The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 10.1

December 1, 2006

"We helped to create the mujahideen, fired them with
religious zeal in seminaries, armed them, paid them,
fed them, and sent them in a jihad against the Soviet
Union in Afghanistan. We did not stop to think how
we would divert them to a productive life after the jihad
was won. …we — the United States, Pakistan, Saudi
Arabia — created our own Frankenstein’s monster."
- Pervez Musharraf, "In the Line of Fire"

""We prefer to believe the myth that thousands of years
of human social evolution has finally perfected the ideal
economic system, rather than to face the fact that we
have merely bought into a false concept and accepted
it as gospel. We have convinced ourselves that all
economic growth benefits humankind, and that the
greater the growth, the more widespread the benefits."
"This concept and its corollary are used to justify all
manner of piracy -- licenses are granted to rape and
pillage and murder innocent people in Iran, Panama,
Colombia, Iraq, and elsewhere. EHMs, (Economic Hit
Men) jackals, and armies flourish for as long as their
activities can be shown to generate economic growth --
and they almost always demonstrate such growth.
Thanks to the biased 'sciences' of forecasting, econometrics,
and statistics, if you bomb a city and then rebuild it, the
data shows a huge spike in economic growth."
- John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"

It would seem that the world is finally embracing the Fireaxe theory, at least in small doses. Well, to be honest I'm sure that neither man quoted above has ever heard of Fireaxe, but it's always enlightening when those who have worked within the system, benefited from the system, and then became embittered towards the system come clean, at least to some degree, about how things are done in the corridors of power. Despite the ideals of democracy which hold up the notion of a transparent government and well informed public as a way to guard against corruption and mismanagement we are still kept in the dark concerning a great number of matters, matters which I believe would greatly affect who we vote for and how we participate in our political systems. Instead we appear to be kept woefully misinformed by leaders who have breathtaking conflicts of interest and a media system which is almost equally as compromised. And although windows on the truth open periodically through a variety of reliable sources the true nature of our world remains a mystery to even the most well informed and intelligent among us. As a result our arguments, our writings, and our actions are cheapened and often reduced to being useless and irrelevant. We become the processors in the adage "garbage in, garbage out".

I haven't read Musharraf's book, but I have read Perkins' tale of exploitation and deceit and I can recommend it as a powerful insight into the workings of capitalism and how it subverts foreign policy. Few of the things that Perkins brings up in the book are things that most of us have never been heard before, such as CIA assassinations and coups in various countries, the exploitation of the indigenous workforce in the third world, and how the military-industrial-corporate complex has a firm hold on political power, but what Perkins' book does so well is tie everything together into a model which is simple to both understand and observe and which completely obliterates the notion that it is all part of a vast conspiracy. Capitalism has never been a purely benevolent economic system and has had a long history of exploitation and political subversion when left to its own devices. When reading Perkins' book it becomes clear that no conspiracy is needed, the model for modern imperialism is simply how the system of capitalism naturally functions in all of its ruthless glory.

I'll briefly describe the model that the U.S. uses to essentially enslave countries and extract their resources which Perkins details in his book. It all begins when a country is unfortunate enough to discover some valuable resource buried below its surface, such as oil, precious metals, or other scarce and valuable commodities. I say "unfortunate" because the end result for that country is often much worse than for its neighbors which lack such valuable resources. The U.S. will send what are called "Economic Hit Men", a term which the "Hit Men" themselves use in jest to describe their roles, to the country to convince that country's leaders that it is in their best interests to allow U.S. companies to come in and develop their country, adding electrical power, running water, and other basic infrastructure as well as building up the industries which will be extracting the country's valuable natural resources. The country's leaders are shown estimates of tremendous economic growth and wealth gains from these projects, estimates which are seldom anywhere close to the truth, to encourage them to cooperate. Of course, most countries cannot afford to pay for these ambitious projects, so to help get things rolling, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, both of which are controlled by the U.S., offer generous loans to the country, loans which on paper appear like they will be quickly paid off by the great economic gains of modernization but in reality will burden the country for decades to come. In exchange for receiving these loans, the country must make some radical changes to their laws in regards to foreign ownership of that country's assets, the privatization of things which were once controlled by the government, and the removal of as many regulations over business as possible. This paves the way for U.S. corporations to move in and take virtual ownership of the country.

The outcome is generally a period of strong economic growth, for a few years at least, which is what one would expect when a large amount of capital is injected into an economy. Once this injection has run its course the results are far less impressive. A wide disparity in wealth forms almost immediately with the few haves ending up much richer than the many have-nots. Without the power of collective bargaining and the guarantee of a minimum wage, things that the new laws now forbid, the poor see their salaries go into free fall. Add to this the burden of taxes that the government must impose to pay off its debts to the IMF and World Bank, and the vulnerability of being dependent on for-profit industries for their basic necessities, the have-nots are quickly driven into poverty and bankruptcy as unemployment runs rampant. The poor are disenfranchised and the rich take control of the land and resources with the result being a country which resembles a modern form of feudalism. However, if you only measure the total economic statistics for the country, where rich and poor are averaged together and where fuzzy math can be applied to tweak the numbers a few percentages points in whichever direction one chooses, there can still appear to be strong productive growth. It's an economic miracle!

When this model is described in the way that I've done above, it seems clear that it is a simple con-job but the approach is based on a very popular economic theory called Neoliberalism. Neoliberal economists believe that pure free markets, that is, ones that are not regulated in any way by government, always work to produce systems of maximum economic production. In edition 9.6 of The Burning Blade I explored the dangers of capitalism and the falsehoods of free markets, citing examples such as monopolies, collusion, and the highly disruptive bursting of speculative bubbles in the essay, but a Neoliberal would counter that market failures are caused either by too much regulation, by central bank or government intervention, or that they are merely a necessary part of the "creative destruction" inherent in capitalism that requires properly distributed capital in order to achieve peak efficiency. For anything which ails the system, the Neoliberal solution seems to be to remove what little regulation is left and leave the markets to their own devices.

Additionally, it has become a popular sport for Neoliberal theorists to examine the many economic collapses which have occurred throughout history and revise the explanations for those collapses as being the result of whatever regulation or intervention took place rather than admit any failure of the free markets themselves. I recall being taught that the Great Depression was caused by banks making excessive loans without demanding sufficient collateral which then resulted in both a stock market and real estate bubble which then burst, resulting in an extended period of either unavailable or highly priced credit (high interest rates) that restrained economic growth for years. However, those of you who learned as I did might find it surprising that many of those who are now in charge of the economy, such as the Fed chief, leading economists, and numerous politicians, are Neoliberals who are more likely to blame efforts made to prevent the bubble from continuing to grow as being the cause for the crash and its aftermath rather than the fact that a bubble was allowed to grow in the first place. They also cite post-crash government intervention as being responsible for delaying what should have been, according to them, a much quicker recovery. Recent fiscal policy at the Federal Reserve over the last few decades reflects this thinking, and the Fed has both nursed a series of bubbles using with low interest rates, easy credit, and other methods, as well as provided sufficient liquidity (cash and credit) to inflate new bubbles when the old bubbles burst. As a result, the Fed has propped up the dollar based economic system numerous times when it should have either fallen into a deep recession or collapsed altogether. In simple terms, the Fed believes that the solution to any economic crisis is to throw money at the problem, literally. And while that may sound like hyperbole, I can easily quote to you our current Fed chief, Ben Bernanke, expounding upon the wonders of the printing press as the ultimate weapon against the deflation that often occurs in the aftermath of bursting asset bubbles. Put into poker terms, due to its similarities with modern "investing", it's not the Fed's job to impose a betting cap at the table nor to encourage those low on funds to tip their hat, get up, and go home, that would be like trying to regulate the markets, which is a Neoliberal faux pas. Instead, the central bank is supposed to walk around the table with a bucket full of chips and loan them out every time someone runs out of money. It's no surprise that everyone wants a seat at the table in this kind of game, which is pretty much what has happened over the last decade, but when it comes time to cash out and people discover that the house can't cover all of the chips that have been handed out, there will be many, many losers who had thought that they were really winners. Furthermore, if the economy actually does collapse as some surprisingly learned and clear-headed economists have predicted, then we'll all be losers.

