Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dhampyr [Interview # 185]

1) While some artists seem to have a more obvious name, the term “Dhampyr” in my opinion has become much more than just a moniker under which to create music. It is a collective, perhaps a cult-like feel to it. I would liken it to perhaps the Grateful Dead and their following of “Deadheads”, but still somehow find the comparison unfit. What are your thoughts on “Dhampyr” not being as much of an alias as it is a movement?

I have no claim on that, or something else like that. That’s a territory that I’m not too sure of; I wouldn’t know where to go to plug myself off into, to make some sort of tangy outrage that is wonderful in its own worth to emerge as anything obvious enough that maybe it ought not to go away: there’s supposedly a very specific detachedness  in that sort of enterprise. It’s a sort of stricken mode of humming through smoke – of chanting corrupt through subtle dirt and clotted loveliness the often self-accusatory music of generationally invented paranoids, or else, fashionably fucked-up schizoids…it all sounds like so many lonesome fingernails crossing out the lyrics of the last guys’ song. But it’s all so terrifically terrible and impolite and probably necessary at all events so that we don’t dismiss it readily. And maybe that’s not so wrong. But I don’t know that what I’m doing is so liturgical or dharmic as to point toward lovely futures or cheapened motel-rooms (on the house, champagne; on the floor, everything else”), or something otherwise.
 It’s a tale of roses caught in the headlights of a deer. It’s nonsensical. Where does the drunk go after the fifth drink, impelled by the shuddering beauty of wine and its kingly anointments? Either he goes for a sixth, or he goes out into the night and the stars dispute his diadem of tangled hair/kidneys – “You are not king, you grievous bastard. Praise us. Our virtue is more – and we are dust-motes, after all!”

2) Your music often comes with contributing musicians and at times they can even be seeming guest spots by artists behind other projects, Swallowing Bile for example. Do you have any intentions of collaborating with all of your  artists at some point to create an overall family experience ala The Gathering of the Juggalos?

While those are some great guys, it wouldn’t work. The Gambino Family worked. The Manson Family worked. The Jugglers do something, too, I’m sure. Maybe we ought to just vote ourselves on that bill. If I could learn how to resist arrest like a ballerina on Benzedrine, I’m sure I could hang out with those guys for a bit. Invariably, though, like all families, the beer runs out. The wine runs out; the women; the drugs; God runs out. And you (invariably) twitch down toward 1-95 on a bend, bending, spitting at cherubic roadkilled heaps and pulling on your last Marlboro and Love and Death splash pain at you and you click up the off-ramp, accelerate, wind up, wind down, and wait to just go to sleep.

4) Someone once said that due to the loud levels both rap music and metal were perhaps best left off of cassette, but I grew up listening to both on cassette and feel as if they do justice these days as well when recorded properly. What are your thoughts on being a heavier sounding act yet on cassette?

Someone said once too – you couldn’t convince me it wasn’t Nixon – that we ought to put the ‘70s to trial for five decades. The man lost a few reels of tape and held out forever against the industry. The “They” and the “Other,” just little dictators tossing the first confusing pitch. (Invariably) they’re nearly perfectly wrong in every case; and by the case, too.

5) With your releases, you seemingly have each one on a different label. (Only one label seems to really overlap) Do you feel that we’ve reached a point now where artists no longer need to commit to one label so much as garner more exposure by playing the role of a musical Johnny Appleseed?

While there’s a new side of transience to things, I never felt it was altogether not forever unnecessary to follow the small dictations of one label, or enterprise, or sound…for that reason, too, do I not record the same record twice – or, I’ll at be decent enough if I do, in fact, pass off old material as new, to apply some different name. Or else, I just won’t.

 Confessedly, the music on the new record is largely new still to warrant a special kind of consideration. (And, of course, the new vocalist on the record – Maxim S. Laurent – has done a significant number of good things; the lyrics are sensibly off-putting enough, logically or spiritually, that I was not left altogether stupefied by the job this fellow did. Though I wrote the lyrics, I shouldn’t guess it was not miraculously difficult to set them to melody/structure/bar/sensibility.)

 6) In the linear notes of “White Fire Laudanum”, there is the line “Dhampyr does not endorse your existence”. Would you still say, after all these years, that you do not endorse my existence?

Oh, I wasn’t terribly sure about that little inscription when I wrote it three ago, when I had just turned twenty. And I’m even less sure now. That album was recorded under a pose of pink eyes and palsy and your basic and importantly classical Dionysian decadence. Or else, your better-to-a-point Aubrey Beardsley Yellow-Pencil #2 décadence jaune .

Certainly there’s a sense of psychological upset very readily…occasional…on that album. (Shivering.) – And a real Sartre-y shivering. Nauseated folks gigging up – or giggling up? -  to fail to remark on the Holiday, on the newest quasi-interactive Jersey Boys shooting down/up Broadway…and there’s always going to be androids somewhere far off – maybe in Oregon; maybe in hurt Hertfordshire in talks, surely, “Do the electric sheep ever think to dream of us?”

 7) Would the title “Withdrawals and Candy Heavens” be in reference to a candy addiction? Because I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to gummy bears.

