PHILIP ANSELMO "A Vulgar Display of HORROR"
By Dr. Abner Mality
How strange are the ways of fate. Five years ago, if you asked me what metal icon I would have LEAST wanted to talk to, I would have sure said Phil Anselmo, notorious frontman of the legendary Pantera and current leader of Down. In fact, I might have said he was a real jerk. Well, that shows what I know. Life has a lot of surprises and you learn the hard way. I know Phil has learned and now, so have I, because in the 15 years plus I have been doing this Wormwood project, I have never had a better interview or felt more of a kinship than I have with Mr. Phil Anselmo.
METAL and HORROR are the guiding forces in both our lives and that's what bonded us together here. Now, the Good Doctor is quite the horror fanatic, but Phil takes it up a notch further yet and can speak with great authority on all aspects of horror, from the silent movies of almost a century ago to the stomach-churning underground gore of today. He has now found a way to exploit that passion for horror, by creating a convention utterly devoted to it. This is the HOUSECORE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL, to be held at Emo's in Austin, Texas from October 25 to 27, 2013. Phil is the co-creator of the event along with infamous horror blogger/writer Corey Mitchell and you can read about the astounding line-up of the Festival at this link: www.housecorehorrorfilmfestival.com
So I called Mr. Anselmo and for the next 60 minutes plus, it was like I was in a bar talking to somebody I felt I had known my whole life. I hope you are able to get just a fraction of the enjoyment I had conducting this interview when you read it. We cover an unbelievable number of subjects: "Night Gallery", Coffin Joe, pro wrestling, Aleister Crowley, Henry Daniell, the upcoming "angry" solo album Phil is doing, comic books, metal shows in Rockford, IL and of course, the Housecore Festival. And yes, you find out a lot about Phil Anselmo himself.
I am really proud of this one, Worm-fans, so read on and prepare to be "FAR BEYOND HORRIFIED"...
WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Let me dive right into the meat of the matter: the Housecore Horror Convention! How long has this idea been brewing in the back of your mind?
PHILIP ANSELMO: You know, honestly, I never thought anything like this would happen. It had never really crossed my mind. But you know what's funny, man? It is well documented in the past and the press and the last 30 years I've been rocking, I'm a pretty simple guy when it comes to interests. That comes down to music, boxing and horror films. Anything that I have put my heart's love into kind of comes right around back to me. And this feels very similar. It's a part of my life and I'm going with the flow.
WC: It sounds like a good way to give back to something you enjoyed.
PA: Shit yeah, of course!
WC: Let me take you back in time. What was the first actual horror film that made a deep impression on you, where you said, man, this is what I want to get into?
PA: Well, you know, as a young kid ,man...and I mean back when I could really start comprehending television shows...I grew up in New Orleans. Friday night they always had the Creature Feature, Saturday they had horror flicks in the late afternoon and then they also had a late night horror show with a horror host and what not. And there was always the Sunday morning movie, which would vary between sci-fi and out-and-out horror. Another thing that really got me was made for TV horror at the time. My mother was really into "The Twilight Zone" and especially "Night Gallery"...those were a big, big part of my life growing up. So I adored all these fucking things, but as far as picking one particular movie, that's a tough one. But there was a very dreary film from back in the day that sticks out...two films, actually. One was an Anthony Perkins movie called "How Awful About Allen". It was a creepy fuckin' movie, man, and really left an impact on me. Also, the original "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark", with Kim Darby. A fantastic made for TV horror film for its time with killer make-up and special effects. Then again, you go back to the black and white stuff, which I'm a tremendous fucking fan of,...dude, anything from "Attack of the Crab Monsters" to "Fiend Without a Face"...I've got so much of it ingrained in me and I do have a pretty decent memory from my childhood. I've seen so many effective horror films in my time, at different periods in my life, like "Don't Go In The House". I saw that in the theater and it was just a mind-blower. Man, when I saw "Evil Dead 1" when I was 15 years old, it blew my fuckin' mind. Not to mention I had already seen "The Exorcist" which was terrifying, but to me, "Evil Dead 1" at 15 years old when gore was especially important...the possession aspect was taken to its fullest potential...
WC: Never been equalled.
