Category Archives: Interviews

Interview with Gordon Bressack

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This interview is something really special for me. As a ’90s kid I grew up with some of the best cartoons ever. If you were born in the ’80s, I am sure you know what I am talking about. My interview partner is, without knowing, jointly responsible for what I have become as an adult and has a huge influence on my cartoon and movie addictions. I had a great childhood and love looking back to the lazy cartoon sundays or the 7 o’clock afternoon cartoons I was always watching with my brothers during the week. Gordon Bressack was one of the guys who wrote for The Smufs, The Real Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Darkwing Duck, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain and a lot more and I am really happy to have him as an interview partner. So let’s start.

El Gore: For our readers who do not know you and your work, can you please introduce yourself?

Gordon Bressack: I am a writer, director, producer and international bon vivant. I’m most known for my animation writing for which I’ve received three Emmy Awards and a WGA Award

E.G.: Is there a cartoon for which you wish to have written something?

G.B.: I’m a big fan of Gravity Falls and would love to write for that show

E.G.: In your opinion, why has there been such a steep decline in terms of quality when it comes to cartoons? I mean, honestly, nothing can reach the awesomeness of the ’90s.

G.B.: Several reasons. First of all, the studios and networks don’t want to spend much money and if audiences will watch inferior shows they don’t see what’s to be gained by having better quality. Another reason is that the networks have preferred artist-driven shows in the past few years and the level of writing has gone down. Lastly, there is a lot of age-ism in the business. Executives with very little knowledge and experience themselves are threatened by older more experienced professionals.

EG: How can we imagine a working day of a cartoon writer? Do you first write the stuff and the animator (or back in the days the drawer) does the rest or do you work together all the time and keep each other updated?

GB: That depends on whether you are working freelance or on staff. Since most work is done on a freelance basis these days I’ll answer that question thusly: I goof off as much of the day as is possible and write a lot at the very last minute before deadline. As for working with the artists that depends on each show. Mostly a writer works alone and writes very specific scenes and dialog so that the storyboard artist has a lot to work with.

E.G.: From all your cartoon work we like Pinky and the Brain the most. What’s your favourite and why?

G.B.: Pinky & The Brain is my favorite too. The concept is brilliant, the relationship between the characters is wonderful and the creative freedom the writers had was unusual. It was also fucking funny. I also enjoyed working on a not-very-well-known show, Captain Simian & The Space Monkeys for the very same reasons.

E.G.: If I am well informed you also wrote and even directed some plays: what are the main differences between writing a play and writing an animated series?

G.B.: One of the main differences in writing a play is that you start with a conversation and then just keep going. Animation is a visual medium and although there might be a lot of verbal gags you have to think about what is being shown at all times.

E.G.: Did you have an affection for cartoons from the beginning or did you just slip into the business by „accident“?

G.B.: I got into writing animation when I moved to L.A. My then wife was a voice over actress. As she got cast in a cartoon I thought “hey, someone has to write those“ so I submitted some sample live-action scripts to Hanna Barbera and got hired. I was also always a big fan of cartoons, particularly Bugs Bunny and Rocky & Bullwinkle.

E.G.: What are your influences and, on a professional level, by what are you inspired?

G.B.: The Marx Bros, Bugs Bunny, Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Firesign Theater, Monty Python, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Albert Brooks, Brooks Brothers, Ritz Brothers, Smothers Brothers, Dr. Joyce Brothers,Ringling Bros,Billy Wilder, Neil Simon, Louis C.K., Larry David, Christopher Guest, SCTV, the old SNL, Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball, Maria Montez movies,Chaplin, Keaton, Preston Sturges, Abbott & Costello, Shakespeare, Ian Fleming, Raymond Chandler, Catch 22 (the book), Nichols & May, The Daily Show, etc, etc.

E.G.: We love oldschool monster movies and think that Pinky and the Brain: Tokyo Grows, That Smarts, Brainstem is a fantastic homage to the Godzilla movies. What are some of your favourite movies and genres?

G.B.: Old comedies like His Girl Friday or dramas like Casablanca. My favorite horror movies are Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy then movies like Rosmary’s Baby and The Exorcist and more recently, Old Boy and Saw. I am also a sci-fi geek and love Bladerunner, Star Wars, Alien and a weird little movie named Lo. I see most everything and have very eclectic taste.

E.G.: What do you like more, writing alone or having a co-writer? What are the main pros and cons?

G.B.: I enjoy both. Writing comedy is more fun with a partner because if two people are laughing it probably really is funny. I only write plays alone, however because there isn’t any money in it so who would want to?

E.G.: Every ’90s kid loves Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, TMNT, Ghostbusters etc… Did you ever feel some kind of responsibility for the kids while you were writing? In addition, were the main subjects of the series some kind of given or did you have free hand?

G.B.: Oddly enough, I never wrote to entertain kids but to entertain myself. The trick is to still enjoy what you enjoyed as a kid. As for whether or not I had a free hand – mostly not. The shows where I did are, coincidentally, the better ones.

E.G.: I just reviewed your son James’ movie Hate Crime, which is quite a disturbing and violent movie. What do you think about the movie, as a father and on a professional level?

G.B.: I am not related to James Cullen Bressack. His mother was raped by an escaped lunatic. I think he is a dangerous filmmaker and should eventually support me.

E.G.: What are you currently working on?

G.B.: An escape. Also just wrote a new play entitled Another Fucking Play in L.A. Also I’ve been hired to write movie parody scripts for an app for iPhone and iPad called Act With Me. Users will be able to download my scripts and, using the app, make their own movies with their devices. Pretty Cool.

E.G.: Thank you Gordon Bressack for your time and all the best for the future!


Interview with Wo Fat

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After having reviewed their latest stoner opera The Black Code, we asked Wo Fat for an interview, and Kent was so kind as to talk with us about the music, the scene and horror movies. Enjoy!

El Gore: For those outside the stoner rock scene and for the people in Europe, who’ll get to know you on your European tour, how would you briefly describe the essence of the band?
Kent Stump: I think the essence of Wo Fat is heavy, groovy, fuzzy riffs and psychedelic exploration. We’re trying to make a very heavy music that takes inspiration from things obvious, like Sabbath, but also things like the music of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kinbrough and to also have a jamming, open-ended, Hendrix-like sensibility. At the same time, though, we’re not trying to do any kind of retro thing. We want it to have these influences yet be modernly heavy. I think our music also has a funkiness to it, which is something that I think any kind of deeply blues influenced music should have.

