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Messages - Annihilation

[1] 2 ... 18
1
Interzone / Re: Meditations on crowded peaks
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:55:10 PM »
Here's something:
I have observed that when ego-filled people 'conquer' a peak, they take their egos up with them, and give full vent to them at the top. The mountain does not diminish the ego. Rather it inflates it even more.
While the humble ascend, at a graceful pace, and are humbled more by the ascendant position they reach.
The mountain serves to amplify. For better, or worse.

Hah! Well put!

2
Interzone / Re: Meditations on crowded peaks
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:43:39 PM »
THE question, then: what's left to discuss?

Courtesy, of course. I'll show myself out!

3
Interzone / Re: Meditations on crowded peaks
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:42:59 PM »

The post had a purpose, but you managed to invert it completely.

There's no such inversion. Point for point, tit for tat. We're spending the same time talking mountains. I agree that people ruin things, and there's varieties of cosmic alignment among folks. There's no point trying to "go beyond" what's been said, at least in your way.

Quote
Do you get all your information elsewhere? What do you do with it? What does it mean to you?
Does it, in any way, contribute to the quality of your life?
Re: your last comment: was there something communicable in it? A point? A message?
I was unable to detect one.

Where is elsewhere? Where is yours, sir? Quality of life exists in all things. Communicated, and communicable. Pain and ecstasy exist as two sides of the same coin, as with intention and disorder. Space reveals itself over time - what is cryptic and what is explicit? Chuang-Tzu, your friend, was said to have said something about that.

4
Interzone / Re: Meditations on crowded peaks
« on: April 10, 2014, 05:16:46 PM »
Virtue: ...from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "moral strength, high character, goodness; manliness; valor, bravery, courage (in war); excellence, worth," from vir "man" (see virile).

Moral: ...coined by Cicero ("De Fato," II.i) to translate Greek ethikos (see ethics) from Latin mos (genitive moris) "one's disposition," in plural, "mores, customs, manners, morals," of uncertain origin. Perhaps sharing a PIE root with English mood (n.1).

Ethos: revived by Palgrave in 1851 from Greek ethos "moral character, nature, disposition, habit, custom," from suffixed form of PIE root *s(w)e- (see idiom). An important concept in Aristotle (e.g. "Rhetoric" II xii-xiv).

Idiom: "form of speech peculiar to a people or place," from Middle French idiome (16c.) and directly from Late Latin idioma "a peculiarity in language," from Greek idioma "peculiarity, peculiar phraseology," from idioumai "to appropriate to oneself," from idios "personal, private," properly "particular to oneself," from PIE *swed-yo-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (referring back to the subject of a sentence), also used in forms denoting the speaker's social group, "(we our-)selves" (cognates: Sanskrit svah, Avestan hva-, Old Persian huva "one's own," khva-data "lord," literally "created from oneself;" Greek hos "he, she, it;" Latin suescere "to accustom, get accustomed," sodalis "companion;" Old Church Slavonic svoji "his, her, its," svojaku "relative, kinsman;" Gothic swes "one's own;" Old Norse sik "oneself;" German Sein; Old Irish fein "self, himself"). Meaning "phrase or expression peculiar to a language" is from 1620s.

/\\/

A dragon for the ages!

5
Interzone / Re: Meditations on crowded peaks
« on: April 10, 2014, 04:45:11 PM »
A life of what you call 'paranoid inaction' would go a long way towards eliminating the thoroughly destructive kind of post you, and those like you, have just made, and will likely continue to make.
It is an unfortunate characteristic of humanity that so many of its 'members' are so prone to gratuitously rip into each other for no clear reason.

There are many kinds of pain. Destruction is a cosmic virtue. As you know, nothing exists in a vacuum.

Sing praise to the Hermetic pillar, Caduceus. Antithesis, for Spring:


6
Interzone / Re: Meditations on crowded peaks
« on: April 10, 2014, 04:25:19 PM »
Some say that climbing everest is a life changing experience. Surely, not anymore. On May 19, 2012, two hundred thirty four people reached the Mount Everest summit. That is the marvellous works of progress and leftism: the dumbing down and bastardization of experience to make it possible for everyone to climb there.

