Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interview wth Anthony Teth.

Full Name:
Anthony Teth.  The “Teth” part is a pseudonym.
You go by a variety of names.  Anthony Teth.   Zavier Drake.  Why is that?  What is the significance of the pseudonyms?
I suppose it’s a combination of things.  People constantly mispronounce my real last name of Geremia, so that might be part of it.  Teth is a handle I used on a bunch of mysticism forums that's quick and easy to pronounce, and simultaneously has a lot of qabalistic weight to it.  It means “Serpent”, but is associated with the zodiac sign of Leo as well as the tarot trump known as “Strength”, “Fortitude” or “Lust”, depending upon the deck.  The Zavier Drake thing is a longer story.  I had created that pseudonym for a writing project I never started and had ultimately forgotten about.  Back in the day, I used my personal Facebook account for promoting a local bar night I worked, and would regularly post Frank Frazetta paintings as part of said promotion.  However, even though they were classic paintings, they were flagged as pornography, and the account was shut down.  I then stumbled upon the forgotten Zavier Drake account, and here we are.

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
I have had a bunch of nicknames over the years.  I suppose “Metal” or “Metal Anthony” might be my most enduring. “Fuzzy” was one of my older ones, but fell into disfavor after I started shaving my head. Another group of friends occasionally call me “Smarty Pecs” while snickering.  Only my gamer friends call me Tony.  When I worked as a bouncer, I'm sure there were some less savory ones passed around.

Candlebattle, Rogues Island and Proper-dunce Plantations, USA

Current hometown:
The Bucket.

Favorite city and why?
I do love Providence something fierce.  Perfect mix of colonial architecture, ocean vistas, weird history, and small-town dynamics.  I've done some traveling in the past, and have really enjoyed visiting places like Koln, Irun, La Rochelle, Innsbruck, Cork, Trondheim, Talin, Lisbon and Barcelona, but don't know them well enough to judge.  I have a blast whenever I visit New York City, but I'd never want to live there.  My fiancée loves Seattle, but I've never been.
Perhaps it’s time to go.
Perhaps indeed.

Birthday / Age:
August 15th. Currently 34.

How would you describe yourself physically?
Shaven-headed, bearded, broad-shouldered, and Roman-nosed. On the shorter side of average height.
Yeah, but you’ve got a big personality.  That adds a few inches. 
Alas, my personality does not influence most instruments of measurement.

How would someone else describe you physically?
I suppose that depends on who's looking.  Could be anything from “dorky metalhead” to “tattooed knuckle-dragger”.  Usually “Mediterranean” gets thrown somewhere in the mix.

The first thing people notice about you is…
Probably my head.  It can be pretty shiny at times.

Hair Color / Eye Color / Race?
Mottled to dark brown beard, head usually shaved, hazel eyes.  The concept of race is an unfortunately still-propagated myth that needs to be destroyed.
I agree with the last.  When asked about my race and if I can get away with shining off the answer I answer “Human”.  I just keep it in there because a lot of people are really tied to their racial identity.  Plus this is an older version of the first round questionnaire because you took your sweet time about getting it back to me.
Definitely.  When one examines the myriad fallacies contained within Social Darwinism (where most race theory derives from), the misperceptions concerning evolution in general, and the fact that most terms like “Semitic” and “Indo-European” only account for language.  It is more and more evident that race is little more than a highly-damaging and  ill-conceived construct. 

Sexual orientation?
Hetero, but not normative. 

Religion, if any?
Short answer: Secular Hermetic Humanist Agnostic.  However, I practice a varied potpourri of psycho-spiritual exercises that embrace Thelemic, Buddhist, Gnostic, Taoist, Thanateric and Pantheistic philosophies.
That’s the short answer?  *laughs*  What’s the long answer?
It would probably involve explaining all of the terms that follow the short answer, beginning with “However”.

Are you superstitious at all?  Any phobias?
Somewhat, but not really.  I've thrown fallen table salt over my shoulder ever since I saw it in a Warner Brothers cartoon when I was a child, and I avoid walking under ladders for more practical reasons (like falling tools).  I'm not great with heights, but I've worked a few roofing jobs in the past without incident.  I currently have a respect for sharks that borders on phobia, and anytime I'm in the ocean I perpetually scan for dorsal fins.  I blame my father for letting me watch Jaws at age 4 in a dark room while suddenly leaping out and screaming whenever someone got eaten.  Needless to say, a solid decade of shark nightmares ensued to reinforce my fears.

