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THE GATE ’S LOUIS TRIPP REINVENTS HIMSELF AS A MUSICIAN, WRITER For years, horror fans knew Louis Tripp only as


Terry Chandler, the nerdy, heavy metal-loving side- kick to Stephen Dorff’s character in 1987’s The Gate. Tripp essentially retired from acting after starring in Gate II (1990), turning instead to record- ing underground industrial music under the moniker x.a.o.s. Now, with the publication of his short story “Chodpa” in the British horror/fantasy magazine Black Static, Tripp is back on genre fans’ radar. “My disappearance from the world of thespians,


around the age of seventeen, came about as I re- moved myself from the world for a while and started listening to a lot of music and doing a lot of reading,” Tripp explains. “I started recording on a four-track tape recorder and whatever else I could get my hands on. I also got interested in per- formance and guerrilla art, trying to inject a little of the weird and wonderful into people’s daily lives.” Tripp’s penchant for these new forms of artistic


expression led to the beginning of his music proj- ect x.a.o.s (whose most recent album, 2009’s Psy- chomachy, and other releases can be found at xaos.ca). The name is not an acronym, but a transliteration of the Greek characters that make up the word “chaos.” “I usually write ‘x.a.o.s’ rather than the Greek


lettering because I started the project before [the musical style known as] witch house made it clear that people would be okay with music projects that have non-English lettering and symbology for names,” notes Tripp. With the exception of an occasional collaboration


or guest musician, x.a.o.s. is a solo project. Tripp describes his musical style as “partly loud, noisy and somewhat schizophrenic. I feel like x.a.o.s. is free to sound like anything. … I’m not hearing what I want to hear, so if I want to hear it then I have to make it.” Tripp took his reinvention even further, changing


his name twice along the way: first to Twelve Twenty (the numbers correspond to his initials, the twelfth and twentieth letters of the alphabet) and later to Baphomet Tripp (shortened to “Baph Tripp” in his Black Static byline). “During my hermit phase, I decided that most


names for people were not good at doing their job, which is differentiating one person from another,” he says. “I was aware that organizations that really need to keep track of individuals assign those in- dividuals a number, so I changed my name to


Since co-starring in The Gate and Gate II, Louis Tripp has pursued music and fiction writing.


numbers, just as an experiment. Everyone who met me wanted an explanation, and that got really annoying and also made it hard to get things done, so I changed my name again without the numbers getting in the way. [I chose] names that had sig- nificance to me, and reclaimed my family’s sur- name as well.” Last year brought another dramatic change for


Tripp: a move from his native Canada to Australia. Though he’s been writing short fiction for years, the relocation finally led to his first published story, “Chodpa,” which recently appeared in Black Static #29. “I've always written short stories, but they


weren't very good,” Tripp admits. “‘Chodpa’ was the first time I wound up with something that I thought was readable and that worked on a couple of levels, and I felt motivated to actually take a stab


at seeing if anyone else thought it was worth read- ing. I had moved down under, [to] the underworld, and there were bugs everywhere, and I thought, if my life was a story, this part could be a metaphor for death. It deals with the idea that there is no free will, and also with aspects of alienation. Atop these issues is a story about going to a creepy place pop- ulated by creepy people and creepy bugs.” For the foreseeable future, Tripp says he will


continue to write, make music and pursue a variety of artistic interests. “The art of the dark is an abiding interest of


mine,” he explains. “When it’s done well, it shines a light on things that culture otherwise keeps hid- den. If someone, somewhere, has ever been a little disturbed by something that I've been a part of, then I count that as a win.”


DEREK NIETO


D R E A D L I N E S


9 RM


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