PA: I agree! It's really a fluke.If you look at Sam Raimi's body of work thereafter, it's all kinda comedy and light-hearted. I hated "Evil Dead 2" and "Evil Dead 3", I just hated 'em. I thought they desecrated "Part 1" because "Evil Dead 1" was this brooding, atmospheric film where nothing good happens and it just keeps getting worse. And I adored it.
WC: They made it into slapstick comedy, eventually...
PA: Leave that to the Three Stooges.
WC: You know, I could hit the stop button right now and spend the next five or six hours talking horror with you. I grew up in Chicago area, so I recall the original Svengoolie....
PA: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah! The fuckin' horror host! Man, I loooove having those old horror hosts, I truly love it! I love that era of horror.
WC: Getting back to "Night Gallery", which episode made the strongest mark on you? I remember which one it was for me...
PA: Well, to me, it's several. Their H.P. Lovecraft adaptations were excellent in their own right, figuring how complex H.P. Lovecraft can be. "Cool Air" was beautifully done. "Pickman's Model"....you look back at it and maybe the makeup and costumes are a little hokey, but for 1972, what wasn't, you know? Also the one Vincent Price starred in...
WC: I believe it was the "Class of 99", the one with the androids...
PA: Yeah, he was a teacher in that one, but I'm talking about "The Return of the Sorcerer", a completely Satanic episode with Bill Bixby as the protagonist. Man, I love fucking' "Night Gallery".
WC: The one that shook me when I was a kid was "Fright Night", about a trunk left in the attic...
PA: Yeah, yeah, yeah! And the dude keeps coming back for it every year!
WC: It was Halloween and the couple in the story open up their door prepared for the worst and find out it's a bunch of little kids dressed up. So the next time they answer the door, they think it will be kids again and this time it's a rotted corpse. That freaked me out...
PA: See, that's funny, man! That's one that probably wouldn't be considered a classic, but it sticks in your head. When you think of "Night Gallery", there's one called "There Aren't Any More McBains" which is so fucking great! It's a true horror story, man, it's really fantastic. And then there's one with...oh, Jesus Christ, what's the cat's name? The guy who played John-Boy Walton...
WC: Richard Thomas.
PA: Exactly. He was in a "Night Gallery" which Geraldine Page called "Sins of the Father". Oh my God, it's so atmospherically perfect and grim and grotesque. It's about a "sin-eater" who has to eat the sins of a dead man's corpse. Barbara Steele's in it, for God's sake. It's incredible!
WC: We could make a night of it just talking about this one show, but let me move on, now. How damaging has CGI and modern media been to horror? I think it's taken the heart and soul out of most of it.
PA: It has ripped the fucking heart out of its chest. I hate it, I'm not a fan. CGI, even in its earliest form to its more recent constant overuse....I tell people they might as well be playing a fucking Scooby Doo cartoon. There are certain exceptions. The recent "Thing" remake, which actually was a not-bad prequel to "The Thing"...what upsets me is that they had the non-guts to just call it "The Thing", simply because remakes are so fucking prevalent these days...and I guess, needed these days. Why didn't they just called it "The Thing: The Prequel" or "Before The Thing" or something like that?
WC: I see this in music, sports and everything. It's bean-counters and suit-and-tie guys running everything.
PA: You know it. Take a look at profootballpark.com. How many headlines are just dying for clicks?
WC: I was a huge fan of old school pro wrestling...
PA: Me, too! We could talk for hours!
WC: I liked it back in the territory days. I grew up in the Midwest, where we had the AWA.
PA: The AWA, with Nick Bockwinkel....
WC: Mad Dog Vachon...
PA: Hell yeah! Mad Dog Vachon, Crusher Blackwell...
WC: The minute I first saw Vince McMahon back in 1984, I got a really bad feeling. I said, this is a businessman, not a promoter. And now it's like watching "Disney On Ice" or "The Harlem Globetrotters". The soul is gone. Same thing in horror and music.
PA: Or just one big steroid-infested soap opera. Man, I used to go to the Superdome to see Harley Race vs Dusty Rhodes and Junkyard Dog vs both of the fuckin' Fabulous Freebirds. I saw Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan in the goddamn Superdome. I'm with ya, man. When they lost the AWA and NWA, I got lost.
WC: I look at the indy scene today and there are some worthy promotions, but I haven't watched a WWE program straight through in probably more than 10 years.
