CD Review: “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Original Game Soundtrack”

Composer: Oscar Araujo
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Soundtrack
Label: Sumthing Else Music Works/Konami

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” is the latest game in nearly 30 year history of “Castlevania”. It is the last game in the new trilogy from Mercury Stream, following “Lords of Shadow” and Lord of Shadows: Mirror of Fate”. Oscar Araujo has been behind the series as the composer for each of these three video games. Having listened to each of the three scores, I found this one really standing out to me personally. Now it is dark, scary, action packed and at times also very beautiful, including tracks like “The Throne Room”. Having played the game myself, I really enjoyed listening to the score after the fact and I felt that it added a lot to the game. I look forward to Araujo’s next project! A must listen for any “Castlevania” fan.

One of my main concerns with the score is that they left out one of the best tracks from the game, which was the beginning first big fight. That track was SO epic and I literally was thinking (while getting my ass kicked in the game) how amazing this it was. That wasn’t the only track missing either some of the electronic sound tracks were MIA as well. Looking back that though, this score is just a thrill to listen to and most importantly it passed by most important loop test. I also say that if I can leave an album on loop for hours at a time and do not get bored listening to it or find it repetitive then it is a winner. I literally had this album on loop for eight hours and I literally loved every single track.

Playstation 3 Game Review “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2”

Platform: Playstation 3
Players: 1
Developer: MercurySteam
Publisher: Konami
ESRB: Mature
Release Date: February 25, 2014

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Ever since 1986, I have been a huge fan of the “Castlevania” series. I probably got introduced to it too young but it has always been a favorite. It probably also influenced my love for anything horror related. Fast forward nearly 30 years and this franchise still has some steam. In fact speaking of steam, this game is from Developer MercurySteam, who has been behind this entire “Lords of Shadow” trilogy. Don’t let the “2” in the title through you off, the trilogy also includes Nintendo 3DS title “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate”. It is also crazy to think that this release is actually the 35th Castlevania game. Well as much as I would like to say it is the best I really can’t. It has it’s moments but overall leaves you wanting more from the closing game in the trilogy. Though if you have been following this trilogy it is worth checking out but I see this gathering dust on my shelf in a very short time and then probably ending up on eBay.

“Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” does some stocked with some really beautiful and very detailed areas and landscapes. I also received “The Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” and it really made me appreciate the work that was done for this game much more. MercurySteam did a great job I might add with the visuals since this game was definitely quite a looker. The character design and development are really sharp and very in depth. In terms of game play though, I can see this game getting old after a while. The control system is interesting since you have the life stealer with the L1 button, which has a certain use and then the shield breaker with R2, so you are constantly changing and it does make things interesting. But I just felt like I was slash, slash, slashing throughout the game throughout my venture.

Official Premise: At the end of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the origin of Dracula and his legendary connection with the Belmonts was revealed. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is the sequel to that 2010 reboot of the Castlevania series for play on Next-Gen game consoles. In it fans can expect thrilling new twists, action, adventure and challenges, as Dracula returns, this time to battle ultimate evil. Yet the dilemma is that he himself is greatly weakened and yearning for release from his immortal bonds. To succeed against the powerful threat he stands against, the vampire lord must reacquire his old powers – and only his castle holds the key. However, the famed Belmont clan also seeks his ultimate destruction in this shocking conclusion to the Lords of Shadow series.

Since this is the last game in this new reboot of the classic Castlevania game series, I am not sure where this series will go now but MercurySteam has said that this was their last go-round with this franchise. I would say that “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” is definitely worth playing, it is not terribly long but it is quite challenging in terms of difficulty. But if you are a hardcore “Castlevania” fan, this should come as no surprise. In terms of story, it is a little confusing or just short on details. But I caught on with what I could and just enjoyed the ride. Speaking of story, just a quick note, if you haven’t played the Nintendo 3DS title “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate” and don’t want it to get spoiled, I would wait on “Lords of Shadow 2” since there’s a 10-minute cut scene that sums up the whole plot. I thought it was a nice tie-in personally of the series. I am sure that this will not be the end of “Castlevania” as like Dracula himself the series is forever. May not be my favorite game of the year but I still stand before this series.

