• das erste: Nicht ohne Verluste
• Skindred + special guests
• Lesung aus „Gedenken abschaffen!“ zum Diskurs um den 13. Februar
• Defeater, Caspian, Landscapes, Goodtime Boys
• Kylesa, Sierra, Jagged Vision
• Ja, Panik
• No Bragging Rights, Light Your Anchor, To The Wind
• Klub: Electric island. DJs: Kim Brown, Falke, Elin
• Caféshow: Die Nerven + Support
• Filmriss Filmquiz
• The Ocean, Der Weg einer Freiheit
• Ugly Heroes (Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent, Red Pill)
• Dritte Wahl, Diva kollektiv, Auf Bewährung
• FAQ: Conne Island
• inside out: Zur Auseinandersetzung mit der Band „Thy Art Is Murder“
• interview: ...mit der Band „Thy Art Is Murder“
• position: Über die Arbeit in Sexarbeit
• doku: German Abstiegsangst.
• doku: Die alternativlose Universität
• doku: Lampedusa – über die öffentliche Diskussion zur europäischen Flüchtlingspolitik
• das letzte: Faschismus!!!
Im Folgenden findet Ihr, wie in unserer Stellungnahme angekündigt, das Interview mit der Band Thy Art Is Murder vom 17.01.2014.
Wir betrachten die Band nach wie vor mit gemischten Gefühlen, insbesondere da sich der Sänger, nach dem für uns recht zufriedenstellenden Interview, auf der Bühne eher widersprüchlich äußerte. Trotz allem können wir konstatieren, dass sich die Auseinandersetzung mit der Band gelohnt hat und wir die Deathcore-Szene noch keineswegs abschreiben müssen.
Das Interview führten VertreterInnen des Conne Island mit den Bandmitgliedern Sean (Bass) und Andy (Gitarre).
First of all, we would like to explain why there is so much fuss about your band all of a sudden. We have been dealing with subcultures for over 23 years and we have always been aware of the fact that there are certain hazards in the way we put our cultural program together. Our personal political convictions can not always be the only standard to which we hold all of the artists that play on our stage but we try to stick to a minimal political consensus.
Whenever we are confronted with people working at Conne Island or on stage, who support musical or subcultural content we don’t appreciate, we try to argue and talk to them in order to understand their motivations. This is what we’re doing right now. Deathcore has been a part of our program for a few years now and there has been a lot of discontent for a while because of lyrics and behavior of bands as well as fans. We would like to find out if we still want to work with the scene or if it has already drifted to far from our sphere of influence.
What do you think about the common glorification of sexual abuse and violence in death metal and death core in general?
Sean: I guess growing up listening to bands like Cannibal Corpse and stuff like that I never really took it all that seriously.
Andy: It’s like horror movies.
S: yeah it’s like when you watch a horror film. It’s an element of shock value. It’s that extreme that it’s kind of comical in a way. Listening to death metal, there’s a few bands like Cannibal Corpse that are really gory.
A: I don’t listen to any bands that have lyrics about sexual violence and I’ve never heard any lyrics about sexual violence, except for Thy Art Is Murder. I didn’t play in the band then and I actually don’t even like that CD. I don’t listen to any music that has violent lyrics or in particular anything about sexual abuse. I’d brush it off as immature I suppose.
S: I don’t pay much attention to death metal gory descriptive lyrics. At the time we released that stuff I was only playing guitar in the band and the singer that wrote the lyrics is no longer with us. So I can’t really speak for him.
A: I don’t know how common it is. It’s something that I’m not aware of. I guess the first White Chapel-EP, there’s some of that stuff in there. But it was also very vague as well.
S: There’s obviously an intrigue. There’s a culture of young people that find it interesting to read up on serial killers and stuff like that. I guess that’s nothing new. people have always been intrigued by that. I don’t know, people find serial killers interesting for some reason.
A: Even my mom likes serial killers!
S: ..and I don’t know if that’s an inspiration for lyrical content, I’m not sure.
