Looking for some #horror to read? My novel Abode (ebook version) is on sale for 99 cents. Click here to buy
A TERRIFYING HAUNTING
This is the place where the harrowed ghosts of a dozen generations whisper in the shadows of their ancestral home, where one family’s dreams of a new beginning turned into a nightmare that ended in tragedy.
A CURSED BLOODLINE
This is the place where a line of witches bound themselves—in blood—to a primeval entity. Here, nightmare and reality meet beneath frozen skies, and even time and space fall under the power of the demonic being that rules this remote northern wood.
A CHANCE ENCOUNTER
This is the place where the path of a tormented survivor meets that of an unknowing innocent. Past and present collide, and secrets long buried crawl back into the pallid light of day as the shadow of the Beast falls over them both. But even the bloodiest dreams of that demonic being may pale in comparison to what lies buried within the human heart.
This is the place where evil dwells …
I am thrilled to announce that I am one of the “Fourteen,” the authors in the first anthology from New England Speculative Writers.
This sff antho is going to kick some fictional and robotic butt. A kickstarter campaign has been set to help get the book launched. In something like a week, we’re at 87 percent of our goal.
Please support if you can!
Check out the first Tuesletter … updates from the Tuesday Mayhem Society! TMS Consists of myself, April Hawks, Peter N. Dudar, and Emma Gibbon.
Tuesday Mayhem Society – Winter 2018 Tuesletter – http://mailchi.mp/ad998ff7cbe6/tuesday-mayhem-society-winter-2018-tuesletter-481909
If you would like to join our list, click here. We’ll be sending fiction, blogs, and poetry, as well as news, recipes, and other cool stuffs.
Grinning Skull Press has just released the an anthology from The Horror Writers of Maine, Northern Frights. The book was edited by David Price, and features an intro by Holly Newstein Hautala. I have a story in it, and am thrilled to be in a book with so many friends, including both of my Tuesday Mayhem Society Cohorts, Peter Dudar and April Hawks. I asked co-contributor Angi Shearstone a few questions.
What inspired your story?
I have some characters in my current large WIP, and had a general idea of their background. I wanted to develop the details of how they first met and plant the seeds of the relationship that followed.
What are you working on now?
A few things! That current large WIP – BloodDreams, a vampire story that kicks off in the 1977 punk scene (a few hundred years after my Northern Frights story). I’ve got the first book mostly settled, and am trying to write out the rest of the first story arc, which I think is two more books. The books started as a conversion from comic book scripts that I wrote, when I decided to put the comic on hold and try writing it all as prose. That’s why I’m not quite sure how many books it should be. Prose gives more opportunity to explore tangents & subplots, whereas comics you have to keep in mind the “budget” of pages & how much stuff one page can handle. I have a time travel story that’s almost done with its ugly first draft stage, and that’s starting to look like 10,000 words despite my plans and best efforts to keep it under 8,000. And I have a ghost story floating around in my head (ha!). I’m hoping to nail that and submit it to the New England Horror Writers anthology.
What are your thoughts on Maine?
Maine is fascinating and has a unique flavor for its part of New England. I especially love Portland, where some good friends live. I haven’t experienced much beyond that yet!
What are your top 5 favorite books?
Ah! This is kinda hard, because after the first two, it’s a mash of things that are about tied. Comics are easier, I’ll include those. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) Good Omens (Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett Mur Lafferty’s Afterlife series (Heaven, Hell, etc…) The Harry Potter Series (JK Rowling) The Parasol Protectorate Series (Gail Carriger) Comics: Hellblazer Preacher Transmetropolitan Planetary The Books of Magic
Tell us a bit about your background.
I’m an artist who likes to tell stories. I started with a BFA in Illustration, and 10 years later got my MFA in Sequential Art (comic books!). My storytelling preferences turned me towards books & prose, though, starting about 4 years ago. Right now I’m happy to keep art and stories separate. I sell fine art and get illustration & graphic design commissions.
“A painting is never finished, it simply stops in interesting places…” (Paul Gardner) The same probably holds true for books & stories!!
I’m also fond of things like “perfect is the enemy of the good / done” / “done is the engine for more.”
“This multi-layered, darkly poetic tale of a what initially appears to be a haunting in Maine is Morgan’s first novel. It will be released by Bloodshot Books in July, just in time for its debut at Necon.”
Last night’s panel event was both fun and interesting. I joined John McIlveen, Bracken Macleod, Tom Deady, Pete Kahle, Andrew Boylan, and my Tuesday Mayhem Society cohort April Hawks at Pandemonium Books for a lively discussion of the horror genre, writing stuff, and other topics. I didn’t get pictures myself, but someone else snapped this one.
Metal has a whole plethora of subgenres, ranging from radio-tolerated acts like Metallica and Disturbed, to the extreme. On the dark end of Maine’s metal spectrum, we have Sacrichrist, an extreme/black metal band. Aggressive, unapologetic, and brutal, black metal, for those who don’t know, goes hand in hand with cold, wintery landscapes, bleak northern forests, and, well, cold. Maine’s black metal scene may be small, but the musicians and bands can hold their own. Here’s a look at Sacrichrist, a black metal band out of Central Maine.
Sacrichrist has only two members. Brian Von Damage plays drums, occasional bass, vocals, and handles sampling. Naythen “the Beast” Wilson plays guitar, bass, and some vocals. (Note: according to their band bio, he is also prone to heart attacks and getting dust in his eye.)
Sacrichrist formed in 2009, playing upstairs at Brian’s house. “We actually de-evolved,” Brian says. “That’s why we play nontraditional raw black metal.”
Officially, the band traces their musical lineage back to black metal classics like Darkthrone and Venom.
Drummer/Vocalist Brian got an early start playing. “I carried a snare drum/stand (hard cased) two miles to school every day back and forth. I started in fifth grade. I banged on anything I could get my hands on before that, but that’s when I really started playing traditionally.”
Brian was heavily influenced by classic black metal and extreme metal. His list of influential albums is fairly lengthy. “Bathory – The Return, Sarcophago– I.N.R.I., Darkthrone – Hate Them\Sardonic Wrath (those two albums are connected, they confirm this on the new commentary for Hate Them), Paragon Impure – To Gaius (for the delivery of Agrippina), Pest (from Germany) – Vado Mori, Satanic Warmaster – Nachzehrer, Xasthur – Telepathic With The Deceased, Horna- Sotahuuto, Leviathan – Howl Mockery at the Cross, Lord – Hell’s F*cking Metal, Ruins – Baptized in Hell, Inquisition – Obscure Verses For The Multiverse (my best black metal album of 2013), and Deadhole– The Curse of the Ghoul.” Brian’s top black metal bands are Xasthur, Darkthrone, Sarcophago, Bathory and Venom.
His non-musical inspirations also tend towards the darker edge of art and/or entertainment. “Comics from the 80’s, 80’s gore cinema, Gorezone Magazine, Fangoria Magazine, Jim Goad’s Answer Me zine. Skating and Satan, because they go hand and hoof. Faces of Death, Banned From TV. The act of building anything from nothing into something.”
“I first started playing music in the late 70’s when I was a toddler,” Naythen says. “Piano on my mother’s lap as she played. Started taking music very seriously in about 1983, when I started bass.”
An extremely talented and versatile guitarist, Naythen has definitely developed a unique style and often works in atonal or nontraditional structures. His solo work was the focus of a recent documentary, the Continuous Echo.
“My solo material does crossover into my material with Sacrichrist,” Naythen explains, “because all my music is bound together by my Satanic beliefs. No matter what style of music I make, it is for the same drive, the same purpose, the same primitive force that is my creator.” Naythen lists the albums that were the biggest influence on him as Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Darkthrone – Transylvanian, Watain – Lawless Darkness, and Hellhammer – Apocalyptic Raids. His top five black metal bands of all time are Darkthrone, Dissection, Watain, Celtic Frost and Mayhem.
He is also influenced by other factors, aside from music. “Many things inspire me,” he explains. “Family, ancestry, death, misery, collections, automation, regal ties, science, bettering one’s self. I live for feeling uncomfortable, for being put on the spot. Instantaneous creation.”
Living in the Pine Tree State does have an effect on the music Sacrichrist creates. “I think it does definitely,” Brian says. “But a lot of drumming is rooted in tribal nature.
“If you take the sounds away from the forest, the forest will die.”
Naythen agrees. “The state of Maine does influence my playing; the dreary, rugged terrain, my Native American roots and my upbringing all play a giant role in how I approach my instruments.”
“We face the same challenges most bands face,” Brian says. “But, Maine is a large state with a small population. So the distance this creates is a challenge. Weather/extreme cold can be a challenge too, I suppose. Who hasn’t had a snow storm in Maine destroy their plans?”
Sacrichrist’s focus is mainly on recording. Their goals for the near future are clear, as Brian explains. “We want to finish 14 minutes’ worth of material into a cohesive 7-inch 45rpm record that’s worth putting out and do 500 of those. A possible split release with other USA and perhaps Canadian black metal bands has been talked about via social media. We’re hopeful.”
Brian describes their songwriting process as pretty quick. “It’s just based on us getting together and hashing our ideas out into a cohesive song structure drum and guitar-wise. We then overlay bass. Then I take a week to write to it. I do the lead vocals, and lastly, Naythen does the backups.”
