interview with Dendera Bloodbath

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes, I was in a band called Verge of Bliss that was original hard rock songs. Vergeofbliss.bandcamp.comshould still be around somewhere I also have a collab project with my boyfriend Matt Hex who performs as Bonemagic and we are called Graveyard Secrets.

How is it that you started playing music? I grew up with a Fisher Price tape recorder and various plastic wind instruments and gradually progressed to guitar, bass, and synthesizers. Really could not tell you when I started.

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? I'm Verge Bliss and I play autoharp, synth, bass, and various electro acoustic devices

Have you had other previous members? Yes, for the Salome album I had a full band, who are credited on the bandcamp page for that album. One of them was an ex with whom I had a falling out, but I still think that album is alright.

Did you make music even when you were young? Yes. Always.

Where are you from? Atlanta GA

What year did the band form?This project started in 2011 after I separated from my ex-husband.

What's your style of genre?Darkwave/harsh noise

What inspires you? My friends!!! Listening to what my friends are doing, hanging out with them at shows and fests, going to visit them in other cities. I love my friends. Each album has a different theme behind it. For example, Money Luck Grimoire 2017 and Xaoate are chaos magick spells. MLG2017 also has neuro linguistic programming elements in it. Once I decide what I'm going to say all the musical pieces fall into place.

How often and where do you reherse? I have a PA set up in my house and can practice or record pretty much whenever. I feel very lucky.

How have you developed since you started with the music? Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I have a BS in Biology from Georgia State and have held a few jobs in that field. Music and science definitely play off each other in my life, but sometimes one will pick up and interfere with the other. Working with other musicians has definitely improved my people skills and my ability to plan events.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? I would be interested in working with a booking agent or label insofar as they are able to help me reach the next steps in my career. I will be releasing a couple of albums on my friends' labels rather than my own because it helps build exposure, for example.

What made you decide to make this music? I just started doing what I felt inside and then figured out what genre fit best.

What are your songs about?Death and dying, liminal spaces, witchcraft, human sacrifice, obtaining wealth thru hypnosis -- I really try to write about a wide variety of subjects without getting so far away from what I know that the lyrics are triteor forced.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Me I do all of it.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics?

It depends on the song. I don't have one single way in which I make music but rather would challenge myself to create in ways that flow organically and stay true to the purpose of the material.

For Queen of the Cauldron Born, I started with the hook for most of those songs and composed around that.

For m i a m b i e n t  I set my gear up in the hotel room and laid down some beats, not really putting a lot of lyrical content over them.

Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Composition by default largely takes place in my house because that's where I spend my time. However, it happens wherever I am with the equipment I need. Sometimes I carry my Electribe EM-1 around with me to work on songs because I can really flesh them out.

Have you done any covers live? Yes, people love when I play Helena by My Chemical Romance on autoharp so it's really easy for me to casually whip that out. I do some Mars Volta, Grateful Dead, and other stuff that's outside the usual cover material.

What language do you sing in? English

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? When I play International Noise Conference in Miami that is probably the most people I will play to at once, most of my gigs can have up to 15 or 20 people in attendance. Experimental music is still kind of a tough sell compared to metal or punk which do really well in my home market of Atlanta GA.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? All ages, from the very young to the very old. Noise doesn't have a cutoff age.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? I have several different setups that I use and so the material varies based on what I am using. Autoharp sets have rehearsed songs but I also play a lot of harsh noise sets which are totally improvised and performed on a variety of electronic devices such as effects pedals, some of which I have built myself.

Do you have a regular place you play live often? Yes. One in every city, too many to name one by one!!! Anywhere that my friends will be.

What was your first gig like? I played bass in a band in high school and we had one gig at Jammin Java in Vienna VA. It was pretty much your average high school rock band experience -- everyone actually shows up to see you play, you take too long to set up and break down, everything is kinda not mixed well but it's because all your amps are different levels and not because of the sound guy. I know way more about how to mix sound now and where different things sit in the mix. Overall a great experience.

