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Today we have the chance of chatting with an English artist that during the last years gained a good fame in the underground scene crossing many genres with his projects: I'm talking about the guy behind goreshit, a true legend of the Lolicore genre, with his many and varied alter-egoes.
Welcome on Aristocrazia Webzine, how are you doing?
Tired. Too much Guild Wars. I have no life.
I would start giving a short presentation of your projects to our readers, so please tell us anything you want about them.
I've had various projects and shit since I was about twelve or so, when I started a punk band in school — just playing covers of Black Flag, Discharge, shit like that. I guess my first serious band was when I was 17 when I had a post-rock band called Mai Mayo Mai. We did pretty well; played gigs with good bands, played truck fest with battles which was ace. Just kinda ended after 2 years or so… No real reason, I guess. I also started Hana Sumai around this time, which started as a two piece (only for the first release). Around the same time, when I was eighteen or so, me and a friend started a 2 piece bass/drums project called Hitler Vs Hitler (me on drums/vocals/noise), very Lightning Bolt influenced.We'd make our own mics and drum parts, shit like that. We recorded two or three eps (which I can't find anywhere), played a few gigs, had an offer to record a split 7" (which we never did because the bass player called it quits). We (me and the bass player) started the idea of goreshit then aswell. Wounder I only started two years ago or something like that.
How did you choose the names of your projects?
Hana Sumai I thought just sounded nice — it's two japanese words I liked just strung together. It doesn't make much sense if you translate it, to be honest, but who gives a fuck. The guitarist (Shred Wilson on the first release, who also played in hitler vs hitler — don't remember where that name came from) came up with the name of goreshit — we just wanted something that sounded stupidly 'metal'. The name Mai Mayo Mai was just taken from a calendar with 'may' written in a few languages. Wounder came from my history of self-harm — I know that sounds totally cliché, but there you go.
You are a very prolific artist, releasing many albums of different styles in short time: how do you compose your music?
It really depends on the situation, or how I'm feeling at any particular time. I mean, with goreshit, I've used so many different styles, so the different sounds all come from different moods. I'm very prone to mood swings — I guess that's why my shit is really inconsitent. Hana Sumai is very mood based — I'd say the project is pretty much driven by melancholy. I really struggle with seeing the point of my existence; I don't understand why we bother to go on as humans, and I think Hana Sumai reflects that. Hana Sumai is never really composed, though — just totally improvised — I think that works best for that stuff. Wounder I only seem to work on when I'm doing especially badly mentally; when my symptoms are at their worst. Again, sorry to sound totally cliché, but I only really work on Wounder during periods of concentrated self harming, insomnia and depression. I've tried just working on it when I am Win my right mind", but it never works.
Now let's delve into goreshit: you changed many genres, from Breakcore to Drum & Bass, from J-Core to Dubstep and many others, creating also different kinds of emotion. How did you choose how your albums will sound? Does your music represent your mood when you create it?
I've probably said it in the last question, but I never choose a sound — I just see what comes out. It's really dependant on my mood. I very rarely set out to create an album with a certain sound; most of the time I'm working on 2 or 3 albums at a time — or rather I'm working on enough material with enough variation to split into 2 or 3 albums.
You are one of the first and most appreciated Lolicore artists, albums like "My Love Feels All Wrong" and "With All My Heart" are true masterpieces of the genre; you also made splits with artists such as Dj Ninja Love Mistake, Lolishit, odaxelagnia and so on. What do you think of the Lolicore scene? Do you think that some years ago it was different and somehow better compared to how it is now? Which are the artists you like of this style?
I don't really know much about what's happening in the 'lolicore world'; I have to be honest, I never really listened too much of it — just stuff personal friends have made (complex.0 for example — always loved his stuff). I'm also a real big fan of both sHimaU and Sub-69 — definately the best among the genre (If you can call it that). I don't think it's changed too much over the years — it seems like the genre hit around 30 or so popular artists (among lolicore at least…), then stopped growing. A lot of projects seemed to be pretty temporary, too, dying out after a few months or whatever.
Your music is often influenced by anime, especially lolicon-themed ones. Since many people don't know what it means or just think that it's something bad, can you explain us your idea of lolicon?
I love the amount of dispute that comes out of the whole "lolicon culture" — talk of pedophiles and such — it's ace. I mean, I really like the whole loli thing within anime — I'm the kind of guy that collects lucky star figures and shit. I just like that kinda cutesy stuff — I guess it's a polar opposite to me; negative, neurotic… Maybe that's why I like it so much.
Beside anime you also sample other songs to create your Mashcore/Dancecore sounds: which kind of tracks you like to sample and remix the most?
I've always been a big fan of that Nineties dance sound; growing up it's all I'd hear, with my mum playing all the dance shit out at the time, so remixing that kind of shit, I love. I mean, I'd rather try and create my own take on the Nineties sound (like I've done with the 'nineties rave retrospective' albums), but remixing can be a shit load of fun sometimes.
I read that goreshit was originally supposed to be a two-piece Black Metal band, so: why did you decide to make a totally different genre? What happened with the other member of the project?
The other member was Shred Wilson (who plays guitar on the first track of the first goreshit release). The project was only intended to be used for Wilson's final college piece when he was studying music. we planned to get up on stage playing droning black metal noise in robes and slaughter a blow up goat, but in the end we ended up using tracks I'd made from the first goreshit release — that album was kinda made as a joke, and I released it as such — a joke. But the response was so great I decided I'd make more, then release "Tomboyish Love For Daughter". I guess I just liked the goreshit name, so I kept it — I liked that it didn't fit the sound I was putting out, I could imagine it throwing people off; I liked that.
Talking about Black Metal, it's time to say something about Wounder: is it the realization of what you wanted to do with goreshit or a totally different thing?
Wounder has nothing to do with the old goreshit concept. Wounder came about when I was suffering with severe delusions and paranoia — I didn't leave my home for quite some time; I'd just sit there and play guitar until something came out. At this time I decided I'd try to write (I did a lot of writting during my time in the psyciatric hospital), and those writtings ended up being lyrics for Wounder songs.
Your style is similar to the DSBM sound, it often reminds to old Shining releases: which are the bands that influenced your way of making music as Wounder?
I think my biggest influence for Wounder was, and is, Benighted In Sodom. I try not to just sound like other artists — it's always more satisfying to create something original. I also really dig wolf's lair abyss by mayhem. I have a massive archive of pretty unknown black metal bedroom projects — I've always preferred a much rawer, noisy sound to the clean black metal shit that started coming out in the late Nineties.
You released a split with Sun Devoured Earth, how was this release born? Are you in contact with other Black Metal bands?
Me and Sde are very good friends — we were friends before the idea of the split was concieved. We are planning on working on a collaboration very soon (It's going pretty slow, since I'm not in a great place right now).
I'd like to know something about the lyrics you wrote for Wounder: are they personal? Which are the main themes you talk about?
Like I said earlier, the lyrics are taken from stuff I tried writting. The themes all stem from my condition (I have schizophrenia) and the shit that comes with it. A lot of my lyrics are about my self harming, my suicide attempts, past delusions, shit like that. It's a good outlet — you can't really talk to people about this shit — they don't like it.
Finally we have Hana Sumai, your Ambient side-project: what does inspire you when making music under this name?
Hana Sumai is all improvised, and I try not to draw inspiration from other music — I just pick up a guitar, and play whatever my mood makes my play. I guess Hana Sumai is also largely a project of my symptoms, also.
The work that gave some fame to Hana Sumai is probably "decayed ocean asylum" since you were already known with your main project, but you released some self-produced CDs in 2006/2007 (around the same years of goreshit's creation). How many copies did you make of them? Are they still available?
I think I made thirty — I had a lot of free time in the mental hospital, so I'd spend all day making individual hand painted covers and stuff like that. I sold every copy, and never kept one for myself — infact, I never kept any copies of other Hana Sumai releases for myself either. All the Hana Sumai releases before hand were also runs of thirty or so physical copies, all handmade. they sold pretty quickly, which is nice.
"decayed ocean asylum" was recorded during your stay at the Green Lane hospital. May I ask you what happened? Did this influence the creation of the album?
I had already been diagnosed as schizophrenic before I was commited, and was already a prolific self harmer. I was put in there for cutting my own thumb tips off during a dissociative episode, and they decided I was too much of a danger to myself. I ended up staying there for nearly half a year. My medication had trippled in dosage during my stay, so I spent most of my time in a daze during the adjustment period. I was just roaming the corridors one day, and stumbled across a piano. I grabbed a tape recorder, and spent a few days at the piano recording "decayed ocean asylum". That's pretty much it.
I read that you were also member of a Thrash Metal band named Beagle Puncher, is it true? Can you tell something about this experience?
(laughs) Beagle Puncher… That was just songs I recorded myself (minus the guitar solos, which were done by Shred Wilson). I started getting emails about gig offers, since people assumed it was a full band — reviews started popping up online, stuff like that. I recorded that shit in an evening one day when I was bored.
You also used to have two netlabels: firstly Bubblegum Luv releasing Lolicore works, and then Lorazepam Resonance which focused on darker sounds. Are they both dead now?
Bubblegum Luv was with a friend of mine (complex.0/Japshitfun), but when I got commited to hospital, it just fell apart. Lorazepam resonance I started with the intention of creating a label purely for works of melancholy and sadness, themes like that. I started using it for Hana Sumai and the more "serious" goreshit albums, then I decided the online music world doesn't need any more shitty net labels.
Beside music you have a DeviantArt account with some nice pics: are you interested in visual art too? What do you want to express with it?
