Last FM is slowly turning into a huge piece of corporate crap since CBS bought it. Yet it was, and still is, a great place to find true artists, especially if you start digging into obscure users groups and underground music genres. A while ago I launched an artist-only group called Soundscapers obviously meant to gather drone, ambient, noise and related soundscape makers. It was a lot of fun in the beginning. But, due to misanthropy, lack of time, lack of flattering feedback, and the utter failure of Last FM to build a decent group system (read: CBS' total lack of interest for supporting non-mainstream artists) I somewhat stopped to manage this group, even if I'm still its leader. I'm not dead, just, you know, sleeping like Cthulhu.
In the process of building the Soundscapers tribe, I invited, well, various artists. Most of them would fit in the rather large whatever-electronic-homemade-ambient genre, but a few members are truly unique. Alex Goth, also known as A Bleeding Star, is amongst them. He's not only a talented musician, but also played a major role in the building of Soundscapers, thanks to his critical mind and artistic honesty.
Month after month, sinking deeper into A Bleeding Star's huge discography, I learned to enjoy both the music and the shadowy figure behind it. I took the habit of commenting ABS' new releases. Lately, being quite busy with social relationships in real life (hint: the real world is really real), I missed many opportunities of being alone and drunk and bitter, and so lacked time for the usual proper comments. That's how I came up with this idea of a whole ABS interview.
L - Greetings, and a Blissfully Twisted New Year to you.
A - Snowfallen Evenin' to thee & Same, Indeed (Raises a Fine Glass of Absynthe)
I ~ The Unveiling of Many Mysteries.
L - So, let's start with the basics: age, sex, location. Is Alex Goth your real name? Where is your Aetherian Crypt of Night located? Where does the name of your project come from? What is the core concept behind A Bleeding Star?
A - Soon... XXIX (29... if you care to be basic... Ha) ... Male... In the Graveyard of Darkness & Moonlight... Indeed, Alex Goth is my True Name, to alias that as an artificial real Artist namery would be completely nonsensical, besides the obvious point of being unoriginal in Spades. Located? My... oh... my... what if I told you that Night's Aether was tangible enough to be used in ways that seem'd impossible... then... evermore speak of ways to fuse the Seen & the Unseen as One to alternate, modify, to then use your current IV Walls that surround thee & Create a Sacred, Personal, Immortal, Astral Dimension/Space or Realm? ... You see, Sir Icealot (inside joke)... Sometimes what can't be seen in the Light... you might randomly discover one Snowfallen Night in the Dark.
Now... let's get down to the Groundwork:
The Name: A Bleeding Star or how my Bloody List likes to call it: A.B.S/ABS... which at firstbite makes me laugh for it also means: "Anti-Breaking-System" ... which i admit in some sick, strange way makes sense... since it seems 'tis been Hail'd as being Ghoulishly Meditative, Heartwrenchingly Therapeutic, Depressively Cathartic & Scarringly Healing for many 'a' listener who happen to stumble upon inside my Aetherian Gothic Crypt of Night at the most Auspicious of Bleak'd Centurian Times...
To answer your main question though... A Bleeding Star's origins comes from many things... many reasons as to why i chose this Name especially for all of My Sombre Soundscapin' Soundsorceries... the star's five points... Da Vinci's Paint'd Macrosom... One of the ways I can still relate to the Living... My Undying Passion... the fact that if You Look Deep Enough... the Beauty that Glows Everso in the Seemingly Impenetrable Darkness can be Found, Held & Seen... Immortality... Aeons... Centuries... Eternally Bleeding... Eternity... We End Where it Began... Too Cryptic? ... I Know, Couldn't Help It.
Secondchill - The Core Concept behind: "A.B.S" is to Show that the Truest Beauty Shall Forevermore Remain Coffin'd Cased & Invokably Entwined within Darkness... Ha... that sound'd rather poetic, n'est-ce pas? ... Honestly, I want'd to Help, Heal, Scar, Fix, Stitch ... those whom i like to name: "The Broken Ones" ... problem is I'm far from being Mr. Social... therefor this Artistic Medium was the perfect sized key to begin my Unveilings. So... I vow'd on my Dark Souls that I would do the most i could in such a limit'd amount of ticking-away Time... So far, so Good... See, I'm Just Sick of Seeing... Year after year... the Good-Dark Soultype Die, or Evermore Worse... take away their own Life... with a Knife.
II ~ Those who Opened the Path.
