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OST OF US WOULD PROBABLY RE- SENT THE IDEA THAT WE’RE A PRODUCT OF OUR ENVIRONMENT. That’s because accepting the idea that we’re not the only ones behind the wheel, that the surroundings into which we’ve either willfully immersed ourselves or had thrust upon us are somehow responsible for the person that we’ve become, would be conceding that we’re not fully in control of who we are. But what if that environment was extreme

and temporarily inescapable? Oklahoma’s Michael Gottfried, the primary

member of dark electronic band Pittersplatter, has no problem admitting that he’s a product of his environment. Well, part of him anyway. Roughly a decade ago, Gottfried’s life “fell apart,” inspiring the invention of a monstrous alter ego to reflect his desire to divorce himself from the ugly side of humanity. “Worm Splatter is almost a split personality at

this point,” says Gottfried. “He is that part of me that is disgusted with the world around me and even more sickened by all the horrible shit I see people do to one another and the world around them. Worm is that hopeless side that simply wishes for the end of all things so that some- thing new can begin, and it’s a side that we all have inside us, even if most people choose to ignore that part of themselves. Worm is some- thing that Michael Gottfried could never ever convey adequately enough. And the fact of the matter is, I identify with Worm more than I do Michael anymore.” Fans of Pittersplatter often describe the sound of the three-piece, which

also includes live keyboardist Thursday 12 and percussionist Nemesis, as “electronic nightmare music,” but it’s not the grotesquely heavy guitars or un- intelligible hellspeak one might assume would be the calling card of a guy dressed like the cloaked ambassador of a race of pointy-eared goblins. A synth-driven cataclysm born of Skinny Puppy, early Mortiis, vintage EBM and Gary Numan, Pittersplatter’s fifth album Frozen (out now from Mutant-E

Records/Storming the Base) is an extension of the sound introduced on 2010’s The Dawn of Carnage, which Gottfried refers to as the band’s “first sure-of- itself effort” and represents the destruction of the “horribly mixed power noise” that characterized its first three, now out-of-print, albums. The result is a darker, deadlier version of She Wants Revenge’s danceable

depression that’s sure to be in heavy rotation at a goth clubs soon, particularly the bloody goodnight kiss of “Mummies and Music Boxes” and the apathy an- them “The Dark.” But the songs aren’t the whole package; the band’s gargoyle getups are es-

sential to the Pittersplatter aesthetic, as well. “The mask I wear is my human one,” attests

Gottfried. “The look reflects that longing to transform from human to other, the creature that was born inside of me as a response to hard- ship. ... When I first started Pittersplatter, I never had the means to actually make this look a re- ality. Back then, I sort of just splattered paint all over my face and made do. But from day one, I always had the idea that I wanted to go on stage looking inhuman.” Unlike other costumed bands, such as GWAR,

Ghost, Slipknot or Lordi, the last of whom Got- tfried particularly respects, Pittersplatter’s elab- orate look is more than stage theatrics. The physical transformation into Worm Splatter seems essential to Gottfried achieving the catharsis he so desperately seeks, a metaphys- ical journey that pits Frozen as only the second in a four-album story arc of parables related to

his personal struggles. “Pittersplatter is my therapy,” he confirms, adding the next chapter will be

an instrumental album called Wastelands. “It’s my way of exorcising my own demons. And I strive to create worlds by way of soundscape, where the lis- teners can go and exorcise their own demons. Exorcisms are always pretty nightmarish. When I think back to all the shit I have been through at the hands of others, stuff I still struggle with to this day to an extent, it is always accom- panied by its own soundtrack in my mind. That soundtrack is what gives Pit- tersplatter its sound.”

A U D I O D R O M E 59RM

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