Agree with the general or reverence, but for a fucking manic sidebar related to the "dumbing down" bit:

Huh? What? The "sanctity" of other people climbing the mountain is less of a feat than the first to do so, yes. This is what humanity - LIFE - does, and always has done. The ground you're standing on, in no doubt a thoroughly civilized area (suburb, rural area, city, college campus, etc) was once virgin nature. All of it. Everywhere.

Be the first person on Mars (gasp - another planet! Somehow unnatural! Somehow unknown to 20th century reactionaries!) and stop your bitching. The alternative is to continue to live your life as you have, in the hopes your children's children will pathologically worship such a corpse, so damning themselves to a life of paranoid inaction.

7
Interzone / Re: Be Poor!
« on: March 04, 2014, 08:25:58 PM »
Ascetic zeal - beware of hubris.

8
Interzone / Re: Sanity.
« on: February 26, 2014, 09:36:06 PM »
...if you use enough drugs, yes, it can appear to you as if you can do that.
But reality isn't something humans can bend. The human bends itself, and calls that reality.

What is the entire project of civilization, if not the bending and shaping of reality to human Will?  Certainly, it takes a person of a truly extraordinary ability, vision and personal strength to accomplish, but it can be accomplished.  The heroic path is just very lonely, and littered with the bleached bones of the unworthy.

This is an interesting point. The heroes being who: Alexander...?

9
Interzone / Re: Further ruminations
« on: February 26, 2014, 08:40:36 PM »
The forums have undergone several "purges" at this point - of members, and content. Not long ago, crow had a thread lauding the state of the forum and its members. What happened between then and now, exactly?

There is a continual discontent with the level of contribution from most people who post here, yet the percentage of contributors seems fairly consistent, staffing changes superficially. After a decade, contribution isn't growing as a result of the management's disregard for consistent, specific, and constructive criticisms that have been leveled (as an old coworker would say: "Indian not the arrow"*).

Ultimately, no one here will lament deeply if the forum is burned, and it should go without saying that all who choose to rest here are appreciative. The mature will move on, and so is life.


*This is an important relationship to parse, and comes only with proper craft.

10
Metal / Revenant/Henry Veggian Interview (2007)
« on: February 16, 2014, 06:59:55 PM »
LINK

Interview with Henry Veggian (REVENANT)

Martín Gasa

Hank, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. It’s a big honour for me as a die hard Revenant fan since all these years to do this interview with you, so feel free to write whatever you want. Let’s talk about the present of your life. Could you tell us about your actual occupation for living and what studies you’ve finished during the last years?

I drifted in and out of University studies while I was in the band. In the mid-1990’s, however, I made an effort to take it more seriously and finish my degree. I began a Master’s Degree right around the time we dissolved the band, and then I worked for several years, and returned to school for a doctorate. In 2005 I complete my Ph.D. in Cultural and Critical Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. In professional terms, I specialized in modern American Literature, but I also studied critical theory which is, for all practical purposes, a branch of modern Continental philosophy. I should mention that I studied philosophy as an undergraduate, and that was the source of many references in Revenant’s lyrics.

How does it feel transmitting knowledge and wisdom to your students? Is there an interaction between you and them?

Yes, there is interaction, in the sense that I divide my teaching between lectures and a more conversational style. Perhaps Socratic style is the better phrase, because in the Western educational tradition the basic model follows that of the ancient Greeks, where the instructor asks questions, the students answer, and the instructor asks more questions, etc. I prefer to think of it as a dramatic dialogue, in which we all play certain roles. Ideally, teaching is a form of theater, even if at times it can be a theater of the absurd!

If you had to mention only five writers that have influenced in your life as a literature lover, and also as an inspiration for creation of lyrics or texts, what it will be your list and for what reason if you would like to mention it?

One writer who has remained a consistent force in my life is Friedrich Nietzsche. This is not because I model my life after his, or because I try to see the world in a certain way, but simply because I never cease to wonder at the poetry of his style. Having been raised in a European home, where such things were valued, I think it was possible for me to look beyond the academic debates. Now, of course, those same academic debates are an important part of my work at the University. As far as other writers are concerned, I have varied tastes. There are too many to mention. I can tell you, however, that I have a copy of one of Borges’ poems fixed to my desk at work. It is entitled “The Cloisters,” and its subject is the medieval wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The building itself was bought by the Rockefeller family and transported, stone by stone, from France. The last lines are wonderful – “Siento un poco de vertigo/No estoy acostumbrado a la eternidad.”

I know that you translate writings and books to many languages. Do you believe that you can add a creative input to the texts that you choose to work?

Well, not many, just Italian. I translated a contemporary novel entitled “Diary of a Rapist” by the writer Anna Maria Pellegrino. The novel had a tremendous success in Italy and other European countries, but it did not sell here. I worked closely with the author during the translation process because she wanted to capture a certain American idiom, but I think that one reason for its commercial failure has to do with the fact that some things cannot be translated. For example, the novel’s narrator is a typical young Italian male, a true “borghese,” and American readers know very little about the type.

I have also translated another Italian book, but I don’t think it ever found a publisher. It was the memoir of a famous Italian dollmaker named Lenci. I hope one day to make new translations into English of the writings of Dino Buzzati. He is one of my favorite authors, in any language.

Let’s talk about music. To me Revenant was an unique death metal band with great riffs and a constant dark feeling and GREAT mid tempo sections. After all these years do you still receive letters or e mails from old fans that praised the band?

Yes, we do receive mail, and I can speak for the other band members when I say that we are flattered and surprised by the attention. Dave Rotten from Xtreem records was one such fan, and that worked out quite well, because he compiled our lost recordings and released them as “The Burning Ground.” The CD introduced our music to a new generation who were too young to know about the beginnings of the metal underground.

Hank, I know that you’ve very disappointed with the final result of the debut “Prophecies Of A Dying World”. For me it is an excellent job and I really love it, could you tell us the main reasons of your discomfort?

The main reason, quite simply, was the sound of the record. A strong record must have a certain sound, and you achieve that sound by working with an engineer who understands the music and who can use the studio technology in a way that captures the band’s style in a certain way. Unfortunately, we did not have that type of engineer. The same thing happened with Ripping Corpse’s ‘Dreaming with the Dead,” which was recorded in the same studio with the same engineer. While their record sounds better than “Prophecies,” it did not capture their sound. Only people who heard either band perform live would have known the difference. I don’t want to lay all the blame on the engineer – for various reasons, we did not perform well, either. We were simply uncomfortable with the place, and too young to know how to change it. I was 19 years old, after all.

I believe that Revenant really sounds intricate with a “haunting” feeling and creative lyrics, very distinctive. They reminded me H. P. Lovecraft passages specially “The Unearthly” and “Prophecy Of A Dying World” to mention only two. That made a strong difference between Revenant and other death metal acts of that moment. Do you feel that many listeners didn’t catch the essence of Revenant style?

No, not really. Our fans were very perceptive, and they often understood how and why we set ourselves apart from other bands. This was true, in general, of all the best bands in the New Jersey scene. We simply did not follow trends, and we each had a unique sound. Listen to Human Remains, Ripping Corpse, Nokturnel – they are all great bands with a cult following that did not succeed on a large commercial scale. Most death metal fans want something else from the music, and we didn’t offer it to them.

What happened exactly between Nuclear Blast and the band after the release of the album? You toured in Europe and then the troubles began, or am I wrong?

That’s a long, complicated story, and it had as much to do with our inexperience as it did with the label’s. Quite simply, we stopped communicating in a constructive manner.

“The Burning Ground” is an unbelievable compilation of demos that includes demo recordings of the nineties with demos of the early years. I can certainly notice that the sound in “post-Prophecies” demos/works was more aggressive and rawer tan ever (In your vocals it’s very remarkable) but still intricate and well structured in terms of composition skills. Could you tell us more details about this CD and how was the compilation process of old stuff, flyers and photos of the different line-ups? The result was excellent!

