Interview: Faceless Burial (2022) | From The Bowels Of Perdition

Conversation with

Faceless Burial

It seems that maturity that comes with miles on the clock in your case translates into more elaborate songs that seem harder to play but easier to remember, if that makes sense. Well, does it make sense?

Füj: It makes sense! I think since the band started, we have always wanted to write and play at this current level, however, we weren’t yet capable, and with each release we started to get more comfortable with our individual playing styles. I personally have definitely learnt a lot since the demo days, especially in a performance capacity and overcoming ˗ well, not overcoming, more like managing the anxiety that comes along with it. I guess it’s just from playing more often and in different environments and slowly desensitizing yourself to the usual triggers and pain variables ˗ all that stuff. Absorbing all of those gig experiences and rocking frequently with Alex and Max have organically led to these bizarro song structures, I mean it’s no secret we all enjoy progressive rock but we don’t intentionally make goofy songs just for the sake of technical wankery. I think if more legit players learnt our tunes it would be apparent we aren’t very tech at all, it’s just the desperation and stress that translates through the recordings because we are pushing ourselves to nail the tracks. Priority is always the riffs/song and balancing potential hooks and melody while keeping it savage.

Alex: It’s always a bit of a blur, the writing process. As we don’t really do much tabbing, demoing, click tracking etc, all of the songs come together very organically and it’s generally only in hindsight, or when we are trying to re-learn a song we haven’t played in a while, that they seem complicated. The songs more or less decide where they want to go and then we look at the piece afterwards to varying degrees of satisfaction.

When you say that your music does whatever it wants whenever it wants, does that mean that there’s nothing conservative about songwriting in your case, in the sense that you don’t always make sure there’s a flow, purpose, and order to your songs?

Füj: We try to always include call-backs to previous riffs and melodies throughout the length of a song without impeding the flow with a random abrupt riff, although that has been known to happen. I have quite an archive of voice memos on my phone of either me whisper-scatting ideas into the mic when overly caffeinated at work or ancient bedroom recordings of half-realised riffs that await their time to be inserted into a song, only to be ditched again due to not fitting the vibe. Generally, one of us will come up with an idea and it’ll be brought to the practice space and worked on over time. It’s always a group effort in the structure formulisation.

Alex: When I look at the songs, they seem quite logical and fairly akin to traditional songwriting. We see all the songs as having choruses and bridges and whatnot, just those parts are crammed with a lot of notes. Catchiness is still very important to us. I write a lot of non-metal music as well, and the process for both is remarkably similar but potentially the metal has ended up more autobiographical somehow, lyrically. In saying that, I think we are quite open to letting more esoteric movements creep into each track, and letting them take on their own serendipitous forms. We wouldn’t ever think, no, that part can’t go into the song because it doesn’t fit, we’d usually just try to sneak references to the obtuse portions into previously established sections.

Speaking of the flow, purpose, and order of your music, do you also seek to accomplish all of those things within a narrative of an album as a whole, in which songs are perhaps seen merely as parts of the bigger picture, that aren’t even meant to tell the story by themselves but together?

Füj: In the early machinations of the band, in order to construct a track list for a release, we would have the fast song, or slow song, or the designated single etc, however, these days it has all kind of fused into one amorphous mess. Side A of Foothills has three songs independent of each other, however, Side B as a whole is ˗ trigger warning ˗ a bit of a concept piece which is fully referenced by the Seagrave cover painting.

Alex: It’s definitely gotten a bit more ambitious in terms of the linking of tracks, both musically and lyrically. The links are all still pretty tenuous though, in the pantheon of progressive writing, but we are giving it a shot. I’m generally of the mindset that no one piece of anything I’ve done personally is that complete, or that good, and only when I look at it all together do I feel like I’m achieving something worthwhile, and I only feel that on a good day. I’d like every song to stand on its own, but, in line with the way I listen to other folks’ work, I want every song to serve as just one portion of a record, and for the record to serve as only one piece of the discography. Always leaving room for the next release to be better and more challenging.

One reviewer said that Faceless Burial encompasses the best death metal has to offer with almost frustrating ease. Is he right or wrong? Does your music come to you easily, or do you need to suffer to get it out of your system?

Füj: That reviewer is being very kind. I can confidently say that what you hear on a Faceless Burial record, especially on Foothills, is 100% suffering. We each individually lost our shit, internally, at some point during the recording process, but that was always going to happen, it’s just part of the analog live recording vibe, for us at least. You must be highly caffeinated and stressed in order to capture the goods, and then rewarded with hummus and corn chips once a particularly troublesome song is laid down.

Alex: Constant pain in terms of performing and recording, but I would say that the writing comes relatively naturally to us, in the way that we simply do not know what else to do with our time and lives. There is a kind of riffzophrenia that plagues each of us, constantly running in the background, and it’s hard to get it out, hard to play what you hear without having any kind of technical or theoretical know-how.

Max: Albeit very lovely of this person to say that, I’d say they’re incorrect. Recording the way we do makes this a horrible process. Each day one of us had a meltdown. As a three-piece, there’s nowhere on stage to hide during a live performance either… It’s highly rewarding when it comes off and we are growing into the sound of Faceless Burial more, but there is nothing easy about it from my perspective.

Faceless Burial Interview 2022 (Promo)

Alex, you described the new album as a bit more progressive, with the heavy bits being heavier, and the non-heavy bits being non-heavier. How difficult was to make that balance, and would you say that your understanding of the twists and turns of your music is primarily a result of the accumulated experience, and that you wouldn’t have been able to write this kind of music in the Grotesque Miscreation days, even with the playing skills you have now?

Füj: I would definitely agree that it has taken time and experience learning off one another in order to churn out the most recent record. In many ways, I feel like Speciation was our first record, or rather the first record to sound the way we envisioned sounding since the beginning of the band ˗ from a compositional standpoint at least. Looking at the evolution of the band documented from record to record, it feels as though we have earnt each progression with the ever-increasing levels of anguish and at times comical distress that goes into every recording. In regards to the non-heavy elements, we are always quite mindful to never go too far in a certain direction, or if a section is sounding too… um, emotive, then we will have to flatten that potential euphoria with some downblasts and those prettier moments must be used sparingly and in small doses ˗ no matter how easy and almost correct it feels to push it further, gotta choke out the glory (laughs).

Alex: Agreed with Fuj on that one. I think there is a certain style of musical emoting that you can get away with, sort of more rooted in music from classic rock to jazz to folk that you can permit yourself to pepper into the tracks, but there is a certain kind of fish in a barrel tear jerker style of emotive melodicism that came to the fore in the ’90s/2000s guitar music that is fully unacceptable to be put into our tunes. I’d say certain parts of the record that, if played unaccompanied may sound a tad too twee, were carom-shotted into something intense when it was struggled through as a team.

Would you subscribe to the notion that technical proficiency and memorable songwriting are in most cases mutually exclusive, and that having them coexist in consonance is a puzzle that most bands can’t solve to save their lives?

Füj: No way, you can shred and write a huge track. Steely Dan for example, unattainable levels of technical prowess woven into massive hits. Or, case and point ˗ The Beatles. Those chord progressions are cooked and there’s always a bonus suspended 9th or augmented 5th in there, and I don’t actually know what that means entirely. I think striking the balance in extreme music is maybe trickier, or runs the risk of sounding inherently rude? I don’t know, maybe it’s the hangover of the ’80s and excessive shred guitar ˗ which I love ˗ mentality of more notes at absurd speeds being the focal point of a song rather than maybe tastefully used to accent a moment or moments consistently within a song… Obviously, it’s up for discussion and everyone will have their own perspectives. I often get stuck in guitar-influencer wormholes when mindlessly grazing the gram and conjure stomach ulcers because I will never be able to shred like that, but at the same time they are quite often playing against some demented jazz/djent/emocore backing track that straight up sounds terrible, so maybe it’s good I don’t have those powers.

