Saturday, October 26, 2013

Interview with Ted Venemann.

Full Name:
Ted Venemann

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Not since I was a kid.
What did they call you when you were a kid? Or was it just “Teddy”?
“Thrasher”, “Snake Bite”, “Froggy”, “Teddy Bear” I think there were more but I can’t remember them off the top of my head.
I am way jealous of your childhood nicknames. I think I’m going to try to get people to start calling me “Thrasher Lefebvre”.

Los Angeles, CA

Current hometown:
Los Angeles, CA

Favorite city and why?
Too many GREAT cities, I can’t pick just one.
That’s fair.

Birthday / Age:

How would you describe yourself physically?
Thin, fit, tall & healthy.

How would someone else describe you physically?
You’d have to ask someone else that one.

Hair Color / Eye Color / Race?
Strawberry Blonde / Red, Blue-Green/Human

Sexual orientation?

Religion, if any?
I don’t subscribe to any organized religion. Everyone has their own path and I am still discovering mine.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
No superstitions. No debilitating phobias

Do you smoke/drink?.  If so, what?
No smoking, Drink on occasion. Depends on the occasion. ;)

Any bad habits?
Such as…
I have a tendency to over think things. I’ve been known to make jokes at inappropriate times and I am very sarcastic by nature. I don’t intend to piss people off but there are a lot of folks that don’t share my sense of humor. Also, I have been told that I come off very intense and sometimes intimidating. But I’m not sure that those are bad habits exactly. Besides, “Bad” is a relative term anyway.

Current occupation / Dream job:
Self-employed Artist, Designer, Musician, Photographer, Live Events Producer, Creative Director and Marketing Director. The dream is to be better compensated for my efforts. 

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Have fun, I know it sounds generic but that’s the simple answer. I like too many things and I am always trying new things so the list continues to grow.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
We have a group of friends with which we share a disaster preparedness plan.

Weapon of choice:
I collect different cultural weapons but I am partial to knives.

Do you have any special skills?
Such as…
If I told you they wouldn’t be “SPECIAL” anymore.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Yes, Journalism and I took extension courses at UCLA for Art & Design.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
2 cats, Spike and Mohana

What is your favorite animal?
I love all animals short of some homosapiens.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Overall, lack of common sense and/or common decency. 

Favorite/Least favorite Food:
I have been Vegetarian since I was 13 and I prefer savory over sweet.

What is your favorite quotation/motto/saying?
There are a lot of fantastic quotes and mottos out there but the lyrics to CRASS’ “Big A Little A” have always resonated with me. “…Be exactly who you want to be, do what you want to do. I am he and she is she but you're they only you”

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
I met Jenny Hoagland.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Losing my parents.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Of course, it might be worth telling but this isn’t the forum.
Fair enough.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Probably, but every story has at least 2 sides, so my telling would be incomplete.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I try to be a good person, friend and brother. I try to help more than hinder and heal more than hurt. I have helped raise money and awareness for animal rights ever since I was a teenager. And I hope to live in this manner til the day I die.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I shot a gopher once.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
I don’t want to kill anything or anybody.

What do you do?

How did you get started doing what you do?
My first job was screen-printing in a T-Shirt shop. I started my own company and learned as much about every aspect of graphic arts that I possibly could.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Start at the bottom, work hard and be passionate about what you do.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
Well, in the recent past, my company Oculus OutrĂ© produced THE KILLER KLOWN KARNIVAL: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of KILLER KLOWNS from OUTER SPACE with The Chiodo Bros. We did the Artwork, Layout, Photography and Design for the new SOULFLY album “SAVAGES” and curated the IREZUMI: Japanese Tattoo Art Exhibition in Hollywood.

What projects are you working on now?
We are putting together a book called The Art of IREZUMI documenting and examining the phenomenon of IREZUMI. Developing a pop-culture/sub-culture video channel. Launching a licensed merchandising and design division and we are also planning our next Art Exhibition.

What are you watching?
Horror, Sci-Fi & Hockey, as usual.

What are you listening to?
I listen to everything from Bluegrass, Blues and Exotica to Soundtracks, Punk and Classical.

What are you reading?
I am between books right now.

Favorite author/book?

Favorite band/song?

Least favorite band / song?
Rush / Tom Sawyer

Desert Island Music/Movies/Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
UGH! This question always makes me uncomfortable for some reason. But here we go… Nick Cave - Murder Ballads, Tomahawk – Anonymous, Tom Waits – Rain Dogs, Portishead - Dummy, DeVics – My Beautiful Sinking Ship. Phantom of the Paradise, The Big Sleep, The Black Cat (1934), L.A. Confidential, Caddyshack. Kon-Tiki, Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, The Anarchist Cookbook, Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild, The Villain’s Guide To Better Living.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Travel the world photographing and immersing myself in other cultures while maintaining my personal values i.e. not eating meat or hurting anything.
Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Meh, I’m not much of a fan boy and people are so unpredictable, but I’ll give it a go…
Alive: Paul Williams - Dead: Vincent Price – Fictional: Dr. Who
I actually met Paul Williams at a Phantom of the Paradise screening in New York City.   He was quite nice and gracious to the people that waited around and lined up after the screening to meet him.
That is good to hear. I have actually had the opportunity to meet him a few times. Once was at the Petco on Ventura Blvd. He was buying cat food and I didn’t think it was the appropriate time, so I left him alone. Another was at The Muppet Fest but I didn’t even know he was there until after the event was over. That one bummed me out a bit.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
I have enjoyed every job I have ever had, although I may not have enjoyed all of the circumstances surrounding them.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Not really.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Maybe, but I’ll see how this works out for me before I involve anyone else.
How it works out for you? That’s fair I suppose. But it’s a pretty simple process.
You answer the questions, I check out your answer and kick them back, you get a second chance to reply or comment and then if it’s in good shape I post it. Then people will or will not read it. There’s really not a lot of room for twists.
I understand, and I’ll keep it in mind.

