DOTDR: Hey John, it’s been a few years since the last interview we did for your Pro-Death project and now you’ve had the recent Stem Cell Research Project as well as a few others that you’re involved in, so how about starting out with SCRP? How did the project idea and Charnel Houses album theme come about?
JPW: Stemcell has been around for awhile I just put out a veryselect material so it resurfaces once every so often.Charnel Houses was a very long process of an album, I had to collect lots of sounds to use. I had watched several hours of autopsy and actually had gone to a few and snuck in my hand held recorder.
Some of the sounds are also from different metal gurnies and the actual metal bench that they clean the bodies on. I have a couple friends at the L.A. corners office and I used to work at the Simi Valley morgue so I was allowed to make a little racket and bang on things. A lot of the Charnel Houses was actually recorded in Portland, Or. during some bad weather we had there. we actually got snowed in for 4 days so that kinda helped out a lot with my depression and creativity. The cover pic by Darea Plantin is an actual morgue in portland that the trees and nature started to take over and grow over which we thought would be perfect for this project.
DOTDR: Wow!!!! That's so insane that you actually worked at the coroners office!!!! I've never been to one or even seen a cadaver. I walked in on a laser eye surgery once as a kid, about 10 years old on a hospital field trip, it was freaky but really incredible at the same time. For the longest time I'd wanted to become a surgeon and when asked in school about it my answer was always "disturbing" to the administration because I'd say that "I want to be a surgeon so that I can open people up and look at their insides". I just thought anatomy was amazing and still do.
For Charnel Houses, what made you decide to go with the live autopsy recordings and autopsy inspiration? It REALLY does come out during the album, as with all of your work, there's always this sixth sense of hallucination/nightmare lurking beneath the surface.
JPW: I've been really into anatomy and autopsies and I had collected a lot of material with my recorder while working at the morgue, so when I got permission to get some more samples it just fell into place that this was the right album to do this. I was going for a sedated Brightener Death Now vibe.
DOTDR: Alongside of the violently morbid black metal/dark ambient act Hypsiphrone, SCRP has to be one of creepiest and most genuinely thought out and composed releases that I’ve heard in quite some time. It literally beckons your skin to slither off your body so with that said what did you want/intend the listeners response to be?
JPW: Most of the music that I write is really to help get through most of my depression, it fucks with me a lot, and I rarely leave the house any more. I just hope I fall into the right hands of those that can appreciate the feeling that is in that album and find like minded individual who share my same vision.
DOTDR: I can relate to that.I saw recently that you are working on an upcoming Deathstench release,is there any inside info that you’d like to leak out about that one?
JPW: The new DEATHSTENCH is called NEKROBLOODRITUAL, this is a very dirty little black cassette being put out from Fall Of Nature Records. I am very pleased with the way this album came out and really couldn't have gotten through this without the help of Darea Plantin. She always refers great books for me to read and we have a shared liking for the occult,chanting, and organic sounds. We really wanted to make the blackest little tape that can just fuck you up in the vein of MZ412 and Cultes Des Ghoules,something that will make the listener vomit black blood and cut themselves.
DOTDR: Anton from Black Goat just commented on it and sent me a video link of a jam for it and it's definitely BLACK and crippling. I'm also huge Cultes Des Ghoules fan, love stuff like MZ412 and have to recommend you hear this 3-way split called 3 Ways to a Nuclear Funeral that's still in circulation from Vaginal Apocalypse Productions.
The Deathstench split with Demonologists was some of the best black psychedelic/power electronic cross breed material that came out last year, and I know that I’m speaking for many others in saying that we’re looking forward to more Deathstench outbursts. What inspires your creative darkness overall and how do each of the separate projects represent that? Are they just collaborations or are they all based around different feelings, ideas, concepts,etc that require a different name/style?
JPW: Every album that I do is a very long process and concept, sometimes it's hard to keep the vibe of the album separate from the others with the hardest being DEATHSTENCH and The Slaughtered Lamb, they come really close together, but DEATHSTENCH tends to be more black metal and The Slaughtered Lamb leans more towards doom so that helps.I get a lot of creativity from books I read, many books on the occult,cults,true crime and masonic practices. I actually live down the street from the Manson caves were the Manson family use to dwell and I use to take alot of acid as a kid and hang out in the caves, my friends father is actually the owner of the property that they rest on.
DOTDR: Man... that's really creepy and really fascinating!!!!I just saw parts of the first and only interview with Jeffrey Dahmer, it had it's moments but was generally lacking...that's as close to real killers that I've gotten to. I always think about the weird and crazy stuff that goes on out in the desert that no one witnesses, I used to think about the Manson family when driving up the 15N to Vegas, usually at night to beat traffic, and passing through Baker and Barstow, really creepy places on their own but with that connection it really amplifies it.
On another note, I found the 3" of The Slaughtered Lamb today rummaging around, it's the Path of Ashen Bone and I'm actually listening to it right at this moment opening with its haunting "A Cold Beneath".You say that you feel this one is more doom than WITB and in listening to it, it's very rumbling and sonic low end dirge. Did you mix field recordings with live instruments, it sounds like a more psychotic and ethereal droning Lustmord nightmare tune using only bass and found sound? It's really physical, I can actually feel the bass frequencies thud and rattle.
