Covid Chronicles, March – December 2020

The last night things felt “normal”. These photos were taken in mid-March. Although Covid was a topic of conversation- it was still a news story that just made you nervous.
I took the negatives to be developed right away, but forgot one roll in my camera. These shots are from that roll, developed months later via no contact drop off.
Taken Sunday, March 22, less than two weeks after the banana shoot with Jenna at 538. All non-essential businesses were mandated to close at 8PM that evening. I purchased myself some plants, hoping they would make my anticipated two weeks at home a little more cheerful.
The exterior of the warehouse where we shot the banana pics. One of the first houses I photographed for my social distance portrait project.

I began a project doing social distance portraits. I would walk to my friends houses, and snap a portrait of them in or in front of their house from a safe distance. I worked on the project obsessively, and now how hundreds of photos of the New York City underground on lockdown.

This series is currently being compiled for a forthcoming zine. I estimate that there are at least one hundred different homes documented. I shot the series at every chance that I had. In the end, I think the project may have saved my life.

I stopped doing my social distance portrait series after I began protesting.
The beach was summers’ saving grace.
My Father on Father’s Day. Upright bass on the boardwalk.
I often felt like a teenager again. Hanging out on sidewalks, train tracks.
Block party. Bushwick, Brooklyn. There was live music until the cops shut it down the moment the sunset.
Inspired by Theo Ehret’s “Exquisite Mayhem”.
Devil’s Dildo commissioned me to shoot their album art and some promotional photos. Instead of turning a profit, we spent the whole budget on taking a trip to a love motel in New Jersey.
Devil’s Dildo in Soft Skin Latex. We were also able to shoot some photos at TV Eye after hours.
HÜSTLER commissioned some work soon thereafter. We rented an Air B n’ B upstate, close to an abandoned psych ward. I was so pleased to making music-related work again.
Children With Dog Feet
“Strippers worst nightmare” , the dreaded string.
Gavilán Rayna Russom. Promotional shots supporting “Trans Verberation”. We were inspired by Catholic guilt and 80s Madonna.
On set for Twisted Thing video, directed by Ali Logout.
Day one of road trip. LA to Las Vegas. Ed outside the first prison that he went to, now abandoned.
Route 66
(What is left of) Flintstone’s Bedrock City
Grand Canyon. I had to take a photo because I was there.

Sedona, AZ

Salvation Mountain
Slab City
Typical model.
For Safe Word artwork
I wanted to phone to appear melted and warped. The track is about working customer service over the phone.

I feel obligated to mention that I did not shoot any photographs indoors/ the models without masks unless the models and myself had quarantined and gotten tested. I followed CDC guidelines to the best of my ability, shooting or not.

I am immunocompromised, and do my best to protect myself and others.

I felt that I needed to practice photography as a form of harm reduction. Like most artists, the pandemic presented limitations to my work that I thought would be impossible to navigate at first. This is a celebration of the photos I was able to take in spite of this years’ circumstances.

More on my experience will be published alongside the Social Distance portrait series.

New Zine “Soon”, T-Shirt

Good Things (UK) has released my newest zine “Soon” alongside a new T-shirt that features the cover image.

“Soon” is a collection of new photography and writing. 24 page, silkscreen cover, green riso, sewn bound, a5, edition of 50, circle cut into cover

comes packaged in silkscreened envelope

choose a paper cover colour:

red, white or yellow

Shirts are two sided, with two styles to choose from

Limited Edition Shirt; Benefitting NYC Health & Hospital Workers

Flying Saucer Press has curated and created a limited run of tee shirts from NYC artists to benefit NYC healthcare workers caring for Covid-19 patients

Click HERE to see all the shirts and support.

The Jane Pain shirt is a picture of a pile of humans at a Lumpy & The Dumpers show because I miss shows and I miss slimy puddles of smelly friend flesh.

Photos From Winter

Witchcraft removing their corpse paint.
Jacob Winans at Miguel’s Room.
Float in New Orleans carival parade.
Nancy and Mandog Tony
More Nancy and Mandog
Pinocchio at Union Pool
Hannah Dunne
Q at Bohemian Grove.

