Archive for the Special Events Orlando Category

Spooky Goblyns, Side Shows, and Human Factors

Posted in Local Bands Florida, Local Bands Orlando, Local Venues, Music and Life, Special Events Orlando on November 11, 2012 by rosesopinion

The thing we love most about spending the weekend with Spooky Empire is the education …  Yes, that’s right… the education!  In one all-too-short and gruesome weekend you can learn how to properly apply your character’s bloody make-up; how to create skull sculptures; how love an Empire scorpion;  and what are the proper tools to stock a vampire killing kit or your zombie research project.   You can shop for one of a kind horror art, hand made knives, guillotines, coffins, electric chairs, and of course a few new corsets for Ms. Rose’s closet.

Spooky Empire exists to honor the art of horror film making and always has a plethora of celebrity guests from classic horror flicks.  But, it should be a requirement for everyone to check out a few of the indie films at The Freak Show Film Festival over the course of the weekend.  Rose’s top picks …. “Attack of the Brain Suckers” and “Zero Killed”.

  We also stopped to say hello to the “Rockabilly Zombie Weekend” crew and learned that this film is due out in about 8 weeks from now.  This feature film by Tammie Bennett promises to tell the tale of a rockabilly themed   wedding gone horribly wrong  when zombies crash the party.   This one has been in the making for awhile, and features some great rockabilly bands on the soundtrack; including The Van Orsdels, Rocket 88, and Cadillac Kings.  We are as excited about the musc as we are to see the finished film.  And speaking of George Van Orsdel, he was back in action as host of the Q&A sessions and emcee for the costume contest.  George totally rocks! (we must admit … we still miss the Van Orsdels in the show room at Spooky Empire).


The Ultimate Horror Weekend wouldn’t be the same without Green Goblyn Project providing us with some home grown Florida punk.  We had a chance to talk with Xtian Goblyn for a little while and gained some insight on where the band’s been and where they’re going.  Xtian commented that Green Goblyn Project is in their sixteenth year.  And over those years, they’ve self released five CD”s and gained a large following on the homefront and across the country.  This is truly a band with some staying power, and they deliver just as great a set now as they did when we first saw them quite a few years back.   We surfed around YouTube and found this  2003 video from “Fluke” one of our favorite GGP tunes, “Members Missing”

  Xtian’s first full length solo project “Baboon / Ladycreek” was released on Bony Orbit Records earlier this year.   Awesome tunes like “Miles To Go” are testament to Xtian’s smooth, timeless,  even a bit sultry vocal stylings.  Check out the video:


   The White Collar Side Show was our suprise WTF?!? band experience of the weekend.   Having never seen this band or heard their music before … we were amazed by the entire concept of this ingeniously well thought out show.  Through TD’s journey and battle with his own addictions, he has come to create this project to bring to light the harsh realities of our human frailties.  Not to glorify them, but to expose all of the weaknesses and addictions that we hide.  The freaks in this side show are not the characters up on the stage, but each and every one of us as we try to hide our own demons.  But to keep them hidden in the darkness, is to allow them to consume and destroy us.  TD’s message is that with faith and stength, you can control them.  The players are TD, Herr, The Faceless Woman and Leech.  The music is incredibly primitive … two drum kits, a base, and various other objects deftly utilized, to pound away like the very pulse that keeps us alive, and yet there’s a complexity to it that can’t quite be described.  In fact, there is just too much to try and put into this little blog for now. We insist that you check out their music and videos at  Promise you, we will continue to follow the White Collar Side Show and can not wait to see them again on their next stop in Central Florida. 


   If you don’t already know how awesome we think Human Factors Lab is…. you just haven’t been paying attention.   This show at Spooky Empire was a great intro for the release of  their new EP, “The Blade”.  This is the first installment in a series of four EP’s that will make up “The Suicide Diaries”.  Produced by Chris Vrenna, the EP features three original songs and a cover of  “White Rabbit”.   In a chat with Seven, he said “The Blade is really the band’s best work yet”.   Have to say “As the Church Bell Chines” is the song that gets stuck in our head and plays over and over all day long.  And we give the band lots of credit for taking on Jefferson Airplane’s iconic “White Rabbit”.   In it’s original version it was the song that parents hated, teenagers loved, and clueless little kids (like Ms. Rose) sat in the bedroom singing their throats raw, doing their damnedest to sound like Gracie Slick.  While we are still a little partial to Gracie; Human Factors Lab has done an amazing cover, in many ways a definite improvement over the original.  


