W/O [Pronounced: wwithout] is a musical project lead by fellow S & S contributor Hunter.
The music serves as an exorcism, a purging necesarry for survival. One might look at Hunter`s outputs wether that be W/O or Charn as a coping mechanism born from existing in a world that seems to fall deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit for each day.
I reviewed one of Hunters albums not too long but I also wanted to get their perspective and poke around in their brain and see what I might stumble across.
Why don`t you start off with telling us who you are and what you do?
So my name is Hunter and I make music under the monikers w/o (wwithout) and charn. w/o has more lore cause of the violent nature of some of the earlier sets and my tendency to draw blood and roll around on the floor covered in leaves, lol. I guess the central theme and what ties the works together is the desperate struggle to make the world just feel fucking okay for five seconds. Idk. Sometimes it works and hopefully people besides me feel less alone at least for a moment when listening to it. That also kind of ties into the obsession with the concept of heaven and belonging.
Charn is a newer project. Ive been listening to a lot of suicidal depressive black metal, especially during the cold months and it really inspired me to make something in the same vein. Its more conceptual cause its based on the Chronicles of Narnia universe, specifically the long winter (hence the album name “Always Winter, Never Christmas) but the theme is more a tool to talk about universal concepts like suffering and sacrifice and unconditional love.
– How long have you been doing W/O and what inspired you to make music?
I’ve been making music under the name wwithout since about 2015. I had a few other names before that and put out some depressive folk type shit but nothing really that notable in my opinion. I started making music as a creative outlet to get my feelings out and umm it’s cliché but music and art have just been the most compelling thing to me ever since I was little so I always wanted to do this.
– Is there a meaning to the name W/O ?
Yea, just w/o as in without, as in being without something; a reference to poverty in all its forms be it material or spiritual.
– While alot of your music could be put under the Trap label there`s still a variety to it where you don`t seem to repeat yourself and you incorporate more experimental techniques n your sound, what do you attribute this to?
I think I just have a diversity of influences and like experimenting and expressing myself in a diversity of ways. Its not really intentional. It just happens that way.
– You have a tendency to write very short songs, is there any particular reason behind this?
Not really, lol. Some people attribute it to poor songwriting skills and maybe that’s partially true but I think more so, its just based on me not being interested in some sort of orthodox songwriting process or like appealing to some certain demographic that wants every song to be between 3 and 4 and a half minutes for premium listening or whatever the fuck.
– There`s a certain sombreness to alot of your songs, yet there seems to be some small slivers of hope slipping through every now and then. Would you say making music or generally being creative is something you utilize in a more therapeutic way?
Absolutely, yea. The majority of it is born out of adversity and isolation and just trying to grasp and come to terms with the unrelentingly harsh realities of life and death. The work is me working through and having a dialogue with the voices in my head that tell me to kill myself amongst other things, and I do feel better and more at peace after putting pen to paper.
– Is there any plans for the future, new music or anything of that sort?
Yea def! I live in NYC now and am interested in working with and collaborating with artists of all disciplines out here. Being here in winter and being alone most of the time and cold and broke were, in hindsight, kind of the ideal conditions to write “Always Winter, Never Christmas” in. I would like to utilize more bells and more original choral arrangements and pained breathing sounds in my future work.
Also I have a Charn single coming out in September on Spotify so that’s something.
Bandcamp (charn): https://charn.bandcamp.com/