The Obelisk Questionnaire: Blake Conley of Droneroom

Posted in Questionnaire on September 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Droneroom Blake Conley

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Blake Conley of Droneroom

Help Writing Analysis Paper, supreme buy essays, buy a essay for cheap | Complete set of services for students of all levels including academic writing How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

Well, the easiest way to describe it is instrumental guitar music. It, at this point is predominantly improvised, though before it was composed, and loop-based. This shift happened at the end of a couple of years of hard work and a feeling of having painted myself into a corner. I decided to remove the corner and just see where my brain and fingers would take me if left to their own devices, so to speak. Initially it was all electric guitar based and pedal heavy, but I’ve been attempting to shed as many things as possible to really focus on the root idea and see how deeply I can explore it with the fewest number of extras. This has unexpectedly led me to incorporate more acoustic instrumentation and occasional dips into lap steel even as a means of simplifying

With over 22 years of experience in college application writing service, our team moves you quickly and smoothly through the dissertation process. Describe your first musical memory.

Probably riding with my father across the country in an eighteen-wheeler listening to Marty Robbins. Going from Tennessee to California, the twang blaring and nothing, but a road and open landscapes has really seemed to seep into my psyche.

But overall, the Paper Store earned its writers have a price you can afford f Visit Websites. Dont Let the writing service support for the expecta Describe your best musical memory to date.

Hmm… I always find the satisfaction of hearing back what you played and feeling like it really landed to be one of the most satisfying. Hearing how it may have changed for the better. Absorbing the full picture after only having the pieces is always one of the best things.

Call us grammar nerds, bookworms, word geeks...we take it as a compliment! read here started because our editors saw a need for quality, timely When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Um…as a libra, I feel like my beliefs try to remain flexible to different points of view. I really try to never say never on a creative level because there are so many directions music can go and saying you won’t do something is generally what makes you end up doing it.

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Hopefully to becoming a more well-rounded player/performer. Any project or performance or interaction with anyone should lead to progress. You learn a new trick or idea. You experience a feeling you may not have before. Maybe it helps reaffirm something you already felt. The idea is always to improve and get further down to the core of your own voice. That doesn’t mean to shed yourself of influences necessarily, but maybe understand better how to work those influences into yourself. Even if improvements or adjustments are minimal or unnoticeable, they are there and should be embraced.

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That’s a funny one. Success for me is just… having something made and hopefully feel like it has been heard. Money is nice, but not necessarily the goal.

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A documentary involving a live birth.

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I suppose being in an avant garde country band or a krautrock band…or some combination of that. There is so much music that one could create, and I’d feel amiss if I didn’t at least try to see how what I do fits into that. I’d also love to score a film sometime, but I feel like most instrumental musicians would say that.

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I think it serves several. It can sooth you, it can excite you. I often enjoy music that feels anxious as that can often serve to cancel out my own feelings of anxiety. Music can be the forefront of an experience or work as the background/underpinning to life and its myriad of activities. Books can rearrange your thinking as well as film. And these ideas can then seep back into your music. Art should give you a feeling and that feeling can carry over to everything else in your life

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For me personally, a relocation. Otherwise just whatever new book, film, or conversation I may stumble into. Every day you can learn something new or feel some way you haven’t before and that is what makes living livable.

https://www.facebook.com/Droneroom
https://www.instagram.com/droneroomnotdrones/
https://droneroom.bandcamp.com/
https://droneroomswc.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SomewherecoldRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/somewherecold16/
https://somewherecoldrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://somewherecold.net/

Droneroom, Negative Libra (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Emil Niklasson of Urtidsdjur

Posted in Questionnaire on September 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Emil Niklasson of Urtidsdjur (Photo by Adam Tonér)

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Emil Niklasson of Urtidsdjur

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I am a member of a collective known as Urtidsdjur, a gathering of music nerds and audio wizards that walk this earth in hopes of making it more beautiful by creating music. In short we play music and has than this as Urtidsdjur since 2017. I played bass at first, but quickly we realized that I shouldn’t since it didn’t sound good. I have been playing music since my early teens and have done so in various different kinds of bands, ranging from Stoner rock to jazz and probably mostly everything in between. Since 2017 my focus is Urtidsdjur. We’re influenced by a lot of different things, Swedish bands and artists from the 1970s like Bo Hansson and Träd, Gräs och Stenar, mixed with Neil Young, Den Stora Vilan and Slowgold just to name a few. Last year we released a record that we recorded in a small chapel on the countryside of Sweden.

