Sunday, January 4, 2015

Band Interview: INVERTICRUX

Interview with Raypissed of Inverticrux

Provide a detailed description of how Inverticrux was formed from its previous incarnation, Vintage Flesh.
I got started late in life in the music scene. It wasn't till 2005 that I was well grounded in a band I could call my own, though I was not a founding member. The band was called John Hex's Creep Show. It was a psychobilly/metal band that originally formed in San Antonio, Texas five years earlier. Two founding members relocated to Massachusetts where I joined as my first drumming gig. We reformed and released one album under that name and toured locally for a year. We attempted a second release but it was not to be. The bassist returned to Texas and the lead guitarist stayed here in New England. I turned him on to all things dark metal while touring the band in my black van. We decided it would be wicked to remain horror themed but to switch our musical direction towards the depressive black metal I turned him onto earlier. We formed Vintage Flesh. A name and vision I had around since the late eighties. We released two full lengths under that name. Me (drums/vox/lyrics) and Reverend John Hex (guitars/synth) were the key members and all else were guest artists popping in to party and lay down a lick or two. Both LP's were released by us and other smaller labels, but Hidden Marley Productions just re-released the second of two Vintage Flesh albums. Hidden Marley is owned by Zero Dimensional Records from Japan. So we are finally big in Japan! Terry Savastano of local legends Grief, Disrupt and Warhorse joined us for that album. Rev. Hex became introverted and difficult to work with soon after the second release. Plus he wanted to remain a studio band and me and Terry wanted to go live. So Hex went his separate way but remains active. Terry and I changed the band name to Inverticrux and tweaked the musical direction to include every metal genre and sub-genre while remaining horror related on the surface. We hired our roadie to take over on bass by our second release as Inverticrux. Terry only stayed for one local tour and the debut release "Virgin Reaper". The drummer remained the same on both outputs. The roadie (Hellkhunt) took over on guitar plus additional guests. Inverticrux allowed us to take a more tongue in cheek direction with some of the music. The Vintage Flesh albums proved to be dark and negative causing many harsh and paranormal activities for those involved. We decided to take the message down a notch so not to stir up so much negative energy around us.

I interviewed Reverend John Hex for AEA and the article gave the readers insight concerning his inspiration. What do you think of the idea of combining psychobilly and metal?
We only tried to combine the two styles while together in John Hex's Creep Show. We were definitely more psychobilly than metal. We were certainly no more metal then Wednesday 13 was at the time and not as well developed yet. I believe John Hex's Creep Show broke up before it achieved its full potential. I think both me and Hex harbored the same extreme love for all things horror. At the end of the day neither of us worried which was the best way to represent our horror vision as long as we got to write about horror related subjects. We both enjoyed numerous music genres and would have been happy churning out Horror under any guise that we are inspired by.

What horror related subjects were inspiring you and Hex writing about in the beginning? Were there movies you and be both liked at the time you started working with him?
He and I were writing lyrically about the same shit that inspires my lyrics today in Inverticrux. Historically accurate and fictional: New England folk history revolving around tragic tales of hauntings and human horrors, centered in New England, sometimes Europe as well as our country’s history reaches that way in early America. Hex is still carrying on that same tradition in his current band Innsmouth. Even that name is an H.P. Lovecraft reference. He’s a New England native. Though I don’t believe his is the only band of that style using that name. I don’t recall us ever sitting down to movies together too often. But we did enjoy the same kind of horror; mostly anything before the sixties. But horror movies of my liking have been making a comeback the past ten years or so.