Got any questions for me?
Did you come up with all of these questions? Have you answered them yourself?
I did come up with these questions, kind of.
I mean, a lot of them are fairly standard fare, but I wanted to include a few questions that would make it a bit more interesting that your usual puff piece promotional interview.
Some people get it. Some people don’t.
Also, I was working on a character survey for a post-apocalyptic zombie epidemic novel-length book project I was working on.
So the skeleton of the First-Pass Interview Survey came from that.
Since you asked, I did have the tables turned on me by my 24th interview subject Michael Welch, so the 25th interview on the site is me being interviewed by him.

Closing questions / summary / and thanks:
Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
No problem. It was actually interesting. I usually get interviewed about other things like my work or my bands so being interviewed about myself was kind of weird.
I do hope you realize that at any time you could have used this as a forum to promote your work or your bands. Although I’m glad you interpreted the interview process in the manner that you did and found it interesting.

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.
Website: &

About the Interviewee:
Okay, you asked for it…
I grew up in a small “Safe” Southern California city in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV). The youngest of 2 boys and the only pale, freckle faced and redheaded member of my immediate family. We lived on an acre lot with many different animals including but not limited to cats, dogs, koi, ducks, horses, rabbits, chinchillas, raccoons, snakes, newts, tortoises, finches, cockatiels and more. Needless to say we were taught to love and appreciate all living things.
We were raised by two very liberal parents who encouraged us to find our own paths and to be open-minded. My brother Jerry and I caught the collecting bug from our mother Judy at a very young age. She was an avid collector of Toys, Books, Comic Books, Magazines, Antiques, Native American Art and Records and more. We followed in like but focused on Toys, Records, Books, Comic Books & Posters. We gravitated towards “left of the dial” subcultures such as punk rock/hardcore and horror movies. Our parents supported all of our interests and even took us to see R rated horror movies and bands like The Runaways, The Alley Cats, Surf Punks, The Who and others before we even reached our teens.
Jerry and I formed our own punk rock band, Delirium Tremens, when I was 13 and our parents would drive us to all of our gigs including shows at The Cathay de Grande, Club 12XU and The Whisky a Go Go as well as innumerous backyard parties. Sometimes there would be multiple shows per night due to police interference. All the while we had the complete support of our parents Bob and Judy.
Due in no small amount to the DIY nature of the Punk Rock and Hardcore music scenes I started on my path to a career in graphic arts and live events promotion. Along with friends we would design all of our Fliers, T-Shirts and Stickers and then we would print them in Silk-Screening class. We would set up, promote and book our own parties and gigs. I heard about an opening at a screen-printing shop through a friend and from there I learned everything I could about the business and process from the ground up.
Around this time Delirium Tremens broke up and I joined Triple X recording artists The Flower Leperds. While in The Flower Leperds I recorded two releases, “One Miserable Bastard On A Pencil / The Starving Artists Sessions” and “Purple Reign” contributing writing credits to both. We often played with bands like Bad Religion, Buzzcocks, DI, The Circle Jerks, GWAR, The Mentors, Chemical People and the list goes on and on. Soon I launched my own Horror T-Shirt line and started selling at conventions and to shops across the country. Through these events and connections, like Eric at Hollywood Book & Poster, I ended up with clients like Sara Karloff, Ron Chaney, Robert Clarke, David J. Skal, and Jack Hill amongst many others.
After a few years I sold the lion’s share of my designs to a company called Chaser Merchandising and then took a Graphic Artist position at Creation Entertainment. Throughout this period I continued to play music in various bands. During my 13½ years at Creation I was promoted from Graphic Artist to Sr. Graphic Artist to Art Director and finally Creative Director. I designed and/or conceptualized thousands of products for almost all of the major studios and properties as well as helped run numerous conventions culminating with me taking the lead on the Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors events. We ran as many as four Weekend of Horrors events per year in cities such as Los Angeles, San Jose, Austin, Chicago, New Jersey and New York.
After parting ways with Creation in 2010 I focused on freelance design and consulting gigs as well as starting a Live Events Photography Company. I recently partnered with renowned Tattoo Artist Paul Stottler to form the Design, Live Events & Merchandising Company, Oculus Outré. In addition I continue to work with companies like Fangoria Entertainment and Scream Factory in varying capacities. I also continue to play music with my bands YIDHRA, Delirium Tremens and PRV13.
I left out a ton of stuff, but you didn’t ask me to write a book did you?

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his videos at:
Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
E-mail him at:

OPTIONAL: Prove you’re not a replicant.

Question 1:
A tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping. Why is that?
Because I can’t reach it.

Question 2:
Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about your mother.

Love, Compassion, Beauty and Intelligence.

Question 3:
It's your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet.

I give it back.

Question 4:
You've got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar.

I ask him who taught him to do that?

Question 5:
You're watching television. Suddenly you realise there's a wasp crawling on your arm.

I carefully walk outside to set it free.

Question 6:
You're reading a magazine. You come across a full-page nude photo of a girl. You show it to your husband. He likes it so much he hangs it on your bedroom wall.

I am happy that we have the same taste in women.

Question 7:
You're watching a stage play. A banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog.

I leave.

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