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The first musical memory that I come to think of is a memory from when I was very young, perhaps about five or six years old. I was riding with my father in his old black car, unfortunately I can’t recall which kind of car it was, on a late summer night. I must have been close to fall since it was dark and the stars were shining. I can’t recall where we had been or what we had done, all I remember is that we were riding in his black car, windows rolled down, surrounded by darkness and stars above us. We listened to Rory Gallagher’s brilliant album Public Enemy No. 1 and the music mixed with the sound of insects from the nearby bushes. It must have had a pretty strong impact on me since I still listen to this record today and I still think that it’s brilliant. I think that something about this started my interest in playing music.

Do Homework Really Fasts For Kids Book Writing Websites For Kids - Title Ebooks : Book Writing Websites For Kids - Category : Kindle and eBooks PDF - Author : ~ Describe your best musical memory to date.

It’s hard to pick one musical memory that stands above the rest of them. Seeing Hellacopters doing their last gig at Debaser 2008 (yeah, they’re playing now again) was emotional since I have been listening to them since I was 14 years old. I saw Anna von Hausswolff in 2019 and it absolutely blew my mind. Playing a gig with Urtidsdjur with one of my legs in plaster, I had broken the leg while playing soccer, stands out as one of the more odd gigs I have done. Seeing Daniel Romano on a Sunday night in October 2017 together with only 20 other people in the crowd was really nice as well. I guess I can go on for a long time on this matter so I’ll just leave it here.

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It does happen every now and then, I try to stay open minded and humble and believe that what I consider to be true does not necessarily have to be what everybody else considers to be true. I am a firm believer in that either you win or you learn and if my beliefs turn out to be false, well then I have learnt something new. At the moment I can’t think of a certain moment or time when it happened but it does happen from time to time.

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I think that it leads to new ideas where one can explore the creating process from a broader perspective and thus leading to more refined art whether it is music, poetry or whatever. It’s a cliché but it fits well with the question, creating is a journey where one doesn’t know what it will end in.

How do you define success?

I think that I define success in many different ways, one is personal success. For example: I finish writing the songs that I’ve been trying to finish for long, I write lyrics that I feel captures what I’m trying to say with a certain song or that Urtidsdjur plays a show where everything fits perfectly. I feel success when playing music becomes an outer body experience and the music sort of just flows through you, you are not playing the music, you just deliver the music that has been there the whole time waiting to be played. I also feel success when someone comes up to me and says: Hey, I heard your music and I really like it. This means that something that we as Urtidsdjur has created has become important for someone else except for us.

Another way of defining success is collective success. For example: When Urtidsdjur finished recording and mixing our album or when we printed the sleeves for the vinyl ourselves. These two types of definitions are closely connected, it’s hard to ignore the importance of every member in a group and it’s hard to ignore that being in a group affects every member of the group.

One easy way of saying this is that every time something is accomplished, you have reached success. Some days it’s just about getting up and other days it can be about running several miles.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

One time when I was at Skatteverket, which is the Swedish IRS, and way before me in line there was a guy that looked a little nervous and slightly baffled. He did his errand, still looking as confused as before. When he walked out of the building he put on a horse head mask and walked away, I followed him for a few blocks but then he turned around a corner and I lost him. All that time he wore that horse head mask. To this day, I’m still thinking of it every now and then and trying to understand what really happened.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I’ve been thinking of writing a book, I’ve had that same thought with me for a long time but haven’t done anything in terms of trying to write a script. I love to write, I guess that’s one of the reasons I write lyrics, so eventually I think that I will have to write a book just in order to get it out of my head.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

I consider art to be fundamental to living, without art life would be very dull. Art makes us see things from more than just one perspective.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to seeing friends in person instead of “meeting” them through a screen. Now that more and more people are getting their COVID-19 vaccine it is, at least in Sweden, a bigger chance to start seeing people as we did before the Coronavirus.

https://facebook.com/urtidsdjur/
https://instagram.com/urtidsdjur
https://youtube.com/channel/UCKJjQ4UWAw86O05v2gSJpkg
https://urtidsdjur.bandcamp.com/
https://urtidsdjur.se/

Urtidsdjur, Urtidsdjur (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kris Clayton of Self Hypnosis

Posted in Questionnaire on September 10th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

self hypnosis

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kris Clayton of Self Hypnosis, Camel of Doom, etc.

