Interview by Aversionline Magazine
Interrogation: Louis Fleischauer of Aesthetic
This may only require a one-word response,
but to avoid confusing the readers as both names will be used repeatedly,
the Aesthetic Meat Front is simply one branch of the larger Aesthetic Meat
Foundation, is that correct?
Yes, the Aesthetic Meat Front is in charge
of spreading our ideology in the form of public deprogramming rituals and
recorded media, such as CD's and videos. You could say the Front is the
syringe of the Aesthetic Meat Foundation that injects the thoughts into
the veins of the public.
I'll openly admit that this is, in part, a
silly question… but in this instance I think the answer will be both relevant
and interesting. So, with that being said: How old are you, and at what
age did you begin to formulate the many philosophical concepts that presently
make up the Aesthetic Meat Foundation (including time prior to the group's
documented formation more than seven years ago)?
The philosophies that started to shape the
Aesthetic Meat Foundation are rooted in my early childhood. I've always
been a loner and eventually I had to learn to use this to my advantage.
When other kids played with trading cards, I was busy daydreaming or chasing
fantasies. It seems that I instinctively knew from the beginning that I'm
not a part of this herd. Without this hunger for individuality I would
not have discovered the beauty of the Left Hand Path. Some rather extreme
experiences helped me to truly awaken, and showed me that you can't evolve
without facing some serious struggle.
I'm assuming since you chose not to elaborate
on said "extreme experiences" that you'd rather not do so. However, if
you can, or would be willing to, that would be interesting. It's your choice.
Some mysteries need to remain.
Clearly you're extremely well versed in certain
subjects. Early on, and through time, what have been some of the most influential
sources from which you've drawn research, and what initially led you to
these sources in the early stages of your ideological awakening?
In my early years, my grandma used to tell
me stories of how the Aztecs would remove the human hearts of their sacrificial
victims while they were still alive. Back then I was still living behind
the iron curtain (east Germany), so it was rather hard to find good information.
My friend and I spend plenty of time picking each other's brains in high
school. Eventually the wall came down, I moved to Berlin, lived on unemployment,
and spent a lot of time reading: Crowley, Gregorius, CG Jung (there is
still much I like to read of his work), Nietzsche, LaVey's "Law of the
Trapezoid", Spiesberger and various other underground zines, etc. Later
I stumbled onto the works of Stephen Flowers and Austin Osman Spare, which
immediately clicked with me. HP Lovecraft's way of triggering your imagination
and his way of creating doorways to the other side also painted the foundation
of my ideas. And then there is Wilhelm Reich, who gave that whole blood
obsession of mine a more scientific touch. On the other side there are
my three favorite mythological creatures: Fenris, Phoenix, and Prometheus.
The core of inspiration comes from within, simply listen to your instincts.
You've stated: "The Aesthetic Meat Foundation
was formed to shatter the TV-crippled belief system of our so-called 'modern
world' by introducing apocalyptic art/culture to the mainstream…" I know
that your definition of the term "apocalyptic" has no connection to "the
end of the world", but how, if at all, do you feel that you're assaulting
the literal mainstream with such art/culture?
We used to have a theme camp at Burning Man
until 2000… we must've sent hundreds of weekend warriors on a very bad
acid trip. Also, we got quite some exposure in the mass media: German TV
(Pro 7) and various others. Thanks to Burning Man, footage of our rituals
ended up on "The 700 Club". Then, there is always the internet. But most
importantly, by keeping the "underground" alive, we influence and infect
the culture of our society. Especially these days, where a lot of subculture
has become mainstream itself, it is rather easy to penetrate the public.
In your words, "aesthetic meat" has been defined
as "reaching a state of complete self-awareness and becoming one with your
true self", going further to dictate that this achievement is "probably
the closest you can get to your own godhood while walking on this planet".
This statement could be read as curiously suggestive that you believe in
some form of afterlife, or perhaps multiple planes of "existence", if you
will. Shed some light on that statement.
I would first have to die before I can truly
say that I believe in life after death, though on the other hand I also
do not rule this out. Regardless of whether you move on to some other level,
you stay alive in the memories of others and in the reflection of the things
you created or destroyed. I definitely do believe in multiple planes of
"existence", in realities we shape and dimensions we enter.
The "infected blood" edition of Aesthetic
Meat Front's "Plague of Humanity" CD comes sealed inside of protective
bags filled with fetid cow blood, about which you told me, "…it's more
of a psychological game that is part of the package, to awaken a form of
the 'primal instinct' or fear." Of course my reaction was to the far side
of latter of two, as you well know, ha, ha! But seriously, when working
on various intimate levels with mass quantities of animal blood and flesh
in what you call "primal revival", have you or your comrades no remote
fear of somehow becoming infected by the blood yourselves?