EG: The first thing that struck me on your latest record The Black Code was the playfulness, the jam-like hugeness and the different influences from other music styles. Would you say that stoner rock has had too many limits over the years?
KS: Thank you for mentioning that. I’m glad that comes across. I think I would say both yes and no to that question. It was probably less limiting early on before it became labeled as a genre, you know – like-minded bands and fans that dug riff driven and historically aware heavy music coming together and creating a loose scene. I think when things become more popular, things can become more limited because there becomes an expectation to be fulfilled. People are looking for a certain sound. The flip side of the coin, however, is, if certain elements aren’t there, it shouldn’t be called stoner rock. To my mind, there is a certain musical vocabulary that is the foundation of stoner rock which has come from the heavy 70’s influence, which in turn means that there is usually a large blues influence, and also the importance of the riff is key to stoner rock, and, I think a psychedelic kind of attitude. Our music, as I briefly mentioned earlier, for the most part lives within those types of parameters, but all three of us have pretty wide and varied musical tastes and backgrounds so we do try and integrate some of those things as well. I think more than trying to use melodic ideas from other styles of music, we try to integrate those influences in other ways, like rhythmically, or conceptually in how we approach things. For example, all three of us dig certain types of Cuban and African music and so we use some of those rhythmic ideas that are part of that in our own music, but we try to still keep it all heavy and rockin’ hard throughout.

EG: Your previous records already hinted at a (let’s call it) more progressive approach, what where your motives and how much concept does stoner rock tolerate?
KS: I think we’re within the tolerance levels of the stoner rock world. At least it seems to me that we should be. To me, what we’re doing is completely logical. We have had a very natural progression as a band and this album was just the next step from where we were with our last album, Noche del Chupacabra. We have kind of a jazz mentality about our music. We’re looking for a synergy, spontaneity and interplay between us and we allow space for improvisation and jamming, and I think throughout the life of the band we’ve been looking for that balance between that kind of approach and the heaviness that we’re also looking for. It can be tough to have both. Like I said, though, to me, it just seems logical to approach things this way. It’s closer to the attitude of the early 70’s/late 60’s. Hendrix, Cream and, I would say, especially the first Black Sabbath album, all had this kind of vibe. Cactus totally had this vibe in their music as well. When heavy rock became more standardized by the mid to late 70’s, things had become more structured and streamlined. Short solos, short songs, solos that are the same every time rather than improvised, etc. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with that. I can dig that too. For our music, though, I think that I would say that we’re just trying to take that 70’s thing, that truly 70’s thing, that includes the freedom and attitude of the early, free-wheeling days of heavy rock, and modernize it a bit and give it some modern heaviness.

EG: If I’m rightly informed you’ll be on tour in Europe for the first time in 2013, was it a big effort to finally arrange it?
KS: It is a big effort to put together and we’re still in the process of booking all of the shows and getting the details ironed out. This is our first time to go to Europe, so we’re learning a lot in this planning process. We are really stoked about the opportunity, though. We will start the tour at Roaburn on April 20th, and then the rest of the time we’ll be touring with our Small Stone Records labelmates Abrahma from France. I must apologize to some of our European fans, though, because this is going to be kind of a short, limited tour, due to our circumstances and commitments at home, so we won’t be able to get to every place that we would like to play, but we’re gonna play as many places as we can fit in. We will be playing Desertfest London as well on April 27th. If all goes well this time around, though, we most certainly plan on doing a more extensive tour in the future.

EG: Which gig are you most looking forward to in 2013?
KS: Two gigs that I’m really excited about are Roadburn and Desertfest. The lineups for both are just amazing and I hope we get to see some of the killer bands that are playing, but, really, I’m looking forward to all of the European shows. We’ve heard so many great things about how supportive the fans of this music are in Europe, so we’re looking forward to experiencing that firsthand ourselves.

We’re also playing the Small Stone Showcase at SXSW in Austin which has some great bands playing, like Suplecs, Freedom Hawk, Lord Fowl, and Deville. It’s gonna be a good show. Austin is always a great place to play and to just hang out. Great food. Great vibes.

EG: Looking at the vastness of musical output nowadays, especially due to the internet, do you think blogging (and social media) also may be the only way (or the first step) for more or less unknown bands to spread their music? Do you prefer the old days?
KS: I think the internet is huge for underground music. It has made it possible for unsigned bands to get their music out there, worldwide, on their own. I think a label with an established reputation and distribution is still really important to be able to move things up to another level, which is why we wanted to get on a label like Small Stone, but it’s possible to get some recognition and start building a fan base all on your own these days, whereas, in the old days, you had to just tour your ass off for no money. My nostalgia for the old days is for other things, but I think the whole blogging thing and social media is incredibly valuable to bands these days. It’s possible to find out about so much great music that you would never have found in the old days.

What I do prefer about the old days is physical product – vinyl and CDs as opposed to downloads. I especially love vinyl – for the way it sounds as well as for the aesthetic involved of having a big piece of art that relates to and contributes to the music that you can hold in your hands and marvel at while you’re listening to the album. Personally, I like having an actual physical item rather than some digital copy only that doesn’t exist in the real world.

EG: Would you say that it’s become more and more difficult to break out in a certain way and bring stoner or sludge music to other places in the world?
KS: I feel like there is a growing interest in stoner/sludge/doom in general lately, which is great. But I think it still is an underground genre, especially in the US. Certain bands are opening the door to a larger audience though. You know, bands like High on Fire and The Sword. Oddly enough, Sleep is actually headlining a music festival here in Texas that has in the past been very focused on Indie Rock and Emo stuff. So I’m not sure what that means about the state of music, but it’s very interesting. I plan on going, so it’ll be interesting to see what the crowd is like and what the response is. I’m sure there will be plenty of stoner/doom fans there as well.