Alex: That kind of puzzle-solving in music is what I often find the most enjoyable as a listener. There are a number of records I’ve been listening to since I was a kid that I’m still finding new things in, and sometimes that is because there is a high level of technical aptitude in there. I think you can be technical and earnest at the same time, but many aren’t. You can use complexity to express simple things and simplicity to express complex things. If the music you truly want to create is complex, it’s as pure an intention as if the music you truly wanted to create was simple. There are a lot of metal bands that merge complexity and memorability, but it is definitely a language you need to learn first, and every band who does it well speaks their own dialect that gets revealed to the listener over time.

There’s a standpoint in modern psychology that all our anxieties come from our desire for harmony. In that respect, would you say that being in this band is something that, inversely, brings you peace and contentment, given that your music feels like a deliberate acceptance of disharmony, maybe not even only sonic-wise, but in general?

Alex: Without a doubt, yes. Feeling stagnant is what causes me the greatest feeling of disharmony internally. Faceless Burial always keeps me on my toes, so even though it is intense and challenging, that is generally what I need to keep on keepin’ on.

Max: Faceless Burial brings me peace because it’s the only band of mine that each individual is as focused and on the same page as each other. We all have our own ideas about desire for harmony, but as a whole, I believe any success we have had is due to being on the same page with pretty much every idea we communicate to the world. I am always content after we have a small victory ˗ either a great show, tour, recording, etc ˗ but as soon as it’s done, my anxiety will creep in and will look for the next thing we can achieve together.

Faceless Burial Interview 2022 (At The Foothills Of Deliration)

Speaking of psychology, it seems that the album title speaks about the universal truth of the human condition that every man can relate to, given that all of us at all times are arguably at the foothills of deliration. Is the title a reminder ˗ with perhaps even personal connotations ˗ that sanity is an extremely fragile thing, that shouldn’t ever be taken for granted?

Alex: The title reflects that, absolutely. Side B is a linked suite of songs that relate loosely to the Strugatsky brothers’ book Hard To Be A God. I would say that all of our songs so far relate to something personal in a way. I used to have really terrible dreams and write about those, but then I stopped sleeping almost entirely, so I started to draw influence and imagery from other places, but still informed by the amorphis quality of dreams. Even the most fortified minds can throw some alarming curveballs. I’m not sure I answered the question there.

It’s interesting, is it not, that three guys like yourselves, all suffering from asthma, are compelled to make music with such a prominent physical component?

Füj: Safe to say we are all fairly phlegmatic personalities from a Greek Humors point of view. I definitely would have been cast into a ravine as a defective baby in a different time with the asthma, allergies, bad back, generally enfeebled existence ˗ all perfect traits for the loading of large speaker cabinets and musical gear on a regular basis. Nuh, I’m not that bad, but playing music is probably the ideal movement, or lack of movement, for my body, as I was never a sporty child.

Alex: I just didn’t know what else to do.

Max: I just love to stimulate listeners, so if that takes packing 50 inhalers in my backpack, then that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

Would it be a bit of a stretch to say that your music is, in a way, your health’s redeeming value, in the sense that it constantly pushes you to the limits of your physical abilities, which consequently expands those limits?

Füj: I would agree with that sentiment. Playing in Faceless Burial is both a large stress reliever and large stress creator, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Always satisfying to challenge ourselves when learning new material and managing to lay it down to tape at some point. I inevitably feel an odd sensation once a record is completed of knowing that the next one is, even though unwritten, going to be increasingly unchill and draining, but at the same time that’s an exciting prospect.

Max: It’s important for the mind and body to test its limits, so no, it would not be a stretch at all to believe that.

Alex, some guy who interviewed you recently noted that you were warm and funny, and was apparently so surprised by it that he even used that notion for the interview’s headline. Presuming that all three of you are the upbeat kind of people, would you say that the contrast between your music and your character is what actually fuels your music, which arguably wouldn’t be as brutal and relentless if there was a compatibility between the two?

