Saturday, October 17, 2015

Artist Interview: ANTHONY BEGNAL

Interview with ANTHONY BEGNAL aka ANTHONY VAN HOEK

You have two of your art pieces (Arthur Rimbaud and Zombie Relief Fund) published in issue #1 of Cerebral Agony, likewise available for viewing on your art website. Can you describe the inspiration for those pieces and feedback you received once they were made available for viewing?
Well, the Rimbaud piece is a portrait of Arthur Rimbaud. I had been reading his “Illuminations” collection (which has both the English translations and the original French texts) and really liked it so I drew my version of one of the only photos of him. Zombie Relief Fund is from a song by my alter ego’s band Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘em Ups. The basic concept is, instead of wasting your money on starving children, why not send the starving children to the hungry zombies instead. You know, kill two birds with one stone kind of thing. As far as feedback, most people say things like, “Wow, cool man!” or “Whoah, awesome!”

Would you like more descriptive feedback than someone simply describing it as “cool” or “awesome”? When designing artwork in general, how would you want it to speak to people?
If that’s what someone’s reaction is then no it doesn’t need to be more descriptive, it’s fine. If someone likes something I’ve done, whether it's visual artwork or music, then that’s great. Of course I do sometimes get more descriptive feedback than “Whoah!” but I also tend to draw a lot of drooling skulls and zombie girls with large breasts so what should I expect?

How extensive is Rimbaud’s “Illuminations” series altogether? Were there any parts of it that particularly inspired you to capture his likeness? Were there any aspects of his work you wanted it to represent?
It’s really a fairly short and to the point collection. I believe it’s 42 poems if I’m not mistaken. I just thought Rimbaud looked cool and I wanted to draw him. My father, who was an English professor used to send me books to read and that was one of them. He also sent me “Sexus” by Henry Miller, “Lolita” by Nabokov, “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” by Alan Sillitoe and lots more. I in turn sent him some Bukowski and Iceberg Slim’s “Pimp”. I tried unsuccessfully to get him to teach both of those in his classes for years.

Between the English and French versions of Rimbaud’s writings, would you feel anything gets lost in the translations or do the English versions contain the effect of the French?
I don’t really speak French but from looking at the texts you can tell they’re pretty much exact translations.

After reading those written works by Miller, Nabokov and Sillitoe, did you find yourself inspired to read additional writings by them? What were you getting out of Bukowski and Slim’s writings?
Of course, yes, I've since read more by all of those writers, especially Miller and Nabokov. They're all basically rebellious works that to me have an anti-mainstream society bent that I really like. It's there in Bukowski and Iceberg Slim's works too. Plus, reading Iceberg Slim for the first time, it's kind of a portal into a whole different world than what I was used to. That's not what makes it good (it's simply good story telling that makes it good), it's just an added bonus.

What sort of a different world do Iceberg Slim’s writings create for the reader? On what level do the writings of Miller and Nabokov speak to you in terms of their anti-mainstream leanings?
Well I was never a pimp so there’s that. As far as anti-mainstream society sentiment goes, c’mon, the 9-5 world sucks; it’s nice to know there are other people out there who feel the same way. Iceberg Slim didn’t want any part of the 9-5 world either

How long have you been a graphic artist? Were there any artists whose work made you want to try your hand at it? Are you mostly self-educated or did you attend college art classes or art schools?
I’ve been drawing, doodling and scratching in some form or other since before I can remember. I used to make fliers for punk shows when I was a kid so I suppose you could say that’s when I became a graphic artist. I was really into comic books so various comics artists inspired me for sure—guys like Barry Windsor-Smith, Jack Kirby and Bernie Wrightson. After that, punk and hardcore art guys like Pushead, Raymond Pettibon, Mad Marc Rude and Shawn Kerri (who’s not a guy) inspired me and continue to do so. When I was about 14 I wrote to Pushead and sent him a bunch of my work and he not only wrote me back with a bunch of his stuff, he also provided detailed critiques of my artwork and suggestions on how to improve it and find inspiration. It was great and I still have his letters. As I said, I’ve been drawing since I was really little but I also did in fact go to Penn State as an Art major. School is good because it forces you to do work and get some new perspective on things. Stay in school kids, stay off the drugs!

