Xasthur (VO)

interview Xasthur (USA)Hello Malefic! First of all, could you introduce us the project Xasthur? A small biography and the meaning of it?
Xasthur has become my existence. I began recording with a small and unstable line-up on and off in 1997, though some of the music was written ’95-96. All other members failed and since 2000 this band has consisted of only my self. From the beginning I decided not to bother with the ‘trying to preach to the already converted’ routine, as the meaning behind it is to express the darkest side of myself and the darkest side of death and life, to hurt morale, I’d be fine with taking responsibility for people that want to be damaged mentally and spiritually, whether they know it or not. I wanted to create a mirror and/or a dark cloud, the kind that follows a human’s consciousness. I created Xasthur to abandon typical life, to open up another plane or world for myself mainly, to seek individualism and to paint a picture of how little life means, be it a weapon if not a protest against it, as well as alienating myself from it. To create hopelessness, oppression, confusion, disorientation, a sonic grave dug to manifest into death and most importantly, to drag others down into my hell by giving poison the mask of a drug. I'm not going to sit here and lie to you by saying that my music and it's meaning is so important that it's going to change the world, that would be naive and ridiculous, the 60's are over, but any kind of damage in any kind of way or number the music can influence would suit me well enough.

Could you present us your last album, “Subliminal Genocide”?
It took a long time to have it released and during that period, it came close to being put into the wrong hands. I think that people assumed that they knew what to expect with this album, but they didn’t, some random piece of shit basically ‘stole’ the album from me when it wasn’t even done and decided to 'share' it with the public, I in turn ended up making many changes for the better on this album, so it ended up working out to my advantage. I think Subliminal Genocide is more of a focused effort, I was able to take my time on it, for example, no two songs really sounded like they were created back to back because it was done more patiently nearly over a couple of years, it didn’t seem like there was any time frame on it to be completed because my future wasn’t looking too certain. I think the album is different (and I don’t mean that as if I’ve decided to perform a different genre of music), but I do mean that as in darker, I think the vocals were probably the biggest improvement as they were as harsh as needed, I think this album will help those drag themselves deeper into their own agony and reflect that and a reflection of human worthlessness, it isn’t necessarily 11 songs about genocide. I’d say this album is more ‘depressive’ and structured better than some previous recordings. There is more to explore and more improvements to be made, so I'm not spending much time dwelling on this album and I don't spend much time looking back, only ahead. I think it's a bit outdated and doesn't completley represent what I'm doing currently, I can truthfully say that I made the most out of what I had to work with, but don't get me wrong, I am quite p
interview Xasthur (USA)leased with the outcome of Subliminal Genocide.

Why such a name?
I see something that most ‘normal’ people consider terrible and negative such as Genocide to be justice, deserved, positive, fair and absolute in this day and age we’re in and the day and age we are approaching, it is the ultimate solution instead of thousands of solutions that don’t work, soon we will all give up on the idea of rehabilitating man, the world, life, whatever you want to call it, but even more so, ourselves. I believe the slow death has just recently begun, motives for the end that we don’t even know are there, give up on yourself, others will follow. There was a song originally titled ‘Servants of Genocide’ on the album until a couple of old friends that have been into black metal for years suggested the title Subliminal Genocide to me (not knowing of the Servants of title) saying that it fit the music and my point of view better, they seemed to remember my tirades about genocide some years ago, so out of respect to them and trusting their judgement, I stuck with the name Subliminal Genocide, even though I usually never consider anyone else’s input but my own, something told me it was meant to be and it fits because there is also a track entitled ‘Malice Hidden in Surrealism’, so it’s like a puzzle where even if it’s hard to see, fits. I’m grateful for the suggestion by the way.