Human Factors Lab will be on tour from November through the Spring 2013 to support “The Blade”.  So, we want to say thanks to Seven and Sunni for the conversation throughout the weekend, and we wish the band a most kick ass  and successful tour.    We will be looking for you back here in Florida in the Spring!



In the Midst of the Battle, “May the Metal Be with You”

Posted in Local Bands Orlando, Local Venues, Music and Life, Special Events Orlando with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2012 by rosesopinion

Okay, call us geeks, freaks, whatever… (quite certain we’ve been called much worse things before) the point is, it was an absolute blast starting out the week at Star Wars Celebration VI.  For us the highlights of the convention were the phenomenal sets provided by the Belgian Prop Crew, all the little R2D2’s at the Builder’s Club, and seeing Felix “Ewok” Silla…that was pretty cool.



Technically this was from the week before; but we have to mention the always bad ass Murderfly’s killer set at The Haven two Saturday nights ago.  The band is still filming their sets; is it for their upcoming documentary?  If so, hope we didn’t look too ghastly if we got caught on film.  Nonetheless, check out the “Bare These Scars” trailer on You Tube.  The trailer alone will make you want to grab the popcorn and settle in for the rest of the movie.  Can not wait to see the finished product and, of course, Murderfly’s upcoming Fall shows including Wildman Entertainment’s Metal Halloween Bash.


Had a chance to catch the Battle of the Bands – Round 1, Week 4.  Now that I’ve experienced one Battle…. I want more…. this is so much more exciting and addictive than those insipid t.v. shows other people get hung up on.  I guarantee the music is a shitload better than Dancing with Somebody that Used to be Famous or  Somebody Thinks They’ve Got Talent (so sorry Sharon Osbourne and Steven Tyler – we still love you, really).  We have become a follower of this awesome Battle of the Bands series.  Thank you Evermore Sound, Orlando, Club 57 West and everyone else that puts the BOTB together!

LOVACAINE:   Obviously, Goth fits quite nicely with Ms. Rose’s style, and we were quite pleased to see Lovacaine in the Battle of the Bands.  This was our first encounter with the music of Rob, Jose, Mitch and Tyler.  Most definitely enjoyed the contrast between Lovacaine and the other three bands in this round.  Although we didn’t find  Lovacaine  nearly  as dark and droning, it made us pull out the old BauHaus CD’s for another listen (“Bela Lugosi’s Dead”…is so much fun!) 

  We would like to know where Lovacaine will be playing next and when they will get some music up on Facebook for us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ARMAGEDDON III:  A band new to us and very unique in their sound and delivery.  Went to ReverbNation to hear more while writing this post.  Armageddon III describes themselves as an experimental metal band.  We found their sound to be akin to the stylings of avante garde European bands.  We particularly like the songs where Dana’s vocals are in the forefront as in “Be Prepared”.


AN EFFIGY DISTORTED – And the battle rages on!  An Effigy Distorted definitely had the largest army in the fray.  Just how many AED shirts can you fit into one club?  It was really a sight to behold.  But, where the hell have you guys been?  Great strategy… no shows for a few months, and then ambush us with an amazing set!   Seriously, An Effigy Distorted came out as strong and as engaging as ever,  introducing a few new songs along the way.  Our personal favorite – “Last Stand”.  Looking forward to seeing them on October 6th with Wildman Entertainment’s Metal Halloween Bash 2012 at the Brass Mug in Tampa.

F.I.L.T.H. – The undisputed victors!  Due to limited space and time they had to play sans the electric chair and other props.    (Hey, if you guys don’t need that chair anymore…it would be perfect in Ms. Rose’s living room).  They were raw, intense, and incredible on this tiny little stage.  And just being honest here…. I’ve never heard them sound better.  F.I.L.T.H. kicked ass in a big way (sadly, we didn’t get to see Eric’s this time).  The entire place was totally engulfed in their filthy little world even without all the accoutrements of their usual show.  They have won this battle, and Ms. Rose’s allegiance….. can’t wait to see how the rest of the war turns out.  F.I.L.T.H. will return to fight again at the Club 57 West battlefield on September 21st.

On the Way to More Mayhem!

