Featured Artist

Cosmic Rock

Our Featured Artist entry for February is dedicated to remembering our friend Jim "The Rev." Forrester. Jim was a well loved underground musician known for his music, his enthusiasm for underground metal and most of all his big heart for his family and friends. Jim passed away several months ago, we will always miss him. Today we repost an interview from the past with Jim and friend Gideon having a conversation about many interesting topics. Rest in power Jim, a great friend loved and missed by many.

1.Jim, how are you bro and good to connect with you today. Seems like all kinds of good things are going on in your world and very happy for you man.  How are you feeling these days?

JIM: Doing good Gideon, awesome to speak with you brother! Just navigated my wedding to Miss Tina, it was described as "the most metal wedding of all time" by a friend, so I guess we did a good job. Wanted it to be entertaining and fun, most weddings suck, ours did not. How am I feeling? Heh, busy...going to be a full tilt summer and fall for Foghound and Serpents of Secrecy. Foghound's new record, "The World Unseen" is out July 8th on Ripple Music and we're booking intense at the moment.

2.Congrats bro. Happy for you two that's awesome. You seem to be a really huge fan of horror films. What films are your all-time favorites and why?

JIM: Too many to list brother. The Usual Suspects, Evil Dead trilogy, Return of the Living Dead, All George Romero, Children Shouln't play with Dead Things, Carnival of Souls, The Exorcist, All Cronenburg, Halloween (the original, most Carpenter)), anything Lucio Fulci, Cannibal Holocaust, Night of the Demons I - III, Demons I - III, The early Friday the 13ths and Nightmares, Anything original Universal Monsters, Anything Hammer Films (especially the Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing stuff, obviously), Nightbreed, HellraiserI +II, Coffin Joe stuff, Tombs of the Blind Dead series, The Howling, Dario Argento's films (some), Re-Animator (most of the Lovecraft adaptations, especially Stuart Gordon's), Spiderbaby, Delamorte Delamore, etc., etc....

3.What was the first film you saw that really got you into the horror genre?

JIM: When I was knee high, my Grandmother and I used to watch Ghost Host theatre on Saturday nights on Channel 45 out of Baltimore. They played the hell out of the original Universal stuff, and a lot of fifties flicks like Them, even some Ed Wood stuff. On Sundays there was Creature Feature on Channel 54 out of DC....more new school, movies like Williard, The Time Machine, etc., with Godzilla flicks thrown in. First movie...man it's a wash of those old Universal's. Because I've been a toy and memorabilia collector of this subject for 20 years now, I'd have to say the original Frankenstein, with Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein thrown in. Later on, at 10, I conned my Ma into taking me to see Return of the living Dead opening night. That and sneaking The Exorcist into a video rental and scaring the shit out of my friends with it sealed the deal. So it's a combo first.

4.Are you mostly into obscure titles and rare films or mainstream films that many would recognize?

JIM: Both. Nothing really mainstream now. A lot of shit today is just too slick and streamlined. I like bumpy rides. I dig online for anything and everything new and old. Go down a couple hour wormhole sometimes. Still finding new titles, so I suppose I lean more obscure. I like finding little hidden gems.

5.What films most influenced your life, music, perspective and why?

JIM: Cliff Em' All (it's why I play bass), Dawn of the Dead (inspired social commentary on consumerism), Satanis:The Devil's Mass (goes without saying), Nightbreed (I want to go to Midian most days as well). Stripes, Shakes the Clown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, all Monty Python (I love to laugh). Frankenstein (Something about that film just resonates with me). I could go on and on brother.

6.What about books and authors?

JIM: Anything Lavey, Jim Goad, Richard Dawkins, Christoper Hitchens, Sam Harris. Charles Bukowski. Baudelaire, Poe and H.P. Lovecraft form a Trinity for me. I've been big on biographies of the infamous and odd lately.  When I was more into Fiction, I dug Stephen King (read Salem's Lot when I was 9), Clive Barker. Chuck Palahniuk, Douglas Adams. Again this list could go on and on.

7.How has it crossed over into your music? Does your love of the vibe influence you as a musician?

JIM: To the extent that when I write (I write on bass and guitar), I try to tell a story, especially with some of the quirky ass basslines I come up with. My interests definitely cast a shadow of sorts over what I create. Mood, emotion. Same with the artwork I make for Arcane Recorporations (my art company/project). I'm kind of a dark guy.

