Super Sentai stylized weird freak rock band from Ohio/NYC called PSEUDO/SENTAI recently recorded 2 full lengths taking an interesting, different approach with each. On one, back-up vocalist/guitarist Greg Murphy composed it all in sheet music with lead vocalist Scott Baker,, then hired session guys except on guitar and vocals. That one is a ridiculous over the top concept album concerning political intrigue in another dimension told through 3 multi-dimensional artifacts they discover. It has a lot of video game, CARDIACS, THE MARS VOLTA, MR BUNGLE type influence. The second album they recorded was done differently. This one was written as a live rock band, then Greg took the rock band songs and composed them into sheet music, making meticulous changes in the details. This one has more of a hard rock feeling, but you will likely discover that it sounds nothing like hard rock. It has more of a whimsical, dense, complex feel to it.
It is my great pleasure to give you my lengthy, highly adventurous interview with one half of the mastermind of the band, Greg Murphy, proving to be an inspiring unrestricted musician and a bundle of unparalleled ideas. Scroll down to read the full interview.
“Bansheeface” by PSEUDO/SENTAI is out October 16th. The follow up record will hit the streets in March 2016.
Band photo by Taylor Foiles / All artwork by Grace Passerotti / Band logo by Aaron Zimmerman.
Bansheeface teaches us the history of another world, focusing on the vessel for the seed that destroyed it and the turmoil that surrounds her. Five years went into the making of Bansheeface from conception to completion, the record based on about two-hundred pages of sheet music. On this diverse album, the color-coded primary PSEUDO/SENTAI individuals saving the world from Eunuch Rock who have laid the groundwork for this composition are RED [also known as Scott Baker] providing lead vocals, programming, guitar and lyrics, as well as BLUE [a.k.a. Greg Murphy] supplying lead guitar, programming, additional vocals, composing skills. Additional Earth-based cohorts have also joined PSEUDO/SENTAI in on the creation of Bansheeface, with Jeff Eber (Dysrhythmia, Zevious) handling drums as “The Herdsman,” Jon Ehlers (Bangladeafy) supplying bass as “Arthropunch,” and Sawyer Schneider on guitar/stunt guitar as, “Oak Sawblade.” The nearly forty-five minute production was fully written and produced by PSEUDO/SENTAI, and co-produced by Colin Marston who handled all engineering, mixing, and mastering details at Thousand Caves: Menegroth.
PSEUDO/SENTAI feels that the books, comics, and graphic novels have become strongholds for detailed storytelling, and as we don’t need financiers to make them like films, they can be as expansive as they need to be without sacrificing creativity. The band applies that level of complete freedom and detail to affect multiple senses through music, as well as in its physical and visual delivery. Each element of the propaganda campaigns surrounding their works are saturated with artwork, paintings, mini-comics, storylines and additional visual stimulants creating a more immersive experience. Grace Passerotti did all this artwork for Bansheeface including the front cover, and additional visuals surrounding the album’s release will be leaked to the public over the coming weeks. In the meantime, the Bansheeface artwork, track listing, and audio sample through a stream of the title track have been released.
Word on the street has inspired reactions from countless passersby. After encountering the Bansheeface they have simultaneously praised and feared its proficiency in psychosis, with random humans having issued descriptors and attempted genre classifications. These reports have not been publicly available until now, having been delivered directly to the PSEUDO/SENTAI unit directly from the public. One (un)lucky survivor reported, “This album is a trauma for me… I got into a car accident while listening to this music. I think this is the perfect music for a spaceship drunk dwarf party at a mushroom shaped disco room.” Another offers, “If there is another band they sound like, I have yet to stumble across them,” and another, “It’s hard to describe their music. Eclectic, technical art pop with a tip of avant-metal background,” as well as “Some wacky shit about alien political intrigue, man-eating Selkies and the eponymous Bansheeface, whom I might have been able to write a bit about had I understood a splinter of what the fucking story’s about.” This humanoid actually correlated the band’s output to notable scene heroes, offering, “This is a savory mix of genres I couldn’t have ever expected, with each track done wonderfully. The best I could do to reproduce something sounding like this would be a mixtape that includes Mars Volta, Haken, Portishead, Wilco, Nimh, and Riverside. Crossover indeed. Excellent, and will certainly prove a highlight of 2015.” Another agreed: “I don’t understand why this band is not at the forefront of the prog spotlight. Instead of saying ‘This band sounds like The Mars Volta,’ we should be comparing other bands toPSEUDO/SENTAI.”
