As Ralph Waldo Emerson – the great American Individualist and Transcendentalist – once said: “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better”. And so, the new Zonn mini-album “Songs Of Truth And Freedom” started off, as many experiments do, with the inventor watching the world around and perceiving that something needed to be done. This approach, coupled with my fondness for re-writing old tunes, led to the interpretation of a 1980s new-socialist stalwart into a novel anthem for the 2020s.
Some of my favorite moments and memories consist of being out on the road wearing a hat over greasy hair and some of the same travel clothes for days. Stepping out of the van barefoot to see the sights, the wind blowing my clothes as I look out over the expanses, I feel free of earthly possessions, free of the need to control how I look and feel, and free of the expectations of the outside world. Truly anonymous in a hat, I travel from town to town in and out of diners and cafes with my face slightly obscured. I’m just a traveler blowing through, never promising anything to anyone. I’m a transient presence for a moment and then I’m gone.
Music is where I go when I wish to step out of current time and space.
There is no Control mechanism in there playing on my conscious or unconscious mind telling me I must, should or am obliged to be doing something or other.
It is my place of Zen or a form of meditation if you prefer.
It’s the only place where everything external stops other than the immediate Now and I feel at peace in my own world.
I like to put sounds together to see what will happen. Often with words, sometimes not. The way they synthesise is an endless source of enjoyment and wonder to me. I never know where it’s going to end up and that is the main joy.
I’d never been to Louisiana, never seen New Orleans, never been out on the Bayou. It was May of 2021 and here I was driving in the middle of the night to a town called Breaux Bridge, out past Baton Rouge, deep in the middle of rural Louisiana farmlands—what they call “Cajun country.” I arrived at a big, rundown house and was greeted by Mark, the producer of my new record (released Feb 11 2022 on Dream Puppy Records). We had only communicated by email and text up til this point and now here he was—grinning, talking a mile-a-minute, introducing me to the semi-stray cats, describing the armadillos that would come around if he left the cat food out over night in the garage: “nasty fuckers.”
The debut single of my music project Euphemia Rise is also the story of two collaborations. The first between me and Mel Benedichuk, who provided the extra vocals for this track. And secondly the collaboration with visual artist Itzel Bernal for the official video of the single.
The songs in “Notes From Planet Earth” include Indie Folk, Rock, and Country styles. They deal with the disastrous direction our world seems to be taking driven by the likes of Trump and the GOP, and their kind worldwide. The songs are grounded in the understanding that without a major change of course, we’re in the process of degrading and destroying the world we live in rather than passing it on to the future in good shape. I hope these songs touch some hearts and that we pull off that change of course successfully.
Music has always been said to be a universal language, but I don’t agree. Music has as many meanings as people who listen to it. What for us can be a sad melody, for someone from the other side of the world, it can be the happiest of songs, that’s why I refuse to believe that music is universal. However, I don’t think this is a problem, but an advantage to be able to communicate with ourselves. Art shows us the reality that we need to see.
Poised to play a series of shows supporting a brand new album, COVID happened. The music industry is always in a state of change, but what does a band do when everything changes in one week? Continue reading →
My band Vazum‘s new album Vampyre Villa has a variety of moods and styles which people have picked up on. It floats between deathrock, shoegaze, goth, and post-punk which is why we call ourselves a deathgaze band. We’re interested in combining the rawness of deathrock with the depth of shoegaze.
I’ve been interested in a lot of different subjects and have tried to learn numerous skills over time — digital art, programming, web design, (briefly) robotics, among others — but most I either eventually decided weren’t for me, or I have a very on & off relationship with, being deeply interested and practicing it for months, and then spending the next year completely forgetting about it.
But everything about music — the production of it, how instruments are made, the history of music and its influences on cultures — that is the one thing I have always been fascinated by. I loved finding new music and wanted so badly to either play an instrument or even somehow make new music myself.