Saturday, April 4, 2015

Interview with Dave Wolff for Crossing Darkness zine

The editor/staff team of Crossing Darkness interviewed me for their zine. The article below is posted with permission. -DW

Damiana: Tell me when your zine was formed? Why the name? Who are the demons who run your zine?
Autoeroticasphyxium zine (AEA for short) ran as a print zine from 1997 to the present day. The zine became an online blog in 2015. I (Dave Wolff) have been editor and publisher; to date several staff writers have contributed reviews, interviews and articles. I named the zine after a song title I thought up some years earlier. I thought it was a unique name for a zine that would grad attention.

Mysteria: Do you think people are actually interested in reading and bio or full history of a fanzine these days?
You mean print zines? If so, there are still many circulating around the States and overseas, and I’ve heard of fanzine conventions being held on a regular basis here in New York and elsewhere, so I would imagine there is still a substantial demand for them.

Hypatia: How many issues did you put out? How can “fans to be” gain access to it?
From the beginning to the present I’ve released 24 issues of AEA altogether. Unfortunately only a few print issues are still available at the time of this writing since I started the blog. If interested you can contact me for purchase or trade information.

Mysteria: What important writings do you have in your zine and who wrote them?
Several contributing writers have had articles published in Autoeroticasphyxium; Will Lovelaw, Joe Zuchowski, Goddess Rosemary, Jade Amazon and Billy Metts to name a few. One piece by Joe Zuchowski was about the life and times of HP Lovecraft and another dealt with the pagan origins of the Christmas holidays, with special attention to the legend of Krampus.

Damiana: What ideas do you aim for? What’s the weirdest thing you uncovered when researching material for an interview or release review?
Originality and creativity are what I consider most important when it comes to seeking interviewees. One friend who I interviewed works in a funeral home and another constructs art made from the bones of deceased animals he collects on the highways.

Hypatia: If a tornado hit and the funnel captured seven copies of one of your issues, whose hands would you want them to land in?
Really, the hands of anyone who would get the most out of reading each of those seven issues and walk away thinking.

Damiana: What bands have been your biggest influence? Any album from your teen years that made you say, “Fuck, one day I am going to do this”?  What instrument do you play or are you air musician at shows, in your car and at home?
Venom’s “Black Metal” was the first thrash album I heard, and at fourteen years of age it shaped my taste in music from my teenage years until today. That album had a profound effect on me and I can still listen to it without ever growing bored. Toward the late 80s I found there were too many bands copying Metallica and Slayer so I gravitated to more obscure bands like Carnivore and Prong and started listening to lots of punk, hardcore and grindcore (GG Allin, Sheer Terror, Sore Throat). I played drums for a few local bands in the late 80s and early 90s, but since I started a career in music journalism I haven’t played in a long time.

Mysteria: How important do you think the visual part of a fanzine is?
Good artwork and a healthy amount of photos are important for a zine, but content is most important to me. I prefer articles that are well thought out and the result of extensive research to fluff pieces that only say “this band is cool” or “this CD is awesome.”

Hypatia: Any future releases coming out demos, splits, EP or album you are looking forward to listening to this year?
I just heard Iron Maiden has a new release coming out soon; I’d be interested in checking it out since I have been a fan for more than thirty years. Other than that, just the new releases coming out from bands I correspond with on a regular basis.

Damiana: What would be your main claim for the fanzine?
Autoeroticasohyxium currently covers bands, fanzines and reviewers of horror films in interviews; also included are articles, reviews of fanzines, full length CDs and horror movies. Staff and contributing writers are Frank Garcia of Metal Album Reviews, Victor Varas of Zombie Ritual zine, Tony Reborn of Reborn From Ashes zine, Lady Kat Chaos of Obscure Chaos zine, Reggae, Joe Zuchowski, Goddess Rosemary, The Angry Princess of I’ll Slash Thru The Rest To Get To The Best, Baron of Baron’s Crypt and Christina Bergling of Movepilot.com. Winston Blakely and Alexander Kautz did the cover art when it was still in print. Cerebral Agony covers art, fiction, poems and photography. Contributing their work are Rich Orth, Kaya Chaos, Armand Madji, Abyss Forgottentomb, Sky Claudette, Lioness De Winter, Sarah McKellar, Daina Lewis, M Teresa Clayton, Jerry Langdon, Eric Forsberg, Fury, Corvo Sahjaza, Johnny Hellion, Laura Pettelal-Entiwsle, Skitz J. Fitch, Debbie Dixon, Heather Dawson, Chris Chaos and many others.

Mysteria: Talking about magic, how can art be a form of ritual?
In the sense that art is intended as a form of expression designed to encourage people to think, especially if some find it offensive. If it is used in this context and the artist is not hurting anyone or breaking any laws, he can express himself as he chooses and defend his work if it is taken out of context, whether unintentionally or deliberately (if someone criticizing it has a hidden agenda).

Damiana: Do you think an aura of magic and mystery would shape ones identity?
When it comes to bands, it has worked for many old school bands including Venom, Bathory, Sodom and many of today’s death and black metal bands such as Acheron, Immortal etc. Inventive stage names help set the tone when you check a band out.

Mysteria: Do you think some bands are accused of being in league with infernal forces, but truly are not?
I think this a common occurrence with metal bands in general. In many cases many bands who are accused of using demonology or summoning malignant forces with their lyrics are simply using their imagination much as a horror author would.

Mysteria: What do you think about Global Warming and how do you take care of the Earth? Do you use recycled paper for your fanzine?
Not entirely certain about the global warming part but I do think there is a need for us to stop overusing our resources. The copiers where I went to have the zine printed used recycled paper, and I would make a point of buying it there.

Hypatia: Have you ever seen “shadow people”?
I can’t say I’ve seen a shadow entity in person, nor can I say what they are or from where they originate. I’ve done a small amount of research about them but haven’t gathered enough information to formulate an opinion either way.

Verdantia: Have you ever felt chills going up and down your spine or cold spots around your house or at a club (and not talking about winter drafts)? Does that freak you out?
I haven’t had these experiences at home as much as the location I’m getting to in the next couple of questions.

Mysteria: While walking around in darkness which would you say is more spiritually, a cemetery, railroad tracks, a forest?
From these three choices, I would have to say a forest feels most spiritual to me.

Mysteria: What are some of the most bizarre experiences you have had?
When I was living in Massachusetts I had some experiences that could have been described as paranormal. The place where I lived was reputedly haunted and I saw a few things you could say would have confirmed this. Curtains would move on their own and once a piece of tape peeled halfway off the wall and started moving up and down.

Verdantia: Is crying is a weakness or a powerful emotion?
Anything that helps to release negativity from your system, whether it’s sadness or anger can be a good thing. Especially if the negativity in question comes from others (drama queens and psychic vampires). If people transfer their shit to you, it’s because they are weak and unable to deal with life. People like that you don’t need.

Damiana: If you had to write your own headstone what would it say and how would you design it?This isn’t something I have put much thought into at this point.

Verdantia: What do you think is the strongest Fire, Water or Air and which do you feel is more destructive when it comes to Blaming Mother Nature?
I gather each element is equally beneficial or destructive, depending on the location and circumstance.

Mysteria: What does our zine name, Crossing Darkness mean to you?
The name sounds appropriate for a zine for subjects related to underground metal and the occult.

Mysteria: Any last haunting words?
Thanks for your interest and sorry for the relatively brief answers. This interview was somewhat spur of the moment. Interested parties can contact me at
AEAzinedw@aol.com. Check out the zines online at aeafanzine.blogspot.com and cerebralagonyzine.blogspt.com.