Recently I have received a crap ton of mocking from folks I know about
my music taste. I would call it extremely eclectic since I like
everything from TREX to Machine Head. The music snobs think my music is
awful and to them I say you can sincerely fuck off. Music is an art form
and therefore extremely subjective, so what it invokes in one person
may not be the same for another. That people is what makes it both
awesome and frustrating. I honestly couldn't live without music, or for
that matter art in general. They could take away my beer, my coffee, my
sugar, but holy hell don't come between me and my music. I hope you enjoy, but don't Judge!
OK, so you guys know I haven't posted in like a gazillion years. I have moved to another state and needed time to get my life together. I won't tell you where, but its as hot as the devils armpit right now outside. Needless to say I have been busy... However when its time to help out friends or give props where due, I'm all in... So.. remember that band I talked about a ton over the last few years? Powderburn? you remember right?
Yeah the one with the bass player that's on book cover, yup that one.
Anywho, they now have a blogspot and you should bookmark it, not to mention visit it often..it will force them to update it. Yes folks the metal boys are back and hopefully for a good long time.
So just to remind you how fucking good they are I will leave you with a couple of videos. This one is a really interesting little short film...musical horror if you will.
If that didn't pique your interest, check out this full length song.. The Lights go down.
Sonya Clark is an upcoming urban fantasy/paranormal romance writer whose previous works include MOJO QUEEEN and RED HOUSE. Her short fiction, one featuring an Elvis-impersonator vampire-killer have provided a taste of what this talented writer is capable of.
I was glad to catch her amidst edits to ask her a few questions regarding her new novel, TRANCEHACK. Happy book birthday! - CC
where you came up with the idea for TRANCEHACK.
The idea for
Trancehack came from a confluence of things. One was urban magic and what you
could do with that. I don't mean herb pots on a windowsill, either. For
research I bought a non-fiction book that was supposedly about city magic but
it wasn't about that at all, it was about transplanting traditional nature
magic into the city. That's not what I wanted to explore. Things like trance
and astral projection are tools for a mystic to use to send their
consciousness into other realms. The most prevalent “other realm” of our time
is cyberspace. What if a witch could use astral projection to enter cyberspace?
What if that ability had to be hidden, not only from Normals but other Magic
Born as well? There were other things, too, like calling on neon and creating
app spells. Plus things that aren’t in this first book of the series.
idea was a more sociological one - what happens when bigotry is codified into
law? What does it to do people - on a micro level as individuals and on a macro
level as a society - when fear and cowardice have led to an entire demographic
being consigned to second-class status? Not just through attitudes and
behavior, but actual law? I mean, it has happened and in some ways still is
here in the US. We see things changing for the better in some ways. At this
point it is probably inevitable that marriage equality will become the law of
the land, and that’s something to look forward to and be proud of. But there’s
still no shortage of politicians who support laws and policies that essentially
punish children for being born in poor/low income families. It’s getting harder
for politicians to point to skin color, sexual orientation, and other
traditional excuses for bigotry, so poverty has become a hugely popular
bogeyman. Punishing those living in poverty, making them out to be the “scary
other” that people should be afraid of, is an easy way to get elected in some
When citizens fall for that kind of fear-mongering, what kind of
society do they create for themselves?
In the Magic
Born series, it’s a society that consigns children born with magic in their DNA
to what are basically urban reservations. Witches - a handy stand-in for any “other”
you can think of - have no rights and have essentially been dehumanized. But
these laws have also dehumanized the Normals who are forced to give up their
Magic Born children. So it’s really striking at the heart of families, the
right to be with the person you love, build a family together. That’s why it
had to be a love story, too. I couldn’t imagine telling a story about this
world without having a Normal and a Magic Born fall in love.
If you could
be anyone in your book for a day, who would you choose, and why?
a hard question for me because I wouldn't want to live in this kind of
quasi-dystopian world. But I guess I'd choose Calla so that I could experience
trancehacking and some of the other magic she practices.
some of the songs that you listened to while writing TRANCEHACK? If the book
had a soundtrack, what would be top picks?
book had a totally different kind of sound than others I've written. Depeche
Mode provided the bulk of the musical inspiration, along with Portishead,
Faithless, and some Nine Inch Nails. Also the soundtrack to Blade Runner.
Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine became an important song to the love
story between Nate and Calla. "Then I heard your heart beating / you were
in the darkness too / so I stayed in the darkness with you" - those lyrics
are perfect for Nate and Calla.
your plans for the future?
is the first of a trilogy. I don't have final titles or release dates for the
rest of the Magic Born books, but there won't be too much time between them. My
old paranormal blog serial The Bradbury Institute is becoming a series of
novellas for Entranced Publishing, with the first one scheduled to be released
in April of next year. Beyond that, well, I'll figure it out. :)
book of the moment: I've been reading the Tales of the Underlight series by Jax
Garren. It's some really unique and imaginative world-building with great
characters, and it gets into Norse mythology which was a nice change of pace
from the usual.
band of the moment: I have played the hell out of the new Depeche Mode album while
writing the second Magic Born book. :)
Supernatural. Team Dean all the way!
Coffee. I could not function without it.
else you'd like to add?
only thing I'd like to add is a big thank you to both Synde and you!
One of my favorite book bloggers in the whole bloggity world is Jackie Uhrmacher. In the most secretive of ways she wrote and released a book. She has blogged for Bitten by Books, and now makes her bloggy home now at Wicked Little Pixie. I'm so excited and pleased to welcome Jackie Uhrmacher to Tombstone Tails. Hey Jackie thanks for stopping by! Congratulations on the book.
So tell us how did Love you to Death come to be? How did you keep it such a secret? Amazing ninja powers? Love You to Death was created during a horrible, horrible divorce. I was young and dumb and I’d just turned 21 (I think Garbage wrote a song about me). My friend, Rachel, convinced me to vent my frustrations but coming up with as many ways as humanly possible to kill a husband. We had shark attacks, nuns with guns – if it was twisted, it was on the list. After a few weeks, the story changed from, “Kill them! Kill them all!” to “Hmm…what if one of these psychotic ladies actually fell for her prey??”
This is going to age me, but those first gruesome, bloody, soul-freeing deaths occurred almost nine years ago. E-publishers and self-publishing existed, but they were relatively unknown avenues for me to travel down. I thought the only way to publish a novel was the traditional way – query – so, right after I wrote it, I did the normal author thing – I shopped it and shopped it and shopped it. At a con, I even got a bite from an agent. He loved it, but said it needed about 40,000 more words. Love You to Death would have, well, died under that word count. It’s not meant to be a full-blooded novel. It’s a short, but fantastic, trip into the psyches of the Modern Bride – young and snarky with a smile that slices into the very heart of you. It was only a secret because it’s so damn old, LOL. I’d like to say the secrecy was due to an inherent ability to cloud the possibilities from the human eye, but really, it’s a case of a zombified book that has risen from the grave freshly edited and hungry for flesh.
Is there a little bit of Jackie hidden deep within the the book? Any wishful thinking? Only the bad parts. I have two ex-husbands who, on several occasions, I’ve thought about helping shuffle off this mortal coil, but alas, one went underground and the other is the father of the best thing to ever happen to me.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? In the beginning it was rage and pain. You can tell because the first part of the book, while laced with humor, has a much more sinister feel than the end. My inspiration to resurrect the book was my mom. She was one of the most hard-headed, you-will-do-things-my-way-or-else, caring and funny individuals I’ve ever met. When I first wrote Love You to Death, she was still able to hold objects long enough to enjoy it and she pushed, constantly, for me to publish it. She couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just do it myself. She made me promise her that I’d “get off my ass and publish the damn thing” so I did on her one year death-versary.
What kind of music do you listen to while writing? What does your playlist look like? My playlist looks like a schizophrenic wrote it. There’s Otep, Florence and the Machine, Awolnation, Toadies, Garbage, Everclear, Middle Class Rut, Type O, Ministry, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Camille Saint-Saens, Kings of Leon, Sia, Massive Attack…basically I like to be lulled into a calm state then jarred out of it by the deep tenor of hard rock.
I'm guessing the title is no accident. Are you a Type O Negative fan? “…They say the beast inside of me’s gonna get ya, get ya, get… Black lipstick stains her glass of red wine I am your servant, may I light your cigarette?...” Mmm…yes…Peter Steele was, and always will be, a god amongst men. The song was meant to represent this book. Jill, the protagonist, is a dominant through and through but with Marcus, there’s that lying fear…am I good enough for you?
How do you squeeze writing in with a full time job and a son to raise? Insanity. No lie. I’m also a full-time student. Huzzah! Pass the booze!
Was there a specific book you read as a youth that made you say " I want to do this"? Oh so so many. Christopher Pike and RL Stine or to blame for me actually doing it though. I started reading them in elementary school and had to write stories like them.
