Saturday, July 21, 2012

"he who fears death cannot enjoy life."

enjoy life.


thank you - we excited about coming to fingers crossed & everything will go smooth.

1.  The new album Auftheben is great. It's very different from the last 2, isn’t it? More classic BJM stuff?

 who knows... when i go into the studio,its without direction...i try to write until i am inspired,and then edit ideas to reflect some kind of full spectrum of ideas,an audio journey of some kind.the last few records/years i tend to start with drum ideas for simple grooves or beats,then build the music around them.i think the building blocks are the same since the start ... i don't know... classic,forward thinking blah blah's music and and made to be listened to :)

2.  You have been living in Berlin lately. Before that You've been living all over, sort of. Do you find that moving around artistically inspirational?

i really like berlin right now for my life and art and freedom.its a very safe culture & country and the people mind their own business.i don't speak german very well so even the adverts and talk on say the ubahn (subway) just floats past me.i feel like i live in a simpler time because of that...its very peaceful to seems like for my whole life the country of my birth has been at war...the non stop parade of war.ha...that and the quest for riches.its so nice not to be bombarded with all of that media junk.

3.   The word Pastiche is being mentioned a lot in respect to your music, by you, among others. Do you believe that all major artists are building their music using elements from their predecessors, that no artistic innovation comes out of the blue?

 i think innovation and tradition go hand in hand.look at say a general a an army...they study the past,they prepare for the future.they study the enemy,and they bring new things into play.

(In that context, have u seen the film "Rip: a remix manifesto" discussing similar questions while contemplating on issues such as musical copyrights and the struggle to keep creations in a public domain coz every art is built on the past?)

i think that government and copyrights holders / corporations will have to settle these great digital media issues and soon.until then i plan to play both sides of the capture market share via awareness and abstract see,i could take an "anti-pirate" stance like many famous people,but until the nature of the web changes,the file trading that end it is far better to have you music on youtube and p2p being circulated while this is being decided.while metalika and the like publicly wage war... a generation of people tune into tracks by other people and even continue downloading ... even ripping straight from youtube and converting tracks is seems to me that google is the monster no-body dare confront.

4. You said in the past that you started getting records when you were tow years old or so.
Do you encourage your son (how old is he by now?)  to listen to great music from a very early age too? Coz most kids hear crappy childish music up until they r almost teenagers.

children that like music will gravitate to it.i think its important to follow their lead and nurture it if it comes my own life...i listen to music daily so its a non issue .i consider things like every single thing the dysney company promotes and markets to be dangerous / worthless and a waste of time... its a non issue once again as i do not use tv as a babysitter and none of my friends do.. i worry a little bit about the effect of mainstream western media on children and people in general... sort of ironic coming from a person like me :)

5. Do you feel that you need to protect him from "our times" cultural products such as lousy music, shitty TV, mind numbing social networks and stupid iphone gaming?

absolutely,my son lives with his mom in america,but you know i can't sit and watch normal tv or any of this stuff.its not for me in any way.its like poison at this point.

6 .You said in a video interview that the world was shitty then (i.e. in the 60's) but it's shittier now. Do you feel the world is getting a worse place to live in, as time goes by, and why? What part does technology plays in it the process?

 i believe it is time to either increase the power of government to protect people from the power and abuse of the corporation or at the very least to rethink the power that these things in our own's all out of whack.without being some sort of hippy activist,you don't need to look very far to find misadventure being marketed to you.since when did it become ok to market death as nutrition? man these wquestions are far to complex for simple answers.we can not want things for others they they do not want for themselves.i feel like i care about people i do not know and will never seems to me the west is psychopathic in nature.even if you look at the running of massive debt...its like our grandchildren will have to pay it off...but that is the price of freedom or something...paying for other people's debts incurred before you were born.ha.and this logic is the "new norm".

9. How special, if any, is coming to Israel for you? As a person with political knowledge, with fascination of cults, and a deep interest in esoteric matters that we are rich in?
Were you curios about Israel in past years?
You don’t think we actually ride camels to work right? J

 i am excited that i was invited to play.i am aware of the political situations and their complex nature.i gave it a lot of is my own wish that all people should know some degree of peace and security in their life.all people.not one for the other.i can not solve the worlds problems,but i can be honest to myself.i know that there are many different opinions about how to move forward... none of it has anything to do with my music,or with me playing concerts where i am invited.i feel stongly that for bands to boycott israel and not the usa,uk,france,china,dubai hypocritical...all nations fall short of idealogical perfection.i see no reason what so ever to single out the jewish people or nation and i wonder what may be at the root of that end i am sort of looking forward to any political activism that anyone care to lay at my feet.
 i am an artist,i plan to come to tel aviv to play music,and share the things that i feel are unique to our project...and to meet the people that enjoy grand political statement is that i am an artist.i follow my heart and have made my life doing so.i feel like i am blessed that creativity can be like a boat that takes you around the world.its a great way to travel and meet people.