It is clear that Neoliberalism is very much an ideology, complete with faith-based accounting, falsehoods masquerading as utopian dreams, and true believers determined to spread the word across the world, by force if necessary. In Perkins' book he describes the steps that the U.S. takes when reluctant countries have the audacity to refuse the great gift of Neoliberal economics. If the Economic Hit Men fail, Perkins writes, the job is handed over to the "jackals" who are CIA agents who essentially make the leader of the country "an offer that he can't refuse". If they fail to persuade the leader to accept the deals made by the Economic Hit Men then the CIA will attempt to engineer an assassination, making it appear to be an accident, such as a plane crash, and Perkins points to the cases of Allende in Chile, Roldos in Ecuador, and Torrijos in Panama as examples of these "accidents". Another option is to overthrow the country's leader in a coup, such as how the CIA deposed the very popular Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, (he'd made the mistake of nationalizing his country's oil industry to get Iran a more reasonable share of the profits), and almost succeeded in ousting Chavez in Venezuela a few years ago. If the jackals fail then it is up to the U.S. Army, the most powerful fighting force that the world has ever seen, to liberate the country from the grip of either a ruthless dictator, a communist sympathizer, or whatever label fits that country's leader which is then used to sell the use of military force to the American people. This was the case for Noriega in Panama and very likely the case for both Hussein in Iraq and Milosevic in Serbia. It doesn't take much of an imagination to add Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela to the list of targets given how intense the vilification of their leaders in the U.S. media has been in the past few years. Iran and Venezuela are both oil rich countries which were once devoted "allies" of the U.S. but which have partially or completely thrown off the yoke of economic exploitation. It is clear that the U.S. would very much like to get those countries back under its control using whatever means necessary but is finding that it has become a victim of its own imperial overreach. The case for North Korea being a target is less clear since it has no resources to exploit, but then the U.S. doesn't seem eager to launch an invasion into that country despite its progress towards nuclear missile technology. Another recent regime change is that which occurred in Afghanistan after September eleventh. It wasn't long after Karzai was elected to lead that "liberated" country that he and Pakistan's president signed a treaty to build a gas pipeline from the Caspian region to the Indian Ocean, a pipeline that would free the resource-rich, landlocked Central Asian countries from having to use Russian pipelines, and pay the Kremlin for the privilege, to distribute their natural gas. The pipeline project had been proposed to the Taliban but the Taliban rejected the proposal and are now no longer in power. Interesting. This is not to say that the war in Afghanistan wasn't about trying to capture Osama bin Laden, but keep in mind what has been accomplished, what hasn't been accomplished and what interrupted the search for the most wanted terrorist leader in the world.

Which brings us to Iraq. The precise reasons for why the U.S. invaded Iraq have never been completely explained. Insiders have admitted that there were a number of interested parties which each had different objectives for an invasion. This seems reasonable since support for an unjustified war would have needed to come from many places to make it happen. Conquering Iraq would have accomplished a number of goals such as giving U.S. corporations more control over oil, delivering fat reconstruction contracts for politically connected businesses, enabling the construction of massive new military bases in the heart of the Middle East, taking out an enemy of Israel, helping Republicans and pro-war Democrats win elections, and not least of all, easing the fears of our country's cowardly leaders. But it appears that one of the most compelling reasons for the invasion was for the U.S. to recapture the image invincibility that it lost on September eleventh. A powerful national image is vital when it comes to spreading corporatocracy with the threat of military force and a number of countries were openly challenging U.S. control of their economies. The credibility of the U.S. was at stake and along with it the promise of continued corporate profits through economic domination. So the U.S. needed to make an example out of a country, displaying to the entire world that the ghosts of Vietnam had all been exercised and that we were not afraid to put boots on the ground in order to force a regime change upon countries whose leaders refused to do things our way. In this regard, the campaign in Afghanistan was far from convincing. The U.S. mostly used Northern Alliance soldiers instead of U.S. troops to rout the Taliban and later paid the price for that decision when the Afghan soldiers, as the story goes, allowed a number of surrounded Al Qaeda leaders to escape at Tora Bora. The U.S. appeared impotent as a result and Afghanistan offered little for U.S. corporations to plunder. These were two serious problems, both of which could be solved by invading Iraq.