Do you smoke/drink?   If so, what?   Any bad habits?
I don't really drink much anymore.  Maybe a beer or two if I'm out with some friends, or some wine at home.  I enjoy cannabis these days, and am partial to Indica strains.
I forgot that you became a pot-head when I wasn’t paying attention.  Why cannabis?
“Pothead” is an unfortunate term due to its association with stupidity and cloudy thinking.  Amusingly, I tend to use cannabis for more intellectual purposes.  I've found that my mind responds well to THC, and that it helps me focus on certain things I might normally have trouble with.  For example, when I was finishing my History degree, I needed to fill a science requirement.  I love science, but have a history of math difficulty.  Considering just how much math is involved in even the most basic of scientific operations, I was having issues in the classroom.  I think it was partly the nervousness associated with a lifetime of math problems (pun intended), and the subsequent disappointment of my Math-teacher Mother during key developmental stages, and partly my internal dialog – I'm constantly over-thinking and cross-referencing things in my head, usually when I should be listening.  My first exam grade after extra credit was an 83, which I found unacceptable.  So, I decided to smoke up before class and bring a bunch of snacks with me.  Automatically, I was calmer walking in, and my inner dialog quieted considerably.  I became a sponge, and was able to easily absorb the information that I was having difficulty with beforehand while taking voracious notes.  Simultaneously, I was reinforcing positive psychological connections with science/mathematics through not only the gentle euphoria of the cannabis but also the tasty rewards of my snacks.  My second exam grade plus extra credit was 110, and I believe I ended up with one of, if not the highest grade in the class by the end of that semester.

Current occupation:
Waiter / Bartender / Writer / Art Consultant / Convention Co-Organizer.
Alright, tell us a bit about the preceding.  Not so much the “Waiter/Bartender” part.  I think that people get those two, but what about the rest of them?  A bit of elaboration perhaps?
I enjoy writing, and have been mostly writing essays about certain mystical and/or historical subjects that interest me.  I've written some short fiction in the past, but I began my first novel, Providence Noir, as a serial with somewhat staccato installments on the Necronomicon Providence website.
“Art Consultant” references my work with Jay Gidwitz in the Dream Logic Tarot.  Jay is both classically trained as an artist and very tech-savvy.  I am an amateur artist who knows a fair amount about Hermeticism, Renaissance Neoplatonists, the tarot and its various connected philosophies.  Jay's occult specialties lie in NLP and other non-traditional psychological approaches, so we complement each other nicely.  I do a lot of little artistic things here and there in the card-creation process, but the bulk of the piece is created by Jay, with me acting as a foreman of sorts, looking over his shoulder and  saying annoying things like “more blue over here”, or “lets blur that background and add this fractal over it”, or “have him hold the sword like this”, “that orange is too bright”, etc.
There are so many little things involved in Co-Organizing a convention that I don't know where to begin, frankly, but I feel like I had it easy in comparison to the workload Niels and Carmen had to deal with.

Dream Job:
World-Traveling Writer/Educator with a metal band and some bizarre/fun projects on the side.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Read, write, study, exercise/yoga/martial arts, meditate, play guitar, sing, hike, camp, draw, etc.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Collect my closest family, friends, and a ton of supplies, find a spot out in the boonies to hunker down until the outbreak has been contained, and decapitate anything that gets in our way.

Weapon of choice:
The mind, body, and my surroundings, of course.  For firearms, I'm most comfortable with handguns in the 9mm to .45 range and 12 gauge shotguns.  For blades, I like various  broadswords, sabers, rapiers, kindjals, kukris, gladii, and Bowie knives.  Cudgels, escrima sticks and staves in a pinch.  I like archery, but I'm not very good at the moment.

Do you have any special skills?
I can make a mean pasta sauce.
I remember coming back from a Nile show in Worcester and keeping Liz amused for half the ride by acting out the conversation between you and Tony from Vital Remains as you bantered over the pizza he bought for the ride home.  “Hey!  Tony!  You want a slice a this here pizza?”  “What me?  Fuhgetaboutit!  I had pizza for lunch and I’m having pasta for dinner!”  “Ay!  Oh!  Pasta fazool!”
Amusingly, Tony from Vital Remains is of Portuguese descent, not Italian. If you'd like, I could ask him for his home made codfish recipe.
Sure, Johnny Joke-killer.  Have him send it over.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
History with a focus on Western Occultism and Mysticism.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Not yet, but soon. 

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have formally adopted my fiancée’s two cats.  Their names are Nero Ladyparts Meowmalade and Nolan Spazoid McFluffnugget, respectively.

What is your favorite animal?
I'm an animal nut who watches a lot of nature documentaries, so I can't narrow it down to just one.  I love felines, crocodilians, raptors, canidae, bovidae, cephalopods and many more.
I always figured you for something mythical.
I didn't realize that was fair game in this question. However, I feel the myriad creatures on this planet are pretty damn amazing in their own right, without any additional mystical properties.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Rudeness.  Ignorance.  Callous Disregard.  Heavy footfalls.  Excessive perfume/cologne. 