Hi Greg! What’s up buddy? Thanks so much for reaching out and blessing me with your new twisted record! Given the amazing creative odyssey you’ve developed on this record, it’s an honour! Tell me a bit about your approach to writing and the inspiration behind this new album.
Thank you for the kind words Karol and for taking the time to listen! Bansheeface was written between 2008 and 2013. The majority of the record was written very early on by [RED] (Scott) and I, but our recording situation was not up to par with our ideas. We put these songs aside and focused on several other more abrasive/outsider oddities first. 3 full lengths and several EPs later, here we are.
When it comes to the approach to writing, we focus on developing as many approaches as possible. As part of the concept of this band, there is supposed to be little to no inhibition and no worry about outside perception. Unless of course, we want to create inhibition and second guessing as part of the process. Doing whatever you want means sometimes you want to not do what you want. How’s that for convoluted?
We work as a songwriting duo most of the time. Scott has a natural feeling for solid, simple riffs, odd rhythms, and human feeling with it’s relation to music. His understanding of melody-weaving is a big piece of that. You could say he focuses on the body and soul of the music while I focus on the mind and the detailed arrangements. Sometimes the twisted music is just the result of a mistake/accident that happened while trying to write a good, fun song. I can’t completely speak for Scott but other times it is because I like to create music that is meditative to me. Meditative music is usually a calm ambiance for others, but in my world meditation is only achieved when there are so many layers and thoughts that my brain can’t think of anything else.
Much of the conceptual inspiration dawned through endless evening sessions as we bounced ideas back and forth. Sometimes these ideas would be completely separate from one another but they would eventually entwine in ways we could hardly believe. For instance, a short song I created to represent a personal friend’s tumultuous suicide turned out to mirror aspects of the story and we used that song directly to represent a death. My friend knew that he was going to die by his own hand eventually, so he would play “phone roulette” by calling everyone in his phone and the first night no one answered he completed this inevitable deed- this way we would all feel guilt for his end. (Though one may blame the psychiatrist that lost their license after being found to have over-prescribed lithium). But I remember not answering the call that night. Our story at that point in the album has the antagonist committing suicide by murder in a calculated manner. To add to the coincidence, this song ended up getting placed after a song where the main protagonist is thrown in an asylum before he escapes to commit this murder (mirroring a descent into madness), and before a song that has the calmest beginning of any song on the album with dark undertones, which to me, feels similar to the unsettling peace of an existence ceasing. I could divulge on many other coincidences but I don’t want to tire anyone out.
Some of these ideas are so ingrained in my consciousness that it feels drawn into my own reality. Dreams, random concepts, metaphors, “Aha moments,” etc. We have lived and breathed for this record for half a decade.
We have lived and breathed for this record for half a decade.
Wow, sounds like a huge personal project. We’ll get back to the explanation and significance phase shortly, but first let’s get rid of a couple of shallower questions.
The band has been featured in a number of progressive rock / metal related magazines, so a PSEUDO-SENTAI feature in a punk webzine like IDIOTEQ must be an exception to the rule. Do you consider yourselves as a progressive rock band? Do you care about genrefication?
You guys are definitely an exception on some level, but I tend to read a lot of different sites and usually end up gravitating towards the ones that get out of their ‘comfort zone’ when they find something they like. IDIOTEQ, Heavy Blog is Heavy, Absolute Punk, AvantGardeMetal, and several others do a great job of balancing expectations with a stretch outside the norm. Stretching outside the norm is one of my favorite things about music anyway!
