I will expand on this story over time, as presently only my inner circle and those that follow me on Mastodon know of the mental illnesses I face and my general proclivity for horrors and running amok. But, as an introductory post, let’s talk about music collaboration, gods above and below, and the intersection of madness and creativity.
Those that have followed me the past year know that I am quite busy at any given moment doing two things: writhing in agony from the comorbidity of Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder Type 1, and writing music – shit-tons of it. Since the very beginnings with my Hopes and Dreams EP up until the A Soul Rendered Void remix EP and everything in between those, I worked mostly solo sans some excellent production from an international pal who also for Voidtouched did the drum programming. However for the next-slated album, which is guitar-complete at this point, I wanted to bring in a competent bassist that could match my more-than-competent 7-string and 8-string slinging. For this, there was exactly one person I had in mind even though we could not be more dissimilar.
I am transgender, anarchist, deciding between Satanism and Atheism (though heavily leaning toward Satanism), and severely chaotic and mentally ill. He’s not those things at all. Venya, as he refers to himself via his Mastodon profile, is cisgender, politically conservative, and Christian. However, we’ve been friends since making acquaintances back circa May 2022 or so. He’s seen me at my “best” (musically only haha; it’s been a year and a bunch on the mental health front, which we’ll get to shortly) and absolutely seen me at my explosive and chaotic and self-destructive worst (heh, mental illness).
He often looks on as a friend and support, watching most likely in horror as Bipolar 1 and BPD grip me in their vise. And somehow, he soldiers on, writing bass-lines more than worthy of anything I have and ever will lay down.
But the curious part, and the reason for this post, is how the fuck do we reconcile the fact that we are poles apart politically and spiritually? He has written his mind on this matter, and that inspired me to get back to writing with a concurring opinion: friendship and mutual respect – keyword, respect – can galvanize most bridges … bridges that I often burn while standing on given my Borderline Personality Disorder.
Yes, my next album, Salvation, is admittedly anti-God, anti-Religion, and anti-authoritarian. And yes, those are my words, my concept, and my commissioned art for the project. And, I take complete ownership and accountability for that message. Venya, and the pal that does drums and production, are equal to my efforts as far as I’m concerned, but obviously it is the words that are mine and mine alone. I know he has no end of fits nor consternation regarding my creation and realization of such a concept album, but that’s how it is. If he were to ask me to collaborate on most anything (sans maybe songs of genocide), I will gladly do the same in return, because my hatred for Christianity begins and ends with the collective, not with the individual.
There are plenty, possibly even a plurality or majority, of Christians that are shitheads and that I’d love to see rot. But Venya has always treated me with respect and love, just as the correct understanding of Jesus demands. Venya is impeccable with his dedication to that correct understanding. I know for a fact that my existence may be problematic, but he extends the love and empathy that a true follower of Christ should and does. If I were to judge every individual I disagreed with in any capacity, I’d be alone on this earth. To my knowledge, he’s not trying to deny me the medicine I need to feel comfy walking this earth. He’s not trying to kill me, deny me my basic rights of life and freedom of expression or anything like that.
For me, working with him is easy. Probably many orders of magnitude easier working with him than he with myself. I am a heretic, and I revel in it. And, this heretic needs a Christian for the full impact of her work to be felt.
To quote lyrics from the closer from my upcoming heretic anti-Gospel:
God, I want to know you
I want to be your friend
I want to see fields of green
Fruitful pastures of abundance
But if the executioner’s heart of man
Is truly in your image
Then to You I say
I simply cannot
I had my day where I wanted to be closer to the Christian interpretation of godliness and God himself. But I refuse to play the game where me and my kind are slaughtered for existing. You can say that I once felt God’s love, rejected it, and now serve no master at all. Who am I to say that one who felt and properly shows God’s love is an enemy? Nah, I hope this is but the beginning of a long standing collaboration, though I’m sure my concepts will get more radical and violent in a musical sense as the albums march on.
A sneak peek of Salvation can be found in my Unspeakable EP, available as of July 2023 on BandCamp: