The Lukewarm Butterknife

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 3.3.1

Apr. 1, 2000

"Life is a series of disappointments that some call
'learning experiences'. Indeed they prepare you for
life's biggest disappointment, death."
- From "Zen and the Art of Nihilism"

It's been a roller-coaster year for Fireaxe. The musical project twice became an overnight success only to wake up the next morning back at square one. Such is the feast or famine world of the music and internet businesses. In other news, the Pope came out with apologies to everyone except Fireaxe criticizing the musical project as being "truly evil". Also, Fireaxe has attracted a cult following much to the chagrin of it's creator.

A big "Hello" to anyone receiving the Lukewarm Butterknife for the first time. A big "Screw you" to anyone deleting this parody without reading it.

Pope apologizes to everyone except Fireaxe

In a truly landmark speech, the Pope formally apologized to everyone for every immoral act that the Catholic Church had committed in its entire history. The 14-day long confession was a painfully accurate account of nearly 2000 years of barbarism, witch hunts, inquisitions, murder, rape, genocide, and the wanton destruction of numerous cultures across the world. However, the Pope did make one exception to his apologies and that was that he would not take back anything that he or the Catholic Church had said or done regarding Fireaxe, the musical project of Lake Forest resident, Brian Voth.

"That man is truly evil.", said the Pope, breaking from his solemn apologies into a holy tirade. "Blasphemers are a dime a dozen, but this 'Destroyer of Dreams' character is a danger to everything that everyone holds sacred. We all know that religion is bullshit. We accept it. It's the natural order of things. We in the Catholic Church understand that as well as anyone. People come to us with fears and anxieties and we tell them this bullshit story about a guy who walked on water and died for their sins. They give us money and go home happy. That's how it works."
"But this Fireaxe guy is hell bent on telling everyone that their beliefs are built on a foundation of excrement. That's what makes him a menace. Imagine what would happen if people stopped believing in nonsense. Every religion and political system would collapse into a pile of dung. I mean, everyone knows that what everyone else believes in is a bunch of crap, but deep inside they know that they are the one exception to the rule. Without that crucial hypocritical schism our entire civilization would fall apart. That's why we must all join together and abolish Fireaxe"
"Brian's worse than Hitler.", the Pope continued. "At least Hitler had a dream for people to chase. And it was a good one too. It even got our church caught up in it for a while. So what if he killed a few people. He had a dream and he wasn't afraid to chase it no matter who got in his way. But this Fireaxe guy doesn't offer any dream or hope at all. It's just nihilism and therefore it's wrong, no matter how much sense he might make."

The Pontiff then took out a Fireaxe CD and attempted to urinate on it, but with his Parkinson's disease taking it's toll on his nervous system his shaky hands only managed a little splatter on the case with most of it landing on his shoes.

"Jesus H. Christ!", exclaimed the Pope as one of his cardinals came forth to help out. "This proves the CD is the work of the devil!"

Fireaxe's creator, Brian Voth, was quickly reached for comment by a sensationalism hungry media brigade.

"I don't mind getting dumped on by the Pope, but that apology of his is just empty words. Only after the last Catholic church has been burned to the ground and the last cardinal has been choked to death with the entrails of the last nun will the sins of that church ever be forgiven."
"It's just a marketing ploy," Brian continued, "and a transparent one at that. It's just like when the Apostle Paul wrote the new testament to market Judaism to Gentiles. Now we have a kinder, gentler brainwashing machine bent on converting the world. What else is new?"

The Pope could not be reached for a response as he and the church were busy writing apologies for the next thousand years of church activities.

The "one man doing it all in his apartment" sound is all the rage

The recording business is ablaze with a new kind of sound. First there was the ultra clean digital 'techno' sound. Then there was the movement back to tube amps for the garage band sound. Now everyone is chucking their gear once again and buying up multi-track recorders and effects pedals. The "one man doing it all in his apartment" sound has become the new standard for modern CDs.

Leading the charge has been Fireaxe front man, Brian Voth, whose CDs "A Dream of Death" and "Lovecraftian Nightmares" are now regarded as the standards for the new sound.

"At first I couldn't believe it.", Brian admitted. "Guitar guys all over the LA basin were dumping their Marshall stacks and recording directly into their tape decks. Then I thought to myself, 'well it is the music industry'. Some guys are a just a little bit fast to jump on the bandwagon. You know who I'm talking about. I've even seen imitators hit the market before the real thing to give you an idea of how ridiculous it can be."

Strange but true the "apartment" sound has taken hold across the nation.

"The guitar sound he gets is so muddy, distorted, and spread out all over the place. I love it.", confessed one Fireaxe listener.

"Like it or not, tape hiss is the in thing.", admitted the owner of the local Guitar Center. "These days four-trackers and drum machines are flying of the shelves. Do I like the sound? Not really. But I'm making a ton of money here so I don't care."

Some say that the popularity of the RealAudio and MP3 formats on the internet has led to the "apartment" movement.

"These days kids don't care. They don't even know what good quality audio sounds like.", writes an internet expert. "Real Audio sounds like the band recorded the music in a fish tank, and MP3 isn't too different than what you can pull off at home. When kids hear their favorite bands live they come away disappointed. It sounds too good. They miss the noise and the audio artifacts in the sound files they fill their hard drives with."

Fireaxe has worked hard to improve its sound over the years, but some listeners feel that it's not an improvement at all.

"He's sold out.", bitches one Fireaxe ex-fan. "Back in the old days when he used a TR-505 and a four track machine, that was music. You could even hear the clicks and buzzing when he started and stopped the tape. But now listen to it. Eight tracks, a real bass guitar, it's all so cheesy. Everything after the 'Unholy Rapture' demo is pure crap."