It was hardly specific enough to puzzle over. That’s all I have to say that I can remember. Allegedly, a certain inept statesmen-friend of mine (not so much on my ballot, though!) phoned me over a glass of rotty plum bilgewater to brightly argue that syringes ought to be given out in sad lieu of harmonicas or candy canes because wouldn’t that just be something else? It would, Mr. Congressman. It most certainly would, I did so allegedly reply. And so much, in point of fact. But that might have been altogether a hallucination or altogether something less decadent. Who cares? Let’s – all of us together – sing Hallelujah and Heroin and Hanukkah while chewing over some handsome Hasbro gluten-neutral product. 

 8) Your newest album is “Oceanclots” and it has been said to be your best effort yet. There is an old story told by Charles Bukowski that whenever people asked him what his favorite book he wrote was he would always say his newest one, which implicated that if your newest isn’t better than the previous then why write it.

Bukowski mumbled a sad number on the end of my last major full-length release on War Against Yourself Recs.

L. Cohen wrote of him (once) that he (H.C. B.) brought even the angels down to Earth. And that was just great, I’m fairly sure. I grew up on Bukowski – though I didn’t much encounter him literarily until maybe sixteen – and he was so gorgeously dissociated with the Beats, who he (once) went on record so far as to say, “What’s with all the pouting? The degenerates are always going to be there to complain about. You, Ginsberg, and you, Jackie K., you’ve just numbed the process a little more. You’re (now) just whining intropunitively.”

As for the question, maybe no writer ought to set out to outmake himself more of a spectacle when the spectacle’s outgrown him; (when) he’s already gone and flimsied the panties of Greta Garbo – at least imaginarily – forty since prior. You can’t advance past Garbo, old Hank, but you sure can advance. In age, decrepitude, despond, plain bad luck; and meanwhile the bottles keep lining up, like chunky piano keys on the floor. And it all keeps coming on – the sad, the (old, old, old) love, the noise of old landladies shifting a broken stereo of two apopleptic arms and warring for rent (“…because the world has failed us both”). 

(And) his last two books were, sincerely, and let’s not be too delicate, a couple cents of gibberish stamped with a few nickels of some cartoon (and old Henry C. B. went on record just as well to abolish this self-same cartoon invidiously; for a part of his life this old crooked hero, this old heroic crooked man, this crook, called Mickey Mouse a “faggot” once, at a time, and once at a time;  but this was a man who spat hymns like rapid-fire blood clots between juntas of cockroaches and errant housewives, so perhaps it’s just part of the advantage of having lonely diseases) and what he got back was Hollywood and glory and preach and slick, sick brawn. Tough for an alcoholic boy-humorist to start flapping out some disputations at that point as to how sturdy or subtly non-rehearsed the literary mentation is at that point.

I’m confessedly less agile to make myself a spectacle. I haven’t any acrobatic mode. Leaking out of bed, somewhere between August and vomitus,  somewhere between God and Alabraxis and Abraham and Barbiturate, I’ll flick a broken tooth toward the “TRACKING BEGIN” button on my lousy Boss-BR 600 (which I use more these days) and record a few failures, then fail less on the fifth or sixth time. Then I’ll take a break and think how I can start failing better the next dozen times; and so it…goes…

9) Are there any updates as to what formats “Oceanclots” might be released on? (Cassette would be ideal for me, obviously)

Sure. So far as I know, Acephale Winter Productions has the tape rights to the album for however long they want. Good folks over there. They took me on during my Congressional period and put out “Withdrawals…” Then I went through them.

10) You also have an EP with Sylvan Screams Analog. Any more info on that right now?

What I know: Mitch is a great fellow and only graciously does he take on his recording treatments; the artists; the whole kith and kin.

11) I also read that Wolfrune Worxxx plans on releasing your entire catalog on limited cassettes. Has there been any consideration with that as to doing something like a 20 cassette boxed set of everything to be purchased all at once?

Well, the guy sent me some mail about re-issuing a good portion of my biblio some good while back; sadly, it wouldn’t be worth drawing up guesses as to just what he plans, exactly, to do. What I know: no profits will go to me. What I do not know: if that isn’t just categorical silliness/self-absenteeism on my part.

 12) Final thoughts, shout outs, plugs, etc… ???

Foremost and of course: this was some delightful chittering.( Àllah vôtre.)


More myself down the end-wise route of intravenously introducing my Oscar-ponies to the Arterial Academy.

Anything on the WAY roster is good: Striborg, Vardan; anything on AWP; Dunnock’s got a great new tape out on SSA; and in that way, all and any of Mitch’s dream roster. The new album by Twilight Fauna was so peculiarly sad…have a shot at that one, if you’d like. 

As for what I’m trying to be doing: Lead Wings will be debuting our first material, featuring the gang from Atrum Tempestas, somewhere (soon).  (I’ll have a vocal/lyrical role in that project.)

And a friend told me only a little while ago that he’s got a new project, Tethra, which all of you – “are you there? Do you care whether we have an ostrich, even?” – ought to at least enjoy, if not show a total and categorical support. You might know his earlier stuff in Faded Grave. Good pal of mine, I’m fairly sure. 

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