LESPHINXX interview

Had the wonderful opportunity to interview LESPHINXX!!! Really into their Lp right now… ENJOY!!!!

M.P. I was blasting your album as I road a bus through the Catskills today and I remembered we agreed to do an interview and as the trees changing leaves blurred your music took me over and I felt like today is the day! First, I just gotta say the reason I am so into your music is its energy. For me whenever I listen to your album I feel like I’m transforming into a teenage girl bursting with happiness and raving her life away and that’s like the greatest feeling ever. Is that intentional or am I just crazy?!

D.L.S. Thank you for listening to LESPHINXX while driving through the forest, especially during this time of year when nature makes it’s decent into the under world. The veil gets thinner and thinner this time of year, so this is the season for Lesphinxx music for sure. And yes many of our songs possess teenager vibes. I believe I am in a perpetual state of teenager but while deeply rooted in the wisdom of the crone.

I am really really excited that we are releasing our second Lp Ħaġar Qim later this Fall 2013 though Sisterjams. Ħaġar Qim (“Standing/Worshipping Stones”) is a megalithic goddess temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600-3200 BC). My family on my father’s side is from Malta originally so this is like an homage to my roots and also to the cosmic mother.

M.P. Your album rides this fine line, for me, of complete accessibility and then I hear you in the background screaming, “harder, faster, more more more” and the tempo picks up and goes in really absurdly wonderful directions that I feel like so many people would love to dance to. Like “THZ DMZ” is just completely wonderful. Thank you! What’s “THZ DMZ” stand for? And how do you go about titling tracks? Where does Le Sphinxxx come from?

D.L.S. I’m really really happy that you love our music, thank you. “THZ DRMZ” stands for “These Dreams”. Danny remixed the vocals on “These Dreams” by Heart. Danny re-created the sensation/sound of going up and down on a roller coaster on the beat of this remix. This song is dedicated to his mother, Debbie.

When titling songs we usually will just take one or two words from the lyrics of a track. I’d like to say something more interesting like we use a baby name book or something. When it comes to writing lyrics I listen to the subconscious. I’ll quiet my waking thoughts and let things arise from the void. This isn’t always easy, flow really depends on a lot of things. Like astrological phenomenon , whether i feel energetically full or not. I really try to throw myself to a higher plane/dimension to receive melodies. Even if it’s just for a moment when i see a vision of some sorts and i feel like I’m soaring. In that moment I will find a melody and pull it down into a song.

I chose the name LESPHINXX because of the legend/symbolism surrounding the sphinx is to choose one’s own destiny. I happen to read about this in one of my favorite Joseph Campbell books, “The Power of the Myth”.

M.P. When I’ve explained to friends what your music is like I’ve said, “it’s like what I always wanted out of Grimes!” Does that seem like a fair way of describing you? I feel like you’re what Grimes wishes she sounded like, Grimes with some soul…. Since you go by Doorways I feel like you’re completely tapped into this, a psychic person ready to channel and help people do so too. Does that seem accurate? What else?!

Q5) Well I love Grimes but we are different creatures. She is like a dolphin and I’m more like a bat. Although we have similar sounding voices at times, LESPHINXX has a tendency to be a lot heavier and darker. Being that I go by Doorways well yes that is for a reason. I can’t remember where I was when I decided to change my name. But I do know that something gave me the name, it just appeared in my mind out of nowhere. That’s usually a good indicator that you are receiving information out side of your self. I can not say that I am a fully open & trained psychic. I often do have supernatural experiences though and this is a huge source of inspiration for my art and music. So it’s only natural for LESPHINXX fans to become inspired in such a way when they hear our songs or see us play live. It is my deepest intent to unlock and usher in sacred divine feminine energies we perform live or create art.

M.P. The first time I saw you perform you showed up an hour early and completely transformed the room you were playing it. It was Robot Moon Juice’s boyfriends last night in his old apartment and everyone came out in support of their eviction. I was exhausted as it was the end of gay pride weekend but still I went and I’m so glad for it! The times I’ve seen you live I’ve been blown away by your live presence. It manages to be casual and welcoming but you also really get people dancing. What is the motivation for your back up dancers wearing those masks?

D.L.S. Oh yeah ! I love Robot Moonjuice he is a good friend of mine lots of Love to him and his music career. He is actually on the cover of our first LP Athame, running in the nude through Cypress Hills Cemetery. The photograph was taken by our great friend photographer Ishmail Thoth Ra. When we play live we usually play through out the DIY circuit and bring along a pop up installation. Our current installation is a sort of a neo – ancient Egyptian temple which I created out of spray paint and dollar store goods. We are more of an art group then just a band. Lyfty Sirena and Uniska Wahala Kano are the dancers / performance artists in LESPHINXX whom are actual permanent members of this group. When they perform they are more like channels for other-worldy expression. We are like a band of mythological entities. Moon girl is going to haunt you !

M.P. Also, what is the process of making music versus performing music like for you? Is one side of the process more enjoyable or more of the focus for you?

D.L.S. song writing vs playing live …. There is a huge difference between writing songs and performing live. I enjoy both art forms but playing live and being on tour is definitely more fun. If I’m lucky I’ll write a song in a day. Sometimes a song will come through a telephone or through a window. Just like that it will show up in a connection with a person or even the wind will give me a song. But usually I’ll start with a beat and a bass line and sort of chant over it for a few hours. I will play synths / guitars over it for another few hours. Lurking for the right sounds / mix etc etc. Finally I will listen back to about 20 – ish different melodies per instrument and pick out what sounds most moving . My ears will not settle for anything too easy or boring. It’s like mining for crystals. I have to get through all this dead-ness in my aura, tear it open, jump off the high dive. When I hit a wall with a song that I’m really into is when I’ll hand it over to Danny. He ends up adding really dope beats sounds etc. It’s kind of like writing music would be baking the cake and then playing live is eating it up and having a food fight. Playing live is very ceremonial for us. We always burn sage at shows, transform a space with all of our weird art. We bring a portal with us in a suitcase along with strobe lights fog machine incense. We never know what’s going to come through. It could be anything from spirits, to fairies. This may sound ridiculous but the portal is alive and well. This is our deepest intent there for it is.

M.P. Your music has this very ethereal, almost supernatural quality, as it also taps into a range of emotions and drives. A lot of the songs are so simple but also seemingly reach so far, which is everything. Songs like “Is He It” completely transcends me and bring a smile to my face every time. What is the story behind the song and whose the guy singing with you? Is he it?! I guess what I’m asking you is, how personal are these songs? They seem really personal. And if they are, I feel like that’s why they’re so charged.

D.L.S. About “is He it ?” Well that’s me and Danny singing. This track is about questioning & destroying self-doubt. It’s about him literally writing a song to prove that he can write a song. I believe all of our songs are very personal.

M.P. Can you tell us a little about where you come from, what music has inspired your craft, why you started making music?

We are all from NY. My family is from Queens, Jackson Heights and Astoria. I lived in queens as a kid and then we moved to Nassau on Long Island where I grew up in West Hempstead. Lyfty is also from Long Island / Wantagh and her family is from Guatamala. Danny’s family is from Brooklyn/Manhattan/L.I. And finally Uniska is from Jamaica Queens. On both sides of my family there are a tons of artists and musicians, My grandparents play music, my great grand parents, my parents, my uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings. It’s in my blood for sure, i am very blessed. Music really would seize my entire being even when i was a little girl. Finally when i was a teenager I picked up a guitar and stared to play like mostly punk stuff. And just continued to pay attention to this really bright and burning feeling that music gave me. I basically answered the call.

D.L.S. My favorite bands would be Siouxsie and the Banshees, Crystal Castles, Blonde Redhead. I love a lot of goth music like VNV Nation, BlutEngel. I grew up listening to tons of riot grrrl like Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy, Sleater KInney, L7, Hole, Lunachicks. I’m also totally in love with many of the current girl groups here in Bushwick, BK wear I live; like Gluuu, Dark Sister, Culttastic, Oriana Gold just to name a few. We are going to start up a monthly festival called Temple of Kali, featuring all music + art by woman. We are aiming to make it as big as Lollapalooza.

