|Interview by Burt Wolf with Human Furnace, vocalist for RINGWORM.
Interview done January 1st, 2017.
RINGWORM HAS BEEN IN THE SCENE SINCE 1991, BUT SINCE THIS IS OUR FIRST TIME
SPEAKING, CAN YOU GIVE A BRIEF RUNDOWN OF THE BANDS HISTORY UP TO THIS POINT?
Well, we have a 26 year history so, it's pretty difficult to give a "brief" rundown. It might be easier to just check
WHY WAS THE NAME RINGWORM CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
We didn't really put any thought into it. Originally, I wanted to call the band CONQUERER WORM from a
Vincent Price movie, but it just seemed too hard to say easily, so I just simply said "how bout RINGWORM?" No
one questioned it, so that's what it became. We had no intentions of being around 26 years. I've always thought it
was a dumb name, but hey, fuck it that's what it is. And hell, over the years seeing some of the ridiculous bands
names that are around now, I don't really feel that bad about ours.
RINGWORM MIXES METAL & HARDCORE ELEMENTS TO CREATE THEIR SOUND. HOW WOULD
YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE STYLE AND SOUND OF RINGWORM?
Actually the way you just described it is a pretty good description. Although throughout the years we have
definitely slanted more to a more Metal, or Thrash Metal sound, but we still have plenty of Hardcore elements. I
also like to think that we definitely have a lot of Punk feel to our sound. Especially in our delivery.
WHO OR WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES IN MUSIC AND LIFE IN GENERAL?
Oh man,.. Way too many to name. That question could take up a whole article in itself. I wouldn't know where to
start. I can't really say I have any influences in "life" I just try to be a decent person, and I try to create as much
as I can before I bite the dust.
WHY DOES THE BANDS HISTORY HAVE A BREAK FROM 1994 -1999?
The co-founder Frank Novenic, quit the band to join INTEGRITY at the time. We actually reformed in 1998.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR NICKNAME "HUMAN FURNACE" & WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND
Ahh, I never divulge that information.
YOUR NEW RELEASE "SNAKE CHURCH" CAME OUT IN JULY 2016, HOW HAS THE RESPONSE
BEEN TO THIS NEW OFFERING?
CAN YOU TELL US THE MEANING BEHIND THE ALBUMS TITLE AND COVER ARTWORK?
Both the title and the artwork are more or less, a culmination of many different meanings and ideals. I never like
to lay things out in black and white. I like that the listener can form their own opinions and meaning to it, as they
WHAT IS SOME OF THE CONTENT IN YOUR LYRICS ON THIS NEW RELEASE?
This record, as all of our records, I deal with what I like to call the "human condition" And that mostly deals with
all of life's hardships, highs and lows, as well as how I view the world, how I view myself., and how it effects
WHO DOES THE MAJORITY OF THE WRITING IN THE BAND OR IS IT A WHOLE BAND
COLLABORATION? CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH A LITTLE OF THE WRITING PROCESS?
Our writing process is quite simple really. Matt writes the music. Arranges it with our drummer. I listen, perhaps
offer a few ideas. They record it, And then I'll write words. Its no more simpler than that.
RELAPSE RECORDS RELEASED "SNAKE CHURCH" AS WELL AS SOME OF YOUR OTHER
RELEASES? HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH THEM AND HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING
We have released 3 records with RELAPSE. First a 10 inch EP entitled "BLEED" then followed by our first full
length for then "HAMMER OF THE WITCH" in 2014 and in July of this year "SAKE CHURCH". RELAPSE has
been really great to work with. Very open lines of communication and a mutual desire get the band heard by as
many people as possible. They're good genuine people over there. Its been a very good experience working with
WHERE HAVE YOU GUYS TOURED AND WITH WHOM FOR THIS ALBUM SO FAR? WHAT IS THE
TOURING PLANS FOR 2017?
