Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Interview with BRACKISH TIDE by Dave Wolff

Interview with BRACKISH TIDE

Brackish Tide are working on their second full length. Where is the band recording it and how much of it has been completed so far?
We are recording our second disc in our own studio. It's our rehearsal studio; with the digital age upon us it's not so far-fetched (if I described its location you wouldn't believe it). We have been writing for a considerable time, so we have about 75% of the songs written and arranged. We have done demos for four or five songs just to get a feel for what we're really looking for in a sound. In a nutshell, we're a little while from completion.

Where exactly is the location of the band’s rehearsal studio?
The studio is actually located in what once was a service area for a chicken housits sizee. It was converted to a studio several years back when one of our members, Murdock, joined his first real band. Currently we are working on an addition that will double its size.

How long has the album been underway? Is there anything you paid particular attention to when you were writing and composing the songs?
We’ve been writing and rehearsing songs since our last album release “The View From Below”, in 2015. When we recorded it we already had a handful of songs completed, but we decided against putting them on that record for one reason or another. In terms of how we write, it all comes down to feel and sound. If we find something we like, we work on that riff or melody and form it into a full song. Basically, if we like it and it grooves, we work with it until it becomes something we’re happy playing.

Many bands practice and record in their own studios, using certain equipment to produce with a unique sound. Is the equipment you use to record mostly analog or digital?
On our previous recordings, we visited studios. We used a variety of equipment (some was our own and some belonged to the studio) in order to capture the tone we were looking for. As far as our personal gear, we go pure analog with tube amps. Our recording equipment is digital consisting of Presonus and programming is Logic Pro X.

What are the differences you found between analog and digital recording? What are the reasons you chose the latter?
I still like analog for the warmth and it’s what I trained and played on for most of my life. Digital however is much more efficient and the equipment is much less expensive. The flexibility of digital makes it much more sensible. The fact that once a song is recorded in digital you can do anything you want, the possibilities are limitless. The room also doesn’t make much difference in digital however I do try to bring some analog techniques into digital recording to give it more depth and warmth.

Does the band still use analog gear performing live? Does this gear still work for you when you/re on stage at a small club or larger venue?
Yes, we do use analog for our personal gear and it has worked well for us so far. Our PA equipment is mostly digital but most of our shows are multi-band and the sound system is provided.

Is all your work released and advertised independently or through labels and distros? What are the advantages to having your own studio?
We recorded our first full length album in Beracah Studios and our EP "Carpe Noctum" at Redharbour Studios. These releases were done independently, though we did patent and release our music through CD Baby. Having our own studio gives us a lot of flexibility when it comes to the writing and recording process. It’s convenient to be able to lay down a track when the inspiration hits and be able to work on a song at your own pace, tweaking as you go along.

Did you work with anyone in particular on your previous releases? How much input did they have?
For our first album, we recorded and mixed with Andrew Baylis. We then sent our files to be mastered by Drew Mazurik. On our EP, we worked exclusively with the owner of Redharbour Studios, Kenny Kingsborough. In both instances, during our recording and mixing process, the engineers had some input in terms of arrangement and offered suggestions in order to help things flow more smoothly.

Are copies of “The View From Below” still available for purchase or download? How many copies were pressed upon its release and where were most of them mailed?
Our first CD is still available on most digital platforms and also here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/brackishtide. We had 1000 copies pressed of which several were mailed around but mostly used for selling at shows, etc..

Did you press as many copies of "Carpe Noctum" as you did of “The View From Below”? Are you still receiving orders for the EP?
"Carpe Noctum" was ordered as a download card/sticker and we only ordered 100 but have since ordered 100 more. It is also available on most major platforms and we still get an order or two. It’s still available here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/brackishtide2

What songs were demoed in preparation for the next full length and why were they chosen?
The first was "Angel No More" because it's one of those second nature songs as we first started work on it before the first CD was finished, "Six Feet of Hell" was also a tune that's been around a while but a departure from the first disc's sound. The main difference is because this was the first that one of our guitarists, WW, had brought to the band. The rest we'd rather not discuss so as to keep them under our belt for now. Haha!

