The inspiration for my story, The Rain King, is on one level, a very simple one. It was the song Kingdom Of Rain (LINK http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEcXz7b2Bk0) by Mark Lanegan and redone by Lanegan and Soulsavers.
Listening to the song can speak to you more than any explanation that I could give. The story is just my meagre interpretation.
On another level, the idea of the exile, the misfitting into a society is one that has perfumed my life since I can remember. While at school in Wales I was surrounded by a mixture of uncouth but honest country kids, a smattering of the children of sixties hippies, their parents escaping to the countryside as their idealism was as blasted by their failed conscious revolution as their brains, and the offspring of factory workers from the Black Country across the border. I was an imported kid with an Evangelical Christian ex-postman father who let me, no, encouraged me to read his small library of books on religion and mythology, including his collection of the classic occult “Man, Myth And Magic” sixties series, and to watch Boris Karloff and sixties Sci-Fi movies.
The other love that my father passed on to me was the passion for music. Bible thumper, he may be, but my old man used to be the drummer in an R& B band in sixties London named The Vampires who had coffin-shaped amps. While the other children at my primary school would be singing along to the soundtrack of Grease, I would have Hey Joe whistling around my furtive imagination. Every Sunday my father would watch Songs Of Praise, switch the TV off and then, we would immerse ourselves in minor-keyed Blues, the desperate existential crisis of Pink Floyd, the manic wide-eyed howl of Little Richard and the funky soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar.
Songs of rebellion, suffering and redemption.
Yet while my father saw the light in it all, I saw the darkness. His Christ was a fluffy feel-good saviour, the speaker of divine self-help strategies; whereas mine was a tortured man-god nailed to the cross of existence with the rest of us, forsaken by his jealous and despotic Father.
Exiled from the light above in a fallen and essentially Noir world.
As I am writing this I am listening to the Black Soul Choir by 16 Horsepower where David Eugene Edwards sings “Every man is evil, yes. Every man’s a liar. Unashamed with wicked tongues sing in the Black Soul Choir“.
Bio: Jason Michel is the Dictator at PULP METAL MAGAZINE.
Exiles: An Outsider Anthology is OUT NOW from Blackwitch Press.