EMQ’s With ‘Dark Juan’ (You Poor Things)
What is your name, what do you do, and can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?
I am the mighty, puissant and devilishly good looking Dark Juan, and I am a libertine, Hellpriest and sometime senior wrangler of young gentlemen who are recalcitrant, frequently use the coarsest Anglo-Saxon language and appear to be a lovable, yet rough around the edges bunch of miscreants. I do that because of my gentlemanly ways. I teach these young gentlemen the ways and means of gentIemanly conduct, which wines to choose with which meal et cetera (the 1922 Chateau Yquem is a particular favourite) and how to conduct themselves in a becoming and winsome manner so they will be eligible bachelors. I also used to play the guitar very poorly indeed in a Welsh band called Doomcrow. Being an utterly shite guitarist led me to try to write spectacular pieces of short fiction, masquerading as record reviews. These have proved to be disturbingly successful, proving that it’s not just me that’s mad.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I was born in Chacarita, Argentina in 1779 – it was over a century before the first wax cylinder phonographs appeared but I do remember being quite captivated by The Ride Of The Valkyries by that most metal stalwart, Richard Wagner. Having not been back to my homeland in two hundred years, I couldn’t tell you what the extreme music scene is like. I imagine there will be a lot of pro- Islas Malvinas punk. Argentinians never let a grudge die easily. As you know, having been subject to many a rant of mine when I have been describing the needlessly violent and endlessly baroque revenges I plan to perpetrate on people. Where I currently reside in West Yorkshire, however, I am in doom metal central and have the pleasure of living near various members of Doom, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Extreme Noise Terror, Gods Of Hellfire, Chorus Of Ruin and others.
What is your favourite latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
So far it is “Verminous” by The Black Dahlia Murder. A splendid record. Perfect for dinner parties, sophisticated soirees or the filthiest of quickies in your mother’s bathroom. But not with your mother. That would be icky. I mean if it were ME with your mother, that might be OK. But you with your mother? ICKY ICKY ICKY.
Who have been your greatest influences, in music or in life?
In music I have always been drawn to performance as art, preferably masked – Kiss and Mushroomhead were big influences, obviously the (re)birth of Dark Juan when in Doomcrow, and latterly Papa Emeritus in Ghost. I like concepts and I like it when things are over the top. I love Rammstein-esque vast explosions and huge robots crawling around a Rob Zombie stage. One of my main musical influences will always be The Berzerker. He’s as mad as I am. And every bit of him spits fury and vitriolic hatred of everything and everybody. I want to be him so much it hurts.
In life, I am driven by an unrelenting hatred of mainstream religion. I despise the idea of a beneficent and munificent God providing me with intelligence and then having a man in a strange hat and a sillier dress ordering me to forgo its use. Even though I’m Team Satan through and through, I don’t even like him very much and when I get to hell I’m going to kick his bollocks up into his throat and rip his nipples off, because no made up being from a storybook is going to dictate to Dark Juan. I’ll nut the smugger into oblivion first. Even though I wear the collar of a priest, it is to subvert the message of the Christian Church to my Gospel. I command all of thee to love. That’s my Gospel. If nubile young ladies would like to love me first before anyone else, that’d be great. Form an orderly queue to the left.
What first got you into music?
By the time I had passed into the modern era (Victorian England was so dull, all those New Puritans denying any form of pleasure. Thankfully, there were opium dens and I happily spent 20 years of dissolution in the less salubrious clubs of the capital. There were also ladies of considerably less virtue than the population above stairs, let me tell you…) rock and roll had impinged itself upon my consciousness. I heard the music of Presley, Little Richard etc and it left me cold. Then came The Beatles. A more overrated bunch of floppy haired dandies there has never been. Poor songwriters and “blessed” with a drummer (who was much more suited to narrating Thomas the fucking Tank Engine than tub thumping) that wasn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles, they moistened the gussets of many a teenage girl. Mainly the teenage girls just gave me a headache from all the screaming. The first single I ever bought, however, was Camouflage by Stan Ridgway. This was the story of a ghostly Marine saving the life of a young grunt in Vietnam. It was an execrable record. The first record that I bought that led me to the righteous path of metal (and goth, my love of which has evolved side by side with my love of metal) was Grimly Fiendish by The Damned. Then I swapped my vinyl copy of a Pet Shop Boys Best Of compilation for Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of A Seventh Son. My soul was lost from the second Brucie crooned “Seven deadly sins, seven ways to win….”
Which current bands or musicians would you like to see collaborate on a record?
I would like to see industrial powerhouses Godflesh team up with French nutjobs P.H.O.B.O.S. A World Lit Only By Fire and Phlogiston Catharsis are two of my favourite industrial records and they would make a fucking hell of a racket if they joined forces. I’d also enjoy The Berzerker (that guy again) team up with the more black metal tinged, but considerably more unhinged Escotrilihum. Holy fuck. They would just make a noise like a never ending buzz like the buzzer on UVB-76. Throw Anaal Nathrakh in with them too and I think we would have just made the sonic equivalent of a) a colossal and world threatening nuclear detonation or b) a one hour long, continuous, powerful and unrelenting orgasm.