What horror movies that you consider personal favorites do you see regaining popularity these days?
I was not much a fan of certain decades of Horror Movies. But even those times managed to get it right less than a handful of times. I guess I am speaking most critically of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. In the last ten years there seems to have been a resurgence for true creep factor Horror. Quality over quantity of guts that they could spill. Psychological horror and supernatural horror are my favorites, such as The Conjuring, Annabelle, Insidious. I met the actual Annabelle doll numerous times. I was actually good friends with Ed and Lorraine Warren back in my days of Connecticut tattooing. I toured with Ed and Lorraine back then on their college conference tours. I would open for them with my original horror poetry. It is what I did for years before getting into making metal music. That would take an entire other interview to tell about all that happened then. I love such movies. Gothic horror. Ghosts. Things that could happen in real life. Though I can suggest a lost classic in "One Dark Night". It was an eighties flick but what a wallop it packs. My favorites are the obvious classics of every age but my heart rests with the dawn of the movie age. Just after silent films. My idea of horror bores my wife to tears. Slow paced. Love the black and white: the Hammer Horror. For color: the Edgar Allan Poe tales. Not over suspenseful like Halloween. That to me is just annoying. But yeah, Horror makes our Metal...

I have an idea as to what you mean by slow moving horror. Are there any other movies you would cite as examples?
I would consider slow moving but satisfying to be the oldies like Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes, Alfred Hitchcock, Boris Karloff in Bedlam and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers among others. Gothic fantasy like Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd. The absurd eccentricity of Puphedz. Disturbing is key for me. It comes in many forms. Asian horror offers things like The Grudge, Shutter, Pulse, Tommie. Psychological horror like Irreversible and Centipede Part 2 is grand. Love that shit. Plus I love a good Zombie flick; the more believable the better. The Walking Dead has worked wonders with the genre, hasn't it? It raised the bar of expectations by far.

Hammer horror and Poe have often been topics of discussion in this zine. Which Hammer film or Poe tale have left the longest lasting impression on you?
I have noticed. That's never a bad thing. The Roger Corman Poe depictions in film format are my favorites. With Vincent Price in most of them. Hammer Horror with Peter Cushing pulled off Frankenstein with perfection in its time. All the greats really. Peter Lorre, Christopher Lee who is amazingly still active and with us. Though such films were getting sloppy and weak by the early 70's. My least favorite era for Horror anyway. Except for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist and the like.

As for Japanese horror, the original Ringu (remade in the States as The Ring) is a good example of the slow moving horror you like the most. It was actually ripped off in The Grudge (the last shot with the extreme closeup). Did you see it yet?
Something’s always "borrowing" from something earlier. What matters is can you put an original enough twist on it. My wife grumbles about me wanting to watch so many foreign Horror movies. She gets tired of having to read the subtitles as often as I would have her do. But Horror doesn't end at the border of America. Still there is Horror I won’t touch, Bollywood is a good example of that. They need to stick to the epic unrealistic romance flicks. I have sets of DVD collections of short Japanese Horror films. They really know how to make ghosts look real on film. But they have a better relationship with the dead there. I must recommend Carnival, an HBO miniseries we just finished watching. It's a few years old now. Truly haunting stuff. But good characters and story line as well.

Name some of the Japanese horror shorts you have collected on DVD, and indicate what you like about them.
I believe Tales Of Terror is one of them. I don’t have them where I am right now. Since house arrest happened I turn to Youtube for all my short horror flicks. You should try it. Do a "search" for "short horror films" on Youtube. You will be amazed with the results. One to ten minute nuggets of horror gold. The Smiling Man is a good example.  Rod Serling's Night Gallery was like Twilight Zone of the seventies. But the entire horrid decade was working against it.  Thriller, with Boris Karloff hosting was pre-Twilight Zone. Can get them on DVD. So much good stuff out there now.

What is the HBO miniseries Carnival about, and how many seasons did it run before it ran its course?
It’s about a small traveling circus struggling its way through the great depression of the 1930's. Numerous coinciding stories take place at once. But all of it supernatural. Pretty spooky. Seems it really captures the time period well. It was terribly underrated. Wrong place wrong time I guess. I put it up there with Bates Motel and The Walking Dead. Worth seeking out. We found it on Netflix. It should have run longer.