10. What can the fans expect from you're show in Tel Aviv – would u concentrate in the last couple of albums or will u play the old classics as well?

 we plan to play a mix of music that spans our history.psychedelic is such a loose term...for us it means mind expanding.. you are the writer so i will let you describe it...and choose the points of refferance etc. i will add this: there are hundreds of our songs on youtube,but i feel like our music is defined by how we play it live.the recording are just sketches,conceptual art hinting at something else.

There are couples of schools of thought about it, isn’t it? Dos the artist obliged to please his loyal audience with "the hits" or does he suppose to push his new material and in a broader sense, to disappoint his audience, coz it’s the only way to progress and move forward

 i think that there is no right way to go about the business of a live concert.unless you advertise "playing such and such landmark ablum",your duty is to entertain.i think we have learned 6 or 7 songs from the new album...and 30 songs from the body of work...i am amazed when ever i get a chance to revisit the work by how much of an actual unique sound we have...that should be the present the music like a jazz concert ha.

Will u be staying long in Israel? Does it interest u to see places here or to hang out, or will it be a short visit?

i'm not sure what my travel plans are.history is something that i am very interested in.i like the assirian and babylonian collections ha.most of them are in berlin.even if the most impressive pieces were found in jordan - the sumer palace is something i make a point of looking at whenever i visit london,nyc,la or any of the museums that have a portion of plan is to play it by ear for this trip,and visit with the people that invited us.maybe get a feel for tel aviv,then return for a non working trip someday and explore the throne of 3 great religeons and related historical places.

What was the strangest place u toured in? Did you have some funny/weird encounter with people there, some mind blowing cultural differences?

 japan.its amazing...and if you are like me and love japanese think i love most things about that country and culture.even their zenophobia is cute to me.i would love to get a chance to play tokyo again.or even recording a record there...that would be interesting.

11. It was so awesome, when HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" got aired, to see that they used "straight up and down" as the theme song. Where you involved in that or is it just record company thing? Do you like the show? What kind of TV shows do you like?

i am the record company so i think the whole thing was kind of out of the blue.i am very fortunate to have been asked to use a track for this program.the producers integrity is not in question and infact legendary (martin scorsese ? i mean come on right?) i said thank you :)

Did it make u think about making music for TV or films?

 i very much see myself as wanting to create soundtracks in the a hard goal to have being that song placement is not the same thing as soundtrack composition,and hollywood believe it or not is no longer in the film buisness,they are in the billion dollar that end i feel like europe may be the right place for me artistically.i would love to collaberate with people i respect and create an entire soundtrack from the ground up,making a good film even better and perhaps get the chance to work with other artists.

12. I've always admired the honest way you're willing to talk about drugs. Israeli artists rarely are so honest (small country mentality, everyone is your fucking neighbors). Can u tell me about a drugs fueled weird or intense experience u had while on the road/recording/hanging out?

 well.i've outgrown the party does happen you doesn't happen by chance,it can take hard work and resolve to live the type of life you want for yourself.when you are buzzed all of the time...even just a little,to take the edge off or something...then it becomes the new norm for you...and just adjust to it or try for that reason alone.i've moved on with my value judgments other then to say to anyone reading this should seek to be honest with themselves.the only way to stop is to actually stop.i've just mentioned that i want to work on soundtracks...being drunk or high will not help make that happen.

 According to interviews you gave on 2010-11, you quit using drugs and alcohol. To put it simply – why? Is it an age thing? Do you feel it doesn't serve you artistically anymore?

it became counter was never my goal to commit some kind of painless slow motion i stopped when i felt that it was time for me to do so.its easy when you do not feel like you are missing the party in any way.people do drugs and things for many different reasons: they can make you feel euphoric,the world is sad and beautiful and sucks...excitement,mind expanding self pressures and stupidity... i would rather avoid stepping up on some platform to glorify or condem them or their use.i do know from personal experiance that they are powerful and require a great amount of self dicipline...and that seems to conflict with the notion of freedom and not caring.
 i am perfectly happy to be honest about all of it.including me saying that it was time for me to stop and i knew that and that i was able to do that on my own and that for the most part i am enjoying my life more in many ways.