As I mentioned earlier, Dave Rotten from Xtreem records approached us with the idea. I discussed it with the band members from the 1989-1995 line-up, and I also talked to John McEntee about it (he left the band in 1988). We agreed that the demos and live materials best represented the band’s sound, and that a CD would make a fine addition to Xtreem Records project of re-releasing recording from the scene’s early days (they also released CD’s by other bands). In short, we all thought it was a good idea, for historical reasons, mainly. The problem, however, was that we did not have all the material we wanted, so we had to search far and wide for the best possible versions of the music. We rescued master tapes from various sources, but some were in very poor condition. This is why a few songs from the early demos are missing (“Rigor Mortis Waltz,” and an early version of ‘Asphyxiated Time,” for example) – the tapes were of a poor sonic quality. Nonetheless, we found some amazing material that was in excellent condition, in particular the songs we recorded for Ed Farshtey when he had his record label Rage Records in New York City, and an alternate version of “Asphyxiated Time” from 1990. We also found live recordings from the European tour that we never knew existed – this is how the live version of “The Unearthly” resurfaced. In short, we compiled an excellent selection that truly captured the band’s sound which, as you noted, was “raw” yet also technically proficient. Once we completed the process of finding the music, I went to a recording studio with Rick Dierdorf, who worked with the band in its final years, and we transferred the songs from analog tape to digital format. It was a collective effort, and everyone we could find from the old days was involved. The same is true of the booklet. I wrote the essay, and everyone donated photographs from their collections. Finally, Xtreem records did an excellent job of packaging the material.


One of the tracks was precisely “The Burning Ground”, the lyric talk about disasters caused by technology abuse. Do you believe that someday the world will be a better place to live, or this disasters will be repeated again an again as a vicious circle during the next decades? (I mean climate alterations, pollution, things like Tsunami and what happened in New Orleans years ago, that kind of situations)

I wouldn’t make apocalyptic predictions now, because that sort of eschatology is everywhere these days. The song you mention had a particular referent – the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. I was struck then by the immensity of the disaster, and having had a dim childhood memory of Three Mile Island, the notion of a nuclear disaster affected everyone in those days. It was the Cold War, after all. The basic figure in the songs came from Greek myth – Prometheus, the fire stealer. I combined the two ideas – one modern, one ancient, and Dave and I wrote the riffs. We dedicated the song to the victims of the disaster, and when Rage Records released it as a 7-inch we received some mail from the Ukraine, from metal fans telling us how happy they were that someone wrote some music about their tragedy.

You’ve released an EP called “Overman” with Erik Rutan as producer. Was it well received by the old fans and specialized metal press?

No, not really. One of the other band members mentioned those old tapes one night. I listened to them and I was struck by the fact that the songs were very atmospheric and unlike the other recordings. We pooled some money and decided to mix the tapes for ourselves. I approached Erik about mixing them, and he was happy to do it, as he was then building up his recording studio (this was in 2001). Once it was finished we decided to press a few extra copies and give them to friends. The CD had a total pressing of 300 copies. One copy made its way to Liz Ciavarella at Metal Maniacs magazine. She was a fan of the band from the old days, and she gave it a notice. Before we knew it, the copies we pressed were gone because all the old fans who read her magazine wrote to us. We never pressed any more, but that had nothing to do with some of the lousy reviews it received. We simply never wanted it to have a wide circulation – it was an intimate project that was later limited to a few friends and fans.

What was your relationship with Erik and his old band (Ripping Coprse) during the early years? I know that they were from the same area.

Shaune and Scott from Ripping Corpse first turned up at a Revenant show in 1988. They were from red Bank, N.J., which was then a decayed old town on the Jersey shore. Red Bank has since been revived, and it is a very nice place today, but back then it was the sort of place you imagine when reading H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction.

Anyway, Scott and Shaune turned up at one of our first shows, and we became friends. We started playing shows with them in the area when they were still a four piece band, and Erik had not yet joined the group (he was always at the shows, however). In 1989, Scott and I introduced the guys from Morbid Angel to a local man who later became Morbid Angel’s manager, and remains so, I believe, to this day. In 1990, Morbid Angel, Ripping Corpse, and Revenant played a series of shows in the northeast in cities like Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Those shows are legendary. The tour ended with a huge concert in New Jersey (Biohazard was also on the bill). There was a riot there, and it made the local newspapers. It was an absolutely crazy time, and Revenant and Ripping Corpse became very close friends as a result. We continued to play concerts until both bands dissolved in the mid-1990’s. As far as I am concerned Ripping Corpse was the most original and musically innovative band of that time, even if they never received the credit or success they deserved.