8.When you were starting out in bands, who inspired you most and what concerts stand out in your memory?

JIM: Cliff Burton and Geezer Butler got me started, then I found Kyuss when they opened for Danzig in '93. Then Scott Reeder finished off my other Trinity. So many shows. My first concert, Metallica and Queensryche in 1989. Napalm Death, Carcass, Cathedral and Brutal Truth and Monster Magnet/Clutch at the old 9:30 club. Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Napalm Death and Sick of it All. Pantera and Sacred Reich. Cro-mags reunion in DC in '95. That's just the back in the day stuff. When I worked at The Ottobar in Baltimore, I probably saw dozens and dozens of amazing shows every month. Every Emissions from the Monolith fest. Last years Vultures of Volume Fest and The Maryland Doomfest. Every damn show Sixty Watt Shaman played on tour with COC, Clutch, Crowbar, Spirit Caravan, BLS, Karma to Burn, Alabama Thunderpussy etc., etc., goddamn etc.  Again, I could keep going brother.

9.You have been in several very cool bands and have some new music going on right now. What are some of the favorite times in your musical history?

JIM: Recording with so many amazing engineers Like Uncle Punchy, Bruce Falkinburg, and Frank Marchand. Working on "Seed of Decades" with J.P. Gaster, "Reason to Live" with Scott Reeder. Writing the framework for a song (All things Come to Pass) that SWS recorded live in studio with Reeder and Wino during those sessions. All the great tours Sixty Watt got to be a part of. Playing SXSW. Touring Europe with Karma To Burn in 2001. Reforming the " The Rhythm Section from Hell" with Chuckrock.  Meeting my brother Todd Ingram. The SWS reunion/Desertfest shows in London and Berlin a few years ago. Angel of Meth's CD release party. Soaphammer's Halloween show in Cincy. Working with J.Robbin's on the upcoming Serpents of Secrecy Record. Joining Foghound, becoming part of the family, has meant worlds to me.  All the fans and friends I've met, with every band I've had the privilege of playing in and writing with. All the amazing musicians I've had the honor of sharing a stage with.

10.Who are some of your favorite artists in metal, horror, design? You a HR Gieger fan?

JIM: Brad Moore definitely. Having been a body piercer, and working in/owning  Tattoo Shops for about 16 years (as of now I'm retired), I've met so many amazing artists, seen such brilliant artwork, I really cannot pick a favorite. I know the work Jowe One @ Orange tattoo(original) artwork), Bill Kole (design), Greg Kettorman (photography), Shane Gardner(photography/video) have done for Serpents of Secrecy and Foghound respectfully, tops out my list of favorites right now.  Karl Dahmer, Joshua Hoffine, Squindo, far too many to list. As far as horror, I love everything Greg Nicotero touches, but I'm a huge "The Walking Dead" mark. Very much a Giger fan.  I own both Necronomicons and Biomechanics. I actually got to sit in one of the chairs from the Giger Bar, that was a gift (I believe, could be wrong) to a friend of mine, Chris X from Reptillian Records. That was a moment.

11.What films have you seen in recent years that you really enjoyed?

JIM: Being an old school comic book geek, the slew of Marvel/DC films that have come out hook me in, even the shitty ones. I'm patiently waiting for a Swamp Thing revival that does it justice.

12.Are you a fan of any of the horror films tv shows from history or new days?

JIM: The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Ash vs The Evil Dead...I dug the X-Files, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Tales from the Crypt, Tales from the Darkside, Swamp Thing, Werewolf, Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Pretty much if anything had a creepy vibe, I was at least half interested.

13.Any films you loved you did not see in the theatre you wish you had seen on the big screen? Some are just meant to be enjoyed on the big screen in a cool theatre.

JIM: Frankenstein.

14.Coolest theatre you ever visited?

JIM: Westview Cinema (RIP) in Catonsville, Md. It was like a gigantic, tacky ballroom stuck in 1952. It was beautiful.

15.Did you ever meet any of your favorite actors or actresses from your favorite films and who in particular?

JIM: Doug Bradley, Tom Savini, George "The Animal" Steel, Kane Hodder, Gunnar Hansen, Linda Blair, Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Monique Gabriel, Michelle Baur, James Karen, Clu Gulager, Jewel Shepard, Danny Trejo, Fred Williamson, Rudy Ray Moore, John Waters (I had drinks quite a few times with him at an old dive he frequented in Baltimore, lovely gentleman), Danny Trejo, Russ Meyer, and a lot I can't remember from past Horror conventions or attractions.

