Owls Jason Achilles Mezilis Talks Music & Horror

by Rob Caprilozzi

By Christine Caprilozzi

Recently, Sr. Editor, Christine Caprilozzi caught up with guitarist, Jason Achilles Mezilis to discuss Owl’s new album and his top horror moments of all time

Los Angeles-based rock band Owl; Chris Wyse (vocals/bass), Dan Dinsmore (drums), Jason Achilles Mezilis (guitar/vocals) – is set to unleash its new album, “The Right Thing” on April 9th via Overit Records.

After releasing their self-titled debut in 2009, Owl captivated
audiences alongside the likes of Helmet, Jet and Hollywood all-star
rock collective Camp Freddy. Between touring and recording commitments
with Wyse's other gig – playing bass in The Cult – Owl began writing
what would become the band’s self-produced “The Right Thing” in early
2011. The album is scheduled for release on April 9th.

Horror News Network: Owl consists of three already accomplished musicians in their own right. How does the creative process work?

It's grown a lot since the recording of our debut self-titled album a
few years back. Owl singer and bassist Chris Wyse brought in drummer
Dan Dinsmore and I in because we're musicians he knew could pull off
the music and complete a vision he had. The music is challenging but
also strongly tied into an emotional base, so it takes a certain
balance. Since then we've played a lot of shows, spent time in the
trenches together and learned a lot about each other – for better or
for worse (ha!) and that familiarity and trust definitely translates
into a more collaborative process over time – which is evidenced
through the creation of this new album.

Horror News Network: How does "The Right Thing" (which comes out April 9th) differ from your first album from 2009?

To my ears,the new record reaches farther in all directions than the
first. The heavier moments are more extreme, the atmospheric moments
more poignant. There was a much less "defined" approach to the
creation of this record, and as a result a lot more room for
experimentation with sounds and song structures. For my part, I
pulled out a lot more sounds / amps etc. than before, and I even
learned to play a new instrument called a Baglama, which is a
traditional Greek folk guitar, for one of the new songs called
"Rover," which is an Irish-themed stomper that I think really has set
in as one of the standout tracks.

Horror News Network: Most importantly, what are your Top 10 Horror Moments?

Owl guitarist Jason Achilles Mezilis’ Top Ten Horror Moments:

1) The moment in Hellraiser when they are moving the couch, and he
tears his hand on the nail. You see it coming…you see it
coming…haha. That is a brilliant, old-school meets new-school
highly original horror classic. Clive Barker has a way of making you
really "feel" those moments that I think a lot of modern directors
could learn a thing or two about.

2) The premiere of the horror comic anthology "Cry For Dawn" by Joseph
Michael Linsner and Joe M Monks. Totally blew me away, artwork and
scripting. I still remember like it was yesterday, standing there in
front of the rack checking out that book.

3) The Excorcist III – long shot of the hallway, in the hospital,
silence silence and then…HOLY FUCK! I think I saw a stream of urine
run down the side of the theater. That was also the first time I got
denied entry to a rated-R movie for not being old enough, but we (my
friends and I) were persistent…

4) One of my absolute favorite films, in any genre, Adrian Lyne's
brilliant Jacob's Ladder. Standout moment would be when Jake goes to
meet his old military friend, who shares with him that he too is
seeing demons. After their meeting Jake smiles and bends over to pick
up a quarter…and the look on his friends' face right before what
immediately follows, is poignant in so many ways. It's not a "horror"
moment visually, but spiritually it sure fucking is. You feel

5) Jacob's Ladder, again. The palm reader at the party, reading
Jake's and laughing about it, then a quizzical break, and manner in
which she finally tells him "well according to this one, you're
already dead".

6) Spoiler alert! End of The Sixth Sense – why not? I felt it up my
spine, just like every single other person in the theater. You think
the film is going to let you down, and noooo. Awesome.

7) John Carpenter's remake of The Thing is one of my favorite horrors
films, but it's hard to pick a particular scene, so I would just say
the realism and nature of the camaraderie and relations (both positive
and negative) between all the characters in that film is the standout
element that makes the whole thing work in such a unique fashion among
the horror genre.

8) All of Evil Dead II.

9) The first two shots of the bodybag scene, during Nancy's dream in
school, from the original Nightmare on Elm Street. Classic, still
gives me the chills.

10) And finally, the "ultimate" if you will: the pudding scene in
future Lord of the Ring himself Peter Jackson's early masterpiece Dead
Alive. 'Nuff said!

Horror News Network: Thanks Jason!

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