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Non-Prog Interviews

The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview With Darkest of the Hillside Thickets' Toren MacBin from 2002

MSJ: Can you give me a run-down of the history of the band?
It was the call...the call of Cthulhu...which we heard collectively in 1992 and knew it was our duty to spread the will of Cthulhu throughout this world via sympathetic vibrations known only through our unclean instruments of rock. And the monster costumes helped too!
MSJ: Who are the members of the band?
Toren MacBin (singing and shouting and shooting ray guns), Warren "Comfortable" Banks (guitar and excessive rock posturing), Jordan Pratt (packing and unpacking drums and drum gear), Merrickman (singing and flailing about) and Troy Zak (keeping it unreal and occasionally playing bass).
MSJ: For those who haven't had a chance to catch you guys live, how would you describe the live show?
Indescribable. Unnameable. Unspeakable. Unthinkable!!! ...all with guitars. All I can say is that at our last show, one onlooker was heard to murmur "it was worth the five dollar cover charge just for the synchronized jumping".
MSJ: How and when did you first get interested in the Cthulhu mythos?
A friend (our current webmaster) gave me one of Lovecraft's books when I was about 19 or so...
MSJ: Do you read other author's stories in the Mythos (Clark Ashton Smith, etc.)?
Yes, mainly Robert E. Howard's stuff, and just whatever comes my way that I have the time to read.
MSJ: What are your favorite HP Lovecraft stories?
Rats in the Walls, Dunwich Horror, Colour Out of Space, Shadow Out of Time...and all the rest!
MSJ: What about your favorite Mythos stories?
Besides the actual Lovecraft source material, I really like the short stories of Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire. Seek his stuff out if you can! He's got a couple published collections available through Mythos Books...
MSJ: What have you been reading lately? .
Oh, you know...the Necronomicon, De Vermiis Mysteriis, and the Dungeon Masters Guide.
MSJ: What can you tell me about your art career?
Inspired by the works of Richard Upton Pickman. I too, do a lot of research. You can see some of my art online at my webpage
MSJ: Who would you see as the musical influences of both yourself and the band?
Erich Zann, Nomeansno, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, and to some degree Helmet and Tad
MSJ: How would you describe your music?
I wouldn't dare!
MSJ: Where would you like to see yourself and the band 5 years from now?
Bobbing up and down in the reservoir...if we're lucky!
MSJ: What was your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
When Jordan exploded.
MSJ: What was the last concert you attended?
You mean besides our own? I would have to say Ween.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought/what have you been listening lately?
Wheatus! It's great! Hardly eldritch but still well worth my time.
MSJ: What is the one thing you would really like people to know about Darkest of the Hillside Thickets?
What if I said it's impossible to keep it down to only one thing? Because it is. Firstly, the Spaceship Zero role-playing game that we've written and illustrated will be published this year from Green Ronin Publishing ( - it's the perfect compliment to our new album Spaceship Zero: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Secondly, we've got a new CD coming out that is a great sampler of our material. It's called Let Sleeping Gods Lie, and it's being produced in concert with the new Call of Cthulhu role-playing game rulebook from Wizards of the Coast. It's the perfect introduction to our band, I would say, and ALL the songs are Lovecraft-related. You may ask - how do I get my hands on a copy? Well, when d20 Call of Cthulhu goes on sale in March, Wizards will be setting aside a pile of them for the authors to autograph. And when you pick up an autographed copy of Call of Cthulhu from their online store at, you'll also get the limited-edition compilation.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 3 at
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