Saturday, October 9, 2010
Interview with Marsh
Hailing from the unexpected lands of Minnesota, Marsh's raw, unique take on the "post-black metal" scene is both refreshing and exhilarating. Having released a full length, "Life's Contradiction," which will be reissued as an LP+cassette (of unreleased material) on Life's Agony records, a split with Thorazine Gaze, and a split with previously reviewed band Lonesummer, Marsh, though very underground, is making what hopefully will be a lasting statement in the US black metal scene. When I had the opportunity to interview this anonymous duo, I was more than pleased to step up to the task and contacted these two "Handsome Devils."
Hello members of Marsh, it is great to finally interview you!
Hello there! It is nice to be interviewed by you.
Now, the two (?) of you like to keep a very, VERY low profile. Do you feel your anonymity adds to the entire Marsh listening experience?
Well, not entirely. If anything, the anonymity takes away more so than it does add. The only thing it adds is the fact that you don’t know who we are (which doesn’t matter in the slightest), but then again, that could be looked at in the sense that it takes away from the whole listening experience.
Is there a concept behind Marsh? If so, what is it?
To be frank, there really isn't. We believe that concepts can only hinder artists by pigeon-holing them, but then again, we have never really strayed out of Black Metal, so our argument is a fallacy in itself.
Most of your material has been released on tape - is this strategic or entirely happenstance?
A little bit of both. We both like the cassette tape format and feel that it fits our music and aesthetic perfect. Plus, our music was recorded on tape so it’s only natural for it to reside with its respectful format.
Your cover of The Smiths's "Handsome Devil" is very well crafted and true to both black metal AND the original The Smiths song; do you feel that black metal and post-punk are related in any way? If so, how?
Thank you! I suppose in a sense that black metal and post-punk do cross paths in a sense, but at the same time it’s like comparing math to science; both borrow from one another, but are not completely the same entity.
Now, if I'm not mistaken, a lot of your material was recorded in bedrooms/basements/someplace isolated and "not professional." Do you feel this aesthetic affects your songwriting at all? Do you think the "benefit" of "better" production would change Marsh entirely?
That is true. In a sense it does, but most of the musical ideas were not composed or thought of where we recorded. Where we recorded was where we brought our ideas together into one thing. We feel that if our music was to be recorded professionally that it would take away from what we actually sound like. That sort of production in other musical genres is one thing, but with a genre like black metal, it just doesn’t make sense. Black Metal is one of a few genres (hardcore punk, harsh noise, power electronics, etc.) that shouldn’t be “enhanced” so to speak. It should be recorded the way it is played.
The lyrics to your song "Paralyzed in Dyspnea" outline an abstract encounter with frozen beings. Could you go a little more in depth as to what the song is supposed to entail?
They are as abstract or as dull as you may make them out to be.
Are you working on anything new about which you'd like to share some information?
We are currently collaborating with the black noise project Venowl. There isn’t a release date set yet, but hopefully it will be released before the end of the year. We’re happy with how it is sounding so far. Other than that, Final Agony Records is re-pressing “Life’s Contradiction” to vinyl which should be out sometime this month.
Where do you see Marsh in a year's time?
And finally, what do you have to say to the modern metalhead?