It's all FDA approved, and we store our biological
agents cool until we go on stage. The meat we use is much safer than your
McChemical next door. We pick it up at the slaughterhouse and put it in
the cooler, so there is no question about the fact that what we've got
in the box is a dead cow. After all these years none of us have ever had
any problems. Even if I ever should get sick, what a small price to pay
for what I have experienced. But I'm really not concerned about this. On
stage I get my head and body pierced, I hang from hooks… why should I be
afraid of some fresh raw meat? What I'm afraid of is fast food.
Also on the subject of fear, you've remarked,
"Instead of using our communication systems as a tool to help mankind grow
and evolve, we let the mass media abuse them by spreading fear and paranoia
towards creativity, individuality, and self-indulgence." How would contrast
your use of fear with that of the mass media?
We use the fear factor as a tool to awaken
people. We confront people with their own fears. For instance, the media
quotes shrubbery saying: "Blood is pure evil!", "Sterility is good!", "Do
not look at blood, stay away from people who do so!", "Code brown!", "Bloody
terrorists everywhere!" (to use a language that the average American seems
to understand best these days). Currently even the reality of war has been
reduced to the sterility of a PG-13 video game. The Aesthetic Meat Foundation
simply gives the blood to the people. Here it is, deal with it, overcome
your fear, discover the beauty and power it has. Talking about the fear
factor, we performed in London, the capitol of BSE (Note: Bovine Spongiform
Encephalopathy, better known as mad cow disease.), and distributed cow
feet among the audience. It was beautiful to watch the audience slowly
transform, first clearly worried and in a state of confusion, then slowly
unleashing their primal instincts. People confronted their fears, turning
a "potentially disease ridden object" into a tool, helping to create sound
and release suppressed violence.
Talk about some of the instruments that you've
built, notably those that incorporate blood and meat in a very obscure
Currently my favorite instrument is a 20-gallon
plastic bottle filled with a half-gallon of blood. I play it sort of like
a violin, with a metal rod. I also use it for effects with my voice, or
move the bottle so that the blood crashes against the inner walls. The
blood gives the sound a deep resonance. In 2000 we played on a ship in
Rostock and used air conditioning tubing - a long, square, and hollow piece
of metal - that was connected via chains to hooks inside the skin of my
arm. With every movement of my arm the metal would translate my pain into
sound. Now we have a metal coffin, which works in a similar fashion. Sometimes
we put contact mics inside cow heads that we smash with a sledgehammer.
Dump meat sound meets the ear-bleeding cracking of a contact mic. Then
there is Serina: She walks on glass and rolls around in it. The glass is
poured onto a piece of sheet metal. I also play a ribbed PVC pipe with
a human bone (radius). The pipe is filled with nails at times. It's a very
strange fusion of metal, bone, and plastic. This instrument is lightweight
and not too big, so I can easily pick it up and walk through the audience
with it. At the moment we are working on a machine that connects either
cow livers or heads to two pieces of steel that rhythmically smash into
each other. Another sound project in progress is a suspension device where
I suspend from hooks that are connected to springs, this way the more I
swing and move in the air the more the hooks stress my skin and pull the
springs which will be amplified. Thus the energy I release becomes sound.
Now, the special edition of "Plague of Humanity"
comes with a video of an Aesthetic Meat Front performance dating back to
2001 in London. Some of the aforementioned instruments and sound manipulations
are employed in the video, however the live audio is not present, instead
replaced by a constant grating loop of eerie distortion and such. Having
seen the actual video of this show online it was far more interesting with
the live audio in place. Why did you decide to alter that for the purposes
of the release?
Actually, the soundtrack from the video is
the same as the online version. The only difference is that once it got
compressed into mp4 format, the frame rate of the footage appeared sped
up while the audio remained the same. This made the online version only
half as long as the VHS. The eerie distortion is mostly towards the end
of the VHS video, and the online version ends before these loops kick in.
This might give the impression of two different audio tracks. With the
exception of the intro, the audio track is the original live sound. Sometimes,
however, it falls out of synch due to the extensive editing that was done
by R|A|A|N in the studio. This was necessary in order to get the best footage
out of the two videos that were shot that night.
Musically your work is very dark and at times
harsh, but it obviously expresses feeling, notably through lots of hypnotic
repetition. What drives your approach to the creation of these compositions?
