The Obelisk Questionnaire: Travis X. Abbott of Ealdor Bealu, Sawtooth Monk & More

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

travis x abbott

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: Travis X. Abbott of Ealdor Bealu, Sawtooth Monk, The Western Mystics & Obscured by the Sun

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

I am an artist, through and through. Ever since I was a child, I’ve just had this drive to create things. Originally, I think people thought I was going to grow up to be an illustrator or graphic designer because I was constantly drawing things. But by the time I was a teenager, I found that music was more of my thing and have pursued it ever since. Even now, I still feel similarities between the two, even though I haven’t really drawn anything since childhood. They’re both just avenues of creation. Basically, they both involve playing pretend with an idea, having some fun with it, and working at it until it becomes something that you’re happy you’ve spent some time on.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first musical memory was probably listening to Queen’s A Night at the Opera. At the time, I didn’t know exactly what it was, or how I even came to listen to it in the first place. I was probably six or seven years old… I’m not sure. But I remembered the band’s name and that sound. It was only years later that I figured out exactly what album it was, because when I heard the first few notes of “Death on Two Legs,” I immediately knew how the rest of the album going to go. And then it all clicked.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

If I had to choose just one, I think my favorite musical memory was playing with The Western Mystics at Treefort Music Fest (Boise, ID) in 2016. It was a total risk on everyone’s part. The band itself was more “free,” meaning that we had a few themes we would play, but would improvise most of the set, and all transitions were based off of certain cues that any particular band member would signal. We had two baritone guitars, keys, drums, some ambient vocals, and had only been a full band for just a few months. Nevertheless, Treefort had us slotted for one of the prime spots on opening night of the 2016 festival (which was right after the set of other band I am in, Ealdor Bealu, on the same stage).

The house was packed and the crowd was electric, and we somehow nailed all of the transitions. Not many bands take such risks, it seems, and I don’t blame them. It had the potential to be a trainwreck, but we trusted each other musically and let the music itself lead us. Every member of that band was musically gifted, so ultimately, I wasn’t too concerned, but was still blown away by our performance, the energy of the room, and the warm reception we received. It was kind of a spiritual experience, and it set the standard for what I want music to mean to me.

In a way, I knew that the music we were making together in that group wasn’t going to last long, as the band itself formed out of the desire to play music for music’s sake – nothing more or less. In a world where you’re often told that you have to keep figuring out ways to impress audiences, it was pure freedom to just go out and play our hearts out for no other reason than to enjoy the process. I often look back to that exact performance when I need to remind myself that music is supposed to be, at its core, a cathartic and joyful experience.

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

In reality, just about every time I read a well-written book this happens – which is often. Although I am an individual who has my own firm convictions, I am also a person who believes that adaptation is the key to survival, and I try to keep an open-mind to new experiences that shed light on things that I would not have previously considered. Sometimes this can be agonizing, which is why many people avoid such circumstances. In this sense, the last time that a truly firm belief of mine was challenged was just a few years ago when I had to go through the work to untie many of the self-destructive knots of my own mind – which is something I believe more people should be doing. My mind was running many self-destructive “programs” or “software,” so to speak, but of course, I didn’t realize it until I was tested. It took a lot of dismantling of my own self-perception in order to heal.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I’m not sure how to answer this question, as I feel that there’s not really a destination. Sure, I’d like to have more people listen to my music, to regularly release albums that people enjoy, to play shows in other countries, and even to make a living doing it all. But even then, it’s as simple as working to get better at my craft merely for the sake of getting better at my craft. If I can keep doing this, then I feel the music should speak for itself, and by doing so, I hope it inspires others to pursue what they have a drive to do as well.

How do you define success?

Success is just creating a life in which you can be at peace with yourself – to be able to find your center anywhere you go – even during times of great turmoil. At the end of the day, I just want to know that I made the best of the opportunities I was presented, and did the best that I could with what I had to work with. To me, adding anything more to this definition makes it much more unrealistic.