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

We self-describe as Progressive Industrial Metal, as those are our biggest influences, but we also incorporate elements of Black, Death, Doom, Sludge, Psychedelic and even more unusual genres (for a metal band) such as Big Beat, Trip Hop. I’ve been playing in Doom bands for 20 years, Greg for 30 (in Esoteric), and Tom is a full-time drummer, teaching and doing session work and so playing in all genres under the sun. We all have diverse tastes and want to create music that is free to take influence from any of them at any time – as long as the final result is something powerful.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first musical memories all revolve around my dad who played prog rock, metal and grunge (I was born in ’88 so that was the style at the time) constantly at home and in the car my whole life, as well as playing the guitar which is what led me to take it up myself due to serious hero worship for my old man. This has led to certain records being so deep down in my psyche that they are almost like a second language. Metallica’s Ride the Lightning probably being the most prominent example – even before I can remember, and before I could walk, I used to crawl over to the speakers, pull myself up and shake my butt any time this record got put on. The earliest concrete memory I can think of is listening to Nirvana in the car on the way to some childhood holiday, probably about 1991/2. When I was 11 some kid at school was playing a tape of Nevermind to other kids and saying it was his band. This got shot down quickly about two seconds into him playing it to me.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Probably the first time I saw Hawkwind when I was 14. I ate a load of cheap hash in a jam sandwich before I went – the first time I ever tried that too – and I was absolutely baked by the time they hit the stage and it completely blew my mind. I started my first serious band, Camel of Doom, around the same time, and I consider this to be the key moment in my life that led me down the path I am still on to this day. There have been a couple of other similar moments, but that was the first lifechanging one and I can’t help but smile thinking back on it. A Hawkwind fan group I was a part of presented Dave Brock with a book of Hawkwind memories for his birthday a few years back, and I included my story there. Felt great to let such a hero of mine know what a massive effect he had on my life.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

It was only really when I got into my thirties that I managed to shake the belief that I was completely correct if I had worked through something completely logically. I am a computer programmer in my day job, and it is a completely natural profession for me – I fell into it out of university despite studying something completely different. But the real world doesn’t work like mathematics or computer science (things I find much easier than human interaction), and often a completely rational and logical solution doesn’t work. There might be missing data or incomplete assumptions; both sides of an argument can be completely correct; a problem might not have a solution that works for everybody. It has been very beneficial for me to try and be more empathic and express my emotions, whilst encouraging others to do the same, rather than trying to treat everything as though it were a computer program.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Unfortunately, it seems that for the majority of bands it inevitably leads to stagnation as they veer off the path of artistic progression into a cul-de-sac of repetition and painting-by-numbers imitations of their earlier work. And that is if there was ever artistic progression in the first place – playing derivative music that imitates another’s musical style is no progression at all, even if it sells easier.

People do appreciate true artistic progression though, and bands that don’t stand still and continue to redefine themselves tend to have a longer lasting legacy. For example, a band like Neurosis are looked upon with a lot more respect than any of the countless bands that have taken a snapshot of how Neurosis sounded at one point in their career and then repeated that for the rest of their lives. So, I would say it leads to becoming legends rather than being merely a great band.

For me personally, I need to be challenged to be interested, so if I am not progressing and trying to make every thing I do better and more interesting than what came before, then I will just stop. But there is no end goal really, other than continuing to give my life meaning, and keeping me sane(-ish).

How do you define success?