Blu-ray Review “The Lords of Salem”

Actors: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace
Directors: Rob Zombie
Rated: R (Restricted)
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Run Time: 101 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“The Lords of Salem” is easily Rob Zombie’s best films to date, read our interview with him here. When it comes to original and unique horror films, they are pretty rare in this market. After Rob’s last film “Halloween II”, he really gets back to his roots with this gritty and very creepy and goes balls-to-the-wall with this one. It is not your typical horror flick though since it is thought provoking and actually needs you to think after watching it.  So it is not a brainless gore flick. I think people are going to shun away from this film but they need to give it a chance because it grows on your with each viewing. No question one of my favorite films of the year, so far! Great work Rob! Can’t wait to see what you have planned next!

If you are a horror fan, than this should be your dream cast. Rob’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie (“Halloween”, “The Devil’s Rejects”) takes the lead in this film and gives her best performance to date, read our interview here. The three modern day witches in the film are amazing including Patricia Quinn (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”), Dee Wallace (“The Howling”, “Cujo”) and Judy Geeson (“To Sir, with Love”). They are just amazing together. But the one that steals the show is easily Meg Foster (“They Live”, “Masters of the Universe”). She gets a full transformation on this film and really gets into the role 110%, read our interview here. Of course then there is a few cameos from Rob’s regulars as well. Great ensemble!

Official Premise: From the singular mind of horror maestro Rob Zombie comes a chilling plunge into a nightmare world where evil runs in the blood. “The Lords of Salem” tells the tale of Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), a radio station DJ living in Salem, Massachusetts, who receives a strange wooden box containing a record, a “gift from the Lords.” Heidi listens, and the bizarre sounds within the grooves immediately trigger flashbacks of the town’s violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the “Lords of Salem” returning for revenge on modern-day Salem?

Anchor Bay is releasing this film as a combo pack with Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet. There is also limited edition collectible packaging available. The film was shot on a very low budget  but the 1080 transfer looks pretty sharp, thanks to Brandon Trost, who also working with Zombie on “Halloween II”. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track works perfectly with John 5 haunting score.  The special features on this release are a bit of a disappointment though.  There is only an audio commentary track with writer/producer/director Rob Zombie. The track is solid though since Zombie talks us through his labor of love. I just would have loved to seen featurettes on the production itself, specifically Meg Foster’s transformation and the witch burning scene.

John 5 talks about “The Lords of Salem” and Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival

John 5 has played guitar for many notable acts in variety of music genres. He is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie who recently released his 5th solo studio album titled “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor”.  The band is set to headline the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival this summer and Media Mikes caught up with John during rehearsals to discuss the tour, the new album, scoring Rob’s latest film “The Lords of Salem” and if he has been able to recover any of his recently stolen guitars.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming run on this year’s Mayhem Festival?
John 5: The summer time is my favorite time of the year to tour. I love playing in the states and getting to see all of my friends. Touring is hard at time but the way we do it is great! We can sleep till whenever we want, get up eat some breakfast, maybe go get a massage and play some guitar. I can go watch bands play and just hang out. Then we get to go out on stage and hear the people scream. It’s a blast and I can’t complain. It is something I don’t take for granted. Getting out there and meeting everyone is just really great. Mayhem is going to be a blast!

AL: Will you be unveiling a new stage show on this run?
J5: Everything is going to be brand new. We are really excited to have everything come together. This is something that I am excited to see as well. We also are going to be playing some tracks off the new album which is something I am definitely looking forward to. We love playing the hits also but
getting to play new material live is always fun. People will have to wait until the tours first show on June 29th to hear what we will be playing.

AL: What has it been like adapting the songs from the new album in to a live setting?
J5: I am a total perfectionist so what we do is we go to our drummer Ginger’s house and myself, Piggy .D and Ginger set up in the living room and we just play the new songs. It’s kind of like when Rocky goes to Russia and he’s training with logs and paint cans. (Laughs) We just are jamming in a living room. From there we take things to a big room. I think once we start getting together with Rob things are going to sound incredible. I am very excited.

