Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teen Wolf... Coming To A High School Near You

What's a square teenager to do? Just when you thought you couldn't walk down the school halls for more than five minutes without bumping into a vampire, goth, witch or perhaps even a hobgoblin, now you're going to have to add werewolves to the list of roadblocks on the highway leading to prom. Check out this news feature about a pack of teen werewolves in a Texas high school. And apparently, they're not limited to the Lone Star state. As stated in this news bit, teen werewolf pack are coming to a neighborhood near you. (High school life is so much more interesting now than when I was a teen.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Interview With Steampunk Concept Band Vernian Process

I recently interviewed Joshua A. Pfeiffer, founder and frontman of the fantastic Steampunk band Vernian Process. We discussed the band and their recent debut album, Behold The Machine and Joshua's other projects, as well as the background of the Steampunk movement and it's vast influence on modern culture, especially in recent times. And while you're reading, you can enjoy their tunes on the player below to get the full cinematic impact of the ominous and sublime beauty that is Vernian Process.

Your Wikipedia page describes your sound as "music themed around Victorian scientific romance and its modern counterpart Steampunk." Can you describe this in layman terms for people who might not be familiar with these timeless themes?
Basically, we write music influenced by the Science Fiction of the 19th Century. Over the past 30 years, there has been a revival of this style of fiction. It was spearheaded primarily by a small group of Cyberpunk authors, who wanted to write a few tongue-in cheek novels based on the literary work of authors like Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. It slowly but surely spilled over into other forms of media, from movies, comics, video games, and more. And in the past 8 years... music.

Speaking of Steampunk, it's become very popular and can be seen more and more in music, movies, art, design and fashion. Any ideas why it's so in vogue at the moment?
There are several reasons for Steampunk’s recent rise in popularity. Chief amongst them is that it is something new (sub-culturally speaking of course). People have been looking for a new tribe, a new sub-culture for over 20 years. I see Steampunk as the natural evolution of the Romantic Goth style. Both cultures are based primarily in literature. But unlike Goth, Steampunk appeals to a much broader range of people. Older folks, and young kids alike can get into the style, and they do! There also isn't the stigma of "ohhhh look at those spooky Goths" with Steampunk.

Each song on your album Behold The Machine plays like its own movie, with a very visual, thematic story. Describe the story behind some of your songs?
Well I could write a whole essay on this, but I'll just pick three tracks at random to expand on. First the title track Behold the Machine, is often viewed as a sort of Ludite's theme... warning of the dangers of an industrialized society, and man's increasing dependency on technology. However the lyrics are actually based more on the controversy surrounding the legality of the existence of the IRS, the Federal Reserve Bank, and various shady dealings that have taken place throughout the history of the world's governments. I was inspired by a documentary (which I feel everyone should see) called America: Freedom to Fascism. One of the first songs that was written for the album (all the way back in 2006) "The Last Express", was influenced in part by a dream I once had which the lyrics of the song are based on. I would say that the dream its self was actually partially influenced by the classic SNES game Final Fantasy VI. In the game your party stumbles upon a Phantom Train, and there is a really sad story arc (which I won't spoil) that really hit home when I played the game back in the 90's. Basically the song is a somber, slightly creepy, but not exactly scary story about waking up on a train, and realizing that you are trapped for eternity. Fan response has been very interesting, because even though the song isn't intended to be scary, many listeners find it to be quite unnerving. Finally the closing track on the album "The Maiden Flight" (which happens to be my favorite song on the LP) , is a four part instrumental journey aboard an Airship. The first part "Dawn to Dusk" represents the progression of the journey from the rising of the morning sun, through the blue open skies of the afternoon, and the calm before the storm of an evening sunset. The second part "Vol Nocturne" is a somber night flight through light evening rain. this leads into the more early Industrial influenced "Maelstrom", a piece made entirely of storm sound effects, and arpegiated synths. Finally the storm opens into a swirling vortex of sounds, where various phrases from most of the albums songs drift in and out of the listener’s ears. It's a very fitting end to an album built around the term "Epic".