Posted in Local Bands Orlando, Local Venues, Music and Life, Special Events Orlando with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2012 by rosesopinion

 We must admit that we are quite disappointed with ourselves for walking in near the end of Ornimental’s set at The Haven. Damn it, late again!  Danny was exploding into an outrageous solo as we walked toward the door, and by the time we said hi to Sandy and got wristbanded, we were intrigued with Ornimental’s style.  Ornimental has been around only a few years, but are obviously kindrid spirits with the masters of metal who have gone before them.  Since the show we have downloaded their videos and studied their website (learned that they recently shared the stage with Sid Wilson…now you know I’m hooked)  Check them out at

Hell yea!  Born From Ashes, a band we have been excited to see for quite some time now.  A week earlier, I stopped a guy wearing a BFA shirt to ask his opinion.  He said he had seen them live once, and was “ready to kill to see them again”.  We don’t know if that guy made it to the Haven this week; if not, it was definitely his loss.  Listen up for Native Noise to be playing more BFA.  With their new album in post production phase, we should expect to have a copy in our cold little hands very soon.

Next up was (N)ception.   This was the first time we’ve seen this relatively new band….and we have to say that Snowflake, Raziel, Chamo, The Juice, and Nikka absolutely blew us away.   You can definitely hear some very familiar influences in the vocals and music (a little Soulfly with a dash of Korn in your Slipknot, anyone?) (N)ception blends some of the most awesome groove metal/nu metal on the planet (and our personal favorites), with their own definitive and unique style.  They create a constant and thunderous commotion as they tear up the stage.  We truly can not wait to hear more when they return to The Haven with F.I.L.T.H. on July 27th.

Traverser, Soul Switch, and Eye Empire will require a Part II to this blog…. Just sayin’ that they are so incredibly awesome that this page just won’t hold them all, so we will promise to return to them in a post in the near future.

Rose’s next stop….. Mayhem Fest in Tampa!  Couldn’t be more excited to see Slipknot AGAIN…. not even sure how many times it’s been. 

(Geez, how many Slipknot references have we already made in  this post?)  Once upon a time we went to a much smaller venue to see Fear Factory, and unholy hell, they opened for Slipknot! (or was it the other way around?)  In any case, that was our first live Slipknot experience quite a few years ago and we’ve been dedicated every since.   We just can’t get over the power they have on stage.  And you can’t  go wrong with Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax, As I Lay Dying, and White Chapel rounding out the show.

 We’ve got some great memories of Mayhem Fest’s past.  We will never be able to hear Machine Head’s “Locust” without suffering a bit of post traumatic stress from the final show of the 2011 tour in West Palm Beach.  There’s nothing more envigorating, and scary as hell, than standing in an open field with thousands of your metal head family, surrounded by chain link fences and facing a stack of amps and electrical shit; while the gods of the skies are throwing spears of lightening at our drenched asses.  As we stood there nearly drowned, our cell phones and cameras soaked….hardly anyone ran for cover, we stood our ground against mother nature’s wicked little outburst as Machine Head finished their set.

This year, it’s Friday the 13th…. so who knows what could happen…..


If you’re going to the show, be sure to catch all the bands on the smaller stage and visit the vendor booths, (yes, even the ones that don’t sell alcohol).  And absolutely stop to say hello to Genesis and learn more about the Reclaimed Strings Project.  We all need to check out RSP and support those who are supporting our local artists and the music that is our common bond.  You can also find Reclaimed Strings Project on Facebook;

The Solstice and A Long Hot Summer

Posted in Local Bands Orlando, Music and Life, Special Events Orlando with tags , , on June 22, 2012 by rosesopinion

A few weeks have passed since Spooky Empire’s May-Hem (Ms. Rose has been unfortunately preoccupied and hasn’t had a decent moment to blog)  We just wanted to say thank you to Petey, George, Deena, Andy and the entire Spooky Empire crew.  It was a great weekend to hang out with old friends and meet some new ones. We definitely look forward to October!

We have been quiet in  recent weeks past, laying low, nose to the grindstone and preparing for the celebration of the Summer Solstice and the balls-to-the-wall weeks of June and July to follow.   In Norse or Anglo-Saxon, the word “Lithe” means longest day, also referred to as “Midsummer’s Day” or the Summer Solstice. If you live in the far North, then you look forward to this day of the year and the promise of the summer days ahead.  The eldest of Rose’s offspring was born on the Solstice, and the summer child was indeed a ray of light that gave meaning and reason to a young life that could have otherwise gone terribly wrong.          

