The following interview is done with Stephen Petrus...

Greetings Stephen. Let's begin by the usual course and have you introduce Murderous Vision to the world with some history.
Murderous Vision was formed around the final months of 1994. Originally it was a three member project, but that slimed down to just me by the second album. Since this time I have had a few friends appear here and there on tracks, but for the most part it is a solo project. Those asked to participate are exclusively close friends with skill to contribute. This project has become more and more personal over the years, and now it seems to have intertwined with my very sense of being. For someone to be involved now means they must be quite respected by me. Otherwise I am better keeping it for my own personal uses.

You also do a label, Live Bait Recording Foundation. Can you give us an example of some of the bands you've released over the years, as some of them are obscure, at least to us. What are some of your personal favorites that you've released?
I launched LBRF in 1996 as an outlet for my own music after the realization that no one at that stage wanted anything to do with it. It was successful enough that after a year or so I was able to extend some invitations to some of the friends I made who were on a similar path, and again who's author made some kind of connection with me. Most of the acts I released in the beginning were very obscure, with several giving us their debut release. This had a great charm for me, as the releases were very much of the hand made nature. Every attempt was made to assure that there was a great personal touch to each release. I even hand numbered one release of 139 copies in my own blood, harvested from my wrist with a razor blade. Another contained a bag of cremated remains acquired from a very generous friend. As time went by I kind of lost the desire and energy for the unethical as well as growing weary of all of the hand assembly.

Now all CDs are released as shrink-wrapped manufactured CDs in edition of 1000 copies. The focus now is top notch industrial music with artwork that is just as thoughtful and worthy as the audio portion. All aspects of LBRF releases are important. Art as a whole... As for favorite releases I would have to say Hollowing - Sepsis (2000), Salvation Bloodletting Compilation (2001), Megaptera - You Will Never Survive This Nightmare (2006) and Azoikum/Lefthandeddecision (1999). I love each release for very different reasons, but these three seem to mean the most, without including my personal works in there. As for MV, I would say "Life's Blood Death's Embrace" and "The Times Without Gods".

You're most recent releases of Murderous Vision, 'Life's Blood Death's Embrace (2006),' and the compilation 'Ghosts of the Soul Long Lost (2005),' can you tell us about these releases, and what are you working on currently?
Ghosts was created as a home for all the compilation tracks I did throughout the years. I wanted it to be more than just a collection of comp tracks, so I made it a double CD and also threw on all the material I did for split releases and EP's. I have seen these items still sell on eBay for somewhat silly costs, so I figured that people must still want to hear this stuff. Judging by it's sales I was correct. I think it is a good overview of my various mood swings for a nine year period. Life's Blood was the proper full length follow up to "The Times Without Gods". This was to this date the most complex piece of work I had ever done. Originally it was to be released with different artwork by another label. When things fell through with that I decided to bring it home to LBRF and rethink the art to make it more personal to myself in order to match the audio. Working in conjunction with two of my favorite artists, Astra and Rebecca Potter we created something that was much closer to my heart. The original art was beautiful, but I could never really form the connection to it that it needed to be attached to my "Life's Blood". This album has gathered some great attention and has definitely helped push my work a bit further.

I am currently about 70% through with the new album. This work is an investigation into my coming to grips with the massive changes my life has undergone in the last two years. Certainly my most personal endeavor. I am a bit nervous about it's release, as it really brings back the feelings in me I had as it was composed. It is like revealing my very darkest secrets. They may be hard to pick up on for the listener, but undeniable for me. The music itself has become more elaborate, and more classical elements have come into play. None of this should scare off followers of my previous work, this is hands down the darkest and most depraved work to ever come from Murderous Vision. If all goes well wrapping up the studio sessions and getting artwork together I plan to publish it in April or May.

You recently went to Europe to play some shows. What was it like doing shows there? Is it difficult playing your brand of music live, to a crowd? Did you get any spare time while there? Did you do anything exciting or worth mentioning?
The opportunity to go to Europe was a great moment in my life. I never thought I would ever be able to do something like that. All this made better by seeing some old friends I haven't seen for years. It was great to be able to walk the streets of Prague catching up with them and enjoying a few drinks! We played two shows, Dresden Germany and the prestigious Prague Industrial Festival. What impressed me the most was that the people in attendance actually paid attention to the bands. In the States people seem to be more focused on the social elements. It is more common to see people outside the venue discussing who they know and who is a cock in the scene, while the bands are inside playing to an empty room. It's rather lame actually. Playing the music live is usually a better setting, as I have also moved into film work and always play live with a video created to match the music. It makes for a much more interesting show, rather than some dude twisting knobs on a synth and making wacky faces. Murderous Vision live is a multimedia event. We had over a week to hang out in Europe. We spent a good portion sampling various beers and absinthe's at the pubs. Also a lot of tourist type things, but the highlight for me was our visit to the Kostnice Bone Ossuary. It was quite a feeling to actually be standing there after seeing thousands of pictures. The strangest part was finding graves at the Ossuary with my surname on them, as I am of Czech descent.

Tell us what things inspire you and your music. Is it hard to derive inspiration in this rather mundane, yet chaotic world?
Not really. The world is filled with inspiration. The things that influence the sound of MV are many. Topics of a personal nature are becoming more prevalent, but I still focus a bit on religious topics as well. Christianity is a duel edge sword for me. I hate the ignorance it implies, but I do not know what life would be like without it's existence. Most of the art I enjoy has heavy religious connotations, mainly from the satanic perspective. Besides, what kind of shitty world would it be without a good nunsploitation film? Couldn't have those if Christianity did not exist!!!