We could call our band a progressive rock band, as we are certainly influenced by a number of prog rock artists, but we don’t write 18 minute songs, we don’t sound like DREAM THEATER or YES, we don’t break into meandering solos, and we don’t make complex music for complexity/theory’s sake. And sadly, that’s the connotation that progressive rock has, even though it’s definitely much more than that. Though, to be honest, I’d love to do all of those things at some point in our career, except for sound like DREAM THEATER. Eventually, we will just accept whatever identifiers come our way, as those labels essentially have no actual effect on the music itself.
Genrefication is a difficult subject for me because we all have different perceptions of what things mean. I think it has become completely necessary with the massive quantity of quality music being produced, but at what point does classification become convoluted? To me, there’s a good way to approach it, which is to understand all genres are basically fluid and based on perception. The only real problem I have is the people that pretend their chosen genre is basically a sports team.
In the end, I just want to listen to music that I love and I generally end up applying my own “classifications” to music related to the feeling or mood created like furious, beautiful, complex, insanity, calming, melancholic, etc – the website AllMusic does a great job of listing “Artists Moods” at the bottom of each artist page, which creates a great way to find new stuff that convey particular feelings or moods. And one of the best parts about using feelings or moods is that no one can tell you that your mood is wrong!
Musically, how has PSEUDO/SENTAI evolved since its rookie days?
Early on, in 2007, we were writing in four directions. One of which was this album that you just listened to, as most of them are the first set of songs we wrote together, another was acoustic duo type songs like a hallucinogenic non-comical Tenacious D, another was just trippy noise synth tracks with alien vocals and another direction was an abrasive electro-rock that we originally released it under a different name.
Our first released album was called “Scrapes of an Enigmatic Nature” and we recorded entirely in GarageBand. Most of the songs were fairly short, we didn’t think about EQing anything, added no compression to anything. It’s a total mess filled with tape recordings, trippy noises, and squishy beats, but I still find enjoyment and love in those songs. There was a much larger focus on expanding upon mistakes. Instead of re-recording or trying to hide them in the mix, we would focus in and just make them an integral part of the song. I think that’s a fun way to write and definitely something I would like to return to in the future- albeit in a much higher fidelity.
Similarly, lyric-wise, do you still try to polish up your storytelling skills? Is there a main concept or message behind “Bansheeface”?
Scott focuses on lyrics and the way to convey stories more than I do and it always seems like he’s constantly improving. That’s a creative world that in which I consider myself a novice. He has filled multiple composition notebooks with lyrics. We often overload ourselves with ideas, and there might be more story summaries written than lyrics as we both feel comfortable in that realm of thought.
So Bansheeface is a complicated beast when it comes to the story. It is told from the perspective of our team, as the band itself is based off the basic ideas of Super Sentai, though expanded into our own form and universes. And our group, is told by our leader, the Loracle, that an artifact from another galaxy or universe has arrived on earth. The first track is our journey underwater to grab this artifact, which is this material we call quantum cardboard. There are 3 items inside it, the first of which, a digital painting, is deciphered and that begins the story within the story.
Things get a little crazy from there. Only one reviewer seemed to get the basics of the story and he summarized it like this:
“Bansheeface” is a concept album telling a sci-fi/fantasy type tale of the goddess like creature the Bansheeface, the Likhos (odd looking creatures, protectors of nature), the selkies (half man/half seal), and the humans. The Bansheeface is plotting something evil, but is murdered by a Likho named Lution (seemingly as part of her evil plot), and war breaks out between the selkies and the humans, who blame each other for the death of the Bansheeface.
I don’t think everyone would want to read all the details, as there are probably way too many for an interview, but I’d also like to say that the Bansheeface is a half-primordial demon, half-human that does not sleep and has been living underground for thousands of years while developing technology. When she makes herself and this technology known to the 3 sentient species living on the planet in essentially the undeveloped late middle ages, humans worship her, likho are unsure of her, and selkies want her technology. Unbeknownst to everyone but the single likho that made contact with her primordial ooze, the Bansheeface is a vessel for the seed that has come to destroy the world. There is a mass sacrifice being planned to signify the beginning of the end. The story goes on to expand into themes of political manipulation, propaganda, hidden motivations, ecological balance, trust, false prophecy, guilt, hatred, war, the significance and insignificance of life, perspective, and numerous other things. This album takes place over 3 decades.
