Saturday, March 16, 2013

An Introduction to the Life of a Geeky Goth

Welcome to my first blog post - Some of you may already know me as Mario, or by my long standing alias Dvlbunny (Devil Bunny). For others, this may be the first you've heard of me. In either case, thanks for stumbling upon my blog, and I hope you find what you read hear to be of interest! As this is my first post, it will be a basic introduction of myself and my past, what geekiness I've been involved with, and my history in the music scene.

Photo of early D&D Basic Edition Rulebook
I started D&D with this basic edition.
I know it's not the first but it's pretty early.
I've been entrenched in the Gothic and Industrial music scene from the late eighties through now, and I've been interested in all things geeky from a very early age. I started playing Dungeons and Dragons with my brother and a neighborhood friend at the age of 8. I've been playing video games even before then. This makes over 30 years of Geekery - and nearly that much time being a goth!

Along with the pen and paper role-playing games, I have also played a lot of tabletop board games - such as HeroQuest, and Talisman. (Truth be told, I still have, and play my 2nd Edition Talisman game, along with most of the official expansions - everything except Dragons expansion - and with what it sells for now - I don't think I'll ever be getting that expansion.) I still do a lot of board gaming with a great group of friends, and also attend open board gaming nights at my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) 7th Dimension Games on occasion, where we play games such as Settlers of Catan, Battlestar Galactica, Thunderstone, Gloom, Arkham Horror, Eldersign, and many, many more.

Musical Background

My interest in Gothic and Industrial music started pretty early - when I was young my brother would play bands like Depeche Mode, and The Cure (to this day I tell people how much I hate The Cure - but I must confess I actually do like some of their earlier material) - but I think it was around 8th grade when I heard Skinny Puppy which was the first band that really got me hooked.

Since then I expanded my interests in music to cover bands across the goth spectrum such as:
Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, Bauhaus, Christian Death, Killing Joke, The Mission UK, The March Violets, and New Model Army.

And also Industrial bands like:
Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Pigface, Laibach, Foetus, Numb, Front Line Assembly, Clock DVA, and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult.

I also delved into the more experimental/classic industrial side of things with:
Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, Coil, Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Boyd Rice/NON.

I also listen to Neofolk bands such as:
Current 93, Sol Invictus, Death in June, Rome, Blood Axis.

And some Medieval music as well:
Corvus Corax, Omnia, Faun.

I went to many clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 90s and 2000s - but I was more of a regular at the South and East bay clubs. I remember spending time at Ammo, Backlash, A Winter Gone By, Death Guild, House of Usher, Roderick's Chamber, House of Voodoo, Deviation, and Shrine of Lilith. I'm sure there were lots more but can't think of names right now ... If you remember other clubs from that time period in the SF Bay area - drop me a line in the comments!

As well as being a fan of this style of music, I'm also a musician, and have played in a few bands in my lifetime - including several electronic industrial projects that never got off the ground while a teen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sirvix LogoThe first project that I was involved with that got any traction was a more experimental band named Sirvix (links to page). Sirvix played throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in mid 1990s. I played keyboards, guitar, bass and percussion for the project. During that time it was through a mutual friend that we came to the attention of Chase at Re-Constriction records. Chase mentioned that we should reach out to Tom Muschitz of  Decibel Records as he had heard some rumblings of something in the works with him. We sent some feelers out and along with a demo of our music and Tom said we were just the kind of stuff he was looking for in his new Feedback Records label. And so we were signed to the label and our album "Her Dead Love" was released in 1995. A second recording was made "Autumn's Cascade" but unfortunately Feedback was closed before it was released - these rare recordings are available to be downloaded or listened to on for free. Soon after the recording of "Autumn's Cascade" Sirvix parted ways.

It was a long time, and a move across the country  between projects for me at this point - but I once again took to making music in January 2009 when I and my bandmate John Harford began the Medieval Project Terra Serpentis (links to Bandcamp page).

Terra Serpentis spent a few years playing at the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Renaissance Faires, as well as a few other venues including being part of the Side-show performances at Projektfest 2010.

Our demo CD "Early Times" was released in September of 2010 - and included 3 songs in their traditional forms, as well as the same 3 songs in which I added electronic elements to them. In early 2013 we announced that Terra Serpentis was being put on hiatus as the majority of the members were moving forward with various other projects.

Destroying Angel Early LogoThis included myself as I had recently joined my current project a Neofolk band named Destroying Angel (links to our Bandcamp page). You can also find us on Facebook. I am currently doing percussion for the project but at some point I hope to be adding some electronic elements to the project as well.

What's Coming on this Blog?

Now that you know a little bit of background about me -  you shouldn't be surprised to hear that in future posts, I'll be talking about music I like within the goth / industrial / medieval genres. I'll also be talking about gaming - be it board games, video games, or role-playing games. I'm also a huge fan of technology (and what geek isn't?) So don't be surprised to see a bit of that as well.

Basically - I'm going to write about anything I find interesting - and for the most part - if you fall into the goth or geek categories - I'm sure you'll find some interesting stuff here in the future.

If you have a chance to listen to my music - please feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below. If you find something cool that you think I'd be interested in, add that to the comments as well - or contact me in one of the other ways listed in my profile.  Hell, if you just want to say hi - do that too!

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