Since the geriatric unit over at the now debunk Metal Inquisition started loudly singing the praises of Illinois’ Cemetery Rapist, I’ve been keeping a close eye on this one man filth monger. How could I not? Clay Lamanske’s twisted pornogrind has been making Cannibal Corpse look like lullaby and lounge song peddlers straight from the beginning; everyone’s favourite scapegoat is child’s play in comparison.
But as a woman with a great deal of love for myself and my grinding sisters, I’ve experienced a serious amount of cognitive dissonance about pornogrind. Can you be a self-respecting feminist and listen to men blasting about what usually amounts to sexually degrading women? This is certainly nothing new in the extreme realms of music, and even in the realms of popular music (hip-hop is coming to mind) – just without as much gory detail.
I will admit I have been very frustrated when I’ve asked goregrind or pornogrind acts about the misogyny question because it’s always the same answer: “No, of course I’m not being misogynistic. It’s just like Cannibal Corpse. It’s fantasy. Leave me alone.” Every time. Without fail. Even in the interview about to follow. I don’t think simple dismissal is sufficient but I think part of this unwillingness to engage does go to show that they’re just not even thinking about it in any depth. It’s just now become enshrined as part and parcel of much extreme subject matter. But is this okay? I’m not entirely sure.
I also think that in a lot of ways, the perverted boundaries pushed pornogrind amounts to the same competition that extreme metal has always been involved in – lyrical one-up-manship. It’s all about digging further into the depths of depravity.
Everyone I’ve ever spoken to, male and female alike, finds the subject matter hilarious. I’m the same: it’s perverse, it’s violent, it’s juvenile, it’s shocking. And there is an undeniable comedic intention in almost everything I’ve encountered. I may not be the most tasteful broad to fall off the turnip truck but I’ve gotten many a laugh from many a tasteless music maker. I mean, common, ‘Tongue Punched In The Fart Box’? Incredible. Does thinking this make me a defender of patriarchy and an apologiser for degrading behavior towards women? I don’t think so.
Am I missing the point? Probably a few really good ones. There’s a lot more to discuss than I’d like to here because I by no means think I have it figured out. Currently doing a bit more research in hopes of elaborating and actually arguing my point with some degree of academic rigour. In the meantime, I’ll continue mulling and getting stoked to see Cemetery Rapist not only at Blastonbury, but again at the Unicorn in Camden on October 10 with Anal Penetration, Foetal Juice, Engorgement and Regurgitate Life.
ZT: Why did you decide you wanted to do the band thing by yourself and do you ever think it’d be easier if it wasn’t totally solo?
CxRx:I don’t really work well with others. I get along with people no problem, smoke with all kinda people no problem, it’s just the way I go about handling my business that people don’t like. I knew that as a teen so when I saw my dude Shaun (Putrid Pile) in July 2004 I knew there was something about that one-man gig that would fit me perfect. After all this time I still feel that way. I get a good amount of hate for being a one-man band but I get a good about of hate for doing a lot of things I do. I wouldn’t change a single thing, nor will I ever add a band member. Cemetery Rapist was started specifically to be a one-man band, and will always stay that way.
ZT: I get that you’re from Illinois, but is that the only reason for calling your music Cornfield Slam or is there something more sordid going on there?
CxRx:I call my music pornogrind, cause that’s what it is. The “cornfield slam” thing is simply and only a URL for some of my online webspots. People have run away with that one all by themselves. Hahaha. I came up with it only because I represent where I’m from, and I’m from Illinois.
ZT: What brought you to the whole porno/gore/misogyny theme in the first place?
CxRx:Stupid cunts, a since-childhood obsession with faeces, hate, drugs, life, I dunno… I didn’t pick pornogrind, pornogrind picked me… but that’s a whole other seminar.
ZT: How much of this is a schtick for you? I have a hard time believing someone conscientious enough to be vegan is actually a misogynist prick. What is it about shocking people/the ridiculous vulgar humour that stokes you??
CxRx:Hahaha, you’re right, I’m not a prick (not to everyone). I don’t have pre-teens tied up in my basement, my girl isn’t timid or covered in bruises, and my two boston terriers sleep in bed with me at night. Yes, I have done some very (very) misogynist things to a lot of females, I do have a strong addiction to many drugs, and I think the idea of kicking infants is fucking hilarious. There’s somethin’ goin’ on in my head…. if I didn’t write these songs, I might actually have to rape these bitches. I might really be out issuing all these fucking moronic cocksuckers some serious lessons in pain. I might really be creeping in slaughterhouse workers trailer parks in the middle of the night to have some fun of my own. Fuck knows there’s some people who deserve the amount of hate and vulgarity I put off, right? So pornogrind it is. I need to live on the boundaries of what’s “acceptable” and what’s “not” in order to keep myself from going Ted Bundy on people that really, truly deserved an evening with the late, great Ted, or John Wayne, or Ed….afterall, it is just music. Btw, Cannibal Corpse doesn’t actually eat people… they probably have bratwurst.
ZT: Has anyone actually ever taken you seriously from lyrical/title perspective and gotten holier-than-thou about it? If so, how did you respond, if not, what would you say to them?
CxRx: Yeah, people get like that from time to time….it’s a mix between me ignoring them, or them having an unfortunate incident with a glass bottle. Political correctness is a plague.
ZT: FTA records is your own outing for releasing your stuff/your bros stuff. How hard was it to build this up to the point where you’ve got enough to keep yourself afloat? How have you seen the underground change since starting it?
CxRx:I haven’t been affiliated with FTA since 2010. Gave it to my homie. It was a bitch to get running, as all super small labels are, and a bitch to keep running. I got something new called Porn King Productions (facebook.com/pornkingproductions) so check that out! Pornogrind-ONLY label. I just want to influence the underground in a manner that keeps good grind pumping through our speakers, and have that evolving influence for as long as I can sustain. Porn forever!
ZT: What were the legal issues stopping you from coming to Europe before?
CxRx:I was arrested for drug related offences in 2007 and thus had legal obligations lasting until 2010. All taken care of now though. I assure everyone my passport is legal. Hahaha. Fuck the police!
ZT: What have you heard about the UK grind/brutal death metal scene and who are you looking forward to seeing at Blastonbury?
CxRx: Well I have to miss the first day, so that’s a fucking bummer cause I wanted to see Ahumado Granujo…but I’m stoked to see my homies in Razor Rape, and tour with Anal Penetration. Fucking great. There isn’t so much pornogrind in the USA so this will be a good deal for me. Everyone who has hit me up from the UK thus far has been fucking awesome! There’s been a ton of hospitality, and I’m not even over there yet, so I’m extremely grateful and thankful for all my UK fam’ and their support!
ZT: What are the plans for post-Europe/the near future?
CxRx: To come back to Europe!! Have me back!! Much love fam’!! I got a new CD comin’ out Jan/Feb of 2013 called ‘Plundering into Vaginal Demolition’ so STAY TUNED at all times for updates, studio vlogs, leaked songs, all kinda shit!