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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Straight Outta Alberta- An interview with horrorcore rapper Poltergeist

 A quick question for any potential readers as we start this thing out. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Canada? If you said hard hitting, horror movie-flavored rap music…then that is oddly specific. It is also 100% correct.

Hailing from the frigid land of the Great White North, combining the imagery of horror with a catchy delivery and clever wordplay, Poltergeist and the guys of Obscene Division (Razorwire, Nicc Obscene, Namaedion) hope to make their mark on the horrorcore scene, and potentially parlay over into the medium of film itself.

We had an opportunity to sit down with Poltergeist to find out what it is about horror that gets his blood pumping, and how the genre has affected him, both as an artist, and as a fan.

Poltergeist, how’s it going, man? We really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today. I'm very well, thank you for putting me on!

BAM! Since we are totally professionals and like, completely know what we are doing, let’s get down to business. Who is Poltergeist, how did Obscene Division come to be, and what do you hope to accomplish, both as a solo artist, and your work with Obscene Division? We started out just rapping in Razorwire's garage, and at parties for fun, but we’ve gotten pretty into it these past few years. My personal goal as Poltergeist is to keep building a fanbase in the horror community, and hopefully write for movies someday. As for Obscene Division, we are just some friends who love to hang out and rap about insane things we would never do. I would love to do an Obscene Division tour someday with the sickest horrorcore rappers we can find.

How long have you guys been together as a group, and how did it all get started? Well, Razorwire and Nicc were already rapping by the time I met them back in our high school days. I was more of a death metal kid, so it was quite some time before I gave in and started writing. It was just for fun at first, but we started getting some props at parties, so we do our best to take it seriously as we can without it not being fun. We dropped our first mixtape, KSW, in 2014, and we had been rapping together at least a year before that, so its been awhile. Namaedion is our newest member and he just joined this year. He hit us up for some features and we just thought his lyrics were hilarious, so we asked him if he would join the team.

Why horror? What started your love for the genre, and what makes it such a natural fit for your sound and image? I’ve been a big fan of horror since I was about 6 years old. I would always stare at the artwork in the video store growing up. I guess we all love crazy, over-the-top movies, so it was only natural we incorporate that into our style. I’ve tried other styles, but Horrorcore just feels natural to me. I’m not even an angry person, that’s the weirdest thing about it!

Who is your favorite horror director and name some films that best sum up who Poltergeist is, both as a musician, and also as a fan of the genre? I can never decide between Craven and Carpenter, so I’m just going to leave it at that. Obviously, I loved the movie Poltergeist growing up. The idea of a maniacal supernatural entity that can manipulate its surroundings has always been really cool to me. It’s a good fit because when I base songs on movies, I’m attempting to possess the character and unleash what I feel as them…as a rapper. Yeah. Something like that.

Growing up, did you always hope to do music? Yes. Always. I got my first guitar when I was 9 and I was obsessed with becoming a Metal guitarist ever since. My parents were very supportive. They knew how much music meant to me, regardless of how aggressive and weird it was.

At what age did you discover horror, and what films would you credit for sparking your interest in the genre? When I was 6, my Dad showed me Stephen King's IT, and I was immediately hooked. I wanted to know how they did the makeup and effects. I wanted to watch every scary movie, and I still do. After IT, I watched Child’s Play and Alien, and it’s history after that.

What is next up for yourself, and for Obscene Division as a group? I’m currently working on about 7 different tracks involving Horror movie characters and I’ll be sprinkling in some straight rap solo material between those. We really want to keep the ‘8 Bars to Die For’ cypher series going, as well as a very dark album called ‘Welcome to the Cult’.

From hearing your ability to flow, lyrical prowess, and overall skillset, its difficult to believe you have been rapping for only a few short years. Did you hope to become a rapper growing up, and if not, how did it come to be? I didn’t even really listen to rap until I met the guys in OD. We got a few small shows thanks to a fellow local rapper and promoter who goes by Jreds. People like our energy. We are usually very different from everyone else on the bill, and I think people are into that.

Name a few artists that inspire or influence you musically, regardless of genre? My favorite bands of all time are Opeth and Between the Buried and Me. For rappers, I really like Brotha Lynch Hung, G-Mo Skee, I-Khan, Tech N9ne, Jarren Benton, stuff like that.

Only one answer for each! Favorite album and favorite horror flick? Album: Brotha Lynch Hung- Season of Da Siccness and movie : Maniac (2012 remake)

Slasher or zombies? Slasher

Romero or Fulci? Fulci

Slow moving or fast zombies? Slow moving 

The films of Rob Zombie…yes or no? I’m not a superfan by any means, but I do enjoy some of his work.

What movies or series will you be referencing or mentioning in some upcoming Poltergeist tracks? So, so many. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sleepaway Camp, The Frighteners, Hellraiser, A Nightmare on Elm Street, C.H.U.D., Killer Klowns from Outer Space, the list goes on and on. I don’t plan on stopping.

We here at CotLD recently sent you a tshirt of our YouTube channel. Just wanted to thank you for rocking it, and hope you actually like it. Haha maybe we will get lucky and see it in a future Poltergeist video! I actually wear it all the time, and I do plan on repping it in a video soon.

Tell us about your process for your material. Do you write the lyrics first, and have a beat made to fit, or the other way around? Do you go into a song intentionally intending to reference a particular film, or is it a more fluid process? I actually don’t ever write to beats. I write everything first, make it all rhyme and work in my head, and then I go to one of my guys, Squibb or Mok Beats to create an instrumental at the tempo I have imagined. Then, I rework everything to the beat separately. I'll add or remove whatever I have to in order to make the flow work. It’s a strange way to write, but that’s just how I do it.

Your videos are pretty impressive for you to have made yourself. What can you tell us about that process? I initially wanted go pay some cinematographers and directors to make my videos but I quickly found out how expensive that was going to be, so I made the decision to learn how to do it all myself. It’s been a learning experience and continues to be. I’m obviously no prodigy but I try to learn something new and get a little better every time.

What would you say is your favorite song you have done so far, and why? I think my favorite so far is ‘Pumpkinhead’. I love when the beat drops after the first hook.

Anything you would like to say to your supporters or any potential fans? I just want to say thank you to literally anyone who has ever given my stuff a chance. Even if you didn’t like it, thank you for lending me your time. And to anyone who has continued to support me along the way, you really have no idea how much it means to me. Thank you.

So there ya have it, folks. Straight from the horrorhound's mouth. If you would like to check out the spooky sounds of Poltergeist and the guys from Obscene Division, check them out on his YouTube channel, ‘Poltergeist OD'. You can also follow him on Instagram and The Slasher App at Poltergeist_OD.

From everyone here at CotLD, thank you for taking the time to read our first written interview. We look forward to sharing more horrorible happenings in the near future!

Happy Holidays, and like George Romero always said, Stay Scared!


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