The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 8.2

Feb 4, 2005

"Force your will upon the world
and enslave us to your dream."
- Fireaxe "River of Madness"

We are all told to follow our dreams, strive to satisfy our desires, and fight hard to keep what is ours, but what happens when achieving those goals is unrealistic or simply impossible? Few of us like to admit defeat or part with our highest aspirations and so when our dreams come into conflict with reality it is often reality, or our perception of it, which is altered to accommodate the dream. We try to imagine a reality in which our dreams come true and thus, truth is often the first casualty of desire.

Take, for example, our civic responsibilities. We all want the things that the government provides for us, police protection, good schools, better roads, and assistance for the unfortunate, and we want to see these things improved and better funded. But whenever new taxes are proposed to pay for those improvements we flatly refuse to pay and vote them down. Do we think that the money will come out of thin air? Of course not. We want everyone else to pay more, believing, generally without any factual support, that we're paying enough, or too much, and others aren't. We don't bother examining the issue since we might find out that we are wrong, and when we do stumble upon facts, we accept them selectively, based on what it is that we want to believe. The end result that we collectively want more than we are willing to pay for and we all live in our own little worlds with our own ideas of what government needs to do to fix the problem. And so even in a crisis, which inevitably results, there is little consensus, and any way that we end up settling things appears unjust to many of us, ensuring future conflict and dissent.

In this example it is easy to see that we are collectively acting in a way which makes things harder for ourselves. That much is simple. Figuring out a system for calculating each individual's tax burden fairly is not simple, and getting everyone to agree that the system is just is virtually impossible. The basic problem is that we all feel entitled to more than we can collectively have, an attitude that extends to far more than just taxation and civic improvements. It is a simple truth that we cannot all be above average although we can all want to be. And though while a few of us actually make our wildest dreams come true, the vast majority of people who dream of winning a Super Bowl, getting elected president, or becoming a big rock star have those dreams dashed sooner or later. But since dreams don't die easily, the demand for special things far outweighs the supply, guaranteeing conflict, and not always in the form of healthy competition.

Collectively we invite trouble by chasing dreams and shooting for the stars, but individually it is the best way for us to achieve those goals. The more you want something, the more motivated you will be to achieve it, and the more likely you will push yourself to become the best that you can possibly be. As individuals it is better for us to lose our larger perspective, pushing aside the possibility that we could lose and ignoring the plight of those who inevitably will. We benefit from focusing solely on achieving our personal goals for holding back in any way results in losing ground to those who do not care about the impact their intense desires cause. We try so hard because we know that when the day of victory occurs the winners will take all and the losers will be sent home in shame. To work hard and fail is the worst possible outcome, so we push ourselves to extremes to succeed. Extreme rewards invite extreme competition and all the ugliness that surround such behavior. And it isn't just those who push too hard who deserve the blame, all of us support the system in our attitudes towards the winners and losers, and thus we encourage the system towards extremes.

Such a highly competitive system produces great champions, but it also has the severe drawback of being stunningly myopic. Having a larger perspective on competition, life, and the world we live in is a liability and as a result many of us do not even bother gathering a deep understanding of things. Our personal goals become all-consuming, and anyone or anything that gets in our way is viewed as being an enemy to be defeated. Long term planning is cast aside for greater returns on short term goals for if you are not sure that you will be on top for long, why plan for something that will be of greater benefit to the one who beats you and takes your place?

Such systems are not stable due to lack of foresight on the part of those within them. To some degree that is a good thing, since all will be given a respite from the madness as the system collapses, but a catastrophic collapse is far from enjoyable and often we choose to support the system since it is the lesser of two evils.

Speaking of evil, I, as well as Octavio Ramos, are hard at work writing material for the new project "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess". Although many miles apart, thanks to the internet we are busy co-authoring what promises to be one of the hottest tracks on the disk. I plan to write out all the tracks before starting the recording process, so it will be a while before I'll have cuts from the new CD for you to hear. Stay tuned.

