AÑO: 5 | NÚMERO 52
The 13th U N A REV I S TA I M A GI NA R I A
EVI VINE - NEW ZERO GOD BLUME - TOM SURGAL DEAD GUITARS - PHONSECA CROOKED GHOST - PALIKI
NUMBER 52 STARTING 2019...
EL CAMINO DESNUDO CROOKED GHOST
ITALY CONTINUES TO MAKE ITS MARK ON MUSIC MADE WITH SYNTHESIZERS
[ Interview with Enrico Filisetti and Ivan Savino from Blume by Franco Colombo. Photographs: Claudia Lazzarini. ]
We had the pleasure of interviewing the trio of the beautiful Italian city, Milan, called BLUME. Since 2008 they have released three albums of tremendous sound quality with an air of synthesized pop romanticism, sharing the stage in Europe with great artists such as De / Vision, Covenant and VNV Nation among others. In their recent album called "Ashes", released in 2018 by WTII Records they are close to more aggressive rhythms close to the electro, oriented more to the dancefloor without losing its essence, and what in few occasions can be found in a group, a style that leaves its personal stamp. It should be noted that this album had excellent reviews around the world, and their corresponding review of who writes them, is available in issue # 48 of The 13th Magazine.
Hello Enrico and Ivan, nice to meet you. As the first obvious question, where does Enrico: Our name has been taken from the song Blume by the German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten. We’ve chosen this name also for his symbolic and allegorical meaning: Do you know Novalis and his Blaue Blume? Ivan: We wanted something immediate, able to sound nice. Moreover, we like the symbolic references to Romantic and Decadent literature, like the Flower of evil by Charles Baudelaire. His new album ASHES, which we reviewed in the previous issue, has a different sound to the two previous albums. What has led you to take that path? Why have they called it Ashes? Enrico: We wanted to evolve, we just needed to be more aggressive and modern. ASHES is a prophetic and provocative title, it describes that we’re living in an age of dissolution and decadence. Ivan: I needed new motivation and new sounds. We have tried to make our sound more aggressive without losing personality. Our style, including melodies, harmonies, atmosphere has remained very recognizable.
In the moments dedicated to the composition and production. What are the roles of each one? Enrico: I’m lyricist, songwriter and obviously the singer of the band. Ivan: I'm songwriter, I compose the music and take care of the electronic production. Daniele is our guitarist. Italy is a country with a lot of musical history. How is the scene related to the Synth / Electro in your country currently? Ivan: If you refer to the Gothic/Industrial/EBM music, practically speaking, it almost does not exist. There is a constant change in the music industry and new generations choose to consume everything from social networks. What is Blume's vision regarding record labels, CD / Vinyl physical editions, digital stores, shows? Enrico: I’m a big CD and Vinyl records collector: I admit I’m quite obsessed by this thing. On Blume influences. Currently what kind of music do you consume in terms of musical genres? Do you find attractive or surprising material regarding the current
Techno / Synth / Electro world scene? Enrico: I’m currently listening to a lot of old school goth, neofolk, industrial, metal, sleazy rock ‘n’ roll and prog rock or related. I’m not so much into the synth scene at the moment, as you can see. Ivan: What I’ve been listening a lot in these years are probably Hans Zimmer’s soundtracks.
To finish the interview, I want to thank you for your time and we greet you on behalf of the entire team that is Revista The 13th. Can you tell us about the plans for the rest of 2018 and what is coming for 2019? Enrico: Is staying at home reading books and cuddling cats a bad idea? Ivan: I love cinema, maybe I leave music and try be a movie director (joking).
[ Interview with Carlo Van Putten from Dead Guitars by Diego Centuriรณn. ]
THE PLEASURE OF EXPRESSING A UNIQUE MOMENT
11 There is a strange attraction that I have with the Dead Guitars, although today they are in "stand by", I always resort to some reason that leads me to speak with one of the members of this band.As an old Argentine slogan says "There is always real reason to toast". And in this case the real reason is music. They commemorate ten years of the album "Flags" of the Dead Guitars, an album that made me get to know them... a year before that they were the support act for The Mission, and this friendship crystallized in this album. To talk about this album I connected with Carlo Van Putten, the vocalist of the band.
Hello Carlo, a pleasure to talk to you again. This time we are summoned by this beautiful album "Flags". What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you mention "Flags"? Hello Diego, Thanks for your time man! Glad you asked me! The first thing that comes to mind is; “where has the time gone?” Or like Adrian Borland (The Sound) once wrote; “it’s all such a blur when time goes so quickly”. Second thing that comes up is; ‘It was a great time!’ Third thing…great band! But you asked for the first thing, didn’t you?
went straight into the studio with Rainer Assmann who had also mixed us live for the whole tour. Miss America was a one track song without vocal overdubs. I came into the studio, the band played the song and I sang it on tape, without rehearsals, without lyrics. I wrote the lyrics in the studio. Blue is a killer song Sven Olaf came up with. It’s one of my top 10 Dead Guitars songs. Isolation is an evergreen, a great combination of Wayne’s great contribution to my voice. I love it! The recording was an adventure, a trip on an ocean on a ship with a flag.
