Lingua Ignota & Alexis Marshall on Scream Just Words" // Decibel Magazine

Scream Just Words: Vocalists Sound Off About Their Craft

Kristin Hayter, Lingua Ignota

“Language and voice have always been super important to me, as well as in music they sit at the basis of my academic work. My approach to lyric writing is, mostly, to radically recontextualize pre-existing content. Some people already know that the origin of the writing at the beginning of the Lingua Ignota project is basically technologically-mediated pornogrind lyrics mixed with media from my own experiences of abuse and violence. The algorithmically-generated result is an uncomfortable voice, a wrathful and bilious entity which is somehow not really a speaker at all, and it’s up to me to then deliver it with conviction and authenticity, to make the voice mine. I take from sources as diverse as The New Testament, the final interview of Aileen Wuornos, prayers from death cults, internet shit-posting, etc. Some of this is indebted to the original concept behind my project: Expressing the inexpressible (trauma) by eschewing a genre or a home. I also look to conceptual writers such as Urs Allemann, Samuel Beckett or Kenneth Goldsmith, the latter saying that our daily over-saturation with written information has made language meaningless, and so exploding ownership of language and taking a deconstructed approach to composition may be the only way to make something new or unheard of."

Alexis Marshall, Daughters 

“There is a thin line, and I’m talking papyrus thin, between writing selfishly and writing honestly. If I am too honest, I’ll feel far too self-conscious, and in turn, fear I am giving too much of my own self away. If I am overly selfish, I endanger the enlargement of my ego and being not simply misunderstood, but appearing as a pretentious asshole. I have spent many years writing music, poetry and so on, that I find the process simple—so long as I am true to whichever form I am placing myself in. Not writing for the reader or myself, but for the betterment of my contribution to the greater artistic/emotional universe I’m likely stealing from. 

Ambiguity is important. As a reader myself, I do not want a poem or lyric to tell me how to feel about the work, at least, not something that will truly resonate with me. I mean, the Clash are great, but the lyrical content does not stir anything within me on a deep emotional level. If I am able to satisfy my own needs through writing, to say something I feel any kind of important or passing desire to say, without making the reader feel the experience being writing about exclusive to me, then I am doing my job. 

There are truly phenomenal storytellers in music, and lyricists like Tom Waits, Nick Cave and others are in my heart, but if I want to read another’s words and find a way to make them mine, I always have writers like Neko Case and Leonard Cohen to crush me with beauty and poetry.”

via Decibel Magazine