Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Burying them deep with Ghoultown

Welcome to the wild west, no holds barred here,
but be warned! If you mess around,
the rope might be the next and last thing
you´ll ever see!
This interview was made with
Count Lyle of Ghoultown

Who am I speaking to? Briefly introduce yourself
and tell us more about you.

- I’m Count Lyle, I am the founder,
vocalist and main songwriter for the band.
I’ve played in several types of bands in the past which included the horror punk project, The Killcreeps,
a cult-classic doom metal band called Solitude Aeturnus
and played guitar briefly for GG Allin – back when
I was in high school, believe it or not.

The story of Ghoultown, you have been wondering
in the deserts since 1999. More details about the birth of your band?

- While doing The Killcreeps back in ‘96,
we started writing some dark western songs which had a cool feel
and a lot of unique personality. When we disbanded The Killcreeps,
I wanted to do a band based on those dark western songs
and came up with the name Ghoultown for it.

We started out in ’99, sort of making up our own sound
and image as we went. Sort of a mixture of rock, country,
psychobilly and metal. Since then we’ve done five CDs,
been on five movie soundtracks, a short film,
several compilations, put out a comic book, and toured
the U.S. several times. You can find Ghoultown poster art
in several rock and roll poster books and even in the
Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines PC game.

How would you describe your sound to the common people?

- That’s the hardest question, since Ghoultown
has such a unique sound which brings in so
many musical elements. It’s so far off the map
of typical music in any genre that critics and fans
– and even ourselves – have trouble coming up
with a simple description. I think it gives people a
good idea when we say
‘Ghoultown sits somewhere in the middle ground
between Johnny Cash and Rob Zombie’.
At least people seems to get a mental picture of it that way.

There seems to be a huge explosion going on in the psychobilly,
gothabilly scene.
Lots of ghoul stuff coming out,
how is the scene in your local area?

- Not too bad, but it could be better.
There’s lots of good bands out of Texas like Flametrick Subs,
Shadow Reichenstein, Spitfire Tumbleweeds,
and The Von Ehrics, but the support,
at least in Dallas, is sporadic. For example,
Blizkid came through a little while back and there were
only about 10 people there. It was disgraceful.
Same thing happened to our friends The Independents
when they played here last.

Talking about bands, what has inspired you musically, literally etc.

- Growing up, especially in Texas, some of the first music
I was exposed to was country and western.
Not what they call country today
– which is more like pop music - but the classics like Marty Robbins,
Johnny Cash, Waylon, Willie, Merle Haggard
and all those outlaw guys. My parents were into it,
so that stuff was always playing when I was a kid.
By junior high school I discovered rock and then punk,
metal and goth as it went on,
so I started playing those types of music.

Years later, when I formed Ghoultown,
I sort of rediscovered the old gunfighter tales
of Marty Robbins and dark moods of Johnny Cash,
which were basically my roots.
I guess I couldn’t totally escape those early influences.
With Ghoultown, I wanted to modernize those old western
beats and lyrics, so I mixed it in with my
love of punk and metal.
Out of that you get Ghoultown.

I’m also into old horror movies and spaghetti westerns,
so that has a big influence the band as well in both the music and the image.

Let´s talk more about your music,
last year you released "BURY THEM DEEP"
tell our readers more about it,
recording process, etc.

- It was actually a very long process.
We started recording the songs in early 2005
and finished a first mix around the summer
of that year. At the time we had stopped
playing live and were taking a break
from everything but the recording.
Up until then we had been putting
out all of our music on our own label,
which had become a real pain in the ass,
so we decided not to release the songs
from “Bury Them Deep” at all.

