The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 7.6

Oct 1, 2004

"Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves
embody it, and those who invoke international law must
themselves submit to it."
- Kofi Annan, stating the obvious, but
well short of any means to enforce it

The world waits quietly for November 2nd to arrive and for the United States to perhaps come to its senses. Although few honestly believe that George Bush is leading the world into a catastrophic war, the last four years have made those in positions of power ask the critical question of what they need to do if the U.S. continues on its current unilateralist course. Such an economic and military behemoth needs some kind of counter-balancing force to prevent it from running roughshod over international law, mutual defense agreements, and treaties which have served to make the world more stable. Laws mean nothing if they cannot be enforced, and so even allies of the U.S. are asking themselves how they would deal with a potential "rogue superpower".

It's troubling, but understandable, to watch European nations gradually severing their ties to the U.S. in the form of NATO and many trade agreements, and forge their own rival military and economic block. It's also troubling, and frustrating, to watch Russia adopting a unilateral agenda, based on the "Bush Doctrine" which includes pre-emptive war and preparing to deal with its Chechnya problem with even greater violence. And it's very troubling, and alas predictable, to watch Iran and North Korea building nuclear weapons as fast as possible in the hopes that they can prevent a U.S. invasion. The world indeed was safer with Saddam Hussein in it, as the Iraqi invasion and subsequent resistance have greatly popularized and essentially legitimated the use of suicide bombings as an effective war strategy.

But to think that everything will go back to normal after a potential Kerry election is surely a pipe dream. The U.S. is not likely to give back anything that it has gained through its recent aggression although extricating U.S. soldiers from Iraq might require significant concessions. And to believe that future presidents will not flex U.S. power as Bush has done simply because they are not Bush is to cling to false hopes. Expecting other countries to show discipline and restraint is a untenable way to conduct foreign policy. Trust has been broken, walls will be built, and a new balance of power will inevitably be forged.

We can all be optimistic about the future, but I like to take out my crystal ball, which is hooked in to the "Fireaxe theory", thus explaining its dark tint, and see if I can predict what will come. In the last newsletter I theorized the following about ideologies:

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

Number three is obviously occurring today. Number four is occurring in the U.S. where our lofty war ambitions have been stymied and internal conflict is growing at a fevered pitch. The social war between our two political parties is the most relevant example, but the inter-departmental struggle between the pentagon and the state department is also important. Civilized discourse and political compromises are few and far between in the U.S. and polarization is the order of the day.

U.S. power and influence are going to shrink in the future due in part to the quagmire in Iraq and due to the rest of the world essentially ganging up on it. According to the Fireaxe theory, this will exacerbate internal conflicts as Americans struggle against each other to get what they perceive as their fair share. The next president will be in the unenviable position of being the leader in a time of great dissatisfaction and his political party is going to bear the brunt of the blame. Personally I'd like to see Bush eat the double-decker shit sandwich that he has made for himself, although another four years of the current lunacy would be like eating a side order of fried turds. But I fear that a Kerry election, especially a close one with more recounts, legal challenges, and the delays which would come with them, would enrage the more fanatical, and surprisingly fascist, elements of the Republican party. Radicalized democrats aren't pretty, but remember that it was Bush supporters who burned the Dixie Chicks' CDs when the group spoke their mind about their commander in chief. I wouldn't be surprised if Kerry wouldn't be able to do anything politically as president and I wouldn't be surprised if he were to be impeached very early into his presidency as the war and the economy continued to founder. I could see Bush coming back into power in 2008 with an even more radical agenda, or sooner if things get out of hand. It's not without precedent to depose an elected leader in the U.S., as the governor of California found out not long ago.

Well, the crystal ball is growing too dark now and so I'll end this introduction by saying that I like to think in terms of worst case scenarios and plan accordingly. Fireaxe will continue to add to the volatile mix of ideological conflict by cranking out another project in the coming year. Though not many will hear it I know that it will be greatly appreciated by most of those who do. The studio is ready for the first recording sessions for "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess" and I am eager to plunge once more into darkness.