Alexander Paul Gonzalez (Low and Slow) , after our show with Acyrlics got shut down by a bunch of cops pointing guns at us and moved two more times. He is the champ.
For Soft Skin Latex
For Zoe Burke
Bloodyminded at 202
Probably the best set of 2019.
Blue Hummingbird On The Left
Sadist at Saint Vitus (Halloween). Straight up actually scariest show of 2019.
Party at Mile’s (expired film)
Concave chest
Pedestrian Deposit at Knockdown Center.
Glue at Bohemian Grove.
Decisions at Bohemian Grove.
Nail tech’s puppy.
Jamal ❤ in LA’s Chinatown, THE pho spot.
Yohimbe at Hart bar.
obsessed with Flipper belly button.
and da booty
Apologist at Hrt bar.
Larry warthog (w Mose and Pancho)
Warthog at last Brooklyn Bazaar show.
Hankwood and the Hammerheads. RIP BK Bazaar.
Special Interest at CAC (NOLA)
Leaper Jenny at The Clam.
The Rita at 202.
Vomir at 202. Days before Covid-19 got real.
Which made the audience with a large population wearing a bag over their head sort of funny in retrospect. Sort of.
Nancy’s nasty stache. Rot in hell!
Twisted Thing at Union Pool.
Pee party.
Penis Boys at The Chicken Hut.
Din at Saint Vitus.
Belle made Nancy vats of slime w pee instead of water for her bday! Yay!
Interesting trash combo.
Salvia & Parma Ham at Hal0
Kyle Flannigan at 202
Sit on Brian Blomerth.
Yellow Tears at Redlight District.
Shoot with Anatomy, March 11, 2020. The last day of any semblance of normalcy.
Dropped off this film the last day I could do so safely. Forgot a roll and kicking myself now. All “non-essential” businesses are closed, and I am not sure when I will have the luxury to shoot more 35 mm photos or develop more… So I wanted to update the blog before these good memories become too hard to look at, should social distancing last several months… I am worried for the world, life as we know it and the future of live music. But maybe if all of this inspires some long needed change to the structure of our country, it will all be worth it. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay connected. XO Jane Pain

Photos From Summer

Forced Into Femininity
Pharmakon promo photo, triple exposure
JuJu Pie
Jane Pain x Soft Skin Latex
Allison . from the Emmy Award Winning Television Series Intervention
Less Than Ideal Practice Space for NYDN
Ben ❤ Jess
My Birthday 🙂
Bumblefuck, PA
Xeno & Oaklander
Okay here are some more pics of Jacob, JR & Seven
How about some more photos of Pharmakon?
Dollhouse. Another Margaret. So how about a couple more of Micheal?
Crackers Karaoke at Planet Rose
Nancy + Belle doing karaoke. My 2019 New Year’s resolution was to not do karaoke and I blew it ; )
Blu Anxxiety

Photos From Spring

Little update on things lately. Just ran out of storage in my media uploader, so I now have a fire under my ass to make a real website which is weird. End of an era!

Shoot for Blu Anxxiety / Anatomy Split (Forthcoming)
Abe and Manuel
Life as I Know it
Jacob Winans, Non-Alcoholic Beer Crew
Glorianna pumping for Glorianna the Baby
Miles and Crackers
Zoe Zag at Bad Dog
Body Fluid
Martin Sorrondeguy
Feeling Like a Vampire
I am not Enough
Time to Feed
Jesse Riggins (Photographer)
Sal (Photographer) at Good Things Pop-Up Shop at Descontrol Punk Shop
Memorial Day Weekend / Some of the best Djs and friends

Interview with Multiple Man

I met up with Aussie duo Multiple Man on the first summer day in Brooklyn. We wandered through a thematically appropriate industrial wasteland to discuss being a twin in a conservative town that is always on fire, being in a band with someone on the other side of the world and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Sean [pictured left]: My name is Sean and I like to party.

Chris {pictured right]: My name is Chris, and I also like to party.

I met up with Aussie duo Multiple Man on the first Summer day in Brooklyn. We wandered through a thematically appropriate industrial wasteland to discuss being a twin in a conservative town that is always on fire, being in a band with someone across the world and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Sean [pictured left]: My name is Sean, and I like to party.

Chris [pictured right]: My name is Chris, and I also like to party.

What is your favorite party story?

When we were in Canberra, Australia a gentleman asked us if we liked vaping. We replied ‘sure’ and then he proceeded to vape a fog machine until he vomited. I think he is dead now.

Yeah, I think you could hedge your bets on that guy being dead for one reason or another by now. Honestly I am surprised I have not seen anyone do that, at this point.

I am sure you guys are sick of people harping on the twin thing, but I am super fascinated by it, especially because I have a very close relationship with my sister and we also both play music, although not together. I was hoping that you guys could give me a little insight on your childhood, what it was like growing up together and were you guys come from.