You’ve collaborated with Dim Mak (Formed by some ex members of Ripping Corpse). Do you have any plan for this year vinculated with musical projects?

No, my music career ended a long time ago. I sang on the Dim Mak record because Scott sent me the demos of material that Shaune had composed, and I was amazed by the quality of the material. When Scott asked me to sing on some of the tracks on the “Knives of Ice’ CD I simply could not refuse. It is the best metal record of the past decade, if not longer, and “Incident at the Temple of Leng” is one of the heaviest songs ever composed by anyone in the genre. It ranks beside the best material recorded by legendary bands like Slayer, Sepultura, and Morbid Angel.

I’m an huge Immolation fan. Revenant had moments of contact and used to share shows with them during the eighties. Would you like to share any opinion of this tremendous death metal band?

Of course. I met the members of Immolation through one of their old band mates, Andrew from Rigor Mortis. Rigor Mortis was, I believe, the first true death metal band from the New York scene of the 1980’s. Immolation continued that tradition. In the late 1980’s, John McEntee booked some shows for Revenant in upstate New York, in a bar in the old railroad town of Nyack. Nyack was across the Hudson River from Yonkers, and the guys from Immolation came to a show. They eventually played a show there was well, as did Ripping Corpse. I have a vague memory of Chris from Autopsy attending one of the shows when he was visiting, too. Nyack is in Rockland County, which had – and still has – a great scene for metal. There were few fans at those shows, but they were true fans. Anyway, Immolation signed a record contract around the same time both Revenant and Corpse had been signed, and they were the first of the local bands to tour in Europe. They have since had tremendous longevity, and I still talk to Bob or Ross when I get a chance. They are great people and a legendary metal band.

Hank, Will be it possible to see a reincarnation of Revenant someday? Do you get touch with the ex members of the band?

As for the first question, the answer is a resounding no. As for the second, yes, I still talk to most of the old members, even from the earliest days. I was lucky to have nice people as band mates, I guess. As you know, not all friendships last.

The New York/New Jersey scene during the eighties had an incredible couple of bands such as Immolation, Ripping Corpse and Revenant to name a few. How was the metal scene during these years talking about clubs, fanzines and tape traders?

It was a small scene, and everyone knew each other. We were part of the “second wave,” I think, that followed some of the older thrash bands from the area, so there was already an older scene in place for those bands. I remember traveling to Bleeker Bob’s in Manhattan to buy the Nuclear Assault demos or Borivoj Krgin’s fanzine, for example, and reading it very carefully from cover to cover. I think that older scene convinced club owners to book heavier bands, so there was a precedent. I should say, however, that the two scenes evolved separately, and we established a different circuit along the northeast. Basically, every city had an underground band, from Deceased in Washington, D.C., to Derketa in Pittsburgh, up north to Cannibal Corpse in Buffalo, and back east to Vital Remains in Providence. We would book shows for each other, then drive up and play on the weekends. Most of the shows were in small bars and clubs, and the local tape traders would come out, record them, and then distribute them in the mail. It was all very low budget –we slept in our van quite often.

In the booklet of “The Burning Ground” you mentioned a historical moment for you: a show of Whiplash/Celtic Frost/Voivod. Whiplash was an incredible thrash band. Could you tell us how did you connect with them during the nineties apart from being an influence in your sound?

With the exception of two or three other bands, those three groups were, and remain, my favorites from that era. Whiplash were from Passaic, New Jersey, and old textile town that was in ruins at that time. There were other bands from that area, like Bloodbath and Deranged, who were friends of ours, but Whiplash were the best. They played thrash metal in its purest form: the beats were consistent throughout each song, with catchy, alternating riffs and accessible lyrics. The song structures were not complex but they were the most effective I have ever heard in that style. They are, more than Anthrax or Metallica or Testament, the best thrash band ever, though I am sure some people would disagree. I still remember standing outside the old Ritz in Manhattan in 1986, waiting on a cold winter night to enter a Slayer/Overkill concert. When the guys in Whiplash walked by the line of fans, everyone cheered them, even though they were not on the bill that night.

