An Interview with Aaron Tanner of Melodic Virtue (from Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest June 2019)

(c) Melodic Virtue
What Does Regret Mean?
Let’s ask the man who put together the book.
Aaron Tanner.
He is a graphic designer, a musician himself
Having been a member of bands such as Stationary Odyssey and Off-Ox.
He decided to dip into his passion of music and put together
A book. A visual history book about the Legendary Alternative band
“The Butthole Surfers” from the Psychedelic tornadoes of Texas.
For this book he compiled and worked with many legendary musicians
 such as Gibby Haynes (the lead-man) of the Surfers, Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween of Ween)
Testimonials from Thurston Moore & Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Henry Rollins (Black Flag, Rollins Band)
Many stories about the wild deludes of traveling with the Butthole Surfers.
Are recalled by other great musicians from the early 80s and 90’s
Visit Aaron’s site at to order a copy of the book today.

Hi Aaron,
Q1: When was the first time you heard the Butthole Surfers? What album? What song? That for most people would be a very hard question to
 answer due to the state a lot of people are in when listening to the Surfers. I believe most people know them best from the 90's hit "Pepper" but they had been a very interesting band for a full decade before that song.  I believe I got into the Independent Worm Saloon the most when I expanded my musical horizons. 

Aaron: I loved the Butthole Surfers' music ever since I heard it in my mid-teens. But it wasn't until I came across  Locust Abortion Technician that I was completely hooked. That album permanently altered my perception of what music could be, and changed the course I took to pursue new bands ever since. And considering, I couldn't be more thrilled that the book also includes an unreleased track on flexi disc from those sessions, "Locust Abortion Technician Medley."

Q2: Has the alternative 80's & 90's music always been the first style of music you often turned to growing up? Obviously, you are a huge fan of Butthole Surfers. What other bands influenced your style as a musician? I often heard Sonic Youth and Pixies influences when listening to your work.

Aaron: Most definitely. It's the music I grew up on! I've always loved bands that didn't limit themselves in any way; that weren't afraid to really try something different. The Residents were a great example of this too. They were another big influence on me early on.

Q3: When did you first form a relationship with Dean Ween?

Aaron: I met Mickey (Dean Ween) about 16 years ago. Having just started doing album artwork at a professional level, I approached him about possibly working together. The rest is history!

Q4: What are the future plans for Melodic Virtue? Are you going to be working on musician books exclusively, or are there plans to expand works of other artists? Any sneak peek on some you might have in mind?

Aaron: Melodic Virtue is now strictly a publisher of limited-run coffee table books on bands. We've recently expanded our staff and are about to work on a visual history for Ministry. Nothing but positive things ahead!   
*See upcoming posts on Melodic Virtue including info on current & past titles including the Ministry book that had released"

Q5: Any social media, web pages, band promotions for the bands you've been a part of? What would you like people to know about Aaron Tanner and Melodic Virtue?

Aaron: We work with the band's management and social team on all promotions related to the books. Melodic Virtue is a small, hard-working independent publisher with a strong history of award-winning work in the music industry. Originally started in 2004 as a graphic design studio, we're known for telling authentic and unusual stories visually, and now do so through limited-run coffee table books. With over 200 pages of live and behind-the-scenes photographs, set lists, posters, and album art, these limited-run collector's editions offer an immersive and definitive visual history of each band. Additionally, most of our case-bound coffee table books include a 7" flexi disc of a previously unreleased song. 

Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean?

book is currently sold-out at this time.

A Spotlight on IceFloe Press : Poetry, Art, Photography Creativity Sponge

logo by Cathy Daley

IceFloe Press is one of the most unique, creative endeavors for poetry these days. With challenges, specific themes of poetry, an all inclusive collective of voices that need to be heard.

Founded by Robert Frede Kenter (Eic), Co-editor Moira J. Saucer, other editors and chief contributors to the site are Ankh Spice, Elisabeth Horan, Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau & Jakky Bankong-Obi

Some of their contributions to Fevers of the Mind can be linked below. 4 poems from Robert Frede Kenter in Avalanches in Poetry An Interview with Robert Frede Kenter of Icefloe Press

4 poems from Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020 by Moira J Saucer

Some poems from Elisabeth Horan in Fevers of the Mind Issue 1 (2019)

6 poems from Elisabeth Horan

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jakky Bankong-Obi

5 Poems by Ankh Spice : That which can be made visible, Hold the river, Feeding the koi, Act like you were never for sale, & Hathor’s gift

Holiday Interlude by Ankh Spice from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

IceFloe is known for great art contributions, poetry contributions & photography. Some links below to a few you just have to read or see.

Poem for a Russian Grandmother in Exile by Robert Frede Kenter w/ A Painting by Moira J. Saucer

Revised, Renewed version of “The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers” by David L O’Nan now out

The revised, renewed,  more colorful,  Anthology sized version of ” The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers” is out today.  Buy here or you can buy a colorful pdf from me with a donation to the Fevers of the Mind Go Fund Me or through PayPal at  just let me know email address to send to if you donate. 

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Christine Sloan Stoddard

with Christine Sloan Stoddard:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Christine: I first started writing in childhood. From a young age, I loved to write and illustrate my stories, even making small books and magazines by stapling sheets of paper together. I kept diaries and journals, too, but I always wanted an audience for my work, whether it was my siblings and classmates or the world. Some of my first influences included Beatrix Potter, Beverly Cleary, Eric Carle, Joanna Cole, Shel Silverstein, Marissa Moss, Barbara Joosse, Richard Scarry, and others. I also adored cartoons, films, theatre, and other art forms. Nature and world cultures greatly influenced me from a young age, too.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Christine: This is always tough to answer. I adore the work of Sally Mann, Sofia Coppola, Kukuli Velarde, Stacey Steers, Maggie Nelson, and Kara Walker. I’m not sure I would call them direct influences, but I do treasure their creations. And there’s the work of others, too; those just happen to be the ones that first came to mind today.