How close are the demos to the sound you are looking for?
We’re still a way off in terms of getting the exact sound we want as our studio is not yet completed, though we are getting closer. In terms of the way our gear sounds, we have that dialed in pretty well, it’s just translating that to a recording atmosphere which is taking time.

Listening to the demos you recorded for the next album, how much improvement do you think the songs need at this point?
Most of the songs we have done demos of are pretty close to complete as far as writing/arranging is concerned because they've been floating around for several years. As far as the mix goes there's plenty of tweaking needed.

Describe the songs you’re working on lyrically: what they’re written about and what inspired them.
Here's a rundown of a couple songs off the new disc; “Hold On” is about a friend of a band member who was killed in a tragic car crash and how much life he had left to live. “Shallow Grave” is a story from the ID channel where a female drug addict had stolen from everyone she knew, including her family, who along with all of her friends had given up on her. When she was found dead her boyfriend was the prime suspect until he revealed that two of her 'other' boyfriends were responsible and he had witnessed the entire crime! The strangest part is they used the same exact plan as he was to use but were a few minutes ahead. 'Angel No More' was based on a poem that a member had written called “Eyes of an Angel”. It's about when you're born you have an open unbiased mind but as you age the world jades your thinking. It was inspired by the birth of friends’ children and all the horrible things they face as they grow.

How soon do you expect to finish tweaking the demoed songs and re-record them for the album?
We will probably take our time with the first few tunes and get them just how we want them so it may be a month or more before the real recording takes place.

What made you decide to record the new album in your own studio instead of Redharbour Studios? Did you want to release something closer to the band’s own vision?
It was actually a few reasons for this change. We had no problem with Redharbour nor Kenny, but it's about 2.5 hours away so travel time was a factor there. Also, the budget is gonna be so much less on the per hour side because studio time is not free! One more reason is that we can record or rerecord individual tracks, or mix/remix anytime the feeling hits. On that same note I think it will be closer to the bands vision because most of the usual restrictions are gone!

How much will studio time cut into the budget for the new album? How do you intend to use what you have to achieve the sound you’re looking for?
Actually the studio time is going to be quite reasonable because we have most of the equipment needed and we are the engineers. In order to get our sound it's going to be trial and error for the first few tries til we find what we really like.

Do you have a working title for the new album, or are you still in the process of selecting one?
We have thrown around a few ideas but probably won't have one until all the songs are set for the disc.

What are some of the ideas the band has been throwing around so far?
One idea was 'Devouring the Depths', a continuation of our first disc 'The View From Below', as in devouring the depths while attempting to surface. Another was 'Ascending' which would be along the same lines.

Will you be pressing copies on CD or exclusively releasing it on digital format for purchase? Are you planning to stream it on sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud?
More than likely we are going to do both a physical and digital format - It's still something about having that supercool disc and the cover art that goes with it. On the other hand a lot of fans are downloading music so we will make it accessible on any digital format that's available to us. We are currently on Reverbnation, Spotify, ITunes, Soundcloud and several other streaming sites.

Are you considering cassette and vinyl editions, as some bands are still doing with their material today?
We may release our new music on vinyl but that would be later down the road.

Some bands post updates about the making of their albums on Youtube, sometimes on Facebook or their official sites. Is this something Brackish Tide is doing?
We'll be doing some video at times, but we may or may not publish them until it's finished just to keep things interesting!

How are you planning to advertise and promote your new release on the internet when it’s available?
Promoting our new disc will probably center on social media. We are also working on something that will put our music in places that it's never been before!