Anyway, I met Tony Scaglione when I was in college. We were both in the same mathematics class. He had left Whiplash, played in Slayer and some other bands, and was looking for something new. A few years later, we ran into each other at a bar in Clifton, N.J., and we started talking again. He asked if I would like to sing in Whiplash, with the original line up. I couldn’t believe my ears. A few days later, they asked Dave Jengo to play back-up guitar. The owner of the bar let us rehearse on the main stage with the full P.A. system at our disposal, and in a few weeks I learned all the songs from the first two records, and a few covers. We rehearsed for another month or so, then we booked a show at that same bar. There was a blizzard of snow, the show was cancelled, and we never played together again. I never knew why, but I think it was because Tony Bono, the bassist, had touring responsibilities with his other band. Years later, they asked me to sing on one of their newer records, but I was already on my way back to study at the University, and I declined, but playing with them remains one of my favorite memories. A few years ago, I was devastated to hear the news that Tony Bono died. I remember walking to the bar with him during a break in rehearsal and looking up at the television to see smoke-blackened people fleeing the World Trade Center after it was bombed in 1993 – we both turned to the bartender at the same exact moment and ordered a drink. We had no idea what had happened, but it seemed bad enough to require that we watch it through an alcohol filter.

Which are you favorite bands of all times? (No matter what kind of musical style there are)

My collection of music is varied, and it contains examples of all styles and movements. Having been raised in an Italian household, I have a stronger appreciation for songwriters than if I had not been raised listening to certain types of Italian music, and that appreciation extends to forms as diverse as classical composers and rappers, too. As far as bands are concerned, I have to say that my musical tastes are in the rock tradition, and in particular the classics. If I were on a desert island, I would want the complete works of Pink Floyd with me, for example, including their film “Live at Pompeii,” the greatest rock music film of all time.

I know that you love Led Zeppelin. If you have to choose only one album of their discography, what it will be your election and why?

I had no idea. “Physical Graffiti” is the record I would bring, right now, but on another day it might be the first, self-titled album.

Do you listen newer music such as nu metal/metalcore? What do you think about these styles?

I don’t listen to them at all. I think they are awful. The lyrics are stupid and the musicians are lousy.

Are you interested in some style or genre of movies? Would you like to mention your favorite ones?

I just read the news this morning that the Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni passed away. “Desserto Rosso” is one of my favorite films. Those shots of Richard Harris walking in the fog near the factory, or those long shots of immense boats passing outside the window, are tremendous. Again, being raised Italian, I had an excellent education in modern and popular cinema. My parents often took me to see American films when I was younger – I think I saw all of Woody Allen’s best films of the 1970’s in the theater, for example, as well as all of Mel Brook’s comedies. I distinctly recall being left at home for certain films, such as Louis Malle’s ‘Atlantic City” or Michael Cimino’s “The Deer Hunter,” because I was too young for the content. But in the age of videotape, I could get them easily, and I saw them all eventually.

As far as the band was concerned, we were like most other metal bands in that we watched cult films, horror films, etc. There is very little said or written about the influence of cult cinema on our old scene, but I don’t think it could have existed without those films. In this respect, death metal does with sound what those films do with images and editing. We used to go see horror films in New York City all the time in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Tim (our last bassist) and I attended the first U.S. screening of Jorg Buttgereit’s “Nekromantik” in 1989 in the east village, and I saw John McNaughton’s “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” and Alejandro Jodorowski’s films at midnight screenings. There was a theater on Sixth Avenue and Waverly Street in Greenwich Village that played these films, and they used to show independent horror films, like the Troma Productions. And I would run into the guys from Ripping Corpse or Mortician at the screenings, or see them at the local film convention in New Jersey. If you attend the “Chiller Theater” film convention in New Jersey to this day, you will probably run into several musicians from the old scene. Will Rahmer from Mortician, Scott Ruth from Ripping Corpse, Dave from Dog Eat Dog, and myself have been attending that convention with religious devotion since it began almost 20 years ago.

I’ll mention five names of well known artists that are very different in style, feel free to say whatever each represents to you.

SLAYER: Hell Awaits!

FRANK ZAPPA: Take that, Tipper Gore!

METALLICA: Some Kind of Monster? What monster?

THIN LIZZY: Thunder and Lightning!

MORBID ANGEL: Pete Sandoval for President!

Let’s talk about another topic. Please tell us more about your personal life and family.

Let’s not. Words can’t describe how good it is.

I was father for first time last december and it changed my life a lot, It’s unbelievable. What fatherhood does represent to you?

Congratulations! I think you know what I mean, then.

You are from Torino. Being Italian, do you identify with some historical creative movement of the past or with any person of the rich culture and creative history of Italy?

Actually, my mother was born and raised in Torino, and I still have relatives there. It is a great city, but it is not as well known as other big Italian cities. That is perhaps a good thing, since it was not ruined by tourism. There are many great figures associated with the city in modern Italian history – Nietzsche spent his final years there, Gramsci studied there, and the great Primo Levi lived there until the end. I don’t have such glorious roots in the city. My great grandfather owned a movie theater there when it was a big film town, most of my family worked there at some point, and now most of them are buried there. For me, it is a city of ghosts these days – a notion that the film director Dario Argento would recognize, I think, judging from the horror films he shot there. Nonetheless, its institutions are great, in particular the museums, its architecture is interesting (if you like the French style), and its role in modern Italian politics is without match. In short, there would be no modern Italy if it were not for Torino, and anyone who visits the Museum of the Risorgimento would be reminded of that fact. I imagine that Boston is roughly its urban symbolic equivalent in the U.S.A.


Talking about soccer, first of all congratulations for winning last World Cup! Which Italian team do you support?

Thank you. The Italy-Germany semi-final of the 2006 World Cup was perhaps the most dramatic game ever played. I have never seen anything like it, and I have seen every important modern match. Never in the history of the sport did two powerful teams attack with such intensity in the overtime period, and Andrea Pirlo’s destruction of the German defense in the final minute with a single pass was a masterpiece. It reminded me of the Italo Calvino story about the Chinese artist who waits twenty years to paint a crab, and then paints it with one stroke of his brush. Now we have four Cups in our case – with one more, we will match Brazil, and my friends who support them will have to stop bragging. I think you, as an Argentine, will sympathize.

I am a Juventus fan, but every time I go to Torino I visit “La Tomba del Toro” out of respect. The tomb marks the place where the team’s plane crashed into the mountain behind the cathedral of Superga. I do so to pay respect to one of the greatest teams in soccer history but also to honor my late uncle, the only member of our family who was a fan of Torino’s other soccer club. I admired his independence of mind, among other things.
"La tomba del Toro" (Torino, Italy)


What do you think about the corruption incidents that affected the Italian league about two years ago?

I was disgusted, but that sort of corruption is everywhere - look at what that referee did to the Italian team in Korea in 2002. That being said, it was excessive to remove two scudetti/titles from Juventus. Referees can only have a limited influence on the outcome of a match; it is the players who score the goals, after all.

Talking about hobbies, you are a huge fan of fishing. Here in Argentina many people love this practice. Would you tell us what kind of “technique” or “fishing style” you like, and which places you like to fish near NYC? (Lakes, rivers, etc...)

Fishing has long since replaced music as my favorite hobby, but I regard them as connected in many ways. Please don’t ask me to explain. I fished as a boy, and later, when I played in Revenant, I often went fishing with Tom Stevens from Nokturnel (Tom also played briefly in other bands, like Incantation). As I grew older, I learned to fish with a fly rod, which is the classic fishing style. I read widely in the history of the sport, and I practice different styles. Anglers have to adapt to changing environmental conditions, new techniques, and also understand how to teach the sport to young people so that they will continue it as a living thing. Unfortunately, the sport has become very professional and commercial in this country. I hope that is not the case in Argentina. Generally speaking, I prefer rivers, because, as Heraclitus said, they are always changing. On a related note, Brandon Thomas, the drummer from Ripping Corpse/Dim Mak, is one of the best anglers I know, and we go fishing together quite often.

Do you have some special point of view or criticism with religions in general? Please tell us what you think about them. I believe that they are very persuasive in people’s minds limiting the real individual choice of a feeling or behavior. Really a very deep topic, or not?

