Band Interview: Elvorian Spivey

Hello, we are so excited to interview you! It has been such a crazy few years. How have you been? Did you pick up any hobbies (old or new) during the pandemic?

Thank you Morticia for the chance to be interviewed. I have always sort of strayed away from the lime light, Elvorian on stage is a different story. These past two years of pandemic have been surreal and frightening. Due to having to be homebound I got to do a great deal of art work, mostly collage and painting. I have to create or I'm climbing the walls.

We would love to ask about your music career from Anima Mundi, Penis Flytrap, and your many other projects. Tell us about your experiences and times in these bands?

My career in music started by playing guitar while still in high school. That was many moons ago. At that time I had to play with all boys because I didn't know of any girls in high school that played electric guitar, I mean we're talking the late 70s. I was a big Bowie freak at that time and punk was just starting out. Since I had always felt sort of like an outsider and very rebellious, punk rock sort of felt like it fit. Countercultural bands interested me the most both British and American. Since the Sex Pistols first appeared in the late 70s I was devoted. But as time went on I focused on local Los Angeles bands. I was interested in the infamous Rick Wilder's Mau Mau's, Black Flag, 45 Grave, and the Dead Kennedys ( San Francisco) I figured if the police showed up at their shows then something good must be going on.

Do you have a favorite experience from your time in Anima Mundi and Penis Flytrap?

The band that I'm most known by and recognized for came about in the 90s and that is Penis Flytrap. I am the pointed eared guitarist. My best friend Mary (aka Dinah Cancer of 45 Grave ) is the lead singer/song writer. We didn't want to just play out we wanted to put on a show. And that's what we did. The other two members of the band are Lucifer Fulci and Hal Satan. We are all into horror movies and the occult. Since I was really into symbolism at the time I wanted a character onstage that was comprised of symbols. Thus I had pointed ears (elves or aliens), I had a mohawk (native Americans or punk) and I had vampire fangs. Some of our fans didn't know what to make of me... On top of it all I also looked very androgynous. Death Rock became my music of choice later on because I loved the goth fashion but loved a harder sound. Penis Flytrap was Deathrock and even referred to as a horror rock band due to some of our stage shows. And we got asked to play horror conventions. One of my favorite shows with Penis Flytrap was when we played a festival in Germany that I think eventually turned into the Leipzig festival. We had very devoted German fans there. The best time I had with Anima Mundi was when we toured with Conflict and I got to meet Conflict.

Some photos of Mary (Dinah Cancer) and Elvorian. Some photos come from Elvorian's personal album!

What other projects did you have after Penis Flytrap?

The bands that I played in after Penis Flytrap was Anima Mundi and Elvorian and The Veins. The Veins is my current project. Anima Mundi was a band that I played in right after Penis Flytrap. I was approached by William Faith to play in his new project. I knew William from his multiple music projects, his last being 'Faith and the Muse' with his wife Monica at the time. I also knew William because he had produced and engendered Penis Flytrap's second album 'Dismemberment'.

Can you tell us about the band you were in that fought and used their music for animal rights activism? We love bands like this, activism is so important and when musicians use their music to create change and impacts it's such a beautiful thing!

Anima Mundi focused on animal rights activism. All the members were vegan. William and his wife Monica were the vocalists and the music was punk. I played lead guitar and learned a great deal while playing with William. Anima Mundi and the British activist band Conflict did a west coast tour together. They're a brilliant band have many albums out and have been around for ages. Conflict were a blast to play with they are vegan, animal rights, and activists. William also produced Anima Mundi's album. I got to write some of the music for that album. The band also contributed a song that William wrote to a film, 'Behind the Mask' which is about undercover exposure of animal cruelty. The song contributed is about the ALF animal liberation front. Very touching film. I am an animal lover and believe in animal rights activism. Even though the ALF is considered a terrorist organization by US govt. I was involved with them years back.

When did Elvorian and the Veins start? Is there a meaning behind the band name?

Elvorian and the Veins started around 2009. It is more of a personal style project for me in that I front the band and write or have partially written all the material. The songs span a long time in my career. The name 'Veins' is due to the fact that veins bring blood back to your heart...I have the best seasoned musicians with me. All have played in numerous projects. Steve Valencia is an amazing Keyboardist and dear friend. Danielle Elliott is equally talented drummer and plays in two other punk projects at this time, Lady Hump and Kitten Fishing and is a very hard hitter. Laundru is the bass player and also the recording engineer for Penis Flytrap's first album 'Tales of Terror' Landru was also in the band Creepazoid who played a show with Penis Flytrap.

It is no secret that you play the guitar and have influenced many girls in punk, deathrock, post punk and even indie rock. Do you have any advice for girls who are starting to play the guitar? Words of wisdom or tips?

Words of wisdom for the girl and women guitarists today...I think the most important thing is to play from your heart and don't let anyone try to change your personal style. Be open minded, original and no matter what persevere.

Your band members are all talented and create their music so eloquently around your voice – on stage everyone is doing their own thing but it fits together like a beautiful puzzle! What are your influences? What brings you peace when things are hard? Do you have a favorite venue or event you have played – tell us about that? Is there any advice you would like to share with us for other musicians? Are there any causes you are passionate about? Lastly, do you have any furry or scaly friends?

My favorite venue to play is the Que Sera 'Release the Bats' night. I love how Dave and Jenn have helped keep the bands alive. My favorite show with the Veins was on my birthday at Release the Bats' night. I had brought my dear friend and experimental filmmaker Ken Anger. He actually stayed inside for our set but it made his ears ring for two days. I've never heard the end of it. What I do when things get stressful is listen to music or play guitar. To pass any info on to any bands would be to be professional when you play a show. People talk so don't burn any bridges. And being in a band may seem glamorous but be prepared to wait for long periods of time. Sound checks and set times feel like hurry up and wait. Causes that I'm passionate about are to end factory farming and learning to be self-sustaining through growing your own. As far as furry friends I have a calico cat with a marvelous personality and I had a cockatoo for over twenty years. He died when covid started... coincidence?

Elvorian with Dave and Jenn Bats of Release the Bats

Elvorian you like to create art aside from the art you make in music! Can you tell us about your art, and what it means to you?

My art work apart from music is ceramics, collage, and some painting. I always tend to save photos that I like from magazines and have amassed a whole box of pictures. So I like to collage so I can see those pictures.

I am always excited to hear when a band member or band is indigenous like me! I heard you are part Cherokee and belong to the nation! Would you like to talk about your tribe? Do you have any causes you would like to talk about related to indigenous people and/or your tribe?

And yes, I am part Cherokee and registered with the Cherokee Nation. My grandfather was Cherokee from Oklahoma. I can say a few words in Cherokee and go back to Oklahoma for the Cherokee national holiday. A number of years back I helped to start the Los Angeles satellite group of the Cherokee Nation. It's called Tsa La Ghi LA. I was a council member for about five years. My concerns for native Americans is being able to recoup land taken from them, stop domestic violence on reservations, and to be able to retain our Cherokee language.

Art by: Douglas Miles

Since you are vegan, can we ask you about why you chose to be vegan and how long you have been vegan?

I was raised as a vegetarian as a child and by the time I hit my thirties I became vegan. I love being vegan and I don't miss eating any animal products. I figure if you love animals then don't eat them.

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