Murdock: guitar
WW: guitar, vocals
DD: bass. Vocals
Tim 6: drums

-Dave Wolff

Monday, April 29, 2019

Article: "Dirty Politics" by Damien Lee Thorr

Dirty Politics
Article by Damien Lee Thorr

Politics are carried out using dirty tactics all over the world. There may be some politicians with genuine good intentions to make the community better but for the most part, the vast majority play dirty, using deception to gain votes and control the vote by inflicting fear upon the people. Many politicians go into office with self-serving agendas: race issues, monetary gain introduced by business and/or religious influences. It has been very clear that they do not care about serving and looking out for the people, which explains the desperate state of things.
As an example of what I define as “dirty politics” I present Amendment 3 from Florida’s last elections in 2018:
The measure was designed to provide voters with the "exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling in the State of Florida." Amendment 3 made the citizen initiative process "the exclusive method of authorizing casino gambling," meaning the Florida State Legislature would not be permitted to authorize casino gambling through statute or through referring a constitutional amendment to the ballot. In Florida, the number of signatures required for an initiative is equal to 8 percent of the votes cast in the preceding presidential election. Florida also has a signature distribution requirement, which requires that signatures equal to 8 percent of the district-wide vote in at least half (14) of the state's 27 congressional districts must be collected.
Under the measure, card games, casino games, and slot machines are considered casino gambling. Under the measure, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, dog racing, or jai alai exhibitions is not considered to be casino gambling. The measure does not affect casino gambling on Native American tribal lands established through state-tribe compacts.
However, an unknown organization was mass mailing flyers across the state and spammed social media with the falsehood that voting YES on amendment 3 would affect our public schools, claiming that casino gambling funds the school system and that it would hurt the seriously falling standards of the school system if people vote YES.
This is a clear falsehood. It is also a blatant and deliberate lie, designed to mislead and manipulate the vote in their favor. The fact is that NOT one public school anywhere is funded by casino gambling. Casino gambling is a highly profitable, multi-billion dollar per year industry and has never been mandated to fund the school system, which is in fact, funded by our tax dollars.
Why use deception to manipulate the vote? Because they realize (and it is no secret) that most US citizens are under educated and ignorant and almost NEVER check the facts on anything they are told. They do not even understand the amendment, or any amendment, the way it was written on the ballot as amendments are always written using legal language that is beyond the comprehension of the voter without an advanced education.
Understandably, any caring person would not want our school system to be harmed by losing funding and thus, they would be compelled to vote NO on the amendment. Voting without investigating the issues (or doing anything without doing any research), may be a great hindrance to their own interests.
Another blatant and dirty tactic that racist politicians use is when they appeal to the bigotry and xenophobia inherent among the ignorant. Racism has always been a part of politics in the US. For some reason I will never be able to fathom, bigots simply don’t want blacks and immigrants to have equality and somehow feel threatened and have always been social bullies against non-whites. Politicians know this and use it to their advantage to manipulate the vote. Politicians say things such as: “Immigrants will come here to take your jobs!” and “They come here to get free stuff and welfare on your tax dollars!”. To say that those statements are falsehoods is an understatement. Again, these types of voters don’t know any better and never check the facts on those statements.
The fact is that South and Central American immigrants that come here do not qualify for welfare or government assistance. In fact, it isn’t even that simple even for a US citizen... especially if you are not disabled. Politicians mislead their supporters regarding this fact because they know it will further fuel their anger and hatred of Hispanics.
