Originally Posted on: July 6th, 2012
While wondering through the blazing hot Utah desert looking for some mormon delights Marquis stumbled upon an ancient cemetery. Unmarked crumbling crypts littered the yard. When upon the howl of the wolf rose the rotting corpses of Diemonsterdie. Before Marquis was devoured by their hunger for flesh, he managed to ask them a few questions about their new album, the Kickstarter project and other secrets of the undead that they only told Marquis.
H-P: For starters, for those who don't know DIEMONSTERDIE, could you give us a brief history and how you decided on your name?
WINDHAWK: DIEMONSTERDIE was formed by our frontman, Zero Delorean and our drummer Shane Diablo around the year 2000. Shane and Zero had been writing music and performing with a couple other guys in a band called Casa Diablo since 1995. Zero was always crazy on stage, he even would cut himself up and actually bleed, similar to the intense, angry and raw performances of G.G Allin (minus the piss and shit and rape) during those days. The horror themes were never planned out as much as they were just a natural progression from Casa Diablo, stemming from Zero’s mind, which is just naturally acclimated toward Horror, Death and Darkness...the themes which connect us all and terrify us all. Zero and Shane started jamming together outside of Casa Diablo around the year 2000, at which time they ended up dropping Casa Diablo, transforming into DMD (the two bands are so closely linked that the Casa Diablo songs were carried over into DMD, as well). They came up with the concept of wearing monster masks and putting on shows which were both theatrical and visceral, as opposed to just plain and typical punk rock. They wanted to put on shows, spectacles...events, which were more than just four dudes in black t-shirts with instruments and tattoos and attitude. DMD has always been about theater. We have always been about shock factor and entertainment as much as we are about writing music which possesses all of our fears, honesty, pain, etc. Our music tells the story of the creativity which drives us and love for the macabre, Halloween and horror.
MEATWHISTLE: yeah what Windhawk said.
ZERO: Pretty much. I had the name and concept all picked out during the final days of Casa Diablo. I was the sole remaining founding member and the magic was gone. I spoke with Shane about this new band concept and he was down with it so I sat down with Casa Diablo and let them know that I was pulling the plug and that I was going to start something new that none of them could be involved with or else it would just be more of the same thing I wanted to get away from. A few months passed before all the ducks were lined up. Rehearsal space was secured and former original Casa Diablo bassist B-Rock Diablo was approached for this new project. Our thinking was that since nothing gets ignored like a band of guys in rock shirts and big shorts we'd go in the opposite direction, striving to create something impossible to ignore when it's with you in the same room.
Over the years the lineup has included (in chronological order) Zero-guitar, vocals, Meat-drums, Bassists Raven Blades, Vladina Khalishnikova and Stikky Nixx, and Guitarists LaVerne LaVey, Mercury Rising and Windhawk.
As it was mentioned before, the songwriting in Casa Diablo was already damned-near 100% horror by the second album, monster movies and sci-fi, so all that was really left to do was create an image that reflected the same philosophy. When pondering how to best execute this grand idea, the same influences kept popping up time and time again: Alice Cooper, The Misfits and KISS.
H-P: Why Horror Punk?
MEAT: I guess Zero could probably speak to this the best. We started a punk band in about 1993, and as we wrote and played shows the band began to take on a bit more stage presence, creepy, glass cutting, blood and what not, we just decided to ramp it up, it wasn't til years later when we found the like of Blitzkid and YOU Marquis, just all the bands all of the place doing the same style, same kinda genre that we realized it was horror punk. I love the title Horror Punk, and I am pretty proud to still be taking part in it.
WH: Horror Punk was non-existent when Zero and Shane formed DMD, in fact DIEMONSTERDIE was one of the very first Horror Punk acts to exist in the genre. Horror Punk wasn’t a genre back in 2000, it was just an idea, populated by a tiny handful of bands such as the revival of the Misfits, Blitzkid, The Other, The Crimson Ghosts, DMD and Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, among a few others. The moniker of Horror Punk never officially was formed until a few years into the 00’s. Zero never intended to be horror punk, as I said it was really more of a natural progression that led us down this road of bloodshed and insanity. It’s just how Zero writes songs.
ZERO: Horror Punk just wasn't the term used in our neck of the woods way back then. I'd been listening to The Misfits for years but they were always referred to as a punk rock band. I think Casa Diablo started up around '96 or 97 actually, so even before Graves-era Misfits. As the years moved on the songwriting got darker and spookier. It was a very natural progression, we just sought to make the best music we could and this is what we were good at.
STIKKI: I'm a big fan of the macabre and music, so why not put the two togher
H-P: You write alot about horror movies. Is there one in particular that stabs close to your heart?