I’m unfamiliar with Windsor-Smith and Wrightson but I’ve been exposed to Jack Kirby’s work. What about his style do you appreciate the most?
Oh man, you've got to check out Windsor-Smith's Conan artwork, it rules! And Wrightson's Frankenstein is some of the greatest line drawings ever and it makes reading the book an awesome experience (not that it wasn't already). Kirby's just a real classic American comic artist with fantastic clean lines and a very distinctive style that's been imitated steadily since. Plus he was really nice to me when I met him at a comic convention when I was a wee lad.

How long had Windsor-Smith been designing artwork for Conan? Any personal favorites from his collection?
He did Conan for a few years in the early 70s. From the first issue to number 24 (I think he missed 2 or 3 issues to take a break). He got better and better as the run went on. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet, Dark Horse has a reissue series of books. Probably his best is also his last issue of Conan, number 24, which also features Red Sonja. He starts off as a pretty basic Kirby imitator and progresses into his own unique style.

Can you cite the descriptive feedback you have received, and describe if it benefitted you in any way? How many visitors does your site receive on a regular basis, and what else can be viewed there?
This ties in with the Pushead thing too. He told me about the importance of clean, smooth lines and how your work has less impact with sketchy, messy lines. Take the extra time to make it cool and smooth kids. My site has a bit of everything I’ve done and continue to do. It’s got some paintings, comics, illustrations, fliers, logos, album covers, t-shirts and tons more. It’s even got some of the work I did for high school athletic teams and cheer leading squads and one of my old teenage punk fliers. I’ve never checked the site’s stats so I have no idea how many people check it out. Maybe I should do that?

What bands have Raymond Pettibon, Mad Marc Rude and Shawn Kerri designed fliers for? Are they still active in their local scenes today?
If you don’t know those artists you really need to exercise the old google finger folks! Bands like Black Flag, Misfits and Circle Jerks for starters have all been graced with those artists work. Pettibon is now a fine artiste but he does stuff for Off! so I guess he is still involved in the punk scene hahaha. Marc Rude passed away a while ago and Shawn Kerri is no longer active either.

In what ways is your presence in Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘em Ups an alter ego?
Myself (Anthony Allen Begnal) and Anthony Allen Van Hoek are two sides of the same coin. All that guy wants to do is beat the crap out of his guitar and drink Coors Light. Me, I’m more the sensitive artist type who likes to spend quiet evenings at home with my family, my cats and my etchings. Although I too enjoy the occasional cold Coors Light so we do have some common ground.

Are you a fan of the zombie genre in horror cinema? Which movies have remained in your consciousness the longest?
Yes I am a fan of the zombie genre, which at this point is kind of like saying you’re a fan of pizza. Pizza is pizza, it’s everywhere and some’s good and some’s not so good but like I said, it’s everywhere and even when it’s not the greatest it’s still pretty cool. Obviously the Romero films are pillars of the genre, “Zombie” by Lucio Fulci is pretty great and so is “Return of the Living Dead” even though it’s more of a comedy. Great soundtrack too.

