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Zombie-A-GoGo Interviews

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

7:13 PM - Vexed Youth: What you gonna do when zombies attack?


So, I found myself running the door at the U-turn in Washington D.C. the other weekend. Yeah. Don't ask how I ended up running the door. Sometimes, we find ourselves in the strangest places. Anyway, I am listening to a band called Vexed Youth play and they come out with a zombie song in their set. I'm thinking that it's really cool and then my girlfriend suggested I interview them for ZAGG. So, I followed her advice and here you have it.

~HatefulDisplay


HD: Alright, I suppose I can start by saying I caught your show at the U-Turn last weekend and you guys sounded great. What especially caught my interest was your song about zombies, because that’s my favorite subgenre of horror in both film and literature. So, what bands do you feel Vexed Youth draw most of their influence from?

Jay: I myself started out with minor threat through and through working through DC hardcore with Your State of Alert and Bad Brains. I love all genres of punk basically, but DC hardcore and local shows (Daycare Swindlers, Die Cheerleader Die, The Overprivileged) built what i listen to today.

Jason: Fast, hard, punch you in the face punk music.

HD: Very cool. I'm a fan of Die Cheerleader Die and The Overprivileged myself. Too bad they both split up. What do you feel your greatest accomplishments have been so far as Vexed Youth?

Jay: I guess the show we drove 7 hours down to North Carolina to play with Resilience and The Exploited. We got a huge reaction and both the headlining bands really liked us. tThe first person to buy one of our CDs after our set was Resilience's bassist.

HD: Very cool. I love The Exploited.

Jason: Playing music that people enjoy listening to. Looking out in the crowd and watching people sing all of the words to your songs.

HD: My main reason for the interview is the aptly named, Zombie Song. What was the inspiration behind it?

Jay: Well, I came up with a creepy riff on my guitar and decided it was time to make a creepy song. I got alot of inspiration from flicks shown at a friends local movie night at his house every two weeks called Bloody Tit Night (http://groups.myspace.com/BloodyTitNight). It's open to any and everyone who wants to come.

HD: Sounds like a good time and you have to respect the name.

Jason: The love for the undead.

HD: Do you guys plan on doing any other zombie-related songs in the future? If so, any ideas yet?

Jay: Well as of right now I'm just writing whatever comes to me at the moment, and I haven't had another zombie filled lyric session yet. But, who knows?

Jason: We go over to a good friend of ours' (Robbie) house, to something called BTN (Bloody Tit Night), where we watch all of the cheesiest corny horror movies known to man. So a BTN song is in the making.

HD: What about other horror themes in your music? Anything else in your current songlist or anything else coming out in the future?

Jay: Nothing else really horror related, just kinda violent. I only write what I feel like at the time. Maybe i should go out and watch some more zombie flicks?

HD: That's a great idea. OK. This is for a zombie site, so I’ll have to get back to our favorite subject again. Do you guys like zombie flicks or novels? If so, what are your favorites?

Jay: Zombie flicks for sure. Of course the classic Zombie and all of the Dawn, Day, Night, Return of the Living Dead" series. But we watch alot more than just zombie movies at BTN, like french horror such as Suspiria and German horror such as our beloved Nekromantik I & II.

Jason: Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, and Land of the Dead.

HD: Nice picks. I think Suspiria is Italian though. Don't quote me on that. Any zombie stinkers you’ve seen? Hell, there are plenty of them out there.

Jay: Not thus far.

Jason: House of the Dead, that movie was..... w/ all the flash backs. What were they thinking?

HD: One can never be too sure of what they were thinking when they made that one. Man, I still own it and have watched it a few times. Alrighty then, back to the band to tie this up. Do you guys have any big events coming up?

Jay: We have a big show at the U-turn with 3 other bands on our label and another show like that down in North Carolina. Also, we have a show coming up in New York. so things are picking up.

Jason: We are playing a huge show in New York (thanks to Howie) on the 29th. And we are planning a tour to Colorado over the spring hopefully.

HD: Finally, where can a person get some Vexed Youth merchandise or hear your music if they’re interested?

