01. State your case and what you do. Be specific as possible.
“the Phoeron” is a multiple-medium art project, primarily encompassing the phoeronism mythology; as for the music itself, I have been attempting to develop the Transgothick genre, which I see as Epic Transmodern Industrial/Digital Hardcore with Classical/Symphonic and Black Metal influences. I think I have been making good strides towards actualizing the ideal I hear in my head, but I’m not done yet.
02. What brought you to dtrash records?
Funny story actually—I was set up with a psychologist/counsellor to help me with the transition from street life to university, and he was a pretty cool guy. I played him my early demos and he mentioned that he knew of an underground label that one of his friends was really in to, and that might really like what I was working on; so he sent me to the D-TRASH Records site, and I did a little research on there, and figured I might as well send in my demo package. So here I am.
03. What musical equipment do you use?
I just recently simplified my home studio a great deal, to get more control over my sound; for recording, I use Logic Studio, an Apex460 studio microphone, a pair of 5″ Mackie monitors, Sennheiser closed- back studio headphones, and a PreSonus Firebox audio card; for composition and performance of instrumentation, I use Reason 4 and my trusty Axiom 25 midi control keyboard. At home, I do this all on my iMac, but on the road, I use a black MacBook.
Over the years I’ve used various solutions to create my music, but was unhappy with them for various reasons; I started off with a cheap Yamaha synth, did two and a half albums with the Korg Electribe drum machine, and tried out a Yamaha Motif (but gave up on it pretty quick). Reason, so far, has been the only synthesizer solution, hardware or software, that really did it for me. I’ve thought about saving up for an Access Virus TI, of course, but that hasn’t happened yet. Lastly, up until recording the pre-master of Universal Equation and Blutgeist (DTRASH113), I was using ProTools LE and an MBox for recording; moving up to Logic Studio with a Firebox has resulted in a dramatic improvement to my sound.
04. How did your project start?
“the Phoeron” started when I was still in the shelter system, in the fall of 2002, as an occult parody of Simon’s Necronomicon; I intended it, at first, to only be a musical project, but it quickly turned into a lot more, through the mythology I was developing to go behind the music. Originally, I was trying to form a Black Metal band, but unfortunately I’m too much of a control freak when it comes to art, and none of the other musicians I knew were willing to put their ego’s aside for mine. So I kept working with what I knew, and what I could do myself, and thus “the Phoeron” started evolving into an Industrial/ Digital Hardcore project.
It didn’t really become a true multiple-medium project, though, until I started working on the ABSU Meditations, and started coming up with paintings, poems, songs, specific myths, and ritual meditations that all connected into a bigger theme.
So this begs the question, Is “the Phoeron” project serious or not? Well, it’s both, actually. It’s still a parody of Simon’s Necronomicon and Satanism, but it’s also serious enough to have spiritual and psychological value beyond the humor. That being said, while I do rank Phoeronism pretty high among my accomplishments, that doesn’t ever stop me from having a good laugh at myself.
05. What inspires you to create?
I don’t know that I could identify exactly what my inspiration is, where it comes from, when it may come, or why it comes when it does. I just get taken by this moment of total clarity sometimes, and I have what you could call a vision, but usually encompasses all of my senses. I suppose you could say my unconscious mind just pushes my conscious mind aside when it wants to create something, and while such things are always a struggle, it seems like my unconscious mind is winning.
06. What is your favorite musical project and why?
That’s a tough question to answer straight, because I have a lot of favorites; but I generally fluctuate between the following five, depending on the times and seasons, I suppose: Skinny Puppy, Opeth, Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson, and Beethoven.
07. What is your favorite author and book and why?
Hands down, my favorite author is Robert A. Heinlein, and his best book, in my opinion, is “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.” Though, there is very little I don’t enjoy of his.
08. What do you do with your spare time?
When I’m not taken by inspiration and busy creating away? I do a lot of reading, watch a lot of sci-fi, and occasionally hit up my Xbox360. Right now I’m reading the last book of Asimov’s Foundation series, working through the entire extant Doctor Who collection, and eagerly awaiting the acquisition of the new game by EA, Dead Space. However, I’m not always such an overt geek… I also really enjoy camping, canoeing, and hiking, and wish I had more time for the outdoorsman side of me.
09. What is the meaning of life?
42? No, I’m kidding. I don’t think life has to have meaning to be enjoyed, but you can go ahead and create your own meaning if you feel like it, as long as you remember that the meaning is completely imaginary.
10. Does your music have a political agenda?
I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, I’m afraid of politics, because I know what kind of politician I would be; so no, I try to keep politics out of my art.
11. What do you believe in?
My actual beliefs are hard to summarize, mostly because of the external layers of Phoeronism; you could say that I’m a Satanist, from a certain point of view, but only as long as you understand that Satanism is a joke and is its own punch-line. You could also say that I’m an Occultist, but only as long as you understand that Magick (and religion/spirituality in general) is a glorified psychological phenomenon. You could, therefore, assume that I’m a Nihilist hiding under a mask of Jungian psychology and Nietzschean existentialism, but only as long as you realize I don’t take any of it seriously enough to deny the mysterious in life. So what do I believe in? Nothing, and everything.
12. Who is your favorite Digital Hardcore artist?
Schizoid and Hansel are tied, for me; I think they’ve pushed Digital Hardcore to its furthest limits.
13. If you could have anything in the world what would it be?
An early retirement with a nice little cottage in New Zealand, just south of Auckland, so that I could gorge myself on all the best outdoorsman activities, and spend the rest of my time working on my art, writing, and music.
14. List your top ten albums worth listening to.
1 & 2) Beethoven’s Seventh and Ninth Symphonies, 3) Skinny Puppy – Too Dark Park, 4) Opeth – My Arms, Your Hearse, 5) Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward, 6) Marilyn Manson – Antichrist Superstar, 7) NIN – Broken, Diary of Dreams – Nigredo, 9) Apoptygma Berzerk – Welcome to Earth, 10) VNV Nation – Empires.
15. Anything you’d like to add to this interview?
Just to say that it’s been a good ride so far, with five discs out on D-TRASH Records. I’m excited to finish and release my next album, which will be the final piece in the first phase of the Phoeronism mythology. And then, I’ll be ready to show the world what I’m really all about.