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

"Victory or Death" reviewed

Over the last few months I've sent out a few dozen copies of "Victory or Death" to a number of webzines for reviews. The deal goes like this: you get the wonderful gift of free publicity for your band and your CD, but in return you have to subject yourself to the possibility of public humiliation. Thus, it's not unlike going on a reality show. For me this is the third time that I've experienced the "thrill of creation and the agony of reading about it", so I am used to the cheap shots that some like to take. As usual, most of the reviews were good in general, but as I said before, reviews are always hit and miss with some leaving me scratching my head and wondering if I sent them the right CD. "Victory or Death" was no exception and some of the things I read about it were rather annoying. So pardon me the indulgence of a review of the reviews.

Here are a few selected inexplicable quotes:

"…the music is very simple and repetetive, so the length of the songs seems like a lot of fat around a bit of lean meat."

…and from the same reviewer:

"The riffs sound "metal," but are in fact very generic and seem, like the rest of the music, to be present mostly to support Voth’s philosophical ideas."

Simple? Repetitive? Generic? Is he serious?

As I was reading the review I got the impression that this particular reviewer probably didn't listen through the entire CD, or at least didn't pay attention after the first song or two didn't spark his interest. Indeed as I read his whole review it did nothing to convince me that he gave "Victory" a full listen, seeing how he focused primarily on the cover and the liner notes and stretched those topics out over several paragraphs. Thus, he describes his own work best with the phrase, "a lot of fat around a bit of lean meat".

But at least he got one thing right, the music is there to support the themes in the songs. That should be a strength, but in the review it sounds like it's a weakness, like I'm covertly using metal to push my nihilistic agenda on innocent and unsuspecting head-bangers.

More strangeness from another reviewer:

"…and sloppy, yet kickass solos…"

Kick-ass, definitely, but sloppy? I put almost every note exactly where I wanted it on "Food for the Gods". The solos are tight and match the rhythms immaculately. Since "A Dream of Death" I've been recording each solo twice and placing them on two different tracks, sending one right and one left. They've got to be close to sound good and in the past I'll admit that sometimes they have been a little off, but on "Food for the Gods" I nailed almost every one of them. So the comment stuns me. Must I be perfect?

I was also disappointed by where the reviewers placed most of their focus. I saw too many references to the imperfect production, to the fact that I used a drum machine, and on descriptions of the Fireaxe "sound". Almost no text was devoted to the content, as if it didn't really matter what I was singing about. But then the whole of music industry has been going that way and so I can't blame the reviewers for getting swept up by the madness.

Firstly, the focus on production. Although it seems odd that demo reviews would harp on things like the production and artwork, a look and listen to other reviewed bands showed me that the bar has been raised quite a bit in regards to how much unsigned bands are willing to invest in demos in order to impress record company executives. Many demos are on par with professionally released CDs, which goes to show how ridiculously competitive the industry is today. Going that extra mile is a worthwhile investment if you want to take a shot at the big time, but it's a pain to have to do it just to get a strong demo review from a webzine.

Secondly, in the future I plan to no longer mention that I use a drum machine. A few reviews harped on it a little too much, even suggesting that it ruined the music:

"I think these songs would really come to life with real drums; the song writing is so good the drums are the only thing holding this music back from its full potential."

"And it would have been really good drumming if it had been real drums instead of a machine."

The second comment sounds almost like bigotry. Dare I tell these guys that a lot of metal CDs, yes metal CDs, are recorded with drum machines or triggered drums? It isn't mentioned in the liner notes because a lot of metal fans would react like those quoted above, but a close listen will reveal the truth. I wonder how many of the reviewers would have noticed that Fireaxe used a drum machine had I not told them so in the bio. I also wonder if I should also be revealing that Fireaxe CDs are recorded in a home studio by one person. I seem to be encountering prejudice along those lines as well, as if what I create can't possibly be as good as what a "real" band can do in a "real" studio. I wish that I could send the CD out to the same people again with a totally made up band bio and see if the reviews come out a lot different. I'm fairly sure that they would.

