Frostwinter : Exploring constructed dichotomies
In anticipation of our next compilation we decided to do a short interview with one of our favorite collaborators, who previously participated on the Satanic Panic compilation. We’ve followed Frostwinter for quite some time, and we are proud to feature his contributions. We decided to get his thoughts on some subjects close to our hearts as well as his.
For those of you unfamiliar with his work follow the link below to have a listen.
Grimtown: Years ago, I remember seeing your logo on Myspace, and having an instant reaction and connection to it. I found your profile side by side with The White Wolves, SPK, Zero Tolerance and more. Since then, the small and very underground community on Myspace has scattered all over sites such as Soundcloud, Bandcamp, LastFM etc. A small hardcore group of ppl still connect via various internet outlets.
I am interested in hearing your thoughts on why you think this small group are able to still interact on the same level (mentality/art/activism) we did years ago, more or less.
Frostwinter : I would say that the decentralization of the “industrial community” after the end of MySpace is more or less a problem nowadays, that implies for (potential) listeners/fans and for the artists themselves according to information aspects. Although I was never a part of a special group/section or whatever in the (post-)industrial context (the named artists were/are “just” big inspiration sources for me), it’s difficult to get an overview about all significant activities if you don’t have a direct contact to the specific artist.
But back to your actual question: I see something like a dialectical process there, on the one hand it’s possible for everyone with an internet connection to be a part to that relatively consistent, small group of artists/sympathizers of (post-)industrial music, but on the other hand the methods are similar to the classic industrial (dis)information strategy which reached only a few people who were interested in it (manifests which were published in booklets, fanzines etc.), just transformed into the digital age. Probably, it sounds like a pseudo elitism, but in my opinion it’s just a reaction to the post-modern will to dilute every potential subversive actions and the current level has the intention to refuse against.
G : Interesting indeed. I was reading an article yesterday on how viritual reality has transformed from something close to sci-fi, to being a second (narcissistic)nature. You said your were inspired by old school, but not part of the post industrial scene online. Connected, yet dis-connected. Would you say that this small group of individuals engaged in counter culture, are more driven, that “over the counter culture” fuels a determination? As we sometimes say: “I will dig deeper, and you may not follow”.
F: Well, I’m also inspired by diverse post industrial artists. My primary problem is to be connected with any “scene” in general. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t anything to do with a pathological desire to delimitate me/the project from everything, but it’s difficult to categorize myself as a member of a special group (but of course, there always points of contact), that means apart from pure “muzak” categories. Anyway, I daresay that the counter culture thing based on the classic industrial culture intention, with one difference: while acts like TG, SPK, Nocturnal Emissions etc. basically followed a descriptive direction with their art, the so-called counter culture partly includes a normative function. And that normative tendency could be described as determination, yes.
G: On the topic of determination: I know you and your music are influenced by Schopenhauer. Wille zum Leben. Art, and more spesifically music, is seen as exit out of pain. There is a theory by Winnicott called “the potential space.” In short: children living in traumatic life situations, are more able to master their pain if they have the ability to be creative. What happens in their life, the real world, are being prosesses in the potential space though creativity. My question is: At what age did you start using the potential space, or music, as the purest form of art according to Schopenhauer, and at what age did your art become a conscious outlet?
F: Exactly. I formed Frostwinter when I was 20 years old. At the first time it wasn’t my intention to “sublimate” something with the music, it was just my will (ha, ha) to manifest my own ideas on industrial music, to be honest, that means it has had a more or less trivial character. After a while I recognized how it works on my mind during the creating process and maybe it was relatively close to that what Schopenhauer had postulated. I must admit though that there was a difference to a pure act of contemplation (here, listening music in a passive manner), in fact it was more like a feeling of a total isolation from an empirical being. Well, I don’t want to overstate that I reached a “higher level” or similar, it rather was a strange condition far beyond of a specific category.
G: You are vegan and a passionate animal rights soldier. When did you start to integrate this in your music? Some might feel being pro animal rights is not gasoline enough for the fire, we at Grimtown however see animal rights as very powerful when it comes to inspiration. Explain how the torture of animals play a part in your creative process.
F: The animal rights subject was a significant aspect of my music from the beginning. It’s one paradigm of Frostwinter to dissolve the dichotomy of the animal-human relation of the Western civilization which primarily based on the anthropocentric Judeo-Christian dogma and on diverse parts of the Enlightenment. Therefore, it’s (partly) my intention to transform animal suffering into the created sounds to give helpless animals either a concrete or an abstract voice. Maybe it sounds a little bit pathetically and boldly, yes, but it’s necessary to inform about atrocious conditions at animal death factories, vivisection laboratories and similar places of internalized human perfidy and weakness. Indeed, there won’t be any progress in general, but if a few people start to reflect about the common sense of the constructed animal-human duality it’s a small success.
This interview was conducted by Batcheeba on behalf of Grimtown Records.