Tad Morose: It’s About Frustration


“Today my favorite song [off St. Dominius] is Where Ignorance Reigns,” says Ronny Hemlin, the lead singer of Tad Morose. “Tomorrow that might change,” he says with a bit of a chuckle.

Read the Full Interview

A Letter to those who are Opposing the Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality

Dear Religious Conservatives:

I want to thank you. I see you running around, so very desperate to eliminate marriage everywhere. I see you claiming that the Supreme Court has no say in laws. I see you passing bills to lower your flags to mourn the loss of “traditional” marriage. I see you railing against progressive agendas.

See, I thank you because in showing your fear of Queer Equality, what you are doing is telling us how terrified you are for your children and grandchildren. You are terrified that they are going to grow up in a world where people will judge them, where they will be beaten, ostracized, bullied, denied housing, denied loans, denied adoption. You are terrified that their children will be taunted. You are so scared for your children that you are willing to change everything you believe in just to make sure that “traditional” world is upheld.

But, and hear me out, okay. Because I think you need to take a breath. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Count to four. Do it again. One more time. You with me? No? Okay. Once more.

We good? Okay.

So, I get it. You’re scared. You are so scared for your children and your grandchildren that you are in panic mode. Things are different and different is scary! Different is so scary! Trust me. I’m a creature of habit and just having to go to a meeting on a night when I usually don’t have one can cause meltdowns.

But, we need to talk. Because here’s the truth: it doesn’t matter how many flags you lower, it doesn’t matter how many marriages you refuse, it doesn’t matter how you rail against the Supreme Court – we are here. We’ve been here since the dawn of time and we aren’t going away.

Hey, hey. Breathe. Okay. Stay with me.

Let’s channel your fear though. Instead of lowering flags and mourning the loss of morals, instead let’s make sure that your grandkids won’t be kicked out of their house and end up homeless. Let’s make sure that schools understand safety needs and that adoptions are available for every loving parent. Let’s stand together when children are bullied. Let’s put our feet down and link our arms and stand in front of the cops who are killing trans women of color. I know you’re scared. I know you’re scared because like the Queer community, you remember the AIDS crisis. You remember people dying. You remember that for a time, to be “gay” meant to die. You remember how riots and Pride parades upset your comfortable weekends and people who were different than you were suddenly marching in the streets. I get that we live in a scary time in general – technology changes every time you blink, we’re always at war with someone, the government’s always out of money, and you could really care less about those Queers down the street because you just want to make sure your kids don’t have to move back in with you.

I get it. It’s fucking scary.

Hey, sorry. I know. Words like that. Sorry. Stay with me.

I get you want to be with your kids in whatever afterlife you believe in. I get that you were raised in a world where strict moral standards were dictated by a man in a suit (or a collar) from the pulpit and that man said that certain things were wrong and that stuff made sense at the time.

But do me a favor. Take a breath and look at your kids. Look at your grandkids. Statistically, you’ve got someone “like that” in your family. So slow it down. Put the flag back. Let them get married. Because we have real issues to tackle together. I know you don’t like seeing kids committing suicide any more than I do. I know your heart is breaking and I know you have no idea how to handle it.

So, take my hand. Let’s do this together. I know you care deeply about the people you are terrified for.

So seriously, let’s have a conversation.

All my love.

In peace with the Gods.


Album Review: Thundermother, Road Fever

Truth is, there isn’t enough solid, classic rock out there in the world, but don’t worry music lovers, Thundermother is on the case. And while perhaps the most revolutionary thing about this rock band is that it is made up of five women, this collection of work leads one to wonder why in 2015 the reality of women who rock should still feel revolutionary.

Read Full Review Here

Album Review: Tad Morose, St. Demonius

Giving us proof that the high flying metal styles of the 80’s, a la Iron Maiden and Judas Priest have not faded into nothingness, St. Demonius, the new album from Sweden’s Tad Morose, brings classic, hard hitting guitars and operatic vocals to an album that is dark from the opening chord…

Full Review Here

Raging Down Under

Nick from October Rage was awesome and gave me an interview about where his band is and where it could be going (spoiler alert: back to the US!) Check it out!