Marx famously wrote that religion is the opium of the people. I think people use this, mistakenly, as an insult against religion. Rather than being a moral statement, it is a poetic one in that it depends on a complex metaphor. That is to say, the analogy between religious feeling and opium use depends upon a physical sensation. I think Ken Russell represented that sensation in the film “Altered States,” in that scene where the female subject of medical research is given LSD and the camera captures her with a look that is simultaneously anguished and beatific. And then she says “It feels like my heart is being touched by Christ.” It is the wrong type of drug, but the effect is probably similar. Generally speaking, I see nothing wrong with that type of religious experience; however, I just lost a dear friend from the old Jersey scene to an opium addiction, and I would warn any curious people to avoid it at all costs (remember – fools rush in where angels fear to tread). Anyway, Marx’s analogy retains a cautionary, moral sense as well – it suggests that religious dogma is like a physical addiction and, as with opium addicts, there is little you can do for such addicts to save them. But that is also a dogmatic statement in that it requires salvation for all, a dogmatic idea if there ever was one. This is the sort of trouble you get into when you talk about religion – or Marxism - in such general terms.

Talking about the Internet, what’s your opinion with this mp3 and download thing? Will it seriously affect the music business?. Feel free to express your opinion about this....

I think the past tense is inappropriate here – the music business changed as soon as computers became powerful enough to copy music in great quantities. That began ten years ago, and it won’t stop now. People have always copied music illegally, and they always will. The only difference now is that it has reached a critical mass as the means of illegal reproduction are available to anyone with a basic computer.

The only thing the music business could do was adapt its business model to the new situation. Now you have record labels that have shifted from being large, vertical bureaucracies to more horizontally organized entities, with subsidiaries and affiliates and alternate means of distribution, both real and virtual. I imagine it’s interesting to historians, lawyers, and economists, but that tells me little about how music has changed.

Are you interested in politics or it doesn’t bother to you?. What do you think about the actual international scenario? Any opinion about George W. Bush administration?

Yes, I am, but I don’t feel the need to express my political opinions. There is already too much of that these days. There should be a moratorium on political talk.

To finish the interview... Would you like to recommend us any books that you like or some cool authors in special?

Okay, here’s a summer reading list for the beach:

- William Gibson (stories and novels).
- Peter Gallison (Einstein’s Clocks, Poincare’s Maps).
- Manuel Delanda (War in the Age of Intelligent Machines)
- Galileo (Two New Sciences)
- Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day, novel)
- Donna Haraway (Simians, Cyborgs, and Women)
- Silvia Nasar (A Beautiful Mind)

Read them and write a 10 page essay on each.

Thank you very much again and sorry for possible grammatical mistakes. Would you like to say some final words or something in special to the Argentinian metal supporters?

Your English grammar is much better than my Spanish grammar. When I visit Argentina to go fishing en el sur maybe some of those metal supporters can correct my Spanish grammar over a meal of fresh wild trout and a bottle of white wine.

11
Interzone / Re: A good day
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:41:51 PM »
It might sound strange but the things I've struggled with most are also the things which pushed me towards self improvement; mostly lack of motivation, lack of continuity. Because I don't like these things I consciously avoid behaviours and ways-of-thinking that I know might lead to them.

This is a remarkable detail, similar to my own outlook on day-to-day living. With a broad perspective, it can be hard to maintain motivation for most things in "life". It was related to me that what breathes significance into existence are those rules or superficialities which can seem intellectually absurd, or weak-minded. The difficulty is persisting to live while continuing to acknowledge the ubiquity and depth of meaninglessness.


12
Interzone / Re: Secular atonement and salvation
« on: February 12, 2014, 06:48:58 PM »
Only death is real. All things are death.



"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

13
Interzone / Re: The problem I have with having opinions
« on: February 08, 2014, 05:26:33 PM »
Is that a hierarchic list? Would you place experience at the top?

Yes, but all three are necessary.

People that are trustworthy, knowledgeable, and communicative are the exception to the rule.

14
Interzone / Re: The problem I have with having opinions
« on: February 07, 2014, 10:29:13 PM »
There is experience, knowledge, and opinion.

People talk a lot. "Finger pointing at the moon".

15
Interzone / Re: Drugs
« on: February 07, 2014, 10:17:32 PM »
Though I like the mystique of Dale's Pendellgram, this chart explains things more accurately.

Whoa! Awesome find.

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