As a recurring feature here on the blog, I like to interview people with “metal” jobs – either within the industry or just jobs I think would be awesome. And this week, I’m pleased as Plutarch to present Elena Bathory, a metal model and clothing designer making a name for herself working with bands like Skeletonwitch and Dark Funeral.
First, for a bit of background, can you tell us about how you got started as a model?
I have always wanted to be a model since I was a kid. As I got older I relaized I wasn’t a candidate for the typical model. I started getting into the alternative scene and came across some modeling pages on myspace for alternative models. I got so excited and started planning out a shoot right away.
You’ve worked with some pretty big bands – Dark Funeral, Skeletonwitch, Verkrag – can you tell us how you managed to hook that up? What’s it like working with bands?
Well, with Dark Funeral I was one of two winners of a merchandise modeling contest for the band. I also won the Devian metal model contest. With Verkrag, Anton, the man behind Verkrag, contacted me on myspace to be a part of his “13 victims” project. I started with Skeletonwitch just by asking them if they would like me to model their merch. I actually was supposed to work with them last year when they shot a music video at this metal bar here in Brooklyn. They had wanted a girl to dance on the bar during their performance and someone contacted me from the bar to do it but I had to work that day. So, I was glad I was eventually able to work with them after missing that opportunity.
It’s great working with bands! I love supporting the metal scene and the bands.
What have been some of your favorite modeling jobs / shoots?
Some of my fave modeling shoots are horror shoots. I love getting all bloody and posing with sharp objects lol. When I shoot horror I can become a completely different person. I can be a psycho killer or a helpless victim. It’s really fun! My fave modeling job of recently has been a beach shoot for an alternative clothing designer, Isabelle Batz, new swimsuit line. It was a chilly day but I had fun and it was exciting.
Do you have any modeling horror-stories?
Hmmm well once I did a rooftop shoot with this photographer who kept talking about how much of a sex addict he was and just talking about things that were inapropriate. As if that would impress me or something lol.
How do you think TV shows like America’s Next Top Model have helped, or hindered the modeling industry, in particular the alternative modeling industry?
I think it has helped the modeling industry in a way. That show gave ordinary girls a chance to become actual models, which I think is cool. I just think they should have a similar show for alternative models. They probably will when I’m too old and wrinkly to participate lol.
You shoot nude shots for conceptual art. Can you tell us how you got into that? How do potential clients react to you nude shots? What, in your opinion, separates artwork featuring nude women from pornography?
I got into it very early in my modeling career. My work was seen by a fetish art photographer who wanted to include me in his upcoming book. At that shoot I also shot with another photographer who included me in his book as well. They are called “upskirts, and panties, and girls, oh my” by LC Misfit studios and “Rebound” by David Lawrence, in case anyone wants to check that out;)
Potential clients react well to my nude shots. They see that I am open minded and comfortable with my body and photographers enjoy working with models who are confident about themselves.
What seperates artwork featuring nude women from pornography is, artwork explores the beauty of the naked body and pornography focuses on the act of sex.
You now model full-time. That’s a dream-come-true for many models. Can you tell us how you’ve managed to get to this point?
I don’t really model full time. It’s not like I’m travelling the world and shooting everyday. I would love to travel to places like the UK and do runway shows and stuff. That’s when you know you’re a hugely successful alternative model, when you’ve got jobs on the other side of the world and appearing on the cover of alternative magazines. Hopefully I am on my way there! I have good months and bad months with work. I am working on my own website so hopefully once that’s up I will be noticed more and offered more jobs.
You’ve also recently launched your own clothing line “Metal Vixen Threads”. Tell us a little about how “Metal Vixen Threads” started and what you’ll be doing with the line in future?
I started MVT of October of last year. I just wanted to create a casual line especially made for metal girls that they can wear at concerts or wherever else they want to show off with pride that they are a metal chick. I just added some mens t-shirts too.
I love your clothing line because I don’t think there’s enough casual fashion out there specifically for metal chicks. Goth chicks yes. Punk chicks, yes. But not metal chicks. Any thoughts on why this is?
They are out there, my line is more casual and laid back than those out there.
As an “alternative” model, you probably deal with some negative reactions when you tell people what you do. How do you cope with doing something for a career many people consider “vulgar” or “satanic” or “weird”?
I really don’t care if others see what I do in that way. If they find it weird or whatever then that just shows me that they are not open minded and can’t appreciate art in all forms.
What advice would you give to anyone else wanting to become a metal model?
Get yourself noticed by bands. Work with as many bands as you can to get noticed.
What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you because of modelling?
The best thing that’s ever happened is making new friends with cool people who support me and my work. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the people I have met along the way.
What is the next step for Elena Bathory?
The next step is my membership website;p There you will be able to see exclusive photos and sets not seen anywhere else plus videos of photo shoots and more. There, fans can also purchase posters and other Elena Bathory merchandise. I will also be working with more metal bands and appearing on a few album covers. I will also be appearing in an upcoming issue of Bizarre magazine as an ultra vixen and some of my photos will be featured in Girls and corpses magazine next month.
What was the first album you ever brought? Your first metal album?
Slayer’s Hell Awaits!
Can you name your top five metal albums?
Hard to narrow it to just five. Hell awaits, Black album, The somberlain, Chaos A.D., Iowa
What bands and albums have you heard recently that have stood out to you?
One band that I can really say have greatly caught my interest is Skeletonwitch. Their new album Breathing the fire is awesome! I have done merch work for them and will be doing more soon:)Another band that I have done merch work for that the music has stood out to me is Wrath Passion. A great Norwegian black metal band. The new Deftones album is good too.
What was your best ever live music experience?
Iron Maiden a few years ago at Madison square garden. I was really far from the stage but it was still awesome!
Who or what inspires you?
Metal inspires me a lot as well as horror movies. As for a person, I really like the alternative model Masumi Max. My fans also inspire me. They make me want to be the best I can so I can give them the best.
Thank you Elena for stopping by to answer some questions. It’s always great seeing metal chicks rocking their own thing. You can find out more about Elena Bathory by becoming her fan on facebook, checking out Elena’s model mayhem page, her Elena Bathory Myspace page, or keeping an eye on :
Peace, Love, and Fucking Metal