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

Some good reviews and a hearty hail to Fireaxe's biggest supporters

More reviews of "Victory or Death" have come in and the new ones have been more positive than the older ones. As before, the reviewers don't go into depth about the music, sticking mainly to reporting who Fireaxe is, which bands Fireaxe sounds like, and giving the music an overall rating. That's pretty much what every CD gets except for those the reviewer either loves or loathes, so I'm not getting, nor am I demanding, special treatment. But what disappoints me about webzine reviews is how little publicity they have generated for Fireaxe. I have yet to have a single person tell me that they found out about Fireaxe through a webzine demo review of "Victory or Death". It makes me wonder if anyone bothers reading them at all.

So is it all wasted effort? Probably not, since publicity of any kind is beneficial, even bad press. A few years back someone who ran a site where every week he posted a "worst of the internet" award along with a ridicule-filled rant stumbled across the Fireaxe site around the time that "Lovecraftian Nightmares" was in release. The guy did a pretty nasty write-up, although he was so uninformed about Fireaxe that his cheap shots completely missed their target. But not long after that I got an e-mail from one of his readers who had decided to listen to a few Fireaxe mp3s, liked them, and wanted to order a copy of the CD. Mind you, that's not the kind of attention I'd like to get, but it just goes to show that there is some truth behind the adage that "any press is good press".

But it seems like in the super-saturated market for new music that good press doesn't get anyone's attention unless it's extremely good press, and I am thankful that Fireaxe has a number of people who have been so inspired by my music that they've written glowing reviews of Fireaxe in high traffic areas on the internet. They have been the ones who have spread Fireaxe around the world, encouraging many to at least listen to what I have to offer and decide for themselves if they like it. A hearty hail goes out to Lord Vic and his constant praise of Fireaxe on metal-rules.com. About 90% of the people who contact me about buying CDs tell me that it was Lord Vic who prompted them to sample Fireaxe mp3s. I also owe a great debt to Bim Landers and Nicolas Bonneau for their ongoing support. Hails to you guys, and many others, for keeping the spotlight on my works.

Nicolas is my French distributor, and he'd be spreading CDs across that beautiful country if there hadn't been a postal breakdown along the way. No one knows what happened, but somewhere between here and there an uninsured, unregistered package containing ten copies of "Food for the Gods" almost got lost in the mail, never to be seen again. After submitting a formal complaint to the postmaster the package was returned to me more than three months after I sent it out, along with a bill for the return postage. Where had it been? We are not sure, but one of the stickers on it said that it had been through Germany. Germany? Exactly how the international postal service could take a large package with the destination clearly written on it in big letters (FRANCE) and send it to the wrong country is beyond me. But at least I got the CDs back, and soon Nicolas will be able to go about his work spreading the anti-gospel.

The oppositional nature of consciousness

In edition 7.6 of this newsletter I wrote a short essay which probed the oppositional nature of ideologies. I made quite a number of points, the main ones being: that all ideologies are defined in opposition to some threat to their existence; that they are at their most powerful and motivated when fighting against that threat; and that in the absence of that threat they seek out other rivals which can take the place of the vanquished opposition. In this newsletter I will make similar arguments concerning consciousness and how people behave in much the same way as ideologies. But first there are a few things about ideologies that I would like to comment on as they relate to the post-election period in the U.S. Note that I wrote about ideologies before the last election.

In George W. Bush's second inaugural address it almost seemed as if his speech writer was an avid reader of my newsletter, using my theories to construct a speech which would motivate all Americans to destroy our adversary, tyranny, in the name of our god, Freedom. Everything that I wrote about was in evidence in the address: the warnings of complacency, the morphing of the dictatorships of old into current world powers, and the depiction of the entire world as a desperate struggle between good and evil. It remains to be seen just how much those ideals are put into actions but the "Freedom Crusade" is certainly on the march.

In BB7.6 I wrote, "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." By the time of the inaugural address this had already happened to a great degree in the one area that President Bush had the most control over, his cabinet. Out went the last of the moderates and in went the extremists and yes-men, or rather yes-persons. Furthermore, in the preceding months there had been an ideological purge at the CIA with a number of senior officials being forced into retirement. Added to that was an expansion of an intelligence gathering group headed by the pentagon which has no congressional oversight and is completely controlled by the executive branch. Even though it is this sort of consolidation of power that the U.S. was created to oppose, as long as the true believers in charge see a difference between themselves and their enemies they will continue to seize power, in ways much like their foes, to use against their enemies, foreign and domestic.