That’s easy, if you are happy and at peace with yourself and what you have done, then you are successful. This definition also has the benefit that I can be successful at least some of the time.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

I thought long and hard about this one, looking for some deeply traumatic vision, but it seems either I am hardened to such things, or else I’ve blanked out those memories. So, I would have to give a slightly less serious answer to this one and say Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy. One of the greatest books ever written, totally trashed. Tolkien didn’t write that book in the same style as Lord of the Rings, and so the movie shouldn’t have been in the same style. Obviously, this probably comes down to the creative bankruptcy of the movie industry who won’t ever change a formula as long as it can keep making money, but it is a shame when they get their hands on something I love so much. My answer about artistic progression (or lack of) is also relevant here.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I’m always pushing to create the perfect album, something like a Dark Side of the Moon, The Downward Spiral, Music for the Jilted Generation, Lateralus, Through Silver In Blood, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennae To Heaven (to name a few I judge to be perfect) – something where the atmosphere, production, songs, lyrics, flow, and everything else just adds up to create something that can stand alone, where even the wrong notes enhance it, and it is impossible to imagine any change that could make it better. It’s ambitious, and likely unachievable, but as long as that carrot is dangling in front of me, I have a reason to keep on going and making new music. Of course, even if I made something that other people thought was this, I am sure that I would find fault in it myself and keep on chasing the unobtainable goal.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

To provide escapism, or distraction from reality. This works both for the artist and the consumer. Speaking personally, I have an extremely overactive brain that is difficult to switch off. The only things that really works to settle it down are drugs and art. Drugs tend to become a crutch and don’t achieve anything positive, but working on music genuinely works even better and gives me something tangible as a result at the end. Admittedly for me, the consumption of art is kind of like an aspirin or plaster rather than a shot of oblivion, but I am told by people whose brain chemistry doesn’t hate them quite so much that it can be very effective.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

A few months ago, I would have said being able to go to a football match again, but fortunately I was able to go to one last weekend, for the first time in two years. Right now, I am so desperate to play a live show again it is difficult to look past that… but I would have to say it would be really nice when my wife and I can take a vacation to Italy again – we’ve not been for seven years since our honeymoon, but the pandemic has really caused me to rethink my priorities, and that is something right at the top of the to-do list right now.

https://www.facebook.com/selfhypnosisband/
https://www.selfhypnosisband.com/
https://www.contagionofdespair.com/
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Self Hypnosis, Contagion of Despair (2020)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Wojciech Kaluza of Grieving

Posted in Questionnaire on September 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

grieving

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Wojciech Kaluza of Grieving

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I like to think of myself as an amateur singer in a number of bands but then again I’m not entirtely sure that defines me as a person. There’s a lot more than just one quality to all of us, don’t you think? But when it comes to singing, it all started with watching music videos as a kid and thinking “Yeah, I could do that!” And over 25 years later, it’s going surprisingly well.

Describe your first musical memory.

It definitely isn’t the first but I do recall my dad buying me Guns ‘n’ Roses tapes when I was a kid, not knowing that in fact he’s creating a monster. :) Back in the ’90’s most of the music we got in Poland was on tapes and these were usually not licensed, meaning that we got all sorts of wacky “albums” such as “Guns N’ Roses: The Best Ballads” and whatnot. Still have some copies back at home. Good times.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I guess I’ve had a few of those but as always, it’s hard to pick just one. Supporting Philip Anselmo on a show in Warsaw and having the man himself watch us from the side of the stage and nod with appreciation would definitely be one of the highlights. Hell, every time I put any of the albums I’ve recorded on my shelf, that’s a rad memory right there.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I guess in my college years when I was still sort of Catholic and actually believed in God. That changed in the course of maybe two years and I’ve never looked back since. Happy that burden’s off my chest, life without faith and religion is so much more rewarding and fulfilling.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Better art? Or perhaps a better understanding of your abilities? Either way, always bet on progress, you can’t go wrong.

How do you define success?