What were the first movies you watched of the zombie genre (mine were the original Night Of The Living Dead and Dawn Of The Dead). In what ways did your first taste of the genre make you a fan? How do you think the soundtrack to Return Of The Living Dead contributed to it?
Yeah, those were the first ones I saw too. I remember seeing Day of the Dead in the theater with my family. My opinion of that film was wrongly eschewed due to my father telling me that the first two Romero flicks were good movies but this one wasn’t (I was an impressionable young guy back then hahaha). It wasn’t until years later when I revisited Day that I realized he was wrong, it is a good film, just different than the other two, more of its time (the 80s) and perhaps a bit ham fisted. But then again the other two are very much of their times and ham fisted too so who’s to say? I’ve always been a fan of the zombie genre because the flesh eating is just awesome and I love how in all the best zombie films almost everyone dies. Plus it’s a great fantasy, the whole end of the world as we know it and it’s up to you to survive, or not survive thing. The Return soundtrack goes along perfectly with the punk/new wave aesthetic of the film and characters, plus it’s got the Cramps, TSOL, the Damned, Roky Erickson and of course 45 Grave (do you wanna party!?). Hard to go wrong there.

How long were you designing band fliers, and do you still have any in your possession today? How valuable have Pushead’s suggestions been since he responded to you?
I still design band fliers! But I was doing punk and hardcore show fliers in my hometown from the age of 13 or 14 ’til I moved away after college. Yeah I still have most of them, some of the original artwork too. One of my fliers was in the American Hardcore book, which I was pretty happy about. It’s for a Necros, Wasted Talent, Underground Soldier and more show in Harrisburg, PA. I remember giving the flier to the Necros’ guitar player and that’s how it ended up in the book. Like I said above, Pushead’s suggestions were extremely valuable and some of them I still use and think about today. He told me to use a Rapidograph pen, which I did for many years but changing the ink and unclogging the tips gets way too annoying, so these days I mostly use Sharpies of varying thickness.

Did you discover your Necros flier published in American Hardcore when it came out? How excited were you to see your work within its pages? Were you given credit for the flier or was it one of the many fliers included in the book?
I picked it up at a bookstore and thought, Yeah right, a history of Hardcore, they’re gonna get it all wrong and it’s gonna suck. But as I thumbed through it I saw that it was pretty right on and then, holy shit, there’s my flier, awesome! Had to buy it of course. It’s the only flier on that page but there are of course a bunch of fliers in the book. Hardcore’s always been all about the fliers.

Do you remember the atmosphere at Penn State while you attended? Were there professors or fellow students there who particularly saw your potential?
Some professors were better than others but most were all cool and supportive. Two things that stick out in my memory from college are, when I showed a professor the Wrightson Frankenstein drawings and told him I wanted to one day draw like that and he said, "So do it. What are you waiting for?" Always thought that was cool, as opposed to something like, “What’re you crazy? You’ll never be that good!” And then there was the guy I'd argue with because he was always criticizing people's works as being wrong because they broke the so called "rules of art". Finally one day I told him, "Cavemen broke the rules but cave art is some of the most beautiful work of all time. Picasso broke the rules all the time too." and he said, "Yes, there's a difference between knowing the rules and breaking them on purpose and breaking the rules out of ignorance, you have to at least know the rules." That's always stuck with me. You can apply that to music too. Other than that there were no 80s teen movies moments where anyone took me under their wing and we painted in some warehouse while a Kenny Loggins song blared in the background or anything like that.

A third option is knowing the rules but not caring whether you follow or break them; just doing what you feel. I’ve noticed artists and musicians who have done that ended up writing their own rules. What would your thoughts be on this idea?
That’s pretty much what I meant. I guess the only difference being, you should know what the supposed rules are, start with that foundation and then do what you want obviously. If you’re at an amateur skill level because that’s all you know, that’s different from knowing all the history and foundation and choosing to work at a certain level. In other words, if you never bothered to learn more than three chords on the guitar and that’s all you can do, then that’s pretty boring, but if you know all the chords, scales and variations and you practice and get good and you choose to play simple three chord punk or metal then you can bring something new and interesting to the table, possibly. As opposed to the guy or gal who was simply too lazy to be bothered learning anything.

