GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH – THE INTERVIEW!
SBS: Honestly, I feel like the first question I should be asking is, what the fuck? How on earth does a person go about ending up with settling on the name GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH for their music?
GGOM: It was just a spur-of-the-moment decision. I was uploading a music track to some website. And it asked for a band name; up until that point, I hadn’t even thought about it.
GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH was the first thing that came to mind; I chuckled and went with it. As you can tell, it wasn’t something I took very seriously at first.
I understood it wasn’t radio, domain, SEO, or social-media friendly. Still, I thought I’ve been shooting myself in the foot for decades, so why stop now?
Plus, the name perfectly described who I was at the time. For me, it was on the nose but mostly in it!
SBS: Don’t get me wrong – I get it! I was the lead-singer for a band called Balls Deep In Your Stepmom for about two decades over here…so I hear ya man, believe me. I see a name like GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH and hellz yes I’m more than interested in finding out wtf is going on. One of my favorite things about the name I had chosen wasn’t something I had honestly foreseen…I ended up with an onslaught of ‘advice’ telling me there was no way I could get on the radio by being called Balls Deep In Your Stepmom, like it wasn’t inherently obvious. That wasn’t ever the goal! Fuck the radio. But clearly, names like we’ve chosen for our music do make a statement in that regard…and ultimately, if the whole superstardom & radio thing isn’t the goal, it’s natural to wonder what it is. So whatcha doin’ here bud?
GGOM: Lol! That name’s fucking Epic!!! All right, brother-man, you win! I thought the band name Fartbarf was fun, but now they’re a close second. I’ll have to check that out!
But yeah, I knew coming out of the gates that GGOM wouldn’t be for everybody. I would have to be bat-shit delusional to think it would be! The sound, genre, image are all rough and probably wouldn’t have mass appeal if any appeal at all. And I’m excellent with that. It started as an inside joke and still is, mostly. GGOM is far from where I initially planned it to head. I wanted a gimmick similar to The Residents. Never reveal who is behind GGOM! That would have freed me up so much! Believe it or not, I often hold back; I don’t speak out on specific topics because I run risks of offending friends & family. I don’t mind offending those who deserve it ‘cause, in reality, they’re doing it to themselves; which is fucking hilarious! It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t, also near impossible to pull off any successful incognito these days anyway.
The main reason GGOM still exists at all; I was diagnosed with Schizo-Affective disorder with a gamut of other mental goodies; a few years back. And for those who are unfamiliar with Schizo-affective in particular, it’s having psychotic features of Schizophrenia combined with a mood disorder. My predominantly psychotic features are hearing voices plus paranoid delusions, or so I’m told. So yeah, it would appear that I’m one hot mess! Oh, and did I mention? It’s a big hit with the ladies??? But in all seriousness, GGOM has become a medium to help me cope. My flimsy attempt to convey some of the horrific and bizarre experiences I’ve had while amid psychosis. Kind of like an auditory journal? If you will.
SBS: Let’s be real here…how often has the name itself been a benefit to getting your music out there? Are there both advantages and disadvantages that you’ve been able to pinpoint as a result of having called your music by the name of GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH – or is it all on one side of that fence?
GGOM: I’m not sure. Perhaps both? I’d imagine at least a few kindred spirits out there who would take notice just because they saw or heard the title. I would. I would be like, “Okay, what exactly does a GODDAMN GOTH ON METH sound like anyway?” I listen for about 30 seconds and think, “What in the fuck am I listening to here??? Fuck this happy horse shit!” and immediately hit the stop/eject button on my walkman! But that’s just me.
I do know that the name repulses some, but fuck them! I wouldn’t want them as listeners anyway.
SBS: How about this…do you feel that people’s instant perception of what GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH would sound like just by hearing the name, ends up matching with what they’d end up listening to? Is it possible for people to put on your music without some kind of preconceived notion of what they’ll find? I suppose it’s probably fair to say you invite & welcome controversy – what’s the people’s reaction been like to the music you’ve been making over the years? Please tell me there are at least a few that ‘get it’! What do people out there need to know in order to really understand GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH?
