Phillip Gold (bono_zen) wrote,
Phillip Gold

By The Fireside

What do you feel to be the main themes of your songs?

Actually that's a good question, that I wish I had a good answer too. I don't think I have a recurring theme to my songs, they all kind of change subject matter sometimes from verse to verse. My songs are pretty multi-layered and can take on alot of meanings I suppose. Generally I don't know what I'm writing about until after the fact, I might have a vague idea but then it shifts or I see it in a different light. My lyrics are best described as a emotional kaleidoscope.

How did you intend your band to sound initially?

I have no clue really, it was just a matter of getting some songs written and putting together a band to play them. I think initially I described it as sounding pop punk in influence to Greg, because the guy I was jamming with at the time was into that sort of music. Pop punk is too narrow a term as is any sort of label, we've developed a pretty varied sound because we listen to every fucking genre of music known to man, artists from all over the place and basically ripoff what we think is good. Somehow I think the songs sound fairly consistent but I know their is amount of variety in there. But this band has come closer to articulating the sounds in my head than any previous band I've been in.

Do you like the recording?

The very minimal experience I've had with it...yes. Once we make an actual record I'll be a better judge of that question. But I enjoy the potential of recording, the possibilities are only growing with digital home recording. Now you can make tons of music quick and for relatively cheap without having to put in tons of cash at a studio, though I'm sure there is something to be said for that method but I think we'll probably run on a budget for the foreseeable future. That said I can already envision myself being a perfectionist and nut case during the recording process. I'll probably be on the others nerves alot because I'll be so zealous about getting good performances and good sound.

What have your friends said about your band?

They've been surprisingly supportive, they could be ass kissing for all I know. I'm never good with compliments and take them as superficial lies. However most people have seemed to enjoy us even complete strangers which I find a little more satisfactory. If it were up to me I'd play to complete strangers all the time because if you've won them over then you've done good. Our first gig as a full band was at my birthday party last year and we played to friends who had no idea we were playing. I think Greg wanted to keep it secret which I thought was dumb because people weren't knowing what to expect and then they kind of groaned. If we had told them people could have decided it was their scene or not and just come. Instead we loaded it on them by surprise and they kind of grumbled and we got drunk and played bad. Everyone had missed cues and such and we gradually emptied the room to a about half of the ten people who even showed up. It was funny in hindsight but embarrassing at the time. At the professional shows we've done we played alot tighter but we've had sound guys fuck with our sound alot which is frustrating one day I'm gonna pray for our own sound guy. The compliments have only continued to come in though.

Would worldwide success make you feel good?

I have no doubts that certain aspects of it would. I'm too self aware to know I wouldn't change much, I've always liked money and wanted tons of it. I've also known myself to be not very good at handling compliments and alot of attention so I'm sure therein lies the conflict that would arise. If I could be anonymously rich I'm sure that be ideal but I don't see that happening if we were successful.

Would you prefer to be a cult act?

A successful one sure. I think that Ani DiFranco found my ideal level of success. She's made enough money to get by independently and she's never in the news for anything other than her music and art and she gets by just fine from record sales and touring. She's been one of the most successful cult acts of the last 20 years.

Would you sign to a major label in this day and age?

For a quick buck sure if they'll have us. I mean there are advantages to a major label act that you'd never have as an indie. Obviously with the internet things have been taking a hit for them but on the flipside you get alot of music out you wouldn't otherwise hear. Major labels will have to adapt and I think eventually will to the issue of the internet.

Have relationships between the band members undergone any radical changes for better or worse?

Not so much we've been a band for for years now and we always stay the same as people. We've been friends long before the band was even formed. The brothers have been together their whole lives and then you add people like Conway and I who've known each other since kindergarten and then the others since high school, that's between 10-20 years of knowledge so we know each others personalities and probably drifted to each other because we have similar interests and humor. Even if all four of us are very different. Mark is alot of talk (in the nicest way) but he can back it up, Conway is truly awkward and entertaining, Greg is smart and a bit eccentric and I'm a shy flirt.