Like any form of art, musik for me is a way
to manifest my mind, a mirror to the core of my being. Often I like to
paint with sound, invite the listener to the nightmares that I have yet
to dream. I'm also somewhat obsessed with the idea of creating sonique
gateways into the neither neither world.
What recording techniques are used for your
audio releases? Is the work improvised, do you record similar to the manner
in which you perform live? There's definitely a nice lo-fi edge to your
music, but tastefully so, with ample clarity.
It depends on the release. For instance, "Cadavres
Sonique" and the upcoming "Embalmer Tapes" were almost completely done
on my machine. "Cadavres Sonique" accompanied the latest issue of Vial
Magazine, and was a sound collage of approximately 300 samples from over
30 bands that myself and Patricia Cram (the editor of Vail) deconstructed
and composed into 61 minutes of sonique nightmares. The only sound source
for the "Embalmer Tapes" is an audiotape of an embalming session. R|A|A|N
and myself took these sounds and then dissected them and resurrected a
body of truly ominous soundscapes. "Plague of Humanity", on the other hand,
is a mix of manipulated live sounds and random recordings in the studio
or on the street. For instance, the screaming pigs were recorded as I went
to get some blood and cow heads for an Aesthetic Meat Front ritual. Next
to the meat plant was a slaughterhouse. While waiting for salespeople to
get my order together I thought I heard some disembodied voices. I decided
to investigate further and the "voices" turned into screams coming from
next door. I sneaked into the back of the plant to climb up a wall to the
slaughterhouse. There were about 300 pigs waiting for the slaughter. One
could sense that the animals knew of the destiny that awaited them. Their
screams released a truly fascinating energy. I had a portable tape recorder
on me and captured as much of this moment as I could. The dead have been
given a voice once more, every time "Plague of Humanity" ends up in someone's
CD player. The entertaining thing is that the reason I had the tape recorder
on me was so that I could collect bad commercials on my car radio. I ended
up getting so much shit for recording those screams. People called me sick,
but they fail to realize the concept behind this recording. "Plague of
Humanity" focuses on the damages of overpopulation. The song with the screams,
"Face of Humanity - Family of Pigs" is a mirror of human behavior. Our
only focus in life is to consume as much as possible. We don't wake up
until we face our own extinction, and then we scream, but no one will listen,
for everyone is busy screaming themselves. What differentiates mankind
from pigs is that we have it in our hands to choose our own destiny and
still we look the other way. Humans get freaked out by death and cruelty
because they are too sheltered. We destroy this planet because we don't
want to face the consequences of our doing. Is it really sick to expose
people to the death that we produce? What sickens me is blissful ignorance,
the fact that people grossly indulge in consumerism without spending a
single thought about the resources humans drain and destroy every time
they buy things they don't need.
Do you feel that the recorded output of the
Aesthetic Meat Front can come anywhere close to the live setting as far
as communicating your ideas?
The releases of Aesthetic Meat Front are not
only to be seen as an implement for spreading the ideas and philosophies,
but are also designed to paint a state of mind within the listener that
reflects certain aspects of our rituals. Aesthetic Meat Front can reach
far more people with the recorded sounds than we could ever reach with
the public rituals. Especially in this day and age, the possibilities are
unlimited for exposing your sound to the public. I also hope that some
people will get inspired enough to use our sonique material for their own
rituals and carnal experiments. The public rituals of Aesthetic Meat Front
include so many different elements and are designed to employ all senses;
it would be impossible to recreate this experience with such limited media
as a CD.
I've yet to hear the new split CD with Psychonaut
75. Would you say that the direction of your sound remains steadfast?
The soundscape of Aesthetic Meat Front is
ever evolving; all of my five releases have a different feel to them. I'm
hoping to get back into the studio within the next few weeks; so far I
have no idea where that journey will take me. I might start on a project
which I've been meaning to do for quite some time, it is some rather experimental
work based on the Furthark, but I need to be in the right state of mind
What does the term "ritual" mean to you when
it comes to live displays, and historically speaking, what types of ancient
rituals have inspired your own?
I've drawn inspiration and fascination from
the Sun Dance ritual, some Hindu piercing practices, various Aztec rituals,
and of course Norse rituals such as the blood eagle. On a less traditional
note, Crowley's Phoenix rite sparked some very creative thoughts inside
of me. Any willed act can be a ritual if performed with the right mindset.
The rituals on stage combine the primal wisdom from yesterday with the
technology of today. I try not to hang onto tradition. Without a doubt
our forefathers indulged in some powerful rituals and mysteries, but living
in this modern world‚ there is no way one can relive those experiences
our ancestors had. I prefer to take the best out of both worlds. Rituals
have to evolve rather then be repeated the same way over and over again.
