I used to listen to Pink Floyd endlessly growing up (my brother spinning that and Led Zeppelin on repeat ad nauseum) and I never felt anything from their music, but I must say, I really like Roger Waters. He is a man of either great bravery or great foolishness for saying what he is saying. I'll side with bravery. I think even if you disagree with him and follow the official propaganda narratives, you have to give him credit for having balls enough to call a spade a spade. What does he win by doing this? The problem is that for vast numbers of people it's incomprehensible to be both against Putin and his government AND to be against NATO and the fucking American military industrial complex and its endless list of crimes. For the life of me I don't understand why. They provoked and prodded Russia for years and years and now they're doing the same with China and Taiwan. Why is it not possible to state the obvious? Let's face it: the US WANTS war with China... the US WANTS to drag Ukraine through the mud for as long as possible in a frantic geopolitical game to weaken Russia while it gobbles up the Donbass. The US would do the same as Russia if it had an anti-US coalition surrounding it at all sides. Actually, the only difference, as has been proven historically, is that it would act with greater violence than Russia, they would carpet bomb the shit out of Ukraine while brainwashing the public via CNN, FOX, etc, of the nobility of their mission. This is the reality. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd is absolutely correct in this interview: Roger Waters Interview
Dopamine have responded after 4 months, apparently under strict, mind-melting lockdown in China that has only recently eased. I'm glad to feature 3 Chinese bands now in the next issue. In other news, it appears Jarl is now out of the picture, first project to drop out. Working on the 7th interview layout and listening to Somber Poetry For Dying Thee (his project Pilgrim Soul In You will be featured in #10!).
Blazemth interview received today. I'm happy to say after a few days of avoiding the computer and spending time away from home my vision has improved, so layouts are continuing again.
I've been having some difficulties (blurriness, stinging, maybe allergies?) with my vision so I haven't been working as actively on the magazine as I would like. I did get final responses back from Léthifère and Lycia (David Galas), and interview layouts are slowly coming to shape. Goal is still to produce an issue before humanity's extinction... given the sorry state of the climate and the new bipolar (in all senses of the word) reality of two "hegemones" battling over who has the bigger phallus on the international stage it truly is a race of time.
It's about time for another update. I'm still waiting for a bunch of interviews to get back to me but I'm pleased to say that the layouts have begun. I am beginning with the interviews and then will move on to articles and reviews.
All interviews have been written and sent. I must say that, even if some key people did not respond, I am VERY excited with the line-up of #10! Enormous gratitude for everyone who participated and of course you will all be the first to get complimentary issues sent to you when the work is completed.
Jarl interview is starting to take shape and will be completed this week. This and another unnamed interview will mark the end of the interview phase for CH10. Honestly, it's going to be a relief when I finish the last interview because as much as I love everyone who agreed to interview, my social awkwardness makes communication with other people pretty stressful. Otherwise... dreaming of end to my most hated season, Summer, and full blown winter holocaust. Perhaps I can travel to NZ or Australia for 3 months of every year? Kath, what do you think? :)
Convivial Hermit Zine stands 100% with all women today who will be impacted by the ruling of six mendacious religious extremists in the United States who from this point onward should be living in fear and shame if there is any justice in the world (there isn't). Even Stalin put in exceptions for rape in 1936, for fuck's sake. But I suppose there is a silver lining even to this: there is a good chance the economies of the mostly southern states where these bans will be enacted will be negatively impacted, and the same people who thoughtlessly vote in these brainless tyrants will think twice. Or maybe not.
Lycia interview questions completed and sent. I've made it a goal to stop all interview activities at the end of this month. Possibly Jarl, my favorite ambient band, will be next, and then a very special (and likely very weird) interview for the cherry on top.
Classic darkwave band Lycia have agreed to an interview after all!
In a testimony to how little I communicate with other people I just discovered that Cabaret Voltaire's Richard Kirk has died. This was while I was checking how to contact him for my next issue! Though the last few recordings were lacking he left an awesome legacy and Cabaret Voltaire remains one of my favorite bands.
Controlled Death/Masonna and Lycia don't seem interested in working with me, sadly, so just a few more persons to contact before I wrap up my interviews.