L - By looking at your top charts on your Last FM profile, we can see the artists you admire, therefore, artists who slightly shape your work each time you listen to their. Last FM says our musical compatibility is very high, which is quite true when I see artists like The Angelic Process, William Basinski, Gridlock, Tim Hecker, Aidan Baker or The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, just to mention a few. But there's also a bunch of bands I've no clue about. Who are the artists who inspire you the most? Who gave you the desire to express yourself through music? What would be your all-time favourite track, if you had to choose one?
A - Wicked... I Adore these Types of Questions... Good Call, Sir Icealot... This will be rather simple to answer... the Artists that Inspire I the Most are the Ones who don't Mind Venturing As Far as they Can into New Sonic'd Dimensions & Territories... those whom Darken'd Beauty Stand Out from the Rest... Something Different... Original... Deep
The Desire of Expression through Musickal Artistry Came Abysmally from Within Me.
Fav. Track of the Night is "White/Grey/Black" by: "Tobias Hellkvist & Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words" ... which is the only piece they've ever created, a real shame, yet after I found this S. Art somewhere, it Breathes (p.s - chosing an all time is ridiculous)
III ~ Those you Brought along your Trail of Night.
L - While you are undoubtedly the very heart of A Bleeding Star, you frequently collaborate with other artists, both inside and outside of ABS. What could you tell us about your work with Kaytea Giesbrecht, or your involvement in projects like The Bloody Hours, or Bleeding & Betrayed? Do you have future collaborations in mind?
A - Hmm... getting a bit more on a touchy note, aren't we? Well... All I'm going to say about K. Giesbrecht is we work'd really well together & I definately don't Regret what has been Accompish'd during... the Rest though Remains History... Bleeding & Betrayed's a different Beast... I used it as a platform to really Experiment & Collide Many Genres as One... being 1/2 of the Project Itself, along with Walran... we travel'd to Unknown Regions of our Psyche... Dreamscapes, if you will... furthermore... even though I composed 77% of it... what he Brought to the Sonic Table took it to that Height'd Sense Level which united quite Beautifully with My Dark Vision... &... as far as: "The Bloody Hours" is concern'd... well, Alexis & I are Hard-at-Work on Our Next Masterpiece for Mid-Spring.
'Tis entitled: "Black.Ice.Heart.Scar.Crash.Sleep.Dream.Cry.Sys" (E.N.D.S.U.N) ... Working With the Artist Behind: "The Dead Hours" has... &... still is an Experience unlike anything else... I've always been a True Admirer of: "T.D.H" ... so 'tis Easycakes ... You See, We Understand Each Other Well, Despite Our Mental/Emotional Difficulties.
Future Collabs? ... Hmm, but of course... I'm Dark Souls' Deep into a fangtastic piece that involves the Evergrowing Sonic Talents & Violinsick Skills of Loki .M. Hexfire (Simon Persson) ... which can be found on Dark Offering VI's VIth Chapter, Dark Offering XI's III... as well as on my Latest Sombre Creation: "Tonight... I Want to Carve Stars in this Cityscar'd Sky... With the Blood from My Eyes" (see Ch. I/II for a Better Understanding).
IV ~ The Flood of Sombre Creativity.
L - With about one album per month, you are very prolific. Your Dark Offerings are already parts of a huge ensemble which is still in progress, yet you still allow yourself to start parallel works, also in several parts. Where does this interest for series come from? Is it just the way you feel your work has to be, or do you have a higher plan involving symbolic meanings and cryptic messages? (Come on, we know you have a higher plan...).
A - Ha... yes... How Could One Dare to Hide such a Mindbury'd Secret such as this? Well, I'm afraid, not even Me it seems... hmm... wait that's not 'xactly stitch'd Accurately... the Higher Plan in which you Speak of is Hard to Reveal... so many little Intricacies... such Collosal Icefire'd Puzzle Pieces... all I can say is that the Parallel Works in which I have... &... still to this very fine Frostbitten Evening Created/Create Hold Many Black & Silver Keys... &... If One Dark Soul Just Happens to Uncover them... then My XIII Dark Offerings will seem Unseem'd... for You See... All Memory Books Tend to Be Incomplete.
V ~ Your River is filled with Stories.
L - You love long, very long titles, odd words, old words, and never hesitate to create the words you need to immerse us deeper into your music. You are a musician for sure, but anyone who regularly follows your work will agree you're also a storyteller. Most of your titles imply recurrent characters and places. Amongst them is Grim, who seems to be a projection of yourself. Could you tell us a bit more about the inhabitants of your world and their endeavours? When does the artist start to play a role in his own imaginary stories and turns into a fantasy character? And where is the autobiographic part?