EG: How would you describe the Texas scene?
KS: Texas is a mighty big place, but we definitely have a nice scene for this type of music going on between Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Bands like Las Cruces, Project Armageddon, Venomous Maximus, Eagle Claw, Tia Carrera, Smoking Spore and Dixie Witch to name a few from around Texas. In the Dallas Ft Worth area the scene is getting really strong. There are a whole bunch of great bands. Dallas can be a little weird about music, as far as fans go – and it’s always been this way. Dallas has never been as supportive of local, live music as Austin, but, nevertheless, we’ve got a really solid group of musicians and bands here and now we’re in the process of trying build a more supportive fanbase and to get more people to come out to shows. But like I said, the pool of bands is amazing and is the best I’ve seen in years. It’s actually kind of hard for me to put together local shows because there are TOO many good bands to choose from and I’m forced to choose. Some of the Dallas/Ft Worth locals that are killer are Mothership (who recently signed with Ripple Music and will be releasing an album that I had the honor of working on with them in the studio) Stone Machine Electric, Orthodox Fuzz, Southern Train Gypsy, Cosmic Trigger, Big Sandy Gilmer, Turbo Motorhome, FTW, Black on High, Pothead Goat, and more that I’m sure I’m forgetting. And these are all great bands, man! I would say there’s a good camaraderie amongst the bands, both locally and statewide, and we help each other out with shows in different towns.

EG: What are the major pros and cons of being a mainly independent band?
KS: Well, the most obvious pro is freedom to do what you want and the fact that you own everything and control everything. The biggest con is that most bands don’t have the financial resources to pay for everything that needs to be paid for and they also usually don’t have the distribution/marketing connections in place or the notoriety that an established label should have. We were able to get our name out fairly well on our own and also with distribution help for Psychedelonaut and Noche del Chupacabra with both Brainticket Records and Nasoni Records, but we felt like we still needed to step up to a label like Small Stone that has a really solid distribution and marketing machine as well as huge name recognition within the world of stoner rock to be able to really move to the next level. And we are definitely seeing the differences that being associated with them bring, even this early in our relationship with them.

Signing with an established label is a compromise on certain levels, but it kind of has to be for it to benefit both sides. We had to relinquish some of the control that we had become very used to having for The Black Code, which is something I’m fine with in this situation. I’ve got confidence in Small Stone and it’s worth it for the benefits that we will have and already are seeing. And happily, we did not have to compromise at all as far as the music is concerned, which, I think, if you’re on the right label and working with the right people, is the way it should be. I don’t mean to imply that we had to make huge compromises either, it’s more just a situation of letting someone else do a lot of the work that I used to do myself (or tried to do, in some cases) and I tend to be somewhat of a control freak. Again, though, if you’re working with the right people, the compromises shouldn’t be painful.

EG: On your homepage you’ve linked an own blog about old school music that influenced the band. How important is for you to indicate your roots and bring them closer to your audience?
KS: Music history, and really history in general, is something that is really important to me. I think you should know where you come from and how things evolve over time to become what they are. I think that you can hear it when musicians have a deep awareness of music history. You know, sometimes you hear somebody play and they just seem to ooze history.

Myself, I’ve always had this need to know where something comes from so I’ve always been interested in the roots of the music I dig. I’ve also had a number of people in different stages of my life that had the same attitude and shared a lot music with me and turned me on to a bunch of things that I had never heard before. I like doing the same for other people. I like hipping people to music they have never heard before. It was much more difficult to find obscure albums before the days of the internet. Now it’s much easier to discover hidden gems, which on the one hand is cool and convenient, but it kind of takes away the thrill of the hunt and the thrill of taking a risk on a record that you find at the used record store when it turns out to be a huge score and completely amazing.

I think you can dig the music of Wo Fat whether you’re a fanatic of 70’s obscurities or deep blues or not. Hopefully our music stands on its own, but I just hate it when bands/musicians refuse to admit who their influences are, as if they’re so original or hip that nobody influenced them. No music comes out of a vacuum. So if people are interested, I’m happy to tell them what I dig and what inspired the music of Wo Fat and I’m also always happy to discover new great music from other people.

EG: Who would be the members of your personal super band of the last centuries?
KS: That is a really tough question. I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one band, but let me throw out a couple ideas here. How about Tatsu Mikami (from Church of Misery) on bass with John Bonham, drums, Terry Weston (from Penance) guitar, Randy Holden, guitar and Elmore James on vocals. Or maybe Brant Bjork, drums, Geezer Butler, bass, Tommy Bolin, guitar, Depraved Dave Szulkin from Blood Farmers, guitar with David Coverdale singing. It would be cool to have heard Hendrix play with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice of Cactus. Definite potential for some serious magic there!

I could probably go on all day coming up with different combinations…

EG: In this blog you’re using an own rating system. Out of 10 points, what would be the score for The Black Code considering “riff density”, “riff caliber”, “post blues factor”, “groove factor” and (my personal favourite) “dig it”?
KS: Well, I’m highly biased, but we definitely aspire for “10’s” in every category, but I don’t know if we always make it. I think riff density for us is pretty high; riff caliber – that’s up to the listener to decide, but I think it’s fairly high; postblues factor – pretty high also, since we use the blues melodically as a foundation for our riffs, but we don’t play straight up blues really at all; groove factor – I think gets higher with each album from a performance standpoint and we try to make sure that all of our riffs are pretty groovy to begin with; and of course, I, myself dig it! But there’s always room to step things up a notch and groove harder, get heavier, etc.

I came up with that rating system to help describe the music a little better based on the things that I am wanting to hear. I’ve read a lot of reviews about albums, especially obscure 70’s records, that weren’t very helpful in describing what the music sounds like, so I thought this might be a helpful gauge for some likeminded people. Of course it’s highly subjective.

Sadly, I’ve been so busy lately that I have failed to do any reviews in a while. I plan on trying to get back into that soon.

EG: I heard that you are a lover of old horror movies, which flick would be the perfect one to be set to Wo Fat’s music?
KS: I’m a big fan of classic horror of movies from the 40’s through the 70’s – from the Warner Brothers and Val Lewton classics to all of the Hammer Films movies, to Mario Bava and Dario Argento, Sam Raimi, etc. I am, by no means an expert or super knowledgeable about a lot the more obscure stuff, though. I’m not sure if our music would work, literally, for some of those movies, but from a conceptual standpoint a couple movies come to mind that have either inspired some lyrical ideas or have a vibe that we’re trying to conjure. A couple that our music might actually work for would maybe be Argento’s Suspiria or Deep Red. They’re kind of hallucinogenic and highly intense. Night of the Living Dead was the inspiration for a song on our first album and is one that I really love. Night of the Demon is one of my favorites and is inline with sort of the vibe and atmosphere that goes with some of our lyrics – you know, the idea of dabbling with dark knowledge that summons some sort of demon. Evil Dead, I or II, I think would be pretty prime for some Wo Fat. Angelheart inspired some of our lyrics and a lot of imagery on our previous albums was very Voodoo based, so that’s a good contender.

EG: Looking at your homepage, the general motive certainly has a big touch of horror, which concert location would you prefer: Dracula’s castle or Frankenstein’s laboratory?
KS: Frankenstein’s laboratory is pretty cool, but if we’re talking Chrisopher Lee’s Dracula with the 60’s gothic castle, I’d have to go with that.

EG: Thanks a lot for this interview guys, we wish you all the best for your European adventure!
KS: Thank you, man!

Interview with Arkaeon

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Arkaeon are a Luxembourgish technical death metal band that most people from the “scene” know. Recently we conducted an interview with their lead singer Rosh. Here’s the result! Enjoy!

El Gore: After the release of your EP New Level Of Inhumanity in 2011, 2012 marked a big year for Arkaeon. You played many shows with quite a few big names from the genre. How was that experience for you?
Arkaeon: 2012 has been amazing for us, we’ve had the chance to play with some of our favorite bands and at places that we didn’t imagine to play in that short time that our band existed. For us every show is something special, we don’t care if we play in front of 5 or 500 people, we always have our fun and we hope the people that watch us also enjoy it.

EG: I read on your Facebook profile that you are planning to release a new song around Christmas. Can you give us more information about that?
A: Yes, we will release a new promo song that is called The Illuminated on the 26th of December. This song will give our fans a little preview of our EP that we will record next year in March. The song is as you can already guess about the Illuminati cult, but it also has a more general sense, that people should not always believe what they hear and that they should believe in results and actions and less in talking and promises.

EG: The general consensus is that the EP was a very good start, what can we expect from Arkaeon in 2013 in terms of recordings?
A: Like I already mentioned before we will again record an EP in March 2013 at the Ear We Go Studios with our best man Doudin, this is the same studio where we recorded the New Level Of Inhumanity EP and where we are currently recording our promo song. Maybe we’ll go again intto the studio in late 2013, who knows…

EG: How about shows in 2013? Maybe Food For Your Senses again? Or maybe a tour?
A: We have a lot of shows already planned for next year in Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, France and so on and we are also doing some tours in April and May 2013, in May we’re also going to the UK for the first time. We are more than excited for this, since it’s something that we always dreamed about. Food For Your Senses is definitely an option for us next year, even though I had my little accident last year, I am still a little unsure about this, but as long as there is no strobe, we will play every show we can! [laughs]

EG: You started a new band, Lifefight, not too long ago. Can you tell us a bit more about that project?
A: I always wanted to sing in a hardcore band since I’m into this music, but it was difficult to find other musicians that share the same interest, because hardcore wasn’t really big at all here; until a year ago the whole scene went more into hardcore and beatdown. So then Jones, Kai and I decided to start with Lifefight, we already have some songs written, which we will also record in early 2013. Then we will also start with some shows, but Arkaeon will always be the main band for us.

EG: I know you, Rosh, have mostly retired from organizing gigs but instead decided to do an annual concert. Can you give us any more information? A date or what to expect maybe?
A: Yes since the music business can really kick you in the ass financially I decided to stop organizing regularly shows here, but instead continue with one festival which I already did this year in Trier: the Bring Back The Passion Fest. The name is program, this festival is not there to make money, gain fame or whatever, it’s all about the music and the people. That’s why all the benefit of this show will go to a foundation that helps people that really need the money. Next year the Bring Back The Passion Fest will take place at the Kulturfabrik in Esch/Alzette on the 6th of July 2013. You can expect a mix of international and local hardcore and metal bands for a quite cheap price, more details will follow in the next weeks/months.

EG: By the way, what is the reasoning behind offering your EP completely free of charge? Because I think it’s a great idea for a new band.
A: We are not a band that cares about money, this doesn’t mean that we’re rich or whatever, this is not at all the case unfortunately [laughs], but for us it’s important that as many people as possible are able to hear our music and for free always sells better. We also play shows for a minimum wage, as long as we get a good show, we’re more than happy. So book us, we’re cheaper than a prostitute! [laughs]

EG: Last but not least, if you had to eat one dish for the rest of your life…what would it be?
A: That’s a really hard question, does Jack-Cola count as a meal?

EG: I lied. One more: anything you would like to add?

We’d like to thank Rosh for taking the time to do this interview and we’re all looking forward to their new song and most of all the year 2013!

Interview with Steven C Miller

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The first Steven C Miller “movie” I have ever seen was his short film Granny which was a really good start and impressed me a lot (read my review here). After Granny I lost sight of Miller and his work. Although I heard of his TV movie Scream of the Banshee (2011) I have never seen it. At this time I fell deeply in love with trash and B-movies and wasn’t really interested in anything else but then, by accident I read about him doing a remake of the 1984 slasher classic SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT and he immediatly got my attention again. First of all because I am a huge fan of his very unique style with high recognition value and second of all because I just started getting into the oldschool slasher movies. After I saw SILENT NIGHT for the very first time I got the chance to do an interview with director Miller. Read on to find out what it is all about.

El Gore: Hello, thank you for agreeing to an interview. For those who don’t know you yet, could you introduce yourself?

Steven C Miller: Hey no problem! Sure. I am Steven C Miller, director of the film Silent Night.

E.G.: You are a horror movie director but also a father of a daughter. What are your thoughts on nowadays, modern, really brutal/gory horror flicks and children watching them? What is your opinion on censoring movies?

SCM: I’ve always thought horror was pretty brutal and have been very careful what my daughter sees and doesn’t see. All kids are different. Some mature faster and can handle the material at an earlier age. I think it is a parent’s job to teach their children that movies are a form of entertainment and should not be looked at as reality. Because it is the parent’s job, I feel censorship is weak and movies should not be edited for society’s sake.

E.G.: How did your most recent movie,  the “remake” of Silent Night, come to be? Was it a thing you’ve always wanted to do or were you approached by a studio?

SCM: I’m a huge fan of the original, so I went after the project for a few years. It bounced around from different producers and finally ended up with Richard Saperstein. Richard happened to be at Dimension when my first film (Automaton Transfusion) was bought there. After Richard left Dimension, he took the rights to Silent Night, Deadly Night with him. He was a fan of mine and gave me a call when he got a script done. I pitched him and Shara Kay my take, then off we went.

E.G.:A question you probably can’t hear anymore but what were your experiences working with the great Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange) and the wonderful Jaime King (Sin City) in Silent Night.

SCM: Both were amazing. Jaime is such a fantastic lady and always comes prepared. She loves to be as involved as she can be with the evolution of her character. It’s really great to see her get so into every emotion she has on screen. Malcolm is just a badass. He really is the nicest guy and the most professional. He gets the genre and knows how to embrace it. I love watching him work. He is an icon.

E.G.: Most of the time you can read that your flick is a remake of the 1984 Silent Night, Deadly Night but lets be honest: there is not much left besides the sadistic Santa, the title and the deer-head kill. What was your reasoning behind omitting most of the content from the original?

SCM: Well, honestly it was already like that when i got the script. But that was a huge draw for me. I didn’t want to make the same film everyone had seen or even attempt to do something that felt dated. I wanted to give the series new life and re-imagine this classic for a new audience.

E.G.: Has everything turned out exactly how you wanted it? What were the biggest challenges?

SCM: No. I think in independent film it’s close to impossible to get it exactly how you want it. We shot this film in 17 days and that was immensely challenging. The biggest would have to be the woodchipper day. I literally had 4 hours to shoot that entire chase and kill sequence. Its a massive set piece and I wanted to make sure I did it justice. Luckily I had an amazingly fast crew and great talent to keep it moving quickly!

E.G.:Before shooting, did you watch the original again?

SCM: Many times. I really do love that flick. I mostly watched Friday the 13th part 2 though. Was a huge inspiration for this film.

E.G.:I read that you wanted to do a sequel? Are there any plans yet and why do a sequel in the first place?

SCM: I would love to do a sequel. There is talk if the movie is received well and the numbers make sense. I think it would be fun to expand on the mythology and really take this Santa to a place we haven’t seen before. There is a ton of possibilities for this series and I feel it’s worth exploring.

E.G.:Silent Night had a very limited theatrical release on November 30th. Are you happy with that limited release and the fact that the movie came out on DVD pretty fast?

SCM: As a filmmaker you’re always happy your film is seeing the light of day, no matter what the size. But I will say I was disappointed because I felt the film deserved a much wider release and I thought the fans would have really turned out to see this one on the big screen.

E.G.: I noticed that you inter alia paid homage to the iconic “Garbage Day” scene from Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. Generally speaking, is it important to you to include such little details that only fans of the originals understand?

SCM: 100%. There are many of those in the film. Including one to the original Black Christmas. I want the fans to know I’m also a fan and I’m not trying to ruin their beloved film. Im just trying to have fun and give a new generation something different.

E.G.: The colors and the light worked really well and made this film to something really special. Was this something you put a lot of focus on or rather a natural process?

SCM: Joseph White (the DP) and I really focused on colors pretty heavily in pre-production. We wanted the film to stand out from other modern slashers and have a very vibrant feel. I love color and it is apparent in this film that I feel horror films can be shot this way and still have a great creepy atmosphere. I just love cinematic movies and that was the goal on this film.

E.G.: What can you tell us about your future projects like Motel Hell?

SCM: Motel Hell is something that has been in development hell for a while. Hopefully MGM will remember it’s there and figure out what they want to do with it. Other than that my film Under the Bed will be hitting theaters summer 2013 and I’m working on a few other things that I’m hoping get green lit very shortly!

E.G.: Anything else you would like to add?

SCM: Just to thank everyone for supporting the film and indie horror. Its because of the fans that films like this will continue to be made. Really appreciate everyone!

As usual we want to thank you for spending your time answering our questions. To all the readers: If you are into oldschool horror but are open towards modern stuff, you should absolutely give Silent Night a try. Check out the trailer below and buy the movie here.

Interview with Damien Leone

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El Gore is very proud to tell you that we did an interview with the awesome director/FX artist Damien Leone. Luc just recently saw his movie: Terrifier (2011) and reviewed it on this site (check it out here). But we have to tell you that we weren’t quite satisfied and we wanted to know more about the person behind this amazing horror short. We decided to contact Damien, who immediately answered the mail and agreed on doing an interview. So be prepared for some interesting Q/A and have fun reading.

ElGore: Hello Damien. First of all I want to thank you for taking your time to answer a few questions. How are you?

Damien L. : I’m doing very well. This is my first interview so I’m very excited!

E.G.: When I first saw Terrifier I was speechless. I did some research on the director but couldn’t find any satisfying information. For all the El Gore readers who do not know you yet, can you introduce yourself?

D.L.: Wow. I’m really thrilled to hear you enjoyed it so much! I’m 28 years old and I’m from Staten Island, NY. In case you couldn’t tell from Terrifier, I’m a huge horror fan. I’ve been making short films and creating monsters since I’m about twelve years old and I’ve never stopped.

E.G.: Do you have a clown obsession or even Coulrophobia? (A/N Art the clown is the main character in The 9th Circle short, in Terrifier and in the new The 9th Cirle movie)

D.L.: No, I don’t have coulrophobia or any particular obsession  with clowns but I totally get why they’re so horrifying!  Everything about a clown is unnatural, from the way they dress to their exaggerated gestures but I think the creepiest aspect is the white face make-up. For one, you don’t know who’s really hiding behind the make-up and two, a white face is truly haunting because I think, subconsciously, it’s synonymous with death. Terrifying even without a hacksaw.

E.G. Is there a dvd release planned for Terrifier?

D.L.: There are no definitive plans yet. I made it with the intention of throwing it right on Youtube after the festival run and it’s been gaining a really awesome fanbase out there. Maybe when my upcoming feature is released on dvd, I’ll include it with the extras.

E.L.: Speaking about your new project: The 9th Circle is a full-length movie, am I right? What can you tell us about it? Any release Date?

