The Obelisk Questionnaire: Takis Chaloulakos of ADAM

Posted in Questionnaire on June 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

takis-from-adam

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: Takis Chaloulakos of ADAM

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I make gloomy rock music. I write songs about the human psyche, the occult, toxic relationships and whatever random Wikipedia article I come across. I guess I started doing that because I had to find a way to express myself.

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My father playing records by the Doors and Elvis Presley for me when I was two years old or something. I guess this must be when I really fell in love with music.

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August 21, 2012. Genesis. The jam session that started it all. I hadn’t seen the guys in a while, so we got together for a couple of beers at the Dungeon (aka our practice space / hang out spot). One thing led to another and we ended up jamming for two hours straight. Might sound corny but this thing was transcendental. After it was over, we sat down and looked at each other and said that we should start a band. That’s how ADAM was born. That particular jam ended up as track #1 on SUN.

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I guess it was more of a slow process. Growing up and realizing that the world around you is far more weirder and darker than you thought it really was.

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You can lead it wherever you feel like or just lay back on the passenger seat and let it grab the wheel. You can discover more about you or art in general, perhaps find interesting stuff you’d never known you had in you. All you need is honesty and an open mind.

How do i make my opening home page. Click through to the best answers links to get tips on what information you should include in your response - as well can you Best College Application Essay I Want To Attend for me yahoo as what details to leave can expect to hear at least one - and likely more - of these questions during your next job interview. Youtube channel the rm education youtube channel, which includes how to's and How do you define success?

For me, success is going to bed every night, being happy knowing the fact that you get to do what you love, just the way you want it. Fame, money and recognition are major bonus factors but not as important as knowing that your art moved and helped others.

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I watched a guy dive from the third floor and crash headfirst into the pavement about five feet away from me when I was 16 years old. I’d still take that over the Star Wars sequels, easy.

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I’d like to experiment more, use weirder noises and song structures. I’d love to go heavier, maybe tune down even lower. And I’d really love to make a movie soundtrack. Or multiple soundtracks.

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Art is your friend in the darkness. It’s there to animate the most important moments in your life. Art is meant to touch you, guide you, make you a better person. Art helps you get in touch with your true self and the deepest parts of your psyche. It helps you get to know and understand the world around you.

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Looking forward to gyms finally opening up around here. Getting to lift again after almost seven months of all around debauchery.

https://www.facebook.com/adamwolfpackcult
https://www.instagram.com/adam_wolfpack/
https://adamwolfpack.bandcamp.com/

ADAM, “Super Silver Haze” official video

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Dan Blomquist of Conclave & Benthic Realm

Posted in Questionnaire on May 27th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

dan blomquist

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: Dan Blomquist of Conclave & Benthic Realm

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I currently play drums in two bands from Massachusetts, Conclave and Benthic Realm. I grew up in a musical family with both my parents being performing violinists. I took piano lessons first growing up, played hand bells at my Dad’s church, then trombone and saxophone in grade school band but ultimately found my sweet spot with smashing things in the drums around sophomore year of high school. Been my drug of choice since.

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How about my first musical memory of when my musical taste changed from what I was raised to listen to and learn to play, to the heavier side of music. Around 1979 or so, my Dad and I made our ritualistic trip to Radio Shack. He was an electronics engineer and a hi-fi nut so this was like his second home. This particular trip I had enough money that I bought myself a small handheld AM/FM radio. As soon as we got home I headed out to Anne’s Variety Store to go purchase some penny candy with my totally badass handheld radio.

dan blomquist radioI ran to the top of the hill on the way to the store and BOOM! I had FM Rock Radio on! KISS was playing and I’d never heard anything like them before. That was the moment my tastes changed. My Dad would break my balls after that about every single band I would introduce to him, but he always encouraged me to play… and to play “quieter.” When my Dad passed away five years ago and I had to go through his belongings at his house, I found the radio was still there in a box with all kinds of other radios and gear. I took it home and have it to this day.