Alex: Everyone has multiple sides. We all like to make and listen to all kinds of music, because we are all different on different days. I’d say that at my core I grew up a really angry person, but I’ve worked hard on trying to figure out why that was. Now I think I am more or less able to channel that feeling into productivity, so this band has been really helpful for me overall. I don’t have a very positive outlook on the world as a whole, but music, and my place in it, are something that I am happy to be happy about.

Füj: As a group, I think we are all relatively placid people. Playing this kind of music is a bit of an aggression outlet, but outside of that, in day-to-day life, everyone is just a massive nerd ˗ speaking for myself at least. Maybe there’s a subconscious dichotomy to balance the heavy metal attack with a polite and chill demeanor.

To travel is to have a conversation with oneself, as the old saying has it. That said, Füj, has your move from Australia to Japan, and the eventual return to Melbourne, made you learn anything about yourself that you didn’t know before, and if so, would you say that your music benefited from it somehow?

Füj: Well, it was because of that move that I started playing guitar really. My family moved to Japan when I was at a vaguely pivotal social age of 13 and during my time there friends back home started playing music. So I was left to watch it unfold via MSN messenger and semi-regular phone calls. Alex actually taught me my first riff ˗ Iron Man played on one string followed by Smoke On The Water ˗ and Alex’s dad bestowed the nickname Füj upon me, so it seems my moving overseas was a fairly definitive aspect of my life (laughs). My first guitar was an Epiphone Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom that was gifted to me from my parents and after that I was fully hooked, nothing but Powertabs and video games while I lived in Japan and subsequently Hong Kong. I think my complete lack of social life overseas maybe allowed me to learn guitar a tad faster ˗ far from adept playing, but enough to get by. Looking back, I wish I had focused more on the theory side, but I never had the discipline or attention span for that kind of thing, and it’s too late for me now.

Given that you tend to seem surprised by how well your music is received, do you genuinely feel that there’s nothing special about it, that would warrant video blogs of dudes reviewing it for 20 minutes, as you half-seriously observed recently Alex?

Alex: We very much make music just for ourselves, without really expecting or requiring any praise or reward for it, so every positive response we get is a legitimate surprise. We work really hard on what we do, but the goal is never to receive a pat on the back, we’d be doing the same thing if no one was listening. That being said, we’re extremely grateful for all the support we have received. It is very flattering to have had such a nice response from so many people, and even the negative responses still seem like they’re coming from people who have thought about what they’re saying, not a lot of people just saying this stinks without elaborating. I often agree with the negative feedback I see. I think there is something special about what we do, but I also don’t think that is what the general consumer of music is looking for all the time, and honestly, I thought it would work against us, if anything. There is also a degree of healthy pessimism in our immediate group of fellow rockers in Melbourne which plays into our general attitude, it’s quite uncool to be aspirational, and very uncool to have too much of an active engagement with the music industry. We aren’t really actively pushing the product, so yes, it is just surprising and flattering to have had the exposure we’ve had.

Faceless Burial Interview 2022 (Band)

Do you see the attention you get at the moment as a mixed blessing, in the sense that all the flattering words could backfire in the form of pressure and expectations that might become too much to handle at some point down the line?

Alex: Luckily, the labels and other bands we deal with are very chill units, and we’ve all been making music long enough to know our limitations. I don’t think we’d ever do something we didn’t want to, and so hopefully won’t feel any negative pressure. I think we all have pretty robust moral and creative compasses, so we’ll likely be able to just carry on the way we have been indefinitely. I think we are far from having played our best show or released our best album, so there is always something to strive for and much room for improvement to keep us humble and rocking in earnest.

Max: We are from Melbourne, Australia. Getting anyone outside of our city or country to notice us takes a lot of luck, focus, and energy. Faceless Burial has more albums than tours or tour offers, so I would say while I love the positive attention our music receives, we are still a very long way off ˗ even in an underground sense ˗ having any pressure on ourselves to perform. In many ways, I believe we are just finding our stride now, after close to eight years of being a band.

