Heathen Harvest: Can you begin by explaining how As All Die was originally conceived and created?
Clint Listing: As All Die was born out the frustration of myself in the metal scene. I had the songs I was writing in 1998 that did not fit what my band at the time Long Winter's Stare, a doom metal band, was doing. I had just started getting into the Cold Meat Industries and Tesco org style of Industrial music/ Neo Folk. I had just started Dragon Flight Recordings (now called Beauty & Pain Recordings). Therefore, I had a label already to release my good and I did so.
HH: Who were the original members of the As All Die? Who are the current members?
CL: It is Always been my project with others helping me. The main help on the first two titles "In Vacuum of Blackened Space" and "Time of War & Conflict" were my Long Winters Stare partner Greg Ball. After that John Riendeau helped we out allot with mixing and master and giving opinions on "Germanic Tales”, "East West Noise pact" & "CCClint" titles. I am currently working on, As All Die as a Duo again with Aries of the little known Industrial group "Burn Unit". Were working on a bunch of new material so be on the look out.
HH: What was your musical experience and training prior to starting As All Die?
CL: I was a Metal head tried and true. I always liked allot of other music but focused on mostly Metal and Grunge styles before hand. My musical training is none. I am self-taught on everything I do. Therefore, I always say I was just born to create sonic destruction.
HH: There is an established theme of war that permeates the music of As All Die and the visual presentation. Can you explain how World War I & II became so central to As All Die?
CL: This is very simple I am 2/3 German in background, I believe in the Odinanic religion and I believe we can only move on as humans if we never forget the past and have it as a reminder that those horrible things such as world wars can happen if we let similar events or actions happen again. Also on a more personal level, tactical warfare and weapon and armor history is something that draws me to it. Therefore, if that is one of my calling there is no reason not to dig as deep as I can in such interests.
HH: Does World War II have a personal connection for you or are you more interested in the war from a political or historical standpoint?
CL: See this is how As All Die is misread. It is not WWII I am interested in its Germanic History. And that is what As All Die is all about. So go from Germanic tribes of several thousand years ago up to WWII that is were the interests lies. Its just seems odd to me any band with Martial interests all of sudden have a political agenda, which is so very far from the truth.
HH: Much of your work with As All Die seems to focus on the German side of the WWII. Is this an accurate statement? If so what has drawn your interest and music towards the German side of the battle?
CL: Once again, you have not done your research as it focuses on War and what it does the humans that have to be in it every day of there lives. I just use German & Austrian images as there most graphic or stunning that we have from a period of great strife on this planet. The second part of the question would be answered in the question 2 above this.
HH: Most music being created in the “post-industrial” music scene that explores WWII and its various themes usually originates from within Europe. In addition, German musicians create much of this music. What was your intent as an American joining the ranks of these musicians?
CL: I just do what comes naturally to me and this is the style of music I feel most comfortable to work with. Being an American just helps me see a different side of the wartime painting than those in Europe can and never will. I really feel that Tesco or Related projects just take themselves way to serious in this as if they were really in the *censored*ing war today. The only band that can ever say this is Tehom as the man tragically dies in the Croatian/ Serbian conflict.
HH: Do you attempt to include subject matter and themes that relate directly to the Allied experience or the American experiences of WWII?
CL: One again what you don't seem to understand is its not about sides, Its about the War and what happened at that time. Its never been an us vs. them issue…
HH: The music of As All Die is very ambient and subdued even though themes within the music revolve around war. What inspire interpreting these themes with ambient and experimental sounds?
CL: The music much like the themes I create are just like this. Especially in War there are quite moments, eerie moments and then bombastic ones as well. So you see that is why the style of music is vastly different from track-to-track.
HH: Many acts that are labeled martial or bombastic are often plagued by hordes of censors that
attempt to shut down their creative efforts and end their point of view. Has As All Die ever come under attack by censors and zealots?
CL: Its funny you say that we just were part of the providence show of the US Grunt tour and we’ve gotten this Nazi tag thrown on us because of us using a WWI German Imperial Naval flag on stage and dressing in militaristic dress. Were one has nothing to do with the other. To many simple minds in a room and one person says something and all the little sheep follow. I thought by now we would all be a bit more educated and enlightened about it all. I also know of a few distros that will not carry any As All Die or Beauty & Pain title because they think I have ties with the National Socialistic groups. All of which are untrue. As my Father always told me, what does not kill you makes you stronger. I live by those words.
HH: Spoken word lyrics are a fundamental element of As All Die’s music. Can you explain why you have chosen to remain with the spoken word format as opposed to recruiting a singer?
CL: Well there are singing moments and Growls on allot of the tracks as well, But to me spoken word or very monotone vocals are the most effective way of getting the more painful or serious emotions out in the music. Why would I want a singer in the band ??? There are so many of that style of Martial/ Neofolk bands out there. I’m exploring the Harsher more dark side of the Noise and Dark Industrial realms with As All Die .
HH: What inspires your lyrics and writings?
CL: I am very sorry if this comes across as rude or insulting but the complete and utter sheep like mentality of the Human race. The *censored*ing apathy of this planet is almost too much for me to bear. Think for your goddamn self people. Everyone Dresses the same, Drinks lattes and goes to *censored*ing Hot topic. How is this different or underground at all? The only really original people I have met in a good long time are in the Noise scene and Jazz Musicians. The negativity that this makes me feels is were all my words and stories come from.
HH: The music of As All Die is ambient and does not comply with standard song structure. How do you go about conceptualizing and composing the music for As All Die?
CL: The voices in my mind tell me what to do and I am there humble servant nothing more.
HH: The last two albums by As All Die have both been three song CD’s. Is this a new trend for As All Die? Is there a full-length album in the future or should listeners continue to expect smaller concentrated offerings?
CL: They just are what they are when I feel it has done its done being 3 songs and 15 mins or 5 songs and 50 mins. Nothing more then that. There are two more titles coming from As All Die in the near future for sure.
As All Die/ Tugend Split-CD on Somnambulant Records that will be a 35 min track called "Victory" As All Die- On the Front lines-CD looks to be coming out on Force of Nature Productions and this time it is 8 songs and 48 minutes long.
HH: German Tales a recent release by As All Die struck me with its interesting title and one song in particular called “Radios Are Down In London Tonight.” This song eerily captures the impression of the blitzing campaigns against Britain during WWII. How did this song and the Germanic Tales mini-disc come about?
CL: Thank you as that is the very point of that track and I am so very glad you got that. As for how it came about. I had ended As All Die do to that Crowd Control Records was closing and I did not have a home for the project anymore. about 18 months later, I was still getting email and interviews for As All Die and Lee of Judas Kiss did a major feature on As All Die saying it was one of the great-underrated Martial/ Neo Folk bands out there. I then decided to working on some older material that I had sitting around this time I wanted to add a darker / nosier element. I did so at that time another project I did called When Joy Becomes Saddness was working with Somnambulant Corpse now Somnambulant Records. I sent it off to Chris he loved it and put it out for me. The rest is history.
HH: As All Die have releases on a number of labels. Is this by choice or necessity?
CL: I just want to work with my friends labels so this is what I do. RRRecords, Somnambulant, Force of Nature. And others like Rape Art, Foreshadow or Crowd Control Activities have asked me to record material for them.
HH: You are also involved in a lesser-known project called Broken Hands for Brillian Minds. Can you tell us how this project differs from As All Die?
CL: Broken hands is not martial at all its more soundtrack meets post rock with an ambient overtone. Allot of people say to me its God Speed You Black Emperor! meets Cold Meat Industries. It is a slow going project in the 2 yrs. of life but one CD has been worked on and was released in March 2004 on the Odd Halo Recordings label. I would say it is much more minimal and drifting then As All die too.
HH: Do you work alone in this project or with others?
CL: Broken hands is a solo labor of love.
HH: Did you feel a need to create an alternative to As All Die to offer new routes of musical exploration that would not fit with the themes of As All Die?
CL: Yes As All Die has a very certain style and I wanted to cover a more ambient/ experimental styles with a soundtrack like vibe. So yes, this is why Broken Hands was born.
HH: Can you tell us what albums you have produced as Brilliant Hands for Broken Minds and what labels these releases can be found on?
CL: As I said about there is only one full length CD out on Odd Halo Recordings. The CD is called " Remember the Past, Respect the Future". Its in a special packaging that must be seen.
HH: What tends to be your inspiration when exploring your talent through the project Brilliant Hands for Broken Minds?
CL: The inner working on the human mind mixed with dark film scores. I want to create sounds that you would hear in those worlds.
HH: You were also involved in running the former label Dragon Flight Records. What was your involvement with DFR ?
CL: Yes, I was co owner of the label with Greg Ball my Long Winter's Stare member until he left in 2001.
HH: What was your intent in starting DFR?
CL: At the time, we looking for home for Long Winter's Stare as we had signed with Misanthropy Records in the UK but they closed down. We were talking with labels like Season of Mist Records as well but it never came together. So we said to hell with this and lets just release it ourselves so DFR was born.
HH: DFR is now R.I.P and a new label has grown from its ashes. How did Beauty and Pain Recordings come to replace DFR?
CL: Well I am now the solo owner of the label so I wanted to go in a bit of a different direction now adding more styles to what I release. DFR has this stigma of being a Metal and Dark ambient label. So I thought with new name this issue would end and it has so its all good now.
HH: Does the mission and vision of Beauty and Pain Recordings differ from DFR?
CL: Yes, BPR is working with all styles of Experimental music from Industrial, Jazz and Post rock.
HH: You run a label and are involved with two separate music projects. Does all of this work ever become overwhelming or all consuming?
CL: Quite the opposite at times I do not feel I do enough, I get bored very easy is all. I also now do a webzine at our Beauty and Pain site there are over 15 interviews and 100 reviews.
HH: Can you tell us what to be looking forward to from As All Die, Broken Hands for Brilliant Minds and Beauty and Pain Recordings in the future?
CL: I cannot tell you what the future will bring other them more releases and some of the best new material and bands I can find on this planet.
As for the label look for releases by Amber Asylum, Travis Morgan, Goat, Hlidolf and Golden Age of Darkness III (Compilation)
HH: Do you have any further musical projects incubating?
CL: I cannot tell you all of my secrets now can I. I do have a new Metal project I’m working on seeking a label home called A Darkened Sea you can go to the Beauty & Pain website to find out all about it. We have full mp3 tracks up there, its a mix of Death, Doom & Viking metal.
HH: I would like to thank you for sharing this interview with our readers. Do you have any parting words?
CL: Thank you for the interview and best of luck with Heathen Harvest. Please support underground music by buying CDs and going to their shows.