The End: How to Dress Well - Returned to Nothing | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The End: How to Dress Well

Returned to Nothing

Nov 09, 2018 Web Exclusive
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To end out the week, we ask How to Dress Well (aka Tom Krell) some questions about endings and death.

How to Dress Well released a new album, The Anteroom, last month via Domino. It is the follow-up to 2016’s Care. Joel Ford (Ford & Lopatin, Airbird) co-produced The Anteroom with Krell. “I wrote the record after moving to Los Angeles, which is a crazy and maybe dreadful place, right after the 2016 election, with hell and death gaining ground all around us on every corner of the globe,” Krell explained in a press release announcing the album. “The Anteroom is testament to a two-year period in which I felt myself slipping out of the world and into a cosmic loneliness in which I would eventually be dissolved. In order to give myself a way back, I began to try to understand my station as some kind of anteroom-a space between-a chamber that separates the known and the unknown, stable life from total disintegration.”

Read on as Krell talks about what songs he’d like performed on his deathbed; his favorite endings to movies, TV shows, and albums; and his concepts of the afterlife.

What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?

“Batwings (A Limnal Hymn)” by Coil and “Dust and Water” by ANOHNI. These are two truly beautiful and mystical songs.

What’s your favorite ending to a movie?

The end of Humanité by Bruno Dumont or the end of Beau Travail by Claire Denis. These endings are utterly vexing, in equal measure, in very different ways.

What’s your favorite series finale episode of a TV show?

The Sopranos!!!! THE BEST!!!! It’s so insane that they did that I still can’t believe it.

What’s your favorite last song on an album?

“Love Means Taking Action” from Love Means Taking Action by Croatian Amor. So much so that I wrote a song with it on The Anteroom. His record is SOOOO difficult and aggressive, to end it with such a languid and beautiful piece of music is a massive move. Very profound.

What’s your favorite last album by a band who then broke up?

Different, but… Joy Division. Closer is the best final album ever-the most amazing record, the most choked promise. I think about miss Ian Curtis a lot-I’ve been listening to Joy Division constantly again over the last 18 months.

What’s your concept of the afterlife?

There is no afterlife. Period. My consciousness is a consequence of a concatenation of material processes. I do not in ANY WAY outstrip this fleshly being. Sure, other people will think of me after I die, my records will exist in the Domino catalog, etc. But beyond memorial practices of other utterly finite creatures, I will be returned to nothing. That’s life. The movement from nothing to nothing and so back to itself. :)

What would be your own personal version of heaven if it exists?

Equal distribution of wealth and access and possibility and love and care and joy, on the earth for all living beings. True apology and true forgiveness.

What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?

Loneliness. Hell is NOT other people. Hell is isolation.

What role or achievement would you most like to be remembered for?

I would like to be remembered as a truly idiosyncratic artist and thinker who always changed his mind, who could never be pinned down. I would like to be remembered as someone who really dedicated his entire life to a pursuit of the truth, and who loved all the exacerbated states that attended such a pursuit.

What would you like your last words to be?

“I really, truly love you and I feel your love for me so, so deeply.”

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