Ian Svenonius is best enjoyed when the listener makes the decision to go with what may come and to not parse every statement for levels of absurdity. Chris Richards says, “The thing that people say, ‘that guys putting me on; or he’s always in ‘character’…my response is that we’re always performing our identities for each other. We talk differently to our dentist than we do to our grandma. Ian has a hyperawareness to that divide and the more I get to know him, everything that makes him unique, seems like an expression of truth to me. Even if he is puffing out his chest, trying to make you laugh, trying to make you think differently; I still think that’s a core part of who he is.”

Whether Svenonius is entirely sincere or entirely correct is entirely beside the point, if you begin with the belief that world, especially a supposed “counterculture,” while needing justice and progressiveness, also needs the genuinely strange, the—fuck it—(non-racist/fascist) provocateur. I ask him whether he himself currently feels alienated from a culture where even those ostensibly on his “side” don’t have a lot affection for provocative jive and gleeful contradiction. “I always felt that way,” he says. “That’s the perspective of every band I’ve been in; it’s us against them, you and I against the world. It’s always underground. ‘We’re hanging out in someone else’s world.’ It comes from living where I do, which is a very alienated landscape. That’s what I’m used to so that’s what I’m comfortable with. I really hate consensus. I don’t want to be a contrarian. Consensus doesn’t feel good.”

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