Your bio says you graduated with a BA in art and started working for the Agronomy Department of Penn State post-graduation. One of the first to hire you after that was Harley Flanagan of Cro-Mags. How did Harley discover your work and what material did you design for him?
Yup, you can really say I’ve done it all hahaha! From drawing turf grass for textbooks to making flyers and album covers for a Hardcore legend, and everything in between! I love it all. I think Harley actually had an ad on Craig’s List and he liked that I had a Hardcore background so we worked together for a number of years. I also did his websites for a while. We collaborated on an awesome site called www.HardcoreHallofFame.com. It’s a shame that one died out because it was pretty awesome. It was a history of true Hardcore from its beginnings on through to today. We had interviews with guys like Ian from Minor Threat, Henry Rollins, Roger from AF, Barry from the Necros, Spit from Fear, Milo from the Descendents, Darryl from Bad Brains and lots more! I think it was meant to be Harley’s response to the American Hardcore book, which he was not a fan of.

You have worked at a screen printing shop in Long Island. How long did you have this job and did it assist you in making any new contacts?
Yes, I did that for six or seven years and still do sometimes when they need me or when I want to print some shirts of my own. I did all sorts of different artwork there; bands, sports teams, cheer leading squads, restaurants, you name it. I also do designs and shirts for bars in my neighborhood and this past Spring I assisted the famous Ratbones in transferring his awesome punk rock graffiti style art to t-shirts. That was a lot of fun and he’s a good dude.

When was Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘em Ups founded, and how well known have you become in the Manhattan punk scene? Describe the relationship between your artwork and the band’s music and lyrics.
Jaqueline Blownaparte and I created this beast back in 2006 in Astoria, Queens, though we’re now based in south Brooklyn. The Chesty Malone logo is basically a portrait of her as a flesh eating zombie that I drew before we even had written any songs. Manhattan punk scene? What’s that? CBGBs closed a long time ago! We did actually play in Manhattan last summer at Bowery Electric with Dez from Black Flag and lots of other Hardcore luminaries. It was the book launch party for “Barred for Life”, the Black Flag tattoo photo book. Jaqueline and I are in the book. To me the artwork and music go hand in hand. I did a drawing for each of the 13 songs on “Torture Rock”, our 2nd album, along with the cover and everything else of course. Unfortunately since people just do downloads nowadays, most people probably never saw those drawings hahaha. The modern world sucks, what’re you gonna do?

Who are the other members of Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘Em Ups? Who came up with the band’s name and what was the inspiration?

Currently Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘em Ups are: Jaqueline Blownaparte: Bringer of evil, Anthony Van Hoek (myself): Guitar Mangler, Paulie Pisano: Thunder Destructor and Diablo Rodriguez: Asaulto y Bateria. We all know each other from our local watering hole, Lucky 13 Saloon. Jackie and I thought up the name eight or so years ago before we even had a band because we thought it was funny and awesome. Should be fairly obvious where the inspiration came from, look at some band pics if you’re still confused. Some people think it’s the greatest band name ever and some think it’s the absolute stupidest hahaha! Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke, I’ve always said.

Looking back at Romero’s first Dead trilogy, how would you say Day stacks up alongside Night and Dawn? Do you have any thoughts about the more recent installments in Romero’s series, namely Land Of The Dead, Diary Of The Dead and Survival Of The Dead? Do you think it was a good idea for him to do a new trilogy?
As I said before, I think Day is a good film and sits nicely beside the other two movies. Probably not my absolute favorite of the three but still a worthy member of the group. I think it was a good idea for Romero to do those new movies because zombies are popular now and everyone needs to earn money. Out of those newer films the only one I liked was Diary. I hate the idea of making zombies good guys, hate it. And also making them smart, ugh. I don’t have a problem with fast, running zombies but smart zombies make my blood boil.

What do you think of the soundtrack music written and composed by Dario Argento and Goblin, who have had their music in Dawn Of The Dead and other cult horror classics?
I saw Goblin live at a horror convention in Sleepy Hallow back in 2000. It’s cool and it goes with the films. I do think the synth heavy music tends to make it sound a bit dated (very 70s) but it works.

