From working with children with developmental disabilities, some of whom have been abused, to facing racism as a half black/half white person in America, Ethan McCarthy has seen firsthand the dark side of society and human nature. He channels much of those experiences into his industrialized sludge band Primitive Man. He also finds some respite and catharsis in the music of others, from Crowbar to Billy Boyo.
For our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, we asked the extreme-metal musician to share a few songs that have helped him through dark times. Below is what McCarthy offered up.
"If I could get over that hump, then maybe I will feel better."
Sounds like crying tears of cement and then being frozen to the ground with them. Then baking under the sun until you die. When it came out, this album helped me get through a pretty brutal breakup/living in a crack house. Wild that it was 14 years ago.
Alan Dubin's vocals are obviously some of the most anguished sounding of all time. But the instrumentation itself sounds like dying insane. "Clean my heart/I am demon and human and garbage and heartless/And human."
Borderline harsh noise. Sounds like scraping your skin off.
For when you're really DEEP inside of your own world of shit.
"I'm shining cause I'm working, getting that paper cause I deserve it, trying to smoke away my pain, I hope this L don't ever stop burning."
Yeah, I'm sad, but I'll dance through it, I guess.
It really is.
"One spliff a day will keep the evil away."
That's the saddest fucking song there is.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of resources.