This year was very busy for me. I worked full time the whole year and I can definitely say this: Those of us who work along with pursuing our goals, whatever they may be, have extremely limited time. I completed my second novel, posted several articles to travel site 'Uncharted101.com', Started my third novel 'Homage to Baphomet', submitted a few of my works to 'Wattpad.com', and did my best stay productive. I'd say 2014 was generally positive. They say that progress is measured in inches, and that's exactly what I tried to accomplish. Inching my way to my life long goal. So, as always, I wonder what the next year brings about as far as writing is concerned. Because the novel I'm currently working on is going to be a little longer than my two previous ones, it might take me a little more time to accomplish it. So, hopefully 2015, like 2013 and 2014 before it, is also positive and productive.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
One quick look at the history of accomplished writers will show you that a good number of them committed suicide. To someone like myself, that fact alone causes feelings of unease. If someone, such as Sylvia Plath for example, reaches the pinnacle for which all writers strive to achieve and has that coveted position hold no joy to them, it brings to mind the inquiry if such a place of achievement holds any joy at all, what-so-ever. I've often noticed that, while still living, the lives of many accomplished writers was anything but enjoyed by them. Many were plagued by depression and incurable sadness, regardless of any quirks their success brought to them. One has to simply wonder since, so many were affected in that way, is such a condition necessary to thrive in literature, regardless of genre. Its a question I cannot, myself, easily answer. If one doesn't possess within themselves a sort of inner conflict that continuously forces them to create and express, would they still still carry on as writers? Many great writers of the past were also afflicted by addiction, no doubt fueled by these same inner 'demons'. I suppose I will never know the answers to such questions. But, as trivial as it may sound, I find myself a degree thankful for their suffering. For if such instances did not occur, perhaps none of us would ever be graced by their creations and life itself would be far lesser without them.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Recently I rediscovered an old Interview I did with the Metal Band 'Chainsaw Carnage' for the now-defunct E-zine 'Suite101.com'. When the E-zine went under , I was sure that all the articles I did for them were sadly lost. Fortunately, this one still survives:
Black Metal is an extreme music. It's performers wear corpse paint, worship Satan, strap on leather and spikes, and wreck havoc. Originally beginning in Europe in the mid-90's, it has garnered attention throughout the world. With musical themes that depict the very worst in human nature and views that are clearly anti-religious, it has become the premiere genre for underground music. The name itself actually comes from an album name from English extreme metal band, Venom.
The genre has had more than it's fair share of notoriety. From 1992-1996 arson was committed to over 50 churches in Norway. Suicide and murder have also been attributed to the genre.(Moynihan)
Popular Black metal bands include: Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor, and Behemoth. While once thought of as an obscure fad, the numbers of dedicated fans all over the globe speak for themselves.
In San Diego, Black Metal is definitely not the most popular musical genre. While eclipsed by the other more popular styles of pop, hip-hop, R&B, and others the style has yet to reach it's full market potential. Yet, there are others who reside there whose sole mission in life is to raise the flag of Black Metal high for all to see. Enter Chainsaw Carnage.
Formed in 2007 in San Diego, Chainsaw Carnage has made the cause of Metal and madness it's purest passion. Although considered by themselves to still be quite unknown, they feel it will only be a mater of time before their cause is known and understood by other like minded souls.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing frontman and bassist, Blasphemous.
DW: What are your main musical influences?
Blasphemous: Cannibal Corpse, Exhumed, Bestial Mockery, Venom. A little bit of everything when it comes to Metal.
DW: What influences the lyrics to your music?
Blasphemous: Satanism is a major influence. The Occult and Black magic as well. Blood. Gore. General Negativity.
DW: What is your stance on religion?
Blasphemous: It's fake. It does more harm than good. But, I just let it be. You can't really change it.
DW: What prompted you to form a Black Metal band?
Blasphemous: That was the ultimate form of my self-expression. It is my own red badge of honor, if you will. Nothing could ever give to me the satisfaction and drive that being involved in metal gives me.
DW: How many members are in your band and what instruments do they play?
Blasphemous: Let me see, there's Warssacre and Executioner on guitars, Pestilence on vocals, Arch Deceiver on drums, and of course, myself.
I play the bass.
DW: How many shows have you done in San Diego?
Blasphemous: 4-6. Plus, we've done a few shows south of the border as well.
DW: Do you feel that you have had a positive reaction to Black Metal fans in the San Diego area?