Central and South Americans that come to the US are often farm workers or work in the domestic maintenance field, housekeeping, which are jobs most bigots never apply for. Many that come here will overcome their difficult situations by exploiting their skills in plumbing, electrical, mechanics, etc... and start their own companies.
I find it appalling when bigots say that immigrants come here to “take over and take their stuff”. When someone sacrifices everything to enter the US and works hard, saves money, pays taxes and buys his own home with their own money, how is that taking over and taking “their stuff”?
Clearly, this animosity is germinated by the falsehoods of racist politicians and have caused much of the tension, strife and division among the people in the US.
Many of the bigots say that immigrants must come to the US legally, and I agree. I know that there is a number of people that sneak across the border illegally, without registering and without seeking asylum and those should not be thrown into the same mix as the multitude in the recent caravans seeking asylum, which is, in fact, perfectly legal to enter all US borders and seek asylum.
I have heard many bigots express that Puerto Ricans come to the US in mass quantities just to get on welfare and that they come illegally. These bigots are ignorant to the fact that Puerto Rico is a US territory and that Puerto Ricans have been considered legal US citizens since 1917, and can enter the US without a passport the same way any American citizen can visit Puerto Rico without a passport.
Politicians KNOW the facts about seeking asylum at the borders being legal and that Puerto Ricans are citizens but they still inflict falsehoods to manipulate the vote and divide people.
President Hoover once said that the greatest threat to the US was the “unification of negros”. I wonder why he felt that equality for blacks was a “threat”.
So clearly, racism and xenophobia are weapons politicians wield. Why are these politicians and organizations not punished for their falsehoods and fraudulent activities?
Another dirty tactic politicians use is when they say that “democrats will take your guns!” when the issue of control becomes the topic of conversation at the government level. Naturally, this worries and intimidates uneducated gun owners and rallies them to wage a war against anyone who talks about gun control. No politician has ever said that they will disarm citizens. They only present ideas to minimize the danger of gun violence and mass shootings. But all these dummies hear is “they’ll take your guns” as politicians cash in their NRA “donations”.
Another dirty tactic politicians use is when they assert that if they vote against a specific subject or politician, that they are supporting the devil which directly appeals to the false sense of security they adhere to in religious beliefs. The fact is that they have been chipping away at the separation of church and state and slowly turning the nation into a fascist theocracy. There are currently 11 states where it is illegal to run for public office if you are atheist. Again, this is playing VERY dirty politics.
Regarding politics at the top, even the current president has used deceptive tactics, misrepresenting the facts, exaggerating and manipulating the people with fear for self-serving purposes. He has amplified racism, further dividing the nation and has crippled the economy while he states, deceptively, that things are fine and that he has been transparent and the best. Once again, his ignorant supporters do not fact check his statements so they do not realize that what he says is not true.
The president has appealed with falsehoods to their bigotry and their false sense of victimhood, making them think he actually cares about them when he clearly does not. Never in the history of the USA has a president ever been sworn into office with a multitude of pending lawsuits for fraud, discrimination, unpaid services to contractors and sexual harassment. Without fact checking anything about the president, his supporters will never overcome their emotional armor that blinds them. Who else remembers how he rallied up his supporters with his grandest lie of building the border wall and that Mexico will be paying for it? How could so many people believe such a statement could be realistic?
According to the Washington Post, The current president has been confirmed to have lied more than 9,000 times since he took office. However, his supporters reject the fact that he lies or make excuses for him and make absurd statements such as: “but Obama lied, too!”, as if it were true, that it would justify the current liar in chief.
In closing, the days of men like Abraham Lincoln in politics are long gone. We are on our own.