Speaking of TV series, have you heard of the series From Dusk Til Dawn that is an expansion of the movie?  I’ve been watching it and it’s one of the more worthwhile series they’re showing on TV nowadays.
We don’t get cable T.V. We prefer Hulu. As for Vampires, I'm all vampired out. I am rather the Nosferatu type. The hideous and repulsive corpselike vampires. I have a wonderful tattoo of one on my upper arm. Won an award for it and was published a number of times. My mentor did it. Myke Maldonado. He trained me back in 1993. He is a comic book artist as well. I would recommend the comical vampire rock movie Suck to your readers. Only because Alice Cooper plays a badass vampire in it. Plenty of good rock star appearances.

Back to Lovecraft, have you read any of his written works over the years? If so which of them most stand out?
His tales have shaped my mind years ago. We feel a particularly close kinship with H.P. Lovecraft living here in New England. At least those of us with our heads in the right place. I have visited his grave numerous times. In fact we found the cemetery so difficult to locate the first time, I recall we got lost and didn't get there till after dark and the cemetery had closed down for the day. It is heavily guarded. Me and my girlfriend at the time had driven to far to take no for an answer. So we scaled the walls in search of his grave. A herculean task by any standards. The place is one of Americas earliest Victorian aged garden cemeteries. We gave up our search but not without having to dodge the security guards a couple times. What an adventure. I have revisited several times since with much better luck. Go in the day time. As for stand out stories by our lord and saviour, all of them.

How did you first hear that John Hex's Creep Show was searching for a drummer? How was your audition with them, and what made you decide to join the band?
It was 2005 and my career as a tattooist was well established and I was finally ready to get seriously involved in music. I felt I had to join someone else's project to get some local street cred before I could start calling my own shots as a musician. I was o.k. on the drums but never owned a proper set. Figured I would invest once I had good reason. I saw an ad posted at a local record shop seeking a drummer who liked W.A.S.P., Misfits, Alice Cooper, Wednesday 13 etc. I thought that was ideal for me and ripped off a tab and called them that moment. Animal the bassist answered and was kind and set a meeting later that night. They were actually desperate. The sign was u forever and no one answered it. But that didn't let me know it yet. The three of us met down the road at a local bar and grill chain, The 99. Hex didn’t like me; Animal was far more open to giving me a try. Later I learned Hex doesn't like anybody. They were shocked to learn I didn't have a set and would buy one if they hired me. I bought one the next day. Our first live show opening for Michael Graves can be found on Youtube. When I joined, I didn't even listen to any punk or rockabilly material. But I caught on fast enough.

Describe your first appearance with Michael Graves. How was the turnout for that appearance?
I do remember Hex and Animal being impressed that I landed such a mighty gig for our first live show together with me on drums. We also opened for Trash Light Vision that night. The band included members of Wednesday 13. I had friends in Mongrel, a popular local horror punk band that set up the show. Their drummer Drae would later drum for us for the debut Vintage Flesh release, The Eyes That Glared At My Agonies. Hex had so little faith in me, but I proved myself that night. It was my first full performance as a live drummer. It was a hot night and the sticks were threatening to fly out of my hands any moment. But they never did. Anderson Mar, a much loved local promoter, booked that gig along with many others. She died this past spring in a house fire in Massachusetts. She was 36.

What independent labels originally released your material with John Hex and how widely was it distributed? How did Hidden Marley/Zero Dimensional Records hear of and eventually distribute your releases?
Yah know, I guess over the years we were picked up but numerous small labels from around the world.  More than I recall. But they were so small they didn’t require any contracts or licensing and we just thought it was first important to spread the sound far and wide as possible. So we gave it away to them. They just didn't get to own the rights to any of it. So little labels from all over would press limited numbers of our material mostly on tape and that was the last we heard of them. Labels that tend to fold in just a few years. Other than that we self released much of the music for download and for sale at our live shows. In 2013 Zero Dimensional got hold of me and asked if they could properly release our second Vintage Flesh album; the better of the two in my opinion. They had to wait months before I could send them the master tape. Because I was going through personal problems at the time and still am. They sent me a hundred copies. I believe it was released this past October and distributed throughout parts of Asia and Europe in CD format. They may release the debut as well but I suppose they are waiting on sales results before they decide.

