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~ Character Interview ~
Interviewer: I’m currently backstage with the shockingly hot guys and girl from gothic rock sensation, Black Halo. Just for anyone who doesn’t know, we have vocalist, Xane Geist, lead and rhythm guitarists, Ash Gore and Spook Mortensen, then Elspeth Shriik on keyboards and Paul ‘Rock Giant’ Reed on bass.
Hi guys. I understand that you’re part way through a six month tour of Europe. How’s that going?
Ash: Yeah, it’s going well. We’ve been on the road a couple of weeks now. The crowds have been pretty awesome, and we’re looking forward to hitting some of the big festivals in Denmark and Sweden over the next week or so.
Interviewer: This is your ‘Requiem for the Damned’ tour. I understand it’s a tribute to your former drummer, Steve Matlock. His death must have been an incredible shock. How easy has it been for you all to move on from that? (Note: Steve died from a subdural haematoma following a fight.)
Xane: Difficult. We’re all still shocked by it, but we wanted to do something that would both remind us of Steve and what we achieved together, and which also gave the fans an outlet for their emotions.
Elspeth: It’s hard without him. We’ve been together a long time.
Interviewer: How long have Black Halo been together?
Xane: In its current format, for seven years, but Steve and I formed the original ‘Halo’ back when we were eleven, along with his sister and my cousin Ric.
Interviewer: That’d be Alaric Liddell, the famous erotic photographer, the man behind the legendary art book that was meant to accompany your second album. Xane, are we ever going to see those images?
Xane: You’d have to ask Ric.
Ash: And maybe his girlfriend. (Said while poking Xane.) She might have something to say about releasing them.
Xane: Why, she’s not in them?
RG: Man, they’re pornographic. She might not care to share that much of you with everyone.
Elspeth: She doesn’t care to share him with anyone.
Spook: Actually, the record company vetoed the release of them. I think they were worried about them ruining our wholesome image or something (said with an enormous grin.)
All right, moving on. Can you tell us a little about your new drummer?
Xane: We don’t have one.
Spook: His name is Iain Willows, and he’s touring with us on a temporary basis. It’s way too soon to think about bringing in a permanent member.
Interviewer: Okay, we’ve some questions from our readers now. This first one is for Spook. When and where did you meet the rest of the band? Who did you meet first and was it at an audition or just a chance meeting that brought you together?
Spook (looking uncomfortable about being centre of attention): Xane, in therapy.
Madelynne: Whoa! You can’t tell them that. You have to wait until your story J
Xane: I was going to add to that, but Madelynne says I can’t. Not that I ever listen to her. And actually, it was kind of out of therapy, rather than in therapy.
Madelynne: Really, the pair of you, hush!
Interviewer: What did Ash study at university and did he get his degree?
Rock Giant: Loafing, wasn’t it?
Ash: F off. I read History & Philosophy.
Xane: And came out with a first class honours degree too. Fuck knows how. Imagine that, there are actual brains inside his skull. (Taps on Ash’s head.) Crazy isn’t it?
Elspeth: Goes all night and he can talk to you about Nietzsche, what more could a woman want? (sigh)
Interviewer: Has Xane got a favourite piercing? And does he plan to have anymore?
Xane: (Thinks for a minute) The eyebrow, probably. That was one of the first ones. I’m not specifically thinking of any more at the minute, but I never say, never.
Madelynne: Just for the record, he already has two parallel eyebrow piercings, a lip ring, a tongue piercing, plus nipple rings and a couple of studs in each ear.
Elspeth; have you been subjected to people in the business treating you as "the token woman" in the band rather than seeing you for what you bring as a person and keyboard player?
Ash: You’re joking, right. She busts balls in the boardroom. The music execs are terrified of her.
Elspeth: It’s actually more of a fan thing. A lot of the female fans get a little jealous of the fact I get to hang out with these bozos all the time. I can’t imagine why.
Interviewer: The next question is for you all. If you had to forfeit one of you five main senses for a year, what would it be?