As I said in the introduction, I know them by this album, it is more, it was through some videos on YouTube of the concert in Barcelona 2008. From there I have been attentive to each publication of the band. What do you think about what I say about "capturing a unique moment"? In large part I say this for the guests that this album contains. I have always been a fan of ‘capturing great moments’. It’s something you have to do in life I suppose. All the shit in the world will happen anyway. You have to create a small little world with beautiful people, friends, families and off course creative moments with a band.
The pulse of the album is very interesting and denotes an exact balance in the climates of "Flags". How long did it take them to build the tracklist? You should ask the instrumentalist about that. Ralf & Pete always took care of that side of things. I was responsible for the beers ;-) I know they always spent a lot of time getting everything in the right order. It’s so important for an album to get that right. As always they did a great job!
How was the recording of this album? The recording of that album was great, because we got closer together as a bunch of friends after touring with The Mission. If you live in a night-liner for a month with crew and band you get closer anyway, or at least you have to do. After the tour we
I imagine that with this album some doors were opened. I think of it as a big change in the life of Dead Guitars. What can you tell us about this? Ok, I speak for myself ok? Not for the others. If I am honest with you, this was a great album! I think if an album is great it will find it’s way to the top anyway…. one fine day. I always tried to have other ambitions beside the music so as to stay independent. I wanted to enjoy the moment
of creating music and present it on stage. I’m a live singer, not a good studio vocalist. I know that sometimes people really start to appreciate the work of an artist when he’s/ she’s gone, or when the band splits up. After Adrian’s suicide I haven’t had those kind of ambitions to become successful anymore. I knew the price of success. Some people are successful during their lifetime, some after they are gone. As the Stranglers once put it; ‘when you’re alive they don’t care what you say, but everybody loves you when you’re dead’ and then they won’t stop talking about;‘The most underrated artist/band’. I would have wished it for the members of the Dead Guitars to be more successful. Ralf Aussem is such a brilliant guitarist, he could play in any great bandand should have been famous by now. Success would have killed me….years ago. I’m a happy man, I have been more successful than I ever thought I would be. I’m a happy & blessed human being who likes to sing & write…boring
eh?? ;-) If you had to create a top 5, of the songs in this album, how would they be and why of the election? 1. Isolation 2. Blue 3. Silver cross river 4. Miss America 5. Water colors What anecdote can you tell us related to this album? Yes, Wayne didn’t want to sing the line with “ambulance” in Isolation, because he thought I was mad and the line was a silly line ;-) I disagreed!!. I explained to him what it was about. He then liked it but still refused to sing it. I love the man, a man with principles! How long have you been without listening to
this record? I never listen to my own work, because I can’t stand my own voice. I prefer to listen to all the great stuff I haven’t had the time to listen to. To listen to my own work is like listening to yourself on an answering machine. Terrible!! Except if I have to, because I have to rehearse the songs at home. I sing along to the cd. I love to sing live on stage and in the studio I enjoy to sing spontaneously. I hate to listen to myself afterwards. I hate youtubevideo’s where I’m involved in. No matter if it’s The Convent, White Rose Transmission, Dead Guitars or in2thesound.
Do you miss playing these songs? I will always do! To finish ... How would you summarize the period of your life with Dead Guitars? One of the best things in my life…something to remember, something to be proud of! It is a pleasure to talk with you, I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to ask you these questions. Thanks Carlo! The pleasure is on my side Diego!
[ Interview with Tom Surgal by Diego Centuriรณn. Photographs: Peter Gannushkin ]
THE AREA OF IMPROVISATION
We would like to introduce readers to the first collaboration of guitarist Thurston Moore and drummer Tom Surgal, an album called "Klangfarbenmelodie... And The Colorist Strikes Primitiv". While this edition is a reissue of an album originally released on CD in 1995 exclusively in New Zealand, now this album is being presented for the first time on vinyl, with the addition of a second part of the song for which the album is named. When I say this was their first collaboration, thatâ€™s because Moore and Surgal have released several joint recordings since that time in the years following. We are all familiar with Thurston Moore, but now we have the chance to get acquainted with Tom Surgal. This may be a new name for many, but his years of experience in jazz and his own project White Out means there is much to explore.
First of all Tom, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today and ask you some questions. The first thing that Iâ€™m thinking about is that you have produced an album called "Argentina" by a New Zealand band called Thela. This fact is rather curious for me due to the origin of our Revista the 13th Magazin (weâ€™re also based in Argentina). Thanks for reaching out to me. I'm not detecting a question here, but suffice to say that Thela held up the release on that album for 3 months while they deliberated over what to call it. They ultimately decided on the rather cryptic name Argentina, then they broke up.
to Thurston. I've played drums since I was a little kid, but never performed much with other people. Thurston is the one who coaxed me into playing out. He put me together with Rudolph Grey, which resulted in Rudolph reviving his old group The Blue Humans and through Rudolph, I started playing with Arthur Doyle and later Charles Gayle. I would then go on to cofound White Out with Lin Culbertson around the time Klangfarbenmelodie was recorded.
