Interview conducted by Carcassbomb
Extinction is a new project best described as “eco-slam”, a genre of extreme death metal that combines their music with activism for various pro earth and humanitarian causes. The general concept is to highlight the ecological disasters caused by modern society. I had the chance to speak with the person behind Extinction about their causes and the new demo Anthropogenic Degradation of Ecosystemic Vegetation. One of the practices I find particularly interesting is the use of recycled cassettes and clothing as an eco friendly alternative to major production. The result is something a lot more personal and varied. Extinction is currently a solo project that is keen on assembling a band to take things to the next level so make sure to get in touch if you want to get involved.
What is the premise of your project?
My project Extinction is based on the essential premise that death metal is not only meant to be sonically ugly, but also reflect and confront some kind of social-cultural or existential ugliness. In this case, I believe the most essential topic facing us today is not only climate change, pollution and the loss of global animal life, but the essential systemic role that we as human beings play in causing those issues. With that in mind and in keeping with the brutal and horrific nature of death metal, the main focus is on species of animals made extinct in one way or another due to human activity. For example, our next EP will prominently feature species hunted to extinction for purely cosmetic or homeopathic purposes.
Is Extinction a solo project?
Extinction is currently a solo project, but I have every intention of growing it into a full live ensemble for shows and tours: this is something I want to take on the road and stretch out into the world like a mudslide of discarded plastic bottles. I’ve got some feelers out already, but by all means, any interested party out there is encouraged to get in touch! The community as a whole is only strengthened by further contact and collaborations
What causes do you represent and what actions do you take to enact them?
The primary causes I am invested in and attempting to represent right now is wildlife and ecosystem conservation and protection, animal rights, pollution, even other related issues like human rights and immigration. Any proceeds above and beyond shipping or for digital distribution we donate to a variety of non-profits, ranging from animal activism to conservation or even anti-hate efforts.
As a band, I am trying to enact and embody those principles by only producing physical media that is recycled: we only make shirts and other merch that is printed on clothes obtained at The Red Cross and other charitable thrift stores, and the same for our cassette tapes which are dubbed over existing material before being stamped with our logo. It is our intent to never contribute to new material extraction from the earth or supporting companies that do so by commissioning goods to be created or printed.
How has the reception of the recycled tapes been?
People seem to be pleasantly surprised by the idea, so it’s been really good! I know tapes are an old technology and kind of a niche market, but I’m hoping that at the very least it serves as a kind of beacon for positive creativity and inspiration.
What are the pros and cons of releasing cassette this way? I feel like it should be a more common practice than it is.
In my view, the benefits for doing it this way are many. Most importantly is that it provides a medium to deliver sweet tunes, and in a way that reinforces and enhances the core of the environmental message in a positive way. And it allows for a lot of room to explore unique artistic interactions, such as placing the Extinction logo over a picture of scenic pasture country album and hopefully a more personal touch and point of connection with the listener.
The downside is that each tape must be made individually, so it puts an extra burden on our end to create each one, though I much prefer that compared to supporting the petroleum plastics industry by commissioning new materials.
What part of the process are you in with the next EP?
For the next EP Oceanic Garbagement Anoxia, a few songs are written and in the rehearsal process, rough compositions are in place for the others, the cover art is done and a storyboard is laid out for a music video. It’s a pretty aggressive timeline to aim for February, but I handle a lot of the studio work in house and have a lot of energy and inspiration right now, so want to ride that wave as long as possible!
About the charities:
For the charities, I’ve chosen what I believe to be excellent examples of forward-thinking and impact-based charities that cover a wide range of the disasters our species is currently bringing upon itself. For the lungs of the planet and the future of the air, I have selected Amazon Conservation as a group working to protect our precious forests and biodiversity.
I have selected seashepherd.org as stewards of ocean life and their effective strategies in directly confronting illegal and unethical human activities in a proactive manner. And for the ethical treatment of animals and livestock I highlight The Humane League, for their excellent and hard work on addressing the inner workings and supply chains of the food industry of the US.
Another thing I really want to emphasize is that we are all part of the problem, and we are all part of the solution, and that there is no one-size-fits-all perfect answer. It’s tempting to imagine ourselves or someone else as some kind of legendary eco-warrior who is constantly in a state of smashing capitalism and living in perfect harmony with nature and eating only wheatgrass, but I think that kind of black or white thinking actually encourages most people to give up, turn to nihilism and not even try to improve their own situation or the world around them, rather than inspire them. The reality is that not everyone is in a position to make perfect choices all the time, but we are all in a position to do something, whether it’s a plant-based diet, biking more, recycling, careful consumerism, volunteering or any other number of things. We can all do things with positive impact and push ourselves, but none of us can do everything, and there are a great number of worthy causes out there to be championed.
This is a part of Noob Heavy Activism. If you are a band with actively working towards change feel free to contact me below to speak to me about them. I won’t interview everyone and the activism has to be real, not just outspoken social media accounts trying to promote their music using ideals.