It’s not that JRAL doesn’t like you, it’s more about looking at the world as one might look at water damage in an abandoned building. The noise-oriented rapper’s music may sound hostile to the point of being hard to swallow for your average rock fan, but that’s an expression of the mortal grossness he sees in the mirror. Now, with the video for his new track “Spit,” the masked performer is giving everyone a visual feast, both expressing his inner chaos through staccato images of ruined film and a sweet girl in a field, and his own physical turmoil through his violent spasming in front of the camera.
To try and lock down exactly what we’re seeing, King Woman‘s Kris Esfandiari spoke to JRAL about his motives, visual symbolism, and the life he leads behind the mask. Here’s what she excised…
Who are you?
Nobody and somebody.
Where are you from?
Everywhere and nowhere.
Can you tell me what inspired “Spit” and why you chose to call your album Veil Odium?
It’s a homage to Kittie’s “Spit” and Slipknot’s “Spit It Out”. I wanted to make a version that I could call my own. Veil Odium represents ugliness and, unhinged emotion. Veil Odium is me.
How did shooting the video for “Spit” go and what was it like working with GodBlessTheKid?
We didn’t take any breaks at all. I didn’t take off the mask and I was drenched in my own sweat. My whole body was at its tipping point but I did it anyway. I did it so that people can see what I really feel inside and I hope others can relate to this chaotic feeling. GodBless is family. It’s always beautiful working with one of your best friends.
What does the girl in the video intro represent?
Innocence lost. Once she puts the mask on she sees what I see.
What’s up with the mask? Is there a story behind it?
I wear this to hide myself. I don’t like to be seen. I don’t want anyone to know my flesh or my name. Nothing. All I want them to know is what I really look like on the inside.
What does the ‘X’ symbol mean?
It represents being the the cursed one, being the lonely one. The only one who understands you will always be you. It’s the mark of complete loneliness.
What does loneliness feel like for you?
What influences you musically and spiritually?
Musically, I think it’s obvious: Slipknot. They have been a part of my life since I was a kid. Also, others like Vein, Code Orange, Korn, Bring Me the Horizon, Nghtcrwlr, Machine Girl, Kill Ebola, the list goes on…Spiritually? The Silent Hill games as well as horror internet creepy pasta themes.
What do you hope people get out of listening to JRAL?
Relieved of loneliness, even for a brief moment.
What can people expect from your new record?
Get ready to be inside.
What was your 2020 experience like?
Anxiety ridden and eye opening.
Check out our exclusive premiere of JRAL’s “Spit” video below:
Interview by Kris Esfandiari, intro by Chris Krovatin