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

There are a few things… that I won’t elaborate on. But I do think that anytime someone you once looked up to is revealed to be a questionable person (to say the least), you wish that you hadn’t placed them on such a high pedestal to begin with. When you finally see such people for who they truly are, you definitely spend a great amount of time wishing you hadn’t seen what you did. You often wish that you could just ignore some of the things you’ve seen because life we be so much simpler if you could. But you can’t un-see things. Growing up can fuck you up. And don’t worship other human beings.

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

I want to create an actual story – like a comic book, novel or film. To me, that’s the ultimately piecing together of a puzzle. You can emulate this process with music at times, but it’s much more abstract. I’d love to just create an entire world of characters and settings and pour all of my thoughts and understanding into it.

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

I believe the most essential function of art is to hold a mirror up to society and challenge its perceptions. Art helps us understand others and makes conversations possible. It is a form of communication that provides perspective and allows us to look at the past, present and future simultaneously. In our society, we tend to be encouraged to view art as only being “entertainment,” which completely misses the mark in my mind. Art is much more than that. It allows us to actively shape our world without trying to force people to see things our way against their will. You can’t directly change someone’s perception by actively trying to change them, but you can plant seeds of change – which can be done most effectively through art. If you truly want to make the world a better place, then turn to art to discover the answers you seek. Each observer must find the answers for themselves in order for the message to be fully received. And through art, this is possible.

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

I’m looking forward to doing more hiking during the summer and hopefully playing more basketball at some point (although both activities seem to be destroying my knees). Other than that, I’m really looking forward to the new DUNE movie. I really love Frank Herbert’s original six books, but can’t stand David Lynch’s 1984 film (to the fans of this film, I am sorry), and am not that interested in any of the newer books that weren’t written by Frank.

https://www.facebook.com/sawtoothmonk
https://www.instagram.com/sawtooth_monk/
https://sawtoothmonk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ealdorbealu/
https://ealdorbealu.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thewesternmystics/
http://thewesternmystics.bandcamp.com/

Sawtooth Monk, Peregrination (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Jessie May of Turkey Vulture, Owl Maker, MetalheadMoney, Alternative Control, and More

Posted in Questionnaire on February 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

jessie-may

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: Jessie May of Turkey Vulture, Owl Maker, AltCtrlCT, and More

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

Defining what I do is the hard part. I enjoy writing and music, and do bit of both. My illustrious writing career began in middle school with an “underground newsletter” of dirty jokes called The Funky Chicken. (Apparently my bird obsession goes back a long way too.) Right now I edit the blogs Alternative Control and Metalhead Money, and do some freelance copywriting on the side. I also self-published a book about personal finance last year, called Money Hacks for Metalheads and Old Millennials. I came to do that through a lot of research, personal screw-ups, and some extra time on my hands due to the pandemic.

Re: music… My most active band right now is Turkey Vulture, where I play guitar and sing. My husband Jim plays drums. I like to think of us as a really loud Americana band, but there are influences from doom, punk, and 80s metal as well. Turkey Vulture’s journey started about twelve years ago when I joined Jim’s band Pink Missile. Several bands, a marriage, and one baby boy later, here we are!

Bass is my main instrument, or at least the one I’m decent at playing. I’m on “maternity leave” from a folk band called The Shoutbacks and I’m also the bassist of Owl Maker, who I hope will come out of hibernation once all this pandemic stuff is over.

Describe your first musical memory.

Probably hearing that song “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” as a nursery rhyme or something.

I also remember singing along to the Allman Brothers and Vanilla Ice cassettes in my dad’s truck!

Describe your best musical memory to date.

My best musical memory is a recent one: Jim and I made a playlist for the hospital to listen to during our son’s arrival. The playlist ended up being longer than the entire labor and delivery process lol… One highlight was hearing “Faithless” by Social Distortion in the delivery room shortly after our son was born, which was our wedding song.

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

I can’t think of a specific time, but I remember thinking during my first marriage (which ended in divorce), “Gee, this is a lot harder than it looks!”

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Speaking for myself, I’ve gotten more comfortable advocating for my own musical ideas. I no longer need other band members to confirm for me that a riff or something is “cool” — not that I want to run a band dictatorship lol, but it feels good to have more confidence.

