Tuesday, November 3, 2015


In the wise words of Jay Sherman... BUY MY BOOK!

Yes, I have a book! My first book ever, in fact! This is my first foray into children's literature, so I'm hoping none of you have any wimpy kids because this story is about the Krampus! It's a short little romp, designed to be read aloud, with some great art by Joseph Silver.

The story behind the book is this:
Willy and I have a fancy Christmas party every year. The first time we did this, he asked that I write something to read aloud. I wrote a story poem about the Krampus, and since then, he's read it every year. Well, this year he'll actually have a real book to read it from!!

Here's a sneak peek of some art from the book. If you'd like a copy of your own, I've got a pre-order link up! The books will be in my hands by November 18th, and I'll actually be shipping them to people on November 30th.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Long time no see!

I feel like every few months I come up with a post like this. I don't post regularly, and when I do I'm like "So where have I been?" This is one of them. I'm sure that anyone who reads this is either a friend of mine or maybe follows me on Facebook, where the limited amount of characters doesn't allow me to fully articulate how I'm feeling.

Well good news, because I'm home sick! And that means you get ALL THE FEELINGS!

Okay, most of the feelings.

As you may have heard, today we hit the Billboard Heatseekers chart at #8. This is a huge accomplishment for a band like us, because as you may or may not know, we do everything ourselves. Here's a breakdown of all the work we do:

  • Booking Shows & Tours
  • Layout for merchandise
  • Interviews
  • Lyrics
  • Singing
  • Theremin-ing

  • Shipping
  • Sales
  • Interviews and Interview Scheduling
  • Press Releases
  • Distribution Deals
  • Lyrics
  • Guitars
  • Composing
  • Recording Scheduling


  • Bass-ing
  • Sandwiches 
  • Booking (especially in Tennessee!)
  • Lifting heavy things
  • Being Handsome
  • Singing
  • Keyboard-ing

  • Drumming
  • Lyrics
  • Driving the tour van
  • Being our alarm clock

So as you can see, there's a lot of stuff in there. People often ask why we get so emotional, so attached to what we do. Well, this is why! It's a lot of work, and we do it all. Most bands do not do all of this. Most bands (especially bands on labels) can dedicate all of their time and effort into making music and performing. For us, we don't have that luxury. While doing all of the behind the scenes work affords us the ability to have full control over our music, it also is a huge responsibility. We got over 400 people on KickStarter, so Josh gets to single-handedly make sure that all of those people receive their orders. This includes special orders, like when someone asks me to draw a penis on their CD. Josh keeps track of all those special requests and makes sure that they go out, all without actually being paid for his time.

Oh, you thought that KickStarter money went to us??

Guys, we never put that KickStarter money toward man hours. We do all of this work without any compensation because we believe in the product. We want to put all of our resources into getting our material and our dreams into people's hands. Is this a wise move, investment wise? Probably not, but we don't live on this planet for a very long time so while we're here we want to make sure we do everything that we possibly can.

In our case, that means staying home for months so that we can save up enough money to go on tour. It means sacrificing vacations with loved ones so that we can be on the road together, playing clubs as close as we possibly can to our fans because they ask us.

It also means getting highly emotional, sometimes. When you put your heart and soul into your work, it's hard not to become too attached. It's hard not to fly off the handle when you think someone is disrespecting you, or ignoring you. As a lady, I've felt that many MANY times. It means I've had to work harder to be heard, but it also means that I've found better ways of being listened to. Sometimes it's better to be quiet and lie in wait than to screaming from the rooftops. Screaming has it's place, and it's on stage.

Anyway, my point is that our Billboard charting is a big accomplishment and I'm very proud, but I'd like to let the numbers speak for themselves. We're a 4-piece band. We do everything, and we still somehow managed to break the industry and show the world what 4 people are capable of doing. It might not be much, but it's a big step for the little guy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

I feel I must apologize for being gone for so long. I was considering writing something this month, but since I'm working on NaNoWriMo, I felt guilty writing anything else. As it stands right now, I'm less than 10k words away from the 50k word goal, with 5 days to go! So I may actually win this year, and that's exciting! So I decided to take a break and focus on the upcoming holiday.

I've got a lot to be thankful for. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I've gone through many trials and tribulations, especially during the holidays. For some reason, the holidays are when companies decide to unceremoniously dump people, but not until after you've helped organize their company picnics and holiday parties. This year, I was scared. My current contract was coming to an end, and I didn't know if I would have to start looking for another job.

Thankfully, another opportunity came my way and I get to continue to work for my wonderful company. I'm very happy and relieved, so I can finally let my hair down and take a deep sigh without wondering if I've jinxed myself, and give thanks for all of the things I have to be thankful for. I feel like writing a list is gloating (and tempting fate) so I'm going to focus instead on the best part of the upcoming holiday; food.

I asked everyone on Facebook what their family food traditions are. Thanksgiving is a holiday that is unique in that it's not a religious holiday, so every American celebrates it in their own way. We are a melting pot of traditions and foods that may not have been relevant to the culture we came from, but we find a way to make it our own.

As a first generation American, both my parents are immigrants, so they adapted to American culture throughout the years. We always celebrated Thanksgiving. I remember waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the sound of my parents arguing over the turkey (a sound I still hear to this day) before I have to get dressed for church. At church, our priest gives the usual "give thanks" sermon before he dismisses us early so he can catch the football game. Afterwards, we rush home to change clothes, then rush back to the church so we can play soccer in the field behind it.

That's a Thanksgiving tradition that was unique for my family. A lot of families play Thanksgiving foodball, but we played Thanksgiving soccer. A bunch of people from the church would play with us, and we'd go adults vs kids for a couple of hours until the turkey was done. Then, back home in the car, and finally food.

Man oh man the food. See, my family never really saw the point in all the other sides. We have a small family. Mom, dad, me, and maybe my brother and sister (if they were around) and maybe their kids or wife or husband but it was different every year, and never more than five or six people to sit down and give thanks with prayer over the turkey. So we had a big turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. No vegetables, just meat, bread, and pie. My mom wasn't really big on cooking, so my dad did the turkey.

To this day, whenever people complain about how turkey is gross and dry, I thank my lucky stars that my dad never made me experience that. My dad's turkey is ridiculously moist. So moist in fact that I don't use gravy. The leg meat is my favorite, and I can gnaw on that sucker about halfway until I'm full. So yeah,s crew you and your anti-turkey sentiments, but the star of the show was his stuffing. I don't know if it's because nobody ever told my parents how to make turkey and stuffing, but they figured out this magical combination through many years of trial and error. The stuffing is always somehow different. One year, raisins. One year, craisins. One year, both, and always with walnuts, celery and onions. Then, recently, my dad started adding moonshine.

Yes, moonshine.

Don't ask where he got it, because his explanation is "some guys at work".

Being that my dad is a member of the laborer's union, he always worked outside. He was a welder working for VDOT for much of my life, so a lot of his friends were also laborers. This is a class of Americans that still work with their hands, and are proud to do so. They've got all sorts of negative nicknames; rednecks, ghetto, wetbacks, ratchet, cracker, spic. They're the blue collar middle-to-low class of America, and they come in every different color. My dad was one of them, and they accepted him. They would trade stories about their kids, and sometimes they would trade stuff.

So sometimes, dad came home with Civil War bullets from a friend who was really into Civil War stuff. Sometimes, he'd bring home some kind of food a coworker's wife made for everyone. Stuff from India, China, the south, wherever that guy was from. And one day, he brought back moonshine, so. Into the stuffing it went.

The stuffing has never been the same. It has only been better.

This is my America. This mixture of cultures that makes us all different, but wholly special. Nowadays, I bring pumpkin tartlets made with Stevia (because we have diabetics in the family), and my mom cooks more vegetables. But that turkey is still the moistest most delicious %&$*ing bird I've ever had, and the stuffing makes me lightheaded just thinking about it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To Twerk or Not To Twerk?

Boy is this a confusing time to be a feminist. I've got all sorts of people arguing either in favor or in hatred of twerking, and here I am wondering when having a big butt suddenly became a style and not something I was cursed with.

Let me start by saying that having a big butt is not easy to deal with, especially when you're 5' tall. Sir Mix A Lot's song is a great source of pride, until he starts doling out measurements and you realize that all the girls in his video have pretty small butts compared to the average American woman. Plenty of men are legit into big butts, and they're having their day right now because girls are becoming more confident and less afraid to show them. A great example of this is Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass", which basically became an overnight sensation and an anthem for girls who don't measure up to society's standards.

Hell, even I like the song!

I've seen some wacky things all week from the world in regards to femininity and music, one of them being a big rant from Jill Janus in regards to a poll she referred to as a “Vote for the Hottest Female Metal Vocalist” contest. Since Metalholic's Vote Top 25 Women in Metal poll was released, people (myself included) believe she was referring to that, which is kind of annoying because Metalholic goes out of it's way to say that this is not a "hot" contest. And while I can understand being annoyed by online polls, I can't see myself getting pissed when one of the top contenders being voted on is a singer from Baby Metal.

I mean really, how can girls like me compete with cute teenage girls in tutus?

Which brings me to my original topic; to twerk or not to twerk.

You see, Mastadon released a new music video that involves a lot of twerking. Some people say they're making fun of Nikki Minaj, but that's not true. Mastadon's Brann Dailor claims they "didn’t know about the Nicki Minaj video until after." 

Some people say the video is extremely sexist, which isn't hard to imagine considering the music (which does include metal) industry doesn't often see women as more than bodies. Objects. Things the obtain or admire, visually. Can they be called sexist if that wasn't their intention? I'd like to say no, but this is a product of our society. Our culture is inherently sexist, so when people use women as decorations, it's not because they're saying "women are here to decorate my music video", it's because they've been trained to think that this is how women should be depicted and that's okay.Watching this video, you could come to many conclusions. "They're making fun of rap videos" is one of them, and I'll admit that there's something a little annoying about the idea of three white guys making fun of rap videos and black culture in general. Then again, making fun of objectification could be a noble stance, but they've already said they're not doing that. So what are they doing? It's become normal for a lot of men to see women dancing like this and think it's funny, it's fun, the women are "empowered" and they don't have a problem, so it must be okay. And to be honest, I don't necessarily argue with that. If women choose to use their bodies in this way, who are we to judge their choices? It's a free country, we should be free to show or not show our bodies as much as we want, correct?

Then you could say that the more women allow people to treat us this way, the more they expect us to stay this way. But to blame this on women would be akin to victim blaming, wouldn't it? Just because I wear a bikini doesn't mean you have the right to discriminate against me or how you perceive my intelligence. So lets put this in another perspective; if I twerk and you think I'm stupid, is this my fault or yours? And why should I care about your opinion?

Because we're entertainers, that's why. And while I've accepted that the only way to make a living with music is to give the listening public exactly what they want, sometimes that includes twerking. And enormous surgically enhanced boobs or butts. Sex in lyrics. All the things I just can't bring myself to do.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


So I'm totally going to steal a fraction of Floor Jansen's internet thunder for a moment, here. She recently posted this "I'm not an asshole, I swear!" manifesto, and people are taking sides. I can't really take a side, so I'll just post my thoughts on the matter as a far-less known female vocalist in our world of metal.

"If I meet people and I ask not to touch me, this again is nothing personal. I don't like it. Some people (in general) are more physical than others and I am not comfortable with touching strangers or being grabbed."

You know what, Floor? That's cool, and I agree. Look assholes, you are not entitled to being touched or hugged or whatever. Just because you own all of her albums doesn't mean you get to physically touch someone. She doesn't owe you a damn thing, so don't get pissy if she says she doesn't want to hug you. And if you do, you're an asshole. Do I hug random sweaty men? Yes I do, and sometimes it's uncomfortable. But that's my choice, and if it's her choice not to, then you should respect her choice.

The rest of her letter you can read yourself, and come to your own conclusions.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Whore your band!

Today is Friday. Hurray! Since Willy is going to a bachelor party, I decided to amuse myself by supporting my local metal community and going to a show. The show takes place at the Sidebar in Baltimore, one of the coolest places in the city, and will be featuring doom metal. A good friend of mine is promoting the show, so I spoke to her about how the shows are doing. As a promoter, it's her job to promote shows, and let me tell you she is out there killing it to make sure people show up. Unfortunately, not as many people are coming as they should. Why's that? Well, there could be any number of reasons. Winter is a bad time for shows since people don't like going out in the cold, so that's a big culprit. Another one?

Bands not promoting enough.

Now don't get me wrong, I agree that promoters should promote. However, relying on promoters to promote is exactly why bands have a problem getting enough people through the door. We discussed pre-sales, which is where you ask bands to sell tickets. I've been doing pre-sales for over 8 years now, and I don't see that stopping anytime soon. Why? Because if you can't get at least 5 people to see you, there is a problem. I hear all sorts of excuses from bands, these days.

Back in  (insert year here), venues paid bands to play! We showed up and played! 

I shouldn't have to sell tickets, I'm the talent!

It's the promoter's job to promote, not mine!

Our fans don't like us pushing tickets, it makes us seem desperate!

And so on and so on and so on...

Child, please. In this metal business, we have to take what we can get. Being whiny about not selling tickets is going to do nothing for you. You can be the greatest band in the universe, but if nobody knows about you, how are you going to get your name out there? If you're not willing to sell yourself, why should anyone else? It's not like there aren't a million other bands trying their damndest to get recognition. You have to fight for that recognition and you have to make people see you. It's marketing. It's selling yourself. It's not pretty, but if you have a good product, people will respond and you will see results!

It's not easy to do this and it does take a bit of pride swallowing. If you have a big ego and expect people to come see you out of the goodness of your talent, this may be an issue. The truth is, some people won't go to a gig unless they're reminded. Or asked. They might be scared of your music (HELLO, METAL!), and think it's all a bunch of old men with skullets and patch vests growling at the women. Well how are they gonna find out that those old men with skullets and patch vests are (for the most part) very friendly and fun to hang with? How are they going to find out that metal is fun and exciting unless you say, "Hey cousin Debbie, want to see my band play this Tuesday? I need to sell some tickets and I was hoping you could come! I promise I'll buy you a Long Island, and you can wear that corset you bought at the Renaissance Fair!"

Every band wants to be the band that shows up, gets paid, and leaves. But everyone starts somewhere, and if you're not willing to start at the bottom, you've got an even steeper climb than the guys shilling out tickets for their first show. These young bands are hungry. They will do whatever it takes to bring people, and trust me, you are not better than they are because your older, or you have pro gear, or your leather pants are tighter. If you're playing to an empty stage, there's nobody out there looking at those leather pants anyway.

Don't be a prima donna. "Pay for play", where you literally pay to play, is not the same as pre-selling tickets. Pre-selling tickets means you're taking your band to your friends and family and spreading the word, and the more you do it, the easier (and more profitable) it gets. If you're not comfortable asking people to come see your band, good luck getting anyone else to do it because not everyone has an uncle in the industry who's going to do it all for you. Do that shit yourself.


Thursday, March 27, 2014


I know that many of the people who read my blog are not metal fans. Metal fans are a very small minority, in this world. Sadly, even we often butt heads when it comes to our opinions on certain things. This is because regardless of what community you're in, there will always be really dumb people and you just have to get over that.

Of course, I'm the type of person who sees the dumb and wants to make something from that dumb. For today's post, I'd like to bring up possibly the stupidest thing anyone has ever accused me of; not being a "real" metal fan.

Why would anyone say such a thing, you might ask? Well, I'm not exactly sure. Maybe it's because my first metal show was Dragonforce. Maybe it's because I'm young. Maybe it's because I like to promote my band a lot, which seems like something anyone in a band would do, but hey, that could be a reason people see me and think, "Sure, she spends a lot of her time talking about/working in/promoting metal, but is she really one of us?"

So to combat this dumb, I've decided to come up with a list of all the things I do. If, after reading this, anyone still thinks I'm not a real metalhead, or that I'm some kind of metal poser (do we have those!?), then nothing I ever say or do will be able to convince them otherwise. For the rest of you, maybe this will give you an understanding of how much exactly goes into A Sound of Thunder from the single person that is me.

I personally:

  • Design the layout for all merchandise, which includes CDs/vinyl/t-shirts/shot glasses/ect.
  • Design and update our website.
  • Write lyrics.
  • Record vocals (obviously, which can take up to 6 hours per session and often happens after I work an 8 hour shift at my full-time job).
  • Write music.
  • Book every show.
  • Book shows for other bands (such as Benedictum and Leather Leone).
  • Plan travel to/from every show.
  • Research and book hotels for each show that is not local.
  • Promote each show.
  • Sell tickets.
  • Create flyers for each show.
  • Create events online for each show.

Now, as if all that wasn't enough, I also work a full-time job and am married. So along with all of the band things I do, I also have to find some way to work 40 hours a week and make my husband not feel like he's single. As many of you know, I'm also a health/fitness enthusiast, so I also somehow manage to cram in regular exercise and healthy cooking into my schedule.

After all this, if there is anyone out there who still thinks I'm somehow fake for whatever reason, I have only one thing to say to you.