|Interview by Burt Wolf with drummer & vocalist, Alice Bludgeon of TORMENTULA.
Interview done on February 4th, 2002.
CAN YOU TELL US HOW THE BAND GOT TOGETHER & SOME OF THE BANDS HISTORY?
We got together in 1997 as friends jamming, with nothing specific in mind (stylistically). After a few dismal
months of attempting a couple of terrible covers, we discovered our calling. Our first song in the style of
TORMENTULA was "Corn Cob"...based on an enraging experience I had as a cleaning lady.
WHY WAS THE NAME TORMENTULA CHOSEN FOR THE BAND?
I had written the lyrics & rhythm for "Caligula" in my head. I was sort of milling over them & started trying to
rhyme words with "Caligula" for some unexplained reason & one of these words was "TORMENTULA".
WHO OR WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MAJOR INFLUENCES IN CREATING YOUR MUSIC?
We don't strive for a sound made by other bands, but since we all listen to music I suppose it is unavoidable. I
find music inspirational, but never consciously try to emulate it: EMPEROR, SLAYER, BATHORY,
DESTRUCTION, SCORPIONS, ABBA, Nina Hagen, LED ZEPPLIN, SIGH, JUDAS PRIEST, MAYHEM,
MOTORHEAD, CELTIC FROST, MERCYFUL FATE, IRON MAIDEN, VENOM, CAPTAIN
BEEFHEART & much more of course. It's hard to sum up a wide range of tastes.
WERE ANY OF YOU IN PREVIOUS BANDS BEFORE TORMENTULA? IF SO, WHICH BANDS?
I was in a psychedelic band called PENTAPUS in the early 90's, then played drums in a band called SNAKES
BETSY, where we only sang songs about Latvia in Latvian. That was a blast. The guitarist, Manerva Scurvy was
in a two piece band called TRACTOR MAN & the bassist, Mortica Mangle was in DRIVE BY WENDY.
SINCE TORMENTULA IS A 3 PIECE ALL FEMALE BLACK/DEATH METAL BAND, DO YOU FIND IT
EASIER OR HARDER TO BE ACCEPTED BY OTHER BANDS?
(For the record, I don't think we're Black Metal.) We have an acceptance rate of about 40%. Our music isn't
tight enough for purists of any genre, so they can't handle it. We can usually impress touring bands...but as far
as in town, they just view it as the same old, same old.
HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH SPEAKEASY RECORDS?
The guy who started the label, Carl Johns, had monitored our progress for a year or so, then approached us with
an offer to put out our first album. There were only two bands on the label at the time, us & his Country band
called NOAH JOHN. I think he was very optimistic about having a record label, but after time, money ran out &
reality hit, so he dropped the whole thing.
YOUR CD "SUBMIT YOUR UNWORTHY SOUL" WAS RELEASED IN 1999. HOW WELL DID THAT
ALBUM DO FOR YOU?
I think it did well for us in the sense of getting our name out there. It's pretty amazing how many people heard of
it before actually hearing it. So, that's really cool. Also, I think that that recording was really raw & very exciting.
WHAT IS SOME OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT & HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE YOUR
STYLE & SOUND?
The songs that I write & sing are usually about insanity & fear. They have a certain degree of humor as well as
emotional sincerity. Our style comes very naturally to us, so it's really a mesh of our personalities that are ever
changing. Our sound is abrasive, dreadful & sometimes confusing.
THE "LURE OF THE GRIME" 7" IS YOUR LATEST RELEASE WHICH CAME OUT IN 2000. HOW
WELL WAS THAT RECEIVED & IS THERE A NEW ALBUM IN THE WORKS?
People liked it. The red vinyl is awesome & you have the option to play it on 45 rpm, which is super fun. We
recorded 7 songs a couple of months ago & are in the process of mixing them. It's the best thing we've done
WHO POSED FOR THE NICE BUTT SHOT ON THE COVER OF THE 7"?
I did, but that's not really what my butt looks like. It's an illusion. Those pants are exactly half my size, so it's
more like a jello mold.
WHERE ARE SOME OF THE MORE MEMORABLE PLACES YOU'VE
PLAYED & WITH WHO?