MEAT: We do have a few songs that are written directly about a specific horror movie like Dead Alive from the album Honor Thy Dead, But I think some of my favorites are the Horror Stories that Zero creates with his amazing lyrics.. like Red Wedding Dress, or Inside I Quietly Bleed, or even even Invisible Hands.. the Lyrics play a very very big part in the DIEMONSTERDIE sound. Invisible Hands.. the Lyrics play a very very big part in the DIEMONSTERDIE sound.
WH: I have been heavily obsessed with Horror films and Halloween since I was a child. As is the case with many other Horror buffs, the films that are closest to my heart are the classic Universal Monster flicks from the 30’s and 40’s. Bride of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolf Man especially so. I saw a shit load of these movies when I was 4 and 5 years old. I was also heavily influenced by the 60’s gothic soap, Dark Shadows as a kid. My dad and I would stay up late watching tapes of the show and I was in love with it...a monster kid for life at that point. When Jonathan Frid died this year, a part of me went with him. He was the first actor I ever saw wearing stage blood and I have him to thank for my vampire persona in DMD. I also saw Romero’s Day of the Dead behind my parents’ backs when I was 8. And it is my favorite zombie film. It is so hard to pick just one!
ZERO: I think the only song about a specific movie is Dead Alive and that was in response to a challenge to see if I could basically recite the entire movie's plot within the confines of two verses. I got fairly close. The rest have titles so classic sounding that you're fooled into believing them to be the titles of horror films. I've been known to use pop-culture references from time to time as well. Dead Alive is one of my all-time favorites however, along with Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2, Day of the Dead (Bub!) and the classic Universal Studios monster flicks from the black n' white era.
H-P: Now Wind Hawk, you recently joined the band. Can ya tell us a little bit about how ya got the gig? Were you a fan of "DMD" before you joined?
WH: I joined DMD last year officially. It was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I was a fan before that, yes, but not just any fan. I ran the Zealots of the Bloody Circle (the DMD Fan Club) and had been friends with Shane and Zero since 2006. The band had undergone lineup changes with the guitarist twice up until that point. Laverne Lavey was the original guitarist when the band formed, then he exited in 2004, at which point Rev. Mercury Rising joined. Rev. stayed until 2008 or 09...then he left and Laverne returned and recorded the 2010 record, Fall to Your Knees. The band acted as a three piece after Laverne took off again in 2010, until last year in May, when by chance, Shane spoke with me on the phone. He offered to have me come down to the rehearsal space to audition for lead guitar in the band. I was shocked. As soon as I got the offer I knew it was meant for me. I have never wanted to be a part of anything so much in my life as this band. Anyway after a clinky, nervous audition I returned a few more times to practice with Shane, Zero and Stikki and we all just clicked. It fell into place quickly and we got booked to open for Lizzy Borden pretty much right away. The rest for me is history. And let me tell you, it has been a hell of a ride just in the short year I have been with DMD. Zero and Shane are two of my best friends, I couldn’t ask for better dudes to write music with!
ZERO: Just to clarify, I was the original Diemonsterdie guitarist. Diemonsterdie began as a 3-piece consisting of Meat, Raven and myself. All the guitar work on our first album What Is Shall Always Be was nobody but Zero. By the time LaVerne came around that album had been written, recorded and released and we had been performing as a 3-piece for about a year, I believe. We were producing copies of the album on demand, by hand. Our friend Johnny Demonic drew a fantastic picture of the 4-piece group and we used it as the back cover art, so that's how LaVerne came to be pictured on that album. If you look over the artwork you'll see LaVerne is credited only with "live guitars" on that particular album. In fact, more than half of our second album Honor Thy Dead was already written by the time LaVerne joined and at first we performed as a 4-piece band. Even though I'm known as "the singer" of Diemonsterdie, I've always played guitar during rehearsals and recording sessions.
H-P: Do you have any advice to anyone who wants to join a "pre" existing band?
WH: I know it sounds cliche, but follow your dreams and be true to yourself. Never give up on what you want most. And be careful what you wish for, you might just get it! As a fan of DMD for 6 years before joining the band, the whole thing initially felt like a pipe dream. But if I had treated it as such I never would have had the opportunity to join the band. I just kept my hopes up, I kept my lines of communication open to Shane and Zero and remained loyal to them, both as a friend and a fan. I also practiced my ass off with my guitar for years. I’ve been playing for 10 now and it is my favorite thing to do. The bottom line is this: never tell yourself that what you want to do is impossible. Because it isn’t.
MEAT: I Agree with WindHawk just do what you wanna do, it's only rock n' roll, and be proud of the music you play, regardless if you are a beginner, or advanced or regardless of the genre, if you love it, stand strong and enjoy.. If you don't like the music you write, it is a hard to get others to enjoy.
