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MHOG Interviews Sean Yseult

1) Sean we all know you’ve played tons of venues all over the world. What size venue do you prefer? A theater size venue is nice. You can still see and connect with the audience, so it’s still intimate but there is room to put on a good show with a decent level of production and lighting. 2) As far as large venues go. What is the most memorable in your career? Castle Donnington - now called the Download Fest. It was our first time playing a huge festival, and we were not sure if the crowd would like us. We heard they threw bottles of piss and sharpened coins at bands they didn’t like, and we heard even Motorhead had such treatment in England. We loved Motorhead, and we knew we weren’t as metal or as tough as them - what did this crowd expect from us? We were the only band on the bill that wasn’t straight ahead metal, and we were worried the crowd was going to destroy us. Amazingly, once we hit the stage 80,000 fans began moving and undulating like a sea of ants and singing along with the songs - it was the best feeling in the world! I could never explain that rush of adrenaline, just incredible. 3) You have so many creative outlets which one is the one that gives you the most peace?  Ha! Good question. Drawing my designs I suppose. That was always an escapist thing for me, when I was little. If things weren’t going well at home, or I was upset, I could fill pages with designs and feel content afterwards. These days I do a drawing a day right after breakfast. The simplicity of pen on paper, knowing that I have to continue and let mistakes remain (self-imposed rule), or rather become part of the design - it is like nature to me, very organic and somehow relaxing and satisfying.  4) Which do you like to indulge in more Music or photography? It really depends on what frame of mind I am in. If I’m hearing music in my head, I need to get to a piano or guitar and work it out! But if I have an idea for a photo, or a series, I really enjoy working on that also. I already have ideas for five more photography shows in the future, so I am trying to put them on the back burner until I finish my design work this Spring, then work on music this summer. 5) Have you thought about writing a book?  I did! It’s called “I’m In The Band.” You can get it in bookstores and at amazon.com6) Ok, so You are by yourself.. what’s you Guilty Pleasure ? ...As in what album do you listen too and what movie do you watch that no one would ever peg you to like? Album: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” soundtrack by Mancini. Mancini is one of my favorite composers and I never get tired of this record. I could live without “Moon River” but I love all of the instrumental pieces.  Movie: Auntie Mame. Rosalind Russell kills me: I love this eccentric character and if lucky, will grow up to be her one day! 7) Thoughts on the paranormal? You do live in New's a must ask question. Well, I grew up in a house with two ghosts, and luckily my father and a houseguest saw and heard them enough that it wasn’t just me. The aged daughter of the ghosts who grew up in the house contacted us out of nowhere after a few years of this activity, to discuss her parents, the ghosts. And the police even came when called by our babysitter to arrest the man she saw going down to the basement. Of course nobody was there but she gave them a full description. So many people don’t believe in ghosts that I hate to even discuss it. I fucking hate when people think you are talking about it for attention, so I won’t go in to any more detail. I probably wouldn’t believe either if I hadn’t had to live with them - it was terrifying and I don’t recommend it. I live in New Orleans now (that was in North Carolina) and I do half expect to trip over a ghost now and then, but never do. Sometimes I wish I would, as I was too young and frightened back then. I wonder if I could handle it better now. 8) What is one of your favorite shows, that you ever played ?  On the first White Zombie headlining tour for La Sexorcisto, we played the Limelight in NYC. It was a nice homecoming gig for us, since we had been based in NYC for ten years and had just spent a year in LA putting together the album and killing time, waiting for Geffen to release it. It was odd at first because our stomping grounds were more like CBGB’s, not a fancy club like the Limelight. Upon arrival, Sebastian Bach showed up in our dressing room, picked me up ad swung my around in circles and said we were the next big thing. We had never met him before! Then we hit the stage, and we had a packed show, going nuts. Not how things used to be downtown, with people crossing their arms and staring at the floor to show their disdain. It was amazing. Then during our encore, Sebastian Bach leapt off of the balcony, landed hard on stage but solid, like a rockstar, grabbed a mike and sang “God of Thunder” with us! Playing that lovely venue with a room full of actual fans in NYC and a bonafide rock star on stage with us, embracing us, was just a wonderful feeling. NYC is not known for warm fuzzy moments, so thank you, Limelight! 9) So what are you up to now, musically or life in general ? I’m trying to balance out all of my favorite things by spending about 6 months on each - I just spent 6 months on a photography show, now I am wrapping up 40 new designs (for wallpaper, etc) that I have been working on and sampling out for almost 6 months, then 6 months of writing music, which I have not done in a long time, and I am really excited about.  Every time  I sit down at the piano lately, a song starts playing. I record it for a minute or two and squirrel it away for when I have time dedicated to composing - that is coming up soon! 10) If you had to choose a band to listen to for all eternity, who would it be and why ? Black Sabbath. I just never grow tired of Ozzy’s incredible voice, the awesome songs/albums and Tony Iommi’s amazing riffs and tone. 11) When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up ? An artist! When I was in first grade, we all had to do a painting of ourselves as an adult, how we saw ourselves and what would we become. I painted myself with short hair, glasses and a beret at an easel, painting! I didn’t literally turn in to that type of an artist, but I have spent my entire life writing music, drawing designs and taking photos, so I guess it came true.  12) If you had to fight any celebrity in the world ( alive or dead ) who would it be and why ?  Salvador Dali. I would argue that not one single dish in his cookbook is appetizing OR edible, and then I would fight him over a game of chess. 13) Banana splits or hot fudge sundaes ? Easy : hot fudge sundaes. I am a chocolate fiend, and also dislike fruit, especially bananas! 14) We here met on Xbox live playing some Of our favorite video games, how did you end up meeting everyone and joining white zombie ? Rob and I met in the Parsons cafeteria - he actually had his roommate come over to me and ask if I would like to hang out with his friend. I met Ivan while playing two gigs with a punk band that would hang out on St. Marks - Ivan was still in high school and playing drums for them and I was on farfisa.  We found Tom at Parsons also, and later found Jay through friends at the comic book store “Forbidden Planet.” Nobody had computers, much less phones (ANY kind of phone!) back then, especially in the East Village and Lower East Side. It was all about running in to people, making direct connections.  15) What sort of hobbies do you have other then the obvious ?  I don’t have much time for hobbies, but I love to cook, and I like digging through junky antique stores and flea markets, although they are harder to find these days.  16) Tell us something that you’ve never told another interviewer?  Hmm I already told you about the ghosts . . . okay: I was touring with bands and jamming with old blues men in smokey clubs since the age of eight! It’s crazy but it’s true. I was kind of a child prodigy-type on piano and had an amazing teacher who taught us not only classical but improv and blues and how to play by ear. By the time I was eight, I was performing improv at a blues club in Raleigh NC called The Frog and Nightgown. I was the only eight year old, on the piano of course - the rest of the band were old blues men playing stand up bass and brush on the drums. And of course the audience was old enough to drink and smoke - it was very smokey. I actually remembered this recently as my sister sent me an article she found about it. Then at age 9 I toured performing music (I played the Melodica) with a group of 5 other kids older than me. And when I was 11 or 12, I toured as a violinist in the Raleigh Youth Orchestra. So I was touring way before White Zombie, haha! 17) Last but not least we wanted to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this little interview. We appreciate you and all you’ve brought to the music world. So with saying that our last question is when you are home alone and want to relax, what is the genre of music you tend to head towards to accomplish this ?  To relax? I listen to a lot of French artists, mostly from the 60s, stuff like Jacques Dutronc and Serge Gainsbourg. I also love Piazolla, who wrote great tango music but I associate it with Venice, where the orchestras play it outdoors in the square late at night. I love old country music like Lefty Frizzell, George Jones, Hank Williams and Ray Price. Mark Lanegan is a favorite for relaxing music, for sure. And I like a lot of classical, Chopin being my favorite. But the one artist I was obsessed with as a small child and still love above all is Bowie - listening to Diamond Dogs definitely soothes the soul, for me!        

If you want to know more about Sean check out her links below .... 

Photography: Design: FB: White Zombie/Sean Yseult Instagram: @SeanYseult

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