Snort The System: Negativland’s new album comes with Donald Joyce’s actual cremated ashes


When someone purchases a band’s album, the legend suggests that he or she is usually buying a piece of the band itself. But never has that been more true than with Negativland’s upcoming album The Chopping Channel, which will be packaged with two grams of member Donald Joyce’s cremated ashes.

Joyce, who was born in Keene, New Hampshire and earned a master’s degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, died of heart failure in July 2015 at the age of 71.

The experimental Bay Area art-rock band will release The Chopping Channel this Friday, October 21 (purchase it here for $12), and Joyce’s remains will be part of the package while “supplies last.” Negativland made their announcement via Boing Boing.


“Thank you for reading about all of our deaths over the past year and a half!” the band says in an official statement (co-founding member Richard Lyons died in April). “This is not a hoax. We’ve decided to take The Chopping Channel concept to its logical conclusion by ‘productizing’ an actual band member. It is also a celebration of the degree to which no idea in art was ever off-limits to Don, and offers a literal piece of him, and of his audio art, for the listener to repurpose and reuse. We are pretty sure he would have wanted it this way.”

The Chopping Channel, the ninth volume in Negativland’s “ongoing series of albums edited from our long-running live­mix radio show, Over The Edge“, was completed before the deaths of Lyons and Joyce, the band writes. In addition to Joyce’s ashes, the album also comes with his “handmade audio tape loop ‘carts’ used in the creation of Over The Edge and Negativland live performances between 1981 and 2015.”

They add: “Like most Negativland projects, the album’s audio themes and packaging are deeply connected. To let you know more about The Chopping Channel, our good friends at General Injectibles and Signals, Inc. have produced this very informative educational video.” Watch it below.


NEGATIVLAND PRESENTS: Over the Edge, Vol. 9 – The Chopping Channel from Bart Conway on Vimeo.