ZERO: Be sure you enjoy the music the pre-existing band has already written and that you want to continue writing in a similar fashion. Nobody likes the know-it-all who thinks he's gonna come along, change everything and show everyone how it should be done. If you don't respect their material, don't join their band because you ain't gonna last. If you want to be in a metal band, don't join a horror punk unit. Be open to your bandmates ideas; that holds true for everyone in the band, be open to the new guy's input because it may sound good. You'll never know if you have a closed mind, again, nobody likes a know-it-all.
STIKKI: My best advice is you must like to listen to and play the type of music and make sure all your personalites gel. There is nothing worse than dreading seeing your bandmates and playing music you
H-P: Ok, Zero and Mr. Diablo, how's the kid holding up? It's ok, you can be honest. They tell me he can't read...
MEAT: Windhawk is one of the best guitar players I have had the chance to play with, and he know's his DIEMONSTERDIE, He's young and has fire in his veins, and it is refreshing to have new blood, that cares about the future of the band. Zero and I have been together well over 12 years and we have seen members come and go. Windhawk is a diffrent breed and is cut from a diffrent cloth, you can see his passion for what DieMonsterDie has done, and what DieMonsterDie can do. I personally am proud of him, not only because he is a great guitar player, and commited to the band, but because many years ago this kid was in the audience, watching us, and I could see the fire in his eyes even back then. I see a long future for DIEMONSTERDIE with the line up we currently have (Zero, Stikki, Windhawk and me) as long as the FIRE is still burning... that or one of us keels over dead. haha.
ZERO: Kid fits like a glove. I think he was only 12 or 13 years old when we first met him and he's always known exactly what he wanted to do. Now he's in the band and who would have seen that coming? His driven nature meshes well with Diemonsterdie and played a big part in our decision to take a chance on him.
STIKKI: I'm going to chime in. I've know young WH for many a year now, and know that his heart is in it. I haven't met anyone as dedicated to a band as he. He puts in the work everyday and it shows.
H-P: As a band and especially now with a new member. What is the song writing process like for DMD?
WH: We all just get together at rehearsal and jam...a riff gets created, an idea, whatever. Then Zero starts to cook up melodies and hooks in his head...he goes home and writes song ideas, titles and lyrics in his notebook and brings them to rehearsal. As a group we all just feel it out and put our ideas out there. Eventually it just clicks and becomes a tune. They all pile up eventually until we have an LP. That’s about it in a nutshell. Zero could tell you a lot more about that.
MEAT: I have always liked the writing process in DIEMONSTERDIE it is kicked back and relaxed, if a riff or a bass line or a drum beat work, we all start jamming, if it comes together then awesome, if it doesn't we move on. no hard feelings, and some riffs come back to haunt us, ones we forget about or discard, then boom, we are rolling along.. writing has always been a really easy process in this band, at least for me.
ZERO: Mostly the songwriting happens during rehearsal when most of the band is present. It's rare for anyone to bring a song to practice all pre-written and even then there's tweaks to arrangements and riffs, even whole new parts get added, once we all get working on it. Lyrics are almost always written after the music is completed. Generally I'll start with a title, then a chorus, get the melody down and finally write actual words. It's a very laid-back process overall. Some tunes come together right away while others come back from the dead when you least expect it.
STIKKI: We're all very laid back and open to suggestion, We'll kick around a few riffs back and forth if it works and sounds right we go with it, if not no biggie.
H-P: Speaking of writing music, we understand that you are working on a new album entitled "October 21st, 1976". Can you tell us about that? Is there a deeper meaning behind the title?
WH: October 21st, 1976 is the title of our 8th studio album. The title was something Zero came up with a long time ago and wrote down in his notebook...and yes, there is a deeper meaning behind it, but that story will be told at a later date. For now everyone will just have to suffer with the suspense. What I will reveal is that as we write this record, it is turning out much like a patchwork horror anthology. I want this thing to have an old-school mentality about it and I want it to reflect my own influences in addition to Zero and Shane and Stikki’s. That’s part of why I want to release it on 12” vinyl - to bring us back to the glory days of rock n’ roll. We intend for this album to be the best we’ve ever done. We want it to be something to remember, an album funded by the fans for the fans, that also includes the fans in the artwork. Something that no band has ever attempted before. I think that gives us an edge over other bands. We really do care about every single person who listens to our music. Every person means something to us and we respect all of our fans as fellow lovers of this genre and of Horror in general. I always take the time to respond to everyone who comes to me about how much they love DMD and are influenced by DMD. And this record is really a love letter to those people. They make everything worth it times a thousand.
ZERO: The album title does have a secret significance but it remains to be seen if the mystery is ever revealed, it may be more fun to let people draw their own conclusions. If all goes well this album will be a 13 track vinyl LP with some sweet packaging perfect for the potheads to roll up their doobies on. Beyond that there's no King Diamond-esque concept or anything, just 13 tracks of Diemonsterdie's brand of undead shock n' roll full of subtle humor and beautiful mind-blowing lyrical imagery.