D.L.: Yes, it will be my first full-length feature. We are still in pre-production and trying to secure funding. It’s sort of a spin-off from Terrifier but the only real correlation is the clown. I think a film like Terrifier only works as a short. It’s a simple and direct cat and mouse tale that works great in twenty minutes. To expand that into a full length would be doing it a disservice in my opinion so I’ve come up with a completely new story. As far as The 9th Circle plot, I can’t go into too many details without revealing some secrets but it does involve a trio of demons on a mission from hell and a young woman who may be the only person who can stop them.
This film has a much more intricate plot than Terrifier and a much more complex protagonist. There are also two new villains who are as sick and twisted as Art the Clown. All I can say is, fans of Terrifier will not be disappointed. There will be plenty of scares, a great story and tons of gore. I can promise you kills that you’ve never seen before. Since we’re still in pre-production, we don’t have a release date but I’m hoping to have it finished by fall of 2013.

E.G: You already did a short called The 9th Circle. How are both films related?

D.L.: Well aside from Art the clown, there is a satanic element in the short film which will be an integral part of the feature as well. That’s where the title comes into play. Other than that, there are no real similarities. I’ve basically just taken elements from both shorts and incorporated them into an entirely new idea.

E.G.: You are a special effect (makeup) artist and director, what do you like doing more. Do you see the two jobs as separated things or do you always want to do both on your (future) movies?

D.L.: That’s a great question. I look at it this way, if I’m making a super low budget film, I don’t mind doing the fx as well as directing because I’m pretty good and I won’t charge myself. But if I ever get to work on a Hollywood film, I would insist that a crew handle the fx. It’s too much work to do both and ultimately I prefer directing. It’s more rewarding, especially when it’s your own story.

E.G.: What are your influences as a director and as a special effect (makeup) artist?

D.L.: I’m influenced by so many things and so many people. I can go on and on mentioning names and films but the thrill I get when someone is emotionally affected by a film I direct or a special effect I create is what really inspires me to keep going and to keep improving.

E.G.: Gregory Nicotero or Tom Savini?

D.L.: I love Greg Nicotero. The man’s a living legend in the industry but I would be lying if I didn’t say Tom Savini is single-handedly responsible for my being in this field. When I was really young, I discovered a VHS called Scream Greats. It’s an hour documentary on Tom Savini’s fx work. Funny thing is, Greg Nicotero is in the documentary as well because he was Savini’s assistant! This was the first time I saw someone create the monsters. It blew my mind and from then on, I was experimenting with make-up and blood pumps. This led to making short films in order to showcase the make-up which ultimately led to a love of filmmaking in general.

E.G.: 1 remake, 1 perfect cast, all the money you want. What movie would it be, who would you cast and what would be your job?

D.L.: Honesty, that’s a tough one. I am not a fan of remakes at all so nothing really comes to mind but I would literally chop my finger off for the opportunity to direct the third Conan movie they’ve just announced in which Arnold will reprise the role. The original Conan the Barbarian is one of my favorite movies and fans have been dying to see this chapter in Conan’s life. The problem is, I really don’t think they’re going to capture that raw power of the original. But I could! Oh, well. I will remain cautiously optimistic.

E.G.: What is your opinion on the current idea of remaking every single cult movie? I recently read that there is a new Night of the Living Dead remake planned.

D.L.: Oh, I’m sure they are and it wouldn’t be the first, although I really do like Night ’90. Like I said before, I’m not a fan of remakes. I think this current trend is insulting and disrespectful to everyone who poured their heart and soul into the originals. These are classic films being remade. Is anything sacred? I’ve yet to see a current remake even come close to surpassing the original. It’s all about money. Bottom line. I honestly think Hollywood is at an all time low. When you look at the ratio of good films to bad it’s really disheartening.
I hear they’re already remaking American Psycho! That movie isn’t even fifteen years old! It’s a cult classic that’s still finding an audience. Give these movies a chance and the respect they deserve. As you can see, you hit a nerve.

E.G.: Is it horror you want to do all your life? Or do you also want to work on other movies or do you simply do not care?

D.L.: I wouldn’t have a problem making horror films for the rest of my life but I would love to work in many different genres. I’m a big fan of science fiction and action films. I also love movies that deal with crime and antiheros. You can be sure that anything I do will be intense, violent or insane.

E.G.: What are your plans for the future?

D.L.: Make movies! Luckily we’re in a time when filmmaking can be done for very little money and filmmakers can self distribute on the internet, so even if I don’t break into Hollywood, I’ll keep making my dreams a reality on a shoestring budget.

E.G.: What can you tell us about the equipment you use?

D.L.: Whatever the budget allows. Right now the budgets I work with are super low so we’ve been using the canon 5d & 7d. I have no problem with them and I fully embrace digital. It’s at a point now where audiences accept that HD look which is a blessing for an indie filmmaker.

E.G.: Damien Leone the movie fan: CGI or Claymation?

D.L.: I certainly appreciate the artistry that goes into claymation but CGI hands down! Even though I’m a practical fx make-up artist, I love CGI when it’s used properly. I think when you use practicals and CGI together, you get the best result. Just look at Jurassic Park. That film was made twenty years ago and the CGI mixed with Stan Winston’s animatronics look as good as ever.

E.G.: Any last words?

D.L.: Well, I want to thank you for such a terrific interview! Really great questions. I want to thank your El Gore readers and the fans of Terrifier for supporting it and leaving so many awesome comments. If you want updates on The 9th Circle, check out the Terrifier Youtube page or follow me on twitter @damienleone and @9thCircleMovie.

Thank you for the interview Damien and we wish you all the best for your future. We are looking forward to seeing The 9th Circle!

Interview with Sektemtum

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We recently conducted an interview with Reverend Prick of the band Sektemtum. It was done in French but I tried my best to capture the same tone during the translation of the transcript. Enjoy!

El Gore: How did the band come together?
Reverend Prick: Our goal is to destroy what is left of mediocrity, the coalition happened naturally, we united the crème de la crème. Destroy …

EG: What was the first lineup and were there ever any lineup changes?
RP: There is no real line-up. Everything is possible, nothing is set in stone, SKTMTM is the coming together of those that have a common vision. The New World establishes solid foundations. Inconvertible by nature, we would betray ourselves from weariness. In a cat-and-mouse game no one wins, everybody dies.

EG: Was this a one-off thing or are there plans for more music to be recorded?
RP: We are currently working on new stuff for Sektemtum and Doctor Livingstone.

EG: Are there plans to play live?
RP: If the circumstances are right it is imaginable. Our criteria are quite precise, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll find a quality booking agency who would make us want to hit the road, but you never know… And then again, if we tour we would have to mingle with other bands, meet a crowd; all that seems rather boring to me.

