Saturday, September 22, 2012


We at Putrid ascendancy recently caught up with Vanessa Nocera of the horror/doom metal band WOODEN STAKE. Contained herein are extracts of the interview, where Vanessa tells us about her music, influences, and the scene back home.

PA: Across countries, continents, pervading oceans and language barriers, the love for extreme metal unites us. Hails from Putrid Ascendancy! Let’s begin with a brief introduction of Wooden Stake, in your own words.

Vanessa: We are a doom/death band that strives to not sound like anything you’ve ever heard.

PA:What releases have you produced so far, and where are you taking the band at this time? What’s next for Wooden Stake?

Vanessa: We’ve had many releases on many different labels around the world. Our first was a MCD “Vampire Plague Exorcism” released on my Razorback Recordings sub-label called Hexamorphosis Productions. Next was a split 7” with Druid Lord with the song “In the Godless Moonlight” released by Altsphere Productions based out of France. Then we were offered to release our “Invoke the Ageless Witch” 7” with Sarlacc Productions from Ireland. We then did a split CD with Blizaro, our full-length album “Dungeon Prayers &Tombyard Serenades”, another 7” with Sorcerer’s Pledge Records from Germany called “Black Caped Carnivore”, and finally our compilation album “At the Stroke of Midnight”. All CDs (except “Vampire Plague Exorcism”) and “Black Caped Carnivore” are still available through Razorback Recordings’ website.

PA:What are the lyrical themes knitting together your materials? What are the general messages you want to convey to the masses through your music?

Vanessa: The themes in the lyrics are a mix of occult themes, Satanism, folklore, horror comics, horror movies, horror novels, and the dark arts. I’m very much influenced by story tellers and I’ve always loved King Diamond for this aspect, so I try to convey that in the lyrics and music. I tell a story with the lyrics but my voice as well.

PA:What would you define as ‘success’ for your music? What in your opinion are a few essentials for newer bands to keep in mind while making their music to remain sincere to the genre, and its pioneers?

Vanessa: A lot of people start out to make something of his or herself in music and if that fails they take another path, even if it’s compromising to who they are and what they want to do. I would advise to never compromise and to instead sharpen what you set out to do in the first place.

PA: Is Wooden Stake a catharsis of your feelings?

Vanessa: Definitely! When I’m singing, screaming, growling, howling, screeching, or hissing I am letting out the turmoil that I’ve let dwell in me for years; it’s healthy catharsis. I’m most creative in Wooden Stake as far as vocals because it’s more involved than just death metal growling (which can be a tricky talent within itself). I make sure that pain comes through as well as vengeance in my voice.

PA: Do you think heavy metal as a genre has a distinct world view? How in your opinion, does traditional doom metal’s ideology vary from other newer doom metal sub genres?

Vanessa: I’m not someone who categorizes music to the T. I guess there are such things as sludge, stoner, and so on, but to me it’s just doom. For other subgenres of metal it gets more tedious than doom, but many of the subgenres of doom are just doom to me. A lot of bands’ content is interesting, but not enough to keep me wanting more. I’m totally into evil shit! I want Satan, witches, curses, Voodoo, etc. in my themes or I feel like I might as well be listening to Huey Lewis and the News or something like that.

PA:For a musician in this time who has understood his own experience, what are the most important aspects of art? What according to you, does your music portray?

Vanessa: Art should be thought provoking, somewhat intellectual, and have a meaning even if it’s metaphorical and the listener gets a different meaning than the creator. I think my music portrays anger, but also sadness and pain. There is a lot going on. Not too much happiness, but there is a time and place for everything and happiness doesn’t fit in too well.

PA: Growing up in an era, mainly dominated by extreme metal, how would you define the change in the atmosphere of the metal community world wide?

Vanessa: Metal is an ever-changing world, haha! Growing up, I was allowed to listen to metal, but when people found out my parents were letting me buy these tapes at such a young age my parents caught some grief over it. It’s still looked on as being for “lowlife” people in the mainstream, but it has become more acceptable because of how it makes its way into pop culture.

PA: What in your opinion are the weaknesses of old school extreme metal? How do you overcome this?

Vanessa: I guess something that I hear in so many bands that have an old school influence is that they start to sound the same after a while. There will be one aspect that makes them stand out from the rest, but it’s not showcased enough in the music. Running a record label I am exposed to many great demos and then there are some that I like, but I want more from the band. It’s really, REALLY rare I get a demo and take it out of the player after 30 seconds. I give everything a chance, but sounding the same is something I’ve observed from bands lately, or having an arrogant attitude of having to be fast all the time.

PA: America’s ambivalence when it comes to extreme metal is well known. How is the scene back home?

Vanessa: The scene here is okay. It could be better and it could be worse. I think wherever there are metalheads, there will be a dedicated crowd to keep it alive. Here in Kentucky the scene is good, but not thriving like it was a few years ago. When I lived in Chicago, it was the same.

PA: What according to you are the attributes of a perfect extreme metal record?

Vanessa: Originality and putting every atom of emotion into the riffs, lyrics, and vocals. If I hear something and think “they could have pushed just a little more”, I’m not disappointed, but I am left with wanting more from that band. I think anger is a recipe that should be in the forefront of it all.

PA: What do you make of the newer trends like deathcore, metalcore, djent embodying and claiming to be an integral part of metal nowadays? What in your opinion will the music scene be like in the decades to come?

Vanessa: I don’t pay attention to a lot of subgenres like this. I mainly stick with classics, but again, there are those times where I find something new that I like. I could never say what the music or metal scene will become because it’s always changing and always evolving.

PA: What is an ideal response to the parasites feeding on something established by our pioneers?

Vanessa:Quit ripping everything off and create something that will kill all the other bottom feeders. Don’t take advantage of the path made for you and make your own damn path.

PA:We at Putrid Ascendancy have always traditionally, put forth a question enquiring about our interviewees top 5 albums of all time. Fire away!

Vanessa: This is hard only because I have to pick one album from each band presented, but here it goes:
1) Metallica – Master of Puppets
2) Death – Leprosy
3) Mercyful Fate – Don’t Break the Oath
4) Black Sabbath – Sabotage
5) Emperor – In the Nightside Eclipse

PA: It’s been a pleasure! Leave us with a message for your followers among the ranks of the cult of Putrid Ascendancy.

Vanessa: My pleasure as well! Thanks to those who have fought with us and fought against us. Our supporters are greatly appreciated and hope to see Wooden Stake play live one day. You can get our merch through Razorback Recordings’ website (listed below), and you can contact me personally via facebook, or email:

Wooden Stake
Horror/Doom metal.
Wooden stake are : Vanessa Nocera - Vocals/Bass
                                   Tony Proffer - Guitar
                                   Wayne Sarantopoulos - Drums

Website :
Myspace :

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