Jay: Soon we will have merch available at http://www.powerpill.cjb.net through our good friend howie. but for now you can snail mail us for merch. get the contact info through our myspace at http://www.myspace.com/vexedyouth.

Jason: If you mail us a blank CD, we will burn you a demo and send it back out for free.

HD: You can mail Vexed Youth that blank CD at:

Vexed Youth Demo
9502 Woodbrooke Ct.
Manassas, VA
20110




Lyrics of Zombie Song:

What you gonna do
When zombies attack
What you gonna do

What you gonna do
You better watch your back
What you gonna do

They’re comin out their graves
They’re comin after you
They’re comin after brains
They’re gonna make a stew

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

3:52 PM - Steve Grainger: The Last Resort Man


I know Steve Grainger as a person and feel honored to call him a friend. But, before I met him or even spoke to him online, I was a fan of his film, Come Get Some! I credit Come Get Some! as being one of the best independent zombie films I've seen, and I have seen more than most I'm sure. I also credit it with being one of the top comedic zombie flicks out there, regardless of budgets. I'll quit rambling now and bring on the interview.


Hateful: OK, Steve. Now that I’m finally getting around to the interview, please pretend we know nothing about you and tell us about yourself.

Steve: Born and raised in the south. Got into acting in college and have been doing it ever since. Got into working on films in the early 90's. Worked on about a dozen Hollywood films a couple of TV series and a few TV movies before I got into indy film.


Hateful: The main reason behind this interview is your film Come Get Some! and your upcoming film, Come Get Some More! What was your inspiration for Come Get Some?

Steve: I met Jason Griscom, CGS's director, when we were both working for Troma at the DragonCon convention in Atlanta. He had a script for a movie he had tried doing a couple times. He asked me about playing the lead. We re-wrote the script together and started making the movie later that year. The film is homage to all the films that we both love…



Hateful: How long did it take you to make and what did you feel your greatest challenge was in completing it?


Steve: We spent 2 1/2 years making it, mainly on weekends. Biggest challenge was getting people to show up enough times to finish their scenes. We got lucky in a lot of ways cause we got all our locations for free and had some really talented people help us out to get it done.


Hateful: The VHS and DVD versions of Come Get Some! vary a bit. Which do you prefer?


Steve: To be frank I don't even remember the VHS version anymore. Except I think it was longer and I always wanted a shorter version.


Hateful: Can we expect any of the characters from Come Get Some! to appear in the sequel?

Steve: Besides myself, Darrick Wilson, who played Agent Romero in CGS is returning and a couple of people who played minor roles in first one pop back up.


Hateful:
I love your role as the Last Resort Man. What inspired that character?

Steve: Last Resort Man is based on Ash from the Evil Dead movies-Jason even had his name is Ash in orginal script. I added in some of Kurt Russel from Big Trouble in Little China and some of my own smart assed personality and just tried to make him the biggest goof I could as I figured the dumber he looked the funnier the scenes would play.


Hateful: What has been your favorite acting role so far and why?

Steve: It's kind a hard to say. I try to have a good time no matter what I do and I like doing different characters. I enjoyed playing Sherriff Roy Crocket in The Ancient about as much as I did Playing the Last Resort Man even though they are totally different roles.


Hateful: What actors and actresses has it been a pleasure to work with and why?

Steve: Debbie Rochon did a cameo in Come Get Some More and she was so great to work with. I also got to do a short little film with her with a buddy of mine in Tennessee called The Classic. Heidi Martinuzzi was also a joy to work with both on CGSM and on the anthology project I did with her. Most of the folks on CGS and The Ancient were wonderful.


Hateful: Are there any actors or actresses that you hate working with? I guess you don’t have to give up names if there are.

Steve: I'd rather not get into it. If I don't enjoy working with someone I just move on and avoid them if possible.


Hateful: So, since you known me and all, if you were to cast me in a zombie film, what role would you give me? Sorry, but I had to ask.

Steve: I'd probably make you the guy who pops up and says a few funny lines before he gets eaten by a zombie-then have you pop back as a zombie and get a nice bloody kill in on a main character.


Hateful: What are some of your fondest memories in working on films?