BTW, I wish a good time to those watching the American Committee hearings today on January 6, 2021. Not a single person they criticize will care about this and not a single mind will be changed, nor should they because this is nothing more than the bleating of a subdued and tied-down animal led by a farcical corporate media whose main interest above all else is profit and ratings.
Striborg interview sent. Interview with Bertrand Cunin responsible for the brilliant bands Aeterna Tenebrae and Léthifère coming next. I have plans for 3 more interviews, whether they respond to me or not is an open question. Probably end of June I'll start putting everything together. A few hilarious new ideas occurred to me for comic strips but I'll probably publish them somewhere else in the future.
I might as well add as well today some unfortunate news: Bertrand has decided to go solo with his Urgewalten project. I've told him that my door is always open for his excellent writing. So it's unlikely that he will appear in #10, but at the same time it feels somehow right that I go alone in this coming jubilee issue.
Stein interview questions completed. 3 page Amish black metal special completed. Interview with Striborg (Tasmania) comes next.
Discovered totally by accident this beautiful exhibit today in Frenchtown, NJ: Ecstatic Decrepitude. Those who enjoy Švankmajer, Jodorowsky and surrealism as much as I do will love this.
Regarding the zine, I am reaching close to the end of the interview processes for Convivial Hermit #10 as some people I planned to interview are not responding. Just a few more will be contacted before I wrap up this side of the magazine. Stein interview questions presently being cobbled together.
I've recently discovered that Parnassus's "In Dolorium Gloria" has been reissued by The Oath here. Back in the mid 1990s this was my go-to album for black metal on par with the debut of Emperor, Limbonic Art, Lunar Aurora, Abigor, Amestigon, Summoning, Algaion, Sorhin and all of those bands from that era similar to this. I cannot recommend it enough. Maybe one day someone will reissue the demos as well which are some of the best black metal demos of all time.
One of my favorite neofolk bands, Stein, has agreed to an interview for issue #10! Also Сергей Андриевских of Without Dreams and two dozen other bands, the Rogga Johanssen of Russia, has agreed to an interview despite tough times. Just a few more interviews are planned before I start putting things together. (Yes, I know it's taking ridiculously long, but that's unfortunately how I work). Finally, the third and last page of my Amish black metal comic is in progress, it should be done this month.
The Holy and Infallible Constitution of the United States says nothing about abortion rights, just as it says nothing about defecating in elevators or dropping pianos on kittens. It's reasonable then to allow states to decide, right? We are living in mad times. Read here.
For our readers in France, Necrocosm Productions will soon be stocking Convivial Hermit #9. Likewise, Moribund Records in the USA will soon be doing a restock of the same issue. Thanks to both labels for their support!
Received excellent responses back from Orplid and Coffin Mulch in recent days, huge thanks to both for their contributions!
My other big announcement this weekend is that Dan Goldsworthy has agreed to an interview for the next issue! This guy is as good as Dan Seagrave who I've interviewed in issue #4, maybe even better! Maybe I need to move to UK and change my name to Dan to paint like this? Will that be a start? Very excited, hopefully I survive long enough now to publish all of this stuff! Look forward to it!
Best Ukrainian Metal albums list compiled and can be read here.
Sit And Spin Records in South Philadelphia are now stocking Convivial Hermit #9. Gratitude and respect to Colin for his support. Check out this store next time you are in the area stocking tons of vinyl and CDs from metal, punk and other genres!
More news: Voiceless Void from Moscow have responded and new interviews and art are in progress. Sales section has been updated.
Probably a thousand other people are doing it but I will be putting together my list of favorite Ukrainian bands soon. Except for Crypt of Silence and Vin de Mia Trix I never thought there was much good Ukrainian doom, the death scene I never cared for, electronic and ambient scenes not very interesting (even Belarus had a few more prominent bands like Dalina which I've interviewed), but they've long had a KILLER black metal output, some of the best in the world and definitely worth discussing.
Orplid interview is almost done... and first page of my Amish metal comic is about done (will probably be 3 or 4 pages total).