S: We’re not really sick of the twin thing, we play it up as much as possible, because it plays.

C: We used to dress the same on stage and stuff. It was quite confronting for a lot of people. But then it began to feel a bit too shticky.

S: Childhood wise, we lived in basically various points of Australian countryside.

C: We grew up in Sydney and then we moved to the Blue Mountains, which is this big majestic mountain overlooking all of Sydney, but it was permanently on fire.

S: Really Christian.

C: The Blue Mountain is a pretty artistic community, but we grew up in this weird bible belt. Out parents were not religious or anything like that, but we grew up in the bible belt around a lot of civilian firefighters. When we left there, we moved up to Queensland. Literally as we left, out treehouse was on fire. The whole thing was on fire basically! It was a real bad scene.

S: Queensland is Australia’s whipping boy. It is the Florida of Australia.

That harsh!?

S: If not harsher.

C: There was an election two days ago and the conservative party got in, because of Queensland.

S: Queensland hardened our skin a little bit. There is not much to do there, it is a very DIY atmosphere. It is also a very rock n’ roll town. We have been playing music together since we were teenagers. As we got older and gravitated towards New Wave and Synthetic electronic sounds I found that we were operating in a vacuum and the only person that was on the same level… was Chris!

Who was cooler in High School then?

C: That’s interesting. I had a lot of acne then and I went on Roacutane, which I am pretty sure is illegal now. My face had dandruff on it.

S: I had three percent body fat, I was skinnier than a rake. So, I think we were pretty much on par. We were one of the few houses that threw parties though, so a lot of people wanted to be our friends. We got uncool after high school. We got into synths… after high school.

So, you got into that stuff out of high school? You mentioned that you guys played music together as teenagers, what were you guys doing then and how did it flow into Multiple Man?

S: Multiple Man evolved from some very terrible jams in my bedroom. We would distort a drum loop on a keyboard and shout into a delay pedal… Honestly not that different from what we do now, really. Subtle evolution. Now we have a verse and a chorus.

Good work. I play music with my best friend of almost fifteen years and we have a very sisterly friendship. Aside from you know, liking each other and being generally tolerant of each other’s quirks I think the best thing about playing music with someone like that is that we can be really brutally honest with each other. Sometimes we can disagree and be bummed on each other but get over it in a minute. I was wondering if you guys have a similar thing going. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of playing music with your brother?

S: Advantages… Brutal honesty. Disadvantages… Brutal honesty. It is very helpful having someone on a similar wavelength as you who is informed by your same childhood influences and experiences makes it easier to communicate with them. We can throw words at each other, like for instance “High on the Hog” and develop a whole theme, coming from all different angles.

C: We focus on being solutions based, rather than just getting angry with each other, and that is quite helpful. Very advantageous.

S: Multiple Man is not just an experiment with sound, but it is an experiment in a vision and a sound. We are always saying that our vision is your vision in our promo, because that is what we want to get across.

I was actually wondering about the title of the newest album, “High on the Hog”. What is the significance to that?
I thought that I invented the phrase and apparently, I did not.

S: It was invented in the late 17th Century… This is on the back cover of the album… The hog for me was the idea that we are at the end of a historical period where capital is becoming more homogenous and people are getting more ground down by politics and culture. Everything feels like it is headed towards a collapse. For me, the hog represents that.

C: The hog is everything. The hog is malaise, the black dog, it’s lurking the background consuming everything and regurgitating it back again. The hog came to me in a vivid dream about God being reincarnated as a hog creature that is sent to New York City to flood the street with drugs.

S: That is the good thing about the hog, he is open to interpretation.

C: The hog can be anything you want it to be.

S: An all-encompassing figure that is lurking in everyone’s background. And we are all high on it.

So, that aforementioned project [Appetite] is on a hiatus right now because my best friend moved to Berlin to do her techno thing. When we were talking earlier you said your entire family abandoned you, Sean. What was your initial reaction when you found out that Chris was going to be moving to the states?

S: ‘Oh, thank god I don’t have to play shows anymore’.

Did you think that the band was done?
No, I was just sick of playing every weekend. 

C: We had a new record that was ready to be mixed when I was moving to New York, so it didn’t feel like the band was done. We just thought touring in America would become easier, and that was always something that we definitely wanted to do and have done a few times now. We just got back from tour. In terms of making it work, it is not that difficult.