In previous editions of The Burning Blade I suggested that the U.S. refrain from the corporate looting of Iraq and to give the Iraqis more control over their country, especially when it came to their economic self-determinism. After all, our system is all about greed, so why not put Iraqi greed to work for us by giving them incentives to stabilize and rebuild their own country. It is here where I must admit that I was naïve. I did not realize that the corporate takeover of Iraq was one of the primary objectives if not the most important objective of the entire invasion. If Perkins is correct, and it seems to me that he is, then the system of Neoliberal imperialism requires that no country be able to resist the imposition of foreign domination of its economy or else the credibility of the U.S. is undermined. The goal in Iraq is not democracy, or stability, or justice, or peace, or anything else that we've been told. The unspoken goal in Iraq, "victory" if you will, can be measured purely on the balance sheets of corporations which are doing business inside Iraq.

The bottom line is that the ideology that the U.S. is trying to spread when it comes to using covert and overt force is no longer democracy but capitalism, more specifically the Neoliberal version of capitalism where the few prosper at the expense of the masses and where foreign interests reap the fruits of the labor of wage slaves. Yes, Neoliberalism brings progress and yes there is also upward mobility to a limited degree, but it also brings unrest, upheaval, and terrorism. Now, I'm not saying that all of the leaders who have been arrested, assassinated, deposed, vilified, or bombed by the U.S. were angels, many were not far from the tyrants which we claimed that they were, although some of them were definitely national heroes. And I'm not saying that those leaders ran or are running their countries any better than someone personally selected by a Neoliberal think tank, some of them have a rather ham-fisted approach to economics although not all progress can be measured by GDP. I'm also not saying that this all occurs in a vacuum. There are certainly a number of rival ideologies in the world which are seeking ways to undermine U.S. influence world wide and who would be willing to fund violent fanatical organizations to strike at their enemies. After all, that's what the U.S. did with the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 80s. And even our allies are rivals when it comes to the economic sphere. Recall that France and Russia were keen on cozying up to Hussein after the first gulf war but were being prevented from consummating their relationship and gaining access to the Iraqi oil fields by the U.S. and U.K. This is the new colonialism, with direct control over foreign lands being replaced by economic control, and the old colonial powers are still competing with each other for the right to plunder the third world.

But despite the emphasis on profit, Neoliberalism is not simply all about money. Neoliberalism is an ideology that is more about the perfection of the market based system than as a tool for getting rich. Idealists believe that a system run with truly free markets will be a rising tide that lifts all boats. Regulations are shunned since they are viewed as being the tools of the corrupt to pervert the system for their own gain. Pure free markets should be under no ones control, and thus become akin to a god. This god of the free market is often capricious and fickle, but it acts with an "invisible hand" to reward the righteous and punish the unworthy. No longer must one endure the endless arguments of priests and true believers to find the path to enlightenment. All the answers can be found on your bank statement. If the bottom line is large, then you are pious and devout. If the bottom line is small, then you have sinned. This is the new god of the west. It is the new White Man's burden that we must impose on the unwashed heathens of the world. So far the results of various Neoliberal experiments have not been very successful but the claim is made that if all of the "negative" side effects, such as pollution, are priced into the market based system accordingly then the market forces will naturally tilt towards a more positive system. Also, Neoliberals believe that the poor have only themselves to blame and that once people understand and embrace the market based system they will learn marketable skills and produce things that people want to buy and thus will pull themselves out of poverty. Some theorists even envision a utopia of freedom of choice and free markets where pricing mechanisms on every facet of life self regulate the entire social system towards stable, efficient progress, but given what the combination of free markets and human herd-like behaviors has been seen to produce it seems that surrendering so much of our world and ourselves to such a god would be a serious error.

