream also how it all started. Can you tell us a memory from the time when En Minor was just you and Philip?

StephenIt was after tracking illegal demos, real late at night as we were about to call it. I grabbed my arch-top that I had with me and started playing what you now know as Mausoleums. But a more busier version, hence the “just keep it simple”. Not sure if I should take the magic outta this one, but here goes, that’s what Philip was whispering in my headphones whenever I was trying to complicate the riff, while tracking it. I followed that with what’s now called “Hats Off”. Up to this point, I had no idea he was interested in doing any acoustic, or vibe out kinda stuff. But I think that night, by me just expressing another side of me, opened a floodgate of ideas he had already, and a bunch we came up with together. And since that moment, they flow just as easy today. We have no problem writing songs in this style, they flow naturally, and being surrounded with players that know their way around things, opens up the spectrum of the works.

Cross – I’m glad you guys decided to work on all that and release the first album. En Minor is a special band and sound. Unique.
En Minor’s first live show was at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana, almost two years ago. How did it feel to get on stage to play songs people never listened to before? (When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out came out almost one year after this show.)

StephenIt was kinda awkward, still is, we only have like 4 shows under our belt as a band. If we had a solid month on the road together, I think we’d be an insanely intense band live.

Cross – Getting back to the En Minor Livestream…


Cross – In how great it was all put together, it makes one think that it had been planed for a while and Covid-19 just interfered. Was the Livestream meant to be a normal live show and cause of the circumstances it turned into a Livestream show?

StephenNot at all, the “Down” livestream was successful, so that’s when the idea circulated. I think it was only planned out a month or so in advance.

Cross – We know there are three hours En Minor material ready. We would like to know when is the new album coming out and will those new songs from the En Minor Livestream be included in it? How about There’s a Long Way to Go?

StephenWe have enough material for 4 records easy. It’s weeding through it all, and deciding on what to do with it all. We’ve kinda outgrown our own 2nd album, that’s not even recorded yet, but is half the setlist on Livestream. Every time we get together as a unit, we grow, mature, the songs/riffs are more seasoned.

Cross – That’s great news. There were unbelievably great new songs in the Livestream. I swear I never listened to an album as many times as I’ve listened to When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out.

StephenReally! That’s pretty cool to hear as an artist, from an artist at that!

Cross – Any plans for En Minor to get back doing live shows? Now that live music is having a come back little by little. Have you guys ever thought to get En Minor touring the world not only America?

StephenAt this moment, I have no news here. But ready and willing.

Cross – An interesting thing about you as a guitar player is that you don’t stick to one guitar brand. There was a video of you and Mike DeLeon showing them axes. He plays a V all the time but that’s not the same with you. Is that how you explore sound, Stephen?

StephenWell yes and no. I mix it up all sorta ways. I am not loyal to any sound or type of guitar, or brand. It’s whatever I grab to achieve what we are going for. I really mix my styles up with tunings. If I’m at a writing block in standard, everything I’m doing seems generic. That’s when I’ll go to an open tuning. I’ve learned this with my Sixteen Horsepower days. I will go from major/minor open tuning, to more weirder ones. I’ve recently discovered what’s called “New Standard” or the Robert Fripp tuning, it’s scrambling up the positions, and the order of the notes. Then you try to bring order to the new chaos you just created for yourself. Gets weird, clears the room sometimes!

Cross – How difficult is it to switch from playing bass to playing guitar?

StephenTakes a min, it’s more so when going from bass back to guitar.

Cross – Favorite guitarist/bassist?

StephenI can’t ever answer these type of questions honestly. Too many great players that have left their mark in my sub conscious.

Cross – What has Stephen been listening to lately?

StephenMy daughter recently confiscated my turntable, so, it’s been fun watching her explore the old ways. She’s on Double Fantasy John/Yoko at the moment. So I was just listening to “Watching The Wheels”. And also was just listening to Victims Family.

Cross – I had some guitar pick problems lately. I just couldn’t remember the thickness I’ve been using to play for years. (I don’t really play, just time to time, for fun, when there’s some free time.) What pick thickness does Stephen uses?

StephenFor illegals I use the Jazz iii XL’s they are pretty firm, I use heavy stiff picks for the metal grindy stuff. For En Minor I’ve been using the dunlop orange tortex, quite a bit thinner. I use my fingers if needed, I’ve even used a make-up brush before.

Cross – Is there any other side project you’re working on that we don’t know of?


Cross – You have a terrific family. What does the Taylor family like to do when the man of the family isn’t on tour or investing time, talent and soul in writing new stuff?

StephenThank you! Yes things can get a bit hectic with this dynamic, and top that with the way things have been lately, everyone hangin’ strong.
Taking advantage of the time by not doing much.
Pretty much just all chilling at the homestead, low key, cook outs, cruising the hood on the ole golfing cart. Might take a drive down to the beach soon!

Cross – Thank you Schteve for taking the time to go through all this, it’s been a blast! Appreciate you!

StephenThank you for the interest! 



Interview – John Jarvis/Scour

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Known more as a bassist, the artist I’m going to interview today is one of the more active extreme artists out there. He’s a member of many bands I’m a fan of, one of my heroes, and I’m sure many of y’all know him more through his side project – the extreme metal supergroup with a monstrous sound, which is so heavy that it makes other bands seem frail in comparison, Scour. I’m talking about John Jarvis! He plays bass in Scour and backs up Philip Anselmo vocally. (This is very exciting) 

Hello John! First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to make this happen. I really appreciate it!

Cross – I’m going to start this interview with Fulgora. It’s been a while we haven’t heard about it and I remember how I found out about Fulgora. You guys toured with them Handsome Devils, (laughs), how Phil Anselmo used to call ’em back then, Superjoint, in It Takes Guts tour.

Fulgora had two releases of two songs per each release in 2013 before the full album, Stratagem, 2015. A perfect savagery. Are we going to hear something new from Fulgora anytime soon? You and Adam Jarvis mentioned in the Scour Livestream that there was material ready.

John – Yes thanks for having me! Fulgora does have a single recorded now, but we are waiting on the right time to release it. It’s hard with the live band so spread out, with Sparky (ex- Dying Fetus) and Adam in Baltimore and Brandon and I in St Louis. Brandon does have some demos that were being worked on for another record, and we had a few songs from that era that were never recorded that we could always work on, I hope we get working on that at some point!!!

Cross – I hope you guys get a chance soon. Great music is always welcomed.

You joined Pig Destroyer in 2013. And Head Cage is the first Pig Destroyer album with The Jarvi. (Laughs) Head Cage marks the band’s first album with a bassist. In Pig Destroyer, Scott Hull writes everything and you had to execute. I’m sure you had your freedom there to add your touches but how different is for you to play stuff you didn’t write? Also, how did The Jarvi start? 

John – There were a couple parts where Scott just said “play what you want here” during the writing/recording but most of it was specifically wrote with bass in mind, and rehearsed in advance for months before recording. It was very easy as he’d record video of each part for me to learn on my own time, so I’d just show up ready to go.