Some exciting news: Bertrand has released the first issue of yet another new magazine called Urgewalten. A massive 172 page undertaking! I've ordered my copy and have not yet received it; am excited to get my hands on it, as should you!
In other great news more closer to home, the Ruble has rebounded, painting a nice large middle finger in the face of Uncle Sam. Keep it up.
If anyone is interested in reading my worthless thoughts on the Russian invasion click on this link. I will just add that in the words of Navalny, "Putin is not Russia" and neither will Putin be leader forever. Cruel days ahead. For now, at least we can dream...
In another sign of life's cruelty, hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia turns out to be the fear of long words.
Some more news to readers: one of my favorite bands for twenty years, Orplid, have agreed to an interview. This will take some time to put together but I'm very happy that Uwe has agreed! Orplid lebt!
There are a bunch of schizotypal personality tests online. This one rendered me outside of the range, while I scored 18 on this schizotypal personality test, I suppose 18 out of 100? And then it told me I need to visit a psychiatrist anyway, haha. It probably does so if you have a score anywhere above zero. Psychiatrists are really struggling right now with customers, right? Where do you stand?
Good news: check out this band from the Adirondacks USA, easily some of the best BM I heard so far this year: Black Braid. Also Convulse and Holyarrow interviews are completed and sent.
Bad news: I was very disheartened to find out today that Solitude Productions has decided to suspend operations. I'm going to try to reach Sergey who I met in person once many years ago in a Moscow cafe. Solitude is and was one of the most important doom labels in the world and had no political agenda and worked with Ukrainians and Russians alike, just as I have, and will. I refuse to believe that it has just ended. I've been so fucking pissed and disgusted at all of this that I can hardly express myself with words... or rather I can try. I've started an article that I am debating to publish here on this site to whoever cares, or I'll just do it for myself out of therapy to help me survive this mass psychosis.
Support the reduction of human life/misery on earth with a donation today:
Sinistrari Records from Arlington, Virginia are now stocking issues of Convivial Hermit 8 and 9! Check them out!
Darkness Shall Rise Productions in Deutschland will soon be stocking issues of Convivial Hermit #9. Vielen dank an Denny für seine Unterstützung!
I've started putting together questions for Convulse so I think I've broken a bit out of my rut in the last few weeks. It's not a happy time and I think the only solution for now is to shut down all of the fucking media (especially social media) and just concentrate on living and the things that matter in life.
I was very excited to find out that Tyranny 帝辛 have a new album coming out! I contacted Jim from Coldwoods today so hopefully I can hear it soon, definitely one of my fave bands today.
Also, for those who love David Cronenberg's films as I do you probably will not want to miss this compilation: The Body of Horror.
I haven't been working so much on the zine lately since I've been in so much shock over current events. I'm not going to get deep into my thoughts and theories here, but to anyone reading this, understand that two savage wars are being waged now, and if you consider yourselves in any way "moral" or a champion of peace and democracy, you will be opposed to both. Otherwise, you are a fucking hypocrite.
What a dark day in Europe! I stand in opposition to this war in Ukraine as much as I stand in awe at the dementia and hypocrisy of the West which is now reeling in outrage over "invasion of a sovereign state" and "bullying." Where was that outrage when the USA invaded Iraq and tore that country to pieces? Where were the sanctions? And who benefits, and loses, from these sanctions that the US is now imposing on Russia? I'm pretty confident it won't be Putin.
On a brighter note: I'm happy to say that Deng of Dopamine/Pest has also agreed to be part of the Russia-China pact for issue #10 together with Holyarrow. Let this be a peaceful cooperation... in full compliance of all UN charters and international treaties.
Lengthy review of Rotten Ways To Misery completed. The very cool Holyarrow from Fujian Province, China, has agreed to an interview. Check out this EP and other material from them on their bandcamp page.
"Reasoning will never make a man correct an ill opinion which by reasoning he never acquired." - Jonathan Swift
I've been thinking a lot lately about the quote above and what Neil deGrasse Tyson recently said about the existence of advanced technological species: for billions of years this planet has teemed with life in a state of relative stasis but it's only in this tiny sliver of the last century when our knowledge and technology have advanced to modify our environment on a global scale that we already find ourselves in crisis - this just in several decades . The corollary then becomes that perhaps we aren't seeing other civilizations in our corner of the galaxy because technology, and intelligence itself, is in the long term antithetical to life?
Sinistrari Records from Virginia has sent an amazing promo package to me and will soon be carrying copies of Convivial Hermit, keep a lookout for it!
In other good news Rami of Convulse (Finland) has agreed to an interview. Like them or hate them, Convulse are one of the oldest Finnish death metal bands in existence. Exciting stuff!
I had the Wolves Among Sheep book on my radar for months as something I need to read from a historical perspective, though I despise and want to throw up all over NS politics and its pointy headed, knuckle-dragging SIJW representatives, but now it is sold out of the few distros I've seen it in. I've waited too long. If it's as long and editorially unfocused as the Finnish Death metal book maybe it's for the best. I am almost done reading Makkonen and Strömsholm's ridiculously long Rotting Ways To Misery slog... (review coming)
By far the best record I heard this year is Whispering Gallery's debut from 2000, Like A Dream of Never-ending Beauty... Love Never Dies, released on the long dead Killer Whale label. This record was made at the very tail end of the 90s and has that beautiful analog depth to it highlighting the heavy riffs with some classical motifs and great performances from three different vocalists (Reinier Vreeswijk in particular!). Excellent album from the Dutch doom/death scene! About time I heard it...
No other big news to report for now... still working on questions for Voiceless Void from Khimki. Reached out to several other bands and waiting.
Today I was browsing some sites when I came across this: Eighth Tower Magazine. I don't know whether this is active or not but I was blown away by the fact that someone would charge someone to read an underground music magazine online. This apparently is also a label with streams which one can access by paying up to $51 a month but what I feel is truly shameless is charging even a penny to read words on a screen, especially when it can cost just a few dollars a year to host a website today. Absolutely disgusting corporatist shit - boy, how the internet has changed over the years...
In more positive news, my first comic strip is completed for the next issue. Sketches and basic ideas are down for the second one.
Sale section has been updated.
It's been a little while since the last update but I haven't been twiddling my thumbs... I've been twiddling all fingers drawing a brand new 2-page comic strip for the next issue. It will be called Brad's Brutal Blunder and is based loosely on the Cannibal Corpse O'Brien debacle. That's all I'll reveal for now. I hope to complete it this week. I also have other ideas but they're just ideas now; still have to draw the thumbnails. I did have the thumbnails down for a Popeye vs Abbath comic but apparently I am unable to publish any drawings of the character until 2024 when he goes into the public domain. Shiver me timbers!
Since my last update there has been a lot of "attention" shown to Russia and its people and culture from Western media and news outlet (both conservative and liberal, but especially liberal are pretty wild about it), so I also want to join the party by announcing that one of my new articles will talk about the Russian metal scene which I've been following since the mid-90s, including what I think are some of the best doom bands on earth today. An interview with Voiceless Void from my city, Moscow, is likewise planned.
With the very low quality of music coming out these days I am making a policy to be extremely selective with most promos I am receiving, especially music from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, and the USA which have the most over-saturated and boring scenes in the world today. Of course there are always exceptions, but I generally think these countries need to be put on pause for a few years... where is the pause button? Enough is enough of this generic wave upon wave of predictable and boring music... I can't take it anymore!
Hope everyone had a pleasant start to 2022.
Just a reminder that copies of issue 9 are still available to order directly from Cult Never Dies in the UK if you happen to live there! Otherwise Bleeding Heart Nihilist Productions in Germany appear to still have copies for those outside of the USA. For those who are unfortunate enough to live in the USA, zines can be ordered direct from me, just go to the Latest Issue page.
Happy new year, good health and success to all readers in 2022! My new year's resolution is, besides investing more time in listening to quality music, to complete Convivial Hermit #10 and it is well on its way... First new interview started yesterday, my 11th article/feature completed today (I'll probably have to pick all of these apart for the best) and plenty of zine reviews already written. Should be an exciting jubilee issue. Now to just survive to publication amidst this madness!