The latest episode of the Electric Theater featured an exchange with Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy and Doyle Von Frankenstein. The pair joined clown for a conversation that kicked with a pretty compelling talking point from the man in the mask.
The trio spent some time discussing the importance of developing and maintaining an aesthetic. With Alissa, Doyle, and clown all having an especially unique look when they step onstage, it's obvious that all three share a value in how they present and express themselves. Alissa would bring up the preliminary studies of something called, "enclothed cognition". This assertion suggests that when people put on a certain uniform, be it a painter's smock or a captain's hat, they actually perform better in the actual capacity of that role.
The clown would go a step further and dig into even more of the psychology behind having a persona, confiding that his experience with therapy has allowed him to understand this profound lesson...
"I only tell the truth when I'm wearing the mask."
Doyle, Alissa, and clown all found an important take away in that moment. Be it clown's mask, Doyle's make-up, or Alissa's very elaborate stage ensembles, there is a balance of persona and personal expression that allows each of the artists the freedom to become who they really are when the put on their warpaint. It's that confidence through the visual presentation that translates onstage and on the record.
The conversation would stay on the topic of presentation for a healthy portion of the discussion, with Alissa addressing the double standard that exists particularly for a woman in the world of metal.
Joking with Doyle that "sex sells," in referring to Doyle not wearing a shirt on stage for literally decades, Alissa detailed how regardless of how conservatively she dresses onstage, the narrative is spun to suggest that she is using sex appeal in her performance. The front woman expressed a frustration with the different standard and vented how tedious it becomes to try and navigate that.
Spring-boarding from there, the three began deducing the culture of online negativity and how the anonymity of the digital screen gives people the false confidence to be especially critical. The conclusion seemed to arrive at the need to create controversy, even if contrived, for the sake of engagement. People are much more inclined to read/click on something critical rather than congratulatory. That results in the talking heads spending more effort picking apart artists, rather than sharing praise.
clown pressed to explore the idea of why that negativity is so prevalent for humans. Alissa broke down an interesting assertion rooted in human psychology that suggests the gravitation to seek out the negative is actually defense mechanism. The thinking is, if everything is ok, there is nothing to worry about. Humans hardwired propensity to identify the problem used to be about solving a problem.
The culture now however is much more tribal. Instead of sussing out the negative with a constructive aim, people clique together to talk shit - resulting in people that put themselves out there becoming the targets of people that don't.
The first three way conversation in the Electric Theater was one for the books. From Alissa's forthcoming solo project to Doyle's line of hot sauces, to hefty conversations about human psychology, no stone was left unturned.
Stream the entire episode with Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy, Doyle Von Frankenstein, and the clown below.