Enter a room that is beyond comprehension. Darkness encapsulates you and your body seizes. A flickering candle provides the only light. Soon they descend upon you.
The Brvtalist is proud to present a new mix by California's Black Sheet Servitude. Elements of noise, death industrial and even black metal make up an incredibly unique brand of "Torture Electronics". Coupled with dark, BDSM imagery and a brvtal aesthetic, we were immediately drawn to this project and had to find out more. We reached out to the group and they graciously agreed to provide a mix and answer some of our questions. Please find the Q&A below:
The Brvtalist: Talk about the history of BSS. Who are the members, when was it started and why?
Abattoir Stalag: Black Sheet Servitude was conceptualized many years ago, but was actually formed in 2012. Members would be: My wife, Necro Doll and Myself, with the addition of guests from time to time. What we refer to as the "Black S.S." which would be anyone who has been associated with or worked with us, even in the smallest of ways. B.S.S. was initially began as an outlet for all the negatives in our lives and the world around us as well as impulses towards many perverse and violent thoughts that, for our own sanity, needed a place to go.The project was based around a few things. One being a quote that has been in my head for longer than I can remember. "I Exist To Create That Which Shall Destroy." The other being the concept behind the name.In the B.D.S.M. community, There is what is known as a "Black Sheet Party" where a black plastic sheet is placed on the floor and a woman lies in the center. She is then gang-banged mercilessly and due to the "Black Sheet" the mess of human fluids are easily disposed of. The "Servitude" in our moniker can refer to several things both within and outside of the Bondage/Slave and Master themes that we incorporate. But much like the "Black Sheet Parties, We make it our mission to fuck shit up and make a mess. Necro and I both suffer from severe anxiety disorders, so that was another reason we began this. You can kind of think of it as "Primal Scream Therapy." We have so much fucked up shit in our heads on a daily basis that it's unbelievable. The way I see it, I could either act on these thoughts and impulses and spend the rest of my life behind bars, or I can unleash all this rage, hate and perversity through B.S.S. and be temporarily done with it...It's an endless cycle.
TB: I Was immediately drawn to the noise and death industrial influences with black metal aesthetic. Do you come from black metal or other extreme metal bands? Talk about some of the things that inspired this combination.
Abattoir: I was raised with metal. As a child while other kids were listening to top of the charts pop hits and radio rock, I was blasting Mercyful Fate, Venom, Kreator, Sodom, etc. We are both heavily into Black Metal, Death Metal, Early Industrial, All kinds of shit. Pretty much anything dark, heavy or sinister. I have been in more Black Metal and "Extreme" bands than I can count. As far as what inspired it, It was always there in some form or another, be it the music we listen to or the films we watch. Some have described us as "Cinematic" which I suppose is fitting at times since we incorporate a lot of themes similar to those of Horror, Torture, and Snuff films. All these things have a very hostile and lo-fi vibe to them that has always appealed to me. Black Metal, B-Movies, Certain works of art and literature like 120 Days of Sodom by The Marquis De Sade, The Eleven Thousand Rods by Guillaume Apollinaire or Sadism & Masochism by Wilhelm Stekel have all had an impact on me personally as well as countless bands in the Power Electronics, Death Industrial and Black Metal underground.
Necro Doll: I love the theatrics and brutality of Black Metal as well as the Cinematic nature of Power Electronics, so for me they fit well together. What drew me to Black Metal in the beginning was the visuals and aesthetic. I am full blooded Apache Indian and The Corpse-Paint used by Black Metal bands reminds me of Native war paint. Being that music should be challenging or confrontational in my opinion, this is a great image to match the sounds. This is something that we applied to Black Sheet Servitude as well. So that is one of the reasons for the combination for me. Plus we like to pay tribute to those who influenced or inspired us. We are both artists as well so of course the visual and artistic aspects are important to us alongside the music.We try to "paint a picture" in sound (Although with B.S.S. it's most likely painted in blood) but having those grim depictions to go along with it really shows you what we're talking about. Being that I too come from a metal background. Album art is a big part of the experience. Every Metal collector knows what I am talking about.
TB: How does BSS release its material? Is it cassette only? What labels have you worked with?