Now go buy the Lp!

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the magick of autumn has only just begun

I cheated on my cats tonight with this little furball named Buttercup! His mommy was stressed with work sooo I took her out on the town. We hung out in Washington Square Park for awhile, ran around the dog run then sat at the fountain and listened to Adam Roads magically strum his guitar… then I met his friend Danielle Parente and both of them are making lovely music! We chatted for awhile and shared our tastes in music as we listened to him strum and people from all over the park continually gathered around in admiration. I just kept staring at the fountain and then cast my gaze up toward the moon, basking in the moment which felt so wonderfully New York, the kind of New York I want to always be experiencing, well maybe except the part wherein I watched as Buttercup tried to eat her own shit. Pups will be pups. Really tho: LOVING this transition from summer into the breezier and far lovelier Autumn nights… I wait for them all summer, without them I’d probably never survive the horrifically overheated and sewage filled summer’s New York City always manages to provide. Well enough with that! It’s time to feel and absorb all of the magic about to burst into being.

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

Oh, I also read Sarah Schulman’s “The Gentrification of the Mind” today while working at BGSQD. I now work there on Tuesday’s. Come say hi and peruse zines with me!! And if you haven’t read “The Gentrification of the Mind” yet, do yourself a favor and do that immediately. I spent most of the day overwhelmed with grief and on the verge of tears as the history of queers isn’t all porn and wild abandonment. It seems like every generation really gets pushed to the brink, yet still we manage to continually fight for our passions. We’re an amazing lot indeed! And so are all the rest of the communities affected by gentrification and the wave of wealth that has changed the city (please read this article). Anyway, I felt like hanging in Washington Square park with a couple kids playing music and crowds of queer couples holding each other as they listened, rasta guys getting really into it, tourists, middle aged women, hipster kids, homeless wanderers, all seemed to connect to the strumming and the moon, yes that moon, it just made me feel hopeful again. Like maybe the part in “The Gentrification of the Mind” where Sarah argues that there will indeed come a better day that isn’t ruled by corporate oppressive bullshit policies and political assholes will come.

Here’s a brief passage I really enjoyed:

“Gentrification culture was a twentieth-century, fin de siecle rendition of bourgeois values. It defined truth telling as antisocial instead of as a requirement for decency. The action of making people accountable was decontextualized as inappropriate. When there is no context for justice, freedom-seeking behavior is seen as annoying. Or futile. Or drag. Or oppressive. And dismissed and dismissed and dismissed until that behavior is finally just not seen.”

Amazing Interview for No Bra’s latest album!!

“The song was originally inspired by a former roommate years ago, but I think this has become more of a general feature of our times. Looking at people in terms of their use value as opposed to give and take relationships that help people evolve over time or whatever. Perhaps this is considered being powerful, manly, womanly, whatever, just like with social media and pop culture in general I think we live in quite a boastful, show-offish kind of time. People don’t want to show vulnerability for fear of being left behind maybe.”

For the rest of the interview go here

I have the best friends <3

Right?! Alex Montague epitomizes everything supernaturally-comsically-unreally right about California. I have it on repeat, she totally goes there! This is a poem I’ve been working on/ reading recently and it’s for her. That’s totally me screaming “Fuck Yeah!!” at the end of that!!! I ❤ you Alex Montague!!!!!

The Fly or Flies or Whatever!