What was your latest gig? Today is the day after my June 7 performance at Fresh Produce Records in Macon GA. Two of the performers, JNN and JCarter, are friends of mine and I ran sound for their show June 6 at Eyedrum. I will be playing with them at Betty's in Nashville June 21 as part of a tour up to Detroit for Midwest Harshfest and really love seeing both of them perform.

The Macon local for the bill was Scott6, who writes industrial/darkwave and does a great cover of All Along the Watchtower. His set was awesome, I loved every minute and was glad to see him again as it had been a couple of years.

I did an NLP/hypnosis set and used my briefcase full of springs and bass pickups. Basically it has 4 pickups wired directly to 1/4" cables and run into a 4-cHanne mixer. I stretched springs across the inside of the suitcase and put the bass pickups underneath and can play the springs with a round rasp. I also use this antique vibrator with a variable speed dial to interact with the bass pickups' electromagnetic fields. All this is run through a reverb rack effect and into a looping pedal. Then of course some vocals. I will be using this same rig for a ritual magick event in Columbia this Friday, June 9. We will be doing a Babalon ritual, an extension of the work of Jack Parsons and Margaret Cameron documented in Liber 49.

Again, a lot of my really good friends were there though a lot of that Macon crew has moved to Atlanta or Athens now.

Have you had to cancel a gig? Yes, it happens from time to time and for a variety of reasons. If at all possible I try to give lots of advance notice as well as find another awesome musical act to replace me on the lineup.

Where have you played live this year? All over. Mostly around the southeastern United States.

Where do you plan to gig the comming year?Florida always, headed to fests in Detroit and West Virginia, and working on a northeast tour.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? I have had some kind of merchandise for this project since I started doing live shows in 2014 because that's a good way to make money on tour. Mostly t shirts, albums, patches, stickers for free, knitted stuff, sweatshirts/tank tops, now also contact mics, battery powered amplifiers built into lunchboxes, and I will be offering hand built noise synths soon also.

Where can people buy your merchandise?

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days?I do it all the time. Sometimes if I really like an album I've downloaded I'll buy it on vinyl, like Street Sects' End Position

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? You can't have your single sell the album anymore. This got really bad in the 90s, I recall buying albums that had one or two decent songs and the rest was bland filler. You couldn't vet an album before purchasing most of the time. When you buy physical albums now it's more about the whole package too and not just about the delivery of media, which is why vinyl will never die. You're able to buy a multimedia piece of art to enjoy.

What do you think of my work?I love this format, I think it really gives musicians an opportunity to let their personality come through. You have covered a wide selection of artists too, can't wait to see more!

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business?Exposure is key, and I am eternally grateful to anyone who takes the time to check out my work.

Do you have any role models or idols? Yes. Diamanda Galas of course. Chelsea Wolfe, Rasputina (my friend Jenny plays with them now!), Wendy Carlos, Death Grips, Run the Jewels, as well as a lot of my friends who are varying levels of fame like Rat Bastard & Hell Garbage.

Why do you think that they exist? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to open yourself to new experiences.

What have been your biggest obstacles? Being taken seriously as a woman. Not necessarily in music but in life in general which can often influence the creative process in profound ways. People have infantilized me and treated me like I am incompetent regardless of contradicting evidence. The noise scene is definitely a refuge from that.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Network with people who are doing similar music so you can play shows together and build a scene. Don't expect other people to do stuff that is your responsibility like putting together shows for you and sourcing links. If I ask you to follow up with the venue for a show on your tour and you don't and the show falls through that is on you, and the lie you tell me only hurts you.

How do you get psyched for a gig? Getting all my shit ready to go and packing it into my car, deciding how I will present visually, and making the Facebook event page.

Do you have any new material? Yes, I have a new album Praxis coming out 6/21 on Commodity Fetish Records and another new album Hungry Ghosts coming out 8/13 on \\NULL|ZONE//.

What are your web sites?

How can people reach you?

What are your plans for the future? Keep moving forward with music and try to always be gaining momentum.

Do you have something to add? Thank you so much for reaching out to me!!! I really appreciate your support.

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