Trepidation and Commitment
"Oh boy, people aren't going to like this. Green light!"
(another repost from the Facebook group!)
Before we start, I want to say that we have a new thing being prepared by Kelvin Green. It was largely finished in the fall, but the book that was supposed to be paired with it is delayed (I don’t like sending single books to the printer for various reasons). We’ve taken this time to develop a deluxe special edition of the project. It’s taken about a year all told, it’s a huge investment, and therefore a huge risk. Will people buy it? Will people like it?
Standard worries for any book. Nothing to really angst about, so there’s no reason to do so. But I don’t expect (famous last words) that people will be offended by Green’s project. It’s not one of the metalgoreedgy releases. So I just don’t worry about it that way nor fuss about it publicly.
I want to say that up front because I’m always talking about the ‘troublesome’ projects, and those are the things that occupy my mind because that’s where I expect the real trouble to come from. And it gets the attention and overshadows the less controversial work. ("... but you fuck one pig...") So I wanted to highlight that these not-intending-to-provoke things do exist and are being developed even as I’m talking about these other things.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Dismember.
One of the early Swedish death metal bands, they become relevant to our discussion with the release of their 1991 debut album Like an Everflowing Stream. When one shipment of records was being sent from their German label to a local distributor in the UK, it was checked by customs. On the album was a song called Skin Her Alive, which caused them a bit of legal trouble. The distributor was charged and the case went to court, with the government claiming that Dismember’s music was indecent and obscene.
(This sort of subject matter isn’t unusual in death metal. And it was this wave of death metal in the early 90s that I first became very interested in metal and music in general.)
The distributor won the court case (the literature I have on the subject indicates that the song being based on the real-life murder of a woman in the apartment undernearth where the singer lived may have influenced that opinion).
Dismember decided to name their second album Indecent and Obscene, a bit of a fuck you to the British government.
People who have been around LotFP awhile may find that attitude familiar.
And by chance I bought that album’s shirt off of the band earlier this year.
(I have also previously done a parody/homage of the cover art of Dismember’s Pieces release for promo art. The one with the decapitated heads all tied together with their hair, that Facebook refused to let me use in an ad. 😃 Indecent and Obscene’s cover was intended as a parody of that one famous Jim Morrison photo, by the by. Transform and recycle everything!)
The point is that this story and stories like it (and there are many) from the metal world were always so cool to me. Very influential, because they were a continuation of similar stories from RPGs and horror movies about censorship and “concern” for content, and how to respond to them. Make things that piss off The Man and don’t back down!
These days I’m a bit wearier. But still determined to not compromise the content of what goes in the books, whatever else I do have to compromise to make everything work.
And the present thing making me think about all this is I’ve gotten a prelim draft of one of the promo things I solicited last month. I knew it was going to be... provocative, we’ll call it, but seeing it with text and such really hit home about how some people are just not going to like it.
And as a promo item, it’ll be in the hands of people who didn’t necessarily ask for it. Is that a good idea?
But I remember what I did with Better Than Any Man. Slügs. Vaginas are Magic! Eldritch Cock. (Doom-Cave didn’t have any visual content in that vein in my estimation, even if a bit of the text was racy.) And why.
And even if this pisses people off, even if it further entrenches LotFP as "that sort of thing" even when we’re also doing other sorts of things...
I was interested in the concept and the execution seems to be on point.
This must stand, and it will be made, and will be distributed as originally intended.
No matter the cost.
To decide anything else is to nullify the whole of the LotFP project.