I'm real into photography — I have too many cameras to count; mostly SLRs from the Sixties and Seventies, aswell as a few Polaroids from that era. My pride and joy is my Kiev-88 — a medium format Ukranian camera from the Eighties. I've always been interested in the derelict — rot and decay — watching things fall apart. I spend a lot of time in abandoned military bases, hospitals and other shit like that. I love to look at things that have slowly fallen apart over the years. Besides taking photos of stuff like that, I've always liked taking pictures of corpses — I love that silence, that… peacefulness? I don't know. I guess I don't try and apply some kind of metaphor to my pictures — I like pictures for the sake of pictures.
Recently you started playing live with goreshit: which tracks did you play? And which are the ones that people liked the most at your gigs?
Most of my sets have been mostly speedcore based, although I like to throw in some of the typical "lolicore" shit — I like my gigs to be as fast and heavy as possible — is more fun to play. People seemed to dig the speedcore stuff most, but I don't really notice the crowd too much when I play. if I did I'd probably be way too anxious to play — I'd fucking shit myself.
Will you make live shows with the other projects too?
I played loads of gigs as Hana Sumai a few years back — probably two or three a month — squats, art shows, that kind of shit. a lot of the releases are just recordings of my improvised live sets. I think I started doing Hana Sumai shows when I was Seventeen or so? Me and a few friends have talked briefly of starting a live version of Wounder, but it's just been talk around the table — nothing concrete.
A bit of self-criticism: which are the albums that you consider your worst ones? What would you like to improve of your music in the future?
I consider my worst ever release to be the split with Kessenchu, which is a shame cus I like his side. I'm also dissapointed with the Dancecore stuff I was pushing out in mid 2010 ("Mainstream Muthafucka", "Ureshii", that kind of stuff). I think they were just a bit rushed… I think I need to not worry about releasing every single track I make — I don't do that as much as I used to, but I'm still guilty of that a little.
And of course, a bit of self-praise? Which are your favorite releases of yours?
I'm happiest with the more "serious" non-remix stuff, like "bleak."/"overspecialized"/"Steppa" — I feel there's a lot more artist merit to that stuff, not that that's the most important thing in the world. I guess I'm more proud of something I completely created myself, rather than borrowing stuff from other people.
Talking more personally: which are your favorite artists and albums, the ones that you consider fundamental for your musical growth?
Shit, man! Too much to list! The stuff that got my started with goreshit and electronic music in general is Bogdan Razcysnki; I fucking love "Boku Mo Wakaran" — awesome album. I don't really listen to that much electronic music, however. I really dig Burial and Zomby, as far as newer electronic musicians go. I also really dig the old drum and bass sound of foul-play and stuff like that. I probably listen to more black metal than anything else; Benighted In Sodom, Odal, Forest Silence, Blutklinge — that kind of shit. I'm not a big fan of this kinda "new wave" or black metal — Dimmu Borgwhatever and the like. Blergh. I listen to a lot of post-punk/post-rock, stuff like No Means No, Don Caballero, Sweep The Leg Johnny, Breadwinner, Devo, Melvins, Windsor For The Derby, etc. And I'll always love good ol' Wighties thrash and death metal — been listening to that shit since I was eleven or twelve, especially Voivod — fucking love "Dimensions Hatross". I could go on forever, but I'll spare you.
Who is goreshit besides art? Hobbies, work, the every day life.
I have shit loads of hobbies — I'm never bored, I always have something to do. I spend far too much time and money on my car (I have a 5 series bmw — I'm a total car snob). expensive fucking hobby… I also play a lot of mmos (right now, I'm playing guild wars 2) and rpgs (taking my third character through skyrim at the moment, and playing a lot of dragons dogma on ps3). I have thirtheen (I think?) consoles — mostly 8/16bit stuff (master system, nes, megadrive) and around 450 games between them. I also dabble in modding games (especially mapping and stuff for the half-life and quake games). I haven't worked since being diagnosed and put on anti-psychotic medication five years ago (I'm far too drugged to be able to stick to a working schedule, so they have taken me out of work for a long, long time), but I consider my music and photography to be far more important than any career anyway. I live in a nice, quiet neighbourhood with my girlfriend. I don't leave the flat much — I'm somewhat of a recluse. If I do leave, it's probably just to go driving. I hate town centers and other busy shit — fuck that. I'd rather be at home.
Are you working on new music? Which are your projects for the future?
I am working on a new goreshit release — it, so far, has a very idm/darkstep kinda sound, but I haven't actually touched any music much in the past couple of months. Mental block, I guess. There's also a Wounder album in the works, which I've been working on slowly for the past year or so. I've also been fucking around with some Hana Sumai stuff.
The interview is finished, thanks for your kindness. You can leave one last message for our readers.
I apologize if this was a boring read! Also, go make some fucking music — everyone should make something.
Love, goreshit. xx.