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?

Christine: I seemed to have always known. I definitely had teachers and other mentors who encouraged me and others who tried to sway me toward something else. I had more than one say that I could always pursue my writing and art in my “free time,” but that choosing it as a profession meant living the life of a starving artist. Those with that mentality greatly underestimated my resourcefulness. Certainly, I have not always used my skills as a writer and artist to write and create exactly what I have wanted in order to pay the bills. Sometimes the client wins. There have been articles I didn’t want to write or photos I didn’t want to edit a particular way, for example. But I will always have my art, the things made just for me and my intended audience. That’s a part of me that will always survive and persevere.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Christine: My mother, just with her encouragement alone. She doesn’t have any industry connections, unless you count me now but she helped me get to where I am. She facilitated my love affair with books and libraries. When I was younger and just getting started as a professional writer, she would pass along the names of magazines and even find contact information for editors. She still regularly recommends books to me, sometimes with a professional angle in mind. She pays attention to publishers. Though she doesn’t have as much formal education as she would like, she does possess natural curiosity and an extended personal reading list. Sometimes I think her lack of industry experience actually emboldened her to tell me to contact publishers and editors I had no business contacting. But I did and it ultimately helped me get to where I am now. My mother has always believed in me. I’m also lucky to have a very encouraging husband, who continues the work my mother started.

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & have any travels away from home influence your work?

Christine: I grew up in Arlington, VA to a New Yorker father and Salvadoran mother. This made me the first in my family to be born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. I also studied in Iowa, Scotland, France, and Mexico. I did artist residencies in rural Maryland, Pittsburgh, Knoxville, and El Salvador, plus my home states of Virginia and New York. I lived in Richmond, VA for five years and have now lived in New York City for the same amount of time. I don’t know that I could separate my work from my travels or unusual living scenarios. I certainly have no desire to do so.

Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work youv’e done creatively so far to you?


It’s a tie between:

Desert Fox by the Sea (book)
Mi Abela, Queen of Nightmares (play within the book Two Plays)
Sirena’s Gallery (feature film)

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Christine: Taking a bubble bath while reading or watching a movie or listening to music while lounging in bed. I enjoy spending time outdoors, too, though that often requires a bit of planning since I live in Brooklyn. Luckily, I live near Prospect Park, so at least some foliage is always accessible. I’m just about always down for a walk!

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?


Here are two short stanzas from my poem “The Storm”:

“No one told me
my body
was an earthquake,
my body
a hurricane,
That my body
was and will always be
the eye of the storm.

They only told me
that I was a woman,
that I was to be
placid as a lake—
yet how can I be
human if I never
thunder, if I never rain?”

And here’s a recent piece, “Jaguar Mask,” on view at the Howard County Council for the Arts in Maryland starting Aug. 21st:

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?


Sirena’s Gallery, an independent feature film about a Salvadoran-American woman’s struggle as an art gallery owner after losing her husband to suicide. It will screen at the Byrd Theatre in Richmond, VA on Aug. 27th. Find out more about future screenings and streaming here.

Cyber Cinderella, a comedy play about Cinderella during the digital age, opening at the Broadway Comedy Club in New York City. It will premiere October 10th. Buy your ticket here. for “Force Fed” for “Desert Fox By The Sea” for “Heaven is a Photograph” for “Belladonna Magic” for “Hello New York – The Living and Dead”

IG: christine_sloan_stoddard

Twitter: csloanstoddard

website is

Christine Sloan Stoddard (she/her)


Feature Film: Sirena’s Gallery

Play Tickets: “Cyber Cinderella”

Current Exhibition: “Resiliencia”

New Book: Heaven Is a Photograph

Boss Lady: Quail Bell Press & Productions

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Ivan Peledov

with Ivan Peledov:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Ivan: When I was about 17, perhaps. As far as I remember, my first influences were Osip Mandelstam, Nathanael West, Thomas Wolfe, Chuang Tzu, The Greek Anthology, classic haiku, Nikolai Gogol, various folk tales, the music of Alexander Scriabin, and the early German Expressionists.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Ivan: Everyone and everything.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & Have any travels away from home influence your work?


I grew up in the USSR, which taught me a couple of platitudes: that true socialism is either cruel or plain boring, but never fair and beautiful, and that you have to resist any influence from that sort of country, unless you have decided to become a totalitarian schmuck.

I love almost all the countries, states, cities, and towns I have had a chance to travel to. My favorite and most inspiring are Guatemala, Savannah, Providence, Buenos Aires, Paris, Jamaica, Memphis, Voronezh, Kyiv, Tbilisi, Konotop, Barcelona, New Mexico, Belgium, New England, Philadelphia, Costa Rica, etc.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Ivan: What I am doing right now is always the most meaningful, especially when I am not doing anything at all.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/poet?

Ivan: This question makes me think whether I have ever really wanted to be a poet. As John the Apostle used to say, The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so do you have to be pigeonholed in order to catch it?

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Ivan: Listening to music, hiking, Tarot reading.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?


My book of poems titled “Habits of Totems” has been recently published by Impspired. Here are the links:

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? Favorite piece of art/photograph?


Art Alley, Rapid City, SD. The photo is mine, but I don’t know who did the graffiti.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Ivan: the Ghosts.

Bio: Ivan Peledov lives in Colorado. His poems have appeared in Impspired Magazine, Ponder Savant, The Collidescope, Eunoia Review, Unlikely Stories, Sonic Boom, and other publications.

2 poems by Ivan Peledov : “Aside from the Flowers” & “Before and After”