What are you reading right now? Soul Kissed by Erin Kellison – AMAZING!
What are you listening to? Django Unchained Soundtrack
Favorite male fronted band? Prior to seeing them in concert: Everclear. Now: Awolnation
Favorite female fronted band? Prior to their last album: Garbage. Now: Halestorm
Vodka or whiskey? Vodka straight up with a beer chaser
Coke or Pepsi ? Coke for decorations and Pepsi to drink
Tattoos or no tattoos? Tattoos! I got my first one at the age of fifteen. Mom was LIVID!
What's next for Jackie? I need to find my own Pinkie so I can take over the world!! Bookwise I have a few things in the works. I have a novella written in the same world as Love You to Death I’m editing and one partially-finished about a woman who has to eat souls to survive.
Where can we find your book? It’s available in print and as a Kindle copy from Amazon and it’s available as a Nook copy from Barnes and Noble.
This was pretty awesome, Jackie thought my sig line was a question and answered it. I have decided to include it and also do so in future interviews. Thanks Jackie. What kindness does not risk destruction? The retracting of the cat’s claws against your neck while you sleep.
Hailing originally from Brooklyn, New York, Robert "Toxic Bob" Deacy has rubbed shoulders with some of the greats in metal. Found now behind a guitar in an apparently reformed band called simply WRENCH, Bob has quite a hectic schedule. I managed to chase him down to catch the latest news and background on this Brooklyn group. Hi Bob thanks for coming by to answer some questions.. First off, tell us a little about yourself and your band Wrench.
Hi Synde. Thanks for taking the time to contact me. As for myself, I am just another schmo from Brooklyn- the same part of it that spawned a lot of great heavy bands, like Carnivore, Type O, Biohazard, Life of Agony and more- must be something in the water here… . WRENCH is a “Sludge Metal” band (though I recently saw us reviewed as “Doom Core”!) from Brooklyn. Originally formed in the early 90’s. After a great run and touring and shows with Type O, Life of Agony, Biohazard, Gwar and COC, the band- on the verge of signing a record contract- broke up. Now, years later (older and wiser!) the band has a line-up that is not geared to self-destruct and have just done our first full length album, Dry Heaves And Tears. It is currently being shopped while we spread the word with live shows and social media. When writing music, is it a collaborative process or does one person do it all? When we write, it is an amazing process! Either John (singer/2nd guitarist) or I bring a riff to the studio and just start jamming on it with the other guys, and the songs amazingly write themselves! We just gel like that- I’ve never had anything like it.music is pretty hardcore,where do you find your inspiration for the themes in your m And the musical influences that helped shape the band’s sound as it is today? Your music is pretty hardcore, where do you find your inspiration for the themes in your music? And the musical influences that helped shape the band’s sound as it is today?
JOHN MUSTO AND TOXIC BOB
I think that all people have a tortured place inside them that they live with and for the most part remains buried. With us it is exposed, like a raw nerve and we can’t help but let it come exploding violently out of us in our music- it's therapeutic! What instruments do you play? I play guitar and bass mostly- though I fiddle with everything from the harmonica to piano. In Wrench I play only guitar though. Any favorite live music venues? Yes! Sadly, the long closed original L’Amour in Brooklyn. It was an institution that everybody from Iron Maiden to Metallica passed through. We may never see its like again… but there still are a lot of great places to play. What is a typical week for the band? Lol- that's a tough one! NOTHING is typical about us! We just had a great week on the road with Biohazard and typically tried to torture each other as much as possible! : )
ROBERT "TOXIC BOB" DEACY
Tell us about your connection with Type O Negative. That is a difficult subject. Peter was a dear friend, and I remain friends with the rest of the band and do my best to support all their endeavors. Very early on, I played in my first signed band with Sal Abruscato (Type O/ Life of Agony/ A Pale Horse Named Death) called Toximia. We did a lot of shows with Peter’s old band, Carnivore. When Carnivore came to an end, I started playing with Pete and we wanted to something different- slower- heavier- more industrial. Initially, it was Peter, Sal and myself. Soon, as happens in music- especially when you play with friends, we began to drift apart. I went my own way and soon after, Josh and Kenny completed the line-up. It was just one of those things- I had a different path. I remain friends with all involved and eventually (Thank god!) returned to music myself! Do you have a band that really inspired you as a kid and made you say, “I want to do that"? Yes! Without question- BLACK SABBATH!!! Of course, there are many influences- Jimi Hendrix, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, to name a few. I was a huge Randy Rhoads fan also! What books inspired you as a child? Hmmm… I loved Poe from an early age (disturbingly early, probably!) I also discovered Dante’s Inferno at about 10 years old which had a profound effect on me! Lighting round Horror movies or comedies?