Getting back to more conventional morality, a strong argument can be made to the effect that if it is not us who are exploiting a given country, it will be one of our rivals exploiting them just as much if not more. This argument is supported by the Fireaxe theory, which states that all ideologies fight against each other and that the ones which fight the fiercest are the ones which survive and thrive. Of course, I in no way intend nor desire the Fireaxe theory to be used by apologists for "Corporate Warlordism". What I do intend with the Fireaxe theory is to identify the forces in play in order to understand and hopefully predict world events. Ideology clouds the issue and tries to sweep inconvenient facts under the rug while over-emphasizing others. Even in an ideology which champions free speech and freedom of the press the truth can be difficult to unearth, and I might add that in such an ideology the truth is especially elusive since you can easily get used to taking for granted that what you are being told has been verified as accurate. And so, as always, Forever Vigilance.

Speaking of free speech, "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess" has been completely fleshed out, drafted, and is marching towards the final version of what promises to be the darkest descent down the rabbit hole that Fireaxe has released to date. Since I'm going to run past my target date I will release a sample track from the CD in return for your forgiveness. Expect it before the end of the year.

A big ‘Hello’ to anyone receiving the Burning Blade for the first time. This is the Fireaxe newsletter.

Research summary for "Food for the Gods"

I know that I've discussed the research that I did when putting together all of the disparate elements in "Food for the Gods" but recently I've discovered that I haven't given a full account of the sources for the epic tales and lyrics contained within those CDs. Since a number of you are interested in exploring these areas, if not actually pursuing an advanced degree in them, I feel obligated to pass along this information.

I was determined not to get anything wrong or propagate any historical myths in "Food for the Gods", nor did I want to put words in the mouths of those who went before me. And while I can't guarantee that I didn't make a few unintentional errors or take a few liberties when squeezing things from various sources into the narrow confines of a song, I feel that I've portrayed history accurately. That these epics all end in tragedy is due to artistic license. History is cyclical, and by changing the starting points and ending points of your stories you can elicit either hope or despair when dealing with a given subject. I chose my starting and ending points to match the rise and fall of various ideologies rather than remark about how one particular belief system must be right since it has endured for so long. It is difficult to review a book that has not been completely written.

Without further ado, here are my sources:

"The Wrath of Silence" is the story of the Assyrian king Tikulti Ninurta. I found it difficult to dig up the sources for this particular tale and so I ended up taking parts of it from a second hand source. I realize that this practice is not scholarly, but if the universities don't have the texts, what else can I do?

"Written in Blood" was taken almost verbatim from the Inscription of Tiglath Pilesar I. I found this online. As depicted in the booklet, those words were carved onto an obelisk for all to see. We still do this today on monuments to great leaders, but not for all of our laws. To do that would require that we deface entire mountainsides. Modern gods prefer micromanagement.

The intro to "Praise to Ishtar" came from a "Prayer to Ishtar" that I found online. The verses were taken from a poem named "Praise to Ishtar" written to the goddess that can be found in "Man, Myth, and Magic Vol 13", but I also found it online.

The spearman's lines in "Chariot" came from the "Poem of the Righteous Sufferer". Note the similarities between this style of religious text and that found in the Psalms, and also the difference in tone between this and older writings in praise of ancient gods. Humility and fear of one's god was introduced into religion in this period and those have been cornerstones of most religions ever since.

"The Heretic Pharaoh" is the story of the Pharaoh Akenaten and there has been much written about his life and death. There seems to be some controversy over the details of what happened at the end of his reign as this is not well documented. I chose to go with the more mainstream theory, that his wife, Nefertiti died, that he died not long after, and that his son was killed in a power grab, but my main point won't change much if new discoveries change the ending. It is a tale of love, divine devotion, tragedy, and ideological conflict that has reverberated throughout history. It is not a stretch to find parallels between cults lead by Jim Jones and David Koresh and what happened in Amarna.

The "Hymn to Aten" was taken from the Hymn of the same name, which is regarded as being one of the most beautiful poems of that era. I tried my best to set it to beautiful music.