I'd be very worried about this situation if it weren't for the fact that control of the U.S. economy has been placed squarely in the hands of foreigners, some of whom are run by the very governments that the U.S. opposes. With a massive debt and a constant need for more loans, the U.S. government and its citizens can ill afford to push their drive for "A New American Century" too far. Foreign investors can pull the plug at any time. The only trouble is that if the U.S. economy falls, everyone's economy falls, and so foreign lenders see pulling the rug out from under America as a tool of last resort. Nonetheless, I feel that time is getting close.

Now, turning towards the oppositional nature of consciousness. In the Fireaxe theory I made the following contentions regarding consciousness: that consciousness is created by instilling within a person a permanent sense of inadequacy, in essence a state of constant fear; and that the deeper the sense of inadequacy, the stronger the person is motivated, generally to serve their ideology. It is here where we can see the reason why both ideology and consciousness share an oppositional nature: an ideology is much more unified if it, and its members, all stand together in opposition to a similar foe. It benefits an ideology to force its oppositional nature on individuals. Thus, within every ideology there are a great number of lessons that are taught to its members about the dangers of its adversary with the intent of crafting the consciousness of its members in such a way that they fear and oppose it. This unity of vigilance solidifies the structure of the ideology as newly made conscious members conform to the ideological system.

I view consciousness as being a state of hyper-vigilance necessary for survival within a modern society. I've discussed my theory on consciousness elsewhere and so I will only go over it briefly here. The demands of the modern world require each person to have an internal model of the world which includes a model of himself or herself which they can use to perform long term planning. Long term planning is critical in today's world, since without it you must always react to things as they occur, which, in our modern society, is often far too late. You need to be able to plan for the future and visualize yourself testing out various options to be able to make a good choice. Once you have such an internal model, you can see yourself in your mind's eye, know that you exist, and thus are conscious.

There are many dangers within our society despite its calm appearance and overly-publicized sensational crimes. Most of these dangers come in the form of victimization and exploitation with a great many of them being perfectly legal. As a child you must conform to avoid humiliation at the hands of your peers and work hard to live up to the expectations of your parents and teachers. As an adult you face those same pressures and more, including living up to the expectations of your boss and spouse, providing for your family, and fending off the constant assault on your wealth from all directions. Failing in any one of these areas can result in anything from mild discomfort to a major personal catastrophe, so we try hard to succeed. Successful defense requires consciousness so that we can think through all the problems that we face and avoid falling for the tricks and traps of clever con artists. But consciousness is more than something which forms when dangers are imminent and then goes away when they are distant. Consciousness is a permanent state, and that implies a continuous source of danger. I think that consciousness is made permanent by repeatedly exposing someone to sometimes traumatic failures until the fear of failure has been made indelible in the mind of the individual. This can come about as a series of lesser traumatic events, a single very traumatic event, or some combination of the two. It matters not how it comes about, since the important part is that the individual will always feel the fear of failure and thus will always work towards preventing it.

We don't set out to traumatize our children and peers, in fact we usually set out to do the opposite since we love and respect them, but both we and our society have expectations for our children that they need to live up to or else they will suffer both in the present and in the future. So in order to help them to meet those expectations, we are forced to motivate them to achieve. We try to use the "carrot only" approach, but that can only get us so far. Punishment is required to prevent our children from doing things that we don't want them to do and also to prevent them from becoming spoiled, lethargic, or content. So when they fall short, and they inevitably do, the hammer comes down. Punishment isn't necessarily a physical beating. In fact, that is not the most effective form of punishment. Far more powerful, and potentially traumatic or damaging as well, is some sort of deprivation, such as taking away a beloved possession, social isolation, or withholding affection from the child. We don't want to do these things, but we do them because we they work: motivation is increased and expectations are often reached where the "carrot only" approach had failed. But there are dangers. It isn't easy to get exactly the results we want, usually because we are not in a rational state when we are applying punishment, and severe trauma leading to mental disorders can sometimes be the result.

This may sound like I am contending that consciousness is some form of insanity. I wouldn't go so far as to say that, but due to the similarities between consciousness and dissociation disorders it seems that consciousness is in essence a mild form of dissociation with similar causes and mechanisms. Dissociation is a form of mental paralysis, temporarily disconnecting mind from body, which stops the person from moving or acting in any way. It is the "freeze" part of the instinctive fight, flight, or freeze reaction to dangers and served our ancestors and predecessors well during encounters with predators who located their prey primarily through detecting motion. I think that in conscious people, this dissociation mechanism enables us to stop and think whenever we encounter dangers, serving as a layer between the outside world and our thoughts, and as a layer between our thoughts and our actions. Since most of the dangers we face are not immediate, we can afford the luxury of waiting and thinking through our options. And since many of the dangers we face are complicated, we need to prevent ourselves from acting reflexively or impulsively lest we do the wrong thing. Also, with practice, I think we are able to relax the total paralysis part of the dissociation mechanism so that we can think and act at the same time. We can also learn to be thinking about one thing while we are doing another, allowing us to deal with dangers full time while going about our daily lives. That is pretty much the definition of dissociation, a sharp division between mind and body, but not so sharp as to inhibit all action. Thus, in my view, as conscious organisms we are constantly in fear, to a degree, and constantly trying to work our way out of that fear. I think that the conscious state is one of mild, controlled panic.

The goal of child rearing is to place the child into this state of controlled panic by applying punishment until the state becomes permanent. Now, it would seem that this type of child rearing would result in the child having an adversarial relationship with the parent since the parent is the one who applies the punishment. Of course, this is not desirable since the member of an ideology shouldn't come to view a surrogate of that ideology as their adversary. So instead, the force which is responsible for a child's failure in meeting social expectations is said to be something other than the punishing agent. In most cases the child itself is blamed, or at least the part of the child associated with the ideology's adversary.

In Christian mythology, bad behavior is either blamed on the devil, or stems from the evil within us all as a result of original sin. This ties bad behavior to the abstract adversary of the ideology and results in the process of socialization being portrayed as a battle between good and evil for the child's soul. In more secular ideologies, bad behavior is seen as stemming from the child's animal instincts which must be purged so that one can become civilized. Note here that seeing a part of one's self as being animalistic or evil and trying to distance yourself from it contributes to the dissociative feature of consciousness: the child tries to dissociate his mind from his body. But regardless of ideology, during child rearing the adversary of the ideology is always connected with the force which causes the constant state of fear in the individual. Furthermore, it is that constant state of fear which drives consciousness, giving it a reason for being. A child is made constantly afraid of something and is constantly trying to figure out a way to make the fear go away. But the child cannot, as the fear is a permanent feature, and thus so is conscious. The adversarial relationship lasts a lifetime.

But it is not always the case that a child accepts the ideology's adversary as his or her own. In some cases the child will see his punishment as unjust and see authority figures as adversaries. This form of anti-authoritarianism can also be bent to the will of the ideology if the person can be made to see that the authority figures he or she has contempt for are those of rival ideologies or are corrupt members of the current ideology. I think that the majority of people have more than one adversarial prototype inside them, having experienced different forms of at least minor trauma at the hands of many, and that people have a mixture of both types of adversarial relationships: the weaker adversary which needs to be controlled or purged, and the stronger adversary which needs to be overthrown. I also think that the mixture isn't always balanced with people tending one way or another. Putting terms to these two archetypes I could call one conformist and authoritarian and the other rebellious and anti-authoritarian, but in real life the labels will be blurred as people share both forms and express them in different situations.

In the essay I wrote on the adversarial nature of ideologies I made a rather disturbing contention that in the absence of a rival ideology which serves as an adversary, an ideology will either find a new adversary or turn inward on itself, indulging in either purification or ideological mutation. I think that the same premise is true for consciousness. Although the state of fear that drives consciousness is permanent, it can grow stronger or weaker depending on external forces which are perceived as threats. Since this force directly drives our consciousness, our drive and energy grow stronger as our fears become greater. Fear can be very motivating, and can propel us to great heights, allowing us to reach our true potential, and thus it is in our best interests not to live in peace, but in a manageable state of fear. And so, like ideologies, we make war on our adversaries and seek out new adversaries to replace those that we have either vanquished or are no longer a part of our lives. And sometimes we find surrogate adversaries to take the place of adversaries who we cannot oppose in real life. The reason is simple: the struggle makes us strong. It makes us who we are.

