K.R. interviews the legendary Power Electronics unit
So far in 2008, Brethren has released a 10″ MLP entitled “The Chosen”, and you’ve also been a part of the Revolutionary Command “New Era” LP, lending your vocal abilities. How has the feedback been on both releases to date?
The feedback has been positive. There have been only a couple of reviews and personal emails that have been negative. The criticism focused at great length on the content and lyrics, with very little about the music.
On the contrary, I have also had a few people highly interested in the content of “The Chosen” and they ask for additional information. I highly recommend The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements by Kevin MacDonald along with MacDonald’s other works.
Under what circumstances did you choose to end your first project Bound, and what led to the creation of Brethren? Could Brethren be looked at as a continuation of Bound or do you consider it an entirely different entity altogether?
It was always understood by CYN, the other member of Bound, and me that we would record one album and be finished. I attempted to add more political elements into my earlier endeavors, but CYN had no interest in politics and did not want any of his music to involve anything racial and/or political. Bound originally had no vocals. I tried to get CYN to record vocals once, but he wasn’t interested, so he suggested I give it a try. After a short vocal demonstration, he changed his mind and said, “We should use vocals.”
I especially liked the tracks on “Final Signs” with vocals and thought of how I could use them to be the vehicle for my political views. So, Brethren was born in December of 2001 when I performed the song “Color.” The only remnant of this performance is a video recording. Brethren is in no way a continuation of Bound as it had no racial or political elements whatsoever.
Bound “Final Signs” has never been officially released. I made 50 demo copies and three tracks from it are featured on Fresh Blood Vol. 3 released by Open Wound. Because it has never been officially released, I am often asked about Bound and its possible similarities to Brethren. If people heard “Final Signs” and the other early projects I was involved with (such as Surrounded By Unlit Energies) it would be clear that those projects and Brethren are clearly separate entities.
Were you always into industrial/post industrial music? When you began recording music were there specific musical acts, writers or other artists who had a direct influence on you? What was the initial founding vision of Brethren in its early days and has it evolved much since its first inception?
I began listening to industrial music when I was 13 years old, picking up any band that was labeled industrial including Psychopomps, Einstürzende Neubauten, Chrome, Foetus, Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle and Laibach, to name a few. Cleopatra Records and the Isolation Tank catalog had a huge impact on what I purchased. When I was 15, I was introduced to Merzbow through the Release Your Mind compilation and at 17 was introduced to Whitehouse with the help of the intriguing description in the Isolation Tank catalog. I later purchased five Whitehouse albums at Mindwave, an experimental music shop in Ohio, at very high prices. I listened to and still enjoy many different styles of industrial music so it is hard to pinpoint any direct influences, but I liked the clear, upfront vocal style of Whitehouse and Grunt’s deep growling vocals on the track “Symptoms Of The Disease” (the first Grunt track I ever heard) much more than the distorted and buried method.
The initial image of Brethren was created for a live setting in a hurry. In December of 2001, some friends played live for my birthday and after some persuasion, I decided to debut the song “Color.” Afterwards, my friends encouraged me to play live a few months later in March at Fluctuation 23, a live show featuring some of Akron’s noise artists. It was held at Archetype Group Studios in Akron, Ohio. I felt Brethren was not just an expression of me, but racially conscious Europeans everywhere, which is why I covered my face. I saw Brethren as faceless. Since this original inception was designed for a live setting and that phase has long been abandoned, Brethren has evolved into something more personal. However, it remains an outlet for my racial and political beliefs.
Describe your aims and methods when making music, what goals you hope to achieve with it, and what feelings you wish to evoke from your audience.
My aim is to convey politics through power electronics. When making music, I create songs as opposed to just sounds that create an atmosphere. My goal is for each song to make a political point and urgency is the feeling I wish to evoke.
How did you choose the name “Brethren” for your project, and what significance does it have for you?
After some thought about what I would name my project, I awoke one morning with the name Brethren in my head and thought it was perfect. I felt the name Brethren would represent camaraderie among fellow members in the same struggle. Brethren focuses on political aspects important to all people of European descent wherever they may live.
Given the aggressive nature, the themes explored and the ideas expressed, has your music ever created any real controversy for you? Has finding distribution ever been a problem? How has the reaction been from the general Power Electronics & Noise fan base?
My views have caused controversy in my personal life, but not because of Brethren.
Distribution has never been a problem. Most, if not all, of the major distributers of power electronics have carried Brethren. The reaction has been extremely positive. I think most people who purchase a Brethren release or a project Brethren is a member of know what they are getting into. I’m pretty sure most of those who oppose Brethren’s message just don’t buy it.
Your projects are, without any doubt, serious in their message, intentions and conviction – something which I personally hold a high level of respect for. Does it bother you when some artists utilize these similar themes and imagery as nothing more than a way to attract attention and gain notoriety, for the mere reason of making a name for themselves and selling more units?
