Eye On Springfield with Chris Alfieri of Vattnet Viskar

eye on springfield

When I first had the idea for this blog, I knew the first person I would interview was Chris Alfieri. He was incredibly enthusiastic and encouraging when I talked to him about my goofy blog idea. He is one of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met and I knew his answers would be great. He did not disappoint.

Chris is the guitarist and a founding member of post-black metal band Vattnet Viskar. Formed in 2010 and hailing from New Hampshire, the band released their first demo in 2011, a self-titled EP in 2012, and their first full length entitled Sky Swallower in 2013. Their second full length, Settler, is due out on 6/16/15 on Century Media. Settler marks a leap forward in their sound while remaining true to their black metal roots. The new album can be pre-ordered HERE.

Most people who love The Simpsons can usually remember the first time they saw the show. What is your first memory of The Simpsons?

I partly remember the Tracy Ullman show and them being an oddly drawn family but I can’t say I remember any of the actual stories from that era. My first real memory is when they take the family trip to Dr. Marvin Monroe’s office and zapped each other endlessly. I remember turning to my older sister and exclaiming that I would love to do that to her. Sadly, I never got the chance!

There is a pretty diverse cast of characters in Springfield. Who do you relate to the most? Why?

Lisa to be honest. She’s generally a compassionate person with a moral activist edge. She wears her heart on her sleeve and that’s something I admire a lot in others. The viewer always know where Lisa stands and she can always back up her feelings with facts. She’s very concise.

What is your favorite episode?

“You Only Move Twice”. Albert Brooks nails the Hank Scorpio role and the one liners in it are top notch. The “Hammock District” bit gets me every single time.

Some of my all time favorite episodes are the ones with very emotional storylines, i.e. Lisa’s Substitute and Mother Simpson. Some people are drawn more to the full on funny episodes. Which do you prefer?

It depends on my mood really, I do like when they take on cultural issues without trying to outwardly make a fool out of people who may not share their view. They have a lot of tact which I respect a ton. But occasionally I just need to see a brainless but well written episode like the Trilogy of Error episode. But even in those, there will be a few heavy handed cultural references that will get your mind to move a bit.

My first exposure to vegetarianism was from the episode Lisa The Vegetarian. Has the show ever exposed you to an idea that impacted your life? (Lisa become veg, Barney quitting drinking, etc.)

A lot actually. The Simpsons has molded a lot of young minds, whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know, but they definitely opened my eyes to lots of different takes on the same thing. Lisa Becomes a Veg is one that really stuck with me. I am a vegan, but even before I went cruelty-free it was an episode that spoke to me. She got ridiculed for a belief bit but stuck to her guns and made no apologies. She felt alone but actually found out that there were people who agreed with her and realized she was not on her own. That’s not a bad lesson in any part of life, and one that I take very seriously.

Do you have a favorite guest star? Alternately, who is someone you would like to see guest on the show?

Tim and Eric were my favorite when they played foodies. They wrote a classic T&E song for it as well, really nailed it.

I’d love to see Immortal on an episode. Bart Goes To A Black Metal show.

As someone who loves soundtracks and scores, Matt Groening once said his original choice for the composer of the theme song was John Zorn. How insane would that have been?

That would’ve been great, but I bet it wouldn’t be as accessible as the one they ended up with. Which is now part of our society as much as apple pie.

There is a fan theory on the internet that claims that Homer has been in a coma for 20+ years. In the season 4 episode ‘Homer The Heretic’, Homer has a conversation with God asking about the meaning of life. God tells him he’ll find out one day. Homer says he can’t wait that long to find out and God replies “You can’t wait six months?” Cut to six months later to the episode ‘So it’s come to this: A Simpsons Clip Show.’ Bart plays an April Fools day prank on Homer causing him to fall into a coma. In the episode, Homer wakes up. But some people think he’s been in a coma ever since and everything since then has been happening in Homer’s imagination. This explains why the characters don’t age, later episodes contradicting things like how Homer and Marge met. The episodes even get zanier following the coma episode including things like Mr Burns capturing the Loch Ness Monster, secret land of jockey elves, and non-Treehouse Of Horror appearances of Kang and Kodos. Thoughts? 

I kind’ve like this idea as it explains a lot. Roseanne (SPOILER ALERT) did much the same during the last season and dropped a bombshell about much of the show never actually taking place. Plus the inside of Homers head is probably a lot like the what the show is, minus the crayon of course.

How would you like to see the series end?

I have no idea! How do you end something so iconic? I would love to see that they maybe had a plan all along that would all be brought out in the last episode or season. They’ve started to reveal certain things lately, i.e. how the Tire Fire started and what not, but it would be so cool to have it all wrapped up at the end with a “OHHHHHHHHH” moment.

You can follow Chris and Vattnet Viskar at the following:
Chris Alfieri on Twitter
Vattnet Viskar on Twitter
Vattnet Viskar on Facebook
Vattnet Viskar on Bandcamp