Most of "Woe is Israel" comes straight out of the Old Testament. "The Covenant" is particularly nasty but keep in mind that the concept of an afterlife hadn't yet been invented, so the punishment for sin had to be suffering on earth - forty years in the desert and no glimpse of the promised land.

"The Servant of Pain" is entirely fictional. Don't ask me where the guys attacking the castle got their outfits.

Most of "The Prophet" comes straight out of the New Testament. The first two tracks are the gospels and the last track is from Paul's letters to the Romans.

Although the quotes are all attributed in the booklet, I took many of the lines in "Them" from various books which described the crusades and the inquisition. I did not write down the names of those books so you may or may not stumble upon those descriptions in your research, but I can tell you that the part that goes, "your son and my son, clean as new swords" is part of an actual song that was written in support of the Crusades.

"Guardian of the Realm" is completely fictional, and it isn't necessarily confined to the medieval period. I can imagine that warriors from many millennia have had similar tales to tell.

"Raise the Black Flag" used background material from the French Revolution, the American War of Independence, and World War Two as well as numerous other revolutions, wars, and conflicts.

After those tracks, the rest of the second CD and all of the third came straight out of both my and Octavio Ramos' heads.

The Fireaxe theory - Outline

I. Basics - well established theories

  • 1. Emergent systems - that complex systems can arise from the interactions of simple things
  • 2. Natural selection - that organisms mutate, proliferate, and compete, with the "losers" becoming extinct
  • 3. Behavioral science - that neurological systems, at their core, function according to the rules of conditioning
  • 4. Entropy - that within a closed system, entropy always increases, which limits the amount of transformation that can occur

II. Extensions

  • 1. That consciousness is an emergent system: a complex system arising in the human mind from the interaction of simple neurons.
  • 2. That civilizations are emergent systems arising from the physical interactions of humans whether conscious or not.
  • 3. That ideologies are emergent systems arising from the psychological interactions of conscious humans
  • 4. That emergent systems follow the laws of natural selection in much the same way that organisms do
  • 5. That the universe is, by definition, a closed system

III. Contentions regarding consciousness

  • 1. That consciousness is a survival advantage
  • 2. That being a member of an ideology is a survival advantage
  • 3. That making its members conscious is a necessary part of an ideology's survival
  • 4. That consciousness is created by instilling within a person a permanent sense of inadequacy - in essence a state of constant fear
  • 5. That the deeper the sense of inadequacy, the stronger the person is motivated - generally to serve their ideology

IV. Contentions regarding ideological struggle

  • 1. That ideologies fight for survival using many methods including, but not limited to, war and enslavement
  • 2. That aggression is a survival advantage
  • 3. That aggressive ideologies make members of rival ideologies feel afraid and inadequate which in response become more aggressive, thus creating a vicious circle
  • 4. That aggressive ideologies must continue to grow or face internal strife as their aggressive members will feed on each other to satisfy their needs
  • 5. That internal struggle results in ideological mutation

V. Contentions regarding the future

  • 1. That internal strife is inevitable since the laws of entropy imply that continuous growth is not sustainable
  • 2. That the abstract bases for ideologies transcend mortality and thus suicidal aggression is not restrained by fear of death
  • 3. That ideological mutation will eventually result in the creation of a suicidal ideology which will attempt to save the human race by destroying it

How to order Fireaxe CDs

Ordering Fireaxe CD's is an informal process as I am selling them personally out of my apartment. Simply mail me a letter which contains the following:

  • 1. The names of the CDs that you want to buy.
  • 2. The address where you want the CDs sent.
  • 3. Cash, a check, or a money order for the total cost.

Here is a price list. The first number is the cost for U.S. based customers, the second is for outside the U.S. The prices include shipping and handling.

Food for the Gods: $12 / $14
Victory or Death: $5 / $7
Lovecraftian Nightmares: $5 / $7 (SOLD OUT)
A Dream of Death: $3 / $5 (booklet out of print)

Send everything to:

Brian Voth
1301 Medical Center Dr. #415
Chula Vista, CA, 91911 USA

If you review CDs on a website or in a magazine, any one of the single CDs (Not "Food for the Gods") is free of charge in exchange for the review. In this case all I need is a request by e-mail. Please send me the URL of your review site or copy of your magazine with the review in it when it is done. If you want to exchange CDs, tapes, or stuff of equivalent value, make these requests via e-mail and we'll arrange a trade.