S: It has actually been our most fruitful and productive period.

C: Not having to play every weekend does help. I make all of the music here. Whenever we are in a room together we record vocals and add extra parts on synths and stuff, so it is not that difficult. We are not a band that writes everything in a rehearsal room. There is no demoing.

S: My role in the band, as Chris quoted, mumbling into a delay pedal. But also, quality control. Not saying yes to all of Chris’s terrible ideas.

C: I am glad that’s in print forever!

S: You know, just working out which ideas are the good ones.

I feel you. Right back to the brutal honesty. So, living across the world hasn’t really been an obstacle to you guys at all?

C: Nah, I just set up a studio and stuff. We will try to have another EP out by the end of the year.

I am happy to hear that. How was this last tour?

C: Yeah, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis… All great. Great sound systems, great turn outs. Before that we were in Europe where we did Budapest, Paris, Berlin, London and Glasgow. We have had an amazing string of shows where every show has been well attended and we have played really well. It has felt like a turning point.

S: Feeling creatively…

C: Jazzed.

S: I was going to say jazzed. There we are again, finishing each other’s jazzed.

It was interesting when I saw you guys live in LA. I had a lot of trouble there finding a place in the music scene and not feeling like shows were fulfilling most of the time. I feel like there is less community surrounding music and people are just generally more isolated from each other, so when you go to shows people tend to be a bit better behaved and polite as far as crowds go. But, your show stood out to me as one of the most fun shows I went to in the time that I lived there. I actually had fun! People were dancing!

C: Where was this?

It was at Coaxial gallery with High Functioning Flesh.

C: Yeah, that was a mad show.

Bummed I had to miss you guys on Thursday. I was wondering it that was just a magical anomaly or if you do tend to inject an audience with enthusiasm. There was a really great energy that night, it really did feel like you brought something.

S: We tend to stay away from the trend in electronic music where you are sort of po-faced and serious. We are happy go lucky guys that like to bring energy and a bit of color to what is going on.

C: They also let us mix ourselves that night, which probably had a lot to do with how loud it was.

You guys seemed to totally vibe with DKA’s roster, I was wondering what made you guys decide to do the new record with Fleisch Records.

C: Fleisch is based in Berlin but a bunch of Australians. They did a record for Forces and our really good friend Lucy Cliché and it felt like a good fit, but also a natural progression to do an American record and then a European record. We wanted to tour Europe and it felt like the right way to go. They are an excellent label and we are stoked to be a part of it.

Back to mumbling into a microphone, what are the lyrics about? Are they significant? What inspires you?

S: I have a preoccupation with surveillance culture.

C: The idea of being on the outside looking in.

S: Yeah, Brisbane has always had an outsider whipping boy status and I felt that a lot throughout my life. With the advent of the internet and being down in such an isolated place, it does give you…

C: Isolationist paranoia.

S: Yeah. Those are all themes that I work with. When Chris writes lyrics, it is just cool sounding syllables.

C: Yeah but is still taps into that.

I feel like the new record is arguably ‘harder’ sounding than your last. You’ve spoken about the limitations of electronic music before. I was wondering if the new record is a product of skills strengthening and moving towards what you have always wanted to do, or your intentions shifting.

C: It’s both of those things. If you listen to the early records, they are very primitive. Multiple Man tracks my approach to electronic music. That 100,000 hours thing.

S: I think New York City had an influence on the hardness of the sound. What you were listening to when you got here was vastly different than what you were listening to when you were in Australia.

C: In Australia we did a lot of opening for punk bands. It’s great, I love being on varied bills. But when I moved here I think we took a more post punk approach to playing electronic music.

S: It is definitely a bit more club.

Chris, what were you listening to when you moved to NYC?

C: Our music might sound like we have very specific music tastes but I really only listen to Stone Temple Pilots, wings and the hold music for reporting crimes to the NYPD hotline.

Is there any piece of specific gear that you feel like you need to obtain? Is the absence of something getting in your way right now?

S: Stevie Ray Vaughn’s guitar. I don’t know how to play guitar very well, I just want to touch it.

C: Second or third wave sampler. Really crunchy low bit rate reproductions of real sounds. That colors everything that we do. EMU emulator… Fairlight emulator. Early Akai…

You’ve mentioned that you come from playing punk shows… What do you think is the most punk thing about you guys?

S: We were discussing this with our friends in Minneapolis… You can instantly tell when someone didn’t play in a punk band growing up.