Have you gotten any feedback from Japanese metal heads that checked out the band?
Not just yet. It was just released this past October. So I am giving it time to set in before I see about results. Though I see it is getting a lot of hits on Youtube now. They should be a good audience for us. They have an ear for the offbeat and the unusual. I really love the bizarre shit that comes out of China and Japan. Those people know how to suffer and it shows in the music they make. Check out "Endless Dismal Moan". Sheer tormented agony. One man band. Eventually killed himself via "Dissection's" method. Almost mine as well. The Japanese label is interested in a part three to Vintage Flesh. I don’t think Hex can ever work with me again. But our album producer has expressed interest in taking over for Hex. It could happen. Matt Gemini is a brilliant young musician. His active bands are Eerie and Martyvore. Martyvore has our original Inverticrux guitarist Terry now. They are well respected in the underground. Matt produced and contributed to the first two Vintage Flesh releases. He agrees that the band vision and concept died prematurely. It needed at least one more album to complete its point and to come to fruition. So we will see.

I’ve heard a few Japanese bands, such as Sigh and Masonna; both of those are out in left field. Would you recommend any bands from there; some obscure bands the readers might not have heard?
I do love Sigh. I got to party with them and other bands at a hotel in Oslo in 2007 at the Inferno fest. Some German Metal zine photographer I was boffing while I was there helped get me access to many bands performing. I am digging "About Abortions" right now. "Ghost Bath" is another one new to the scene. I liked Gallhammer. I can’t listen to Baby Metal but I get it. Abigail is good. I illustrated a split album cover for them drunken bastards once. The Asian scene fascinates me. Cthonic is the cutting edge of experimental. It seems experimental is almost shunned here. People rather copy and play it safe too often. We chose to continue to explore further with each release fate allows us to do. Exploration is essential to me.

Did you meet Matt Gemini on the internet or at a show somewhere before he started producing your work? What spoke to him about Vintage Flesh and made him think about joining as a full time member?
As strange as it may seem I must leave how I met Gemini as a mystery. It was under controversial circumstances. But it was the year 2002 here in New Hampshire. We initially met in person. Three years would go by before we would hang out again as I had left the state to live in Florida for those years. When I returned to New England we would soon cross paths again through mutual friends. Gemini was a founding member of the now kult band Cold Northern Vengeance at the time. Greatest band to happen to New Hampshire since December Wolves in my opinion. Sadly, like Vintage Flesh it was mainly a two-man band and the mix between musicians was very volatile. C.N.V. was partly inspirational in forming a black metal band out of John Hex's Creep Show. They encouraged it. They were the first to hear our demo tape at a Metal house party at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. It was only one song, "Waiting For A Body", our first song written as V.F. They were taken by it and pressed us to continue writing more. So Gemini was forming a studio at the time called Opal Sound studios in Kingston, New Hampshire. He was the obvious man for the job. He quickly built a fine reputation. Now Gemini is known all around New England and elsewhere as the man to go to for the extreme Metal underground. Gemini has two complete tattoo sleeves (done by me at the Tattoomb) down both arms due to his recording all our material on four releases. Two V.F. releases and now two Inverticrux releases. He also contributes guitar solos to most our work. I recently approached him online about joining me to complete the Vintage Flesh vision. He was stoked! But anything can happen in this uncertain world. I let time tell me what the final outcome will truly be.

