Originally published in ‘zine issue #8, 1993
Drowning In Solitude is a one-man hardcore/grind/etc. band from Ontario, Canada, done by Paul Pfeiffer. He’s brought out two demos, plus a Wadge demo, another solo band. Paul also does Obzine, a music ‘zine, and Writhing With Despair, an address listing. He’s a funny guy and always gives me shit because I made the mistake of telling him once I have a crush on Miki Berenyi from Lush. We traded interviews, so here’s mine below.
D.U.: Your D.I.S. lyrics are about ghosts, spirits, and so on. Give a full overview of with what your lyrics deal.
Paul: The lyrics centre around paranormal things like hauntings, spirit molestation/infestation, death (what happens at the point of body expiration and following) and other unexplainable events along those lines. Although I enjoy gore/violent lyrics, I didn’t want Drowning to be about those topics. I wanted to put a depressing mindset to the songs that is becoming more evident with the most recent stuff I’ve written.
There is so much going on outside of the typical realm of existence that most people don’t give much thought to. I’ve had first-hand experience with “the beyond,” and I have no doubt in my mind that much more exists than we think. From growing up in a house that was plagued by negative occurrences to reading books on paranormal subjects and taking part in an actual spirit investigation, I am convinced. I am obsessed with it.
Does this subject matter parallel your new ‘zine?
This subject matter definitely parallels the new ‘zine, Etherium: Real Life Brushes with the Unknown. I am working on it with my friend, Mike Pyette, and it allows a much more detailed and in-depth look at the strange.
Do the lyrics/new ‘zine suggest a religious belief or a concept of other dimensions or what?
There is no religious basis for the lyrics or ‘zine at all. I’d say that it’s more spiritual than anything else. Spiritual in the sense that I don’t feel we are here now, and then when our body ceases to function, so do we. I believe in the spirit going on possibly to a heaven-like plane, but definitely not like Christianity attempts to have us believe.
I don’t think that there is one supreme power that we must worship in order to get into “heaven.” Religion is all a crock to me. There are thousands of different faiths worldwide, and each one is right according to themselves and they all hold the true answers. One passage from the Bible will be interpreted completely different by two separate groups. This supposed “good book” has been responsible for more violence and hatred than anything else. No one can ever prove where it came from or who wrote it, yet they base their lives on it and use it to justify just about anything they want. Whether it’s Judaism, Christianity, Satanism, Buddhism, or Islam, it’s all a lie to me.
Is lack of time the only reason you’re ending Obzine?
Yeah! It seems that with everything I have on the go, Obzine seems to be totally outdated before I can get it out. You really need a lot of time and energy to put out a good ‘zine, and I have neither. Plus the fact that photocopies and postage absolutely kill here, so that’s another element that comes into play. I have to spread my small amount of cash around the different music projects I’m doing, and I just can’t afford to get decent-size copies made up.
Will you continue with Writhing With Despair?
I am almost finished with a completely re-done issue. It’s way better than the other one I put out and has twice as many addresses. It is a one-time-only thing and can be yours for $2 in North Amerika and $3 elsewhere. It contains ‘zine, comp., and distro contacts, along with a few tape traders and radio shows.
Where do you stand on the issue of Quebec’s secession?
From a non-nationalist standpoint, I would not want to see Quebec leave Canada, but I don’t feel that they need to be seen as a distinct society based solely on the fact that a large portion of the province speaks French as a first language. I can tell you that living outside Quebec, there is a lot of anti-French sentiment, mostly coming from English-speaking whites. If they can’t hate them because they are a different colour, they’ll hate them because they don’t speak the same language. I have a problem with the Quebec sign law that says you can only have French on your signs outside stores, etc. If you own the property, you should be able to put up whatever language you want. If you want to make up your own thing and put it on your walls, fine!
I went to Quebec a couple years ago, and it did feel like I was in a different country. As soon as you crossed the line leaving Ontario, the look of the houses and roads changed. I didn’t get a bad impression being there at all. It would probably be different from Ontario in another province where they speak English.
What do you think of the Canadian government’s handling of the referendum?
Those pushing the pro-side tried to scare everyone into thinking that unless you check off “yes” on your ballot, Quebec would leave Canada and the country would fall apart. It obviously didn’t work for them, because an overwhelming majority voted “no.” It’s been over half a year now, and the country is still together. A large portion of Quebec’s residents want to break off, but they still want the “benefits” from Canada, like using the same money, etc. I honestly don’t know what will happen.
Are the continued Native American land seizures an issue to the general public there?
I feel that Canada and the U.S. is one big land seizure! I consider North Amerika to be occupied territory. White Europeans didn’t immigrate here. We came and took over. The whole Columbus thing is a lie. They say he discovered Amerika because he brought Christianity to a country of “savages.” How can you discover a place that already has inhabitants? Natives were not seen as full-fledged humans, because only God-fearing whites can be such. That is why they were massacred and that is why we live here today. You don’t have to look far to find the same sentiment in this day and age, because an entire people has been cartooned: the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks, Jeep Cherokee, Land O’Lakes Butter. I think I’m going to start up a baseball team and call them the “Newcastle [N-words].” No, how about the “Newcastle Jew Boys”?
Are there any political bands in Ontario or Canada in general?
Yes, Ontario and Canada had and has quite a few political bands. One Blood, Crisis Of Faith, Mr. Nobody, Sons of Ishmael, Dangerously Americanized Canadians, D.O.A. …
Is there a scene for straight edge?
There is a straight edge scene in Ontario that is just out of control, in my opinion. It’s bordering on, if not full-fledged, hardline, where it goes beyond writing songs about choosing not to use drugs or booze to confronting people for doing it and using physical means to press your views. That isn’t what straight edge was anyway. These people will complain about Nazis attacking people because of race and then smack someone because they have a beer in their hand.
There was a time years ago when I considered myself straight, but I sure as hell don’t now, even though I still choose to abstain. It’s one big ego tripping “I’m so hard ‘cause I don’t do drugs” kind of thing. I love early straight edge bands before the bastardization became all the rage with the “cool” people. It’s the same to me if someone laughs at you for not drinking. Why such an emphasis on it anyway? Is it really that important?
In American politics, a current sound bite is “the year of the woman.” Is there a similar phrase in Canadian politics?
I’m not aware that we have that phrase per se, but topics like sexual harassment and wife assault are heavily covered, which is a good thing. But I think that if you think wimyn are only around for male satisfaction, a news clip or ad isn’t going to do much to change your views. It’s sad that there has to be such a push, but I definitely think it should be continued. A lot of men complain that things are getting too ridiculous with all the sexual harassment talk going on all the time, but it’s not up to them to decide what makes someone else uncomfortable. I don’t care if wimyn go to work nude. That doesn’t give anyone the go-ahead to rape them.
Any shameless plugs you’d like to make?
Yes siree there are! It’s time to get totally shameless. The Scald/Drowning In Solitude split tape is available for $5 ppd (world). It comes on red or blue chrome tapes. The Wadge Guise demo has 45 tracks of electro-grind/crusty hardcore/noise inspired by Dokken and Boyz II Men, and can be yours for a measly $3 (North Amerika), $4 (elsewhere).
Fuck political correctness! Say what’s on your mind without thinking about who it’ll offend. Unceasing thanks go out to Richard for giving me the chance to put you to sleep. I’d like to see Ted Nugent killed or severely maimed in a bow hunting accident. Anyone with Necrophagia (OH) on video, please write me. I’ll send a tape and $$ or I’ll trade for it. Sorry I wasn’t any cheezier, but hey, I’m not Deicide. ■