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FRIGHTMARE


Frightmare - The Human Gore-Nado
From the Case Files of Dr. Abner Mality

MARCH 15, 2006 (transcribed from tape recorder): Today I interviewed Neil Smith, whom the press have dubbed "Overslasher" and "The Farmington Fiend" and who calls himself "Maniac". I must confess that my first impression of the subject is that he does not seem to look like the man responsible for the hideous mutilation murders of 15 high school girls and the deaths of three policemen. He appears to be a fit and average Caucasian male of around 30 years in age, alert and pleasant in demeanor. If the straitjacket is causing him discomfort, he says nothing about it.

I understand that Mr. Smith is something of a musician. He is active in several rock bands and seems to specialize in something called "death metal". This is certainly an indication of morbid obsession with extinction. The names of Mr. Smith's bands reveal an unhealthy fixation with violent death: "Lord Gore", "Blood Freak" and "Frightmare". Smith keeps a very active schedule with each of these bands (or at least as active as is possible with his busy schedule of murder) and the "Frightmare" project is right now at the top of his agenda.

As part of my investigation into the murders committed by "Maniac", I've listened to the latest Frightmare album "Bringing Back the Bloodshed". Against my better judgment, I find myself drawn into and actually enjoying the brutal "thrash metal" of the album. Perhaps there is something seductive about this vicious music that affects the brains of those are exposed to it regularly....perhaps...

At any rate, the following is a transcript of my initial discussion with "Maniac" Neil Smith about Frightmare and his other projects. Maybe future profilers can glean more than I from this...


WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: First, Maniac, give us a rundown on the bloody history of Frightmare and who is in the band.

MANIAC NEIL: Frightmare started in early 2002. I had just joined Lord Gore and asked a few of my friends if they would be interested in starting a new band that was influenced by old school Death Metal and Grindcore and 70's and 80's Slasher movies. They said yes and Frightmare was born. The line up that is on our latest CD Bringing Back the Bloodshed is me on Guitar/Vocals, Grisly Adams on Guitar/Vocals, Saw Boss on Bass/Vocals and Pulverizeher on Drums/Vocals.

WC: You have got your hand in a lot of different projects. Can you break down all the bands you're involved with and what makes each one special?

MN: Currently I'm only in three bands: Frightmare, Blood Freak and Lord Gore. Frightmare is 70's and 80's Slasher movie influenced old school Death/Thrash/Punk/Grind, Lord Gore is old school Death Metal and Blood Freak is my solo project that's all about cheesy drive in horror, Old school Grindcore, Psycho-delic 70's rock and DooM. I also used to play in Whore which was a sleazy, perverted Death Metal band and my old solo project Maniac Killer.

WC: Is Frightmare the "priority" band for Maniac Neil or do they all get equal attention?

MN: Frightmare and Blood Freak are my priorities at the moment. At certain points, different bands are the priority. If I'm working on a new CD or playing shows, the band i'm doing that with is the priority.

WC: The new album "Bringing Back the Bloodshed" is such an advancement over the first Frightmare CD. How did the songwriting and preparation differ for this particular effort?

MN: Nothing really changed in that respect. We wrote and jammed the songs in the same way we did for "Midnight Murder Massacre". We all have progressed as musicians in the last 3 years and I think you can definitely hear that on "Bringing Back the Bloodshed". I also spent a lot more time on the production. None of use were really happy with the way MMM sounded so that was definitely a goal on this one. To make the album sound clear and heavy.

WC: You tip your hat to a lot of classic bands on the new album. For example, "They Were Warned" starts with a pure Misfits riff and I can hear Anthrax, Carcass and more throughout the record. Who would you say the main inspirations for the songs on "Bringing Back the Bloodshed" were?

MN: Yeah I only really listen to old school Death Metal, Grindcore, Punk and Thrash bands. The biggest influences for me are bands like The Misfits, SLayer, Holy Terror, Terrorizer, Repulsion, Autopsy, Impetigo, Pungent Stench, Anthrax, Metallica, D.R.I., Suicidal Tendencies, Death, Massacre. Just the old killer bands. I really don't care about what's going on currently in the scene musically. I can't stand Nu polished Grind or Brutal Death Metal at all.


WC: How hard is it to show your influences without sounding like a clone of them?

MN: By mixing it up. Every Frightmare song has a bunch of different styles mixed into it. Punk, Thrash, Death, Grind etc. Plus we're not a "worship" type band. We want our riffs to sound different and fresh. If we write a riff that sounds too much like another bands riff we wont use it. We have pretty high standards when it comes to song writing.

WC: We seem to be enterting a new boom of thrash metal. Do you think today's bands stack up to the greats of the 80's? I'm encouraged with some of the stuff I'm hearing lately.

MN: Yeah, it seems to be a new trend doesn't it? With bands like Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust popping up. I think with any trend that is trying to revive a certain genre the bands never really stack up to the originals. I mean, there have been some killer newer thrash bands to come out in the last 10 years like Hypnosia, Terror Squad, and F.K.U.. But overall I'm not to into it. Too many 16 year old kids that were born in 1990 trying to relive something they were never a part of to begin with by wearing denim vests and patches trying to be retro. What's the point? Just be yourself and try to come up with something fresh and new. If I wanna hear Kreator, I'll listen to Kreator, you know?