Luckily, a new Texas label called Zoviet Records,
who have always been huge fans of Ghoultown,
offered to sign us and release it.
They also talked us into letting them remix the songs
and recording one more for it.
Chris Telkes, the guitarist for Nocturne,
did a remix at his home studio and it sounded great.
Now we got excited, having a good sounding album and a label,
so we got Dan Brereton’s artwork

– Dan is also a fan of Ghoultown and was so cool to let us use his art –
and Zoviet finally released “Bury Them Deep” in October of 2006,
a year and half after we started the recording.
It has received great reviews and feedback from our fans,
so we’ve been playing a lot of live shows around the Texas area
to promote it.

We also shot a video for the song “Bury Them Deep”
which is available on our website at www.ghoultown.com

Your music has also appeared in couple of movies (American Nightmare and Headcheese),
how did this opportunity rise from the grave?

- When I first put up our website back in ‘99,
a guy emailed me saying how cool he thought
our band was. Later, he just happened to turn up as
music director for American Nightmare.
He played our first EP - which is all we had out back then -
for the director Jon Keeyes.
Jon loved it and wanted us on the soundtrack.
He also came out to one of our shows and after
seeing us live,he wrote us into the movie.
We have a cameo playing “Boots of Hell” at a Halloween party.

The cast has Debbie Rochon and a cameo by Brinke Stevens,
so it’s cool to be in a movie with scream queens like that.

After American Nightmare, Jon wanted us to do more
soundtrack material for him.
We cut “Legend of Everett Sykes” for Hallow’s End.
The song came out so cool, that we released it as a
bonus track on our “Live From Texas!” CD.
We also contributed to Suburban Nightmare,
which is a twisted story about a serial killing couple.
We did a song called “Killin’s a Bitch” for it,
which plays over the ending credits.
Headcheese is one of our favorites.
Those guys are from Austin, Texas
and were Ghoultown fans.
When they did their short film, they asked if they could use
“Killer In Texas”.
It sounded cool, so I let ‘em use it.
Turned out great.

Moving into touring, you´ve toured with some great acts such as:
Blitzkid, Rocket from the Crypt, Rock City Morgue etc. Best shows?

- There’s been a lot of great shows.
We did one with both Blitzkid and Rock City Morgue
in Johnsonville, TN. The show sucked,
but the hotel that we were put up at was the
most hilarious dump we’d ever seen.
It was falling apart and some of the rooms looked
like an adobe prison cell with no windows or
even a locking door.
We had more fun laughing at all the different rooms.

As far as live shows, some of my favorites have to be the ones
where we had special guests on stage.
Jerry from the Misfits performed with us once and
King Diamond got up and sang “Killer in Texas”
at a show in Dallas.
Those are some of my heroes, so it’s definitely cool.

Are there plans to tour in Europe?
I´m pretty sure that is a audience waiting for you.

- We do get a lot of CD orders and fan mail from
Europe and we’ve been trying to get that going for years,
but we are a bunch of broke-ass Texas musicians
and have no idea how to arrange a tour in Europe.
We had a European label, but they weren’t even
willing to fly us over. If any European promoters
want to help us book a tour, then we are willing,
we just haven’t found one yet.

About your fanbase, is there are alot of rockabillys or is it a wider spread of genres?

- Our fanbase is made up of all kinds of music fans,
so rockabilly types are only a part of it.
Our shows attract punks, metal heads, psychobillies,
goths, and hellbilly fans.
I like that our music brings together a cross-section of people.
I listen to all kinds of music and go to all kinds of shows,
so I’m proud when our band can transcend labels and genres.

New year, new tricks, what is next with Ghoultown? New album perhaps?

- I am working on demos for the next CD now which will be called “Life After Sundown”.
I’m almost done… with only two songs to go before I’m finished.
I usually demo them on my multi-track recorder and
then give them to the guys to learn.
Once we start playing the songs together, then they really take shape.
I’m excited because we have some really great songs for the next one.
There’s no recording schedule or release date planned right now,
it will just depend on how soon we learn the material and are happy with everything.
Otherwise, we are just playing shows to promote “Bury Them Deep.”
We took off from playing live for over two years,
so it’s just cool to be back playing shows for our fans.