Thirdly, the reviews also focused primarily on the Fireaxe "sound". While this is good since it gives the reader an idea of what my music sounds like, and who I sound like, very little else of the music was reviewed, which is strange because I thought that music was the main point of music. Alas it is not. Image and attitude are what sell music today. A band's "sound" is an important part of the image and attitude that the band wants to project, i.e. that they are tough, brutal, intense, stylish, hard core, street wise, etc. A band's sound is mostly a mixture of the guitar distortion tone, the vocal style, and the rhythms they use. There's a lot more to music that than, and much more to Fireaxe, but music itself doesn't really matter these days. Much of this is due to the fact that people's exposure to new music is very limited and we generally only hear it in very short bursts. Radio play is mainly for popular bands, so the best that an unsigned band can do is get a single play on an unsigned band radio show, or possibly get a ten second clip of one of their songs played during a commercial, on a TV show, or in a movie trailer. There's no time or reason to mess around with complicated song structures, deep meanings, or any form of subtlety with such restrictions on your exposure, especially when it comes to metal. You have to hit the listener with your attitude full force and hope that they buy your CD before they get distracted by some other band.

And so, while vocal melodies, harmony, profound themes, and having the music match the lyrics are the strong points of Fireaxe, those things were rarely if ever mentioned in the reviews. I know that there is a market for people who enjoy these things in their metal music. I know this because of the many fantastic replies I've gotten about Fireaxe as well as some fairly deep philosophical discussions in e-mail and in person. Given the response to limited exposure to Fireaxe I know that I could easily sell thousands of CDs to eager listeners, but with the industry so focused on the strengths of modern music it is hard for Fireaxe to connect with that market. The struggle continues.

Lastly, the majority of the reviews were good. Here are some of my favorite comments:

"With a voice like Brian, you can go all the way. Standard but powerful as well as extremely high vocals, be sure he can handle it all with no problems at all."

" Also listen very closely to his guitar works cause it's riffs and solo's cuts deep into you heart and soul."

" I really enjoyed the rather barbaric sounding "Cut Or Be Cut", which shows the high falsetto vocals that Voth seems to pull off so well."

" It's like putting Maiden, Priest, Dio, Manowar and King Diamond together with concept lyrics that are aimed to stir the philosophical side of our brains and souls."

"… and finally, Voth understands what heavy metal sounds like."

"Voth proves that he is quite the mastermind, learning each instrument from scratch, recording, singing, and writing the songs that depict the ultimate in human emotion, warfare, in all its painstaking glory and burden."

"After listening to the rest of “Victory or Death” it became clear that the other songs are just as solid as “Failures”; if the entire three cd set is like this that would be pretty amazing."

It is.

"Food for the Gods" re-mastered

Most of this year I've spent gathering ideas for "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess", trying to gain publicity for Fireaxe, and re-mastering the "Food for the Gods" CDs. I haven't been recording anything, partly from lack of disk space and partly because I didn't feel that I had enough good stuff to begin. But now both situations have changed and it's time to let the creativity flow.

There were a number of little items on "Food for the Gods" that bothered me. There were a few embedded pops where the audio exceeded digital zero, a few tracks that needed a re-mix, and a few minor things that I missed the first time around. I've made those changes and took a few shots at re-mastering the tracks, going for a smoother sound that still captured the Fireaxe intensity. It's not easy to match the quality of professional work with a home studio, but I'd like to squelch the complaints about production quality in my work once and for all. It's a pipe dream, but it would be great if it came true.

All I can say is this: there comes a point at which mastering becomes masturbating, and I'm past that point. It's not a matter of turning a few dials until the mix sounds to best, it's a matter of finding a good mix one day, listening to it the next when your ears have gone back to normal and wondering what you were thinking the day before, making more adjustments, and doing it all over again. You also have to try your mix out on a number of other systems and speakers to see if you've overcompensated for the way a particular system sounds. It's incredibly tedious, and worst of all you get sick of your own music before you're done.

The good news is that I've crafted a nicer sound while fixing the little things and now I have a re-mastered version ready to roll out. It's not that much different than before, so there is no need to ask for a re-mastered copy, and the sound isn't up to the level of a professional studio although it is better. The bad news is that sales of "Food for the Gods" have slowed and it doesn't look likely that I'll be going through the current printing any time soon. So the new stuff is ready, but waiting for the demand to pick up. I'll keep everyone posted and should I ever roll out a re-mastered version I'll send out replacement copies to those of you who want them.