If anyone would ever want to hear this entire thing, they are welcome to contact me and I can copy/paste the track by track. I’m not even sure I’d expect anyone in the world to care enough to hear every single detail. On another note, the story goes much deeper than just this album and things get even crazier. I think maybe my ultimate personal dream would be to make this into an anime. I don’t know if I could say a nerdier series of words.
The Bansheeface is a vessel for the seed that has come to destroy the world.
PSEUDO SENTAI artwork by Grace Passerotti.
Haha, amazing! You’re video games geeks, aren’t you?
Haha… Maybe so… There’s a section of our last album, “There’s Always a Fucking Problem,” where an inter-dimensional jewel thief known as The Vanishing Act steals the Loracle’s data and we chase him into a video game that has created itself out of the Internet’s collective fears. It ends up being a trick… And we battle through the game to continue after him. There are 6 original video game music tracks in the middle of the album.
Scott works for a comic book shop currently, and he has quite the extensive knowledge of all things nerd. With everything he has shown me, I’m convinced that comics and books are the last bastion of truly creative storytelling. Especially with the Internet, you don’t really need money to make them. You only need talent and time. I want to take that type of freedom/creativity and apply it to music and music storytelling.
I don’t have as much time for video games anymore, but Super Nintendo RPGs were a huge inspiration for me. Earthbound (and the whole Mother series) is definitely one of those stories that stuck with me, along with Secret of Mana, Tales of Phantasia, Chrono Trigger, and Act Raiser.
There is one Japan/Europe only game I was able to download later called Terranigma. It has one of the most insane stories I’ve ever experienced. Simply put, you’re someone that lives on the inside of earth (using an internal sphere map), tasked with traveling outside and revitalizing the whole of earth. You bring back plants, birds, mammals, humanity, and even human progress. It’s like walking through the development of the planet from lifeless rock to humans creating flight. You can even expand towns and check their economic status- quite the game for that era!
I should probably change my answer from “maybe” to “yes”.
I’m convinced that comics and books are the last bastion of truly creative storytelling. Especially with the Internet, you don’t really need money to make them. You only need talent and time. I want to take that type of freedom/creativity and apply it to music and music storytelling.
True true. Do you know a movie that is actually better than a book that served as its original inspiration?
I haven’t read too many books that have been made into movies, but John Carpenter’s The Thing is based off a novel from the 30’s called “Who Goes There?” I read some of it but wasn’t entirely into it and my mind ended up wanting to go elsewhere. The Thing is one of my favorite films of all time. I could argue that it might be the greatest horror movie ever made. But, for something like that to exist is an anomaly. I am told by nerds I trust that Stalker, the Russian film, and Roadside Picnic (the source novel) are equals.
Charlie Brooker talks about this in some of his writings and shows. For a good, creative film or TV show to be made, it has to happen like magic. The system is designed to make everything as predictable as possible. Throughout history, humanity has told so many stories that there are these cultural expectations of how stories are supposed to flow. If you can’t explain your film in a logline, and if your film doesn’t follow that flow then you can’t sell it. Furthermore, you have more people in the medium of film that are only in it for the money and fame than almost any other art-form.. I would bet that few comic book artists are only in it for the money!
Oooh- also pretty much anything done by Jan Svankmejer based on a book is going to be amazing. His versions of Alice and Faust are absolutely frightening/stunning/weird. I wouldn’t call them better than the source material but they are just as good in completely different ways.
The system is designed to make everything as predictable as possible.
The unspoken monster from the song Naught Shore, by Grace Passerotti.
Speaking about our interests, how about the Space? Your stories revolve around extraterrestrial life :) so you must be a cosmos geek, as well!
