Tuesday, June 23, 2009
10 Questions: An Interview with 1476
"1476 is a reception and a ritual. It is reflection and progression. It is a murder and a casting out. 1476 is growth and finality. It is passion and burning. It is essence and omnipotence. 1476 is a duality and a trinity. It is extreme and multifaceted. It is rain and introspection. 1476 is a demon with many faces, a Dionysian hunger, and a hanging from the World Tree. We are the doorway."
1. How do you view the current state of horror punk, and do you feel that term has any relevance today?
Robb: I honestly feel like it's a dead genre. Glenn Danzig launched something very special with the Misfits and later on with Samhain. It was so unique, aggressive, and powerful. Everything that followed lacked that conviction. With the exception of a few bands, everything sounds a bit too campy and playful. They lack the fire of the original Misfits...and if you're into that I'm not knocking you, it just holds no appeal for me. I like Blitzkid because I feel they've transcended the genre and brought something very genuine and original to the equation with 5 Cellars Below. The only relevance 1476 has to that genre is that one of our members happens to be in a horror rock band. Aside from that, we have no ties. I think we associate more with the occult/neo-folk crowd: bands like Death In June and Current 93 where it's more about the ideas and mood than the consistency of sound.
2. This project is vastly different than Blitzkid or Gorgeous Frankenstein. It seems influenced by early 80's goth such as Bauhaus or Sisters of Mercy. Why the change?
Robb: Goolsby's on tour right now and couldn't sit in but I asked him this question and this was his reponse:
I've never been attracted to simple figures and forms. im not saying horror rock is not thought provoking. im not going to say anything about what it is because i dont care outside of how it relates to me. it relates to me on an intrinsic level that if i could explain to you then it would not be the muse that it is in my life. if there was no genre for horrorrock then i would still be living with the inspirations for the songs ive written in my thoughts and heart regardless because those songs are just manifestations of how i have seen my world. some see music as a world of straight lines leading to one central destination. one castle of Oz. and thats fine. some people need the continuity and safety that linear perspectives bring. i on the otherhand see music as something more like an Archeimedean truncated octahedron. what the fuck is that? exactly. but one thing is for sure its going to take some delving into to unlock. i grew up on a staple of different musical genres. everything from the Doors, the CCR, to old doo wop, to more random influences like Maurice Ravel (my grandmother was a piano teacher) richard wagner, on into more soundtracked areas of my childhood by vehcile of new wave. i will never limit myself or be pigeonholed as a one trick pony. art is expansion and ive been recognized as a key player in a genre that traditionally lacks acceptence towards expansion. so naturally this band will take many people by suprise. many people will say oh no goolsby has given up on horror rock. no this is not true. i never was horror rock. i never will be. i will be me as i always have been. i will continue to write the best of what horror rock has to offer without ever calling it that. so there never was a change in me. this band just opened a door.
3. What does the numerical value 1476 signify?
Robb: There are people on the internet saying that 1476 is the year that Vlad Dracula died. That is true. As far as I know, he died that year. Anyone can Google that. Anyone who thinks that's where our name derives from is taking us at face value. It has a multi-faceted meaning. It means something different to each of us. Numerology is a key factor. 1476=9. It's an all-encompassing number, a totality, a complete world. A cycle has been set in motion.
4. You mention alot of literary influences on your work. What stories/books hold the greatest influence over your art?
Robb: I like the Old Norse sagas in the Poetic Edda. It holds many strong values, ideas, and proverbs that are timeless and can be translated easily in our modern times. I like books on religious history, classic literature, and occult topics. I like all the typical things one would expect: Milton, Blake, etc. Christian Bok's Eunoia is mindblowing. Oscar Wilde is probably my biggest influence. I love his ideas, wit, pomp, and Dandy aesthetic which I believe Marilyn Manson has spoken of before: a life dedicated entirely to the arts. I guess I'm what you'd call a Luciferian Dandy. Hahaha... Goolsby is a big fan of Antonin Artaud's The Theatre And Its Double. We are all appreciative of the writings of Dr. Haha Lung. Actually, both Neil and Gools have been digging into a book called Vagabonding. I guess it's basically a guide to travelling the world with no direction in mind, how to survive, etc. Neil is actually going to be heading over to Europe very soon to do just that for awhile.