EG: What are the main influences of the band?
RP: There are thousands of bands that play this musical genre, the influences come from rock and metal in general. We decided to record a metal album, a style that has been in existence for several decades; just to tell you that our influences are very diverse, yet imprecise.

EG: The band is a bit shrouded in mystery, no band pictures and no information on who played what on the album. Could you clear up which member played what instrument on the album? As I understand, two drummers are in the band.
RP: We are four, we worked together as four, Meyhnac’h, Six, PLCD and myself have worked as a union and if some play drums it doesn’t prevent them from playing other stuff. Six is a talented drummer but also a very good bassist, guitarist. PLCD also plays guitar and bass, he’s a responsive and efficient songwriter, he also sings on the record, as do all the members. This collaboration disregarded the heavy burden that an instrument imposes.

EG: The members of Sektemtum have been active in a lot of different bands. Could you clarify who is still active in what other band and if Sektemtum is considered the main band?
RP: Sektemtum is the only band to have potential in the future, because it’s the best amongst all of them.

EG: Who is responsible for the concept of the band?
RP: All four of us are part of the origins of the band. Guilty but not responsible.

EG: How did the music come to be? How was the songwriting divided?
RP: PLCD does the songwriting, we arrange it, we change it around in the process.

EG: Whose idea was the video?
RP: All four of us are part of the origins of the video. Guilty …
-Interview by Dave, translation by Yannick-

Interview with Jan Kerscher

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Jan Kerscher is a young and ambitious musician and the founder of Ghost City Recordings, a recording studio in Bavaria. In our little interview he told us about his work and his view of creating music nowadays.

El Gore: There are probably not many young men nowadays who start a production company, can you tell us how you came up with the idea?

Jan Kerscher: To me – as probably for most of the artists I work with – music is the most personal and fragile thing I can imagine. Dealing with emotions in such a way is only possible in a private space that comforts and suits a creative team. Back when I started recording with bands, we were always hiding out in my parents’ basement or attic or somewhere. One of my recent hideouts was – as you might know – ‘The Fiction’ in Luxembourg, where we recorded most of the Dirty Crows album. Thus, the basic idea behind Ghost City Recordings was (and still is) to provide a permanent hideout right in the middle of nothing where any artist can stay for weeks in order to create. So there it is. We just needed that hideout. We had no other option than come up with a plan and build it.

EG: How much subjectivity (from the producer’s side) do you think ends up in an album or single?

JK: That depends on the individual producer, really. In my case – I think, I add a lot of my own personality to the records I make. When I work with artists, most of the time I focus on where the “sound” comes from rather than indulging in the technical side of recording it. Obviously to me, it’s more important for the musical expression than having a bad/wrong guitar part being recorded brilliantly.

But in the end there is always a level of ‘subjectivity’ with every producer. If you look at it from this side of the glass, not giving yourself too deeply into the recording process is also a very personal decision and can be an argument to work with a specific producer if the band or artist has a very distinct vision of their sound.

EG: You’re said to be very happy to try new and unconventional things while recording, can you give us examples and do you think that experiments are more important than ever before in music history?

JK: Weird methods are the best methods. It frees the artist’s mind from thinking too much about what exactly he’s doing and playfully distracts the whole crew from the sometimes intimidating studio situation. Very recently, I did a vocal recording session in the forest. I clearly remember the moment where I proposed the idea to the band. Everyone was smiling instantly – the sheer idea filled everyone with euphoria in just a second. In creative terms – this is the one perfect working condition. And when we finally got to track – between all those trees and birds chirping – it was golden. Everyone was feeling light and not at all overly focused – just letting it happen. The result is a bunch of wonderfully natural vocal takes – also we kept the birds in the background and separately miked up the distant ambient of the woods and everything. It added a really nice ambiance to the whole record!

I think a good set of unconventional methods help you to widen the scope of your artist. It gives them the space to unfold in any direction they want to go. It feels free yet earthed. Also, it keeps studio work thrilling and inspiring. I love it.

EG: In a portrait you say that you have no master plan considering neither recording nor your own life. Have you ever had the feeling that things won’t work out in the end, be it in a recording session or in life?

JK: Definitely so. It can be awfully hard at times – not knowing if you’ll bring your business through the next months. It makes me doubt about myself and confronts all of my projects with essential questions. But I consider that a significant part of being creative and self-determined and I have found my peace with it. Actually, it can be really healthy. It makes you rethink everything you do on a regular basis.

And even sometimes it would not work out at all. But failing means learning at the same time which is no bad thing at all.

Basically, life’s a matter of decisions. The “it won’t work out” feeling is just a reminder to go over your decisions again.

EG: Ghost City Recordings offers workshops this August, can you tell us what this project is all about?

JK: I am always motivated to educate future sound engineers / producers and share my experience and philosophy with them.

The upcoming workshops in August deal with the regrettably popular misconception that one can record in almost every space and a good mixing work would fix the quality of your recording. I want to teach young and ambitious recording engineers to get their technique right in a way that they can get a good signal out of everything, everywhere they happen to do a record.

Also I don’t want kids to send their mixes away to the big foreign names – thinking their music will be sounding like their big idols. That doesn’t make sense. They’re making money out of the kids and abuse their function as role models. It makes me sick seeing all those kids, spending tons of money into something that their alleged idols won’t put the adequate amount of love into. If you want it to sound like yourself – do it yourself. Or go find someone who is really trying to understand you. That’s much better.

Find out more about the Ghost City Recordings workshops:

Pictures taken from the video made by Rocksofa.

Interview with Plankton Waves

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Last May, the electronic duo Plankton Waves released their first single called Cloud Caravan. Their sound combines familiar electro-beats, poetry, songwriting and mysteries. In our interview we talked about the path from rock to electronic music, about nature and the 80s.

El Gore: One of those questions you can read again and again (but which I like to ask anyways) is about the change from loud guitars to the synthesizer. Is this always due to a broad taste or were there other reasons in your case?
Plankton Waves: Not using guitars anymore in fact wasn’t a conscious decision but the result of an unexpected and, at the same time, natural process. Guitar and bass always were important elements in our former bands and the songwriting was based on those instruments. We had our first electronic experiences with Minipli, but still the guitars stayed very dominant. With Plankton Waves, and after becoming a duo, we experienced many musical changes but we continued with the setup we were used to.