PA: It's been longer for me, they lost me, man. I know Ric Flair was a long time NWA staple and he crossed over. I remember when Ted DiBiase was just this really homely good guy in the Mid-South. There were actually two different versions of the Mid South. Ours here in New Orleans was this really tiny fuckin' faction and there was another Mid-South with Jerry "The King" Lawler.
WC: Getting back to the Housecore Horror Convention, putting something like this together cannot be an easy thing. What are some of the logistics of putting together an event like this?
PA: That's a very interesting question. I think a lot of things are still in the works. We're trying to work with numerous sponsors on it. Don't get me wrong, we've got a lot of questions to be answered...and asked! But we do have commitments from a lot of amazing, over the top shit that I would have never fuckin' figured. We've got directors like Coffin Joe from Brazil. As a matter of fact, I was just on tour with Down in Brazil and he came out to the show and we met. He brought me these priceless fuckin' autographed posters and books and stuff like that. So he's committed to coming down and he's bringing some never before seen artwork that he's done, certain crazy films that I've never even heard of. It was wild just finding out about the guy. He's done so many different films in so many different genres...everything from soft porn to horror to children's films. And then I've got a guy like Jorg Buttgereit coming down from Germany, who made the infamous "Nekromantik" films. To me, that's an amazing fucking thing, man, because he's showing "Nekromantik" on 35mm along with "Nekromantik 2" and another film that he did called "Schramm". In the late 80's and early 90's, I was naturally with Pantera, my band at the time, and we did a lot of touring with White Zombie back then. I got very close with Rob and Sean from White Zombie. I remember one time we were in Los Angeles and I was in their apartment. This was before either one of us was making much scratch. Rob said, I know of this awesome video store. I said, let's make a deal. You buy me a video that you want me to watch and I will buy you a video I want you to watch. He bought me "Spider Baby", which I do adore, with Lon Chaney and whatnot and I bought him "Nekromantik 1", because to me, that movie was fucking extreme. And of course we all know Rob Zombie's story from then out out. But that story always sticks out in my mind.
WC: I'm just discovering Coffin Joe's stuff right now. One of my writers Jens is a huge exploitation film fanatic...
PA: Then he's up the right path...
WC: Yeah, even more than me! Joe is maybe his favorite personality. He came up with stuff that was really unique in that merged really old school horror like from the Universal days with weird psychedelic gore...
PA: There are certain films of his that do touch on that but may I suggest one that is pure black and white and he, Jose Mojica, plays the Coffin Joe character? It's not psychedelic but it is pure horror with a "do what thou wilt" feel to it. It's called "At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul". He's the local undertaker who just walks into the local bar and owns the fuckin' place! "The Strange World of Coffin Joe" is where he really mixes those rich colors and nude chicks and makes these tripped out movies.
WC: Was that the one where he went to Hell?
PA: Could be, man! "Strange World..." is awesome, "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul" is great. "At Midnight I'll Possess Your Corpse", to me that one was a little weak, but maybe I say that with hindsight because I was such a fan of "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul" because it was such a true horror film. The soundtrack to it is just unforgiving...unforgiving!
WC: It was a great coup to get him. I compare Joe to another icon I'm sure you're familiar with, Paul Naschy.
PA: Oh my God. Look, I know Paul Naschy is famous for his werewolf role, but have you ever seen him in a movie called "The People Who Own The Dark"? Go fucking get it tomorrow or buy it today..."The People Who Own The Dark". Paul Naschy is one of the main guys in that movie. That movie is an A+ man, I'm tellin' ya!
WC: I don't think there was anybody in history who loved horror as much as he did. He played every possible character, from classic monsters like Dracula and the Werewolf right up to modern "giallo" style slashers. He was even in a Spanish inquisition type movie!
PA: Oh yeah! (laughs) You say "gee-allo", I say "Guy-ay-lo"! Hey, also don't forget that Naschy was a fuckin' ladies man, too! He got the chick in every movie, with that haircut and barrel chest.
WC: Phil, there's been a lot of trials in your life. How important has horror been in coping and dealing with these trials?