- Horror! Whiskey or Vodka?- Whiskey (used to be! I no longer drink.) Favorite male fronted band?- Black Sabbath Favorite female fronted band?- Fleetwood Mac Favorite guitarist?- Tommi Iommi Favorite vocalist?- Ozzy! Favorite lyric written by someone else?- Hand Of Doom by Black Sabbath! What CD are you listening to that you absolutely love?- Dopethrone by Electric Wizard! Pepsi or Coke?- Coke! What's next for Toxic Bob and Wrench? For me? Recovering from falling off a building at Ground Zero! For Wrench? WORLD DOMINATION! : ) Where can people find your music? You can find our 4 song EP on iTunes or other on-line sources. For the full length, you can order a free copy at www.wrenchnyc.com ! WRENCH on facebook
With a sound deeply rooted in southern Nowhere, USA, The Victor Mourning manages to capture both the simplicity of Yesteryear and the haunting past of our ancestors. At live shows, folks can't help but stop and listen, for the music slips into the ears and calls deep to the bones. The Victor Mourning evokes the ghostly voices of the unrestful dead along with murmurings of family secrets, like a whiskey bottle in the back of a pantry. Things aren't always what they seem. Everything has a reason. Love flows in dark, mystical veins. Gothic Americana, Americana, Folk; call it what you want, but you won't call it ordinary. For a taste, see the video after the interview for "Whiskey Bad".
(Left to right:) Stefan, Stephen, Lynne
Thanks for joining me on the blog, Stephen. Can you give us a little background on yourself?
I was born in Indiana during a hot, sweltering summer, to a family from Arkansas who had migrated there for the factory jobs. I was back in Arkansas at 10 days old and spent much of my life shuttling between the two states. I was obsessed with music from an early age, and three days before I turned 7 my parents told me that I was going to start taking guitar lessons. They told me they chose the guitar for me because the guitarist was always the star and often the leader of the band. They had a vision for me. As I grew into my teens I got pulled into the late 70s punk scene, my first attempts at playing in front of an audience date from that era. In the mid-80s I co-founded and fronted an Indianapolis-based New York Dolls style glam band. By the early 90s I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, where I formed The Nazarenes, probably best described as a hillbilly flavored 60s garage band. I later moved to North Carolina for a short time and played around there a bit under my own name, which is where I first performed my acoustic material on stage. I moved to Austin, Texas, in 1997, and ironically (given Austin’s reputation) went into a bit of a musical slump there until I formed The Victor Mourning over a decade later.
How did the The Victor Mourning come to be?
Even though I say that arriving in Austin coincided with my becoming less active in music, I was actually writing songs pretty heavily during my first few years there. I had already formed the basic idea for The Victor Mourning by the time I moved there.
I had experienced a lot of false starts with the idea of the band simply because in Austin, at least in the roots scene, it’s tough to find talented people who aren’t already involved in several other musical projects. I tend to prefer to work with people who are at least somewhat excited about the project we’re working on and I just wasn’t finding that mix. By 2008 I told myself that I was finally going to make this band a reality come Hell or high water, even if I had to do so with hired sidemen. So, during SXSW of that year I was talking up the idea to anyone who would listen. My friend Will Branch and I had gone over to Jovita’s to catch a set by our friend Otis Gibbs, and afterwards decided to head over to Yard Dog Gallery to see if we could catch the tail end of The Builders and the Butchers’ set there. By the time we arrived the band had already packed up and gone, but Will introduced me to Lynne Adele who worked at the gallery.
Lynne and I got to talking about my band idea and she mentioned that she was a musician, and was looking for a project to get involved in. We started playing together with Lynne on guitjo (six-string banjo) and harmonies, and by that fall had booked a string of gigs for which we needed a fiddle player. I contacted Stefan Keydel who I had done a couple of one-off shows with a few years before, and he agreed to sit in with us for those shows. By Christmas he told us he wanted to continue on. I had my band.
