Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shamanistic Madness - Veil Of Thorns Interview


VEIL OF THORNS - SHAMANISTIC MADNESS

Over the last two years P. Emerson Williams has been extremely busy. His art work has been seen on the front cover of SLEEPCHAMBER'S return to action release "Socery, Spellls, and Serpent Charms", as well as the Zewizz tribute releases "That's Romance" (both part 1 and 2). He is heavily involved with Foolish People.org (with the current "The Abattoir Pages" production as well as the production "Cirxus" from earlier this year). Not to mention various other cover art project, book cover projects, creating musick with various bands, AS well as writing musick for his own projects -Veil Of Thorns, Choronzon, and Kkoagulaa - and that's just the tip of the iceburg.

October see's the release of two new CD's by Williams project Veil Of Thorns on Inner-X-Musick. Impossible to categorize, Veil Of Thorns began as a Goth band in the early 90's club scene in Boston but steadily moved toward a more eclectic sound. Not afraid to use any influence - you will hear styling's of goth, hip hop, industrial, classical, and just about the whole kitchen sink.

TOS: I imagine you are thrilled to be part of historic Inner-X-Musick. You were part of the Boston scene. You have been booked by John Zewizz for shows... It must in some ways seem like a natural progression.
VOT: Being part of Inner-X-Musick is more than I could have hoped for. I can't imagine a better fit. With most labels, the challenge for me is to rein ideas in to palatable song forms, but with Inner-X, the challenge is to live up to the long history of innovation, experimentation and forward thinking of the label and John Zewizz. This is a much more exciting and fruitful kind of challenge than the former kind which I look forward to taking on.

TOS: Veil Of Thorns (part 1 I shall call it) 1991 to 1994 saw you work with a few different collaborators before settling upon Chris McClain. Good memories?

VOT: Some amazing times were had, for sure. the first lineup started with just me and a jazz drummer (Sean Savoie) but by the time it was filled out with a bass player (Catherine Chenoweth) and second guitarist, (the late, great Jarrett Laitinen) that drummer was off to a new adventure in Japan. If he had stayed, the first demo may have sounded more like Cognitive Dissonance than what we ended up with for our first two demos.

At that time, Catherine booked all our gigs, which with her many biker friends brought us to biker bars as well as the first shows at TT the Bears in Cambridge and the late lamented Channel. The recordings from that time are definitely primitive, but I'm still proud of them. I would like to see less slickness in underground music than there is in general right now outside Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Chris McClain came in, bringing a new focus and maturity to proceedings.

TOS: Everything stopped in 1994. Then nothing till 2002 - 03 really, with "Birthed". Why the hiatus? What inspired the return?
VOT: Well, we were gigging a lot more in the period between -94 and -98, which ended up cutting into the writing and recording. If I had been more forward thinking, I would have had these shows recorded in audio and video. Many of the gigs included guest players and extensive improvisation.

We were slated to release our debut CD through Misanthropy Records by the end of this period, but was not to happen as Tiziana, head of Misanthropy decided to close the label. What ended up as "Cafe Flesh" and "The Dead God Sessions" were demos done for the label for this album. There are more than a hundred hours of material not included in those releases I have on DAT tape, some of which that may see the light of day at some point.

In 1997 I signed with Nocturnal Art Productions and released the first Choronzon album in 1998. This brought much more attention than Veil of Thorns ever got, and I focused on that for a bit. I recorded the Choronzon albums "Lilith", "Era Vulgaris" and "Larvae" in 1989/1999, and dropped out of all normal society for a few years following.

Basically I went into the woods and was deep in the grip of the Gwyllt. By the time I re-emerged, I was psychically stripped down to nearly nothing. There's a world of difference between the work prior to and following this time. My methods continue to evolve from what I established with "Birthed" to this day.