On the other hand, my “artistic progression” of playing in basement metal bands also means I’m rusty at things like reading sheet music.

How do you define success?

Music-wise, I think success is creating something that connects with your audience and communicates a story or feeling to them. And if people like it enough to buy it, even better!

In broader terms, success is spending your time in a meaningful way and making your corner of the world a better place — whether that’s through your relationships, job, art, or all of the above.

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

I wish I could erase thousands of crime show episodes from my memory; I think they have made me distrustful and even paranoid about certain things. But on the other hand, there are a lot of disturbed people out there — and my aim is to avoid running into them.

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

Welp, Turkey Vulture has another five or six songs we could possibly record. Jim and I have talked about giving it a try this summer if we can wrangle the cost and scheduling. Until then, it’s gonna be all home-recorded GarageBand demos!

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

To communicate ideas and feelings.

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

Watching our baby grow! And hopefully adding a little brother or sister to the lineup. ;)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GBCGVXS?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420
https://www.facebook.com/turkeyvultureband/
https://turkeyvulture.bandcamp.com/
https://www.alternativecontrolct.com/
https://www.metalheadmoney.com/
https://www.facebook.com/owlmakermetal/
https://www.instagram.com/owlmakermetal/
https://owlmaker.bandcamp.com

Turkey Vulture, Tummy Time (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Francis Roberts of Old Man Wizard & King Gorm

Posted in Questionnaire on February 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

francis roberts

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: Francis Roberts of Old Man Wizard, King Gorm, etc.

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

It’d take awhile to itemize it, but when I boil it down I basically look for new ways to have fun, and one of my favorite things to do is writing music. Right now I’m working on a new Old Man Wizard album (the songs are recorded! Now for the boring business side lol) and the first full-length Yaga-Shura album (that one is further away from being done). I’m toying with ideas for a second King Gorm release but that’s not really past the ideas phase. I’m focusing a great deal of my energy on my YouTube channel at the moment, too. I scored a portion of the upcoming film “The Spine of Night” which is the first feature-length film with my name in the credits!

Describe your first musical memory.

I may have it mixed up, but my parents either got me a toy guitar in Tijuana as a kid, a toy keyboard as a kid. After that it was recorder in school and then clarinet, and then generally not liking music for years before discovering the electric guitar as a teenager.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I have a few that are pretty close to a tie:

-hearing my songs on an LP for the first time (it’s cool every time, one of the best feelings).

-being told I have created someone’s favorite song or album (also amazing every time it happens).

-watching a theater of people who (mostly) didn’t speak my language trying to sing along with a song I wrote.

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

When I was growing up I always firmly believed in the power of good, and that even the worst people can find ways to redeem themselves. Although I’m still an optimistic person, I no longer believe that.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

When executed purely, I think it leads to true honesty.

How do you define success?

Are you able to experience happiness regularly? You’re successful.

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

I typed out my answer, but even looking at it written down made me physically uncomfortable, so I’ve decided I’d rather not force you to read about it. Let’s just say that I’ve seen exactly one thing so fucking vile that I’d probably choose to erase the memory completely, given the choice. I guess it’d also be nice to unsee the entirety of whatever disgusting images people showed me in the early 2000s on rotten.com and other old internet nightmares like tubgirl.

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

A hobby I come back to from time to time is creating video games. At some point I hope I make one that I feel good enough about to share publicly.

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

To inspire the imaginations of others (ideally leading to the creation of more art).