The CDs come with a booklet filled with awesome art, a letter about the project, and some information about the CD which can also be found on the Fireaxe site.

Lastly, if you want to print and distribute Fireaxe CDs I can send you an additional CD which contains tiff files for all the booklets, tray cards, and labels for each project. The tiff disk is free so just say the word.

The Future

For the rest of this year and part of the next I will be recording the next Fireaxe CD entitled "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess". I'd like to have it complete by the end of 2006. The new CD will dig deep into the dark crevices of our society and our minds, pull forth the myths that we cling to and hold dear, and expose them all for what they are. While “A Dream of Death” explored the madness of dreams, and “Food for the Gods” described the chaos wrought upon the earth by ideologies, “Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess” will depict the psychological enslavement of the individual in modern times. It will be the darkest Fireaxe work ever.

My goal is to deliver music to whoever wants to hear it in whatever way is necessary. Whatever the market demands, I will supply, but I do want to avoid the mass marketing channel. Exposure is fine, but in the modern business, the substance of the music must be altered to match the demands of the marketplace. This would totally defeat the purpose of why I write music in the first place. I write music because it is a way to express my emotions. What I both think and feel goes into the songs. That is the power, Fireaxe is the channel, and any diversion diminishes the emotive effect. Thus I try to avoid such diversions. That is how art should be.

Rights to duplicate Fireaxe materials

Currently Fireaxe is not for profit. I sell the CDs for $5 each which covers the production and mailing costs. For CDs sent out of the country, I'll have to charge $7 per disk to cover the additional mailing cost. If you write reviews or put samples on your website I'll give you a CD for free. Since I am not making any money with the current recordings, you are free to make duplicates of them to distribute as long as you obey the following guidelines:

  • 1. You can only sell the duplications for the price of the medium or less, plus any delivery cost. You are not allowed to make any profit with the music.
  • 2. You should tell me how many copies you gave out and who got them so I can keep track. Also, if they have an e-mail address I'd like that as well so I can add them to the mailing list.
  • 3. You are likewise free to adorn any webpages or duplications with the gifs and jpgs on my website as long as you include an obvious link back to my website. This includes putting Fireaxe song samples on your site as well.
  • 4. You are free to play any Fireaxe songs (in unaltered form) provided you are an unsigned band without a marketting tie-in. You are not allowed to record those songs onto anything that you will sell.
  • 5. You are food for the gods.
  • 6. You are required to crank the song "Hounds of Tindalos" as loud as you can as often as you can. It's your only defense against THEM. Be warned, they come through angles. Note that the CD is round. Are your speaker cabinets square?
  • 7. Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, Hastur the Unspeakable, and all other mythos creatures are purely the inventions of Lovecraft and other fiction authors. None of it is real, at least that's what I'm going to say in court if you try to sue me for destruction of your property, house, city, or soul as a result of listening to the "Lovecraftian Nightmares" CD too much.
  • 8. You are free to play "The Rack" in school or church or any other institution bent on crushing your will and turning you into a mindless zombie slave of the corporate dominated world. Try not to develop a bad attitude about it.
  • 9. You are not free to commit suicide while listening to any Fireaxe song. I'm sorry, I'll have to prosecute. On a serious note, if you are thinking about doing it, please e-mail or call me if you have no one else to talk to. When I was in my teens the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd used to really get to me. Just hearing songs like "Comfortably Numb", and "Hey You" would get me pretty depressed and mildly suicidal. I'm just trying to say that I've been there. If my music is having that effect on you, please get in touch. You aren't alone.

The gist of it is that you can do just about anything with the music as long as you don't profit from it and that I get some sort of credit for having written it. I'm open to any methods of distributing my music, such as compilation tapes or CDs, radio play, or recording label distribution. However, you will need my direct permission to do so or some kind of legal agreement.
Brian Voth - Creator of Fireaxe

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