by Per Najbjerg Odderskov
The work of Chad Davis under the SUBKLINIK moniker began in early 1995 after suffering a devastating amount of tragedy within his personal life within the span of just a few short months. The isolation of loss had begun to permeate the sounds inside the mind and the exposure to negativity reached an all-time high. SUBKLINIK was born on the basis of therapy - the mutating of thought to sound as a means of understanding the mental changes and challenges within the mind.
The first recordings resulted in a short run self-titled tape which was also self-released. Soon after, "PT.I:PT.II" was released and this demonstrated the first steps toward understanding the sound of devastation and hate. Suffocating all emotions to a single figurative: pure isolation.
Soon to become in contact with the departed Marco Corbelli of Slaughter Productions, both Davis and Corbelli developed a strong line of communication which eventually led to the Slaughter Productions double cassette release of, "Feasting On Souls".
Forward 22 years, and the legacy of SUBKLINIK has stood the test of time and still denounces all form of light and positiveness from its existence. Now, more than ever, it is still the "therapy" needed for such longevity and still retains its purity in essence and the Death dealings it was founded upon. The ideals and standards which were the basis of the project have now become the skulls and bones of all oppressors, scoffers and literal fools in this "scene" of pure and unfiltered death worship.
The Brvtalist (Per Najbjerg Odderskov): When you started Subklinik, were you aware of this industrial style/genre?
Chad Davis: I was aware of the experimental movement thanks to a record store around my area (of which the owner released the "PT.I:PT.II" 7" EP) as he carried a lot of the titles available through Subterranean Distribution and that store was the only place you could find music by the likes of Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle, Korpses Katatonik, Haters, Zero Kama, etc.... As he would get more titles into his store, I would go there and just blow every bit of my money in one sitting and then head for the mountains with a jambox and sit on the sides of mountains and just listen. It was unlike any other time in my life. The thought of those times now as I type this carries a heavy scent of nostalgia. I don't know many people that went from listening to Hanoi Rocks to Korpses Katatonik hahahaha (although I will point out that I still love Hanoi Rocks).
TB: What influences gave birth to Subklinik regarding music, literature or movies?
It wasn't so much the influence of other sounds that brought it forward, but more of the events that led up to bringing it forward. I had experienced a heavy blow to my family all within the span of three months that basically left me alone and having to fucking get my shit together really quick. All of the death and loss I had experienced in that short time really caused a huge bit of confusion, a lot of hate and a lot of resentment. Subklinik was brought on as a means of therapy for me, as all of the clinics I had gone to try to cope with what I was going through all told me that I did realize what had happened and what I needed to do to move on and help myself get better. At that time I felt as if they were just shooting me full of shit and taking my money at the same time, so I made the decision to figure out how to turn the negative thoughts and feelings and emotions within my mind into sound. I recorded a self-titled tape, a demo of sorts afterward, but realized it was not what I was going for so that remained only passed around to some friends. I then borrowed my cousin's Roland Juno-106 and I bought a Boss drum machine, a 4 track tape recorder, microphone and effects rack and shortly after the material for the first release which was the "PT.I:PT.II" 7" EP was done.
TB: Were you aware of similar acts in the US at that time?
CD: I was aware of mainly Haters and Allegory Chapel LTD at the time. Shortly after the 7" was released I made contact with Robert Cruzan of Profane Grace / Demoncy. He and I began working together for a long time on various stuff, and one of my best friends Mark Williams (RIP), we basically got each other into all of this stuff. But, back to the question, and I know this sounds shitty but if I'm going, to be honest, I have to say that I really didn't seek out to try to find out about other similar projects then because I didn't really care if anyone else was doing this kind of work. I was content working with Robert and Mark on stuff because I knew they had been through similar situations and knew they were the real deal. A lot of people around my area that was into this stuff was basically into it because it was edgy or whatever. They're all either normal or dead now so that's good.
TB: How well were your Slaughter Production releases received at that time?