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

Spending time with my friends. Visiting my dad’s new home when it’s safe to travel by plane.

https://www.facebook.com/Old.Man.Wizard/
http://twitter.com/oldmanwizard
https://www.instagram.com/oldmanwizard/
http://oldmanwizard.com/
https://www.facebook.com/king.gorm.usa/
https://www.instagram.com/king.gorm/
https://kinggorm.bandcamp.com/
https://francisroberts.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/f_c_r_
http://instagram.com/francisroberts

Francis Roberts, Story From Another Time (2020)

King Gorm, King Gorm (2020)

Old Man Wizard, Blame it all on Sorcery (2018)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Spring Chase of Generator Doom Doc & More

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

spring chase

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: Spring Chase of ‘Generator Doom’ Documentary & More

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

Filmmaker, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Journalist and drummer for the most unearthed, underground female Doom Metal band out there. That’s exactly how and when I started too. I met my old guitar player Amber Von Doom at Emissions for the Monolith Fest in 2002. Barbitchuwitch procreated from the wickedness, and I moved to Detroit. We never toured or were invited to a fest because after the EP was recorded I left the murder capital. The artistic people are the ones that make up Motor City. I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity for the world to hone more of my love for doom, death, black and punk n’ metal. I learned along the way I am a solo, visual artist and the exact opposite of a military brat which doesn’t make any room left to be in a band for a long enough period to even have a discography.

Describe your first musical memory?

I grew up around Kentuckiana and attended bluegrass festivals early on, but my first introduction to Stonerock was with “Sky Valley” and “Blues For The Red Sun.” Monster Magnet was my first official metal concert. A lot of these moments and albums inspired me to start writing for European rock zines online and Sleazegrinder.com.

Describe your best musical memory to date?

I truly believe I levitated when Pentagram played at Maryland Death Fest, but best memorable moments in music was making the Doom Metal documentary that took eight plus years to make. I worked with the legends, like Terry Jones (Pagan Altar) and Al Morris III (Iron Man) who passed away before I could officially release the uncut version for others to see. The Gates of Slumber, Saint Vitus and many more would come into the scenery, and probably my favorite interview from the documentary was with Candlemass.

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

Interviewing The Obsessed for the Doom Metal documentary tested some dignity and every last nerve I had. It came to the point during the making that I was becoming the fifth and sixth member of every band in it, and learning things I could have gone without knowing, perhaps. Some stoner rock is better left unturned.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

It can lead to the gallows if you put all of your heart into it without your head.

How do you define success?

I like how Lori from Acid King once put it. Success could be interpreted by remaining in the same band while balancing out your home life all the while you do it.

What is something you seen that you wished you hadn’t?

Watching some of the TGOS bandmates die was pretty heavy. They are nearby my region where I am based out of and is sad to see the imprint that could leave on people playing in Doom Metal. Drugs are a thing of the hair metal past we all seen coming in our early pre-teens and had viable enough time to avoid it. The way I see it really is these horrible manufactured drugs nowadays are not even worth the total loss of creativity and talent by any means. A couple bad seeds could break a genre that hasn’t every really had the full potential to expand to maximum capacity. Corruptions lame and it doesn’t have a music preference.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you would like to create?

If I told you I would have to order a film and photo release if not a Confidentiality Agreement.

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

An artist must have the environment if not the workspace to create, therefore the most essential function of art is the atmosphere it produces.

Something non-musical that you are looking forward to do?

This is funny that you ask, because as of lately I have seen so many musicians pulling rabbits out of their hats to make ends meet now that so many current obstacles stand in their way financially and economically. I am looking forward to creating more essential visual artworks without bending a single belief. Take Victor Griffin’s commentary from Generator Doom documentary, “Keep your eye on the prize, and spend your time wisely.” With that being said, I should be graduating with a Bachelors if I heed the warning in Summer/Fall 2022.

https://www.springchase.org/
https://vimeo.com/buzzcoven
http://miseryisland.blogspot.com/

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Jasper Hesselink of No Man’s Valley

Posted in Questionnaire on February 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

jasper hesselink no mans valley

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: Jasper Hesselink of No Man’s Valley

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

I am a singer, a writer of lyrics, a writer of reviews, a teacher of English, and a father of two girls (age 8 and 11). I have always wanted to play in bands so I made it happen from the moment it was possible. I even studied English to be able to write better lyrics ;) So far I have played over 200 shows, made three EPs and two full-length albums. At the moment The Netherlands has quite a severe lockdown so we have not able to practice normally for months. I have started my own music blog Weirdo Shrine to kill some time and because I love to discover new music and practice my writing: https://weirdoshrine.wordpress.com/

Describe your first musical memory.

