Infidel Interview #102: Vore Complex

First off all, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?

My name’s Benjamin Power. I’m a somewhat unexpected 32 year old musician. I live in sunny Harwich, in the South-East of the UK, ‘round about where sea meets dirt.

How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?

Oh Lord, the horror. It’s often hard to fully enunciate the dubious anti-joys of my floundering backwater locale, but I’ll give it a go... if you’ve ever watched a magnificent shambles of a film called “Gummo”, try rooting that wry, distressing visualisation in one of Lovecraft’s dreary depictions of Innsmouth, and then filter the whole grisly mess through the windswept concrete of a forgotten Eastern Bloc housing estate, circa 1980. I think the word ‘squamous’ encapsulates it well. It’s like taking a walking holiday through the gulags of the DPRK. There’s even a local esoteric death cult. I’ve met the leader – we don’t get on. So no, I suppose I don’t really enjoy where I live. I’m sure it’s good for me though. There isn’t a local scene either, at all; music, however unwholesome, seeming desperately unable to penetrate this far into the great Abyss. Not a single music venue in the entire city. That said, I keep expecting to bump into that Jandek fellow one of these days, down in the underground wartime bunker-mazes on the coastline that I feel obliged to clamber in fear through now and again, in true ‘Roadside Picnic’ style. Or Dagon.

The interview continues after this video and all other streaming content...

What do you feel separates your music from the rest of the music in the Industrial music scene?

I really don’t (want to) know much about the modern Industrial scene – at least, I don’t engage with many of the artists, or go to any of the gigs anymore. It doesn’t move me in any way, or at least, rarely. I think I find the music quite formulaic and banal; posturing, uninspired and without substance. Hackneyed partisan politics and cheesy ‘cyber’ cod-nihilism at best. A wretched wad of cookie-cutter “Post-Apocalyptic Existential Dystopianism (TM)”, still wrapped in plastic off the assembly-line, ready to sate a rabid market’s appetite for such worn genre archetypes, for a few minutes. Petulant, cynical sub-radicals and armchair anarchists pumping their fists and mech-screaming insipid slogans at the bored cellophane crowd, half-heartedly stomping identical over-priced New Rocks and gurning into their insufferable filter-less GP-5s, all virtue-signalling their support of this bland, token rebellion. It’s too adolescent for me, and defeatist, and I find smug, self-conscious irony tiresome. We don’t even have to mention that hideous ‘Nazi chic’ phenomenon in too much detail. I take the majority of my inspiration for Vore Complex from the early 1990s period in underground European Electro-industrial and Dark Electro, as well as the British Electropunk movement at the turn of 2000. I never hear anything like that now. I don’t believe any other contemporary bands I can recall would state this too openly. It’s not about sophomoric ideals of glorious, iconoclastic revolution; that’s just romanticised cliché. They’ve torn it all down already, like spoilt toddlers. Industrial seems to be a sham genre, and weak, both musically and in manifesto. Vore Complex really isn’t dancing in its ashes screaming victory or moping into a sock waiting for others to make it better, it attempts to take a more honest, mature approach to regenerating – if not progressing - the core elements that made Industrial music good, once. Mindless Khaotic progression for its own sake is overrated and I prefer to look back. I think, having said all this, and having had a moderate check around, that my own take on a genuinely ‘oldschool’ manifesto is, so far, unique. Of course, that doesn’t mean it is any good.

What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes?

Real word ‘darkness’, definitely. I think from the start, I want to move away from the goth/industrial scene’s focus on campy horror – bloodsucking-bats, ghouls, vampires, zombies, demons, rogue death-machines and all that tosh and bring in into line with what I have always considered to be the true horrors of our existence. Socio-political and global atrocities, holocausts and war-crimes; examples of human evil - cruelty, carelessness and sadistic depravity, ungarnished & without a gloss-sheen or comfort blanket to distance listeners from the bleak extents of this coruscating failure of our integrity, responsibility and rational compassion. As I wrote to a friend in a recent letter, my music is not designed to be heartily enjoyed by anyone – it’s just one huge, interlinked gripe-list to bring catharsis to my mind, and serve as a educatory warning to others, and a reminder – very much in the manner of Santayana’s famous comment. A sonic thesis on caustic corrosion and entropy; not really meant to be pleasing, or uplifting. I feel reluctant in doing this, and am often worn down by my work; more of a psychocartographer than a musician, hoping to lay fences and boundaries, and not to free them up. It’s a duty, and a vocational interpersonal responsibility, transcending the general notions of what could be achieved by a musical artist. I don’t know if I could say why I feel compelled to do this - that a slim part of me also enjoys a few of the sounds is not something I am proud of, and if I catch myself finding too much listening pleasure in the aural documentation of abject misery, dispassion and pain, well, I leave music for a few days till I’m settled again. It doesn’t seem right to detach into complacent indifference and become a mere voyeur of the callousness. Industrial and Attitude seem to go hand in hand. With global war, civil unrest, injustice, and political revolution being primary musical themes that dominate your music, how do you feel nowadays about the current state of world affairs?

I’ve made steps recently to distance myself from my interest in world affairs, if only for some dubious grip on personal sanity. I’ll be back though, unfortunately - I don’t like how any of the situations I monitor are going, either in my homeland’s microcosm, or