Well it should be clarified that I've never done these things day in and day out for years on end. I've only ever abused myself physically in brief spurts. I think for me it's due to building up tension. The frustration of feeling like you're losing control becomes too much and rather than act in violence towards others you channel that rage unto yourself. I have alot of anger undeniably and I think in the past it was misplaced. I used to beat up my sister, neighborhood kids, friends and myself. I always felt bad about channeling it onto others but for myself it was a release of anger, it was a sense of focus, with me I could deliberately focus what I was doing to myself whether it was cutting myself, banging my head into a hall, stubbing cigarettes onto my arm or any of that stuff, it was all fairly measured. Not as a cry for help, not for pity or to gain attention, only as self punishment and self discipline I suppose in a way.
But why are you hard on yourself?
It's only to prove to myself I can do better, that I can control myself. I don't doubt for a minute the deterministic nature of life but I think like any human I have to feel like I belong to something or can identify with something. I identify with self improvement and mastering my animal self. Humans all have propensities towards violence and sex. Some people have no regard for that sort of thing and usually end up dead. Others live in complete denial of such things and fuck themselves up in the head and live a life of so called perversion. I'm trying to balance it out, I like sex alot and I have had lots of it but there are times where I simply can do without it or a romantic relationship of any kind, partially to prove to myself I can exist without it and to also not be distracted. It's self preservation the whole thing really.
How do you cope now?
Well I try to keep constantly busy whether it's with a job or with music or writing I am trying to find new projects or trips to keep myself busy. I never really enjoy too much constant solitude, or idle solitude as it were. If I am alone I need to be working on something or engaging in something. Otherwise that little voice in my head becomes problematic and self defeating thoughts start to enter and tell me I'm no good etc. Last spring right after my breakup with my ex girlfriend and my leaving Portland to Madison I became consumed by thoughts of my failure, both in terms in the relationship and my ability to be a good person, it kinda boiled up and for so long and then I started scratching myself with scissors daily and then I started thinking about the knives around me and what I do next. I decided I needed help from another source than myself once. I knew I was on the cusp of a very bad downward spiral. I noticed I was drinking to blackout at times, which never happened before and I was cutting myself. So I attended a self help group for depression in town for about a month. It was nice to listen to others and how they cope and then offer your own advice. I felt like I got to know my problems are much more minuscule that what many others deal with. I can't fully explain it other than I felt very relieved and much more self aware coming out of that scenario. I have since attended another group meeting or had contact with the group but I haven't cut myself in that time span.
Do your lyrics reflect your pain?
Sure to some extent, they often come from a place of pain in my mind. From painful experiences and such but after they come out I think they are subjective and open to interpretation, they become out of my hands. Often I have no idea what I'm writing as I'm doing it, I only get an understanding what it means to me after it's done. It's almost as if they weren't really my words so much as I happened to be the medium or in this case typist/dictation specialist rather than the author. Granted I know I wrote them but it always seems like I'm just caught up in some feelings unexplained from the subconscious and I happen to articulate it with my hands and fingers on paper. Deep down though I know what they mean once I've seen them on a page. They are sometimes celebrations but obviously it'd be a lie to say don't come from a certain amount of pain.
You come across as being very shy and introverted. So how can you get on a stage in front of thousands of people?
Well I've never played to that amount of people yet. I am shy and introverted but as any artist I do have an ego or at least a certain amount of self confidence in what I do. If I didn't believe what I was doing was worthwhile I would have given up a long time ago, it's as simple as that really.
Have you ever been in love?
Alot of people would say no, they don't know what that question means and go into some long winded existential bullshit thing questioning the nature of love. I won't do that suffice to say yes I have been in love with four different girls as some point in my life. In high school I was forcing myself to believe I was. I met the first girl I truly loved in college, where I didn't question that I loved her, the feeling hit and we made a serious attempt to enjoy life together and be together for a long time, it didn't work out nor did attempts with the other three which were due to end for various reasons, mostly the mental unhealthiness of the said girls. I will always have a special place in my heart and memory for those girls. I also don't doubt for a second that I'll fall in love again and have it reciprocated it's only a matter of time.
Generally speaking, are you happy with your lot?
Yes as of this moment I am fairly busy and have alot to look forward too. So I can say I am happy at this point in time.