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Artist to Artist Interviews
Suffering Luna Vs. Children of God

If you’re in the LA area this weekend, Ear/Splitters & CVLT Nation bring you Megaton Leviathan, Actuary, Suffering Luna and Children of God on Sunday, January 29th at the Que Sera in Long Beach. So you know what you’re in for, we brought you Artist to Artist Interviews with Megaton Leviathan Vs. Actuary and now Suffering Luna Vs. Children of God…

Suffering Luna vs. Children of God

SL: What energies / emotions / drugs fuel your music?

Kevin- I consider myself to be a non-musician musician. I generally feel a bizarre sense of alienation playing live. I’m generally pretty frantic and into playing until I’m tired. Writing wise I feel like what I do goes with that mind set. Me pot. Everyone else is hate edge only.

Adrian – Hopelessness, frustration, and anti depressants.

Does being in a pissed-as-fuck-band make people want to be your friends or does it scare people off? I mean, the stereotype is that being in a band makes girls want to fuck you and dudes wanna be your homies. Does it?

K – I’m not sure. I don’t really care either way. I don’t really subscribe to the idea that playing music is some kind of social club. In fact I’d rather my music deter people from wanting to meet me in that context. Actually, I change my answer to: if you want to be my friend because I play bass for this band add me on Facebook. My name is Al Brown.

What’s the process you guys go through, from the first stages of writing a song to the point where people are listening to it? I’m thinking about even recording / distribution, all of it.

k- I currently share a label with my best friend Hector: “Human Resources” and “Attrition”. We did the Coup de Grace 7″. Band-wise it’s generally write a lot of stuff with the intention of doing specific releases prior. I don’t know if that answered that question. A389 has a great label and Dom is doing a great job getting our records around.

A – Well generally one of us writes something and brings it to practice or records the riff/song and sends it to everyone in the band via internet, when we practice we work on the song until we feel like it’s done. I really want to start working on putting out our own stuff and having an input in the entire process of getting records pressed to distributing it to everything in between, as a collective.

How’d you learn to play?

K – “Learn”

A – I’m self taught and I listened to a lot of Sabbath and Misfits in the beginning. “Iron Man” was the first riff I ever learned to play.

Your name is a Swans reference? What did you guys learn from listening to them? What other bands got you to where you are and what did you learn from them?

A – Swans was one of those bands that really opened me up to the idea of getting in touch with a more sincere part of my self while writing music. If you listen to their entire catalogue (which is flawless in its own way) you can hear the vast differences from record to record. They play what they wanted to play and I think that’s always what has been a huge inspiration to me when it comes to Swans. I think any band whether it’s new or old that I feel a connection to and somehow conveys that they are just doing their own thing and they need to play music, they don’t just want to play it, I think those bands are easy to pick apart from the rest of the stuff everyone calls “music”. Bands that aren’t afraid to experiment with different sounds or different approaches to certain “genres” are what have inspired me as a “musician”.

You call out god for being the dickfuck he seems to be. What do you believe in? What is the connection between your music and the universe or whatever you believe is bigger than you?

A – I don’t necessarily write about god or any other deity, lyrically I come from a more personal perspective and no god has ever upset me, because I simply do not believe in him/her/them/it.
Music is my religion, it is my church, and I have some form of control over how it should be heard, what it should say, and what it does and it is as big or as small as I want to be. When we play live I feel like I am lost and found all at once, it is the ultimate high for me and it is the ultimate connection I feel where I am one with everything and everyone.

You say “you” and “your” a lot in your lyrics. Things like “fuck your revelations” and “nothing comes from your something” Who are you talking to? Are “they” getting the message? How else do you try to make “them” hear you?

A – When I wrote the songs on the demo they were a lot more personal as far as writing songs about people that upset me and now I write about them/they but these things are a lot more abstract than before. In a sense I am writing about my self when I write those songs, because I have control of whether or not they can control me, my mind conjures up ideas of these things…mental obstacles…and I write about them. Sometimes these things that frustrate me exist in the physical realm and sometimes they are just in my mind.

Do you ever feel pressure as a band to fit nicely into some category so listeners, labels, zines, blogs, etc can quickly know what yr about? Like do you ever feel pressure from people to play just fast or just slow and not mix it up?

A – We don’t feel pressured to do anything really. We are fortunate enough to have support from different sects of the under ground music scene but to be honest we don’t play music for other people (so cliché, but so true). I personally don’t play music because it’s “fun” or “something to do”, I more or less feel like I have to have a guitar in my hands at some points. So we write whatever speaks to us at any given time and I think we all came into it knowing we would experiment with a good amount of sounds. If people like it then that’s nice, but if not I’d still be just as happy.

How permanent is your music? Do you imagine people listening to it in the future? Will you still be listening to it? Do you see yourselves playing / listening to brutal music when yr old?

