Whiskey: Stand by please one second, we’re going to have Gripped here momentarily. Are you all there?
Taylor: I am.
Whiskey: Excellent, excellent, so we have Taylor here, and I think we have Romie, but no, it’s still says connecting.
Taylor: She should be joining any second.
Whiskey: Excellent, excellent stuff. So you’re all out of L.A., right?
Taylor: Yeah, more or less. You know, Romie lives in Orange County right now and Justin lives outside of L.A. so, we’re all kind of spread out, but Romie and Justin are moving to L.A. in June, so that will be awesome.
Whiskey: Excellent, excellent, I’ve been there a few times. It’s a crazy, crazy place. I’m, you know, of course I’m stalling for a second while Romie gets connected here. But yeah so, that was amazing with the radio drama, I mean like very few people do that sort of work.
Taylor: I think Romie just joined.
Whiskey: Hi, hi welcome to Mystery Gothic Radio 12AD.
Romie: Thank you.
Whiskey: Thanks for joining us.
Romie: Thanks for having us.
Whiskey: Hell yeah. So let’s see, but was the sort of inspiration behind doing this radio work, I mean that’s, I’m a huge fan of the inner sanctum and a whole bunch of radio dramas from the forties and fifties, but this is sort of revisited and nobody’s, I mean people have done it, everybody that listens to NPR knows that they do them, but they’re not very good, at least the last Sunday that I sat down and listened to them. I was like, you know, all these radio dramas are kind of lame. So what possessed you guys to do this and how did you do it so well?
Romie: Oh thanks, well I think that more so than, I mean obviously it’s referential of the classic radio drama thing, but I was really influenced by like, you know, very Pulp stuff, Tales from the Crypt, and then like creepy and eerie like EC comics from the fifties and stuff like that. I want to have that vibe, I really like a lot of the horror fiction that’s coming out of the Internet, you know, so no shape to that, but there’s a certain aesthetic that I’ve noticed has been dominant throughout like creepy pastas and stuff. So I wanted to do something that was a departure from that, something that was a little bit more like dream logic, comic book inspired, something that was less like, you know, a ghost in a photo that showed up or something like that. Like I wanted to do something else.
Whiskey: Something with some content, something with a little bit of thickness to it.
Romie: Something with, you know, something with monsters. Something were people get eaten and stuff, that’s what I’m always wanting in things and it just, I don’t think I get enough of it, just as a horror fan, you know.
Whiskey: Uh-huh. I was going through the choose your own adventure comic that you guys made, which I’m assuming was sort of led into the radio drama type work.
Taylor: That’s actually Tales from a Glass Crypt volume I, so yeah they’re connected.
Whiskey: Of course, of course, I’m sorry I’m just radio idiot in New York.
Taylor: No, no, no, no, no.
Whiskey: But actually I did get eaten like three times, and I never survived.
Romie: Well, you know, what’s the point of going through anything if you survive, if you don’t die at the end, what’s the point?
Whiskey: Too true, too…
Romie: Where’s the fun it that?
Taylor: Pretty much.
Whiskey: That’s real. That’s about as real as you get.
Taylor: In every interactive thing we’ve made, you die.
Whiskey: One more time.
Taylor: Just saying, pretty much every interactive thing we’ve made the player dies.
Whiskey: Yeah, yeah, and you’ve done a whole bunch of this interactive stuff. I mean, the choose your own adventure is excellent. It’s wonderful just to see like hypertext done in a simplified forum but with such rich content, you know, like it’s very hard to get past the book, the kindle might be lighter, but it is, you know, it’s still as good an interface as one will ever get for a book, and it is like really old thing, right? So you’re taking this book and now you’re making it interactive which is also a very old concept, you know, go to page twenty-four, and people can write that out, but it’s really entertaining to do online to get one of these old text adventures. And you guys seem to do all sorts of crazy interactive stuff. How did this all happen?
Romie: We’re just horror nerds, like we just like you know, when we started Gripped it was more, it was a band, you know, and we still are a band as well. But you know, it’s become like an increasingly multi-media sort of project, and it’s allowed us to sort of rebrand ourselves. At first we were like I guess we’re witch house, I guess we’re goth, I guess we’re whatever, post-industrial I don’t know.
Romie: But it’s like, but we just say that we’re horror and it makes a lot more sense. Because that’s the one thread that runs through everything we do. And I think it describes just everything we’re trying to evoke, you know, it’s kind of a little more loose, a little more kind of like whimsical, it’s, you know, just about setting a tone and we don’t want to be limited to anything and really we just feel like, I don’t know, so many, like just being a band and doing that would be stifling our creativity, we want to do a lot more, you know.
