The Red Moon Macabre… A brand new act on the goth/dark scene risen from the ashes of 90’s New Jersey / NYC Tri-State area classic goth band Kathedral…
… Frontman Renzo Tellez gives an in-depth interview about his new project, new album and plans for the future…
…The Red Moon Macabre… By Tzina Dovve ( DJ Lady Davinia )…
Tzina: Good evening Renzo. It is well-known on the goth scene that you date back to the 90’s with your band at the time, ‘Kathedral’. After almost 30 years or so of absence you are now back with your new project/band ‘The Red Moon Macabre’. What prompted you to re-emerge on the scene after such a long break and how does it feel to be back?
Renzo: Good evening Tzina, First of all thank you and Absolution for this interview. To answer this first question. Jason Ledyard (DJ Jason) started his online goth events and I would tune in. He would play ‘Evening Fear’. A song from my former band of the 90’s, Kathedral. The fans would ask me if I had any more material recorded or in the works. I’ve been a musician since I was a child, but stopped playing goth 30 years ago. The positive feedback towards my music from the past created a new passion to record again. Jason and his guest DJs spinning great music online resurrected my love for gothic rock. Returning to goth feels fantastic, like coming home!
Tzina: The name ‘The Red Moon Macabre’ brings imagery of a classic horror tale to one’s mind. What is the story behind this title? How did the idea to baptise your project with this name come about? Can you elaborate…
Renzo: ‘The Red Moon Macabre’ was a musical idea I created in the late 80’s. I wrote two songs ‘Macabre’ and ‘In The Eve’. Due to other opportunities to play guitar for a well known goth band at the time, I put my idea on hold. When Kathedral formed I brought these two songs into the mix and they were performed live throughout NYC in the early 90’s. The Red Moon Macabre EP versions that I recorded recently are the original intended interpretations in a darker fashion. Blood moons or red moons fascinate me when presented and really influence my imagination.
Tzina: As I understand, as a multi-instrumentalist, you are the main songwriter behind your dark creations… How is a ‘Red Moon Macabre’ song born? What inspires you the most to create music? What are your main musical influences?
Renzo: I create a song in my head, hum the music or an image sparks an idea. I then create the music on my guitar. The guitar work then invokes a concept for the song. I write lyrics last then off to recording the track. Session drummer tracks are involved and I record guitars, bass and vocals. As far as influences are concerned. Rock guitar players such as Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore and Jimmy Page are responsible for my learning and playing guitar. Wayne Hussey, Billy Duffy, and Geordie Walker influence my goth guitar style. Early music such as Renaissance and Baroque Music with players/composers John Dowland, Ennemond Gaultier, Sylvius Leopold Weiss, Julian Bream, Nigel North and Paul O’ Dette are a huge part of my style. When I was a kid, I loved listening to Christian Death and that heavy vibrato effect on the guitars. That sound was created with guitar pedals. I could not afford those pedals back then so I created that heavy vibrato effect using my hands. I still do this today added with some light guitar effect.
Tzina: You just released your digital ‘Blood Masquerade’ Mastered L.P. this month via bandcamp. A quintessentially dark eight track album at that. How content are you with this album and what does it represent to you? What is ‘Blood Masquerade’ all about?
Renzo: It was a spectacular journey recording ‘Blood Masquerade’. I am very proud of this album and it will always be very special to me. I wanted to record a classic album with a classic sound. The title track is about Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Masque of the Red Death’. The other songs are filled with great tales of fantasy and history. ‘Sword’ is a song about dealing with a wretched world was written and recorded in less than an hour. I was humming the song in my head while I was cleaning my kitchen, I decided to quickly record this track with only one takes. ‘Londinium’ is also about a Poe short story ‘The Man Of The Crowd’. ‘1612’ is about the trial of the Pendle Witches in Lancashire. ‘Matriarch’ is about my mother who fought a great battle against cancer, but passed away recently. ‘Veneficus’ is about sorcery and kings being poisoned. ‘Witchery’ was actually written in 1984 and was my first song I ever created at the age of 10 years old. ‘Heraldic Wolves’ is about revenge. ‘Blood Masquerade’ is receiving great reviews and reaching out to audiences around the world. A strong power came over me to complete this album so quickly. I am very pleased with the final product and it was an honor to finish the album shortly before my mothers death.
Tzina: You also re-recorded and just released your classic ‘Kathedral’ track ‘Evening Fear’ (originally called ‘Night Fear’) as a digital single. What feedback have you had both by the music press and your old goth fans so far?
Renzo: Truthfully, I wasn’t too pleased with the original recording of ‘Evening Fear’. I was very young and just went for the ride concerning final decisions for the original recording. I did not like how the main guitar was tucked in the mix and how the track was produced. I made the decision to re-record this song and bring back the original title called ‘Night Fear’ and restore the missing 3rd verse, to celebrate its 30th anniversary and for Halloween. It was indeed a fun process and the first time I revisited this song in 30 years! Some fans love the new version and some prefer the original ’91 recording. Definitely the song responsible for its recognition in the goth scene. ‘Night Fear’ with its new recording is more dynamic and in the proper key.
Tzina: Are there any plans for physical copies of your music in the pipeline?
Renzo: Yes! Plans to print cd and vinyl versions of ‘Blood Masquerade’ are in the works for 2022.
Tzina: The concept of your artwork surrounding ‘The Red Moon Macabre’ is again very reminiscent of a morbid classic horror tale with some heraldic icons here and there.. Can you give an insight behind this dark imagery and what it means to you?
Renzo: Most of the artwork is by the Irish artist Harry Clarke 1889-1931 who did illustrations for Edgar Allen Poe’s horror stories and was a huge influence on The Red Moon Macabre. I created the artwork for ‘Heraldic Wolves’ as this track has very unique guitar parts. My favorite to play on the guitar.
Tzina: Your last live show was almost 30 years ago when you supported ‘Shadow Project’ at the legendary ‘Pyramid’ in New York.. The good old goth days.. What do you miss most about performing live and what is one of your most fondest moments from this show?
Renzo: That legendary show at the Pyramid is revered to this day. I miss the feeling of transformation being on stage. That werewolf effect. Here is a memory… I walk on stage about to perform with Kathedral and my guitar strap is nowhere to be found. I’m getting angry with anxiety trying to find my strap. Running to the dressing room looking for that damn strap. The crowd is waiting and waiting. Eva O then decides to take off her scarf and rip a hole on each side. She attaches the scarf to my guitar. It works as a guitar strap and lasts through the set!! It was a great performance. I wore my Schott NYC Perfecto MC jacket just like Marlon Brando wore on ‘The Wild Ones’. Painted on the back of my jacket is the Christian Death ‘Only Theater Of Pain’ record cover and The Southern Death Cult band name. I painted all the art on my jacket. We covered Christian Death’s ‘Cavity’ and Voodoo Church’s ‘Eyes/Second Death’ that night.
Tzina: Are there any plans to take ‘The Red Moon Macabre’ to the stage in the near future?
Renzo: Absolutely! The very first gig will take place on Febuary 17th / Jason Ledyard’s Goth night ‘Visitation’ at The Stillery in Stuart Florida. Plans for other live events are in the works. I would love to tour and travel abroad. The Red Moon Macabre has a growing following especially in France and the United Kingdom.
Tzina: The past year and most of 2021 have been extremely difficult times for musicians and the live music industry especially. Do you believe it will have a permanent effect on this industry? How did it affect you as a resurrecting artist?
Renzo: The events of 2021 have scarred the music industry. It is hard enough to break through as a musician and to deal with this pandemic is just another struggle. Live venues closing, musicians out of work etc. I am optimistic for the future of live music to return stronger than before.It has not affected me yet as I record my music at home. I fear that will change as I begin the journey of performing live later next year.
Tzina: How do you view the dark/goth scene of today? How much do you think it has changed over the years? Do you believe there is some sort of goth revival happening at the moment? What are your veiws on the virtual world that has dominated social media with streams and not only during the past few years?
Renzo: When I returned to the goth scene I was quite overwhelmed of how many bands were active. All the catalog of music to discover. That’s where the beauty of the goth DJ comes in. The DJ is there to provide the music of the old and new. There seems to be more electronic elements to the new scene. I believe there is a revival with more of the ‘rock element’ happening. It is an amazing time to record and release your own music as you have digital platforms to support the scene. Much easier to showcase your music around the world thanks to the digital realm.
Tzina: Do you follow the scene? Are there any particular new artists that you admire?
Renzo: At the moment, I am enjoying music by ‘La Procesion De Lo Infinito’, a gothic rock band from Colombia with great musicianship and excellent songwriting. I have been introduced to many new bands thanks to the DJs on the scene.
Tzina: What is goth to you Renzo?
Renzo: Goth is creativity, beautiful aesthetic, diversity and what I musically can relate to best in my life. What a great genre to be a part of. What I appreciate so much about gothic rock is that you can hear the clear separation of instruments in a song.
Tzina: Thank you for your time Renzo. Anything else you would like to share with your fans? What can they expect from ‘The Red Moon Macabre’ in the near future?
Renzo: Thank you again for this interview filled with so many great questions. The fans can expect a large catalog of music and live performances in the future. I am not leaving gothic rock anytime soon!