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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Goatfucker Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the project for those that have never heard of you before?

Goatfucker is a solo black metal project I started in April of 2004, at the age of 19. After a series of failed bands and working with musicians who weren’t serious about playing, and having fucked around a little with making music by myself, I decided to try the one-man-band route. This was during my second semester of college. For most of Goatfucker’s existence I recorded into a Fostex MR-8 multitrack recorder and used a Yamaha RX11 drum machine for percussion. Cheap equipment with very few possibilities. I then recorded the tracks from the multitracker into my computer using Sound Recorder, the one that came with older versions of Windows. This is how I could put the music to CD. A very unusual process that resulted in even shittier sound quality, but it worked. I’ve since upgraded my recording equipment, so the process is a little easier, and the sound quality noticeably better.

From April 2004 –2006 Goatfucker was based in Franklin, TN. From 2006-August of 2008 it was based in Murfreesboro, TN, and from August 2008 until the present it has been based in Knoxville, TN.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?

There’s a greater presence of thrash and death metal on this record, though it’s still very much black metal in spirit and in sound. Seven Spears in the Throat of God also features improvements from a songwriting perspective. Like a few other Goatfucker releases, each song on the album is almost entirely through-composed, and an overall theme connects each track. The relationship between music and lyrics on this album is the most significant it’s ever been. Because there are no choruses, verses, or commonly repeated musical accompaniments to new lyrical sections, each song is able to have an arc, kind of like a character or story arc. It doesn’t return to the point it started, or repeat things that have already been played or said, like a pop song or pop-structured metal songs will. It bulldozes through a section and doesn’t look back, with a couple exceptions. To accompany this, I’ve made the music of each lyrical section match the mood and scenery of that section, while sections without lyrics convey a dramatic transitional period between scenes or a climax. This may or may not make sense, because this is the first time I’ve ever actually verbalized this.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Early on it was standard anti-Christian fare, with a strong focus on violence, hatred, general carnage, and unrefined madness. Even the way the lyrics were written was representative of chaos and madness and insanity, like the psychopathic ramblings of some apocalyptic devil-worshiping lunatic. These topics are still common in the lyrics, though I’d like to think they’re now a little more coherent, thought out, narrative, and structured. There’s still a strong dose of blasphemy, but over the years the lyrics have touched on war, goats, suicide, outer space, immortality, mutilation, sodomy, Satan, wolves, rituals, human sacrifice, sexual holocausts, enslavement, victory, vengeance, dominating the universe, transcendental devastation of hope, cosmic apocalypse, subterranean entities, invincible and not so invincible empires, evolution, the fall of civilizations, transhumanism, surrealism, black holes, misery, Christcrushing, inverted crosses, and even a touch of Lovecraft.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

According to the Bible: "the Son of Man . . . will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” As you probably already know, goats represent the path away from obedience to the law of religion, toward damnation, independence, and freedom. This is why representations of goats are often seen in metal; they’re symbolic of the left hand path, the march away from piety and anything holy, toward the dark world of the unholy. However, many of those who would like to identify with the symbol of the goat are, themselves, much more like sheep. Another animal often used to represent these ideals is the wolf. But many who fancy themselves goat-like or wolf-like are, in fact, to quote a Goatfucker song title, Sheep in the Clothing of Wolves. So a Goatfucker is one which has risen above even the identification of goats or sheep or wolves, to stand outside all of it as a fully objective, independent entity. This philosophy manifests itself in Goatfucker’s lack of allegiance to any other bands, any scenes, any cute ideology that dresses itself up as rebellious or unique.

5. Currently the project is solo, have you thought of adding a line up or do you choose to remain solo?

For writing and recording purposes Goatfucker will always remain a solo act. There may be times I’d like to work with other artists in a collaborative capacity, perhaps featuring them on my recordings, or me on theirs, with due credit. But the project will always remain mine and mine alone. However, I do have a strong interest in getting Goatfucker to perform live. Living in three different cities over the last 8 years has contributed to this not happening, as well as a number of other factors. But I do intend, at some point, when I have the time and the resources, to put together a full live band, including drummer, bassist, and a second guitarist.