12. You had a rough time with the record companies along the years due to your desire to maintain full artistic liberty. Do you observe their downfall (in the file sharing era we live in) with a gloating stance? Does the situation today that enables artists to make music and distribute in without the suit-guys is proving to contribute to the quality of music being done today?

 bad business is the root of all evil.repeat after me: BAD BUSINESS IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.

it's true the music industry destroyed the music business.bad business and greed.we all need to take a big look at how things are done.reality tv is a perfect you feel like you are being served what you need. i do not... what can i do about it? i guess just carry on being an artist.

13. You said that you are very keen on hearing new good music all the time via friends etc. what great bands are you listening these days?

right now i am so caught up in my own ideas and trying to preform well.i have zero time for other ideas... i guess i should just mention the fact that i have a record label and that we release other groups on this label and that we have albums by these groups: dead skeletons,blue angel lounge,magic castles,the third sound - perhaps i should share my youtube channel - it is for lack of a better word - insane (weird and wonderful,everchanging and mind expanding)

I though about what you said about Jim Jones being a rock star in a way and thought about this song, by a band called odawas
They used Jones's speech in this song, it’s a great piece, I thought I'd send you the link


14. Have u ever heard some Israeli artists?

 i listen to music from all over the world... there use to be a group d4 that i knew about,but you know...i spend so much time making music,that i tend to listen to other things that are not really related to a time style or genra like my own work.i have very eclectic tastes you know.

15. If you could meet the 20 years old Anton, what would have u tell him?

 this is a good question.i am not very nostalgic,i have very few regrettes so i think i would try to talk myself into moving to europe just go for it.all things being what they are,i do not think it would help much being that you have to make your way in the world somehow....i just think that i might have been happier if i tried to relocate earlier in my life.

What advices would u give a young talented musician trying to make great music and succeed in bringing it to the masses?

 to use and try to use anything that you can think of to get your work out there and to grow in the public eye.we love groups that get better....that's something that never happens to big groups that you just turn on the tv one day and see.its not like their next album is going to be better or something.that the exception...but its truly wonderful to watch.decide what you want to do and stick to it,and build on it.but if you are seeking fame and a drug dealer and get busted.ha - there are many ways to achieve that kind of thing...if you love music and playing make your life about that...ignore the popular culture,remember that even the biggests stars loose favor and attention unless their art is about growing and pushing the limits of thier craft.think about david bowie...and less about new kids on the block or one dirrection or whoever the media pushes.they will be me.
 if i was israeli,and working on music...i would tap into the simple fact that after hebrew...what are the languages that jewish people speak?...most.jews come from everywhere,well most places.i would experiment with people and reach out and try things,not just in english...but arab,russian,polich german french,dutch just try to comunicate on a human level while tapping into the entire world and experiance.
 i feel pretty strongly that it might be eaqually important for israel to be about history and also about the future.the arts will play a giant role in that. (hope this makes some sense,i am not having the best time with these questions this morning.)

16. Over the recent years you've managed to play in big festivals in front of giant audiences. How different is it from the intimate, smaller, shows you played in earlier years?

 i love the jazz aspect of our project,not style wise,but rather the presintation and our's like we can do whatever we like how we like,and people are there just to experiance that on their own terms.a festival doesn't work that way at have a time slot and there are sound issues.for the most part we play 1,500 to 3,000 person venues and have for a long time.the one thing i notice is that people don't have the same effect as hecklers in a large venue and i can get on with the business of just playing the music and not fending off assholes trying to get a rise out of me.

17. You said that u were never in a comfort zone. Never felt comfortable. Do you think this feeling is essential to making great art?

 every person is different,not better...unique,but not any more special than another...just different.the only thing that is essential is the is important to inspire others to create.

18. You declared that when recording, you call all the shots. Do you see you're ever changing band mates as some sort of mercenaries or do they have a real artistic contribution to the albums?

 i think that our music is defined by our live concerts.i plan to write music with or without other makes no difference to me.i love the people i play with.its not perfect.i like not perfect.

19. You are now in a relationship for a long time now. However, Around us, the marriage-monogamist structure is kinda falling apart. Do you think we are on the fast track to a new social order? I mean, the marriage idea was constructed in some point in time, maybe it's his time to die?

 it depends on where you live and what you's going to be interesting to watch western civilization deal with an aging population...that and the fact that religious extremists seem to love large families.i do think that if you want something like a stable relationship then places like los angeles and nyc are wrong on every is a great enviroment for kids and families.lots of parks,schools and the government seems to care about moms and kids.i like being in a culture that supports the idea of the family unit and the welfare of the america everything is fear based,worries about the future and crime...its too much.

