King Dude has created his own specific music world. With an atmosphere filled with hope and salvation, his music reflects the darkness and light we all have inside us. We met with the american artist in Warsaw, to talk about spirituality, life balance, symbols and myths.
Why do you define yourself as Luciferian? Are you an ambassador?
Yeah, I am the ambassador of The Greater Church of Lucifer (GCOL). They offered it to me as a token because they like what I have done so far in music, the message rings to theirs. I don’t necessarily believe in the necessity of a church, like a brick and mortar church, so I was a little bit conflicted about the gesture. But ultimately, it was very nice of them.
I write these songs and I identify myself spiritually as a Luciferian, but I don’t need anyone else to be Luciferian. I write these songs because they mean a lot to me, and I want to share them with the world. People occasionally ask me what Luciferianism is, but I am not truly the voice of the finite. I cannot tell you what it is to be Luciferian for you because I just know what it is for me. Saying that to someone kind of sounds like I don’t know… I don’t want to tell you the secret. It’s about finding what makes the most sense to you. The tightest group of people in the GCOL can maybe answer some of those questions, so I usually tell people to approach them to find some answers.
“Everyone has a dark side.
Maybe mine is a little bit closer to the surface.”
How do you find balance between light and darkness?
Everyone has a balance. The only way to really live a fucked-up way would be to only have light or darkness. It is natural that lightness comes and then darkness comes. I attempt to approach it from a neutral point, not to strive too much to one or the other but find the middle path between the two – then you get enough of everything. It’s important not to seek out too much of anything in your life.
Is King Dude your light or dark side?
I often think of it as the very light, other people often don’t. I wear all black, which maybe sinister looking sometimes, but really the message of King Dude can be interpreted as pure love, compassion and kindness in life. Everyone has a dark side and maybe mine is a little bit closer to the surface. I am not afraid of that side.
“Sometimes getting very drunk
and dancing to music can be very spiritual.”
How do you achieve your spiritual health?
Through meditation. Quiet reflection.
How do you meditate? The Buddhist way?
It’s the way my mother taught me. You sit very still. There is no mantra. It’s not the Buddhist or Indian tradition. It’s basically quiet introspective time. Let your mind go where it takes you. There are other cathartic acts I like doing like making music. It feels very spiritual. Less listening to music. Sometimes getting very drunk and dancing to music can be very spiritual.
I will show you some keywords or symbols. Please tell me the first word or thought that comes into your mind.
#1 Nature > The Woods
#2 Naudiz > King Dude
#3 Love > King Dude
#4 Algiz > Death in June
#5 Lucifer > Is the light of the world
#6 Cross > Christ
I like that symbol a lot.
Do you like it more this way or upside down? (showing upside down cross)
No. Both are fine, but I prefer it that way (Christian cross). And every cross in my house is that way.
#7 Death > Inevitable
#8 Woman > Powerful
#9 Satan > God
#10 Religion > It’s great.
#11 Pentagram > Paganism. Witch craft. And also great.
#12 Fear > King Dude
Photograph by Bartek Muracki
What is the difference between being alone and being lonely?
You can be alone and feel just fine. You can be with someone and be very lonely. Loneliness implies the longing for something else or the incomplete nature. Being alone, you can be complete. There are a lot of people dying in loneliness and there are plenty of people that are alone and feel great about it.
Your album Fear is a great example. I moved to another country for work and didn’t really make close friends, so I was alone, but I didn’t feel lonely because of music. In fact, your music helped me.
I know a lot of people feel lonely out there. When I was thinking about fear for the record, I thought about constant things and loneliness is one of those things. That is where fear comes from, like dying of loneliness. The need to complete yourself. That’s why I wrote the last song [“Watching Over You”] to say don’t worry. Music can be with you. I knew that it would be helpful and I feel good about that. It’s nice to hear that it helped you.
Do you have a favourite myth?
Wow – I like so many myths. When I was younger (4th grade) I really liked the Greek mythology but my favourite myth comes from an Eskimo tribe. A king and queen try to get pregnant to have an heir. They finally get a son who is covered in hair from head to toe – really furry. He has sharp teeth and grows really fast. He is very strong too and just doesn’t seem like a normal human. He has a thirst for blood. At night people start going missing. It’s the son killing people at night. Even though he is the heir, the community cannot stand him. The king decides to kill his son by throwing him into a big fire. As the son is burning up all the ambers from his body are floating away. The son says “I’m going to curse all humanity for killing me”. So all the ambers are turning into mosquitos. And that’s what they say mosquitos come from.
I like a lot of the Native American folk myths.
Photo by Laura Grzeszczak
What is the hidden message in Fear?
Haha – there isn’t one.
Well I have a theory. There is a warning on the record: “This record contains a hidden message [and you guys] don’t assume responsibility for any mental or physical trauma.” So what I was thinking is since you have to look into a mirror in order to read the lyrics printed on the inside of the record, the message is whatever you see in yourself when you look into a mirror. So you may see your demons and freak out. On a daily basis, you don’t have time to look inside you and forget about your dark side.
That’s true. But I’m not just trying to scare people. I want them to confront their inner demons which are in all of us. It’s a weird trick to make people look into a mirror and deep into themselves. Originally, I was going to make it glow in the dark, so that you would have to be in the dark as well to read it. But then thought it was too much. All in all, I think it is important to think about what it is going on deep within yourself and realize that those demons are constructs that we create. They are not external, they are in fact guardians of our inner knowledge.
My favourite lyric is “the blood in my veins / mixed with MDMA / Jesus Christ told me I was in love.” Are you interested in the connection between chemical and spiritual highs?
When you take a drug like that, it is a spiritual experience. You become so much more emotional and you have all these feelings of compassion. That lyric is one of the few truths in the record. It’s about the girl I wrote the record about. When I met her I was on MDMA for the first time. I had never taken it before. That isn’t what made me fall in love with her so much, but I think that definitely didn’t hurt. It just felt spiritual at that time.
Have you done any interesting field recordings so far?
No, not on this trip. I’m also past the point – on this next record – for harvesting sounds as much. I’ve already got enough to work with.
So are you working on a new record because your 10 year anniversary is coming up?
Yeah, I started in 2006. But my first release was in 2009. The true anniversary will be probably 2020. And it will probably end as well around that time. I have everything planned out up until then as far as records go. The cycle will probably end after three more records. I think you’ll like it.
Photography: Bartek Muracki