Hailing from the USA Varicella are a band set to bring the heart back to the industrial scene. Laying down their roots to the likes of Ministry and Skinny Puppy they are about to set the world in flames when they release their new EP We Belong Dead through Bluntface Records this month. Grave Concerns Ezine got chance to catch up with Varicella and here is how it went.
Phill – Hello and thank you for giving Grave Concerns this interview, can we start by you telling our readers a little about yourselves?
Varicella – Hello and thanks for giving up this opportunity! We’re very thankful.
Chris Bollinger – I’m just some dude that loves music, movies and comics / graphic novels. Oh, and long walks on the beach while holding hands, LOL.
Chris Pasquarelli – I’m a huge metal head aside from all the other genre’s I listen to music is my life. I love performing and making music and it’s my dream to make a living out of it.
Phill – How have you managed to bring back that great 80’s industrial sounds?
Varicella – Well, we wanted to try and capture that essence and/or vibe of what bands like Ministry and Skinny Puppy and KMFDM we’re doing back then, and update it and put it through out own personal filter or brand of screwed up humor! Ha!
We enjoy the Harsh EBM / EDM and Aggrotech bands but we didn’t want to do a band like that. There’s already a million bands that sound like Combichrist or Psyclon Nine or Wumpscut or Dismantled or Grendel. And don’t get me wrong, we like those bands, we just wanted to do something that was more guitar prominent than synth prominent. Again, we have synth parts in our music, but it’s not up front. It’s not the basis of what makes the song. It’s more buried in the background but it’s still a key part of the song, if that makes sense. Pretty much, when all is said and done, we want the beat to make the girls dance and the guitars to make the dudes headbang to. Similar to KMFDM’s ultra heavy beat. Ya know?
Phill – What are your musical influences?
Varicella – This is going to have to be divided between the two of us, LOL. We both like similar bands, but of course we have a ton of different bands that each of us listens to as well.
Chris B. – Ministry, Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, White Zombie/Rob Zombie, NIN, old Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Testament, Alice in Chains, Danzig and a lot of others.
Chris P. – Marilyn Manson, NIN, Deicide, Death, Behemoth, Psyclon Nine, The Beatles, Cradle Of Filth, The Black Dahlia Murder, NOFX, to many to count.
Phill – You are releasing We Belong Dead your debut EP on 26th January 2013, what it is about the EP that makes you most proud?
Varicella – That it’s “actually” out! LOL. It may not sound 100% how I hear it in my head because it’s still a demo, but the fact that it’s done, completed, mastered, and out for the public to have is a great thing to be proud of. Some of these songs were started 4 years ago! Ya know? LOL. I guess it just took finding the right guitarist to get this job done!
Phill – So what has been your musical journey, where did you start in music and what have you done up to Varicella?
Chris B. – I’ve been doing music for about 15 years now. I started on guitar, then moved to drums. Played drums in a thrash metal band called Living Imparied for a few years. I had to stop because I developed arthritis in my knees. So I had to stop playing. And that pretty much lead into creating Varicella. Even when doing the thrash metal band I’ve always wanted to do an industrial sounding band. So I guess, the arthritis just kicked start me into gear.
Chris P. – I’ve always been really into all types of music and I always wanted to make music. I messed around with guitar since I was 14, but I’m more serious now with it than I’ve ever been. I’ve been in several bands since then but nothing as successful as Varicella and I love playing in this band and I have high hopes for the future.
Phill – Why did you decide to call yourselves Varicella?
Varicella – Well, I work in the shipping department for a huge medicial book publishing company, that will remain nameless, LOL. And I had to copy this book one day about 5 years ago. During copying it, I just stumbled upon this word. So I wrote it down and looked it up. It just stuck with me. We tried other names but they weren’t as good. At one point, we were called, Dark Blue Sky, and then changed back to Varicella a little bit before Chris P. joined the band last year. A friend once explained to me that the name is a virus. And viruses stick with you. They can be slow and creep up on you, or they can hard and fast and hit you in the face like a kick to the teeth. And I thought really long and hard about that. It made sense to me, so we just kept this name.
Phill – Is there anything you wish you could have done differently in your musical career so far?
Varicella – It would’ve been nice to meet the guitarist (Chris Pasquarelli) a few years sooner than I did.
Phill – How would you choose to describe the music you make?
Varicella – I’m going to have to agree with KMFDM and say we make hard and heavy music that you can still dance to. We’re trying to balance a machine sound with heavy metal music. Like Ministry’s The Land of Rape of Honey or The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste and early Fear Factory albums.
Phill – If you could score the music for a film, which film would you choose and why?
Varicella – Wow, good question.
Chris B. – I’m going to have to say an old school gothic style, creepy horror movie, or a thriller. Hell, I already have some music that would fit a horror movie. Even some of our slower songs have the horror movie atmosphere to them.
Chris P. - I’m a huge fan of horror movies. I would love to do a score for any B horror film.
Phill – There are many iconic pieces of music the likes of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen that have stood the test of time. But is there any recent music that you feel has the potential to become an iconic piece of music?
Varicella – Not really because most mainstream music it pretty terrible. There are a few but not very many.
Phill – Who is your favourite comedian?
Chris B. – I don’t really have just 1 favourite, I like the classic 70s / 80s comedies, like Space Balls, Airplane, Ghostbusters, Stripes, Young Frankenstein, Caddyshack, Beverly Hills Cop, and so forth.
Chris P. – Either Louie C. K. or George Carlin.
Phill – What is your favourite drink?
Chris B. – Iced Tea and/or Green Tea.
Chris P. – Coors light, LOL.
Phill – What’s next on the cards for Varicella?
Varicella – We’re trying to reach out to the fans and spread the word of our music. We’re playing shows at least once a month, and we’re finalizing the rest of the songs for our full length release that’ll be out hopefully fall of 2013 on Bluntface Records.
Phill – Thank you so much for giving Grave Concerns this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Varicella – I think that’s pretty much it. We’d like to thank everyone who’s coming out to the shows to see us, and all of our friends and family members for their help and support. Of course, Bluntface Records for their help in releasing the We Belong Dead EP and promotion and just getting the word out. Please visit us on youtube, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and check us out, and all the other cool bands on Bluntface Records! And stayed tuned for our full length release! And thanks again for the interview.
Take a Listen:
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