Well, I am well in my thirties, so my first experiences discovering bands were all through tape trading, borrowing CDs from my friends’ bigger brothers and so on. Getting into heavier rock music for me started with Iron Maiden’s first 10 albums. I don’t think I ever played any other band as much as them. I sometimes miss those days when you really had to hunt music down and it wasn’t so easily available as these days. Finding an album and buying it was a completely different experience than it is today.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

My best musical memories probably stem from playing live with No Man’s Valley. Our best gigs were probably supporting The Stranglers and meeting them backstage was a dream come true too. My best memory however was playing Freak Valley Festival in 2018. We had some bad luck because the generator supporting the stage broke down in the middle of our set, but it turned out pretty great because the whole crowd started singing along to the song even while they didn’t know the lyrics. It so heartwarming when a crowd is there for you, even when you strike bad luck like that. I shook a lot of hands afterwards at the merch stands, that made me feel like a million bucks.

This is what that looked like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr3wI6z3AMo&ab_channel=NoMan%27sValley

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

Well I believe The Netherlands where I live is a safe place, and that you should be able to go wherever you want to at any time. I used to ride my bike everywhere and at any time, but this one night I was hit by a motorbike which skidded to the ground. I was unharmed, and I got up to check on the people on the motorbike but when I got there this guy started attacking me. I was so stunned I didn’t even move while this guy just kept hitting me with his fists. That’s when I saw the gun. Apparently he dropped it when his motorbike hit me. He picked up the gun and I started running, he shot at me seven times and somehow missed. That was a huge test for my belief in safe and dull Holland to be honest. Much later I wrote the song “7 Blows” about that experience.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Who cares really haha, I have learned that it doesn’t really matter where your artistic progression leads you, as long as it still takes you places. For me and my band music has always been such an incredibly important outlet. It’s like an ongoing therapy session sometimes haha. As long as it still means that for us it’s worth doing and it doesn’t really matter what the outcome is.

How do you define success?

Just being able to live in the moment, creating something out of nothing, and really enjoying what you doing while doing it is a success to me. Another level of success for me is to be able to juggle all the different parts of my life without compromising too much, I’m still working on that ;)

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

The Blair Witch Project. I don’t think I ever walked comfortably in a forest after seeing that.

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

I still really like to write and record a mega jam. We are bad at that, we mostly write song-songs. We are working on it at the moment but Corona is slowing us down unfortunately. The working title is “Flight of the Sloths” so perhaps you can imagine what it will sound like!

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

Practicing the magic of creating something out of nothing.

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

Hugging a bunch of people once this shit show is over. I am pretty introverted so I don’t really miss it all that much, but it’s been a year since I hugged my mom and dad and my sister so I am very much looking forward doing that again.

www.nomansvalley.com
https://www.facebook.com/nomansvalley
https://twitter.com/nomansvalley
https://instagram.com/nomansvalley/
nomansvalley.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/Tonzonen/
https://www.instagram.com/tonzonenrecords/
https://www.tonzonen.de

No Man’s Valley, Outside the Dream (2019)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alex Risberg of 10,000 Years

Posted in Questionnaire on February 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

alex risberg 10000 years

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 Risberg of 10,000 Years

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

I’m a musician who plays in a band. I just look at it as playing metal, basically, and I have been doing just that for about seventeen years now. Music has always been an incredibly huge part of my life and it’s something that’s always there. I think about it all the time, I listen to it and play it myself as often as I possibly can. I started my first band in 2004 with my brother and a couple of friends and I’ve been playing in bands from then on. It’s just something that I absolutely love to do and I can’t see myself ever not doing it.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first really vivid musical memory, that I actually remember for myself and haven’t been told by a parent or something, is my dad buying me and my brother a copy of the Kiss-collection “Greatest Kiss” back in -97. I’m sure there are several other instances where music played a part in my early life, since my dad’s a drummer and there was always music playing at his place, but this is something that I know for sure is my memory, and mine alone. I distinctly remember sitting on the floor of my dads old apartment and putting that CD on, and when “Detroit Rock City” kicked in… Wow. There was no turning back from that. That record blew me away in so many ways and besides getting me truly, deeply hooked on music it made me a lifelong member of the Kiss Army.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

In 2012 my old band Pike released our debut album, To Cross The Great Divide, but since we all lived in different parts of Sweden we unfortunately couldn’t play live as much as we might have wanted to. But one of the shows we did play that year was so epic it made up for the rest.

