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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Today there was a tornado warning…

I secured all the plants on the roof, put a piece of succulent I found into my pocket to add to the succulent garden in my window but sometime during the day it fell out. Last night my friend suggested I watch this video of David Rattray (which couldn’t be embedded) and now I suggest you do it…

Maybe I should be stoned for posting this online……

I feel like I’m breaking sacred trust by republishing this online without asking… but I cannot help myself! May I be stoned for it! But this poem is everything to me at the moment and I sometimes wonder if I’m actually just an internet meme so in case that is what I am, here it is… I love you Dodie Bellamy! This may be the most perfect poem ever, unless I accidentally added in a typo-or-two… You can get a copy from Les Figues Press and really, it’s what everyone should be reading this Fall! I’m headed upstate for a last bout of summer, gonna jump into a lake and some shit!! Byeeee!!

Cunt Creeley
by Dodie Bellamy
Go fuck yourself. Now answer me—where is your body as your mind is jerked around on dried goose turd? I still love you—yes, you in that bed surrounded by books. It’s fitting that you so quickly come when I fuck you silly in a bed full of books. You’re so tough, the way you smack me down with your rebuff. I love it. I love it when you suck me, I love all the bloody things you’ve done. Oh wife, oh wife, you’re blowing my drowsiness all to hell. There never will be another woman in my thoughts, not when you send me your panties everyday, saying they’re for me, not for other men. You shoot shivers up my spine and into my nose. I will wear your panties, will wear whatever dresses your cunt. If flies were the sign of love, I’d adorn my prick with maggots the size of seals. My cock, my darling, loving your mercy, comes like King Kong up your cunt. We fuck forever in the spring, which makes my own worn self to sing. If I touch you ‘til the skin on your neck gets emergency shivers, morning or evening or afternoon, oh my lovely, I fuck you like I’m wringing all the oceans. Most lovely lady, whether you’re dressed or undressed is a sexual experience—a collaboration whether we’re going at it in bed or sitting only. Oh loveliest you are here and I fuck you silly between your lips, and, yes, you fuck me back, yes, my lady, whether you are just or unjust, you are fucking sexy, such a romantic. You can eat me, my lady, you can do whatever—I love seeing you hanging there with my balls. You are the best of ladies—in rain, in shine, in any weather. When my cock slides into you, we rhyme, like in those stories where the hero is beyond help. I’m here with you now, it’s magic, we’re fucking like Hercules or Aeneas going into death. I blur into you I’m moving so fast. We don’t need Virgil’s plan, not with you singing those torch songs of hoc opus, hic labor. This is the now, this kind of love just is—Virgil has been dead for two thousand understandings. I love your industrious wisdom, how you live in a way that hasn’t yet ripped your lips off. Let the heroes stay dead so I can propose to you with my dirty mind. You have me. You hold my weight. You must understand—there are chunks of cement everywhere. If you know what, say it. Don’t pretend. Like electric shock therapy, you know me in a prayer. Before you I’m helpless, helpless in an unreal situation. No woman ever was wiser than you, so my cock hangs above your face and what you take in your hand grows.

Pittsburg: Another Sensibility

As I’ve mentioned, I spent the past couple days in Pittsburg, gave a reading at the very lovely The Big Idea Bookstore, gave a lecture at the University of Pittsburg and then lost my shit at Blue Moon bar, those bitches werk it out.

AA

1.
Bill Scott, professor at The University of Pittsburg brought me out to guest lecture on the topic of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology and my involvement with the Peoples Free Library. We discussed free speech, poetry, activism and wandered amongst the various intersections. I even managed to bring porn into the conversation thanks to the hard work of” Occupy My Throat.” Link here:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B24RGAm86s1VWFg5S2o0anNfd2c/edit?usp=sharing

I meant to talk more about why I thought that porn was interesting from my personal angle as a poet… while living in Zuccotti Park I had written a poem called “Gangbang for Democracy“. I read it while living there but didn’t know about the video until after the park was closed down and I met David Sokolowski (one of its stars). I didn’t spend much, if any, time online while I lived in Zuccotti Park because wikipedia, for a moment, went into real time. Anyway, I thought it was a really beautiful gesture what they had done. I myself consensually fooled around a bit in Zuccotti Park and it was an extremely magical atmosphere bursting with human creativity. But I’m pretty sure it’s the most honest depiction of the hierarchy of the movement, a few walked away with royalties to a film and the rest got thrown some pocket cash.

The lecture went really well, surprisingly so, by the time I checked to see how long I had been talking already an hour had passed. And the students questions really broadened my understanding of what we had done. I walked away with a pretty positive outlook on what our time in Zuccotti Park had done, Occupy acted as the social justice cheerleader for a generation to get off of its ass for a moment and think about what is going on around the world. As long as were alive we’re part of what happens on this earth, and we have to admit to ourselves that our actions affect our surroundings and we must strive for harmonies, we must dream of new realities as we heal ourselves and everything we touch. It’s going to be very hard because we’re all totally insane but I think we can do it. Life in New York is rough and often much more mundane than the fantasies we believe we deserve, but the magic is stronger. The nights and lights never end here so everyone can have their 15 minutes to stretch into the infinite because there are so many people and everyone has an extremely busy schedule because we’re wizards. True change will only come through direct actions that can only happen by very focused and secretive groups which are committed to disrupting the status quo exclusively by peaceful means; like planting an edible plant or native species in a roadside garden full of invasive species and don’t forget to talk to the worms while you’re there with your secret group so we can figure out a way to solve our biggest problem… the 99%

*insert sarcastic just-after-sex grin* Continue reading

Visiting Pittsburg: The Big Idea Bookstore + University of Pittsburg

Occupy Language:

The Story of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology

A Multimedia Presentation and Workshop on Poetry, Political Activism, Queerness, and the Avant-Garde

Free and Open to All!

Monday, April 15, 2:00-5:00

602 Cathedral of Learning (Humanities Center)

Stephen Boyer is the author of the novel “Parasite” (Publication Studios), the chapbook “GHOSTS” (Bent Boy Books), and an Edition for the San Francisco art gallery 2nd Floor Projects titled “The Form of Things” (2nd Floor Projects). He curates the blog minorprogression.com, and with the help of countless others he spearheaded the compiling of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology. Recently he exhibited an installation at The Center for Book Arts in New York City (Jan-March 2013) showcasing both the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology and the Peoples Free Library, of which he was a member. Stephen is currently working on a play.

Thanks to the University of Pittsburgh’s Humanities Center, The Charles Crow Fund, and the Literature Program of the English Department for generously sponsoring this event