Copyright (C) 2019

President Trump has made 9,014 false or misleading claims over 773 days

Damien Lee Thorr is the composer and lead guitarist for the popular, classically influenced and openly atheist/political activist metal band Predator, has authored many essays and editorials for Asphyxium Zine and written he horror-erotica novel “The Vampire Journals”. Check out Predator’s 2011 full length "Born in Blood" at Youtube and visit their official site at http://www.predatortheband.com/.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Interview with Craig Meinhart of SILVERTONGUEDEVIL by Dave Wolff

Interview with Craig Meinhart of SILVERTONGUEDEVIL

You describe Silvertonguedevil as a band not easily falling into any sub-categories of metal. It’s a combination of extreme and old school metal with some punk added. How did your sound develop since you started writing material?
Our sound developed in a naturalistic way, with each member adding their own influence to the songs. Each band has their own way of writing, and for us it all starts with either a riff or a vocal line, and from there the song takes its shape. From our first album to now our fourth, we’ve tried to refine the sound that originated when the band started in 2005. The thing we’re most proud of is the fact that we don’t sound like anyone else, but we’re still recognizably metal.

Does each band member’s tastes in music influence the other members? How much of a process is composing a song after a vocal line or riff has been written?
Each member has their own varied influences that they bring to the table, but we have a unified theory of what STD’s music should encapsulate. The process of writing varies slightly from song to song, but the end result is we all put in our opinions and shape not only our own individual parts but those of the others in the band.

To what extent has Silvertonguedevil’s sound been refined in the last fourteen years? At this stage is there potential to keep growing as a band?
STD’s sound has evolved as new members have joined and we’ve expanded our scope, but we’re dedicated of retaining the core of what we do. Basically we’re trying to perfect our sound, not reinvent it with each new record. There’s always definitely room for us to grow as a band, and we’re always trying to hone our skills while remaining thoroughly metal.

How many lineup changes has the band had since their inception? How much has each new band member have to adjust his playing to learn older songs, if at all?
STD has gone through many lineup changes over the years, as any band that’s been around for fourteen years will do. But the core of Aleks on guitar and Craig on vocals has been the same the whole way through. New members always bring slight changes to the songs and we encourage that, but we always try to keep the song true to the spirit of the records, so any changes in playing style are relatively minor.

What led you to starting the band? Were you friends and/or bandmates for some time before Silvertonguedevil began? What vision did you and he have for the band musically and why has it taken so many lineup changes to come closer to it?
I started looking for new band mates after my old band dissolved. I met Aleks through an ad I placed in the local weekly music magazine Harder Beat in 2005. When we started jamming we shared a love of metal that wasn’t part of the trendy metalcore scene happening at the time. We were big fans of bands like KATAKLYSM, IMMORTAL, and ICED EARTH as well as older bands like KREATOR, SLAYER, and BLACK SABBATH. We quickly put together a lineup and started playing live in just a few months. As we progressed as a band some members would have to leave because of family or work obligations, but we were always able to regroup and keep moving forward. In fourteen years of being together, we’ve never gone more than a month and a half without playing live. We’re always pushing forward, either prepping for a show or working on new material.

How often does the band perform in a month? Or does it vary for the most part? Are you treated well by local venues?
We’ll play live two to six times a month, depending on what we have planned. While writing and recording the new album we scaled back, and once it comes out we’ll ramp things up. The DFW Metroplex has three distinct scenes, and we call each of them home. There’s Denton, a college town on the northern side, then Dallas, and Fort Worth. Some of the clubs we regularly play include Wits End, Tomcats West, Andy’s Bar, Renos, J&J’s, and Diamond Jim’s.

How do metal fans from each section of the DFW Metroplex get along together? How much is the ban received in those areas and the clubs you mentioned in particular?
The DFW Metroplex scene is divided into three main areas: Denton, Dallas, and Fort Worth. For the most part they are three distinct scenes with their own groups of bands. From the beginning we’ve made sure to play and trade shows with bands from all three, and we’re lucky to be accepted in each group.

What bands from each section of the DFW have you performed with most often? Do those bands have a signature sound that can’t be compared to bands from other cities?
DFW has vibrant metal and punk scenes at the moment, one of the best in the country. STD regularly plays with a great cross section of bands from the area like ELECTRIC VENGEANCE (crossover thrash), DIESELBEAST (heavy metal), CROPDUST (doom), CHEMICAUST (thrash), EMPTY SHELL (grind), KOMBAT (death metal), INTERMEMT (death metal), HOODRAT (punk), MONOGAMIZER (progressive), WROUGHT OF OBSIDIAN (technical death metal), and too many others to list out. There’s a lot of heavy hitters in the area. There’s not a signature sound amongst them per se, but there’s plenty of variance.

How consistent are fans from the DFW when it comes to attending shows and generally supporting local bands?
The fans around here are great, and the Pit-Bulls deserve a big shoutout. The Pit-Bulls are a mosh group that regularly go to shows to mosh and support the bands whether they are local or national, and they’ve become well known in their own right. On top of that there are lots of fans that come out to shows and support. It’s a very healthy scene.