C: It really colors the music that they create along with their attitude and their ethos.

S: We’ve always been very DIY.

C: We do everything ourselves.

S: We don’t have a booking agent or a manager. We produce everything on our own. We bring our approach from the punk community.

What’s the least punk thing about you guys?

S: I live in a high-rise apartment building.

C: I live in East Williamsburg.

S: I have a doorman.

C: Sean is still a piece of shit, don’t worry. He doesn’t belong there. You can tell. Sean cries a lot in a beautiful, empty apartment.

S: When I say hello to the doorman he asks me to leave immediately without a fuss.

Chris, I know that you work in film. Is that a passion for you, or is music your main squeeze?

C: Music is my passion, absolutely. It is my creative output that makes doing shitty stuff feel okay. Not that I purely do shitty stuff, to my bosses that might read this. But everyone needs an outlet. It is nice that we don’t play every weekend, so it feels like a passion that can move at its own pace. Nothing is ever forced. Everything is a novelty and it always feels exciting to play again.

It must be nice too, to tour in the way that you guys do. Doing fly outs and being selective about where you want to play.

S: It also means that we get to see each other, which is always nice.

What is your day job, Sean?

S: I work a really boring office job for a power station. Nobody that I work with knows what I do. And I like to keep it that way. This is my secret little adventure that I do for myself.

Are you also into movies though, Chris? What is your all-time favorite movie and what is your favorite movie that came out in the past year.

C: Michael Man’s “Heat”

The one about the firefighters?

S: No, that’s backdraft.

C: “Heat” is Al Pacino, a bank robber and a cop. ‘Never let yourself get attached to something that you can’t leave behind in three minutes when the heat is coming around the corner’.

How about the best movie that came out this year?

C: “First Reformed”, by far. That was a masterpiece. It is about a priest who tries to save a man who has lost his mind about global warming. Instead of helping him he buys into completely and realizes that mankind is collapsing under the weight of its self. He tries to blow up a mega church.

S: Pitch Perfect 3.

What is your favorite Australian snack that you can’t get in the states?

C: Halal snack pack.

Are there any favorite American snacks that you can’t get in Australia?

S: Flamin’ hot Cheetos.


S: They cost $12 a packet.

You had better load up your suitcase filled with them.

S: The shop under my apartment sells them for $12 a pack and not even blind drunk Seany stumbling in after a big night out on the town is willing to pay $12 for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

C: Surely you can get them on the dark web or something.

Sorry that I had to end on a snack question, but I am very obsessed.

S: It is funny that you asked Chris about if music was his main passion. My main passion is snacks.

Me too.

Interview with Devil Master

“Blackened Punk”. Good blackened punk, informed by raw Japanese punk and hardcore. It is precious. Rare, mysteriously and thankfully not commonly attempted. And I like it that way. It just hits me in the right spot, but notable bands of the genre don’t spring up often. I found Devil Master on Youtube (ha) as a suggestion on the good ole side bar following the release of their first demo and became instantly obsessed. I tried to do some research on the group and couldn’t figure out anything about ’em for a couple years, aside from hailing from Philadelphia. I assumed that all mystery surrounding the project was intentional. Maybe it is just one guy in his bedroom, I hypothesized.

News of “Satan Spits on Children of Light” on Relapse Records broke and their veil was lifted. It turns out they are refreshingly unpretentious crew of six, not one dude in his bedroom taking himself too seriously. I had the pleasure of speaking with Devil Master the night of their record release show in their hometown of Philly. We piled into their borrowed tour van to have a little convo and I even had the audacity to bring up “Lord of Chaos”.

Hades Apparition – rhythm guitar HA

Darkest Prince – lead guitar DP

Disembody – vocals DY

Del – drums – DL

Spirit Mirror – bass SM

Dodder – keyboards DD

“Satan Spits on Children of the Light”, full album stream from Relapse Records

Upon the bands request, a small portion of the interview has been redacted because of some sensitive material and names mentioned. This makes the interview read as though it seemingly starts out of nowhere, but I didn’t want to edit out more than was necessary just to maintain a natural interview arc. I am sure you can deal.

JANE PAIN: What is it like being a punk band that is classified as a Black Metal band. Are there any political implications to this? Have you gotten any push back from people?

HA: All of us come from a traditional punk culture, essentially, and that is where our politics lay. It gives me excitement when people like that [sic: sketchy people] don’t like us, that is exactly what I am trying to do. I want that type of person to reject what we are doing. It empowers me even more when I see some sketchy NSBM guy upset by what we are doing.