Steve: I love anytime I'm working on films. It's fun even when it’s a pain in the ass long day. One of my favorite times was the day I got paid double time and all I did that day was sleep and eat-the magic of Hollywood.


Hateful: What are some of your least favorite memories of working on films so far?

Steve: A TV movie I did called Complex of Fear and an episode of In the Heat of the Night. Really rude, abusive directors. A couple of crappy attitude people I worked with who sucked all the joy out the experience, which takes a lot of work.


Hateful: Do you have any heroes in the filmmaking business, alive or deceased? What influences have you drawn from them?

Steve: Raimi, Romero, Kaufman and a load of other indy guys. I learned you keep working till you get the film done and you pour yourself into the film, effort shows.


Hateful: What are your favorite zombie films and novels? Why?

Steve: Dawn of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead are my favorites as far as movies go but I'll watch anything with zombies at least once. I like social commentary in my zombie flicks. I haven't read a lot of zombie novels.


Hateful: Are there any zombie stinkers out there that you really disliked?

Steve: Children of the Living Dead. A wet turd of a film that dares to pretend it has something to do with the classics of Romero.


Hateful: So, what is the status of Come Get Some More? Any idea when fans might be able to score a copy?


Steve: Editing it, then I got to get the score and rest of the sound done. Probably have some copies out later this year.


Hateful: Do you have any advice for people looking to make their own independent film?

Steve: Keep it simple, bust your ass and don't be afraid to ask for help.


Hateful: Finally, are there any other projects you are currently working on and what do you hope to achieve in filmmaking in the future?

Steve: I'm working on a possible anthology project, looking into a western. I'm heading to Texas for the second Texas Indy Meet Project in Sept. There are a number of projects other people are talking to me about. I just want to make films. If I could make films and pay my bills from it I'd be a happy man till the day I die.


Hateful: For those unfortunate enough not to have a copy of Come Get Some!, where might they purchase a copy or other merchandise?


Steve: Right now, I'd tell them to contact me. Maybe we get a distributor in the future, here's hoping.



Steve Grainger can be contacted at irontoxie@yahoo.com

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

10:08 PM - The Revelevens Bring Us Zombie Chicken!

So, I figured as a staff member here, I should do something. So what better place to start than with an interview of one of my favorite Baltimore bands, The Revelevens. Why? Because they have a great song called Zombie Chicken and this is a zombie site, isn't it? Anyway, this is my first interview so cut me a bit of slack on it.

I have a copy of their demo and must admit to being a big fan of The Revelevens. I've caught their shows in D.C., Baltimore, Virginia, and Manhatten and plan to catch many more. Man, I hope this isn't making me sound like some type of stalker. I best move on to posting the interview now.


~Hateful





Hateful Display: So, I realize I already know the story personally, but can you share a bit about how the Revelevens came into existence and the changes that you've gone through since the band was formed?

Carrie: Revelevens comes from Revelations 11, a Bible passage about two prophets who breathe fire and die horribly. Before the Revelevens, I was in a band called Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse with a guitarist who believed he was one of those prophets. He said he talked to God and he died shortly after that. In 2004, Shaun joined the band and we decided to change the name. The original Revelevens were me, Shaun, and these two teenagers named Drew (bass) and Alex (guitar). They flaked out that summer and quit to form another band because I wasn't writing songs fast enough. Drew was my roommate, too. He moved out one day without any notice and sent me an e-mail saying he was quitting the band. I think he was afraid I'd kick his ass.

To replace Alex, I asked my friend Mike Homeowner to play guitar. He was already in Babies With Rabies, but said OK anyway. We played one show with my ex-boyfriend Patrick on bass (now he's in the Charm City Saints), then Mike brought in his old Homeowners bass player, Billy. We recorded a demo last November with him on it. Randy from the Vicious Kings (another old roommate) has also played bass for us on occasion, especially on road trips Billy wasn't up to playing. This summer Billy quit because he realized the rest of us wanted to play out a lot more often than he wanted to. This fall we had another big switch-up. Shaun's arthritis got so bad he had to stop playing drums, so he switched to guitar and Mike switched to bass. Another ex-boyfriend, Mike Menace, joined on drums and played about four shows before I had to fire him. Right now we need a drummer--preferably someone I haven't lived or slept with.