AL: Have you and Rob been working on any special features for “The Lords of Salem” DVD release?
J5: Yes we have. Being a movie fan I love special features. Rob had started doing interviews with all of the actors talking about the behind scenes stuff and I got a call one day after he finished and he told me he had a film crew coming down to talk to me about my work on the score for the film. Griffin and I were filmed very last minute but we will be on there.

AL: What type of reactions have you gotten now that people have seen “Lords of Salem” and heard the soundtrack?
J5: I think when people hear things from me they are never surprised anymore as I do so many different styles of music. We have gotten so many great reviews on the score Griffin and I wrote. I am so thankful for that as I was very focused and did my best. Without Rob’s help it would have been difficult as he was able to steer me in the direction towards what he wanted. The score was a lot of fun and things came out really well.

AL: Being a guy who is always busy what else are you currently working on?
J5: I am always working on my instrumental stuff and am half way done with my next record. I am also always writing with other people as well. I wrote a song on the last Rod Stewart record which ended up being a number 1 record over in the UK and is also doing well here in the states. I don’t take anything for granted. I am really happy and lucky to have all these things happening. I appreciate all of the fans and their nice comments. I read them all and talk to every fan out there.

AL: Recently you had a bunch of gear stolen from your home. Have you been successful in retrieving any of those items?
J5: Actually I just got two guitars back. This guy had called my webmaster that lives in England who then sent me an email saying that she had talked with a guy that just bought two of my guitars. I guess he had recognized them from the internet and sure enough they were my guitars. The guy gave me the guitars back but the person he bought them from vanished. Maybe more will turn but I am very glad I got these two back. So much stuff was taken it was terrible.

“The Lords of Salem” Interview Series with Rob Zombie, Sheri Moon Zombie, Meg Foster & John 5

From the singular mind of horror maestro Rob Zombie comes a chilling plunge into a nightmare world where evil runs in the blood. The Lords of Salem tells the tale of Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), a radio station DJ living in Salem, Massachusetts, who receives a strange wooden box containing a record, a “gift from the Lords.” Heidi listens, and the bizarre sounds within the grooves immediately trigger flashbacks of the town’s violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the “Lords of Salem” returning for revenge on modern-day Salem?

Media Mikes  had a chance to chat with the writer and director Rob Zombie, his wife and star Sheri Moon Zombie, co-star Meg Foster and composer John 5.  Rob Zombie is a heavy metal musician turned writer/director. His films are “House of 1000 Corpses”, “The Devil’s Rejects”, “Halloween (2007)” and “Halloween II (2009)”. Sheri Moon has appeared in all of his films to date but takes the lead in “The Lords of Salem”, which is her best role yet.  Meg Foster is known for her roles in films like “John Carpenter’s They Live” and “Masters of Universe”. She really experienced a major transformation in order to take on her role in “The Lords of Salem”. Please enjoy the interviews and please spread the word.  Post them on Facebook, Twitter…whatever! We need to get the word out! This  film is a must see!

Click on each photo below for our interviews


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Rob Zombie talks about writing and directing “The Lords of Salem” and new album “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor”

Rob Zombie is one of the founding members of the band White Zombie, but is notable for his solo act which spawned hits like “Living Dead Girl” and “Dragula”. While still working in music, he turned his sites over to writing and directing films. He has written and directed films like “House of 1000 Corpses”, “The Devil Rejects”, “Halloween (2007)” and “Halloween II (2009)”. His latest film, “The Lords of Salem”, is his most real and dark film to date. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Rob about the film and also his newest solo album “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor”.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about what or who were you major influences when you were written “The Lords of Salem”?
Rob Zombie: There wasn’t really one thing in particular. Truthfully, the biggest influence for me is that I wanted to make the type of midnight film I remember watching when I was in high school. Back in the day before you can get your hands on everything, I used to have these film books. I used to look at photos from movies like “Suspiria” or “Eraserhead”. I used to say “Fuck, I got to see these movies!” The feeling I would get when I would watch these movies was so special since they were so unique, odd and unlike anything mainstream. I wanted to make a movie that was like that. If you go to see “Lords of Salem” you are going to see something that isn’t what you wouldn’t typical expect to see at the movies. It takes it you to a whole other place. On a grand scale, that was really the inspiration that I wanted to make something like that.