A - This is such a Intricate Question, Especially for Me... Daaamn... the Inhabitants of & their Endevours, Eh? ... Hmm... the List's quite Extensive... &... alas too personal... sorry
Endbite - As far as an Artist playing the Fantasy Role in His Imaginary Stories... I have no Idea how that feels... feel free of cares to deny... evercare more so to believe - tis All Autobiographical... none of My Sounscaperies were or shall ever be created in Fictional Screens... now you might be scratching your head, saying: "Wait this Can't Be Real... ... ."
VI ~ Your Ghostly Presence in the Network.
L - I have met you on Last FM. You also have a MySpace page (which redirects to Last FM). Thus you have no official website. There is no easy way to find you or contact you. There are rumours about a "Bloody List" gathering your dedicated listeners, meant to offer them high quality versions of your pieces from time to time. I guess you are perfectly fine staying in the dark, with a minimal amount of truly dedicated listeners, but where do you stand compared to your music? Do you think your work is more enjoyable without your presence? Is the result of the artist's work more important than the artist himself
A - Hmm... Interesting... I Personally Believe that When My Presence is Actually of Need... I'll tend to be Hiding in the Shadows watching from one of my Observational Site... Hence, suddenly appearing out of the Coffin'd Woodwork to some at Night... My Gothworks, if you will, are indeed as important as myself, the Artist... Basically, My Sombre Creations Mean Everything to Me... Without Them I Simply Would Not Exist.
VII ~ ABS + Guinness in a decent beer glass + Solitude = Mind-blowing Twisted Dark Bliss.
L - This is the formula I have come up with to define the best way, in my humble opinion, to fully enjoy your music, and you agreed with it. Your music does not bring warmth nor happiness. It is not something you can listen to with a lot of friends. It is not something you can share easily. In my case, listening to ABS requires a kind of ritual: I need to be prepared, in the right mood, at the right time. Alone, in the cold of the night. Do you think this is how most of your fans appreciate your work? Is there a better way to listen to it?
A - There's been many letters, posts, shouts sent my way in regards to the Ritual Aspect of Properly Spinning: A Bleeding Star ... one thing's for certain... everyone on My Bloody List seems to have their own method(s)... Nevertheless, Various Types of Intoxication is not only suggest'd, but Highly Recommen'd... Trust Me When I Say this... Once All Your Hear is the Sounds... then the Vivid Imagery it Keeps is Bound to Make Itself Appear in Ways, Colors, Shades, Figures, Shapes that'll make even the most Cynical Believe... Best Advice: Drink &/or Smoke Passionately, Kill All the Remaining Lights, Close Your Eyes, Headphone Case Yourself, Make Sure You're Alone & Isolated (Important), Dive Deep & Mindtrip During Midnight's Shift (12:AM to 2:AM) or the Bloody Hours (3:AM to 6:AM)
VIII ~ Those who Worship your Deeds.
L - When we look at your Last FM statistics, you have a huge number of scrobbles compared to a proportionally small amount of listeners. Most of them write insightful comments about the way they perceive each of your albums. You get a lot of targeted, deep, emotional feedback compared to most artists. ABS is listened to a lot, again and again, by the same people. How do you explain this dedication? How do you think this interest is transmitted from a listener to another?
A - I Think it has alot to do with the fact that since My Sombre Creations tend to leave most Emotionally & Mentally Reeling in Some Kind of Asleep-yet-not-Awake Brainwave'd State (Theta to Delta) to an Alert'd Edge-of-Your-Black-Chair Tensed Type of Fluctuating Anxiety (Beta to Mid-Alpha)... which in Return creates a certain Vortex of Interest, Fascination, Mystery & Intrigue as to how 'tis Possible to FEEL "Sounds" So Deeply... therefor, sending many 'a' listener back to many more spins...
IX ~ The Meaning of Life.
L - "Soundscaping, Absynthe, The Green Faery, Tattoos, Piercings, Scarrings, Witches, Witchcraft, Vampires, Norse Mythology, Greek Mythology, Egyptian Mythology, Music, Painting, Reading, Stones, Candles, Incense, Drawing, Winter, Rain, Nature, Night, Night Creatures, Lunar Mansions, Herbalogy, Occult, Astrology, Drinking, Writing, Cooking, Learning, Listening, Astral Travelling, Astral Projection, Astral Sex, Runes, Temples, Ruins, Asylums, Abandoned Buildings, Paranormal, Graveyards, Ghosts, Specters, Spirits, Wraiths, Food, Europe, Antarctica, Aurora Borealis, Forgotten Centuries, Banshees, Edgar Allen Poe, Anne Rice, Poetry, Movies, Cartoons, TV Shows, Blood, Gothic Ladies, Open-Minded Ladies, Photography, Artists, Mystery, Immortality, Past-Lives... " These are the keywords on your MySpace page. Where is your god?