How did you and Thurston initially connect with one another and come to collaborate? Thurston and I were and continue to be the best of friends. We'd been tight To begin with, let's go back to the for years before we ever played a note beginning. Please tell us a bit about of music together. It was only natural your experience in the jazz realm? that once I started playing out that we Not to get get too semantic, but I prefer would end up performing together. to use the term my friend Evan Parker utilizes to describe the music we play What do you remember about the as Avant-Garde improvisation, for performance of the music featured the same reasons i wouldn't dub the in this recording and about this parmusic of ensembles like Gruppo di ticular show? Improvvisazione Nuova Conssonanza Absolutely nothing. We've played countless club dates over the entwining or MEV jazz. In terms of performing, I owe that all years, only the festival gigs in exotic
locales like Mexico City, Switzerland, Austria and Canada stand out. Or our recent 3 night stand at The Stone in December, where we were joined by Lin Culbertson, William Winant and John Zorn. I see you released this album through Glass Modern Records, the label run by David Barker. How did this reissue become possible? Can you say anything about its remastering for vinyl? I have no idea and i'm yet to hear it. This new edition includes "Klangfarbenmelodie... And The Colorist Strikes Primitiv Pt II". Why was it not originally included in the first edition back in New Zealand so many years ago? This is the first I've heard of this. Tell us about your composition of
the the music on this album and your collaborations that followed with Thurston? Has it always been impromptu experimentation? Does this work differently for your White Out project, in which Thurston also collaborates with you? I work exclusively in the area of improvisation, it's all one continuum. I know you also both worked with Beck on the album "Kill Any / All Spin Personnel" (2000). What memories do you have of this experience? That gig I remember. Thurston just ran into Beck on the way to the show and dragged him along. I remember Beck kept putting me in a head lock while i was trying to play. Talk about adverse circumstances. The show ended with Beck disassembling my drum kit , piece by piece until I was left on stage with nothing to play. My friends all congratulated afterwards, telling me you that you really know you've arrived when
Rockstars start breaking down your To finish, thank you for answering these questions. If there is anything gear for you. that I have not asked, perhaps youâ€™d like to share something with our What are you planning for 2019? My documentary Fire Music, executi- readers? ve produced by Thurston, Jeff Tweedy Just big ups to all the greats I've had and Nels Cline, with an original score the pleasure of working with over the by Lin Culbertson, recently premiered years: Nels Cline, Jim O'rourke, Mike at The New York Film Festival. We are Watt, Bill Nace, Richard Edson, Lin in the process of expanding that cut Culbertson, Arthur Doyle, Charles Gayle, William Winant, Rudolph Grey and presenting it in a fuller form. White Out is also working on a new al- and of course Thurston. bum, which will be our 8th release to Thank you, Tom! date.
El Camino Desnudo
By rubĂŠn Torres
They invited us to listen to Cooked Ghost for the first time and on the first listen we knew that we would love their album Skeleton House because it sounds incredible from the beginning, from Body in star to the last song that bears the name of the album Skeleton House. The whole album is a journey to the modern sound of a modern artist, there is no way to get rid of the here and now, to think in retrospect, of course there is a lot of music from previous eras, because music is in itself an adventure towards the knowledge of other sonorous worlds, past, present worlds and the strength of the musical future ... Crooked Ghost is undoubtedly a band that moves us and leaves us wanting a lot more of Skeleton House, its second full-length, which is in and of itself a dark and hazy dreamlike landscape, of unshakable and exuberant melodies, of sober lyrical naturalness that It deals with issues such as addictions, traumas, losses ... that happens to us and we do not know how to externalize it, but that nevertheless there is always music to explain it and feel identified, like ART, or like the music of Crooked Ghost where we recognize ourselves, and leave us and make us feel less lonely in a world that is turning into bitterness, into torment ... but we save the songs of Crooked Ghost that lets us be at least eight beautiful songs a little happier... Crooked Ghost was formed in Seattle in 2013. It was the acoustic side project where Ray Clark, initially, channeled songs that did not fit with his other bands, but that quickly became the backbone of his creative energy. Ray soon escaped the saturated musical scene of Seattle to immerse himself fully in the creative city of Asheville, North Carolina. We speak with Ray Clark who is in charge of the band, to learn more about CROOKED GHOST and, of course, about their latest album, Skeleton House, how they are leading their lives on stage, their projects, their appearance in their own compositions. .. and other emotional issues that appear in the art as distinctive as what they chose, MUSIC
[ Interview with Crooked Ghost by RubÃ©n Torres. Photographs: Rome Widenhouse. ]
FROM EUPHORIA TO AFFLICTION. (A TOUCHING TRIP ...)
You have just released your excellent album ‘Skeleton House’, which has caught the attention of the press and listeners around the world. We know that this project was born from a bunch of songs that did quite fit into other projects. How did the thenSeattle-based Crooked Ghost become Asheville, NC based and who are the members today? Thank you, that record means a lot to us. Back then it was just me and an acoustic guitar, desperately trying to pick apart all the songs that never fit with my old band. It was pretty lonely at first, but I just couldn't leave the songs alone. I called it Crooked Ghost, but had no real intention of being in another band or performing again. I grew tired of the big city and moved to Asheville with Chris Saldin who started playing bass with me. We met drummer Jon Wyatt and officially brought Crooked Ghost to life as a 3 piece in 2016. We have since added Charles Reed on 2nd guitar and Alex Cannon on keyboards. In 2017, you released your first LP ‘Strange Burial Rituals’. Today seeing what happens with this new album has been fun. Could you have foreseen what would happen with ‘Skeleton House’ when you first began this project? What are you feeling now? Making the first album was so cathartic for me, I only knew that I wanted to keep doing it again and again. Skeleton House is such a deep and dark album, I wasn't quite sure what to expect or how it would be received. It's both shocking and extremely touching that it has received such praise and has been played around the world. We're very grateful that people have been enjoying something we put so much of ourselves into.
