For those unfamiliar, Dan is the mastermind behind the one man black metal project, Void Ritual. Taking influences from the 2nd wave of black metal and trying to “create something as ugly, hateful and callous as the world we live in”, Void Ritual’s first EP, Holodomor, definitely delivers on that goal. Based on a 1930’s man-made famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, the EP is a bleak and intense listen. Void Ritual has also released a split with black metal band Barshasketh via Broken Limb Recordings.
Dan also has an upcoming death metal project in the works, entitled Desu. Basing the lyrics on kaiju films, specifically Godzilla, Dan has released two songs on Dewar PR compilations (you can find them HERE. )
Dan is an incredible human being and musician. I encourage anyone reading this to check out the links after the interview and buy the Void Ritual releases.
What is your first memory of The Simpsons?
The first Simpsons-related thing I can remember is my Grandpa yelling at me for watching it in the first place. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house because my parents’ divorce was so acrimonious that they needed to use my grandparents’ house as a sort of neutral territory for pickup and drop off during visitation weekends, so I would be over there a lot on Sunday nights. The first time he saw me watching The Simpsons, he called it garbage and told me to change the channel. This would have been around 1990 or ‘91.
There is a pretty diverse cast of characters in Springfield. Who do you relate to the most? Why?
Probably Homer. I might seem a bit more bright than he is, but that’s just on the surface. I’ve stumbled my way upward, I’ve made a ton of mistakes and yet people still seem to like me. Basically, everything Grimey was mad about; you could accuse me of those same things. Cosmetically there are similarities there too: I started losing my hair in my 20s, I’m way out of shape. But aside from all of that, I also relate to Homer’s desire for life to be easy, to want to enjoy life without the harder bits. He’s also an optimist and a pessimist simultaneously, which weirdly makes sense to me. The switch for him going from “the world is amazing” to “there’s no hope for any of us” is flipped so easily, and I kind of understand that.
What is your favorite episode?
A Star is Burns. I almost said the Spinoff Showcase, but the last third brings it down some. 22 Short Films is up there too.
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.)
The idea of abandoning a religion or at least the church. Homer the Heretic planted seeds that wouldn’t sprout for a few more years, but that episode’s irreverent attitude toward religion was the first time I could really remember wondering to myself about why things in church were the way they were. Why were there all of these rules? Who decided on the rules that weren’t really in the bible? The idea of questioning Christianity was obviously a huge deal for me once I got older.
Do you have a favorite guest star?
The obvious answer is Phil Hartman, with Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz being absolutely tremendous characters, but I also have a soft spot for Harvey Fierstein as Karl in the episode where he acts as an assistant/life coach of sorts for Homer after his hair treatment got him a big promotion. It’s an episode I wish could have happened a bit later in the series because there’s something really compelling about Homer getting a taste of what life would be like if everything had gone how he’d hoped it would, only to have it snatched from him and snapped back into reality.
Who is someone you would like to see guest on the show?
I’d be in heaven if King Diamond did a Treehouse Of Horror episode. He seems like he’d be a natural. Plus, they just had Halford on within the last year or so, so the groundwork has already been laid.
The Simpsons have had some classic musical numbers. Do you have a favorite?
Spring in Springfield, with a special shout out to Marge’s awful response song after that.
You have a project based on Kaiju. How has there never been a Godzilla spoof for Treehouse Of Horror? If they ever did one, what movie would you like to see them spoof?
The writers do seem to like King Kong more than Godzilla as they had the Treehouse of Horror with the King Kong spoof, and Homer’s love of late night Ape movies on TV. I mean, I’d love to see it. They did have that bit at the end of the episode where they go to Japan where Godzilla had a hold of their airplane and Mothra, Rodan and Gamera were there too, although I’m pretty sure Gamera has never appeared in a Godzilla movie or Vice Versa.
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?
Sure, it’d be fun if that kind of attention to detail paid off eventually, but it’s just a happy coincidence and something for nerds like us to discuss to get even more involved than we already are. On the other side of the coin, I get this vision of Homer at the Itchy, Scratchy & Poochie panel at some convention just being like “what the hell are you talking about?”.
How would you like to see the series end?
I genuinely don’t know. How could you end something that’s gone on for so long in a satisfying way? I mean on the surface you’d think, “alright we want to bring back people who wrote classic era Simpsons episodes” and then also decide which long running gags do they want paid off. Do you want to find out which state the Simpsons live in or do you want that left alone? Do you want it to turn out that Burns has actually been in love with Smithers from day one and was simply afraid to act upon it? It’s impossible to please everyone because people argue about things you’d assume were conventional wisdom or unanimously loved. It will have to end, but I think they’d probably need another movie to do it. There’s so much to tie up. The truth is that I have no idea how it should end.
You can find Dan Jackson and his musical projects at: