heavy metal

Desillusion Bio

Band members
Westin Halvorson Jessie O Galen Waling


It's no Desillusion—over the past two years, the hottest clubs in Seattle have been rockin' hard and heavy with the band's blistering rocktronic/industrial/metal explosions—a hybrid vibe that Exotic Underground compares to Nine Inch Nails, Stabbing Westward and early Marilyn Manson. Driven by the rebellious intensity of wild and charismatic frontman Westin Halvorson (who also handles guitars and programming), the three piece unit is ready to blast out of the cozy confines of the Pacific Northwest with the release of their debut five-song EP Blasphaestetic. The disc's moniker sums up Desillusion's take on the world perfectly. To Westin, Jessie Orr (bass) and Galen Waling (drums), the term "Blasphaestetic" means "beautiful blasphemy"—not so much in the religious sense as simply choosing to follow a mindset and path of their own, going against the grain and the majority belief. While on a two week tour last year that took them down to Hollywood, they made connections which led them to return to SoCal to record the E.P. with producers Steven Bier, Jr. (aka Madonna Wayne Gacy of Marilyn Manson), Brian Diemar and Rae DiLeo. Because of the powerful and distinctive way Desillusion mixes its industrial-metal and electronic influences, the band's romp through the very curious Seattle club scene involved making some crucial decisions shortly after they emerged in 2007. The industrial scene is split down the middle between the electronica heavy, dance-oriented clubs and the darker, goth, alternative lifestyle venues where fans go crazy over the hardcore sounds of industrial giants Ministry and KMFDM. Since Desillusion chose what Westin calls the “goth industrial” clubs, there’s been no stopping them. They've brought their dynamic shows, complete with intense light displays that shoot rays of blue, green and tracker lights across the stage, to the El Corazon, The Showbox and Studio Seven. They've also opened shows for everyone from Powerman 5000 and Godhead to Dead Star Assembly, Genitortures, Chemlab and Frontline Assembly. Early in 2009, in anticipation of the release of Blasphaestetic, Desillusion hit the Midwest for numerous major tour dates, including those in Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland as the opening act for the popular Norwegian aggrotech band Combichrist. When the band got home to Seattle, Westin celebrated at their first gig by stage diving, letting the crowd catch him and surfing him over to the mosh pit where he joined them and kept belting it out. “Our crowds get really intense," he says, "and we put back thousands of dollars into our show to make sure they’re always having a good time. We naturally make sure we have great sounding gear, but we're also very much into the whole presentation, including the light display, which I control with my foot. People are really starting to respond to Blasphaestetic, but our favorite comments are always that no matter how much they like it, it doesn’t do us the same justice that our live show does. There's nothing more exciting than getting people involved and sharing that energy with them. Most of the time, we’re bringing in more people than the headlining band, and that's obviously a sign that while fans are coming for the music, they're also there to have a great time and see an entertaining show." The tracks on the EP are deliriously aggressive, but reflect a measured rage rather than the uncontrolled angry outbursts and overly direct lyrics he used to write. The title track rails on people who fail to think for themselves and get sucked into the fear promoted by religion, government and today's news programs—all of which keep people from opening up and getting along with their neighbors. In the song, Westin questions whether it's worth helping people who won't help themselves. The hypnotic, densely percussive anthem "Discontinued" is more abstract but touches on the singer's desire to build his perfect world—and some of the shocking ways he might achieve that given the opportunity. "The thing I enjoy most about being part of Desillusion," says Westin, "is that we're a totally indie band, and because people know where we’re coming from, we have complete freedom to do whatever we want, and have no code of conduct to stick to. That allows us to be spontaneous, and we love playing our live shows and watching the crowds get into it. There's no bigger adrenaline rush than when I'm moving around onstage, throwing my guitar, heading to the mosh pit and showing fans how these songs stack up visually. It's great to see that our message is getting through."

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