Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: May 2009
Brian Rademacher: Hey Toe Knee itís Brian from RockEyez.com
Toe Knee:Hey howís everything going?
Brian Rademacher: Good, ready to go
Brian Rademacher: Tell me what Toe Knee was like as a child?
Toe Knee:Mmmm, I was a huge KISS freak and Star Wars fanatic and a bit of an animal torturer, but I donít do that anymore. Those three things combined made me what I am today in a weird way.
Brian Rademacher: So how were in high school?
Toe Knee:In ninth grade I took some music classes and preliminary drum classes. Some guitar classes, but I gave that up. I was entirely self taught on drums, vocals, guitars and keyboards. I was just a metal fanatic and Satanist that was studying the Occult by then.
Brian Rademacher: Did you ever dabble in drugs or alcohol?
Toe Knee:Thatís the funny thing, I drank periodically and still do, thatís been my case my whole life and i never indulged heavily with drugs but I did experiment with marijuana, things that most kids do. Through my life I experimented with Cocaine, speed and I smoked crack once and thatís about it. I detest cigarettes but I prefer to stay healthy and exercise. Every once in a while I go on my crazy alcohol binges. I have the kind of will where I can stop at anytime and start up for a few days and stop at will again.
Brian Rademacher: How was your room like as a child?
Toe Knee:Laughing!!! Itís actually the same way now; I have metal posters all over like KISS, various Black Metal, Death Metal, Horror movie posters, collectibles. I have about seven thousand CDís, records tapes, about ten thousand magazines dating back from Circus, Creem up to current.
Brian Rademacher: Yeah my favorite collectible I have is original contracts from about 74í-75í from each member of KISS with Aucoin. It has their original signatures with their real names and their home addresses in New York. I was a big KISS collector and my friend Bill DeMiild and I were part of the first New York/New Jersey KISS convention and I would say more than half of the museum was ours.
Brian Rademacher: Did you go to church?
Toe Knee:I was baptized twice and my views on religion are pretty complex. I think church is losing its importance, I donít know how much longer society can go as a whole before the churches are eradicated, not through violent means or church burning just from people being educated and science denouncing a lot of the old religious beliefs. People learn more and more every decade. They get more cunning, I guess. I donít know how much longer churches are going to last or even remain vital.
Brian Rademacher: What was your first sexual experience like?
Toe Knee:Thatís a good one I remember vividly. I was seven, I was messing around with these little girls that were living in my vicinity, It was behind a radiator in our apartment complex. We were playing doctor and I started playing with them, I remember even using towel paper to wipe their butts and vaginas. I was little and so were they and they started playing with me that was my first experience. I guess it came from curiosity. That was my first time with sex.
Brian Rademacher: You stated WILLOW WISP 1987?
Toe Knee:Actually Air Ick and I started the band back in 1985 but we went under different names- BLACK MASS, NYTEMARE, CRYSTAL AXE, and PRETTY BOYS for about a week. But we were weird and we loved early black metal like MERCYFUL FATE, VENOM, BATHORY but we always loved the glam look. We were more into the glam image and that style. Half of our songs were progressive thrash metal and we did covers of early black and death metal bands and the other covers we would do were POISON, MOTLEY CRUE or CINDERELLA, but we looked glam. It was kind of a weird mix even back then.
Brian Rademacher: At one point during WILLOW WISP Gene Simmons was interested in working with you, until he heard your music and changed his mind?
Toe Knee:Yeah we were in BAM magazine in 1993 and this woman called us, who I thought was a woman from my work which sounded just like her. She said I am calling you on behalf of Gene Simmons and he requested a package from you guys, hereís the address. You were recently in Band magazine right? I said yeah. She said write this address down. I didnít believe her so I asked her for the phone number so I could call her back and I called back and she said do you believe me now. I said yeah cool and I sent the package. I waited, waited waited and I heard nothing. I kept calling and calling and it was Gene Simmons on the answering machine, you canít mistake his voice. So I kept calling there times a week, telling him please call us even if we suck, call me. Maybe four months later after badgering his voice mail. My girlfriend at the time said Gene Simmons is on the phone and it was him. He said WILLOW WISP is too weird, too unmarketable and I asked what did he mean, he said one minute you are playing thrash metal and you go into a jazz part, then into a classical thing. We said it was experimental. This will never fly he said and before he hung up he stated- if you send a package to somebody and four months later you donít hear anything there trying to tell you something. He was kind of cruel, yet I retaliated saying I will always believe in myself until the day I die, this is what I do. Iím still not going to stop liking KISS just because he does not approve of what we do. I wish I could have recorded it for posterity, could have used it to put as samples on future WILLOW WISP CDís.
Brian Rademacher: How did you guys perfect the make-up?
Toe Knee:When we first decide to wear the white face back in 1986, we put it on like shaving cream-thick and stupidly. We did not know you are supposed to put it on thin and we put it on thick and we couldnít put the eyeliner on. I remember our singer at the time was crying because he couldnít put it on right. Laughing! Later on we learned how to put it on properly and do it professionally.
Brian Rademacher: Tell me about "Covered in Filth" CD a tribute to CRADLE OF FILTH?
Toe Knee:It was on Cleopatra records. We did ĎThe Forest Whispers My
Nameí and we got a lot of feedback because it was distributed worldwide. We had many people writing telling us we did a good or bad job, we got a lot of press from it and they paid us $600.00 which for me was a lot, I said whoa $600.00!! The other band I was in ASTROVAMPS http://www.myspace.com/astrovamps had some additional tape reel in the studio they were recording in, so we got to use the rest of that to record it for free.
Brian Rademacher: What are your views on Anton LaVey?
Toe Knee:I worship LaVey; I have a Satanic bible bound in a Holy Bible. I think itís just humanism, psychology, sociology, just basic human nature set in reverse for the less suspect among mankindís flock of the easily herded.
Brian Rademacher: You know anything about Patricia Hardy who took over for the Temple of Set?
Toe Knee:Iím sure sheís a smart cookie because sheís associated with LaVey
Brian Rademacher: Tell me about you teaching drums?
Toe Knee:Iíve been doing that for about ten years. I put ads in Craigslist, Music Connection all over the place and post them in music stores. I have about ten students right now. I make decent money from that and I teach guitar also. This enables me to not have to work a mundane day job. I do most of my stuff from home.
Brian Rademacher: So what is your job?
Toe Knee:I have an annoying job selling stuff on eBay, I paint and teach lessons. I will sell anything I do anything I can to be my own God and my own boss. Thatís good for me and the human spirit.
Brian Rademacher: Tell me about all these books coming out with WILLOW WISP being part of them?
Toe Knee:Yeah thereís a really good book that just came out called Music To Die For written by Mick Mercer. Music To Die For is a compilation of worldwide bands that are off shoots of the Gothic style, Like Black/ Gothic metal, Psychobilly, Death rock and we are in there in the W section.
We are also in 'All Known Metal Bands' Featuring an A to Z of the world's best and most known Metal groups. The author is Dan Nelson and it came out about 7 months ago I believe.
Brian Rademacher: In a dictionary under WILLOW WISP what would it say?
Toe Knee:We are not the meaning you are looking for, laughing
Brian Rademacher: Tell me about the new CD coming out "Antihuman Manifesto"?
Itís almost complete, should be out by July or August. Itís entirely self produced, self financed. Itís on our own label Future Corpse Productions. There will be nine tracks
with less keyboards, because our last keyboard player parted ways with us two years ago. There are some keyboards, but itís more progressive but still heavy. A lot more metal sounding. The poetic subject matter is still the sameÖ.explorations of alienation, ridicule, the occult, social issues, death, mystery, depression, love, internal organs, decay, the universe, etc.
Brian Rademacher: Anything going on with ASTROVAMPS?
Toe Knee:That has been laid to rest. I do have another side project with the keyboard player (Eyajo) right now called THE BLACK HEROIN GALLERY. Very eclectic and moody Death Rock for the new age.
Brian Rademacher: What do your parents think of all this stuff?
Toe Knee:Theyíre proud of it, theyíre very supportive and let us practice in my room growing up. They bought me my first drum kit and even flew out to Germany and England when we played there a few times. We build it up to be more than it really is and fabricate some stuff just to please them. Titillation always excites the senses.
Brian Rademacher: So what happens after the release?
Toe Knee:We are looking for a new booking agent, the last was quite inadequate. WE did get out to Germany and England a few times. The first time we went to Germany a lot of the kids had our first demo, I was pretty amazed. The fans there are much more passionate about our music even with a different culture then us.
Brian Rademacher: Any special guests on the new CD?
Toe Knee:Nope, we have our new vocalist M6D6M6A and this will be his debut, we also have our new bass player Mr. Horrorble.
Brian Rademacher: What was the last concert you saw?
Toe Knee:CRADLE OF FILTH in Hollywood. We met CRADLE a few years back and had them sign the CRADLE tribute CD we are on. Dani and Paul said we did a great cover, I guess they enjoyed it.
Brian Rademacher: You have anything to say to fans in ending?
Toe Knee:I will say only these parting words,,,,,, Defy The Mundane until your dying day!!