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Interviewed by Frater R.F. Paul

 

•  What is the basic idea behind calling yourselves the Children of the Apocalypse?   Obviously this immediately conjures a Biblical reference.   Did you intend this, or does the use of the word "Apocalypse" mean something altogether different to you?  

We started doing music during the late 1980's in Los Angeles area tunnels and caves...   it felt very apocalyptic.   It fostered a feeling of leaving the city behind and creating something new.   Of course the name did stem from an interest in mythology and other literature such as the Bible. It was not intended to convey a "Biblical Apocalypse," but rather an "Ecological Apocalypse."  

•  When was the band begun and what motivated you to create it?  

The band began around 1989 and was inspired by intense outdoor and ritual experiences.   It has been a vessel for creating ritual trance states and combines an interest in deep ecology.   Through sound as a transmitter, we set out to convey very intense and powerful experiences recovered during excursions in the wild, mostly throughout California's diverse ecosystems.  

•  COTA's first recording, Ta'wil was released in 1997 .   What does the title mean?  

"Ta'wil" refers to taking something back to its source or to its archetypal meaning.   The title was an attempt to convey and remember our connection to the land and return to a balance with nature.   In the album's context, we intended it to provoke a feeling of returning to the garden; living as a part of nature.  

•  There seems to be a strong shamanistic interest running through the composition of both your music and the liner notes (for Ta'wil especially).   Can you further delineate this interest?   Is COTA still involved with organizations such as the Wildlands Project?  

We are interested in sound as a way to facilitate trance states.   Much of our pre-recorded experiments involved creating soundscapes appropriate for ritual work and meditation.   We are interested in combining certain elements such as percussion and organic tones to help rekindle ancient collective memory.   The drums and percussion used in shamanic rites awaken primal states of consciousness lost in the modern world.   We definitely identify more with tribal cultures and the way they function socially.   Our connection is to land and its currents.   As far as involvement with groups and organizations, for the most part, we've adopted a philosophy of non-affiliation.   We definitely are in step with some groups and ideologies, but currently prefer to allow the music to speak on its own.  

•  Speaking of your music, how would you best describe it?  

We like to describe it as music for a return to the garden or a post-industrial way of life--where technology and nature can reestablish their equilibrium.   It's purely an attempt to convey intense experiences both harsh and beautiful.  

•  Your latest recording, Marches and Meditations was released in 2002 on the Tesco label out of Germany.   How did you hook up with this label?  

We were looking for a label with some integrity after the "Ta'wil" release.   We had a bunch of material ready and started looking preferably outside the U.S.   American labels and sneaky major deals left a toxic taste in our mouths.   Markus Wolff of Waldteufel and formerly of Crash Worship, suggested Tesco to us.   It seemed like a good match and we have been happy with them and the quality of their work.    

•  What instruments were used on this recording?  

We are experimenting with many different ways of constructing sound with many pulses and rhythms.   Some of these were done with voice, and some of these were done with textures, and some of these were done with drums. It is a combination of organic and technological instrumentation that attempts to convey the electrical and thunderous impulses of earth.   The instruments used on this recording are:   Conch Shell/ Analog Keyboards:   SH-1, Juno 60/ D-4/ Voice/ Percussion/ Samples/ and Zils.   After "Ta'wil," we decided to launch another project of "acoustic" music.   Many people thought electric guitar was used on many of the tracks on "Ta'wil."- I only use acoustic guitar.  

•  Are you working on the next recording yet, and does COTA have any touring plans for this year (2004) ?  

Actually, we have a number of releases ready to go.   We already have a rough cut for the next COTA release, but first we will re-issue "Ta'wil" in Europe this year.   Our label Sonick Sorcery is producing a compilation due out in Spring 2004 entitled "Visions from the Garden."   The songs will draw inspiration from plant-derived psycho-actives.   We plan to debut The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness as well in 2004.   We've been writing this "acoustic" material for years...   it will combine vocals, acoustic guitar, viola, percussion, with sparse electronics.   Olga Goija, a Violist from Latvia, will be recording on this debut.   Currently, we're focusing more on studio work, but will play a few shows here and there.   We recently played a Summer Solstice show with Allerseelen, Waldteufel, and Cthonic Force in San Francisco.


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