GGOM: I think a fondness or familiarity with experimental music is a start. I’m not saying GGOM is strictly exploratory. Honestly, I don’t know what genre it is. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not over here blowing myself thinking that GGOM is so innovative that they haven’t invented a new category yet. I know very little of the genres nowadays. So I describe GGOM to others as ‘The Industrial Yanni’ or ‘the poor man’s Lustmord.’ If I receive a smile, I think, okay, they get it; they’re good candidates!
When I listen to similar artists, I find what I perform is extremely vanilla in comparison. So with that said, I’m not sure what others honestly think of the project! It would seem that I haven’t found the right audience yet, that is, if there is one. If I were to evaluate the feedback I’ve received so far, I should probably scrap the whole goddamn thing! I won’t; of course, there is too much personally invested now.
It comes down to; if you like GGOM, I’m kidding; if you don’t, I’m completely serious.
This question reminded me of a nasty message from a disgruntled “fan” a few years ago. I think it referred to a track, “Satan’s Sex Sane,” she never said, but I just assumed. This lady went off on how I was promoting molestation and rape of young girls, racism, and glorifying human trafficking rings! I was so fucking livid for a while, I thought, who the fuck am I all of a sudden? Marilyn Manson???
Jesus Christ, II’s not like I have legions of impressionable disciples hanging off my every word, with a controversial message to boot! Shit, half the time, I don’t even know what I’m trying to say! Lol. But it did give me a valuable insight into the psyche. Some people are all too eager to misinterpret. As if they’re chomping at the bit to take things out of context! Without any investigation on the topic, they accept face value to create problems for themselves and others. It must give them a sense of purpose or something fucking twisted. If she had done the slightest amount of research, she would have found that the voices were forward & backward samples from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining! Jesus, don’t shoot the messenger! In my experience, rarely are things as they seem. Life isn’t that simple, and then again, I suppose it could be. Fuck if I know.
SBS: What is the most important thing you consider when you’re creating a brand-new song, and why?
GGOM: Wow! That’s a good question. Geez- my mood is critical; or what it is I’m writing for; an EP or an album; I try and match the ambiance and theme that is already in the making. I usually fiddle around with chord progressions or strange noises, as you do.
If I miss the mark, I label it as a ‘demo’ and attempt something else.
Ultimately, I create for myself; I produce songs that I like to listen to. And if others like them as well, great! Let’s grab a few brews on me! And If not, that’s cool too; you’re super fucking lame and paying for your own goddamn drinks, but cool, whatever.
I feel awkward calling most things I do songs. As I think it’s an insult to music! LOL! I prefer “tracks” or “pieces,” that way, people can interrupt how they’d like – “an art piece” or “a piece of shit.” Both are equally adequate.
SBS: According to what I’ve read about ya, you’ve played in Country bands, Punk bands, Goth bands…all of which, I’d imagine, are far, far removed from the way you approach music and what you do now as GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH. Still…everything we do in this life tends to play a role somehow later on I suppose…does any of your previous experience help you at all in the music you create now? How so?
GGOM: Yes and no, mostly no.
I’ve been incredibly honored and humbled to have played with some fantastic musicians in my day. Different styles and backgrounds, but most definitely, they had the “it” factor! So I would watch how they went about creating songs, playing live, or recording in studios.
A few of the things I’ve learned through experience don’t necessarily help GGOM in any way. But it’s the understanding of playing live shows and managing oneself during grueling schedules while on tour. Some things you can’t learn in any Mel Bay book.
SBS: Also notable in your bio of course, is how you damn near destroyed yourself post-divorce there brother-man. I ain’t expecting you to dig into the past if you don’t wanna go into it all – but if you can, take us into the spiral a bit & explain what happened in the aftermath…how close were you to the edge?