DP: Black metal thinks it owns Satanism and Satanism is staunchly anti-conservatism. Satanism is about progress and rebellion. The sketchy connotations of black metal are a confused, stupid thing that I despise. People who rep that are idiots. 

I am not saying that anything that you guys do isn’t deliberate and thoughtful, or could be so easily mistaken as sketchy but it could be, which is kinda where I am going with this. I like that you guys basically do what you want, and it doesn’t fit into people’s ideas of what black metal is and you’re just like, ‘you’re right’. But there is that risk of being accidentally lumped in with something that sucks.

All of that could potentially get weirder as you guys reach larger audiences who don’t know you guys personally or know much about what you stand for and tour through parts of the country where there is a heavier NSBM scene and overt racism is more prevalent. It is so easy to forget how different things are in New York City or Philly versus Kentucky until you are there and like… FUCK.

DD: As someone who gets starred at when I go down South because I really look Jewish… That stuff doesn’t bother me, and I don’t care. We’re stronger than them, always. Those people live in a cave… 

DP: As someone who sort of identifies as Pagan too, I just think it’s unfortunate that there are these misconceptions and connotations but at the end of the day you just got to make your life easy. Whether or not you want to deal with the consequences, or how you feel about it. It’s unfortunate that you were not aware… 

It was so disappointing and weird to find out that a lot of noise and black metal that I loved musically was fucked up or racist. It is weird trying to figure out where you draw your own line exploring certain themes or imagery even when it is the artists intention to sort of highlight how fucked up it is. I am not making an argument defending offensive or bigoted ideas or imagery at all. Just fucked up to be interested in “dark things” and wonder where you draw the line for yourself. Like, should I stop watching serial killer documentaries? What is okay and what isn’t, for me, personally. It is just weird that there is actually evil (in a bad way) shit and then there is cool shit that is interested in the actual evil shit. It can be weird to navigate at times. And certain ascetics etc are going to elicit certain reactions from people, even if they are mistaken about ones intentions.

DY: We were in a bar last week and the bartender was playing [sic] an NSBM band. 

DP: I grew up in Ireland, and there is the same situation with loyalists. It’s fucking bullshit there, fuck those people. 

It is really weird because the political landscape now is so scary. The notion of conservative nationalism isn’t that abstract to Americans anymore. It is right out in the mainstream, in politics, explicitly. It is not far away seeming, anymore. But I am wondering how far will people go? How many people will cling to totally Ludacris hateful ideology and actually be able to do something about it? Things keep getting worse and worse and I take shit more and more seriously.

DP-It’s not funny to wear a Burzum hoodie anymore…

This is true. Moving away from the sketchy… I first kind of got my first noise and metal records per recommendations at Hospital Productions when it was still a storefront, and because of that the label holds a particular importance to me. Before that everything that I liked was shaped by going into Double Decker in Allentown. These places are like sacred to me and I wonder how different my tastes would be if the people behind the counter were dismissive of me or even if they themselves just liked different stuff.

Relapse was another big store for me for a little while. When I was 19 I worked at a pastry shop on the corner and would nervously go browse at Relapse and occasionally buy a black metal CD on my break sometimes. Increasingly we are losing these brick and mortar stores in general, but especially record stores and book stores and these places are so important. We are losing the opportunity to connect with people in our development of our musical taste. Everything being always available makes things like finding a new band that you love feel much less special or exciting.

How does it feel to have lost Relapse as a physical store, but still carrying on its legacy by putting out your record with them. Is it significant?

HA: Relapse was a huge hub for all of us growing up. Even just the music that they were playing at the store… I remember walking in and hearing Bathory for the first time in my life, and Electric Wizard. I wasn’t going to find that stuff on the radio or even metal magazines at that point. Hearing it was huge. Going in there and looking at records, holding the physical entity. Learning about music in person is huge. Going to shows even when you don’t know the band. You become part of the community. I think it is really important to go to shows. The internet is phenomenal, and I do not take it for granted, I have definitely learned about a lot of stuff through it, but I think it is important to have a physical and social aspect to learning about stuff, in general.

DP- Relapse was where I got my first Bathory CD when I was 14.

HA- That is why we made our album art to look the way that it does. The idea of flicking through records in person. We wanted to make something that stood out. We grew up blind buying records. I mean, I still do that. Aesthetic is so important.