This quest to defeat adversaries can take a socially positive form, such as taking on great challenges, replacing them with greater challenges after we've succeeded and the luster wears off our past glories. But the quest can also take on a socially negative form, such as individuals seeking to re-live their past traumas in search of revenge and finding new adversaries which will play the role of their old ones. Since past traumas deal with adversarial relationships with authority figures, loved ones, and peers, re-living these events often takes the forms of crime and disobedient behavior, deliberately causing harm to a spouse or loved one, searching for or simply provoking fights with others, or engaging in the same traumatic behaviors experienced earlier in life, either from the submissive side or the dominant side. The abused becoming the abuser is a common example of reliving traumatic experiences from the past. Furthermore, since the adversary can never be truly beaten (it is permanent in the mind) the struggle is often played out over and over, becoming pathological, as if a person was addicted to the experience.

We can see this more easily in extreme cases, but the mechanism of re-living past traumas applies to milder traumas as well. How many of us know of others who always seem to get themselves into the same situations or conflicts over and over? And how many of us seem to find ourselves re-living past traumas or acting as those we once despised? Doesn't it sometimes seem like we are actively trying to bring these things on ourselves? We are. Although these are sometimes dangerous or self-destructive behaviors, we do them because they reinforce our identity and make us feel conscious and alive. We are at our best when we are fighting tooth and nail against our adversary although our "best" may be a shocking display of cruelty or pathological behavior. We do these things because our alternative is to turn inward on ourselves, engaging in self-hatred and a desire to change or purify ourselves. But either way we are driven by a desire to find and defeat new adversaries be they others or ourselves.

The concept of adversaries in the mind is nothing new. They're also called "inner demons", "voices in our heads", "monkeys on our backs", or simply "issues". We all have them, to one degree or another, but only see them as a problem when they cause very anti-social or self-destructive behaviors. The field of psychotherapy is focused around ridding people of their worst adversaries or at least allowing people to control them. Since the Fireaxe theory states that since adversaries are permanent, trying to rid yourself of them is an exercise in futility. However, it is possible to change the form of your adversary by throwing off the old perceived causes of your worst fears and adopting new ones. This is what religion has done for centuries. Conversion is the process of freeing people from past adversarial relationships while remaking those adversaries to be those of the religion. Though religious converts may claim to be free, they've really only traded in their old inner demons for new ones. But conversion techniques are hardly restricted to religion, and you can see examples of ideologies, advertisers, cults, and other institutions using fear to sell their message. And while sometimes they seem to be selling only beautiful dreams, beware of the adversary coming in through the back door.

Consciousness and the permanent state of fear have a symbiotic relationship. We seek out new adversaries to make us stronger, and we need to defeat our adversaries to make the pain and fear go away, at least temporarily. In essence we are trapped in a continuous cycle of creating and destroying rivals, much like how police shows require their writers to produce an endless succession of criminals to be put behind bars. Indeed, those shows, and movies, that we love to watch are like surrogate experiences for us. We meet an adversary, he is built up into a fearsome force, and then he is brought down to earth. We feel uncomfortable when the fear grows and relieved when it goes away, at least for a little while. Sports contests act in a similar way, as do soap operas, reality television, and especially computer games. We become addicted to these things, and our society's tremendous desire for such surrogate experiences is strong support for an adversarial relationship lying at the core of our being.

If there is nothing that we can do about changing our mental state, the question becomes how can we focus people towards more socially positive behaviors rather than pathological ones. I think that the key lies in a contention I made about ideological struggle: that aggressive ideologies must continue to grow or face internal strife as their aggressive members will feed on each other to satisfy their needs. Contentment is a behavior that is universally viewed as bad by all modern societies and thus we are unable to rest on our past achievements. Growth is all important, and only in a growing society it is possible for each person to reach a greater height without taking away from someone else. Without that growth there will be internal conflict and pathological behaviors of every kind. So we are compelled to grow, sometimes at great cost. The trouble is that we live in a world which is both rapidly expanding its population and rapidly exhausting its resources. We cannot grow at this rate for long, and thus the future does not look at all peaceful.

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

Iíve been focusing so hard on "Food for the Gods" that Iíve had little time to think about what Iíd like to record next. Over the past few months Iíve 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 donít put your order in just yet. After wrapping up "Food for the Gods" Iíll need a while to rest and upgrade my studio. Iím 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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