6. Can you tell us a little bit more about Inverted Cross Records?

I began Inverted Cross Records shortly after I started Goatfucker simply as a means to control all Goatfucker copyrights from some semi-professional aspect. At the time, I was involved in a few other musical projects and lumped them all together as being under the roster of Inverted Cross Records. This became an entity to act as a secondary controlling power over Goatfucker’s music, the official releaser and distributor of Goatfucker’s music. For many years it was stagnant, serving only to be the umbrella over Goatfucker’s recordings. When I met Brandon of Malignant Christ he showed great interest in the label and has since put an amazing amount of time and work into the label, even releasing the music of other bands through our label. He’s now the real force behind the label and no amount of gratitude would be enough for what he’s done. When my time is freed up from graduate school and related things I intend to put more time (and money) into the label, helping Brandon with his efforts, and releasing all the things we’d like to. Without Brandon, Inverted Cross Records would still simply be the small apartment-based record label with one band’s recordings to show. We now have an internet presence and swift distribution of recordings of artists.

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

Lately I haven’t been aware of the response to anything I’ve done. But from about 2005-2009 I was in touch with a few fans and other bands all over the world, and had generally been receiving positive responses from all of them. In early 2009 I was asked to be on a 4-way split with three other American black metal bands. But none of the bands besides Goatfucker finished their recordings by the designated deadline, so the split was scrapped. Those songs instead became Goatfucker’s sixth EP, “Omega Beyond.” I’ve received a few offers from other bands to do splits, but most of these have fell through or just been put on hold. But I’d be fooling myself if I said there was a huge awareness of Goatfucker’s existence on the worldwide level. Goatfucker is and always has been very underground. But the beautiful thing about metal and its fans is that it doesn’t matter how underground and unknown something is, they will find it and they will hear it and they will, in some form or fashion, show it to others and voice their opinions about it.

8. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

I’d like to push it toward a steady balance of some of the more epic and almost doom-inspired songwriting I was doing in 2005-2006, and a vicious thrashing, blasting, holocaust of pure violence, but with effective and meaningful demonic melody where it’s appropriate. But I rarely envision the musical direction of Goatfucker before I sit down to write songs. The sound has certainly evolved a lot over 8 and a half years, but I have a few things in mind when I am writing and playing, and instead of thinking of a musical direction, I focus on a sound that will convey what’s in my head. It’s not until the song is almost fully written that some semblance of order and purpose seems to materialize behind it, and I can mold it into the shape I think it needs.

9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays/

As far as influences within metal, these bands are most responsible for Goatfucker’s beginning and evolution: Absu, Barathrum, Bathory, Belketre, Bestial Warlust, Bethlehem, Blut Aus Nord, Burzum, Darkthrone, Destroyer 666, Judas Iscariot, Kreator, Goat Semen, Gorgoroth, Megiddo, Mutiilation, Order From Chaos, Sabbat (Japanese), Satanic Warmaster, Satyricon, Sodom, Vlad Tepes. Even though I think it’d be difficult for any listener to identify any direct influence from most of these bands. But outside of metal I’ve been influenced by Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Sun Ra, Skinny Puppy, a number of old grindcore and punk bands, Hawkwind, and many more. I’m always finding influence in something, somewhere. The way it manifests itself in Goatfucker is not usually straight forward or obvious.

10. How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?

I like the idea of Satan as a metaphor, like the goat or the wolf. As a symbol of disobedience and self reliance and independence and free thought and defiance against religion in all forms. I refer to this cosmic representation of Satan often in Goatfucker’s music. But I don’t believe in any devils or gods, and I don’t align myself with Satanism or Occultism or any –ism or religion or ideology.

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

I’ve had a lifelong interest in writing, and over the past few years have been developing and honing my skills in this craft so I can hopefully, one day, make a profession out of it, even if it’s not my primary source of income. I write fiction, mostly short stories, and I’ve been working on two novels. One is currently over 115,000 words and has been in the works for almost 3 years. The first draft should be finished soon… I’m also currently working on my PhD in experimental particle physics, and plan to be finished with it sometime around 2014. Whatever job I obtain with this PhD will likely be my primary source of income while I focus on music and writing as moneyless passions.

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Adios, amigo.

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