Has your recording process always been the same – I mean, were your two albums produced in the exact same way, or was there some experimentation or considerable changes in your approach to things this time around? We love to experiment and try new things in the studio, I feel we learn so much each time we make an album. We recorded both albums at the same studio with the same producer, so that much has been the same. I definitely experimented more with effects on this album. Skeleton House is our first record as a 5 piece, a nice change from our previous dynamic. I did all the guitars and keyboards myself on the first album, so it was refreshing to be able to focus on just my voice and guitar parts while the others composed their parts. Were your band members all involved in other projects previously. With that mix of music and elements, would you say they all fit well within the musical world of Crooked Ghost? Most of us have had various projects over the years. Myself a vocalist for heavymetal bands, Charles was in a psych-rock band, Jon had several experimental Indie projects and Alex secretly makes brilliant chip-tune electronic under an alias that I only just recently discovered. Chris had never played in bands before but has turned out to be a fine bassist! This is a great line-up, we connect so well musically and we're all great friends. What or who would you say your influences are? I assume they come from different musical points, literary and perhaps something else even? All of the above, really! I'm influenced by so many things. Artists like Frida Kahlo, who turned her pain into beauty.
you’d prefer be left to listeners and music critics? I often find that to be the most difficult question to answer, and perhaps there really isn't a proper answer. It's fun to think about, though. I think post-punk is mostly fitting for us, as we do have a darker sound with a driving punk energy. We also have a How would you say your sound and dream-pop like softness and etherealness style has been affected by your move to a lot of our songs, so it's hard to say for from Seattle to the creative city of certain. I call it dream-punk because that Asheville, North Carolina? seems to make the most sense to us. The Crooked Ghost sound has definitely become more polished and refined over Returning to that tremendous album time. It started off much more abrasive and called ‘Skeleton House’, this is a twojagged, but the edges have since smoothed part album - one that is more luminous over with the addition of instruments like and one that is not. But this is also a the keyboard as a backdrop. We're always conceptually dark and nebulous album, evolving with exuberant melodies and sober lyrical naturalness, addressing topics Your sound has been described such as addictions, trauma and loss. as post-punk, power college rock or Would you say that is accurate and is dark indie. What genres do you feel that what your album title is referring comfortable describing your own to? music as being? Or is’t is a question Thank you. That is absolutely accurate. Performers like Siouxsie Sioux and Klaus Nomi who really pushed the envelope of what was expected of them. Various authors and poets, people I've met, places I've been, things that I've experienced in life and in dreams. Punk has definately been a big influence on us.
Somebody I loved died in a fire and I had a lot of darkness inside me. I wanted to create light from that darkness, and to me, Skeleton House represents resilience and inner strength. Surviving something catastrophic and finding strength through pain. We love Crooked Ghost and feel you share remarkable similarities to other bands like Muse (with a similar voice to the falsettos of Matt Bellamy) and even a Spanish artist named Enrique Bumbury (Heroes del Silencio). Do such comparisons bother you are are you indifferent to this kind of pigeonholing? Thank you very much! I am familiar with Muse, but I can't say I've ever really
given them a proper listen. I do find the comparison flattering. It's always interesting to me to know who people think I sound like. I will have to check out Heroes del Silencio. To close, we’d like to know if you’ve heard of any South American or Latin American bands or artists, or if you’d like to tell us about anyone’s music in particular? We played a couple shows with Cristy Road and her band Choked Up. She is Cuban-American and absolutely amazing, totally on fire. I would love to be more familiar with South American bands. Thank you so much Ruben Torres and Revista The 13th Magazine for interviewing us!
[ Interview with Matthew O'Connor from Phonseca by Benjamín York. Photographs: Sarah Davis. ]
I’M ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THAT SUNSET!
Phonseca is a project of the city of Bristol, of environmental and electronic music that hides the pianist and composer Matthew O'Connor. This project will release its debut album on February 15 and will be called "Between A Dream". We have the opportunity to ask Matthew questions, whom we thank for this possibility that he offers us.