Where do you find inspiration for such a dark music?
I think my hate for people has overwhelmed me; the inspiration could be just as simple as that, being too aware of living in a fake world full of lies. I hate just about everything and have a natural apathy towards life and what it has to offer nowadays, there for I remain in a life that has nothing in it for me. I’m in my own hell created out of opposition. The music’s aura is an image of who I am and a subtle projection of personal agony is needed. I don’t have many feelings, words or conversations left in me so making dark music is nearly my only means of communication and emotion, not to mention, one of the many testimonies, paintings and interpretations of death. Other influences: urban decay, psychology, nature, nightmares, mood disorders, the end of the world, personal problems, genocide, knowing that dark music has the possibility of being a power, a power that can have a negative influence…that’s as far as I will go as to things I will mention.

It could seem strange to see a Xasthur’s album out on Hydra Head Records. This isn’t really a Black Metal label…
I am not the only black metal band on Hydra Head, Heresi is here also. I immediately got along with the staff when first meeting them; they are the label that has respect for Xasthur, these things are most important. I don’t feel as if I have to worry about getting ripped off with Hydra Head, they have been honest. For the first time in a few years, I can go back to focusing on making black metal music without having to worry about the behind the scenes bullshit and I don’t have to worry about the music being thrown down the drain either. What’s really different is that they make the band feel like they are the most important part of an album’s release, in fact, I feel very fortu
interview Xasthur (USA)nate to have been added to the Hydra Head roster.

Could you talk to us about the Artwork of your discs? It’s always very dark for every album, certainly more this time!
Besides the Subliminal Genocide artwork, one of the better examples of the artwork fitting the album would have to be ‘Suicide in dark serenity’, in my mind it’s a photo of an escape that really isn’t an escape, finding emptiness and misery in what was thought of as so serene, to me this also represents ‘drowning within the streams you once drank from’, wandering through these landscapes and not being able to tell the difference between life and death. My interpretation of To Violate the Oblivious, dying flowers weak and fragile being stalked by death, that which is falling needs to be pushed, well, there’s quite a few album covers to go over and some aren’t worth talking about, but you get somewhat of an idea. If I had more confidence and interest in my own artwork (with actual paint that is) I think that would blend the best with an album.

You make a lot of splits records, is there a precise reason for this?Splits records usually have some of the material that wasn’t used on a previous or future full length
It had usually done out of respect and/or admiration for other black metal art such as Leviathan, Nortt, Angra Mainyu, Nachtmystium etc to combine two different moods and atmospheres as one. You are correct, some materials on splits were tracks that were left off of a full length album and some were written in between albums. I have a few more split ep’s coming out next year, but after these are done, I’m strongly thinking of giving up on the idea of split records to focus on full lengths; it takes longer than 5 or 10 minutes for everything to come together as a whole and sink in.

Any project for a close future?
If you’re talking about side projects in the future, the answer seems to be no, nothing in the forecast. I find focusing just on Xasthur to be fulfilling enough, it keeps be busy enough. For the past 8 to 9 months, I have been working on a new album entitled Defective Epitaph, which in fact, will be the most different one to date, a few changes made that were needed, this album will be a different or even bizarre kind of grave desecration… I’ll get into that later on, in time.

Could you tell us what “Spirit of Metal” means for you?
a). My spirit for metal as a ‘scene’ has gone downhill over the last couple of years, it’s filled with hypocrites, businessmen and bands who ride the coat-tails of others, sad to say it isn’t so much about the music or even the spirit anymore. These respected fools are fooling you all! Believe me; I now have a very clear idea of what’s going on. I want the black metal scene to see its end and be destroyed. b). Spirit of Metal zine is what you’re probably really wondering about. It seems familiar to me; I think I read a review of something on this site once upon a time, though my French is minimal.

Thank you very much for your time! Last words are yours!
That’s all for now. Thank you for this opportunity and for your interest.
r>
Interview done by N.

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darkaryanmoon - 18 Październik 2006: ohhhhhh, xasthur is my favorite band,

enjoy....thanks alot
Baal - 25 Październik 2006: Yeah!
The better OMB of the world!
Hail to Malefic.
Xasthur rules.
Mortem - 31 Październik 2006: Excellent interview for one of USA's best black metal act ever! XASTHUR rules among total darkness!
 
ElectricSex - 22 Styczeń 2007: Nice Interview.
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