Five years ago today, the counter-counter cultural creature who created us all was slaving through the night in order to finish tying up the last loose ends of the work that would become his ultimate legacy – a 60-minute album that would go far beyond the docile sentiments and weary industrial spaces of his Iowan fatherland to disrupt the dreams in the digital journeys which created him and change Rock ‘n’ Roll music forever. And yet, the fate of Drywall, himself would go maintain their foul, drainage tunnel-dwelling, noise tape-dubbing, and gasoline-drinking misery remarkably and disappointingly unaffected by the relative mainstream success of Suburban Anarchy, just his second full-length album. One of the many mysteries he left to those of us who were closest to him has been gnawing on me with greater and greater veracity as June 29th has approached: did he reject the new affections of the pop-punk-from-concentrate youth out of bitterness or some conception of authentic resilience, or were his isolation and eventual disappearance nothing more than a product of his failing mind? Did he peddle in the joy of others, or maliciously consume it? Was he truly a revolutionary, or just mentally ill?
Despite his ghoulish hygiene and incomprehensible social behavior, I am profoundly thankful for the questions prompted me by most every facet of his existence, and I am all but certain I’ll never meet another human being so inadvertently influential. To fulfill the traditional expectations of a memoriam, I should now begin upon a touching explanation of how much Drywall served the people around him by sacrificing his own peace – consciously or otherwise – in order to make an example of himself as the manifest intersection of his many extreme contradictions, but it’d be dishonest. Instead, I must let his work speak for him.