The Jarvi, we started jamming together very young, playing Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, and Led Zeppelin covers in grade school. Adam’s dad had a rehearsal room so it was great!

Cross – Cool. You played with Agoraphobic Nosebleed in Housecore Horror Film Festival lll, 2015. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience? (You did the previous year with Fulgora too.) 

John – That year was very interesting as I got food poisoning eating some breakfast taco right when we got into town. It was bad news, but besides that it was a killer show, and a great time!!! King Diamond was great as was COC & Crowbar as usual. I’ve played every Horror Fest with different bands now that I think about it haha.

Cross – Talking about horror, are you a horror film fan, John? 

John – Sure, Sleepaway Camp and 80’s slashers are my favorite. 

Cross – Awesome! China Girl is another project of yours with Dennis Sanders of Spirit In The Room – a really talented guy. China Girl is an interesting, very different band you did vocals for which had one release. Any plans for new releases? Does the band name has anything to do with Bowie’s China Girl? 

John – Nothing to do with David Bowie, and no plans right now as we are both so busy, but never say never!  I’m open to it for sure, it was fun to do something different. 

Cross – Nest is your latest project and pretty much you wrote the entire record right before the Coronavirus started. How did you get with the other members? 

John – The bassist is my girlfriend and the drummer was Fulgora’s old drummer, so it’s been really easy!  We released a couple albums in 2020, and are finishing up a third now.  We hope to release it around our appearance at Full Terror Assault in September. That’s another Fest I’ve played multiple years with multiple different bands haha. Always a great time there.   

Cross – That’s great news. As I said at the beginning of this interview, you’re one of the most active musicians I know. You guys had a couple live shows on March 2021, in New Orleans too, which were like in the open. Followed by the one on May 1st at Red Flag. Were these your first live shows after the lock down?

John – We also did a Houston Texas show in late 2020 which you can hear on Spotify, but yes all of those have been just a blast after not being able to play for so long. The New Orleans show was a little crazy, about 200 people and the fire department shut it down because they set a car on fire, luckily after the music was over though haha.

Cross – New Orleans knows how to make the experience memorable. (laughs)

Scour. First of all I wanna thank each one of you guys for the Scour Livestream. Great job, hands down. A total blast of energy from Nodferatu’s lair, keeping us inspired. It was fucking Epic to have that type of energy right in our homes. You guys explained a bit in the Livestream how Scour happened, Derek Engemann being the founder… but, you and him worked to make a full EP trilogy before anyone knew.

How did you and Derek meet? Anything special you remember about that part of the Scour experience, before you guys decided who else was going to be in the band?

John – Derek and I met when our bands Cast The Stone and All Will Fall played shows together back in the 90’s in St Louis. We’d be the local opening bands for a lot of the death metal shows coming through town.  

When we started Scour, we were both unhappy with the bands we were in at the time, and we agreed a band should be ran a certain way before we really had talks of members. It was a great time because we were on tour, and we made sure to do something fun in every city, whether it was a water park or amusement park or just local bars. We would wonder, “why not have a band where we do fun stuff like this all of the time!?!?” So Scour always has fun activities like renting boats and kayaking and surfing when we get together. 

Cross – How did it feel to play without fans under the same roof? 

John – Very strange but it’s what had to happen at the time. I’m glad we did it, but it would have been way cooler with a crowd!!!

Cross – I bet. How hard is it to play and work with them Scourboyz, being an elite collective of members? 

John – Easy as can be. Anytime there is a problem there is usually 1 of us that can handle the situation with the quickness. We are all well traveled and well rehearsed, so it’s very stress free even when disaster strikes. 

Cross – When was the first time you met Phil? You kinda touched on it in the Scour Livestream but not really. 

John – We talked on the phone first, and then we were both at Maryland Deathfest when Down played, and he was walking through the crowd and I noticed it was him (hard to miss haha). He was interested in signing Fulgora to Housecore at the time so we had planned on meeting up there.

Cross – Is there any special memory you have in Nodferatu’s lair other than the first time you and Adam got there with Fulgora and took that sweet pic with Phil, the one showed in the Scour Livestream?

John – Anytime Phil tells an old story is my favorite. I could listen all day to his Pantera stories. Once we were rehearsing “Slaughtered” and I played the intro to “25 Years” after jokingly, like on the album, and he told a quick story and next thing we were playing the bridge/outro riff and singing it together. And he’s looking at me like “sing it”. “We’re fucking you back” Just insane!!!

Cross – (laughs) I’m sure he has plenty of stories to tell. PanterA was a crazy band.

Now that The Beast is complete what can we fans expect from Scour? More EPs, EP trilogies, full album? I did love the idea of three EPs, each having six songs to complete The Beast, 666. You explained that in an interview. (People can find that interview in the Scour Official YouTube channel.)

John – We are working on our first Full Length next!!! I predict more blast beats!!!

Cross – Can’t wait! Is there any chance of Scour starting to play live shows or, any plans for another Livestream? I wouldn’t mind to watch you guys live from my laptop screen once again. 

John – We are always open to the right offer, I certainly hope for more Scour shows soon!!!

Cross – When did you show interest about heavy music? Who got you into heavy metal?

John – Watching MTV very young, Def Leppard & Ozzy Osbourne videos and then Motley Crue and Metallica.

Cross – What was your first band ever, John?

John – Primitive Sorcery with Adam when we were very young. Mostly just played “For Whom The Bell Tolls” over and over.

Cross – Primitive Sorcery, I like that. Can you describe your music-taste growth through the years with album titles? 

John –  Abbey Road
…And Justice For All
Strap It On

Cross – I’m sure all can figure the artist/band. How many guitars does John Jarvis own and which is your favorite one to play?

John 7, favorites being the ESP Horizons, both bass and guitar.

Cross – What does John Jarvis enjoy to do other than playing and working in so many different bands?

John – Watching baseball and enjoying being active with my girlfriend playing Baseball, Football, Tennis, Roller Skating, and walking and playing with my awesome dog Tasha.

Cross – Anything else you would like to add, John?

John – Thanks for having me and thanks everyone for reading!

Cross – Thank you for your time John, it’s been a great pleasure. Appreciate you!

YouTube Channel –

Facebook –

Instagram –

Bandcamp –

Scour Merch –

Interview – Kamikaze Zombie

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The band I got on for today has two core members, Clint Spain and Steve Cater. They brought in Trevor Edwards on drums recently as their third core member. Working together they created their own genre Horror Crossover, mixing Hardcore Punk with Thrash, Black Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore and Sludge Metal. All that combined with horror movie samples. After their third local show they did open for Decapitated. The band was formed in Birmingham Alabama, 2014, by Clint Spain and it’s called Kamikaze Zombie. 

Hi Clint! 

Cross – Kamikaze Zombie. How did you come up with the band’s name? 

