In our interview, Vince talks about what he wishes he could pull out of thin air, his relationship to the TV sitcom Friends, and what the future holds for one of the funniest men writing bizarro fiction.
You can check out the outtakes from this interview at Bizarro Central.
If you were like Dave from Gigantic Death Worm and could pull things out of the air, what are the three things you’d grab and why?
Wacky Wall Crawlers. They don’t sell them anywhere anymore. I KNOW they have crates of them in a warehouse somewhere. I fucking want them. Remember those things? I’d always get packs of them at flea markets in the ‘80s. They were tiny, sticky Octopi that came in various colors and you could throw them at the window and they’d crawl down and you’d have insane amounts of fun for hours. They’re totally fucking amazing, and they make slinkies and Rubik’s cubes look like pieces of crap.
Then I would grab Kevin Donihe’s vintage G.I. Joe action figure collection out of his closet in Tennessee. I started collecting the old toys a couple years ago and they’re pretty expensive. Then Kevin told me he had ALL OF THEM, and he saved them all in the carrying cases when he was a kid and he’s had them stored away ever since. I made him sit down with me and my collector’s magazine and he pointed out each and every one he has. Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Destro, Shipwreck, Duke; everybody. All the weapons and everything. I flipped out. It would help me out a lot if I got them, since it seems like it will be a lifelong quest to complete the collection, and I’m worried I might die having failed at that. But, Kevin is keeping them forever. AND HE’S NOT EVEN DISPLAYING THEM!!
I’d also grab Kevin Donihe while I’m at it, I guess. Because all of us in the Bizarro scene in Portland want him to live here really bad.
But this is all assuming I already have my iPod on me, food, water, and plenty of money, or am even in my house surrounded by all my things and have no worries in the world.
Although, if this was some kind of survival scenario, I think I’d still grab the same three things. Because I’m pretty confident I’d be able to get out of the situation anyways, and I’d kick myself in the ass for wasting the opportunity to have these awesome things. Oh, but that means Kevin would be there too all of a sudden. That’s OK though, I’m sure he’d be happy to take part in the adventure. Besides, I’d need him to carry all his G.I. Joe toys.
The catchphrase “Fiesta or death!” is taking over the world. Tell us about your personal catchphrase.
I usually always say “HOLY SHIT!” and “THAT’S THE BEST THING EVER!” a lot, just because I get so super-fucking excited about shit I can’t contain myself. I just flip out on how awesome something is. And sometimes it can be something pretty trivial to some people, like a tree, deal, or weather pattern, but special to me for reasons no one would understand. This amuses a lot of people. My friend David has even dubbed me “Captain Hyperbole.”
I also fuck-up a lot of phrases when I’m frustrated. I’ve caught myself saying “Jesus Christ ON A CAKE!” a lot. “Gods gift to sliced bread,” “We’ll cross that bridge when we drive over it.”. Shit like that. And also – “Shit like that,” “Fuckin’ A!,” “You know?,” “…and shit.”
The television show Friends plays a fairly prominent role in Gigantic Death Worm. Please tell us your history and current relationship with this show.
It was just a random thing, really. Maybe it also had something to do with those recurring dreams I used to have where I would accidentally set Courtney Cox on fire. It involved her volunteering for a stunt on my reality show or something, and it always went horribly wrong. So maybe it was to make it up to her. But yeah, I remember Friends being a big deal when it came out, INSANELY popular, and me and everyone I knew loved the show at the time. So it’s pretty easy to catch all the references. It’s a huge part of our pop culture. It started getting really annoying halfway through, but I stuck with it, like I do with everything. All they would ever do is complain and embarrass themselves. But I caught an episode again recently, and a lot of the one-liners were still laugh-out-loud funny. It was still awful, and I can’t believe I ever watched it. But the show had great writing and an excellent cast, and it was a big part of most people’s lives for a whole decade.
Last year I wrote a short story where they get in a huge fight backstage. I had Courtney Cox doing coke, Matthew Perry sitting in the corner cutting himself, and David Schwimmer trying to kill Jennifer Anniston after she caught Matt LeBlanc giving him a blow job. It was pretty good.
‘80s music also makes a frequent occurrence in your book. Would you please provide us with a playlist for listeners to read Gigantic Death Worm to?
I think the theme from Friends should play before every chapter, and you could imagine a “Previously, on Gigantic Death Worm” narrative segment before you start reading. A lot of ‘80s songs are even mentioned in the book, and they’re meant to be played in your head when they’re mentioned (granted you have a good memory, LOL). The “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams plays during Dave’s flashback. I chose that as a random thing to be funny. But stuff like The Hooters and Billy Ocean were literally playing the whole time on my record player while I was writing the book. “And We Danced” and “Caribbean Queen” are noted as playing during the final fiesta, but I also imagine awesome dance party songs like “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and “Pump Up the Jam” by Technotronic would be somewhere in the mix as well. And “Drive” by The Cars at the end of the night when things are dying down.
And there’re ‘80s songs that I think would be perfect for certain scenes, like “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” by Simple Minds – that should be playing during the final farewell between the characters at the ending. “I Ran (So Far Away)” by A Flock of Seagulls would be perfect for many of the “running-away-from-worms” scenes. “Maneater” by Hall & Oates could be Worm-Head Girl’s theme song; it should start every time she appears. And I think it would be awesome if “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran was playing during Mike’s death scene, or at any time the bears and wolves attack. Which would be really funny, because that’s such an upbeat super-fun song. Imagine someone getting killed to that and you can get a clear picture of my intended sense of humor.
Plus, I’m a huge death metal fan, so there are a few brutal death metal songs that would fit perfect with all of the ‘serious’, intense action scenes, and scenes were the worms are destroying pretty much everything. “Inverted”, by Gorguts, would be the best-fitting. But also – “Anatomy of a Catastrophe” by Sinister, for sure, “Shapeless Domination” by Monstrosity, and “Finite” by Origin. It has to be super-fast, insanely heavy, and full of blast beats. And pretty much almost every song by Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Krisiun, and Malevolent Creation.
So, basically, just everything that’s on Dave’s iPod. Because I’m pretty sure we have the exact same one.
Also, you can’t go wrong with any song with the word “worm” in them. Here’s a list of some –
Worm Infested by Cannibal Corpse
Worm World by Zyklon
Worms by Mortician
Worms in Rectum by Impaled Nazarene
Worms Listen by Thought Industry
Wormy Eyes by Lawnmower Deth
Anointing the Worms by The Ravenous
As the Worm Turns by Faith No More
Back to the Worms by Cryptopsy (which became part of Dave’s catchphrase at the end of the book.)
Enter the Worms by Cathedral
He, The Great Worm by Thou Art Lord
Jack Worm by Entombed
Of Worms, Jesus Christ, and Jackson Country Missouri by Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky
The Worms Crawl In by Impaled
Waiting for the Worms by Pink Floyd
White Worms by Cryptopsy
Graveworm by Benediction
Jaundice of Hookworm by Mexican Disgorge
And you could also listen to entire albums with “worm” in the title, like Hollenthon’s “With Vilest of Worms to Dwell,” Marduk’s ‘Wormwood’ or Butthole Surfers’ “Independent Worm Saloon.” And I would also highly recommend the theme from the Earthworm Jim cartoon.
Worms are awesome.
Would you tell us about your future writing goals?
Wow, the FUTURE! Well, I definitely want to get a job in Antarctica in one of those scientific research stations, and write a book down there because it sounds like the perfect environment to do something like that. Plus, according to movies like Whiteout or The Thing, it’s a really, really exciting place so that would be truly inspirational. And then, with my Antarctican Science Research money, I’d like to buy the first house I lived in when I was little kid back in Philadelphia. It was 100 years old, huge, had a gigantic yard, and I have nothing but great memories of it. I’d like to live there and write books all through my 40’s. And beyond that, even further in the future, I really just see myself writing in a space station or moon base. I think you can get a lot more things done when you’re far away from people and normal every day life. Especially if you’re in outer space.