"Death in the Age of Cowards"

Giving My Bones to the Western LandsZebulon Whatley, fronfigure of apocalyptic doom country band Sons of Perdition, is an industrious and versatile man. After seven albums (including the split and outtake album) he has written and illustrated a game book. The publishing has been accompanied with the usual marketing, that is to say, none. In a video on Youtube the author introduces the book and reads an excerpt. The book is an interactive tale of savage magic, brutal violence, and pants-filling terror. "Blood and teeth will fly, endless guts will be spilt, and no flesh shall be spared. And remember that whatever happens... it's all your fault! In an email, Zebulon Whatley explains: "I came up with the idea five years ago. I was unemployed at the time and started just writing the thing. I got halfway through it and then set it aside for a few years (which I do a lot). I remembered that I’d spent some work on it, so I dusted it off, finished writing it, and then set about illustrating the damned thing. The title was just a placeholder that I was going to replace but then stuck with. This is why you should never name your projects until they’re finished. Whatever you make will be shaped, and ultimately limited by its name." Writing music and lyrics and writing a book isn't completely different in nature. In the e-mail Zebulon Whatley describes the process: "When I was fully into writing, I was churning out 6000 or 7000 words a day. I usually type about as fast as I speak, so it was almost automatic writing. I didn’t plan anything out. The book is structured like a branching tree (or an IF-THEN-ELSE statement). I just followed a branch to the end, backed up to the closest fork and finished that branch, etc. The editing process was pretty intense, though. When I write music and lyrics, I follow a similar automatic writing approach. I work best when I just vomit up ideas and then go back to edit them. It’s a bit like the “write drunk, edit sober” approach." You can order the game book from Lulu.com and other sites (remember that Amazon pay almost nothing to originators). Sons of Perdition is one of the stalwarts of the gothic country genre. On the last couple of albums they have gravitated towards dreamy, evocative and experimental music. In the aforementioned video you can listen to two songs that both are going to be on their next release, "Caul-Birth King and Other Abruptions". In the e-mail Zebulon Whatley writes: I think The Caul-Birth King and Other Abruptions may be more than the three songs I intended. I’ve been struggling with the title song. I’ve reduced it to fifteen verses, so it’s around twenty minutes right now. I want to tighten it up in places, and really expand it in others. I have the luxury of not relying on album sales as a full-time job, so I’m following my instincts to some really weird places with this one. I have no idea when it’ll be released, or even what the theme is so far. Maybe compartmentalization of space and time. I’m still trying to get my head around what it all means." We will just have to wait and see. 

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