Thursday, June 12, 2014

"ME"TAL 101 Exclusive Interview with Vanessa Nocera (Howling, Wooden Stake, Scaremaker)

We're proud to bring to you a new edition of "ME"TAL 101. This week's guest is Vanessa Nocera. Vanessa fronts a number of incredible bands, co owns Razorback Records with her husband and writes for both the Vaultwraith Comic and Evilspeak Magazine. Taking that all into account, I was extremely excited to get a few moments of her time to discuss her projects and find out how she manages all of those duties. Enjoy the interview, check the links and throw up your horns high for some devastating Heavy Metal!

HMT:  Off the top of my head I can't name many metal bands that come out of Kentucky. What do you think attracted you to the metal scene? When did you start listening to metal? 

Vanessa: Metal has a big following here in Kentucky though I can’t really name too many bands from here. I was 7 years old when I discovered METALLICA and I never looked back. My entre into metal was thrash and I progressively went deeper into sub-genres as I got older. Obviously death metal and black metal were the ones that I latched onto the most considering those are my professional roots, but I’ve grown to love doom more than I used to.

HMT: I'm completely blown away by your vocals. When did you first start performing?

Vanessa: I started singing when I was 3, I picked up the guitar when I was 9, and I started my death growls when I was 11. I didn’t really perfect them though until I was 13. That’s when I started moving on from what I called punk metal (something like Babes in Toyland) to death metal. It was hard to form a band though for obvious reasons, and I never really had my chance to join a band until I was in my early 20s. My first experience playing live was with my band SLASH DEMENTIA when I moved to Chicago and we played in a TINY loft for about 30-50 people. That band later became the somewhat known black metal band WOLFHOLLOW which we recorded tons of material for. Some you can hear on my bandcamp page.

Vaultwraith panels

HMT: You've been very busy recording the last few years. How difficult is it to manage time between several different projects?

Vanessa: It’s not that hard really. I have to wait and see if who I’m in a band with is in the same groove as I am and ready to record something, haha. Basically I am frontwoman, or a part of roughly 9-10 bands, I manage other bands and I run Razorback, I write for/edit/publish Evilspeak Magazine, I was in a movie last year, I’m putting stories together for a book I’m writing, I’m writing for my own horror comic VAULTWRAITH, and I’m a full time psychology student. Time management is what I have learned to master over the years. Haha!

HMT: Razorback Records has some really great bands on their label. How important was it to release your projects through that label? 

Vanessa: I co-own and run Razorback with my husband Billy, so that may be a good reason why, haha. I’ve worked with other labels over the years and have no complaints, but I really feel that releasing my own music is rewarding and I enjoy the business aspect about it.

HMT: Aside from music what are you into? Movies, Books..etc?

Metal Merch
Vanessa: I’m definitely into movies and books. Usually horror or pertaining to horror films. My husband and I are also into horror conventions and chances are if we’re there we are set up with our Razorback / Evilspeak table selling merch.

HMT: I love your logos and artwork for your various projects. Are you hands-on when it comes to deciding the look of each album and the branding for the bands?

Vanessa: Thanks! Of course I have a lot of say so when it comes to the branding and the presentation of my music. I usually choose the artist, but sometimes one of my bandmates or my husband will suggest an artist to work with. If I can’t be hands-on when it comes to the art going into my band then I would not be happy at all. That’s a big part of it for me.

HMT: What are you plans for touring this year and are you working on anything new at this time?  

Vanessa: I’ve never toured in my life. I wouldn’t object to it though. Unfortunately, none of my bands even play live at the moment. As for new work, I’ve been recording my bass and vocal tracks for the new WOODEN STAKE album, yet to be titled, which will be the band’s second full-length due out late summer/early fall.

Howling Logo
I’m also writing music for my band SCAREMAKER and our second album, as well as CAULDRON BURIAL material and a new solo project that I haven’t announced yet. Plus I’m working on Evilspeak Magazine, VAULTWRAITH horror comic, running Razorback, writing my book, and reserving tables at future horror cons. Hopefully soon I’ll have my own website so people won’t have to hunt me down on facebook to try and keep up with me, haha. 

HMT: Thank you Vanessa! Horns up!

Check out these links and hear some killer Death Metal from Razorback Records

Official Vanessa Nocera Website
Official Vanessa Nocera Facebook
Official Vanessa Nocera Bandcamp 
Official Razorback Records Website 
Official Razorback Records bandcamp page 

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