JPW:That is all Darea's low end bass and Moog, it is crippling how heavy she sounds. Live its like a black wave of sound that just shakes your bones and intestines. We've even gotten kicked out of some jam room's around the valley due to us not turning down the bass when we jam, but if we're gonna pay to practice: "Fuck you, I paid my dues..." ; some people just can't handle it. We're actually recording for 2 upcoming tape releases, one
through HUSK Records and one through Black Goat Records and they will be very sick Black Doom.
DOTDR: Now I'm on "The Black Lodge" which is perfectly faded into by it's predecessor and now the ambient drones begin to dissipate into what sounds like an actual ghost talking. This is some seriously incredible shit!!!!! The riffs just started to kick in and the walls are rattling, so please do tell me something about this demented atmosphere of murderous minimal black metal meets drone doom and deranged psychedelia? There is some homicidal tendencies/actions taking place here and it's brilliant!!!
JPW: Thank you. I fucking love that song, "The Black Lodge" was our homage to the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks, we are both very big fans of the show and wanted to do something black and dirty so you can almost smell the burning oil in that song.
DOTDR: I haven't seen the show all the way through and started to sit down with it around December but didn't get too far yet again.I'll keep an eye out for when that comes into play.
Of all the expressive forms to choose from, how did you come to choose music as your expressive form? I can't do it, I tend toward the visual myself.
JPW: Since I can remember I was a fan of very dark music, my babysitter used to play Black Sabbath, Slayer, and Iron Maiden and that blew my mind and from there I just was always looking for more dark and Satanic music. I was later turned on to industrial like Ministry,Front 242, Psychic TV, and Throbbing Gristle at an early age due to hanging out with way older people than myself. I have always felt connected to the fans of that genre and will be doing this 'til I die.
DOTDR: Ministry broke me at age ten into an industrial fiend, back when there was no internet yet, so I relied on a local record store with an incredible selection of stuff and went by the insides of album covers, other releases from the bands, and the labels to discover stuff like My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Front 242, Cabaret Voltaire, Revolting Cocks,etc. That was my stuff for many many years. It often rivaled and even beat out metal for about 5 years or so in terms of my listening choices.
In all of your projects you tend to stay in the realm of dark ambient/power electronics/industrial/noise styles, even though some projects like Welter In Thy Blood and Pro-Death have a definite metal base. What drew you to these styles and what are some of your favorite acts within them?
JPW: It really just seems to come natural, I used to try to be in punk bands and such but it just never felt right even though I am a fan of bands like the Exploited,His Hero is Gone,and Neurosis. It just seemed that every time I would write music it would be darker than the last time. In terms of favorite acts, I mostly listen to songs/bands that I feel in the mood for: NORTT,Cultes Des Ghoules,Mercyful Fate,mz412,Horna... the list goes on. I also listen to a lot of Sisters of Mercy,Christian Death, and Bauhaus which I wouldn't of probably ever heard if it wasn't for the older kids on my block.
DOTDR: I also hung out with older kids who got me into old thrash, death metal, and traditional metal when I was about 10-12 years old, they'd give me their old cassettes because they were upgrading to CDs and that really shaped me into my obsessions today with the classic metal styles. I also really love SOM and CD, I also love the Chameleons, Alien Sex Fiend,etc.
Every so often I get the chance to put on the WITB vinyl that I have and always have to look at the cover art/layout. On both The Transference of Misery and The Grand Visage of Death, you really display the cutting/slitting wrists very openly and it adds an intense reality of suicide and anti-life.I know it's a personal question,but how does the feeling of suicide inspire you?
JPW: We really don't give a fuck what people think of our recordings and these are very personal albums to us. We're one of those bands where if you hate us I just don't give a fuck. We write this music for us and not anyone else. I hate most of everyone and feel that most people should go fucking kill themselves. Black Goat Records just put out a t-shirt
that says " FUCK LIFE " on the back that just says it all for us.
DOTDR: Just out of curiosity and being a huge fan, Is Welter In Thy Blood still active?
JPW: Oh yes, very active, we've been in and out of the studio like crazy. The new album is gonna be out in a couple months ..well, fingers crossed as we still have lots to do, but it will be released on Dusktone Records from ITALY and it will be available on cd and Vinyl 'cause I still believe only vinyl is real. This album is gonna probably piss a lot of people off, which every album of Welter in Thy Blood does.There has been a lot of blood letting during the process of this album which helps clear my mind. I'm not afraid to admit my love for cutting and don't give a fuck what others think of me... they can fuck off and die.
DOTDR: The artwork on the two WITB LP's that I have great design/layouts. I know you draw and do photography with another member of several projects, Darea Plantin, but did you design any of these albums, do you ever design your own albums?
JPW: All the albums art and photos are always designed by Darea and myself. Even with the "Through the Fields of Mourning" album where Kevin Yuen from Sutekh Hexen helped on he added a very minimal touch, and I mean minimal touch to Dareas photos. Like I said, we're very picky on the art we use and yes, all of the art is our own. All of those cut arms are actually Dareas arm's... it was a bloody mess.
DOTDR: Well John, it's been great to work with you and find out more about the upcoming releases. Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?
JPW: Thanks so much for your help and getting this out and some coverage, all the best
The Slaughtered Lamb:http://www.myspace.com/theslaughteredlamb
Welter in Thy blood: http://www.myspace.com/welterinthyblood
Syzmic Records: http://www.syzmicrecords.com/
Black Goat Records: http://www.blackgoatrecords.com/