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King Dude

King Dude
We Can All Be Very Much Like Christ


Архив интервью | Русская версия

“Let’s just hang out! Hanging out is better that an interview, right?” — that’s what TJ Cowgill aka King Dude suggested when I finally found him at Iceland’s Ascension festival not listening to bands or talking to other people. It wasn’t long before Sinmara’s set, though, and it turned out we both wanted to see them. So, with not really enough time for an interview, we did decide to just hang out. Then I heard a sophisticated lecture on how Russians and Americans are really close in their values. Then he told me how he toured with Watain back in the day (when he was in Book of Black Earth, I suppose). Then we had a short conversation in Swedish. Then he spoke of how worthless bands are if they can’t play without electricity or without those many many instruments. Then there was that only time when I managed to sneak a word and noted that he couldn’t play songs from his last album this way either. Then he told me how people asked for “Velvet Rope” at a solo show of his, and how he played it with just his acoustic guitar, and how he hopes it didn’t make it to YouTube, and how bad it is that people watch shows through screens and can’t live in the moment. Then he told me about the role of the theater in the broad sense of the word. Then he told me some more… Needless to say, I really regretted not having my audio recorder turned on because it was a hell of a spiritual trip. Well, once a King — always a King. The interview you’re about to read was done the next day and it isn’t any less beautiful, in my opinion. You’ll read him saying he wants his music to have a universal appeal. Don’t know about the music but his interviews certainly do have it. To all you pagans, to all you Satanists, to all you metalheads, all you revolutionaries, to all you dreading about the future and to all those seeking love — here’s what King Dude has to say.

The first thing I  wanted to ask is — I know that initially you were supposed to play a solo show here, at Ascension, but in the end you managed to bring over the whole band. How different are the sets when you play solo vs when you play with your demon brothers? I don’t suppose you could play songs from the last album (“Music To Make War To”, 2018) just on your own…

I can and I have. I just did four shows in Australia, and I wanted to play some of the songs from the new album, and I learnt a version of “Velvet Rope”, and I played it quite… I think it was really good but it reduces it back to how the demo was created. And it’s fun, people still like it, they know the song. You fill in the blank, so to speak, as an audience member, I think, and I do too. You hear the other parts in your head because you listened to the album. I think it’s fun to have these different versions of some songs sometimes. I don’t really try and do like, “Ok, this is what we did in the studio, so this is what we must do live.” I don’t see the point in that when you could do it differently. Sometimes bands really want to recreate the sound of a recording, and that’s fine too but it’s just not really for me. I like more spontaneity in the music itself and in the act of performing it live. And in the studio, too — I love spontaneous events.

You don’t want the sound to be too polished.

No, I don’t like that. I’m not a big audiophile guy. Do you know what I mean by audiophile? I’m not a person who’s giving you a remastered edition of a record or even the one really concerned with that. I just want it to sound like something I like and that’s pretty easy to do. I record my own albums at times. I worked with other people for the last album but everything else I’ve done myself, except for “Fear” (2014). Even on that I did extra tracking myself ‘cos it didn’t feel done — and it doesn’t matter how you do it. There’s a lot of ways to skin a cat, and if you’re trying to make an album, there’s a thousand ways to do it, a million ways. These ways haven’t even been figured out yet. Every time somebody does something wrong, a little bit broken, a little bit different, or maybe their own way, it causes mutation, and mutation is always good in music.   

What’s good about perfection, anyway?