In 2009 we released an EP and toured a bit on that in the Midwest and Southeast. In 2010 we recorded our first full-length album (with a little help from guests Tim Kerr and Jad Fair), and then later that same year Lynne and I were married. In early 2012 Lynne and I moved the band’s base of operations to East Tennessee. Stefan still flies in from Texas from time to time for recording and shows—he’ll always be a part of the band.
at the Yard Dog, Austin, Texas
Do you write most of the music and lyrics or is it a collaborative effort between band members?
I write all the songs but the entire band definitely contributes to the arrangements, which is a big part of how they ultimately sound.
There seems to be a real interest in Americana folk again, why do you think that is? There are so many television shows that your music would be a perfect soundtrack to.
I think in any generation you can find a segment of the population who prefers what you might call “traditional” music. I think a lot of people connect with the relative simplicity of the genre. In the current era most Americana/folk artists still play relatively small venues, so it’s often easy to meet your heroes. I’ve also noticed that as music fans age, their tastes often turn towards Americana. Older people are definitely much bigger music consumers than they were a generation or two ago, and they have more money to spend on it.
What instruments do you play?
I play guitar and banjo; Lynne plays guitjo and guitar; Stefan plays fiddle, viola, and is also a guitarist.
Do you have a band that really inspired you as a kid, made you say “Wow, I want to do that”? One that you still listen to today?
Johnny Cash’s TV show (1969-71) was a huge influence on me. It corresponded with my beginning guitar lessons and from a musical point of view Johnny was just simply who I wanted to be. A very different but just as influential experience was hearing Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album at my cousin’s house just after it came out. As I stared at the disc spinning on the turntable I realized that music could make you see monsters. I can’t say that I actively listen to Johnny Cash or Black Sabbath anymore, but if I hear them by chance, they still evoke warm memories.
What book really inspired you as a child that still makes an impression on you today?
I should have an answer for this one as I’ve always been a voracious reader, but I can’t say that any one book from my childhood has really stuck with me. I was introduced to J.R.R.Tolkien in junior high (this was before there were any cartoon or film versions of his work) and his stuff was very inspiring at the time. I still appreciate his work, but I can’t say it informs much of who I am today. In later years I became obsessed with the British travel writer Bruce Chatwin, and for several years hosted the only website on the ‘net dedicated to his work. I think if there’s a constant to what sort of book inspires me it’s one in which someone picks a blank spot on a map and heads off into it. I guess the Tolkien stories fit that model as well.
A few of my all time favorite books: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Graham Greene, Travels With My Aunt; Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines.
Horror movies or Comedies?
Horror, but only films where mystery and atmosphere are the primary source of the horror. Classic tales of ghosts and hauntings are favorites. The current trends in horror, films about zombies, vampires, serial killers, etc., don’t appeal at all.
Favorite male fronted band? Favorite female Fronted band?
I’m going to collapse these two questions into one since most of our current favorite bands consist of both men and women. Here are a few contemporary artists who tend to get heavy turntable time at The Victor Mourning House: Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Chris Knight, The Everybodyfields, The Handsome Family.
Even though there are plenty of guitarists whom I greatly respect, I really don’t have any guitar heroes, which I know is odd for a guitarist. I think it has to do with the way I listen to music. I listen to the whole song, probably with heavier emphasis on the vocals, than on any one musical instrument.
There are several people who could easily vie for this slot but the first one that springs to mind is Ralph Stanley. His accent and delivery just feel like home to me.
What CD you are listening to now?
Coming off the holidays we’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music, mostly Renaissance and medieval. Other than that we’ve been spinning the entire Everybodyfields catalog a lot and just recently picked up Chris Knight’s and Bob Dylan’s new ones.
Vodka or Whiskey?
Neither. Lynne and I don’t drink alcohol.
Pepsi or Coke?
Neither. Lynne and I don’t drink soft drinks. I grew up in a Pepsi drinking family, though. But if we had to choose between Pepsi or Coke, we’d choose coffee.
Where can we find The Victor Mourning’s music?
We sell albums at shows, from our website, downloading via iTunes or Amazon, and A Handful of Locusts also streams on Spotify.
What’s next for The Victor Mourning?
We’re actively planning our next album, which we hope to begin recording this spring, with a release date later in the year. If all goes as planned it will also be released in a limited edition vinyl version by an up and coming label in the UK. We plan to play more shows in 2013, especially in the southeastern US. Besides the new album, our biggest goal at the moment is to get over to Europe to do a few shows and to meet all the folks on that side of the Atlantic who have been so supportive and enthusiastic about what we’re doing.