Blasphemous: Yes. When we have a show we get a very good reaction. The fans are usually pleased.
DW: Do you believe that Black Metal will become more popular, not only in San Diego, but the rest of the world as well?
Blasphemous: Around the world, it's growing at an alarming rate. However, in San Diego it seems as though it is stagnating.
DW: Do you see your band becoming more popular in the near-future?
Blasphemous: Definitely. We have played shows recently that are huge compared to when we started.
DW: Has your band produced any albums?
Blasphemous: Yes we have actually made two. The first was a 7 inch split with a Japanese band named 'Abigail'. The name of that one is 'Satan plays speed metal'. The second was another split we did with a band named 'Wargoatcult'. It's called 'War and Carnage'.
DW: How do you feel about some in the Black Metal community calling the Heavy Metal scene in San Diego 'Weak'?
Blasphemous: It's true to a degree. I mean, there are a few die hard fans here of course. But, the Metal scene is definitely underground.
DW: Most people view Heavy Metal, and Black Metal in particular, as an obscure and dying genre. How do you feel about that?
Blasphemous: Certain bands and certain individuals give the genre a bad name. What most people don't realize is how much talent and musical ability goes into making metal music.
DW: Thank you for your time.
Blasphemous: No problem, man. Long live Metal!
Monday, November 24, 2014
I have recently completed the first part of my third novel. While it is extremely satisfactory to me that I am that much closer to completing my work, its also a grim reminder that I still have a lot of work to do. I guess the trickiest endeavor for anyone involved with the creation process is to not only never rest on your laurels, its consistently being in the state of inspiration. With so much disappointing material lurking in the new representations of the genre of horror, inspiration can be challenging indeed for someone like myself. In order to stay passionate about my work and never lose the focus I need to make sure they are of utmost quality, I find myself always resorting to the past. For instance, during Halloween night I watched a horror movie from the 80's, a largely forgotten one at that. The name of the film was 'Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou'. While in no way was the film ever one of my favorites, I admit that it kept my horror appetites sated far more appropriately than anything being produced currently. That, among other things, is a reason I truly love Halloween. So many forgotten gems of my favorite genre are taken from the their shadowy confines and for only a brief time made available. If only that could be a more regular occurrence!
Saturday, November 15, 2014
As I continue working on my third novel, the reality is very apparent that this particular book is challenged by certain time constraints. Even though I never give up on writing anything until the final word is put to paper, delays of any kind are always aggravating. But, on the bright side, the story line of 'Homage to Baphomet' is coming along rather keenly. As all of my other tales of the macabre do, it seems to be writing itself. As I await the copyright numbers of my previous novels, hopefully I can be completed with this one by the time I get them. And with the prospect of my travel articles gaining in popularity, necessity demands that I write more of them as well. Recently, I had the privilege of reading of certain aspects of the ghost story writer, Algernon Blackwood, and I love finding certain parallels within myself and the greats of the past, no matter how obscure they may be to the rest of the world. He was also an Occult enthusiast and a member of the magical Order of the golden dawn (The same group that Aleister Crowley belonged to at one point in his life). Such findings I always welcome.
Monday, November 10, 2014
An article I wrote concerning the haunted history of a certain San Diego Hotel received almost 5000 hits in one day. To say I was ecstatic to hear that is beyond an understatement. When such a happening occurs for any writer, a justification soon follows. A feeling of bolstered confidence border lining arrogance to know that you are indeed furthering your own destiny. Whether it be by short stories, novels, poems, travel and haunted place articles, or any other literary endeavor, you are treading a path once danced upon by legend. It makes me encouraged to know that I'm essentially following a tradition put to place by the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Oscar Wilde, and even the black Magician Aleister Crowley. In the grand scheme of things, I truly hope I don't disappoint.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Alas, the autumn season is upon us all once again! How I adore its melancholy yet majestic fervor. The shades of dying leaves and the grayish skies, I tell you, nothing moves me quite like this particular season! Even with the mundane simplicity surrounding me everyday with my full time museum job, I take a few moments out of each day and remember why it is that I completely marvel at this time of the year. The bonus of my favorite holiday occurring within its confines definitely doesn't hurt as well. When it comes to Halloween, the non-conventional traditions are what catch my fancy the most. That said, you probably won't find me in a popular setting surrounded by lots of people when I'd rather be exploring cemeteries, haunted sites, and, of course, writing horror! Every horror fan should appreciate the mood autumn brings to us all!
Happy Halloween to all!