If I was to point blame, I'd direct a finger at the humidity and the heat which I've never been a fan of, I prefer grey skies and boys in flannel, simple boys that don't want too much, boys with bad haircuts, guys that hate the gym, boys that can figure out how I can quit smoking, guys that want to get me drunk and fuck me, guys that aren't at all like me, obviously, I'm just trying to discract myself, while spending way too much time thinking how impossible it is to write in my room…and really, I'm not certain those are the kind of guys I like, how can I be certain about anything, whenever I sit down in my room to reflect and write a fucking little pesky fly lands on me and I grab the swatter and the next thing I know I realize I've spent an hour swatting flies and then I get distracted by feeding my cats while trying to determnine the cause for all these fucking flies that have infested my new room. Or worse, I decide to go to the corner store and get more fly ribbons which may eventually lead to thrift shops and 99cent stores shopping for heels, make up, expensive "immortality juices", and accessories and everything else I really don't need which tends to result in the day being totally ruined. The cats are a big reason the flies are here this summer, but their food and shit-filled litter box aren't the only reason they're here. I'm pretty sure they're coming in through the door cuz I see them in the starewell, so I'm not entirely convinced that a screen in my window would solve the problem…and it's way too hot to shut the window and, let's face it, I'm too lazy to ever go get a screen and install it, I'm really only capable of doing that which is irrelevant or for a lover, cuz I'm a total idiot. Am I wrong to think most guys would not let a problem like this be a problem? Is there something more pro-active I could be doing, beyond pinning up fly ribbon traps and chasing them around with a swatter? Swarms of them build up every few days and then I really have to spend time chasing them around the apartment swatting them…but I've kind of found a thrill in hoaning the nack for swatting flies. It's also a great excersise in hand-eye coordination which is an important skill-set for drunks to remember to develope. I've noticed when they land on the fly ribbon they give into death pretty quickly and die with their comrades without much of a fuss. As I watch them give into death with their comrades I become overwhelmed with a feeling of valor and wonder whether or not I'm wrong not to try and coexist with them. Should I coexist with them? Sometimes they wake me up, crawling across my leg in the morning when I'm concentrating on dreaming and scheming up my extraterrestrial alter-ego that lives in warp tunnels and strange lights and long metalic corridors… I don't know what nyc ya'll are walking around in but mine is gettin real eerie…there's this strange giant horse that keeps showing up, about once a week in my dreams, everytime it arrives I instantly have a gut reaction, like "what the fuck, it's that fucking horse again", that giant horse that stares at me with the eyes of Satan and whenever I allow my eyes to fixate on theirs, they come running full speed to kill me but there is always some weird guy who saves me at the last minute by pulling me into a secret sex party and distracts me from the horse. And once I look away from the horse and focus on some guy playing with their nipples as some other guy eats their ass or whatever the horse wanders away. What the fuck does that mean? I do know that killing the flies with the swatter is pretty instantaneous and against my values, which are anti-violent. But who always gives into their values? Once they started landing on me in my sleep I couldn't refrain from killing them…at first I thought I had bed bugs which really stressed me out…am I wrong to think most guys would never have ever thought twice about killing a fly…the other day I saw a fly get caught in a small spider's web as I was making coffee and I quickly realized it was the first, and, so far, only fly I've seen REALLY fight for its life. Whenever the spider got close it furiously beat its wings and caused the whole web to spasm and by the spiders erratic, running back-and-forth across the web, away from the fly movement, it seemed like by beating its wings, the fly made climbing across the web difficult for the spider. The spider even seemed to have a "what the fuck just die so I can eat you" psychic aura, and as soon as the spider retreated the fly calmed. The first couple times it happened I figured the fly had died and then again the spider would make its way toward the fly and I figured now I'd get to see the spider bite into the fly's head but then again the fly would beat its wings. I felt like a little kid, curious if this would upset me…but couldn't refrain from the act of watching…but then about the third time I realized how upset I'd be if I knew I was going to be another beings dinner. It's sort of the worst way to go, I think, as I would hate for my conciousness to end so another's could continue…it's the reason I'm always striving to be vegan and why I'm so paranoid whenever I swim out far into the ocean, which I really love to do, but I can never shake the feeling a great white shark is going to make me their snack. I guess it's just my ego which believes itself to be so much greater than a snack…however, if I were to die some other way, I wouldn't mind my body being used as food. It's my secret wish to somehow become like the defiant ninja-mermaid-warrior-scout who slits its belly so the rest of the pod can escape the demonic appetite of megalodon. As Megalodon comes racing to devour the ninja mermaid, ninja-mer just sort of dissipates into tranquility: to me that's love. And I just fucking hope the pod got away so that beautiful life wasn't lost in vain. I also really wonder if megalodon would actually be at all full after eating one mermaid? Seems like megajerk would need to eat the ninja then race off and eat the rest of the pod. Not sure how fast mermaids can swim in comparison to a megalodon shark though?! Maybe the fucking ninja mermaid was a romantic idiot unable to see the whole pod die, which I totally understand, but maybe the romantic merninja should have let megalodon devour the weaklings so the strongest could survive?! Maybe then the fate of the mer's would have been a happier one. I just don't want to be reduced to being only food: it's the ego again talking…for a moment I even thought about releasing the fly…so its fate could maybe be a little less irksome, if that's what you'd call the quick death-by-swatter and "maybe" it'd be painless? Really, how could I ever know?! Felt like I was just an airhead watching the dance of the fly beating its wings whenever the spider got too close and the spider continually running back and forth across its web, which, for obvious reasons, would probably be really fucking annoying for a little spider…which would normally please me as I have only recently begun to enjoy spiders and find cohabitating with them not a challenge…obviously this is a new alliance due to "the fly problem"…and I realized that this little spider who I've since befriended and often say hi to as I make my coffee "in the morning", showed me, "This is it"… this is the way it all unfolds…the fly beating its wings within the spider web is as good as its gonna get…fly probably thought it was great flying around but now, this moment fighting within the web, is as good as it's gonna get, this is the universe showing me this is it, this coffee is meta, nothing will ever go your way, nothing will always triump, it always comes back to The Never Ending Story, being alive within the universe is a chaotic fuck up, everything we want is an illusion, just as our lives are, our lovers are, our friends are, which is, secretly, the thinspiration I needed to stop running and go back to my room, look away from the glass of tequila, fuck all the flies, masturbation can make me forget that something is crawling across my foot, and I can write.

