An Interview With Myke Hideous
AR: For anyone who isn't aware of Empire Hideous, could you please
tell us about the band, its history, who's in it, etc?
MYKE: As far as who's in it now, that would be ME. Basically, in late December 1997, I called a meeting and told everyone in the band that I was breaking up Empire Hideous and moving on . . . It was a sad day in my life. I felt like there was nothing left for me considering how I spent the last ten years molding the band to a form I wanted. We were at out prime, but there were certain members in the band that were really slacking and causing me tremendous grief and lots of headaches. So with a final push that I was given, I said, "No more bullshit. Time to move on to bigger and better things," and I terminated everyone's position.
AR: What were the main reasons for breaking up The Empire Hideous after ten years?
MH: Well, at the time of this interview, I am currently writing a book called: KING OF AN EMPIRE TO SHOES OF A MISFIT. It covers ten years of my life in the music business from the start of my career to last year's summer tour with The Misfits, to the present. It thoroughly explains my reasons for the decision I made to boot everyone.
There lots of different things that added up to the final blow, but the straw that broke the camel's back was my drummer saying that he was going to quit because of his girlfriend at the time. That killed me and still does.
AR: You got to tour with The Misfits as the singer after you quite Empire Hideous. What was the experience like? What did you learn?
MH: Well, being part of that punk rock legacy has it's advantages. It was like no other experience I had ever encountered. Obviously jumping from Hideous that would play to audiences ranging in numbers between 200 to 600 people at a show to The Misfits, whose audience numbered between 300 to 13,000 ids quite different indeed. I'm sure you can understand where I'm coming from. There's just so much more to deal with on a large basis as opposed to playing venues where, I set up the gig, I made up the flyers, posters and ads, distributed them, packing my van full of equipment, setting up my own gear and stage props and everything else imaginable. I didn't have to do any of that when I was in The Misfits.
Not to be cliché, but I literally lived a rock&roll lifestyle while on tour. But I can assure you, it was no easy task. it did involve lots of hard work as well. What I mean by rock&roll lifestyle is this: I would wake up between noon and 2p.m., sound check, eat, get ready for the show, play the show, shower, get on the bus, go to sleep and wake up in next town ready to do it all over again. The entire time in Europe, I saw nothing but the bus, the club and the road at night. Glamorous lifestyle, huh?
As far as what I learned was how to survive on the road and to who to trust in this murderous business we call "music."
AR: I've only had the chance to see your live shows through photographs and second-hand accounts. I understand they were quite intense. Why did you feel the need to put so much involvement into these?
MH: At heart, I am an artist first. I incorporated my artwork into my music. My music is an expression that gets to you through high volume and in most cases, disturbing visuals. It wasn't that I really felt "the need" to perform in the way I do, it's just a natural form of expression for me and if I didn't do it, I'd probably be out killing humanity, which is the source of my actions in my music and on stage anyway.
AR: How did you get into the whole "goth" thing?
MH: Weird. I never though Hideous would turn out the way it did. I just happened to do an interview for a popular goth magazine and in no time at all, people were calling us goth literally all over the world. Back when I started the band, I was heavily into The Misfits, Samhain, Alien Sex Fiend, Bowie, and The Lords of the New Church. The I was seeing at the time was into goth and turned my sights to Sisters of Mercy and I eventually turned my sights to other influences like The Fields of the Nephilim, The Cure, and The Mission UK. The early 90's I pushed harder to have Hideous classified as a goth band, but as time went by, I continued to get more and more people telling me were either not goth enough, or too goth. So, I gave up and just let people see us for what we were, rather than trying to plant something in their heads that they may not have seen us as in the first place.
AR: What are your major influences, musical and otherwise?
MH: First and foremost, real life, death, and what lies behind closed doors, locked away in closets and hidden from us all. Secondly horror movies, surrealistic art, drugs, morals, politic, and religion. Musically, there are tons of obscure bands I enjoy listening to as well as more popular bands, but I try not to take my ideas from such mediums anymore.
Currently, I listen to a lot of "roaring 20's" big band music, free form jazz, classical, experimental, and movie soundtracks. As far as bands are concerned, I'll always be a Bowie fan, Nephilim and the list just goes on and on.
AR: I see a lot of religious based themes in the music. I was wondering what your opinions are on that whole mess. . . .
MH: I'm fascinated by all religions, yet see them all as ancient artifacts. Though I am more Pagan than anything else, I prefer not to be a part of a group or establishment, which is how I currently find modern day religions. Well, at least most of them. I could go on and on about religion. There are just too many twists and turns that make it an everlasting discussion. To each his own. Just don't try to rub off anything on me that I do not find solitude in.
AR: What sort of books do you like to read?
MH: Fact. I hate reading fiction. It bored me. I like information on human oddities, serial killers, sex, drugs, murder, war, government conspiracies and the such. It's just more entertaining to me than reading another fucking Anne Rice vampire romance novel. No offense, but it's mushy girlie stuff to me and I have no desire to know what some artificial vampire is up to in his or her fictitious world. Real vampires are my forte.