FLA: Based and Redpilled

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If you grew up in Canada — within the last forty years — you would know who this character is. His name is Bill Leeb, and he was one of the founding members of Skinny Puppy. Early on, he spun off his own side-projects, Front Line Assembly and Delerium.

The Canadian music scene in the 1980s was as dreary as the American status-quo, and not too much different. Teenagers generally listened to Loverboy or Rush, along with typical American metal bands like Cinderella and Ratt. Everything on the radio was boring, and it all sounded the same.

In the America of the mid 1980s, bands like Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, and Mudhoney started emerging in the Seattle area. Much of the allure was the authentic tone and content of the music. At about the same time, and for all the same reasons, industrial music started becoming popular in Vancouver, B.C.. While the historical phenomenon and its motivations was similar, the music kids gravitated to was very different on either side of the frontier. Canadian industrial music is nothing like earthy, stripped-down, folk-inspired grunge music. It was inspired by the European EBM and house music, exemplified by Front 242, Kraftwerk and Cabaret Voltaire.

Industrial music was a later import to the United States, though it always had a limited appeal, and American industrial artists were always pretty honest about where they got their ideas.

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Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly still exist, and their founders still make music, despite being considerably older than I am. (At this point, I think they qualify for the senior discounts.) Being that I’m a sentimental fucker, I buy all the new releases. So it was a couple weeks ago, when I bought Front Line Assembly’s new CD, entitled Wake Up The Coma.

So I’m listening to this album today, and trying to make out the lyrics. I realize that the Bill Leeb is singing about all the same sorts of shit that I do, here on this blog.

That can’t be right, I think, this is decadent pop culture garbage… 

I always default to the position that I’m reading, listening, or sensing anything through my own ideological lens, so I try not to take things like this too seriously. Even so, the messages on this album are so explicit that I decided to take a few minutes and see if I could type out some lyrics, and run them by you brothers.

Is Bill Leeb a candidate for mayor of V5K 2C2? You tell me.

I feel your face on my skin
Depraved sleeper cell you fit right in

Faceless atomic deviants
Oppressive hysterical obedience
Autonomous swarms
Of secret drones
Skull mined warfare
Erotic zones

I feel your face on my skin
Depraved sleeper cell you fit right in
I feel your face on my skin
Perverted visions and erotic sins

I’m making love to an alien
Who’s not from this world
I’m making love to an alien
I thought you were my girl

In the wake of adversity
We gaze into the sun to see
All of our lifes imperfections
Unrequited love and rejection
The light of fools steers our path
Unseen by all and those who fall
This blackend hole
Which you made for me
Image intelligence
Won’t set us free

I’m living the lie
And I don’t know why
Its easier to pretend
When you know it has to end

This is the end

In the realm of the dying sun
No salvation surveillance begun
A state of hypocrisy
Fuck an alien and you’ll be free
Obsessive, toxic obedience

Lies, lies

Faceless atomic deviants
In the wake of adversity
Fuck an alien and you’ll be free

Living a lie, a lie.
Fuck an alien, and you’ll be free…

 

What did he mean by this?

If Bill Leeb is based and redpilled on the wimminz question, how did he get that way? I have a theory based on the results of a one-second google search.

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Around fifteen years ago, Leeb was served divorce papers by his wife, Carylann Loeppky. I don’t know if it’s possible for any legal system to be worse than America’s, but if there is some facet of the divorce process that can be more excessively cruel to men, it’s likely that Canadian wimminz have instituted it in British Columbia. The result: Leeb had to sell a bunch of high-end hardware, to pay off his bitch ex-wife.

I guess I wondered why this guy was still cranking out music when he’s crowning seventy. Ongoing payments to his skank-ho ex are a fair assumption, in context.

About the album, Leeb not only alluded to talking about wimminz, but also taking a Francis Fukuyama-esque take on the historical imperative and technology…

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Divorce has pushed this man into questioning not only the nature of contemporary gender roles, but also the more general questions (atomization, degeneracy, reification) we all discuss here on a regular basis.

In the end, I find mirth in the fact that hundreds of stupid, pink-haired Canadian wimminz are going to be stomping and dancing in their thigh-highs to this tune, all summer long.

