I really love your song “Small Prey”. Reminds me of some of my favorite Christian Death but with like, that sort of screaming howler monkeys part a minute or two in, very disorienting. I can’t believe I had not heard your stuff earlier. Looking forward to obsessing over it! What were your goals making/building this album, or is it more of a sort of less calculated ‘release’ for you as you write?
First thank you & please obsess away & I hope we continue to intrigue you ~
For the HEARTLESS album I feel it is really a homage to bestial work. It incorporates older songs we had written but were able to rerecord them after touring on them and perfecting them. The newer material on the album was very personal in lyrics and style as it reflects what was happening in my life at the time. As with all bestial mouths from the very beginning we are always growing and experimenting. So some of the newer stuff is maybe a little more dark electronic and dance like I think. The album rules is self I think and the writing process and then in the end you can feel where it has taken us and guides the art I believe.
ps~ the screams in small prey…”even in my dreams the screaming never stops”… (our lyrics and songs/subjects transcend each other ~ this is a nightmare of a small child who has been a victim of prey.”
Do you feel…your music has a lot of layers and sort of reveals and also obscures you, if that makes sense? Do you agree? Is it a push/pull between what you are doing for yourself to get something or catharsis out of this and what you are doing ‘for’ the listener?
Yes thank you for noticing and agreeing with this. The goal is to reach the listener but this is also for us as well. My music is very cathartic for me, it is a release and when I perform it is the time i am truly free. I really try and hope to reach the audience and make them feel and experience. In this way the lyrics and subject maybe not so obvious or obscured so everyone can use their life and vision to take from it what they can. As for layering in the actual music, I love that everyone will find a part they feel sticks out and speaks for them (i guess small preys screams are still bouncing around your mind…we can wonder why that part spoke so loudly with you?!”
Do you find you have a lot of cross-over fans from other genres checking you out because it is visceral or intense? Or have you ever scared ‘club’ kids? I don’t like to really generalize or underestimate listeners but…just wondering.
Ha Ha, we have had our share of scaring people, and not that it is our intention, but there is something to seeing the ghostly faces of those. But yes, I love that we have fans from all genres and scenes. Best is when you can look into an audience and see a punk with a normal indie kid, all so wonderful. I am always so excited when a metal fan likes us, they are so technical and intense and high energy, so I find it quite a complement.
What is “Faceless” about to you? One of my favorites of yours. The kind of almost military opening EDM pulse and different vocal elements to make something new as the up tempo carries it away into urgency. You are pulling from different places in a way that I also love about artists like Peter Gabriel or Zola Jesus, for example.
“Faceless” I feel directly reflects the art of our past album, our self titled one on Clandestine. It was inspired from that image of the statue whose face had been blacked over time by the natural elements. To me “faceless” is like being “nameless” as well. I think that’s how I was feeling and what inspired me when figuring out the delivery for the song. I do try to vary my delivery per song to match the lyrics, subject and musical composition. Plus I just like to experiment and try something new always. Its like standing by and being a statue and watching the world around you change, being subject to abuse for life and elements. Secret is this song is the hardest for me to remember and memorize the lyrics for live (i think it is because of ADD and the lyrics are more single words instead of longer sentences). The middle break down reminds me of walking through a tunnel, like a wind tunnel.
Ok, sorta long question. There is an article by Chris Stroop I wanted to mention, a survivor of evangelical indoctrination. It is called ‘Educated Evangelicals, Academic Achievement, and Trumpism: On the Tensions in Valuing Education in an Anti-Intellectual Subculture.’ Anyway, Stroop talks about, to quote:
‘Authoritarianism in power is always accompanied by anti-intellectualism, pseudo-intellectualism, and post-truth conditions. Fundamentalism is authoritarian by definition, it accepts a vision of “the Truth” that is sacrosanct, unquestionable, and, when found to be incompatible with reality, protected through the generation of “alternative facts,” which themselves become unassailable truths within the enclave community that is built up to sustain the fundamentalism in question.’