A little bit! I’m not a theoretical physics major or anything, though I do try to be knowledgeable enough to consider science fiction concepts based on real theories. Hard sci-fi, they call it. There are some fantastic novels and series that expand upon real possibilities, like planets with multiple suns and heavy axis tilts causing violent long/short seasons, cold dwarf stars eventually developing life, studying fictional alien biology, applications of gravity, or the idea of traveling to an actual infinite space outside the universe. Understanding the laws of our universe that apply to the chaos creates an order of sorts and helps me gain a better grasp of the possibilities. This further helps define the lines between science fiction and fantasy and to know when we are crossing them.
Space is this amazing thing to me. The idea of a lack of perceivable matter/atmosphere always amazes me. Plenty of people view space as this place for so much travel and adventures in the future because of how science fiction has portrayed it but in reality, it is a horrifying place to think about! It is empty, cold, and lifeless. One animated film from the 90’s called “Memories” has one of the coldest and most realistic visions of space that I’ve ever seen.
I like to think about how if you’re outside our atmosphere and closer than 100 million miles from any star, without protection your DNA structure will get horribly destroyed from radiation. There are also places in space dozens of billions of light years away where accretion disks emit insane amounts of energy through gravitational pressures that just escape their quasars (massive black holes with accretion disks). These quasars and accretion disks are essentially the ultimate killing machines. More like Desaccretion disks… Ok. I’m awful.
Humanoid android from the song Wonderstood Artwork by Grace Passerotti
Ok Greg, so back to the band, can you share a bit more about your engagement with the P/S? Have you developed some other musical projects along the way, or has this band always been your main thing?
This band has been my pure focus for 8 years. Pretty much anything extra that any of us writes can be worked into the sound of the band if we want. We made the decision early on that there is no need to create expectations of a “sound” other than striving for creative writing, so I take that to its logical extreme and think about this b
Instead of developing other projects, there is enough music written to take several years off writing and just focus on recording if things come to that. It’s a matter of finding the time, money, and motivation to get there. People tell me that we get more done than most other bands that work full time jobs but I constantly feel at odds with myself and just have a feeling that it’s not enough.
While on the subject of other works, I should mention that our next album is completely recorded and mastered as well. Going through the stress of working these albums out in such a short period and dealing with the resulting turmoil has slowed things down for a moment, but I guess when you work through so much you should take a breather.
Where does your interest in experimental arts come from? Why not make a simple indie rock album for pity’s sake?! ;)
Hahaha! Making a simple indie rock album would certainly ease the pressure a little bit!
I want to make music that doesn’t come directly from outside influences, that represents my own mind, or my musical partners’ minds, and not some current trend or culture. If I step back and try to push ideas into a music genre or not then it will lose what makes it special to me. Some things may come off as more experimental than not, but I want to stretch myself in all directions. I probably will make a simple indie rock album when that is what is flowing out of me.
I also always find myself pulled towards things that I barely understand. There is too much music that sounds like too much other music these days. Everybody and their brother is in a band, and there is a real problem with word inflation. I almost feel embarrassed to play guitar sometimes. Every single band is releasing their “magnum opus” every year. Every single album is “groundbreaking.” Every single track is “original” or “an original blend.” Does every group pretend they are the best so they fake it until they make it? Or are we all really that narcissistic? I don’t want to do any of these things. Why should I even strive towards something like that if “original” is already taken as a word? I need to internally explore the things I don’t understand about myself and regurgitate them through music. I need to make noises and combinations of notes that I personally have never heard before. And sometimes, I need to make familiar music too. Making music that is always outside the boundaries is still a boundary in itself!
For instance, if someone wants simple indie rock, we have that too already. Mind you, the sound quality is from our earlier self-produced works, but “indie rock” does exist within our realm as well. Search for “Photoperiodism” by PSEUDO/SENTAI, or the song “Goldfish Tree” and you’ll get what I’m talking about!