PA: That's a strange question, but you know what? I'll make it personal. I could be in the worst humor in the world. If I'm coming off a tour and I'm exhausted and I just don't want to be bothered, I could always go into my room, in my own atmosphere and my own element, and put on a horror film and slip away, into this beautiful world that would take me away. It would take all my previous anxiety-ridden thoughts and put 'em on hold for a while. Right now, I'm comin' off a couple of days where I've watched about 10 horror movies in the last 48 hours. I'm watching submissions to the Housecore Convention on top of films where I just take a break and watch something on Netflix. That's shit's getting a little weak, though. I could go on about that, but whatever. There are still certain surprises on Netflix but not many. Man, I am a horror film...and I use this term very, very loosely...junkie!
WC: Horror and heavy metal and comics were the lifeblood for me...
PA: I've got some old comics that are stunning, man. I used to collect horror comics. There was a book that someone gave me on the subject of horror comics and it was so thorough! I come to find out I actually had ten different issues from the 70's that have no publisher written on them. There are no credits, either. It's kind of poorly drawn color covers, but the inside was black and white stuff. I've got everything from those magazines to "Death Rattle". Man, I'm with ya!
WC: Eerie Publications, they used to put out some really gruesome and crude comics. Back in my youth, they made even Creepy and Eerie look like high class literature!
PA: Oh, totally! Those are probably the exact comics I'm talking about. There were so many of them, man! The titles escape me right now because it's been so long since I've dug them out, but they were really, really crazy shit!
WC: It sounds like you leave no tombstone unturned when it comes to horror...
PA: Well, I won't say I'm a total expert, but I am well versed.
WC: No doubt about it. It blows my mind when you hear some kid saying the original "Thing" was done in 1982. Are you kidding me?
PA: It was 1950, by the way.
WC: 1951, I believe.
PA: They don't know shit like that.
WC: Guys like you and me, that's what we're here for, I guess.
PA: I'm trying to teach them, but kids tell me how much better Rob Zombie's version of "Halloween" is compared to the original. Yeah, you go back and watch the original "Halloween" movie and yeah, it's a pretty tame movie but you know what made that fucking movie? The soundtrack! And then the UNDYING, menacing killer that could step into your neighborhood and be inside your house without very much effort. The soundtrack just drove that movie on, John Carpenter with that fuckin' soundtrack really, really got a hold of me as a youngster. To compare the two is just so tough, it's tough to hear.
WC: Would you consider getting a non-metal act such as Goblin to play at the Housecore Festival?
PA: Already got 'em. I don't know if I should announce that yet or not, but it's unbelievable. I know you try to write a story, I know it's probably going to go into your story, but right now we've actually got Goblin playing the soundtrack to "Suspiria" while the movie is actually playing.
WC: Oh, Jesus!
PA: Oh yeah. Try to keep it under wraps. It's hard to make these announcements because if something falls through, that would be terrible. Right now it looks like it will absolutely be happening. (And it was later absolutely confirmed...the reason you are reading it now!--Mality) Let me ask you a question. You ever hear of an old Italian band from the late 60's/early 70's called Jacula?
WC: Yes! They were referred to me by Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth!
PA: Oh really? I know that band but not well.
WC: When I interviewed Mikael, I discovered he is a fanatic collector of obscure old prog rock records.
PA: I've got a lot myself, man! It's unbelievable how much shit is out there to be discovered.
WC: He brought that name up to me. There were a number of Italian bands in the early 70's who were very horror oriented. There was another one called Antoninus Rex or something like that...
PA: Antoninus Rex actually did a record with Jacula and I have that record as well.
Man, you are talking to the right guy...
WC: The link between prog and horror used to be almost as strong as between horror and metal. The 70's was the last great era of horror movies.
PA: I understand the sentiment pretty well, but the 1980's had their moments as well. Had they made "Nightmare on Elm Street" and left it at that, it would be regarded as a classic today. But what we got was regurgitation after regurgitation. The forced down your fuckin' throat one-liner syndrome, which is so shitty and cheesy, just wrecked the horror aspect of it. Robert Englund is the BANE, in my fuckin' eyes. I know it's not his fault, he's just trying to make a buck, but fuck him and fuck that whole series. I can't stand it, it sucks!
WC: Most horrors became very cookie-cutter during the 80's...
PA: It still is today, man!
WC: It is, but what really bothers me is the lack of horror icons. Guys like Vincent Price...