Is the band’s current lineup stable as it is? Do any of you have previous experience in other bands? How much does past experience help the band at present?
Our current lineup is very stable, and we’ve been crazy busy with playing live and recording our new album. John is super versatile and plays both guitar and bass, and David our drummer has been a good friend of the band for years. At the moment we’re firing on all cylinders. We’ve all had previous bands before STD, and the fact that we all have years of experience playing live and recording makes us very efficient at both.

Name some of the bands the members of STD were previously involved with. Are any of these bands still active today? If so, where on the net can they be found?
Our bassist/second guitarist John was in a band called BETRAYAL BY TRUTH that is unfortunately no longer around, as well as some other bands that weren’t as long lived. And our most recent addition is David Cruz on drums, and his band BLACK CHAMBER is currently on hiatus. He originally came from New York and played with a few metal bands up there.

What bands was David Cruz working with while he was in New York?
David was in a string of punk and metal bands before moving to TX a few years back. BLACK CHAMBER was the first band that got him notice here in the local scene.

What importance do lead vocals have in the band’s development? What vocal style does the band generally prefer?
Vocals are just as important as the other instruments, but no more so. Even though we utilize growls and harsh vocals, enunciation is key. Our preference is not to have one single vocal style but to change things up. Sometimes a death growl is best, sometimes it has more of a thrash attack, and sometimes a clean vocal best fits the song.

People complain that death metal and extreme metal vocals are unintelligible, and only screaming into a microphone, without bothering to note the differences between vocal styles. How much emphasis do you place on enunciation so your lyrics are understood?
Enunciation is extremely important to our vocal style. Whether its death growls, thrash screams, or hardcore barking, we want the audience to be able to follow along with the lyrics. A lot of time and effort is placed on composing the lyrics, and we try to make each song its own self-contained story.

Do your releases usually come with lyric sheets so your listeners can follow the lyrics more easily?
Our CDs have always come with lyric sheets, and I enjoy creating lyric music videos to showcase our lyrics. Our new album will also have a lyric sheet, and lyrics to all of our songs are posted online so people can check them out.

Do you have a technique of using your vocal cords in a way so you don’t damage your throat when singing?
As a vocalist, I make sure to warm up and cool down my vocals for each show and practice, and I never drink alcohol until the show is done. We’re not doing opera for sure, but it’s still important to us to take this seriously.

Can listeners make out your lyrics without reading along? How much effort do you put into enunciating clearly?
Even at our most extreme we try to make the vocals intelligible, so that people can follow along and listen even if they don’t know us. Enunciation is key, as a lot of time and effort goes into crafting lyrics, and we don’t want them to sound like a garbled mess.

On Youtube there are quite a few tutorial videos explaining the discipline and vocal techniques needed for death growls, fry screams, pig squeals etc. Have you ever watched any and followed the advice given?
I don’t have any formal vocal training, but I have watched several training videos online. It has been very useful to learn warm up and cool down techniques, but otherwise I try not to consciously mimic anyone else’s style.

Whose training videos do you watch most often? If you recommend them to vocalists into metalcore, thrash or extreme metal, explain how beneficial their videos are and include the addresses to their Youtube channels?
I don’t have any specific recommendations for videos for vocal training. There’s a ton of them online, and it mostly comes down to doing the exercises.
What vocal styles do you use for Silvertonguedevil most often?
There are several vocal styles out there, from guttural to harsh to screams and yells and clean and throat singing. There are more I’m sure. For STD I utilize a blend of death, thrash, and clean singing, adding just a bit of hardcore now and then. As a for instance, for warmups I’ll sing some SABBATH, some MISFTIS, some MEGADETH, and some DEICIDE just to get loose. That’s a pretty accurate description of our vocal style. The more I learn about singing the more I realize it’s all about breathing, and I’m always trying to improve my technique. 