On stage I become the phoenix, finding ever-new ways to die and be reborn.
It is a ritual of give and take. The audience acts as a catalyst, a whirlpool
to multiply the energy released on stage. In exchange the Aesthetic Meat
Foundation opens the gate to primal instinct, a key to awaken yourself,
and thus the ultimate deprogramming. The rituals are designed to get the
audience involved as much as possible: We walk through the crowd with blood
and chunks of dead flesh, to expose the audience to not only sound and
visuals but also to the experience of touch and smell. We provide pipes
and pieces of metal junk for the audience to make noise. People get baptized‚
and painted with blood, and sometimes the audience can write or paint words
and images of despair on pieces of drywall that will be destroyed by us
and the audience during the ritual.
One would assume due to the intentionally
intense nature of your performances that "venues" or other subversive locations
for live displays might be scarce?
You don't even know how right you are! Just
now I found out that we won't be able to play at a club in Los Angeles
because of our use of blood. This is a burden I'm willing to take. It is
better to just have a few shows and go all the way than to compromise and
have plenty without the intensity.
What are some of the most interesting locations
in which you've been able to perform (legally or illegally, indoors or
One is Burning Man, it's a true challenge
to conquer the environment. The heat was so intense at times that blood
would crystallize, cow heads would partly mummify, and sometimes sandstorms
would attack our set, try to steal our tents, or destroy our equipment.
Nothing is meant to live there. Another is The Shipyard, an industrial
yard near the harbor of Berkeley in California. Aesthetic Meat Front performed
there during an experimental night that focused on noise as an art form.
It was a very strange mix of people, sounds, and energies that night. Still
another is Stubnitz, an old fishing boat in Rostock, Germany that was converted
into a concert ship. And then there was an abandoned airplane engine check
facility in southern California where we had a couple of our Noize Fests,
and that was by far the creepiest environment we played at. It is a yard
with several halls. One building has an eye washroom that reminded me of
a scene of a documentary on German death camps. This place had destroyed
electrical equipment everywhere, and ferocious looking metal fixtures that
used to hold the airplane engine.
Another potentially trivial query, but where
does one purchase all of these supplies (blood, bones, animal parts) for
use both within the context of music and live rituals?
Just call your local slaughterhouse.
Visually the iconic Aesthetic Meat Foundation
logo is quite striking, bearing resemblance to certain runes. What does
the symbol represent both as a whole, and in parts - if each element can
be broken down, that is?
It is a bindrune of Dagaz and Jera, which
is fused in the center of Dagaz. Individually Dagaz stands here for twilight,
the time of awakening, the gate from one world into another. Jera is the
circle of nature, the primal current, a force that is essential for one's
own evolution. Joined they invoke a violent change, Jera is fused in the
center of Dagaz, the point where one world/dimension meets the other, thus
releasing an intense and focused energy. The rune is rotating, breaking
down stasis, the enemy of evolution.
I think that's good note to close on: Where
do you see the evolution of both the Aesthetic Meat Front and the Aesthetic
Meat Foundation progressing in the future?
This will depend on which direction our world
is taking. If the whole planet is on fire, the smell of burning flesh would
provide the public service of awakening the masses. We could never compete
which that. But for the near future the focus will go more into bodysoniques,
exploring and refining the possibilities of turning physical pain and psychological
transition into sound in order to create a live symphony of transformation.
Is there anything else you'd care to add?
Aesthetic Meat Front is currently preparing
to invade Old Europe this November. Promoters can contact us through our
website. Fulfill your Deep Desire!
Interview with Rule Satannia!:
>Who else makes up the A-M-F?
A-M-F is a translucent collective of rituals,
desires, ideas, philosophies, arts, dreams and nightmares. Who
is involved entirely depends on the focus of
In 1996 I started performing public rituals. JayJ,
the drummer and pyromaniac has been with us since 1997.
Serina, who is in love with broken glass performed
with A-M-F consistently since 1998. And there is
R|A|A|N who manipulates drones and tortures sounds,
that he captures during our rituals. Everyone else
comes and goes and sometimes sticks around for
It's hard to tour with so many people, so who
ever is available and suited for the ritual is A-M-F at that
moment. This includes hook addicts, blood junkies,
fire dancers, donors of various voices and languages,
instruments and noize machines, body piercers,
make-up artists, props and everyone in the audience who
actively participates in the ritual.
>Can you give our readers a brief description
of the philosophy behind the A-M-F?
