Daiana Feuer on
How can we be so sure the 39 members of Heaven’s Gate didn’t go where they intended? That is the question explored on “39 By Design.” The song comes from cosmic post-punk artist Drab Majesty’s second album, “The Demonstration,” recorded by Josh Eustis (NIN, Telefon Tel Aviv), to be released Jan. 20 on DAIS Records. Heaven’s Gate was a UFO religious millenarian group led by Marshall Applewhite, based in San Diego. Believing a UFO was trailing Comet Hale-Bopp and would beam them on board if they died, on March 26, 1997, 39 people committed mass suicide by consuming phenobarbital mixed with apple sauce and washed it down with vodka, then tied plastic bags around their heads to ensure passage. While most people will shake their heads at this whole thing, Deb DeMure wonders, “What if they actually ascended” in this song. The video, directed by Chad Fjerstad, takes visual inspiration from one of Applewhite’s final speeches about their imminent exit to the “Next Level.”
||| Watch: “39 By Design”
||| Also: Stream “Cold Souls”
||| Live: Drab Majesty performs Feb. 14 at The Regent Theater, opening for Cold Cave. Tickets.