I’m happier than I’m coming across. I promise.

I should be crying. I should be celebrating. I should be shouting from the rooftops. I’m not.

Okay, I am. The more I wake up, the more it sinks in. As of today, I could go grab my girlfriend, go to the courthouse, get married, move to New Mexico, and our marriage would still be recognized. As someone who doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage (despite how often I write about it in my stories), I’d never do it. But believe me when I say that I’m celebrating for those who now choose to participate. I am applauding and crying and laughing – all internally. I am so happy that the Supreme Court finally ruled the way civil rights attorneys have been talking for decades – that the 14th Amendment covers the Queers too.

But when I checked facebook this morning, my feed way gayer than it had ever been. Rainbows EVERYWHERE. A plethora of rainbows. Rainbows rainbows rainbows. And it should have been. It should be. It should be full of what it is, quotes from the ruling, and people singing that love has won out, and now we don’t have to use stupid terms like “opposite sex marriage” because marriage is fucking marriage and it doesn’t matter who you are.

I just wish it wasn’t the end all, be all for the queer community. I wish that we were rallying behind our Trans* sisters who are languishing in detention centers, our family who is being murdered, our children who are being bullied, our communities that are being erased. While we’ve been fighting for MARRIAGE OH MY GOD MARRIAGE around the country, Planned Parenthood Centers are closing and abortion rights are being rolled back and despite the ACA it’s harder than ever for some women to get birth control. There is still a wage gap. Churches are burning. Police are killing young black men and women. Indigenous women are disappearing and no one is talking about it. Today a pastor is laid to rest because a young racist man decided to open fire in a church. Queer People of Color are still not safe to come out in many communities. STD rates are rising. Children as young as 12 are committing suicide. Trans* and Sexually Fluid people are still being erased from even the President’s Comments about today’s historic ruling.

When you think about it, the fight just to level the playing field seems so overwhelming. So of course we want to celebrate every fucking victory. Without these victories, nothing seems to matter. Nothing. Without these victories, it’s hopeless. So you bet I’m so thrilled. I really am. I’m also just so fucking exhausted. Because in his victory tweet, even the President singled out gays and lesbians. Hey guy, we’re over here too.

Today I say FUCK YES to the Judges who ruled in favor of, you know, legality. I say HAPPY MARRIAGE or HAPPY ENGAGEMENT to the people who are racing off to FINALLY make those unions legal. I say SCREW YOU to the assholes who want to hold us back (light myself on fire guy? where are you now?) And I say okay, we got this done …

What’s next, Queer America? Cause we sure as HELL ain’t done.

Fandom is a funny thing …

It’s 12:43. I should be asleep but the coffee’s got me awake and so I’m waiting for the wine to kick in. (Shut up, it’s healthy in some universe.)

Anyway. I’ve been making some changes in my writing life over the past couple of weeks. Now that Pride is over, I’ve been looking more and more at freelancing work – you know, so I can stop saying I’m a writer and actually be a writer. There’s some connection in there about showing and not telling, but it is later than I should be awake.

But the other thing that I’ve been doing since Pride is getting established with the Sick Puppies World Crew Ambassador crowd. It’s been an interesting process because as I’ve been doing it, I’ve been reminded about the power of fandom when you want it to succeed, when fandom has the potential to be family.

If you aren’t aware of the Sick Puppies, don’t worry. A year ago, I wasn’t either beyond “Oh, they’re the guys who sing Maybe.” I was introduced to them at a concert, one I’d attended because of Lacuna Coil. Imagine my astonishment when the veteran Italian rockers were not the headliners but instead this upstart trio – who proceeded to blow the doors off of the terribly designed venue. Never have I been so glad to stick around.

There’s something special about a band that just wants to rock, but few bands out there have transcendent talent. (Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale is one of those, but you can see my fangirling for that in earlier posts.) The truth is, what makes Sick Puppies isn’t just the kickass awesomeness they bring to a show, but the rhythm stylings of Emma Anzai, who commands the stage and the bass she wields. And that was what I took away with me after the show.