Venturing now into the more philosophical side of our interrogation... given the continuing darkening state of the world, the general decline of art, literature and music, on a general scale... mankind's soul, if we are to assume he has one, is deteriorating with this world. What are your thoughts on this and the state of this planet? Do you believe a dark future awaits mankind?
Politics are something I have forced myself to weed out of my life. I used to get worked up thinking about how fucked up the world is and how our leaders are ruining everything. War will always exist, famine will always exist. I can't change these things, so why try? I realized finally that all it does is take away energy that could be expended on something that will actually do some good. These are things I can never change, so I don't waste my time on them any longer. Face it, there is nothing we can do to stop the course of actions laid out by dictators like George Bush, Tony Blair or Ariel Sharon.

When you contemplate death, what do you envision? Do you see a possibility of a part of us living on? A 'soul'?
I feel there is definitely something else after death. Is it a rosy heaven with angels, gods and little Christ dudes? I highly doubt it, but I believe in the existence of a spirit or life force, and I don't think this energy just disappears after the physical body is dead. Where it goes next is anybody's guess.

Much of man's history on Earth is yet unknown. Do you believe in evolution? How do you suppose we got here?
Evolution is about the only thing that makes any sense to me. The other explanations seem to me to be fairy tales made up by a body of people who absolutely needed an answer. Some people are so afraid of dying and the uncertainty that comes along with that and it forces them to have to believe in something as ridiculous as religion. It is like a comforting hand on their weak little shoulders.

We are so different than the other creatures that inhabit this planet, our complex language, our curiosity, which has taken us to the stars, the barbarity of our wars, our science and art... it goes on and on. But, for our every advance and leap forward, it seems we, as a species, will never cast away the dark part of the human spirit. The part of us that drive us to murder, and through our greed and lusts destroy everything around us. Your thoughts?
Again, a duel edged sword... we have all the technology, but with that comes the advances in military and business. So, without a doubt many people will die. This is inevitable. Power of any variety will always lead to corruption, lead to people dying. I guess as selfish as this sounds, I no longer care. As long as it doesn't effect me or one of the very few people I actually love I have little concern. I am just focused on achieving my own agenda in this world as I know I won't be alive very long. Most people probably match my opinion on this, but they just don't admit it. People like to be viewed as caring and loving, but at the end of the day they are the mechanisms that cause these things, enablers... Care and concern for fellow man is a joke. We all know this, but who is man enough to actually admit it?

Your thoughts on the cosmos and the possibilities of life elsewhere? Do you believe there is a possibility for man to cross the great expanse of space? What about the creation of the universe, what 'existed' before its creation?
I would say that I am unsure about these topics. The logical man would have to look into the sky and see all the stars out there as yet another possibility of something else intelligent existing. So, with all of these chances I would venture to think it is pretty likely. It may be a bit arrogant to think that our species is the only one in the whole universe with the ability to evolve.

What are your thoughts on the modern world versus the ancient one? Do you have a favorite time in history?
It is amazing to me how progressive technology is. The leaps made over the last hundred years are mind blowing. Things are moving at such a fast pace in this area that it is impossible to keep up on. It is a great time to be alive for an artist. The tools at ones fingertips are many and it certainly has helped me to further my interests. I like to read about the Black Death era, that would probably be my favorite time as far as reading and film go, but I think the current world is the most interesting.

If you were given the chance to step through a door to any time in the past, but you could never return, would you? Hypothetically, if you did, what do you think you could teach the past of the future?
Honestly, I am quite happy living here in the present. All areas of history have their charms, but I would not want to live there. It does sound nice sometimes to fantasize about various eras of the past, but in reality if one is able to step aside from worry about the end of the world than it is a great time to be alive. Mainly due to technological advances. I can put 100 hours worth of music in my front pocket and head out into the world. That speaks volumes to me. I don't think I would want to give these kinds of things up now to travel in a horse drawn buggy.

What you hope to accomplish personally before your end here on Earth? If there was a goal, what could you see it as being?
I want to use my time here to do something other than rot away. Many people in this world tend to just go with the flow and never really do anything that puts their stamp on the world. An empty existence is one of my greatest fears. When I am dead I would like to know something I've done will linger behind me, even just for a little bit. I am not merely satisfied occupying space on this planet waiting to claim my grave.

Hypothetically speaking, if you could ask an all-knowing being one question, what would your question be?
I never really thought about this, as I don't feel that there is any type of all knowing being. I guess it would be something like the standard "what is the meaning of life" type question. I guess that one would be able to answer any question on their own with some focus and soul searching.

Lastly, another hypothetical question and we'll leave your imagination alone. If you were granted three wishes, what would you wish for?
Sorry, this may come off a bit material but... More equipment to make art (video and audio gear) A more self sufficient life for myself and the ability to lose my day job and focus on my art and other things that bring myself happiness. To move into a place out in the sticks away from the ghetto I live in. If I see one more crack head today I think I will lose my mind!!!

Before we draw this interview to a close, we'd like to know what we can expect from you in the future? What goals do you hope to meet with your music?
The main thing is the completion of the next album. As stated this is well underway. Outside of that I will continue to delve into film work, and try and make some improvements in that area. There are many possibilities out there, and I feel I am only just now starting to find my legs in the art world. My future should be pretty interesting!

Lastly, we thank you for your time and thoughts. Your final comments and words of wisdom to the world?
I don't really have too many words of wisdom, I honestly don't think I am all that wise!! I just want to thank you for taking the time to interview me. Also I thank you for your continued support and friendship over the years. It has truly meant a lot, especially since I also have a great appreciation for your art as well.

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