“Satan Spits on Children of the Light”

DP: How our art worked out is a very surreal story too that we could not be happier with… I found Erica’s art featured for a certain apocalyptic, militant Satanist cult online and became obsessed only to find on further investigation she had done art for Philly metal and punk bands. Her and her husband moved back to Philly briefly around then and we all agreed she would be perfect, being the most intense occultist I’ve ever met, but also just an amazing artist who could grasp our vibe immediately. 

It’s been weird how as time goes on; I seem to know less and less people at shows even when I am really actively going to shows. I feel like a fucking old person talking about the “back in my day” kind of stuff but… I don’t think it is as common for people to just show up at the same venue every weekend no matter who is playing, and that was kinda just what me and my friends did when I was a teenager and in my early 20’s. People are a little too cool and too informed to that now, I think.

It used to be pretty much the same people at a venue every week. Even when someone wasn’t your friend, there was a kind of cast of characters and a feeling of camaraderie. Sometimes depending on who was playing, there would be more people there. If you didn’t show up people would actually notice.

I think this goes hand in hand with the disappearance of record stores and underground venues that harbored community. There is a shift in what we value. It is more important to have totally perfect curated tastes and a matching look and the best instagram stories than to actually be a part of something. But while there is less community on one hand there is a much more expansive one on the other. No one is really alone anymore. And that is cool, especially for marginalized people. But it is harder to make connections in person now a days, I think.

DY: People now can know about everything, so they can pick and choose.

HA: Years ago, in Philly, you would see the same people at everything. It was cool because there was no division between punk and metal most of the time. Everyone went to everything. That has drawn a huge influence on us as a band. We do not pander to a specific crowd; we like the idea of having people from all different places and scenes dig our stuff. We have had people come up to us after shows and in a semi-joking manner saying that goths love our music and stuff like that. Typically, goths don’t touch metal music.

There is also something very special about Philly, at least when I lived here. There was a lot of fluidity in music scenes, a lot of queer people chilling at punk shows, a lot more house shows and general freakiness.  NYC sorta broke down the barrier between punk and noise a little bit but other cities are seemingly much more divided by genre. I found LA to be especially stratified, when I was living there.

HA: Since we haven’t done a lot of West Coast stuff but just in the considering of going out there, we feel like we have to plan for that sort of stuff. We would have to do a punk show and a metal show separately. 

DP:Well Black Twilight Circle are important to mention because they do bandage things between punk and metal. But they are the only ones on the West Coast who I have noticed doing that.

DY: They are the coolest circle ever.

DP: That doesn’t exist anywhere else.

DY: Before the other day (‘Sabbat’s Lair’) we mostly just played metal shows in NYC. Saint Vitus.

SM: We played Gateway…

DY: That’s true. We played with Christian Death at Brooklyn Bazar, which was really weird.


DY: Well Christian Death set up their drums in the middle of the stage and would not move them, so everyone had to set up a separate set of drums and set up next to them. And they didn’t talk to us the whole night.

SM: It was almost like there was this whole sick show and then they played. I mean, it was 2018.

I am pretty much done with reunion tours and stuff like that, it’s always disappointing and weird, at least for the most part.

DP: Well they never stopped playing. It’s been going for forever.

DD: I’m bummed that Youth Of Today is playing tonight in NYC… One of the only good reunion bands that I have ever seen.

DD: Them and Cocksparrer.

Yeah Cocksparrer were tight. So were the Buzzcocks.

Well this kind of goes back to the whole Relapse thing and your decision to sign with them. Being on a bigger metal label can afford you certain opportunities that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Weird, big bills. Doing stuff like for Red Bull Music Academy or having a song on a TV show or something [ they start laughing at me]. I am dead ass, these things happen. Are you guys just down for the ride to see what you can do as a band or is there a limit or certain things that you know you do not want to do?

HA: We turned down a label before Relapse approached us because of certain sketchy things that they have done, so when Relapse approached us as a Philadelphia label… It was bewildering… but we did pick up on the fact that we were all down for the ride. We have already turned down certain opportunities. We are not doing everything that is thrown at us, but we are taking full advantage and pride in what we do.

DY: I feel like most things we have been offered mesh with the general thing we got going on and that is fortunate because I think that some of those opportunities may not have come up without the connection that Relapse has.

SM: On the other side they told us that they have bands that never play live or tour. They told us that we could take it as far as we wanted and push it or just not. They are flexible.

