The Interview That Antifa Wants Destroyed
For the past week, our sites have been under attack by an Antifa/Dreipfeil botnet. Last night they began attacking the page that houses this interview. Since it upsets them so much, I reproduce it here for the enjoyment of our readers.
Spinoza Ray Prozak Interview
this interview with mutlu yetkin of turkish fanzine studyoimge turned out to be a great insight into metal and the subject alike. if you live in turkey, support these guys, as they're thinking clearly in a world of fogbrains.
What defines "real" "authentic" "intimate" metal? There is no single criterion or main criterion except the music itself. To me it's clear that all things exist on a scale from the most simplistic to the most evolved, and the evolved things provide most of what I enjoy in life: thinking, interacting, solving problems, learning that which is eternal. For that reason, it's clear as day to me that a band like Cannibal Corpse is a distant ripoff of Morpheus Descends, and that Pantera are wannabes emulating Metallica and Prong from the late 1980s. Are they "evil"? No - there's things I like about each, but the whole package is always more than the parts, and, in their cases, the whole package represents something that is useless to those of us who wish to move toward the higher end of the scale.
This isn't to say I endorse a "progressive" view of history or any other idea that believes we're moving from a primordial state of ruin to an enlightened state of mind. That's the oldest con (ripoff) in the book: the idea that the world is terrible and there's a better way than nature, which is that which brought us to the state in which we're even able to think about such things! No - the world has always been perfect, and there are different places within it, from the most basic to the most advanced, which is often the simplest - but not the most simplistic (a word that means concerned with the most "lowest common denominator" motivations, like fornication, gluttony, amusement, etc). The "progressive" and Hegelian view of history is an illusion. But one can choose to evolve personally, becoming better at being what one is, regardless of position in life. I'm not at the highest, or at the lowest, but in the middle; however, in this middle position, I am trying to become the most evolved version of that, that I can. At some point, myself or my descendents will grow to that level and correspondingly pass to another level, all without leaving this world. It is better than what the priests suggest.
That which is authentic is that which expresses authentic thoughts. To me, bands like Cannibal Corpse, Ulver, Pantera and Cradle of Filth are pandering to an audience; they look at the crowd and say, "Oh, this is what pleases you? Here's our version, buy our records and/or make us part of your scene so we feel like we're important!" - that is the mentality of the crowd and of those who lack honor and leadership. It's more important to be honest and say "these are the values that are important to me and on this basis I create my art" in the way Morpheus Descends, Incantation, Averse Sefira, Belial, Ildjar or Sepultura did. There are deluded political bands as well, who pretend they're asserting their values on the world but are conforming to an ideal they think they should uphold. Most of these are leftist tools like Bad Religion and Phobia, but there are plenty of blockhead rightist bands who bleat the party line without exploring anything of what it means. I can say that Bad Religion and I agree about 60% in beliefs, and Landser and I agree about 60% in beliefs, but I'm not interested in artists who repeat beliefs. I'm interesting in people who make art to keep life alive.
Chris Mitchell, another interviewer, asked me a question about this and, I don't mean to be gauche or crude here, but my answer there occurred well and I'd like to simply post it here if you don't mind (you probably don't need to include this disclaimer, but I don't want to mislead about where it occurred), because art is what metal is and the better art is what I praise; the lesser art really isn't art, it's a product, or it's propaganda, or it's entertainment, and all of those are designed to keep you repeating something and to get you to do something very simple, like "buy this CD!" or "vote for john kerry!" or "be a false socialite asshole like us!" - here's that Q&A:
"1) Is there no point to art? Is art by itself, without any message or ideology a waste of out time?
Art is another form of communication; its message is the same message anyone might say, which is the process of affirming what they find meaningful and illustrating how it overcomes what they don't find meaningful. I think we expose ourselves to art to share connections to the process of life itself. Thus, art that describes the process of life is meaningful, but art that is corrupted by politics or sentiment, only, is an illness (I'm thinking of Ani DiFranco and Ulver here)."