Being happy with your life. Simple as that.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Pretty much every Dream Theater video or concert. But to take matters more seriously — I think that the worst thing to see and then wish you didn’t, is your friends or loved ones acting like assholes. That includes myself of course.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I guess writing a book was always up there somewhere. Definitely a horror novel but I have this unsettling feeling that all the best ideas have already been discovered. Wouldn’t mind recording a proper hardcore album at some point too.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Give joy. Make us think. Make us feel.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

https://www.facebook.com/Grieving666
https://www.instagram.com/grieving.666/
https://grieving666.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Interstellar-Smoke-Records-101687381255396/
https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/godzovwar/
https://www.instagram.com/godz_ov_war_productions/
https://godzovwar.com/

Grieving, Songs for the Weary (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Bence Ambrus of River Flows Reverse, Lemurian Folk Songs & Psychedelic Source Records

Posted in Questionnaire on September 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

bence ambrus

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Bence Ambrus of River Flows Reverse, Lemurian Folk Songs & Psychedelic Source Records

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I’m a simple semi-musician, who is not talented and diligent enough to live from music. This why I started to collect talented musicians from surrounding bands. I organize jam sessions, where all tunes are recorded. I also play on guitar or bass most of the times. When I work I’m a gardener, so in winter times I do my own projects, like River Flows Reverse and the project under my name. In these days I spend hours in a small dirty shed outside the house, surrounded with funny toy-instruments, boar skulls, candles, banjos and a big picture of Alvin Lee.

Describe your first musical memory.

I was 5-6 years old and my father brought me a Mickey Mouse cap for some children’s day or what, then took me to a gig of his friends in next town. I don’t remember the music, but the Mickey-cap, yes, and that I really liked the blues.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I have a lot, almost all are best. I loved the times when around 2015 we lived on the coasts and hills of Andalusia with my girl Kriszti and my dingo Rozi. We played Western-style street music with a guitar and a mandolin, when we had enough gold we continued to walk through. If we made more, we bought ticket to the ferry to Canarian Islands. Then we continued there. It was even the best time in my life. Cave dwelling, busking, spending time stoned only outside in the mountains and seacoast.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

It’s always being tested when you look around in the music business and see the bands, shitty pop stars, radio programs, and realize that, this is really the level what the people need, and you are just a freak with false thinking and feelings, and the real music is there in the TV and radio and giant festivals.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Hopefully not back in the ’80s haha.

How do you define success?

If you see there are people who really appreciate and like your work. If there is one guy who says he loved the gig, or if someone who send you an email from the Philippines, that your music has changed his or her life etc. Or when some label ask you if they can print your music to vinyls. These things are enough satisfying for me.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

If you travel on foot with no money, etc., you can see the real face of the world. The most beautiful coasts and mountains, communities, but the other side too. For example, if looking for hidden places to sleep around cities where are less possible that the police or a thief will alarm you, you can find the places where those people used to meet or hide who don’t want you to see them. Suppressed souls on the edge of society. Perverts, prostitutes, killers, thieves. I have seen cabins built by caines with bloody condoms thrown around, 17 year old heroinists who just wanted to have fun in Barcelona, then they stucked on speed and ketamin living in a bush. But the worst thing to see is the youngsters of today (I’m 29). I really feel like 90 percent of them don’t have any sense of life. Only cellphones, Instagram stupid talking taking light drugs. Respect to the exceptions.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

To build a worldwide organization to help poor, and talented musicians with good taste. Organize tours, vinyl releases gigs on the beach like Duna Jam, make small festivals. To give this to someone to work with, and then build my own roadhouse style studio-bar-laboratory by a big lake surrounded big olden pine trees, no neighbours. And just live with the loveds and the banjo.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

To realize and manifest spiritual contents, projecting symbols of the sub and superconscious. Help the dying soul. This was the original basis of alchemy not to make material gold. To slowly create a symbol from yourself, a vertical quintessence of all arts in the world. This why I really like the original alchemist art, so concrete and straightforward. For me this old knowledge turned into the music of eternal soul. For example an Øresund or Tia Carrera or Causa Sui jam session is real art, fills more this expression then a million-dollar modern copper statue, etc.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Of course a yellow ’79 Corvette.

https://www.facebook.com/lemurianfolksongs
https://www.facebook.com/psychedelicsource
https://psychedelicsourcerecords.bandcamp.com/

Psychedelic Source Records, Nagykör? Sessions (2021)

Bence Ambrus, Gardenside Ambient Sessions I (2021)

River Flows Reverse, When River Flows Reverse (2021)

Lemurian Folk Songs, Logos (2020)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Zach Germaniuk of Pillärs

Posted in Questionnaire on September 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

pillars zach germaniuk (Photo by Little Blackbird Photo)

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Zach Germaniuk of Pillärs

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I define what I do as trying my best to help people and do something meaningful with my time here. That attitude came directly from exposure to DIY underground heavy music and hardcore punk that laid the blueprint for my life out at a fairly young age, like 14-15. I know that sounds cliché, because our society demands that our identity be solely determined by how we earn a living. I reject being put in that box. The core driving force of all the things I’m involved in now, which include bands and touring, working at a nonprofit that helps people with housing issues, teaching at Cleveland State University – it all stems back to that initial exposure to a different view of how things could or ought to be, as envisioned by the community of bands and activists that blazed the DIY path. Having that music in my life really helped me to stay grounded and focused on my goals. Playing, touring, all of it helps me to stay connected with this path that I’m on. It guides my work and I’m grateful to have it in my life.

Describe your first musical memory.

I must have been about 3 years old: my first musical memory was a music box my Mom had. Every time it played, the music sounded just so sad, so lonely. It was a haunting song and it kind of freaked me out as a kid. I would love to find it again, it’s probably buried in her house somewhere. I think it might be interesting to re-record it and put it on an album at some point.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

The spring 2017 tour I did playing guitar with the Cleveland noise-punk band Rubber Mate and our buddies Nag is the BEST that sticks out, out of a lot of good ones and a few bad ones. It was just an absolute blast every single night, which is rare because usually on tour there is at least one or more nights where something fucks up: van issues, gear trouble, personality conflicts, burnout, whatever. But that tour was flawless from first show to last, and was a really memorable time.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

There was a moment when the whole belief of music being a positive experience and driving force in my life stopped being real for me. My Dad died on the last day of the Pillärs 2018 tour, literally just hours before we were set to play; at the same time work stress pushed me to a place therapists sometimes describe as ”the call of the void” – as I understand it from my own journey that means not thinking about the “how” of suicide directly, but starting to think about the concept. Would it really be that bad? What would that be like to just not exist? It was a dark place to be, and I stayed there for a long time, almost two years. I divorced in that same time period, and as I peeled back the layers of where I was in my own life through those moments it revealed a level of toxicity in my life that made music, and everything that flowed out of that, seem like it was no longer a worthwhile activity or a meaningful part of my existence. I guess you could say I got hollowed out by it all. Without a doubt the time from his passing in April 2018 to just before the start of COVID lockdown in March 2020 was the worst period of my life. I didn’t even touch a musical instrument from November 2019 to April 2020. My musical life fell apart, and I was in a pretty bleak place. Then about a year ago, right around April into May 2020, ironically just as shit was really shutting down and it seemed like the musical world was collapsing, my longtime friend Chadd B. (Mockingbird, Cultist, Enhailer, among others…) reached out asking if I wanted to jam. Then another friend reached out, and another, and before I knew it not only was Pillärs writing a new record but I found myself in a gnarly DIY punk band called TV Drugs with another longtime friend. As I kept cutting the toxicity out of my life, I found work stress became more manageable. I was blessed to find myself in a much healthier relationship with my partner, who is also an active artist and performer. If I have to look for bright spots on the otherwise bleak canvas that has been the last few years, this whole period has been a huge test for my belief about music really truly being something that gives me meaning and purpose.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

For me, artistic progression (and that includes music, visual art, film, theatre, etc.) should lead to an understanding of this thing we call life and how to communicate ideas and experiences. It’s like the difference between listening to a piece of music that you just appreciate as well executed versus a song or album that makes your hair stand up or give you some kind of emotional response, if that makes sense. I think just like kids learn how to speak, then make words, then move forward to be able to articulate themselves, that’s kind of how I look at artistic progression. I always remember the story about Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address: There was a speaker before him at the battlefield who spoke at great lengths, using all this complex vocabulary, etc. OK fine, great. Then Lincoln got up and spoke for 3 minutes. Nobody remembers the dude who gave the long-winded exhortation, but Lincoln’s simple words are universally recognized as one of the greatest speeches of all time. So I mean, as that relates to artistic progression, it just tells me that it’s not always about technical complexity. It’s about expressing an idea. Some ideas might take whole symphonies full of intricacies to express. Some ideas can be expressed in ninety seconds using two chords.

How do you define success?