WC: The guitar soloing on the album is excellent. How important were the solos to the overall success of the album?

MN: Thanks! Well, I think the leads are very big part of Frightmare's sound. From the feedback i've gotten on both albums it seems to be one of the aspects people like the most about the band.

WC: If Frightmare had a chance to "step up" to a label like Metal Blade or Nuclear Blast, would you take it?

MN: No. Without Razorback Records, Frightmare wouldn't exist. I do this band for fun. It's what I enjoy in life. When you "step up", it becomes something else, like a job. I think if that happened i'd stop enjoying it as much. Plus I couldn't imagine working with anyone else other than Billy and Jill. Razorback and Frightmare are a perfect fit.

WC: Let's talk horror! You're obviously a slasher aficianado. What movie,for you, is the pinnacle of this form of horror and why?

MN: Definitely! I love Slasher movies! My all time favorite Slasher movie is "Maniac".It's got everything, a crazed insane killer, awesome gore scenes, great dialogue, cool music... it's perfect! Some of my other favorites would be "The Burning", "Sleepaway Camp", "Friday the 13th" and "Don't Go in the House".

WC: Do you think real extreme horror is on the way back or will it never return to the days of the 70's and 80's?


MN: I think there are a few good Horror movies coming out but nothing compared the golden age of the 70's and 80's. The culture has changed too much. Everything too influenced by MTV and Hip Hop shit. Even the so called "throw back" movies that come out have fast music video cutting, crappy nu metal bands on the soundtrack or the latest Rap star starring in it. It's sad to say but I think it will never be the same. Thank god for DVDs though so I can still watch the classics!

WC: Has there ever been ANY remake of a classic horror that was as good as the original?

MN: Yes. "The Fly" I thought was better than the original and John Carpenter's "The Thing" is much better than the original. (In the Good Doctor's opinion, the original "Thing" is an all-time classic--Purist Mality)As for the recent remakes? Hell no! The TCM remake should have never been made! It's a fucking disgrace!

WC: What can you tell us about the upcoming Blood Freak album?

MN: It's gonna be KILLER! I've actually just finished all the drum tracks and guitar tracks for it. It's gonna be pretty different than the first CD. I got a total Sunlight Studios/Entombed style guitar sound. There's a lot more styles mixed in this time. A little thrash and more DooM parts. I spent more time writing the music also. It's just over all gonna be a step up from "Sleaze Merchants".

WC: Can you let us in on what prompted that "spoof" story about all the members of Blood Freak dying in a van accident? Did that get the response you wanted?

MN: Well, the spoof story was basically a fun way to let everybody know Blood Freak has always been me. Haha! I never thought in a million years people would buy it! But they did! Hook line and sinker! Haha! I just wanted to let people know it was me and let the facade die out. I figured if I'm gonna bust my ass doing this stuff I might as well get a little credit for it, you know?

WC: It seems Blood Freak is aimed a bit more at the whacky B-movie drive-in movies while Frightmare is slasher-oriented. Would you agree?

MN: Yeah totally. Blood Freak is all about 70's and 80's cheese ball trash movies. Stuff like "Lady Terminator", "Asylum of Satan", "Boarding House", "Blood Freak", "Night of the bloody Apes", "Beast of Blood", "Blood Feast"... just ultra bad funny as hell drive in trash! I love that stuff!

WC: What are some of your favorite horror comics? I grew up on Marvel monster comics, Creepy, Eerie, House of Mystery and those real nasty rotgut horrors like "Weird" and "Tomb of Terror".

MN: I honestly don't read many comics anymore. When I was a kid I loved all the Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror stuff. I was much more into Horror movies and make up effects as a kid.

WC: Have you ever thought of putting out a comic book based on the killer we see on the covers of Frightmare's CDs?

MN: Yeah! I've actually been working on the script for one with a friend of mine named Leon Marcello! It's basically the origins of our mascot Nic Slasherhead. Hopefully we can get it done soon. The stuff Leon has written already is amazing!

WC: Any plans for Frightmare to play live?

MN: There were plans but recently we have gone through some line up changes. I'm on the look out for a new drummer so anybody interested, email me at killneilsmith@hotmail.com. When the line up gets more solid, I definitely want to play some live shows!

WC: Do you have any "Spinal Tap:" stories from the band's history to share with us?

MN: Hmmm. Not really. Haha! Other than the fact that we had a noise gate on when we were tracking the vocals for MMM and didn't know it. Me and Dave kept wondering why we had to strain so hard to get a decent vocal level and then half way through Dave's tracking we found out we had the noise gate turned up on the compressor. That's why all the vocals sound really muffled on MMM.

WC" Any final words for all the ghouls out there?

MN: Thanks for the rad interview! Everybody check out our second CD "Bringing Back the Bloodshed" out now on Razorback Records! Get your copies from www.razorbackrecords.com or www.slashermetal.com! Later!

NOTE: As you can see, Smith seems to have no compunctions about his crimes and enjoys talking about his perverted obsessions. I must confess, I find myself drawn back to Frightmare. I enjoy the music. I'm beginning to understand the lyrics and what drives Smith. Is what he has done so wrong? Perhaps I will ask that fetching young nurse later tonight when I get off duty...