MG: In terms of directing, did you learn any new tricks on this film?
RZ: Well I learned more patience, I think. It is very easy to be impatient when you are making a movie. I learned to just slow the camera down, slow the actors down and let the movie breathe. I wasn’t worried about the audience getting bored or restless, those qualities sometimes can help a movie. It is very easy to make a movie fast paced and keep people interested but sometimes that detracts from the certain mood you are trying to create. Sometimes you need the movie to drag in order to pull people down with it. That was something that I learned on this movie.

MG: The budget was $1.5 million; what was your biggest challenge working with that?
RZ: Everything! [laughs]. Everything was huge challenge. We had no money for anything. The cheapest movie that I have ever made in my life cost $7 million (which was “House of 1000 Corpses”). I was not used to be down in the no budget range. So as we were shooting, I was constantly re-writing the script and constantly changing things. So every second of the day was a challenge.

MG: The witch burning scene was very intense; tell us about shooting that scene?
RZ: We shot that whole scene very quickly, in fact it was done in one night. We had no time. Once again, I had come up with this great plan for shooting the witch burning scene but then I realized that we only had an hour to shoot. I set up one grand shot that I thought would have the most impact and then just went for it. My big goal was to not make it ever look like we didn’t have any time or money. That was what I was always trying to hide.

MG: How did you get genre legends like Patricia Quinn and Meg Foster, who had quite the transformation, on board?
RZ: It was fantastic. I have always loved Patricia Quinn because I was a huge “Rocky Horror” fan. I loved her in everything that she has done but she also hasn’t done a lot. She also hasn’t done a lot recently. But I always wanted to work with her. I had met her over dinner about 15 years ago talking about a movie that never happened, so I had always had her in my mind from day one. Meg Foster was someone who I always thought was cool and very beautiful with those piercing eyes, but I didn’t know if she would be right of this film. I wasn’t sure at first. So I got her on the phone and after talking for about an hour, I know that she would be perfect. She totally understood and got the film.

MG: Being a musician yourself; tell us about working with John 5 on the score?
RZ: He was great to work with on this film and obviously I have been working with John now for over eight years. I know how talented he is, not just as a guitar player but also a musician. It was very easy. I conveyed my ideas and what I was thinking and he executed them perfectly. He was great on this film.

MG: Tell us about the composition of The Lords music track?
RZ: That one was tricky trying to figure out what that track would be. John had worked on a few things and it wasn’t just right. I remember one day we were on the phone together, I was on the east coast and John was on the west, and we were just humming little weird melodies back and forth to each other on the phone. It was then that we found the sound that we were looking for. Neither of us can remember who came up with it first but we just knew we had it when we heard it.

MG: Horror fans are the toughest of any genre fan; what do you think they will appreciate the most within “The Lords of Salem”?
RZ: What I would appreciate most about the film is that it is different. I think that horror fans are tricky. They are all different kinds of people. Sometimes they are not the first ones to embrace something different. But again all of those films that I spoke love as a kid, those weren’t embraced at the time either. So I purposely made a film that would be a tough sell to people…but that is why I made it. I think it will be split. Some people will love it to death and some people just won’t get it.  But that is ok with me since everybody cannot get everything!

MG: Your new album “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor” is heavy and dark; tell us about the inspiration behind this album?
RZ: Well I think the movie and album sort of played into each other. I was doing them both around the same time. I had an editing room in my house were we edited the movie. Then we moved the editing room out and moved in a recording studio. I went right from one to the other. I think the vibe of the two projects sort of melded together. I wanted both of them to be weird and unique and that was the goal for me.

MG: Where do you find time to tour, making films and also new music?
RZ: That is all I do man! Where do I find time for anything else is more the question…[laughs].

MG: Do you still plan on directing “Tyrannosaurus Rex” next? What else is in the cards?
RZ: No, that project isn’t happening anymore. What is happening next besides the two we just spoke about is that I will be doing a lot of touring. I headline the Mayhem Fest 2013 tour, which is starting in June and that will go for a while. But the next film project I got is called “The Broad Street Bullies”, which is a true life sports film about the Philadelphia Flyers… which is totally different!

