CVLT Nation
Artist to Artist Interviews
Ghoul Vs. Occultist

Occultist formed in the last couple years… why would you do that?

Jim: A few years ago a tentacled malevolence reached out to us from the great beyond demanding that we not play trend metal or rap-rock, and so Occultist was born.

What kind of drug stimulants do you use to prop up your anemic, vegan bassist, Nathaniel?

Anonymous Occultist Member: In short, all of them. Like most bassists, he isn’t good for much anything else. We’ve caught him numerous times huffing avocado in the van, doing lines of peanut butter in the bathroom, and walking the street for vegan mayonnaise. Despite this, Kent is really good at reminding him to smoke his crack on tour, and this keeps him from taking the veggies too far!

Who would you Marry, Fuck, and Kill from the following, and why: Deviated Instinct, Amebix, Rudimentary Peni?

Jim: As stinky as this business could quickly become we’d fuck or kill any of them but marriage is too cruel a fate for such killer bands; after all we’re not savages.

Do you get a lot of flack from the metal scene for having a girl in the band? Or do you think the scene has grown up enough to look at Leland as just a great drummer?

Anonymous Occultist Member: Leland gets harassed by suitors at nearly every gig. Sometimes it can be pretty stressful; we have a system in place and generally it works. Kind of a Chris Kattan playing the character “Mango” on Saturday Night Live thing. What I’m saying is that Leland fucked Garth Brooks.

Photo: Glenn Cocoa

How has a tour with the great and almighty Ghoul enhanced your music and worldview?

Kent: Touring with the Almighty Ghoul has made me realize that you don’t really need talent to become successful. Thankfully we have a way better gimmick; Kerry! As far as enhancing our world view we realized that once Kerry’s looks and voice go south we can just put a bloody sack on her head and people will still cheer hooray! As for me… well it looks as though I’ll have to start dumbing down my God-like talent on the guitar. I just hope Odin can forgive me for squandering the use of his axe for fame, success and lots of scandalous sex!

Of all the useless, antiquated physical formats, what made Occultist decide on releasing a demo on cassette tape? How close in the running was a CDr with a handwritten Sharpie label or a metal wire recording?

Kent: We were going to use smoke signals but, we realized that was too mainstream. We figured we would just annoy our legions off adoring fans by making them listen to us in the least accommodating way possible. That’s devotion.

Music promotion has changed considerably in the age of interwebs. With your heavy presence on Friendster, AOL Hometown, and Yahoo! Groups, which do you think helps reach more fans and why?

Jim: None of those listed have really done squat for us but Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” has helped us reach more freaks considerably due to the clear photos we post in our ads.

Your music is sick and brutal. During the writing process, are you trying to author riffs that are more sick or more brutal? Or is Jim sick and Kent brutal?

Kent: I’m just sick of being brutal. Usually I cry like a bitch until Jim slaps me like a whore and tells me to “write something like a man!” at which point I pull up my jockstrap and write a sick rip-snorting “brutal” riff that makes all other riffs seem like loose butthole. Other than Motörhead…nothing beats Motörhead!!!

Photo: Dante Torrieri

An occultist is defined as one who has a belief in the supernatural. Is the band name Occultist just a descriptor of the music, or do you believe in Krypto the super dog and Beppo the super chimp?

Jim: An Occultist could be more specifically defined as one who studies and/or is a practicioner of occult powers. Occult powers are usually associated with left-hand path or darker practices, so as far as darkness in tone musically I hope we accomplish that. On a more serious note; I’m more of a Streaky the Supercat kind of guy but whatever you’re into man.

Have you ever considered renaming the band Occulist in honor of Jim Reed’s myopic condition?

Jim: I can’t see what you did there.

Do you have any future plans for Occultist, such as riding in a flying tour van or wearing Arrakian stillsuits on stage to recycle your excreta into drinkable water?

Kent: Only if we can get Sting…and we already turned him down once because he couldn’t keep up with our musical prowess.

Do you think Kerry can run for President of the United States, or would she get all moody and shit and nuke the world during her moon time?

