Saturday, October 17, 2015

Author Interview: RYAN BARTEK

Interview with RYAN BARTEK

You recently completed a new book that had been in the works for some time. What is the title of this new work and what issues are covered? How long did it take you to write it?
“Anticlimax Leviathan” is the finest thing I've ever done, and I'm aiming for a self-published release in Fall 2015. Most in the underground know me for the road books I've done “The Big Shiny Prison” & “Fortress Europe” in which I physically traveled all fringes of subcultures (especially metal/punk) in Europe and America. In those works I interviewed musicians, artists & freaks of all varieties in person, stringing together the material with an “extreme tour diary” approach of events as the unfolded -- a first-person Beat Generation sort of aesthetic. “Anticlimax Leviathan,” however, is a straight forward autobiography about my personal life from 2002-2011. Brimming with adventures alongside the misfit characters of my earlier writings as well as cameos by a staggering list of celebrities, politicians, metal gods & punk legends I detail the strange odyssey I've lived as a world traveling journalist, extreme metal musician, activist & artist of many forms surviving through poverty under the politically hopeless era of Bush and the economic destruction of the Obama age. It is the story of a strange young man reaching adulthood in a society that is far stranger yet somehow aggressively masquerading as normal. Set in Detroit, the 'character' becomes a member of the press, a taxi driver, a metal/punk promoter, film maker and general nuisance to society before hitting the road as a traveling metal journalist for some of the biggest magazines & webzines on Earth. Eventually he falls through the cracks entirely, ending up on the West Coast as a sort of drifter living off Craigslist & performing odd jobs to get by as he navigates a labyrinth of ever-collapsing living arrangements. Becoming homeless he lustfully embraces it, mentally re-creating himself as a lead character in his own imaginary novel. Along the way he meets a legion of 'Street Crazies' that have fallen through the cracks as well, and step by step they build a new world out of the ashes of their former ghost lives climaxing with the Occupy encampments of 2011. Written incrementally since 2009, this extremely personal work is akin to the output of writers like Henry Miller, Kerouac, Dostoevsky, Proust, Hemingway, Celine, etc. Like many of the Great Depression/Beat Generation writers, I use 'Anticlimax Leviathan' to shine a spotlight on unconventional lives that otherwise would be unrecorded and lost to time. It is the most important work of my career, and what will likely cause me to finally be considered a serious artist amongst uptight critics & literary academia. Any interested parties can download the first 50 pages free at my official site www.BigShinyPrison.com.

From your experiences under the Bush and Obama administrations, do you think that the “change” promoted by Obama during his campaign ever really happens? Or was it just another catch phrase that led the U.S. to a similar, if not worse, situation?
Both were largely puppets of deeply embedded forces steering the course of our country regardless of who was given the Presidency. However, Bush was obvious while Obama remains something of an enigma. Bush was deeply insane and destructive, an absolute pillar of moral bankruptcy. He was the sock puppet of the Halliburton/CIA/Pentagon crowd, backed by the Bilderberg corporate cartel. Obama is of course legally and politically impotent in doing anything about them. Nor does he seem to want to. Funny how he can easily sign an executive order introducing some horrific new police state federal law but he can't sign one to shut down Guantanamo Bay. They won't let him anyway. He was ultimately propped by them, and he is controlled by them. However, you can't ignore that Obama has acted on his own quite horrifically through rampant abuse of executive orders. This is very much a “soft dictatorship,” per se. The things he should be prevented of doing are not challenged by the mainstream GOP or DNC, because they too are in the pocket of the system. The Military Industrial Complex and The CIA are the ones who run the show. Congress is like an absurd aberration off in the corner, a puppet show that are vultures and control freaks operating and coercing the public sphere. And he is utterly detached from this Congress while remaining the enigmatic two-faced head of it. I think the “Change” Obama really offered was polishing the brass on the Titanic. It's nice that gay people get some civil rights and all, but the Obama Administration threw billions of taxpayer dollars at what shortly thereafter became ISIS, just funding and arming any shadowy group to overthrow a bunch of rogue countries intensely affected by the Arab Spring. And he knows exactly what every Iraqi citizen now knows, that when the Iraqi Army defending Baghdad stormed an ISIS held city they captured the command center in a surprise attack. And they caught American and Military advisers plus guys from the CIA helping ISIS command their troop movements and giving them direct aid and intelligence. Yes, the President of Iraq stated this to their Parliament, and it was carried on their state TV all over the country. They all know what’s up, and so does Iran, and the people of Syria, Libya, Egypt, etc. This is no tin foil hat crazy talk. Just jump to Google. Obama reminds me of Mussolini in the Salo Republic, kind of a gaunt, haunted ghost man who looks lost in his own private hell. He knows he was the last chance of some kind of real president. Whatever this man knows has driven him mad to a degree, as in a kind of detached isolation, and now he just golfs. He seriously looks as if he's lost his mind, like he's snapped into permanently being on the set of a TV show, always giving interviews like a salesman. He is utterly detached from Congress. But his hands are so bloody from the terrible decisions and policies he has made on the Middle East situation among other terrible ideas such as bankrupting our country by spending more money than all Presidents combined in his first 3 months on a scheme which did not work and now this country can never escape its debts (whew, that's a long sentence, haha) that history books of the future will damn him for eternity. Just as they will Bush/Cheney Inc.