I went home, I researched the band, I got into their music, and I did what I haven’t done in years – I joined up with a webforum to meet other fans. I mean, wasn’t that what facebook was for?! Nope. I joined up. And it was then that I realized these guys had something special. So, I took the next step and this past week joined the ranks of the Ambassadors – those who are determined to help Sick Puppies achieve world domination. I’m highly amused by that tagline because my friends like to say that I’m trying to achieve world domination with my writing. I’m not sure it’s happened yet. 😉

But this cycles me back to my point – the power of fandom.

Used to be, those of us who were passionate about something, unless it was sports (Go Jazz!) were treated like outcasts. We were the geeks and the nerds and the laughter-snorting dweebs who sat around in dark rooms and watched our shows to the point of memorization and wrote fanfic and dressed up in costumes and … and … let’s not forget: Star Trek is a billion dollar franchise because fans kept it alive. Farscape’s mini-series was funded by fans.

But the truth is, nothing is supported without fans and fandom. If you look at the history of the rock/metal/punk world in the states, it was kept alive by fans trading garage recorded tapes and zines. Volunteers who got to venues early and stayed late and helped their friends do something amazing.

So here I am, getting involved in fandom again by doing something other than hanging out on message boards and posting fanfic. (Don’t ever knock fanfic.) This time I’m rolling up my sleeves and helping – whatever that might be. And it feels good because helping good music be spread around the world is a hell of a lot more fun than just hitting refresh on youtube videos and gushing about the latest song to my friends. And I hope that every single one of you out there has something that inspires you to engage. Something that inspires you to get involved. Something … fun that also matters to you.

I’m not sure if this makes sense, but it’s 1:06. So I’m sure it doesn’t.

Peace, to any of you who are reading.


Pride Is …

I have the honor to speak at the first unified unified Dyke, Trans*, Sexually Fluid, and Poly Rally in Utah. These are my remarks.

Thank you.

My name is Shauna Brock, I am the co-founder of Utah’s 1 to 5 Club. I am a writer, I’d like to think I’m an activist. I am also bisexual and poly.

This is an honor I never expected to be a part of. To be standing here, during Pride, speaking about something that is, literally, a matter of life and death. I’m talking about recognition. I’m talking about representation.

We’ve all heard it. And I’m sure some of you have said it. Or laughed at it.

Bi Now! Gay Later!

You’re just confused.

It’s just a phase, honey. It’s just a phase.

Those words, words that the gay and lesbian community rally against – “It’s just a phase” are thrown at sexually fluid kids candy at a parade. Don’t worry, honey. You’ll be one of us someday.

See, when I was a kid, I knew something was different about me. But I knew that something wasn’t that I was a lesbian. So when I was sitting in history class and the students marched out in support of the Gay/Straight Alliances, it wasn’t just my fear of being grounded if I got suspended that kept me from joining them. I wasn’t gay. I wasn’t straight. So clearly, I didn’t belong with them.

It took years for me to realize that I did belong, that I wasn’t alone, that there were people who felt like I did. And once I did come out, I quickly realized how much I wasn’t wanted by a larger community because I didn’t fit their quick and easy media message.

In the last ten years the national conversation about sexual fluidity has started to change, but this is still not a safe world for so many. This past week, bisexual 16 year old Adam Kizer committed suicide after years of bullying. He is only one of so many and so many of their names are not spoken to anyone.

Across this country, the sexually fluid members of this queer community face higher rates of rape, partner violence, mental health issues, and a lack of medical care from doctors than their gay and lesbian counterparts. Isolated from straight and gay communities alike, the closets that our sexually fluid brothers and sisters live in are dark and terrifying. Report after report shows that sexually fluid people are less likely to be out at work, out in groups of friends, and out to medical and mental health professionals. Little wonder, when reports show that some psychotherapists still blame the sexuality of bisexual victims of rape. Claiming that they are confused about what they really want.

