I recently had the chance to ask the “Black-Humored” band, Stalin, some questions about this ‘n’ that.   With a musical style that is described as “experimental/heavy/whatever”, Stalin is not holding back one bit.   From Miley Cyrus “pleasuring herself” to drinking “Mojitos on the beach” with “dark women”, it’s all covered here!

J Rae: So why the name Stalin?   It wouldn’t have anything to do with that tyrant & extreme socialist Joseph Stalin would it?   And do you believe that our President himself practices & believes in some of Stalin’s principles?

Stalin:   We’re a bright and humorous bunch. The name “Stalin” is great because it’s a political statement and a middle finger of sarcasm at the same time. Personally and lyrically we couldn’t be anymore anti-Statist and anti-control of all types unless we were full-blown nihilistic anarchists. By naming ourselves Stalin, it’s akin to One Direction naming themselves ‘Immolated Corpses’. Which that would be marvelous!

Only the symbol of personal power does fit our motif.

Obama… Stalin? No, Obama is just your prototypical soulless, sell-out-to-international-banksters pussy that symbolizes modern day “leaders”. Then again.. look at what they have to represent… an overall population of drooling-mouth, breathing idiots, so everything works in a sick way for now.

J Rae: So it says that you guys are from San Francisco; have you always lived there?   And how has the response been locally to your music?

Stalin:   The members are from all over and it just happened to come about out here. The Bay Area music scene has suffered quite a bit since the tech crunch and artists can’t afford to live in San Francisco. What does remain is either generic metal or the Hipster scene, neither of which fit us. There are a lot of very talentless, disloyal musicians out here as well unfortunately and we’ve had the great displeasure of working with a few.

Our biggest responses have come from outside of the home base. LA-Washington-Oregon and so on and places like Canada and UK – we get new fans hitting us up from those countries frequently. Though we will be picking up in the Bay shortly as well.

J Rae: Your band, on the whole, is definitely unique and like no other out there, which I respect but I’m wondering how it all started?  

Stalin:   The core members met on online forums and had similar ideas about how we wanted to go about things, so we put it together. With every insane thing and coincidence that’s happened related to this project, it’s difficult to believe that the creation of it wasn’t a cliché, fate-driven instance.

“California” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q6V04-2Slw

J Rae: So after listening to and watching two of your videos I have to say that your style is very different with elements of rock & goth.   The imagery is quite dark and you even refer to your genre as “iron” and so what exactly does that mean?   And if you had to sum up your musical style, taste & sound in a sentence or two how would you describe it?

Stalin: It’s dark, but it’s also fun. Black humor is a strong influence on   the project. The new direction coming with the new album is going to both lighten things up more, and make other portions deeper and darker. The variation is great. “Iron” is just whatever, in fact, we would classify the style, sound and imagery under “experimental/heavy/whatever”.

Just need to write some hit songs now. ;)

J Rae: After watching your debut video for “California” airing on VEVO, I couldn’t help but notice that Stalin is making Miley Cyrus look like an angel just based solely on the sexual nature & wild debauchery depicted in your video.   Was this the intention all along to shock the audience and take it as far as you possibly could visually?   Wonder if Miley Cyrus would enjoy “California” but if not I’m sure you don’t give a shit either way?

Stalin:   That video is a parody of the pop world and how they tease bits and bits more to attempt to be shocking. We even included faux-product placement in it and the “Illuminati” stuff in a jokey way. We don’t really find it shocking but would enjoy knowing that Miley Cyrus was pleasuring herself to the “California” video.

The positive you can give her is that she has the balls to do what she wants, that’s more than you can say for most rock/metal out now, which is quite depressing. We do respect that.

With the direction she’s heading maybe she’ll be “comin’ like a wrecking ball” in one of our videos in the future. ;)

J Rae: Another video I watched was for the song “Your Arms, Destroyed By You” that also had its fair share of disturbing imagery such as a woman cutting herself and then drinking her own blood!   If that doesn’t shock the hell out of someone then I don’t know what will!   What was the idea behind this one and why so extreme with the blood & all?

Stalin: Our lead vocalist was in a deep relationship with a self-mutilator. The song is about that concept and the video gives it some imagery, it’s all surrealist stuff, but being tied down in a psychotic relationship is a surrealist thing mentally. All makes for good viewing entertainment and a good artist leaves his or herself out to dry, hahahaha!

Why so extreme? The video’s not even touching the gore level of a horror flick! Film and TV have already eclipsed any shock that music vid’s can put forth. Too tame if anything, considering the subject matter.

J Rae: Okay so Stalin wanted some “off-the-wall” questions thrown at them, so I’m gonna give it to ‘em!   Sticking with the theme of Dark, which seems to encompass Stalin and their music, I am firing this one off first: Curious if any members of the band were ever afraid of the Dark or believed that there was a Boogeyman or monsters under your beds?

Stalin: Yes – all of that.

J Rae: Are you a fan of the movie “The Dark Crystal” or any other of Jim Henson’s unforgettable Muppet creations?

Stalin: Never seen it, but the Muppets are kind of scary when attributed to that question.

J Rae: Do you prefer Dark chocolate and do you like your coffee Black?

Stalin: Actually, we prefer mojitos on the beach and dark women.

J Rae: Do you enjoy Dark Shadows in the Night and how about that “Dark Knight”?

Stalin:   All of us are night owls. All of us like esoteric tripe and all of us enjoyed the film “The Dark Knight”.

J Rae: Okay, so enough with the off-the-wall, Dark-flavored questions and I will end by asking how far will you go to push the Stalin envelope and is anything off limits for you guys?  

Stalin: There are no limits in art. ;)


By Jimmy Rae (jrae2@att.net)

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