The greatest bands, and I'd take examples like Enslaved or Demilich or Burzum or Ildjarn here, create out of their emotions, which they recognizes are thoughts, and are organized thoughts. They put forth a vision of the world and then explore it, finding a journey which takes you the listener from wondering what it is to understanding it, although you're not really expected to judge it as agreeing with it or not, just to find the simple beauty of life - discovery and the passion and sensation of living - in the process of descending into it. They don't propagandize you like Bad Religion or Landser tend to do (although Landser is better music than Bad Religion, and both are much better and more honest than Ani DiFranco).
Once I got into the mindset of playing the music that I found was meaningful, something which I'll add was encouraged by the staff at KSPC who - despite whatever other failings they have, and whatever failed methods of choosing good music they have - have always espoused as an idea the concept of being selective about music and using that selectivity to better the genre and force it along the evolutionary ladder (thanks to Erica and Jos), I started to expand the show. At first, it was mostly late 1980s speed and quasi-death metal like Prong, Slayer, Sepultura and Sarcofago. Over time the mainstream stuff dropped out, in part because I had the support of the radio station in going for a "close to purer art" playlist, and this enabled me to stop caring about radio-friendliness or pleasing the crowd. I refused to play Pantera and Cannibal Corpse, and for every five people that alienated, I found someone who had a larger connection to the show. Sure, my audience could have been twice as big if I'd played to the crowd impulse, but I did instead what I thought was right and thus the quality of the show went up as did its importance, because instead of reaching people of transient lives and intellect, I was reaching the smarter people who could articulate the importance of bands.
So the different phases of metal... well, I came in on the note of the death of the speed metal, right before Metallica finally decided to chuck in the towel and become a pop band. At first I played death metal, but within a year I was rotating the best of the new (at the time) Norwegian black metal as well as some forgotten greats like Belial from Finland, and the result was that my show soon morphed into underground metal. I've never found heavy metal all that appealing, outside of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, because generally it's moronic rock music which is all rhythm and harmony with no structure. What I liked about classical music was its sense of design and structure. Naturally I picked music that was close to that and to my other influences, which in rock music were things like Yes, Camel, King Crimson and the Beatles. I still have a weak spot for AC/DC because they were so impassioned and unafraid to be simple, but their sense of melody and joy of living never wavered. Once the show went underground, it became a full-on phenomenon of its own. I can't even describe what it was here, but people would tune in every Friday to hear it and would contribute anything they could, phoning in the names of bands or sending CDs and tapes down to the station. Fan support was fantastic, and for awhile there, a community did exist.
Around 1998, I needed to leave California and my lifestyle there, and had an opportunity to move and took it. About a year before, the bottom had dropped out of black metal; death metal had slowed down in 1994 and three years later was nearly nonexistent. Basically, underground metal had become stagnant because the second and third generations of fans now had a template: "I want to be a brutal death metal band" or "I want to be a melodic black metal band"; it didn't take any brains to invent a style of music and make it structurally complex anymore. In fact, the classical influences (which came into the music in part through Bathory, but also through bands like Judas Priest) were starting to drop out of the genre entirely, replaced by a simplistic rhythm-music trend that I can only identify as coming from post-1987 punk (rock), rap, and techno. The music was dumbing down and my passion was fading, so I left. That was six years ago.
Information music applies really to the music of Kraftwerk, as well as the better metal bands like Burzum, and refers to the tendency to use a motivic pattern to cause a melody to evolve over the course of a song of fixed aesthetic, so that without experiencing much of a stylistic change a song varies greatly, even poetically revealing a story or experience. I'd argue that Burzum is information music, especially the first two albums, and that other metal bands such as Ildjarn have a tendency to the same.
Neo-classical means any music with classical values, performed in the styles of a modern time. Obviously, this excludes some genres that tend toward structures contrary to the classical imperative; you'll never have a neo-classical techno band, or hip-hop band, or jazz/blues band: they're contra-structural. However, selected bands from electronica, metal and industrial apply. I'm not really jazzed by neofolk. To me it seems like a ripoff, but I haven't explored it much. Pre-rock folk music is more my style, but now you have to find it in "world music" if at all because "folk" now means "folk rock" like Ani DiFranco and Bob Dylan, which is essentially degenerate music dressed up in pastoralism.