Having the personal freedom to do what you love to do; and make the area around you a better place while having a way to pay your bills that doesn’t kill your creativity.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

The “two girls one cup” video. That was fucking gross.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

We need more DIY spaces, especially in the Rust Belt, and I would love to be a part of some project that makes DIY spots in Cleveland more permanent and protected from gentrification. These places are incredible incubators for awesome music, art of all kinds, and largely responsible for creating the community and network that keeps our little alternate universe running. We’ve lost so many spaces over the last 20 years due to the fact that the people doing amazing things in those spaces had no control over the buildings. We need to own the spaces where we create, or else we are going to be forever on the losing end of battles with landlords and the powers that be, and having to constantly rebuild from scratch every time some developer wants to put up $500k condos and kick out all the freaks and weirdos who are creating the very art and music that these gentrifying motherfuckers try to appropriate and then colonize.
Ownership of land is the first step towards fighting back and drawing that line in the sand. And helping to build spaces that are protected from or resilient in the face of those kinds of forces; that’s a dream I would love to have a hand in creating.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

The expression of some idea and emotion that leads essentially to some shared understanding between the creator of the artistic piece and the audience. Art is the vehicle for the creation of empathy.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Since saying the end of COVID is almost cliché now I will instead say getting through the last few years of public service loan forgiveness at my job to wipe out these student loans and then hopefully be in a position to start helping to build something.

https://pillrs.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/PillarsOHIO/
https://www.thetruetapehaus.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thetruetapehaus/
http://www.instagram.com/tapehaus
https://tapehaus.bandcamp.com/

PILLÄRS & Wallcreeper, Split (2019)

PILLÄRS, Abandoned (2018)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lex ‘Frumpy’ Waterreus of Seedy Jeezus

Posted in Questionnaire on August 31st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Seedy Jeezus (Photo by Stephen Boxshall)

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lex ‘Frumpy’ Waterreus of Seedy Jeezus

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I play guitar and sing in Seedy Jeezus… I’d always wanted to play guitar since a kid. My father played guitar and every other string instrument, banjo, ukulele, etc. Oddly enough he never once had any interest in my playing, but my mum saw music as a healthy interest. She supported it, and well… after A LOT of gigs, jams rehearsals… then developing hand problems and stopping for many years, I auditioned for a band playing 60s Mod stuff… I clicked with the bassist, that eventuated into the first incarnation of Seedy Jeezus, and the first time I’d ever played in a three-piece band.

Describe your first musical memory.

I was kid, maybe five… My sister had been given the Shangri-las greatest hits record, and played it over n over. It was the equivalent of the Wiggles in the house. My mum threatened to smash it many times. That was the first time I took notice of a band or record. To this day I love the Shangri-las.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Playing Freak Valley Festival. There’s plenty of them, touring jamming and hanging with Isaiah Mitchell, just being onstage with your band and playing music with one mind… but Freak Valley was like finding family you didn’t know you had. The people we met that day have become very good friends. I think any friendship made through music is special.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

You know, Covid has tested many beliefs, and also revealed many disappointments.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I think artistic progression is reflected on life growth and experiences. It’s like those times when life kicks you down, then one day you realize you’re back up and walking. You look back and are happy you survived, you feel stronger and you’ve grown… That growth flows into art, music and outlook on life and expression.

How do you define success?

When you write a song and someone loves it and they connect to it. When your music has moved someone, they’ve responded to it on an emotional level… that to me is success. There are many bands I have loved and supported since a kid that were to me successful, they may have only played local gigs and released a demo tape or CD… but I still listen to them today. To me they’re successful. They wrote something I connected to…

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

It’s funny JJ, what came to mind first off was watching my mother take her last breath while she looked directly into my eyes. I didn’t sleep for days after. Every time I closed my eyes I relived it. Then I saw the cycle of life in that moment, she saw me take my first breath and I saw her take her last. That somehow made the trauma seem like a natural part of life. I wrote about it on “Treading Water” from Polaris. The line “breath in and set me free” that last breath and the silence after held me at a spot which seemed like forever, but it was moments… Then my world fell apart. We don’t play it live cause it’s a headspace I don’t want to visit on stage.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