Our first record Unduriel released in 2010 was an important first step indeed, but it didn’t feel 100% right in a certain way. We felt like heading into a dead end and we realized that we had to change something to let our visions become true and find the right sound. So we decided to backtrack for a while in order to find new ways and learn the technical and creative know-how that would let us implement our ideas. During that process we built up a little studio and fell in love with analogue synths after having only worked with digital or softsynths until then, mainly because they were very easy to operate.

We knew that the analogue stuff was the right deal for us after having used one for the first time. It animated our sound and gave it the right depth we had been missing. On the one hand, old devices have natural and warm aura in their sound. On the other hand, their handling is way more intuitive. This is why the guitars had to stand back more and more, because new worlds opened for us, paving the ways for our visions.

We’re still using instruments like pianos, accordions or shakers, but every time we tried to integrate a guitar in one of the songs it just didn’t feel right anymore. Of course we won’t exclude the possibility of using guitars again one day. We don’t want to limit ourselves in any way, neither do we want to force our sound in one direction. We try to find out what a song needs, and at the moment none needs any guitars.

EG: What are the challenges in this musical style, especially when not being mainstream?
PW: Our ambition is the music in itself, so we don’t think too much about challenges. For us, the important thing is to get our sound close to what we hear inside our heads and to make our songs distill into their essence. That’s why we experiment a lot while recording, both creatively and technically. During our live performances, we try to underline the essence and the atmosphere of the music by wearing special clothing or make-up. We want to extend this in the future by adapted light shows, projections etc…

Being not mainstream and a small band in general, the biggest challenge probably is about marketing and promotion. This means a lot of work but it is an essential part of spreading one’s music. We have a very lively music scene in Luxembourg, but it is also important to get abroad on a permanent basis, especially if you are more ambitious and don’t see your music as being only a hobby. And this means patience, work and endurance. But first of all there is the creative aspect.

EG: Your lyrics used to be always sung (at least as far as I remember it from John McAsskill) in different languages. Was this a cultural or a substantial, artistic decision?
PW: We use English most of the time. It just emerges like this. English is a good language to sing in considering its flow, and it still is the international music language, so to speak. But there are a bunch of songs who demand another intonation. This often becomes clear during the first jam or lyrical improvisation. In the past, we had songs that were sung in pseudo-Spanish or in a fantasy language. On our new single, there is a song in German, namely Cloud Caravan, where we used a part of a poem written by Jakob van Hoddis. Both, language and poem, just perfectly fitted for that song. We tried an English translation but it just totally changed the whole flow. This wasn’t a bad thing in itself, but in the end we decided to go with the original language. Language, in this sense, seems to be more an artistic decision, but of course it is a big chance that we’re able to speak different languages due to our cultural background.

EG: Your sound is like a composition of a strong relationship with nature and with music from the 80s (at least in my ears, correct me if I’m getting lunatic). Do such mixtures arise automatically or is this something you wanted to be a part of your style?
PW: We know what you mean. Actually, we don’t think too much about a song when we start writing it. One idea leads to another or just totally changes the original idea. It often is an intuitive and also very long process, which we don’t always control and after which we’re often surprised about the output. There are of course conscious decisions, but they’re subordinate to the creative aspects and mostly they concern technical things.

We understand your feeling about nature and the 80s. We always preferred the countryside. Of course we often love to be in cities, they can be very inspiring, but in the length of time they feel too bright and loud, like an anthill in which everyone falls over everyone else and in which you can’t hear yourself anymore. That’s why we prefer living and working outside cities, where it is calm and where we are more surrounded by woods than by cement. On a musical level this state of mind probably results in a warm, natural and organic sound.

And, of course, we both grew up in the 80s and 90s, that’s were our musical origins lie, and that’s what shaped us, if we like it or not. It becomes obvious in songs like We Are while it’s less obvious in other ones. We rather don’t have any inhibitions to create such references, but we don’t do it purposely, so in the end, it is just an half-conscious process.

EG: Is a more pessimistic undertone inevitable or rather an unwanted side effect?
PW: We don’t necessarily hear a pessimistic undertone in the songs, rather a kind of melancholy or a form of gloominess, which is nothing pessimistic for us. Our songs don’t have a negative basic statement, even if they seem gloomy. You can find a glimmer of hope in each of our songs, or at least the hope of finding hope. In all of our songs we’re looking for a kind of beauty, and every beauty has a certain melancholy and gloom inside. This may not be obvious at first sight but you may feel them at certain moments. In this sense a kind of darkness is unavoidable for us. We think that this is more fascinating than the‘sunny side’, because the sombre part is the one giving the beauty its depth, being hidden under the surface.

EG: Which are your main influences?
PW: Spontaneously, we can’t name musical influences. We have a pretty eclectic taste and there are lots of interesting artists in many different genres who probably influenced us more or less consciously. Just to name a few ones that influenced Natalie and me (Michel): Sonic Youth, early PJ Harvey, Diamanda Galas, Sergio Leone, Portishead, Tocotronic, Soap & Skin, Verdi, Le Tigre, Kyuss, Gorgoroth, Vangelis, DAF, Nirvana, The Knife, Fever Ray, A Silver Mt. Zion, Beethoven, 2 Unlimited. My (Michel) personal main influences are my dreams. I dream a lot and very intensively. When I work on a song, I often have one of my dreams in my head and I try to orient myself by it or to capture its mood.

EG: One question that immediately came to my mind when I read the news: how did you get in contact with an Australian merchandise agency that used your single as their video soundtrack?
PW: We coincidentally “met” on Facebook a few months ago. Boa Campbell liked our sounds and she asked us if she may could use our single when we released it. She may also found us because of Belle Sauvage, a fashion label from London for which we already had done soundtracks for two of their promotion films. This is definitely one of those internet stories for which we just love social networking.

EG: Considering the future, what are your short-dated plans and do you already have long-dated ones?
PW: We’re playing a concert at the opening of the “op den 3 Eechelen” museum on the 15th of July and on the 21st we’re playing at the “Graffiti Jam” in Lorentzweiler. After this we’re going to shut ourselves away again in order to finish our record. We’re also planning a few concerts in Luxembourg in autumn and winter, but we mainly want to organise concerts abroad starting in late 2012. There will also be another video and some other audiovisual stuff.