H-P: For this album you guys are trying something different and a bit risky in making this album. You set up a Kickstarter account and are asking for pledges to raise funds for the album. Why did you take that route? It's kind of a long shot, do you have a backup plan incase you don't make the deadline?
WH: Well I am of the mentality that nothing attempted / risked = nothing gained. I came up with the concept of doing Kickstarter after seeing the success of many other bands and artists through crowd funding a few months ago. It is a relatively new idea, that a band can have the fans assist in the creation of their project by funding it through fans directly. I think it is revolutionary especially given the state of the music industry and CDs in general. This format is the future of music. I see no real risk in it, because it is a totally honest effort and really, we have nothing to lose by trying. We are all too broke to fund the expenses involved with releasing this record the way we really want to. We pay for everything we do in DMD directly out of pocket and it has always been that way, ever since Zero and Shane formed the band. There are no checks arriving in our mail boxes to record an album. There is no tour support for us. Nobody makes merch for us, we make it ourselves. We advertise ourselves, there is no promotion money. We’re not trust fund babies. We release records independently with hard earned cash working shitty day jobs. So for us, the choice was clear. It was either sit on our asses and hope we could save enough cash to eventually record the album and release it digitally (with no physical release to speak of as with the last album), or we attempt something new and fresh and exciting by asking our fans to essentially buy the LP before it is made. The worst we can do with Kickstarter is to not meet goal. Nothing lost. And with seven studio albums under our belts, it’s not like our fan base is leery about buying another album. They know it will be worth it. I have put all my faith in them and put the future of this album in their hands and that’s all I can do. If they want this album, they will make it happen. And I know people give a shit about us. We’re known worldwide for a reason. If Kickstarter fails, we will still find a way to record the album but it won’t be on vinyl or cd. But I am confident that we will succeed. I have never wanted anything this much in my life as an artist. I have never been more motivated for anything. This is our moment. And I will do every goddamn thing I can to see it through to the end with success.
ZERO: We chose the Kickstarter route because the CD is a dead and expensive format where at the end of the process you've got a living room full of discs and no way to get them into stores. There simply isn't enough demand to make it affordable anymore. Digital is quickly taking over. Furthermore there is an ever-shrinking window of time between the release of an album and when you can find it available online as an illegal download. Our last album Fall To Your Knees was released for all of a week before it was on five different websites as an illegal download. People mostly just want to put it on their iPod anyway so I figure the temptation to get an album for free trumps buying a CD online or using a credit card for mp3 downloads, especially if the album is sold from a country different than the buyer's. Also, most teens don't have a credit card in the first place so unless they beg the parents, they will steal it online. It's just simpler.
One night recently we were brainstorming about what we could do to actually SELL albums. We arrived at the conclusion that it would be cool to release something that couldn't be easily downloaded if you wanted the full package, kinda like you can't download a t-shirt. Turntables are making a comeback so vinyl seems like the way to go. A vinyl LP is large with easily admirable artwork that you can frame and hang on the wall like a painting. Give everyone who buys the album a code to download it digitally as well and you've hopefully got a product people want to buy. It will be available to buy on iTunes and all those other digital websites for the folks who don't care to own a collectible vinyl album, so nobody gets left out in the cold. It'll certainly be online for free, illegally, soon after release. That much is inevitable. Hopefully with vinyl we'll have a product that will sell despite the album's illegal digital availability.
The harsh reality is that we don't have the financial means to achieve this any other way than through something like Kickstarter. We have absolutely no backup plan at all beyond eventually saving our money until we can afford to record the album and release it digital-only. Frankly, there's no telling when we could even make that much happen. So, in a way we are at the mercy of our fans. All we can do is state our case honestly and keep our fingers crossed, hopefully enough people want to be a part of this to make it a reality.
H-P: At this writing, how close are you to your goal?
WH: We are 36% funded with 40 days to go. A total of $2,167 has been raised in the first 20 days since launch. I am very confident that we’re going all the way with this thing.
*editor note, they are almost at 50% as of 7/7/12
MEAT: Even 5$ counts, and is just as important as people who have donated hundreds! go donate anything you can!
ZERO: Every little bit helps, right now we need to average around $100 per day for the rest of campaign time to hit goal. Fingers crossed.
H-P: What are some of the goodies a donor will recieve for his /her pledge?
