The streets of Denver are safe now that Maris the Great, king of the gay undead, has returned to his crypt for winter hibernation. For those unfamiliar with Denver's resident revenant royalty, Maris can be seen at rock and metal concerts throughout spring and summer clad in elaborate royal attire and zombie makeup. Maris hosts maristhegreat.com, a popular website in which he posts interviews with bands along with pictures of him "killing" them -- highly graphic photo shoots that involve gallons of fake blood, brains and precise Photoshop manipulation. He threatens to kill almost anyone he meets, which has gotten him kicked out of Warped Tour and Denver's gay pride parade.
In an exclusive, raunchy online chat séance with Backbeat, Maris revealed his new targets in 2015 and details of his secret hibernation, and addressed the possibility of emerging before his expected return next spring. The outspoken gay ghoul also announced his "most bangable boy" of 2014.
Westword: Your highness, I call out to you from the world of the living.
Maris: Though it is difficult to hear you and answer you, I am well versed in such activities as these. I have been dead for fourteen years. You may speak.
Mortals have many questions, especially since 2014 is almost over and Maris the Great's opinion is still unknown about certain things. But let's start with hibernation. Why do the dead need to hibernate, and what is it like where you are right now?
Most zombies only hang around six months or so. Decomp gets them. If decomp doesn't get them, then some silly accident like falling in a wood chipper will do it. Zombies are naturally attracted to wood chippers. I have been around for fourteen years. I've done this through eating fresh, young meat and drinking a lot of alcohol (a preservative), and my biggest secret is ingesting a lot of semen. Semen is like a wonder-preservative. All of that being said, eventually, I will decompose as well. I cannot stay out for long periods of time. Several months, max.
I have to spend the remainder of time immersed in a tub of semen. That's where I am right now. In my younger days this wasn't necessary, but for a zombie, I am ancient.
It's interesting to note that a decomposing zombie still hasn't grown out of the Denver metal scene. You've witnessed many changes, bands coming and going (so to speak).
Yes. You have spoken correctly. All music is wonderful. The local scene is vibrant and diverse. I think I was attracted to the metal scene here because the male mortals are such little hotties.
So Maris will be back to stalk the living in 2015?
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I will, unless I completely decompose. Come springtime, one of my minions might find a tub full of semen, goo and my fanny pack of doom.
Would you rule out an appearance in the Sleepwear of Doom?
It's a possibility, but unlikely. The last time I did it, the details of that night were special. It was one of those "planets lining up" situations, where a great number of boy toys were scheduled to all be in the same room, at the same show, at the same time. It was worth coming out for.
Who were your most memorable kills of 2014, and who is on the radar for 2015?
I only killed one mortal and one band. The mortal was a boy toy I call Shotgun (Jake Rusch). And the band I killed was Dead for Denver. If I arise next year, which I plan on, I have my sights set on Public Display of Aggression, Lola Black, Glass Delirum and a few others.
It's hard to predict, however. There might be a whole new crop of bands that get my attention.
(Note: Maris the Great's Facebook page also claims Werd Flood, from Flood of Souls, and Ryan Chrys as victims in 2014).
If I understand correctly, you only kill those who threaten your Greatness. How did those mortals threaten you?
It no longer is a prerequisite. I actually kill bands that look like they taste good. You can always get a rise out of a zombie by talking shit or refusing to show your genitals, but I'm down for bands with good (musical) taste that look like they taste good. The bands I've killed over the last several years speak for themselves. Bodies We've Buried, Arcanium, Speedwolf. Stick to Your Guns. Defiler. Good-tasting bands with young guys filled with semen.
Now....once my band renunites, I'll probably go back to killing bands that pose a competitive threat. But for now, I'm just down for a good rock-and-roll meal.
You killed Dead for Denver; they incorporate metal, hardcore and dubstep. You approve of these influences together?
Absolutely. I think rock and roll is about bending or breaking rules. I think they are a fabulous band that areren't afraid to sound cookie-cutter. Aren't afraid to NOT sound cookie-cutter.
You know what I mean, mortal!!!
Haha. How about all the music you were exposed to in 2014? Who released music this year, any genre, anywhere, who would be worth rising from the tub to kill?
Hemingway Hero, Princess, Dr. Death and Mr. Vile, Line Brawl and Make Way. Those are the first that immediately came to mind, without me having to even think about it. You know a band is good when you don't even have to think to answer.
You attended many concerts in 2014. Mortals seek your reflection on the best.
Yes. You have spoken correctly. There's plenty I haven't seen, however, so I await the opportunity...
Are you saying you still observe the mortal world from the bath?
I get e-mailed all the time. Bands are always contacting me. Occasionally, I play some of their music while I lie in this tub of semen.
What were your favorite venues while you roamed the world this year?
I have a soft spot for the Marquis. But Seventh Circle is wonderful as well. Such a cool, punk-rock vibe. Aaron Saye turned it around and created a very special place to see shows.
So really no favorite shows at least so far in 2014, while mortals cowered in your presence?
The Make Way CD release show was my favorite show. My favorite event/show was Alf's 45 + 1. If you haven't been to one of those, you really need to go. You get a great bird's-eye view of local talent. Incredible fun. And guys that go to his events usually are pretty well intoxicated and easy to take advantage of.
Your highness, I thank you greatly for your time. I understand it's hard to communicate in your current situation, but we mortals seek your guidance on one more question.
Yes! It had better be the right question!
That's a lot of pressure on this interviewer...
It's dangerous to talk to a zombie in the first place!
Is there anything else I can communicate to the mortal world?
Yes! The most important question. The one everyone wants to know the answer to. Who is the most bangable boy in the local music scene? The answer is Trax Henderson, lead singer of Hemingway Hero and owner of the Laughing Latte. You female mortals need to do yourself a favor and put him on your "to do" list. He is worth knowing, but he's also worth just blowing. He's a real hottie and a nice mortal, to boot. I'll probably kill him first thing, next spring.
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