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Being a kid helping my Dad by carrying his music stand into what ever music hall, conservatory or orchestra pit he was playing in. He always made me feel like I was part of the orchestra or ensemble he was playing with and it felt amazing, like I was 10 feet tall.

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I’m actually coming up empty on this one. I suppose I could go back to when I stopped believing in God, but I’m not really sure that I ever truly believed in it to begin with. I’d like to be spiritual, but we’re all just organic matter that will rot away so what’s the point. My whimsical essence isn’t going to travel through the cosmos for eternity. Make the most of the time you’ve got. It’s all you’ve got. Believe that.

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Ultimately, where it’s supposed to I would say. Progression in the arts can be very different from one person or form to another. So how and where you progress is kind of organic, evolutionary and unavoidable. Plus progress is the route of all evil they say, so there’s bonus points for being evil.

How do you define success?

I’d define success as being able to take something positive away from everything you do even if you seem to fail at it. In other words, if you set a weight loss goal of dropping 50 lbs in a year and lose less than that in a year, you still succeeded in progressing towards your goal. If you don’t lose sight of that, you’ll continue on and reach your ultimate goal which was to lose the weight, even if it took a longer amount of time. To fall short of your goal and stop before finishing the journey is to be unsuccessful. Don’t stop, don’t give up and you’ll always succeed.

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

Family and friends die from alcohol, drug abuse and suicide.

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

Inner peace.

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

Feeling. Whether you’re creating it or taking it in, it’s about how it makes you feel. The artist, the viewer, the listener, the reader, all of it, all of them, everyone.

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

NON-musical in the immediate future would have to be my daughter and the youngest of my three, graduating high school in June and beginning her college stem classes this summer. She’s had more than her fair share of struggles and obstacles in her life leading up to this point and I couldn’t be more proud or grateful for the beautiful and incredible person she is.

https://www.facebook.com/conclaveband/
https://www.instagram.com/conclave_ma/
https://conclave1.bandcamp.com/music
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https://www.facebook.com/benthicrealm/
https://benthicrealm.bandcamp.com/
http://www.benthicrealm.com/

Conclave, Dawn of Days (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Sander Haagmans of The Whims of the Great Magnet

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

Sander Haagmans of The Whims of the Great Magnet

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: Sander Haagmans of The Whims of the Great Magnet (ex-Sungrazer)

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

I make rock music, teach guitar and I’m a father. So basically that puts me in the dad rock corner. I got my first Steely Dan record last year. Countdown to Ecstasy. Pretty neat. The way I came to make music was just by making sounds and noise from an early age on, like everybody does actually. As a young kid I already felt the need to make songs, record them and make albums out of it. Those first albums, which are cassette tapes that we put in a cigar box and then decorate the outside and inside, are probably my most precious releases to date.

Describe your first musical memory.

My memory is terrible. But I do know I had a poster near my bed with children’s songs that I loved to sing before I went to bed. And later I remember dancing on the table with my best friend to “Walk of Life” from Dire Straits. Or singing with my dad in the car the string parts of “Strawberry Fields.” There’s too many good memories, but I can’t recall the first.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Maybe that was listening to Nirvana as a teenager as loud as possible in a small bedroom with my best friend Willem. He also let me hear “Vortex Surfer” from Motorpsycho for the first time when we were, I don’t know, 20 or something. It was late at night and we had a big hifi soundsystem there. I once talked to a soundguy that used that song for soundchecking the P.A. at shows. Enough low end there, pfff.

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

A firmly held belief, eh? I think I first need to think about the answer to the question ‘when was the last time you had a firmly held belief’ or ‘did you ever have a firmly held belief’ or ‘did you ever believe in something’ or ‘did you ever held anything firmly’. Well that’s a lot to think about. Not really though. But let’s stick to your question. I could have skipped that first part of my answer that led to nothing but this. But this is also a way of just writing down words and getting into some really meaningless bullshit that could actually be something I believe in. Well there you go. I think I always believed in a lot of bullshit and now I realize it’s not bullshit, but the truth. No no no no, get that out. Ok, I always believed you should not make any corrections to what you just put down. But I’m seriously having second thoughts about that right now. No…wait… it’s gone. I still believe in it. Damn it.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

For me it leads to musical freedom, improvisation, magical unique moments in jams combined with that chorus or hook that will make you laugh and cry and stay with you till the end of time. In other words it’s just about having some fun and see what happens. These progressions always change and I guess I just try to go with that.