Clint – The band name came about when I was at work. My friend Regan and I were passing names back and forth and she said, what about ”Kamikaze Zombie?” I loved it. Little known fact – the band’s name was Monster Zero for about a week, but it just did not feel right.

Cross – How did you and Steve meet? 

Clint – I met Steve through mutual friends while in high school, then later around 2005, we started our first band together called Throne of Blood. The sound was much like other bands of that time, but we were young, and it eventually fell apart. So, when I was trying to start Kamikaze Zombie up, I knew Steve had to be the guitarist. He and I just gel and he is a fantastic guitarist with a crazy ear. He hears things I would never hear or think of in a million years.

Cross – How much did opening for Decapitated helped the band, Clint? 

Clint – Opening for Decapitated was huge for us. It gave us a leg up and put us in a lot of faces early on. We had only played three shows as a band at that point, and it was definitely – a springboard and allowed us to build the relationship we have now with local promoters, which is worth its weight in gold when trying to get your name out there. In hindsight, I think we were luckily to have the foresight to see the opportunity at hand. We busted our ass on that show. So that the promoter would want to work with us again and it worked.

Cross – Kamikaze Zombie’s first album “Night of The Nuberus” came out in 2017. Great artwork from Shawn Knight (Child Bite).  What caught my eye was the name of the songs in this album. “Eraser Head”/Lynch, listed second song in the album, “In the Mouth of Madness”/Carpenter’s, fourth in the album, just to name a couple. Do you guys name your songs after your favorite horror movies or, what fits with the lyrics? 

Clint – Actually – It’s a little bit of both. I write lyrics with a theme in mind. Almost all my lyrics are written metaphorically, but then there is the rare occasion that I write exactly what the title suggest – like ManHunter and the Story of Jane Doe. Both are Hannibal Lecter inspired.

Cross – “In the Mouth of Madness” has this Scaccia feel from his work on Rigor Mortis – Slaves To The Grave. There’s a Negative Approach feel in “The Story of Jane Doe” and the album ends with my favorite line ever “Listen to them, children of the night, the music they make”, courtesy of Bela Lugosi in the last song of “Night of The Nuberus”. I think I’ve been a Crude Mutant for years I just didn’t know it. (laughs) 

How did that nickname for your fans happened? 

Clint – Wow! I love hearing what different people hear in our music. The Crude Mutant idea came about as a possible name for the band. As I mentioned above, we were Monster Zero for about a week, then we changed it again to The Crude Mutants, until we came up with Kamikaze Zombie, but I liked it so much I didn’t want the name to go to waste. So, I was thinking about it at work one day and I though how Pantera are the Cowboys from Hell, we could be Kamikaze Zombie The Crude Mutants, and from there I just ran with it to include our fans to make it feel more inclusive, like now they are a part of something.

Cross – I like that. How was/is to work with Mathew Washburn? (best known for recording Mastodon.) 

Clint – He is a gem! Matt is a world class guy. We have done two full lengths and an EP with him so far and it just gets better every time. He knows his stuff and he makes you feel comfortable like you’re at home, but he will also call you on your bullshit, which we love.

Cross – You guys released your first music video for the song “The Story of Jane Doe”. Would you like to share with us your experience on that? 

Clint – That was an interesting time. We had no clue what we were doing. It was the first time we had ever done something like that, so luckily my dear friends, Ben and Nadia Robertson, did know what they were doing. They both went to school for film and have their own production company, 1931 productions, where they have made some pretty awesome gothic horror films.

Cross – “The Destroyer of All Things”, Kamikaze Zombie’s second release. The whole album kicks ass but if y’all need a start… “Prometheus”, “Devil’s Night”, “Into The Nothing”, great solo at the end.  What gears do you guys use? (mic, guitars, and all that stuff.) 

Clint – Yeah, Into the Nothing, Steve wrote the whole song and killed it on the solo. He called me up and was like dude, come check this song out. We recorded it on my ipad and that night I wrote lyrics to it while watching Return of the Living Dead.

Gear – Steve has a few different Guitars. Right now, he is playing a Jackson, but he also plays Ibanez SG’s which he has recorded all our albums with. He plays a Randall 300 head with a B52 480-watt cab. Trevor plays a Tama 5-piece drum kit with iron cobra double pedals and Sabin cymbals. I don’t really use anything special as far as vocals go, but I do use a jam-man loop pedal for samples for our live show.

Cross – That’s a great movie you used for inspiration there. As I mentioned at the beginning of this interview, you guys got Trevor recently in your band. Does that mean that from that moment on it won’t be just you and Steve making the songs? 

Clint – Yeah pretty much – it’s no secret that we have had a revolving door of members. Through all of it, Steve and I have been the only two constant members and have kept music writing and major decision making to the two of us, but now Trevor is equally involved. He has been a breath of fresh air for both Steve and I, and he helps keep things fun.

Cross – Awesome! You guys have opened for many bands. I’m a Die Hard fan of, to name a few… Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals, Superjoint, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Goatwhore, Cannibal Corpse. How does it feel to play with bands you’re a fan of, Clint? 

Clint – It’s pretty amazing. I never thought in a million years that we would have gotten to open for so many bands that we look up to. It’s mind blowing, but at the same time it keeps us humble and grateful to have people supporting us and hungry because we have seen the other side of the fence and want to be there. It has been a real eye opener to see how much work is actually involved to be at that level. There are so many fan boy stories I could tell you, but I think the best one might be this one. After we opened for The Illegals, we were at our van (the old child bite van btw) and Phil walked up to us and asked how we were doing and then he said “you guys kicked ass,” gave us all dapps and walked inside where he and The Illegals absolutely destroyed the crowed. We were on tour and made the drive from Chicago to Birmingham just to play that show and left that night for Kentucky. The rest of that tour, we were running on pure adrenaline. Honestly having Phil give us prop was all I needed. I can die a happy man. 

Cross – You couldn’t have picked a better story for this interview. In 2020 you guys gave to your Crude Mutants a Halloween present to inspire them through those difficult times we dealt with and still are… “Fiends of The Night” an EP of songs from bands that have influenced Kamikaze Zombie. Were these songs what you guys were listening to mostly in 2020? 

Clint – Yes and no. Some songs like the Cro-mags and Agnostic Front were fan request. Others, like “Last breath,” were ones that we felt strongly about putting on the album because Steve and I both lost family members to Covid and wanted to let our fans know they are not alone. The Crowbar song was going to be “All I had I Gave”, but we decided to do something for the hardcore Crowbar fans and go with something more underground.

Cross – I’m sorry to hear about that.

February 2020 was your guys last show with Child Bite, due to Covid-19. You guys are back playing live right? You already had two shows this month. How is it going and how does it feel to play live after so long? 