PA: BORIS KARLOFF, man! Boris Karloff is the KING! "The Old Dark House" with fuckin' Charles Laughton! Also a young Melvyn Douglas! One of the best haunted house movies of all time! Now I remember a movie from the early 80's, maybe the late 70's, that I saw in the theater, "The Changeling"...
WC: With George C. Scott...
PA: With George C. Scott, but also with an older Melvyn Douglas...who was in "The Old Dark House" 50 goddamn years before! He played a character called Philip Wheelerton. But Karloff as the Butler...wow!
WC: I love all of the old horror icons, but my special favorite is Peter Cushing.
PA: Love him! How can you not love Peter Cushing? Godamn, what a great, great contributor!
WC: I've seen movies that he's been in that haven't been so good, but he himself has always been great in everything.
PA: Think about his role in "Shockwaves". man. That's a later movie and not a great movie by any means, but he's great, like you say. Anything he touches is memorable. One of my favorite fuckin' movies, which is a star-studded event, is called "Mania" and it's based on the true story of Burke and Hare, the body snatchers. And that reminds me of the original movie "The Body Snatcher", with Karloff...
WC: And Henry Daniell...
PA: Wow! Not anybody knows that dude! Me and you are kindred spirits! Hey, you ever see episodes of Boris Karloff's "Thriller"?
WC: I'm catching up with them now. I just watched a great episode with Henry Daniell...
PA: "Well of Doom"?
WC: "Well of Doom", with Richard Kiel...
PA: Hey, man, I'm not a big fan of how they "Scooby Doo'ed" the ending of that one, but what a role by Henry Daniell! What a voice he had! And also remember Henry Daniell in "The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake"!
WC: Basil Rathbone considered him the best actor to ever play the role of Professor Moriarty, which is quite a compliment considering that Lionel Atwill and George Zucco also played Moriarty.
PA: And also coming from Basil "Son of Frankenstein" Rathbone! Come on, man!
WC: Let me switch gears now. What are you up to musically? I believe you have a solo album coming out?
PA: Yessir, I do.
WC: Is this allowing you to do a few things you haven't been able to before?
PA: You know, the general audience that has stuck by me for 30 years, they know my work with Pantera, which was very heavy metal and metallic. But we were way more diverse than people think. We did material from "Cemetery Gates" to "A New Level" to anything off the last album we ever did, "Reinventing the Steel". We had a lot of variety. Since that is now defunct for all the obvious reasons, I've done so many projects that have gone under the radar. I've touched on black metal a bit, back in the early 90's with Christ Inversion...
WC: Viking Crown...
PA: Yeah, but I never took that shit seriously. That stuff I did in 20 minutes and laughed about it, but it wound up getting put out. I hear bands today that are obviously recording with drum machines and it doesn't sound far off from what we did. I was kinda surprised when I went back and listened to the first Viking Crown and I was like, Wow, this has withstood the test of time. And then I play in Arson Anthem, where I just played guitar and it was more hardcore, with Mike Williams from Eyehategod singing. But I think the most important band after Pantera that people know me for is Down, which I'm still an active member of. Now Down is very much a genre band in my opinion. It's based on Black Sabbath and what they brought to music...tempo-wise especially, with slower and heavier the better...but we also have what I call a Lynyrd Skynyrd influence. We sing about our heritage, we sing about our whereabouts and where we're born. That's what what people know me for. With the lyrics for Down...well, I'll put it this way. Little do people know but songs from the first album like "Stone The Crow", which comes across more as a smooth rock song than heavy fuckin' metal...I wasn't even singing real lyrics on that fuckin' record! Eventually, though time, they became real lyrics. (chuckles) People start mouthing them for you and they become real. I loved that part of Down! I can be abstract within Down and really let the listener decide for themselves what I'm talking about. I'm a wordsmith, I love words, I love how words look when they're put together. I'm a list-maker, man...that's kind of a strange thing in life, I've come to find out. List-makers...they have a different knowledge about them, a different air about them. No matter what you're compiling, you're still a list-maker! List-makers, unite!