In what ways is Inverticrux and expansion of John Hex's CreepShow? Are you still keeping in touch with John Hex? In what ways does Inverticrux incorporate a tongue-in-cheek quality to their material?
The only connection between those two bands is the family tree of members involved. Me and Hex disbanded John Hex's Creep Show to reform as Vintage Flesh. Inverticrux has more in common with Vintage Flesh musically and is more a continuation of that project. By the second V.F. release, we learned that you do not have to be a devil worshiping metal band to attract demonic attention. All you have to do is concentrate deeply on the negative music and they will come. We attribute many tragedies to the making of the second V.F. release if not both. But by the second release the fruits of our efforts though never fully realized, were already beginning to stir unwelcome supernatural events that all involved could attest to. Too much to mention here, but a quick rundown of events include multiple extreme hauntings experienced by four members including me, Terry, Hex and the producer. We would all go back into the studio the next day and speak of our wildly frightening experiences back at home with the supernatural. We called the album Hour Of The Night Gaunts because we were all separately haunted but always at around three o'clock in the morning. Soon after that I learned that Hex secretly did not want to go live with the band. So he was purposely turning away everybody who tried out on guitars or drums. If he wanted to remain a studio band he should have been honest about it. Hex soon became intolerable and we had to let him go. Terry and I went on to reform the band as Inverticrux. Now you see why we wanted some comic relief added and a tongue in cheek approach to some songs. This was an attempt to defuse some of the dark vibes we believe we conjured with Vintage Flesh. We had songs like "Hurt Whores" and "Scare Crow Clowns From Planet Spider". Me and Hex tried to reunite after the first Inverticrux album but another falling out soon followed. My string of bad luck continued right into the second Inverticrux release. Members dropping out of the band, some bands and venues in the local scene turning against us. Me losing my Tattoo shop after eight years of successful moral business practices. All culminating to when I put a bullet in my head in a New Hampshire graveyard and somehow surviving it after a month in a Boston general hospital.

I read about such matters (minor stuff involving Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden etc) but never witnessed it firsthand. From what I have read about Satanism (not devil worship), it could be anything. I can’t say for certain since I wasn’t there, but I personally consider demonology and religion to be opposite sides of the same coin in some ways. I have had unpleasant experiences with former band members, but it was their own ill intent, not some so-called “dark force.” And the music I’ve listened to for thirty-plus years has had no negative effect on me. Can you think of anything positive that came from your band?
I do not think that listening to dark music is as dangerous as creating it from nothing. Listening to it can even be beneficial to the listeners. Helping them to exercise the demons they may harbor. But creating such music with true sincerity and devotion to the craft may be more an effective invite to allow dark forces into your being. The positive benefits we have gained are substantial in their own right. Creating music in said bands has opened me up to working with bands from all over Europe on vocal guest spots and hired to illustrate album covers from bands all over. I am better known in Europe for my work with those bands and their fans later backtrack to see where I came from. For me the great thing is to leave something on this Earth that is lasting. I could care less about dollar one. It is all about creating a lasting legacy that will be worth reproducing throughout the ages in recorded form and classic drawings. It's a form of immortality. That is why I do it. I do not have children; never wanted them. The world is too scary now. My music and art are my children. I am not at all for the ego stroke or the possibility of financial gain. My goals are within reason and therefore attainable. But I started late in the music business only seriously, since 2005, so I have been trying to catch up. I am 44 now and could have been doing this since the early eighties. But I pursued a career in the visual arts first. It took a while to establish.

Did you attend school for education in the visual arts? If so, where did you go and how intensive were your studies?
Yeah I went to the school of Sesame Street and the Muppet Show. I am proudly self-taught. My earliest memories of drawing consist of sitting in front of the T. screen trying to copy Kermit the frog and other Muppets onto paper. So I could see them whenever I wanted, and not just when the show was on. Way before the internet. Then I did the same at my local arcades in the amusement park town of Keansburg, New Jersey where I grew up. Sitting on a crate next to the video games and drawing the pixelated characters from the video game screen and pinball games. While all the other kids looked on in fear at the weird kid drawing the video game characters rather than playing the games like everyone else. But it paid off. I haven't had a "real job" since 1990. Been working successfully as an Illustrator ever since. Mostly as a Tattooist for twenty years now. No complaints there.

What first made you interested in tattooing? At what point did you decide to try your hand at it?
I was struggling as an illustrator well before taking up tattooing. Trying my hand at several fields and some that I am still involved in today. Including the comic book industry, political cartoons in the local newspapers, I owned an airbrush business in a mall in the early nineties (Skeletons airbrush closet), Album covers, t-shirt screen printing ETC. It wasn't till I began work on an adult comic with a fellow practitioner in the comic book arts that I see the potential to get into the lucrative field of Tattooing in 1993. The comic book artist Myke Maldonado was also a celebrated tattooist. He was one of my earliest channels into the field of tattooing. But the story is longer and detailed. I have since worked with many well respected comic book artists and tattooist in the Western world. Basically I was determined to make my living as an illustrator and I am glad to report this has been well achieved.

