Originally Posted on: July 13th, 2012
Marquis took a visit to Baltimore recently to see Poe's grave when he spotted the ever elusive (and rather busy) Matt Pathetic, founder and mastermind behind of the Ghouls Night Fest. After a lengthy chase, He mananged to tackle him down and squeeze a few words out of him before he was off again. Here's what he had to say about the GNO fest, his forthcoming record lable and one of his favorite moments from past GNO fests....
H-P: First off, why don't ya tell us a little bit about yourself.
MATT: I'm Matt Pathetic, I have AIDS a life threatening disease that eats at my very existence daily. Or that's what the stickers say at least. Just your average run of the mill guy that sits around the house bitching about having 700 channels of TV yet somehow there's never anything to watch. What's up with that?! I also do that Ghouls Night Out Fest that horror-punks.com seems to be talking about a lot these days.
H-P: Now your the mastermind behind Ghouls Night Out Fest. What made you decide to put on something like this 10 years ago?
MATT: Basically I was in New York City at the very first show for the Misfits 25th anniversary show, the new'Fits at that time had broken up and to "celebrate" Jerry decided he was going parade around with former members of the band, and former members of other bands and make all these great songs sound like garbage. The Misfits used to be one of those bands that I held close to my heart, now I kind resent what they've become. It's a parody, and I know there's those who say the new 'Fits where a parody as well that being said though, at least there was some sort of coherrence of a band there. Not this hodge podge horsecrap with Dez and whatever drummer they have this week. I stood there watching this carnival of disaster unfolding in front of my eyes and I was just like, you know there's like 25 bands I can rattle off in my head that play this style of music and are probably a lot more honest about playing this style of music then these ass clowns, so what if I put them all in one place at one time? So that's what I did. Originally the format to GNO was just a music fest for all styles of music with a very obvious highlight of horror rock bands. But it grew from it's conceptual year and morphed into an entire horror rock show.
H-P: Who were some of the bands at the first 'GNO'?
MATT: The first year was: The Independents, Psychocharger, Mister Monster, The Dead Kings, Blitzkid, Anarchaos, The Beatdowns, The Decayed Youth and Dead Speed
H-P: How many 'GNO' Fests have there been?
MATT: There have been 3 previous GNO Fests, it ran from 2001 until 2003 as an annual event. While this year is called GNO X, it's most definitely not the tenth one just basically the 10th anniversary of the original triolgy.
H-P: What made you decide to bring it back after a long hiatus?
MATT: There were a lot of things that played into that decision. After I did this show for 3 years, a similar festival popped up and kind of stole my thunder so to speak. I was also burned out from GNO it takes a lot of work, phone calls, emails, and determination to pull it off. I was 23 at the time and not only had I become disillusioned by that festival basically copying what I did but I felt kind of betrayed that the fans that year all decided that was the festival they had to go to. So I was like you know what? To hell with it. I want to go be a 23 year old kid, not worry about all this crap, if someone can do my idea better then me then more power to them go ahead. In hindsight, I should have just stuck it out and kept going because the following year that same festival basically fell the fuck apart. Who knows where GNO would be today had I never gave up on it. I had offers in from Bella Morte and the Genitorturers asking me if they could play rather then me having to ask bands to play. But I threw the towel in, and walked away. Which on the flipside of things was probably best for my sanity, having not done a GNO since 2003 I'm reminded daily as to why I stopped doing it in the first place. The amount of work that goes into it on a daily level is something I can't even convey in words. But I'm older and wiser, and in it's absence GNO kind of grew to almost a cult like legendary status that I wasn't even aware of. I had NO CLUE this many people knew about the old ones, and for those that were there regarded it so highly. So that means a lot to me, that being said as long as the fans are there and the support for the show is there on a year to year basis it's back from here on out (until the next copycat festival pops up and I say to hell with it).
H-P: What can fans expect at this years 'GNO' Fest?
MATT: The chance to see the FINAL U.S. performance of Blitzkid, and see a slew of other great horror rock bands in the process as well as be surrounded by like minded people. Just an all around good experience
H-P: Is there anyone your looking forward to seeing?
MATT: Friends and people I haven't seen in a long time that to me personally means more then the show itself.
H-P: Can you share any highlights from your past 'GNO' fests?
MATT: We did Doctor Chud's X-ward debut show back at GNO3, that was pretty cool. GNO'01 was the first time Mister Monster met Blitzkid that kicked off that entire relationship. There's just so many cool little stories from GNO and it means something different to each different individual, those are the stories I like hearing.
H-P: Now, advance tickets are sold out. Will there be tickets available day of show?
MATT: Absolutely, I'm not sure the exact number that will be released the day of there's been talk of only about 25-30 tickets the day of, but there's also been numbers mentioned a lot larger then that. It's basically dingbatz call and what they're comfortable with, so if you want tickets the day of I suggest you get your ass to the door at noon. I'm not promising how many tickets will be released until I know for sure the morning of.
H-P: You also just announced a 'GNO Kick Off Party' the night before the big event. Can you give us some details about that?