Ash: Wha—at! Man, really? That’d be hell.
Xane: Smell maybe. It can get pretty rank on the tour bus after a while. Then again, I’d hate not being able to smell how sweet my special lady is.
Ash: What do I gain in exchange for this forfeit? I mean, it’d have to be something good wouldn’t it, else why would I forfeit anything?
Elspeth: Hearing, then I wouldn’t have to listen to their inane conversations.
RG: You wouldn’t be able to play with us either though.
Elspeth: Beethoven managed.
Interviewer: Can you tell us what you like to do in your free time? How do you like to chill out?
Ash & Xane together: Sex.
Ash: But not with each other.
Xane: (Shrugs.) I’m game. Leastways, I would be, if I didn’t already have a special someone. (Shares an enormous grin.)
RG: (makes puking noises)
Elspeth: I do some clothes designing. I’ve a little boutique on King’s Road where I sell some of my designs.
Ash: Rock Giant likes to slice and dice people with his broadswords, and Spook’s into scrapbooking and cooking revolting Swedish balls.
Apart from Spooks purple Washburn, what item could the others not live without in the a) music sense b) personal lives.
Xane: Um… (glances down at his fly).
Elspeth: Your voice, maybe?
Xane: My voice… yeah, that’s right. Couldn’t survive without it.
Spook: (pets the his Washburn guitar)
Ash: Fingers, and my tongue. That covers both.
RG: Hairspray and mushrooms. I really like mushrooms. I think I like lived on them and nothing else for one whole summer.
Elspeth: And now the dirty secrets are coming out.
RG: No, I just didn’t have any money and they were free if you picked them yourself.
Ash: How could you have no money when your parents are famous?
Interviewer: Rock Giant’s parents are part of legendary folk group the Toll Puddle Martyrs.
RG: Dad refused to go to the bank. He was having one of his “being one with nature ” phases.
Interviewer: Let’s finish off with a few quick fire questions.
Favourite flavour of crisps?
Xane: Black Pepper Kettle Chips
Ash: Cheese and Onion
RG: Worcestershire sauce
Iain: What Ash said.
Xane: Why the fuck is he here? (Turns to speak to Sally Kettering the band’s PR advisor & chief babysitter.)
Sally: Not now. He’s part of the band. Just deal with it.
Elspeth: He really fucking isn’t.
Favourite Pizza topping:
Xane: Jalapenos and mojito dressing
Ash: I can't decide between Anchovies and Pepperoni. Maybe both together.
Spook: Goat’s cheese, spinach and olives.
Elspeth: I like banana and pineapple, hold the ham.
Cave Troll (one of their roadies): Pizza! Is someone ordering pizza? I’ll take a meat bastard, please. (Apparently this consists of four varieties of meat and not a whole lot else.)
Fish fingers or chicken nuggets?
Xane: Fish fingers. They make a mean sandwich.
Ash: Chicken nuggets all the way.
RG: I’m a veggie.
Ash: When it suits him?
Um, and before we wrap up, how does Spook feel about a weekend of unbridled fun in the Highlands?
Spook: Going for a wild gallop? Yeah, I’d love to.
Ash: (Ash falling off the sofa laughing.) That’s so not what she meant.
Spook: What are you on about? What do you think she was asking?
RG: (Patting Spook on the head.) It wasn’t to do with horses.
Spook: Well what?
Xane: (Waggles eyebrows at him).
Spook: Yeah, well everyone knows I don’t do that.
RG: You’d have made a crap Viking boyo. He might have the looks, but ladies the tools are totally busted.
Spook: Actually, I function perfectly, thank you. I just don’t put out for just anyone.
Xane: (grinning) Only for special people.
Interviewer: And that’s unfortunately all we have time for. Thank you for letting us gatecrash your dressing room. And good luck with the rest of the tour.
To find out more about Madelynne’s books and Black Halo visit www.madelynne-ellis.com.