Mike Abominator: Hails Dennis, thank you for your time, how are things going for you these days? Talk about what you are currently working on.
I've been drawing for as long as I can remember but I don't know how seriously I take it. I'm not a commercial artist and I only move my pens when the spirit to create moves me. I've met a lot of career artists who have devoted their best years to slouching over a desk in silence. Many of them are miserable. That's not me. I've had countless ever-evolving influences and inspirations over the years. Too many to name...My favorite artists are those who possess an eclectic personal vision and unique technical abilities. I would emphasize the word "unique" as opposed to, say, "talented." In fact, the ability to actually draw or paint well does not necessarily have much bearing on whether or not a work of art will ultimately engage the eye. I like art that seems charged with passion and immediacy and is imbued with something of the creator's essential nature. My relationship with music is very similar. You know that feeling you get when you hear a great Celtic Frost or Black Sabbath riff? It may not be the most complex or technical playing but you somehow feel immediately affected and connected to the musician. Art is much the same way for me. I initially gravitated to ballpoint pen because that's what was available when I was younger and I've remained true to this humble medium long after most artists discover brushes and paint because I still resonate with those heavily shaded nuances. I like to call it Horror Noir. Why waste time perfecting fancy new styles when I'm perfectly content with my cheap little pens? Like the old Sore Throat song, I'm UNHINDERED BY TALENT!
What are some of the best live bands that you have seen in your life of going to shows?
One of the most memorable live shows I ever witnessed was actually a free Death In June performance at this little record shop here in Portland in 2005. There were like 15 people present and when Douglas Pearce asked for requests my daughter, who was 7 years old at the time, surprised us all by yelling out "Black Angel!" He was standing right in front of us and immediately launched into the most stirring acoustic version of that song that I'll ever hear. It nearly brought me to tears. That's what a live performance is all about. Eyehategod at the Dixie bar in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday in 1995 was very memorable despite the vast amounts of alcohol consumed. Bolt Thrower at Party San Fest 2008 in Germany was definitely an experience I will never forget. They played at night under an expanse of stars with fog machines casting smoke throughout the crowd and at one point a sheet of light rain fell and transformed the otherwise modest cow pasture into some sort of primeval battlefield! I had the good fortune of witnessing Iron Maiden at Wacken Fest that same summer and managed to secure a place directly front row with some very good people from all around the world. We were literally against the barrier with 70,000 rabid headbangers pressing at our backs. That experience alone made up for missing Maiden during the 80's! But the best shows are probably still to come...