20. When you were younger how did you react when people (mostly the press) suggested that you are heavily depending on other's work, as opposed to bringing genuinely fresh and ground breaking ideas? Going to un-charted waters? Are such claims made you mad or snort or shrug or what? 

 believe it or not,we were never painted with the retro-brush so its a non-issue.when customs control ask me why i have a fat passport at the border,and what i am doing overseas...i tell them that i am an artist.if they ask what style of music i say...oldies.i like to keep it simple.but remember...psychedelic for sgt pepper meant jazz,sitar,classical,folk,fuzz rock meant many things.i feel that sort of freedom in my own work.

21. I've seen u in dead-TV. What's you're motivation for doing that? Direct link  to you're fans? And how's making a stew got to do with it? J

the true power of a tool like social media and how i use it is to try and create eco systems that support my own productivity.that can be a blog that allows people to interject their own tastes and to share along with some of my own music or ideas.i find that most groups tend to focus on their own little cult and i find that to be shallow as i am not a slave to any one point of view and don't care for people that are.i love to learn and share so having a tv show that i can interact with can be interesting to me on many levels...we make videos and share music and ideas,not just bjm.we can broadcast concerts and do interviews.take calls and be silly.

i don't know what to say,it's not my gaol to be a presenter,but then the technology exsists so...i hope to influence others perhaps and in a perfect future,maybe some people will create interesting content.

22. What would you write on your tombstone?

 maybe something like the stupid t-shirt "i'm with stupid" with and arrow pointing to the next grave.i don't know...because i don't worry about things like that.

Thank you for your patience.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre Strung Out In Heaven

full reviewuser ratings (18) 
1. Going To Hell
2. Let's Pretend It's Summer
3. Wasting Away
4. Jennifer
5. Got My Eye On You
6. Nothing To Lose
7. Love
8. Maybe Tomorrow
9. Spun
10. I've Been Waiting
11. Dawn
12. Lantern
13. Wisdom

Release Date: 1998
user rating



recommended by reviewer
the brian jonestown massacre take it from the man!
the dandy warhols thirteen tales from urban bohemia

  On 1 Lists
tarkus USER (15 Reviews)

July 18th, 2012 | 15 replies | 208 views

Summary: Another strong release from San Francisco's neo-psychedelic lord(s)

6 of 7 thought this review was well written

The Brian Jonestown Massacre (read: Anton Newcombe and Co.) is one of the best and most influential acts of the modern psychedelic movement ever since their 1993 debut release Spacegirl & Other Favorites, and continued to dominate the scene through the end of the decade with a series of premium albums, with their seventh and final album of the ‘90s being Strung Out In Heaven. Employing a style not unlike the classic psychedelic rock sound of the late 1960s, The BJM catalog provides a breath of fresh air in a long-stale and irrelevant musical style (disregarding the Japanese psychedelic rock scene that kept evolving into the 1980s).

It might as well have been 1967 in the life of Anton Newcombe about 30 years after the first Summer of Love, with Newcombe writing songs about love, being high, and summertime, and packing them onto six albums in four years, a frequency of releases that is more uncommon than not in recent times; not to mention the sound of the album itself, with floating acoustic guitars and organs and a light and breezy tone of singing as well as of the songs themselves. You’d be a fool not to notice the vast influence of the 1960s and its decade defining psychedelic rock/folk sound, yet this influence doesn’t detract from the album and make it feel like a sub-par ripoff that milks everything about the San Francisco Sound. No, The BJM takes these influences and put a spin on them to accomplish a difficult task in music; a proper homage.