Favorite Foods:
Homemade Italian, Indian, Mexican, Syrian, Greek, Thai, Cambodian, Chinese, Ethiopian, American fusion, etc.

Least favorite Food:
Raw celery.

What is your favorite quotation/motto/saying?
Currently: “I intend to live forever or die trying.” -Groucho Marx.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
I started dating my fiancée.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
I feel like I live a pretty charmed life at times.  None of the bad shit in the past bothers me enough to matter, anymore, so I've no reason to ponder “the worst” of it.  As much as I might play the perpetual curmudgeon on occasion, I'm quite the optimist at heart.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Everyone's had their heart broken in one way or another.  In the typical manner, I've fallen in love with a lie, been betrayed by friends and/or lovers, and have watched meaningful relationships wither and fall apart.  It sucks, but “them's the breaks”.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Probably, but never with intent or betrayal in mind.  Some relationships simply end, and it can be a rough process. 

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Helped some friends when they were in need.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Ignored a friend in need because I didn't know how to help them.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
I suppose someone who tortures, maims and/or kills the innocent.

What do you do? 
I try to learn, do, and experience as much as I can.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I woke up hungry for knowledge.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Somewhat typically: Don't sweat the small stuff, and persist daily.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.

Well, with Niels, Carmen, and an awesome cadre of friends (including yourself), we were able to pull off the Necronomicon, a pretty big H.P. Lovecraft convention – the biggest I've ever heard of, truth be told.  I collaborate regularly with artist Jay Gidwitz.  I've written a few articles for the Witches' Almanac over the years, and have a website that showcases some of my occult ramblings.  Back in the day, I used to play in a few metal bands.

What projects are you working on now?
Jay Gidwitz and I are currently creating The Dream Logic Tarot, which will be a fully-functional and esoterically relevant tarot deck created through digital media, and I'm writing a book that explains the system and symbolism of tarot.  I'm also writing Providence Noir, an horror/occult/mystery that I began as a serial, and have been writing some short stories inspired by Cook and Germain's Numenera RPG.  Also, we're thinking of bringing back the Necronomicon in 2015.
Are we?  I haven’t gotten the memo.  I think Niels might be mad at me.  One of the vendors included the tax man in our little adventure and the resolution of that was a bit messy.   Keep in mind that taxation is an issue that even conventions that are well-established have issues with.  In my former career as a convention vendor for a horror-genre merchandising company I can’t count the number of times I was given tax forms and no one bothered to come by to pick them up at the end of the show so I just drove home and pitched the tax documents at the first available trash receptacle.  I coordinated two conventions in Los Angeles, and a month after the first one, my employers asked me to contact all of the celebrities so that they could get their tax information and send them tax documents.  My reply was, “You’re kidding, right?  Why didn’t you tell me about that while they were still here?  You seriously think I’m going to be able to just call up Bruce Campbell and Clive Barker and ask them for their social security numbers and not be told to fuck right off?  I’ll try, but don’t expect this to turn out very well.”  And it didn’t.
He hasn't spoken to me about any tax problems yet, though a non-profit status might have complicated an already tedious process. We should be having a meeting in the next few weeks and I'll try to get to the bottom of things.
That’s fair.  If I’m out, I’m out.  No love lost.

What are you watching?
Currently Mythbusters, Various Nature Documentaries (mostly BBC stuff), Poirot, Hyperdrive, MST3K, Daily Show & Colbert.

What are you listening to?
Currently Melechesh, Electric Wizard, High On Fire, Blut Aus Nord, Tyr, Black Sabbath & Windir.

What are you reading?
Astrology, Aleister and Aeon by Charles Kipp, Indestructible Truth by Reginald A. Ray, War With the Newts by Karel Capek, Tales From the Ninth World by Monte Cook and Shanna Germain, The Canon by William Stirling, Everything is Under Control by Robert Anton Wilson, and You Can Have An Amazing Memory by Dominic O'Brien.
I loved Everything Is Under Control.  As a result of that book and your recommendations I downloaded a huge torrent of collected Robert Anton Wilson recordings including an audio book adaptation of The Illuminatus Trilogy, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them.  My “Author Photo” is a picture of me posing with Everything Is Under Control at Dusk, taken by Lisa Gourley, because I’m the kind of guy that brings a book to a bar.
Lisa Gourley snapping photos?  Never.  (For those of you who haven't spent time in Providence bars or clubs, Lisa is wonderful.  She's also never without at least two, if not three cameras on her person at all times snapping photos constantly.  If she wasn't such a total sweetheart, she could probably be making millions in blackmail revenue alone.)  I am also the kind of guy who brings a book to a bar.  Frankly, I rarely go anywhere without a book, kindle, or notepad of some kind within easy reach.  Bob's lectures are, to me, just as wonderful as his writing.  Weird and rambling, but the longer they persist, the more you realize that all of those disparate topics he's been yapping about are all interconnected and about to come to a rather startling convergence.  I suppose Everything... is far more of a reference work, but each entry has those tell-tale marks of Wilson's prodigious wit, as if he's smirking the whole way through.

