Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vanessa Nocera (part 2 of 3)

Vanessa Nocera, part 2 (of 3). In part 1, Vanessa gave an insight into the death metal of Skeletal Spectre, for which she does vocals, in collaboration with guitarist Rogga Johansson (who himself has more than several musical projects). This second part of the interview focuses on some biographical information related to Vanessa’s world of metal music. Vanessa is a musician, but she does more than playing music, as you will see here. Vanessa shows the symptoms of a metal workaholic.
Is it true that you, Vanessa, are the owner of Razorback Records, the horror gore metal record company? If so, how does the company make money to continue, if music sales are minimal because it is horror/gore specialized subgenre and because of downloading?
Vanessa: The label does better now than it ever did. We have a reputation of being limited to just horror-themed bands, but this is not true. We have bands on the label who are straight forward death metal and are not really influenced by horror films; bands such as ONIRICOUS, GUTWRENCH, MAUSOLEUM (they’re half and half influenced, I suppose), TOMBSTONES, DECREPITAPH, and a few others. We just signed a black metal band to the label as well called DOMINIUM and we have bands like BLIZARO who are not even 100% metal and no death metal at all really, so we definitely have more of a variety than people realize.
Actually, the second SKELETAL SPECTRE album “Occult Spawned Premonitions” had no movie influence at all. The lyrics that I wrote were all inspired by Kentucky folklore and haunted areas in Kentucky that I heard about growing up, and other lyrics written by our friend Dr. Lucio Holocausto were inspired by horror comic and novel worship. So, yes, we are predominantly a horror-influenced label, but we are not limited to that at all. It would be nice to break that rumor.
Does Razorback Records and your musical projects take up all your time? Do you tour a lot? Do you have time for a spouse and the married life? I suppose you have no time for having a family, even if you wanted one?!
Vanessa: Razorback is a full-time job, but we definitely take our time off from it. It’s just me and my husband who run the label and some days there is more work to do for just two people, but we manage time and money quite well and I’m sure that’s why the label is as strong as it is and we’re able to do tons more now than ever. Soon I’ll be recording tons more material for all of my current bands (SCAREMAKER, HOWLING, WOODEN STAKE, LOATHSOME, ORLOFF, CAULDRON BURIAL) and a few other projects that I will later reveal. We are still traveling every now and then and setting up at horror conventions which is a great way to get our name out there, promote who we are, meet fans who are new and old, and make new friends in the con circuit. I don’t tour with my bands, so that’s my way of getting out there.
As far as family does, I’ve NEVER wanted children, and this was one of the many things that Billy and I agreed on when we first got together. Married life is great and we definitely make time for that, but NO children at all! Haha!
According to Metal Archives, it seems like you started recording music around 2010. Can you explain more about your musical endeavors in the 2000s. You just turned 30 this year, so the 90s are not much of a time that you remember, as you were 10 years old in 1993, when the golden age of death metal was coming to a close. Were the late 90s when you started playing music?
Vanessa: One of these days I’m going in if at all possible and changing my profile on there, haha! My beginnings in the underground started in early 2006 when I moved to Chicago and started a death metal band called SLASH DEMENTIA (that was a working title), and I also had intentions on starting a record label called DemonSlave Recordings. The band did not last long because of conflicts with members, so the band split and I formed the black metal band WOLFHOLLOW with one of the band members who also left SLASH DEMENTIA. We had a demo, an album, and a couple of EP’s as well as appearing on a 4-way split called “Total Black Onslaught of Death”. You can seek out WOLFHOLLOW on metal archives. My name was Khaos, but my pic is there; you will see me.
In late 2007/early 2008 I was in the middle of writing the second WOLFHOLLOW album, but quit the band and my label and moved back to Kentucky. There was too much turmoil happening and I ran away from music for a while. In 2009, that is when I met Billy and he was the one who pushed me into picking up the guitar again and writing songs. Throughout late 2009 I had tons of songs written for SCAREMAKER and in March 2010 we flew to Texas where our drummer lived at the time and recorded the album and some EP material.
I was too young in the early 90’s to know about the underground of metal, but I was definitely into bands that other girls my age would never listen to. At age 7 I bought “Kill ‘em All” and was hooked from there. I went from thrash, to death, to grind, to black, and I kept digging and digging to find new music. I started playing guitar in 1992 when I was 9 and I’ve sang and growled for as long as I could remember.
At any rate, it seems like something happened, like the Big Bang explosion of creativity and activity, in the year 2010 and 2011 and all of a sudden you were making all this music. Vanessa: I’ve always been a creative person. I’m into reading and watching documentaries on the occult, the black arts, Satanism, Paganism, Voodoo, and so on, so I’m always full of ideas. Horror movies and comics are of course another main source of inspiration.
Plus, I have tons of old riffs from when I was 11-18 years of age that were never used, so I have been reworking them into better songs with newer riffs and I’ll be using those in upcoming releases. I’m constantly doing something whether it’s my own stuff or writing for other people and appearing as a guest on other bands’ releases. www.facebook.com/skeletalspectre

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