Please share your last words. Fangs and good luck with Ghoultown!

Check us out and hear Ghoultown for yourself at:
www.ghoultown.com or

Thanks for the interview!

All text contained herein; © 2006-2007 Talesfromtheshadows. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Searching for black dahlia with Astrovamps

This is the tale of Astrovamps, the american deathrock phenomenon.
SirJohnTalbot had to opportunity to talk to them about
music, life and beyond life, let´s see what they had to say...

Greetings, who am I speaking to?

EYAJO: To the wicked witch of the West.

DANIEL: Daniel Ian Essex-Singer

GLASS: I'm glass. This is my friend, Tongue Tongue.
Don't worry, you have nothing to fear from Tongue
Tongue - he's only tasting you. But likewise don't
resist for he can crush you quite easily.

TOE KNEE: My moniker is Toe Knee.I perform backwards
drums and minor miracles in Astrovamps


How did you end up with the name Astrovamps?

DANIEL: It was a song on the 1st album we ever did
(Savage Garden)

Describe your sound to our readers

DANIEL: Let's see, Punk meets Metal meets Glam meets
Goth meets Horror movies, meets Porno! put them All
together and you get DEATH ROCK!!

EYAJO: We are a Death Rock band, that also mixes
touches of Bat Cave, Goth, Punk, Dark Glam, and Rock
into our sound.

TOE KNEE: I would call it a calculated and conducive
mixture of Goth,Deathrock and Synthetic/Poetic
orations mixed with smatterings of Psychobilly and

GRIM: The best DEATH ROCK you've ever heard.

How old were you when you started to write music?

EYAJO: I started writing poetry and Lyrics in middle
school, but it wasn't until my freshman year in High
school that i started to teach myself the keyboards.

DANIEL: When I was in High school. thats when I picked
up the guitar and started to play, I was about 17.

GLASS: I was a kid, really. Probably around eight.

TOE KNEE: I believe i was borne from the womb to
create.I just needed maturity in mind and physicality
to fully realize the artform.

GRIM: Me, personally 13 years old.

What influenced you to make music such as Astrovamps is?

DANIEL: Living in Hollywood and listening to an
eclectic mix of different Rock genres. Most kids when
they start to listen to a certain type of Rock they
tend to stay within that style and don't allow
themselves to listen to anything else. but there is 50
years of Rock music and a plethora of styles to listen
to, I Listened and collected rock from the 50's, 60's,
70's and 80's. The 90's did not impress me much. And
of course being a big fan of Horror and porn
influenced me as well. It's all in there.

EYAJO: Lyrically, I'm influence by the great and
Classic poets, both old and new. I'm also Lyrically
influenced by, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Simon Le
Bond, Martin Gore, Nick Cave, etc. Musically i'm
influence by, (rozz)Christian Death, (old)Gene Loves
Jezbel, Bauhaus, Joy Divison, Skinny puppy, Specimen,
(old)Duran Duran, Flesh For Lu Lu, Sisters of Mercy,
New York Dolls, Velvet Underground, Stars from Mars
and Bowie(Ziggy Stardust)

TOE KNEE:I have a strong and lingering background in
Glam and Goth therefore the band was a perfect choice
for me when offered the chance in the dark ages of
anno 1993.

GLASS: I pull influences from punk, metal, rockabilly,
glam... I listen to a wide variety of sounds.

If you would run your own TV station, what would you broadcast?

DANIEL: HA, thats easy HORROR and PORN!

EYAJO: I would start a Horror movie production
company, then make my own Horror films and show them
in heavy rotation on the TV station.

GLASS: Horror movies, mostly the terrible ones from
the 80's, followed by episodes of The Simpsons, Six
Feet Under, The Young Ones, and Tales From The Dark
Side, etc.