How would you rate your releases according to the level of your current satisfaction with each of them? Would that be their chronological order in reverse?

Alex: Any time I release anything I’m just thinking about the next thing. When I release something I like, I’ll probably stop releasing things. I would say I’m proud of some things, but certainly not satisfied by any.

Max: The B side as a whole from the latest record is the best music we have released so far. Probably the most satisfied I have been with our output, so potentially reverse chronologically as you say (laughs).

When it comes to opinions musicians have about their own music, do you feel that recency bias is often unfounded and that the latest release by any given band is not always and necessarily their best one?

Alex: From the outside, I certainly like a lot of artists’ early or mid career work a lot more than where they ended up. I like to think that won’t happen to us, but maybe it already has, we’ll see. It’s surprising how often the artist’s vision, when fully realised in their own eyes, is terrible, and what they might see as failed attempts along the way were great. Who knows how out of touch I already am without having noticed?

Do you feel that your music should speak only to people who are on the same wavelength as you, or do you believe that it’s capable of reaching a much broader range of musical needs and tastes?

Alex: It’s for everyone, but I think there is a degree of prior listening needed to contextualize it. Extreme metal freaked me out when I first heard it but then I couldn’t get enough, and now I find it quite relaxing. I don’t think someone with absolutely no prior interest in extreme music would just get what we’re putting down immediately, but maybe it could trigger some sort of broader interest, if it hit them at the right time.

Would you say that you’ve found the right sound for the band, production-wise, that is halfway between sterile and overproduced and excessively raw? Presuming that sonic rawness is a good thing, is there even such a thing as having too much of a good thing?

Füj: I think it’s kind of an ever-evolving thing. Each release has a production style that suits the songs of that time and place. On the most recent record the two main mix references we gave to Pete were King Crimson’s Red and Gorguts’ From Wisdom To Hate and I think he created a very solid middle ground with this album. I have a vague assumption of what direction the next batch of songs may be heading, but it’s probably safe to say they’ll sound different again from the Foothills microbiome.

Alex: I’m not sure how much we’ve really thought about it, I think the way that we play, and the fact that we don’t click track or quantise anything, is gonna make it sound pretty raw regardless whether we want it to or not. We all play really hard and that comes across. I like that we were recording in a proper studio, and got mixed by a very clever cat with a lot of shmick machines, but there’s only so much polish you can add to what we laid down before you start cheating. Fidelity has never mattered that much to me, performance, quality of writing, and the earnestness or truthfulness of it shines through whether it’s live to four-track cassette or full digital pristine studio.

Would it be fair to say that, together with technique, Max’s prolific and diverse musical background is what gives the music of Faceless Burial its multi-dimensional sensibility, and that his versatility is arguably his biggest contribution to the band?

Füj: Yes!

Alex: What do you think Max?

Max: I think we all have diverse musical backgrounds and, to some extent, that’s the reason the music comes out the way it does.

Tavi: Woof!

Faceless Burial Interview 2022 (Dog)

How does Grotesque Miscreation feel in hindsight? Would you agree that it still holds up remarkably well, that it arguably doesn’t even sound like a debut album?

Alex: I haven’t listened to it in many years, I’ll get back to you!

Max: I enjoy it. We recorded the whole record in two days and I think it still sounds really aggressive.

Despite the fact that you listen to your own music very infrequently, have you ever felt genuinely surprised by the staying power and repeat value of some of your older riffs?

Füj: Once a new release is out, I normally cut off all listening and scrutiny, and start thinking about what is next. However, when I rarely do go back, I can’t really listen without dissecting everything and getting pained recording flashbacks. A couple of times it has come on in and out of context environment and I’ll be like oh yeah, this rocks adequately!

Alex: I would have to go back and listen again. I think Speciation has some cool parts, for sure.

Max: On the odd occasion I think Multiversal is our best record.

Could you name a single song from each of your releases that you feel slightly more fond of than others?