While romantically described in Shakespeare’ s “A Midsummer Nights Dream” as a time of marriage and fertility, most pagan peoples celebrate the day in honor of the rejuvenating powers of the Sun.  At 6:06 a.m. on June 21st, the longest day of the year began.  Whether it’s Stonehendge, Tulum, Denmark, or wherever you may be in the Northern Hemisphere…. we wish you all the healing energies the Solstice can bring.


While it is incredibly late to do so, we MUST mention the Industrial Alliance Show at The Haven earlier this month. 
Michael De Sade opened with a good solid set of industrial appetizers …..leading the way for Fields of Glass to take the stage.  The Fields of Glass legion grows stronger.  The crowd who waited in more reserved anticipation just a few shows ago, have taken to fervent participation in the music,  interacting with Fenris and the band throughout their set.

Human Factors Lab has been described as the darkest of the dark industrial bands, and we would agree.   There is a brutal stage presence with the grinders and sparks providing a potent bit of theatrics.  “The Art of Suicide”, “As the Church Bell Chimes”, “We All Fall Down” imbedded themselves in the MP3 in my head, and played non-stop in my memory for days after the show.

 MissFit Toys were the perfect finale for the night.  Check out their “Puzzle Pieces” Video

From the June 30th Alternative Show at the House of Blues, with our good friend Tara and A Brilliant Lie….to Mayhem Fest…. a quick visit to New Orleans….and the Summer Slaughter Tour, there is so much going on in the next six weeks that our calendar is about to hemorrage.  We will do our best to keep up, keep out there, and keep giving our damned opinion… (whether you like it, or not).

Countdown to May-Hem, with special feature **Interview with George VanOrsdel** Part II

Posted in Local Bands Orlando, Local Venues, Music and Life, Special Events Orlando with tags , , , , on May 21, 2012 by rosesopinion

It is now just a few days from Spooky Empire’s May-Hem, and we’ve been wondering just what it is about horror flicks that intrigues us humans.   Maybe it’s the fascination with cinematography, theatrical make-up and special effects.  Maybe we like to be reminded that we are fragile, vulnerable shells that can be destroyed with relative ease.  Or maybe it’s just the sheer adrenaline rush that one gets when scared senseless.   

Maybe humans are programmed to seek what happens next, we are facsinated with the transfer between this life and the next.  We want to know what death is, and how does it happen? We want to know how it is that we can be simple mortals with an immortal soul?  And just where do we go from here?  

Maybe the monsters, zombies, vampires and psychopaths represent the frailties of all humans.  Through the horror flick experience we can all relate in commonality with our imperfections and indiscretions.

Maybe, particularly for us zombies, the horror flick and celebrations of all things gruesome, kind of levels the playing field.  The fact is, no matter how beautiful society perceives your mortal face and body to be now, it will make no difference in the after.  All biological matter will decay in the same beautifully disgusting way.  (save the plastic surgery….some of those parts will probably outlast a nuclear blast….eeeew, now that’s disgusting).

No matter what the attraction, we are in love with horror in all of its slightly sick and seductive ways.         


Now that we have given another of our damned opinions, we’d like to return to our journey with George VanOrsdel and pick up where we left off in Part I

George, tell us about The Family Ghouls, any new music planned for this year?

“The Family Ghouls is a project I started right about the same time The Van Orsdels were nearing the end. It was originally intended to be a band, but the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to be involved in another band so soon after The Van Orsdels had stopped playing. So I decided it would be something I could do on my own, on my free time, for fun. As for new music, I am hoping to record some new material this year, when I can find the time.”

 Is it true that it is a solo project, and that you write and play all of the music, plus do the vocals yourself?

“Yes, all the music recorded by The Family Ghouls is in fact just me. I perform and record all the instruments myself, I do all the vocals and backing vocals. I record cover songs as well as originals, which I write myself. The Family Ghouls is really just a labor of love for me. I don’t do it for fame or recognition, I do it for fun and to keep myself musically occupied.”

Here is The Family Ghouls “Rise!”, a really cool song and video inspired by “Night of the Living Dead”


While doing our homework on George, we fell into Monster Spookshow Radio, and we absolutely love, love, love, it!  Okay, so after cruising the site for two hours, we finally returned to writing this interview. (Damn! There’s so much stuff on this awesome blogsite…we could enjoy reading it for days !)  Check it out at


How did  Monster Spookshow Radio get started?             