My buddy David Johansson from Kongh told me they had gotten offered the support slot for Baroness show in Stockholm that July. They had turned it down but he had told the promoter about Pike instead, and sure enough we got an email that same day. This was like two-three days before the show was scheduled. Of course we said yes, Baroness being one of our favourite bands, and then we scrambled to get the logistics together, being so spread out, plus we hadn’t played together at all for about three months then. But everything went great, above and beyond any expectations, and it was probably the best show we ever played. And just to be there, to get that opportunity, everything about it was just so amazing. It was our first really big show and that’s something I’ll never forget.

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

I absolutely, truly believed that “Danzig Sings Elvis” would be amazing. But alas, that was not to be. Someone needs to give Glenn a stern talking to.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Hopefully to more art and more music and in the long run to a better, more caring society. On a personal level I hope it leads to a deeper understanding of my own, and others, art and to a more profound expression of that art.

How do you define success?

If you’re doing something that makes you happy, that’s pretty much it for me. Like with 10,000 Years, I know we’re never going to take over the world, but we really, really love what we do and we have found a home in this band and with each other. The fact that other people that we’ve never met from all over the world seem to like what we do as well is just insane to me and I appreciate that so deeply. So in my mind we’ve already achieved all the success that we’ll ever need.

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

I can’t really think of something that I would like to have unseen actually, at least not in any personal way. But there’s a lot of shitty movies and concert footage I might as well never have seen.

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

The ultimate riff, the ultimate song or the ultimate album is always in ones future and I always look forward to creating the next attempt at that.

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

To bring happiness and joy to people and to bring people together and in the long run hopefully improve our collective society.

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

I am looking forward to this pandemic hopefully coming to an end soon. So wash your hands, keep your distance and take the vaccine when it becomes available to you!

http://www.facebook.com/TenThousandyrs
https://instagram.com/10.000yrs
http://10000years.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Interstellar-Smoke-Records-101687381255396/
https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/

10,000 Years, 10,000 Years

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The Obelisk Questionnaire Earl Walker Lundy of Shadow Witch

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

earl walker lundy

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: Earl Walker Lundy

of Shadow Witch, Swarm of Flies, 0h Greenman

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

I first found a “voice” through drawing, and then painting, but music always had the strongest pull on me.

I sang along with the radio, I sang in Church, I sang in my room while I was drawing, but when I finally got on stage with some loud guitars and a drummer everything made sense — I made sense.

It was like my “lightbulb” moment.

Describe your first musical memory.

My father was always singing; when I was really little we’d go walking way out in the country, near where he grew up. He would almost always sing hymns, like “I Come to the Garden Alone,” but occasionally folk songs.

I remember he liked singing Ledbelly’s “Goodnight Irene.”

Describe your best musical memory to date.

It’s been a while, but it still might have to be seeing The Mars Volta live.

The band was just on fire, and Cedric was channeling serious spirits that night. Like a soul possessed.

Otherwise, it would have to be walking (again with my dad) past a “sharecropper’s” house, and seeing the man on the porch of that house playing guitar using a knife for a slide.

THAT is a uniquely special memory.

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

In this context “tested” implies temptation to me, and temptation for me is always of a sexual nature.

So I guess leaving the moral constricts of my Judeo-Christian heritage behind me was an important “test.”

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Hopefully to more art. More work. More opportunities. More experience.

How do you define success?

How I’d define it now is definitely very different than I would have in my youth – fame and fortune and all that.

I would like to find a larger audience for the work I do, sure, but ultimately one makes “art for arts sake” – for ones self, so I suppose just having that opportunity is a success in itself.