Nothing. And it’s impossible. It’s a fool’s error to attempt to be perfect in anything you do. You should just learn to accept the fact that you’re not. I mean, some people are perfectionists and they might succeed in that but I think that this is making them a little less happy in their own life. It’s a stressful space to attempt to be in, one can easily end up in depression. And there are a lot of things we can do to be happier. One of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself — and I’m only speaking from my experience — is to try and eliminate the feeling that you feel in your gut. It’s what people call “intuition”, it’s this dread. You may have this sense of dread and you don’t know why — I used to have it before I had to go to work as a bartender. I had a lot of jobs but before every job I ever had my body would be like (gasps). It’s like a small stress, it’s very small and it’s easy to push it away. It’s this stomach shock, that’s why we say ‘I feel it in my gut’. It’s the same place you fall in love. When your heart breaks — it’s the same place where your heart breaks. It’s not here. (points at his heart) It feels like a kick in the stomach. I’m trying in my life to never ever have that feeling. I’ve noticed it going away… the first time it went away was when I quit my job as a bartender and started my own business and it was amazing. I was like, “Wow, I don’t feel bad there (points at the stomach) anymore.” And then I was in a different band and then a band practice was coming up and I was like “oh, the feeling’s back.” Soon I quit the band. I just stopped that band because I figured out that it gives me this feeling — I’ve just been ruled by that. It’s pretty rare to connect the mind to that — especially for men. They’re really bad at that, they’re bad at being intuitive because they’re told not to, they’re told to ignore their feelings. I’m not having that feeling all the time but if I have that feeling, I try and listen to that. And what means happiness — I feel much healthier, I feel younger, I feel good, I don’t feel unwell, I don’t feel uneased, and I don’t worry about certain things anymore. I like that I don’t have to feel worried, but it’s interesting that I still have to make sure that I listen to it. I think that’s what kills people, I think that’s why some people get diseases. I know it sounds crazy but when they feel that unwell, it’s like your body goes out of work, your rhythm gets off and then.... I mean, there’s so many people like that in the world. But this is my calling, this is what I’m supposed to be doing and I don’t really have a choice, so I’m fulfilling it, you know, completely. Giving myself over to it completely has been difficult at times but it’s not without its joys, even the difficult part is still good and the trying times are still good because I know I’m on the path that I should be, my mystical path. That’s the point of it.  

You’re not looking to please other musicians, you play for, like, general public…

Oh, you read Bardo Methodology?

Yeah, he’s GREAT!

Yeah, Niklas is great. He’s somewhere around here, you should meet him, he’s a great writer. I made the mistake to call him a rock journalist but he’s not, he’s very good. I mean, not that rock journalism is bad, no offense, but often… You know how bad they can be…. but you’ve read that and it’s cool that you’ve read that. Yeah, I don’t try and please other musicians or engineers or producers.  

What’s so different about their attitude?

Oh, there’s a lot, there’s a lot that can be different.

But wouldn’t you get upset if… I mean, apart from being musicians, they’re listeners too, and you’re a listener too, so wouldn’t you be upset if they said they don’t play their music for you, their listener?

Yeah, but I don’t play for them. I play for people who aren’t them. I’m not here to impress the producer or the guy who owns a recording studio, you know what I mean? I’m here to try and make music that can really interest a LOT of people and I’m obviously not very good at it because it doesn’t connect to everyone but I’m not trying to be a pop musician. What I’m trying to do is write songs that just everyone can relate to. It might be a well-trained studio musician or a person who’s obviously never played anything. That’s very important to me. What I talked about in that interview — it’s almost like there’s a form of elitism that grows around the recorded music industry which I find appalling. It’s sort of like because they went to school to learn how to become this kind of engineer, we have to pay them a lot of money to make an album. It’s something not true, it’s simply fucking not true. I love VAN Records, my record label and I’m not just saying it because you’ll get it printed, but I do. And I do because the guy who runs it literally gave me carte blanche — I can do whatever I want. There is no suggestion. There are some suggestions and I like them but it’s not like, ‘You need to make this kind of album’ or ‘You need to do this kind of quality recording’. Anything I give him, he’d put out, because he trusts me and I trust him. That trust is way bigger than something that could come from a big record label or a major record label. Majors are the worst, in my opinion. They just destroy bands, they destroy art, they destroy music. I mean, it’s super rare that a good band gets on a major and stays the same, stays true in their form. And everybody kind of knows it, they feel it, at times they go, ‘Oh, they’re probably working with this producer because they need to have a certain name on their album’. Or, ‘They’re going to this studio because it’s prestigious’. And then they’re in that collegic sort of setting…

Well, I don’t think the general audience actually cares about studios…

That’s what I’m saying, that’s exactly what I’m saying, they don’t give a fuck…     

I only look at those things when I put a new CD review on our site because I need to fill in all the forms.