TOS: If I am not mistaken "Salon Apocolypse" and "Necrofuturist" were recorded during the same time. Was the intention to make two CD's? Was the correlation between the two releases always intended?
VOT: Both albums grew out of the process of working on "The Abattoir Pages" as part of FoolishPeople. The intention was to finish "Salon Apocalypse", as the concept I had been working with for this release was in the same realm that John Harrigan tapped into for "Abattoir Pages". Through countless sleepless nights and days of madness, "Necrofuturist" wrote itself as a further expansion of the studies and current we were working with. I would not have chosen to take on so much in such a short period of time, but I really had no choice in the matter.

"Salon Apocalypse", "Necrofuturist" and "Abattoir Pages" are inextricably linked, through current and source materials, all preparing the ground for "Pleasure", for which all this work is a mere prologue.

TOS: Both releases are giant steps in a direction one would not have suspected after "Cognitive Dissonance". In fact, as I go through your catalog - this is close to the shift that occurred with the 2003's "Birthed". Does this represent a shift in your personal life, or your musical interests, or both.
VOT: This represents a huge shift in everything I touch. I can't say that I know what will result, nor what I'll be when I emerge from the other side. We are all in the process of experiencing aspects of this process. We'll be living in a new reality, (or rather, we'll have reality tunnels exploded), by the end of this.

TOS: I suspect that this release is steeped in chaos magick. I could be wrong, as I listen to them - I am reminded of Burroughs and Gysin early experiments. Was this the process you used with the lyrics? With the musick?
VOT: Well, there's quite a bit of old school Western magick with more than a little shamanistic madness and gnosis. Also Goetic methods overlaid with, yes, Burroughs/Gysin experiments to break down language patterns. The musick was carved out of what started with dense layers upon layers of sound. The musick is still dense, but given pulse and negative space like a sculpture.

TOS: Who are the performers on the new releases?
VOT: On guitar I had contributions from the amazing Aidan McGoran. "Salon Apocalypse" was very loose and amorphous until he got his hands on the material. James Curcio was only on a couple tracks on this one, but his contribution to percussion and electronic manipulations was invaluable. My colleagues in FoolishPeople, John Harrigan and Lucy Allin provided the mythological framework these albums inhabit, as well as some source material which is present throughout. Pandora brings her contribution from a parallel universe. Too much analysis of that aspect would be unwise.

TOS: Will there be a live version of Veil Of Thorns?
VOT: I would love that, but it's hard to say. Member and collaborators are all over the world and busy with a lot of other things. If it does happen, it'll not be a regular rock'n'roll show methinks...

Friday, November 6, 2009

the smallWorld: Back in a BIG way!

Hello! I’m back!

Yep, after nearly two years the Small World is back in action.

We just heard an excerpt from The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast (http://www.hppodcraft.com), which is actually an excerpt from H.P. Lovecraft’s short story, The Picture in the House.

Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer are the host of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast and we’ll talk with them shortly. But before we talk with Chris and Chad I’m going to very quickly bring you up to speed with what I’ve been up to.

Back in late 2007 the Small World website was hacked. Hacked so badly that I had to nuke the entire database and start from scratch. That really took the wind out of my sails because starting from scratch meant updating the site with 496 shows.

And to be completely honest, I was more than a little burnt out. I had produced nearly 500 shows and the workload was taking it’s tole on me. I had to arrange the interview. do the interviews and then produce three shows a week. And remember, this is a labor of love, not a paying gig.

So when my site was hacked it was the final straw.

Since then I’ve been producing a show called Solipsistic Nation, where I play the best of all genres of electronic music. Along with playing great music I also interview people from the electronic music community: musicians, record labels, festival organizers, etc.

If NPR produced had an electronic music show then it would sound a lot like Solipsistic Nation.

Producing Solipsistic Nation is a lot of fun but I’ve always had that itch ti interview people about things that fascinate me that have nothing to do with electronic music. When Joe Matheny suggested that I archive the Small World on Alterati I thought it would be a perfect time to re-launch the Small World on a twice a month basis, which is a workload I can handle.

You’re probably asking yourself: what the hell is Alterati?

Alterati is like a word that you don’t know the exact definition of but you know what it means. Rather than try to explain Alterati to you right now, we’ll talk to Joseph Matheny, Alterati’s founder, on the next show and have him explain it.

So… let’s get to today’s show.

As I mentioned, our guests are Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer. Chris and Chad produce the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast and H.P. Lovecraft was a science fiction slash horror writer who died in 1937.

You may or may not know Lovecraft but his writings have had an amazing impact on popular culture: from movies and comics like Hellboy to bands like Metallica and Black Sabbath. He’s also had a profound impact on writers like Stephen King, Jorge Luis Borges  and Neil Gaiman.

The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast treats the work of Lovecraft with a deft touch. Each week features excerpts from one of Lovecraft’s stories accompanied with insightful and often hilarious commentary from Chris and Chad.

Today’s incidental music was provided by Veil of Thorns with the track “The Reflection” from their album, Necrofuturist. You can hear more of their Necrofuturistic music at http://www.veilofthorns.com

We’re going to keep with the funnier side of H.P. Lovecraft and close the show with a bit from Smart Bomb Radio with “Cthulhu Is My Co-pilot” and Tom Smith’s “Cthulhu Fthagn.”

Smart Bomb Radio can be found at http://www.myspace.com/smartbombradio and Tom Smith can be found at http://www.tomsmithonline.com

You can reach me at smallworldpodcast@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/smallworld

Listen @ Alterati.com

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Gspot: John Harrigan

In anticipation of the upcoming performance of The Abattoir Pages, Joseph Matheny in conversation with John Harrigan about anything and everything that comes to their mind.

All music provided by Veil of Thorns
Songs, in order:

  • And the Beast of the Vision Still Roams in Dream
  • Intellectual Institutional Object
  • Thought Pollution Evolution

In Your Ear: Reviewing Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story

Guerrilla Zoo and FoolishPeople present The Abattoir Pages, a terrifying immersive Halloween experience, hosted in a vast, secret subterranean landscape that was once one of London’s largest abattoirs.

The Abattoir Pages combines immersive performance, art installation, haunting and treasure hunt-style activity to form a labyrinth of mystery and horror, exposing the earliest Gaelic and Pagan rites. Once inside, audience members will be free to explore the abandoned underground chambers, join the secret party or may be caught in the middle of the most terrifying of puzzles.

This Hallowe’en, the infamous horror author Helen Mayer will hold court at a debauched secret party. She will share the perverse and warped research conducted inside the old abandoned abattoir, which was the genesis of her greatest work. In this dark playground, the very nature of human terror has been tested, abused and fed into the living story ‘The Forest’.

The author invites you to solve the puzzle and unlock the terrifying history within the old and powerful pages hidden throughout the slaughterhouse. Each holds a key to learning the truth of an ancient tale, which will ensure your survival.

Tonight, a debt will be repaid to blood dishonoured. An eternal nightmare rises up from the depths of the dark boreal forest, in the shadow of the mountain. It comes to feed on new meat inside an old abattoir.

http://www.apocryphon.org/



The Gspot: John Harrigan

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

VEIL OF THORNS “NECROFUTURIST" Inner-X-Musick XXX 72 (2009)

Inner-X-Musick is proud to announce it's first release by Veil Of Thorns. And because I run this blog - and because P. Emerson Williams is forward thinking artist - and because we both agree in the importance of the free flow of musick - and because the musick itself demanded it... You (the reader) reap the benefit.

"NECROFUTURIST" by Veil Of Thorns is the second non /SLEEPCHAMBER release on the newly revamped Inner-X-Musick, the first being the outstanding "Medical Report" by Grammal Seizure. However, "NECROFUTURIST" is the first release that is being offered as a FREE DOWNLOAD before the physical release becomes available.

For those of you who keep track of this sort of thing.. it's catalog number is XXX 72.

If you are familiar with Veil Of Thorns this release may catch you off guard. It is, as I like to call it, "Neo Gothick", although truthfully - Veil Of Thorns has started their own genre with this recording, and one could easily call it "retro futurist". Veil Of Thorns sound has always been unique, but certainly Gothic. Williams abilities as a musician has always set Veil Of Thorns apart from your standard "goth rocker", but through the new millennium Williams has also become a master of the process as well. It has paid off. "NECROFUTURIST" was methodically prepared for and then assembled. Each piece of the puzzle placed with veteran precision.