I know you are politically active and care about women’s rights, etc. Your album is called Heartless and I was wondering, how do we dig back out of a place where the oppressed need to defend themselves but there is also such a disconnect from the professed “christian” belief of “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (which fake Christians who are often quickest to condemn others usually forget to follow first?). Compassion and “having heart” are important but, like, I am also kind of fine with punching Nazis.
Incredible (thank you for enlightening me to this article, I must check it out when my storms of preparing for tour settle and i have time to read and concentrate)>>> This all rings exactly true and how I feel, those under educated are kept down and those in power want this to be able to control and manipulate them for their gain. It kills me that people have no clue that education is number one for our worlds survival, that teachers deserve the salary of movie stars.
Yes I fight for human equality, but of course I fight for what is my experience and plight which is a minority woman.
I wish I had the answer to solve this problem, I guess my thought is if we hold the hate inside it kills us allowing those who put it there and done evil to us (physical, mental or emotional) and those who continue too, to succeed and win twice, because this just destroys us. I have chosen words and performing and music and helping when I can and trying to be a strong positive role model to help, it’s the medium I have and know how to express. I feel your woes of wanting to smash a Nazi face in (maybe even more extreme then others due to my past). But in the end it solves nothing, we have given in and given them what they want. So off to the woods to scream and hit and pound till it is all released, then I can sit and breathe in air and nature and hope to find solace in a tree or bird.
I believe that’s also what drew me to a tribal drum beat, as it can put us in a trance or meditation like to release and all connect.
After many years of mood swings and anxiety, some of which I still suffer from, I finally discovered kinship with the concept of non binary and a lot of my stress I generally embodied to navigate the world dissipated recently, so thankfully. I also have been talking to various poly or kink people lately or about depression, ableism (I won’t say “lame” anymore, I say “that’s wack” instead) and LGBTQ rights online and…there is such demonizing of people. Is it better to try to force dialogue in these matters into the mainstream or kind of build the spaces ourselves and demonstrate that it works to promote understanding, then push outward for growth? In the current climate I have been all about people sort of ‘fortifying’ or doing self-care and finding allies ASAP, but also a wider information dispersal to counter hate is important.
Self care is always number one, we all need to find love and support. first you must have the strength to be able to spread and give, make sure the message is not coming from dark repressed anger which intern hurts you. I have never really understood hatred. I know it’s juvenile and I know the reasons and physiology how it happens, and I know how society continues to let it exist (especially those in power)…but it will always baffle me. We are all here for the same reason in life for love and safety. Why does it matter to someone else how you find it. I feel this way for religion. I get why people need it to help them have something to navigate through life’s shit, but once it tells you to judge or hate or hurt another it’s time to speak out.
History is a cycle and it never seems to change really. We had a period I feel of more security and growth. sadly those who felt threatened to that were building strength and took a campaign to force it/us back. So it is time to do what we can and spread the truth anyway we can – but please always watching for your and those you loves safety (mentally emotionally and physically). For us this all means in different ways and we all can take action in what ways we can and works for us.
I myself have grown up with a brother who had cerebral palsy and brain damaged. I am so proud of him and all he has overcome. Not only did he have to see what his “normal” brother or sister could do and move out, but also deal with society stares and comments. He is my inspiration in life and helps me see things through different eyes, and for that I am very lucky.
How was it working with Jurgen Engler? And you have a remix EP coming as well to coincide with your tour? I would love to make the NY show but my doggy has needed more close monitoring lately. I missed my friends in SubRosa play in NYC last weekend cuz my puppy got shaky from Lyme. Furry friends come first. But I hope it kicks ass for you!
It was of course quite an honor to work with Jurgen! We also got to meet him in person in Austin too. The working relationship was great and I knew he “gets it” and listens to what we want and understands it. Yes, we have a remix album that includes 2 new bestial songs (witch-dance and high walls plus a new mix of the song Down to the bones on it) all drops on 3/15 along with our newest video work skin. I am super excited and proud of that video because it is my directorial debut.