CD: Well, I'm not super sure hahahah. I mean Marco would keep me up to date as to how the releases were doing and let me know of feedback, but sometimes it was hard to read his English handwriting as this was before the internet. They weren't super big pressings at my request so I'm pretty sure they moved well. There were releases on other labels in between the SP releases that kept the name circulating, but it seems that most of the Subklinik fans dig the SP releases the most. I honestly didn't keep up with reviews or the like as well, but I mean in almost 23 years, this is only the 5th Subklinik interview.
TB: Did you do live performances and where?
CD: There was one performance that was billed as Subklinik with myself, Mark and 3 other individuals that helped out but honestly it was us basically beating on a bunch of metal and glass all SPK/Haters style just to spark up some confusion in the area we lived in. The actual first real Subklinik performance didn't take place until around 2007 I think. It was the performance with myself and my good friend Joe Sample that was recorded and released as the 23-minute version of "Black Kommunion". In almost 23 years, maybe 10 actual performances have occurred. I will be doing more, but it has not ever needed to be a constant.
TB: The “scene” as it is now... how does it differ to the scene back then?
CD: Well, I mean honestly it has really exploded over the years which I think is cool, but I am just really curious as some of the motives behind a lot of the projects. I'm not trying to sound trite or pompous at all, but I also wonder if it's more of a mindset of just being condescending to the mainstream music scene or if it's more of just society's dropouts or whatever. People that I am close to like Coteries or Primordial Wound or Striations, I know these guys are very sincere in what they are doing and that's really great. I'm really into this as being more of an art form than a popularity contest, and sometimes I feel a majority of the participants now are doing it for the latter reason. But I don't know, I could name hundreds of projects that I admire for their contributions to the movement, but there are also tons that I really just do not care for. If one has to question if my words pertain to them and get offended, I feel they should probably take a step back and really think as to why they are participating in it. But I also feel the very same way towards a lot of the projects from back then. It's really easy to see through the ones that were just doing it because a friend may have had a label and released their stuff. I find that beyond one dimensional and just kind of trying to find a place to "fit in", just as in any other scene. To me, this is a "thinking person's" type of art. If you're doing this shit and thinking of where your next buzz or your next fix is coming from, just fucking stop now. Get a grip and make a difference by offering up something substantial. I hate hollow mindsets to a point of intoxication....
TB: The idea of re-releasing the Subklinik catalog, where did that come from?
CD: The original idea was brought to me by the guy from DeathContinues Records. We had gone back and forth over what format to do these on and he persisted with tapes and while that's all fine and dandy, I just felt it was a ploy for a different motive. This was roughly about 2 years ago that it was proposed. Finally, I think he got the hint and just let it go. I have zero ill will towards him as he does release some really killer stuff, but I felt it was just not right. It didn't sit well with me. Forward through those 2 years, I had not really thought about it much until Karl from Fall Of Nature offered to do it and he has been the next biggest supporter of Subklinik since Corbelli's passing and it just fit. Karl's aesthetic and drive and dedication to not only Subklinik but to a host of other projects including his own has been very much a "second to none" attitude of which I highly admire. When he brought it up to me I instantly was just like, "yes, perfect". So, to have these releases immortalized through Fall Of Nature is not only perfect but right at home as they should feel to be appreciated.
TB: Anything we can look forward to in the future?
CD: Mostly just more recordings, some more live performances here and there. Maybe sometime hit the Europe scene for some shows. Who knows. I would like to get a little more personally active into the underground than I have been in the past years. This project has based its longevity on being fairly obscure, not really trying to cohort with the "beasts" of the day or whatever that means. I don't really give a shit about playing straight up noise shows as Subklinik is not a noise project and that seems to be the flavor of today. But rest assured.... By the time all of the new cliques fade and everything returns back to where it was not even 23 years ago, Subklinik will still be here.
For more music visit https://subklinik.bandcamp.com/