With ISIS having been in the headlines of late, and the U.S. religious right making enough of their own headlines, how much has religious fascism taken root in society? It seems to have happened so much that that 9/11 seems trivial these days.
I think it's the same old story in America where Christians & conservatives are the general majority and they mistake persecution with not always getting what you want. Like the “War on Christmas.” Yeah, ok. Separation of church and state is pretty clear to me, but they do not seem to agree. Luckily every generation grows smarter with time, and history has shown that eventually mythology becomes mythology. In the end, they won't win. Their ideas will die out with time, even if it's another 1000 years. Why anyone still thinks Jesus is real is beyond me. If they can see through Thor they should be able to see through Noah's Ark. I think the internet generation has launched a new way of communicating, and the fact that we can know anything we want at any given time has dramatically changed the game. I think the baby boomers & pre 90's world are absolutely detached from the new wave of humanity being produced. In terms of the Middle East situation, I think ISIS represents the true ugly face of barbaric ignorant absolutism. ISIS will not win because the entire Muslim world is against them. The majority of the Muslim world are same as Christians; they cherry pick what they want from scriptures, and ignore the worst demands of their religious texts. Sure, there are nice people who mean well that still cling to mythology. But I'm a guy who feels that religion is meant to be totalitarian and absolute, as is why it's totally insane. It's their life and they can do as they please, but I will do everything in my power to deflate the grip of these control systems and the wretched dogma and spiritual views it wields.

How extensively did you travel Europe and the U.S. while compiling Fortress Europe and The Big Shiny Prison? Which of the people who you’ve met in your travels offered you the most memorable interviews or exposed you to facts you hadn’t known about previously?
The Europe book was little under 3 months in Summer 2011, the USA book 9 months in 2007. My expeditions continued much longer afterwards. I continued to travel the USA while anchoring in different cities with jobs now and again until 2009. In April 2010 I moved to Portland Oregon and decided to plant as close to roots as you'll get with me, haha. It's the best city in the world, hands down. So I used Portland as my base, then go and backpacked Europe in the summers. Did this 3 years in a row. I'm deciding how to spend Summer 2015 right now. Two of the best interviews were Blag Dahlia from DWARVES, who I ate dinner with in San Francisco, and John Sinclair, the infamous Detroit writer and marijuana rights icon who I just happened to bump into at a hash bar in Amsterdam. And like clockwork, every time I go back to Amsterdam I always go there, and somehow it's always 4:20 when I walk in, and somehow he's always just there, and we get stoned and talk about Henry Miller as the king of all writers. As far as information exchange... I recently saw that film “Waking Life,” where it's just all these random individuals telling this one kid all sorts of strange slices of life, wisdom, experiences. I think that film best describes the overall flow of what I'm doing here, essentially.

I haven’t gotten to see Waking Life yet; can you describe the situations and plotline of that movie?
It was filmed as live action and they hand painted over each frame to give it a strange animation. The story is about a kid who keeps waking up and going about his day, then wandering about with random people ranting all manners of stories. It has cameos from tons of artists, musicians and media personalities. By the end of it, you realize the kid is dead and is locked into some eternity in his own head like a perpetual dream. You kind of just have to see it.

Did putting Europe and Prison together as tour diaries of sorts make it easier for readers to relate to, as If they were joining your cross country trips? Do you think presenting the narrative that way presents it to the readers? In what ways would you consider your work comparable to the likes of Kerouac, Hemingway and the other authors you mentioned?
That's the easiest “catch phrase” way I can describe it. Like if some guy asked me on the street. But there is a more complicated design. The interviews are more like dialogue between two characters in a novel. No pictures, no logos. When I describe my own journey, the things I'm experiencing, it comes off like a cross between Knut Hamsun's Hunger and Miller’s Tropic of Cancer or Air Conditioned Nightmare. But I still have this poetic element to my writing which is heavy on the surrealism. I get word drunk and weird, and go off on these William S Burroughs vs Lautreamont vs. Pessoa tangents. I also have a very well read background in classic literature and interject political and social dialogue; I also have no problem bringing up the most freakish conspiracies at times. The form is chaotic yet controlled, random yet fluid. And people can like it or not like it, whatever. The bands that step up to do interviews with me this way have seen my stuff beforehand and realize what I'm doing is an art form and I'm going to frame it however I feel. The experience determines the book, and I don't know the design until I've completed living it. I go with the flow at all times. It infuriates some, that I may or may not be coming and they may or may not know and just wait and if I show up to that town I'll call them that day or right before I get in. If they aren't down, then stay home. Whatever. I'm not dissing anyone, I just need to follow where the universe is taking me. And if someone offers a free ride 12 hours in the direction I gotta go and the alternative is stay to interview you for 15 minutes then sleep behind a gas station a third night in Romania, then I gotta bolt. Dig? But the responses have been positive. I'm sure I've pissed some people off along the way, or people just may not have liked what I was saying, but oh well. If they dislike me or their crowd dislikes my book it does not affect them in a bad way. I'm just some weird hobo with a tape recorder posting gibberish on websites.