WH: $5 gets you a mention in the liner notes + a digital copy of the record before it released to the public. $25 gets you a DMD merch pack with stickers, buttons, patches and other assorted goodies all with brand spankin’ new designs created by our artist, Jeana Marie, in addition to the mention in the liner notes and the digital album, you also get a handwritten thank you letter from the band. $50 gets you all of that + a brand new copy of the album pressed on 12” multi-color limited edition vinyl, the front of it will be signed out to you personally by all members of DMD. $100 gets you everything I mentioned plus you get one photo of yourself covered in blood included in the actual artwork of the vinyl LP itself (either on the insert or the back of the album). $200 gets you everything we’re offering plus you get one photo of you covered in blood on the COVER of our LP. That’s right. The cover itself. No band has ever tried that before! So we’re trying to offer the most unique rewards we can for the money.
H-P: Now, you really haven't ventured too far from SLC (and yet have a world wide following), do you plan to tour to support the album?
WH: We would absolutely love to. And there has been talk about it. However, we aren’t on a major label and we don’t have any tour support. We’re also all completely broke (which is why we launched Kickstarter), so in order to make a tour happen we would need to crowd fund that in addition to the new album. A concept I’m sure we will implement if we are successful with our current campaign.
MEAT: Like WindHawk said, money is very tight, and with the state of music the way it is, Its more difficult than ever.
ZERO: I'd love to do it but there's a lot of logistics involved. Reliable vehicle, enough extra money to pay for the tour because you can't rely on guarantees and selling merch, extra money to keep the bills paid so you ain't homeless when it's over. Realistically we may do a couple shows out-of-state yet close to home and see how it goes from there. If we exceed the Kickstarter goal the extra funds could definitely be put to use to tour a bit.
If there's any tour organizers out there who'd like to help us with this, or venues willing to guarantee enough to make the trip feasible, please don't hesitate to call!
H-P: Do you plan to shoot a video for the album?
WH: Hell yes, we intend to shoot as much video as we possibly can for this record. That includes footage of us in the studio recording the LP.
MEAT: If I have it my way we will have MANY videos for the new album. Visual promotion for the band and the album is the way to go.
ZERO: I wouldn't be surprised to see some live videos for a couple of the new songs before long. We've worked two new songs into our live set here recently. I'm sure we'll film a studio video just as soon as there are studio tracks. I've been toying with the concept of a video series call Drinking Beer With Zero where you'd drink beer along with a video I'd put up on YouTube. Maybe stick a drinking game in there where you take a chug when you hear a certain word or phrase.
H-P: Zero, You have a unique style of singing, who are some of you influences?
ZERO: It may seem cliche since I'm in a horror punk band but I love all three Misfits vocalists: Danzig, Jerry and Graves. It was incredibly inspiring to me when the Misfits made their comeback with American Psycho, especially in a climate like the 90s when horror punk wasn't exactly popular, it seemed to me as though they were gonna do what they loved and damn the torpedoes.
Peter Steele was great too, so powerful, deep and sexual.
GG Allin, he was a HUGE influence throughout the existence of Casa Diablo and beyond. He was the ultimate uncontrollable free spirit and I thought his final album Brutality and Bloodshed For All was his best work ever. He totally inspired my growly voice.
Lemmy from Motorhead, 'nuff said. Tom G. Warrior from Celtic Frost, Quorthon from Bathory, Adam Ant, Joan Jett, Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks, Gene Simmons, Bon Scott, Mick Jagger, all four Beatles- McCartney, Ringo, Lennon & Harrison, Iggy Pop, Lux Interior, Joey Ramone, James Hetfield before he became a wanker, Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb who understood harmonies better than anyone on the planet, and of course Alice-Fucking-Cooper. He laid the musical foundation for me personally, everything else followed.
H-P: Zero, you recently took over guitar duties, then switched to bass. That's gotta be quite different performing after all these years lurking on the stage, do you find it more difficult to perform to the calibur that your fans are used to?
ZERO: Zero goes where he's needed. I started this band as the sole guitarist, switched to rhythm guitar when LaVerne joined then later set it down while onstage in order to better work the crowd. I played rhythm guitar live sporadically through Mercury Rising's tour of duty,which saw the birth of our biggest onstage productions, then was the sole guitarist once again after Mercury was killed in that terrible dune buggy accident. LaVerne returned and I once again set down the axe in favor of being a mobile frontman, then picked it up AGAIN after he exited for the 3rd or 4th time.
I've never been the official Diemonsterdie bassist however. I picked it up this year when personal commitments made it impossible for Stikky to bass it up full-time, and I've gotten quite good at playing bass while singing. But it has never been intended to be a permanent thing. We always known he'd be returning eventually. Like I said, Zero goes where he's needed.
Bass is a much different animal than guitar and playing either while singing is challenging, but with the stripped-down stage show we do currently I'm certainly still able to melt faces with a bass in my hands.
H-P: You ghouls are also known for your outrageous stage shows. Can you tell us what to expect when seeing DMD live?
WH: Expect blood. Lots of it. Also be prepared to be deaf for a day after the show. We are well known as being the loudest horrorpunk outfit in Utah as well as the longest lasting.
ZERO: I encourage the ladies to get good and close and to cop a feel at will, Zero don't mind. By the time the album is ready to go I'm hoping to have a new crew of assistants to really bring our theatrical aspect back to life. We've had to strip it back a touch since LaVerne chased the last crew away but it's still blood-drenched shock n' roll no matter how you slice it. I do miss the onstage wedding to the sacrificial bride, the pumpkin king, the glyphs and their onstage mayhem as well as all the help with the cool props and lighting. I swear, when you get a couple truly dedicated people who love bringing that stuff to life it makes for a fantastic show.
STIKKI: you can expect me whipping my lovely
locks of midnight black hair all up in YO FACE! Oh, and lots of blood!
H-P: Now for the gear heads out there, what are your weapons of choice?
WH: I play a black Gibson Les Paul Studio out of a Marshall amplifier / half cab with 4 300 watt Celestion speakers. I use Monster Cables, Dunlop Strap Locks, DR strings, Monster picks and a Jekyll and Hyde distortion / overdrive combo pedal.
MEAT: I play a 4 peice Sonor Kit, DW3000 double bass pedals, Zildjian Hi Hats and 22" Zildjian ride Vater Drumsticks... and thats it.
ZERO: My main axes are a black n' red BC Rich Virgo with a Dimebucker pickup and a green clear acrylic BC Rich Mockingbird, I also have a fairly old Les Paul Studio. My bass is an ESP ltd B-204 4-string. My guitar amp is a Marshall Mode Four Guitar Amplifier Half Stack with MF350 Head and MF400 Cabinet. I totally can't remember the brand of my bass head other than it's a trooper that been serving faithfully for about 10 years and it's like 300 watts. Right now it's powering our "PA" (quote marks are intentional). I use unbreakable light gray Jim Dunlop 60mm picks and Ernie Ball strings that come in the bright green package. I have a Line 6 effects processor/footboard that currently needs a power supply. I use cords and straps and I'm not picky about bass strings but most likely they are also Ernie Balls.
STIKKI: Well I always have my MP9c on my hip, oh wait… I roll with a Washburn bass pumping through a GK 300watt amp and two GK backline 4x10's with a little extra push from a SansAmp Bass Driver.
H-P: Stikki, you've been on hiatus for a little bit to raise your child (congrats by the way) and doing school due to scheduling conflicts. Are ya itching to get back to the stage?
STIKKI: I had to take some personal time to help out with the new baby and get my class schedule straightened out. It's been too long since I've been on stage with the monsters. I can't wait to get back up there and do what I do best do what I love; have fun playing bass! I need to play music. it's the finishing puzzle piece to me!
H-P: When can fans expect your triumphant return?
STIKKI: Triumphant return aye? haha Tonight Friday the 13th is my first show back and in full effect!
H-P: Do find it hard to a juggle family, school and the band?
STIKKI: It can be a little crazy trying to get in enough family time so the wife and kids aren't neglected, but then make sure my ass is in class. with my schedule last semester I had class on both our practice days and it was super hard on me not being able to jam with the guys, but this semester is a little more freed up and my Wednesdays nights are for practice.
H-P: Mr. Diablo, besides the band, you are the 2nd half of Corpse Cast with Mike Cadaver, can you tell us what it's about and where one can hear it?
MEAT: yes indeed! Basically it is a weekly Horror Podcast where Mike and I feature One music album (usually picked by me) and One horror movie (usually picked by Mike) we focus alot of the movies in the oldscholl, but really anything goes. we sit around and bullshit for about 2 or 3 hours, then post it up. haha.. we have some exciting projects coming up, we cant talk about just yet, but yeah.. just the two dudes talking Horror. people can subscribe on Itunes or Stitcher or can go to the site direct at www.corpsecast.com
H-P: You also own and run Dr. Cyclops Records. Can you tell us about that and where one can purchase your releases?
MEAT: YES the'ol Dr Cyclops Records, we still have a very limited amount of CD's but let's face it, the way people get their music has changed and the days of CD are dead.. we have turned to Digital Distribution, and we carry ANY horror bands that are A)Serious about what they do B)have a professional recording of their album and C)are HORROR related.. we ditribute to 600 retails websites in 60 countries worldwide, and all the majors Itunes ,Amazon, and even Spotify.. we have several bands from Horror Punks on here including Gypsy Blak, Hellfire Sox, and YOU Marquis hahaha THE OTHER!
H-P: How long have you been playing and do you have any advise to anyone starting out on the drums?
MEAT: I would say, start slow, stay consistant, people that want to learn to play an instrument do. They just feel the NEED, they dont tinker with it but practice is a MUST even it is with your favorite Ramones album.