The band is appreciative of the support they have received, as Brian explains. “We’d like to say thanks also to the other bands that have supported us. Putrid Christ (MI), Ominous Grim (CA), Lurid Reign (Alberta, Canada), Marakadon (FL) Distorted Strings of Doom (NY), Shaved Christ and Harsh Words (GA), Inverticrux (NH) Graveside Service (RI), as well as Exalted Woe Records (FL). Thanks to Zach and Buzz from Metal Devastation Radio.com for playing us. Extra special worship to the Face of Sacrichrist, the artists: Chris Grondin from Nightmare Force, NEV from Gruesome Graphx, and Dan from Dan’s Putrid Art.”
Chaos Machine is yet another example of a Maine metal band that crushes! A progressive/thrash metal band based in Old Town, these guys will make you pay attention. We spoke to drummer/vocalist Ryan Porter and got a bit of background on the band.
How did Chaos Machine form?
Jon, Jamie and myself, (Ryan P.), formed in the fall of 2009, after jamming together for a little while. We had put together a few songs while still looking for a vocalist and a bass player. We found our previous vocalist a short time later and began adding vocals to the few songs that we had. We were still having trouble finding a bass player that was dependable, reliable, and had their own gear. After numerous tryouts, we finally filled that void with Ryan St. Laurent, a.k.a. (R2), in the fall of 2010. Finally, we had the full lineup we were looking for, and started writing more songs. And in May of 2010, we had our first show together.
What are your favorite songs to play live?
Ryan: With Stasis In Mind, Bleed Out, Apartment 213, This Is Hate
R2: With Stasis In Mind, Bleed Out
Jamie: Bleed Out
Jon: With Stasis In Mind, Bleed Out
Wes: With Stasis In Mind and Apartment 213
What are your influences?
Ryan: The list could go on and on, but some of the top ones would be, SLAYER, Chimaira, Threat Signal, Nothingface, Whitechapel, Meshuggah, Lamb of God, and so many more…..
R2: Metallica/Megadeth, Fear Factory, Lamb Of God, Jesse Leach-era Killswitch.
Jamie: I grew up on Metallica, and Megadeth. My current favorites would be Revocation, Jeff Loomis, Scar Symmetry, and Protest the Hero.
Jon: Rush, Dream Theatre, Testament, Slayer, Whitechapel, and Jeff Loomis just to name a few.
Wes: Michael Jackson, BTBAM, Dream Theater and King Crimson
What inspires you?
Ryan: The thought of making music and having people/fans like it puts a grin on my face. I’ve personally wanted to do this for years, and now finally getting the chance to do so is beyond exciting. Having people saying they like what we are doing, attending our shows, buying our merch, anything they can do to contribute . . . Such a great feeling!
R2: The thrill of playing live, seeing and hearing people’s reaction to our music and live shows.
Jamie: Watching musicians who have both mastered their instruments and love what they do, and let it show in their live performance.
Jon: Coming up with a catchy guitar riff that will grab people’s attention. Listening to technical/well- structured songs and learning by them to apply it to our own unique style of music.
Wes: As cliché as it may sound, my band is my inspiration. I’ve never had the pleasure of working with a more talented group of individuals. They blow my mind.
What was the best show you’ve ever seen?
Ryan: SLAYER/Slipknot @ The Maine Metal Meltdown
Jamie: Lamb of God and Devil Driver
Wes: Mr. Bungle
How long have you all played together?
This current line-up has been together since February 2011, when we added Wes to the band. He was filling in on a few shows we had lined up that our previous singer couldn’t make. Our previous singer wasn’t working out and we needed to find someone else. He came forth without us asking, saying that he wanted first refusal to be in this band! He was really just what we were looking for in a vocalist, but we didn’t want to ask him to join full-time as he was already in another band at that time.
Describe Chaos Machine in three words.
Original. Determined. Heavy.
We’re pretty far up north here … do you think being in a somewhat isolated region is a good thing in some ways?
My initial reaction to this was NO! But … the more I thought of it, it does have its benefits. Being so far up north and out of the way, and basically with Canada and the Atlantic Ocean surrounding most of this state, it’s definitely harder for people not from the area to notice you as much. We are secluded in a sense. Facebook and other online sites are really helping us out. Sure, the metal scene around here is really pretty slim compared to places further south, such as Massachusetts, New York, and other heavily-populated areas, but I think where those areas have so many bands there, it’s maybe a little harder for someone in that area to get noticed and more attention to “Their” band because it is so flooded. I guess at least here, there is really a handful of bands compared to hundreds of bands in those areas, so it kind of makes the bands here stand out more, since we are less populated.
Where can we find Chaos Machine?
You can find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/chaosmachineband or www.reverbnation.com/chaosmachineband We will be having some shows in the near future, so be sure and check us out. We always post to our facebook page to what we have going on!
We would like to take the time and say thank you to Our City Radio for doing this interview with us. A pleasure indeed!
Ryan St. Laurent (R2)-Bass/Vocals