I wish I could speak of happiness and rainbows. I wish for me that Pride was a celebration. Not a reminder of national figures like Dan Savage who last week said that bisexual women were nothing more than sexual objects for straight allies. I wish it wasn’t a reminder that Orange is the New Black not only erases Piper’s sexuality, but mocks it. I wish it did not  remind me of each and every time my ex partner told me she could not trust me because of my sexuality or how she told me she would not tell her friends and co workers I was bi, because it didn’t matter. She was with me and everyone thought I was a lesbian. I wish it didn’t throw me back to how I have had to change my own writing because publishers would not accept bisexual characters unless they ended up as gay by the end of the story. I wish I could stand up here and celebrate marriage equality in Utah without the reminder of the time a leader in this community told me that there was no such thing as bisexual marriage, only gay or straight marriage.  Yes. A leader in this community telling me that I did not deserve the very rights that I was helping to fight for.

I will stand up here and speak of progress. Every day, more celebrities across the spectrum come out as bisexual, asexual, and pansexual – even though their relationships and sexualities are often outright ignored by the media. Every day the studies conducted about the sexually fluid community bring more and more light to the struggles we face. Every day, we are able to regain that which has been erased. Every day, more allies join with us.

I will speak of Utah’s progress. Of moments like this intersectional march. We have a thriving community that is based on support! We are based on the idea that each and every identity is valid, because we are fluid creatures, moving throught this spectrum. And the only way we do not drown is to support each other.  After all, to me, THAT is what Pride really is all about.

If you happen to be curious: THIS for the record, is PRIDE

If you haven’t had a chance to adopt your new Queer Queen, this is your chance. Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, who penned what, in my not so humble opinion, SHOULD be the anthem that all Pride Festivals are singing. I’ve been trying for weeks to pen a commentary of the song that offers her the respect she is due, but after attending the show tonight, after seeing Halestorm perform it, I realized that as in all things, Mz Hale speaks only for herself.

So, in honor of Pride, of the bullshit and the crazy, I give you what it really boils down to:


“New Modern Love”
I’ve got a forbidden love

I’m not giving it up
Not giving it up
I’ve got a new modern love
I’m not giving it up
Not giving it up

I won’t pretend that I don’t feel
The way I feel
I can’t forget the taste of something hat’s real
Step into my closet and maybe you’ll find
Something that’ll scare you
Something that you like
Your old familiar logic is poison on your lips
It’s nothing in the water
That’s just the way it is

I’ve got a forbidden love
I’m not giving it up
Not giving it up
I’ve got an uncommon love
I’m not giving it up
Not giving it up
I don’t care if you don’t want it
‘Cause I, I got it
I don’t care if you don’t get it
‘Cause I, I still want it
I’ve got a new modern love
I’m not giving it up
Not giving it up, no

You can’t rewire these circuits any other way
Yeah, you can twist the signal
The message is the same
Step out of your bubble and
Maybe you will find
Something that’ll save you
Something that you like
Your old familiar logic is poison on your lips
There’s nothing in the water
That’s just the way it is


Step into my closet and maybe you will find
Something that’ll scare you
Something that you like
There’s something that you like
There’s something that you like

I don’t care if you don’t want it
‘Cause I, I got it
I don’t care if you don’t get it
‘Cause I, I still want it
I’ve got a new modern love
I’m not giving it up
Not giving it up, no

Not giving it up
Not giving it up, no
I’m not giving it up
Not giving it up, no

Thank you, Lzzy. Thank you.
New Modern Love can be found on Halestorm’s most recent release, Into the Wildlife.

Things not to say to your friends who are writers when they get a rejection letter …

1) Everyone’s been rejected.
Yes. We know this.

2) Just keep trying.
You keep trying.

3) How often have you submitted it?
Doesn’t matter. First or 100th letter still sucks.

4) This is why people have real careers.
Writing isn’t a hobby for some of us.

5) I have a whole host of them myself.
That’s great. I’ll care about that tomorrow.

Some days you just don’t want to put on a brave face and be the strong, stoic artist. Some days, you want to throw a fit and cry into your drink. So, especially if you aren’t a writer, just remember this: when a friend gets a rejection letter, tell them you’re sorry and then offer chocolate. Sometimes, we just need to pout.

Why yes, we’ve noticed I’m not buzzfeed. I’m not posting gifs. Why? I’m lazy.

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