Wake Up The Coma is available from Metropolis Records. Buy it if you like it. Leeb’s ex-wife will thank you.

Author: Boxer

Sinister All-Male Dancer. Secret King of all Gamma Males. Member of Frankfurt School. Your Fave Contrarian!

4 thoughts on “FLA: Based and Redpilled”

  1. This is great, thank you. Skinny puppy and Front line assembly I’ve discovered relatively later, actually well past my musical taste crucial formative period (while before listening mostly the european industrial or darker electronic stuff here – eg Einstürzende neubauten, Test dept, Throbbing gristle, Cat rapes dog, Cassandra complex, Project pitchfork, who were more like some combination of gothic and electronic though, very good, also Sisterhood – side project of Andrew Eldritch from SOM – is good, similar style) and it took me some while to get used to them, the sound, the approach, the lick of robotic coldness in the music, but soon I begun to like them both very much.
    Quite long after beginning to activelly listen to their music I accidentally learned that they are actually Canadian 🙂 – somehow, which may seem odd, it never really occurred to me to even think or care about their place of origin, like if the music simply signalled that it came from some ‘dark place’ and that was enough. (Otherwise the only Canadian band I’ve ever known were probably No means no, completely different stuff, who I think are very good, especially the period with Andrew Kerr.)

    By the way, this now also reminds me that there was one US band, playing on the more rocky side of the industrial-inspired sound – Cop shoot cop, they were very good also, with some lyrics, considering now in retrospect, being actually quite red-pillish too, and they had one song named ‘The divorce’, lyrically quite poignant thing.

  2. P. S. Re the Seattle scene, somehow (as a matter of some gut reaction/intuitive response to the music) as the only ‘legit’ band that I took without reservation from that grunge bunch always seemed to me The Screaming trees, can’t say really why..

    Also now comes to mind, one band worth mentioning too, not grunge, but Northwestern too, and actually also in a contrast to the Bill Leeb’s divorce, – the Dead moon. They are now gone, since two of three members are dead. Given the thematic orientation of this blog, one thing about Dead moon to point out would be, that the couple, that formed the core of the band – Fred and Kathleen Cole, were married since age 18 (in 1967) till death did them part couple of years ago. Should be the norm, but yeah..
    (I always very much respected the integrity and commitment of Dead moon, to just do their own thing, the same dirty rock’n’roll for years on end, keeping it low profile (even when their songs being covered and band being praised by likes of Pearl jam), playing small venues, etc, and always felt (completely irrationally, because I don’t know anything about them) as if the Coles’ marriage was somehow connected with this Dead moon’s artistic integrity and ‘stubbornness’, for lack of better word.)

  3. Thanks for posting this. I’ve never heard Dead Moon.

    Re: Screaming Trees, I always enjoyed the old album Dust. I haven’t listened to any of that stuff in ages, though.

    What did you think of Mark Lanegan’s solo work?

  4. Dust was my favorite too (that harpsichord interlude in ‘Sworn and broken’ there! , absolutely both unexpected and perfectly fitting, and uplifting, is one of the moments, when I, even after hearing the song for x number of times, still, every time, end up with half-demented grin on my face, that’s beyond my control), and Sweet oblivion, the album before, and Uncle anesthesia. The earlier stuff they released on SST records I liked a lot too, but somehow seems as if their sound was still in a process of searching the accurate expression there, and I would say that Sweet oblivion was where they sort of finally found it, very compact, very good.

    Solo Mark Lanegan I like a lot, generally speaking, but it varies of course (some collaborations /duets he could maybe skip in my opinion, some records with two three gems of songs with pretty much forgettable rest of the album – eg Field songs), for example Whiskey for the Holy Ghost and Winding sheet – the simplicity and the darker tune there I find really powerful. When he covered Townes Van Zandt I actually expected him to do much better :), on the other hand ‘Carry home’ to me is comparably powerful to the Jeffrey Peirce/Gun club original (I love Gun club’s music), he slowed it down, changed the mood somehow, and it sounds just great..
    I saw him play live twice and those were very good concerts..

    How do you like his solo work?

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