Oh no, Dogs and animals are the reason for being in this world. As I type this my dog who has retired to the best life in Florida with my parents sleeps on my lap (I have had many rescues and fostered a bunch in my life). They are my emotional therapy and i could not exist if this world ceased to have animals. So we will dedicate our NY show to you & your puppy!
I can sort of imagine you having some sort of intense revelation at some point in your life where music sort of unlocked a lot for you. Or a choir of goth angels came down and were like ,“youuuu must rock! Join us!!!” Hahaha. But seriously, was there a breakthrough moment for you that pulled you into this world? You have a fashion background and you can still use that visual sensibility here as well to add intrigue.
Wow, so were you this angel?!!! You are completely correct. I have spent my life always involved in arts. I was always compelled to do something artistic but somehow something was always missing. I tried to give it all up to work rescuing animals and donate my life solely to them, to have some purpose and positive impact on this world. Fashion was so painfully frivolous to me and cruel, though it should not be. It should be fun and to adorn our bodies, which broke my heart more. I could not deal with the focus on women’s bodies and judgement. But I found out I was severely allergic to animals so I was lost in direction.
Life and fate has some plan I believe is slightly set, though we need to still make choices along the journey. At this time music found me by accident (or so I had thought); I was just helping to play a show. My first show at a much older age than most in life, I had never sang in a mic. We tried me on various instruments, guitars, bass and synth but finally I was thrown in the front to perform. Once that happened something clicked in me, I felt I’d found something. Still I was hesitant to believe and accept, I fought with vanity and ego issues and society stereotypes, I did not want to be just a girl singer. In a way I was ashamed to not have more musical talents and felt I maybe was doing worse for our cause then helping. But one day driving to work late on the radio a female performer was speaking, her words pierced straight into me. She had felt the same but then realized she was giving to the world in the way she knew how.
I know that changed me and gave me more strength. So I started showing myself and wearing what I wanted. I still remember around this transition playing a show, it was dude o’clock and experimental show, and I heard negative comments behind my back, “oh here goes Lady Gaga” (because I made an outfit and did makeup more extreme). This encouraged me to be more fiery and not care, after the show “those” asked to play again and stay in contact, so I had shown them I guess, but that did not matter, because the change was in me. I realized I would no longer let men and society hold me back, I would no longer be a victim, and no one will make me feel shamed for being a woman. Fuck you, I will fly above and past you, thus my wings were born on my back, but with a tree as I will always be anchored to earth and my family (my last name means cherry tree in English).
To sort of close out tying in to earlier stuff, your art is entertaining and ‘cool’ but also there is a strong sense of identity in it or at least the right to search for it. “Earth” feels like encouraging growth. I had a family background with both religious qualities as well as some progressive ones. It took a long time to sort of define my own spirituality outside of a ‘map’, even with encouragement to be myself…which obviously with Betsy Devos and other far right types, people are encouraged to be sheep. There literally is no way to follow ‘the word’ of God in the Bible without choosing yourself which of so many translations and contradictions to follow. So you might as well take the best stuff from various world religions and try and be a loving person. And also, Science is certainly part of the Universe that was supposed to be made by God. I pretty much read about Kali and listen to gothy music and metal, lol. Like, there is more shame in fearing your own body and darkness. Love to hear your thoughts? Thanks for your time today. Sorry long questions! Your music got me thinking and feeling, which is good.
Seriously, my thanks is to you for spending this time with me and I appreciate your words, thoughts and questions. Knowing our music reached your soul and made you feel is what I intend. To truly live we all will have fear and darkness, sadness, loneliness, to feel isolated, hurt and face death. To pretend this is not so, and swallow it all, is a punishment. I want to open that up in people and let them feel and embrace it. Evil is those who tell us not too i believe
I too have found exposure to everything the best antidote in life, draw from what connected to you and make what you are. That’s how I have done myself, what I do for bestial mouths as well. Another reason why I also love collaborating with people, to see what they can do, how they may interpret my words or visions, and what they can add to it (and they always do). Working with others pushes you I believe too, you learn and grow and experience new things, where I could get stuck in a cycle and belief holding me back if I only ever worked alone, I believe.