Would you or not tell a bit about the fundaments of
the so-called "private life" that is yours,
like how old you are, if you've ever been a father,
what kind of job you have, how you feel towards the
neighborhood in the middle of which you live, how do
you feel towards life in general? Any specific/"exotic"
aspect as of living in New Zealand?
grew up on the outskirts of Chatsworth- a suburb of
Los Angeles, where in youth I played in the hills: hiking,
biking , building tree-forts, etc. Chatsworth is known
for a couple of things in particular: the porn industry,
the Manson Family, as well as home to the Chumash Indians-
so to a large extent I am somewhat the product of my
environment. Later in high school when I tired of the
L.A. club thing, I dropped acid and made my first recordings
here in the hills at night- it opened up a whole new
world to me. I met my wife there and we moved to the
bay area together in 1991 to attend schools, respectively-
we had tired of Los Angeles and the plastic reasons
for which people now tended to gravitate there. My father
had an impact on my interest on the outdoors and later
backpacking in particular- which later came to serve
as a tremendous inspiration for the music. Outdoors
in the wilderness I came to understand true freedom-
coupled with personal responsibility as well. My work
experience largely a combination of environmental and
adult related- which I find supplement the music appropriately.
Now back in Los Angeles, I'm constantly reminded of
the reasons I left: traffic, smog , self-absorbed cow-like
people, lack of community- it really is China Town.
While planning to move North again, I want to keep my
options open. This past year I have been fortunate to
travel much, and yes New Zealand would be an option
in the future for sure. I do hope to make my way through
Europe again. But as an artist, I have to wonder if
America has anything to offer me still- aside from the
land and my family that is. The last six years here
have left much to be desired. I am still searching for
home in many ways.
For how long have you been active as Children Of The
Apocalypse? Have you been involved in something else
before? Where were your main influences coming from
at the start of C.O.T.A.? Would you anywhere say that
you have reached "fulfillment" in case this
notion could fit with how you see things? Has your motivation
remained equally high and of the same nature since the
beginning? Do you see different periods in your musical
path so far?
I worked at Silent record with Kim Cascone during which
time Charnel Records expressed interest in releasing
our material- about 1993. 1994 we self-published our
first release "Terra-ist" and began performing
material live throughout the Western U.S. on a number
of small tours. In 1995, we performed as part of Ian
Read's Fire and Ice here in California. C.O.T.A. published
"Ta'wil" in 1997, through Charnel Music. But
this proved artistically devastating. Charnel, well
known for Crash Worship, had a distribution agreement
with Warner/ADA, and around that time I became aware
of the ugly realities of music, which was personally
very difficult We were sold out from under our feet
and still haven't seen a cent from that issue. Our friend
Markus Wolff of Waldteufel suggested we release through
Tesco Organization in Germany, which has helped us re-establish
Our music has progressed alt since then, as it should-
being able to adjust and change when needed. My interests
and goals have changed as well. I began an interest
in music playing guitar at a young age. For a long time
I focussed on the electronic elements in music. The
80's and 90's saw huge advances in technology that fueled
huge advancements in music. I found that limiting in
many respects, and since have returned to a more organic
approach. more recently I am very interested in really
playing all the music live again. It's just more enjoyable
Have you ever felt like being part of, if not something
as limited and abstract as a "scene", rather
a network of interconnected individuals sharing the
same interest for specific sonic fields and their surroundings?
What is it like nowadays? Do you think something has
changed between mid-80's, mid-90's and mid-00's, might
it be in terms of generating and sharing music and/or
of human relationships in general? Which would be the
persons/projects/labels/whatever you'd feel the closest
In the 80's something wonderful happened- the resurgence
of ideals, chaos magick, millennial psychosis.- in any
case good things were happening loose structures of
autonomous individuals started to seek out more intense
and meaningful modes of existence. Relationships as
well as music have sadly become much more mediated experiences
since the 80's and specifically with the advent of the
internet- conviviality has become nearly revolutionary.
I do see vast potential for such new explosions of the
human spirit. In the 90's we all left our collective
villages with the advent of home computing and online
networking. Our challenge now is maintaining the global
village- where new mythologies , hopefully a planetary
on can emerge. It really has to as a part of normal
evolution. Lets just hope we can survive the last gasps
of the "old guard" as they are - if they fuck
things up now on a global scale there won't be a forest
to return to.
Would you refer to a word such as "atmospheric"
for some (or most) of your work? Do you see any specificity
in the use of this word, as an "atmosphere"
is a particularly wide comprehension of both perceiving
and creating sound?