H-P: What does DMD do when their not perfoming bloody rituals of horror? Do you ghouls have any hobbies or skills outside of music?
WH: I am a makeup FX artist and actor / entertainer for the Castle of Chaos Haunted Attraction in SLC, which was named Best in Utah 2010 by City Weekly. We also won the Haunting Utah’s People’s Choice award for Best Haunted House last year. Other hobbies I have include growing and maintaining my pumpkin patch, sketching, working on my house, etc. I take care of my two step children. I watch a lot of horror flicks. I can also walk, run and do tricks on jumping stilts. Not kidding. haha.
MEAT: horror movies, beer, masturbate or try to have sex with ladies willing to have sex...for free.
ZERO: I am Zero, ruler of the mole people and a celebrated ice road trucker. People have said that my skill playing the french horn is unsurpassed and it aids me greatly in relaxing after a busy day restoring priceless renaissance paintings. Growing up in the forbidden city of Kun-Laa has permanently infused my tissues with the aroma of toasted coconut on a warm tropical breeze.
I also enjoy video games, especially Minecraft. I can build a functioning computer from a pile of components. I have a dog, a bird, 2 gerbils and 2 cats. I am familiar with building a VW Baja Bug from the ground up. I have been known to ride a bicycle. I can jailbreak your iPhone. I beg your pardon but I enjoy tending to my rose garden.
STIKKI: I am the king of my domain, I'm a home body and only go out if I absolutely have to because of always being so busy. So not many outdoor hobbies but I love to cook. I can get down and whip you up a nice little feast. I spend a fair amount of time playing video games and hanging out with the family.
H-P: What is your take on the current state of the music industry?
WH: The music industry is a dinosaur that is being laid to rest. CD’s are obsolete. And now with platforms such as Kickstarter, the power is being put back in the hands of the people who deserve creative control: the artists themselves. As a band who also runs a fully independent digital distribution record label, Dr. Cyclops Records, we are on the same playing field as the major labels are. Our music is available at all of the same hundreds of sites where you can download the major label’s junk, like Rihanna and whatnot...this gives us an edge. We can do whatever the fuck we want and our vision will never be anything less than what WE want. That is truly something special. The future of music is in fan funded records. That much is very clear to me and is the main reason we came up with the launch of a Kickstarter page.
MEAT: For me it is sad to watch it all change, but exciting that bands who would have had no chance to self promote can do it via Youtube and all the other channels.
ZERO: The old ways are nearly dead but while I'm fondly nostalgic as a music fan, I find the new order is better as a musician. Having been ignored and rejected by every label we've ever approached has at least had the positive effect of allowing Diemonsterdie to always do exactly what we've wanted to do musically. The only limitation has forever been financial. Every single album has been nothing but the band's vision within the confines of a budget.
Digital sales are on the rise and CDs are deader than Nixon which has opened doors for bands who don't insist on having physical copies of their albums. Digital distribution is far easier to secure than physical distro and has far less overhead so a digital company is will to take more risks with what bands they may deal with. Money once spent on making and shipping discs can now be spent on promotion so that's a good thing.
I'd say the industry's biggest challenge now is finding a way to deal with digital piracy without turning the internet into a government-dictated nazi shithole. What everyone needs to acknowledge is that people steal far more than they could ever purchase and that life is way more expensive than it was during the golden days huge music sales profits. Young people especially don't have enough disposable income to blow fifteen bucks per album so naturally if that's what shit costs, they will just buy less shit. Turn the internet off tomorrow and album sales from retail stores are going to remain disappointing.
H-P: Are there any current bands that "Rock Your Grave"?
WH: I’m listening to a lot of Skinny Puppy at the moment. I also am really digging Jamey Rottencorpse, Shriek, Dr. Spookenstein and The Other (their new record is incredible, go pick it up - I LOVE it). Recently I also got a three track demo in the mail from my friend Christina, who fronts an Italian horrorpunk band called Dirty Danzig. I’m really digging their sound. I love female horror singers.
MEAT: Jamey Rottencorpse is on Dr Cyclops Digital by the way haha, I have been listening to all sorts of stuff Mastodon and such I think GHOST has really excitied me lately.
ZERO: I'm liking Ghost, the new Misfits album, The Black Angels, Joan Jett's album "Sinner", The new Van Halen album was good, Danzig's "Deth Red Sabaoth", Volbeat, Cobra (from Japan), Tom G. Warrior's new band Triptykon, the fellow from Immortal has a band named I who are real good, Crimson Ghosts and The Other. I could go on but my tastes are all over the map and who wants to read a list of 300 bands?
STIKKI: I listen to pretty much everything, but one of my all time favorite bands is The Black Dahlia Murder. Fucking love them so much I named my daughter after the band. I've been listening to Electric Wizard, Mose Giganticus, Sahg, Ghost, and on occasion some Dubstep and Nerdcore. The list goes on for days.
H-P: Whats currently in your CD/MP3/Record player?
WH: Rabies by Skinny Puppy, The Devils You Know by The Other, October Rust by Type O, Horror Vibes From Nowhere demo by Dirty Danzig.
MEAT: Just finished listening to Volbeat Beyond Hell/Above Heaven - The Rosedales - Raise Your Spirits and The 69 eyes - Back In Blood
ZERO: KISS- Ikons, The Other- The Devils You Know, Misfits- The Devil's Rain, Cee Lo Green- The Lady Killer, Black Sabbath- Born Again, Ghost- Opus Eponymous, Diemonsterdie- What Is Shall Always Be, AC/DC- Powerage, Cobra- Captain Nippon, Joan Jett- Sinner, Anti-Nowhere League- Kings and Queens. I set the iPod to randomize at work quite a bit too.
STIKKI: I carry my iPod with me everywhere filled to almost max capacity with 145.48 gigs of music. I like to put it on shuffle and take it as it comes… ha, take it, comes… NM
H-P: Where can people find out more about DMD and where can we score your music?
WH: Find us online at diemonsterdie.com, facebook.com/graveyardshocknroll. You can purchase any of our 7 studio albums online at hundreds of download sites. We’re on all the major ones, amazon.com, eMusic, iTunes, etc...
ZERO: We have our latest album Fall To Your Knees available officially for free download on diemonsterdie.com and you just need to click the "music" button at the top of the page. You can listen to all of our albums for free on Spotify.
H-P: What next for DMD?
MEAT: The sky's the limit, who know's... maybe a 300,000,000 view viral video on youtube which sells a million download on itunes, and we can come visit all the folks we have wanted to see all over the world.
ZERO: We have a gig on Friday the 13th of July, after that it's keep our fingers crossed on the Kickstarter project and continue writing songs for the new album. You never know, new merch has a way of popping up unexpectedly out of nowhere so there may be some new T-shirt designs soon. Keep your eyes peeled for new videos on YouTube too.
H-P: Is there a secret to your longevity?
WH: Never quit doing what you love. Life has no purpose otherwise.
MEAT: Tolerating each other, it's like being in a relationship ya gotta go through the rough times and enjoy the goodtimes, but never give up on your fellow partners in Crime.
ZERO: My secret to longevity is roll with the punches, take a few days to mull shit over before speaking out and of course never quit the band. Nothing ends a band's longevity like quitting the band.
STIKKI: Love what you do and be don't be an asshole to your band mates. Nothing worse than bad blood.
H-P: Any advice to anyone just starting a band?
WH: Be prepared for a lot of people shitting on what you do. Learn to not care about that. Just practice, stay true to yourself and keep writing. If you want it bad enough, nothing else matters. Do it for the love of rock n’ roll, cause there’s not a dime to be made from it, let me tell ya.
MEAT: Work hard, be creative in every avenue, musically, visually... Because that is where we are in this day and age.
ZERO: (A) Beware the slot-fucking. (B) keep the songs short- less is more. (C) a guarantee is usually anything but. (D) never pay to play- it's bad enough when they want you to pre-sell tickets and hand them all the money for your efforts. (E) If you suspect a bandmate is a flake, you're probably right. (F) The show must go on- honor your commitments. (G) Get an education. (H) Touring is expensive, don't think you'll just live on all that gig money. (I) Don't spend any money you can't afford to lose- it's like going to Las Vegas (J) Never leave any gear in the vehicle and don't let anything out of your sight, it takes 5 seconds to walk off with a guitar case and 15 seconds to break into a "secure" trailer.
STIKKI: find like minded individuals who are in it because it's what they love to do, Play Music
H-P: Any final words?
WH: To our fans, we love you guys. Thank you so much for the outpour of support, love, memories and Kickstarter donations. It means more to me than I can ever say. You are the future of horrorpunk. Never forget that. The fate of our record is in your hands. So don’t hesitate to head over to our Kickstarter. $5 makes you a part of our legacy forever. Thank you, everyone. Stay Bloody!
MEAT: I Love you Markiss and Donate, FEEL great, help some ole' horror punks out... It means the world to us. ROCK.
ZERO: I regret nothing. I'm a sociopath.
STIKKI: Thank you all for your support and love, it's what keeps us keeping on.
H-P: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us...
WH: No problem, thanks for the interview. It was fun! You fellas at Horror-Punks do a great job, I really appreciate what you’ve been doing for us.
MEAT: Thanks Marquis.
Visit DIEMONSTERDIE online: facebook.com/graveyardshocknroll