Yeah, that’s the only time when you see it — when you read liner notes, because you’re doing your job as a journalist. Yeah, who else does that? Only people with autism. No, it’s true! A guy in my band was like that. He couldn’t pay his rent on time and he forgot to bring his bass to rehearsals but he could tell you who produced, like, the second Ratt album and who the co-producer and co-engineer was. It was amazing. It was like his brain was filled with all that other information and he couldn’t remember what time he had to be at work. Don’t get me wrong, producers do make albums, that’s their job. There are good ones. I have a very good friend who most likely will produce the next album but that’s because I love him and trust him and want to work with him. He’s a great musician.

But it’s something more…

Yeah, it is something more. Also the next album is going to be a big one for us, so I want to make sure certain boxes are ticked. Since I make my own recordings, I spend a lot of time with them, I don’t relinquish control very readily. I may spend weeks working on a single song. It’s a bit maddening. I go a little crazy, and I’d like to not go crazy. Like I said, be aware of this feeling here (the gut feeling) and also be aware of the feelings in your mind because it’s like a static cloud of electricity and it consumes me and I literally can’t sleep, I won’t sleep for days.

Repetition is the definition of insanity!

Absolutely. And there is no quicker way to go crazy than by starting a band and deciding to record everything yourself and not knowing how the fuck to do it.

Unless you’re an autist…

Yeah, but then you are maybe already crazy a bit, to begin with.

So, you already have ideas for the next album, that’s a great, WOW!

Yeah, I have all these albums planned.

Is it going to continue the concept behind your previous records? Each of them represents a certain core idea, which underlies human existence. You have Love, Fear, Sex, War and now there is….

I can tell you. It’s called “Death”.

And as for “Music To Make War To”, what kind of war is it?

It’s all kinds of war except for the obvious one, the literal war between nations. It’s all the other places that war takes place which is like between people who love each other, and you set out like, “I wanna fucking destroy that person”, or when somebody does that to you. Or family rivalries — it’s about that. It’s about people who are at odds with their space, when it feels as though the environment is literally at war with you, your city life, or you’re trapped somewhere and you can’t escape. It’s a lot of the things. And I mean, war happens everywhere, conflict is just everywhere and there are always some things about which you have to decide, “I’m gonna fucking go to total war with this thing”, whatever it is in your life that you wanna obliterate and remove. That’s what it’s all about.

Are you always in that state?

Am I always in that state? (laughs) No, I’m certainly not. If I were always in that state, it’d be awful. I find myself really in that state probably as much as anyone else would be. You know, things happen. It’s a pretty chaotic world we live in, it’s a chaotic soup, so things happen, there’s gonna be conflict. This whole John Lennon thing, ‘all we are saying is, give peace a chance’ — don’t you think we fucking tried it already? That’s a very arrogant shit song to me and it didn’t work.

I think those people who claim they preach love and peace are the most bloodthirsty breed.

It’s a crazy world we’re coming to, but in a way, there are times of peace and there are times of war and we are coming up on another time of war. And this is more like cultural war, economic warfare is certainly on the horizon, if not here. There might be some literal war but it won’t be fought like anything we’d be looking to, there’s a lot of cultural war happening. You see how easy it is to find war? It gets really easy if you look for it. It’s everywhere and everyone feels it, but it’s on the horizon somewhere and we can’t see it. And all of a sudden it will peek over those mountains and it will go, “I’m here”. That’s what we should be conscious of and worried… maybe not really worried but just aware of ‘cos it’s coming. There’s nothing to worry about, it will come but we should be conscious about it and prepare for the inevitable outbreak of it.

There’s a certain beauty in destruction, don’t you think?