How do you feel about the recent surge in popularity of the zombie genre with movies like World War Z and television programs like The Walking Dead? How much of the vibes do you get as much as the movies of the 70s and 80s?
I like Walking Dead. Probably the comic is slightly better than the show because it doesn’t have all the paint peeling, boring tedium of the characters’ soap operas and philosophizing. I could give a shit if Herschel approves of Rick’s actions etc, etc. Season 2 was particularly bad with that stuff. Some episodes only had one or two zombie appearances, really lame. World War Z the book is great, the movie, not so much. I saw a good YouTube parody that summed it up perfectly: “Everything you loved about….the title, and nothing else!”

For what reasons do you consider the book World War Z preferable to the movie version?
Have you read the book? Or seen the movie for that matter? The book is a very cool faux oral history of the Zombie Wars (aka World War Z). Every chapter is a different character giving a first person account of what they saw, there’s no central character (except the sometimes narrator/interviewer, who I suppose is the Brad Pitt of the book, but he’s never named and isn’t really a character in the book). Plus there’s no blood for the most part in the whole movie and they left out most of the coolest story lines. I really kind of hated that movie. And it’s nothing like the book at all, except for the title.

Did you happen to catch the episode of Walking Dead featuring Scott Ian of Anthrax as a zombie?
I’ve seen every episode so I suppose the answer’s yes but I have no idea which one he was in. I like how they do homages to classic zombies on the show though, like the red and black plaid shirt guy from Dawn of the Dead and Tarman from Return of the Living Dead etc.

Do you think an old school zombie movie similar to those made by Romero in the beginning, or those made by Fulci and other directors such as Umberto Lenzi (City Of The Walking Dead) and Bob Clark (Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things) could be made today and gain an audience? Even though they didn’t make tons of money they are successful cult favorites. If someone managed to make such a movie today, how would it go over with audiences?
Since zombies are so popular now, yeah any zombie movie could find an audience. Although, those movies if they were made today in such a low budget, guerrilla style would probably not have any impact at all since most people want their CGI bullshit cartoon movies these days. Oh and I just remembered another great series of zombie flicks are the Blind Dead movies by Amando de Ossorio! Totally awesome style and completely different from any other zombie films. Both the Misfits and Corrosion of Conformity have used images from those films in their graphics over the years.

What about Amando de Ossorio’s Blind Dead movies set them apart from the rest of the zombie genre?
The zombies are skeletons and so are their horses. They look awesome! Plus they’re Knights Templar members whose eyes were ripped out by birds while their bodies were hanging after they were executed, that’s why they’re blind.

CBGB was evicted in 2007 and it was a loss for New York punk and music in general, but there are still places where punk bands can perform like ABC No Rio and Tompkins Square Park in the summer. As of now those venues are what you might consider focal points of the scene. Has the band played at either place since their inception?
First off, I want to say that I don’t consider Chesty Malone to be just a punk band. I’ve always said we’re a punk-metal band or a metal-punk band. This might be where we’ve gone wrong in our career hahaha! Because punks say we’re too metal and metalheads say we’re too punk, but some people get it so it’s all good. As Hank III said, “Not everybody likes us but we drive some folks wild.” We haven’t played either of those places yet. Tompkins because we weren’t able to work out our schedules with when we were being asked to play and ABC No Rio, I don’t know, I guess we’ve never been asked? We probably wouldn’t pass their PC lyrics approval process anyway but we’ll play just about anywhere so get in touch if you want us. When we play locally we mostly play in Brooklyn. Places like Lucky 13 Saloon, Trash Bar and Grand Victory.

