From a recent interview with Ian MacKaye linked below:
I was saying to you earlier that I think of artists and musicians and filmmakers and writers as translators. This is something that I got to thinking about: “What the fuck are these people doing?” And I think of them as translators. In other words, that somebody hears something and they are trying to explain to other people, using that medium, what is it that they are hearing. Visual artists see something, they see the world in a way and then they are trying to show people what it is that they’re seeing. It’s literally a translation. That was really helpful for me in terms of meeting people who I felt like, “well this person is interesting to me because the reason they are doing this is that they don’t have a choice in the matter.” And maybe that’s what you’re talking about. Like, I think that sometimes, whether or not they address it in satanic worship, or even people who are just like, “I wanna make money,” sometimes there is nothing else for them to do. They have to do that. People say to me, “What is your favorite kind of music, what do you like to listen to?” And I always say, “my favorite kind of music is the music made by people who don’t have a choice in the matter.” So I can listen to anything… it could be punk or blues or whatever. I just want it to feel like the person who’s making that music heard something and is saying, “this is what I’m hearing.” It’s the same way with any kind of visual stuff. I’m not particularly well educated about visual art, I don’t have a degree in art history so just don’t know a lot of that stuff, but occasionally I’ll see something and in my mind, I’ll be like, “Wow, something is going on here that it really compels me.” And then if I read about it and find out that person saw something, they are like, “Here’s what I saw! Here’s what I fuckin saw!” That’s what I want to feel when I look at things, that’s what I want to feel when I hear things. That is a form of independence, right?