16.In your musical journey, what do you have left on the plans for the future?

JIM: Getting this Serpents of Secrecy record finished and finally out there. Promoting and playing shows to support the new Foghound album "The World Unseen", and hopefully putting together the next record shortly. Damn near more riffs than we know what to do with. Keeping it focused, learning from the past on not getting ahead of myself. Some surprises coming up in the not too distant future, but I'm staying silent on that for now.

17.Do you believe in the supernatural as in afterlife, supernatural creatures, spirits, phenomenon or is it just fun for you to explore and wonder about ? Has anything in your life ever made you a believer?

JIM: No, I'm a complete skeptic and Satanist (CoS style)/anti-theist. I have seen no first hand proof (and I've tried) of anything ghostly or ghastly, spiritual or miraculous, and until I do, I'm a complete skeptic. I've seen a lot of real evil, from real people, that's enough. However, I would like to think there is other life out there, cosmos wise, it would be arrogant to think otherwise.

18.Top werewolf movie? It is hard to find good werewolf movies these days except for classics.

JIM: Tie - The Wolfman/American Werewolf in London/The Howling.

19. Top vampire movie?

JIM: Tie - Dracula(Universal),Near Dark/Vamp.

20.Top zombie films?

JIM: Return of the Living Dead, All Romero, Zombi, Dellamorte Delamore....all of them except the direct to DVD shit Danny Trejo keeps appearing in, and a lot of current slop I see pop up on Netflix.

21. Top ghost story film?

JIM: Ghost Story.

22. After seeing many horror, action, mystery films, very few actually ‘get’ to me, I just enjoy ones with stories that appeal to me or I find interesting. Gorey films for the sake of just that got boring , I have to dig a cool story to truly get interested. Do any films ‘get to you’ still and whats a good example?

JIM: Night Breed and The Excorcist definitely, so many more but my lists are getting redundant, lol. Honestly non-horror...something (considering my background) about One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest still stirs me up.

23.Favorite non horror films and why?

JIM: I watch a lot of Documentaries on a variety of obscure and strange topics. I really dig on conspiracy stuff, but my skeptics eye gets me arguing with the screen, and that's just no fun after awhile. A lot of darker stand-up comedy and comedies. I'm a big Doug Stanhope fan if that's an indication. Tina is continuing her education to enter the medical examiner/forensics field, so we always have murder on somewhere in the house. Serial killer central. As far as other genre stuff. Beyond horror I've just always been a B-movie guy, so I track down a lot of weirdness. I also have a lot of love for The Marx Brothers, Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, even Lewis and Martin stuff. Still a huge Tarantino fan. Dig on asian Ultra-violence stuff. Mondo/Death Scenes/Traces of Death type compilations. Exploitation in general. Mostly we watch a lot of horror. Or comedy, but what we consider comedy, a lot probably do not, lol.

24.Any place you could visit in the world that you’ve always wanted to and for what reason?

JIM: My great Aunt had our genealogy (my father's side) done professionally when I was younger. We're related to the Sterling family from Scotland and later Wales to Baltimore. Sterling Castle in Scotland is in my blood, and is also the location of the famous ghost story "The Green Lady" or "Legend of the Green Lady". I really want to get over to check it out one day, non-touring.

25.If you did not play music, what appeals to you most in other walks of life that you would devote your time to?

JIM: Both of my parents were Psychiatric nurses. I worked at 16 and 17 as a psychiatric nursing aide at Springfield State Hospital in Sykesville, Md. Lock down unit of 30 some chronic schizophrenics. I helped some people. One lady in particular that had been there for twenty some odd years. I helped her. She was released into her daughter's custody and I'd like to think she lived out a very comfortable life. If not music, the body piercing, or the bouncing....I probably would have gone into Deviant Psyche in some aspect. It still fascinates me. Writing was a keen interest as well. I wrote my first novel at 14. So some form of journalism or aspect of creative writing would have been cool. Still might be.

26.What film in your list of favorites reminds you most of your life story?

JIM: Frankenstein/Shakes the Clown. Thanks Gid, it was a pleasure. Most certainly not the usual round of cookie cutter musician/band questions. You rule brother! All my love!

Thanks to you Jim and same to you. Back at ya bro and keep up the rock - G