How much work went into your stint at the tattoo shop? Where was it located and how much business was it doing? Are you considering resuming your business at some point?
I am now a twenty year tattooist veteran. It has sent me up and down the east coast and throughout western Europe. I received many accolades for my artistic efforts over the years. That has a story all its own. I only opened a shop because I thought it would be the only way I would stop running around the world before I killed myself on the road somewhere. So I dropped anchor in Nashua, New Hampshire. I called the shop The Tattoomb. The website and Facebook page is still up. The town was good to me. I mostly took in traveling artists as guest spots. The entire shop was a horror show with a real coffin as a centerpiece. It came from the towns early coffin manufacture before it was closed for good. Now it serves as a tattoo information site. Till I reopen elsewhere in New England; possibly Maine or Vermont. The shop was open a full eight years and could have gone on strongly another twenty or more years had I not shot myself in the head on my last birthday of November 7th 2013. But I believe the Goddess Hecate (who is worshiped around the world on the day of my birth) had stepped in (through divine intervention) and saved me. I could not save my business understandably, but we had a blast. Because of this miracle I recently have decided to make the next Inverticrux release a concept album based on a man (like myself) who goes mad with his adoration for the Greek Goddess of all things dark and deathlike, Hecate. It will be an entire new line up other then myself on drums and vocals. I just want a two man line up via Dark Throne and just release studio recordings from here. Maybe the rare live event if it should present itself.

How many people were you tattooing on a regular basis when your shop was open? Did you develop your own tattoo art?
I would average three clients a day. Anymore would be overkill for the work I do. I sold the shop last year. It ran for eight years in my name. The TaTToomB was my pride and joy. It was popular, and it was underground. Literally. A basement shop in a historic New England building. John F. Kennedy had his campaign headquarters upstairs. I lived in the same building for a time. It was the best and most artistically productive eight years. The shop was well received locally. All decorated in Heavy Metal and Horror memorabilia. Metal blasting all day every day. A Metal head’s dream shop. The website is still up. I definitely have my own style. I specialize in free-hand and cover ups. The challenging stuff. The band had a practice space in the back. Everything from INVERTICRUX and Vintage Flesh was created in that space. The place wasn't haunted when we moved in but it is now. I feel sorry for the new owners. Scott (Maelfic from Xasthur was actually the last person to leave my shop before I closed the doors forever. Then I attempted suicide two days later. I love that guy but I don’t think he realizes how much negative energy he wields. He felt very bad afterwards. I assured him he wasn't responsible. I have been Tattooing for twenty years now. Up and down the East Coast and throughout Western Europe developing my craft. Finally forced to take a break now. It's time. I will re-open somewhere else in New England. The Toomb will live on!

Where do you think The Tattomb will reopen once you are ready to resume the business? How do you intend to get word around?
I would like to re-open in Vermont or Maine. But somewhere in New England for sure.  We will see. I keep the websites open and active so the name stays in the minds of the community. For now people can visit my TaTToomB Facebook page for tattoo related info. People write me for tattoo advice all the time there. What to look out for, what shops to avoid. So it’s mostly my long lasting solid reputation for good clean work and customer relations, and good old word of mouth that keeps our name out there for now.

When did you begin your studies of the Goddess Hecate? Share some of the information you have gathered about her.
Well I just did this morning with my psychiatrist in Concord, New Hampshire. The Doctors are all tag teaming me. I am on my third one now. They must be meeting in the staff lounge and telling the others how they need to get a load of this lunatic, haha! This new one seems very well impressed with my insights. The last one was an older woman. One day I was surprised to bring her to tears while explaining something regarding my personal life. I don’t recall what it was. Just about how I envision the world as it is. I had to hand her a tissue. As for Hecate, I am learning still as I go. She first came to me on a pagan calendar I once owned. The day of my birth on this Earth is a very significant day to the worship of Hecate. Maybe over ten years ago. Much about her is mystery shrouded in time and attempts to silence her presence over the eons. She is very significant to my life and she has crossed paths with me during many junctures though I was not always aware. She has made herself known in ways both good and bad. But even the bad was necessary for spiritual growth. You can find out all about her as a Titan, a Goddess. The keeper of Gates, crossroads, and the keys. There is still much we know about her. I am very excited to devote the rest of my life and art career to her dark splendor and magnificence. My offerings to her will be many yet humble and without end.