Abattoir: Well a lot of our music is available on Bandcamp for name your price downloads, But since we don't have a paypal account we don't make anything off B.S.S. (Not that anyone is into this shit to make money, and if so then they are in the wrong place and missed the point.) So if you enter "zero" you can score some free shit. As far as physical releases they have been mostly cassettes released by small labels with the last release, the Odour Sonour/B.S.S. split being a pro-cdr. All of the physical material is available from the labels or you can get them from us, Although I am out of copies of some of the earlier releases myself. Labels we have worked with include: Crud Archives (Who are sadly no longer around.) Enemata Productions, P.E. Mafia, and the latest, being the CD, is available through Exabyss Recordings. We are very active in the underground and do all we can to keep it alive and thriving. I do reviews and interviews on my webzine, "Traumatic Static" and buy releases whenever I can. We like to go through small labels as a way of contributing to the cause and they usually understand and support our approach and ideas. In my experiences some of the "Bigger" labels seem to have restrictions on what is "acceptable" in terms of art and packaging and with B.S.S. there is no place for censorship. If we had the financial means to do so we would have started up our own label a long time ago. Hopefully someday in the future we can do this, Not only for our own releases but for those of artists we respect and like as well. Back to the "Cassette only" question - I have always been a cassette collector but have never limited myself to only one format. The majority of our releases have been cassettes thus far but we have no problem with our music being released on CD, CDr, Vinyl, Etc.
TB: Talk about any current or upcoming releases and how they build on previous works? What direction are you trying to take BSS?
Abattoir: We have a couple finished releases that will be coming out any time now through our friend Sarah Wreck's label "Dungeon Dweller." One being a split cassette with Phantasm Nocturnes and the other being a CDr version of the "Your Pain/My Pleasure E.P." which was released on cassette through Crud Archives.There will also be a split C20 with The Black Scorpio Underground which explores deeper into our Black Metal influence in ways but it will by no means be a Metal release. Currently we are working on a Full-Length Cassette called "Moral Debauchery" which is scheduled for release through the Italian label Signora Ward. The label typically specializes in Harsh Noise Wall releases themed around sexual fetishes and perverse subjects. Although we are not and never will be a HNW band, The label understands and appreciates our aesthetic and approached us to offer a spot for B.S.S. We typically try to do something a little different with each release without straying too far from who we are as artists. The new album will expand in the direction we took on the Odour Sonour split.Still heavy and punishing but with more attention paid to atmospherics and cinematic elements. Some of the tracks are a little "quieter" this time around and explore a more Death Industrial or Harsh/Blackened Ambient direction, but it will definatley be a Black Sheet Servitude album. I suppose you can view it as a collection of all the elements we have used in the past as well as a few new additions to the sound as we have aquired new gear in our arsenal.Our direction will always expand on the "We exist to create that which shall destroy" idea. We just like to fuck shit up in various ways. We call our style of Noise "Torture Electronics." So that should give you an idea of what to expect.
Necro Doll: We always experiment with new sounds and ideas, whether they are field recordings, samples, pedals or new ways to manipulate vocals. Most of the Noise elements are done by Abattoir with additional textures and atmospheres created by myself from time to time. It usually flows pretty well so we make a good team and Abattoir always knows where to mix the stuff I come up with. Our direction is always where the music takes us. B.S.S. is like it's own entity and we are the vessels. We both push each other to do our bests so we are always building on previous works and moving forward. Luckily for us we seem to have an unlimited supply of hostile and confrontational ideas so we will persue them as far as possible.
TB: Anything else you would like to add?
Abattoir: Thank you Jeremy for taking the time to do this interview and for all the interest and support, It has been a pleasure. Also thanks to anyone who has shown support, listened to our shit, bought a release or offered to do a split with us.Keep an eye out for the new releases coming from Dungeon Dweller and Signora Ward.
Necro Doll: Thanks and Hails! New shit soon! Prepare!
The Brvtalist would like to thank Abattoir Stalag and Necro Doll for contributing a killer mix and these great, insightful responses. This is a project that immediately resonated with us and we felt it was important to share it with the world. We love their latest track titled "She Doesn't Know I'm Watching" and we look forward to more from this amazing project. For more information and music please visit Facebook, Soundcloud and Bandcamp.