Many times I blame the interviewers for not asking questions that would solidify an artist’s position on certain political matters. Without some sort of published manifesto or direct communication, it’s hard to know exactly where many power electronic artists stand on specific issues. Many power electronic artists use WWII and the Holocaust for shock value. These themes are not so shocking to me because those two topics are two of the most prominent historical topics in the mainstream media. The major difference is in the intent of the people using them. Power electronic artists use them in a fetishistic manner; the media uses them to cause a guilt complex. Both do a great job of achieving their goals.
When I discovered a group was using politics as shock tactics, it used to bother me, but it doesn’t any more. If I buy an album that I don’t like, I don’t have to live with it. Records aren’t like politics. You can throw records into the trash and they never bother you again. Politics, however, get planted, grow roots and get bigger until they not only affect you personally, but future generations. You can’t escape them.
At what age did you begin to form your view of the world and identified what you would consider its problems. What is something you were aware of from an early age, or did certain influences / events lead you to the current racially conscious mindset you have today?
I developed a racial consciousness in my late teens from my personal experiences. There were never any extreme circumstances such as getting mugged or assaulted by non-whites, but I saw that races were different and that race mattered. It wasn’t until a couple years later, I began to read and be influenced by racially conscious individuals.
If you had the option to change one thing about the modern world as it is, what would you change?
I would change the Jewish dominated media ownership. It propagates messages that while positive for Jews have dire consequences for European Americans.
Would you consider yourself a spiritual person? Does any form of religion play a part in your private life or are you completely opposed to it? Have you ever taken an interest in the Occult? Your views on the various concepts of the afterlife?
Yes, I consider myself spiritual/religious, but those aspects are personal, between my family and I.
No, I have never taken interest in the occult.
To live on through my kin is my afterlife.
In today’s current Power Electronics scene, which artists do you see as the most interesting and important? Are there others spreading a similar message as yourself that you can recommend? And what are the most important musical releases to you personally, in Power Electronics and beyond?
There are many power electronic artists that I find interesting, so it would take up too much room to discuss why each one is important to me. Yes, I believe there are power electronic artists who spread a similar message, but would rather not name them specifically. I do not like to lump artists together ideologically because as soon as you do this, people assume you are all exactly alike and cannot disagree. This is especially the case with bands that hold racial views. People have a very narrow understanding of their views due to the media, so it’s best if these artists are seen individually as opposed to collectively.
Some important musical releases for me on a personal level include: M.O.D. “U.S.A. for M.O.D.” was one of the first CDs I ever owned. My brother bought it for me when I was 12 years old when I received my first CD player. I bought Psychopomps “Assassins DK United” when I was 14 years old and that had a strong impact on me at the time. The “Release Your Mind” compilation was the first time I heard noise, at 15 years old, thanks to the Merzbow track.
Two very important power electronic groups for me are Whitehouse and Control Resistance. Whitehouse because it was one of the very first power electronic bands I ever heard at 17 years old and Control Resistance because it was the first power electronic group I heard that dealt with racial topics and delivered a message with conviction. As a result, both groups were highly influential to me.
Grunt’s vocals on “Symptoms Of The Disease” from the Grunt/Sickness “Symptoms Of The Disease” split album was an inspiration. I remember hearing the deep vocals when the CD started and being blown away.
Skrewdriver was the first RAC band I ever heard. I found Skrewdriver online during college in 2001 late one night, while staying the weekend with my girlfriend (now my wife). I immediately loved the band.
Organized Resistance’s “Day of the Rope” album was inspired by Dr William Pierce’s book “The Turner Diaries”. Obviously an inspirational book for yourself, care to share some words about “The Turner Diaries” and Pierce’s lesser known work “Hunter”?
The themes expressed in The Turner Diaries and Hunter are mirrored in many ways within multiracial societies. The books are meant to both educate and entertain and if you keep this in mind, they can be of great value. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Whites, who now make up 66% of the population will be a minority before the earlier projected date of 2050. Whites will most likely slip to minority status 8 years earlier in 2042.” The theme of violent revolution in a racial context is consistent with the current state of affairs.
What can we expect from Brethren in the future? Are there plans for another release from either Organized Resistance or Revolutionary Command?
Brethren “Within Death You Will Be Free” CD – reissue on Audial Decimation Records is out now. Brethren “Kingdom Coming” 7” is coming soon.
No concrete plans as of now for new Organized Resistance releases. “New Era” is the one and only album by Revolutionary Command.
I’ll end this interview on that note. Thank you for your insight into the world of Brethren. Any last words?
Thank you for this opportunity and if anyone ever has additional questions, feel free to email me at brethren14[at]aim[dot]com.