Now, with my solo record, I am very point blank with the lyrics and I don't leave much room for mystery at all. In its own right, the lyrics are very, very extreme, without necessary following any rules. I don't want to be lumped in...and shouldn't be, by all rights...with death metal or black metal or sub-genre of that. I understand those genres already fuckin' exist and I didn't want to be a copycat at all. I wanted the extremity of what music has to offer and then there was a little part of me that wanted to flash just the slightest bit of what Pantera might have executed. Not so much what they would have sounded like, but what they would have executed as far as tightness and deliberate deliverance. Now I've got an excellent lead guitarist working with me who really is a fucking amazing player. I've said this before, I wrote all of these songs, I wrote every fucking note, every signature, every bit of this record BUT! But...I let this guitar player of mine, Marzy Montazeri, put his fingerprints all over this fuckin' record. I would hear something that he would do and I would say, we've got to use this, we've got to do it. I've known Marzi since the 80's and he was one of the only guitar players that I ever heard Dimebag really rave about. Dimebag was a gifted, unbelievable lead guitar player with magic in his hands as far as using vibrato and the feeling he played with. He would listen to other heavy metal guitar players and think they were slackers, to say the least, but when it came to Marzi, it was kinda mind-blowing that he was giving this guy props. In my mind, that meant this guy must be pretty fuckin' good! Well, 25 years later, Marzi and I have always talked about creating music together. I can think of no other or no better executor than Marzi to play this stuff I wrote for my solo record.
WC: It sure as hell makes me really interested to hear it!
PA: It's an angry record, man. It's a very angry record. What I want you to understand is, I'm in a great place in my mind. I'm at ease with who I am, I'm at ease with where I'm going and I've come to terms with what I've done in the past. You may not get that after hearing my new record, but that's the truth, that's where I'm at.
I guess basically what I did was write a record based around that particular type of anger that I had and I channelled it. For me, that's the proper way to show that type of angst instead of going out and getting in fucking trouble, like I used to. I haven't thrown a fuckin' punch in years, for damn good reason, because I know people just want to egg me on just to sue me. They want to call the police. I'm not playing that fuckin' game anymore, I'm not stupid, you know what I'm saying?
WC: It's like the gunfighter who has every young buck asking him to draw. He finally gets tired of it.
PA: Very much so. They don't really want you to draw, they want something else out of it. That shit, you have to get wise to it. It took a lot of lawsuits before I learned!
WC: Right now, I have to say, doing an interview like this is what I live for. If I can take somebody else's thought and feelings and transmit that to the public, I feel I've done something pretty decent.
PA: Good! As long as you're happy. It's not something you're doing for money. It's like me writing boxing blogs. Drop a couple hundred in my Paypal account and I'm happy.(laughs) Don't expect a thousand words from me next time, though!
WC: Well, what I'm doing is the equivalent of the old fanzines that used to be stapled together and xeroxed.
PA: There's a fanzine out there right now that does the same old school black & white style stuff that I support big time. It's called "Aqualarre" and the kid that does it is very passionate and I support the living fuck of them. Dude, I'm a fanzine type of guy. Like boxing used to have two different fanzines back in the day, called "Flash" and "Boxing Update" that came out once a month or even once a fuckin' week. They were awesome and that's where you got all your true inside underground information, whereas "The Ring" and "Boxing Digest" were more mainstream. Hell, I used to write for "Boxing Digest", which come out every month. But there's fights every day of the fuckin' year, man! So I totally get where you're coming from, man. I love the old fanzines.
WC: The first 12 issues of Wormwood were print issues, but in my little town, the advertising was impossible to get.
PA: Where you at?
WC: I'm in Rockford, Illinois.
PA: Shit, I played Rockford....
WC: I know, I seen ya! You talk about playing with White Zombie, I remember going to the old Rosemont Horizon and seeing the Pantera/White Zombie gig. That was quite a production!
PA: Hey man, we had some of the most incredible, violent, and insane audiences in the Illinois area. And Rockford is like, what? An hour away?
WC: Exactly between Milwaukee and Chicago...
PA: And that whole area kicks fucking ass! Great, great rock audiences and that's a hands down thing.
WC: That's great, hope you make it back to these parts someday.
PA:: Oh yeah! I'm comin' with my solo band, man!
WC: We might be able to hook up...
PA: We should hook up! We're kindred spirits, man! What's your handle again?
WC: Well, my pen name is Dr. Abner Mality...
PA: (laughs) Dr. Abner Mality! That's excellent, man. Yeah, I'm into all that black metal and death metal shit. There's a band I know from Australia called Portal...