Another place where I get an interest in the experimental is that I have always felt like the odd person out in most situations. The things that naturally come out of me musically and socially are constantly on their own path without trying. All this music just sounds like our brains. I work a white collar job and don’t cover myself in tattoos or piercings, but there are plenty of tatted up wanna-be ‘rockstar’ people that I have ended up hanging out with that directly ostracized me and told me off for being too ‘weird.’ Not that I even give a half of a shit once I find out what kind of lame exists within them. I know plenty of other amazing people around the world willing to explore odd perspectives. What kind of ‘rockstar’ wants to be around only the familiar? I want adventure in my music, my friends, my life. I know there are millions of people in society that are weirder than they will outwardly admit, so why doesn’t music reflect that? Why are people fine with following LIL WAYNE or other radio hip hop artists saying they are Martians while being decently normal, but they don’t seek out the actual alien android hip-hop from the future coming out of DELTRON 3030?
I honestly could rant about this forever but I’ll spare everyone the trouble!
Speaking of Goldfish Trees, I just had a friend draw a Goldfish Tree for me made up of giant goldfish for our long developing Pseudocyclopedia
The goldish tree picture, by Grace Passerotti.
Oh, the flood of generic bands. How do you recognize a band with a signature sound then?
This is probably the hardest thing to do because there are plenty of amazing bands that sort of fit within the generic realms that still kick insane amounts of ass! You kind of just have to keep listening until something really hits you. I used to be the kind of person that would be a stickler for bands sounding truly like no one else until I just realized when choosing to hear other people’s art, I need to just listen to what I enjoy! I don’t have a problem with someone sounding generic if they are awesome, but I do have a problem if they call themselves original or groundbreaking. (Though sometimes that’s their PR companies fault and not their own.)
There’s a particular user list on metalstorm that I could probably use as an example. (Thank MetalStorm user LeKiwi for this list. He always seems like a great person that is supportive of underground music!) Here we have over 140 bands that make no money doing what they do. They are all experimental metal-ish bands. They are all creative in their own right, but even experimental music has its own form of generic. Once you listen to so many obscure bandcamp artists, you can start to hear who is really making something new and exciting and who is just riding on the coattails of other experimental artists. And sometimes a signature sound isn’t enough for a band to be awesome. I mean, there are plenty of bands that sound like no one else that are personally are not to my liking. It’s all such a difficult and long form process. But in the end, it’s definitely worth it, and all of these artists are worthy of enough attention to see if each individual person likes them. I have given every single artist on this list at least 5 to 10 minutes of my time, even if I didn’t like them.
What matters most is that the music responds to your mind, body, and soul at that moment and will stick with you forever. I might even get really excited about 4 or 5 new artists per week but only 1 of them will stick with me long after I stop listening. There is almost an infinite amount of music to explore anymore! We live in a time where the sharing of musical ideas is at a new height, and it’s pretty damn fun to take advantage of that! I am able to chase after artists that I feel are in a similar musical mindset as me and make easy friends around the world!
I’ll happily give you an example of an unknown band that has a signature sound and is totally awesome called LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS. They are a Chicago, IL band lead by Alex Perkoulup and are obviously here to mess up your browser history and get you arrested probably. Their music is absolutely disgusting, gorgeous, frightening, and pretty much perfect in every imperfect monstrosity possible. Imagine Magma meets circus pop and evil avant garde music like THINKING PLAGUE or Dave Kermen‘s 5UUS, etc. Alex has played with FLYING LUTTENBACHERS, CHEER-ACCIDENT, and many others. They have developed their signature sound but constantly feel like they are going to explode outside of it at any moment. Their live shows usually have more energy than most bands playing higher tempo music, especially if they are on a stage that can hold all the members! Definitely worth checking out for those that want to dive a bit deeper into the rabbit hole, and especially if you maybe want to feel emotions that you didn’t know you had!
Great, thanks! I’m really curious to see what you think of my friends’ act SEMANTIK PUNK (ex MOJA ADRENALINA) –
Woah! This is fucking cool. Haha. You know, reminds me of the Naked City influenced avant-punk… this band is especially effective when they get into a groove if that makes sense. Thrash about, thrash about, weird weird, GROOVE. And it makes the grooves so much more effective in a sense. Kinda like when Meshuggah pulls away from crazy moments and they all start playing directly together except this is all in a more punk-context but not really. zzz a and the middle to end of trezpak drapak are good examples of this.
