Recently I was able to catch up with the reigning frontwoman of Skeletal Spectre Vanessa Nocera to ask about the upcoming album, future tour plans, life outside of the band, and much more. Check it out below.
Dan: Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Vanessa: Lately we haven’t been doing much for many reasons. This album took over a year to come out, so we started focusing on other bands and projects and we haven’t really discussed what the future of SKELETAL SPECTRE will be. My new band HOWLING has really taken off and I’m currently writing and soon to be recording for 2 other projects, so if a fourth album is to happen from us, I’m not sure when it will be. Hopefully soon though; I’m always ready for more work.
Dan: How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
Vanessa: The mixing and mastering job really upped the game on this album. Patrick Bruss was the mastermind behind mixing and mastering the last albums, but on this one he really honed in on getting the drums to sound a little more powerful, not to mention the guitars and my vocals. This album is my favorite of this band and I think it’s because of the progression and the fact that my lyrics were Voodoo/curses themed. Much time and creativity went into the birth of this album.
Dan: The album covers a lot of different occult topics, can you tell us a little bit more about in your interest in occultism?
Vanessa: At a very young age I started reading about Satanism, the occult, Voodoo, and Black Magic, so the topic is the blood that runs through my creative veins, that’s for sure! Even if I’m writing lyrics about a horror movie, I try to find the darkest elements from the film or story and focus on that as the main root of the content in the song. For this album though, again, I stuck with Voodoo, Hoodoo, Black Magic, and evil curses. There’s an order to the songs as well if you really sit and read the lyrics as the album carries on. I’m really proud of that aspect and it took a great deal of time and research.
Dan: What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name?
Vanessa: It’s very Hammer Films sounding and I think that was the original meaning behind naming the band SKELETAL SPECTRE. My husband actually is the one who named the band. I was heavily involved with the production of the first album, and I wrote some lyrics as well as came up with the cover art concept, but I’m not the vocalist on that album.
Dan: What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Vanessa: Unfortunately, this is not a live band. Two members live in Sweden and I live in America. The thought has been entertained to travel overseas to play some European shows, but it just never came into fruition. My “live gigs” are mainly traveling to horror cons and setting up vendor tables with my record label, Razorback Recordings, and if any of my bands were to play live I believe it would be HOWLING since my other members are here in the states. We’re really hoping to get some live shows going, but it’s a matter of time. I’m always ready to play live again.
Dan: Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Vanessa: Like I touched on before, I see myself playing live with my other bands before SKELETAL SPECTRE, but I would travel to play live if the offer is good. Let’s hope we have a better answer for that question in the future.
Dan: On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of death and doom metal?
Vanessa: The feedback is always great and very intense with some people. For some, SKELETAL SPECTRE is their favorite of both mine and Rogga’s bands, so to know that the band has a solid fan base out there is inspiring and definitely makes me want to keep going. We’re always happy to hear from our fans, who I refer to as friends, and even if there is criticism, most of the time it’s meant well and never too bad to be hurt from it, but again, mainly the words and compliments are really cool.
Dan: What is going on with the other musical projects these days?
Vanessa: I’m in the studio right now with HOWLING; we are recording an EP to be released this year and we are already discussing the second album. I’m writing for a new band that I’m putting together called CAULDRON BURIAL as well as laying down some guest vocal tracks for some other bands. If I’m not writing or recording I’m working on the new IMPETIGO fanzine we’re putting together to be released on Razorback, or I’m working on The Coven ‘zine which is our ‘zine slated for publication later this year. I’m also working on preparing for future horror con appearances, and preparing for our horror comic VAULTWRAITH. Lately, it feels like I never sleep, haha! As for Rogga, he has so many projects that I can’t even keep up with them. I heard he was preparing to do something with Paul Speckmann which I thought was cool, but I’m not sure what’s developed with that so far.
Dan: What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Vanessa: As for SKELETAL SPECTRE, I really like the direction we’re in and hopefully the next album will be even more intense. I really want to keep the Voodoo theme going since there is so much to write about and it invokes such awesome emotions in my vocal performance. Also, if the next album happens, I think I’ll not have as much reverb on my vocals. I’m reading reviews saying there are effects on my vocals when there are NONE besides reverb. I didn’t use any reverb on the HOWLING album and I think it turned out to be the best sounding album as far as my vocals are concerned.
Dan: What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Vanessa: I’ve honestly been trying to look for new bands, and I find when I do that I revert back to the classics even more. Lately I’ve been reminiscing on when I bought MORBID ANGEL “Covenant” on tape when it came out. I was 10 and had been through so many thrash albums that I was ready for death metal, so that’s been playing as well as various early raw black metal albums. Too many to even go into on here.
Dan: Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Vanessa: I like to read, cook and work out. I’m a psychology student, so I can honestly say that’s an interest of mine as well, and it helps make for some good lyrical themes when I’m not inspired to write much about anything else.
Dan: Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Vanessa: Thanks for the interview and I really hope that everyone who has heard the album and previous albums enjoy what they hear. Keep your eyes open for much more from me. I try to update my youtube channel often, so please subscribe and drop me a line!
A huge thanks goes out to Vanessa and the entire Skeletal Spectre crew. In addition, we also have a track stream below from the upcoming album. Check it out below.