September 23, 2020
Ahead of new album, By the fire, Moore talked about where he ate in New York, the power of Jimi Hendrix, and his newfound love of home recording during the pandemic 1.42pm BST
Thurston Moore webchat – your questions answered on black metal, the Fall and the joy of disco
Our time is up, sadly.
I feel like I could engage in conversation all day in regards to certainly music and culture and people's interest in my experience with it, and I can only say that at this point in my life, I release music to be socially engaged in communication. So in that respect, music is for me an entirely political interconnection, a political act. I find now while we're dealing as a community with being in a situation where we're being asked to work together socially while in isolation, it's a real challenge, and I think the communiques of media, journalism, and music through recordings online and offline are extremely important for connectivity. So I appreciate speaking to you! 1.39pm BST
chashumen says:
I saw your discussion with Necrobutcher of Mayhem on YouTube. What attracted you to that kind of music? (I’m a huge fan myself). Do you listen to other metal bakes too? Would be interest to know who you enjoy these days.
I was always into heavy metal from the early 70s, and even getting into punk rock, the relationship between the raging guitars in a lot of the punk rock music of the Ramones or Pistols or the Clash was correlative to what I liked in heavy metal: Judas Priest, Sabbath, the Stooges. As far as more contemporary metal, I was a huge enthusiast of the band Venom when they first appeared, out of Nottingham I think – there was something about Venom and even some New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands that had a bit of a good connection with what I liked in underground hardcore music. They've always been part of my enjoyment of music. I was certainly the one person in Sonic Youth who flew that flag. And encouraged more metallic action in Sonic Youth. I knew about black metal quite early on, hearing about the church burnings in Norway when Kerrang! reported on it, and hearing Mayhem, and being amazed about what they were up to - it went beyond metal, and punk rock, and became this other music that was in defiance of being genre-ised. It was so curious - it existed almost as a noise music. So I always followed the black metal scene to the point where it became so international and completely underground, where the most important recordings existed through a community of cassette dealers. I started amassing cassettes from the Soviet Union to Greece, France, South America, all these different regions had different flavours of the black metal world. I didn't want to be part of the universe though, I was happy to sit apart. I was happy to meet Necrobutcher though because I wanted to publish his memoir, which we did.
For me I was always interested in music that worked on the extreme margins of culture, and black metal prided itself on being so extreme that a lot of the artists refused to actually document themselves, for fear of being confused with music. For me that was far more radical than the Sex Pistols saying they weren't into music but instead chaos - this was a community that said, we have nothing to do with music, we're something else entirely. Ok, how do I process this? You're using guitars and drums and amplifiers, but it's entirely something else. I was looking for artists who were issuing cassettes that sounded like the recording microphone was attached to the back of a wild dog running around the studio. Who would make a record like this? Sometimes it would just be a blur of insanity.
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