Have you read any books about Hecate since you discovered her through a Pagan calendar?
I haven't yet. Just some online publications and videos so far. The info is coming like second nature to me as if I knew of it all along. Like as if I am simply refreshing my memory of her. I am excited to say my wife has taken very kindly to the idea of building a shrine or alter to her somewhere here in the woods near to the crossroads. I picked out a place just this afternoon but she feared it was too visible from the road and neighbors may not understand it. I am temporarily situated deep in the northern woods of New Hampshire in the mountain region on house arrest. But yeah, I will be devoting the rest of my life to learning more about her and making my offerings in her name.

How do you intend to base future Inverticrux material on the legends of Hecate?
It's a bit early to say. I haven't written anything yet for it. Just been swirling in my twisted head and slowly taking shape from there. But before this latest epiphany, I was planning to explore life in Victorian era mental asylums with the next release. As our first concept album, I want to combine the two ideas rather than abort the first for the second. So I am thinking of creating a character that is forced into asylum because of his love and devotion to Hecate and how his actual correspondence with her drives him to insanity. Of course there is still much to build upon. But it would be our first attempt at a concept album via King Diamond and Alice Cooper style. THEM meets Welcome To My Nightmare meets Watain's The Wild Hunt. But more primitive of course.

Along with King Diamond and Alice Cooper, are there other bands you are listening to that are rubbing off on you influence wise?
I am constantly discovering new and old bands from the underground. It is lame to remain stagnant in Metal when there is so much out there. You can never hope to hear it all.  Even with all the shit out there. Endless amounts of good shit to be found as well. Just yesterday I discovered Chainsaw from Chile and Terror Hammer among others. Black thrash. I want to move Inverticrux more in that direction next. We did the Black Death doom thing and now I would like us to get more blackened thrash but always maintain the Horror aspect. We never want anyone to expect the same thing twice from us. We are unrestrained in that sense. Unlike Motorhead or AC/DC where you can expect the same chemistry over and over. That’s fine too. But not for us.

Have you thought up any ideas for the storyline you envisioned for your second concept album?
It came to me just as I was explaining it to my wife. Funny thing was I knew very little about it when telling her what little I had so far, then the rest just started coming to me like I knew it all along. As if it was being told to me by Hecate herself. There are a few loose ends to tie up when I start writing it. But I don’t even have a band yet. It will be a two man band again. I will return to drums. I am expecting it can take anywhere from one to three years before I know when that will take root. I do know that it will be yet another complete departure from the last album. As that one was from the first. I haven't felt completely at home with the music since the last V.F. album. The next line up should remedy that issue. But yeah, I don’t want to divulge on the storyline for the next release just yet. But it will be done in complete devotion to our Goddess Hecate. By then I trust I will be more in tune with her.

How soon do you anticipate working on the next full length, and how do you plan to promote it upon its release?
I have worked with Drakkar records with my contribution to the latest Mystic Forest from France, and now I am working with Zero Dimensional and Exalted Woe records. So it may be released with any one of those or maybe we will press on. It's whoever shows us the most interest and support for what we do. I am most interested in getting the best accessibility of our music to the masses of metal heads and the best method of distribution. All I know we haven't made our mark yet, we haven't said our peace. I care not for financial gain in the music industry unless it falls in our lap. My goal as a musician is to make a lasting impression through music. I don’t feel like we have written anything yet that I can comfortably close the book on. We are still shaping our sound and improving as we go.  There is still much to learn.


-Dave Wolff