How have you been treated by the clubs where you mentioned having performed? Would you appear at such clubs as The Pyramid given a chance? Do you see a good number of punks and metalheads attending your shows? How much do you think the loss of CBGB (not to mention record stores like Bleecker Bob’s) affected punk and metal in the city?
We’re treated very nicely by those clubs, that’s why we like playing there. As I said, we’ll play pretty much anywhere so, sure we’d play the Pyramid but I don’t think they have Punk or metal shows there anymore. We were in fact once asked to play the Pyramid but once again we couldn’t work it out with our busy schedule. Yes, at most of our shows you’ll see at least ten or twenty punks slamming and another fifteen or twenty metalheads banging. The loss of CBs and Bleecker Bob’s were monumental and the city has yet to recover.

What is the relationship between your artwork and the music you help compose for Chesty Malone? How do Jaqueline Blownaparte and the other band members resonate with your work?
I believe I already said it, but I feel the artwork and the music go hand in hand in Chesty Malone. I’m always thinking visually when I’m writing music or lyrics and I’m also always thinking of ways to illustrate all the stuff we’ve done. If I had it my way we’d have a Chesty Malone comic book. Anyone have any connections to Stan Lee? Not sure what you mean by the resonate question. Jaqueline tends to inspire a lot of my work if that’s what you mean. I suppose you could call her my muse but that would sound pretty lame so we won’t say that hahaha!

How many full lengths does Chesty Malone have out altogether? Which of them have received the most exposure thus far? Name your favorite songs from each full length and why you most prefer them?
We have two albums out (“Now We’re Gonna See What Disaster Really Means” and “Torture Rock”) along with a split 7” and a two song digital single (“Destroy All Humans” and “Slay to Kill [Kill to Slay]”). Plus we did “All Women Are Insane” for the Mentors tribute album. This Fall we’re going to release a three song cassette single which will also have some rare stuff on side B. It’s hard to say what’s received the most exposure. Probably the Mentors tribute actually since they’re more famous than we are hahaha. My personal favorite Chesty tunes are probably “Trouble with Cannibals” and “Beavershot” from the first album and “Bloodsong” and “Bloodthirsty, Hungry and Mean” from the second one. I really like our newest song “Midnight Madhouse” too, that’s going to be on the cassingle. Those are just really fun to play and allow Mr Van Hoek a lot of room for ripping some blazing solos.

What made you want to appear on a Mentors tribute album? Did the band add their own touch to the cover while rehearsing and recording “All Women Are Insane”? Who else is on there and where can the tribute CD be purchased?

We played a show with them and we like them and vice versa so they asked us to be on the tribute. Plus they asked us to do that particular tune. They probably wanted us to do that song because they thought it’d be funny to have a female sing those words, but we got the last laugh because Jaqueline changed some of the lyrics! Yes we Chesty-ized the crap out of that song! The Mentors themselves are on there doing a couple of new songs along with Koffin Kats and a whole lot more bands. I think you can order the CD from the Mentors website and it’s also on iTunes etc. And we have a video for it you can find on YouTube.

Do you and Jaqueline write and compose your songs taking inspiration from any of the horror movies we discussed earlier? Are there other subgenres of horror the band members take inspiration from?
We have a song or two that deal with zombies as subject matter but not specifically about any of those movies no. The song “Livereaters” from our first album is about the movie Spider Baby. “The Liver Eaters” was an early alternate title for the movie. The movie is about an insane family that has a disease that makes them turn into brutal murderers as they grow up. The one sister thinks she’s a spider, hence “Spider Baby”. There’s a great line in the film that we paraphrase in our song when the spider-sister eats a spider and someone says, “Spiders don’t eat other spiders, silly.” To which she replies, “Cannibal spiders do!” More horror that has inspired me and Jaqueline over the years were the early Halloween and Friday the 13th flicks. When I was a kid they were actually scary and then later I was really into how they would always try and top each other with creative kill scenes. Like a knife coming up through a bunkbed or a sleeping bag being smashed against a tree (with a camper zippered inside of course). The two scariest horror flicks of all time are the Exorcist and the Shining. Honorable mention to the original Alien. Shit, we love the Universal monsters too, can’t forget them! Other than that we take inspiration from the horrors of everyday life, man!

Is the movie Spider Baby available anywhere you know of? Were there any actors in the cast we would recognize from other movies of was the cast mostly unknown actors? How would you rate this movie alongside your other favorites?

I own a DVD of it so I suppose it’s still available somewhere. A young Sid Haig, who’s probably best known for being in the Rob Zombie films is in it but more importantly it has Lon Chaney Jr. in his final performance on film. It’s a great flick and you should definitely check it out.

What do you think Rob Zombie has done for horror cinema with his movies? Do his remakes of classic horror movies capture or improve on the essence of the originals?
In general I think remakes suck but whatever, he can do what he wants. House of 1000 Corpses wasn’t bad. If Rob ever wants me to do any artwork for his projects he should get in touch for sure! And Chesty Malone would be happy to contribute to any of his soundtracks. Actually he had Void on the Halloween 2 soundtrack so that was pretty cool.

Discuss the inspiration of your personal favorites by Chesty Malone? Did any movies serve as catalysts for those compositions?
“Trouble with Cannibals” is just a fun loving tune about partying with cannibals. The trouble is, of course, they wanna eat your flesh. “Beavershot”, well everyone knows what a beaver shot is right? Lyrics are kind of nonsensical Ren and Stimpy references. “Bloodsong” is simply an ode to loving drinking blood. “Bloodthirsty” is a true story about the insanity of our Winter ’08 Midwest tour, ya gotta read the lyrics! “Midnight Madhouse” is a tale of a woman who’s possibly falsely incarcerated in a mental asylum. You have to listen to the song to hear the truth! Other than “Livereaters” we don’t really base any of our songs off of movies, we make up our own stories.

Can you quote some of the lyrics of Bloodsong, Bloodthirsty and Midnight Madhouse so the readers can get an idea of how those songs were developed lyrically? What in particular is the story of your tour that inspired Bloodthirsty?
I really feel that people should listen to the songs and hear for themselves! Do it! OK, here’s one: “Now we’re gonna see what disaster really means, we’re gonna spew blood from the streets and have dingos eat babies!” That’s from “Satan Met a Lady” off our first album. As for tour stories, the line “Sleeping on a freezing floor’s alright, as strange noises echo through the night”, that’s about how the owner of the club we played in Cleveland offered to let us sleep in the apartment above the club but didn’t tell us he was going to turn off the heat as soon as they closed. And the strange noises part refers to how our bass player at the time, Üruck Brutal had explosive diarrhea all night after the show.

What is a typical Chesty Malone performance like? Describe all the sordid details to those who haven’t seen you play live? What can newcomers to your performances expect to see and hear?
It’s a brutal assault on your aural, optical and olfactory senses. On a good day anyway. Basically if Venom had a scary female singer that’d be us. Google classic Venom live shows if you don’t know what I’m talking about. And really, if you don’t know what I’m talking about why are you even reading this?

How many promotional videos were filmed for the band? Can they be viewed on Youtube and elsewhere on the internet? Do you film these videos independently or work with professional filmmakers?
We currently have videos for “Zombie Relief Fund”, “Bloodsong”, “Destroy All Humans” and “All Women Are Insane”. They’re all on YouTube along with a bunch of live clips of us. Check it out! We worked with the world famous Rob Daly (writer and director of “.357-11”) on “ZRF”, and world renowned poet and chef John Thomas Menesini did the “Destroy All Humans” vid, the rest have been done by Mr Sam Snead. The live clips on YouTube are done by various friends and fans of the band from all walks of life.

Your live show is featured in the promotional video you filmed for your cover of the Mentors’ “All Women Are Insane”. Portions were filmed at the Trash Bar and show your act as energetic and hedonistic. How well did that performance go?
I mean, there are various scantily clad ladies jumping on and off the stage and some of them are even covered in blood so I’d say it was a smashing success!

