lundi 6 juin 2011

The VON DOOMS : Interview (2003) ENGLISH VERSION

Born in 1999, the VON DOOMS are an excellent and very promishing Horror Punk Rock band from the USA, combining both originality, power, energy, eerie atmospheres, literary references, and interesting inspirations.
Amongst others, their musical influences include

In exclusivity for WARDANCE,
here's an interview with Destro Von Doom
by Hans Wehrwolf (Hans Cany),
made on december the 22nd 2003
Hell-o, Destro ! Can you present the band to WARDANCE readers ?
In a dark, ancient graveyard, overgrown with strange vines and forgotten by man, a hideous chorus of chimes erupts, heralding the arrival of Hour 13...Bathed in an eerie ultraviolet light, the air charged with the smell of ozone, the Tri-Lobed Burning eye forces it's way into our world once more, and infuses a long dead man with unholy cosmic energy… And a mission-To open the way for the Old Ones to enter into our dimension once more, so that they might wreak havoc and bring chaos and degradation to the worlds that were once theirs…
The band's name seems to make reference to famous Doctor Von Doom, from the "Fantastic Four" comics, is it right ?... Being myself a big fan of the FF, I just wondered : why did you choose this name ? And in general, is Marvel universe one of your main inspiration sources ?
Dr. Doom was always one of my favorite villains as a kid (and as an adult too!). I like the way hs uses both science and sorcery, and he's always been more than just a standard villain. Yeah, I used to love Marvel comics. I dont' really like the direction they've gone in since the late 80s though. I love all of the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby work. The comics that have had the most impact on the Von Dooms are old E.C. comics, and stuff like "Creepy" and "Eerie".
Dr Von Doom
Contrary to so many other "Horror Punk" bands, the VON DOOMS don't just sound like ordinary MISFITS copyists, but have their own fast, powerful and especially aggressive style. Please let us know more about your various other influences, and give us more details about your musical orientation !
I've tried really hard to go beyond all of the Misfits copycat stuff. There's no doubt that pretty much every horror band owes a debt of gratitude to them, but there are a lot of other good horror bands to draw from. I think that like you say, the VON DOOMS have a more aggressive sound, and also maybe a bit more experimental of a sound. It's still Horror Punk, but I use a lot of phased guitar leads and other effects, probably more than the average Punk band. I basically just try to make the music as creepy as possible while still keeping it fun and rock' n' roll. I'd have to say that the music of FORBIDDEN DIMENSION and COLOR ME PSYCHO have been huge influences, also ROKY ERICKSON and SCREAMING LORD SUTCH.
Destro Von Doom
Let's talk about the band's dark imagery and about the content of your lyrics, now. Needless to say that almost all your texts deal with horror topics, but can you please just give us a more precise idea ?...
I get most of my ideas from old horror books and comics. For the most part I stay away from the b-movie thing, mostly because it's been done to death. I will do a song on a movie every once in awhile though, if it really gets to me. Sometimes I'll just be looking through an old horror comic and come across a phrase or picture that will inspire me..Like for "Time Out From My Tomb", that's from an EC comic. I like it to be something scary, but also something that is maybe a play on words, or has a double meaning or some kind of joke to it. I don't like to get too serious or too humorous, there's a good mix of both I'm usually going for. It's a black humor type of thing. Even when I do a completely serious song, I'll try to add some kind of little inside joke for people to pick up on. Topics are about anything that creeps, crawls or slides...
Still about your lyrics, you often seem to make reference to Poe's and Lovecraft's writings, my two favorite authors ever. Do you really have a strong interest in their works ?...
Oh yeah, Lovecraft is my all time favorite writer! I've done a number of songs either based on or inspired by his stories, stuff like "Crawling Chaos", "De Vermis Mysteriis", "Miskatonic Massacre", etc. I've always been very interested in his vision of cosmic horror. I also really like many of Lovecraft's contemporaries, like Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith. They have been huge influences as well. All of the "Weird Fiction" writers, really. Edgar Allen Poe is definitely an influence too.
H.P. Lovecraft
How, when, and why did you get into Punk Rock ? Why did you feel more attracted by this style and way of being rather than by another one ?...
I first got into punk when I was about 17 years old, around 93-94. A friend of mine was going to military school, and when he came home on leave he had a copy of MISFITS Collection 1. We got really into that, and started tracking down all of their releases, and all of the SAMHAIN stuff. From there I branched out into the RAMONES , BLACK FLAG, THE DAMNED, and all of the other great old school Punk bands. I'm probably attracted to punk just for the sense of fun and energy it has. It's just something that outsiders and loners have always been attracted to.
Nowadays, a lot of new bands playing more or less "poppy"/"grungy" music and other mainstream stuff, are often labelled as "Punk", as strange as it may seem sometimes... Most of the time, they don't even have the attitude and state of mind who are supposed to be associated with Punk as a philosophy...What's your opinion about this mass phenomenon ?...
It's upsetting, but I just try to ignore it for the most part. It's just a trend for a lot of people, and when the next big thing comes along they will all be gone. You just have to wait it out. Most of the popular fakepunk bands don't really play punk anyway, it's just poppy crap, stuff like SUM 41 and BLINK 182. It's especially bad in the usa, because we have this chain of stores called Hot Topic that cater to this "mall punk" mentallity.
Francis Von Doom
In 1976, '77, '78 and so on, Punk Rock had a very bad reputation in the USA, and was even considered by the american authorities as a real threat to society... Is it still true nowadays ?... Does it have any effect on your daily life ?
I guess that it still has a bad rep, but a lot of the mainstream bands (see above) have watered it down a lot. It's become much more acceptable to have lots of tattoos and piercings now. I don't know whether that's a good or bad thing. I don't think it has too much of an effect on my life. There will always be the occasional person who will try to give you shit about it, but that's part of the price you pay for being different.
So far, your recordings are usually produced by VALIANT DEATH RECORDS, aren't they ? How and why did you decide to sign on this label ?
My first release , "...From Beyond ", was on a label called REANIMATOR RECORDS, an all Horror Punk label based in Ann Arbor , Michigain. They were really great, but they decided to call it quits eventually. Around that time I had completed the "I'll Be Lurking For You" CD, and started looking around for a new label to release it. I just happened across VALIANT DEATH , and luckilly they accepted me into their ranks. Since then besides the "Lurking" CD, they've also let me put together a horror compilation CD called "Weird Fiction". They have been really great to work with. They focus on a wide variety of music, everything from political punk to horror punk.
Do you often play gigs ? Did you ever play with some "big" or well-known bands ?... And did you ever play outside the US ?...
Nah, not really. When the VON DOOMS first started we did shows occasionally, but now it's more of a studio band. I've been playing every instrument myself on the recordings for awhile now since Francis Von Doom left the band. This might be changing in 2004 though, because I've been wanting to start playing out again and I've got some new members lined up. Unfortunately all of the bands I'd really like to play with are either dead or broken up !
You're currently working on a new split 7" with another band called MONSTER A GOGO, aren't you ? Please let us know more about them, and let us know more about the VON DOOMS side of this split record !
MONSTER A GO-GO is a really great new band to the horror punk genre. They have another 7 inch coming out soon called I "Drink Your Blood", everybody should check it out. I think the Von Dooms goes really well with them, because like us they focus on making the music spooky, but still very punk. The split will have 3 songs from each band. I only have one song for it done so far, it's called "Make Them Die Slowly". It's one of the rare times I've written a song based on a movie, it's based on an old Italian Cannibal film called "Cannibal Ferox".
What are your main aspirations for 2004 ?...
Once the split 7 inch is done, I'll probably start getting songs together for a new CD, but that probably won't be done til 2005 though. Aside from that I'd like to play a few shows this year, since I've been so slack about it for the last few years. And of course to release the tri-lobed burning eye upon the earth.
Thanks a lot for this interview ! A last word , maybe ?...
I'd just like to say thanks to everybody who has supported the Von Dooms over the years. I love to get mail and I always give out free stickers and pins, so write me ! Also please support VALIANT DEATH Records ! :

...Everybody remember, keep a corpse in your coffins, and your shovel in the ground !!

Destro Von Doom
-"...From Beyond" Cassette (8 tracks)
-"Demos from the Dead" CD (25 tracks)
-"I'll be lurking for You" CD (11 tracks)

-"Eerie Midnight Horror Show"-split CD
-"Mission Creep" #2-comp
-"A Speck of Dirt Like Death"-comp
-"Blood and Guts Records Horror Punk comp"
-"Valiant Death Records Sampler"
Von Dooms
210 Norwood Dr.
Colonial Heights VA 23834
E-Mail :

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