We loved playing at O'Cayz Corral (R.I.P.) here in Madison. We played with
TODAY'S THE DAY, which was a great opportunity. We played with the
aging CRUCIFUCKS & that was one of the worst shows ever. We played
with CAVITY a long time ago. Most recently we played with CUTTHROATS
9, which was great fun. We also played with HARLOW, the band from
BANDS ON THE RUN. They had roadies, an RV, a manager, very deluxe
treatment, but we had the Metal edge that comes with doing all of that shit
yourself. They were nice, but wimpy. We also played with ANAL CUNT in
Milwaukee. That was awesome.
I'M SURE MOST OF YOUR SHOWS ARE PRETTY WILD, BUT WHAT
ARE SOME OF THE CRAZIER THINGS YOU'VE SEEN AT ONE OF
YOUR SHOWS, FROM A BAND MEMBER OR A FAN?
Since I sing & drum, I can't really look at the audience much, because the
microphone is on the side, but once there was a cat fight involving 3 women.
hair pulling, scratching...stereotypical.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF TORMENTULA DO WHEN NOT
DOING ANY WORK FOR THE BAND?
I work at a place that makes really cool 3D shit in the prepress department.
Manerva Scurvy works at a health food grocery store & Morticia Mangle is a
bartender at 2 different places as well as working on owning her own Rock
club. She used to own O'Cayz Corral, which burned down last year on New
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT
YOU PLAY, WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU ARE
I play & compose creepy songs on the accordion. That's very far from playing
drums & screaming. As far as other styles...I like everything except for
Country. Right now I'm finding great joy listening to MANOWAR's
"TRIUMPH OF STEEL" & KING DIAMOND's first band BLACK ROSE.
WHAT'S THE BEST & WORST THING ABOUT BEING A FEMALE
The worst thing is that people assume that we get attention based on gender
versus musical expression. That is also the best thing, because it pushes us
IF TORMENTULA WAS A HORROR MOVIE, WHAT WOULD IT BE
ABOUT? WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED & WHO WOULD YOU LIKE
TO SEE STAR IN IT?
It would be a "dead-girl-seeking-vengence" movie. TORMENTULA could be
the name of some kick ass guitarist/singer that got killed in a Rock club by a
rival. She comes back from the dead to point out her murderer & fuck shit up.
The role of TORMENTULA would be played by Lil' Kim. She's probably the
scariest women in show business today.
IF YOU WEREN'T IN TORMENTULA, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU
WOULD BE DOING NOW?
I'd be in a different band or writing songs on a four track. Maybe making art
or writing. Probably living in a different town.
DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE & WHAT YOU WERE
DOING WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE WORLD TRADE
CENTER ATTACK ON 9-11-01 IN NEW YORK? WHAT ARE SOME OF
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS TRAGEDY?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE
TORMENTULA SONG &
We never play a song exactly
the same twice, so it depends on
our mood, how much we've
been practicing, etc., but I guess
my favorite is "Hell's Unruliest",
which was recorded for the new
I'VE NEVER SEEN
BEFORE, BUT FROM ALL
THE PHOTOS I'VE SEEN, IT
LOOKS LIKE A VERY GOOD
TIME. PLEASE DESCRIBE,
IF POSSIBLE, WHAT A
TORMENTULA SHOW IS
The crowd is pretty much always silent & motionless, except for a few hollering drunks. Sometimes we have
stage antics, entrance songs, flames, blood, confetti, bones. Sometimes we're drunk & sloppy, sometimes we
are alert & right on. It's consistently surprising & fun.
Drum Corpse & Vocals
|Dr. Morticia Mangle
Guitar Blaster & Vocals
I was at work when I first heard about it. It was absolutely terrifying on so many levels. I've never
seen anything so frightening & sad. Unfortunately the media's treatment of the tragedy cheapened it.
Tapped it dry of all genuine emotion & tried to make money off of it, purposefully instilling fear
into the public. The networks tried to convince American viewers that the most important thing to do
at the time is stayed glued to their TV sets, keep their mouths shut about everything "unsupportive".
That was irresponsible & despicable. I don't like the way the Bush administration passed a lot of
shady laws while our attention was iverted.
WHAT CAN WE SEE NEXT FROM TORMENTULA?
Our next release will be out sometime in the future, (could that be any more vague?) We have to find a record
label or save enough money to put it out ourselves.
I'M ALL OUT OF QUESTIONS, THANX A LOT FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW. ANY WORDS OF
WISDOM, COMMENTS OR ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?