I don’t want people to die and I don’t want people to be hurt either and I don’t want people to be oppressed, I really don’t. But the thing is, it is inevitable, it’s true. I describe it as a ride on a carousel, that we get on and off and it’s time people wanna take another ride on it ‘cos they think it looks fun. In the West, at least, it seems like they have peace and nobody gets sent off to war and dying. And young men who don’t go and do that, unfortunately, do other things. It may be mass school shootings. You know there’s a lot of bent-up aggression and that aggression finds its way out if you don’t give them something to do with it. I don’t think we should be sending people off to war but I think what we’re dealing with now is an inevitable outcome of the time of peace, and people are like, ‘Let’s just fucking do this again.’ They overwork the Internet and get pissed off at anyone whose opinion’s different than theirs. It’s pretty ridiculous to me.  

Oh yeah. I agree, totally. Recently I had a very heated discussion — a fight, really — with some attenders of Midgardsblot festival, those self-proclaimed heathens who don’t know shit about history, or mythology, or paganism and they got all butthurt when I suggested that they should.  

No, people don’t know anything about paganism because there is no attachment, paganism was pretty much wiped out. And paganism is a broad term for a lot of different people that lived in a lot of different places and did things in different ways. You can’t compare the mythology of someone from, let’s say, Lithuania, which is certainly a pagan place, with, let’s say, Finland. They’re so near but they are not the same. And Finland is vastly different from Sweden’s mythology and all that stuff which somebody might conflate with paganism. A pagan literally means a villager, a farmer, and basically paganism means a common person’s religion. And that’s what everybody did in all these different places before Christianity came in and kind of cut it off. Once it was cut off, it masks itself within the Christian beliefs of each regional place but there’s a disconnect. Everyone who runs around today with tribal sort of tattoos and they watch this TV-show “Vikings” and they say that they’re pagan... (laughs) Listen, they should take a grain of salt with it and understand that there’s a massive disconnect. If they studied the mythology and history, they would know that. There’s no connection, there’s no constant thread. It’s been cut and it’s been mixed with Christianity. And the reviling of Christianity is absurd, too, ‘cos it’s become partly theirs, it’s now a chaotic soup that we’re in. You don’t need to do that, you don’t need to be, "Oh, I’m a pagan, I’m not a Christian." Well, your parents were Christian. I mean, technically a lot of the ideas that you harbor are very Christian.  

They approach paganism as Christians…

Yeah, it’s like a really absurd upside-down version. It’s like, imagine you took two different colors and you mixed it. It’s usually gonna be one color, right? Black and white mixed together turn grey. They are turning their back on it, but they possess all those Judeo-Christian ideas, this ideology.  Really deep, there are things like “don’t steal from each other” —  that’s certainly not a pagan idea.

Well, I think Icelandic sagas actually mention such things — something like “don’t steal”. They had so many trials to settle these very things…

Oh yeah, I mean, probably not from each other but when it’s other people, that’s ok. Maybe that’s not the best example but it’s just the one that came off the top of my head. But you know what I mean, right? You‘re not really gonna be a pagan. All you’re gonna be is a pseudo Christian pagan. I guess I understand the power of the name and there are certain ideas that I can relate to, but I don’t call myself a pagan. The reason I call myself a Luciferianist is because it’s relatively new in the name — not in the concept, but in the name. I don’t wanna say that I’m pagan because it’s just confusing. It’s the same thing when the far left calls people: “That person’s a Nazi”. That’s not a Nazi, that’s a white nationalist, and that’s bad enough. Say what you mean, use your words right. This is what pisses me off — people not knowing what they are saying, or they don’t know what it sounds like to the people. I travel so much and languages are really important. I only speak English — and I speak a little bit of Swedish but it’s a very little bit. The reason I think languages are so important is because I do travel and I’m grateful that English is a universal language but you have to be clear in that. You can’t use things like, “Oh, you know what I mean,” like when people say it in America, “Oh, you know he’s not a Nazi, you know what I mean, he’s like a jerk.” No, if you go somewhere else and you say it in Germany, for example, or some other place, they take it very literally and seriously. I try and speak in literal English with people when I talk to them, not some Americanized ‘you know what I’m saying’ kind of thing. But of course, I do it all the time, I slip in and out of it because sometimes I really use…. *laughs* I think I’ve already used 4 or 5 different metaphors and allegories in this interview, like when I said ‘there are a lot of ways to skin a cat’ and you might be thinking, ‘Why does he wanna skin this cat that’s walking around? He’s a fucking Satanist." (there was indeed a very cute cat walking around the festival — ed.) No, I don’t want to skin a cat, it’s an allegory.