As mentioned in the previous question, your music is very cinematic, epic and haunting and would be quite fitting as a movie score. Are you planning on doing movie soundtrack or any other projects and is it true that you've composed music for video games?
Absolutely! I feel everyone in the project would agree as well. Martin and my self have dabbled in some strictly orchestral pieces, and yes we are working with a great indie team in Texas called "Imagineer Games" on the soundtrack to their in progress project "Shades of Violet".

Considering that Jules Verne is unquestionably the godfather of Steampunk, you must be a big fan of his writing. Have you heard any details on any of the upcoming Jules Verne movies, including Mysterious Island and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (directed by David Fincher)?
I am aware of the Fincher directed project, and I felt that he was an excellent choice to adapt a story about Prince Dakkar (aka: Nemo). Fincher's films almost always have excellent character development, and lord knows that Nemo is an incredibly complex character with tons of potential for a talented writer/director.

Tell us a bit about your music collective, Gilded Age Records.
Gilded Age Records is a project I founded in 2008 with my friend Evelyn Kriete of Jaborwhalky Productions. Our goal was to gather together as many like minded indie musicians as possible under one common banner. It operates more as a collective of artists and entertainers than a regular record label. Our only requirement, is that any artists interested in joining must have some combination of old world aesthetics or music with modern styles. But we do have a few straight up old world styled acts, and even some completely non-musical acts, such as story telling troupes, and performance artists.

How about music videos? Given the extremely thematic nature of your songs, I can only imagine that you've got some big ideas for music videos.
Indeed! In fact that is the next big thing on our plate. I can't say more for now, but keep your eyes and ears peeled come summer for some big news in this regard! In the past I released a bunch of video's using clips from stock footage and various theme appropriate films, however we are currently working on our very first full band, live action video.

Joshua, I had the privilege of interviewing you about five years ago, when Vernian Process was in its early stages. At that time you discussed some cool visual ideas that you had for your future live shows. You've since done several shows, performing with bands like Skinny Puppy, Attrition, Front Line Assembly. What have your stage shows been like?
Fortunately, having like 6 or 7 people on stage dressed to the nines, all rocking out in unison has been enough of a visual treat for our fans, but we are definitely not opposed to bringing in some other elements. But we're taking things one step at a time. We recently picked up a new drummer, and getting him up to speed is our primary concern as far as the live sets go at this time. We did have a rather memorable appearance by the great old one Cthulhu himself at one of our recent gigs. Look it up on YouTube.

Vernian Process Official Website:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Attack The Block" New Red Band Trailer

The website tagline describes it perfectly: "Inner City VS Outer Space". The producers of Shaun of the Dead strike a potential goldmine once again with their new feature about London housing estate teen gangsters who find their day-to-day street life existence interrupted by an alien invasion. Attack The Block debuted in the UK in May and will be in USA theaters on July 29th. This latest new red band (aka: R-rated) trailer is fantastic and gives you a good peek into what to expect. And expect to get excited!

Attack The Block Official Website:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Eight Minutes Of True Blood Season 4

Season 4 of True Blood debuts on June 26th. But to give you a taste of what to expect, here are the first eight minutes of the first episode, courtesy of HBO. And true to form, it appears that this season ventures deeper into bizarre worlds of the supernatural.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"The Hum" - Mysterious Phenomenon Hits UK Town

Chalk this one up as an unsolved natural mystery. This may not exactly be movie news but just you wait. There's most likely several screenplays in the works based on this. UK newspaper Telegraph News reported that Woodland, a small English village in County Durham with a population of around 300, is experiencing a phenomenon known as "The Hum", which is an odd, unexplained sound, something similar to a car engine, is heard but with no known explanation. It apparently has occurred in different places throughout the world, including New Mexico, Hawaii and New Zealand and has even been mentioned in an X Files episode. The occurrence in Woodland has been happening nightly from midnight until 4am and is so strong that it allegedly even rattles the bed of one of the village's residents.

Read the full Telegraph News article here:

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Loom" and "458NM" - 2 Short Films By Polynoid

Check out Loom and 458NM, two amazing short movies from Polynoid, a visual design company in Germany. These two very different films share strikingly similar themes and can be summed up as sort of 'erotic ballets of death'. Beautiful and disturbing, not unlike a Bjork music video.

Loom from Polynoid on Vimeo.

458nm from Polynoid on Vimeo.

See more stunning Polynoid short films and design concepts
at their official website:

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