A-M-F started out as an instrument of propaganda,
raising the awareness of apocalyptic culture/art. Now
that the smell of the burning flesh of men proclaims
the winds of change knocking at our door, it is our
responsibility to focus on influencing and directing
this change. We're at the cross roads of Total Control
and Pure Kaos. Power entices and absolute power,
entices absolutely. Yet we have to realize that this
absolute power does nothing towards our own good,
for we are not in control of it. Thus me must embrace
Pure Kaos as our only friend. Total Control feeds
on the corporate reality invented by mass media. We
create ruptures within this reality, every time
we dissociate us from social and cultural boundaries.
A-M-F has become a virus. Don't join us, mutate
our strain and multiply, be infected with will towards
self-evolution, open your wounds, inflame your
minds, spread the madness and grow with it or crumble.
>How do you deal with the pain of a suspension?
Pain, what pain? The moment my body is above the
ground, my spirit goes on vacation. For me suspension
is not about pain it is about losing oneself
within oneself in order to be one with oneself.
>How often can you perform a Public Deprogramming
Ritual before it takes a toll on your body?
Last time we toured Europe I did 3 suspensions
within one week, this was pushing it a bit. But I had 5 month
time until my next public ritual. I try not to
perform more than 8 times a year. This way my body can rest
and I don't get too used to being the hang-man.
In order to unleash and direct the right energy at the
right moment, the ritual has to stay an intense
experience for me.
>How do you want your audience to feel?
Self-aware and in touch with their primal instinkt.
Realize your Deep Desire, what ever it may be. The
ritual is a wake up call to your daimonic Self.
Some people may find our techniques shocking, but that's
merely a side effect. We don't aim to shock,
we don't aim to please, we aim to deprogram.
To me it makes little difference if people get
offended or if they love what I do. Of course it is
more rewarding to see people overcome their inhibitions,
dive into their primal selves, while
being comfortable with it. However the main focus
of our rituals lays on unleashing a raw primal energy and
thus opening many doors within the minds of our
audience. It doesn't matter what door you choose or
how you deal with it, as long as you don't remain
>Some religious sects use pain and self-mutilation
in their rituals (the Hindu festival of Thaipusam comes
>to mind). Do you see any similarity between
this and what you do?
There are most definitely similarities between
the techniques we use and various shamanistic rites. I see
these techniques rather as a form of body-manipulation
then self-mutilation. I wear my scars with much pride.
Every scar on my body represents a ritual against
the disintegration of mind, a disintegration which is
promoted by our so-called civilized society.
Pain introduced with the right state of mind is not a
punishment, it is a reward. Agony is only the
first step towards catharsis. We combine pain with sonique
energies, the smell and sight of animal parts
and fresh blood. Also when ever possible fire lights the
road towards a trance like state of mind. Magically
nothing can compete with diving into the abyss of
ecstasy without loosing your awareness. The key
towards this ecstasy lays within your own body.
>Is there any chance of a performance in the UK?
Due to the nature of our rituals it's hard to
find a venue and promoter who is willing to host us. We
performed in London 2001 at the Red Rose during
the Hinoeuma-Stigma festival. It was the first time I
suspended in public. Very few things in life
are as rewarding than seeing the facial expressions of the
audience when you start distributing raw cow
parts in the world capitol of BSE. Yet it did not took long for
the audience to overcome their fears. I truly
enjoyed performing in London. All it takes is 2 tickets, a
suitable venue, some deconstructed cows and a
promoter who doesn't mind giving us a helping hand with
preparing one of our Public Deprogramming Rituals.
>If you would like to mention your forthcoming
PDR and any future projects also, we would include that
>in the article.
Currently I'm working on a couple of new CDs,
but there is no release date yet. There is Embalmer Tapes
which only sound-source is based on a recording
of an embalming session. I dissected, sliced and
reconstructed the sound from this tape back in
2000. So the material will have a somewhat older A-M-F
flavor to it. And then there is "My Soul on Fire"
This material is based on the following invocation that we
translated into languages from every corner of
this planet. Please stay updated via our website and
mailing list: http://a-m-f.org
Can you feel your deep desire burning,
Are you afraid of your temple of flesh,
Are you afraid to lose your mind in the abyss
Look around you, are you fulfilled living in
Is you PC flesh satisfied,
Does your media brain need an upgrade,
Thank you for being a valuable part of the economic
Every human is a potential threat to our security,
Consumer terrorists everywhere,
Sleeper cells that will never awaken, for they've
Feed your innermost flame,
Cut open your flesh, inflame your mind, re-open
This moment only is true,
Spirit cleansed in pain, burned in pleasure and
Temple of Flesh set my Soul on Fire!
Interview with Louis Fleischauer by Patricia
of VIAL Magazine