As previously mentioned, the sound here is lighthearted, and acoustic guitars driven with lyrics parallel to those found in the music of Newcombe’s influences, except for the feelings of a modern youth that are displayed, emanating feelings of love lost, and trivial teenage issues. Standout tracks include Wasting Away, Maybe Tomorrow, and I’ve Been Waiting, with their catchy choruses and lyrics that show a juvenile sense of love and getting strung out while taking a walk on a hot summer day, as well as the uncommon harmonica giving Wasting Away an even more vibrant feel despite its somewhat depressing lyrics. The re-recordings of Dawn (from Take It From The Man!) and Wisdom (Methodrone) bring little to the table in terms of new qualities, besides the lack of harmonica on Dawn, but are still superb tracks regardless.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre on Strung Out In Heaven continue their streak of going against the trend in popular music at the time to create enjoyable neo-psychedelia and borrow heavily from their influences while still remaining original and exciting. Although slightly inferior to the trio of psychedelic classics Take it From The Man!, Their Satanic Majesties Second Request, and Thank God For Mental Illness, this album is nonetheless an essential listen for fans of the band especially, as well as anyone interested in neo-psychedelia.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre Aufheben

full reviewuser ratings (19) 
1. Panic in Babylon
2. Viholliseni Maalla
3. Gaz Hilarant
4. Illuminomi
5. I Wanna Hold Your Other Hand
6. Face Down On The Moon
7. The Clouds Are Lies
8. Stairway To The Best Party
9. Seven Kinds Of Wonderful
10. Waking Up To Hand Grenades
11. Blue Order / New Monday

Release Date: 04/30/2012
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other reviews
Raul Stanciu (4)
The Brian Jonestown Massacre sail off to India....


  On 5 Lists
Joseph Viney STAFF

May 3rd, 2012 | 24 replies | 5,325 views

Summary: Dig deeper

Anton Newcombe, dictator for life to the Brian Jonestown Massacre (BJM) collective, has chosen well. Reverting to type, the word “Aufheben” appears to have several contradictory meanings. Among other things, it can mean “to lift up”, “to transcend”, “to abolish” or “to sublate” (the assimilation of a smaller entity into a larger one).

…and these are all labels that can be applied to the sounds and personalities of BJM. Their music, at times squalling feedback, at others smoky sitar twangs, has the propensity to lift and to transcend a listener in the right frame of mind. “Abolish” is also a pertinent term, Newcombe not being afraid to wield the axe to chop and change the group’s line-up. Ironically, it is this chronic instability that has been the group’s most consistent element.

Coming from a group that uses a clever portmanteau for their name, the deployment and manipulation of language and other elements must come as a second nature. The music released over the years also adheres to this philosophy of blending and subtle nuances; 60’s psychedelic rock with an Eastern vibe. Think of 90s English public school rockers Kula Shaker, except more intense and heroin-addled. Their latest LP, the 20th in 19 years, remains true to the musical philosophy they have laid out since day one.

Indeed, it’s the music that does the talking for a good portion of the entire record. With founder member Matt Hollywood back in the fold, BJM have once again found a very rich vein of inspiration to mine. “Panic In Babylon”, a transcendental instrumental, is a knockout of an opener. It is at once uplifting and dream-like; a mixture of instruments from the east and west cascading over and around a solid, unrelenting beat. Towards the end it begins to collapse in on itself before finally imploding amidst fading instruments and a veritable menagerie of animal noises; monkeys howling and dogs growling. “Viholliseni Maalla”, following immediately after, is led by Eliza Karmasalo, whose sultry tones are delivered in a foreign language. Remarkably upbeat, poppy even, its intrinsically enigmatic qualities should keep you coming back for repeat listens. It is unclear what language is being used in “Gaz Hilarant”, although the vocals and desert-in-the-moonlight music provide it with an air of wistfulness and desire. “Illuminomi”, one of the album’s highlights, is another track sans English lyrics. This time it is French, and Newcombe’s voice drifts in and out of the multi-layered instrumentation in an ethereal fashion. Newcombe is viewed as the spectre at the feast by many an aggrieved counterpart and his vocals here serve to boost the spiritual presumptions both he and his music can conjure.

It’s an album of two halves and many personalities, a fitting outcome for the man whose drive is mainly responsible for this record. The second half eschews the more obvious Eastern influences, preferring to rely upon washes of guitar and electronic pulp. The album’s vocals remain on the back burner, leaving the listener to pick the bones out of scattered phrases, drowned-out fragments of language. “Stairway To The Best Party”, the pick of the second half, sees Newcombe begging for something, anything: “Just let me love you, honey/If I can.” “Seven Kinds Of Wonderful” is like a call to arms for the Love & Peace Revolution, whilst “Blue Order New Monday” is the kind of song Kasabian could make were they to really put their mind to it; orchestral samples and a skittish bass line.

Much like the Socialist commune they share a part of their name with, BJM retains the mysterious cult image that attracts a few but repels many. With songs that seem to have been beamed directly from some alternate dimension, underpinned by a constant message of love and hope despite hardships and horror it’s a shame the band plow on with far less recognition than they deserve.

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