Thursday, January 25, 2007

Interview with Stephen O'Malley.

This is the interview I did with Stephen O'Malley via e-mail on Thursday, June 1st, 2006. The answer isn't satisfying at all and I do think it was my questions that sucks a lot. Okay, read on!

1. Hi, Stephen O'Malley! Introduce yourself about anything please.
Hello. I am on a plane to London now for the following event:

On 2nd of June we will be participating in a gallery action inLondon, at Maureen Paley, in a collaboration with the sculptor BanksViolette. The opening is between 6-8 PM. This is not a typicalconcert, and will not be able to be viewed as such, SUNN will becreating in a closed room, outside of the opening (although it'scertainly going to be audible). The project is enormous on scale.

Line up for the Paley action: Mark Deutrom, Attila Csihar, TOS, Greg Anderson, Stephen O'Malley

Maureen Paley
21 Herald Street London E2 6JT

[Zach: Nice information. It helps a lot. Thanks.]

2. Any line-up changing since it existed? Sunn O))) now consisted?
SUNN has a constantly evolving lineup and group of people we work with, but the core remains Greg Anderson and myself.

3. What does the Sunn O))) means? Is it something related with SUNN amplifier?
It is simply named after the amplifier. [Zach: Okay. So, why?]

4. How old are you now? I do believe that you have your own daily job, so how you separate your time between job, Sunn O))) & the other bands/activities?
I am 31 now. As far as time separation goes, these are all aspects of my life which ebb and flow in ways that work, and dont sometimes. Time is malleable.

5. Tell me about Thorr's Hammer & Runhild Gammelsieter. I mean after the defunct of Thorr's Hammer, where did she go?
She moved to Norway and earned her doctorate in molecular biology or chemistry. She currently heads the research side of an adult stem cell research firm in Oslo. [Zach: She's now in band called Khlyst with Khanate ex-bassist, James Plotkin. Further information, go elsewhere. Thank you.]

6. As far as I concern, you're the one who responsible for the making of artworks and the layouts of the most Sunn O))) releases. What's motivate you to make such a great artwork in every releases? Your favourite artists?
I design and art direct all of the albums, but have rarely "made" the artwork myself. Its usually found or commissioned artwork and photography. Some of my favorite artists are: Austin Osman Spare, Richard Serra, Matthew Barney, Gernhard Richter, etc.

7. I do concern with the ambience sounds and droning musical structures delivered by Sunn O)))... and the lyrics had been written poetically... sometimes the words play with some metaphor that made it just like a work of spell for me... how long does it take to make songs like that? How much time consumes Sunn O))) to finish a complete set of LP/CD etc? How you describe your sound?
I describe our sound as a drone blossom and a chance for reflective introspection and vision. A track can take one hour or one year ot develope, its widely variable. As far as production time of albums, Black One is our most intensive, but still with only about 2 weeks of recording and about a week of mixing.

8. Do tell me about Burning Witch, Goatsnake, Khanate & Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine.
All of these bands are either defunct or in a stasis, with the exception of KHANATE. [Zach: Khanate already disbanded. Do search about the news elsewhere. Thank you.]

9. Complete this sentence: He’s eating pizza while I’m shitting in my pants happily without him knowing what’s really happens…
on acid.

10. Why Sunn O)))? Why not Peavey or Marshall?
Its just a preference of tone.

11. Southern Lord or Rise Above Records?
Southern Lord Records

12. I'm still wondering, what's "FWTBT: (I dream of Lars Ulrich being thrown the bus window instead of my master Mystikall Kliff Burton)" actually all about? And how about "It Took The Night To Believe"? Tell me more about it.
It's a Metallica cover and the actual title doesnt contain the bit between the parenthesis. It Took The Night To Believe was the most obvious black metal strewn O))) piece on Black One.

13. Concerning to "The Grimm Robe" demos LP/CD, I’ve attracted with the artwork of front cover layout. What’s the intention to spread within that image? The artwork of "Black One" LP/CD is the weirdest though. Tell me more please.
I think the intention is to find your own eye within the vision.

14. Are you considered yourself political? Is Sunn O))) a political band? Your view on activism?
I think awareness is of utmost importance. Politics exist in every situation, and on governmental levels acts as one of the the more successful smokescreens of this age.

15. Anything you know about Malaysia generally?
Not much, beside hardline Islamic laws and some foods. I havent investigated the country at all. [Zach: Everything and almost everyone is hardline here in Malaysia including me. Most people here like to drink blood and rip everybody's bone out of its flesh. It's pretty scary to live here anyway.]