I actually meant to ask what the difference between Luciferianism and Satanism is…

That’s a very big question…

I know you don’t like to be asked about your faith...

No, it’s ok. (a long pause) Satanism in its LaVeyan form was this spear, in a way, to pierce the massive Christian concept. LaVey was a genius in what he came up with. But to me it’s very Christian itself.

Yeah, because it feeds on Christianity and doesn’t exist on its own.

So, to paraphrase and put it as quickly as possible, Luciferianism, although it takes a great deal from Christianity, it takes a different concept — being the Lucifer. I can’t speak for every Luciferian either, so I’m just speaking for myself. There’s an idea in Christianity that you cannot become like Christ — you can only know Christ and through Christ you can know God. In Luciferianism, I’d say that if we can all be very much like Christ, we don’t need to know that God at all. That’s just the way it is in my mind. I mean this concept doesn’t occur in Satanism, not in the LaVeyan Satanism.

And then all these satanic bands keep using terms like “serve” — serving the great cause, kneeling before the Devil. Satan my master and stuff, you know. I don’t really like that “serving”-part.

I mean, I don’t like it either but I don’t care what anybody else does. As long as they’re peaceful and calm about it, they can say whatever they like. If they wanna serve that Satan, or God, or demiurge, or however they choose to describe that side of the God — that’s fine. I mean, many people do it without saying it. It’s sort of like saying, ‘I’m breathing air.’ It doesn’t mean that much to me but it means a lot to them and I think that’s fine. But I’m talking about something just way different. That’s why it has a different name, that’s why I don’t say I’m Christian, that’s why I don’t say I’m a Satanist. But I feel like both of them are my cousins. And I feel like many people are. And in fact, being a person of faith, it’s really quite easy for me to speak to any of them, any Christian, any Satanist which is a really unique place to be because these are the people who sometimes can’t speak to each other at all. That’s pretty powerful and my faith gives me that. That’s how Christianity started. It was open to that concept and then it was essentially scoped out. If you look at Buddhism, which is a very eastern and obviously very different version, it’s not like Christianity, it’s a different path but they have a concept of bodhisattva, so you can become like Buddha. It’s a difficult path but you can take that path. And there are, like, two roads and it’s pretty hard. One is easier but they are both hard. It takes a lifetime of devotion to become like that. I’m not saying I’m becoming like that, like Bodhisattva, or like Lucifer. All I’m saying — we can. I just know that that is true. I drink, I take drugs, I have sex — I’m not a monk, you know.

Why should you?

Because you should if you want to be like Buddha, or like Christ, or like Lucifer.

I believe we all have different ways to reach this state.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there is a darker path, the downer path but I’m talking about it the other way. There is something else that I feel like I might be doing which is promethean style, like going down the caves, stealing the fire, bringing it back to people. But this story isn’t so good for Prometheus, he is punished for his actions, the gods chain him to the rocks and vultures eat his liver for the rest of the eternity. Well, that can be my life too. (laughs)

I gotta say, that’s a very powerful image.

And it works. These stories that I tell in my songs are true. A lot of them are true. The earlier works were just narrative, I’d use a character and make up something. It doesn’t make them any less good — I don’t think so. My sourcing right from my own experience became better and it shows that people won’t connect to it, unless that’s something meaningful. It’s very nice to know that people suffer for each other, which is again very Christ-like – martyr, sacrifice kind of things.

That’s probably what attracts so many metalheads to you — it’s this devotion and sincerity. Of course, all musicians say they invest themselves in their work and share their own experience but it’s so escapistic and full of isolation.  