Favorite author / book?
I adore the writings of R.A. Wilson, William Blake, Barry Strauss, Lon DuQuette, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Regardie, Crowley, Ecco, Pratchett, Abnett, Lovecraft, Howard, and many others. 

Favorite band / song?
I dunno. Iron Maiden, maybe. There are so many awesome bands, and as you might have guessed, my tastes fluctuate with my mood. I'll say Iron Maiden now, but later it might be Crowbar or Akercocke or High On Fire or Immolation or something.

Least favorite band / song?
Pretty much all of the soulless corporate shit that's come out in the past 30 years.

Desert Island Music/Movies/Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
The Chemical Wedding by Bruce Dickinson
Come My Fanatics by Electric Wizard
Dreams of the Carrion Kind by Disincarnate
The Epigenesis by Melechesh
Death is This Communion by High On Fire.
Conan the Barbarian (Original)
The Godfather
The Holy Mountain
In the Mouth of Madness
Complete Works of William Blake
Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft
The Occult Philosophy by Agrippa
The Ultimate Guide to U.S. Army Survival by McCullough
Pocket Ref by Thomas J. Glover

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Travel more.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Alive: Umberto Ecco
Dead: John Dee
Fictional: Sherlock Holmes

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Though the last few days were harrowing as hell, in hindsight I'd say the “convention co-organizer” thing was pretty awesome, though there were aspects of touring with a band that were pretty badass.  Worst job by far was selling memberships for a gym in Los Angeles via a glorified telemarketing approach.  That was fucking dismal.

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

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
I'll have to think on that one.

Got any questions for me?
How ya doin' big guy?
Ha!  A lot of people aren’t going to get why that’s funny.  Allow me to explain to those that don’t know us personally and are reading this interview by chance.  Anthony is built like if you cross-bred a pitbull and a tank.  I’m in the kind of shape that a cardboard box is if left outside from fall through spring.  I’m doing okay I guess.  Trying to launch my writing career, but it’s an uphill battle against an army of hacks throwing rocks down behind them but I’m determined to stick with it until I decide not to.  My goal for 2014 is to write a novel-length book a month in what I’m calling the “twelve in twelve” challenge.  I figure if I can write twelve books in twelve months, and I can, then if that doesn’t launch my writing career, or at least get me some recognition then I’m surrendering to a life of unrecorded mediocrity like everyone else.  I’ve also been pretty busy with my interview blog You Are Entitled To My Opinion.  I started it on October 1st, 2013, and it’s January, 11th as I type this and I’ve completed and published 106 interviews and we’re somewhere between nine and ten thousand page views, so at least it hasn’t been a complete waste of the time of everyone involved.  Not too shabby for three months work.  I’ve published two collections of interviews from the blog on my self-publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books, and I’m working on a third, and I’ve published two books. R/T/M by Sean Douglas and Dead Letter Depot by myself.  I’m almost finished my third book, which will be a paranormal horror novel titled Abandon, and I’m working on a post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic book project that I already have around 65,000 words written towards.  My goal is to shoot for 400,000 words because that’s about what Stephen King’s The Stand clocked in at and I think that I can do the same if I just stick with it.
Sounds rather harrowing.  I'd say best of luck, but I know you're good for it.  I certainly envy your work ethic, and to a lesser extent, your insomnia.  Though, the “How ya doin' big guy?” was not meant to be sarcastic.  Your personality “adds a few inches” as well, and I always say one should never confuse size with stature.  Also, it reminded me of an episode of The Tick cartoon series (The Tick vs. The Proto-Clown), where Tick had an inner journey and stumbled into a hidden section of his psyche.  He was able to have answered any one question he wished, no matter how difficult.  He asked: “How ya doin?”

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
Thanks a bunch for having me, brother. This was fun.

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

Facebook: Necronomicon Providence
Twitter: @anthonyteth

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre 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.
He is currently working on ten novel-length book projects which will be released in 2014.
He also publishes themed collections of interviews from his interview blog You Are Entitled To My Opinion.
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 publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And 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:
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Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
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