Published on February 20th, 2020 | by Stevie Lennox0
Stream: Tuath – pAy Ur TaXeS! (Feat. Post Punk Podge)
Having been called psych, noise rock, trip-hop, industrial, and any other lysergic-laced subgenre under our dying sun, Letterkenny’s Tuath continue to defy classification. They remain as shapeshifting an entity as the likes of Mr Bungle, Ween, and Primus – the latter of whose bulbous low-end shares a lot in common with their pulverising, singular new ‘doomer metal’ single ‘Pay Ur Taxes!’.
The release, part of the forthcoming The Fuckening EP, sees frontman Robert Mulhern continue to laugh into the void, distilling their 2020 modus operandi into one easy to understand – unless you’re a conglomerate – mantra. Mulhern has submitted to us an essay on the origin of the song, and a state of the nation address from behind the gilded offices of Tuath, to make up for ‘Pay Ur Taxes” brevity. You can read that below the single, which is out now on Spotify.
“So I was writing a song as Gaeilge as I wanted to do something meaningful in the tongue that I could be genuinely proud of, so I decided that I wanted to combine elements of foreign ethnic music like Tinariwen and Huun Huur Tu, but filtered through a Sean-nós lens, so I got learning throat singing and off I went.
At this point I had been all set to release this music but I was also studying marketing, wrestling with addictive tendencies and getting arrested n shit so I was a little bit fucked up at the time. The formal marketing education I was receiving gave me the perspective on modern society that I didn’t know I needed. It provided me with a clairvoyance that I never knew to be possible and now I cant help but look at my left wing cohorts with despair when they respond with “What is surveillance capitalism? What are you talking about” when pressed.
As I worked out a marketing/PR general release plan for this song I had to wrestle with the cynicisms that we rely on daily as artists to promote ourselves. We rely on a selection of monopolistic channels that are changing the free thinking internet into a mulch of “guidelines” and “Procedures”.
Our world view is being filtered by a growing, monolithic entity and if your work is even remotely out of line with the status quo(Advertiser guidelines) then you will be punished by an algorithm and demonetised, without context I might add.
When I realised that Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and the rest of the big 6 are trawling our data from us but not paying tax to collect that data but turn us “data-cattle” into pure unrefined capital; It became clear that we are completely and utterly doomed. We have starving families on the street dying as a result of all these cuts, People are combusting into suicide in what seems to be an electrical reaction to the static energy of despair that surrounds our airwaves even though the cosy figure of 35 billion euro in unpaid tax would sort out all of that. Our “rEpReSeNtAtIvEs” are illegally letting them away with it and when our fianna gael government uses the excuse that “Water charges must be paid by each household under EU Law” and then says that “Even though EU law states that multinationals must pay their taxes, they dont have to because we said so” we are being laughed at and robbed by them.
I cackled the words “Pay ur taxes” to myself , laughing my ass off at the absolute utter absurdity and hypocrisy of all this shit and realised that I didn’t really need to write any more lyrics than just that.
I thought to myself : “Releasing this music as Gaeilge and of course our other EPs would be nice but I don’t feel like this music is worth anything while our rights are being eroded invisibly.” I wanted to record the derangement in my head as it was happening.
The throat singing that I had learned in order to complete the very first song that lead me here had a side effect: the transferable skill of metal screaming, something which I was previously unable to do, with proper technique to boot so that I don’t have to fuck up my voice. I was able to suddenly express myself 3 dimensionally and with all of the fervor of old skool slipknot.
It scared the shit out of me that not a single canvasser during that sham of an election knew what I was talking about when I asked what they were planning to do about data, privacy and surveillance capitalism. This is left wing shit but the left are silent, the left need to regain the freedom of speech argument and champion it because sooner rather than later it will be used against us on a legal level by our increasingly right wing government, these anti free speech policies enacted by facebook and so on are completely restructuring the way humans interact with one another, even in the physical plane. Our views/reality are already being shaped by facebooks policy, not natural cultural shifts. Just think about that for a second. Our entire culture is being curated by gargantuan, click driven corporations….to sell clicks. We are moulding our own art to fit this paradigm. Our songs must be shorter to accomodate shorter attention spans as they have all been ruined by instantaneous, disposible “content”. We must all strive to get on coveted spotify playlists or we are doomed, spotify which only pays profitably if you already have up front capital and are Universal or BMG.
This is the same world in which a man playing a fucking computer game and chatting into a headset is deemed “Art”. Its definitely content, But art? We are addicted to people chatting shit into a camera for 15 minutes. What the fuck even is that? Why the hell do I keep watching it?
All of this has completely informed my newly-formed approach to music making, in a cynical way I have moulded the songs to fit this medium, short, minimal lyrics, heavy and in ur face. I hope ta fuck its obvious that I am taking the piss out of the way things are or I have failed as an artist. I looked to Wesley Willis, Marilyn manson, Death Grips, SOPHIE, Car Bomb, Meshuggah, NIN, Aphex Twin and good ole fashion ironic memes as my spirit guide for this ridiculous project. I feel spiritually connected to Wesley Willis. He spoke truth to power in a unique way that totally resonates with me. He didn’t need any layers of irony to get his message out, we superimposed the irony upon him as a means by which to circumvent our shame in enjoying his prophetic words. His simplicity and finesse, his perspective.
Everything about him is perfect in the most imperfect way.
The Fuckening means “Things are going too well, some terrible thing is going to come to light and fuck all of this up” so I thought it an apt name for the newer more industrial-fueled psych metal that I was fucking around with that branched out from planning the first release.
The first track featuring Post Punk Podge is called “pAy Ur TaXeS!!” and it is available down there on Spotify from today. Look out for our upcoming tunes ‘I’m not gettin enough views on my content’ and ‘I am a but a poor man but I have got cans’.”