Hi Matthew, first of all thank you for agreeing to answer our questions. Tell us ... How, when and why the idea of creating music under the name Phonseca was born. It came about quite naturally as a progression from playing synths in local bands and i started composing my own material which didn’t really fit into a band set up. The time was right to take the wheel and do my own thing. Speaking strictly of the sound, and playing with the idea that in electronics it would seem easy, and since I know that it is never easy to compose. How is the writing process of the songs? It takes me a long time but you have to keep writing and I have my own quite high quality threshold so obviously everything I write won’t make it onto an album. I always write instrumentals first then if I feel anything needs vocals I write the lyrics and vocal melody later which is why some of them have very unconventional structures like Wait For Me, the chorus only happens once at the beginning and others have incredibly long middle 8’s etc. Of course knowing you have a great vocalist helps a lot too because you definitely wouldn’t want to hear me sing! Your right it is very easy to create music with electronics and lots of people do it but something with resonance takes a lot longer and a bit more thought. I can hear the laziness in some electronic
music which is a shame. The album is very crystalline, beyond the sonority, it has a magical radiance. Was the idea to create these climates of sunsets? Because there are times when everything seems very small and within that smallness, there is a whole world of sonorities. That’s a great description, thank you very much. I really appreciate it when people have listened to the album. Funny you mention sunsets as I was absolutely obsessed with Jose Padilla’s Cafe del Mare series of compilations. They are a big influence on me, even in my piano playing. I’m always looking for that sunset! I was definitely trying to create images with the music, certain scenarios which is why people have picked up on the similarity to film scores etc. I like space in music, you don’t always need much in there. Didn’t Jonny Marr say once that most guitar solo’s just sound like they can’t find the right note. I love that, it always stayed with me. You have included a version of a New Order song and we know that it is one of your influences. Why did you choose this song? And taking advantage of the mention of one of your influences, what are your influences in this 2019? I chose Bizarre Love Triangle because I was intending to do a piano/vocal version of it and we may still do that live. Then it changed to a very
minimal ambient version which developed again to what it is today, somewhere between Eno and The Pet Shop Boys! At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Sakamoto still, a sync is brilliant. Nothing has grabbed me yet this year but it will for sure, it always does. I really like Soak - Knock me off my Feet. Such a great pop song and a great voice. I’ll be checking out more of that. Tell us about the musicians who participate in that debut album. I had a very clear idea of the type of vocalist I needed, I already knew a lot of singers but I didn’t feel their voices were completely suitable and I wanted to use someone who I’d never worked with before which was actually proving really difficult, then Kristina came literally out of nowhere singing at a wedding fair I was at and I knew instantly she was suitable for lots of reasons. A very easy and naturally creative person to work with who is happy singing outside of her comfort zone too and also has great input.
I knew Rob anyway and when I needed a lead bass solo for a track he agreed to do it. I’d already asked a few friends but it never happened. I knew Rob had played bass before so I gave him the guide bass part and his brief was “Make it sound like Hooky” He did exactly that and actually gave me two incredible parts that I couldn’t decide which I preferred so I used all 3 including the guide. That’s what’s on Maybe Tomorrow my original and Rob’s other 2 and it works really well. How do you plan to take it to live? Do you have a band to accompany you? No there won’t be a band. I never understand why electronic acts do that, when they do it loses the essence of what the music was about originally. It’s going to be mostly me and then Kristina singing on the tracks with vocals and I want a full set of visuals for every track too. I want the audience to feel like they’ve been on a trip like all great gigs or films I’ve watched. To finish and thanking you for the time spent
answering us ... What are your plans for this 2019? My pleasure. More gigs hopefully. The album launch gig has sold out which I’m blown away by and i definitely want to tour in Europe too and further afield if possible so if any bands out there want a support I’m in! I always wanted a live set up that was easily portable and now I’ve got it which is great. More writing as always and maybe some additions to the studio. Thank You Matthew!
[ Interview with Evi Vine by Diego Centuriรณn. Photographs: Paul Harries and Steven Hill ]
MELANCHOLY AND BEAUTY
Evi has been crossing our path for a long time and there was always the prospect of an interview. Now came the moment and taking advantage of the release of his new solo album, we communicate with her to learn a little about her work and, as it should be, her new album Black Light White Dark, which will be released on February 22 by Solemn Wave Records . With you, Evi Vine Hi Evi. It is an honor to be able to interview you. I have been following you for a few years now, when you were working with Peter Yates on his albums and solo singles. Of course I realize you have also recorded albums together, such as "2010" and "Treffen", among other collaborations. But let’s get to the point – a new solo album of yours is coming and we’ll focus on Black Light White Dark, which will be released this February.
as peters band with his project YATES for a number of shows …
I do not know if you are a person who reflects on your past. If you had to look back at the people with whom you have collaborated (The Mission, Peter Yates, Beauty Chaos and surely I have forgotten something else), what do you feel? With some of the projects it seems unreal & connected to another life … recording with Grame Revell for example … but very proud as well To begin with, how do you feel in we have worked hard over the years these final days before the release so to be recognized by musicians we respect is a good feeling of the album? It’s the culmination of 2 years work so Simon Gallup of The Cure has I feel really proud of the guys but the never ending cycle of self doubt kicks participated on your new album (and in so trying to keep a balance is really to a large extent he’s the reason our important our only hope is that we have magazine is named as it is). How did made something people can connect you manage to get him involved in with its not all going to be an easy listen this recording? The link between Simon & I has been … but I have found nothing in life is so there for a few years … its always easy. about timing … of course there are so I've already mentioned Peter Yates many commitments for the Cure & it (Fields of the Nephilim) and I’ve wasn't possible for our 2nd album but noticed he's back on this album. How the stars aligned last year a date was long have you been collaborating set we are so privileged with each other? You have already released two Many happy years … since we met at Elektroworks at NFD gig we have a singles ahead of this album. Do strong bond musically & as friends … you have something special for the it’s how it should be … as I’m sure you presentation of the album? We know know peter has recorded and toured you will also be playing a "sold out" with Evi Vine & we have also performed show in Paris with Brendan Perry.
