"Bullets Not Ballots"
CoC Chats to Rich Hoak of Total Fucking Destruction
by: T. DePalma
A case of heterodoxy in action, for over ten years musician Rich Hoak has been involved in playing, writing, and distributing music of solid will that redirects from the stream of paid-for media and cash industries that invade all facets of our planet; from the shore to the forests, the womb and the fossil.

Though Hoak's professional activity is highlighted by his work as the drummer for the defunct grind engine Brutal Truth, his current focus lies with his newest group Total Fucking Destruction and handling his own label, which periodically distributes obscure musical items. With a newly released CD, TFD proceeds with a consistent sneer towards over-valued capital and distraction as it engages in mockery toward the shepherds of these protocols with songs like "Madeleine Albright Is Sexy" and "Armed Response".

Recently Mr. Hoak was kind enough to answer some of CoC's questions regarding his band, concepts such as the underground, government, and women's panties; offering no quarter towards the central power that pervades arbitrary culture in a land of automatic humanoids.

CoC: How has the underground scene changed in your eyes since you recorded _Need to Control_?

Rich Hoak: The only reason such obscure artistic concepts like the underground scenes of grind and death metal exist is because of the privilege and power provided to selected citizens by the global corporate economy that allows the leisure time and extra income to make such noise. No guitar riff is brutal when compared with watching your children slowly starving to death or dying an early, violent death in a religious war of hate. The underground scene is a state of mind, an artificial construct based on collective ego stroking by members of the "in" crowd. I refuse to be defined by others, so my state of mind is unaffected.

CoC: So, where did you find these other three miscreants that make up Total Fucking Destruction?

RH: Total Fucking Destruction is of the people, for the planet, for the common person we want everything, all of the time. We live in the spaces worn between the various parts of the machinery, in the cracks of the pavement and our art will be destroyed like a snow flake on the surface of a hot sun. What we do is secret and will disappear with us when we are gone.

CoC: Did you have an idea of what you wanted TFD to sound like before you started playing together?

RH: I speak the poetry I feel, but I don't dwell on it: the purpose of each human is to die alone. In Total Fucking Destruction, we do not think of musical legacy. We get fucked up, and what you hear is direct communication from the base of the brain, from the animal mind. Our songs are true stories of life lived at the speed of noise and represent the future/present of the world and the end of human dignity and civilization.

CoC: _Compact Disc Version 1_ serves as an introductory compilation for new fans and a tangible collection for those who've been following the free MP3s you've released. It's a very modest, unglamorous package, except for the cover. Orion Landau did an excellent job with the artwork; it looks like armed resistance by way of Jack Chick.

RH: A TFD CD has been released on Bones Brigade Records. The CD includes all the TFD recordings made so far, plus a full live set. All of this material has been re-mastered by Scott Hull from Pig Destroyer. Other URLs for the commercial transfer of the product include Garment District and Relapse.

CoC: Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer remastered the demos for this release. How did that come about?

RH: We gave Scott cash and some drugs. He remastered the material and Bones Brigade slapped his name on the cover of the TFD CD to impress as many young boys as possible with the name drop. Thanx for the wicked time, Scott!

CoC: Is that you playing a saxophone on "Goatlord 2001"?

RH: Yes, and also Pingdum [Steve Morasco, guitar] on trombone. Kaz from the Japanese bushicore band plays drums on the Goatlord 2001 piece.

CoC: Can you give a brief history of your musical background and what first got you into underground music?

RH: In September of 1983 I moved from the farm to the city of Philadelphia. A few weeks later I went to a concert given by local punk bands, where I met some punk musicians and did drugs and alcohol with them. Over the next few months we were inspired to form our own punk band and I have been expressing myself by playing various types of music ever since.

CoC: What are your listening habits like today?

RH: I long for and listen for a deathlike silence to engulf the planet. Otherwise, I listen to 24 hour news radio for the up to the moment information on the slow motion apocalypse that is unfolding around us.