MATT: When we were setting up GNO this year, JV Bastard had the idea to have the Doomsday Prophecy (his metal project) play the night before GNO for all the fans coming in from out of town to check out. This was before he officially became part of the Blitzkid final tour line up, after that happened I still liked the idea of having a smaller show the night before for the people who were getting to town early. We had a few bands in mind for the show but nothing fully fleshed out. So basically as the time grew closer the more I wanted to do this show and really began looking for a venue to do it at. Once that was secured I needed a headliner for the show. There were a few bands I had in mind but I kept basically turning over rocks and not being able to find any band willing to do it. I was running out of options and ideas fast. Then I was sitting in front of my computer at like 3 in the morning looking at horror-punks.com and was like hey wait a second, isn't the guy that runs this website the old bass player from Lugosi's Morphine? I started putting two and two together and was like well shit I haven't heard these guys in a few years. I also know The Casket Creatures, my boys from down south (INFLATABLE SHARK CREW) who have had my back on this project and been by my side every step of the way covered the Lugosi's Morphine song "Graves" so I hit them up and asked them what they thought of the idea. Basically everyone thought it was great, a few emails later next thing I know there's a Lugosi's Morphine reunion going on and I couldn't be happier that it's happening under the GNO umbrella.
H-P: Will there be advance tickets for that event?
MATT: No tickets just walk up to the door the night of the show at the Blue Room Lounge in Secaucus NJ, it's 10 bucks and 21 and up.
H-P: Now, your also releasing a compilation that's only available at the fest. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
MATT: Back at GNO 2 I released 'Songs To Murder That Special Someone To' on Celibate Records, it basically was a compilation that featured bands on the show that year, bands from the previous year, and bands that couldn't play the show but I felt were part of what GNO represented. This year for the tenth anniversary I thought it would be cool to do a sequel to the original comp cd and call it Songs To Murder That Special Someone 2. I had always had the idea to do a sequel to the comp but never got around to doing it, so I figured when else is a better time then now? The new one has a LOT of exclusive material on it. I'm going to let some of the tracks remain a surprise for the folks at the show so there's a little more intrigue to the cd itself. It definitely features a lot of the bands on the show, but there's a few surprises in there too. It's good stuff and can't wait to see what people think about it.
H-P: You recently announced that your starting your own record lable. Care to elaborate?
MATT: I decided through this process of putting the comp together this year, that yeah there's been labels that have done this before catered to this genre of music. But my goal isn't to bring together some superstar roster of talent, my goal with this label is to give the bands that don't get the exposure they need to have just that. We already know the bands who are at the top of this genre, but the bands that are upcoming that will make up the next generation are the bands that need someone to support them. So that's my plans with the label. Obviously as previously announced, Boneyard is the first band that will be releasing an album on GNO Records. They will be re-releasing an all new re-recorded version of their debut album from 2004 called Back To Coney and an EP titled Sometimes They Come Back. Good stuff that I hope the horror scene gets behind and supports.
H-P: Do you think it's a bit risky with the decline of the music industry and the CD format as a whole?
MATT: Not really I mean to some degree I completely understand this question at the same time though the fans of this style of music are collectors. At the end of the day there's a target audience for anything, the important thing is to get your music out there. it will end up on the internet anyway so for people to hear it is what's important. I'm not doing this label with the intention of getting rich or survive off of it. i'm very much grounded in reality and work a full time job, this is something I'm doing because I believe in it not for profit.
H-P: Speaking of which, how do you feel about the current state of the music industry?
MATT: The state of the music industry is the same as it always has been, they (the major labels) find some young bullshit popstar play their song into the ground 5 billion times a day. It's what they do, you want real music you gotta look below the surface.
H-P: Are there any bands that currently "Rock your world"?
MATT: Having been involved in the punk rock scene since I was 14 years old there are a TON of bands that influence me on the daily. I listen to a lot of everything and find influence in many facets and genres of music. I can go from country to rap in the span of 3 seconds and everything in between. I think anybody whether they like a certain style of music should at least give it a chance. I went and saw Deadmau5 a year or so ago, while I'm not really into what he does musically his show was phenomenal and I really impressed with the fact that there's this one guy on stage, who doesn't talk, doesn't sing, doesn't play an instrument but through mere hand gestures and body language captivated an entire audience and entertained them for well over an hour and a half. I dig stuff like that, it makes me apperciate his "art". And while I think his music isn't something I'd run out and listen to, I still gotta respect him for doing what he likes doing.
H-P: Have any advice to anyone who might want to hold their own event?
MATT: Get ready to be called PURCHASER. This shit isn't for everyone, don't have the illusion you're going to get rich doing it. Chances are you're going to put in more then you get back.
H-P: What currently in your CD/mp3/record player?
MATT: Blood For Blood, Jedi Mind Tricks, Swollen Members, Wisdom In Chains, Darrow Chemical Company, The Doomsday Prophecy, Cock Sparrer, Negative Approach, Merle Haggard, Death Before Dishonor,The Flat Tires, Motorhead, The Adicts, and Gwar are always in regular rotation when I'm doing stuff.
H-P: Any final words?
MATT: This one is for my boy Derek Obscura "SOMEBODY CALL MY MAMA"
H-P: Thanks for taking the time and we here at H-P wish you much success with 'GNO' fest and all of your endevours.
MATT: Thanks to horror-punks for supporting this show and taking time to have interest in what I'm doing. I do this show for people like you guys who appreciate it! For all the fiends worldwide keep believing in GNO and I'll keep doing em!