The oppositional nature of ideologies

In the last newsletter I summarized the Fireaxe theory. I've included the outline at the end of this article. One of the contentions that I made regarding ideologies was their aggressive nature and that they are comprised of aggressive individuals who will feed on each other if their ideology is not able to grow and spread. Although many would appreciate this description as it pertains to the ideologies that they do not support, they would deny that it applies to their own ideology. That is understandable considering how people need hope in their lives to make them worth living, and the idea of a day in the future when their particular ideology has spread health and happiness across the world and has done away with all the conflict and suffering is one that a great many of us share. The idea of their ideology rising to prominence and then being plagued by internal strife which eventually consumes it is not one that people like to entertain even though that fate has befallen all political and religious systems that have come before. Proof of this is obvious. How many gods have been worshipped through history and how many are still worshipped today? But it is hard to argue against hope.

One common argument that followers make is that their ideology is different and that it will not suffer the same fate as the others have. The trouble with that argument is that you cannot provide proof to refute it until it is too late. Will a Christian start a nuclear holocaust because he believes it is part of the rapture? Believers can always say no, right up until it happens. At that point saying, "I told you so", isn't very gratifying. Of course, it may not happen, and so to try to settle the argument we need to probe a little deeper into ideologies to see if they are all destined to collapse into one form of chaos or another.

Necessity is the mother of invention and I see ideologies as arising and evolving to deal with specific threats to the survival of a social group. In the stone age most of these threats came from natural phenomenon which is probably why volcanoes, thunderstorms, and other forces of nature became deified. Ideologies arose around fear, appeasement, and respecting the power of the gods. These ideologies helped our ancestors survive since their beliefs kept them out of harm's way. For instance, a believer wouldn't build their house in a flood plain if he believed that he might anger the great river god who would wash away his life for being so arrogant. To us this is just common sense, but we understand the forces behind nature. In the past they did not have this luxury, but successful behaviors are successful even if you don't understand why you are behaving that way. Ideologies don't survive because they are the truth, they survive because they make their followers behave in ways that keeps the ideology alive.

In more modern times the threats to a social order come mainly from other social orders with different ideologies. Instead of earthquakes and tornadoes, modern people fear invasion and conquest, and so modern ideologies tend to focus around resisting foreigners who worship other gods. Just as in ancient times, the threatening force takes the form of a powerful and malevolent being. The Christian and Muslim religions have an adversarial deity named Satan, who spreads sin and plots to corrupt and destroy believers. And just as the ancient gods were thought to control the wind and the rain and the earth, so are modern deities thought to control the minds of those who threaten our social orders. When serious threats arise against Christians, believers often see those threatening them as being in thrall to the devil. Christian foes' faces are morphed into that of Satan, which channels Christian anger and motivates them to resist fiercely. The abstract nature of an adversary makes it easier to adapt it to fit a variety of earthly foes.

Similarly, modern ideologies such as Democracy, at least as it is practiced in the U.S., has tyranny as its adversary and whose followers tend to see those who wish to bring destruction upon it as despots and dictators. Adversarial relationships are at the root of most if not all modern ideologies: Communism fights against the bourgeoisie and the capitalists, Humanists fight against oppression and the violation of human rights, and Pacifists fight against warmongers. Each ideology is at its strongest when it is actively engaged in the struggle against its chosen enemy: its followers are more motivated and productive, and every word of their "sacred documents" rings loudly with truth and righteousness. There was no finer moment for the U.S. than when it fought to liberate the world from three tyrants in World War II, with Hitler filling the role of the long dead and nearly forgotten adversary of the U.S.: England's King George. And so in the U.S. we now like to compare our enemies to Hitler and motivate ourselves to resist the feared German dictator. Likewise in Muslim countries they like to compare their enemies to Satan. Thus, in Iraq, Satan is battling Hitler and Satan is winning. But maybe Hitler can pull a rabbit and beat the devil.