How do you define success?

When there’s a cool result when you tried something or even when you didn’t try.

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

You’re a father too. You know it’s the cartoons kids watch nowadays.

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

A monster.

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

Getting laid, getting high, getting rich, I can’t choose. Art made the world and everything. And everything is everything only if it’s not. But, man what a question. Good one. Really, this is not something you write down. This is bar talk. Or can bar talk be written down? Of course it can. If it can’t be written down it’s not writable on anything. I could dance you the answer.

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

Yes.

https://www.facebook.com/TheWhimsOfTheGreatMagnet
https://thewhimsofthegreatmagnet.bandcamp.com/

The Whims of the Great Magnet, “Share My Sun”

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: David Pais of Sullen

Posted in Questionnaire on May 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

david pais sullen

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: David Pais of Sullen

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

I’m a musician, gamer, cinema and comics lover. All of these are intertwined and it’s interesting to see how all of my passions are so important as an inspiration which allows me to create music. I stumbled in music by pure accident, as I was passionate about sound design when I was a little kid. You see, my dad had this VCR plugged into two tape decks, and as a tiny kid I thought it was a good idea to record movies into K7 tapes and listen to them while I went riding my bike. That was the gate for soundscape exploration which sparked my interest in cinema and later on, music.

Describe your first musical memory.

Learning my hometown’s hymn by ear and performing it at a school event when I was 7.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

This is a real pickle. I have two moments that I can’t shake out of my head and I can’t reduce to one. The first was listening to Issues from Korn, from top to bottom and crying when the album ended. The second was Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory from Dream Theater. It got me hooked from the first second and when the album ended I had to listen to it again immediately. I was mesmerized and couldn’t believe what I just heard.

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

I would have to say when I became a fully-fledged atheist. I went into a long introspective journey and felt all my faith completely shaken and ultimately destroyed. But in a good way. Still, that was an intense struggle, trying to justify my existence without an “omni-presence”, which in lieu of the circumstances and serious analysis is nothing but a zombie-analogy that enslaved my mind for a long period of time.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Evolution of oneself, allowing the mind to grow, mature and expand on subjects that were unknown before. Evolution as a whole species as well, I believe.

How do you define success?

When your passion becomes your work. Then you know you’re successful, regardless of actually being successful in the eyes of other people.

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

My Covid-belly. I’m pregnant. Now seriously. Watching as one old computer of mine was “dying”, and all of my musical projects were there, and I had no way of transferring the files at the time. I lost a lot of work. I still have shivers when I think about it.

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

A video-game. And also co-writing an album with Skynd. I’m particularly fascinated by her complexity and expression, and I would love to spend hours talking with her about her work and to debate what’s in the mind of serial killers and explore it musically. It’s a subject that intrigues me and I love their music, so that’s something I’d love to create.

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

To reflect the vicissitudes of existence and to make us reflect about ourselves with someone else’s work. I don’t mean by objectively analyzing it, but by absorbing its content and dwelling in the meaning of it.

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

Perhaps becoming a father and finishing my video game. Not necessarily at the same time or in any particular order. Also, the end of this pandemic.

http://www.facebook.com/sullenpt
http://www.sullenpt.bandcamp.com
http://www.youtube.com/sullenpt
http://www.instagram.com/sullenpt

Sullen, Nodus Tollens – Act 1: Oblivion (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Daniele Murroni of Gramma Vedetta, Aliceissleeping & Mandrone Records

Posted in Questionnaire on May 24th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Daniele Murroni of Gramma Vedetta, Aliceissleeping & Mandrone Records

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: Daniele Murroni of Gramma Vedetta, Aliceissleeping & Mandrone Records

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

I will define myself as Jack of all trades, master of nothing. I’m a software engineer from 9 to 5 day and a musician, sound engineer and record label owner from 5pm to 9am. (occasionally video editor).