Do you have anything special But we'll talk about that in the next prepared for the show on February question. We are looking to do a special event 6? The set Steven & I put together but it could be at any time in the year … will hopefully create a space for the This is your third album and you audience to lose themselves in. We received very good reviews for your are used to playing as a 4 piece at two previous works. It seems to me the moment, so it will be finding way that, in this work, you have reached to represent the music again as a duo, an exquisite compositional maturity. which means we can approach the In songs like "Sabbath" or "My Only songs in a different way. Son", we can see an almost perfect What plans do you have for after depth, to name just a few songs. You can see composition work that releasing Black Light White Dark? We have some festivals in Europe is arduous at most or, at least, very thoughtful. How long did it take for through the spring and summer but you to compose and record this our main objective is to head back into the studio and carry on recording. We album? Thank you … that means a lot … have the bulk of the ideas/sketches the writing recording process was brewing for the next album, so we will more fluid in a way … 4 energies in start tracking in April, which is exciting a space crafting creating together it to get back into the studio, it’s where makes a huge difference … the first 2 we feel at home. albums were recorded at home it can be isolating.
[ Interview with Mike Pougounas from New Zero God by Diego Centuriรณn. Photographs: Elias Moraitis and Polytimi Charami ]
WE HAVE FOUND SOMETHING THAT MAKES US PROUD.
We have not heard from the band New Zero God for a long time, directed by Mike Pougounas (who was the leader of the gothic rock band The Flowers of Romance). We know that they are about to release a new album and we communicate with Mike, who sent us the new album and we decided to do this interview in which we talked about the album and other things. With you Mike Pougounas!
To start ... Where does the name of the band come from? Our former drummer was watching a music video one day and he saw these three words “New”, “Zero” and “God” flashing behind the band, in three different scenes… They were now all together, they were just words thrown here and there… you know…
a specific area. I am pissed even for having all these different languages on the planet… There are some many things we miss because we need to translate what another person is saying… The depth of one’s humor, the power of grief, the excitement of knowledge and experience… Why should we do that with music? So, since Circus of Tortured Melodies The new album of the band is is a concept album, we wanted to use coming ... What feelings do you different music genres as a background have at this moment to weeks of the in order to boost the power of the lyrics… release? I am glad that, after two years of The Internet has come to demolish working on this album we finally came up with something that makes us proud. this one of the borders and language We feel anxious about the release and barriers between human beings. If a first review that already came out we think about it, you have a radio from pre-listening, calls the band more program that can be heard from here to mention a point in favor of new mature than ever. technologies in these times. And I've had the opportunity to listen to today the possibility of knowing the album and I think it's the band's what is happening in, for example, most eclectic album. There is a wide Japan or Russia, at a musical level, variety of sounds, which makes it is wonderful. And radio programs much more attractive. It is an album play a very important role. What that will not fail to surprise each continues to surprise you today in this new world? song.Do you see it like that? Mostly the negative things surprise Yes, it is difficult to pigeonhole this album but I think this is what makes me. How we managed to bring it interesting. There shouldn’t be any ourselves back to the dark ages with all borders in music, to limit a musician in this racism and fascism and hate. How
we managed to take a technological achievement like the internet and use it to spread lies instead of educating ourselves… These are the walls and borders we built in our heads, unfortunately… It is surprising how much we harm ourselves as intelligent beings… Radio programs play a very important role as much as magazines too. Culture is a good thing no matter how hard some people fight it… Returning to the album ... we talked about the eclecticity of the new work. Tell me a little about the concept that the album hides. Since the recession I noticed that lots of people around me started poping anti-depresant pills. The shrinks, the psychologists are making good money since 2008 when Greece entered the crisis. The pressure was becoming unbearable, with the media talking about a total collapse, taxes rising, people going out of business, banks confiscating houses and crowds fighting with riot police. I stopped counting
people that committed suicide when the number reached 3000… Weallhavepanicattacks…somesuffer from claustrophobia or agoraphobia… I asked myself if this happened because of the conditions that we live in NOW or was this always happening to us and it was just… you know… one thing too much? This is what this album is all about… I started writing it right after we were done with “Short Tales & Shadows” (another nightmarish album – lyrically…) “Short Tales & Shadows” (the CD version) ends with the sound of ravens in rain, referring to The Raven by E.A. Poe (“Short Tales & Shadows” was opening with the song “King Pest” inspired by a short story by E.A. Poe). “Circus of Tortured Melodies” has a Raven standing in front of the masked man on the cover of the album. It is referring to our “Short Tales & Shadows” album. After a while, I figured out that it is not just the recession. It’s our way of life that destroys us… Plus of course, all the crap we add to it… We pretend in order to fit in these
in Greece and thinking about our country, Argentina. We have many points in common. Are you interested in knowing the politics of other countries? Of course I am interested in knowing the politics of other countries because I believe the plan is the same for all the countries in the world. “Circus of Tortured Melodies” opens with the track “What’chaGonna Do?” and describes what happens in my country but in other countries also… Could be Argentina, could be England, USA or any other country. What we say and what we do is controlled. It is obvious that the system needs us just to consume. Buy goods and consume. Work and make enough money to buy goods and have some money to survive. Everything is well planned, making people stupid with TV shows and poisoning people to buy goods that can’t be played. I mean… why do I feel a strong need to buy an expensive car when I can’t pay off the bank loan for my house? Why are there all these soap operas on the TV, showing to poor people shows that the characters are rich people that spend money, live an expensive life in luxurious houses…? The people that watch these shows can’t afford this way of life… why is the TV showing it to them? It is a brain washing… And it is interesting because they found a way to keep people calm… You see these stupid signs on the internet saying “Keep Calm and… do this or do that”. Why to keep calm? I don’t want to keep calm… most of the people of my generation lost their jobs because of this recession and they won’t find a job in their lives. Society is treating them like lazy people. With an unofficial number of 30% unemployment, they can’t be You talk about the political situation lazy, can they? So, what the rest of
