In Revolver's new Dec/Jan 2019 issue — which is on newsstands and available via our webstore now — we explore the theme of "Dreams and Nightmares" with the help of King Diamond, Myrkur, Alex Grey, Robert Englund, City Morgue, Venom Prison and others. Since the topic proved particularly compelling and revealing, we've asked some more of our favorite artists about their dreams and nightmares — including Broken Hope guitarist Jeremy Wagner, a man with a lot of experience in bringing nightmares to life. As the chief lyricist for the long-running death-metal band, he's crafted song after song soaked in gore and evil vibes, and as an author, he has penned novels, such as 2018's zombie-infested Rabid Heart, that plumb the depths of horror. Below, the musician and writer shares visions, both conscious and subconscious, of hungry sharks, woodland witches and "epic riffs."
DESCRIBE THE MOST RECENT DREAM YOU HAD.
JEREMY WAGNER I just had a dream about my dead singer — Joe Ptacek, who died nine years ago [as of January] — and we were talking about whether or not to go on a reunion tour. It was very real … made me miss him.
WHAT GIVES YOU NIGHTMARES?
Usually great white sharks. I love them, but I'm also terrified at the thought of being in the water with them, knowing they could actually rip me to pieces and consume me.
WHAT'S THE MOST TERRIFYING NIGHTMARE YOU'VE EVER HAD?
The most terrifying nightmare I've ever head was of a witch. In my nightmare, I was deep in some nighttime forest, spying on a cloaked figure stirring some ungodly contents in a cauldron in the middle of these woods … I remember holding my breath, terrified as I spied on this figure from behind bushes — and then the figure whips around to face me, knowing I'm there, and as it points a long, bony finger at me, I see the twisted, grinning, and uber-grotesque face of a cackling crone, the witch's yellow eye on me as it knows it has caught me.
I woke up screaming at the top of my lungs, scared out of my mind. That was in grade school and I've never forgotten it …
DO YOU HAVE ANY RECURRING DREAMS OR NIGHTMARES?
Yes. Since I was a kid, I have had recurring nightmares of being helpless in the ocean as great white sharks swim near me, curious and ready to test bite me. I also have recurring nightmares of zombies … of me being cornered as hordes of the undead come at me in a world full of walking dead. Oh, and I have recurring dreams of my teeth falling out everywhere, eating my teeth, or being completely naked in a public place — THAT is terrifying. [Laughs]
HAVE ANY OF YOUR DREAMS OR NIGHTMARES COME TRUE?
DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR DREAMS HAVE MEANING? DO THEY HAVE A PURPOSE?
I believe in a purpose behind some dreams. I've had nightmares that I believe were conjured shortly after some bad experience in my waking life or stress — those nightmares, scary as they were, helped release that negative energy. Then I've had vivid dreams of dead loved ones who visited me as I slept, and I believe they were there with the purpose to let me know they were OK and in a better place.
HAVE YOUR DREAMS EVER INSPIRED OR INFLUENCED YOUR MUSIC?
Yeah, especially when I was younger — in my twenties — I'd have some crazy dreams that compelled me to write lyrics … I know of a couple on Broken Hope's The Bowels of Repugnance album that came from those dreams. And I've even dreamed about riffs! I've woken from sleep, dreaming of the most epic riffs … but by the time I got my guitar in my hands, I couldn't recall the riff. [Laughs]
WHO WOULD BE YOUR DREAM MUSICIAN TO COLLABORATE WITH, AND WHY?
If you're talking the ultimate dream/fantasy musician collaboration, then I'd have to say Lady Gaga. She's very metal — down with Slayer, Metallica, Maiden — and I love her style and drive and, yes, I love her music. With my riffs and her vox, we'd make something extremely badass and would blow Tony Bennett's hair back.
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM FOR 2019?
Straight-up in one package: I want world peace/world harmony/everyone on this planet to be good to each other and stop fighting, and clean oceans and no more polluting the earth. THAT is all my dream for 2019 and beyond!