A – I don’t really think about this music and whether it will be infinite or not because like it or not it is, and so will this interview. Once these songs are written and recorded they are infinite, now whether they will be listened to or not is another story, I don’t really think about it. I don’t think about other people when I write or record a song, I think about my self and what I want to hear and how I feel. I hope I always have the courage to play honest music, whether it’s heavy, brutal, slow, noisy, I just want it to be honest.

In The Children Have Spoken you sing “I’m just waiting for the day that this music fucking dies. So when you see your dreams lying at your feet, remember these words: fucking nowhere, it’s where we’re going. Fucking nowhere, it’s where we are…” If you feel that way, why make music?

A – Because no matter how many times I write a song I’m still me, I’m still a chemically imbalanced human being just trying to find another reason to live, whether it’s through writing a song or writing lyrics to completely release whatever emotion it is I’m feeling…I need to do it, cause if it wasn’t music then it’d be some other form of noisy, chaotic, messy self expression, like a bullet to the head.

Does it even matter if people on the internet read this interview or listen to the music? Do you even know if they do?

K – No, we aren’t any more important than anyone reading this. My advice to anyone who is impressionable from bands. I’ve played with pretty much every band I ever wanted to in my life. Most of these people aren’t that interesting nor do they make great life choices. Most people that want to do this shit are really bad at being interesting (personality wise). I don’t give a fuck how political they are or how long they’ve been straight edge or vegan or something. One other thing, if you’re going to do crimes, be good at it. I’m tired of people needing lawyers or something because they let a security guard catch them cutting open a fence or whatever. Read John Zerzan books. That’s it.

A – I don’t know and I don’t really think about what people are doing. If this music somehow speaks to them then I apologize that they feel that fucked up emotion that makes them connect to the songs. If they read the interview then I congratulate them for reading (and finally finishing) my babbling.

Children of God vs. Suffering Luna

COG: I picked up your split LP with Gasp at the PCH when I was 16. Where the fuck have you guys been?

Messee: Smoking shit. Smoking the pookie, (no don’t tell ‘em that, I’ll get in trouble. Tell ‘em I been smoking the devil’s piss.)

Sean: There been a lot of lineup changes since the PCH Club days. Messee is the only original member from back then. I used to book Suff’s shows back then and played in another band with the drummer but I hadn’t joined SxLx yet on that record. But I’ve known pretty much everyone that’s ever been in the band and I can say, on the real, it was homelessness, having kids, getting strung out, getting clean, all that kind of shit. Different story for every member.

Patrick: I’ve been right under everyone’s nose.

Fivel: Smoking the pookie, (wait, no don’t tell them that, I’ll get in trouble too.)

Have Suffering Luna been playing all that time?

Messee: Nah, we took a 12 year hiatus before we hooked up with Sean. We didn’t play from ’97 – ’09. We been playing straight since then, though.

Sean: It seemed like everyone from the scene we started in stopped playing for a decade. Like, by 2000 pretty much everyone had broken up and it seemed like there weren’t any shows and the labels we knew closed down. I guess some people like Lack of Interest and some folks kept it going, but it seemed to me like it was kinda over in 2000. But now Eric Wood is playing bass again in Bastard Noise, Despise You is back together, Stapled Shut, I think Agents of Satan. So we don’t feel alone. I heard Reggie from Gasp called us the “comeback band of the decade” or some shit like that.

Fivel: I just started playing with SxL a year ago. I was also a kid at the PCH Club listening to that split LP and the Dystopia split when I was young, too. When that record came out, listening to it was groundbreaking for me cause no one was playing like that and I thought it was relaxing to listen to compared to all the fast shit I was listening to and playing. Plus they were like Brujeria back then, you didn’t know who they were. When I got the opportunity to join I didn’t hesitate at all. This was a band I loved listening to so the opportunity to play with them was yeah, it was tits. I’m just lucky to be asked to play.

Can you please explain where your guys’ concept came from? The tape loops? Effects on the vocals? Everything…

Messee: I been having those ideas since way back, since before even Gasp or Dystopia. But everyone in the crust scene before that used to have the delay pedal, echo, reverb, all that shit. It was passed on to me by bands like Mindrot. We were just trying to keep it fresh, like a distorted opera or story told through fucked up frequencies that only the fucked up can understand. Fucked up sounds for fucked up people.

Sean: I’ve always been into trying to capture the sound of being high. I used to try to dial in effects on a microphone so if you listened to it on headphones everything sounded exactly like you were on nitrous. I used to go back and forth between being stoned and being sober when I worked on recording and mixing just trying to scientifically find sounds that like turned on a light bulb in your head and totally fucked you up when you listened to them high. Plus I’ve always listened to bands like Man is the Bastard and Speculum Fight and Merzbow and Solmania but then also like Hawkwind and Jimi Hendrix and John Cage and and Stockhausen.

Patrick: What’s old is new again. This shit’s been done since the 50’s.

