Art: Alcides Burn

The cover elements have been around for a while, but the actual cover art is much more severe and dark. The original had a flyer feel, whereas this is a full-blown work and creates the proper atmosphere for the album. Toxik is and has always been a socially critical band. That’s where our punk influences reside.

Rituals? Typically we have an ouija board session with insect sacrifices; many a fly has fallen for the cause. The band leans pretty dramatically towards solid political opinion and messaging; philosophically, we are a working-class unit discussing an end to feudalism. Me personally? I’m wholly secular, very anti-establishment, a futurist, etc. We are in a struggle for the meaning of humanism. If left to their own, as Stephen Hawking warned before he passed, the ultra-rich will engage in a transhumanism that is liable to put us on a very destructive course for large portions of the population. Some argue that the super-rich’s ego will allow us to take this next evolutionary step, and while not everyone will get to evolve, that is the nature of survival and has always been. I see it as we have had the technology for a century to feed everyone, and yet 500 thousand Somali children will die of starvation by this time next year; pretty safe to say this does not bode well, and it isn’t natural it’s perverse and contorted, lots to work out, provides endless lyrics.

Live music, especially, is a spiritual experience. I also believe subjectively; metal has always had a dark character starting with bands like Black Sabbath, so the feeling of a cult-like meeting is there, only there’s no one central dogma that we all adhere to (thank goodness). That missing ingredient nullifies cult comparisons. Metal folks are a multicultural melting pot, as diverse as any other population segment; we’re just there to listen and escape.

I like to smoke a little pot and drink coffee when working. I also have phases of the creative process, writing, listening, getting re-inspired etc. it’s a process but still needs to be contrived. It’s organic.

I don’t have anyone I want to be like, but many things inspire me, including other artists, filmmakers, writers, painters, and digital creators’ life events; as for people, all of my heroes, without exception, are the ideal men and women, Tesla not Edison… Bertrand Russell, not Billy Graham.

I answered this with the same language above; music is a spiritual experience. A trance develops whenever you get a group of a thousand people in the same room, facing the same direction, focusing on the same sounds and movement. You get a euphoric buzz, especially when you are younger, the lights go down, the volume kicks in, and we leave behind the reality we came in with.

I am on a crazy hip-hop kick and have always been a fan of fusion and funk.
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