Hello Charles and welcome to Brutal Resonance! Let’s start with a basic question to get to know your tastes. What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Charles: Drab Majesty's "The Demonstration". I was going to a Deafheaven show with a friend so I wanted to know who was opening for them. I found out that a band called Drab Majesty was opening so I decided to check them out. What I heard was some of the most beautiful music. They reminded me of The Cure. I must've listened to that album at least three times a day. Unfortunately we were late to the show so we only caught the headlining act but I saw Drab Majesty headline a year later and they performed the whole album.
Suicide Commando's "Bind Torture Kill". Suicide Commando is one of the first industrial bands I discovered when I first got into the scene. Back then the DJs were playing songs from the "Mindstrip" album. When "Bind Torture Kill" came out I thought it was the hardest stuff I ever heard. I love the hard hitting beats and harsh vocals.
Sisters of Mercy's "Floodland". This was the first album I bought when I first got into goth music. I was a total metalhead at the time and I wanted to know what the goth thing was all about. When I first heard this album it blew me away but not in a heavy way. It's so dark and so 80s.
You’ve been active in the industrial and dark electronic scene for the past twenty years. How did you first hear of industrial and what made you keep coming back to it?
Charles: I first heard industrial music by listening to Ministry and Nine Inch Nails; especially "The Downward Spiral". When I was kid I grew up listening to new wave so I have a thing for synths. When I first heard "Heresy" it changed my life. I never heard anything like it before. Hard hitting beat and blasphemous lyrics. I was hooked ever since.
When did you get the idea for Let There Be Darkness and what does the name mean?
Charles: Well in the Bible, God said "Let there be light." so I wanted to be rebellious and go with the opposite. In this world most people are exactly the same. They all wear the same clothes and listen to the same crappy music. They are all normal and are afraid to stand out because they don't want to be ostracized. They all want to fit in and be like everyone else and pretend that life is all peaches and cream. They all claim to be Christian or some other religion just because it's popular.
Your press kit states that you are the vocalist and lyricist of the band. Who else is in the band? Who operates the synths and the like?
Charles: I'm an individual artist. I had a producer that worked on my debut EP "Satanic Celebrity". On my new EP "Chaotic Realm" I produced all the songs myself and I also have a background vocalist by the name of Wench. But I'm the only one in the band.
There’s a great deal of religious symbolism in your music. Can you give us more details as to how you work this into your music?
Charles: As far as man has existed, we all communicate and understand things by using symbols. Religion has been the catalyst for this. I myself am not a religious person but I know that all spiritual religions play a role in trying to connect people to some sort of God. I believe in God but that God is really myself.
Does the title of your current EP “Satanic Celebrity”, have any meaning?
Charles: "Satanic Celebrity" is just a homage to Marilyn Manson's album "Antichrist Superstar". Also I was a practicing Satanist for ten years and was a card carrying member of the Church of Satan. Back then I was an actor and now I'm a musical artist. The Satanic thing is just for aesthetic.
‘Eat My Cult’ sees you roleplay as a preacher in the song. What are you trying to say by doing this?
Charles: Preachers, especially Christian ones just want power over people and they want your money. They force their beliefs on others just so they can have those things. I doubt they really believe in their own drivel and if they do then they are interpreting it wrong. The stories in the Bible are not to be taken literally. They are all symbolic.
‘Endless Rain’ sees you explore eternal damnation. What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you believe in eternal damnation yourself?
Charles: I believe in hell but I don't believe you have to die to go there. We all create our own heaven and hell right here on Earth. The hell that Christians believe in is just entertainment to me. I am a big horror fan after all.
‘Bleeding Black’ sees you explore the path of self-destruction. It also serves as a warning for others. Did you ever see yourself following this path?
Charles: I used to be a major pothead. I would smoke an eighth of weed a day. Eventually it lead to me hearing voices in my head and experiencing psychotic episodes.
Lastly, ‘Myself Decay’ tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. What spin do you put on the story that has not already been explored?
Charles: I tell the story as me being Jesus on my last day. It's a blasphemous song because I actually swear in it and everybody knows that Jesus didn't curse. But if I had to go through all that pain I'd be cussing too.
What do you have planned for 2021? Any other albums, EPs, singles, or the like in the works?
Charles: I just released a new EP titled "Chaotic Realm" and will release a single in September titled 'Afterlife'.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for your time. I wish you the best of luck and leave the space below free for you to mention anything I may have missed. Cheers!
Charles: Thank you for having me. Darkness has come!
This interview was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
...on tour you live excessively, faster than real life, you suck it all in and ride the bomb, so to speak, and after the touring is done, you spit it all back out in the studio, however, it has undergone a process of digestion in the meantime, and that is the motivational momentum for me.
KMFDM, Apr 25 2011
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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