CoC: Looking back on the countries you've visited and toured in, what are the main differences between them and the United States?

RH: The "country" is an artificial construction of the global corporations and will become useless and wither in the face of the standardization of consumption. So many humans cause so much pain for their fellow humans and for the planet in the name of artificial, non-absolute moralities. There is no dignity or respect for the individual human, other than what you can fight for and cling to until your strength fails you. TFD has encountered many outstanding individual humans on our tours of the world and it would do them a great disservice to judge them on the basis of the imposed standards of nationality.

CoC: This past election here in the States there was a renewed optimism in democratic power; one that necessitates the acceptance of every individual's worth; in turn, assuring a mass confusion of priorities (at home and abroad) since everyone is eventually concerned for their own petty causes. The actions of the current president have seemed to encourage more naiveté among the population rather than inspire doubt about our form of government, not just the government currently in charge. Do you think there is any chance of reversing the compound effects of capitalism, militarism and industry in the USA through democratic means?

RH: None whatsoever: the standardization of consumption has provided a cost effective method of sedating the majority of the planet's human populations. We are all Elvis now and we will all be soldiers for the glory of the corporate world-state in the fourth world war.

CoC: Did you vote in the last election?

RH: Bullets not ballots.

CoC: Who is sexier, Condoleeza Rice or Madeleine Albright?

RH: Competition is a cancer.

CoC: That's not a Condi sample on "6.5 Billion Pieces of Shit", is it? Just making sure...

RH: No.

CoC: Looking at the state of societies today, can you think of five indulgences humanity could benefit from most by phasing out?

RH: Senseless acts of violence; mindless consumerism and the resulting waste; upcoming global economic collapse; continued destruction of natural environments; lack of dignity and respect for the individual human being.

CoC: What do you consider necessities in life?

RH: Beer, girls, vodka, weed and speed.

CoC: What is new with your Deaf American label?

RH: Deaf American Recordings has recently launched a low priced CD-R series of difficult to find demos and live recordings: Better Living's long lost 1983 _Lost Children_ demo, Sun Ra and his Arkestra live at the CECenter in 1992, the Caveman demo, Brutal Truth's _Bootlegged for Drug Money_ bootleg, Peacemaker's _The Holy Blood of Angels_ full length CD. Music for the people through non-corporate delivery systems. For more info on Deaf American Recordings or the new "Peacemaker" project, please contact rich666@voicenet.com.

CoC: Currently for sale at the Garment District's online store is a pair of female underwear sporting the TFD logo. Honestly, don't you think $15 dollars for a Total Fucking Destruction thong is just capitalist whoring of your art? For $15 the "Total Fucking Destruction Dildo" would be a lot more fun for him and her.

RH: Fuck you.

CoC: Apparently you guys are in the process of writing your first full fledged, honest-to-god full length. Can you give any impressions on what it will sound like compared to the current material?

RH: Nihilism, nothingness, emptiness and nonsense is the agenda of Total Fucking Destruction. Our songs are true stories of life in the modern day world. Our interest is in both the music and the message; our art is our only possible response to the complicated questions that post-modern society asks of the individual human. The new sounds of Total Fucking Destruction will amaze and astound people all over the planet and we hope that this recording will be available to the public by late 2005.

CoC: Are there any upcoming show dates you'd like to mention?

RH: May 27 at The Speakeasy in upper Darby / Philadelphia with Rottenness (Mexico) and with Immortality (Philadelphia). We plan to tour Europe in fall 2005 to support the CD that has been released on Bones Brigade and in 2006 we are planning the Grind Over UK 5 tour and also tours of Canada, southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. We hope to return to Iceland and South America in 2006. Anyone who is interested to set up tour dates please get in touch.

CoC: Thanks for taking time to answer these questions and good luck with the band. The final word is all yours...

RH: Thank you for your support. Total Fucking Destruction encourages all like minded individuals to please get in touch.

(article submitted 6/4/2005)

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