How else have the many authors you cited this far been influential to your writing?
Seeking answers in a world that I did not belong & flanked by adults who could not provide the information I needed, I instinctively turned to the other people such as myself who were once just as lost. They tried their best to communicate their deepest insights, and I decided to listen. Sometimes I agreed, other times not. But if any writer truly saved me, it was Henry Miller.

How would you say Henry Miller has “saved” you so to speak?
There is nothing I can say about humanity that he has not said better or more adequately. Tropic of Cancer was the first book ever written in the style it presented. Hunter S Thompson is a rip off. So is Kerouac. That whole “first person spectacular” aesthetic, adding in the intense psychological process of the individual, all the dynamics of youth to adulthood. If someone hasn't read Miller I can't simply explain it. He just rolls you over. I literally thought I was fairly insane beforehand, because no one I encountered in person or had read in my life could so easily explain all the inner turmoil I felt. No one else could so easily describe all the pushes and pulls of conflicting emotions and internal gut feelings. Miller was beyond the impact of that first LSD trip, you know? Beyond so much. You just need to delve in.

In what ways do your writings mark the transition from adolescence to adulthood?
Each book was like a Cocoon. Then I hobble away and do the next one, then repeat process. Lived a lot of rebirths at this point. I'm a working class guy from Detroit that grew up fast and rough and I've been working full time since I was 18. I watched the world I came from fairly much just give up and die. These books represented my mission in adult life to never become stagnant and miserable, to push it as far as I could because no one I knew ever pushed it that far. Everyone has regrets, but I'd like to think mine are less than others. After all I'm 34, I live in Portland the “it” city of America, I'm still producing art that’s relevant and respected. And I haven't gone bland and still have a purple mohawk. I work 3 days a week and have a 4 day weekend every day. Portland is eons beyond Austin Texas. Every night is like a Saturday night anywhere else in America. There's always a killer show, always something going on, and intelligent people everywhere. A very well read public who are very non-religious. So I would say adulthood is recognizing what works for you and being conscious of others as well, not being an asshole (to those who don't deserve it), and standing up for what you feel is right. Full recognition of the self, it's potential, and the matrix of community surrounding you.

What local shows have you been able to see in Portland since you relocated there?
Man... too many to count or relate, haha! But anyone that studies the punk/metal world of the Northwest and knows the seemingly infinite production line of staggering legends out here. Trust me, I've seen most the majors & too many obscure legends to mention. The thing with Portland is that every single night something is going on, because this is the place everyone moves to play music and live the dive bar/basement show dwelling life. We are a city built on “big fish from small ponds.” All the guys like me who play in like 4 bands, write zines/books, throw shows, get active in radical politics/organizing, etc. This is the hub where everyone moves. There is a reason why they say Portland is where young people move to retire! Every night is a Saturday night! And if it isn't then you lack imagination!

Did you witness the Occupy encampments firsthand? What did you see that was not reported on the news?
“Security Culture” is a precarious thing, so permit me to remain vague. I walked into Occupy Seattle on Day 2 and I was among the original 50 or so who held it down. I was there 3 days and I returned to Portland, just a few days before it began there. On October 6th 2011 there was 10,000+ strong march and afterwards I was among the original 60 or so who held down the park risking arrest. Occupy Portland lasted 43 days, only 3 of which I was not present. Afterwards, I was involved in dozens of Occupy linked actions I care not to name for “Security Culture” reasons. But I was there, and I still am active when, where, and how I see fit. Anyway, Occupy Portland itself was one of the most epic sagas I ever lived through, and unless someone else lived through it or situations similar to it, this can be difficult to describe. There is always a strong reaction to the very idea of it, positive or (extremely) negative, depending the person. I don't feel the need to go on the defensive, or to apologize, or to romanticize anything. From the get go, I saw what it really was. And I am for what it was, because this was essentially my ideology before it ever came to be vaulted into the public sphere in the manner it did. Furthermore, I make no claim that what is right for me is right for the world population at large. I'm fine with being on the fringe. I'm thrilled it happened; in fact it may very well be the most cathartic and hopeful thing that ever happened to me -- and it still hasn't ended. The physical presence may have been torn down, but the network was formed. More people are involved today than ever before by proxy of consciousness shift alone. It's a silent apparatus built on a zeitgeist that remains in the shadows. It is a sleeping giant rising from its slumber in flash points, and this will be witnessed until “The Big One” comes. My book talks about the experience in very broad terms, without identifying anyone involved or explaining the internal dynamics. In “Anticlimax Leviathan” I describe my personal mental & emotional status in what transpired. In fact the entire book is like one big lead-in to it, what caused me to go full-tilt Occupy, and what led me to increasing activity and interest in radical culture & politics. Occupy taught me more in a month and a half about human communication and autonomous cellular structure then an entire life spent hammered by television broadcasts and empty text books from public schools.