The endless fading out drone guitars went on too long at the end but I don’t think I am inebriated enough to get into the drone. You gotta be in the drone zone for that! haha. I had an enjoyable time listening to it!
Here’s my favorite LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS track.
And then I actually have 2 friends that like SEMANTIK PUNK – This guy from England named Odio that goes by Twin and runs a couple weird music Facebook blogs, and then another friend named Jon who plays bass in the band BANGLADEAFY. They’re some good freaky fun music! Jon actually played bass on Bansheeface!
Music nerding out is the best nerding out!
Btw, I also love the artwork.
Yeah! Thanks so much!
Ok Greg, so one of the first things that come to mind when you listen to your newest offering is: where and when can I see these guys live? Can you help me out answer this question?
We were playing some shows in NYC and Columbus Ohio here and there, but some recent line-up changes have set us back on playing live for the moment. As much as we work to battle whatever forces of evil that may exist, it seems that one of our members had already succumbed to the ways of the world. The refusal to take responsibility for some of his actions cost the band more than just our live shows, though I’d rather not go into details at the moment.
You can check us out in the video below.
Part of the reason we are pushing ahead and doing some PR along with the resulting release of these albums cursed with turmoil is so other members can be found to fill the holes that have been left. In the meantime, there is no plan of slowing down at all from my perspective! We have another full length coming out next year and I’m currently working on another album. I have my chosen purpose in life and I will push forward no matter what gets in the way.
No European tours lined up for the coming months? :)
Hahah no! I wish. If we get the membership together and the support Europe would be probably one of the better places for us to go! Europe seems to support the arts on a much higher level than America does, and our quirky stuff already has cultural relation due to the much more energetic and odd cultural folk in many European countries. I’ve had some friends tour Europe and they said venues were much more hospitable, and that people got really excited about their music. I only hope we can be so lucky one day!
Not to say anything against American venues. For a specific example, I’m talking about my friend Jeff and his band LO-PAN playing in Europe. He said there were places that offered free food, and even free lodging! Hopefully the internet can help create even more connected tour networks to make it easier to hit the road and play anywhere people want! Sharing musical ideas on the internet is pretty cool, but it is usually more fun to see those ideas performed live!
No doubt! Fingers crossed for a European tour then.
The “Tsunambie” from the band’s track off their little Halloween EP, by Grace Passerotti.
Ok, so do you have any final thoughts you would like to air on anything we haven’t mentioned?
I’d say that we probably covered quite a few topics! I’m not sure I have much else to say… I’d definitely like to thank you for taking the time to talk with me, and I’d also like to thank anyone that made it all the way to the bottom of my seemingly endless ramblings, especially after making it through my horrible physics pun. And Karol, you’ve been a great host for my tangents. Keep IDIOTEQ going!
I should mention that our 4th full length, Bansheeface, will be available for purchase this October, and our 5th full length Enter the Sentai, should be out this spring!
Oh, and since you are from Poland, I want to point out my favorite 70’s Polish group, Czeslaw Niemen‘s Aerolit band! Marionetki, Aerolit, Katharsis, and the only song I’ve heard of Nieman’s Red album, the first track, are all freaking amazing!
Oh boy, you’ve just put some of the readers in rollercoaster ride of emotions. Czesław is a real legend and his psychodelic experimentation from the 70s fits this interview perfectly. Do you have your own local hugely respected legends worth mentioning here?
Wow! I knew that he was a well-known Polish musician but I didn’t know he held that high of status! I always respected those “East of the Wall” musicians from the 70’s because they were battling a major oppressive establishment that didn’t want to give them total freedom of expression.
Most of the widely respected local American legends are well known throughout the world like Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, or Hendrix, and most of my own mental 70’s legends like CERVELLO, SEMIRAMIS, IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, BUBU, OS MUTANTES, UNIVERS ZERO come from Italy or South America, but there’s one great older band I can mention from the US called YEZDA URFA! They are a complete unknown that played a weird type of American folk mixed with the kinds of sounds of GENTLE GIANT and YES. Among underground experimental music nerds such as myself, they are total American legends and completely blow KANSAS out of the water! Their music is outwardly American in how it sounds too. Due to commercial failure, I’m sure those guys are out there making a living doing something else, but I hope they know their music is still inspiring people today!