Clint – Well, our first show didn’t happen because the van broken down on the way, but we got it fixed and back on the road. The second show, we just played this past Saturday, and it was fantastic. It’s a little weird playing out since people all have their opinions on Covid. Some like to levitate above everyone with their big red cape, judging people for things they have deemed unacceptable – while doing things – others self-appointed heroes have also deemed unacceptable. Then you have the people that have thrown the baby out with the bath water, not wearing a mask at all or anything. I feel it’s somewhere in the middle and at the end of the day where is the line? People are going to judge you no matter what you do, so do what you feel in your heart is right. We have all been vaccinated and wear our mask while in public and follow the guidelines that have been put in place by the state that we are playing in. We would not do anything that we felt uncomfortable doing either for our own safety or our fans. That being said, our next show is on May 22nd at Furnace 41 in Atlanta Ga.

Cross – I wish I could attend. Kamikaze Zombie have been part of Full Terror Assault festival. How different is to play in front of that many people compare to small crowds? 

Clint – The biggest difference for me is how impersonal the crowd feels. Like It’s just a bunch of faces and you’re up on this stage that’s a few feet above everyone. You learn real quick that the things you do in a smaller more personal setting don’t work, so you have to learn on the fly, new ways to get the audience into you. I’m grateful for any opportunity we get, and Full Terror is one of the best festivals ever! But I love the hardcore in your face smaller shows the best.

Cross – Are you guys working on a new album, EP? When can we all expect to listen to some new tracks? 

Clint – Well actually, we are going into the studio this weekend, 4/25, to record the first single of the upcoming new album. We are also putting out a new music video for the Dark eyes of London. We have a few other things coming down the pipe, but I can’t announce them just yet.

Cross – That’s fantastic. Clint, you founded the band in 2014 but I’m sure your interest about heavy music didn’t start then. Can you describe your journey with album titles? 

Clint – Oh Wow! Well not counting music my mom played as a kid, my first album I got into on my own was Pump – Aerosmith and Appetite for Destruction – Guns N Roses. Shortly after that I bought Ride the Lighting – Metallica, and it just got heavier from there. I was round 11 or 12 at that point. When I turned 14 I got La Sexorcisto – White Zombie and then Vulgar Display of Power- Pantera and Obedience Thru Suffering – Crowbar. I was also getting into Slayer – Reign in Blood, and they turned me on to punk, and my whole world change. Black Flag – damaged and Minor Threat – discography were anthems of my teen years. I also have to mention Antichrist Super Star – Marilyn Manson. That album was big for me, growing up an atheist my whole life, it was hard being a kid in the south.

Cross – We kinda went through same bands/albums. They say music saved your life. Would you like to tell us a bit more about it? 

Clint – Well music replaced my dad. He was in and out of prison my whole life and died in prison when I was in my twenties. Music helped me get through all of the growing pains. It also gave me a place to focus my anger. It kept me from going down a similar road as my dad, which given where I grew up, I could have easily done so.

Cross – I’m glad you let music guide you to better things. Can you name five of your favorite horror films?

Clint – Ok this is a hard one. I’ll try to pick from a few different genres.

Slashers – Halloween

Gothic Horror – Frankenstein

Zombie – Dawn of The Dead (Fuck the 2001 bullshit)

Supernatural – Suspiria 1977

Psychological – this might be my favorite genre, so I have a tie. The Shinning and Manhunter.

Cross – Omg! I had couple Horror Film interviews last year and you’re the first one who knows and loves Argento’s Suspiria, one of my favorites ever. I know I mention it any chance I get, I just want people to check it out. A masterpiece that and all the other ones you named there. You practice Kung Fu, right? 

Clint – Yes! Wow, you have done your homework. I have Study 8 Step Praying Mantis kung fu and TaiJiquan for 20 years. Next to music, martial arts has had the greatest impact on my life.

Cross – As the one who writes the lyrics for Kamikaze Zombie, how much do you like to read, Clint? 

Clint – Well before I took a job as a college instructor, I used to love to read. I spent a large part of my 20’s in bookstores, just reading everything, but after I had to read paper after paper and all of that, when I got home it was the last thing I wanted to do. I loved comics as teen/young adult too. I have a large collection of books and comics, but I haven’t read any of them in some time.

Cross – Is there anything else you would like to add for your fans out there?

Clint – Thanks for the constant support and buying our merch through 2020. It really helped. We have a lot of cool stuff planned for this year. If you want to help support us or any band and are wondering what the best ways are to do it, here are few things that can help a lot. These are all things anyone can do; we know not everyone has money to blow on merch and we would never want you to put yourself out for us.

Follow us on Spotify, also make playlist with us on it, and share with as many people as you can.

Follow us on youtube and share our videos.

Share our bandcamp and follow all our social media accounts.

These things can help us a ton and does not cost anything.

Cross – Thank you for your time, appreciate you brother!

Clint – Thank you for reaching out and helping spread the word. Thanks to all the Crude Mutants and we hope everyone stays healthy and safe.


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Interview – Jeremy Kilgore

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I started 20 Questions With Cross last year and it was really satisfying to see the number of interviews I was able to post in such a short period of time (from probably mid May until the end of the year).

What really made the interviews very special to me was the amount of fun I had working on each one of them (I know some of them could have been better, but that’s how we all learn and grow) and that amazing feeling of being the first one to know exclusive information, that maybe many of us were wondering, about a band or an artist being interviewed.

I got to meet many great artists, people I’m in love with their talent, others I’ve been a fan of for many years. They all have been so down to earth and so kind with me. And I can’t thank enough each one of them. I got to check out new music I probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for these interviews. In few words, it was great and I’m willing to put as much time, probably more, into working and looking forward to get to interview many other artists and bands or get back to some of the ones who have been part of all that fun in 2020.

I thought to start this year with an incredibly talented guy. I would call him a musician, dark folk inspired singer, songwriter but all that wouldn’t be enough to include every type of art he is capable of delivering. His name is Jeremy Kilgore. He’s one of those artists I call complete. I would compare him to Dax Riggs and you’ll see why.

Hey JKill! I hope it’s ok to call you that. I stole it from one of your videos on YouTube. (laughs)

Cross – How did you get that nickname?

JKill – Lol.. “JKill”. I actually got the nickname because there were several people named Jeremy that all my friends ran around with, and they were getting us all mixed up in their phones, so they abbreviated our names. I was JKill and there was a JDill and a few others. Also everyone thought JKill was kinda fitting for me.

Cross – Thought so. Now, we’re going to talk a bit about music at first, go through a couple of way-to-often-asked type questions, but it’s the answers what makes them interesting. First and foremost I want to know what was the first thing that got you into music. Singing or playing an instrument (guitar maybe)?

JKill – The thing that got me into music wasn’t music actually, it was the idea of being on stage. When I was a kid, my cousin and I were very acrobatic and we would climb things and do backflips off cars and all that. One day we were at a theme park, and we climbed on an empty stage just to play around because we were bored. We were running across the stage, doing flips off  things. When we were through, we had a crowd standing at the stage, and they threw money to us. And from that moment on, I did everything I could to get back on stage. I used music as a way to get on stage later on. I believe it was bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam that really made me have an opinion of my own about music and what I like. Then once I heard a Pink Floyd solo, I knew I wanted to be a guitar player.

Cross – That’s interesting. I love stages without a crowd to work on and make stuff ready for the band. It makes you feel like you’re above things. Once the crowd shows up, is my time to vanish. (laughs)

Did you study music and when did you feel like you knew enough and you could use or break the rules to start coming up with your own?

JKill – I was in orchestra in jr High, when I was about 11, 12 years old.. which was also around the time I started listening to bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden. But I had no interest in playing a violin. My father told me if I learned how to play one he would buy me an electric guitar. So I did and he followed through and bought me my first electric. It was funny though, being in orchestra with no desire to be there. I got in trouble quite a bit for playing my violin like a guitar. As far as breaking the rules about what I was taught to write my own music, I have a very different approach to writing. It’s almost as if I don’t have to write, but rather listen to what’s in my head. It’s like the songs are already written and I just have to figure them out. All I have to do is listen.

Cross – You can play violin too, great! I didn’t know that. Watched a… I’m not sure what it was exactly, if an interview or a sort of tour in Steve Vai’s house… he said the exact same thing. Said that every song it’s in his head and he just needs to find time to sit down and get it all on paper.

You been playing live a lot. At least since I started following you. Do you have a band? (Tode?) Or do the musicians you play live with change over the years, or change from show to show? ( never had the pleasure to see you play live, we live too far away from each other but I did enjoy a lot those Facebook live videos you used to do from the live show you were at, at the time.)

JKill – I have been playing live since around 1995, and started playing 5 nights a week for 10 years straight just until recently. Now I only play a few tunes a month, just for fun. I’ve been in several bands over the years. My first band was a death metal band called “Nuclear Winter” but then I went on to more bluesy stuff because I had a natural ability to play the blues at a young age. I started playing with blues bands around Houston by the time I was 16. This continued on for many years until I started singing in a metal band and formed the grunge band “Tode” with my son Ashton on drums. But often times I hire friends to fill in when I’m recording or have to put on a full band rock show.

Cross – That’s why you’re that comfortable on stage. Playing with your own son that must feel great. What inspires you Jeremy? Who are those artists or bands that took you under their black wing and helped you be the artist you are?

JKill – I’m inspired by anything that catches me, or makes me feel something. Many many talented musicians and bands sound amazing, but if I can’t relate or they don’t make me feel something, I might listen to them but it won’t inspire me. I’m really inspired by pain and death. Because you can’t fake it. Death is creepy and scary, but it’s real, so there’s this thing about it everyone wants to avoid. But if you can create something beautiful with it, like an image or a song, then you’ve made art. And when it comes to the sorrow involved, that can’t be faked. So it inspires me because I know it’s something we can all relate to.

Cross – In your live shows you do cover songs from different bands. I’ve heard you cover Dax Riggs – Didn’t Know Yet What I’d Know When I Was Bleeding (One of my favorites of his) Hands down to you man!  Alice In Chains – Nutshell, Hendrix – Voodoo Child, Floyd, Pearl Jam, to mention some. How can an artist achieve that, to be able to sing and play whatever song they feel like it? (That’s why I compared you to Dax at the beginning of this interview cause in my opinion he is one of the few artists who can do that.)

JKill – I think that if someone is going to sing other peoples music, it’s important for that person to connect to that particular song. I think you really have to love it, or it’s going to show in the performance. It’s one thing to sound bad, but if you hate what you’re doing up there, the audience is going to hate it too. But when it comes to actually performing the song, I’d say have fun with it, and make it your own. Find the key you want to do it in, sing it the way you feel comfortable singing it.

Cross – That’s what I’m saying. Many try to do covers but they try so hard to make it sound exactly how the original band played it or sang it. You add part of yourself that’s why your covers are enjoyable.

I don’t know why I always thought you were/ lived in New Orleans Louisiana. You’re Texas based right?

JKill – I live between Houston and Galveston. It’s funny you mention Louisiana though, because I get that quite a bit when I meet new people. People say I sound like I’m from southwest Louisiana. But that’s only a few hours away from here.

Cross – You ain’t just a very talented musician. Recently you became a Doctor/Nurse? How did that happen?

JKill – I’m a cardiac technician, I work with cardiology. It was kinda by accident actually. I was going to school because I was bored and I signed up for some health classes while working in a chemical plant. However, there was an explosion at the plant one day before school. I came into class that night a little shook up, and told my teacher what happened and he offered me a job at his hospital.

Cross – Ladies and Gents, you heard him, he can fix hearts too. (laughs)

You’re also a great cook. (Maybe that did confuse me about your location. I love Cajun cuisine.) Is that like a hobby of yours?

JKill – I do love to cook! Probably a little too much. Lol.  It is a hobby but it’s also something I plan to turn into a business one day. I kinda look at cooking the same way I look at music. Because I try to never play a song the same way twice and when I cook, it rarely turns out the same. But if it tastes bad, I have no one to blame but myself.

Cross – I’d love to taste some dish you came up with. I love food, it fixes my mood. You do paint too. And you’re really good at it. Was it like you had to choose from two loves and you chose music (to invest more time and energies on)?

JKill – Painting has always just been an interest but I never spent a lot of time with it. The first things I ever painted were these finger paintings I did with oil paints on canvas. They were pretty dark and morbid. Black background with red paint. The images were of a decapitated head and a woman on a meat hook. They were part of a horror series I was wanting to work on along with a music project along the same lines. The music did well and I had a small cult following with it. Some of it ended up talked about on forums in other countries. The paintings ended up in an art show and I donated them to a friend. Years later I became a spray paint artist just for the fun of it. I got good at it and then became burned out. It’s not a simple hobby unfortunately. It takes a lot of space, time and money to get good at it. Unfortunately I don’t have the space right now to practice. But I plan to pick it back up one day.

Cross – I’ve seen a couple ones you shared on Facebook, which were pretty good but, I don’t think were any of those. I’d like to check those out though. And you’re right, to explore more mediums in visual art it needs space and the right materials. That’s why I stick to a paper and pen usually. (laughs)

How’s the book going? Jeremy has been working on a book for a while and I had the pleasure to read some of it.

JKill – The book is an ongoing project I have been working on for about 2 years now. I write and then I put it away and come back to it a few weeks later. At this point in the book, I’m just working on a back story, filling in gaps, adding detail and doing some character development.

Cross – Can’t wait for you to finish it so I can read it, complete. Do you like books in general? To be able to write a book one has to be a reader, right? How does that work for you?

JKill – I actually don’t read anything. Lol. I have probably only read a few books in my life aside from school books. I think the reason I don’t read is because if I have any spare time I like to be the one creating something. But I do like to take the time to appreciate other people’s creative sides. I love visual art, movies, poems, and there have been a few books I have read that I got into, but it’s not as much my thing as it probably should be for someone who likes to write. However, much like my music I feel as if I don’t have to write anything at all, I just have to listen to what someone else is saying and write it down.