Did you see a documentary released a few years ago called The Obama Deception? If so, what are your thoughts about it?
I think Alex Jones is like the Vince McMahon of Conspiracy world. I have a love/hate relationship with him. InfoWars is a propaganda front, and that's fine, because I like propaganda. People misunderstand that propaganda doesn't necessarily mean lies, it's just advertising ideas in order to convince someone of its standpoint. Alex has his views and is very loud about promoting them. Although at times, I think he is absolutely full of feces -- if not straight lying, purposefully, to keep his profile up. Even though I loved most of his rant at Piers Morgan, he still made an ass of himself in front of the entire world by the way he carried a quarter of it. That was his chance to be taken seriously and he blew it. The activist crowd really despises InfoWars because if you see their reporters at a protest, everyone knows they are not there to cover your point of view. They are there to spin it for their own stories, which are tailored to fit their libertarian narrative or to sensationalize a conspiracy theory they know is bogus. Sadly, we've reached a point where the craziest sounding police state material they run is absolutely true, as is their obsession with the power elite’s back-room dealing and mafia-like control over geopolitics and world business. However, InfoWars are also out to intentionally make various movements look ridiculous. Their reporters are plants and should not be engaged in the public sphere. Even myself, screaming about Bilderberg and the Bohemian Grove mob, I wouldn't even talk to them on the street. Now if Alex called me up and put me on air live, that would be different. But never give these guys the benefit of post-editing, because they have a pro-Christian / anti-Anarchist / anti-Socialist standpoint and will do anything to smear their enemies. They will intentionally try to get you upset by saying things that are inflammatory because they want footage. If you don't give them footage, they don't get paid. Alex just flies into any legit protest he wants and then starts screaming in a bullhorn like a madman, overpowering everyone there. He just will not play ball, he wants to be the center of attention. It's really to the point where people seriously think he is a CIA asset or FBI provocateur. I know that’s not true; what he really is is a PT Barnum-like huckster who's watched too many John Carpenter films. But you know what? Christianity is the biggest conspiracy of all. I think if you can see through Building 7 you should be able to see through Moses parting the red sea, or the earth being flat, or dinosaurs not being real. They are frustrating and they say some really awful race-baiting things, and if he wasn't concerned about alienating LGBT folk he'd probably be screaming about the sanctity of marriage. Anyway, I never got to the end of the Obama Deception. But essentially, what he was saying is true, even if the paranoia meter was blasted to a full 11 setting and he was really stretching facts to suit his ultra-conspiratorial New World Order view. But still, I go to his website often and I like listening to him rant on his podcast now and again. I also sent him the new VULTURE LOCUST record, so let's see if he drops me a line. I would love to go mano-e-mano with him on his live broadcast. We'll clear the air real fast.

It’s funny because in one clip of Alex Jones he covered what appeared to be a Wiccan ritual, and showed it in a negative light, as if the Wiccan group was somehow on the same level as the “NWO.” He also seemed to take the spokeswoman of that group’s words out of context when she objected to his portrayal of them. It seemed he was doing this deliberately.
Yeah he is pretty ruthless and Christ pimping. Really, I'm not sure where the real man begins or ends. What does he really think, what does he really believe? I know the sensationalist media figure, but what is the reality? Yes, I think he has heart and guts, and I do generally believe in what he's doing in an overall sense. But he's still a kooky circus ringmaster living his own personal movie, and he should very much be called out on a variety of things. Not that he'll change. He's like a madman street preacher at times. He'll be screaming his sermon no matter what I say. So it's kind of like “wind him up and watch him go. And if he flips out or promotes some stupid opinions, oh well, he's still on my side, basically.” Anyway, Alex, if you read this, I will totally sit down and have a beer with you. Let's talk this shit through. You, me and Dave Mustaine. Really buds, y'all know Jeebus is a conspiracy. Get over it.