Fivel: Yeah, I just went to the Kenneth Anger exhibit and the score for Invocation of My Demon Brother was like crazy reel to reel noise. All done by Mick Jagger in the ‘60s. It sounded to me like Suffering Luna.

Sean: You should check out the collaboration between Spooky Tooth and Pierre Henry to see how far the concept goes back. Not that any of us had heard that record back when we started. But it’s been in the air that long.

Do you have plans to do new recordings? Other than this discography I just stole off the internet, that I didn’t know existed.

Patrick: We got tons of material just waiting to hit you.

Sean: We get more and more perfectionist about shit as time goes on so it takes forever to finish tracks, but we got a new track called Blood Filled Bong that will be on a cassette from To Live a Lie any day now. It might be streaming here on right now. If not it should be any day. We also got a collaboration with The Astronaut King which I think we’re gonna put out as a split with the funeral doom band Suffer the Storm. We got a pair of Venice thrash covers, a Los Cycos and a Cyptic Slaughter song that’s supposed to be on a split with the crust/grind band Bundy. Scott from Cryptic is gonna sing on it too, which is fucking brutal. And finally we got another 20 minute epic track that’s gonna be a split with Column of Heaven. So yeah we got shit waiting to drop.

Fivel: And I got this bag of shrooms I’m waiting to drop!

Can you please make Gasp get back together also?

Messee: Yeah, right. If Mitch and Mikey could ever stop arguing over shit. Or if Mikey turns gay or Mitch starts playing blast beats and wearing Kreator shirts again.

Sean: I can’t believe they were around as long as they were with Mike wanting to play downtuned death metal and Mitch putting Strawberry Shortcake on their record covers. But that’s what made them great. I wish they would play together again.

Patrick: Mitch still collaborates with us sometimes.

Sean: Plus Cynthia sings for Despise You now. Mike sings for Gravehill. Mitch is in Fancy Space People. So that’s cool still. I don’t know what Reggie or Sage are doing musically.

I’m going to rip this question off from you. What energies / emotions / drugs fuel your music?

Fivel: All the above.

Sean: I’m all about the idea of summoning spirits. That and looking back at my life and feeling like I put some real shit out into the universe and got to see it ripple out at least a little.

Fivel: Conjuring.

Messee: Shadowboxing with the devil.

Patrick: An inexplicable cathartic need to build something and then tear it down.

What’s your take on the internet in the social context and music? Does this shit bum you out as much as it bums me out? Do you feel as alienated as I do?

Sean: Fivel spends a shitload of time on facebook

Fivel: Since I don’t have a job that’s all I do. Just nerding out. I like it cuz I can talk to kids in Indonesia and Canada and other parts of the world cuz you can tell they have fire and passion and its good to hear their music and they share other bands from where they’re at instead of having to only find shit through distros.

Sean: Yeah I used to hate writing letters before the internet, but that was how heads used to find out about Japanese noise and shit like that. I never did it, I just borrowed tapes and 7 inches from people who did. I mean, I do miss hanging out with those people at their houses spinning obscure records for each other but I could still do that if I really wanted to. But now I email people all the time. It’s how I started a conversation with Andrew from Column of Heaven. We’re in different countries but have a ton of shit in common and we been able to have cool conversations on his blog or in direct emails. But yeah, it’s not the same thing as going with your buddies to a record swap or a show. But that shit still exists too. And its not like there were a bunch of people at those things back in the day. I think people forget how few people were in the scene before the internet.

Patrick: There was a cartoon from the ‘90s with two dogs on a computer and one says to the other, “on the internet nobody knows you’re a dog.” So I’m still analog as far as my social life.

Messee: No comment.

Sean: Mess doesn’t even have an internet connection. He just smokes bowls with whoever lives on his block.

Messee: I got in trouble for that yesterday! I just moved to a new pad and I threw this new guy from the block in my car and was just like, “smoke this!” and then Liz (Messee’s girlfriend) came out and was like, “who the fuck is that in my car? Get the fuck out! You, too! I’ll cut your throat!”

So there’s no fucking way you guys are playing music to meet girls and stuff. Wait this isn’t a question. I change this to can you please play more shows with Children of God?

Sean: Yes.

Patrick: Done.

Fivel: Smoke us out.

Do you hate me for being such a bad interviewer? You shouldn’t because all I wanted to do was play with you guys then Cvlt Nation was all like, “blah blah… do this, do that.”

Sean: Uh… no?

Fivel: Are you a bully? We got enough of those. Stop picking on yourself.

Do you plan to tour or play frequently?

Fivel: That’s the agenda.

Messee: No.

Sean: It’s hard to tour cuz we always got either time or money but never both, plus two of us got babies we don’t want leave and baby momma’s who like the idea even less. But I’ll go to Japan in a heartbeat if someone wants to pay. And as far as shows, we don’t care about getting paid or anything but we really like to have a sound check and no one ever seems to want to make that happen.

Messee: Yeah I wanna play shows but where they at?

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