It’s hard to relate to, to begin with. This subculture is very rigid and full of many rules. It’s very dogmatic. There are a lot of rules you have to meet, and if you don’t, they really can ostracize someone for it. Because they feel ostracized, to begin with, it’s what led them there, so they defend that little hell they’ve made for themselves. There’s something wrong with that. I think they might like me because all metalheads respect people who don’t give a fucking shit about what other people think. Because they’ve all experienced that themselves.

I liked how you treated that situation with Taake when so many people started giving you shit and you were all like “oh, really?”

Yeah, “what’s been going on?”. That’s the perfect troll. You know what Elvis’ manager said back in the day, like, in the 50s? This is brilliant. It was Colonel [Parker], I think his name was Colonel and he said, ‘I don’t care what they write about Elvis just so long as they spell his name right.’ That’s true because every single one of those motherfuckers was granting me a great deal of power by talking about me. Because each one of those people are miserable. No, listen, hear me out. They’re miserable because they care I didn’t do that or whatever and they think that I’m… whatever. They’re miserable, to begin with. Maybe it was like 100 people and they’re like, “oh this guy is a fucking piece of shit” and then there are 100 people who know them. 90 of them probably dislike them, or maybe 90 of them like them but 10 of them dislike them, and these people dislike them enough to say, ‘Oh, he’s talking about King Dude? I fucking hate that guy and he’s talking about King Dude, so I’ll go and listen to King Dude!’, you know? It’s good advertisement. So, if you’re out there, you fucking moronic people, and you’re reading this and if you feel this way and you’re just ENRAGED, know this: if you want me to go away, stop talking about me. You give me so much power! And my name on your website — I don’t say ‘don’t say it’, say whatever you like. Trust me, you’re only helping. You’re helping me to spread the gospel, so thank you. I should really thank them.

That’s exactly how it works. You remember that guy who brought you whiskey during your performance last night? And you did some shots with him afterwards, too. So, one day we were talking about our favorite bands and I mentioned you and he was all like “oh, it’s that asshole who threw Taake under the bus?”

Yeah, that phrase I’ve heard many times. I wish they understood how the entertainment industry works or what reality is. There is no such thing. It’s not even remotely how it happened. This is not true.

But you did release a statement…

My statement was — I thought it was very clear that it was condemning both sides of the thing. I know what Taake did and I know why they did it and I’m not gonna make excuses for anybody: Hoest is enough of a person to speak for himself, and he released his statement as well. I thought I condemned the antifa as much as I contemned anybody who would support white supremacist stuff on the surface. But that is not what they did. And the reason we canceled the tour, my booking agent was just like, ‘this isn’t gonna be good, this thing will be canceled, we will stop buying flights right now and wait’. And then I got an email from their manager, they said, ‘You should drop off this tour because it’s a sinking ship, they don’t want you to go down with them.’ I’m friends with them, by the way. I mean, they invited me to the Stockholm Slaughter, I just couldn’t make it. We are friends, it would have been great to get there and take a photo, but I couldn’t make it, I was in a different part of Sweden. I’d want them to play. My bassist is Jewish, he wanted to go on the tour, and the tour manager is from Israel, from Tel-Aviv. It’s kind of an absurd thing. People see a photo and their immediate reaction — he’s a fucking nazi. No, he’s not. The first time I met him was at Hellfest. How could this guy fucking play Hellfest if he’s a nazi? So, when he asked me to tour with him, I said ‘of course’. And then somebody takes a photo completely out of context, throws it in their fucking face and NewsWeek is calling me! Like, NewsWeek, the fucking magazine. They were like, ‘can we get an interview with you?’, I was like ‘No! I released a statement — run it’. ‘Cos my statement is clear and anybody who’s upset about that, who says I threw them under the bus doesn’t understand what the fuck happened. And it’s fine because like I said, the more they talk about me, the fucking better.