It was surprising and a little bizarre to see Dave Mustaine on Jones’ show. When did you catch that broadcast and what did you think of their discussions?
I didn't see that one but I find some of Mustaine's positions odd. I remember him on Politically Incorrect with Bill Mayer back in the 90s.He was always saying smart things on MTV back in the day. Then later on he turned into a bible-thumper but didn't write lyrics about it. Fine, that's his life. I'll talk shit all day on religion and I hope Christianity dies out like the dinosaurs, but I try not to be mean to people. Unless they just run their mouth in an ugly way, then I'll shut them down fast with relentless logical ranting. But he threw Rotting Christ off that gig and refused to play live if they weren't exiled. That ruined all respect for him from me. When Megadeth is great, they are amazing. When they are stinking they stink hard. But the striking thing is a lot of my distrust towards politicians was shaped by impressions from his album covers. Look at “Peace Sells,” or “Rust In Peace.” Then later on look at “United Abominations” or “The System Has Failed.” But in the end he's supporting positions that seem to endorse the things I assumed he was against, or the artwork at least. Like endorsing Rick Santorum for president? Really? He's said things that infuriated me or made me face palm, but I've agreed often. It make sense why those two are tight. Alex likes some cool metal actually and plays some select tracks on his show from various bands. As I said, either of them want to sit down and have a chat, just email me. We'll sort this all out, haha. Megadeth remains one of my favorite bands regardless, at least the “choice cuts.” I'll take them any day over Anthrax or 90% of Metallica's catalogue. Slayer will always be cooler though, haha.

Are there other conspiracy documentaries you would recommend, that are more factual and less propaganda-filled?
They all are to an extent, some more than others, and there are many which go really far out there either because the documentary maker is half insane or just believes the loopiest things on the internet. Some of the better ones are more tame, meant to “lead you in a direction” where you can hunt the crazier stuff out. About 15% of the facts are false in “Esoteric Agenda,” but even though it's low-grade quality it's still loaded with mind blowing info. The first “Zeitgeist” is pretty tight. The “911: Blue Print For Truth” by Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth is fantastic. Also “Loose Change” is a strong 911 one as well. What I love about YouTube is you can pick a topic and go fishing. There were a lot of independent Occupy-era movies that were high grade. Check out “Occupation Nation” and “Occupied Cascadia.”

I’ve come across news of cities (such as Detroit) going bankrupt and severely crime-infested, and other cities being evacuated en masse. What have you heard along those lines?
Detroit is like an experiment on how far you can take this shit, haha. Ran away in 2006 and never going back. All these hipster community building Portlander types are moving there en masse, thinking it's this new glory land because you can prop up a squat with no hassle or buy a house for a few bucks. Go ahead schmuck; you're still in Escape From New York, and you ain't Snake Plissken, haha. Enjoy tending to your urban garden with crack dealing snipers watching your every move. Have fun getting shanked for your sneakers or your skull bashed in by a brick for sport! Sayonara hipster!

Other topics that have been in independent and mainstream news have centered on “bath salt zombies” and the nuclear plant accident in Japan that reportedly contaminated the Pacific Ocean. What are your thoughts on those topics?
Glad you asked! I've been fairly dismayed since Fukushima began. Every time I look it's more awful, and I know a lot of information few do or even want to know. Lucky you & this reader! So here's what's up. They aren't melt-downs; they are melt-throughs. Four simultaneous melt-throughs. They can't do anything about it because the radiation fries all known electronic equipment to get close to it. Furthermore there is no real solution what to do even if they could. Those things will sit there burning for 6 billion years. They can't build an iron dome because it's burned a hole into the ocean floor and it's just pouring out radiation. The uranium is burning through the crust of the earth like the green blood of the Alien in the Sigourney Weaver films. If it hits magma, it blows like a volcano. The spent uranium in there is enough to cause nuclear winter, killing all human life. What hope there was to salvage it was lost a few years back. The complex was set up with a fail-safe system that never triggered a big red button that everything was hooked to. In case of an emergency melt-down, they could shut the thing down in a controlled collapse to manage it. The way it did collapse was not expected, so the complex was running on an emergency generator system, just hanging by a thread. So during clean up, as they are sending minimum wage workers in knowing they'll die anyway, this one keep sweeping the floor hits the button. Kills the entire plant. Everyone panics, because that’s the power to the canister storing 1500+ spent uranium rods. A few of them alone could kill all humanity if spread evenly through the world. Anyway, the canister which had tumbled into the wreckage and couldn't be touched went dead on the power. And so started an emergency operation to take them out one by one, delicately, with a new invention akin to one of those grapple claw arcade machine where you grab at stuffed teddy bears for 25 cents a pop. So they began taking them out, one by one, and if any touched, they would explode, killing the planet. If they sat too long without power, they would deteriorate then explode, again killing everyone. So that was awhile ago. Somehow they pulled it off. But we still have four melt-throughs going on that have released unknown amounts of radiation. We have rain water samples with radiation the same as aggressive chemotherapy that have been detected coming down all over USA & Europe. All the plutonium & Cesium 131 & 134 you ingest, drink or breathe any of it and it gets stuck in you you'll be dead in 1-15 years. It's all over the ocean, in seaweed, in fish, etc. We don't even know the extent. Which now brings us to the worst of it all, something no one is talking about or wants to deal with. Now, to be clear, I DON'T want this to be true, so I'm not trying to freak anyone out for no reason. I very much WANT to be disproved. So, with that disclaimer...  [This] is Japanese for “Black Substance.” If you Google this on image search with the added Japanese symbol for Fukushima you'll see the dots connect very quickly. So all over Japan there's this stuff popping up that looks like black mold almost, like grimy black dust in clumps. Sometimes it’s more bluish, but generally black. Early on, both were called “The Black Substance” as stated, because it seemed to be the same thing when it apparently was a cumulative fusion. The blackest stuff was discovered to be burned up uranium coming out the reactors like ash. But the stuff surrounding it, and often independent of it, is something else, something essentially living off the radiation. It was first seen in Northern Japan, around the hot zone, but now it’s all over Tokyo, all over the country. You might have heard of the single cell organism that they discovered in Chernobyl's reactors that made international headlines? The black mold-like stuff on the pipes of Chernobyl that isn't spreading because it's isolated inland in Ukraine? Well this is a common form of algae called Cyanobacteria. It has a natural attraction to radiation. This algae was clinging to the pipes of Chernobyl but not going anywhere, and the radiation from the Chernobyl pipes was very minimal in comparison. Our Japanese friend is a different form -- a hybrid mutation and a different cellular formation. Its cellular mechanics have an attraction to radiation and the properties of absorption. So if the early research is true, it has mutated and is both clinging to and feeding off Plutonium and Cesium 131/134 particles as if a vague photosynthesis, sticking to the most deadly of radiation particles and dragging them everywhere through the air, multiplying, and creating something which isn't exactly black mold but similar to a living colony of bacteria, fungi and mold; a mutated hybrid that feeds on radiation and further concentrates it. So the radioactive algae is now apparently charging itself as its own battery supply, and this algae is multiplying rapidly, and is spreading throughout the ocean. It's apparently confirmed to be eating all the coral reefs of Hawaii (and who knows how far throughout the Ocean), and it's estimated the coral reefs of Hawaii will be dead in 10 years. Not to mention all the fish digesting it, since it's algae. So this may be the thing killing all the sea life, when you hear of diseased starfish etc. washing up in massive droves, being eaten by some unknown disease. The only thing that can kill this Nuclear Cyanobacteria living-dead algae mold is another uber-deadly chemical poison called Hydrazine, but then it supposedly grows back in one month the way black mold does, but the chemical doesn't do anything to the radiation it dragged. So there are stories of freak algae blooms turning the sea red like blood, with no scientific answer, since roughly the time this was discovered in February 2012. It also apparently might be creeping on land through America. It sticks to things and looks like bluish black ringworm in gutters, on plywood. So yeah... It looks like humanity might be wiped out by lethal radioactive mutant black mold. It’s in the air, in our water, in our food, and moving up the food chain as rapidly as it is multiplying. Like John Carpenters The Thing, on land it's a living dead inactive clump of cells. When it hits the water it blooms like algae. Google seems to be suppressing this. Environmental activists and Fukushima watchdogs are reporting it. I haven't looked in a long time because I want to play in my heavy metal band and just pretend it’s not happening. I gave an interview on a live internet activist show with a full live audience. Once I freaked everyone out, I went outside to compose myself, smoke a bowl, and relax hoping it’s all a myth. As the wind rustles by me, all is quiet for a second, and then from around the corner this man approaches me. The guy in the back of the room that was hiding to himself and looked freaked out the most. He said: “Thank you. I needed to hear that. Really. I was in Hawaii six months ago for two months. Ever since then, something has taken over me. I know it, and it’s not cancer. I can feel it heavier all the time. Thank you; now I know what’s growing inside of me; now I know what’s inside of my lungs.” And then he said “thank you, thank you” like a doomed insane man and wandered off down the street. He just trailed off like a crazy person. So yeah. Fuck. If it's real, and it's moving as it is, it could very well mean that within 5, 10, maybe 15 years, babies will no longer be able to grow because the way radiation speeds up the gestation process of pregnancy. We'll all be dying of cancer. The oceans will be dead. Animals will mutate, etc. I really don't know what to say but sorry to anyone who reads this and I really hope that I'm just dead wrong. And I'm sick of keeping this to myself. Someone disprove me, please.

What have you heard about the bath salt incidents that were in the news a few years ago?
A bunch of desperate, crazy street people doing the most horrible drug you could think of on the cheap. You think people rotting alive from ultra-meth and attacking people like cannibals or sewer C.H.U.D.s is bad? Google search images of Krokodil. It got huge in the rougher sections of Russia, then started spreading. It rots people out so disgustingly. All I can really say is if you're going to do street drugs, stick to the tried and true varieties, haha. I mean, do you really need something more hardcore and cheap then heroin or meth?