“The Lords of Salem” Signed Poster & Prize Pack Giveaway [ENDED]


To celebrate the release Rob Zombie’s latest film “The Lords of Salem”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway a SIGNED mini-poster by Rob Zombie and various other great items from the film. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating what is your favorite Rob Zombie film? This giveaway will remain open until May 3rd at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all fans of Media Mikes, worldwide!! One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Autographed THE LORDS OF SALEM Mini Posters signed by Rob Zombie
THE LORDS OF SALEM Official Soundtrack

From the singular mind of horror maestro Rob Zombie comes a chilling plunge into a nightmare world where evil runs in the blood. The Lords of Salem tells the tale of Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), a radio station DJ living in Salem, Massachusetts, who receives a strange wooden box containing a record, a “gift from the Lords.” Heidi listens, and the bizarre sounds within the grooves immediately trigger flashbacks of the town’s violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the “Lords of Salem” returning for revenge on modern-day Salem?

Twitter: @TheLordsofSalem

Meg Foster talks about her transformation in Rob Zombie’s “The Lords of Salem”

Meg Foster is known best for her roles in films like “They Live” and “Masters of the Universe”. She goes under a complete transformation for her latest role in Rob Zombie’s “The Lords of Salem”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with her about her role in the film and how she got into her character.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with Rob Zombie’s “The Lords of Salem”?
Meg Foster: My manager phoned me and told me about the part. I was very interested in the role after reading it. I grew up in New England and something about it just reminded me of my childhood. I thought the words were just so beautiful. I think Morgan had some wonderful things to say. I had know about Rob Zombie’s work. Rob and I had a telephone conversation and I just keep relating back being a child in New England. I spent a lot of time in the woods and I had all of these wonderful childhood memories. Rob creates so much space for his actors. He expands everything. He is so generous in spirit and so very talented. It is like being a part of a painting. You are not just another color. You are YOUR color.

MG: Let’s talk about your transformation in this film; how did you get into character?
MF: Rob had his hands in creating everything. He worked with all the department heads. He had extraordinary effects, wardrobe, hair and make-up. They all worked together. The coven of witches from 1692 was quite amazing. I am not sure if you can actually see in the movie how amazing the costumes were. I was wearing wolf skin. It was like actually being one of them. You said transformation…that is really what it was. We actually didn’t have much makeup on, it was in fact dirt. I loved it. It made me feel like being a part of the earth. With the wardrobe, Julia Gombert used bones to hold pieces together. It was so well done and beautiful though. So this is how I got into the role.

MG: What was your the most challenging aspect of the role?
MF: I didn’t really do any planning for the role. I went through hair and make-up and just let the character develop on her own. The space that Rob developed for us actors made me feel so safe. I didn’t feel like there were any real challenges, but this is in retrospect. When I went in front of the camera and I just wanted to be as present as I could in the moment and let whatever was going to happen, just happen. The words that I had were very special. I like letting it just flow with the moment and follow the environment that was created. I don’t even know if I have words for this film! It is so multi-layered. It is like a labyrinth, a very visual labyrinth.

MG: What is it about the horror genre that interests you?
MF: It is always different. I like working in any genre. But I think that horror and sci-fi has always been popular and relevant. I remember watching Bela Lugosi in “Dracula”, when I was a child on “The Early Show”. It never frightened me but it terrified by brother. He was three or four at the time. He wouldn’t go to sleep that night without a crucifix in this bed [laughs]. So horror is the real deal.

MG: One of my favorites in the genre is “They Live”, can you reflect on the continued fan base surrounding this film still today?
MF: It is amazing. I have been so fortunate. I have worked with some of the most wonderful directors. John Carpenter was really great to work with on this film. When “They Live” came out and it wasn’t big at first but then it came back on Betamax and then got another life on DVD. Ever since doing “They Live” people always recognize me for the film. If I am in a market and I just hear them say “They Live” and I turn around and say “John Carpenter” and then say “Roddy Pipper” [laughs]. I absolutely love this film. It is quite extraordinary and the film itself is just timeless.

