OOR Magazine, Netherlands, June 2005
Interview with Joseph Vargo of Nox Arcana
How did you come into contact with the writings of HP Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos?
I read Lovecraft's collected works when I was a teenager, and have been a fan ever since. He created an eerie realm of nightmares with his tales of the Cthulhu Mythos and these stories have inspired countless writers and artists to continue his dark legacy.
What influences would you say Lovecraft has on your other works?
I've always been drawn to the darkside. and this is reflected in my artwork. Lovecraft's influence can be seen in many of my paintings of sinister creatures that lurk in shadowy landscapes. I created the album artwork for Necronomicon based on Lovecraft's descriptions of the forbidden tome as well as his descriptions of The Great Old Ones. Many Lovecraftian themes are also prevalent on our first CD, "Darklore Manor," which centers around an abandoned mansion on the New England coast that is said to be haunted. Rumors say that the former occupants of the manor held dark rituals in the house that led to a curse upon their bloodline and it is believed that they summoned forth an ancient evil that claimed their lives. According to legend, something still lurks deep within the deserted manor.
I also throw these elaborate Halloween parties every year that incorporate live horror mysteries for my guests to investigate. Each year has a different theme, and the Cthulhu Mythos has factored into several of them. One year my guests were invited to explore an old insane asylum and question the patients who all told nightmarish tales about occult rituals and a portal to another dimension. The party culminated with my guests standing inside a pentagram in my darkened basement, chanting a spell from the Necronomicon and summoning forth the monstrous Yog-Sothoth from the abyss. The finale included a seven foot tentacled monstrosity emerging from a fog-filled portal. It was very effective and actually scared the hell out of several of my adult guests. It was a lot of work putting it all together, but those who survived the ordeal still talk about it.
What was the reason that you made this tribute to his work in music?
The Cthulhu mythos was perfect for a concept album. I was actually surprised that no one had done it before. Lovecraft's writings are filled with dark imagery and were very inspirational as far as creating certain musical themes. The Necronomicon has Arabian origins, and certain tales are set in ancient Egyptian temples and gothic cathedrals. We used a variety of musical styles to create a dark soundscape that would encompass all of these elements and we also utilized narrative interludes that described Lovecraft's dark gods in order to make it all flow together with continuity.
What other references (if any) did you use for the Necromonicon cd besides Lovecraft's stories?
Virtually none. Since all Cthulhu mythos references were originally derived from Lovecraft's writing, we went directly to the main source. Aside from the 11 tales in which Lovecraft mentions the Necronomicon, I also researched his short essay "History of the Necronomicon," in which he gives details about the book's origins. We wanted our CD to be completely accurate to Lovecraft's vision.