Füj: From The Bastion To The Pit ˗ I think this one sounds the most us as a band. Speciation ˗ I like the way this one builds and has room to breathe. Playing it live also adds a different dimension from the recorded version too. Theriomorphic Meconium Aspiration ˗ bung atonal solo section is cooked but I like the way it turned out. Grotesque Miscreation ˗ fun to play live and potentially the most straightforward song to bang thou head.

Is there a song from your catalogue that rubs you the wrong way when you listen to it these days?

Füj: I don’t really have a specific song but there are many moments throughout our recorded discography that I know I could have played better. I’ll abstain from listing any direct timestamps of slop in case it also ruins it for any potential listener, but they exist!

Alex: For me, I really only hear my struggle when I listen back, I absolutely cannot play bass and I’m surprised I’ve gotten away with it for this long.

Max: Not really.

What would be some of the anachronistic, bygone qualities of your music that have been with you from the very beginning and that you believe will never leave your sound?

Füj: Stress and discomfort.

Alex: Füj said it. I think our approach to making music will always be the same, even if the result changes sonically over time. I would expect always playing at the outer reaches of our novice abilities will be the sound for better or worse forever.

Could you name a few death metal albums that keep impressing you only for how gruesomely morbid they are, a few that you admire only for their executional excellence, and a few that you feel are remarkable at attaining the synergy between the two?

Füj: Very difficult to allocate some of the following albums in the specified categories, but I’ll give it a whirl. For executional excellence, I’ll go with Death’s Individual Thought Patterns ˗ unstoppable and maybe peak Death, these days I only really listen to Human onwards in terms of their discography and there’s not much else that’s as sound-definitive and zone-carving within the genre. There’s also Necrophagist’s Epitaph ˗ love it or hate it, and you should love it, this is an inhuman sounding album made by humans and my appreciation of technical death metal pretty much starts and ends here. As for gruesomely morbid, aka perpetually heavy, I’ll go with Dead Congregation’s Graves Of The Archangels ˗ we were lucky enough to share the stage with them recently and not only was it life-affirming, but they delivered a crushing performance every night. The standouts setlist-wise in terms of crushing, heavy, and downright evil oppressive music were songs from this album. Then there’s Suffocation’s Effigy Of The Forgotten ˗ it’s their fault the term brutal is thrown around, but there isn’t really another word for it. Exceptionally heavy album. And finally, for morbid excellence, or the synergy between the two, let’s start with Immolation’s Close To A World Below, a perfect album. It’s difficult to pick just one Morbid Angel album, however I think that Entangled in Chaos contains insane performances of many clazzick tracks delivered with boundless energy. Really gets the blood pumping. Defeated Sanity’s Chapters Of Repugnance really blurs the lines of absolute disgusting filth and virtuosic musicianship ˗ I won’t pretend to understand, but I will obey. Continue to outdo any contemporaries and imitators to this day. And finally, Suffocation’s Pierced From Within ˗ that’s right, they get two entries on the list ˗ extremely heavy and extremely tech without sacrificing brutality, this is how to do it.

Max: Immortal Fate’s Beautiful.

Alex: I would say a lot of folk music is gruesomely morbid. I’ll put Shirley Collins’ album Lodestar in there for this category. Her first album back after a 38 year hiatus brought on from being diagnosed with dysphonia. This album is bleak and beautiful, an 80 year old Shirley re-interpreting various folk tales with members of Coil in tow. It is a remarkably raw and revealing record. For executional excellence, I’ll throw in Enrico Rava’s The Pilgrim And The Stars. The vast majority of the prolonged classic era of the ECM catalog would be considered by most to be excellently executed. This incredible album, which also features another label favorite, John Abercrombie, is something so far above anything I could imagine making. As for the album that marries both gruesome morbidity and executional excellence, let’s go with Assück’s Misery Index. The playing and writing on this album is phenomenal, but at no point it gets in the way of the point and the brutality of it. It is incredibly direct but also changed the expectations of what was possible within the bounds of the genre, while unifying a number of disparate listener groups. Riffy, smart, fast music that is still at the top of the heap after all these years.

