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SPECTRAL WOUND 
INTERVIEW EXCERPT 

(FULL INTERVIEW APPEARS IN
 'THE BLACK CANDLE III: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, AVAILABLE HERE)




I have to admit that I initially mistook Spectral Wound as another bunch of treehuggers – and we’re clearly talking ideology here and not music. Now, with the new record, I stand corrected. You say that you “made the dark descent through which the fear of any and every thing awakens into self- knowledge”, yet you are “too old to know”.

“As far as I am concerned, “nature” does not exist.


I am not sure that I can follow you... but maybe we are simply splitting semantic hairs here. Nature, as I understand it, is the Greek physis, the basis of the material world; so yes, it does exist, for better or worse.

This seems to me a fundamental miscomprehension. In what way can one say that “physis” is the basis for the material world, when that is merely a particular word used at a particular time in history in a tiny corner of the world to describe the material world? This may sound like semantic quibbling, but it is nothing of the sort. Nature does not exist. What exists are various human attempts to construct “nature” and then pass off their creations as merely descriptions of something that has forever existed, but it is always but a flattering reflection of their own conceits. “Nature” becomes handmaiden to whatever ideology wants to pass itself off as truth - for the earth-worshippers it is in the loving harmony of Gaia, for the Fascists it is in the blood bond between land and race, for the English Romantics it was the yearnings of the bourgeoisie for a sublime escape from modernity. All of these are figments passed off as foundations. Trees exist. Stones exist. Pigs, bats, humans, worms all exist. But Nature? Natural order? That I am not so sure.


I have to admit that this is a very interesting approach; one that I have not considered myself yet. But yes, I agree: once someone brings natural order or – even worse – truth to the table, it’s the end of any and every discussion for me. But to go back to what I asked before, would you mind elaborating on that “dark descent” that was made? I find it to be particularly appealing, especially in the context of a song with “Satanic” in the title, but maybe I am judging the book by the cover here.

The “dark descent” is nothing specific or personal, it pertains only to the descent into the immanent and material, as opposed to the conceits of ascent, superiority, transcendence.


In the Canadian province of Québec, a century-old French dialect is being spoken – as I understand it, partly to keep traditions alive and partly in rebellion against the anglophone rest of Canada. You are from Québec and you play Black Metal, yet I don’t feel that you play the Métal Noir Québécois of Forteresse, Neige et Noirceur or Sorcier des Glaces, neither musically nor in terms of content or language.

Although the band was formed in Québec, none of our members hail from here originally. I speak French and consider Québec my home, but I would never claim Spectral Wound is a culturally Québécois band. As such our aesthetics and concerns are somewhat different.
Something else that seems to set you apart from those bands I just mentioned is that Spectral Wound is completely devoid of all romanticism. There is nothing uplifting in your music, nothing heroic, nothing triumphant. “Bless this carnage, bless this wrath” you say. And you very matter-of-factly state that you are “Against bios. Against life.”

No, I am not interested in romance or heroism or triumph. That is all well and good for those who hunger for such things, but it to me has a taste of stale carrion.


In turn, what are the things that you hunger for?

Blood.


I could be wrong here, but to me, Spectral Wound has a very – for lack of a better term – fatalistic (as opposed to deterministic, of course) aura. Once again, let me quote the “Against life. Against bios.” part here... true or false?

“I am not sure I would describe it as fatalism, except to the extent that existence is fundamentally meaningless and all life is fundamentally doomed. Is that fatalist? Is that nihilist? Though nihilism as a philosophical system is uninteresting, I see meaninglessness as a productive force. “If nothing matters, then everything is at stake,” it has been said. “Against life. Against bios.” has much in common with the refusal of nature. It is the denial that there is a pre-existing meaning or order to be found or appealed to in life, nature, biology. Beyond the veil of the flesh, there are no answers to be found, only questions, only challenges. 


While all of this might sound negative to an unsuspecting observer, I can only agree wholeheartedly. Once you have realized that this earthly existence is meaningless at its very core, you are... well, free - and this is one of the most positive things I can imagine. It is a bumpy road, no doubt, but pain and disappointment are cathartic and catharsis leads to a better life if you ask me. You didn’t ask me, but oh well...

“I think I would differ from you slightly here, because I don’t know if I believe in “freedom.” It is a notion that so many are obsessed with, from Satanists to nature-lovers to proud Americans, but one thing I am convinced of is that we are never free, and we only fool or flatter ourselves when we claim to be. All life is contingent, it is impossible to extricate ourselves from the webs of connection and interdependence that weave us into the world. I agree that resigning oneself to the meaninglessness of the universe opens up a new space of possibility, but I wouldn’t call it freedom. I might call it hell.




(FULL INTERVIEW APPEARS IN
 'THE BLACK CANDLE III: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, AVAILABLE HERE)