DP: They were genuinely interested in our band because of their interest in Japanese hardcore. Also, I play live bass with Integrity so I knew that we could trust them as a label, even though Integrity all joke that we are crust punks who would rather starve… Thankfully that connection helped us be more confident in our decision.

I was wondering how that Integrity/ Devil Master show came about when I saw you guys post about it.

DP: Integrity always considered me a punk. Relapse hit them up asking about Devil Master, much to their astonishment, joking that we are like crusties who wouldn’t want to do a record with a bar code (laugh).

DY: Also, despite what some people claim, we did not get picked up because of Integrity though we are grateful for everything theyve done for us.

I was going to ask if you guys ever played a show that was so off and bunk and insane that you felt like you should not have agreed to do it but we sorta touched on that, I guess…

DP: We were going to turn down a fest because of a venue’s sound guy and such a horrible experience that we had with them, but we found out the fest is elsewhere so that changes things…

DY: So, the answer to this question, for publishing purposes, yes.

SM: Not a lot of nightmares.

I feel like the new record is really musically diverse.

DY: It is funny you should say that because so many people make comments like ‘no variety’.

HA: A lot of comments saying that, and even reviews saying that the music isn’t that diverse but it’s great.

Well, I could see a bunch of stuff going on and some strong influences. I was wondering if you guys conjure music from unexpected resources, musically or not. I know from reading about you guys that some of you practice Satanism, for instance. 

DD: Bolivian folk music.

HA: Aesthetically and musically, we are all big horror movie fans.

DP: We all have our own weird niche shit. Spirituality and things that we cannot put into words but help us communicate without saying things to each other.

SM: When we are playing live, we sometimes have nights where we feel like we all meet up.

DY: We can meet on this weird astral plane.

DP: When we started this, it was a collective effort and we sort of gave birth to an almost elemental spirit. When we keep the band going, we are feeding into it. We don’t even have to think about it anymore. It’s all natural. We have our obvious influences we just have our own sound now that we are just rolling with unconsciously.

I HAVE to ask… Have you guys seen the Lord of Chaos movie.

DP: I watched It the night before tour and I expected to hate it, but it gave me a different perspective on everything.

DY: I hope it is better than I think it is going to be.

DP: It’s pretty cheesy… as hell… but interesting. And we got paraphrased by revolver in saying that I only listen to Mayhem and Lords of Chaos. Wrong time to rep that, when it’s so cheesy. Obviously Norwegian Black Metal is an influence on all of us.

DY: I have listened to Deathcrush a million times but I am not going to brag about that.

I watched it the other day. I have watched the documentary and have read the book but that was a while ago and I think I… sort of bought into their desired mythology a bit more. Watching the movie- and at least the way that they shaded everything- I sort realized how much of everything that went on were a bunch of young ass dudes in a pissing contest and the root of a lot of the things that they did was simply to get attention, like flat out. They were all trying to outdo each other and get publicity. I was sitting there like, wow, would any of these churches have been set on fire if Instagram existed when this happened?

DP: Euronymous may have just been in actual shock after he found Dead and have have been egging the stuff on. A simple psychological explanation I never thought of. You think of these people as mythic people with no human emotion. 

DY: But I am pretty sure that we, along with the movie Lords Of Chaos, will be tarred as having put the final nail in the coffin of Black Metal.

I got so genuinely middle school me mad when I first saw the trailer. I was in the theatre and just like literally felt my face get hot and my heart race. When I finally watched it, I was like girl, who the fuck cares.

DP: That’s how I felt when I first heard about it.

DY: Me too.

DP: 20-year-old me would have been like… Oh my fucking god…

I have a funny memory of when that horrible Germs biopic came out. The dude who played Darby Crash was going to be at a viewing so me and a buncha West Philly punks got PISSED drunk and went to the screening with the sole purpose of heckling him because we were so incensed. We went just to hate on that guy and were screaming at him. Why were we so mad? Pretty funny though. Also pretty fun.

I guess I will end by giving Arthur a shout out for his incredible work on recording the record. My old high school buddy. We became friends in science class because he wore an Iron Maiden shirt. Now he is an utter legend.


HA: There is a universal love for that guy. Anyone who you meet will have nothing but nice things to say about him. He is fantastic. His production is awesome. The direction he helped us take with it. The sound. It was everything we could have dreamed of.

DD: He’s the king.

DP: We were scheduled to record with him before we were approached by relapse. But everything just came so naturally.

Thank you to Darkest Prince, for his help getting everyone properly identified after the interview transcription.



Anxiety, Tessa.