5. You also mention rituals and mysticism as influential factors in your work. Which ideologies are most dominant in influencing your work?
Robb: The ideologies and practices of the Chaos magicians are important. People like Peter Carroll, Phil Hine, and Austin Osman Spare. What's important is that they are progressive, though somewhat reckless, trailblazers. These people don't believe in limitations. They search and use what is most efficient, simple, and powerful. That applies to all aspects life: visualizing your goals/dreams and intuitively finding the best route to arrive at it by. If you want me to get literal, I will say that some of the new material we're working on is based on the nature of elements. As an experiment for the recording process, I'm doing meditations/rituals based around the energy/nature of the specific element referenced in the song before I record the vocals. I want to see how tapping into the nature of the element effects the performance and mood of the song. I must admit, though, this idea was inspired by Coil. Neil and I have also discussed doing a home recording where the entire writing/recording process takes place over the course of a 3-5 day sleep deprivation experiment. Who knows if we ever will though!
6. Given your past body of work, I think it's safe to asume you are fans of horror films. What films would you consider essential viewing that many people may not have seen?
Robb: Biblical/Apocalyptic films are my favourite in the horror genre. I don't know if people would consider these essential viewing but I like the typical stuff: the original Omen films, The Prophecy, The Seventh Sign, The Exorcist films, the original Amityville (even though that's not really biblical). Besides that, I'm generally into artsy films with unique visuals. I love David Lynch. Very typical, I know...but all of his films have some rather startling visuals. Especially his short films The Alphabet, The Grandmother, and his most recent full length Inland Empire. Though it's not horror by any means, I really enjoyed a newer film called Doubt with Meryl Streep. I know Gools is big on the old/silent films. Movies like The Golem and Vampyr. He's a big Lon Chaney fan as far as I can tell. Neil is into English chick flicks hahaha!
7. What was the first album you ever owned and do you think it influences the art you produce today?
Robb: I had a Billy Joel album on a blank cassette that my parents gave me when I was very young. I'm going to guess around the age of 4. It's definitely not an influence but that's not a slight against Mr. Joel. When I write, my influences derive mainly from ideas, experiences, visuals, and moods.
8. How's your album A Wolf's Age coming along? Can you tell us a little about it?
Robb: Our album is complete. We are in the mastering process. There are 14 songs. It should run about an hour in length. Most of the art is complete. It's been almost entirely a self-contained effort. We did all of our own art/photography/production. The only other person involved was our engineer Sean Glonek from SRG studios in New Jersey. I hope for it to be released by the fall. We are working out all of the details for that now. Once again, everything in this band has it's own personal meaning to each member but, for me, A Wolf's Age is about identity. I relate many personal feelings and experiences through the lyrics. I have ideological songs based on comparitive mythology/occult practices, namely the songs Oriens Astrum, The Wanderer, and Dithyramb. These three songs are based around the ideas of Lucifer, Odin, and Dionysos encompassing different aspects of the same energy flow. Their inherent nature is to find death. They find this in their own individual ways. They seek the truth, they seek answers and all-encompassing knowledge. This they share but their individual natures/geological backrounds seperate them. Every song is multi-faceted in depth and meaning. It saddens me that there are people out there doubting our sincerity. We are clearly on different wavelengths and that's okay. To each his own, I suppose.
9. Could you briefly describe your music-making process?
Robb: Organic. Instincual. If I overthink something I'm writing, it gets scrapped 9 out of 10 times.
10. Any last words?
Robb: We have a lot of plans. Never expect the same album twice. Thank you for letting us speak, It's greatly appreciated.
I want to thank Robb,Goolsby, and Neil for taking the time to talk to me.
Check out 1476.