Eye On Springfield with Natalie Kahan of Wildspeaker

eye on springfield

Wildspeaker have very quickly become one of my favorite bands. Their take on hardcore, with a healthy bit of black and doom metal and crust thrown in for good measure, has found a place in my weekly listening rotations since discovering them. The blistering heaviness of Survey The Wreckage has become a stand out and easily one of my top ten favorite hardcore albums of all time. This isn’t hyperbole. I connect with Wildspeaker and what they stand for on a deep, emotional level. And one of the biggest reasons for that connection is because of their vocalist, Natalie Kahan. Her vocals are ferocious and captivating. But her lyrics are what really struck me. Focusing on the idea of nature over humanity and the atrocities humans have committed against mother nature, her words mean a lot to me.

Natalie is also a huge Simpsons fan. I’m very pleased that she took the time to answer these questions and can’t thank her enough for what her lyrics have done for me.

 

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
My first memories of watching The Simpsons begin around age five. When my older sister, brother, and I ate dinner with our parents we would insist my dad roll the TV near the table so that we never missed an episode. I remember at first my parents were iffy about us watching it, but, needless to say, their resistance was futile.
Who is your favorite character?
This is a sadistic question when you ask me to narrow it down to just one. I don’t have a singular favorite, but I do consider one to be a personal best and overall funniest.
I have had an especially soft spot in my heart for Mr. Burns since I saw the “Rosebud” episode with his teddy bear Bobo. I also love “The Old Man and the Lisa” where he is rendered useless when he goes grocery shopping with the “Ketchup? Catsup?” incident. After the Little Lisa Recycling Plant is introduced we see that Burns isn’t all badly intentioned; he just can’t help his evil tendencies getting the better of him. It’s so mischievous and cute to me.
burns lisa
I admire Ned Flanders and Monty Burns in similar ways. I think they’re some of the most interesting characters when you acknowledge their childish tendencies. Flanders is relentlessly positive, but I love to see when his hilarious temper flares out. Flanders is a lovable punching bag, forgiving, patient, and resilient on his good days. But in his rough moments he is judgmental, furious, anxious, annoying, and stubborn. I’ve probably never laughed harder than at the moment he meets his Canadian Doppelgänger in “Midnight RX.” Here is a link to a 10 minute loop of their nonsense conversation for your pleasure:
 I also love Milhouse so much I named my kitten Millie after him.
Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
The Treehouse of Horror series tops them all. I have probably re-watched and quoted Treehouse of Horror V more than any other episode. Treehouse of Horror VI has got to be my second favorite. In “Homer³,” where Homer and Bart travel into a 3D dimension is the most memorable segment of all time for me.
The Simpsons has a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
While regularly watching, the ones I was most stoked for were Blink 182 and N*sync. Kelsey Grammar takes the cake with Sideshow Bob though. Paul McCartney’s appearance was tremendously important to me because it normalized and shed a positive light to the public about vegetarianism.
mccartney
One of my first exposures to vegetarianism and feminist ideas was through Lisa Simpson. Has the show ever introduced you or influenced some of your ideals?
I can relate every single aspect of life to the Simpsons. Its attitudes and humor definitely had hands in shaping my outlook. Laughing through difficult times is probably the most important life lesson anyone could ever learn.
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
Metalhead comedian Brian Posehn would be a good guest if he hasn’t already been on the show.
What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of your work?
Really any of them would be awesome. I think Comic Book Guy would be most likely to come across our music on a Magic the Gathering forum somewhere.
Do you have a favorite musical number from The Simpsons? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?
I’d be stunned if I got to hear Blackbird Raum or Pale Robin cover Lisa’s union strike song from “Last Exit to Springfield.” Lisa’s voice gives me goosebumps in that one every time I hear it. “We Put the Spring in Springfield” from “Bart After Dark” is so good it even won an Emmy. I’d enjoy hearing Haley Reinhart and Postmodern Juke Box put their spin on it. She and the band do insane covers of pop songs in big band arrangements.
I’ve always thought Lisa Simpson would be the one character to end up getting into punk or metal. Who do you think will grow up and discover metal or punk?
I could see Lisa getting into Food Not Bombs volunteering for sure. I imagine she’d get down on Plan-it- X Folk Punk like This Bike is a Pipe Bomb and all the classic Riot Grrrl bands. If I could meet her, the perfect CD to burn for her would be Xrayspex’s “Germ Free Adolescents” because it’s feminist punk and most importantly features a saxo-mo-phone.
I think Bart would dig West Coast 80’s hardcore like The Adolescents or party music like Agent Orange. It was funny seeing him as Johnny Rotten and Nelson Muntz as Sid Vicious in “Love, Springfieldian Style.” (Also I am a huge Buzzcocks fan so I loved that they were included in the soundtrack there.) Comic Book Guy would definitely dig Powerglove.
Do you still watch new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop
watching?
 I never really stopped watching, but I definitely slowed down because jokes started to feel more forced or were lost on me. I will watch whatever comes onto Hulu but I won’t typically go out of my way to seek it anymore. I did enjoy a few newer ones like the Lego episode “Brick Like Me” and I was pleasantly surprised with how the “The Simpsons Guy” Family Guy crossover turned out. I thought it would be a mess but I’ve re-watched it several times.
How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?
The saddest part about this question is admitting that I want to see it end. It’s had a massively successful run but unfortunately at this point it’s run out of gas. I have read rumors that it might end on a Christmas episode so that it brings the show full circle. This end would be bittersweet but I’d be pleased by it.
Simpsonsgame
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Eye On Springfield with Jared Stimpfl from Secret Cutter

eye on springfield

Secret Cutter are a band that came out of nowhere for me. I randomly added them to my wishlist on Bandcamp and was very quickly gifted their album through the #MetalBandcampGiftClub. Their doomy grind/hardcore immediately caught my attention and proceeded to bludgeon me over the head repeatedly. I was immediately hooked and have listened to Self-Titled at least once a day since. The three piece create an incredibly heavy sound through just drums/guitar/vocals. There is no bass and you don’t miss it. In fact, I didn’t even notice until I started looking into Secret Cutter’s background that they didn’t have a bass player.

Drummer Jared Stimpfl was kind enough to nerd out on The Simpsons for me and I can’t thank him enough.

 

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?

I can’t even remember the first time I watched the Simpsons…But I was always excited for prime time TV Sunday nights for a new episode when I was a kid.

Who is your favorite character?

I love Troy McClure because he is always a part of something ridiculous. And Ned Flanders because he was super wholesome and you kinda hated him for it…until he ‘kills’ his wife!

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?

I love the Japan episode where the family travels there but has to go on a game show to win tickets back home…there was a moment when Homer loses his ticket and yells out in Japanese in a really long and angry way…and the caption of course was “D’oh!” So many good lines in that episode….FISH BULB.

homer japan

The Simpsons has had a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?

Not really sure!

Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?

Well he was already on so…JONATHAN DAVIS OF KORN!

What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of Secret Cutter?

Otto Mann because he’s always rockin something right? He should be driving the bus full of children to “Self Titled” for sure.

Do you have a favorite musical number from the show? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?

When Bart switches out the church Hym for “In A Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly was always my favorite. And I would only want to see them do it. OR Bongzilla.

iron

I’ve always thought that Lisa Simpson would be the one character to eventually discover metal or punk. What character do you think will be a metal head?

Millhouse for sure. He reminded me of me as a kid…just awkward. Then I found metal. And i’m still Awkward.
Do you still watch the new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember why you stopped watching?

I don’t unfortunately…I remember when family guy rebooted I started watching that more and then eventually ditched cable.

Finally, how would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?

That’s a tough one…Possibly Homer obliterating Springfield from job negligence and everyone dies a slow painful toxic death while ‘Aftermath” from Origin paints the landscapes behind their screams. That would be pretty cool.

 

sc

Follow Secret Cutter at:
Secret Cutter Bandcamp
Secret Cutter Facebook
Secret Cutter Twitter

Eye On Springfield with Joe Deermieer

eye on springfield

Joe Deermieer is one of my favorite noise artists, particularly his project Hoggle. Creating harsh noise walls inspired by the movie Labryinth, Hoggle is memorizing and intense. Joe also has a pretty amazing project called Heavy Metal Vomit Party, which focuses on old heavy metal albums run through a series of chains to completely destroy the source material. I highly suggest checking out both of these if you are into cool, weird noise projects.

Joe has numerous other projects that are all worth checking out that I will list at the end of the interview. Joe rules and all my thanks to him for doing this interview.

 

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
Growing up, I loved the show.  I can’t remember the first time i saw it, however, i do remember that it was on Thursdays when I was like 6 years old, and I was displeased that I missed it frequently because my mom taught aerobics at the YMCA, so I was usually stuck there instead of in front of the TV.

Who is your favorite character?
This is a hard one as there are so many great characters that are the best in their own right.  If I had to choose just one though, it would be Lenny and Carl.  Yes, I know that is two characters, but you rarely see one without the other.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
The one in which George Bush moves in on Evergreen Terrace is pretty awesome.  Also, damn near every Treehouse of Horror is amazing.

The Simpsons has had a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
The Ramones were on an episode, weren’t they?  That’s my favorite.  I also love when Tom Petty’s toe is cut off and lost in the Rock n Roll Camp episode, but that’s because i hate Tom Petty.

Who from the world of noise or metal would you love to see guest on the show?
Vicente aka Weon Culiao aka Bucket of Piss or Johnathon Cash aka Breakdancing Ronald Reagan would make for an interesting episode.

Do you have a favorite musical number from the Simpsons? Also, what noise artists would you like to see interrupt said song?
There are probably plenty of other awesome songs I am forgetting, but “See My Vest” was great.  It would be funny to see Vomir interrupting the song just standing there w/ his bag on his head. Norse Shit Band would be a great interrupter as well.

Is there a character from the show that you think could ever become a noise fan?
I think Moe Syzlak could find HNW appealing.  Comic Book Guy might like the harsh as well.

What character would you be excited to find out was a fan of your work?
Sideshow Bob.

I know you haven’t watch the Simpsons in a while. Do you remember what made you stop watching?
I’m not entirely sure.  I do remember that towards the end of college (~2004-5), I wasn’t finding the writing as funny anymore. I occasionally put it on if I remember and am able to on Sunday, but really, I don’t see it syndicated like it used to be.  I watched it more when Fox still put reruns on.

What would be your dream ending for the family and the series?
Gee, that’s a hard one to fathom.  Realistically, Homer would make some huge mistake while working at the nuclear plant and vaporize the entire town, thus ending the family and the series.

JD

To check out all of Joe’s work, just search for Planet Shithead, Pig Shrapnel, Extreme Chafing, Hoggle, Heavy Metal Vomit Party, Laboratory Fire, Dungeon Attire, Hair On My Food Tapes & Records, Serious Business CDr, and Busey Teeth CDr on Facebook. If you’re into noise, you’ll find a bunch of cool stuff. 

You can also stream some of Joe’s work on Bandcamp at:
Planet Shithead
Serious Business CDr
Hair On My Food Tapes

Eye On Springfield with Sean Barry

eye on springfield

For the last Eye On Springfield for 2015, I talked with one of my favorite people on Twitter, Sean Barry. Sean writes about metal for Consequence Of Sound and in general has some pretty excellent taste in music. We often bond over a shared love of bands like Deafheaven and Vattnet Viskar. He’s also a big Simpsons fan, helping contribute to the Treehouse Of Horror interviews I did back in October.

Thanks to Sean and I hope to work with him again on Xtapolapometal in 2016!

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?

I remember that it was the show my parents vowed I would never be allowed to watch when I was younger, but by the age of 7 or 8, I was hooked. We had a taped copy of “Last Exit to Springfield” on VHS, and I remember watching that episode a lot whenever there weren’t any reruns on TV. I also remember getting a Treehouse of Horror compilation DVD when I was in the fourth or fifth grade that I watched over and over and even out of the Halloween season.
I don’t know why I loved the show so much even though it was one that my parents mostly despised. I guess I just connected with it on some comedic or familial level that all Simpsons fans eventually do.
Who is your favorite character?
Milhouse, of course. It’s like that character is written for any sort of misfit kid who’s gone through divorce and spends their youth trying to figure out what kind of person they’re going to be.
Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
As I mentioned above, “Last Exit to Springfield” certainly has that nostalgia factor for me. The same goes for “Lisa’s First Word”. I remember finding naked Bart swinging from a clothesline to be the funniest thing I had ever seen when I was a kid.
More recently, though, with episodes being more available in the past year, I discovered “Marge Be Not Proud” from Season 7, and along with the inclusion of the eternal Thrillhouse joke, I found the episode to be one of the most poignant with Bart learning what it was like to grow up in your parents’ disappointment rather than scorn. It really struck a chord with me on first viewing. I think I even teared up a bit. AlsoBonestorm would be my pick for a Simpsons-themed metal band name.
The Simpsons has a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
It’s an easy pick, but I’m always delighted with Kelsey Grammar’s performances as Sideshow Bob. Even in the latter seasons with the writers just phoning in his Bart-centered homicidal plot lines, he still delivers every time.
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
I imagine Ghost would make for a really cool cameo in an upcoming Treehouse episode maybe worshipping Flanders’ devil.
Do you have a favorite musical number from The Simpsons? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?
Lisa’s strike song from “Last Exit To Springfield” still gets stuck in my head from time to time.
But when it comes to artists covering the show’s best songs, and I’m sorry here Nate, but I imagine Animal Collective playfully covering “You Don’t Win Friends With Salad” in the same sort of style as “College” from Sung Tongs.
I’ve always thought Lisa Simpson would be the one character to end up getting into punk or metal. Who do you think will grow up and discover metal or punk?
I could totally see Milhouse sporting a Deafheaven t-shirt in his early 20s (Because I often sport a Deafheaven t-shirt in my early 20s).
Do you still watch new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?
Not really, unless I feel optimistic about a particular episode because I’ve see some high praise for or something. Inevitably, though, I get disappointed with it and swear it off until another episode comes along with the same sort of hype, and then the cycle begins again.
The show’s jokes have just gotten too unfocused and seemingly specific for an audience that I don’t necessarily feel apart of anymore.
How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?
Unceremoniously, with no big plot points or anything; just the family gathering around to sit on the couch and watch TV. Something simple and open ended.
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Sean recently posted a best of 2015 list on Consequence Of Sound that is excellent. Check it out HERE! You can also follow him on Twitter HERE!

Eye On Springfield with Matt Solis from Cormorant

eye on springfield

One of my favorite parts of running this blog has been meeting some pretty awesome people working within the metal community. Finding people that can quote The Simpsons along with you from metal has been completely satisfying and fun. Ben Handelman from Black Metal & Brews turned me on to Cormorant earlier in the year and informed me that Matt was a huge Simpsons fan. Matt plays guitar and sings for Cormorant and appears on their three full lengths (Metazoa, Dwellings, & Earth Diver). Cormorant are beautiful and heavy and progressive and write some of the best black metal happening today. Check them out at the links after the interview. Thanks so much to Matt for taking the time to answer these questions!

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?

I’ve been on board since the beginning. When I was six years old, my mom came in my room and told me there was a Christmas cartoon on TV that she thought I might like. I ventured into the living room and there it was, the original 1989 Christmas Special in all its glory. It was unlike any cartoon I’d ever seen, and I loved everything about it. About six months later, the regular series premiere aired and I was once again transfixed by this crazy yellow family and their hellraising son. Those early episodes focus a lot on Bart as a catalyst for conflict, and I remember my mom being concerned that I was being influenced by his bad behavior…even though she was the one who introduced me to the show in the first place! But I turned out fine. No cherry bombs in the toilet, at least.

Who is your favorite character?

My favorite member of the family is Maggie—I even have a tattoo of her on my leg. I just think the writers use her brilliantly, particularly in the Golden Era episodes. She’s so much smarter than Homer and Bart, and it creates this hilarious dynamic where she’s always doing something that calls attention to their stupidity. My all-time favorite Maggie bit is in “Lisa on Ice” when she jumps up and catches a beer bottle that’s rocketing toward Homer’s head. Kills me every time.

My favorite non-family member is probably Mr. Burns. I love the running joke of how insanely old he is, like when he’s putting together a softball team full of ringers and all the players he wants have been dead for like 100 years. His old- timey vocabulary, infant-level strength and cartoonishly evil motivations are also constant sources of hilarity. Whether he’s blocking out the sun or stealing Marge’s mom away from Grandpa, he’s always up to something entertaining.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?

There are probably 50 that are in the conversation for Top 10, but my all-time favorite episode is “Bart of Darkness.” I think it’s a perfect representation of how good the writing in The Simpsons can be, and it has the best film parody they’ve ever done (Rear Window in the third act). One of my favorite bits ever is the “Can we have a pool, dad?” scene; I can’t even count how many times I’ve recited that one.

“Homie the Clown” is a close second—that might have the best first act in the show’s history. “Itchy & Scratchy Land” is also right up there. “We need more BORT license plates!” Basically, anything from Season 6 is untouchably brilliant.

The Simpsons has a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?

Albert Brooks as Hank Scorpio immediately comes to mind—that performance is unbelievably funny (“Homer, if you want to kill someone on your way out, it would help me a lot.”). James Woods in “Homer and Apu” is also absolutely classic. When he’s on the phone with his agent while he’s cleaning the Kwik-E-Mart microwave…it doesn’t get much funnier. Both of those guys ad-libbed most of their dialogue, too, so maybe that’s why they’re so great. And of course, who doesn’t love Cypress Hill’s appearance? “Come on, people, somebody ordered the London Symphony Orchestra…possible while high.”

Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?

Before he passed away, I always thought Dio would be a good fit. Maybe Abbath? The Simpsons are going to Norway!

What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of your work?

I think Otto would have an appreciation for our shredding guitar solos and general acceptance of the Dark Lord. Maybe he could even drive the bus on our next tour!

Do you have a favorite musical number from The Simpsons? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?

I love “The Stonecutters’ Song”—it has some really clever lyrics that work well with the all-male vocal melodies. That one needs to be covered by a really epic band, like Blind Guardian or Sonata Arctica. The entire “Planet of the Apes: The Musical” sequence is great; I could see Between the Buried and Me doing that one.

“Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?” is another classic with some hilarious lyrics. I’ll go with Neurosis to cover that one, just so I can hear Scott Kelly scream out, “I doooooooooooo…”

I’ve always thought Lisa Simpson would be the one character to end up getting into punk or metal. Who do you think will grow up and discover metal or punk?

Lisa would definitely be way into L7, Babes in Toyland, Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill. Obviously Jimbo, Kearny, and Dolph would get way into the thrash/skateboard culture and listen to stuff like Municipal Waste and Iron Reagan.

I could see Ralph getting into some seriously avant-garde shit like Arcturus or Sebkha-Chott. And then there’s Baby Gerald…a future grindcore enthusiast without a doubt.

Do you still watch new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?

I haven’t watched any new episodes in probably 10 years. I did enjoy The Simpsons Movie; it was smart to bring in a lot of the best writers from the series’ history, and they did a pretty decent job. I started realizing that the show’s quality was rapidly declining around 1999 or so…there were still some funny episodes here and there, but the consistency was nowhere to be found. The writing went from this sharp, outside-the-box satire to “herp a derp, look how stupid Homer is!” and I just totally lost interest. I wish they would just put it out of its misery already, but on the other hand, it’s crazy to think about how long it’s been on the air now.

Regardless, no one can take those Golden Years away from us (Seasons 2-9 in my opinion), and those episodes alone make any later shittiness well worth it.

How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?

I definitely don’t want to see it end too wacky, like something from Treehouse of Horror where they end up in space or some shit. Maybe an episode where they move out of Springfield for good this time (sorry, Cypress Creek!) and spend time with characters that have impacted the show throughout the years, like what they did in “22 Short Films About Springfield.”

matt

Follow Matt & Cormorant at:

Matt Solis on Twitter

Cormorant on Twitter

Cormorant on Facebook

Cormorant on Bandcamp

Eye On Springfield with Mort Subite

eye on springfield

After posting my review of the Curezum single One Hundred Years/The Top, I was informed that Mort Subite was a huge fan of The Simpsons. Obviously, I was very excited to find out that someone behind my favorite new project dedicated to the music of my favorite band was way into my favorite show. Based on some of the interviews I’ve read with Mort, he seems like a guy with a brilliant sense of humor. Especially when talking about the idea behind Curezum. The Cure and black metal should never, in theory, work together, but Mort and crew pull it off. Their single is being released today and everyone should go pick it up.

Thanks to Mort for answering my nerdy Simpsons questions!

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
I’ve literally watched the show since it was a short on the Tracy Ulman Show. I believe the first time I saw it was one of the Ulman epsidoes where Homer and Marge are tucking the kids into bed and they end up giving them all existential crises. It was a point of pride that I didn’t miss the airing of an episode for nearly 11 years after that, though whatever “cred” that’s garnered me is probably equally as dubious as whatever “cred” I’ve gained from Curezum.
Who is your favorite character?
It’s tough to say. If we’re talking pre-Flanderization, it’s Homer, hands down, simply because he’s potentially the greatest cartoon character ever created. The not obvious answer would be his (deceased) nemesis Frank “Grimey” Grimes, for the simple fact that he’s the only character in the history of the show to kind of “pierce through the veil” of the consensus reality of the characters on the show, exposing Homer for what he became, even though Grimey paid the ultimate price for it.
Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
That’s an almost impossible question, but favorites that spring to mind are “Bart Vs. Australia,” “Homer Badman,” and “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer.” “Burns’ Heir” and “Bart on the Road” are perennial favorites as well.
The Simpsons has had a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
Sideshow Luke Perry.
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
Actually it would be kind of hilarious if Varg Vikernes pulled a Werner Herzog and started appearing in cartoons. Werner’s always in on the joke, but the surreal disconnect of Varg showing up in some kind of twisted, not at all self-aware guest capacity as himself would be a totally hilarious headfuck.
What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of Curezum?
Milhouse. Not excited exactly. Unsurprised would be a better descriptor.
Do you have a favorite musical number from the show? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?
We’re Talkin’ Softball, covered by The Baseball Project, which is Peter Buck from R.E.M.’s baseball themed indie rock side project. The mere fact that I know that exists haunts me, and that it was the first thing that sprung to mind means I should probably get my head looked at.
Obvoiusly, the correct answer is Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want To Get Off, covered by Ulver.
I’ve always thought that Lisa Simpson would be the one character to eventually discover metal or punk. What character do you think will be a metalhead?
I have long assumed Kearney, Jimbo, Nelson and Dolph were all really into Priest and Maiden, so that’s probably just a foregone conclusion, but I bet you dollars to donuts Jefferey Albertson listens to power metal. Or at the very least, Stovokor.
Do you still watch the new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember why you stopped watching?
From about the age of 21 to around 26 or so I traveled the country extensively with little access to television, so my Simpsons addiction fell by the wayside of busking and, shall we say, “extra-curricular activities.” Season 11 is probably the last full season I paid attention to. A few years ago I attempted to play catch-up and got about as far as season 16 before the inconsistency did me in. I gave current seasons a few chances and there were some real gems here and there, but again, it was the inconsistency that killed it for me. I have no desire to buy a season on Bluray just to get some decent episodes, and even then have to hunt them out and remember which ones are good for future reference. The show still has the capacity to be great, it’s just really hit or miss anymore.
Finally, how would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?
I take no credit for this. Three years ago, /u/kungfukats69 posted this on reddit and quite honestly, if and when the show ends, if it doesn’t end like this, then there’s something truly wrong with the universe:
“The show begins with the family watching Itchy and Scratchy. They announce that the show is coming to an end and the entire family gasps in horror. They then announce that the last episode will be aired in a year’s time, and until then, a contest will be running; this contest will offer the winner the chance to write what will happen in the finale. The entire Simpson family applies.
Krusty is in charge of choosing the winner. He falls in love with one of the Simpsons’ idea and puts it in winners box. He makes a mistake though, he puts all five of their ideas in the box by accident. He goes on his show to announce the winner and pulls out five cards out of the box. Stumped, he reads all five names out, “Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.”
Flash forward a year later and Bart is in class describing his take on the Itchy and Scratchy finale to Milhouse, while showing us Itchy and Scratchy with Bart’s voice-over. He finishes and the class is silent, Edna Krabappel is staring at him and says, “After-school detention.” The scene then cuts to the power plant and Homer is describing his finale to Lenny and Carl. He finishes, a bell rings and he gets in a radiation suit. The scene cuts to a supermarket and Marge is describing her take to Helen Lovejoy, she finishes and strolls Maggie in the trolley to another aisle. Here, Maggie sees the unibrow baby and starts describing her take via waving and motioning. She finishes and the scene cuts to Lisa, she begins describing her take to Sherri and Terri. She finishes and picks up her saxophone to go to music practice. She walks in the music room sits down and then sees the time. She realises the show is going to be on in ten minutes. She plays the Itchy and Scratchy melody on her sax and bolts out. It cuts to Bart, he’s writing on the black board: “I will not talk in class ever again” he hears a bell, realises the time and runs out. Cut to Homer holding some plutonium at a conveyor belt when a bell rings at the plant and he too realises the time and runs off, dropping some plutonium. Cut to the supermarket and we see Marge and Maggie checking out and running through the exit doors. Cut to a birdseye view of their home and we see everyone rushing to take a seat in the couch. They look at each other, they smile, the Itchy and Scratchy music plays, and it cuts to credits.” (permalink to the comment on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/FanTheories/comments/yecdu/how_the_simpsons_should_end/c5ut3ux)
mort
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Eye On Springfield with Graham & Ben from Endless Swarm

eye on springfield

Endless Swarm are a powerviolence/grind band with a lot of noise tendencies from Edinburgh, Scotland. I was introduced to them by Ross McKendrick based on their song ‘Hollow Victory’ having a sample of Troy McClure starting it out. I immediately fell in love with the band and reached out for an interview. And then their drummer parted ways with the band. This interview would have been up a long time ago, but losing a drummer right around the time of entering the studio creates a huge upheaval. But here we are and the interview is done and I’m really excited to share it. Endless Swarm are an incredible band and should be checked out but everyone reading this. They just released their new 7″ entitled Pointless Existence and already have a split with Pavel Chekov set for release by the end of the year.
Huge thanks to Garham and Ben for taking the time to answer these questions!

What is your history with The Simpsons?

Graham – The Simpsons was always on BBC2 at 6 o’ clock, Monday – Friday here in the UK. I always sat down and had dinner with my family and that’s what was on while we ate. I fell in love with it at a pretty young age and a remember going through a phase where everything I owned had ‘El Barto” written on it and my pencil case, lunchbox and folders were all Simpsons memorabilia.

Ben – Like most 90’s kids in the UK, I used to watch The Simpsons on BBC2 during the week. I instantly found myself caught up in the huge world of Springfield and all the characters living in it. It was a cartoon on at dinner time so it was always felt like a bit of a bonus after all the kids TV programmes had finished earlier. I used to spend ages sketching all of the characters so I can probably credit that in some way to my love of drawing, too. Also, my older brother owned the “Do The Bartman” single so I can remember hearing that a lot.

There is a pretty large and diverse cast of characters on the show. Is there a character you see yourself in, for better or for worse?

Graham – Growing up it had to be Bart. I had that rebellious streak and I always found myself getting in to trouble for various reasons. I also had a pretty dorky mate who I guess you could compare to Millhouse in some respects (Scott, if you’re reading this I’m sorry). Another big part of my youth was skateboarding, which may well have stemmed from my love for The Simpsons. Furthermore, my relationship with my sister was very similar to Lisa and Bart’s as my sister was always very successful at school and always made me look bad!

Ben – As much as I’d like to say Bart (I did use to skateboard a lot when I was younger) I’d probably have to say the social awkwardness of Milhouse. That, and the fact I used to wear a pretty ridiculous pair of bright red glasses for years.

Who is your favorite character?

Graham – That’s tough! For me it’s either Bart or Otto Mann.

Ben – It’s pretty hard to pick just one. I’d have to go with either Otto or Moe. They’re always entertaining in any episode. You can’t forget Disco Stu though.

How is the show perceived in Scotland? Is it a beloved as it is (or was) in America?

Graham – Yeah it’s extremely popular over here, shops still sell shirts with Bart on it and it’s always on TV. Although it’s still ongoing, I’d say you have people who appreciate it nostalgically too.

Last Scotland question (I swear). Is Groundskeeper Willie a popular character there?

Graham – Yeah for sure, he was actually used during the Independence Referendum and was backing an independent Scotland which was really cool.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?

Graham – I’ve managed to boil it down to a few, so my favourite episodes are 1) Homer eats the chilli and trips out 2) Bart tries to find Santa’s Little Helper 3) Homer skates the canyon gap. There’s a bunch more but these were all the ones that stick out in my head. I was always a huge fan of the Treehouse Of Horrors episodes too.

Ben – There’s far too many to choose from. The ones that have always stuck in my mind are the X-Files episode, the one where Homer hallucinates in the desert after eating the peppers and one that Homer gains a load of weight in order to work from home. Also, the episode that Troy Mclure marries Selma. Mainly just for “Dr Zaius.”

The Simpsons has had a lot of great guest stars in their time. Who is your favorite?

Ben – Probably just anytime Kelsey Grammer is in it as Sideshow Bob or Danny DeVito as Homer’s brother.

Music-wise it has to be the Ramones singing happy birthday to Mr. Burns or The Smashing Pumpkins at Hullabalooza.

Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the Simpsons?

Ben – King Diamond. He’s already that ridiculous and over the top as a character that it almost seems like he was purposely written for the show.

One of my first real big exposures to things like vegetarianism was through Lisa Simpsons. Has the show ever introduced you to an idea that changed the way you view things?

Ben – I can’t say the The Simpsons has had that big of an impact on how I view things in life. I’ve always admired how well the writers managed to make the programme appeal to all ages and still include such a wide range of issues though.

Do you still watch the new episodes? If not, do you remember what made you stop?

Graham – I haven’t watched any new episodes in a number of years which is a shame but it wasn’t something I decided to do it just kind of happened. Not having TV is a large contribution to that and with life getting busier I just don’t have as much time as I’d like to keep up with The Simpsons!

Ben – I don’t still watch new episodes. I think I stopped watching around season 10. We were always several seasons behind over here unless you had Sky TV channels, which I didn’t, so I was never that up to date with them to begin with. I’ve watched the odd newer episode now and again but I just feel that they lack a lot of the clever writing that the earlier episodes had.

Finally, how would you like to see the show end?

Ben – I don’t really have an idea story-wise but I really think that they should have ended it all with a movie. It took them so long to actually put one out yet I don’t feel like it had as much of an impact as it could have had. It felt like just watching a slightly episode.

Graham – I hadn’t really thought about it but after reading over these questions I thought I’d have a look on the internet and read over other peoples ideas on how the show should end. I must admit that the idea of having a full season of ‘last episodes’, parodying other famous last episodes and having Bart and Lisa growing up for example. That could be fun!

ES

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Eye On Springfield with Dustin Grooms

eye on springfieldDustin Grooms is the mastermind behind the doom metal project Old Thunder. Behind all the crushing riffs hides someone who has an excellent understanding of songwriting melody and intensity, as portrayed in a song like ‘June 2, 1910.’ The song has been a constant favorite of mine since first hearing it, do to the beautifully put together middle section of clean vocals and emotionally taxing doom. Old Thunder was also part of my favorite split release of the year. Bloodlines by Twilight Fauna and Old Thunder is two bands writing some of the most heart wrenching and wonderful metal of the year. Also, I highly encourage Dustin and Paul to reverse this split and cover each others songs.
I had the privilege of meeting and hanging out with Dustin last weekend while we both saw Yob. Dustin is a charming guy and has some great tastes in music. It was a fun time and I look forward to hanging out again.

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?

I remember the Simpsons being one of those slightly risque shows that my parents still let me watch circa 1995-96 when I was about 7 years old. I wasn’t allowed to watch Ren & Stimpy because my parents thought it was little too over-the-top, but somehow The Simpsons was more permissible. I can’t remember any specific time when I first saw it; I just remember it constantly being there from the ages of 4-10 or so.

Who is your favorite character?

When I watched it as a kid, I obviously identified as Bart; I was sort of the black sheep in the family and was usually getting myself in trouble. Now, though, I honestly see Marge as my favorite character, probably because I see so much of myself in her: Her selflessness to take care of things around the household, and (usually) keeping cool in the midst of crises. For where I am now, I really see Marge as the backbone of the family.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?

“Home Away from Homer” is one of my favorites of all time just because it shows the strange balance and harmony that characters like Flanders bring into the Springfield universe; I think that Homer especially realizes that he may not always like Flanders, but he needs an irritating neighbor to keep him reined in. “Whacking Day” also sticks out as a favorite since it touches some nerves on some things I’ve dealt with working in education, e.g., Bart and others being “swept under the rug” for making their school look bad.

The Simpsons has a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?

Dude. Spinal Tap ’til death.

Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?

I’d love to see a post-humous tribute to Ronnie James Dio. There’s this visual in my head of Dio doing a killer rendition of “Heaven and Hell” while Homer runs around shirtless. As far as current metal people, though, Barney from Napalm Death would be a frighteningly good fit to have dialogue with Lisa.

What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of your work?

I’m pretty sure Moe already loves Old Thunder, given his chronicled bouts of depression and existential bitterness. He gets me.

Do you have a favorite musical number from The Simpsons? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?

“Dr. Zaius” from “A Fish Called Selma.” I think that was the actual first musical episode from The Simpsons I had seen. Long live Troy McClure. I’d like to hear Blind Guardian cover it; can we make that happen? What kinda connections ya got?

I’ve always thought Lisa Simpson would be the one character to end up getting into punk or metal. Who do you think will grow up and discover metal or punk?

I think it would be Maggie, honestly. Think about the factors: Youngest of three, usually not the focus of the family (lots of repressed anger and frustration), the quiet one. She has all the makings of a future metalhead or crust punk. I can totally see Maggie being the type to front an anarcho-crust outfit.

Do you still watch new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?

I definitely still watch new episodes. The Simpsons is one of those shows that, even at its worst, still has better writing and good running jokes than most other animated shows. It’s just so deeply embedded that I can’t imagine just not watching it.

How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?

I’ve read about the whole theory that the entire plot is just a figment of Homer’s imagination as he’s in a coma, blah blah blah. I’m not so much worried about that having an impact on the end of the series. If I had an ideal scenario to end the series, I’d like to see Lisa finally succeed and get out of Springfield. She (and Marge) is definitely the voice of reason in the family, so if she were to leave, it would be interesting to see how that would affect the family dynamic. Perhaps Homer would finally be the family man we’ve always known he could be and Bart would take on his role as the elder brother to Maggie.

old thunder

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Eye On Springfield: Treehouse Of Horror Edition

Treehouse_of_horror

Instead of the normal Eye On Springfield format, this week I sent 4 questions about the Treehouse Of Horror episodes of the Simpsons to some of my favorite people. Most of these are from fellow metalheads that have appeared on Xtapolapometal in the past, and a couple are future guests.

Treehouse Of Horror has always held a special place in my heart. As someone who has been watching the Simpsons and horror movies since I was a kid (I have distinct memories of watching It and Child’s Play when my parents thought I was sleeping), the idea that my favorite fictional family having these non-canon adventures in the world of Edgar Allen Poe and Wes Craven always made me really excited. Even still, they’re the one episode a year I refuse to not watch.

The answers that follow are great and have made me desperately wish The Simpsons would make some of these ideas happen (especially a Simpsons/Hellraiser mashup). Enjoy!

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Daniel Jackson (Void Ritual/Desu)

What is it about the Treehouse Of Horror segments that you love?

The obvious answer is that it’s a chance to see the Simpsons characters at their most fucked up and crazy. In the Treehouse universe, we get shit like Marge as a witch eating witch trial era children with her sisters, or Flanders as The Devil. Even in the later seasons, you can usually count on the writers to be on their A-game for the Treehouse episodes.

What is your favorite Treehouse Of Horror segment and why?

Fuck, that’s tough. I’ll have to list a few, because otherwise I’ll feel bad. Basically all of Treehouse IV is fucking magic. You’ve got “The Devil and Homer Simpson”, you’ve got Dracula. All awesome. “The Shinning” is a classic. And I’d include 50-Foot Eyesores, “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” and “Citizen Kang” in there too. As to why: I’ll just leave it fairly general and say that each of the episodes has some absolutely classic moments, like Burns saying he liked the cut of The Devil’s jib, or Homer’s “Do not touch Willie… good advice!” lines. It’s such a high concentration of classic moments, that it’s hard to really put into words why any of them is greater than the other.

What horror movie do you think would be a great Treehouse segment?

Hellraiser seems like a must. In fact, I’ll have a little casting fun:

Pinhead: Bart
The Chatterer: Grandpa (thinking of gags with his false teeth)
Butterball: Comic Book Guy
Nikoletta/Female Cenobite: Marge
Julia: Edna K. would have been perfect, but I guess either Patty or Selma now.
Frank: Moe
Kirsty: Lisa (Milhouse as the boyfriend)
Larry: Homer
Numerous lonely, day-drinking suckers Julia murders: Skinner, Bumble-Bee Man, Willie, Wiggum

I really want to see ‘Them’ by King Diamond get a Treehouse segment. What metal concept album would you like to see get a Treehouse rendition? (I actually got this idea from you.)

Since you’ve stolen my ‘Them’ idea, and going with ‘The Graveyard’ would probably be a tough sell, I’ll say they could probably get something fun out of the Gwar Universe. The problem here is that most metal albums are pretty humorless, and when there’s a coherent story to be had, it’s not usually a very good one. I’m sure there are folks who’d love to see a Operation: Mindcrime Treehouse or a Ziltoid episode, but that’s not for me. King’s stuff is perfect because it’s so wacky and full of personality.

Citizen-Kang

Dustie Pitstick (Duderus)

What is it about the Treehouse Of Horror segments that you love?

It ‘s a great chance for the Simpsons to take it’s many seasons worth of inside jokes and rich characters and have fun with them outside of cannon. For all the times Homer was ready to smash Flander’s head, and obviously wouldn’t in reality… We get to see that here! The writers have had a great storied history of playing parody with great cinema, television, pop culture, etc. This is a way to pay that homage to the great sci fi and horror that just wouldn’t make much sense in a context where you can’t kill folks and have wizards/vampires/robots. Just a fun way to take a moment yearly to blow the fourth wall away, and have a lot of self aware, campy fun. What’s not to love?!

What is your favorite Treehouse Of Horror segment and why?
The best presentation as a whole is likely VII. “The Thing and I” is responsible for some of the best one liners ever (“I’ll check Radio Shack!”). “Genesis Tub” was just a fun fantastic voyage homage into the micro verse that as far as the middle segment goes, is a great romp. And “Citizen Kang” rounding it out is classic Simpsons political satire, Great usage of mainstays Kodos and Kang, and I’m always a sucker for the yearly “Homer was actually right” underdog episode.

   My personal favorite as a whole is most definitely V. I have a lot of good memories of “Crime and Punishment” being my dad’s favorite before he passed, so it gets sentimental points on top of just being an insanely absurd episode. Every time Homer mentions using “the right tools” and then smashed the toaster open with a rock I come close to death with laughter. “The Shinning” is perfect parody, and responsible for the “No TV and no beer makes Homer something, something” quote. And nightmare cafeteria is filled with some of the best Seymour thinking he’s clever idiocy the series has to offer. The ending to the episode is also fantastic, with the family being turned inside out and deciding to sing it off. Plus Willie’s chance to shine in the episode via multiple brutal murders is a great running gag.

It’s not a popular one, but my favorite single vignette is “Night of the Dolphin” from XI. From Lenny’s death in the water (“Alcohol and night swimming. What a winning combination!”) to the head dolphins speech (“Snarky. Talk. Man. *cough* Let me start over.”) to the brutal animated war with the dolphins… It’s an episode that I feel just personally gets me.

What horror movie do you think would be a great Treehouse segment?

For all of the obvious parodies that the show has done, they have never properly touched on the Friday the 13th movies. There is a solid nod in “Boy Scouts in the Hood” when Ernest Borgnine finds the abandoned summer camp, but I would love to see a proper Treehouse homage to my favorite bad franchise. Speaking of bad, I’m sure they could have some big fun with a segment paying tribute to Troll 2. It is already unintentionally the best worst horror movie on it’s own accord. I’m sure the writer’s could have a ball with it.
I really want to see ‘Them’ by King Diamond get a Treehouse segment. What metal concept album would you like to see get a Treehouse rendition?
My immediate reaction is “Leviathan” by Mastadon, mostly since they briefly touched on a similar note in “the War of the Simpsons” when Homer goes after General Sherman during the couple’s retreat. Build a whole episode around that with the wild Treehouse of Horror violence level and it writes itself! Plus that album just rips, so you’ve got a great soundtrack built in already.
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Tom DeGroot
What is it about the Treehouse Of Horror segments that you love?
I love how over the top they can get because they’re not restricted by anything in the canon. It’s never sad when a character dies in Treehouse because it’s basically the equivalent of an actor playing a role in a movie where they get killed on screen but of course, in real life, they’re fine. Can only imagine that the writers have a lot of fun with it.
What is your favorite Treehouse Of Horror segment and why?
Tough question! I suppose if I had to choose, probably “Nightmare Cafeteria” from Treehouse V. The entire episode is wonderful though and the best Treehouse Of Horror episode ever I’d say. My reasons for liking this one are the same as the other segments in this episode: They manage to actually strike a really healthy balance between comedy and genuine horror. The Treehouse episodes tend to be far more on the fantastical comedic side rather than actually trying to scare the audience but this episode and this segment splits it pretty evenly. We can all laugh at Principal Skinner revealing far too much about the mysterious food called “Uterbraten” but also be genuinely creeped out at Lunchlady Doris covered in blood attacking the surviving children. Same goes for the pretty graphic scene of the family being turned inside out by the fog followed immediately by an inspired parody of “One”. Should also be pointed out that Harry Shearer absolutely kills it as a much darker and disturbed version of Skinner. Who knew that Marge’s pre-show warning about Treehouse V being really scary actually had some truth to it this time around?
What horror movie do you think would be a great Treehouse segment?
 
They haven’t really done a proper full parody of the Exorcist so that might be a fun one for them to go with. Certainly lends itself to a lot of material.
I really want to see ‘Them’ by King Diamond get a Treehouse segment. What metal concept album would you like to see get a Treehouse rendition?
Never really thought of that or honestly know if it would work. Maybe drawing inspiration here and there but not a full adaptation. I guess elements of “Operation: Mindcrime” might be an interesting Simpsons story to tell but it’s hard to visualize because I don’t see the strong comedy potential in most concept albums I’m a fan of.
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Sean Barry (Consequence Of Sound)
What is it about the Treehouse Of Horror segments that you love?
I’m a sucker for the anthology-style attitude of just wanting to tell a quick and creepy story with some laughs and classic horror homages thrown in.
What is your favorite Treehouse Of Horror segment and why?
It’s a 3-way tie because each segment excels in presenting that certain something that I love about Treehouse of Horror.
  • “The Shinning” from V because it’s such a perfectly done parody of The Shining.
  • “The Thing And I” from VII because the twist of Bart being the evil twin all along totally speaks to the Twilight Zone-y spirit upon which Treehouse of Horror thrives.
  • “Night of the Dolphin” from XI because it’s so ridiculous and so wonderful and is everything I want from a Treehouse segment.
What horror movie do you think would be a great Treehouse segment?
Hausu (or House) would be fantastic if they haven’t done that yet.
I really want to see ‘Them’ by King Diamond get a Treehouse segment. What metal concept album would you like to see get a Treehouse rendition?

Mastodon’s Leviathan would make for a great Moby Dick parody/trippy Treehouse segment.

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Kathy Bejma (Metal Cakes)
What is it about the Treehouse Of Horror segments that you love?
My favorite thing about all the Treehouse of Horror episodes, is that absolutely anything can happen-  They’re noncanonical!! All the kids get eaten in “Nightmare Cafeteria,” but they’re fine in next week’s episode. Most of the town gets turned into horrible, skin-eating, mutants in “Homega Man,” but then everyone is perfectly normal in the next episode. It’s great!!
Plus they do a lot of Twilight Zone and scary movie parodies. As a huge fan of horror movies, and The Simpsons, I love when the writers combine the two!
I don’t watch new episodes anymore, but I still try make an effort to watch the Treehouse of Horror episodes every year. They’re usually still pretty creative and entertaining.
What is your favorite Treehouse Of Horror segment and why?
I can’t believe I have to pick only one… Can I pick 3?
-Clown Without Pity
So much awesomeness in this segment!! The free frogurt, and when Homer says “Marge! Marge! Look! The doll’s trying to kill me and the toaster’s been laughin’ at me! Ewww… Dog water!” Then when Marge calls the help line, and their hold music is “Everybody Loves A Clown,” and finally the repair guy discovering that someone set the doll to “Evil.” Oh man… The whole thing is just so hilarious!
-Dial “Z” For Zombies
The Simpsons trivia night I go to every month, has a Halloween costume contest every year, and this year I was Bart from “Dial ‘Z’ For Zombies” with a cape and Thriller record on my head. I also had the book of spells to read from: “Collin…Rayburn…Nars…Trebek!” “Trojan…Ramses…Magnum…Sheik!!”
But that segment (also from Treehouse of Horror III), has some great lines:
“Dad you killed the zombie Flanders!”
“He was a zombie?”
“Take that, Washington! Eat lead, Einstein! Show’s over, Shakespeare!”
Then when the zombies are going back to their graves:
“Excuse me, I’m John Smith.”
“John Smith 1882?”
“My mistake!”
-Terror at 5 1/2 feet
A parody of one of the best Twilight Zone episodes! There’s a gremlin on the side of the bus!!
My favorite part is when Ned Flanders hits the gremlin with his car, and then wraps it in his coat to take care of it.
“It’s some kind of hideous monster! Aww… Isn’t that cute? He’s trying to claw my eyes out!”
What horror movie do you think would be a great Treehouse segment?
I think they could do an “It Follows” parody, but instead of a sexually transmitted demon, it could be something else more hilarious like whoever has a certain Alf pog or Malibu Stacy head or something.
And since Lisa is a bit of an outcast, they could do a “Carrie” parody, but you know… In a hilarious way. They could use her gazpacho soup instead of pig’s blood.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is my all-time favorite horror film, and if The Simpsons ran out of gas in Texas, I bet they could do a pretty clever parody of that too!
I really want to see ‘Them’ by King Diamond get a Treehouse segment. What metal concept album would you like to see get a Treehouse rendition?
I guess they already did the Treehouse of Horror episode where Bart, Lisa and Homer have nightmares from eating too much candy… But I’d still really like to see them do Alice Cooper’s “Welcome To My Nightmare.”
The possibilities are endless! Plus it’s such a classic Halloween record, you can’t go wrong!
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Shayne Mathis (Full Metal Hipster, Metal Injection)
What is it about the Treehouse Of Horror segments that you love?
I’ve always been a huge horror movie fan,  so mixing horror with The Simpsons guarantees I’m going to be stoked. Aside from that, I also enjoyed the feeling of being privy to some of the more esoteric references from those episodes. We nerds, dorks, and geeks are typically ostracized in middle school and high school so it was exciting to feel like you were in on something no one else was.  In it’s heyday, The Simpsons was loaded with cultural references and the Treehouse of Horror episodes where no different. The example that springs immediately to my mind is when Bart was dressed as a droog from A Clockwork Orange during the wraparound sequence in Treehouse of Horror III. The movie has had a cult following for years, but, for a geek growing up in the country surrounded by culturally illiterate rednecks, getting that reference felt like being part of some secret society.
What is your favorite Treehouse Of Horror segment and why?
Dial Z For Zombie is my favorite vignette. It contains two classic Simpsons lines: “Is this the end for zombie Shakespeare?” and “Flanders was a zombie?” The “Flanders was a zombie?” line is actually one of my favorite Simpsons gags of all time. It’s dark, but I love the idea that Homer is secretly hiding a desire to murder Flanders so powerful that he actually does it when given the chance. On a related note, there’s a callback to that scene in Deathgasm, a horror movie you should absolutely watch as soon as possible. Also, one of the fun things about the Treehouse episodes is that they’re non-canon so the writers can kill characters. In Dial Z For Zombie, the Simpsons were allowed to lay waste to a hoard of zombiefied Springfieldians (as well as George Washington, Albert Einstein, and William Shakespeare), and it was glorious!
What horror movie do you think would be a great Treehouse segment?
I haven’t watched a new episode of The Simpsons in nearly 15 years so I don’t know if this has already been done, but I always thought Night of the Creeps would make a good segment. In another attempt to conquer Earth, Kodos and Kang release a canister of space slugs in Springfield where they infect the townspeople. Bart, Lisa, and Milhouse could be stand-ins for the three kids in the movie and Chief Wiggum would obviously be the Detective Cameron character.
I really want to see ‘Them’ by King Diamond get a Treehouse segment. What metal concept album would you like to see get a Treehouse rendition?
I was trying hard to come up with something else to avoid being redundant, but King Diamond’s Abigail is too solid of a choice. It’s a good fit for Marge, Homer and Maggie as the central characters, and there’s a haunted house, murder, possession, and a ghost baby. I don’t know how you top that. An alternate idea would be a full episode based around the final track of doom metal band Old Witch’s album Come Mourning Come. The track is a reading of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Picture in the House that Old Witch provided musical accompaniment for. The track is 30 minutes long so it would take up an entire episode, but it would be a cool change of pace from the standard Treehouse of Horror format.
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Ross Mckendrick (RDM Visuals)

What is it about the Treehouse Of Horror segments that you love?

With the early episodes, it really gave the writers and animators a chance to go for more surreal, and often genuinely creepy stories. This was before the show started doing episodes about the Simpsons going to Japan and shit like that, when it was still about an ordinary family just trying to get by and get along. The Treehouse episodes gave them the chance to do stuff like turn Flanders into a werewolf, create the most popular adaptation of Poe’s ‘The Raven’ ever made, and experiment with 3D CGI animation and live action before those things became a fad.

Also, I fucking loved horror movies as a young ‘un, so watching my favourite programme tackle those tropes in it’s own inimitable way was the coolest thing ever when I was a kid. They hold a lot of nostalgia value, but they still hold up as genius pieces of writing today.

What is your favorite Treehouse Of Horror segment and why?

I’m finding it impossible to pick just one! I don’t have the DVDs of the show so I haven’t seen any of them in years, so at the moment I’m really dying to watch ‘The Shinning’ again, mainly for Homer’s freakout on the staircase. It’s also been far too long since I saw ‘Dial ‘Z’ For Zombies’, and I caught myself humming ‘Just Don’t Look’ today, so I figure that ‘Attack Of The 50ft Eyesores’ is due a rewatch too.

Also anything with Kang and Kodos, because “Ohhh, shazbot.”.

What horror movie do you think would be a great Treehouse segment?

The Evil Dead trilogy. It already has those surreal and comedic elements in the original movies which would be perfect for spooky Simpsons cabin antics, and Bruce Campbell’s voice and cartoon-like visage are a perfect fit for a guest role. Have Flanders voice the possessing spirits and hey presto, ya got Evil Ned!

Though if this actually gets made, I will sue those damn hack writers to hell and back.

I really want to see ‘Them’ by King Diamond get a Treehouse segment. What metal concept album would you like to see get a Treehouse rendition?

I don’t know if I actually know or like any concept albums, so I’ll just cast my vote as a +1 for ‘Them’, because it would be cool as fuck to see King Diamond in Groening-vision.

Thanks to everyone who took part in this. I’m off for some night swimming and alcohol, it’s a winning combination!
lenny