Cross – Now that’s a bummer. (laughs) Thought I’d get out one or two titles from you to add to my reading list. But yeah, school books is considered reading. How about horror movies? If so, can you name couple of your favorites and if you feel like it to kinda explain why you like those?

JKill –  Horror movies are my favorite!! I’d have to say The Exorcist and the Evil Dead are the two I like best. The acting and make up along with the story in The Exorcist is probably the best I’ve seen in my opinion, especially when you take into consideration the fact that Linda Blair was just a kid at the time and how long ago the film was made. The Evil Dead had different perspective of demonic possession, while it was definitely evil, there was humor in the movie as well. I ended up naming my son Ashton so we could call him Ash. Lol.

Cross – There you go. (laughs) Great choice there. The Exorcist, Blatty’s horror masterpiece novel. I wasn’t even born when Raimi came up with The Evil Dead.

You had a photo shoot recently. Are you trying to get into that business? What’s up with that?

JKill – The photo shoot in my apartment actually didn’t have anything to do with me. I let a photographer do a photo shoot in my apartment because I have a lot of room, and a modern style home with French doors and a lot of natural lighting. I personally don’t have much interest in photography. I respect it when I see that someone has taken a good shot or someone has really nice photos taken, and I myself would like some good promo pics taken, but I myself don’t know much about photography.

Cross – What have you been listening to these days (or last year)?

JKill – The music I listen to really depends on my energy levels. Lol. If I’m feeling energetic and wide awake, I’ll listen to some Acidbath or Pantera, maybe some Machine Head. Most of the time I’m feeling laid back, so I’ll listen to some acoustic mellow stuff. I’m big on singers who can pull off an entire show with just a microphone and a guitar. Dax Riggs, Elliott Smith, Ray LaMontagne, are some of my favorites. And sometimes I just listen to instrumental music, with piano and strings, because words sometimes distract me. My all time favorites are Pinkfloyd and Acidbath though. Everything else is just a filler, but I really enjoy a lot mellow acoustic stuff.

Cross – What gears does Jeremy prefer for live shows or recording? From mic to guitars, amps, strings too if possible. (One of my strings broke recently and I had no clue which ones I had on my guitar. I was lucky I got Ernie Ball strings as a present. And it turned out, kinda everybody I know uses them.)

JKill – As far as gear goes, I’m pretty picky about my equipment although I use a variety of different stuff. I only play fender electric guitars and Martin acoustics. I use Bose PA systems, but I’m a fan of JBL and Yamaha stuff as well. I play Ernie Ball strings on my electric and elixir strings on my acoustic. I sing through a sure SM58 and my guitar amp of choice is a blackstar tube amp. Tube amps sound best in my opinion.

Cross – In one of our conversations you sent me a song, “Open Baby Torso – Dead Girls and Graveyards”. I loved it. Was driving the first time I listened to it. It was awesome. Soothing vocals. Obscure and chilling at the same time. You added that you were working on a project. Is that song part of this project? How is it going?

JKill – Open Baby Torso, is that obscure project I was talking about earlier that made its way to some forums. I have an entire album like that, and I do plan to re-record the entire thing sometime this year. I have several projects I’m working on at the same time. Open Baby Torso along with the Tode album and my solo album. All while trying to finish this book. I’m also planning to write a short horror series based around the Open Baby Torso songs as well.

Cross – If the other songs are similar to Dead Girls and Graveyards that’s going to be awesome. Can’t wait for all that. Songbird is the only thing I found on your Bandcamp. Crazy solo. Is there any place where people can check more of your originals and support you?

JKill – Songbird is an original that’s on my first EP which is on iTunes and most other digital platforms. Over the years I have put so much music in places and friends band family members have uploaded my music to so many places, that I can’t even keep up where most of it is. But if it’s out there it’s on YouTube as well. I do plan and hope to get all of my music organized into certain places as get my website back up and running after I finish these albums.

Cross – Where do you record and master your songs?

JKill – When it comes to recording my songs, I usually track them at home using garage band, so that I can work out exactly what I’m going to do before going into the actual studio. Then once I have everything together I go to a studio in Austin where me and a few fiends record together, recently my son has been coming along to record the drum tracks for me.

Cross– They sound professional that’s why I was asking. Anything else you might like to add Jeremy?

JKill – All I’d really like to add is that 2020 was a crazy year, but it forced me to be productive and so I’m hoping that in 2021 I’ll have something to show for all the work I did this past year. I have plans to release 3 different albums, a novel and and a small horror series of short stories.

Cross – I’ll be waiting patiently for all that. Thank you for your time Jeremy, it’s been a pleasure! Check out Jeremy’s work below.

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Interview – Dread Risks

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Most of the time I don’t accept suggestions when it comes to music. People usually don’t understand what I’m looking for in that matter. But for this band, the one we’re going to sit down with and talk about, I’m glad I did (accept the suggestion). Dread Risks is the name of the band. They’re Austin, Texas-based. The band expands  upon industrial music sound, exploring aggrotech. For those who don’t know what that is, google it! (Laughs)

Hi Dread Risks! Usually we do some sort of routine questions in my interviews so we’re gonna go with those first and get down to serious stuff after.

Cross – Dread Risks is a two member band, right? Who and who (names, nicknames, instruments)?

DR – That is correct, and we appreciate the interview, Cross. Kris (KO) and Eric, and we share music composition (software & hardware) duties/songwriting, and Kris handles vocals and lyrics with Eric on visual live elements. We are fortunate to have overlapping skill-sets to keep creative energy flowing.

Cross – Who came up with the band’s name and why that one?

DR – We liked the concept of the term based on its discomfort. When you break down the meaning, it’s a fear of “what if’s” residing in an unhealthy mindspace of dreading “small probability” events. It’s a drapery of dead space where progress is stalled for intangible consequences.

And why the name? It’s torture to live this way at any capacity, for any duration, and has synergy with the vibe of our music.

Cross – Interesting. How did you guys meet and when did you two decide to come up with a band and invest time in it?

Eric – We met through an ad in the Austin Chronicle when KO was auditioning for the metal band I was in back in 1999. That band ended, and we reconnected a couple of times later and then things finally fell into place. So this is our 2nd time playing in a band together. There’s really not a choice not to produce music as cheesy as that sounds, but as many can attest to, it’s an outlet – productive outlets deserve time and priority.

Cross – Nice! You guys got out your first release, as Dread Risks, a self titled album on December 2018. I know this is gonna sound ridiculous but the first time I’ve listen to “re/coil” which is the first track of the album, I thought of Devil May Cry, the game. (Laughs) Heavy song. Was that the first song you guys came up with or did it just fit to be the first song on that album?