This is because I like to do different things, I get bored quickly, but also because I’m a geek and I’m pretty curious about how things work.

I’ve always been interested in science since I was a kid and I’ve been raised by music-lover parents, so in the ’90s I started playing the guitar with friends in a small town in Sardinia, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and since then everything I wanted to learn was something that could have been applied to music.

I started Computer Science at Uni because I wanted to learn how to develop audio plugins (tried, put together a distortion, sounded like shit).

I develop an interest in sound engineering and music production because I wanted to record my band’s first demo back in 1998. I learned how to edit videos because I wanted to edit video for bands.

Money was scarce, time was in abundance.

I married a bass player, actually, she married me because I’m a guitarist.

We opened Mandrone Records because we wanted to release our stuff and friends’ stuff.

So I do a lot of things and I am a lot of things, I’m not mastering anything but I enjoy life being like this.

Describe your first musical memory.

I have two early musical memories that I remember very well. I was like 4 or something.

“Dad, please put the disc with the thing that spin!” It was me asking my dad to put the Vinyl of Gentle Giant, Octopus, Side B, where the label had the full-size Vertigo logo printed in it.

With the vinyl rotating, the logo generated a 3D Optical illusion. I was hypnotized, I spent hours staring at that drawing.

Second musical memory: “Dad, please, put the music where there are kids singing, an ass with wig and eyes and hammers walking”. (The Wall)

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Guess the best musical memories are related to gigs I’ve seen.

I’ve been an avid music listener in my teens but haven’t seen any big band live because no one came down in Sardinia to play music.

Finally, at the age of 17, a couple of friends ad I organised a trip to Milan to attend the gig of our idols: Dream Theater!

To leave the island we needed of course to take a ship, It was an amazing experience, first time travelling with no adult supervision, seeing new places, watching your heroes playing your fav songs few meters from you, people jumping, moshpit.

Amazing. Sometimes I’d like to revive an experience like this. It was something completely new that I’ve never seen before. Real musicians, wow!

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

This question is not easy. Honestly, I don’t have absolute beliefs, I always question myself, thanks to the experiences I’ve had in my life. Human history itself has shown that certain assumptions, certain beliefs deeply rooted in society for a certain period, have turned out to be incorrect or otherwise limited.

Perhaps the only thing I believe at the moment is that the human being is evil and that in order to justify himself he had to create someone above or there responsible for his behaviour.

But I want to be clear, I don’t think ALL human beings are bad. There are many good people, like me for example, otherwise, we would have been extinct with an atomic war in the ’80s to the sound of Rust in Peace by Megadeth played by Vangelis on the synthesizer.

(I know Rust in Peace was released in 1990 but if I have to imagine the end of the world I imagine it in my own way.)

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

The artistic progression does not happen to everyone. There are many artists who have been repeating themselves for decades. The absence of artistic progression makes you an assembly line product, sterile and rigid made for mass consumption.

The artistic progression, which in my opinion consists of evolving, in developing new skills and therefore new ideas, in breaking out of the mould, takes you to unexplored, inaccessible territories, lands to conquer, where your survival skills are put to the test. In short, it makes you suffer, it makes you feel alive and unique.

How do you define success?

My definition of success is when you look at what you do and who you are and what you see it’s exactly what you wanted to do and be.

It’s not a matter of numbers or money.

It’s having no regrets, it’s being able to say “I wanted to do it so I tried” instead of “I haven’t done it because I don’t know if I’m capable” or “I wish I’d be like this but I can’t.”

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

Racist, ignorant, misogynistic and corrupt people rise to power. It hurts even more when you realize they have been voted on in regular elections.

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

I have an idea for a book/novel. It’s a dream I had once it was weird because the story had a twist towards the end that I wasn’t expecting. My brain played it very well during that dream.

I still remember it.

Also, I’d like to create a fictional universe, like Gene Roddenberry in Star Trek, George Lucas in Star Wars. I’m working on it, but’s not easy when you waste your time doing all the shit I’ve mentioned in question 1.

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

I’m related to this. As I said I like science and math, I work on computers, on machines that follow rules I impose on them. In this field, things have to be done in this way, with this sequence of operation, catch the exception, what If, then else.
Science is something that grows, but laws of physics are that one, you can’t defy them and we are forced to follow them.

Art is exactly what let us deviate from this, Art is something that his not tied to anything, let you build links between phenomena and parallel path. Art is the chaos that makes us non-machine, that scramble the numbers and give us guidance to create something new.

Art is what makes me feel alive after hours spent watching on a screen.

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

To see my family again. To gather together at a table, eat our favourite food and drink the best wine we have, telling each other stories about how we spent the past years.

https://www.facebook.com/grammavedetta
https://www.instagram.com/grammavedetta
https://grammavedetta.bandcamp.com/
www.aliceissleeping.com
https://www.instagram.com/aliceissleeping
https://www.facebook.com/aliceissleeping
https://www.twitter.com/sleepingisalice
https://www.aliceissleeping.bandcamp.com
https://shop.mandronerecords.com/

Aliceissleeping, Completely Fine (2021)

Gramma Vedetta, A.C.I.D. Compliant (2020)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kevin McNamara of The Age of Truth

Posted in Questionnaire on May 21st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

kevin mcnamara the age of truth

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: Kevin McNamara of The Age of Truth

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

I became a singer because I heard Jon Anderson singing “Long Distance Run Around” and it hit my soul. I was drawn to that voice. It was so odd and beautiful to me. When I heard Stevie Wonder harmonize with the keys in “Living For The City” I was drawn to him as well.

And then the roof caved in.

I bought Black Sabbath’s first album and when Ozzy sang “your love for me has just got to be real,” I cried.

Truth.

As I grow older, I have learned what to do and what not to do as a singer. I’ve learned it after singing with a million bands and I’m still learning. That’s the beauty of growing wiser with age.

Describe your first musical memory.

KISS on the Paul Lynde Halloween Special! They were so bad ass!

Describe your best musical memory to date.

That’s still to come for me because I love this whole scene and at any given moment we might create that memory. So, thus far? All of them. With more to come!

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

When I first heard “Bobby Brown Goes Down” by Frank Zappa.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I swear I feel like if I don’t change the scenery in my head, I might lose it. I don’t think of the past or any connection to it until I’m way ahead and looking back and going, “Ah I remember that!”

But I’m here in the present. I made it to here and that’s what matters.

How do you define success?

Not by money. Marley nailed it. “Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”

What is something you’ve seen but wished you hadn’t?

The record companies screwing honest, hard working musicians. To me that’s evil.

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

The perfect Sunday afternoon.

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

Art is to test the senses. I’m an asshole that way. Nothing is good enough for me? Ever.

I’m slow to accept praise I’m slow to a feel like I created something that does that.

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

I’m looking forward to seeing JJ again at shows! And everyone else. I miss everyone!

Love you and don’t stop being you!

http://www.theageoftruth.net
https://theageoftruth.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/theageoftruth
https://www.instagram.com/theageoftruth/
https://twitter.com/TheAgeOfTruth

The Age of Truth, Resolute (2021)

Frank Zappa, “Bobby Brown (Goes Down)”

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alex Hurst of Boss Keloid

Posted in Questionnaire on May 20th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

boss keloid alex hurst

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: Alex Hurst of Boss Keloid

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

I make sounds and melody with my vocal chords and my guitar over twisting landscapes of music. I came to do this by meeting like-minded lovers of music and strangeness and having an urge to create.

Describe your first musical memory.

Watching my older brother’s band jamming in my mum and dad’s garage as a young kid. I think they were covering Nirvana ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and it blew my tiny, young mind.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Playing live and seeing someone singing the words you have written back to you with passion, it always gets me every single time and each time the memory becomes engraved in my brain.