What have you been doing band-wise nowadays? I understand you have a new band that released a full length CD recently.
VULTURE LOCUST just released our new album “Command Presence” -- the nastiest, most savage, best produced extreme metal record I've ever done. It's a grindcore-based assault that incorporates death, thrash, black, crust & doom while promoting a lyrical agenda that is political in the way InfoWars is not. We touch on every conspiracy known to man but from a questioning standpoint as opposed to flatly saying every tin foil subject is real. The album is a free download at www.VultureLocust.com and www.BigShinyPrison.com. The response has been solid; if people dig grindcore, then they unanimously appreciate it (or so it seems). VL is myself and whatever drummer I'm working with, live as a 2 piece. This way I can easily tour either Europe or the USA, something I very much want to happen in the future. I also have completed the guitar demos for a 38 track punk album (LURKING STRANGERS), a 13 track doom record (SkullMaster), a 6 song Sasquatch Agnostic EP (my old school grind band), yet another 17 track VULTURE LOCUST disc and finally a third 12 track acoustic/”outlaw country” record as The REAL Man In Black (formerly Jack Cassady). My goal is to record all of these in the studio, then take it live when appropriate. The only thing that bothers me in terms of life regrets is now making music a priority at any cost. Finishing “Anticlimax Leviathan,” this fairly much wrapped up my projected writing canon (except for movie screenplays, which is easy and fun for me). Now I just need to put out all my books in physical print form, as opposed to free PDF downloads. Really the only time I'm happy is when shredding live on stage or marching against riot cops, haha. I have two feature length film screenplays I've been pushing, but I've yet to secure a production company to make one of these full scale productions. So I'm writing a low budget easy-to-shoot comedy film about a bunch of guys working in a kitchen in Portland during the lowest point of the economic recession in 2010. It's like my own take on the Kevin Smith thing; a bunch of smart-ass, fast-talking losers ala Clerks. I have all the means to make it happen, and I'm just deciding when.

How does Kevin Smith’s work resonate with you, and in what ways do you relate to him?
You know, I think about this movie project I want to do. It seems so dated, going back to the 90s. It seems so quaint trying to place myself back in this pre-911, pre-Columbine, pre-Occupy, pre-Arab Spring, pre-ISIS world... At one end it seems like a lame fuckaround. And even the metal band, I kept thinking, is this antiquated? Like I was in a war or something and going back seemed naive. But I want to make a film as a life goal. I think this is the way to logically do it and the most interesting and lowest budget concept I could think of. I was into Clerks & Mallrats before he got big. I was that teen of the mid 90's that rented tons of VHS tapes from the video store and hang with my friends. We'd get stoned and make fun of shitty horror movies like Mystery Science Theatre 3000. We'd make short films with our video cams and have a blast. Then we all graduated, and that world went away. Can I not just take a break from getting chased by riot cops and having flash grenades shot at me and LRAD laser beams zapped at me and all this shit? Can't I just take off the Roddy Piper glasses for one minute and do what I want to do? Can I just have that moment before I inevitably get swept into protest world for the remainder of my existence? I just want to make a movie before I die or go to prison or am sent to a FEMA Camp. Is that too much to ask?

I thought They Live (Piper/John Carpenter) was not so much conspiracy paranoia from the mind of a crackpot but a creative, clever allegory about consumerism, much like Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead was a decade earlier. In its own way it works since Carpenter didn’t intend to expose anything that was happening behind the scenes when making that movie.
I actually showed that at Occupy Portland, with a video projector outdoor at night. The entire camp. It was like the ultimate Occupy movie. The lone traveler hobo wheeling into town, living like a train-hopper as so many in a depression. Ends up screwed by the system and living at Camp Justice, doing homeless outreach, working labor ready type jobs. The riot cops attacking the camp, beating up homeless. The scientist hacker just like Anonymous, the aliens like 1% power elite, that they are kind of tweeting on their social media through the wristwatches (futuristic iPods) when they spot humans who see. All of the dialogue, especially Keith David's “sledgehammer to their fancy fuckin' foreign cars” dialogue. They Live was huge in Detroit and always on our public TV, always on Saturdays. After all, Keith David was a hard luck brother from Detroit in that movie. I'm obsessed with that new John Carpenter “Lost Themes” album, by the way. I wanna see animated feature length sequel renditions of “Big Trouble In Red China,” “Escape From Detroit” or “In The Gullet Of Madness.”