“Monster Spookshow Radio came about out of my love for those old horror novelty songs I mentioned earlier. I had the idea to put together a monthly collection of horror themed music, whether it be old novelty songs from decades past, horrorpunk, psychobilly, surf or what have you, as long as it was horror related. I basically put together a diverse collection of musical styles and genres, interwoven by old radio and movie ads, sound clips and dialogue from old horror movies.”

And please tell us you don’t plan to stop the podcasts….

“I wish I could say that, but sadly I have been neglecting the Monster Spookshow Radio podcasts. I was doing great for a long time, cranking them out on a monthly basis, but then life caught up to me, and I started doing them every other month. This year has been tough, a lot of things going on in my life, personally and professionally, and unfortunately the show has suffered from it. I have also been more involved with the Spooky Empire, which keeps me busy but I absolutely love it!”

We heard that you will be overseeing the Q&A sessions at May-Hem again?     

“Yes indeed, I will be hosting the Q&As again for May-hem this year. As I mentioned, I’ve been more involved with Spooky Empire ever since The Van Orsdels broke up. In previous years the band was involved with Spooky Empire on a performance level. My involvement now with Spooky Empire is in a different capacity, that of hosting the Q&A sessions for the May-hem and Ultimate Horror Weekend conventions. It’s more of a passion for me than anything else. It has replaced my love for being onstage performing by being onstage and getting to interview and learn more about a lot of the people I have come to love and admire through my love of horror and genre films.”

    Tell us a little about that experience….. We are sure there’s more than one good story you could share….

“Personally it’s an experience I can’t even describe. Imagine growing up a huge film buff, learning and reading everything you possibly can about the films, actors and directors you have admired for years, then getting to sit next to them and talk to them, ask them everything you’ve ever wanted to know. There’s just no way to describe the feeling. I am very grateful to Spooky Empire for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their spooky family, they truly are a remarkable bunch.”

We get the sense that you are quite nostalgic, what was it like growing up George?

“Growing up George…well, I first saw Frankenstein on TV as a small boy, and as much as it frightened me, I immediately fell in love, I was hooked! My youth was spent tracking down anything and everything monster and horror related. One of my many joys as a kid was running to the newsstands to get my latest copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a movie starring John Goodman and Cathy Moriarty (who will be at May-hem YAY!) called Matinee, but that little kid Gene, the main character, well, that was me as a kid. I knew everything about every movie and actor in those old classic monster movies. I am definitely in love with the classics. They have that innocence to them,  that you don’t see in films these days.”

Rose’s Damned Opinion hopes to become the “go to” site for information on local bands and events like May-Hem.   What suggestions would you have to help Rose become the best read music and special events blog in Central Florida?

“I think the key to being successful when it comes to something like that is having the edge above the rest. Fresh, up to the minute info, the latest news in up and coming bands and events. Those are the things people love. For example, Spooky Empire’s conventions offer more to the public than the other “brand name” horror conventions. Spooky Empire gives you a sense of family, a sense of “welcome”. The parties are amazing, the people and staff and the best around. Those kind of things are what gives them the edge. Offer them what the others don’t…that’s what makes the people come. Rose’s Damned Opinion is doing pretty damned good so far!!”  


We thank you from the bottom of our black little heart to the tips of our rotten little toes for your time with us George, and we look forward to seeing you this weekend at May-Hem.

The pleasure was all mine! And I will definitely be looking forward to meeting you in person as well! Meeting new people and making new friends is what I look forward to the most about the Spooky Empire conventions! See you at May-hem!!


In closing this post, we thought it would be appropriate (and fun) to include some of our favorite guys doing a tribute to some of our favorite guys….. check out Slipknot’s Horror Legend’s Tribute:


Countdown to May-Hem, with special feature **Interview with George VanOrsdel** Part I

Posted in Local Bands Orlando, Local Venues, Music and Life, Special Events Orlando with tags , , on May 18, 2012 by rosesopinion

Rose is getting so excited, we can barely hold our decaying little self together.  We are only a week away from Spooky Empire’s May-Hem!  When the zombies congregate by daylight……and party all night……all weekend


Interview with George Van Orsdel

We first saw the Van Orsdels at Spooky Empire’s Scream Fest here in Orlando, and we returned the next year to see them again….and again the next year….and so it goes that we were hooked on the Van Orsdels.   So when fate allowed us to collide with George again, he was so kind as to allow us this interview…..and we are feeling outrageously friggin’ awesomely lucky!!!   Whew! Now that we’ve got that off our chest, let’s go on to the first part of our journey with George….