And I really had to look at it this way: I could either go down with them on the sinking ship and get hell from antifa ‘cos they are very active in America right now, unfortunately, or I could release a statement as they said I should do, listen to the managers’ judgement and lose a quotient of my most ignorant fans. I decided I’d do that. Antifa already doesn’t like me – not as much as Death In June, for Christ’s sake, but they already don’t like me but I’ve never given them a reason. Sometimes people just look at it like, “oh, you’re just playing to antifa.” No, I’m playing intelligently. This game is bigger than antifa. It’s a big chess game. Antifa is just a piece on the board and they’ll go away, trust me. They’re decentralized, no leader… Show me when a group ever came to power without a leader, without a face. So, they’re gonna be the first ones to do it? Really? No. No, it will dispend and will eat itself and other people will claim that they are that. That already happened to Ministry, that fucking shit band. They said, “We are the antifa,” they made a fucking single about it. If I was in the antifa, I’d be very upset about that. I’d be like making phone calls, ‘You are not the antifa. You can’t put on a ski mask and say that you’re the antifa when we know you’re Al Jourgenson.” That’s what he’s doing in the video, it’s hilarious. It’s just so confused. And people don’t like things that are confusing. The civil rights movement in America was led by a great man, Martin Luther King, because he stuck his fucking neck out, he literally died for it. This is how movements happen. They don’t happen without that. I mean, it doesn’t have to be a man but it has to be a person, it has to be a face. That’s how we identify with things. That’s why I stick my face in my fucking album covers.

That’s why I love you so much. While other musicians only think in black & white — so they either play the uncompromising type or they run away from any conflicts and are like ‘oh, it’s just love and peace with us’— you’re playing smart. You’re cunning!

Well, yeah, it’s a big problem that we face in general with people and the way how lost people are. And for whatever reason, that’s what I’m supposed to do and I get to talk to people and I get to teach them about love, actually, and mostly I sing things about that. I hear more often than not that I help people with the music. You know, we’re getting letters and they’re very kind and talking about like “my father died and this song helped me…” or like “I’ve just gone through this breakup and this helped me…”, it’s really nice. There’s a couple here from the Netherlands, I played at their wedding. They met at a party. And the reason I played at the wedding — I wasn’t going to do it but they met at a party and they were playing King Dude and they danced to it and then they fell in love. Then they were gonna get married and wrote me, and I was like, “Yeah, that’s a really romantic story”, so I played at their wedding. (laughs) I’d never played at a wedding before but I was like, “yeah, sure”. Now we are really good friends. There’s a lot you can get from love. And this group of people that are maybe satanic or on the darker side of things, can forget that. So I feel like I’m here to remind them. In a way, I’m a bit of a hippie. (chuckles) My musician friends are always like, ‘Oh, you’re still doing that Lucifer thing, you fucking hippie. Peace, love, happiness and shit” and I’m like, “yeah, yeah, yeah”. But they know it works too, in a way. Obviously, what they do works as well. But it’s a different path and I like it, it’s natural for me to do it.  

Your music helps me too. I remember I was really depressed and then I heard “Watching Over You” - this is an amazing song, the greatest song I’ve ever heard. It’s so full of light, and love…

A lot of great people sing on that. Do you know how sings on that? Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisholm from the Chelsea Wolfe band, and my friend Sean (Ragon) from Cult of Youth. (The song also features Jimmy "Blitzer" Dokter (Botulistum, Urfaust), Spencer Moody (Murder City Devils), Kim Larson, Tennesee Rose, Vanessa Dandurand — ed.). There are so many great people I can’t remember. It was a really fun idea, I don’t believe it worked. You should hear the demo version because it’s just like 18 vocal tracks of me singing in different monster voices because I had to change my voice for each so you can hear how the chorus might sound, it sounds like a muppet. Actually, this song is based on the “Muppets”. I know maybe it’s gonna kill the song for you but at the end of every “Muppets” movie there’s a really great song that makes you go, “Ok, this is the end” and I loved that idea so much. All the muppets get together and they sing it. So, that’s that, that’s what I did.  

King Dude on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kingdudemusic

Lena Pashko
June 15, 2019
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