A - My Beliefs Remain with the Ancient Ones... the Nocturnal & Lunar Gods & Goddesses of Old... an Intricate Mixture of Pantheons... Whether 'tis Norse, Egyptian, Summerian, Babylonian, Greek, etc... All of them Play Important Roles in the Chapters of My Lives.
X ~ Are you Alive?
L - I am living in Europe, you are in Canada. You could as well be a figment of my imagination. I can see you carving your feelings into walls of sound. But do you play live? Music is definitely more than a hobby for you, is it worth making a living of it? What do you think about the current state of the music industry? What about free music, legal (or illegal) downloads, intellectual property, majors, star system and emerging business models involved by the Web? Can music be traded for money? Is a record worth a live performance?
A - I used to play Live... indeed 'tis mostly how i managed to make Ends Meat... from the Clean Stages of the Elite to the Dirty Corners of the Impoverish'd Streets... yet this Open-Acoustic-Case & Mic Concept was found to be, personally speaking that is, Far Too Limited for My Taste... I Simply Couldn't Express Fully My Kept'd Lock'd Icefire'd Aesoteric Vision that I was trying to make others Percieve.. this, in turn, Left I quite Concern'd since being around the Living (Mortals) constantly tends to Aggravate Me to the Point of Flawless Misanthropy... which unfortunately left Me Uncertain as to How in Bloody Hel was I going to get my Sombre Creations to a Worldwiden'd Audience... Hmm
Secondchill - To Me... Being Able to Live off your Art is the Greatest Feeling you can Bestow Upon Thyself as an Artist... Now... Make No Mistakes on thinking that 'tis all Fun & Games... for to Say such Nonsensical things would be faulty... 'to be Honest... I find it this Profession to be (at times) quite Arduous, Complexicated, Unnerving, Mindfuckin' & Struggling... Neverminding the other X-factors that Dares to Arise & Descend Nightly.
Thirdscratch - The Music Industry's State's a Complete Fuckin Mess... &... to be Blunt in Regards to that Subject... I Really Couldn't Care Less... Some Get Sign'd... the Rest is Sent in Audible Wastelands... Nothing More, Nor Less... A Sad, Yet Honest Part of Our Reality.
Fourthscarring - Free Music is the Path that many an Artist has taken... due to the Limitless Possibilities that Co'Xist within its Variable Sonic & Palpable Promotional Degrees... Most People are currently in such a Deep State of Moneterial Deficiency that Illegal & Legal Downloads have become the Norm in most Households... I Blame the Majors, the Star Systems, the Faulty Business Models whom, for some reason, Believe that their Views are indeed Fruitful, though those with an Enriching Plan'd System are considered by Me to be the Pinnacle of Sound Streams... the Sole Survivors of such a Gray, Declining Sound Industry... Interestingly Enough, Intimate Distributionaries, as well as Small, yet fully capable Labels (Net/Web or Otherwise) have been carving themselves quite an Indespensible Little Niche... which is quite Appealing/Impressive.
Fifthfall - Trading Money for Music? ... Hmm... why such an Old Bartering System would indeed be so Lovely... Bloody Hel... Being So Prolific Would Definately Be Advantaging.
Sixthscream - An Honest, Passionate Live Performance Can Never Replace a Recording.
XI ~ Is all Joy Forever Gone?
L - Your music stands between quiet desperation and utter existential pain. It's hard (yet not impossible) to find any solace here, and easy to sink into a fathomless abyss of sorrow. Where does the darkness come from? Did you ever consider composing something somewhat happy? Is it even possible? Is there a tiny chance to hear one day a Healed Star?
A - Hmm... well... the "Darkness" as you like to call it, Sir. Icealot, comes from My Many Dark Souls that Reside Inside I Permanently... including one that from this point has been re-banish'd ever since the Completion of My Very First Trilogy (VII-VIII-IX) ... to be less Cryptic to thee... it Bleeds from many 'a' Lifetime... of Past, as well as my Currently.
Secondchill - Happiness to Me is Nothing More than XV Minute Thought-Bubbles that Your Mind Randomly Bask's at Times... Either in the Fine Presence of a Beloved or Etc... So for I to Write Wonderfully-Cheery-Go-Lucky Soundscaperies' Highly Unlikely.
