Archive for The Family Ghouls

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:



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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