If you could go to any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I am famously misanthropic and socially awkward. Immortality is difficult to manage when you are constantly having to learn new trends and fashions. Thank god for metal, as combat trousers, t shirts and leather are timeless. As are my priestly vestments. The best festival for me would be one where my retinue and I could be seated, surrounded by delicious viands and sumptuous beverages, away from the piss soaked riff raff and can hear the music without all the tedious standing in massive groups, desperately needing the lavatory and paying £47,000,000 for a cone of chips that look like they were cooked in the grease of a man’s dodgy wig and a beverage that could loosely be described as beer by the simple expedient of it being pale yellow and fizzy.
What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?
At the moment it is a thirty minute recording of me being a dreadful fangirl over Trevor Strnad. Before that it was my Uncle Brian. He is BJ Cole, a splendid pedal steel guitarist who has played on Elton John records and with everyone from Bjork to Richard Ashcroft. He also was in Cochise in the late 60s/ early 70s. I also have an extremely rare and unreleased alternative mix of Hellbastard’s Natural Order album given to me by Scruff of Hellbastard, after we had been communicating for a few months and I hadn’t realised who he was, and then went totally Hello Kitty at him when I had a moment of revelation about his identity. He’s a good lad, is Scruff.
If you had one message for your Ever Metal readers, what would it be?
Don’t believe a fucking word that comes out of my mouth. Especially when it’s about me. Although I will say that the more outlandish tales are the ones that are more likely to have happened. But do trust my record reviews, for they are finely crafted pieces of writing, packed with useful information and the scores at least are honest. The various stories of church burnings, my dogs, Mrs. Dark Juan and my other adventures may or may not be true. It depends on my whim. And whether or not GCHQ are watching.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Without question it would be Ronnie James Dio. That voice, man. That voice. And the Lord My God Lemmy. Music just is not the same without the enfant terrible that is Lemmy wryly giggling in the background. Yes, I know that’s two. No, I don’t care and I’m going to be upset with you, Mr. Tilley, if you dare edit this bit…
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I’d make it so bands make a decent living from their talent. I’d do it with all art. Art and especially music has been destroyed by unscrupulous record companies and managers who have left musicians with an almost unsustainable business model whereupon they have to tour virtually constantly in the hope of making enough money to survive. Some bands rely on day jobs. I do not like the rapaciousness of capitalism. I am a Socialist Hellpriest and I pledge myself to the cause of making music pay fairer.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Does it have to be just one? “The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh” by Cradle Of Filth. I was utterly blown away by it when I first heard it. I’m still blown away when I hear it. It was so avant-garde…
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I like CDs. I like the clarity of sound and I like having physical records to hold.
What’s the best gig that you have been to, and why?
This is easy – Anthrax and Public Enemy in 1992. When two cultures collided and it was all a bit dodgy at first, but by the end of the night there was leather and spike clad thrash kids dancing like madmen with hip hoppers and b-boys. And Anthrax were fucking brilliant and then Public Enemy came on and were even more fucking brilliant and then everyone ended up on stage to do Bring Tha Noize together and the fucking roof came off the Manchester Apollo that night! I think Wolfsbane were the opener that night and bless ‘em they tried but they were on to the world’s biggest loser…
What do you get up to when you’re not writing/ taking photos?
I refute the word of God, defile holy buildings irrespective of faith and piss upon a fragment of the True Cross I have in my possession. I do my real job of wrangling young gentlemen, write more outlandish shit than I do for this website in story form and currently have a half-finished model of a Potez 540 WWII medium bomber next to me. I love Mr. Hobby aluminium paint.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I wouldn’t. They would eat all of my food. For conversational purposes I should invite Mr. Henry Rollins, Mr. Stephen Fry and Mr. Akala as they are all erudite and intelligent gentlemen just like me. For a more feminine perspective I think the delectable Gemma Arterton and Madeleine Seydoux. They could say whatever the fuck they liked and I’d just nod and smile and carry on dumping GHB into their Chateauneuf Du Pape.
But seeing as that particular dinner party isn’t ever going to happen, an evening in the company of the Ever-Metal team will be more than adequate. At least then I can be naked and no-one is going to say a damned thing to stop me. Some of the Ever-Metal team had best watch their drinks for GHB. In fact ALL of the Ever-Metal team had best watch their drinks for GHB. I’m nothing if not inclusive.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They are the work of Shaitan unless they are cherry flavoured.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I am a supporter of LGBTQ+ people, anti-racist and virulently anti-fascist. Doesn’t mean I won’t make shitty jokes about them. But I’m saying this because, all joking aside, Dark Juan is all about love. In a world that is becoming increasingly polarised and unsettlingly grim, friends and people who care are going to become an increasingly scarce resource. Love each other and love each other hard. Make the effort to reach out to the quiet, the young, the timid and the antisocial. You might be the difference in their lives that changes them from inward focused and depressed to the confident person they always were. I don’t care whether you’re drunk, black, a trans person, gay, straight, poly or anything. I don’t care about colour or creed or religion. You have a friend in Dark Juan.
YOU PEOPLE ARE HEAVY METAL. YOU ARE THE BIG, FRIENDLY, DRUNKEN FAMILY WHO HAVE COALESCED AROUND THESE LONG HAIRED HERBERTS IN TIGHT PANTS PLAYING GUITARS TOO LOUD. LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER! The music couldn’t happen without you. You couldn’t be who you wanted to be without the music. I love you all.
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