Hello Mike and welcome to Brutal Resonance! I always like to start off with this question for newcomers. What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Mike McClatchey: Totally depends on what day you ask, and today I'll avoid the super obvious ones so I'll dig into the vault.
Bleak - "Vane": I got this CD my first year of high school and it connected with me instantly. The drums are very big and heavy and distant and it painted a very clear picture of the rotting industrial warehouse that I wanted all music to be in my youth. I couldn't find any information on the artist at the time, so it continued to be this very mysterious album until a couple years ago. It ended up being a side project of Lycia (who later remastered it and released it as a Lycia bandcamp album). It made sense, but it was something I hadn't known. The album didn't get the attention it deserved but it really made a large dent in my brain. I revisit it a couple times a year.
Billy Idol - "Cyberpunk": I found this album several years after it came out. It was already dated and everything about the point of the album was lost and silly. But goddamn these songs are fun as hell.
Zola Jesus - "Stridulum": It was perfect 12 years ago. It's perfect now. I feel that it will always be perfect.
You’ve been active for the past decade or so. As of right now, you’re described as a combination of industrial metal, doom, and sludge. How has the project evolved over time to fit this sound?
McClatchey: There will always be continuous threads throughout the albums to tie everything together, but I do get bored easily and don't want any album to sound like the last. I know the vibe might be similar throughout, but the style is hopefully different.
Your most recent album “A Darker Discharge” has recently been released. I read that your move to Wyoming inspired the confrontational and aggressive tone the album takes. How so?
McClatchey: The highest ratio of xenophobic/racist/homophic trash live there. It was very frustrating to even go outside. Fortunately, we have recently moved to Portland, OR. I'm sure they are just as happy as I am to have gotten the fuck out of there.
Throughout “A Darker Discharge”, there are many moments where the aggressive nature of the album takes a break. Instead, we are met with melancholic but dark beauty. What are these moments meant to represent?
McClatchey: I guess my intention is usually kind of the opposite, and maybe I just fuck everything up. But I'm far more into living in that darker and softer place, with moments of heavier aggression. This album does have an urgency that our past albums don't have, and I think the early stuff relied on the "heavy" a bit too much, but it seemed right for where I was at the time.
Now I also read that you recorded everything on a laptop as the rest of your instruments were in storage. I heard the argument from others that synthesized music can never be as raw or hard as live music. What is your opinion on the matter?
McClatchey: There is no right answer to this. Old assholes think they know something and young assholes just keep proving them wrong. The youth will keep creating new things and finding new ways to improve what's been done already. Everything is an instrument. Find ways to make the sound you want and shut up about how others make their sound.
What I find interesting about your approach to writing is that you go through a weird, and I quote, “transformative body horror” lens. Explain to me what exactly that means.
McClatchey: I had never had any intention on writing lyrics before Lament. I was never a poet, and I have always been terrible with words. When I got to a point to where I felt I needed to try I had no idea what to do. What came out was what came out. There was no intention prior. It seems natural to paint visceral pictures because everyone connects with those. When you relate certain imagery to something personal you perhaps tell a different story to each person but the feeling behind it might be the same. It's like reaching out of your personal lonely world into someone else's and connecting for a moment.
“A Darker Discharge” also marks your debut release on German label Lifeforce records. Now you’ve been on a ton of fantastic labels in the past, including Annihilvs Power Electronix. What drew you to Lifeforce?
McClatchey: I had helped out Mountaineer with some things when they were starting and they seemed to have a really good experience with Lifeforce. I know they had released some killer albums and I really like that they seemed to love what they put out so I had them on the list of labels to contact, but I didn't want to just ride Mountaineer's coattails, plus I didn't think Lifeforce would be into this album because they haven't done much industrial in the past, so I waited a long time before reaching out to them. After getting a couple rejections and a ton of unreplied emails I thought I should try Lifeforce. Clayton (Mountaineer) had reminded me how great Lifeforce had been to them. They responded the same day and told me how into the album they were. It's been a great relationship.
And what, if any, single song on “A Darker Discharge” is your favorite and why?
McClatchey: 'Innocence of Shared Experiences' is currently my favorite Lament song. I typically have a minimalist approach in structure while employing as many layers and ideas as possible over that simple structure. This one felt like the most successful. Everything felt right and honest. It was the song I was most scared to released, not just because I hate my singing (I drowned myself in beautiful voices from the people closest to me) but because it felt too vulnerable. When I started to feel that fear I knew I was on the right path and I hope to continue to find that level of discomfort.
What else do you have planned for the future? Do you have any live shows, gigs, singles, or other albums in the works? If so, do you have any details about them?
McClatchey: I have a kid and without the toddler vaccine I won't be going to shows or going to band practice. But since there is some light at the end of that tunnel right now I'm currently in the planning stage of setting up a live show. Hopefully we can get out there this Fall. I want to make the experience something more special than in the past. It's been too long since we've played live.
Lastly, I’d like to wish you the best of luck. I leave the space below open for you to mention anything I may have missed. Cheers!
McClatchey: Thanks for this. Best of luck with you, too.
Jun 13 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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