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

My first thought would be that of seeing someone die in front of me, but in reality, that’s quite a powerful gift.

Memory is pain, but that pain is power.

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

I’d like to score films. I don’t read or write music in a classical sense, but Brian Eno was an early influence, and I know how to use the studio as an instrument.

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

To convey emotion.

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

Walking into a bar and hanging with friends. And bearhugs, lots of bearhugs!

www.facebook.com/shadowwitch.band
www.shadowwitch.bandcamp.com
www.argonautarecords.com

Shadow Witch, Under the Shadow of a Witch (2020)

0h Greenman, “Grandchester Meadows” official video

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lee Dorrian

Posted in Questionnaire on July 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

lee dorrian

There is not much one might do in doom or metal in general that Lee Dorrian hasn’t done. From getting his start at the beginnings of grindcore with Napalm Death to forming the massively influential Cathedral to fostering and continuing to develop an underground rock aesthetic few can predict or match with Rise Above Records — giving bands like Orange GoblinWitchcraftNaevusRevelation and Electric Wizard a home in their early stages — his work over the better part of the last 30 years has not only resulted in badass records like Cathedral‘s 1991 debut, Forest of Equilibrium, or the 2002 Rampton album from the one-off project Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine with members of SunnO))) and Iron Monkey, but has actively played a role in reshaping what we think of as heavy. An inimitable stage presence, Dorrian put Cathedral to rest in 2013 after the release of The Last Spire (review here), but he continues his forward-thinking work with Rise Above, releasing landmark works from the likes of Ghost and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats as well as potential doom-shapers like Lucifer.

This week, Cathedral reissues their first demo, 1990’s In Memoriam, complete with bonus live material, and I’m thrilled to be able to have Dorrian provide his answers to The Obelisk Questionnaire to mark the occasion:

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lee Dorrian

How did you come to do what you do?

Just from being a fan of music since I was a little kid. From a very early age I was fascinated by not only the music, but also the lifestyle and culture surrounding it. In my early teens I started doing a fanzine, this led me to booking shows in local pubs and venues when I was sixteen. This in turn led me to joining my first ever band, which was Napalm Death and it went from there.

Describe your first musical memory.

I have memories of listening to records with my dad when I was about four years old. In particular, I remember him playing Beach Boys over and over but I also remember rocking out in the living room with him to Slade around the same time. Also, one very vivid memory from around this time was continually playing the Small Faces single on Immediate Records called “Itchycoo Park.” For some reason it had a blue ink stain on the black and white labels and I used to watch it going round and round, whilst the sound effects on the track would make me dizzy, haha. It was my favourite single when I was a little kid but the first single I actually bought with my own pocket money was “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas. After that I got into the Bay City Rollers, then became serious about rock ‘n’ roll and was a Teddy Boy at eight years old! I used to hang around with the older Teds and they showed me the ropes, what to wear, how to dance, etc.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I guess it was hearing a track off the B-side of Scum on the John Peel radio show. He had been my idol (if that’s the right word), since I was 10/11 years old, so hearing him play a record that I was on was just completely surreal. Then I got to know him a bit, which was just amazing. Nothing I did after that really topped it to be honest.

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

When Cathedral signed to Columbia Records in the US. As anarchist teenager, I said I would never be in a band that signed to a major label. The opportunity came to us, we didn’t chase it, or even desire it. All I can say is, we had some great times as a result but it also fucked everything up.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Genuine artist progression leads to absolute greatness, though it depends on how you interpret it. I’m sure many artists I’ve admired early on, but not liked them so much as they’ve “progressed,” would view their progression differently than I would. I’m sure the same could be said for many people that have listened to some things I may have been involved with over the years: I might think it’s good, they might think it’s crap.

How do you define success?

Doing something you believe in and getting it right artistically. To me that would be more important than selling millions of records.

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

Swans a few weeks ago in London. Having said that, the first time I saw them in ‘86 was one of the best shows I have seen in my life.

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

A planet where only cool people lived.

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

My daughter coming back from vacation!

Cathedral, “Morning of a New Day”

Cathedral on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records on Twitter

Rise Above Records

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