TOE KNEE: 24 hours of Various Horror movies,Poetry
readings,Metal,Goth,Punk and Glam videos as well as

GRIM: Porn.

What makes a perfect day?

EYAJO: to have my son with me and spend it with my
girlfriend, then write some poetry and play an
ASTROVAMPS concert at night. And after the show
fucking my girl friend in the ass...That would be a
perfect day.

DANIEL: A good meal, a good nap, a good book and a
real good Fuck! (a girl with big tits being a must)

GLASS: Sleeping in, then getting oral sex, then going
back to bed. Then waking up, drinking a great cup of
coffee with a vegetarian breakfast, while reading a
great book. Then of course playing a wild show and
drinking all night with the fans.

TOE KNEE: Any day that is void of human life.Hmmmm..i
guess no day is really perfect then, is it?

GRIM: Being able to play music, having a smoke and a

I remember reading some interview where you stated that you have a soft spot for Catholic school girl look and horror movies, what are your favorite horror movies?

EYAJO: yes that was me, the school girl look is Hot
and my complete weakness when it comes to women. My
girl friend is from Puerto Rico, but when she first
flew to Los Angeles to see me, she was wearing a
japanese school girl uniform. Oh my God! You should
have seen her it! But yeah, the School girl look is
HOT! I like all the old Black and White monster films
and my favorite to this day is ''The Creature From The
Black Lagoon."

Let´s talk about the audience, what kind of people
come to see Astrovamps?
Are there a mix of genres or
just deathrock people?

EYAJO: Our crowds have always had a big mix of genres,
there would be people from everywhere. Deathrock,
Batcave and Goth (mostly) , but also; rock, metal,
glam, punk and death metal people as well.

DANIEL: Honestly, all kinds. we have always had a youg
audience but lately I've noticed more and more older
folks coming. We get a real crossover crowd, Goths
with Punkers and Black Metalers.

TOE KNEE: Every walk of social miscreant known (or
otherwise) to mankind.All good people and true people
unlike the majority of bipeds.

Thing you hate the most while being on the road?

EYAJO: Waiting a day or two before the next show and
not being able to get enough ice in my drink. other
than that we do what we have to do for our art.

DANIEL: The drag time you spend on the bus. It gets to
be long and boring. You really live for that one hour
on stage.

TOE KNEE: Hot tar,Speeding vehicles and those pesky
fragments of roadkill.YUCK!!

If you could pick any director you wish, who you direct Astrovamps music video?

DANIEL: Tim Burton.

EYAJO: Peter Jackson. Tim Burton.

GLASS: Guillermo Del Toro, Chris Cunningham, Michele
Soavi, or Patric Ullaeus.

TOE KNEE: Lucio Fulci, if he were still alive or
perhaps Quentin Tarantino


What is next with Astrovamps?

EYAJO: Well we will being doing a club tour in the UK
and there are other European dates in the works.
Preparing to release all our old material on "toys in
the Graveyard" and record our next full length Lp
''Pixies and Daggers.'' But other than that ASTROVAMPS
really plan to focus on touring these last years.

DANIEL: Something we wanted to do for a long time,..a

GLASS: We're going to become missionaries and go to
Or come out with another album and tour. One or the

TOE KNEE: Planetary domination!!

GRIM: A new beginning for me, since I'm the newest
edition to the Vamps.

Last gasps of breath are your, use them wisely!

DANIEL: I am soon to be featured on a reality show by
MTV about a hip Hollywood Barber shop on Melrose. I
happen to work there so it should be fun.

EYAJO: I also have a few side things in the works,
''The Dreadful Dead of Black Berry Creek'' and ''The
Dead Pumpkin Patch Project.'' and their progress i
will keep updated on mysite and the ''Astrovamps''
site. Other than that you can count on more ASTROVAMPS
tours coming your way.

GLASS: Check out seaofdeadfaces.net! Or be DooMed.

TOE KNEE: Too bad.I have an extra lung on reserve.