HD: What bands do you feel the Revelevens draw most of their influence from?

Carrie: Mike and Shaun will probably say metal bands. I'd say the Misfits are a big influence on me. I'm also a big fan of pretty much every psychobilly band ever. Psychobilly is the majority of my CD collection. But a lot of our material isn't horror related at all, just fighting and drinking songs. For that kind of inspiration, I listen to Rancid and The Kings of Nuthin'.

Shaun: Everything we've ever listened to.

HD: What do you feel your greatest accomplishments have been so far as the Revelevens?

Shaun: Not sucking.

Carrie: Playing CBGBs was definitely a high point earlier this month. It was also pretty cool to play at Nation and the Ottobar, just for the fact that these are places where famous bands play. We spent way too much time checking out all the stickers of all the other bands that had been there before us. I'm also pretty proud of winning the Charm City Rollergirls theme song audience vote at the Ottobar. They gave us laminated season passes. We're still waiting to see if our song becomes their official theme song.

HD: Our main reason for the interview is your song, Zombie Chicken. What was the inspiration behind this song?

Shaun: It started as a joke when Carrie couldn't come up with lyrics for the music. I told her to write it about chickens.

Carrie: Shaun introduced the guitar line first. There's a little stuttering squawky riff in there that sounds a little like a rooster. He came up with the title and I wrote the lyrics around it. I was thinking about a voodoo god having some fun and raising a sacrificed chicken from the dead.
HD: Any thoughts of doing additional zombie-themed songs in the future? If so, mind throwing us a bone here to get us drooling about the idea?

Shaun: You'll have to talk to Carrie about that. I don't write lyrics.

Carrie: Sure, Ron. I'll write one just for you. Maybe I'll write one about a boy who watches zombie movies all day...

HD: Sounds like a really cool guy to hang out with. Anyway, you cover other aspects of horror in your music as well. What's your favorite subject of horror to write songs about?

Carrie: I like to combine horror and humor. "Zombie Chicken" is just such a not scary concept. And "Leper" has the punchline of "How am I supposed to tell you how much I love you when I ain't even got lips?" I also have a song the band doesn't play called "Chalupacabra" that's about a demonic, yet adorable chihuahua named Maxie.

HD: Do you enjoy zombie films or novels? If so, what are your favorites?

Shaun: Zombie film are good, I've never read any zombie novels.

Carrie: Filmwise, I loved "Shaun of the Dead" and "28 Days Later." I just read a zombie book by Christopher Moore called "The Stupidest Angel" that was entertaining but I felt like one of my nerdy friends was narrating and trying too hard to be funny.

(Carrie mentioned that Mike likes Night of the Living Dead. Mike declined the interview, feeling that Carrie would mention everything there was worth saying.)

HD: How about the stinkers? Seen any zombie films that you particularly hated?

Shaun: None that I can think of at the moment.

Carrie: Yes. Lots of them. I won't name names, but low budget movies aren't my bag unless they have good plotlines and dialogue. Disclaimer: I'd still totally allow my songs to be used in a low budget horror flick any day of the week.

HD: What do you think of the subgenre of zombie films in horror in general?

Carrie: Zombies are cool. They eat brains. And when you have a zombie problem on your hands, society as you know it is pretty much over and you have even more to worry about than just protecting your brains. But I think it's too easy to write a script for a zombie movie when you know half of the action is going to revolve around stumbling people and gore.

Shaun: I think you're getting to in depth with the whole zombie thing.


HD: Me? Never. So, let's get back to your band then, shall we? Anything new and exciting coming up with the Revelevens?

Shaun: Hopefully a drummer, soon.

Carrie: Hopefully, a new drummer and some gigs at roller derbies.

HD: Lastly, where might interested parties hear your music or snatch up ademo disc?

Carrie: You can go to http://www.revelevens.com or http://www.myspace.com/therevelevens for MP3's. Or you can send Mike $3.oo for a demo at 410 W. 23rd St. Baltimore, MD 21211.



Intervew by Hateful Display (Ron Clark) 1/4/06

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