What subject matter does the band usually write and sing about?
Subject matter for our lyrics runs a wide variety of influences, with the goal of telling a vivid story. Our most recent song “Full Spectrum Dominance” is about the insanity of mutually assured destruction at the hands of our military industrial complex, while an older song like “By Any Means Necessary” is a retelling of the Marquis de Sade’s imprisonment in the Bastille. Some songs are based on history, some on sci fi speculation, and some are straight up horror stories. It’s fun to change things up.

How much research did you do into the Marquis de Sade’s life while you wrote the lyrics of “By Any Means Necessary”?
I didn’t have to do too much research on the Marquis de Sade just because I’d read several of his books and already knew about his history. I’m an avid reader of both history and fiction, plus I write a lot and even publish some short fiction, so most often the research for our songs is already done. But every once in a while I’ll dig in and explore some new books and articles, as in the case of a song like “Suicide With Occam’s Razor”.

What is the song “Suicide With Occam’s Razor” about? How did you think up the idea for the title and the lyrics?
“SUICIDE WITH OCCAM’s RAZOR” is about what Ray Kuzweil called The Singularity, or the moment at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable. An artificial intelligence thousands of times smarter than humanity decides that the solution to mankind’s problems is extinction. I came up with the title first in a moment of inspiration, then read several books and articles on artificial intelligence to come up with the lyrics.

How many books did you read on artificial intelligence, and which of them gave you the most to go on while you wrote the lyrics?
I read Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near and The Age of Spiritual Machines. The Big Think website was helpful with several AI themed articles, and the Singularity 1 on 1 podcast was very informative. It was a combination of all of those plus my own ideas that lead to the creation of SUICIDE WITH OCCAM’s RAZOR.

What books on the Marquis de Sade would you recommend for their information and accuracy?
My favorite books by the Marquis de Sade are his main works like JUSTINE, the 120 DAYS OF SODOM, and PHILOSOPHY IN THE BEDROOM.

Are those books about de Sade still in print? Do the authors include information about de Sade’s life unique to each book?
The books by De Sade are still in print and can be found on Amazon and other book retailers. Each book has a biography of De Sade at the beginning.

How much short fiction have you written of late, and where has most of it been published?
I’ve been published in physical form by Sanitarium Magazine, and on online web zines like Schlock! DM Du Jour, and 3AM. I’m also currently working on publishing a couple more stories.

Name the stories you had published and describe the reception they were met with. Where can people write to order Sanitarium Magazine and go online to find Schlock!, DM Du Jour, and 3AM?
LETHARGICA on Sanitarium magazine got the biggest reception as it had the widest distribution. It has an online site and physical copies for sale. THE BEAUTIFUL PLAGUE, PERFECTION’s FAILURE, and WORK DAY all got good reviews but had a smaller readership.

What were those published stories about? Did you ever consider republishing them with other early stories you’ve written?
LETHARGICA was about a mysterious sickness that overtakes a small town. THE BEAUTIFUL PLAGUE was about a mass hysteria that causes people to spontaneously dance until they die. PERFECTION’s FAILURE was about a horrendous surgery, and WORKDAY was about someone reaching the end of their rope at their job.

Where does your inspiration for fiction writing come from? Are those magazines you were published in strongly supportive of independent horror writers and directors?
Where inspiration comes from is a tough question to answer, because it’s always changing. I try to read and write every day, and some days are quite productive and others not so much. But from this practice the flow of ideas comes more naturally than sitting around and awaiting inspiration. I follow Stephen Kong’s dictum of READ A LOT WRITE A LOT. Markets for writers are notoriously difficult to find, but there are sites like Horror Tree that give listings of what zines are currently publishing new work.

Which authors in addition to Stephen King are most inspirational to you when it comes to writing fiction? How would you consider King’s writings inspirational?
Listing favorite authors is like listing favorite bands, an impossible task because there are so many. But the big ones for me are King, Clive Barker, Poe, Lovecraft, Ketchum, Sade, Milton, and Alighieri.

In what ways, if any, does your inspiration from those authors show in your writing?
My writing and singing influences are always subliminal and unintentional. Once pen hits paper or I grab the mic I’m on my own.