DR – Haha, nothing is ridiculous. It was one of the first, maybe the 3rd, we wrote, and it gravitated to become one of the choices for a lead single/video. Being an unknown band at the time (we released the record, then got on social media to promote), we thought it unwise to lead with a track 1 “intro” or “more ambient” style piece because of listener attention-span and first impressions.

Cross – “Voidhost” is the third track in Dread Risks album and my ear liked this line a lot, “asplit-second of doubt to cannibalize your fragile will”. It seems like you guys take the lyrics very seriously. How does the writing process of the lyrics go?

KO – I never go into it looking to write a hook or catch-phrase. Usually the concept of the song births dozens of sentences to capture the vibe, and then I parse down to what carries the story, or says enough to impact the moment, or sometimes just fits the goddamn cadence. It’s a process but it always feels personal, so it contributes to my insomnia, making it important.

Cross – “Days. Passing. Dark”, 7th track. What’s it about?

KO – This was a doom song, written a while back, and later adapted for Dread Risks. It’s about the endless moments of sorrow that haunt us, after a loss, in the quiet of solitude when nothing distracts from existing without the joy of what was before.

Cross – The album ends with “Terminal Rate” which sounds like the soundtrack of a haunted-house horror film. Are you guys horror film fans? If so, can you guys name one or two films you guys like?

Eric – I do enjoy a lot of horror so let’s just go with Eden Lake and The Descent.

Cross – I like Eden Lake.

KO – I’m not a big horror fan like Eric here, more into psychological thrillers and sci-fi, but my top two horror films might be The Ring and Evil Dead 2.

Cross – The Ring never got me but Evil Dead, hell yeah! “Errorcode”. A very addictable start. First time I’ve listened to it, it made me think of “Ghost in the Shell”, Wamdue Project – King of my Castle. Nothing like it but that’s what’s the fun part of music, one song gets you to another one. The reason why I mentioned your song is cause there’s a remix of it. Not sure if is a remix you guys came out with or, somebody added their touch to it? It’s a bit confusing the way it’s explained on your Bandcamp.

DR – Oh, the remix was done by our friend Erik Gustafson from Adoration Destroyed who are on Cleopatra Records. He completely reimagined the track and made it its own, and the reception has been very positive. Erik wrote the remix, and Ritch Napierkowski, also from Adoration Destroyed, handled final engineering/mastering duties. Great guys and band.

Cross – Great! Do you guys like anime or animated movies? I brought that one up so now I’m curious. (Laughs)

Eric – Can’t go wrong with Miyazaki movies, and I really like bizarre series like Sgt Frog and Prince of Tennis.

KO – I have a vhs of Battle Angel that I watched the shit out of when new, lol. And watched the Last Unicorn a thousand times with my sister growing up. But recently, nope.

Cross – Good I asked. (Laughs) In what I observed from the first release, you guys stick with the same artist for your cover art. Who and how did you guys meet?

Eric – @dyspyx is my brother and has always been supportive of all musical undertakings and generous with his ideas. It makes the art that much more special.

Cross – Talented family. Same artist who did the band logo?

DR – We sought the recommended help of graphic artist Keeley Laures @keeleylaures / (who does some amazing flyer art for bands btw) to sharpen our logo concept.

Cross – Dread Risks does play live too. Many people say you guys sound awesome live. How difficult is it to play these songs live?

Eric – We always appreciate hearing feedback like that. It definitely took some planning in order to execute these songs live, and each show we learn something that can be improved upon or expanded on in a live capacity. The songs are complex, and we are fans of textures so those sonic elements are especially highlighted live with potential expansion into more hardware-generated elements. Kris can speak more to the vocal duties of course.

KO – Honestly, it’s so in the moment during live shows, that my delivery gets really aggressive and loses some of the subtlety from the album, but I think it makes us heavier and audiences seem to dig that.

Cross – Hopefully someday I can have the chance and pleasure to check you guys live. Are you guys going to get back to it somehow? Livestream or something?

DR – Luckily, we are in a writing cycle with a bunch of killer shows just under our 2019 – early 2020 belt. Live-streaming hasn’t been a priority for this reason as well, but it will make sense at some point. We look forward to sharing some new music in very early 2021, and we do not have a shortage of new material for the remainder of the year.

Cross – You guys got out there some official videos too. How fun was that to work on?

DR – We teamed with a great agency called Zookeeper to develop some unique footage around our sound. They handled the first two videos, and we got to test out and refine our video chops utilizing their content and more to support the duration of the album campaign and for live use. It’s been a lot of fun, and Dave Waite and his team are amazing.

Eric – Lots of late nights from our camp as well to craft the video-to-music cohesion.

Cross – I said this before that Eyehategod and Mike Williams IX has been a huge influence in my music taste, art and much more. Matter of fact first material of yours I listened to was your last release, a mix/cover of their song, one of my favorites of theirs , SFPT1, off their “Take as Needed for Pain”. Why that song and why something from Eyehategod and not Corrections House. In a way you guys sound more like the (Corrections House).

KO – Oh man, I listened to so much Eyehategod and Acid Bath and similar sludge/metal acts, and this song was one of my favorites. The main riff is just killer and it was hard to even consider another song.

Cross – Now that you mentioned Acid Bath, great band! It has been a while since the full album release. Are there any plans to get a new one out there and when?

DR – Look for the full follow-up release in likely spring 2021, but there are some surprises before that. To say we are excited about each of these projects is the biggest understatement ever.

Cross – Looking forward to all that. We share one love Dread Risks and I, Ministry. Can you guys name your favorite album of theirs, Ministry, or a song?

KO“Land of Rape and Honey” gets my vote for favorite album, but the songs I blast in my car on steady rotation are “Hero” and “Unsung”.

Eric – “Psalm 69” and TV II is probably my favorite track from that album.

Cross – What the Dread Risks do other than making music? Any hobbies?

Eric – Finding obscure music, lambada, horse biology, vibrating with crippling intensity.

KO – Just enjoying a good beer, historic fiction, and fighting insomnia. And listening to lots of other great artists.

Cross – Hook us up with five albums you guys have been listening to in the lockdown times.

KO – I have so many tracks on shuffle, and a lot of them come from these albums: Katatonia – Dead End Kings, Kevorkian Death Cycle – I am God, 16 Volt – Beating Dead Horses, Velvet Acid Christ – Twisted Thought Generator, Ghost Brigade – Isolation Songs.

Eric – Faderhead – Asteria, All You Know Is Hell – Gape, Fact Pattern – Fallen Language, ESA – Burial 10, BARA HARI – Pandora’s Box.

Cross – Anything else you guys might like to add?

DR – We just appreciate your interest in interviewing us and putting time into the thoughtful questions. Everyone stay safe and kind and check on each other. Also, if you are an artist and have the chance to do a compilation that feels slightly out of genre, do it without hesitation. We have met so many incredible and talented artists across the noise and harsh electronic scene as a result, and it’s been a lot of fun, and we’ve made some great friends.