GGOM: Well, anyone who has had the opportunity to go through a divorce would concur that it’s a magical time! A black magical time! I lived in Las Vegas then, so if you’re on a self-destructive path, that town will gladly point you in the right direction; with shortcuts. My drug use plus psychosis blurred my edge to such an extent; I had no idea if I was free-falling or standing still. It was around that time when I started hearing strange things outside of my head. Like if it was in the same room as me or behind walls. Or some shit! Not voices quite yet, but odd melodious battle hymns from the 1940s. Songs I’ve never heard before or since. I was under the impression that every place I stayed had ghosts! I was living with some band members in their back office. I couldn’t get any rest; I kept hearing creepy fucking sounds all night long. So I talked to Billy (Billy Dare & the Pumps) about it. She schooled me instantly, by saying “Dear, the backroom isn’t haunted – you are.” Ha! I’ll never forget that.
I finally got an apartment, which was short-lived. I unwittingly made aquatints with the wrong group of people, and in doing so, my place got taken over by thugs. However, that’s a story for another juncture. Which inevitably led to my breakdown and another hospitalization.
SBS: Is it fair to say that immersing yourself in the music of GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH is what saved you – or was it something else? Heck…I mean…I guess it’s equally fair to ask if you even feel like you’re really even out of the woods yet, or if there still might be trouble ahead for you to come in the future?
GGOM: Looking back now, I can probably say that GGOM was an excellent starting point for my recovery. I like to convince myself that I’m out of the woods. I’m on medication and attending therapy. The Ex and I are on good terms! So things seem to be on the up and up!
SBS: There’s also a whole bunch of information of your time spent in religion as well…you were a full-on pastor at one point? Come on – you’re putting us all on, right? The guy behind GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH was at one point in time, a pastor & a devout Christian? I’ve read some pretty damn unbelievable stuff in my years that have long since turned this beard of mine to grey homie – but that’s unreal! I’m sure everyone that’s out there reading is curious as to what turned you away from the church and sent you down a path a full 180 degrees leading you in the opposite direction – so what’s the whole story?
GGOM: Ha! Well, “full-on pastor” is a bit strong. It makes it sound like I had my own ministry and preaching sermons every Sunday, which wasn’t the case. I was still pretty young in that regard; I was 16 when I decided to join the church until I was 18, if memory serves. Still, I was well on my way, that’s certain! And devout I was! I always had my Bible in one hand with my Greek/ Hebrew concordance in the other. I dropped out of high school a year prior, so I had plenty of time to study under my pastor while taking classes formulated by the Oral Roberts Institute / University. Keep in mind that this was in like ’94 in a small town. The internet was in its infancy, so I couldn’t take online courses as people do now. It was just me and two others in a tiny room in the church. VHS vids and slide shows. But I loved it at first. My Pastor would throw me into the fire at times, such as handing the reins over to me for group Bible studies and even marriage counseling.
After a while, however, I started doubting everything and everyone. There were so many things I was encouraged to look past and sweep under the rug. Everything from blaring contradictions, illicit affairs, phony faith healings, blackmail, theft. But the last straw was when the pastor got caught fucking one of the ushers’ wives. And I thought, ‘these are Jesus’ representatives?’ I’d have a better chance of spiritual enlightenment in a fucking Trap house.
I get it; we’re all human; we all fuck up! But not when the fuck up is premeditatedly acted upon over and over and over again! There’s no excuse and no true repentance in that case; you’re just sorry you got caught!!
I apologize; I’m getting a little heated, Lol!
I was heartbroken, but I still had a predisposition for truth-seeking, so my search for “God” was even more elevated.
I thought to know God honestly; I would have to acquaint myself with his adversary. I was already dark as fuck, so taking the back entrance should be cake! That’s around the time I started eyeing Freemasonry as a viable option. For reasons, all I heard from the church was that Freemasons were Satan worshipers who secretly controlled everything. And at the highest levels are where you’d find the infamous Luciferian Illuminati. Boo!!! Lol. So fuck man, I was sold!
It did take me over a decade to get initiated, but after that, it ran smoothly. Within my second or third year, I received the 32nd Scottish Rite Degree. And to this day, I still believe it was the best decision I’ve made! I drew far more “spiritual insight” from Freemasonry than I ever did in Christianity, not to mention, Freemasonry is not even a religion. I had the right idea all along, I found. However, my approach was askew. And as luck would have it, no meet & greet with Lucifer as of yet; others tell me that I still have one more degree to go! So with my fingers crossed, here’s to hoping! Haha!!
SBS: In 2018, you released the debut record ABRAHADABRA, a whole schwack of singles, and an EP called Chun as well if I’m doin’ my research right over here. It wasn’t just a small breakout year with a few tunes, you started droppin’ cuts & audible weirdness out there all around the internet in 2018. Then in 2019…nothing? At least not as far as I can see…no releases out there online, et cetera. So tell us about that blank space on your resume friend-o…what happened in 2019 that kept you away from making music, or was that simply the year you spent plotting your return and writing new material?
GGOM: No, I stuck a fork in GGOM. I wasn’t happy with its direction. I wouldn’t say I liked the feedback I was getting, and also, I couldn’t think of anything new and felt it had run its course. I decided to turn over a new leaf, so I joined a couple of bands. I played some venues with my good friend/bass player from back in the day. It was fun and therapeutic; I felt I was hitting my stride again. And then Covid happened, and so did the resurrection of GGOM.
SBS: Though it has only been about three years or so since the first record was dropped – is there an evolution to the music of GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH that you can already hear for yourself? Are there things that you’re able to do now, that you wouldn’t have been able to do when you first started this project up? What has significantly changed throughout the years so far – or is that even important?
GGOM: It’s not all that important for me, but for the listener, it’s a good thing to upgrade your gear, I suppose. I prefer to keep my recording and production tools on the lighter side. However, I just got a slew of new guitars and effects, so, if I know me! I sense the next release will be very “Guitary.” But if I have too many options, I get easily overwhelmed. Since I do all the art, videos, and, well, everything else. The last thing I need is another distracting toy. When I started the project, the only instrument I had was a beaten-up sun-damaged acoustic guitar that I found in a dumpster at work. And to record, I used an ancient computer mic circa 1998. It’s easy to tell which songs were recorded back then by the unrelenting hiss in the background. But in truth, I like the white noise; it gives tracks a fantastic dated sound. A creepy ambiance you rarely hear these days; music is so grossly overproduced, in my opinion. I miss the raw Punk band third-generation cassette tape recordings. I know, I know – “nice story there, Grandpa!”
SBS: Tell us about the brand-new record, Damned If You Do Damned If You Don’t! First of all, you’re killin’ me with no comma in the title of this album…but I’ll get over it…that’s on me. Secondly though – you’ve put together an entire lineup of cover songs – what made you want to go in that direction? We used to live in a world…the one you and I grew up in actually…where bands & artists would get to like, cover one or two tracks at most in their whole career…and that choice…that song they’d choose…I mean, man – I don’t know how ANYONE chooses which song they’re gonna go about leaving their own stamp on with so many out there! I really don’t – it’s beyond me, entirely. I would take years & years to decide on which songs I’d want to try and cover…and I’m still not convinced I’d ever be satisfied with my own list if I even did complete one. So tell me my friend…how on earth did you decide which songs you wanted to take on for your brand-new record Damned If You Do Damned If You Don’t? Were these decisions based on the love of the original song, or more about what you could bring to it, maybe both – or something else entirely? I’m rambling here – tell us how you formed the lineup for the new album!
GGOM: Yeah, sorry about the comma incident. Ha! I did that on purpose for reasons unknown.
The goal was for this release was to sound like a compilation of many different bands. Most of the songs were recorded a few years ago. So the recording quality varies, which I thought was kinda neat—the album sort of tells a story, albeit a personal one. Every track has a unique or humorous motive for its placement. Instrumentals such as “10:15 Saturday Night” and “Nowhere Fast” are tributes. “Interzone” reminds me of my mental break running all over and through the streets of Vegas-like some mad freak!