16. As being ‘american’, how you feel about the issue of US government's "War On Terrorism" in the first place?
Imperialism at work.

17. How about political condition in your place when concerning to the cultural activities, daily life, the system, the people etc. Do you find it hard to keep on living in New York? Have you been involved in street protest lately?
Not lately, but I was post-911. The actual police crowd control techniques and dispersion effectiveness is baffling. I love NY and sincerely believe it exists beyond the polarization you suggest. It's much more complicated.

18. How much capitalist and multinational corporations have ruined your life? How much it has strengthened the value of your life instead? Are you financially okay?
I am ok financially, but not stable by any means. Corporations effect everyone living in American society, but I try to avoid as much as I can, although this could be a huge facade.

19. What is your favourite food? Do you like reading books/zines? Tell me your favourite one. I do believe that you have your own favourite list of bands, mind to tell me?
I dont have a favorite food but enjoy oysters. I read as much as I can. Current reading is Alain Robbe-Grillet's "The Voyeur". I am fascinated by tons of music of all types.

20. Do Sunn O))) consume drugs? Beers? Are you guys vegetarian/vegan?
Sometimes, sometimes, some of us.

21. After years you get involved in this phenomenon called 'scene', what you've got through this? What you've expected to gain in the first place when you've decided to entered in before? What made you interested to get involved? What's the condition that you hope for to be adapted and to be practiced logically/practically in this 'doom' scene?
I dont think about it that way, its more of the situation we find our journey surrounded with, and the people involved in that situation. I dont really consider to be involved with 'doom scene' too much, in those terms.

22. Which shows you guys played enjoying a lot all these while? Any great event happens there publicly? What's the last event/show/gig that you've attended lately? When? Is it great?
We just finished a great/challenging tour of the norther US which found us in art galleries, museums, festivals, and beautiful venues. We had some great audiences and performances, as well as experiences. Touring in the US can be difficult and is very expensive. We are fortunate to find some success there.

23. Tell me your opinions about the condition of mother earth nowadays. As it slowly down to rot, what's thing come to your mind that you think deserved to be heard by all those evil-richness-scumbag that keep continuously sucking those mineral greedily out from the soil?
I think that global warming will make it very obvious how bad it is this summer, and winter. In only the past few years the weather change has been totally blatant. We are at the end of the industrial age in some sense... the oil era. Humanity will move through it and the earth will survive of course. I dont think its apocalyse, but rather the end of an empire's age.

24. What's your opinion to plastic images of models in some fashion magazines that being appeared gloriously to promoting those wasted crap product towards readers/spectators, which is after many years human condition (especially in this globalization era!) being measured by those media that they're not cool enough, not beautiful, not fit enough, not included in 'selected circles', not this, not that etc... so that they (human) will keep consume those product in order to get those cool, beautiful, fit etc just like the images of those 'appealed models' that they've exhibited? Not just the 'normal' people being hypnotized, as we can see randomly there are also have numbers of people in the scene which care too much about what they've to wear, to act etc for their outlook rather than care about the way of their thought which sometimes leads the scene more likely a fashion show that have a dress code to be followed which I can see is all pathetic. Need your views here.
Its idolatry, plain and simple. This sort of thing has been existing for ages. This type of idolatry has elevated to the level of religion and spirituality, maybe its supplanted it. Heavy distraction in any case.

25. What’s your opinion on marriage and on having children? Did you find it necessary as a bond for a couple to keep on living together? Or is it such a state of mind (or psychology) in proving that they are already shared their life?
I'm into it and support it when its real.

26. Mind to tell me your future plan? Future releases?
Next is SUNN & BORIS "Altar" album. Many other releases in the works like new LOTUS EATRES, KHANATE ÆTHENOR, SOMA vs Z'ev, LAMF titles. [Zach: Sunn O))) & Boris "Altar" album already released. Check it by your own, lazy asses.]

27. Ok, Stephen O'Malley... I think that's enough for me to ask you. Anything left to say or something to add? Mind to asking me one question about something you'd like to know? Please state your latest address to be contact please. Thanks for the attempt to answer this interview. Thank you.
How are the octopus dishes there? My contact info is below. All the best. [Zach: The octopus dishes here are very good unlike the other places. We have variety of octopus recipes down here... some of it contains special chemical and poison in order to kill people slowly. I'm dead serious. Thanks.]

Stephen O'Malley
POB 907
NY, NY 10025
USA

www.ideologic.org

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