For the last couple of years I have tried to raise money for an organization back in New Zealand, in my hometown, that helps the homeless with food. I have done this through producing artwork, etc., that are based from the town’s history. I have an idea of how I can set up a business model that would be a perpetual income for the organization that looks after the homeless, and would need little effort to maintain and run. I have already tested waters to raise $$ and they’ve been successful, with support from local businesses back home… Once Covid passes, I hope to get things a bit deeper and more solid. Homelessness in NZ is a problem, I have had friends I grew up with end up homeless and sadly a couple have died on the streets. It took a childhood friend who went down the drugs, gangs and homelessness and prison, to getting out and turning most perceptions people may have had of him, on their head. And showing up all these people with real action, real love and real support for the homeless who have been where he was. Inspiring stuff.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Art for me is a place of healing and perspective. When you’re lost. Music can be your hiding place. Like most of us we all go through stuff, when I had hand problems and stopped playing guitar for many years, I took up art and painting. I’d prepare all day for it and sit up all night listening to music and painting portraits etc. Very happy memories right there.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Buying some fish and chips and sitting by the ocean listening to the waves and feeling the sun’s warmth. That right there is something that goes back to when I was a kid… so even though I’m here in Australia, I feel I am at home by the water.

[Photo above by Stephen Boxshall.]

https://www.facebook.com/seedyjeezuspage/
https://www.instagram.com/seedyjeezus/
https://seedyjeezus.bandcamp.com/
http://www.seedyjeezus.com/

Seedy Jeezus, Polaris Oblique (2018)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Slowpoke

Posted in Questionnaire on August 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

slowpoke

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Ben Chapman-Smith, Cameron Legge & Adam Young of Slowpoke

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

We play kickass, original stomping heavy music. We got there by absorbing a lot of music, practicing and writing and editing.

Describe your first musical memory.

Ben: Attending music class in kindergarten / elementary school.

Cam: Dancing around the house to my Dad’s cassettes while strumming a toy guitar.

Adam: I remember my dad had an acoustic guitar and I wanted so badly to be able to play it, but I couldn’t. That was the beginning of my infatuation with music.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Ben: This might not be the favourite but it’s near the top. When this girl in high school gave me Appetite for Destruction for the first time. I was immediately obsessed with GNR

Cam: The first punk show that I seen in my hometown of Marystown. Made me realize what I want to do with my life.

Adam: Writing music with my really good friends.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Ben: When I left Toronto to pursue music as a career in St. John’s. It tested my belief in whether or not I could actually accomplish this.

Cam:

Adam:

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Ben: The shorter answer is artistic competency. I guess it depends on how fast you are progressing and what’s driving you. It can be incredibly liberating but can also force you into inhospitable territory. It depends on how you define artistic progression.

Cam: It really depends on what progression is referring to. In a true artistic sense, I think it’s being able to capture human experiences and emotions and putting them into a digestible context that people can relate to. I think the best artists have a way of tapping into us emotionally on a universal level.

Adam: Inward.

How do you define success?

Ben: For me, musically, success is a cross-section of financial sustainability and contributing interesting and genuine ideas.

Cam: Contributing something that didn’t exist before, while sustaining yourself financially.

Adam: Being happy doing what you’re doing.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Ben: I once seen a guy taking a dump in a New York subway.

Cam: A coked out guy tried to get in my car while I was parked in a parking garage.

Adam: I saw some pretty awful animal abuse when I was young.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

Ben: A performance art/free form improvised doom metal odyssey inspired by traditional function of music in a ceremonial context.

Cam: I have always had an interest in film. I would love to be able to totally go out of my comfort zone and attempt to write a script for a horror film.

Adam: I’m with Ben.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Ben: To genuinely offer a perspective or to share a specific feeling.

Cam: “To disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed” – Cesar A Cruz.

Adam: To hold a mirror up to ourselves.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Ben: Getting a new car, no real plans for it but I’m looking forward to it.

Cam: Figuring out the chaos that is my 20s.

Adam: Does building my recording studio count?

https://www.slowpokeband.com/music
https://www.facebook.com/slowpoketheband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4rTzZYhVbVE03MUgsgyLKg
https://www.slowpokenl.bandcamp.com/

Slowpoke, Slowpoke (2021)

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