Traci Lords talks about new film “Excision” and album “M2F2”

Traci Lords is an actor/singer/producer/director.  She has appeared in films like “Cry-Baby” and “Blade”, as well as the recent “Excision”.  She also released a new compilation album called “Traci Lords Presents: M2F2”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Traci about her new film “Excision” and also her new album.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with a film like “Excision”?
Traci Lords: It happened like “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell Happened, “Blade” and “Cry-Baby” all happened, through my agent, Stephen LaManna. I saw the short that Ricky Bates Jr. had done years before for his final school project. I thought it was very interesting. We had several meeting and I ended up doing some screen testing for the role. I thought that I had played the role of Pauline, played by AnnaLynne McCord, before in my career. I have also played the role that Ariel Winter plays in the film as well. But I have never played a woman like Phyllis, that was as controlling and uptight. When I read it one of my concerns what how do you make somebody that is this tough in ways – how do you make her likable  – how do you give her humor? That was one of the challenges with this role. I had to figure out how to not make her one note and make her a real person.

MG: Phyllis is one great character, how did you prepare for the role?
TL: I just kept trying to put myself in the frame of mind of a parent that has one of their children dying. The closest experience I had to that, and thank God, is having two cats. The cat didn’t like ended up dying and the one I like survived. It is a terrible analogy but it is the only one I had going into the movie. What does that feel like? Trying to figure out what the other way would feel like? To be a parent and not like one of your children, probably has to be the worst feeling in the world. The torment about that is something that I just chewed on and focused on. There were wonderful actors all around me and that made it easier to come about. AnnaLynne McCord created a very unlikable strange, wonderful, bizarre character in this movie. She would come to the set as that character and it was not hard to be annoyed by her in that sense. So it helps my portrayal of Phyllis, since I just had to look in front of me.

MG:What was it in the script that jumped out of you that made you want to be apart of this project?
TL: I think the aspect that compelled me most had to be the director, Ricky Bates Jr. I think he is a really interesting person. He wrote something, whether you like it or not, it is bizarre enough to make you think. The fact that he as confident as he is as such a young filmmaker, I thought that was very intriguing. I am curious to see what he will do with more experience.

MG: John Waters is this film, you worked with him on “Cry-Baby” & “Serial Mom”, did you get a chance to reunite?
TL: That was really my doing. Ricky was a fan of John Waters and John is very dear friend of mine. I put the two of them together and John said he would do the movie, much to Ricky’s delight. John flew in for a day and we had a fun time on the set. Seeing the film for the first time at Sundance this past January, when John comes on the screen, the whole audience just lost it. You don’t expect him in that role of a priest. Ricky really cast against type in this film. It was just delightful.

MG: What do you enjoy most about working in the horror genre?
TL: I have done a lot of work in the horror genre. It is nice to return here. I liked to bounce around much with different genres like “Blade” and “Cry-Baby”. I haven’t done a real juicy dark drama in quite a while. I think I do something funny next.

MG: Last year your single “Last Drag” was hot on the charts, any plans for new music?
TL: As a matter of fact, I released “M2F2” last week on iTunes. There are ten tracks on the album, eight of which are already charting here and there. That is really great. I have three tracks on it, since it is “Traci Lords Presents”, So it is a compilation of tracks from Sea to Sun Records. It is definitely a love record, meaning that you can put it on in the beginning of a date and play it straight through no matter what happens. That was the idea behind “M2F2” aka “Music 2 Funk 2” [laughs]. I see myself doing more and more compilations like that. Really I want to continue to act and sing but also focus more on writing, producing and directing of my own stuff. I think there are so few wonderful roles for women, especially of my age. So I guess I going to have to write my own now.

MG: What else do you have plans in the cards?
TL: I am also currently adapting my book “Underneath it All”, my life story that came out in 2003 from Harper Collins into a bio pic.