numbers of people that we live with: we pretend we are someone else to have friends, we pretend to keep a job we don’t like, we pretend to be with a person of the opposite sex that we don’t agree… We hide our dreams to make our parents proud and make THEIR dream our reality. We even throw away our dreams to make our families survive… We also sell our dreams to the highest bidder cause this is what the capitalist system is teaching us and we become so confused in the end cause we end up with a life that is not our own. We are not ourselves when we should be… We want to be someone else… Do you see a psychological problem there? Good, because now we are about to give Earth a final blow and go to next planet with this kind of “logic”… This is what our album is about… I sat down with Andi Sex Gang and we had this chat and I told him “its madness mate, it’s totally mad… this life is a fucking circus…” and we ended up with him opening the album as the ringmaster of the “circus”… Of life in other words… I believe it is obvious why we play different styles of music BUT to be loyal to the album: there is no guide in life… There is no “you have to do THAT in life”… Fuck that… We came in this shape to live and enjoy our lives... Play and eat and sleep and fuck like the animals do… We are animals. We are part of the nature but we pretend (again) that we are NOT. That we are something higher above… Well, no… If you think we are smarter than the animals, take a good look to the planet and you will see what we’ve done with it… We should all be free to enjoy life and thank nature for being here… That’s all…
the working people are doing? They keep working without getting payed… The boss owes those 3 or 4 months of payments but they say nothing because they don’t want to lose their jobs… they will be labeled as LAZY people… You see what is done here? So, a sign shows up saying “Keep calm and go to work”… don’t revolt… shut your mouth… And some rights that took years for people and workers to gain, are suspended by the state. Now you can lose your job without compensation, legally… Is this happening in Argentina? Cause it is happening here… And the sign says “Keep calm and…” well no… I don’t want to keep calm… You are taking away my rights… Corporations poisoning the earth and the food, saying that “water is not a human right”… are you crazy mister corporation man? Sure, I am interested in politics… We all have to
be… How does Andi get involved with the band? New Zero God opened for Andi Sex Gang in 2016 and we became good friends ever since. Andi’s performance has something very theatrical. One day we went to the ancient theater of Epidaurus and he started performing at the center of the scene. This is when it hit me and I asked him to do the ringmaster for the opening of our album. Sex Gang Children’s manager, Lara McElligott also appears in two different tracks of the album… There are a few more guests on “Circus of Tortured Melodies”… Michael Clayton, is doing the backing vocals on the track “Be Yourself (‘Cause Everyone Else Is Taken)” and also reads poetry on
“Charlie Boy”. He is the singer of the English Goth band Dark Horizon. Shaun Histed-Todd also says a few words on “Evolution”. He used to be the roadie for the English band Nosferatu but now he is the owner of Wicked Spins Radio and promoter of the English festival “Alice’s Wicked Tea Party”. There are also two Greek musicians, the keyboard player GEORGE KATSANOS FROM THE BAND Incirrina, a dark minimal electro band that I appear as a special guest at their gigs and that you should check their album “8:15” on Bandcamp. And finally, the best harmonica player in Greece, Nikos Skiadopoulos that plays with lots of bands mainly blues rock… Now that the disk is finalized. When listening again. Do you think there is something that you would have recorded in another way? No, I don’t do that. After a record is
done, I won’t listen to it for ages. I move on… We put around 6-700 hours in the making of this album. Thinking that you would make something different is a never ending process… Do you prepare a special show for the presentation of the album? Yes, we are going to have a special show on Saturday 13 April at a venue called Lost N Found. We haven’t given any electric show since last summer. We started touring from December 9 playing an acoustic set of songs, featuring track from The Flowers of Romance, New Zero God and some covers too. Guitarist AkisNikolaidis and bass player Michalis Semertzoglou are playing acoustic guitars and drummer John Psimopoulos is playing a snare drum while I do the singing… That’s our acoustic set. So, on 13 April we will return to the electric
sound. We will have a part in the middle of the show when we will leave the electric organs down and do four acoustic songs and then we will grab the electric instruments and continue with the electric show. We will have a special guest for that night, his name is YiannisDrenoyiannis, a historic music figure for the Greek underground rock scene of the 80s. We will close the show playing a cover version of a track from his old band Anti Troppau Council and we’ll cover the Stooges classic “Down on the Street”… I feel it is going to be a special night... What plans do you have for this 2019? We have the album "Circus of Tortured Melodies" to distribute and promote.It is available as a vinyl LP and on Bandcamp. There are no other plans but playing live constantly. There is no plan for any European gigs as we speak but for sure we plan a lot of Greek shows. Last year we've been on the Greek national TV channel 3 for a special New Zero God live show for one hour... A Greek magazine named Merlin's Music Box asked us to make a video of our acoustic set. This means we will have 3 different New Zero God available on TV... We will also have a special mini show, just me and our guitarist to record it playing live in a record store. 3 or 4 songs. That's all... Same record store did it with Therapy? What expectations do you have with this new job? With this new album we expect for people to find solace within themselves for whatever demons and burdens they may carry. To know they are not alone in the
world and hopefully, should they feel despondent, that they will reach out for a helping hand… To end with this wonderful talk ... Is there anything you have not asked that you want to tell us? ArsNocturna is a Greek publishing company that published a couple of months ago a book with 15 short stories influenced by songs of the Cure. One of them is mine and I intend to translate it in English and make it available on newzerogod.com or our bandcamp page. The publisher encouraged me to publish a book of my own and this is what I am doing lately I am writing a novel… The lineup of New Zero God on the album is: Mike Pougounas [vocals, keyboards, tambourine]; AkisNikolaidis [electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals]; John Psimopoulos [drums, backing vocals]; Michalis Semertzoglou [bass guitar, electric guitar, 12 string guitar, backing vocals] and Babis Efthimiou. Babis was the drummer of The Flowers of Romance from 1987 to 1992 and he is recording the drums for New Zero God also does the programming and he is taking care with me the production of the latest albums “Short Tales & Tall Shadows” and “Circus of Tortured Melodies”. The photo on the cover of the album belongs to Costas Papapanos, who is very talented and we used another photo of his for our previous album… Anna Psarreas is taking care of our official site, www.newzerogod.com and we would encourage everyone to drop us a line… Thank you very much for this interview for your wonderful magazine. All our best to you and to your readers
[ Interview with Mariano Felisio from Paliki by BenjamĂn York. Photographs: Paula Sunday. ]
A SPIRITUAL CHANGE
A few weeks ago I found some loose songs that anticipated a record by an artist I did not know, and the name of the project "Paliki" also caught my attention. I contacted Mariano and we talked about his first album "Radiornot". Next a new artist from Italy to discover...