What was your first serious band ?

“Well, that question actually has 2 answers, depending on what you consider a serious band. My first serious band was a hardcore trio from Miami, Florida called Not Dead Yet. That was the first band I ever recorded with. But skip ahead a few years and you could say Cell 63, a band compared often to The Replacements, was pretty serious, since we were actually getting national recognition. There have been several other bands between Cell 63 and The Van Orsdels that I was involved in that had a little bit of success here and there.”

Do you remember your very first gig?

 “Hmm, that’s a tough one. I believe my very first gig ever, was playing at a skating rink back when I was a teenager, playing in a cover band.  It  kinda reminded me of the scene from the Gary Busey  film “The Buddy Holly Story” when they were playing at a skating rink as well, hahaha!! But my first professional gig would have to be when my old band The F-Boyz, opened for The Dead Milkmen, many years ago.”

When did you connect horror and music?

“I would have to say it goes back to the old novelty records of the 50’s and 60’s. Growing up as a kid, I used to listen to those old recordings of Spike Jones, Bobby “Boris” Pickett, Screaming Lord Sutch, etc. Also, I used to listen to the old syndicated Dr. Demento radio show, and he would often play a lot of those old records from way back when. This was many years before the term “horrorpunk” would even come to exist, I mean I’m talking I was a little boy.”

The Misfits definitely had a great influence on your musical style, but who else would you site as your primary influences?

 “Oh, absolutely, The Misfits have always been a major influence on me without a doubt, but I have to give credit to several other bands, such as The Damned, 45 Grave, The Ramones, even bands like The Clash and Oingo Boingo who have been a huge influence on me musically.”

When did you form the Van Orsdels?

 “The Van Orsdels formed in the early part of 2003. In 2002 some friends and I got together to form a Misfits tribute band. We played 1 show, but we had so much fun doing it that we decided to continue playing together, but decided to start an altogether new and original project. We all were fans of psychobilly, so that was the direction we went in, but with many different musical styles thrown into the mix as well.”  

And how did you select the band’s name?  

“There’s been much debate about that, and the stories vary, but there’s an old story about a priest names Brother Van Orsdel, who built a church a very long time ago. The church eventually became abandoned and later was claimed to be haunted. I read that somewhere once and thought it was a cool story. I liked the name and so we all decided (the band members) to take on the stage name of Van Orsdel as our last names, much like The Ramones did with their names.”

 After a rocky but successful run with the Van Orsdels, how did you make the final decision to disband the group a few years ago?

 “Well, it was a number of reasons that lead up to the band finally calling it quits. For years the band struggled with line-up changes. It became a revolving door of musicians. It got to the point where it was becoming more and more difficult to find dedicated and talented musicians. I think it all came to a head when my son was born, I found that being a dad was much more fulfilling than playing in The Van Orsdels, especially with all the drama that was going on within the band at the time. I felt The Van Orsdels had a good run, but it was time to call it quits”

Stay tuned …… we will continue our journey with George in Countdown to May-Hem Part II …….


In the meantime, dig up your friends for the Zombie Walk on International Drive at 4:00pm, Friday, May 24th to kick off the weekend. 

And tomorrow night at The Haven:  Heroes Will Fall, Emerge, Waters Edge, An Effigy Distorted

  ‘Til Tomorrow…..

Cinco de Mayo…Part I, with special feature: *Interview with T.J. Thompson*

Posted in Local Bands Orlando, Local Venues, Music and Life, Special Events Orlando with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2012 by rosesopinion

We are completely convinced the best place you could have been on Cinco de Mayo was The Haven, where there was a killer line up of gigantic proportions.  Too much to say for just one post.  So, this is officially Cinco de Mayo…Part I.

 (So, why are we celebrating a war victory from a zillion years ago in Mexico?   Who cares! It’s a good enough reason to party!).

The night started with three of our favorite Orlando bands; An Effigy Distorted, From Within, and Another Life Spared.  All of whom kicked it squarely in the ass and got the celebration off the ground.

We managed to snag An Effigy Distorted’s set list from the stage so we could recap their set here; which was Ghost, Audible Colors, Roadhouse, Crimson, Victims, and wrapping up with Coronation.   Ahem….hey guys, it would be awesome to have an EP….just sayin’.

While we look forward to a recording, new music, and more shows from An Effigy Distorted, we have had the good fortune to get this interview with the phenominal T.J. Thompson.  

How long have you been playing?

“I’ve been playing guitar for about 9 and a half years now and the band has been playing together for almost 2 years now.”


Was there one specific moment in your life when you picked up a guitar, and said “this is what I’m going to do with my life”?
I wouldn’t say it was one specific moment, it was more of a series of events that made me want to do it.”

Who would you give credit as your most important influences?
Steve Vai, The Black Dahlia Murder, As I Lay Dying, Parkway Drive, Enfold Darkness, Protest The Hero, All Shall Perish, Whitechapel, The Wonder Years, and horror movies.”

How did An Effigy Distorted come together, and when?
AED formed back in the summer of 2010, it was created from the ashes of an older band that Patrick, Bayliss, and I were in. At the time, we were playing a somewhat progressive rock and Patrick said that our hearts would always be in metal. Well, he was right, cause here we are now.”

Do you remember the band’s first show?
I remember it like it was yesterday.  We showed up late, the input on my Dean was going out so I had to play my Epiphone, I didn’t even have time to tune it so I was a half step out of tune. My knees and hands were shaking horribly, something I still suffer from to this day, and I didn’t even start headbanging or moving around until about our fourth song.”

The band has grown tremendously since its birth.  What would you say have been the biggest milestones for the band?
Playing Club Firestone was definitely a huge milestone for the bands, so was our show at The Social. I still believe that our biggest milestone is the fact that we’re still together after all this time, we fight and argue a lot but we’re like a family, they’re my brothers.”   

AED by Bo Bradshaw

AED by Bo Bradshaw

Are there any turning points or obstacles that you have personally had to conquer to become the musician you are today?    Other than having to overcome stage fright, no.”

How much of the band’s original music / lyrics do you write?
When Jeremy was in the band, I only got to write my lead parts and a few rhythm parts, nothing drastic though.  Now that we have Rafe, I write a lot more of the material. As for lyrics, I help Patrick out when he asks for help but nothing big. The most I have written was for “Audible Colors,” I helped write the chorus and the final verse.”

What’s the creative process for an AED song?  What inspires you guys the most?
Usually Rafe or I toss a guitar riff out there and we build off of it. I write a lot after watching horror movies, like our newest song, I had written some of it after watching the prequel to The Thing.”

Where would you like to see the band in the next few months?  In the next year?
In the next few months, I would like to see us play in front of larger and more unfamiliar audiences. In the next year, I would like to see us with a demo and hopefully a Florida tour.”

Give us some awesome, little-known facts about T.J. ……..
H.P. Lovecraft is my favorite author, I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter series, I love horror films and novels, especially sci-fi horror, anything with aliens in it is the best (ex. The Alien films, Predator, The Thing).”


How do you feel Rose can best help get the word out about your band?
Well, her blog is perfect since the internet is an awesome asset for promotion, but, word of mouth is the still the best way to spread the word about something.”

What would you like to see included on Rose’s blog / website?
 “More pictures and videos would definitely be awesome to see included on the website.”

THANK YOU for  your time and allowing us the opportunity to learn more about you.

No problem, thank you for interviewing me, it means a lot.”


We also had a chance to chat with Alex Berger about new developments From Within.  Alex told us that the band has a potential new vocalist who has been auditioning with them recently.  Plans are still on for a new recording.  And there’s a possible summer  tour in the works, which could include Mayhem Fest.  To help get From Within’s a place amidst all the Mayhem…..go to the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest site, and tag From Within.   

We also got to talk with Jennifer Perez and the guys from Another Life Spared!  It’s been awhile since we’ve seen them, but  this band is always amazing, and were no different on this night.  Another Life Spared’s got a big show in Melbourne next weekend, where they will  once again join forces Meka Nism, as well as Murderfly, LoveJuice, Blame the Tyrant, and Who Was I.  Friday, May 18th will be the perfect night to go to the show at the County Line, and maybe wake up at the beach (or somewhere) in the morning! 


So, in closing this post we say look out for Part II of our opinion on Cinco de Mayo, where you’ll find Lit Up, Team Cybergeist, Meka Nism, and I Will Break Thee.  Rose is also getting geared up for Spooky Empire’s May-Hem.  The insanity begins on March 25th and rampages through the weekend on International Drive.  Who knows, maybe we’ll get a particularly ghoulish chat with George VanOrsdel of the Family Ghouls and Q&A host for Spooky Empire.  George will definitely get us in the mood for the festivities……


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