Bruce Davison talks about ABC’s “Last Resort” and “Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem”

Bruce Davison is one of Hollywood’s best character actors in the business. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on “Longtime Companion”. He is also known for his his role as Senator Robert Kelly in the “X-Men”. movie franchise. He recently directed Barry Williams & Danny Bonaduce in the Syfy creature feature “Bigfoot” and also recently worked with Rob Zombie’s on “The Lords of Salem”. Bruce can also be seen weekly on ABC’s new hit series “Last Resort”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Bruce about his busy year and also what else he has planned.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved directing the creature feature “Bigfoot”?
Bruce Davison: Well, I had done some directing before for Showtime and few others. But I had done a few projects with David Latt at Asylum, like “Mega Fault”. I told him if he had any directing gigs come up to throw me a bone and that I would love to direct. I missed my chance with (Roger) Corman, back in the days. He calls me up one day and says “I am not giving you a gift, I am giving you a nightmare”. I went to Washington to shoot and I think we had a 14 day shoot that ended up being only 9 days. It was sort of like being the General at Dunkirk, I was trying to run two armies at the same time, shooting whatever footage we could and trying to juggle jello, basically.

MG: Tell us working with the duo of Barry Williams & Danny Bonaduce?
BD: I had the best time working with the two of them. I would just let them riff lots of time. I tried to get Florence Henderson and Shirley Jones to make an appearance at the end but it didn’t work out. They were wonderful and the best. The hours were impossible. The shooting schedule was insane. Danny was doing a radio show every day, getting up at 4am and then coming to shoot. But he was still so professional every moment. I feel that they pulled a lot of stuff together [laughs] out of their butts. We really had to. There was a lot of improvisation. And also at the same time, we were trying to create a Bigfoot. We had one difficulty after another; we had to shoot a raft scene in an afternoon, when we weren’t allowed to shoot in the water [laughs]. It was one thing after another. It was so difficult, it was laughable. If we didn’t have a scene of humor about it we would have probably killed each other. But we ended up having fun.

MG: It is funny how you directed “Bigfoot” and your first job directing was on the “Harry and the Hendersons” TV series.
BD: [laughs] I didn’t think twice. I figured that “Bigfoot” would be like “Mighty Joe Young” and “King Kong”, just another big behemoth monster that goes around biting the heads off pretty girls. We had all that going for us and it was completely different from “Harry”. People have said to be over the years “Wasn’t doing “Long Time Companion” difficult and emotional draining?” I have said “No, “Harry and the Hendersons” was”. Trying to get the Bigfoot on the van was much more difficult than playing something that was so close to the heart.

MG: You are co-starring in the new TV series “Last Resort”; tell us about your role?
BD: Pretty much, what you can expect you will have to wait and see. Admiral Arthur Shepard is the character I play. He is the father to Lieutenant Grace Shepard, the third-in-command on main submarine. He is a character that you don’t quite figure out where he is coming from for a while but things will evolve. He is an intriguing and interesting character and he has been a pleasure to play so far.

MG: How was it working with Rob Zombie on his film, “The Lords of Salem”?
BD: I am so looking forward to that film. I had the best time of my life working with Rob. I just adore him. I think the three girls playing the witches just go through the roof. I think he has a new franchise with them, since they are just outrageous. Dee Wallace, Patricia Quinn and Judy Geeson are great. I have a scene with them and I just chuckle every time I think about it. His wife Sheri Moon Zombie is just a dear. I am hearing that it is quite controversial and going to stir up the pot. I look forward to it. He is just brilliantly talented.

MG: Can you tell us about your role in film?
BD: I play an author named, Francis Matthias. I work at historical tourist traps in Salem, MA. I am like the investigator and trying to solve the mystery of what is going on. It is sort of like Martin Balsam in “Psycho”. It is a wonderful character. Maria Conchita Alonso plays my wife. I try and track down what is going on and well…get more than I bargain for [laughs].

MG: Lastly, tell us about your work the unofficial sequel To Martin Scorsese’s Film “Raging Bull”, “The Bronx Bull”?
BD: It is a whole other cup of tea and is told from a completely different angle. William Forsythe is going to really surprise a lot of people with this. He is a wonderful actor and is so close to Jake LaMotta in character in his later years. It is not so much connected to Martin Scorsese but it is a chapter two in the life of Jack LaMotta.

John 5 talks about Solo Album and Rob Zombie’s “Lords of Salem”

John 5 has played guitar for many notable acts in variety of music genres. He is probably best known for his work with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. John 5 is set to release his 7th solo album titled “God Told Me To” in early May. Media Mikes was very fortunate to be able to talk with John 5 recently about his work on the new album as well as his work on the new Rob Zombie film “Lords of Salem”.

Adam Lawton: What can we expect from the new solo album “God Told Me To”?
John 5: What I wanted to do with this album was to make something a little different from my previous releases. I wanted to do a half electric and half acoustic album. I was really into doing some cool Spanish style acoustic songs. I also wanted to incorporate some rhythmic styles played on the body of the guitar. The idea was do something more than just your standard strumming techniques. I was really into that style of playing on the album. The other cool thing about this album is that it is going to come with a DVD as well. The DVD will have clips of me in the studio recording the songs as well as some footage from being on the road. It even will have its own horror host hosting the DVD. It’s really a cool CD/DVD package which is something I personally love. I am very excited for the album’s release.

AL: Are there any guest performers on the album?
J5: No. I did a lot of this while I was on the road or writing with other people. I didn’t really have a chance to do anything like that. I did everything on my own when I had some free time. Maybe for the next album I will do a bunch of guest appearance type things.

AL: Do you plan to make a guitar tablature book to accompany the CD?
J5: I don’t think so. I did put out a book recently titled “The Book of John” which shows a bunch of my techniques. I don’t think we will be doing that for this album because there is a lot of transposing which is a lot of work. We will have to see.

AL: What can you tell us about your work on “Lords of Salem”?
J5: I did the musical scoring for the film. I love challenges and scoring is definitely a challenge. You are dealing with music that sometimes does not have a time signature or even a certain key. You are also dealing with a variety of instruments and musical styles. It was so much fun. I actually just finished it and it turned out great. I am very proud of it. I saw some of the movie and it is going to blow people away.

AL: Did you provide all of the instrumentation on the score?
J5: I and Griffin Boyce did everything. It was just me and him. I did a lot of the stuff on guitar using an Ebow or a violin bow. It’s really cool.

AL: Do you see yourself doing more scoring in the future?
J5: I don’t know. I worked so hard on the project but it’s kind of just background music. There is a lot of work for that. I love Rob’s movies and I was very honored to be a part of the project. If Rob does another movie of course I will do it. I don’t know if I will venture off.

AL: How is it working with Rob in a band setting compared to a directorial setting?
J5: We have a great time just hanging out with each other. However when its business its business. He gives me clear ideas of what he wants and as long as that’s what I deliver we have no problems. I have always listened to talk about how certain people don’t listen to what he is saying. I have made sure to always listen. A lot of times when he is explaining something I will record the conversation and I will tell him that I am doing so. By doing that I will have exactly what he said and I will go from there. This has worked out amazingly for us. A lot of times you can forget what somebody says during conversation so this has really helped.

AL: Can you tell us about this summer’s tour?
J5: We are going to be touring this summer with Megadeth. I am really excited about this because they are a band I love. It’s great being on tour. It’s like heavy metal summer camp. There is nothing better to me than touring in the warm weather in the United States. I love it!

AL: What will the bands lineup be for the tour?
J5: It will be me on guitar, Piggy D on bass and then Ginger Fish from Marilyn Manson on drums. Ginger has a really great groove. I played with him for sometime in Marilyn Manson as well and we are really happy to have him on board.

AL: Do you have any other plans in the works?
J5: I wrote some music for the next Lynyrd Skynyrd album as well as for the next Rod Stewart album. We also will be starting the recording of a new Rob Zombie record in June after the tour ends.

AL: This will be the second time you have worked with Lynyrd Skynyrd. How did that all come about?
J5: I did 6 songs on the bands last album. I did “Storm”, “Gifted Hands”, “Skynyrd Nation”, “Floyd” and a bunch of other tracks.  I got involved with the band through my publisher who asked if I would be interested in writing some tunes. I love Skynyrd more than anything else in the world!  I am very educated in the bands catalog so writing with them was an honor and a treat.

For more information on John 5 be sure to check out his website at