Posted December 12, 2013 by Cooper Point Journal in Features
 
 

Transfix: Death is so relaxing when I’m high



by Josh Wolf

Walking around Olympia’s Eastside, I spoke with Chris McDonnell of self-described “death rock” band Transfix about Kurt Cobain, sexual nihilism, and Olympia. Chris graduated from Evergreen in 2009, and is releasing his debut album on Dutch Tilt Records, a new local label started by Evergreen student Chapin Long.

Josh Wolf: What was your first Olympia band?

Chris McDonnell: My first Olympia band was Church of Skull Fuck in 2005 with Will Baxter of HPP. He played drums, and I played guitar. We had one show, in the dorms, and it was a total disaster. The police broke it up, even though you could have parties on-campus, cus the people who lived there hadn’t registered it. My amp broke, I had to play a different guitar, all my beer got stolen, and Will almost got arrested. We never played again, but I loved it.

What do you think about censorship?

I think you should censor yourself. I do believe in that. I think a certain sense of decency is called for. There are some pretty negative things out there. I’ve seen many things that I would like to un-watch, that add to the sewage of the psyche, you know, the internet world. I was exposed to porn pretty early on, and I definitely think that shaped my reality, and the way I feel about mass culture.

“A term that I’ve been throwing around a lot lately is: sexual nihilism. For me, it’s where you don’t give a fuck at all, and there’s probably alcohol involved, and you just fuck anybody. The consequences of that, the intoxication of it all: desire. Feeling like a used up cumrag, like you’ve lost something: sex death, with moments of tenderness at the same time. It can be a dangerous place to be in. Your soul’s a delicate thing, and there’s a lot of shame involved, but it’s a very real desire that’s inspiring to me. I want to explore that, and other myself from it.”
– Chris McDonnell

 

What are your thoughts on sexuality?

I feel tortured by sexuality at times, and I want to ‘other’ myself from that and use it for my self betterment. I find that using negative aspects of yourself, the hardline issues within yourself, that’s where I feel inspired. It’s a therapeutic inspiration, to get through something, and to have something come of it. I get inspired by things that are really personal to myself, especially with negativity and sadness. For some reason, I’ve always gravitated towards that, even though I wanna make poppy, happy catchy music, there are matters of the soul that I want to expel through myself.
A term that I’ve been throwing around a lot lately is: sexual nihilism. For me, it’s where you don’t give a fuck at all, and there’s probably alcohol involved, and you just fuck anybody. The consequences of that, the intoxication of it all: desire. Feeling like a used up cumrag, like you’ve lost something: sex death, with moments of tenderness at the same time. It can be a dangerous place to be in. Your soul’s a delicate thing, and there’s a lot of shame involved, but it’s a very real desire that’s inspiring to me. I want to explore that, and other myself from it. The notion of wanting to cut your dick off, probably going to be some eunuch stuff in there. For me, it’s the fear of being so disgusted with yourself over some sexual activity, from a burdening member, that you just wanna get rid of it. Losing control and destroying it. It’s tough, because I want to be sex positive, but that’s easier said than done.

What are some of your influences?

You know, I moved out here mostly because of Kurt Cobain’s legacy. I felt really akin to that. The spirit of his music, I feel is very colloquial here. I don’t know if that’s the right term, but it’s definitely of the land, of the culture. I really felt what he was saying, at a really young age. He’s been my greatest influence growing up. I thought his identity was very expressive. Everything he made was a perfect encapsulation of his celebrity. He kills himself. I don’t think he died for his art necessarily, but it definitely put a big exclamation point on his art. To me it feels heavier than just human perversion, to be into morbid things. I’m into morbid things, sure, but I think he transcends the perversion, almost in a christ-like way. A burden of a generation. He seemingly cared too much. I don’t know, there’s this whole cult around his music.

How would you categorize Transfix?

I want to consider it death rock. It’s death centered, and I’m coming from a rock world. Rock can be very boring and sterile to me cus it has already happened a million times, but you can have your own take on it. With Transfix, we are trying to go super poppy, super catchy. In my other band, The Family Stoned, I was really getting into guitar, trying to take it and go crazy, but in Transfix, the guitar is more of a rhythm instrument. The intrigue of the music comes from the synth melodies and the vocal melodies. That’s where your head and your ears go.

Any last words?

Death is so relaxing…When I’m high.

TRANSFIX release show happens at LE VOYEUR on SUNDAY DECEMBER 16