FIRST VIDEO: Horror Metal Band First Jason Reflects on “The Price of Peace” in Apocalyptic Era


Rich Howells

“Ooze that wound,” someone says as a shirtless man has the giant scar on his stomach repainted.

In the quiet neighborhood of Dalton, Pennsylvania, a family home sits behind a few others lost in the trees, not even visible from the main road. There is a little red wagon in the yard and a kids’ clubhouse with a slide in the front yard, but on closer inspection there are also various skulls strewn across the driveway leading to a sign that says ” Devil’s Castle ”. Halloween is still two months away on this hot August day, so it’s not just festive decorations – it’s a way of life for horror fans Gene and Amanda Altieri.

Every wall in their home is covered with posters, personalized autographs, and memorabilia from both popular and obscure horror movies. So it’s the perfect temporary home for Camp Rattler, a local production company that focuses on the weird, dark and macabre makes them the obvious choice for bringing the music of First Jason to life.

Singer Ari Lehman walks out of the side porch with his shirtless bandmates to cover himself in dirt, makeup and fake blood for the video shoot. It’s not as elaborate as the prosthetics he wore to play young Jason Voorhees in the original “Friday the 13th” movie, but it certainly continues the story of this hapless child in a unique way.

His Chicago-based heavy metal band has recorded entire albums on the vengeful serial killer, although the song they play over and over again today, “The Price of Peace”, is a bit different and it’s particularly proud.

“There is a hard side. It’s kind of like we’re almost going back to our original formula, like ‘Jason Never Dies’, which has most of our biggest hits where we’re on a bit more hardcore than heavy metal sound. Maybe even a little nu metal sound in there, sure, because I’ve been very impressed with bands like Nonpoint, Ice Nine Kills, who I’ve collaborated with, and just looking at the different sounds that are out there. . Lehman told NEPA Scene just before filming began.

“Also, the subject of the song, which talks about the times in which we live. He asks the question: “Is this the price of peace that we have to pay?” And it says the only way to pay the price is to sacrifice your pride, so it’s a philosophical song, that says a lot about me. ‘Lord of the Lake’ was more heavy metal and more Jason oriented. “Kill for the mother”, “Voorhees is the name”, always putting my own message in there about being self-aware and questioning yourself and realizing that all you can accomplish is present in you right now, and in a way that’s why Jason kills, it’s ignorance of it. It’s kind of my unique philosophical point of view.

Coming soon on autographed vinyl, the song was written in her forties, so the apocalyptic dress and themes in this video, which premiered today on NEPA Scene, matches the era.

“I am so happy that the words reached a lot of people. I don’t know exactly what they mean, and the best thing about any philosophical statement is that it is open to interpretation.

Lehman met the Camp Rattler team at their first Darkenheavy Campfest at Mountain Sky in Jermyn in 2019, where First Jason performed headlining.

“We had so much fun doing that. It was just an absolutely memorable experience. There were so many people and so many metal bands coming together, so I was frankly very impressed with James Callahan and his whole team, ”he recalls.

“He’s a shamanic type of an individual who is certainly a Renaissance man who inspires me, kinda like [makeup artist] Tom Savini did it when I was on the set of “Friday the 13th”. So we released this song and we were talking about making a music video from the event. He heard the song and he was kind enough to call me up and say, ‘Hey Ari, this is the song. We love your music, but this song, ‘The Price of Peace’, we really think it reaches a new level with you, ‘and I feel the same too. It’s something that everyone is really happy to make a video for right now.

“Camp Rattler had worked with Ari in the past, so we were already chatty friends. In all fairness, we really didn’t know what to think of Ari a few years ago. When planning Darkenheavy, Ari would call [assistant producer] Kristin [Rose Shimonis] and I at weird times and do this series of character voices and basically act like crazy, before our first one-on-one. Once we realized this guy was just an eccentric drama artist, it allowed our conversations to wander elsewhere, ”Callahan explained.

“Over the past two years my conversations with Ari have shifted from metal and horror to more global, spiritual and esoteric topics. He’s still one of my favorite new-ish chat buddies.

While his wife applies more makeup to the smaller cast, Gene Altieri, a horror fan “as far back as I can remember,” says he has met Lehman on a number of occasions at various conventions, but he doesn didn’t really get to know him until Darkenheavy. , where his own wild band, Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza, shared the stage with First Jason.

“He was a very entertaining guy. Spending a few days with him really sees him as a person, he’s a very interesting guy. He’s only 150 percent, and that’s why I became friends with him. Every band that played, it was right in front of the stage swinging. He really wanted to be there and have fun, and I respect that, ”Altieri said.

Weathered banners with Jason’s iconic hockey mask adorn the trees leading to the top of a grassy hill on the Altieri property where the band – Eddie Machete (guitar), Fabian Arroyo (drums) and Bass Amp (bass) – is installed to play. No one is actually plugged into anything, but they always give their all as the dedicated film crew (including Ninja Video Productions) take a look at their performance.

Despite shooting for hours, Lehman’s energy actually seems to increase take after take, even as thick smoke fills the air from the nearby controlled fires. His passion for gear shines through in everything he does because he’s as much of a fan as everyone on set, including independent wrestler Megiddo, who traveled to northeastern Pennsylvania from Texas. just to be an extra in the video. His dedication paid off when he was asked to put on the mask and play Voorhees himself in the background.

And in his own way, Lehman never stopped playing Jason, continuing his story through creative paths no movie studio would try to take.

“I think it’s a fantastic legacy. I like the fact that Jason doesn’t speak. I also love that the character I played is still in the water and the image of the water, the whole story of mom, the girl in the boat – there are so many images associated with it. to little Jason maybe because he has this purity of not being a character with such a long screen presence who has another story. It’s absolutely pure, and I hasten to add that if you were to take the number of individuals that I scared off and divide the seconds that I was onscreen by that number, I think I would. scared more people in less time. It’s absolutely the fans, the way they kiss Jason, ”he said with a smile.

“Making the First Jason video was a scream. We had our “extended family” for the day which is really what “really makes my corn cream”. Our people are just the best kind of human, ”said Callahan after a long day of filming.

“This video is the first part of an ongoing pilgrimage of lost souls to what they believe to be the Promised Land. They are all looking for their “beloved” Jason Voorhees. Ari Lehman and First Jason break new ground with “The Price of Peace”. Find the entire album on To find out where all these tragic travelers end up, subscribe to Camp Rattler on YouTube for “Part 2: The Scapegoat” by First Jason. The sequel is scheduled for summer 2022.

“As James indicated, my first contact with Ari often left me in awe of what our first face-to-face meeting would entail. [Darkenheavy] was my first anything of this magnitude, and I was worried that my uncertainty would deteriorate our relationship before it started, ”added Shimonis.

“I was wrong. I have come to respect and truly love Ari. Now, after spending more time with Ari, Eddie Machete, Fabian and Bass Amp, I’m really lucky to have had this opportunity. are all remarkable musicians and an amazing group of gentlemen. On filming day it was my first time stepping on a hot curling iron – kudos to Gene for the burn cream that ultimately saved my day . It was hot and humid. The pitch played against us at times. Suffice it to say, all the things that would spoil the mood. Everyone on set was a soldier from start to finish. I always feel lucky to working with my best friend / fiancé, my friends and our clients who often become friends.

Photos by Jason Riedmiller Photography / NEPA Scene


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