“Celebrate” was simply the first “Goth” song I heard and hooked me instantly. “Five String Serenade” I did for an ex-girlfriend, so apparently, that didn’t work. “Big O Goddamn Downer” was just a stupid inside joke I have regarding Nirvana. However, most wouldn’t find it as funny, so I’ll leave it at that. I do want to make it clear; I’m not hatin’ on Nirvana in any way; they’re one of my all-time faves!
The song “Graceless” was a bit trying. I just got out of the hospital and was forced to move back to my hometown; I felt like a colossal failure because I mostly did it to myself. A friend of mine showed me the tune, and the lyrics hit a nerve instantly! I thought, “man, I got to cover this,” for no other reason than it appeared to be therapeutic. But fuck! I would bust out in tears at every attempt to sing the motherfucker! I can’t sing for shit as it is, so that was an unwelcomed factor. I finally got to the end; choked up, and you definitely can tell on the recording.
“Cocaine Blues” Just rings true to me! I’ve loved that song since childhood. I know everyone and their mother has covered it, and I wanted to be one of those as well! Oldie but goodie! “Tick Tock” was debated for the project. It’s more my gig as far as style goes, but there is no way in holy Hell I could fill the hooves of Douglas P.! (Death In June). That guy out-creeps me a six hundred three-score and six billionfold! I’m just your run-of-the-mill ‘Art-Fag’. (Jesus! is that allowed in Canada???)
“Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself.” My ex-wife and I are notorious for making questionable decisions. We’ve gotten ourselves into some pickled doozies! People’s jaws drop when they witness first hand, or they hear about some of the messes we’ve willingly writhed into! It’s not that we’re stupid, at least I don’t think so; I guess the jury is still out on that one; I think it has more to do with an unconscious reaction to emotional flashbacks. Also, in actuality, we’re people pleasers at heart, which is incredibly dangerous in the presence of soulless subhuman troglodyte predators. They can smell that shit from miles away! So the song just fits us so eloquently that we both knew it was the ultimate cover for us! She provided the vocals, and I thought she did an excellent job! Oh, and she’s Dark Skanks On Crank, by the way, if I forgot to mention.
SBS: As you already bloody know, I freakin’ loved it! One of my favorite records out there is by Aphex Twin…it’s called 26 Mixes For Cash…different style of sound than yours, but a very similar result in what occurred – we’d damn near not even recognize a whole bunch of songs that we all grew up on, because these ‘covers’ basically became completely new experiences altogether, far removed from the originals. And I just freakin’ loved that. I loved the idea that someone would recognize a song they loved by a title or a track-listing, click it, and likely be extremely jolted, disappointed, or overjoyed like I was to find that the song they knew was merely a fragment and bone skeletal frame in the gateway to all-new music & real ART. People are always gonna complain about a cover or remix not being the original anyway, so why NOT take the risk, right? What’s important to consider when you’re covering another artist’s song?
GGOM: I believe passion is a must; whether it’s love or hate, it is okay! Just as long as there’s an excessive desire for the song, it should mean something to you. Not a good idea if you’ ‘kinda dig’ it, ‘cause that’s exactly how it’s going to sound. Corner cutting half-ass! Your Brass Rail Tavern eternity awaits! Now “play some fucking Skynard man!”
SBS: What about the process itself? I think a lot of folks out there would have the misperception that covering a song is some kind of easy task to begin with, let alone adding a whole different dimension to a song’s scope & sound like you have throughout Damned If You Do Damned If You Don’t. Was there anything that you learned about making music in general by creating this album full of covers, in comparison to the experiences you’ve had with your own original tunes? What’s the reality – was a record like Damned If You Do Damned If You Don’t actually harder to make than a set-list of originals?