As with any Veil Of Thorns release, there is an overriding theme to the release. According to Williams,

"There is a theme, but an as yet nebulous one. I'm pulling together phenomena and experiences connected with art movements of the last hundred years and the corresponding societal upheavals that ran concurrently and which had an enormous impact on the birth, life and death of those art movements."

"At the same time, I'm meditating on the similarities and interconnectedness of art and cultural groups and cults, magickal groups, religions, philosophical paradigm shifts and the growth they spur as well as the devastation they leave in their wake, both psychick and materially manifest."

"And there's a book I'm desperately looking for, don't know the name of it, but its effect on people who read it seems to have been similar to the fictional King in Yellow."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_in_Yellow

If you have been following recent developments with Inner-X-Musick - you would know that XXX 71 is already slated to be Veil Of Thorns "Salon Apocalypse". But this is a case of putting the cart before the horse. Williams explains "Necrofuturist continues the theme of Salon Apocalypse. TAZ in a warzone, flowers on a landmine, love & war. Time out of joint. it's therefore appropriate that this came together first."

There will be a physical release in the future. Probably sometime in the late fall, after the release of "Salon Apocalypse". Of course all the information will be posted here as it become available. See www.innerxmusick.com for all the goodies!

Track Listing ...
1
Thought Pollution Evolution
2

Through The Fire
3

Standing
4

The Vandals Exquisite Corpse
5

The Lifeless Trio Kept Playing
6

Wailing In Glass
7

Waltz
8

Pleasure In Nightmare
9

Giving Ascent
10

Dancing Revelation
11

Let Loose Into That Good Mourning
12

The Reflection
13

Deny Fascination
14

The Only One Left
15

Die As One
16

Entertainments Subsume Concern
17

Head Up Get Out
18

The Dead Channel

Get it HERE

Read about Veil Of Thorns HERE

SALON APOCALYPSE:

"Secret Theater"

by Hakim Bey


As long as no Stalin breathes down our necks, why not make some art in the service of... an insurrection?

Never mind if it's "impossible." What else can we hope to attain but the "impossible"? Should we wait for someone else to reveal our true desires?

If art has died, or the audience has withered away, then we find ourselves free of two dead weights. Potentially, everyone is now some kind of artist -- & potentially every audience has regained its innocence, its ability to become the art that it experiences.

Provided we can escape from the museums we carry around inside us, provided we can stop selling ourselves tickets to the galleries in our own skulls, we can begin to contemplate an art which re-creates the goal of the sorcerer: changing the structure of reality by the manipulation of living symbols (in this case, the images we've been "given" by the organizers of this salon -- murder, war, famine, & greed).

We might now contemplate aesthetic actions which possess some of the resonance of terrorism (or "cruelty," as Artaud put it) aimed at the destruction of abstractions rather than people, at liberation rather than power, pleasure rather than profit, joy rather than fear. "Poetic Terrorism."

Our chosen images have the potency of darkness -- but all images are masks, & behind these masks lie energies we can turn toward light & pleasure.

For example, the man who invented aikido was a samurai who became a pacifist & refused to fight for Japanese imperialism. He became a hermit, lived on a mountain sitting under a tree.

One day a former fellow-officer came to visit him & accused him of betrayal, cowardice, etc. The hermit said nothing, but kept on sitting -- & the officer fell into a rage, drew his sword, & struck. Spontaneously the unarmed master disarmed the officer & returned his sword. Again & again the officer tried to kill, using every subtle kata in his repertoire -- but out of his empty mind the hermit each time invented a new way to disarm him.

The officer of course became his first disciple. Later, they learned how to dodge bullets.

We might contemplate some form of metadrama meant to capture a taste of this performance, which gave rise to a wholly new art, a totally non-violent way of fighting -- war without murder, "the sword of life" rather than death.

A conspiracy of artists, anonymous as any mad bombers, but aimed toward an act of gratuitous generosity rather than violence -- at the millennium rather than the apocalypse -- or rather, aimed at a present moment of aesthetic shock in the service of realization & liberation.

