The first single from the artist’s forthcoming album is “an alt-pop song about resisting the elites who want us to self-destruct”
… That said, I’ve been told by the artist that it’s not, in fact, political. (It’s also worth the disclaimer that neither the song’s title nor subject matter are in any way intended to glorify or endorse any form of harm.)
Rather, with “MASS SUIXIDE”—which was released last Friday—Viktor Longo claims he aims for the song to serve as “a fun and bouncy way to explore mass psychosis, self-destruction and give the finger to those that profit off it.”
While this spotlight is technically designed to be on the song itself, in our correspondence leading up to the release, Viktor seemed less interested in discussing the single than sharing the role it plays in a larger body of work—specifically his forthcoming album—and the approach he’s taking with this and future releases, looking at them as not just pieces of art but small acts of rebellion.
As the artist explained to me over email, rather than stretch to fit into a sonic box, play the playlist game or make something that’s meant to be marketable—to try to write a “hit”— he has instead decided to take a different route. To lean into what’s often unspoken, and uncomfortable, and maybe opt for a little shock. To do what artists do best: the unexpected. In this case, by transforming a word synonymous with tragedy into a chorus you can’t help but sing along with. Turning the taboo into a bona fide ~bop~.
So: back to the discomfort factor. It’s worth noting (and Viktor does) that this tactic isn’t designed to be a sign of disrespect or to be in-your-face for in-your-face’s sake. Instead, as he says, because he holds his audience in high-esteem and believes that as music lovers and art appreciators, listeners deserve a challenge. They ought to be stimulated, not sedated. Not coddled but encouraged to question. And through this specific intention, he’s also seeking to make a statement about the state of the industry and the gatekeepers (human and machine) who prioritize efficiency and profit over excitement and originality, streamlining the streaming experience to the point that even your music “discovery” is done for you.
“MASS SUIXIDE” is the first single off the aforementioned upcoming record, Songs to Listen to While Driving to Meet Your Lover as Civilization Crumbles and the Conspiracies Become True, which he touched on in the commentary he sent over for this recent release—along with an accompanying call to action:
“The rest of the album will go in many different directions. The only promise I can make is that each song will surprise you. It will often make you uncomfortable but ultimately leave you wanting more. And that is 100 percent by design. I am very happy with this album and this song in particular is one of the most fun and unexpected albeit sick songs I’ve recorded. Lastly to my fans and my worldwide gang: streaming this song is a direct middle finger to an industry that has always been more concerned with their bottom line than your artistic enrichment. Monotonous algorithmic and editorial playlists save them time and money at the expense of your excitement. If you listen to music that doesn’t play by the established rules of marketing and ‘fitting in’ you are actively making their lives harder and forcing them to pay attention.”
Stream “MASS SUIXIDE” everywhere now, watch the visualizer here and stay tuned for more singles (and ways to stick it to the man) from Songs to Listen to While Driving to Meet Your Lover as Civilization Crumbles and the Conspiracies Become True, coming soon.
Feature image provided by the artist.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a crisis, please reach out immediately to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. These services are free and confidential.