WC: With the dude who wears a clock on his head!
PA: The Curator! The guitar player Horror Illogium, he's one of my buddies online. We email all the time. I've been trying to get Portal over here forever.
WC: They're a strange, strange band...
PA: They are Lovecraftian perfection. They are hands down kings of modern death fucking metal. No one touches 'em.
WC: I will recommend a band to you out of Denmark which I really like. Krypts. They have that really oppressive vibe to them that makes you feel like you're buried alive, mixing doom and speed in equal measure. Try finding them on Youtube. I like them a lot.
PA: Krypts, huh?
WC: They don't play at being the real thing, they ARE the real thing! That's just my opinion, but I listen to a lof of this stuff and I'm getting harder to impress.
PA: Well, let's see."Beneath the Archaic"...here we go. (plays tune online) Let's see what they sound like. Brooding, thus far.
WC: It's not a total blast, there's a lot of darkness with it.
PA: That's what I love about Portal. Bizarre use of drums. Don't get me wrong, they blast their minds out, but still, they use some of the most ....huh, I'm checking this Krypts out right now. Pretty good, I'll remember this.
WC: Well, I've got just a couple of things left for you. I want to get real profound now. When the end comes, what would you like to have carved on your tombstone?
PA: Uhhhh...I would say....let me think about this. (Silence)
WC: Could be as simple as one word.
PA: Oh, man!
WC: (laughs) Well, maybe this is pretty heavy stuff!
PA: You know what, man? I've been reading so much literature right now. I realize what Crowley was. He was a showman, he was a drug addict, but he was also a super eloquent writer, especially when wrote "Diary Of A Drug Fiend", which I think is a fantastic book that stands the test of time and which helped me greatly during a rebounding period in my life. He has the fantastic "Do What Thou Wilt...That Shall Be the Whole of the Law...Love Is the Law...Love Under Will" and I am a firm believer in the practicality of that quote. But I'm not sure I'd want it carved in my tombstone, figuring if you're going to carve something in a tombstone, you want it to be original You know what? I have no fucking idea! (laughter) I know that's a lame cop-out but you caught me off guard.
WC: Even the build up to that is very worthy of inclusion!
PA: Yeah, print that and I think it will speak for itself!
WC: Finally, any last words regarding the Housecore Convention?
PA: Well, first and foremost, I've been asked why I'm doing this and I just simply say, for fun. And the celebration of horror and extreme music. Now let me get it straight. When I say extreme music, extreme music comes in every way, shape and form. I'm not only talking about heavy metal. I'm talking about the Goblins, the Jaculas...that shit is fucking EXTREME. I'm doing this for fun and the union of extreme horror and music, which have gone hand in hand for massive decades and decades....
WC: Back to the German silents, actually...
PA: Exactly! It's funny you say that because the singer from Mayhem, Attila Csihar, is coming down and he's going to do his side project called Void ov Voices and he's going to do the entire soundtrack to "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". That's very exciting in itself. But like I said, I'm doing this for fun. If all goes smoothly, which right now I can't say it is or it isn't, this is attracting a fantastic cast of people in general, who have been in the horror business and also the music business. I just have to say, I'm thrilled right now. I hope everything goes smooth, I hope everyone has a blast. I think there's enough variety to where, if you show up and you don't give four fucks about the bands, we've got plenty of movies, old and new, that I think will whet the appetite and be a great experience for you. If you're there for the music, I think we've got that covered as well. And if you're there for both, even better. The last thing I should probably tell you is that I've got some pretty fuckin' ambitious and fresh ideas for new films that I've got as submissions for the fest. Really good stuff, man. Some of the films aren't even classically horror but they are just interesting and creative enough that I'm sold. I think it would look fantastic on the big screen. There are some newer film makers out there that are really trying to make something different instead of the old paint-by-numbers bullshit and that's what I appreciate 1000% Have I seen the second coming of Mario Bava? No. But still, I have seen glimpses that some of these actors and film-makers will definitely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, will be very, very popular in years to come. We got some great shit on the way. I have gotten some of those paint-by-numbers submissions and I will not accept them. If I'm bored by them then other people will be bored by them and boring is not my game. Even if it's a slow paced, brooding film, if it leaves something stuck in your craw, I like that. I like that.