The first promotional video made by Chesty Malone was “Zombie Relief Fund”. Describe the storyline of this video and indicate where in the city or neighboring areas it was filmed?
In a nutshell, zombies are taking over our neighborhood begging for spare flesh and they even commandeer a Chesty Malone show. It was filmed on the streets of South Park Slope, Brooklyn and inside Lucky 13 Saloon.

Your promotional video for “Bloodsong” likewise has clips filmed while performing. At what venue are the performance clips in this video from? Were there other clips recorded at a band members’ home?
Hmm, I think a lot of that one was filmed at Sinclair’s in W Babylon, NY and here at Chesty HQ. You’d have to ask Sam Snead for sure.

Recently you and Jaqueline were interviewed live on Obscure Chaos zine’s Facebook profile. How long and intensive was that interview and how much exposure did the band receive from it?

That was fun and we’d never done anything quite like that. It was pretty intensive, I believe it lasted two or three hours. Very cool people over there at OC Zine! In terms of exposure, that interview lead directly to us opening for the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden so it was pretty awesome.

Returning to your website, can you specify additional pieces you have worked on and would like people to check out?

Check out the image on the homepage. It’s King Kong giving double middle fingers with an X made out of a paint brush and a pen. I like that one a lot. I seriously like all the pieces on there (I suppose I’m biased), but take a look at the “Other” section and check out some paintings I’ve done, along with mine and Jaqueline’s photo essay on NYC’s lost punk landmarks.

Other art pieces you recently showed me are Poker Night and the Aztec Death God painting. Explain where your inspiration for these came from, how you went about designing them, and so on.
“Poker Night” was initially commissioned by Nick Graystone, who was also the bass player in Chesty Malone for our first two or three shows, but I decided to make it a limited edition, signed and numbered print available to the public. It’s inspired by the classic American image of dogs playing poker but it’s serial killers playing poker. And one of them is cheating! The Aztec painting, I’ve been into Aztec and Incan art for a while now so I researched some images and combined them and painted them (incidentally, I did this years before that beer company used a similar image, oh well). I also have a line drawing version of the image that’s going to be available on a t-shirt. In the painting I forced myself to not use any form of black paint because people had been saying I use too much black in all my stuff hahaha!

There is a graphic novel on your site entitled “Wedding Of The Living Dead”. Recount the basic storyline and mention the characters in this piece? Was this a single shot or intended to be part of a series?
It’s a wedding invitation in the form a comic book. A couple from California hired me to do it and I thought it was an awesome idea. They sent me pictures of themselves and their friends and a basic storyline and I took it from there. It’s the story of them and their people trying to get to the wedding as a zombie apocalypse breaks out around them.

Describe the photo essay you and Jaqueline designed about the lost punk landmarks of New York City. How many landmarks are mentioned in this piece and how thoroughly are they covered?
We traveled all over the city to visit some of the classic NYC punk rock landmarks (don’t remember how many we covered) and lo and behold, they’re all gone! So we took pics of what’s there now and wrote a brief paragraph about each site. Guess what? There’s nothing cool there whatsoever. New York doesn’t care about its own history.

How much effort was channeled into the artwork on your official site and from where did the inspiration come? What do you and the band plan for the immediate future?
All sorts of untold hours of blood, sweat, and some beer have gone into all of my work. I don’t like to do anything half assed. Do it awesomely or don’t do it at all. I am always up for any and all projects anyone might have in mind, so get in touch! Look for mine and Jaqueline’s clothing and art line Kulture Killer Clothing Company coming soon! And yes Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘em Ups are gonna rise again! I like to harass my wife with a philosophy I stole from Yoda: “In the Hoek/Begnal family there is no try, there’s only do or not do.” For more information check out: Anthony Begnal and Chesty Malone and the Slice Em Ups
-Dave Wolff

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