Kerry: Probably. We don’t need another Bush in the white house.

Kent: She wouldn’t nuke everything because of her monthly blood bath (and it is a blood bath. The inside of the van was blue.) She would nuke the world out of pure hate and that’s something all of us can get behind!

Speaking of Kerry, will the rest of the band be jealous when Decibel magazine comes out with another “hottest chicks in metal” issue and just Leland is on the cover?

Leland: This is a tender subject for the band and for Kerry. Obviously magazines like Decibel, Penthouse, High Society, Juggs, Hustler, Hustler UK, Screw Magazine, Spank, Butt, Nugget, Club, 30 Something, Barely Legal, Cheri, Gallery, Score, Metal Maniacs, RVA Magazine, Vice, Kerrang!, Terrorizer, and Metal Hammer are all interested in a spread. We’re honoring all opportunities at this time.

Photo: Dante Torrieri

Should Waffle House change their name to WH, such as the International House of Pancakes has changed their name to IHOP? Would it be pronounced “wihh” or would the “h” be silent like in “whiskey?”

Jim: You can re-name it or pronounce it however you like but you’ll never wipe the shame left on a porcelain throne three hours or less after gobbling that delicious garbage.

Have you ever desired to eat human flesh? If not, have you ever considered putting on a smelly, molding, face-covering hood and PRETENDING you desired to eat human flesh?

Jim: Not really, I don’t like people much as it is and I’d imagine they’d taste just as shitty as most of them are. It’s tough enough just trying to pretend I know how to play guitar plus I’m a shitty multi-tasker.

Which do you think is worse: Creepsylvania or Richmond, VA?

Jim: Well, I’ve never been to Creepsylvania but Richmond VA must be pretty cool because I haven’t seen any pitchforks and torches waiting to greet you guys outside of the venue.

Are you heavily involved in the Richmond metal or punk scene? Speaking of scenes, did you see that scene in Warhorse? It was awesome.

Kerry: Yes. I’m so metal, I’m not afraid to admit that I missed that scene because I couldn’t see through all the tears.

Kent: I’m heavily involved in drugs and drinking myself to death if that punk or metal… oh wait, it is so yes! I only cry during sex but that’s only because I know I’m running out of room in my backyard to dig shallow graves.

Does Kent think his bad-ass Marshall 800 full-stack and fancy pedals makes him better than me or something? Wassup, bitch?

You forgot to mention my sweet Ibanez Iceman and 1983 Ibanez artist. Jesus fucking Christ follow the fucking narrative! But I digress… the tools don’t make the man the man makes the tools. Also, yes it does make me better.

Considering you’re from Virginia and the South’s checkered past from 1861-1865, does Occultist side with Pepsi or Coke in the cola war?

Kerry: We have a strict Faygo-only rule. Woop woop!

Why can’t you all just play some nice music like Mr. Lawrence Welk? And Kerry, do you talk to your mother with that voice? Pull back your hair, dear, and let people see your nice smile.

Jim: We try our best but somehow this is what comes out instead. You should hear Kerry sing “Mother” by Danzig with that sparrow-like voice, it really shows off her smile and makes her seem like a proper lady and all.

Do you now wake up every day in a cold sweat, teeth chattering, thanking your Maker that you survived Ghoul?

Kerry: Yes, but I attribute that to all of the drugs Nathaniel has gotten me hooked on. When did we tour with Ghoul?

Bassist Nathaniel has such pretty hair and dreamy eyes… Do you think he likes me?

Anonymous: Dreamy? We beg to differ, but then again, it must be hard to see from your blood encrusted hoods. A few years ago, Jim performed a Dark Sacrament using some boots, a mop, and an Amebix back patch in an effort to create a homunculus. It turned out that the creature was pretty okay at bass, so we named him Nathaniel and offered him to join the band. While he has expressed interest in having relationships like a real boy, we keep him from it. Clearly, it wouldn’t work out, and we’re worried that the spell might be broken by an encounter that sexy in nature.

Photo: Dante Torrieri

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The Author



Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.