Resident Anti-Hero

Posted: March 10, 2011

Interviewed May 2010

Resident Anti-Hero is Etheric Double (ED) and Fenix (F). They are a duo out of the forests of the pacific northwest, combating machine culture with modern music and mythology that touches on anarcho-primitivist themes.

Greetings, Can you give us a brief explanation of who you are and what you do?

ED: I am Etheric Double. I am one half of a band called Resident Anti-Hero, which is a project that fuses literary lyrics with music to create an ongoing mythology that criticizes industrial civilization. I compose the music for Resident Anti-Hero, as well as record and produce the songs. Together with Fenix, we collaboratively develop all the content and ideas.

F: I am Master Gunnery Sergeant Fenix, of the group Resident Anti-Hero. I write and perform the lyrics for Resident Anti-Hero.

What Goals do you have with your music and its impact on the world?

F: My goal, in regards to music, is to generate a form of entertainment that is thought provoking, genuinely artistic, and powerful. Audiences, particularly in this country, are not accustomed to their entertainment providing them with intellectual discourse. Often times, the idea of music as a legitimate art form, is overlooked by both musicians and fans. I feel that this problem is very complicated, because people come out to see music for the purpose of escape, meaning, they come to dance, enjoy themselves, and forget about the more pressing matters of our world; artists, in turn, are then inclined to create music that functions for this purpose and this purpose primarily. It is my mission, that alongside my bandmate, the infamous Etheric Double, I can create and continue to create music that is both fresh and entertaining, while maintaining a standard of artistic integrity that we feel is needed in music on the whole.

ED: As Fenix stated, our main goal is to inspire listeners to think and develop individual opinions about the way they are living. Outside of that, this is warfare. I hope to utilize this tool as a weapon and do as much strategic damage to the enemy as possible. I also hope to inspire anger, sadness, rage, despair, and action from our listeners. I don’t consider my vision of how our species should be living as a reachable goal, so I function under the mantra “Even if the World was to End Tomorrow, I’d Still Plant a Tree Today”.

What message or messages are you trying to instill in your audience and listeners?

ED: Anger, Sadness, Rage, Despair, and Action. Our way of life is systematically destroying ecosystems worldwide, along with everything I hold sacred and care about. Anger, Sadness, Rage, Despair, and Action. Our culture will not undergo a shift to a sane and sustainable way of living. Anger, Sadness, Rage, Despair, and Action. When I’m dead and gone, I may have not made a huge global impact, but there may be a few tree’s, a few salmon, and a few open minds still alive because of me. Anger, Sadness, Rage, Despair, and Action.

F: I want to empower our listeners. I want them to nurture their individuality and champion their selfhood, because I feel that we live in a contemporary culture that is anything but friendly or supportive of this. When I’m on the mic at a show I try to go out of my way to tell the audience that, to remind the listeners that they should be doing whatever it is that they love, uncompromisingly, every single day. We talk a lot about killing machines in our music, and that is how you kill machines- by refusing to function as a cog in the larger mechanisms of systematic control, in your own way. This is a personal transformation and it takes place one individual at a time, because changing the world is done one person at a time, anything else is grandiose idealism, or “politics”.

What do you see as a connection between art and social change, and more specifically, your music and activism?

F: True art will always be the platform upon which a society is pushed forward. Our music is directly linked to activism, in that we consistently encourage our listeners to take action against the oppressive elements of our global community. We live in a culture that places property value over people, and industrial progress over the health/preservation of the natural world. It is wrong, and I don’t care what you do, but you better be doing something about it, in whatever way you can and whatever way you feel comfortable doing so.

ED: As Fenix stated, art has a history of instigating social change. We’d like to contribute to furtherance of this history, though I’m not entirely sure it’s still a possible accomplishment within the medium of music.

What first led you to the decision to utilize your gifts as a musician as a tool for expressing your personal views on environmental, social, and political issues?

ED: The everpresent feeling and knowledge that I am the problem. I am still just another human contributing to tyranny, murder, genocide, ecocide, industrial progress, global economics, etc. What sort of person would I be if I chose to exist in this knowledge and not use the few gifts I have to raise awareness and combat it? I still struggle with using so much power, energy, and fuel to create this art, and perhaps someday soon I’ll stop, but for now it’s the only thing I know how to do that might reach a few people.

