Archive for The Van Orsdels

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…..

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