Cross – You guys are very welcome and thank you so much! Support and follow Dread Risks:

Facebook –

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Youtube Channel –

Bandcamp – Dread Risks

Interview – Spirit In The Room

CROSS Artworks


For today’s interview I got a special band! They aren’t new but I’m sure many of y’all got to hear about them and had the chance to check them out for the first time in the En Minor Livestream at the historic Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, which happened on November 25th.

What an Epic artwork that was! But, we will get back to that soon… The band I’m talking about is Spirit In The Room, a pretty special and weird band, based in Los Angeles, California. Here with us today I have Dennis, the man behind it.

Hi Dennis! Thank you for accepting to be part of this interview! As I mentioned,  I kinda know nothing about you and your band. I did my homework, and I hope I did it right, but… that’s why we have you here to educate us a bit more about your band.

Cross – Why Spirit In The Room?

Dennis – Why Not?

Cross – Your first single as Spirit In The Room came out in 2013 called Uxia. Great track. You wrote, recorded and performed it yourself. When did you start showing interest about all that?

Dennis – I sang for a lot of bands growing up but never really enjoyed the music. It was never anything I would’ve listened to on my own. So that became the goal. Create music that I would listen to. So I figured out how to do it myself and that’s where I’m at now. The first Spirit in the Room single came out in 2010 and it was a cover of the classic Suicide track “Ghostrider” followed by a song called “Doing Them In”.

Cross – You kept getting singles out there, to name a few: “Sister”, “Click Bait (No Content)”, “Locked (like that one a lot)” with a couple years in-between and after, it became constant. In “Locked” you explained what you used in the process of the making of that song. From guitars to pedals, microphone and all that stuff.  Do you have favorite gears that you specifically like to use more often in your songs?

Dennis – As far as gear, Not really. I pretty much just use whatever I have laying around.

Cross – “A Tropical Hell Hole” has a nice bass. What instrument do you like to play more than others?

Dennis – Singing is my favorite thing to do. I also really enjoy playing bass and my 12 string acoustic.

Cross – You have a great voice! “Destroyed By The Future”, a release of three tracks… I’m not sure about the first song of this release but “Godless Woman” and “Gold Teeth Master Massage”, OMG!! What inspires you Dennis?

Dennis – I’m inspired by a lot of things. Human behavior. Animals. Movies. Books. Music etc. Life in general inspires me.

Cross – “The Holy Phobia, PT.1” came before “Destroyed By The Future”, right? They are a bit mixed up on your Bandcamp… That album is dope! Was this all you?  It’s a great album. I wish I could place it somewhere but your music is, it’s difficult to place in a frame genre.

Dennis – Thanks! All Spirit in the Room music is me. I write, record, engineer, mix and master everything on my own and then send it to my live band to interpret. The upcoming EP with Housecore will be the first time recording with my live band. Destroyed by the Future was recorded in 2010. The Holy Phobia was recorded and released in 2014.

Cross – Alright! Demon. A very horror-atmosphere work. Everything in that album is called that, followed by a number to name the tracks. Why?

Dennis – Why Not?

Cross – Who does take care of the visual art part of the band?

Dennis – I do.

Cross – How much reading does Dennis do to come up with those lyrics?

Dennis – A good bit. Usually when I’m not writing, recording or working.

Cross – Last year came out VOL.1, the third song of which “The Future Is Immediate”, was with what you guys ended your performance in the En Minor Livestream. (Don’t touch that just yet we’re gonna get to the Livestream soon.)  When did you guys start to play live?

Dennis – The first live Spirit in the Room show was in 2011 with a completely different lineup. There have been a few lineup changes through the years. But I strongly feel this current lineup with Phillip Bailey (drums), Kevin Bombay (lead guitar) and Brian Skipwave (guitar, keys) is the strongest and the most dedicated. I am extremely happy with these guys as players and individuals.

Cross – Now we know the full band. “Fucking Hell (Beware You Are)”, was that your first music video? You like clowns, don’t you? (Laughs.)

Dennis – I do. It wasn’t my first Video though. The first official video that I was actually in was for the song “But It Do”. The 2nd was “Sunset Nightmare”. “Fucking Hell” was the 3rd.

Cross – “Medication Blues” is your latest release. Now, how did you get to be in the Housecore Records label? And how did you guys get the deal to be the opening band, for the most depression core band ever En Minor, in the En Minor Livestream?

Dennis – We opened for Scour at the The Whiskey in Los Angeles at the end of 2018. Before that, Stephen Taylor (Philip’s right hand man) sported one of our shirts in the PHA & The Illegals video for “Finger Me”. I did a project with a couple of the Scour boys a few years ago as well. All of this I guess caught Kate and Philip’s attention and yeah. Now we’re here. Extremely grateful to the entire Housecore family.

Cross – Awesome! You guys started right after the EraserHead soundtrack “In Heaven Everything is Fine”. One of my favorite horror films, the soundtrack as well. I thought it was part of the song you guys opened with but I’ve listened to everything you have on Bandcamp and that wasn’t there. Who decided that to be the connection from the atmosphere of that amazing tree and graveyards to Spirit In The Room?

Dennis – That’s the intro for all of our live shows. We love David Lynch. Eraserhead is a great film and that song has stuck with me ever since I was a kid.

Cross – I didn’t know that but hey! Great choice. Btw how much of a horror film fan are you Dennis?

Dennis – I’m a huge Horror fan. Definitely an inspiration in my life.

Cross – Were you guys in the same building during the livestream? The stage didn’t look the same. But again, it changed for En Minor too for “The Older We Get “.

Dennis – No, we recorded our set in Los Angeles.

Cross – Great job though. Are you working on new releases much more now that you are with Housecore Records?

Dennis – I’m always writing and recording. We are currently recording a batch of new songs for our first official Housecore release with producer Manny Nieto (The Breeders, Health, Trash Talk, Los Lobos, Retox, The Chavez Ravine.) at Suplexaudio in Downtown Los Angeles. We love Manny.

Cross – Can’t wait to check that out. Any plans to be part of another Livestream or live show?

Dennis – Yep, we’d love to. I think we should open more Livestreams. Why not? We had a good time. It was weird, but weird is good.

Cross – We enjoyed it. Can you name five albums or songs you’ve been listening to these days?

Dennis – Deadsy – Future Years, Van Halen – Dirty Movies, Sun Ra – We Travel the Spaceways, Portal – The Swayy, Mark Lanegan – Feast to Famine

Cross – Portal yas! Is there anything else you like to do other than write music, Dennis?

Dennis – I love animals. I like collecting and playing with knives. I enjoy hiking and hanging out in my garden. Cooking, eating, drinking. Reading, listening to music, reading. Watching knife videos on YouTube. Avoiding human beings etc etc.

Cross – I agree with you in the last one. Anything else you might like to add?

Dennis – Thank you very much for the support. I’m sincerely grateful. I really appreciate your time.

Cross – Thank you again Dennis! Appreciate it! Follow and support Spirit in the Room: