Michael Wuensch is one of my favorite writers. Not only for his uncompromising opinions but his unrelenting personality that is always infused into his somehow poignant and intelligible writing. Mr. Wuensch can be found all over the internet but mostly he writes for Last Rites. You can also find him on twitter tearing people new buttholes, coming up with genius insults and generally being a laugh-a-tweet.
A special thanks to Mr. Wuensch (@Captain_MW) for taking time out of his beautiful European sojourn to sit down and answer these questions. It’s not everyday that someone of his ilk recognizes the importance of Nine Circles and everything it stands for. So without further ado, the one and only, Mr. Michael Wuensch!
How did you first get into writing and have you achieved all your wildest dreams you set out to achieve?
I first got into writing when I was around 7. Or whenever the hell it is that extremely gifted children start writing. 5? 14? 23?
Most of the early days were spent trying to weave together tales that featured myself and a monkey I desperately wanted my parents to buy for me. One highfalutin adventure featured Monkey and I sailing a hot air balloon into a swimming pool in order to save some dumb kid from drowning. Sadly, my parents never bought me a monkey, but I did eventually become a “metal journalist,” so I suppose everything turned out fucking terrific. This year marks my ten year anniversary working with Metalreview/Last Rites.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get a promo, guest list or interview that you really cared about?
As far as I can recall, I have never debased myself for a promo, guest list or interview. If I don’t get a promo for an album I’m highly anticipating, I immediately harbor ill will toward that release and never listen to it. Of course, I eventually cave because I am extremely weak-willed.
I don’t like getting on guest lists because it makes me uncomfortable to have my name on a stranger’s clipboard.
Also, I very much enjoy talking to people from bands, but mostly spontaneously and off the record. This probably stems from the fact that I’d much rather ask questions like “what’s your favorite Girl Scout Cookie?” over something like “what bands are your greatest influence?” If a band member answers a question such as “What is your band’s greatest influence” with “Thin Mints,” I immediately hail them as being one of the most important bands currently producing music.
What’s your favorite animal and would you, or do you currently, own that animal? Feel free to also let us know what your Spirit Animal is.
Animals! I once took a first date to the Oakland zoo about a hundred years ago. We were having as pleasant a time as I suppose two people could have while brainlessly staring and cooing at jailed animals, but our lives were forever changed once we decided to visit the baboon grotto. For reasons best left to the great unknown, the baboons chose this particular afternoon to openly display the raunchiest, most warped baboon orgy the world has surely ever seen. Every position was on full display, and the lord baboon was sitting on a huge boulder surveying his kingdom while viciously playing with himself. Superb first date discussion material, but it pretty much ended any idea that a monkey might be my spirit animal because I despise the thought of being involved in an orgy. FYI, there was no second date.
My spirit animal is probably a cat: I annoy a lot of people, I cuddle with a small selection of people, and I enjoy shitting in sandboxes.
Did you ever think that you might end up on the other end of this business as a musician or was it always about being the critic for you?
I am a terrible musician. Those who cannot do, criticize. Those who cannot do OR criticize likely turn to… What? I don’t even know. Starting a record label? Karaoke? Vlogging? Maybe metal critic truly is the bottom of the barrel. It must be; we basically get paid in tears. Our own tears. Tears from wasting our lives away trying to figure out interesting ways to say “this is melodic/this is brutal.” Sigh. Life is the worst. What were we talking about? If I COULD be a great musician, I’d probably just waste the talent anyway. Do we really need another band that sounds like King Diamond or Grave? I suppose I wish I was a better musician so I could finally start my fantasy band, Sensual Hobo.
What are some of the most important issues for you and how do you insert those issues into your writing?
A lot of issues are very important to me, but I don’t really address much of it in my writing. Personally, I like to focus more on attempting to mix a little entertainment into what I write, as opposed to, say, proselytizing. Nothing against the proselytizers, but I’m probably not smart enough to get my point across in a manner that would matter much in the end. I’m perfectly willing to share my thoughts on issues with anyone who wants to know, though. Please keep in mind, however, that I am one of those repulsive liberals who may or may not be ruining metal.
What’s the stickiest you have ever been?
The stickiest I’ve ever been was probably the day I accidentally got my head stuck in that honey jar and Eeyore had to kick me free with an iron hoof.
If you had a minivan (which maybe you do) what artwork would you get airbrushed on it?
First of all, why buy a minivan when you can buy a maxivan. A real MAN’S van! Or a WOMAN’S VAN. WOVAN!
I have spent a surprising amount time thinking about what I would eventually airbrush on the side of my van. Live After Death done by someone exceedingly talented would be amazing, but only if it could cover every inch outside of the windows. In other words, the entire paintable surface. But then, what about the barbarians? The Wizards? The scantily clad Frank Frazetta characters? A fleet of vans is the only answer.
Why are we here? And what is the meaning of life?
We are here to eat Samoas. Everything else that happens in-between Samoa consumption is essentially horseshit. A High Life in a bottle on a hot day ain’t bad, either. Pretty much fuck everything else, though. Except maybe listening to King Diamond around mid-October.
What non-metal are you listening to this year?What advice do you have for aspiring music writers out there?
My advice to aspiring writers is to get your feet wet immediately, write about whatever you’re passionate about, do it as often as you can, and then look back at what you wrote six months later and realize that you’re a fucking terrible writer. Then get better. Repeat until cold, grim death.
What non-metal are you listening to these days?
A lot. Here’s a shorty list:
- William Basinski – Cascade [Gentle looped sombersomeness]
- Chris Potter – Imaginary Cities [Jazz]
- Eero Koivistoinen Quartet – Hati Hati [Jazz]
- Galley Beggar – Silence & Tears [Mopefolk]
- K-X-P – III Part 1 [Techno/Electronic]
- Nils Frahm – Solo [Mopepiano]
- Wilco – Star Wars [Black Metal
Thanks so much to Michael for his valuable time and entertaining insights.