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Interview with: The Voodoo Organist

Picture yourself walking into a dirty biker bar on a Thursday night. You hear a thunderous organ bellowing from an adjoining room and wander over to discover the most unique one-man-band setup the devil has ever assembled.

At the helm of a skull-lined organ, drum machine and theremin sits The Voodoo Organist, snarling into the mic as if possessed by Elvis, and generally rocking out. The organ swells, the theremin sings, and the preprogrammed drums are a bit synthetic but necessary when you’ve sold your soul for a tour schedule and forgot to ask for bandmates.

Scott Weston is The Voodoo Organist.

I was so impressed with his first show that I bought his CD, “Exotic Demonic Blues” and a “voodoo candle” to share with my friends during our late night virgin sacrifices. Scott was so appreciative that he threw in an extra candle for our praise. At the time I was writing for a small alternative newspaper and had only heard rumors about this man: that he could sit solo on a stage yet fill out venue amplifiers like a three-piece.

Recently I received a copy of The Voodoo Organist’s latest album, “Holy Ghost Town,” after pleading my case as a broke fan that would whorishly write a good review.

“Holy Ghost Town” comes out February 15 and builds upon the last two albums, showing hints of devilish maturity (specifically with increased proficiency on the theremin).

Raspy-voiced like Rob Zombie’s ghost, with vocal coaching and an under-acknowledged talent for organ and theremin playing, “Holy Ghost Town” rounds out 13 new tracks of dirges, wails and lounge-haunting tunes guaranteed to scare the bejeebus out of radio jockeys nationwide.

This album isn’t Top-40 material and doesn’t even care to be considered. It’s a one-of-a-kind approach to music.

Monkeycube sat down with Detroit-bred, L.A.-based Wexton to talk about movie plans, New Orleans on absinthe and the future of the soulless:

What’s new with The Voodoo Organist?

Well, I’m getting ready for the Feb. 15, 2005 release date for “Holy Ghost Town” and planning my winter and spring tours. I’m also finishing up songs for a four-song, seven-inch e.p. which should be out April 1st. It’s the first of a limited edition 3 e.p. series; the second e.p. should be out this summer, and the third this winter. I also just found out that two movies coming out this year are using Voodoo Organist songs in them: “Die You Zombie Bastards” and “Return of the Living Dead 4.” No rest for the wicked.

We must know: Did you sell your soul to the devil and forget to ask for bandmates?

I sold my soul many years ago and up to this point have gotten nothing except good lyric material. And an addiction to whiskey.

Any crazy satanic events happen on the last tour?

No, not really. The most that might happen is I’ll piss off some close-minded Christian or something. Many people think I’m a Satanist. I’m not. I admire Anton LaVey; I think he’s pretty entertaining and a real good organist and thereminist. But I don’t believe in god or the devil — I’m an atheist.

So level with us, why the organ?

I started playing the organ when I was 10. My parents bought a mall organ, and I took lessons from a Catholic Church organist. When I was about 14, my parents traded the organ for a piano, so I took lessons on that until I was 21. I also got into synths and samplers in my teens, and grew up in the Goth-industrial scene in Detroit. I started getting back into the organ about five years ago, and it’s been my lead instrument since.

How did the theremin come into play?

I’ve always loved that sound — its used in a lot of horror and sci-fi movies from the ’50s and ’60s, but I never really new what it was. About the same time I was getting back into the organ, I saw the documentary of the theremin, “Electronic Odyssey.” After seeing that I knew I had to get one. And I think the sound goes wonderfully with the organ.

What’s your typical audience like on a tour?

I never know what to expect; I get everything from Goths, rockers, punks, rockabilly types, 16-year-old kids to 50-something-year-old couples. And pretty evenly mixed between guys and girls. I’m often surprised by the diversity I see.

New tour coming up at all?

Yes, in February I’ll be touring through the South, and in April and May the whole country. Check out my site or my MySpace page for listings.

How is “Holy Ghost Town” different from your last three albums?

I think it’s my best in terms of sound quality and song quality. I think (or maybe just hope) that I get better the more I do this. My first record (the sold out “Exotic Demonic Blues”) was the first album I made completely by myself. I wrote everything, recorded it all, etc. And I still do it all myself, but I do feel I’m getting better.

Other instruments/samples in this one (i.e. the trumpet in “Running”)?

I use pretty much everything and the kitchen sink — except guitars. On this album I’ve used my Hammond organ, bass pedals, theremin, a Korg N364 workstation, cheap Casio and Yamaha keyboards, harmonica, sampler, accordion, Acetone Rhythm Ace drum machine, and lots of percussion like maracas, tambourines, shakers, cans, steel drum, etc.

What’s in your CD player right now?

Ironically enough, the rough-cut mixes of the e.p. I’m working on. I just laid down vocals yesterday and I’m mixing today. When I opened the CD player, I had Negativland in there.

Who are your influences?

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Tom Waits, Foetus, Howlin’ Wolf, Alien Sex Fiend, Barry Adamson, Johnny Cash, the Cramps, the Doors, organists such as Lenny Dee, Sir Julian, John Buzon, early synthesists like Jean Jacques Perrey, Mort Garson, and exotica cats like Martin Denny and Les Baxter.

How did your sound develop?

Well, in the last band I had, I started getting more and more into the organ, and it eventually became my lead. Our four-piece turned into a three-piece, then we lost another guy and it was just me and a drummer. At that point I said screw it, I’ll just do it myself. I quit my job and started touring my ass off. My sound is evolving because, like with anything, the more you do it, the better you get.

Physically you’re not that big, but when you sing your voice sounds huge. Do you ever feel possessed or like someone is singing for you during a set?

Sometimes when I can totally lose myself, it’s kinda like being possessed in the sense that I just go and it comes out. But it also took a lot of practice. When I started, my voice sounded like shit. But I worked quite a bit on it. And my favorite singers have huge voices — Howlin’ Wolf, Screamin’ Jay, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart. I like that rough, screamin’, howlin’ kind of voice.

Anything else of note on The Voodoo Organist’s new album?

It has a great cover photo by my friend, Aimee Watters. Actually, I like the design of the whole record. The rest of the pictures (ghosts included) are pictures I took in the Death Valley area — they’re all from this ghost town called Hyalite.

Ever play weddings? Ever played New Orleans on absinthe?

I’ve played two weddings so far. I’ve played in New Orleans, but not on absinthe. Although I have gotten quite drunk on absinthe on quite a few occasions.

The Voodoo Organist’s “Holy Ghost Town” hits shelves on February 15 and is also available at

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