As of right now, we have really just started touring for this record. We just finished a full US tour with support
from Canadian band EXHALT. And now head to Europe for a headlining tour with HIEROPHANT and POISON
HEADACHE. Then we have plans for early 2017 and beyond.
I CAUGHT YOU GUYS AT THE GWAR-BQ IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA IN 2015. YOU GUYS WERE
GREAT! WHAT WERE YOUR VIEWS ON THE SHOW? ANY HIGHLIGHTS FOR YOU GUYS? DID
YOU CHECK OUT ANY OF THE OTHER BANDS?
Ah thanks, yeah that was a lot of fun. There was a lot of good bands on that bill. THE DICKIES, CHILD BITE,
and a lot of others. Actually there was so many friends there that I haven't seen in a long time, I spent a lot of the
time catching up and partying.
ARE THERE ANY INTERESTING BAND STORIES FROM THE ROAD, LIVE APPEARANCES OR
OTHERS THAT YOU COULD SHARE WITH US?
I guess a lot of fucked up shit has happened to us over the years. When you are in a touring band, your
perception of what's "interesting" changes. So things that might seem insane to a normal civilian, is an every day
occurrence for us. I usually save the crazy stories for personal conversations. Too many to get into. And it saves
people from getting in trouble or getting in hot water for whatever reason.
RINGWORM REALLY APPEALS TO THE METAL SCENE AS WELL AS THE HARDCORE SCENE.
WHICH FANS SEEM TO GIVE YOU GUYS THE MOST REACTION OR IS IT PRETTY EQUAL?
Ah well as I was saying earlier we have definitely drifted into more of the Metal arena over the past 10 15 years,
as our style, I think, has much more straight forward Metal to than Hardcore, but that's the beauty of it. I like to
also think that it has elements that many audiences can relate to and find appealing. Hardcore fans, just by the
nature of how they "dance" occasionally ruin a head bangers good time, but for the most part our audiences are
pretty equal, if not a little more Metal oriented. It usually depends on what song we're playing actually. The older
stuff seems to get the Hardcore kids swinging around and the latter material gets a lot of head banging and circle
RINGWORM HAS GONE THROUGH SOME CHANGES OVER THE YEAR, HOW DO YOU THINK THE
BAND HAS CHANGED OR IMPROVED OVER THE YEARS?
That's hard to say really. I think an obvious improvement, is that over the years you just get better at playing your
instrument, or knowing how my voice works, in my case. I mean when we started this band, we we're kids
really. It was my first "real" band. I knew nothing about technique, studio recording or really anything else. I just
knew that I wanted to scream. And that really hasn't changed at all.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME OF
THE BANDS YOU HAVE CURRENTLY BEEN LISTENING TOO?
Oh absolutely. To be honest, I don't really listen to a lot of music that is similar to ours. I mean, I do, but mostly I
listen to Classic Rock, Alternative, Soundtracks, Ambient listening, Goth Rock, 80's New Wave, Punk Rock,
music from the 40's, and more. I think, the fact that I make heavy/loud intense music, maybe doesn't necessarily
make me want to go home and listen to it. To many bands to name. I have a very eclectic taste in music
WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU REMEMBER BUYING?
Hmm the First record I remember buying was probably a KISS record. "ROCK AND ROLL OVER" I think. I was
very fortunate to have a family that was pretty into music. Both my parents and my older brother and sister and
cousin had a zillion records of just about ever genre for me to explore as a kid. It was a wonderful way to grow a
taste for ALL different types of music at a very young age. I only started really getting records when I was 16 or
so. Before that I never really had any money. But I started out with a lot of early Hardcore, Punk, Skate Rock,
Thrash Metal, early Death Metal, Thrash, Industrial, Alternative bands etc. It was a fun time. So many new things
were coming onto the scene. But as I said, between my family and all my friends there was never a time when
there was not an over abundance of music to listen to.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST CONCERT YOU EVER WENT TO?
DEEP PURPLE 1984, followed shortly after by VAN HALEN.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU THINK PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT ABOUT YOU?
That's hard to say. I'm not sure what people think of me already. I don't have any guilty pleasures. I like what I
like. Hmm maybe that RINGWORM was on the soundtrack for the animated film THE SECRET LIFE OF
PETS. Along with Taylor Swift, Pharrel, QUEEN, BEASTIE BOYS and others. That fact still surprises me. PS
I'm not kidding.
THIS IS ALSO A HORROR WEBZINE, SO I ALWAYS ASK, WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE
HORROR FILMS AND WHY?
Oh man, we can talk for hours and hours on this topic. Over the years I've done many interviews/reviews for
BLOODY-DISGUSTING, FANGORIA, HORROR-SOCIETY and others about my love for Horror movies and
my pretty sizable Horror collection. I also have written many, many reviews about past, present and future Horror
films. I'm a huge fan. We could and should do a whole separate interview about this. But if you need answer, one
of my all time favorites is John Carpenter's THE THING, as well as classics like CREATURE FROM THE
BLACK LAGOON, of which a I have a MASSIVE collection of memorabilia from.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF RINGWORM DO WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK IN THE BAND?
JOBS, HOBBIES, ETC?
Well I've been a tattoo artist for about 25 years. I own 2 shops in the Cleveland area. I'm a artist by profession.
RINGWORM is an expensive hobby, ha. I can't speak for the rest of the guys, they kinda do all types of shit
from tile work, to cooks, to nothing at all.
WHAT IS THE BEST AND WORST PART ABOUT BEING IN A BAND?
For me, it's the time away from home, hanging out with my cats, and family, friends. Tattooing, being at my
Tattoo Shop, drawing, painting, graphic art and playing music with other bands that I enjoy doing. I really enjoy
working in my yard, restoration and craft work. I'm never bored. I ALWAYS have something going on or a big
project that I'm working on. So, the time away really makes it impossible to work on any of that when you are out
on the road. Plus, the way I choose to perform takes a lot of energy, intensity and often it takes it toll on my body.
I really beat the shit out of my self every night. So that gets old. But transversally, I still have a passion for
RINGWORM. I still need the release that it gives me. I enjoy the performance. I enjoy traveling and seeing new
places and meeting new friends and seeing old ones. And as much as I really do this band for me and my need to
express things, I enjoy making people happy with angry music. Over the years many people have told me that our
music has helped them through tough times in their lives, if not saved them completely. And thats a good feeling to
know that something you do for one reason can help someone or make someone happy for another.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE NEXT FROM RINGWORM?
Well, we are going to out on tour quite a bit for the next few months so, you'll definitely be able to see us live.
After a few more tours I'm sure we'll take a small break from the road at least. Recharge a bit. We have a few new
things that we will be recording and a few special releases and some surprises for all the down time off the road to
keep things interesting.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW THAT IT'S DONE?
Well let's see, I started off the day by stepping in a pile of dog shit in my driveway, walking to my car on the way
to a chiropractor appointment, So that was a nice way to start off. Oh and I don't have a dog. After that, I was at
work tattooing most of the day, had dinner, came home, pet the cats, fed the cats, worked on packing my bag for
this Euro tour in a couple days, and then finally checked my email, to find this extremely in-depth and hard hitting
interview, ha. Now that I'm done, I probably listen to some soothing music, work on some art till almost dawn,
and then finally sleep for a few hours so I can start back up in the am. How was your day?
THANX A LOT FOR ANSWERING THIS INTERVIEW. WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANYTHING TO
No problem man, hit me up about the Horror stuff. And to the rest of the people who might read this, if ya see that
we're rolling through your town, come check us out. Or go buy our records. I have 3 cats to feed. I could use the
.05 I might get from the sale. And who knows? You might like it, but then again, you might not. Life's an
adventure, isn't it?