All text contained herein; © 2006-2007 Talesfromtheshadows. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Loving the cemetary with The Quintessentials

First of all, introduce yourself to our readers?

- I'm Les Hernandez and I formed The Quintessentials back in 1998 as a continuence of two of my older bands, Crawling Chaos and The Catalogs. Some might remember The Catalogs from our 7" on Mutant Pop, recorded in late 1997, which included a re-recording of the song 'Another Girl', which we originally released on our 'Viva Los Muertos' demo and later covered by The Queers on their alums 'Don't Back Down', 'Live in West Hollywood' and a couple others. W'ere originally from Hawaii, but I reformed the band here in Portland, Oregon, last year when I moved. The Quintessentials currently consists of myself on lead guitar and vocals, Hernan Tumbaga on Drums, and Todd Niebling on bass.

How would you describe The Quintessentials to someone who doesn´t know you?

- I'd say we're basically a Horror Punk band with a few twists.
We're influenced by Punk Rock bands like the Misfits, Ramones,
Screeching Weasel,
Sloppy Seconds, The Queers, Connie Dungs, Vindictives, et cetera,
as well as Black Metal bands like Venom, Bathory, Emperor, Dark Funeral and the like. Basically, if Satan fucked Pinky Tuscadero from Happy Days,
this would be their offspring.

Is there place for politics in your music?

- Absolutely not! Our lyrics come from my own point of view,
which is neither Republican nor Democrat;
Liberal nor Green
nor Anarchist nor Fascist. There's a little bit of each in my personal outlook and it shows in my lyrics, but not in an overtly political sense. It's a fun, yet extremely Meritocratic point of view. As Anton LaVey once wrote, "Responsibility to the Responsible".

Our lyrics, if it can be described as anywhere near political, would be more philisophical, in the sense that it agrees with going along with Natural Law, Individuality and Personal Aesthetics/Liberty rather than accepting what you're told to believe, read or watch on television. Other than that, we're all about good, bloody horror and fun!

For as long as there has been rock n roll, politicians,
relegious groups etc. have been accusing for musicians for
influencing kids with bad things,what do you think about this?
Is the musician resposible when some
fans shoots people at school etc?

- Most kids, being the products of their parents' behaviors and viewpoints, are already influenced at home by "bad things". America is a society based on fear and scapegoating. Everyone places the blame for themselves and their children on someone else and no one accepts responsibility for their own actions. Kids who are prone to bad behavior or violence will do so regardless of what is said to have "put them over the edge", whether it be music, movies, books, or what have you. Other countries don't have this problem even when they have the same entertainment mediums. America contains the largest population of Fundamentalist Christianity in the world, and Fundamentalist Christianity, or hardcore Fundamentalist religion in general, is nothing more than a system of creating fear to control others, which in turn creates a paranoid society in which the only way people are conditioned to react is by either complience, violence or self-destruction. Modern America is a prime example of this. What does the nightly news show you? Do The Quintessentials try to influence young minds? Fuck yes we do! We try to get kids to THINK while at the same time enjoying themselves. We try to show them life is fun and fantasy need not be neglected--that there IS magic left for humanity and they can be who they are without feeling chastised or looked down on for it. We tell kids, "You're different? Be proud and make the most of it! Enjoy life at the despite those who might hate you! Spit back in their faces by becoming better than them!"

Is there a message in your lyrics, that your trying to get across to the listeners?

- Yes and no. Besides what I've already said, my personal leanings towards Satanism always come through
I guess I do try to dispel misinformation about it through my lyrics. Being a proud long time member of the Church of Satan
(founded by Anton Szandor LaVey in 1966),
I feel it's my personal duty to make clear what others have so horribly misfigured through their portrayals in film, TV and shlock.

Let´s go to your childhood, I somewhere read that you had conflicts with different gangs
in your youth, can you tell us more about this?