GGOM: Well, I usually try and keep as faithful to the original as possible, with obvious exceptions; of course, if the piece is off the list of “The Untouchables.” Then you better take it as far fucking south as that fucker will reach! Cause as you mentioned prior, you run the risk of people hating it and hating you as the consequence of attempting something so foolish! I’m not talking about the ‘love to hate kind of hate; the being spat upon, stoned, and banished from the village kind of hate! I suppose it’s probably more of a disgust! Do you know how everyone felt about Nickelback back in the day? Is a good example! Or how do I think about Blake Shelton now? Is an even better one! Ha! Like when I hear bands covering Tool.
The majority of covers I’ve done have been for more practical purposes. If I’m learning new recording software, I find it easier and less distracting to play a song I already know in its entirety than one off the fly. Covers absolutely have their place. They’re great for aspiring songwriters, old bands in a creative funk, or new bands still trying to gel. I’ve found that incorporating a few in a set-list (If you were more unknown) really warms the audience up, so they’re more willing to listen to your original stuff.
Once again, it’s Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t!
SBS: What is the #1 thing you want people to take away from listening to GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH? Does that vary from record to record, or is…whatever that thing may be, always remain the same?
GGOM: In the realm where GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH reside, is obviously a singularity, multi-dimensional variable intertwines, rarely mingles, constantly never reflects. Human truths where fabled gods hoard self-justified fake laughs and gestures.
Or in a language, the neighbors understand – Hee Haw! That them there fella Blake Shelton critter, I reckon ma, pa, has they got to the Gooder est cooter!? Sorry, got distracted. The neighbors are not GGOM fans, to put it lightly. There’s a Marilyn Manson song “Target Audience (Narcissus Narcosis)” off of his Holy Wood album. In one of the lyrics, he states, “You’re just a copy of an imitation.” I think that sums up GGOM perfectly!
SBS: You’ve put out a wild amount of music to-date for how long GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH has been around for in comparison to most. From an intense catalog of originals, to your brand-new record full of covers…ain’t no doubt homie – you’re rockin’ at maximum capacity, relentless creativity, and clearly at a rapid pace forward already, this early on into this next chapter of your career. So what’s next? What haven’t you done as GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH yet that you’d like to take on in the future to follow?
GGOM: Thank you, man! Well, as I mentioned earlier, I got a plethora of new gear. And I’m itching to do something completely different. I have about 4 songs that are almost complete, but that was before all the latest additions. So I’ll probably go back and change things up. I’ve been listening to a lot of Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, and Nancy Sinatra. So that might be a good indication of where I might head. Or it could be a back-to-basics 101. I’m not sure yet.
SBS: I guess I should probably ask the questions that have been on everyone’s mind the entire distance through this interview. Clean? Sober? Neither? What’s the story like now in behind the scenes? Is there a stability to GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH that we’ll be able to rely on going forth as listeners & fans? I mean…all I’m sayin’ brother-man, is that now that I’ve gone down the rabbit-hole with ya – willingly I might add – I don’t wanna leave…but I’ll have a hard time stickin’ around without more music to come, you dig? Is there anything you can say that’ll convince us GODDAMN GOTHS ON METH is gonna be around, thrivin’ over these next years, kickin’ out the digital jams & weirdness as it should be?
GGOM: Clean? Sober? Probably have to go with ‘Neither?’ The only time I’ve been completely clean and sober was my short time in jail! Ha! Even as a Christian, I still smoked cigarettes and weed every once in a while. I can safely say I’m less fucked up than usual. Ha! But yeah, I plan on hanging around for a while, and if something happens to me, it won’t be by my own hand! That’s for goddamn sure! Much much more weirdness to come!!!
SBS: It has been a verifiable TRIP my friend! Thank-you so much for taking some time to talk tunes with me – and congrats on a killer new record dude – sincerely, that’s a wild ride from start to finish. I always let the people I’m talking to have the final word, right here on the SBS Open Floor…no interview ever captures it all, so it’s a spot where you can say anything else at all you wanna that I might have missed, or something else just because ya feel like it. Have at it hoss – the floor is yours! Cheers & thanks again!
GGOM: Thanks to SBS for this opportunity to bitch & moan over the mundane & trivial. I appreciate it more than you know! GODDAMN OUT!
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