Thirdscratch - Afraid Not, Sir Icealot... I Shall Eternally Bleed... from Aeons to Centuries.
XII ~ The Mandatory Selection of Out-of-context Questions.
Except black, what is your favourite colour? Do you have a pet? What are your musical guilty pleasures? What is your first thought when waking up in the morning? Do you ever wake up in the morning? What is your worst nightmare? Do you think video games are valid as an art form? Do you think mankind deserves to exist? What is your favourite poison?
A - Hmm... a tough one but I'll choose Silver... although I fancy Many 'a' Shade & Colours Schemes... so my Answer wholly depends on the moment itself... indeed... Ha... well... I do have a Pet, per say... she's a Beautiful Little Black & Moonlit Kitty... &... lately... she's one of the Very few creatures that keeps bringing me back sporadically in this Insulting, Dismal, Restrictive Plain of Existence... Btw - you did mean in terms of "Living", Right?
Secondchill - Guilty Pleasures, You Say?... Hmm... I'll Go with Ametsub's Linear Cryptics.
Thirdscratch - First Morning Waking Thought's: "Hopefully I'll Get Finalfuckinly Some Sleep"... Since I Barely Get Any... I Revert instead Yearly on Deep, Dark Meditations & Trances... either to Reach the Astral Realms or to Grant my Dark Souls Some Recovery.
Fourthscarring - Worst Nightmare? ... Trust Me, You Don't Want Any Further Imagery.
Fifthfall - I do Believe that Video Games are Valid... 'tis an Art Form... many Individuals dedicate an Incalculable amount of Time, Patience & Energy to this Blooming Format.
Sixthscream - Humans, to me, are such a Despicable, Atrocious Breed for they Contain Bloodlines so Stained & Drench'd in Poisonous Underbellies of Disdain that even the Asylumsick Oceans won't Swallow them... well... not just Yet... Ha... Hmm... that's a Secret.
Seventhcalling - My Favorite Poison changes quite Nightly... you see... sometimes 'tis Sex (Animalistic or Otherwise)... othertimes 'tis a couple fine glasses of Red/White Wine, Gin, Vodka, Absynthe (Ha... No Kiddin') ... a Sweet Amount of Killer Canadian Weed (Ours is the Best, By Any Means) ... &... while we're on the Subject... Allow I to Quickly Discuss My Lovely Smokable Creations which I have deem'd: "Witchjoints" (... ah, that reminds me... I should make a patent for this Conceptualization... Ha)... for you See... I've Been Secretly Working on Many Recipes, trying to Combine just the Right Amount of Each Sacred Herb, Magickal Root & Mystickal Resin to Induce Different Psychological Results in Order to Use them However I May See Fit... My Greatest Soon-to-be Achievement will be a Recipe that Shall Duplicate the Smooth-yet-Potent High of Marijuana with the Relaxing, Sedative Effect of Many 'a' Cup of Himalayan Herbal Tea Encased in the Velvety, Mindshifting Properties of the Nocturnal Shamans' Natural Discoveries... So... Wish Me Luck in My Attempts to Uncover this Cryptic Formula... Ha... &... Unfortunaly there's of course the Higher, Addictive, Malicious, Evermore Dangerous Types such as Opium & Heroin... which should be avoid'd like the Plague... (Trust Me)"
XIII ~ Your Ways and Mine.
L - I cannot say we know each other. Yet we are in contact since quite a long time, and you have never given your advice about my own work. I never asked for it, and I do not know if you have ever listened to Streams of Europe or any of my other projects, but since you are aware of the way I perceive your work, I would like to know what you think about mine. How does my sound make you feel?
A - I Have Indeed taken the Time to Carefully Listen to Every Single Track You've Created thus Far, Sir. Lectronice... &... to put in Simplistic Terminology... it Sounds like Cold, Mechanical Beings Transmuting their Impressions Before they Self-Destruct...
Now... Before I Fade Out & Descend to Where I Reside... I thank thee for taking the Time to Compose such a Meaningful Questionnaire/Interview in Regards to: A Bleeding Star
'Till Then, Take Care & Darkest-of-Cheers...
Sir. Alex Goth/XIII/A Bleeding Star
Ø ~ Listen to A Bleeding Star's Frozen Ice Crystals Trilogy.I - Avalanched in a Grim Winter's Frostbitten Romance...A Grave Parasomatic Trance
II - A Frozen Heart’s Buried Synoptic Vision of Its Dead Art…Grim's Lost Starcrossed Chart
III - Out of My Window Panes...Symbols & Shapes Rose Like Veins...Grim's Heartsick Rain