F: Honestly, I always felt a deep affinity with music as a tool, a pathway, and sometimes, a weapon. Being a self aware and educated person of color in this country, places one in a particularly untenable situation regarding politics and social issues- from birth. I always knew I had work to do, and that it would be of the socio-political nature. But, if you are asking for a specific point in time- I did not fiercely commit myself to this as a vocalist until the re-election of George W Bush in 2004. I remember the evening that he stole the election through fraud, fear, and deception. That man was a terrorist, a liar, a tyrant, a murderer, a thief, and the worst president this country has ever known. After voting against him the first time and seeing what his pathetic excuse for a presidency did, to not only the United States, but to the world, the thought of living under his regime for another four years was absolutely obscene to me. I had to do something, and something drastic. That night, in my heart, I swore an oath against him and the forces that he represents. It was either that, or move to Canada, and Canadians aren’t too friendly to underground trash poets gaining citizenship up there. Politically charging my lyrics to the fullest became my not so silent act of civil disobedience. I began to investigate more and more of this country’s exploitation abroad and domestically- particularly the assault on my civil liberties. Meeting my bandmate Etheric Double, also had a big effect on my decision to create blantantly political music, his friendship, work ethic, passion, and disgust with current affairs, aided my resolutions. It all snowballed from there, and while I wouldn’t give Bush the credit, because the problems are much larger than him or his joke of a presidency, I will say that it often takes grave injustices and the tyranny of truly evil men to bring about certain commitments in serious agents of change.

Ideally, what experience or impact would an audience member take away from your live show?

F: Inspiration, and empowerment. I want you to demand more of yourself, your true friends, your peers, your teachers, your schools, your music, your art, your “entertainment”. I want you to walk out of the show, go back to your apartment, clean it from top to bottom, organize your belongings, shave your head, search your soul, write a manifesto, and begin your own personal journey to fight machine culture…to the death.

ED: Anger, Sadness, Rage, Despair, and Action.

Do you have advice for other writers, musicians, or artists who are creating politically focused art?

F: I don’t like to give advice regarding this topic, because I think that a true artisan must find his/her own way- it is a process of falling down and getting back up, again and again and again. It is not for everyone, and it is harder than you think or imagine. When you add politics to the equation, it gets even more murky and difficult. I suppose the most pertinent thing I can think of saying is this: Do whatever you must do to preserve the artistic drive inside of you, if you let people, power, or systems of control take that from you, you have lost. Be strong, remember your heroes, and when you do happen to find those who would stand by you, make sure that you do all you can to support and further their causes- but not at the expense of your own.

ED: As long as we as artists allow the industry of art to push us into creating unconscious bullshit, the consumers will have that bullshit available to them, and they will flock to it because it’s easier. It is not the industries fault, or the consumers, its ours. Stop making it.

What personal lifestyle choices have you made which reflect the views and opinions expressed through your music?

F: I am committed to the practice of woodscraft and survivalism- honing my skills, daily. When the machines do their worst, I will be ready.

ED: Rewilding, sustainable agriculture, foraging, plant identification, moving towards living off the grid, primitive skills, attacking those that stand in our way, reading, research, and action.

Is there any hope for success?

ED: No

F: Depends what you define as success. In my book, large-scale success would mean that our entire culture would willingly undergo a complete and total paradigm shift. The value systems being perpetuated by the powers that be, would have to be turned upside down, or completely destroyed. So on that level, no- I don’t believe that there is any hope for success.

How important do you feel it is for artists/writers to communicate and discuss these topics and themes via their art and writing, as opposed to spending their time developing sustainable personal practices?

ED: I think it’s nearly impossible to do both at once, and thus we need people choosing each path. However, we need to be in touch, so we can be teaching, inspiring, and promoting each other.

F: I think it is important for we who communicate these messages to be practicing the things we would propagate. But a great deal of the time, the sacrifices that we must make as artists in the fast paced world of communication, make it difficult to commit to any sort of lifestyle that one would define as sustainable. That being said, I do not see it as an either/or equation- more like a both/and type of thing. I think it is very important to do both, as much as you can. To those who would argue it an impossible task, I would say: “Poppycock!” With discipline and passion, there is very little that we as humans cannot achieve. Walk your talk….

——————-
Resident Anti-Hero has free albums for download, tour dates, and more, available at their website:
http://www.residentantihero.com