Thursday, October 24, 2013

Interview with Natalie Bohemian.

Full Name:
Natalie Bohemian.
Can you imagine what my real name would do to my internet persona?
Blow it right the fuck up? That’s my guess.
Unless that was a rhetorical question.

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
I’ve been called Natty Boh for quite a while.  I suppose I should be flattered that I get to share a moniker with Baltimore’s legendary, dirt cheap beer.

Washington, DC

Current hometown:
Baltimore, MD

Favorite city and why?
Baltimore definitely tops my list, and not just because I live here.  It’s one of those places that most people don’t understand because they’ve only seen The Wire.  Nice, France is a close runner up because, well, what’s not to like?
Two words: Crab Pizza.
Well, pizza topped with crab meat, which is more than two words.
I’ve only ever seen it offered in Baltimore and I had it on my birthday a few years back and it was amazing.
Pizza Boli’s?
I don’t remember. It was a few years ago. All I remember was that it was at a joint in the artsy downtown waterfront area which was supposedly a big deal.

February 22/26

How would you describe yourself physically?
I don’t know, sickly-looking?

How would someone else describe you physically?

The first thing people notice about you is…
Oh, god, I haven’t the slightest.

Hair Color/Eye Color/Race?
Hair color now or next week?/Blue/European American (how d’ya like that?)
I like it just fine.

Religion, if any?
Well, I was baptized Catholic and that’s about as far as I got.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I’m not superstitious at all, really.  I do have a phobia, it’s called emetophobia.  Yes, I have an intense fear that pertains to vomiting.  Traumatic events can make your mind do crazy things.
Ugh. I don’t like vomiting either.
I’ve had to keep an eye on a few friends that have over-indulged in alcohol over the years and there’s nothing worse than that convulsive wrenching before the vomit tsunami bursts from them.
Man, I even freak out when somebody gets sick in a movie…
Never watch August Underground’s Mordum. There’s, like, a ten minute scene of my friend Cristie Whiles vomiting on two other girls. You’d be traumatized for life.

Do you smoke/drink?   If so, what?   Any bad habits?
I actually just quit smoking three weeks ago. / I enjoy a good beer, or three.

Current occupation/Dream job:
I’m an administrative assistant. / I’d love to hang out and write music for a living, because right now, it’s a pretty thankless job.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like to hang out with my puppy and the bearded man-creature I live with.  I also enjoy downloading VST plugins…a lot.
Alright, tell me more about these “VST plugins”.
I dabble with making electronic music myself.
I use the NCH Software suite of programs and in WavePad Sound Editor there’s the option to use VST plug-ins but I haven’t taken advantage of it yet.
There are so many plugins out there.  Often, I prefer the free ones.  Tweakbench has some fun 8-bit plugins and they’re totally free.  I’m hooked on zeta+ right now too. Those are all synthesizers.  For effects, Bitcrusher is fun.
I think you’re a bit more accomplished at this than I am. After I did the first-pass edit on your interview I tried to go onto Pirate Bay and download a nice big batch of VST Plug-Ins but all of the big bundles looked sketchy as fuck and nobody had anything nice to say about them in the comments threads. It looks like you have to kind of download and try out plug-ins one at a time and I don’t have the time or patience for that kind of thing. I know it kind of makes me an asshole but I’d rather download a few gigs of plug-ins and try them out one at a time in my leisure than have to download them one at a time and try them each out individually. I appreciate the recommendations though and I’ll check them out soon.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I guess I’d jump in the Chesapeake – Zombies can’t swim, you know.
Someone needs to watch more Lucio Fulci.
Well shit balls…
Yup. Hope you’ve got a Plan B.

Weapon of choice:
Baseball bat?

Do you have any special skills?
I speak French and I can walk in heels like a champ.
Mais oui?
Pourquoi pas?
Je ne connais pas. Je parle Francais une peu. Mais je ne parle pas Francais tres bien. Je suis Fancais-Canadienne, mais je’etudier a Francais a l’ecole. Je ne pale pas Francais a ma maison. Je lire en Francais plus bien a je parle Francais.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Yes, mainly to major in something useless and rack up a bunch of debt.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Hahaha, that’s very funny.
You’d be surprised. A lot of people I interviewed either went to school for free or their parents paid off their tuition. I don’t understand those people.
I did neither.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have a pug and his name is Rudy.  He is the cutest little asshole you’ll ever meet.
I don’t know about all that. I’ve met a lot of cute little assholes.
Alright, I have to admit. That is one cute little asshole.

What is your favorite animal?
I’m kind of a cat lady.
Pugs aren’t cats. Why don’t you have a dozen cats?
My manfriend is allergic to cats.  If I wasn’t such a nice lady, however, I would have a cat or ten.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
People with terrible language skills annoy the crap out of me.

Favorite/Least favorite Food:
I’m definitely into food, I like just about anything…except for mayonnaise – that shit’s disgusting.
Mayonnaise is half disgusting and half awful and should only be put on fast food chicken sandwiches, but, oddly enough, it makes a decent spread if you mix it with mustard.
I can’t do it.  I just can’t.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Six months in Europe, definitely.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
You know, I have an answer for this, but I’m not necessarily comfortable sharing it.
That’s fine. All questions are optional.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Every time, man; I’m just the kind of person worth hurting.  Depressing right?
Welcome to the club, sister. *holds out fist for a bump*

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Not anyone who didn’t totally deserve it.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I once wrote a song that ended up on the Weather Channel of all things.
That’s amazing! Which song?
Haha, I guess I’ll go ahead and take credit for it then: (all piano/synth cheesiness is mine)
I totally bet they just listened to the first minute of the song where it’s all dreamy and synthy and thought “Oh, this will do nicely as musical wallpaper.” and didn’t get to the part where you start breaking it down and harshing it up.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Trusting people I shouldn’t trust.
That’s why I don’t trust people. They don’t deserve your trust.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
Oh my god, that girl from the Wendy’s commercials.  I just have this burning hatred for her.

What do you do?
I write music on the computer and, very rarely, I even perform. 

How did you get started doing what you do?
I’ve been a pianist for about 18 years and I was in a local metal band, in the early 2000’s.  After that band died a horrible death, I spent quite a while trying out for other bands.  The funny thing is, there were a bunch of total ignorant people in local bands who wrote me off purely based on my gender.  The only bands that had any interest in me were realllyyyy horrible.  In 2007, I decided to just work on music by myself and for myself, thus Balls Deep in the Dead was born - electronic metal karaoke turned out to be my thing.  The name is inspired by DOOM.
I’ve noticed that trend too. I’ve been in several bands working with other people but on a long enough timeline there’s always someone that’s mailing it in or decides to leave the band and fucks everything up for everyone else in the band. That’s why I prefer to make my own electronic music these days. It seems like everyone talks about wanting to do stuff but few people actually have the drive and determination to actually do it. That’s why I appreciate your stuff. You’re actually out there doing it, making music and making it work. Ironically, perhaps, I replied to another electronic musician looking for a male vocalist and I got turned down because I wasn’t an underfed goth pretty boy in a fishnet shirt and pleather pants and I didn’t match the “look” she was looking for. Her loss, I’ve got sick pipes. If you ever want to collab let me know.
I totally got the DOOM reference, btw.
I don’t know if it’s working, exactly, but I’m having fun, haha.  It’s really great to be totally in control of what you’re writing.  And thank you, by the way.
You’re quite welcome.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Make sure you’re ready to not be taken seriously. I write music that is strange and has some humorous undertones – not to mention the fact that I make an ass of myself live.  It is very hard to get booked doing what I do.
I’d totally book you if I had the scratch. I’ll keep you in mind. I tried to get ScreamerClauz to do a live show at the screening of his movie Where The Dead Go To Die that I booked, but he said he wasn’t really doing live shows anymore. Shame…
One of these days, I’ll go on tour or something…hey, a girl can dream.
If I ever get my shit together and get popular enough to go on tour I’ll book you as an opener. You’ll have to do your fair share of the driving though.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
I started composing midi songs in high school and I guess that acted as a precursor to BDITD.  I’ve also made some appearances with my good friend Michael’s performance act which is called DAZZLESTORM – my persona is OMJihad; I’m a rapper. I also recorded a one-woman grind album, which was terrible because I can neither play the guitar nor the drums.
Dazzle Storm?
I tried to look up DAZZLESTORM on FB and that’s what I got so I’ll presume that you and Michael are this Nigerian woman’s alternate personalities.
My new favorite thing is her Status Update from June 27th:
“Dis lyf is smtn else, pls if i dnt av a rzn 2 praise God , then am a fool. I slip nd set alarm 2 wake up d next day, i wil wake up wen d alarm rings, witout knwn dat sm young able bodied youth lyk me had died . I walk on d streets nd c crippld young pple , i c blind 1s too, and am cmplete, hale nd hearty, its wondaful. Av heard alot of sad stories, bt 1 tin is sure. If i want 2 pray 2 God 4 smtin, i wud pray 4 longlife nd health, cos when there's life there's hope, and if there's health then there's wealth .”
You should totally turn that Status Update into song lyrics.
By the way, I can totally play the shit out of a guitar. Of course, that being said, I’d need to get a hold of a guitar and an amp, since mine were stolen ten years ago and I never had the money to replace them. But I do have a bass at least and I can play the shit out of that. Although the commute for band practice would be a nightmare.
DAZZLESTORM is too cool for facebook:

What projects are you working on now?
Right now, I’m continuing work on more mature and polished Balls Deep in the Dead songs.  I also have a noise project and a dance/dirge kind of thing called †∆bern∆cle.
Please do keep me posted and send me everything. I like what I’ve heard so far and I’ve been meaning to get my music review blog up and running and it would be a decent tie-in for this interview.
I finally uploaded a song!
I checked it out via the FB page and liked it. I was the first one, so I think that makes me better than the other four people that like the page. Which might actually make me your first #1 Fan. So remember that when you get rich and famous and are making your acceptance speeches at all of the music award shows.

