1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Swine Soul came from an old project of mine, Loud Silence. It was a harsh noise project that projected my literal insanity during my younger years. It began to destroy my life to such an extent that it led me to losing all of my friends, getting bullied and threatened into white nationalism, drug use, excessive self-harm, suicide attempts etc. . . . I had to end it. Despite all of it I still had a desire to make music. This is where Swine Soul came from, as a phoenix rising from the ashes. You could say that this musical style chose me instead of me choosing it. I’m almost stuck with it, chained to it against my will. Despite this, I enjoy doing what I do most of the time.
2. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Audible Terror; Unrelenting attack dogs tearing at your very being; My own chaos, hate, and despair. This recording (and Swine Soul in general) is a mixture of all of the sounds and musical genres that have inspired me since I was around 12 meshed together into the woven fabric of madness that you see and hear now. The vocals on track two were recorded in one take after I learned that my fiancé had (as was my understanding at the time) killed herself with a gun. I just let lose. I had trouble speaking for two days after that. Luckily she didn’t actually kill herself - I love her way too much. If she did I would have killed myself soon after.
Some of the music also happens by accident or is a combination of a lot of rehearsals. Fun fact, track 4 on this release has 25 guitar tracks spanning 3 rehearsals. It’s also music you have to listen closely to. The closer you listen the more things you’ll notice, I guarantee you that.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
Bouts of insanity and my own practice in occultism. While I am nowhere near as unhinged as I used to be there are still times where I cannot control myself and I use those period of disconnect to write what truly comes to mind. Most things are written on the spot, some are improvised. With occultism, I have yet to explore it much in my lyrics but it takes from the paths and currents I have practiced in from Witchcraft to the Qliphoth. You want something truly intense and scary? Try an actual by-the-grimoire summoning of an entity in a dark room by yourself. Be prepared to become a scared little girl.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Swine Soul'?
Swine Soul came from how I saw myself and in some ways how I still see myself. A disgusting pig, a swine’s soul, waiting to lash out and destroy whatever comes my way by in such a manner that lets me get away with it. Being overt with one’s rage and anger can bring a lot of punishment so I prefer to stay in the shadows in my real life. That and, to be honest, I thought it was a cool name. Bands won’t admit it but come the fuck on we all want a cool band name. Just fucking admit it. It’s not always some deep shit. How many bands have “Forest” or “Hate” or “Black” in it? Just look at Hate Forest and Satanic Warmaster. Don’t tell me you’re not jumping on the bandwagon and not trying to sound cool. Same with using names in different languages and using occult terms. It’s bullshit and we all know what you’re doing.
5. With part of the United States are you located in?
I’m from the south, specifically South Carolina. Not many black metal bands are from here from what i’ve seen. I guess that makes me a novelty? Whatever. It’s still racist as fuck here but it’s usually behind closed doors. Hell, I went to elementary school with this kid named William Weed whose father is a grand wizard in the KKK. His house is about a 5 minute drive from my father’s house and his father flies high a huge confederate flag out in the open. We also had a black guy lynched near my road by some dude who tied him to the back of his truck and drove him across the road. Currently i’m in the super liberal part known as Charleston. Dylan Roof shot up a church here a while back and it made national news. I would walk by it everyday and it was in shambles and nobody gave a shit about it. Now it’s all polished, has elevators, huge turn outs, and tons of pictures and flowers are left around it. Nothing like a good racist tragedy, eh?
6. With the exception of one song you had recorded everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians in the future or do you prefer to remain solo?
I’m open to working with others. I’ve tried to work with others in the past but it never ended well. One person I tried to work with became such an asshole national socialist that he went cut-throat against everyone including myself. Another past member began to do meth and would just leech off of me. None of them also were able to do what I wanted them to do so it held me back. It forced me to learn to make all of the sound creation, recording techniques, and mixings and masterings myself over the 5 years I have been making music. If someone has the same ideas of me and can do what I want them to do then their help is appreciated. In the end, however, it is almost entirely my own ideas and art. Every person’s art is unique and cannot be replicated my someone else in a manner to give it due justice. The best I can do is guide them along and have them put their own unique spin on it and see if it is to my liking.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and noise?
Almost zero; no feedback whatsoever except for maybe a handful of people. I’ve remained very obscure mainly because I don’t like connecting with others are joining groups. I make art because I want to make art. This is the first thing I have ever made that has had attention such as this because the owner of the label I am on, Merdumgiriz, is great with pushing out my art and helping me with promotional stuff. This isn’t to say that other labels I have worked with are bad (far form it), it’s just that Merdumgiriz has been the best with promotion, getting my art out there, and the man behind it, Emir, shares many of the same ideas I have. I mean shit, my “Ultimate Traitor” EP was supposed to be a split with Moloch from the Ukraine on fucking vinyl but I stepped away from it due to absolute despair and my work with the Qliphoth driving me insane. I’m sure Sergiy is still mad about it, but I mean no ill will towards him.
Maybe now it’ll be the case that people will clamor for old releases of my stuff and wonder why they had never heard of it before. Suddenly now they give a shit - whatever. We’ll see what happens. Even if I remained 100% obscure I would still make music and art because it’s what I love and i’m also stuck with it.