So you say it’s more about dealing with real existing violence by exaggerating in a horror film kind of way. Just like Cannibal Corpse use horror film related art on their CD covers.
S: I think it’s a way to turn heads for them, going against the grains. Now we’ve kind of changed that tune in the way that we’re not singing about these things because we see it as immature now.
A: I would certainly liken it to horror films. One of the other bands watched this film called A Serbian Film today that I’d heard about but I’d never watched and that has been banned in over 20 different countries or has been edited down which, I guess, is your kind of censorship, like us having a discussion about what should be allowed to pass and what shouldn’t be. In that case the director felt that [he had to do something that] was shocking in order to push a certain psychological agenda to the viewer and what actually takes place in the film isn’t the actual message. But it’s just the way of effectively communicating it through shock because in today’s society we are pretty desensitized to a lot of things, so people become more and more extreme and every extreme position must to be met with an equally extreme opposition. That’s pretty interesting I guess.
In the past you have been rejecting questions about the brutality towards women on your first EP Infinite Death. In an interview with the German website metal.de you said something like „Those words [about women] never really had any weight, it’s just hard music. When it comes to negative feedback, we usually ignore it.“ Why didn’t you ignore the criticism coming from Conne Island?
A: I cant speak about this metal.de-website because I didn’t do the interview. Maybe CJ, our singer, did the interview and he certainly has his own agenda with the whole lyrical thing because he is not the same singer and a lot of the fans complain that he isn’t the same singer. So he doesn’t even want to admit that there was another singer in the band so he might just brush it off because of an entirely separate agenda. He gets very upset when people try to compare him as a vocalist, not a lyricist, but as a performer. So he gets very defensive when people ask him about stuff that happened in the band before he joined it.
In terms of ignoring criticism coming from Conne Island… I guess it’s the first time, and I appreciate the opportunity, that someone’s actually questioned us on a deeper plane of thought, other than trying to stir the band up for an interview just to make us angry or to make us uncomfortable. I guess why we didn’t ignore it is that it seems like a genuine offer to discuss an issue that you have with the lyrics and the band’s previous works. And an issue that we might have not being able to perform a show because of those things and I guess it might be similar to wanting to explain or discuss any problems that might be from your past or personal life. In this case it’s the band’s personal history. So I guess that’s why we didn’t ignore it. Generally, I guess if I was asked in an interview, I would possibly approach it the same way that CJ has, because I wasn’t in the band and it had nothing to do with me. So I would rather talk about my time in the band and, you know, it’s almost entirely a new band. But I guess if someone wanted to know, with enough agenda, how I felt about it, I would explain.
S: Me personally, being a founding member of the band… The fact is, we did half a tour with this singer. He wrote lyrics and for me it was always contributing in writing the music but as far as the lyrical side, I had no creative input. I guess, with the band and following it on the internet, people might take it a little more seriously and maybe more literally. From outside the group you obviously look at it differently. But my personal contribution to that is the music and like I said, the singer only did half a tour with us in such an early stage of our career.
A: I feel like the question wants to ask another question. I think the real question is: How do we feel about the lyrics on the previous recordings?
Are you still playing the songs?
A: Sometimes we do.
A: I complain about it every day that we play them. I say: „Please can we not play these songs!?” And then fans will ask for them and then maybe we’ll play them. Sometimes we don’t, the last two tours we didn’t play them.
The last two tours? Okay, it’s the internet, but we found different set lists and about 15 of them from 2013 included at least one song from the EP.
S: There’s one song that everyone seems to like, Whore to a Chainsaw. I’d love to not play it. But when people are chanting it, what are you meant to do? Especially when we started touring internationally and we’d been a band for years and people had an opportunity to see us play live, I feel like we owe that to the people that like our band. They’re waiting to see that song performed live and we’re coming over for the first time, especially in the states which we toured a lot last year. We would love to not play those songs but now that we’re touring more and we’ve done more tours overseas, we’re trying to slowly filter those songs out of the set and replace them with new songs that the newer members have something to do with and can be proud of playing. I never really thought too deeply into it, I guess. When we were recording that record, I wasn’t too fond of it then but I was in no position to argue.
A: He also told me, that when they were recording, they didn’t even know what the lyrics were gonna be and the singer just turned up to the studio when no one was there and recorded them and then he goes „Here’s the songs!”.
S: People like the songs, for whatever reason.
Do you feel like your music and statements off-stage can have an impact on your fans? Do you think explicit lyrics can influence the audience, especially young fans, in a negative way if it is left without comment by the artists performing it?
A: I cant speak for the older lyrics, because as far as my experience, I’ve rarely come across fans that are from the previous records. How old is Infinite Death? 2008? I guess [it’s] six years old, when he [Sean] was sixteen and so the fans were of a similar age group and now the band has a more mature sound and the fans are generally in a mid twenties kind of age group and not in a young teenage age group so I think they’re a lot more mature in the way that they interpret the lyrics and in the way that they absorb them. I contributed a lot of the lyrics to the last record and I feel that they’re much more intellectual because I’ve got certain intellectual agendas that I would like to push. And so I think it’s important to have actual substance in them. Whereas the record in the middle, The Adversary… I don’t think there was really any meaning to it at all. I think it was very Cannibal Corpse in the way that it’s just a lot of brutal lyrics that don’t actually mean anything. I think the new record has a very distinct vision that I wanted to push towards education and political awareness. And I hope that that is communicated across the people. But I’m unsure of how my off-stage... well I don’t think that I’d do anything unbecoming of myself off-stage. But also we’ve done a lot of interviews where I elaborate on the meaning of the lyrics.
If I have lyrics that I write, I explain to the band what they actually mean in regular plain English.
S: Now we feel proud to play songs off of the last record because there is substance to them and, despite it being a deathcore record, there is a positive, kind of uniting agenda to the lyrics. Whereas obviously the earlier lyrics were a little less.
A: What I take from the earlier lyrics, not knowing the singer, is that his girlfriend must have broken up with him and he was very angry. Honestly that’s all that I can take away from it. That is obviously an issue or was an issue with that person. I don’t think it’s worth telling people about. Whereas if you have something worth saying, then maybe you should put that into lyrics in a song.
So what about tonight? What if the kids here ask you to play the songs?
S: We’ve been prepared to not play the songs, obviously it’s a delicate situation so we are happy to not play them. It’s actually a good excuse to not play them.
A: The drummer especially also hates playing the songs. I probably hate playing them the most. Everyone else just does it because the fans say so.
As a part of the deathcore scene, are you still able to be objective about it and criticize aspects of that culture?
A: Yes! We play over 200 shows a year, so the last thing that we wanna do is hang out with more people that play deathcore.
S: Obviously bands that we listen to and influence us have a possibly similar lyrical content, like Suicide Silence.
A: I don’t think that our lyrics currently sound anything like Suicide Silence.
S: Yeah, but the music hasn’t disappeared. People still actively listen to that music but I feel that any band that’s still doing that in 2014 is dated.
A: We actually turned down a t-shirt design today, because we thought that it was too very young 16-year-old deathcore.
But in terms of being objective about the deathcore scene and criticizing aspects of the culture, I do that pretty much all of my time because I really don’t like the deathcore scene. I would much prefer to probably be in some kind of indie rock scene. I spend all of my time at home at a coffee shop, drinking coffee and doing dumb things that are not typically deathcore things. Pretty much all I do is criticize people, like the cliche dumb American, like „Yeah! Fuck yeah Deathcore!“ That annoys me.
S: But I guess it is our origins as well, for me anyway. There’s the bands that influenced me at some point, so it is what it is and I understand if you guys have a problem with it. I feel like, as I said before, it is dated and every band that’s still doing that should grow up. Obviously we’re a deathcore band and we fall into that genre, but as a music listener I don’t really actively listen to that much deathcore. Besides the bands that we’re friends with and that we tour with. So I don’t really have a whole lot to do with it and I don’t really know whats going on within the scene.
Thanks for taking the time!