Ideologies are born in opposition to a rival ideology, and U.S. democracy arose to throw off oppressive English rule. When democracy took form, much of it was built around preventing the new form of government from becoming anything like that which the founders had worked so hard to overthrow. Thus, democracy is geared to resist, and destroy, monarchies, dictatorships, and the consolidation of power. In its eyes there is no greater evil than a tyrant and it is in fighting this adversary that it is at its most powerful. Having an adversary provides an ideology with an object of hatred which also serves as a source of strength. The trouble is that if an ideology's adversary ever diminishes or is conquered, it causes a similar loss of strength and motivation for the conquering ideology. This loss of a sense of purpose can lead to weakness and later to internal struggle. Followers still yearn to expand their nation, since all followers are instilled with a sense of inadequacy for the purpose of motivating them, and thus it is often the case that followers strive to find a substitute for the adversary that had been vanquished so that they may regain their sense of purpose. Finding such an adversary returns the ideology to its highly motivated state and thus allows expansion to follow once again. The newly crowned adversary may not be as dangerous as the old, but as long as connections can be made between the old and the new the stronger the desire to destroy the adversary can be instilled within loyal followers.

It is in this regard that the adversarial nature of ideologies leads to their own destruction. In order to motivate its people and ensure its growth, an ideology must always be finding new adversaries to project into the role of "Satan" and work to destroy them. It is often claimed in conspiracy theories that the leaders of countries manipulate their people into fighting a series of never-ending wars against enemies whose prowess is often greatly exaggerated. But according to the Fireaxe theory, no manipulation is necessary. It is a natural behavior of ideologies to seek out adversaries regardless of who initiates the campaigns. It also doesn't matter if the new adversaries pale in comparison to an ideology's greatest foe. Ideologies which do not find new enemies fall into complacency and internal struggle, and in such a weak state, lacking of their original purpose, they can fall victim to conquest by ideologies that do find new enemies. Thus, the Darwinian struggle of rival ideologies tends to produce those which are more warlike and aggressive and which see adversaries in every possible rival.

In their quest to destroy their adversaries, ideologies can turn inwards upon themselves, conducting a campaign of ideological purification. This often becomes necessary when a substantial number of followers cannot make the connection between the current adversary and the original adversary of the ideology. Such discord prevents the ideology from achieving its full power, which comes when it is united to achieve victory. This purification can often lead to further discord, ideological mutation, and internal struggle, but sometimes it can achieve its purpose and unify the whole at the expense of a few. This is why legislation such as the USA PATRIOT act is as expected as it is troubling. It is intended to be used only to fight against terrorists, but in the absence of such an adversary it is likely that the enforcing agents, lacking the purpose of fighting terrorism, will find other adversaries to use this power against. The potential for a campaign of ideological purification as an extension of the "War on Terror" in the U.S. is very real. Also, the proponents of such a campaign would be correct in believing that a successful campaign would make the U.S. stronger, more uniform, and more motivated to continue the battle against its adversaries. That explains how well-meaning individuals often find themselves leading their ideologies down the same paths that gave us the greatest atrocities in history. Ideological purification does make the whole stronger, but there are many notable failures.

Eventually, all ideologies run out of adversaries to fight, and thus they will always break down. Most examples in history show that the break down usually occurs before the world is conquered due either to a lack of motivation or imperial overreach. But even in the event that an a single ideology did conquer the world, peace would not be the result. Ideological purification would surely follow as aggressive individuals within the ideology would use it as a tool to gain power. Take, for example, the first pilgrims who fled to the U.S. to avoid religious persecution only to become persecutors themselves, conducting witch trials and making war against the indigenous peoples. And many a utopian dream was crushed as isolation removed that which gave them the drive to start anew. Take, for example, the Pharaoh Akenaten, whose short-lived kingdom fell to ruin when the contempt for the old gods died along with him. And also remember the fate of those who followed Jim Jones to Jonestown. Conflict with an adversary is inherent, and necessary, in all ideologies and thus ideological conflict is an enduring feature of modern existence. Any ideology that tells you differently, is trying to sell you something.

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
A Dream of Death: $5 / $7

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

I’ve been focusing so hard on "Food for the Gods" that I’ve had little time to think about what I’d like to record next. Over the past few months I’ve tossed around some ideas and have come up with a working title and theme. The next Fireaxe work will dig even deeper 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. But don’t put your order in just yet. After wrapping up "Food for the Gods" I’ll need a while to rest and upgrade my studio. I’m spent.

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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