It’s tough pinning down concrete info on secretive punk project Bleach Birth. Based near Asheville, NC, Bleach Birth invoke both West Coast death rock and ’80s British anarcho-street punk, with smears of blackened grime and haunted goth. The project released an eponymous debut in early 2016 to surprise Bandcamp browsers drawn to the skull on its album art. There’s currently no Bleach Birth Facebook page, and the project is 99% reliant on the talents of a multi-instrumentalist named Remy. Usually averse to interviews, Remy graciously took time to answer our written questions about his killer new record Hatching Inside the Womb.
With 15 original tracks, the album carries even darker melodies than his debut. Hatching Inside the Womb matches the raw determination of Charged GBH (minus the acne references) with the eclectic power of Subhumans’ From the Cradle to the Grave (minus the ska) and the dirty melodies of Rudimentary Peni’s Cacophony (without all the Lovecraft references). From the first screech of “Butterfly” to frenzied closer “Snowflakes,” Bleach Birth invoke those punk pioneers without being a retro worship act. Lo-fi electro flourishes and stabs of feedback punctuate the cavernous reverb of “Lullaby.” “Chased By the Nazis” is as catchy as the title is timely and treacherous. Later, there’s the deceptively gentle guitar leads over “Honey,” with lyrics explaining its creator’s anonymity: “Everything in this world exists for you/But this exists for me.”
Bleach Birth also add three Misfits covers recorded for the CVLT Nation Walk Among Us compilation – perfect for anyone who still occasionally crafts a devil-lock. Recorded in fall of last year, Remy admits he “went through a period of self-doubt” where he wrestled with releasing Hatching Inside the Womb at all. Decibel is damn well glad he did.
Below, stream Bleach Birth’s Hatching Inside the Womb. Also make sure to check out an exclusive interview with Remy below, where he shares his thoughts on anonymity, art as therapy, and music as resistance. But first, crack open the egg and press play.
When you started writing and recording music as Bleach Birth, what sort of sound or feeling did you intend to create?
Remy: Initially it began purely to satisfy my own selfish needs. There’s a force in my brain that insists on creating. It’s demanding but without nurturing that creative voice I quickly become swallowed in depression. The sound itself is never calculated or contrived – anything goes when it comes to the writing/recording process. I knew I wanted something dark, that was the only intent.
Not much information has been shared about this record, but it was mentioned it’s a one-man project. Have you worked with any collaborators on this record, or have you kept it fully exclusive to just your own talents?
Remy: The record is just me. My friend Wes plays drums on the bonus Misfits covers. I enjoy having collaborators but I often record in a firestorm of urgency leaving little time for outside influence.
You have chosen not to be interviewed in the past, and your song “Honey” directly acknowledges some of the reasons you choose to record Bleach Birth anonymously. Do you think artwork can have more power when the creator isn’t providing context?
Remy: I believe it’s important for everyone to discover their own personal experience with art, void of its creator dictating the mandatory emotional response. That’s not necessarily my reasoning for shying away, though. I wouldn’t want to read an interview with me so why would anyone else? Haha! My brain is a nightmare.
Many of the songs deal with not only negative external forces (religious hypocrisy, fascism) but internal forces as well. Is there a therapeutic element to creating music as Bleach Birth, or creating art in general?
Remy: I think music is therapy, and punk is shock treatment therapy, haha. Though I’m the cynical misanthropic type, that doesn’t mean I’m prevented from enjoying life from time to time. But never will I put pen to paper on my experience of a joyful day. There’s a wealth of pain and suffering in the world. It’s inescapable. I try to harness that into something productive – inspiration often blooms from the seeds of despair.
While there’s a theme of social and political rot in your lyrics, there’s also a sense of defiance. What do you think are the best ways people can battle oppression and apathy?
Remy: I write my insignificant songs about war, go to protests with my fists raised, vote with every dollar I spend, and think critically with every decision I make. I know none of this will heal the diseased heart that pumps the blood of this festering world, but I’m not okay with dying having not tried.
Do you have any other plans for Bleach Birth, either in 2018 or beyond?
Remy: Earlier today actually I recorded a Black Flag cover for the CVLT Nation “My War” compilation out in a few weeks.