Whiskey: That makes a lot of sense. I mean, for some bands that means merchandising, you know, and doing like a fashion thing, but it is, what you guys are doing is massively entertaining, I meant it just, you know, there’s, I really, really, really enjoy these radio dramas that you’re doing and I really enjoy Tales from the Glass Crypt, for me it’s like revisiting of a once inspired wonderful world. So, but, you’re in L.A., how did you guys all meet? Like as I said, I’m really trying to get to how you guys all came up with this? But, did you all meet in college or…
Romie: Well Taylor’s originally from like San Diego, and I’m originally from Orange County, which are really great places to come up if you want to, you know, be a subversive artist so I’ve learned. And we met doing our high school bands played shows together and we became friends, and then he ended up joining that previous band and then that project lasted awhile and eventually burned out. And we were like, we remained friends, you know, and then Gripped started when he was like, why don’t you come over and we’ll jam and we wanted to make something kind of like, I wanted to make something kind of along the lines of like Switchblade Symphony kind of like a nineties goth sort of vibe. And we started just writing songs and it’s gotten more and more complicated ever since then and so now we have Justin or Macabre in the band as well, and we’re not even a band anymore, we’re just this big weird horror blob so, you know, it keeps growing. It’s eventually going to eat everyone I suppose. But no, to answer your question, Taylor and I have known each other since like I don’t know, since whatever the last time we each faked our deaths, so as to not arouse suspicion about our immortality was.
Whiskey: Brilliant, brilliant, that’s good, it’s nice to get a rebirth in that sort of real quick bang. Back to L.A. but now I’m somebody else.
Romie: We drank the potion in death becomes her.
Whiskey: Oh yeah, I think I drank that potion once too, crazy, crazy alchemy nights. You wake up and all your shit is gone and it’s like three days later, and you’re like well maybe different potion.
Romie: That, I think that’s PCP, were your finger’s missing?
Romie: Was there a SWAT team outside your door?
Whiskey: So you guys did this video game thing, huh?
Taylor: Yeah, I’m a game audio sound designer and I had previously done music for a game by Jack Squires also known as Duende Games for a glitch game jam, really it was music that I already made, but it just fit really well. And then he started working on a horror game, and I reached out to him and said we should collaborate and really make it a Gripped collaboration, and so it kind of turned into Tonight You Die, which is based around the song Tonight You Die. And all the sound in the game is designed to lead up to the song.
Whiskey: Right on, and it is, in the game you’re supposed to be dead if I’m not mistaken right?
Taylor: Well what happens is you are, you awake in a desolate city and you just have a letter from a mysterious organization that says, “tonight you die,” and you’re just wandering around the city awaiting death essentially, and there’s a couple of different things that can happen.
Whiskey: Hmm, interesting. Certainly worth checking out.
Taylor: That’s at tonight you die dot com, and it’s free to download.
Whiskey: Excellent. Is it a mobile thing, or is it a PC thing?
Taylor: It’s a desktop game.
Taylor: And it comes with a EP with the song Tonight You Die, and also our remix of Clipping, the Noise Rap group, which are really, really blowing up right now because their singer is in Hamilton, and…
Whiskey: Hamilton England?
Taylor: Hamilton the musical that won the Grammy and all that.
Whiskey: Oh, oh, I’m out of it, I’m sorry I don’t have a television.
Taylor: Oh no worries. I’m a big musical nerd. But and also some really great remixes of the song Tonight You Die by Senior Benedict Da More, Unwoman, and Demon Slayer.
Whiskey: Crazy, well I have, I have a copy of Tonight You Die and I’ll play it when we’re done.
Whiskey: Yeah. Alright so what’s next, who’s the next victim, who’s the next to get eaten by the Gripped blob?
Romie: Well like in the story, or like in like the story that the universe we’re living in?
Whiskey: Well, either or, I will take fact or fiction, it’s up to you.
Romie: I mean, I don’t know, well we are you know writing songs for a release we’d like to do, tentatively titled The Shores of Hell, which is a Doom reference, like Doom the game. And you know, we’re looking to finish up Tales from the Glass Crypt volume II, the Blob Stares Back, lengthy title I know. That’s the audio drama.
Taylor: We just wrote a short horror film called Expecting, which is showing at some festivals.
Romie: Yeah, which came out great, so that’s definitely a piece that should be checked out. It’s baby horror, which is like so perfect for us, well it’s baby slash body horror, I’m not going to give the whole thing away, it’s not my movie. But we were very happy to license one of our songs to do an original score for it.
Whiskey: Did you submit it to the Macab Film Festival?
Romie: I don’t know if she has, probably. It’s done by a director named Jackie Perez and this is her, you know, it’s her project. We were just, you know, collaborating with her on the musical and sound design aspect. So I’m not sure what she’s going to do with it, but I’m sure that she can get something going, it’s a great piece and she’s a smart girl. So it’s good stuff.
Whiskey: Excellent. I know that I worked sometimes with Adam Ginsberg, who does a show on the station Out of My Head Radio, and he is worth contacting as he is a, him and Elsie Macab do wonderful things in the horror scene, you know, way beyond my stretch or you know, any sort of influence. Let’s see, so horror, horror, horror and the blob, you guys came out with a full length album?
Romie: Yeah, it’s kind of, okay, so it’s kind of a long-ish story but I won’t bore you with the details, basically it’s sort of like an opus of everything we’ve released so far, just kind of put together and re-put out as an LP. But it actually works, because we put out a couple of EP’s on Tundra.
Whiskey: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The famous Tundra Dubs.
Romie: Yeah, on Tundra Dubs and then we also, so we included everything from those and then Tonight You Die, Body of the Night, which is another song we did for Intravenous Magazines comp. And so we kind of just re-released it as an LP called Thy Flesh Consumed, also a Doom reference, so we’re kind of going crazy with the Doom references and…
Whiskey: You’ve got Vandenberg Air Force Base out there.
Romie: Yeah, exactly. And you know, Next Stop Plutonia, but it’s like, it’s cool. We also released it on cassette and so those are available for purchase and you know, I really like the record so with what we’ve done with that, it will be cool to see what we do with the release that was sort of like more premeditated. But that’s one thing that we have available now, Thy Flesh Consumed. So you know.
Whiskey: Excellent. I believe it’s free on BandCamp?
Whiskey: But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay for it. That means you should support Gripped and I will be honest, witch house is a crazy, crazy weird scene and you know, as it’s sort of evolved and devolved and revolved and so on and so forth, it’s you know, a lot to keep up with, and I really love it and I think that the music that comes out of it is pretty good. But, there’s also a lot of crap out there.
Romie: We have a running joke that it’s all just going to become c-punk again.
Whiskey: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Die your hair green and go vegan. Which is good, you know, any punk is good punk. But yeah, I mean, but what you’re doing with Tales from the Glass Crypt, I think is absolutely outstanding.
Romie: Thank you.
Whiskey: And it keeps me on the edge of my feet and I listen to them and I want to know what happens next. I really, you know like, I actually sat around here for a month thinking like what’s going to happen next?
Whiskey: Seems weird but that really did happen, sort of like a who done it, Game of Thrones, you know, Walking Dead sort of a suspense feeling that you know it gave to me.
Romie: Thank you. I think people crave that because I think that you know, with the way that the way, with the method in which people consume media has typically changed, everyone’s kind of jumping back to, like you said, Game of Thrones, these sort of serial stories where you have to wait like a week to find out what happens next because when we watch stuff on Netflix, or Hulu, or YouTube or whatever, you can just binge on information, which is what I do. But there’s something kind of fun about being baited a little bit, and having a cliffhanger each time. There’s kind of something fun about it.
Whiskey: Agreed, agreed. I’m, you keep saying thank you to me, but you know, I would like to say thank you back, there’s a lot to learn from your work, you know, this is, radio is something that I do, and I’m not positively sure that how you did Tales from the Glass Crypt, excuse me, could be done live, but it does give me inspiration for such things, and for such adventure, and I would like to say keep up the good work, and anything you guys ever need for me, I’m here.
Taylor: Hey Whiskey that’s interesting that you mention that because I’ve actually been wanting to do a live rendition of Tales from a Glass Crypt.
Romie: Yeah, we…
Taylor: Cause I have a bunch of apps on my iPad, some of which are some pretty neat granular-ization type ambient, really good for making sounds into pseudo randomized versions of themselves. So I’m always…
Whiskey: I love GarageBand for that
Taylor: Tempted by any kind of weird technical audio challenge.
Whiskey: Hell yeah. I’m going to Los Angeles sometime this summer, I don’t know when, but if may-haps, you know, the weather farewell and the winds are favorable perhaps we can sit down and actually make that happen, and, you know, I can, you know, with a little bit of broadcast skill, I think we can.
Taylor: Well that’s something we’ve been wanting to do, we’re just kind of looking for the right…
Whiskey: I know WKXL, WXK, you guys work with the local alternative station out there in L.A., right?
Whiskey: KXLU, yeah.
Taylor: Yeah, we were just on there doing a DJ set with our friend Resign who’s Jared from Girlpusher.
Whiskey: Okay, yeah obviously…
Taylor: They’re awesome.
Whiskey: They would probably provide a better outlet for such a venture, but you know, I am here and I would listen and I would love it, and you guys kick ass.
Taylor: Thank you so much.
Romie: Thank you.
Whiskey: Of course. So I’ve got Tonight You Die and I’m going to play that, and then we’ll get on and I think I’m going to play, like, what is it? Do you know? What is it? Well you know, eh. Flesh, shoot, well I’m going to play some Vahaul.
Romie: Thy Flesh Consumed.
Whiskey: Well Thy Flesh Consumed, but I have a track from one the DJ’s who deejays here, DJ Insidious Ghost and she does this thing with Flesh something.
Taylor: She’s been a real, on Twitter and SoundCloud.
Whiskey: Yeah, yeah, yeah she’s a total sweetheart, love her to death.
Whiskey: Then I had some Mascara Monsters, some Vahaul, some Teeth and some A and M, I was going to play I guess…
Taylor: We love all those people.
Romie: We do, yes.
Whiskey: I now know his name is Justin, so I’m going to play some Macabre and that will probably finish out the set. Maybe then and have a track of my own that I wrote last week with my dad.
Whiskey: Oooo, called One Last Rebellion, which I might end the set out with, we will see.
Romie: You should.
Whiskey: And thanks again for tuning in and you know, we’ll talk again.
Romie: Yay, we had fun, thank you.
Taylor: Thanks so much.
Whiskey: Ditto, ditto, later.
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