Hi Mariano! To begin tell us about you and your previous band. My name is Mariano Felisio, I'm from Caserta, a town near Naples. I played there with many bands... in 2007 I moved to Rome and formed my most important band, called Lads who lunch... we played in Italy and Europe for 6 years, more and lessâ€Ś and released 2 EP and 1 official album. 2014 lads who lunch go over.. I stopped playing for almost 2 years... I needed to rediscover the joy of making music. I was on vacation on Greek island called Kefalonia... for two times... that beautiful place inspired very much.... It started everything again from there... where I recorded many sounds of nature... sea, cicades, thunder etc ... so I decided to work on new tracks... just me and my instruments. So new ideas was growing into something good... and I realized that was the time to make a new record... and I called "Paliki"... (a region of Kefalonia island). I produced and recorded each song on my own... I realized that I wasn't bored about music, I was bored and angry for other reasons... bullshit in music had stressed me... So finally I said: ok it's not the music and the sacrifice... it's the difficulty and the mess in world music that Iâ€™m tired of. The rest it's in the album RADIORNOT. I joked with words "ready or not " and "radio", cause you can hear radio noises taken from radio transmitter all over the world... I had fun with that.
a spiritual change? I can say yes, it was also a change in spirit for me. I mean I changed my behavior. And your look at the music that used to bore you or make you angry? Both. Before Paliki, in the last years with lads who lunch , we were always thinking about the possibility of success and how to make a song in certain ways instead of follow our inspiration... that's bad, it doesn't have to became your primary way to make music or art in general... It makes sense? Sometimes musicians get lost in formulas, without thinking, we are people who change. You went from being in a band to deciding what and how to do it yourself. Did it happen naturally or did it have to be rediscovered? It have to be rediscovered. Absolutely. In between... the rights in between you know. I mean... I don't like to make very hard listening music; neither makes a song for stupidâ€™s. Specially in times like these, I want to play what I like. This is my idea of independence and DIY music.
The Internet has opened a very large door to many new bands and daily publications. How do you handle these days of the "hyper exposure" to "sell" to Paliki? The most important thing for me is spreading Paliki's music through channels like YouFor what you tell us "Paliki" was a rebirth Tube... and let the people hear my songs... of your desire to make music. Was it also Today is so easy to put your music on the net,
but it's very hard to sell it.
We're just two on stage. Me on vox guitar and percussion. And a bass player. And proAnd with respect to sound. Without gramming. going into the hateful labels. How would you describe the sound of the songs, beAre you working on the second album? cause they are quite eclectic and do not In what state is that work currently? worship a single (reasonable) patron? 90% completed. I have to record some voiI called Paliki's sound "post wave". It takes ces and guitars... then mastering of tracks. from post punk stuff, but also from new wave Almost done. and more. RADIORNOT is dedicated to my first daughter Camilla, the next one's dedicated to my You are currently promoting "RADIOR- second daughter Carolina. A lot of stuff in theNOT", how do you bring the songs to the se two years... I got married two daughters concerts, if you are doing it? and Paliki. Yes I' m promoting the album... I released Aah!! Completely fucked up!! four videos and the fifth will be out soon. With the help of Kool Things Promotions. Also I'm How do you feel that this first album was actually finishing the second album. received by the people and the press? Positively... I hope. But are you doing live shows? With what I'm not very good with social media, is not line-up? my job... for me music always comes first...
and this is my first interest... you know what I mean... so maybe I should improve my way to communicate through the web... I think that the hardest thing today, is to build a real and interested audience around your music. What plans do you have for this 2019? To play live RADIORNOT and finish the new album. To finish ... Do you think that something has remained without asking ... and that you want to tell us? No, I think it's ok.
The13th U NA R EVISTA IMA GINA RIA
Interviews: Blume, Dead Guitars, Tom Surgal, Crooked Ghost, Phonseca, New Zero God and Paliki.