RINGWORM “Pray to the Gods of Rage” 

By Dr. Abner Mality

When you step through the doors of Snake Church, don’t expect to love your fellow man and sing praises of virtue. When you hear the liturgy of Ringworm, expect instead to feast on the purest rage…the rage of a Human Furnace!

Human Furnace is the apocalyptic voice of Ringworm and an angrier individual you are unlikely to hear in this lifetime. He’s the perfect preacher for Snake Church. Ringworm has been making slow and steady progress in the world of extreme music for years and with the latest explosion of angst entitled “Snake Church”, they’re nearing the apex of the game.

Therefore, I donned my asbestos suit, took a dose of snake antivenom and met Mr. Furnace in the depths of the Church of Serpents, where he preached the following gospel to me…

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Greetings from Wormwood Chronicles! Congrats on the devastating “Snake Church” album. Let me first ask you: how do guys keep from exploding with all this super angry music? What is it that fuels so much anger?

HUMAN FURNACE: Thanks. Well, most of the anger that you’re hearing is coming from myself. The other guys are the ones who get to just play their instruments and have most of the fun, ha. Yeah it’s angry music I suppose. Where does it come from? I dunno, lots of places I’d assume. Just look around, it’s hard not to find things to make you angry, or lose hope in many things. Plus, my delivery is pretty straight forward. If could really “sing” perhaps some of our material wouldn’t seem so angry.

WC: Your voice is a relentless fury! How do you protect or train your throat for this raging roar? Or is it a natural gift?
 HF: I do very little to protect my voice actually. I smoke, which is something that I’m not really proud of, so I’d like to quit doing that. Beyond that,      I  think it’s matter of just doing it for so long. I know what my pipes are capable of doing and then try to do more, ha. Mostly I think it’s 35% technique and 65% adrenalin. I don’t know if I’d call it a gift, though. I believe anyone can do it. You just have to be willing to scream as loud as you can for about 26 years.

WC: Was the primary goal of “Snake Church” to surpass “Hammer of the Witch” in heaviness and power? What was the main thing you wanted to accomplish with it?

HF:No, not really. I mean you always feel like you want to “improve” but out-doing the last record wasn’t a goal. I think each record has its own identity, so we just go into it just trying to make the best record we can, at the time. 
WC: The artwork on “Snake Church” is striking. Tell us about this and how it relates to the album’s content?

HF: Well, the piece that I drew for this new record, had its beginnings  a while before this record started to initially come together. Albeit in a very rough stage. Dark imagery is required for a dark record. I’m obsessed with horror and fantasy, so I wanted a piece that perhaps told its own story, while at the same time visually complimenting the dark subject matter of the record.  It sets the tone for what you are about to hear. I’d like to think it has a certain mystic vibe to it, as do the songs on the record. On point, yet vague in a way. It think its fun to perhaps find your own meanings with records.

WC: There is a continuity in art between “Hammer of the Witch” and “Snake Church”. Is there a story being told through the art? Is there a greater concept driving the albums?

HF: There’s definitely a common thread between both covers, as they both come from a series of drawings I’ve been working on. Perhaps there IS a greater story to be told and perhaps there IS a greater concept, but if that's so, it would be no fun to reveal anything like that now. 

WC: Many of the song titles suggest the supernatural or religious. Is that all a metaphor for real life issues?

HF: Most definitely. Metaphor plays a huge part for me, lyrically. Although, some of the more supernatural and religious lyrical moments are literal. 
WC: Did you have any exposure to religion growing up? Many of the lyrics seem to be apocalyptic.

HF: Besides the frequent trips to church for a wedding, a funeral or perhaps Easter, Church was never a common thing in my household. When I was young ,my mother, as a single parent, often worked 3 jobs , so there wasn't  a lot of time for anything like that. We were just taught to have a good moral compass and a strong work ethic. I eventually would start to study religion on my own. And yes, many of the lyrics do have apocalyptic tones. But I would think you don't necessarily have to appreciate the apocalypse. 
WC: Is there one tune on “Snake Church” that maybe has more meaning for you than the others, that seems to sum up Ringworm best?

HF: No,not really. Each song has its own special meaning to me. None of them feel as if they sum up Ringworm in general. I'd have to wait till we are totally done making music to be able to pick a song like that. 
WC: Is there room for hope in Ringworm’s lyrics? Or is it just rage against the downfall of society?

HF:  As much as it may not sound like there isn't, there's quite a bit of hope in our music. You just need to "want" to hear it. The fact that I'm still alive, dictates some amount of hope and resilience.  
WC:  How do you guys compose your music? Is it a total group effort or do certain individuals take the lead with it?

HF: It's quite simple, actually. Matt will write a song and set the arrangement with Ed and Ryan. I may have a few suggestions, as far as that goes. Once it’s done, they record it, then I sing on it. Simple Animals we are.
WC: Ringworm is very heavy and brutal, but not what I’d call a death metal band. Can you keep topping yourselves in terms of intensity without crossing over into all-out death?

HF: Well, I'm not sure. But we're going to try. And if we do cross over, as we often do in small doses, that doesn't bother me. We really don't have any rules. 
WC: Are there any “hidden” influences on Ringworm’s sound that might not be obvious on first listen?

HF: Nothing hidden really. We make no mystery about any type of influences we might bring as individuals into what we do in the band. For instance, vocal-wise, I'm influenced many vocalists that I sound nothing like.
WC: Are there any other outlets for your creativity? I believe you were heavily involved in tattoo work…

HF: I have many, really. Tattooing is how I make my living. I've been tattooing for almost as long as I've been in Ringworm. I also am very much into painting, wood-working, graphic art, sculpting and other things. Lately I'm very interested in film making, so I'll see where that leads.
WC: Are there certain musical concepts you have that wouldn’t fit on a Ringworm album that you would like to get out there?

HF: Absolutely. I have quite a few musical projects outside of Ringworm. I play in a band called GLUTTONS which is a rock-n-roll band. I also write and record for a band that I was in around 1999 called HOLY GHOST. This band is quite experimental. Very heavy. And I do a lot of acoustic song writing on my own. I have a very eclectic taste in music.
WC: What’s the touring schedule look like for “Snake Church”?

HF: Well, we are embarking on a 3 week tour of the US in October, then a European tour in mid November. We also have tour plans for early next year.
WC: What 3 people from history would you ask to dinner if you could?

HF:Artist- Virgil Finlay, Actor- Vincent Price, Actress - Emma Stone
WC: What was the last release you picked up just because you wanted to hear the band?

HF: Hmmm,. honestly I can't recall. 
WC: In the history of Ringworm, has there ever been any “Spinal Tap” moment where things went really crazy that you could share with us?

HF:There's been more Spinal Tap moments in this band tham not. 
WC: Any last words or messages?

HF: Just like to thank you for interview, and we hope to see everyone on the road.