Old school thrash bands who were active in the 80s are still popular in the underground today, and bands that restarted death and black metal in the 90s are still cited as influences. By that same token, your idea could work and resonate with people today. People generally like to come across new interpretations of what was popular in the past, if that makes sense.
In Portland there is a huge thrash scene; everyone with denim & leather, lots of patches. Check out Raptor, Weresquatch or Cemetary Lust!! Or the blackthrash of UADA!! The 80s have triumphed quite a revenge here and I'm thrilled! Honestly I'm fairly thrash-centric in my tastes, no matter what it is. Hard rocking, thrashing stuff, with spazztic freak outs, grinding blasts & slamming groove. I'm into a bit of everything, and that comes out in Vulture Locust. Of course VL is grind-based, but you have elements of all kinds of extreme metal with nasty, crusty punk rock vibe. But when I'm at home, relaxing at night, what am I listening to? Stuff like Dark Angel, Coroner, Possessed. Old school 80s power metal albums and obscure death metal releases. I like slow doom and black metal like everyone else, but they aren't my comfortable zone jam. At heart, I'm a death/thrash/grind guy who worships Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden & DWARVES.

Expain the subject matter and/or the meaning of the songs appearing on Command Presence. How much effort has gone into the other bands you mentioned working on material for?
I'll just go through the song list... Resolution Of A Conflict: The moment when “push comes to shove.” I had in mind Ukriane specifically when I wrote this. Home Invasion: About martial law, domestic militarization, and the overbearing police state. Written with the aftermath of the Boston Bombing in mind. I Remember Building 7: The view of a paranoid man remembering the fishy official 911 story and Building 7 in particular. Terror Alert Level: About the color coded system DHS created to let us know how fearful we should be. Stunning propaganda. HAARPstrummer: About the dangerous weather modification system in Alaska that is akin to throwing a giant boulder in a lake but with the Earth’s entire weather system as a replacement. Yes it is a weapon (the Army's internal docs say this) and YES it is extremely dangerous, Monsanto Is Gojira: A Sepultura reference, about the dangers and crimes of this cartel. Chemtrail: I'm not sure if “Chemtrails” are real, but I like the idea of them. I did see with my own eyes an unmarked black military plane pumping chemicals like fog outside windows over all the marijuana crops of northern California, which spread across the sky in creepy formation. I'd really like to know what that was. Audacity Of Hoax: The obligatory anti-Obama song. Sharia Law: The world’s first metal song about ISIS. I wanted to offend everyone first. It's one of the best on the album. Weaponized Morgellons: About weaponizing the supposedly fake disease many people are suffering from, being mummified from within by alien fibers. It's freaky. YouTube it. Minimum Wage: The staple 30 second grinder with Falling Down references and being a broke ass wage slave. They Live We Sleep: John Carpenter worship and a way to breach the subject of extraterrestrials in an off-hand, less direct way. False Flag: About countries that attack themselves and then make it look like another country or organization did it as to justify war. Brandishing The Scalp Of God: Christianity, the original conspiracy, and the blatant death/black track. Sow Reaper: About the final moments of a wasted life as the void consumes. The character deserved it, like many of Ozzy's villains.

How do you plan to promote Command Presence and your other new material, and which songs from your new releases do you most want people to hear and consider the lyrics to?
I'm proud to announce that our 911 paranoia hymn “I Remember Building 7” will be on the next free CD that comes with Terrorizer Magazine!! Issue #259 with Satyricon on the cover!! It just shipped out and will be in stores next week!! So that's huge for VL. Prior to this we got press on many key metal news feeds from a variety of major webzines, magazines, and more importantly the elitist KVLT sites who are independent taking the time to hook up promo. It's slowly making its rounds online and its reputation is growing among the grind crowd. It's a free download, and on Youtube, so check it out. I'm going to continue pushing all my projects for free download through the summer, then I'm aiming at putting my books “The Big Shiny Prison,” “Fortress Europe” and “Anticlimax Leviathan” in print and pushing them hard. Whenever I set up a real tour that's when Command Presence gets pressed. Again, I'm a broke ass kitchen worker of limited means. But I make do. Check out the book “Smile: Stories Of A Free Therapist.” I'm actually featured in this book as a main character. It's by a guy I know who much like I did escaped his old life in the east coast on a Greyhound and ended up homeless in Seattle. We started writing “Free Therapy” on a cardboard sign and hang out downtown just talking to people on the street. The results were amazing, and a lot of people started taking this quite serious. One thing led to another and people began exporting it, taking it on the road all over the world. So my buddy Jeremy Lee Sullivan PHD who is also a trainhopping crust punk hobo rapper from NYC who performs live as “Dumpsta Love” ended up staying on the road for 6 years doing Free Therapy off and on, all over America. And he wrote a book, and it's off the hook. I pop up in every chapter somehow, and it's always hilarious. He posted the first chapter online for a free PDF download and also has a print copy for order. Check out Dumpsta Love and trust me, he loves metal like a billy goat, haha, so he's of your audience. 


-Dave Wolff

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