- Wow--you did your homework! Yes, I grew up in the ghetto in Honolulu. Most folks outside of Hawaii don't even know they exist, but they do. Meth was huge in my town back in the very early 1980s, as were Crips, Bloods, and all that stuff. I remember walking home one night and following a trail of blood to my front door, where a kid was just taken away dead, shot in some gang-related bullshit. Hell, a kid was shot in the head in my high school parking lot by a very calm shooter who walked away in a very non-rushed fashion once, and on another occasion the school football team put a metal fork and butter-knife in a couple of guys who left in stretchers.

The gangs in Hawaii back then were mostly Samoan and Filipino, the latter being the smaller and known more for gun activity; the former for more brutal beatings by the very fact that they were so BIG! The Samoas were either Crips or Bloods and the Filipinos had their own gangs. Onething they all had in common is that they all hated Rock'n'Rollers, though the Filipinos had a penchant for Butt-Rock. Neither side contained a modicum of brains. I hated them all. I still do.

Little about live shows, after Dimebag was shot, there was a kind of hysteria going
on with artists all around the world, have you ever been afraid while being on stage?

- I've never really been afraid of being on stage. I'll certainly keep an eye out for an accidental mic stand knocking me in the teeth, but I don't think some kid will try and make me a martyr by putting a bullet in me. At a punk show, he'd be beat to non-recognition at the very attempt-- or I'd break my guitar over the fucker's nose if I see it coming. It's a pretty tight-knit scene, though you never really know.

Back to music in general, what kind of music do you listen at home?

- I listen to Punk Rock, Horror Punk, Oldies (Doo-Wop, '60s girl pop, etc.), old Metal, Black Metal, Swing, good old Jazz, Classical-- even Christmas tunes (though not the Jesus crap). Hell, I love the soundtracks from Grease and Xanadu!

The Quintessentials have been around for almost 10 years, that´s alot
when you think about how long bands usually stay together, what is your secret?

- Fascism! Haha! Really, I've played with so many different musicians in this band that it boils down to me staying true to myself and what I want out of it. This thing called The Quintessentials almost exists outside, as if I'm just the medium it comes through, so I just flow with it. I can't live without it though, because it comes from whatever makes me, me. On the back of everything we release is a symbol I call the Bloodfire Sigil.
I created it before I started The Quintessentials, for my old magazine, 'Bloodfire!'. It is a black dragon/demon with a Black Flame over its head in a trapezoid, surrounded by two circles. Within those circles reads "Strength, Will, Power, Passion". These are what drives any living thing forward, lest it die if inertia. Basically, it is vitality or a lust for life, as represented by the Black Flame of Satan. It also helps that people seem to enjoy the music--some almost as much as I do!

What have The Quintessentials been up to lately? When can we expect new release?

- Well, we just recorded a new track called 'The Black Pope', for the upcoming compilation "The Black House: a Tribute to Anton S. LaVey", put together by French Church of Satan member, Chris Menta (RazorDog), and featuring other CoS members, including many in our Clergy (as well as current High Priest, Magus Peter H. Gilmore).

We'll be releasing our new 7", titled 'Sarah Alice is DEAD!', later this year. This will feature 6 songs in all. We'll also be releasing our fourth full-length album later this year and be appearing on the World Horror Network's 'The Horror of it All, Volume 3" compilation CD/DVD set, then touring.

This is the final call, your chance to promote and
tell your greetings to fiends worldwide!

- Those interested can find us at www.thequintessentials.com (our official site),
horror-punks.com, myspace.com/thequints, interpunk.com,
hwnexp.com (Hawaiian Express Records), cosemporium.com and a few other sites. A few of these sites have mp3s you won't find on each-others' sites.

Let us know if you'd like to book us or want us on a compilation-- or just write if you want to say hello. We're pretty friendly guys. And to our very loyal fans: THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!

All text contained herein; © 2006-2007 Talesfromtheshadows. All Rights Reserved.