8. Are you also involved with any other musical projects?
Two. I have a dark ambient and noise project named Vorxknot (extremely obscure) and Dead Leaf. Good luck trying to find Dead Leaf stuff because you probably won’t. That is something that is in the works. I’ve also collaborated with other artists and labels in the past with music and graphic arts and such, some graphic arts which have been widely used by labels and bands but i’ve been given no credit. I refuse to name them or the artists i’ve worked with, however, simply because they don’t deserve the attention and I hate their fucking guts.
9. Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I will keep doing what I am doing. Improving upon every release, evolving my sound, trying to reach the chaotic ascendence that Swine Soul seems to be destined for. I’m an artist and musician at heart and I will do this until the day I die. I usually hate the music I make a while after I make it which pushes me to improve upon what I do. An artist is never satisfied.
10. What are some of the bands or musical projects that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Hypothermia is the biggest, but also many bands that have the same sound such as Líam, Trist, Helvetor (is that how you spell it?), etc. I say Hypothermia mainly because it’s a name people will know. You may not hear it in my music, but everything I write is originally composed on acoustic guitar and can be played with a very sweet sound. This influence is more clear in my EP “Ultimate Traitor.” I was also influenced by harsh noise and black noise such as Black Cilice, Ancestors, Novasak and Total Genocide. Just that total unrelenting chaos, the raw punch to the face. . . it’s amazing. I suppose I can also say Xasthur and Leviathan because I was obsessed with them as a kid. I had a full collection of Xasthur at one point, including the very first Xasthur release (which was a split) that is covered in Malefic’s blood. I’m also very influenced by Akhyls (or however you spell it). Just the true occultism in it, the overwhelming sound and atmosphere, just how “in-you-face” it is. . . god damn, it’s just so amazing.
As to what I listen to? Believe it or not I like listening to the newer rising deathcore bands such as “A Night in Texas” and “As The Vulture Circle.” I usually go to deathcore to work on my vocals. I also listen to noise from bands such as Cremation Lily and harsh black noise from bands such as Ancestors and the first Goatmoon LP. I also really like the band Akhyls, or however it is spelled. That band’s release is absolutely amazing in every way. Sometimes I go back to Leviathan’s “Tentacles of Whorror” and “Massive Conspiracy Against All Life.” I also like vaporware and chill music, which I guess makes me a faggot, but just the use of sounds and mixing in it inspires me to work on newer sounds and mixing in my works. I guess it aids in a unique sound? I don’t know. I can’t listen to Black Metal all day like I used to.
11. How would you describe your views on Occultism?
Just like you and anyone else we are students and practitioners. It’s not just a path one can pick up and do, it has to be a lifestyle. It is also something that one has to be very careful with. Some grimoires put the warning to seek psychological help if things go wrong for a reason.
Occultism, whether ceremonial magick, witchcraft, satanism, qabalah, qliphoth etc., is an awakening of one’s untapped potential. It is a way to step outside the lines of reality and begin to bend the contours of it to your own will. Your thoughts truly become things and that is a sentence none of you should take lightly. If you do not learn to control your mind then magick will manifest despair in your life and you will know that it was your own damn fault. I’ve been burned by it and i’ve learned my lessons. It’s a fire that can guide you or destroy you, something to light your way or destroy the paths once available to you.
In the context of black metal it’s become a gimmick. No longer is it St. Peter’s cross or a pentagram to say “Fuck you, God!” it’s now people putting triangles and other symbols into their work to try and seem edgy and so evil. Some people are serious with what they do, and to an actual occultist it is apparent who are the real deal, but so many others just like to play around with it to be cool.
Overall, my view on occultism is that is a vast and expansive library of knowledge that anyone can use to aid their life, those of others, and bend reality to their will. But learn it well and don’t just be an armchair magician with all of your rare grimoires that you like to admire - do it. Practice it. Work with it. Put in the time, energy and effort and you will be rewarded just like with anything else. Hell, i’ve used occultism with my music and already i’m seeing results. I am doing an interview after being obscure for 5 years, aren’t I? Look close and you may see the magick sown into what myself and others do. It will aid you and us with what we do. We do magick everyday whether we know it or not. Open yourself to eternity and find the order in the chaos. Don’t let this stuff become another gimmick. Sadly, the new age movement seems to be trying to do just that with people throwing around crystals and sage like they are going to see Satan pop up in front of them. And it’s always Satan people think of, no other entity. There are plenty of other well known entities such as Azazel, Lilith, Bune, King Paimon etc. But apparently everyone just sticks with the big red dude.
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I know it’s typical to end interviews with the old “fuck you” or some other stupid edgy bullshit but i’m not going to do that. If you’re an artist without experience and don’t know where to start - just make something anyway. My first demo was absolute S H I T and made with an acoustic guitar, a headset microphone, and a shitty software from my laptop when I was 16. . . but a label put it out. I have been totally obscure for 5 years, but I kept doing this stuff and now I just did an interview and i’m finally getting noticed. If you wanna make art then just do it. Keep doing it even if nobody gives a shit. Art is one of the truest forms of expression and you should express yourself. Even if its in a chaotic and hate-filled genre such as Black Metal just make something. Do what you want to do and fucking destroy expectations or someone else will destroy you and do the job themselves. Be prepared for trials by fire in this genre, be prepared for hate and despair. This is Black Metal. We aren’t your friends.