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

I don’t have any firmly held beliefs. I like to think I’m a very open minded person and I will always listen to someone else’s point of view before realising I was right all along… haha.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

It can only lead to greatness but that’s only if your artistic path is good in the first place of course.

How do you define success?

Success to me is happiness. If I’m happy and smiling then it’s a complete success as far as I’m concerned.

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

I run a rehearsal studios and have done for the past 20 years in Wigan called Urbansound and one time I walked in on someone (who I knew) having sex in one of my rooms and I just happened to have a Henry Hoover in my hands at the time, it was a very awkward encounter.

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

The greatest Dub Reggae album ever! It will happen at some point and it’s going to have vibes galore I promise.

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

Making people buzz and provoking thoughts. Without art this world would be a dead planet.

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

A proper get together at the Hurst palace of sound (my house). We did have these gatherings quite frequently before Mr. Covid came a-knocking.

https://www.facebook.com/bosskeloidband
https://twitter.com/bosskeloid
http://www.bosskeloid.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://www.instagram.com/ripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Boss Keloid, “Smiling Thrush”

Boss Keloid, “Gentle Clovis” official video

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Christopher Skowronski of Kings Destroy & Killing Time

Posted in Questionnaire on May 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Christopher Skowronski of Kings Destroy & Killing Time

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: Christopher Skowronski of Kings Destroy & Killing Time

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

I think it’s easiest and most accurate to say that I am simply a musician. Music has been the single most important thing in my life since I was a young kid, it’s what I think about most of the time, it’s what I spend the majority of my free time on. Beside playing and writing songs for the bands I play in now (and many others in the past), I have also produced, engineered, and mixed records with/for other bands. If a good song comes on the radio when I’m driving, I inadvertently play drums on the steering wheel and make my wife crazy. I suppose you could say in the broader sense that I am an “artist” and my medium is music, but that sounds a bit pretentious. So yeah, I’d define myself as a musician and what I do as just creating music. Pretty straight forward.

In terms of how I came to it, that is directly due to my family, particularly my older brother, Steven. I am the youngest of six children, and there was always a lot of old rock music playing in my house when I was a kid. My brother is ten years older than I am, and he was/is a musician. When I was very young—in the early to mid ’70s—he was a teenager listening to mostly classic rock. Sabbath, Kiss, Cheap Trick, etc. So that’s what I was listening to as a kid. He and his friends had a band, and they would play in my basement and do shows in our little backyard. (There is an old photo floating around of me sitting in on bongos during one of these backyard gigs!) In the later ’70s, he got into the first wave of punk, so then I got to listen to The Ramones, The Clash, the Sex Pistols, and then later lots of New Wave, like The Cars, Joe Jackson, etc. He kept playing in bands and started doing club gigs at places like the old Rising Sun in Yonkers and the Left Bank in Mount Vernon. By this time, there were drums and amps in the basement and guitars in his room. So, when he wasn’t around, I would sneak into his room and take out the guitar. (Sorry, Steve!) I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew it was cool! This was probably around the time I was 10, so, like, 1980.

As I moved into my young teens, he started getting heavily into The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and that kind of stuff. So then I got an education in all of those types of bands. At this point, I had also moved into discovering the New Wave of British Heavy Metal on my own, and became a massive Iron Maiden fan (Up the Irons!). That was kind of my first foray into music that hadn’t come to me directly from him. The punk stuff he had hipped me to also led to me discovering more of the hardcore punk stuff on my own. West Coast stuff like Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies, some early New York and D.C. stuff. Most of it was music I discovered on my own through friends, though I have a distinct memory of the two of us in his car, driving my mom somewhere. We dropped her off, and as soon as she was out of the car, he said, “Time for some Misfits!” and cranked Walk Among Us. That was definitely the first time I’d heard them.

Anyway, when I was about 12 or 13, I saved up money from a paper route (remember those?) and bought my first guitar: a Harmony Flying V copy from the Montgomery Ward catalog. I was really into the Scorpions at the time, so the V was a no-brainer. I fucked around with it, having no real idea what I was doing. One day, I kept spinning Maiden’s “Flight of Icarus,” trying to figure out how to play it, but having no real clue what I was supposed to do. After picking up the needle about twenty times and making some god-awful random noise with my guitar, he came into my room, a little exasperated, and was like, “Let me just show you something.” He then taught me exactly one thing: How to play a barre chord. It was basically, “This is kind of all you need for now— figure out the rest on your own.” So I just kind of took it from there. I know this story makes it sound like he wasn’t super supportive of me playing, but my read on it was, I was the little brother, and he wanted to see if I was just fucking around with all of this or whether I was serious about it. Eventually, as I got better on my own, he would show me more things here and there, and I think he finally accepted that I was serious about it and was very supportive. To this day, I still send him demos of new songs I write, and he gives me feedback on them. So very long story short, my brother is the primary reason I became a musician. Eventually after playing in a bunch of garage bands, then I met the guys that I still play with now in Killing Time and KD, and became part of that second wave, late ’80s NYHC scene. Started playing in bands and playing shows. That was around 1988/89. Still best friends and playing with all of them today.

Describe your first musical memory.

Playing my oldest sister’s collection of Beatles 45’s. I’m a massive Beatles fan, and it can probably be traced back to that. I think that and the power pop that my brother turned me on to in the ’80s is why I still love really strong vocal melodies and harmonies, even in heavier music.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I was just talking about this with a couple friends last night. In 1988, I saw AC/DC at the Nassau Coliseum. It was general admission for the floor, and I went with a good friend who was a serious AC/DC fan. The plan was, “We’re getting there early, we’re getting to the front of the line, and when they open, we are getting right up to the front of the stage.” So that’s what we did. Back then, when they opened general admission, you had to run full speed and kind of fight off all the others who had the same plan as you, but we pulled it off. All this is to say that I got to see AC/DC at their prime, pressed right up to the stage, directly in front of Angus’s Marshall stacks for nearly two hours. I was just getting absolutely blasted right in the face by his cranked rig. It was like a religious experience. Probably my fist taste of tinnitus too!

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

I’ve had a couple friends who have had pretty serious struggles with drugs, and have seen them do some really awful shit to me and others in the process. I think my test was learning that really loving and caring about someone isn’t quite enough in those situations. That lifelong friendship doesn’t mean shit to someone in the throes of serious addiction. You just have to learn to to let go to a certain extent. I do think love and support are still essential in a situation like that, but I learned that they aren’t enough, at least in my experience. So I guess that belief was tested and changed as a result.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

For me, it leads to just being fulfilled as a person and feeling like you are continuing to live and grow. That sounds like some self-help book bullshit, but life is a real beatdown most of the time. Just having something you love to do, that you continue learning things about, continue practicing, continue improving upon, is a great way to feel like you are doing something worthwhile with your time on the planet instead of just working to pay bills until you go toes up.

How do you define success?

Making something you are happy with and proud of. That’s it. Probably sounds kind of corny, but it’s true. Everything else good that might happen from what you do after that is just a bonus.

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

I saw a woman commit suicide by jumping from the roof of a 12-floor apartment building. Wish I hadn’t seen that.

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

An instrumental metal record. I did a little side-project over the last couple of years and put out an instrumental song, but it was more on the jamming, boogie-rock side. I’ve always wanted to write and record a really epic all-instrumental metal record. I actually started working on one near the start of the pandemic, but it turned into me just using some of the material for new Kings Destroy songs.

I’ve also done some visual stuff, like the video I made for “Fantasma Nera” last year. I am by no means a visual artist, and don’t claim to have any real talent for it, but I really enjoyed it, and would love to do more.

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

To make you feel like there is something that separates you from the (other) animals. I think that works in terms of both for creating art and experiencing it.

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

The New York Knicks finally being in the NBA playoffs again!

https://www.facebook.com/KingsDestroy/
https://www.instagram.com/kingsdestroy_band/
http://www.kingsdestroy.com/
https://kingsdestroy.bandcamp.com/
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Kings Destroy, Fantasma Nera (2019)

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