Are you better at writing science fiction or horror, or does it mostly depend on the story?
I’m naturally bent to dark fiction, so horror and weird tales are my favorites to write. But I find it helpful to stretch beyond the norm and explore other areas, like sci fi and crime fiction.

Is there any new fiction you’ve been working on? Where do you intend to publish it once it’s completed?
I’m always working on new projects, I try to write every day. Currently I’m finishing a feature length screenplay and my first full length novel. Once they are complete I’ll shop them around to potential agents and editors. In the meantime I’ll polish some existing short fiction and work on new songs for the band.

What do you have in mind for the next Silvertonguedevil release?
Our newest album PAX SATANICA will be released this fall and will be comprised of half Silvertonguedevil and half Acoustic Devil songs. This will be a special vinyl release, and we’re very excited to have everyone hear our new material. We have the first singles out now across all major streaming and download platforms, plus music videos for each. They are called FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE (Silvertonguedevil) and SPAWN OF SUB-HUMAN COPULATION (Acoustic Devil).

We can be found at the following sites:

-Dave Wolff

Serialization: "The Arcane Warrior’s Apprentice" by Roberta Downing: Chapter Two

The Arcane Warrior’s Apprentice
Novel by Roberta Downing
Cover artwork designed by Jerry Langdon 

Chapter Two

Bell was making her way over the bridge that would take her out of the forest and back home when she noticed a man on horseback riding into Singerville. As a half elf she had exceptional vision and could see that he was dressed in black with black cloth that covered all but his eyes, nose and mouth. She had never seen anyone dressed in such a fashion and this made her curious so she ran the rest of the way home.
She wiped her feet on the welcome mat outside of the brick house then went in.
“Ah Bell! Come in the kitchen!” her mother said.
The house smelled amazing! She knew her mom had baked a peach cobbler. As she entered the kitchen, her mother was pulling a pie and pan of biscuits out of the oven.
“Momma, there was a strange man coming into town a few minutes ago. I don’t know where he’s gone or who he’s here to see”
“Your father has a visitor Bell. He’s not to be disturbed” Lily said as she hurried to cover the biscuits with a towel before her daughter could see them. “I think it time you go get cleaned up and dressed for the party. You best hurry” and with that Lily gave her daughter a gentle push out of the kitchen.
The nasty smell from her nightmare seemed to linger in her mind and in her nose. As she bathed she thought about the nightmare, the bardic academy and what Grammu had told her about decisions, choices, and fate and then she thought of her family. Tears streamed down her face as that booming voice she heard threatening to take everything she loved away. She submerged her head under the bath water to rinse her hair and she let out a muffled scream of despair.
She finished her bath and got dressed. She went into her room which was next to her father’s office. Bell could hear the two men speaking but she could not identify the language. It was one she had not heard before. Growing up in a family as diverse as the Singer Clan she was almost certain she had heard about every language except that of dragons. Not only was the young lady intrigued at hearing a new language, it tickled her ears in an old familiar way.
Bell finished dressing and sat down at the mirror to brush her hair. Once again Grammu’s words of her having a decision to make crossed her mind. She thought about her dream of going to the bardic academy and becoming even greater than the clan’s patriarch Cwell Singer, who also just happened to be the deity of bards. As she saw that dream in her mind the nightmare came flooding back and in a split second’s time she knew that path was not for her.
Filled with relief that she made one decision she knew she must find another. Then the anxiety over powered her knowing that she was going to have to tell her parents she was not going to go to the academy and she knew that was going to break her mother’s heart. In the same moment she thought her grandfather would be upset as well and then in that thought somehow she lost her faith in the bardic god. She glanced down at his holy symbol of the golden mandolin and it no longer held any consolation for her so she removed it.
She looked at herself in the mirror and she thought that for now she just couldn’t tell anyone so she would give her last performance of her life and pretend that she was excited about her birthday and about going to the academy and then she would drop the bomb later. With that she immolated the excitement she had the day before and left the room.