Art tells gorgeous lies that come true.

Is it possible to create a SECRET THEATER in which both artist & audience have completely disappeared -- only to re-appear on another plane, where life & art have become the same thing, the pure giving of gifts?

We take Kirkegaard's "leap of faith," but absent the old existentialist's Fear & Trembling & Sickness unto death. Our leap of faith into sorcery & secret theater is more like a wet dream than a nightmare, "awe-full", not awful.

We name our peerage of this new plane The Seven Dramaturgs. But no Peer Panel here, please. We prefer, like Jacob, to wrestle with our angels, & if our tussling turns amorous, all the better. Let the games begin. The Seven Dramaturgs show us that the universe wants, more than that, intends to play with us. We can be pawns or partners in this intention of The Seven Dramaturgs.

In Sufiism there is a belief in The Forty Guardians who protect & keep mankind from destroying itself. What's interesting is, these Guardians are human, but they remain completely unknown & are constantly in flux. Anyone in the world could be one of The Forty at a present moment, including oneself. Of course you would never know if you had been one of The Forty -- they remain anonymous even to themselves. That is why Sufiism calls for you to bow your head whenever you meet a stranger -- he could be one of The Forty Guardians.

Do we lead or follow The Seven Dramaturgs in their sorcery & secret theater? Ali Baba is merely one of The Forty Thieves -- each of The Forty Thieves is Ali Baba. The text does not begin or end here -- the pencil is passed like a baton amongst The Seven Dramaturgs. The universe is still being written.



Saturday, August 15, 2009

VEIL OF THORNS SIGN WITH INNER-X-MUSICK

[SalApoc.cover.jpg]


Url: http://www.veilofthorns.com/blog http://www.myspace.com/veilofthorns

Eperimental Gothic.Industrial act Veil of Thorns have formed a creative alliance with INNER-X-MUSICK. P. Emerson Williams, Veil of Thorns frontman and multi-instrumentalist is currently completing production on the first album to be released on Inner-X Musick, Salon Apocalypse, which is the first new release since Cognitive Dissonance in 2007.

Approaching the twenty year mark in their career, Veil of Thorns continue to build on an ever expanding pallette with their most v aried release to date. From the stripped down, back to the guitar driven psychedelic heaviness of old the last release, the band reurn to to the organic shifting soundscape melding shades of electronic, classical, hiphop with a darker than ever gothic sensibility.

Salon Apocalypse is set to be released in September, 2009 and will be preceded by a series of podcasts and a digital only EP in late summer.

Salon Apocalypse track list:

Still Bloody Action

Intellectual Institutional Object

Ideological Corpses (Nearer To Hell)

Ultraviolet Nocturne

Rite of Spring (Fall of Empire)

And the Beast of the Vision Still Roams In Dream

The Play Is the Thing

The Wails of the Dying Merge With the Song of the Vandals

Experiment In Colour

Infernal Seduction

Induction

Abandoned Places

Doors Blown Open

previews of track for the next two Veil of Thorns releases can be heard at their MySpace profile:

http://www.myspace.com/veilofthorns

About Inner-X-Musick:

INNER-X-MUSICK is a record label/mail order catalog run by Industrial musick pioneer John Zewizz. Over the years INNER-X-MUSICK has a back catalog of well over a hundred releases, by bands such as Sleep Chamber, Controlled Bleeding, Jonathan Briley, 7 From Life, Daze Of Trance, The Flagellents, Hideous In Strength, Women Of The SS, Cult Ov The Womb, Mahcanik, Dokument, Noizeclot, Hunting Lodge, Human Flesh, and PSI Field. In the 1990’s Inner-X-Musick was the solely promoting Sleep Chamber musick, sharing releases with other labels (the Italian label Musica Maxima Magnetica,the German label F├╝nfUndVierzig, and Cleopatra Records). Inner-X-Musick is back in 2009 with new releases by SLEEPCHAMBER and a new group of artists – including Choronzon, Grammal Seizure, Veil Of Thorns, and Batcheeba.

Url: http://innerxmusick.com

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