Home Indie Music “In Fostering Neighborhood, We Discover Our Voice”: A Pleasure Month Essay by Flesh Eater’s Zwil AR

“In Fostering Neighborhood, We Discover Our Voice”: A Pleasure Month Essay by Flesh Eater’s Zwil AR

“In Fostering Neighborhood, We Discover Our Voice”: A Pleasure Month Essay by Flesh Eater’s Zwil AR


In honor of Pleasure Month, Atwood Journal has invited artists to take part in a sequence of essays reflecting on id, music, tradition, inclusion, and extra.
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At present, Flesh Eater’s Zwil AR shares their essay, “In Fostering Neighborhood, We Discover Our Voice,” reflecting on their journey discovering companionship in a southern metropolis, constructing on the help of allies, and creating area for queer weirdos like them, as part of Atwood Journal’s Pleasure Month sequence!
Borne of a want to convey darkness to gentle, Flesh Eater is a band that seeks to congregate these with hidden starvation, such that what hides deep inside us might be launched & soothed by music; by utilizing non secular language and aesthetic as a framework for acknowledging the interior contradictions which plague us, Flesh Eater’s sour-sweet art-pop expresses hope and love within the midst of cognitive dissonance.
Flesh Eater was fashioned in Nashville in 2015 and has been in fixed transformation since, from their debut stay EP that captured their beginnings as a psych-pop outfit to their 2021 industrial techno flavored studio session, peppered in between with notes of darkish ambient, harsh noise, and catchy, electro-clash & post-punk-inspired art-pop, the Triune repeatedly showcases their versatility and adventurous, no-holds-barred spirit, all rooted in an inspiring love for what music is and might be.
Be not distracted, expensive Votary; Flesh Eater is merely a simulacra of Their Deity, a Triune of Prophets that includes Zwil AR (they/them) on synths and vocals, Maxwell Zikakis (he/him) on bass & synths, & Blake Patterson (he/him) on drum package & machines. Their upcoming debut LP will discover You when You want It most; for now, the Triune has 8 Releases.

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by Zwil AR, edited by Blake Patterson

“Reflecting on the spirit of queer pleasure prompts me to recollect and share the issues I have fun.

There are numerous benefits inherent to queerness that assist in forming robust, supportive, and accepting communities for queer people and allies – our aptitude for and dedication to authenticity; subsequently, our malleability: that high quality that retains us open to transformation, eschewing the thought of absolute reality in favor of eager judgment; and in flip, our tenacity, which permits us to entry our energy to battle for the development of humankind. I’ve discovered that my fellow queer weirdos of Nashville’s underground and the inclusive allies who elevate us in earnest embody this spirit of pleasure. They’ve supplied me a car for sharing the distinctive, queer narratives interwoven into my music.

I’ve spent the higher a part of a decade in Nashville; relocating from a smaller, southern city revealed a diverse spectrum of queerness unbeknownst to me. Queerness nevertheless, can’t be the only real foundation for compatibility. Similar to some other individuals group, perhaps much more so, the number of perspective and expression is kaleidoscopic. Although I’ve by no means been turned away from a queer-inclusive area, it took me some time to search out my individuals. I started by watching and following, clasping the palms of buddies and taking a seat in Nashville cultures that, whereas to some I nonetheless maintain precious ties, comprised people to whom I didn’t relate. It wasn’t until I started formulating an inventive imaginative and prescient all my very own, sharing that and collaborating with others to convey it to life, that I really felt seen within the scene. I discovered people who, although not all queer, shared that high quality of malleability, permitting us to grasp one another’s experiences each acquainted and novel. My first bandmates, Maxwell Zikakis (who’s with Flesh Eater to this present day), John Ottenlips, Marc Greenspon, & Paul Daleo, laid the muse for the respect and affability I ought to anticipate from cis-het collaborators.

My associate (and on the time of this writing, my fiancé <3), Blake Patterson, has been instrumental on this type of self-acceptance that requires one to drag others into my world and in flip, step into theirs. When Blake joined Flesh Eater in 2017 (across the similar time we started working collectively on our label, Banana Tapes, and our electroacoustic/musique concrète challenge, secret buddies), we discovered ourselves craving to fill a gap in the neighborhood I had been skirting round for 4 years. Whereas there have been areas for (or together with) extra established types of queer expression – drag, singer-songwriters, nation, pop, blues rock, indie, hardcore, and punk – the place was the avant garde, the efficiency artwork, the digital, the experimental? Allies who accepted our weirdness alongside theirs, integrating us into their occasions & giving us their music to press on tape – Pores and skin Rigidity, Neon Black, Summary Black, Stan Richardson, Joseph Web page, the Mouthhole, Will Hicks, Diatom Deli, Todd Kemp, to call just a few – bolstered our braveness to, in a metropolis the place each day queer existence is repeatedly seen as ostentatious, step up and construct areas the place queer people are inspired to thrive in mere being.

Even originally, we weren’t the one individuals in Nashville prioritizing queer people in reserving and attendance, although now we have made an ardent effort for that precedence to be immanent, somewhat than merely counting on it to satisfy our objective. What we do shouldn’t be one thing you’ll find out about by googling “queer pleasant occasions / queer music in Nashville,” somewhat it’s the n.o.t.a.f.l.o.f. on the flier, the rhetoric within the description that forbids harassment, the content material of the work being offered that offers meat to our efforts. Within the physique of labor we’ve launched on our label and the bookful of LGBT+ artists we’ve had the pleasure to play alongside is a sea of individuals whose genuine existence has given us the breadth to discover a distinctive voice in our music. We’re met with humbling curiosity and enthusiasm as we produce recordings and flock to queer-forward venues; it appears now that daily I flip to satisfy a brand new, supportive, queer face.

Flesh Eater © Mariana Souza
Flesh Eater © Mariana Souza

Our ardour for music has been stoked additional by the current inflow of non-mainstream-ilk artists to Nashville, which fills out reemerging home exhibits and a burgeoning rave scene. In these areas, it’s simpler to depend how many individuals aren’t queer. Acceptance is the air within the room, and queer are the lights round us. We dance to the likes of DJs Swanlake, Kittenhouse, Powderpost, Urangel, & Volast. They’ve inspired us to maintain our fires burning, curating and getting concerned with occasions that showcase unbelievable queer artists like Klypi, Eyebrow Canine, DFitz, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Medusa’s Hairdresser, MAN ON MAN, Blu Anxxiety, Anna Orchid, Sundaes, Andie Billheimer, SONATORE (RIP), Lung Most cancers Speedrun, Eve Maret, and Freak Daddy.

We’re pleased with these individuals – of us as a result of we persist. As LGBT+ individuals, we proceed to form our tradition, wherever we’re, regardless of the oppression of patriarchal capitalism that tempts us to surrender and simply work. With out the assure of an revenue or expectation of revenue, we create thought-provoking and poignant music that pushes boundaries simply as we do. We create to convey collectively and strengthen our neighborhood, lifting our friends and allies up for a extra empathetic inventive expertise. We act to make sure the areas we occupy are illiberal to bigotry and aggressive conduct to kindle the liberated self. It’s our nature. It’s, I imagine, what music is about. – Zwil AR

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