Faceless Burial Interview 2022 (Imprint)

Alex and Füj, you used to work as mailmen. By chance, I know that Robert Andersson of Morbus Chron, now Sweven, used to work as a mailman for many years also. God knows how many other metal musicians went that same professional route. What would be at least one thing about that particular employment that goes hand in hand with death metal?

Füj: That is correct, Alex and I worked in the mailroom for about seven years with a good friend of ours. We are still in the same workplace, however we have ascended the ranks to more custom-tailored positions, but we’ll always be lowly mailroom employees at heart. The mailroom was a fertile zone of in-jokes and feverish laughter and the mania was fully established once we brought in some poor quality computer speakers, so there was a perpetual low volume din of YouTube full album streams at all times. Not only did it seem absurd at the time, but it is even more incomprehensible looking back at the fact we were paid to sit in a small room together listening to tunes, trying to repress the silent screaming fits of laughter, and occasionally completing a task without error. I wasn’t aware that Robert Andersson was also a former mail-boyTM, maybe there is something linking the infatuation of riffs and being tethered to the mailroom. Our boss was fine to entertain our hobbies of rocking on the side for a while, but he was clearly waiting for us to give up the dream of making it and get real gainful employment or careers. We showed him though ˗ he is comfortably retired and we’re still very much here, slowly decaying and in turn proving that living off playing music in this day and age remains a mythical notion.

Alex: I remember reading Clive Barker’s The Great And Secret Show as a child which starts in a dead letter office… There is a definite voyeuristic or cinematic itch that gets scratched by the menial tasks, exploration of buildings you otherwise wouldn’t enter, and opening of unclaimed mail. It was a good job, I’d like to still be in the mailroom.

Do you believe that the greatest sin against life is hoping for another or a different life, and shying away from the unforgiving grandeur of this life?

Alex: I think any hopes for a different life can usually be converted into actions that get you closer to it, if that’s what you’re after. I think growing up as an out-of-place poor person in a relatively affluent area I was often really saddened by the apparent lack of opportunities that I was presented with, but that just made me try harder and make those opportunities appear. It became more and more apparent that people who started off with greater, and often unearned advantages, would generally make less interesting contributions in creative circles because they had too big a safety net to ever truly risk something.

When you wake up in the morning, does the way you feel have any bearing on things that need to be done that particular day, and is the band’s consistency a result of that mindset?

Füj: I’m a lazy person and if I have things I know I should be doing, I normally leave it until the last possible moment or just don’t do it, all the while being plagued with guilt knowing that I should just do the simple task at hand. Not sure why the band is so focused and the admin side is so streamlined ˗ I think in previous projects we have all had stints as the designated managerial member, so in Faceless Burial we are all that guy which has led to a symbiotic sharing of responsibility.

Alex: I’ve often not slept and that certainly colours the way I approach my commitments. It makes a lot of things seem quite trivial and funny. Not taking your place in the world very seriously I think allows you to operate more freely creatively, I think that’s healthy.

Would you subscribe to the notion that the meaning of life only comes into question when one isn’t living, which indirectly answers that question of that meaning?

Alex: I certainly don’t consider myself a deep thinker. Thinking too deeply can trip you up and stop you from creating. Creating is really all I feel I can do naturally without thinking. I try not to think too much about anything I’m not directly engaged in at the time. I like to speak with, and read the writing of, and listen to the music of, and watch the films of people who have done the deep thinking for me, and at that time I engage with deep thought as best I can as an observer. But if I’m just at work, or rocking, which is what I am generally doing, I am not thinking very deeply, I’m just trying to get through the day. Sometimes I try to contemplate deeply and it always gets to a point where I tune out and then when I re-tune into my inner monologue it is just a cacophony of shouted gibberish.

Füj: What Alex said.

Max: I’m a diver that mostly regrets diving.


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