But as fate would have it, with Fireaxe poised on the edge of Megastardom, the entire industry underwent another paradigm shift...

"So one day me and Al were joking about what the next big things would be.", relates record store owner Jay Smokenwheeze, "I said, 'They'll bring back vinyl.' We both had a good laugh. But the next day I had a hundred orders for new music on classic 12" records. I don't know what that means, but I'll tell you one thing, I'm going home tonight and firing up the old 8-track player."

Fireaxe IPO skyrockets - Brian becomes republican overnight

In a bizarre twist all too symptomatic of our stock market crazy economy, Fireaxe has become a multi-million dollar enterprise.

"This is totally fucked up.", says Brian Voth, Fireaxe creator and world's latest millionaire.

It all started when Brian decided to register the domain name of his musical project. Before the deal was done, or even confirmed, word got out around the internet that a new internet startup company located in California was about to come on line. Literally within minutes, investors loaded with venture capital were hot to get a piece of the action.

"The phone started ringing off the hook. People I'd never met before were asking me questions about Fireaxe, calling me 'babe', and saying 'let's do lunch'. I knew it wasn't a good sign. Usually it means that you're about to get screwed.", Brian continued, "When I figured out what they were after I tried to discourage them from investing by saying that Fireaxe is strictly not for profit and that I've only lost money, but that only made them more excited."
"The simple fact that Fireaxe was going to become a dotcom and that I already had a website was more than enough to get them committed. In fact, the less that they knew about Fireaxe, the more they were willing to invest. So I came up with a great plan to screw them over. I went public with Fireaxe, took their money, and put out a CD with nothing on it. Boy did that ever backfire."

Starting at a mere $1 per share, Fireaxe stock jumped to $120 per share by the end of the first day, and hit $250 by the weekend. Currently Fireaxe is worth more than Sony and EMI combined.

"I'm considering buying both labels.", pondered the solo artist. "Then I'd fire all the current acts and sign every indie band on the net. I'd kind of like to see what Gortician could do with a million dollar budget."

Even more astonishing is that the latest Fireaxe CD, which has no title, went platinum.

"I don't get it.", Brian shrugged, "It didn't even have 'Fireaxe' on it or anything. I just purchased a bunch of CDs with empty jewel cases and shipped them directly to the distributors. Next thing I know everyone on the net is talking about the rad new sound - no sound at all. They're even trading MP3s with no sound in them. It goes beyond stupid. Anyone who would download 3 Megabytes of zeroes needs some serious help."

But the most surprising thing of all is Fireaxe's new political view.

"Well, I'm filthy rich now.", Brian proclaimed. "At first I thought that I'd give most of it away to friends and charity but then I thought, 'Hey, it's my money. I earned it. I deserve it. I got mine and to hell with everyone else.' What can I say? I've become a Republican."
"For years I've seen people get rich, buy big houses and fancy cars, and turn into complete assholes. Now it's finally my turn. And I plan to be the biggest asshole of them all."

But before Brian could attain his lifelong dream of hoarding money, forcing taxpayers to cover his business debts, and making an ass out of himself, his Fireaxe stock fell to less than $1 per share and CD sales dropped to zero.

"I guess it's poetic justice.", Brian lamented. "We all got what we deserved. Well, not everyone, the first guys to invest in Fireaxe and who sold their shares to the poor suckers who arrived a day late made a killing. They deserve to die. But everyone else, me included, ended up losing their shirts in this insanity."
"I feel dirty, used, and degraded, but I'm pretty sure it's just because I'm not rich anymore. When I had millions I felt the same way but it didn't matter. Oh well. Capitalism sucks."

Fireaxe gains cult following - Brian annoyed by religious overtones

They dress in black with the Fireaxe crossed axes and 'Forever Vigilance' logo and their backs. They quote Fireaxe lyrics and talk non-stop about how cool the music is. They are the new breed of Fireaxe groupies and they are bordering on becoming a religious cult. Although Fireaxe has never performed live, the musical project has acquired a following whose members have taken to living outside the project creator's apartment and following his every move.

"It's like a nightmare.", Brian confessed. "They treat me like their holy father or something. They follow me around chanting my lyrics and hanging on my every word. It's so annoying. Now I know why cult leaders end up ordering mass suicides."

But despite being scorned by their leader, the cult members persist.

"He's the greatest. He tells us to think for ourselves so that's what we do.", said one follower.

"He's changed my life. I used to fall for dream after dream. I'm beyond that now. Now my dream is not to believe in dreams anymore. And I hope that one day I will wake up without needing to hope for things.", explained an obviously confused fan.

"Dude, I am like so 'The Destroyer of Dreams'.", confided another fan. "I'm like 'hey kid, there's no Santa Claus'. It's way cool."

Every night the fans gather around Brian's apartment, hoping to hear bits and pieces of future Fireaxe songs. Then when midnight strikes they dance frantically to "Beyond Zimbabwe" and play it over and over again.

"I used to like that song.", Brian admitted. "The rhythm really rocked and the solos just smoked, but if I hear it one more time I think I'm going to puke."
"But the thing that gets to my the most is when the music stops and they start Whispering in the Night outside my window. I can take the beastly Festivals, the Hounds barking at all hours of the night, the Nightmarish rituals at the Lake, and their weird custom of throwing Wrenches into anything mechanical, but that whispering is driving me crazy."

Fortunately Brian had his sanity saved when a limousine carrying Marilyn Manson drove by and his cult immediately defected.

Ending Comments

All offended persons should note that this was the April Fool's day edition of "The Burning Blade" and are reminded to lighten up. But if you still want to flame me, please be as nasty as possible since I could use some good material.
Brian Voth - Creator of Fireaxe

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