“home, sweat home”

Who’s Loving You???

I just read this piece about Rachel Jeantel and Trayvon Martin’s relationship and how Trayvon Martin was the only guy in Rachel’s life who never teased her nor made fun of her and how refreshing that was for her, and it made me think about all the relationships in my life (again): the good, the bad, the love’s, the false loves, all the pleasure and all the pain… and as much as I pine for my own I really really wanna direct some positivity toward Rachel Jeantel.

I’m lighting a candle for you as I let go of the loves I’ve lost and feel you going through the same on such a more intense level.

I watched all of Rachel’s testimony on the witness stand a couple days after the fact and I just couldn’t believe how hard the lawyers went after her. Really, they should be locked up! I cannot believe that any of this even happened. I cannot believe how awful people treat each other. I guess I should because my whole life has been a series of unfortunate people wanting to try to drag me into their bullshit and feel as awful as they must feel but I’ve always made a conscious choice to feel the pain but let it wash over me. We cannot hold onto that hate.

Keep the internal light bright!!
Keep the internal light bright!!
Keep the internal light bright!!

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I was recently gay bashed by five guys, they stomped me into the sidewalk and I flew out of my body and into the sky and had this moment looking down on them beating the fuck out of my body where I realized we really are comprised of spirit trapped in flesh. And then I paused and wondered whether or not I wanted to go back into that body that has never really found a place in this world. And it was then that I realized I had to go back to that body! I had to make sure that I kept that body moving on this planet because it’s so important if you represent difference to do it daringly and to keep it going and to never cave to the people who hate difference. Once my spirit made it back into the body I sat up and as soon as I sat up I realized one of the kids was still there and he ran up and socked me in the face one last time and I fell down for a second time and watched him run away for the last time. Immediately I thought, “Welcome back!” Then I realized they had stolen my phone and wallet and I filled up with rage and ran back inside. Yes, it happened right in front of my apartment… My mother keeps trying to get me to promise to never go out in “women’s clothing” again but I can’t make that choice. With every bashing my decision to dress as I want to dress and be the person I want to be becomes more vehemently resolute.

I wish we could have a beach day, Rachel! The ocean is sooo healing!!! Or go do whatever it is you love to do!!!

Here’s all the cyber love I can muster in my sadden and insomnia induced state!!!

Remember: look the naysayer’s in the eye and hold your head up baby!!!