by Dr. Abner Mality

Mr. Matt Zane has sacrificed a lot for his band, Society 1. He has abandoned a lucrative career in the pornography industry in order to concentrate on the angst-ridden harshness of Society 1 but this is only a small token of his devotion to the band. Few performers have offered up flesh and blood for their art like Matt Zane has. During the filming of the video "NOTHING ", he literally pierced his flesh and hung himself on steel hooks for the track. Yes, he spent literally hours hanging by hooks planted in his own body while the band played around him, doing take after take. A publicity stunt? Or an expression of confidence in his own vision? There's no doubt what answer he will give to that question.

I recently had a chance to discuss the much talked about "suspension" as well as several other issues with Matt and the following is the bulk of that discussion...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: You guys have toured like demons. How did your tour with Twiztid go and were you a good fit for their audience?

MATT ZANE: It wasn't easy but we are always looking to expand our audience and looking to influence people outside the metal realm. I will say that Juggalos are the most passionate people in music at this point in time. It ultimately was a pleasure and honor and I hope to tour with Twiztid again in the near future.

WC: Matt, what's the songwriting like for this band? Do the other guys get their input and if so, how do they fit into the picture?

MZ: We all have ideas and bring them to practice. There we listen and and interpret what each other has done and then put forth our thoughts concerning the material. I am very into spontaneous creation.

WC: You are on a label that specializes in really extreme music. Despite the extremity of your lyrics and ideas, do you feel you fit well with Earache and how are they working out for you?

MZ: It is kind of odd. I feel that we are the most commercial act on the roster but I really like it that way. Earache are very cool. They are supportive of all my idea's regardless of how crazy they are or seem. What other label would stand behind a singer who wanted to suspend or create a new philosophical system based around my music and words?

WC: When did you realize Society 1 was going to be your main creative output?

MZ: From the beginning of its creation.

WC: Was it an easy decision to make or did it take a lot of soul-searching?

MZ: Very simple, due to my vision.

WC: Your career in the porn industry had to be extremely lucrative...was it a case of "burn-out" that made you lean more towards music or was it kind of a revelation?

MZ: Necessity I suppose. I was signed by Earache and had to go on tour. My vice president at the time asked why I would do both when she knew at the time I was completely burnt out on the whole porn industry. I didn't need the headache of running a huge company while trying to get my band into the souls of people.

WC: Looking at the piercing and suspension you did for the video, how would you defend it against those who say it is just a publicity stunt?

MZ: Why defend? What's the point? Fuck them. The world is nothing but a gimmick.

WC: Are you kind of setting yourself up for a "how can they top it" kind of issue regarding the suspension? Is there a danger that this will overshadow some of the other stuff you do? 

MZ: My life is always about topping this or that. Just when I am defined and done I come back again regardless of what others thought I was capable of. Look at what I have created. Porn, music, poetry records, music videos, documentary films, suspension etc... Who am I?

WC: The Plains Indians had an initiation ceremony called O-Kee-Pa that involved suspension and self-mutilation. It was considered a rite of passage and even a gateway to other states of consciousness. Was the concept of "passage" involved in your suspension and did you find yourself achieving a different state of mind upon doing it?

MZ: Yes it was. From porn director/star to a musician... it's an initiatory magical process. My little secret. They were all players . What a great part everyone played.

WC: Have you got any ideas for the next Society 1 album and what form would they take?

MZ: It is about 70% written. We are all very excited about it. More than that, I am not ready to reveal.

WC: Where exactly do you feel you fit in the metal spectrum?

MZ: Industrial metal all the way with hints of gothic beauty.

WC: When I looked at your website, it was full of occult and possibly satanic imagery. Was this done merely for shock value or is there a different meaning to it? Maybe something more uplifting and deeper than the typical use of such symbols?

MZ: I love our site. Most of the images are actually from Christian texts that are now considered obsolete by the church. So what does that tell you?

WC: Is there any positive message to be derived from Society 1's music?It seems on the surface to be pretty negative.

MZ: It encourages exploration regardless of social taboos and morality. Kind of like the extreme Hindu sects of the Left Hand Path in the past.

WC: What are some of your thoughts on using the element of shock in music and keeping that element fresh instead of stale?

MZ: Shock is needed to clear the minds' internal chatter but it must be followed by something of substance or the whole act is somewhat wasted.

WC: What's one thing you'd like your listeners to take with them after a Society 1 show or album?

MZ: A reassessment of music, life, sexuality and morality.

WC: Any Spinal Tap moments to share with the fans...things that went wrong or got goofy out on the road?

MZ: Sin and I were fucking this chick at the same time and we caught Aleister jerking of behind the bathroom door in the hotel room while watching us go at it. Very funny.

WC: Any final messages?

MZ: Check us out at Buy our new record "Exit Through Fear" and book your plane tickets for March 11 at the Key Club in LA.The suspension show is finally happening.