What are you watching?
Well, Project Runway’s over until next week… so nothing I’m really emotionally invested in.  Don’t judge, I’m a lady.

What are you listening to?
In the car, Slayer.  At home, my dad’s old vinyl from the 60s and 70s. 

What are you reading?
I’m reading “Glamorama” by Brett Easton Ellis right now.
Have you read a lot of Bret Easton Ellis? Glamorama’s my fav!
Actually, it’s only the second book of his that I’ve bought…after the obligatory American Psycho…
You should definitely check out the rest of his stuff. I definitely think that American Psycho is over-rated compared to Glamorama. Less Than Zero, Rules of Attraction, and Lunar Park are solid. There’s a great story that’s kind of about modern day vampires in The Informers. I gave Imperial Bedrooms a spin as an audio book, but it was kind of a let down and it was read by Andrew McCarthy, who stared as the lead in the film adaptation of Less Than Zero, but his read totally ruined it. There were some really cool opportunities to sample dialogue that his read totally ruined.

Favorite author/book?
I really can’t choose a favorite author, but “The Old Man and the Sea” is definitely my favorite book.
That seems like an odd choice. Why that book?
Three words: No. Passive. Voice.  It’s incredible, nobody writes like that.

Favorite band / song?
Circle Takes the Square / I have no clue, haha.

Least favorite band / song?
I hate, hate, hate Avenged Sevenfold so much.  They are kind of the worst thing ever.  I dislike all of their songs.

Desert Island Music/Movies/Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
Music:  Circle Takes the Square, Daft Punk, SHAT (for entertainment purposes), Billy Joel’s classical shit (don’t judge), and probably Comeback Kid’s “Turn it Around” album because it brings back some good memories.

Movies: Wait a minute, how am I going to listen to/watch anything?  Do I have electronics too?  If so, Amélie, a Chinese film called Huozhe, The Shining because it’s a classic, something fucked up by Gaspar Noé like I Stand Alone, and A Clockwork Orange.
That’s a good point. You have one of those travel DVD watching things and a solar charger for it. Great picks by the way. I’ve been trying and failing to interview Gaspar Noé for years.
Well if you ever do, let him know that I’m no Thomas Bangalter, but I want to do a soundtrack for him anyway.
Few are.
I looked up the credits for Enter The Void to see who coordinated the soundtrack for the film. I couldn’t figure out who coordinated the contracting for the soundtrack, but you could always try messaging Thomas Bangalter and see if they need some supplementary tracks for whatever Gaspar’s next film is.
Fuck it, find and message everyone involved in the production and if you’re persistent enough you might be able to get to Gaspar and if not, maybe you’ll make a few more fans. I often brazenly message people to see if they’re interested in working with me.

Books: The Old Man and the Sea, American Psycho because the book is far superior to the movie, The Stranger by Camus, something fun by Chuck Palahniuk, and a huge book of crosswords if I’m allowed a pen too.
I guess we can allow you a pen.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I would drink a lot of wine and do a lot of nothing.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
I want to meet Ru Paul. Because.
Dead: I guess my paternal grandfather would be cool.
Fictional: Holden Caufield or someone equally pessimistic about life.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
I’ve never really enjoyed a job I’ve had all that much, but my current job is pretty secure.  My worst job ever was at the movie theater at Arundel Mills, which is a dumpy ass mall just south of Baltimore.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Favorite place I’ve played a show away from home: Providence, RI
Yeah, tell us about that. That’s the reason I found out about your work. A friend of a friend booked that show and when I told him I wanted to start making electronic music my friend was all, “Well, you should check out Balls Deep In The Dead” so I did.
Who, Jay?  That Nothing But Noise show at the 201 was a ton of fun.  I felt like the whole lineup was way out of my league, but I had a great time.
Yeah, I don’t associate with Jay. I’ve known that kid since high school and I’ve figured out that it’s not worth associating with him anymore since it’s often more trouble than it’s worth. But I do still associate with our mutual friend Josh who acts as sort of a neutral go-between.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Michael Anthony Farley.
PM me a link to his FB and I’ll send him an add request.

Got any questions for me?
What possessed you to interview me?
A friend of a friend booked your Providence show and when I told him I wanted to start making electronic music my friend was all, “Well, you should check out Balls Deep In The Dead” so I did. I like what I’ve heard of what you do and I thought it would be interested to get to know the person behind the music.

Closing questions / summary / and thanks:
Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!

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

About the Interviewee:
Natalie Bohemian is a complete weirdo from Maryland.  Drawing inspiration from death metal, hard house, and just about anything else imaginable, she writes music for people with bad taste/limited hearing.  She has worked on numerous solo projects and is currently suffering from a bad case of writers’ block.

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:
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