For most of our studio work so far i think "atmospheric"
or "sound environments" is appropriate . But
these terms don't encompass the material performed live
at least in recent incarnation. LIve there are element
of atmospheres for sure, but here our aim is for a "Live
and awake " experience. The material performed
is allot faster and more aggressive. The most I can
hope for in this realm of sound exploration is to give
the listener a sense of wonder- this to me is where
magick can occur. I'm recently enjoying the "post-urban"
phrase to describe what e do. It implies vision that
can extend and encompass many aspects of life.
Could you describe a bit the material that you use,
and the main phases of creation/elaboration of a piece
you go through? Are you interested in environmental/natural
sound sources, archaic/old electronics interfering with
new technologies, remaining as diverse as possible and
not fixed to one technique and process of confection?
I was always very interested in how the electronic and
the organic actually meet. We use a couple of vintage
Roland analog synths which produce the most amazing
tones- I didn't start as song writer but now enjoy a
more deconstructionist approach to music- removing the
obvious or starting with the unexpected. Art schooling
taught me allot about differing approaches to my art.
I may base an entire track around a tone, or an orchestra
of drums - it depends on the song. They are like life-forms
to me. Gardening is a good metaphor, you feed them what
they need and perhaps they can reach the sky. These
days, with technology and tools at our disposal for
making art, the real craft becomes knowing when to stop.
Are you concerned with inducting something on the side
of the listener, specific stimulus, consciousness, state
of mind,... ? Do you care for hypnosis? Have you ever
done live performances, might it be in front of a very
small audience of relatives and friends or in front
of a larger audience in more "mundane" circumstances?
Why (/not) playing live?
My initial interest in music started as a means to conduct
personal trance states for ritual use. This coupled
with my interest in psychedelics, myth, and art gave
me personal knowledge that could be accessed once there
once there- a conversation with the shadows if you will.
I found this information immensely powerful and transformative.
Ultimately we hope that people can come out and enjoy
themselves and at-least lose themselves for a short
time at-least- if they have a transcendental experience
, hopefully they will be inspired enough o pass it on.
All of our shows have been for a more intimate audience,
which is nice to see and feel what people are experience
But I really would like to perform to larger crowds-
say a couple hundred to a couple thousand to see how
the music effects people in larger groups. The only
thing I find mundane about larger audiences is actually
trying to book with some of these people who have no
contextual reference. We also do all of our own booking
which I personally don't like- if anyone wants to handle
this for us e would love to play more- Europe especially.
How big is the part of conceptuality, intellectuality
in your creative work? And how big is the part of instinct?
Do you have some sort of credo, philosophy prevailing
in C.O.T.A.'s expression? Would you call yourself "environmentalist"
What do you imagine death to be like? What are your
own feelings or thoughts over death, might it be your
own death, or others' deaths, or death in general? Would
you anyhow consider or even refer to an idea such as
not being able to get out of Los Angeles before carpet
bombing starts or sitting in traffic while the death-cloud
approaches??? The passing of flesh seems to be the time
when we remember death- but our action in life do transcend
death in the sense that long after the shell falls away
, the memories of the soul live on eternally. Remember
when my Grandfather passed, I was asked and honored
to read from Ecclesiastes 3,- the verse that recalls
that in life there is a time for everything under heaven.
When I had finished the minister commented in a sermon
that while the "sheep go to heaven , the goats
suffer immeasurable hell". This model for the "hereafter"
seems uselessly outdated, a sour lives should be measured
by the whole of our actions which can bring metaphor
and purpose to the living- what is really left but the
memories which is a sort of spirit...
What's in the pipeline for the coming months?
I wish we could get in all out in the next few months-
years seem to be more of the operating cycle. We have
a new C.O.T.A. album being finished up now,- it is the
follow up to "Marches and Meditation" but
will draw more upon the inspirations for "Ta'wil".
We are still playing with a title, but the album is
"Visions from the Garden" will be available
in Mp3 format October 31, 2006, with contributions by:
Scott Ferry, Belborn, C.O.T.A., Gydja, The Hybryds,
Magnetic Lucifer, Master Musicians of Hop-Frog, Not
Breathing, Natural Order, Nequaquam Vacuum, Phaul, Planetaldol,
Satyr Masterchasm, Sikhara, Sacrificial Totem, Sleighted,
and Xeno Volcano. The glue for this release deals with
the effects and musing on mainly organic psycho-actives-
from as subtle as Coffee to as Mind-Bending as D.M.T.
We want to make a print version as well, but the music
business is changing rapidly.
Our first acoustic release should be born in Spring
07 if all go well- I have been writing these guitar
based songs since before we played as part of Fire and
Ice in 1994. And hopeful that will land us in Summer
with more travels and shows to inspire and be inspired.
Any final comment?
We hope to make the trip to Europe for a series of shows,
so if you can help book this, please contact us.