Artwork from an unreleased song, by Grace Passerotti.
Will it be always like that? Is there enough ideas in the world’s creative minds to fulfill the hungry souls of its citizens for another 100 years? What’s the future of experimentation in music?
Let me say, all this reflects my personal opinion, and if I seem certain about something that is the future, know that I’m not actually certain. I’m just speaking my mind which has resulted from my own limited personal perspective.
The world’s citizens, at least the ones integrated into our modern consumerist self-worshiping dystopia, are not really interested in creativity. Creative genius that sells is relegated to simply understanding what other people want to hear. Real genius is frightening to people. Maybe that’s what Andy Warhol was getting at. Simply repeating an already established cultural idea/thought is the ‘art’ of now! People want to take entertainment and use it to extend themselves as another form of ego. Music is little more than a conversation piece for plenty of folks. I have no idea how else to explain the music that sells millions anymore. I call it “WHAT ABOUT ME?” culture, and this “what about me” culture is burrowing into almost all aspects of modern life, at least in America. You guys can probably feel it starting to happen as well. So many songs exist for people to sing “I am God” “I’m the best” “Me me me me me me”
Creative people, and loving humans with real souls that choose an understanding and reflective perspective, are the ones that are hungry for ideas, and the creative ones have ideas of their own to work with! I think right now we are heading towards a cultural and creative zenith that has never been seen before. There will continue to be an almost seemingly endless number of amazing ideas. We will never run out of things to discover! How beautiful is that!? I’m still finding amazing new underground music from several years ago, even underground music from decades ago! I can hardly keep up with new releases! There is an immediate exchange of ideas that is getting more immediate every single day. There are positives and negatives to this, but it is pushing the musical zeitgeist forward.
With the positives obviously being that exchange of ideas, the negatives include the fact that some extremely creative thinkers are not able to make music for a living, due to the decreasing value of music both culturally and monetarily. They are stuck releasing an album every 1 to 2 or even 5 years, though some great artists are able to push by this with insane work ethic… but imagine how amazing people with that kind of work effort could be without a job holding them back. Not to say that I’m some sort of future creative thinker or anything, but I know if I had 2 months without a job I could write a full length by myself without any issues.
So… the future of music experimentation? Or the future of music in general… I’d say Robert Fripp was the guy to ask in 70’s about this but I don’t even know who I would ask right now. My vision of the future of music is music that isn’t even sound received by your ears. I picture music eventually that is able to be created essentially as illusion directly uploaded to your brain. Songs that you cannot hear playing in your brain… and obviously there will be people that take it the other direction towards purity. I can imagine music made of actual sounds being referred to as “retro.”
I also picture automation in the creation of music that will rival our own abilities to make music. Computers that write music themselves based off of complex programming. I imagine in 100 years humans won’t even write soundtracks to films anymore. Certainly pop music will work this way. If people didn’t need some sexualized object or “just like me” image, even singers would get replaced by computers. Isn’t that what most popular music is anyway? “Composers” would become more like program monitors that were able to move stylistic choices and slight changes to what programs created. Concerts have already been replaced by people that press “play” on a computer. I seem to know more people my age (like at my job, not music friends) that would rather go see a DJ manipulate sounds than see a group/band create and perform them.
And what about the creative people that could never be replaced by computers? Many of them will not see motivation to create, but the ones that put the need to create above anything else will be part of the greatest flow of ideas that we could ever conceive. Hell, there might be 100% mental digital jam bands created within the internet, so that anyone could play any instrument with anyone with anyone watching around the world. I think those that want to experiment and express themselves will be in both the worst possible position and the best possible position at the same time.
I think that is something that humanity will always be heading towards. The best and the worst at the same time.
Real genius is frightening to people
Thanks so much for your time Greg! Good luck with PSEUDO/SENTAI. Feel free to add your final words! Cheers from Warsaw!
And cheers from NYC! Much love to you and all your readers! Keep music alive!