Where do you think your anger stems from?

Well that's another good question. I suppose all of life angers me to some degree. I'm an optimist about life and I suppose my optimistic outlook is balanced by a heavy dose of realism in me. I've never been much for being a hippie in my outlook maybe for about five minutes. Then the reality of the world's ugliness and stupidity showed it's face. Not in any one drastic thing but in several events both to me personally and externally. Human stupidity is the one incessant nuisance I can't stand and I suppose that drives my anger. I can't stand it in others and I hate it when it shows in myself. Hence why I hate myself as much as I hate other things.

Do you foresee outside collaborations?

Absolutely I think everyone in our band should do that. It's boring seeing the same faces all the time at every practice and gig so it's healthy to jam with others or do something musically with other people. In our latest break I jammed on bass with a couple of other guys that kinda got me into playing bass seriously again and I've already improved more in months then I have in years on that instrument. I've also been writing songs that are not gonna fly as Sinsuality songs I can already tell. Some are better suited as folk male female duets. So I'm in talks with a friend of mine to sing on some of them with me. Also I'm thinking of starting another band altogether and taking a more experimental and abstract style of music than what we do. I'd like to have more variety, do electronic and ambient stuff and stuff that's not as poppy and 3 or 4 chord rock as Sinsuality. I think having many projects will keep things interesting for me.

Do you see this band as essentially a two-guitar experience?

Sinsuality is a very guitar based band what Greg and I do on guitar dictates essentially every song that it's almost formulaic at this point. Probably one of the reasons I want out of the band hahaha! In all honestly its a great setup though. I played in three and four pieces and always liked the visceral qualities of two guitars before. I can play lead guitar alright but I never saw it as my emphasis I've always been the writer, the guy who comes up with the ideas that start songs and writes the guts and saw everyone else as arrangers and interpreters. Greg's great strength is his ability to interpret based off what chords or riffs I'm playing and take things to a whole new level. Generally I write the guts of a song and he hears and almost immediately will make suggestions in terms of brevity or length and he comes up with solos and little guitar fills anything to accentuate and arrange the song to make it more full sounding. The bass and drum parts are usually dictated by either one of us to the other two who are good enough to pick up what we want generally. They might need some direction once in awhile but they are much improved than when we started.

As you are portrayed as a committed feminist, do you feel more of a kinship with today's female bands than the male rock acts coming out at the moment?

Not necessarily. I've always liked female acts and male acts there isn't much difference to me, good music is good music no matter who is playing it. I am probably turned on by a woman with a guitar, but that's because I'm always hopeful for some romantic vision of a being with a creative woman. I've met some creative girls and some not so creative ones.

You've had considerable experience with hard drugs yourself?

I don't think considerable applies to my experience with hard drugs by anyone's definition unless you count dabbling as such. I've never had any worry about the addictive properties of drugs because I've found myself relatively stable and unchanged on every drug I've ever tried. I'm pretty well grounded in life and don't think I have addictive personality to things like sex and drugs that so many people seem to. Maybe I'm too self aware. I mean I've smoked alot of pot and been fine, I've also smoked salvia here and there, done heroin a little bit for awhile, done cocaine a couple times, popped some pills, smoked opium and dropped acid and drank a whole lot more and smoked more cigarettes and I'm not the least bit worried about any of that stuff. I was alright and able to function more or less the same on drugs that I was able to sober. I don't think drugs are for everyone but as for me I can do with or without just fine.

Are you a heavy metal fan?

Absolutely! Metal like any genre or subgenre has its good and bad moments. I can't stand hair metal by and large but I enjoy several death metal and black metal and stoner metal bands. I mean I used to listen to my dad's 70's metal records growing up so it's got as much place in my heart as new wave or pop rock.

What groups do you find particularly exciting at the moment?

Radiohead, Crystal Castles, Lady Gaga, Lustre, and a local group the Antiprism.

Do you have a particular fantasy of how your future might workout?

Not so much, something to do with a little cottage somewhere in a quiet isolated spot with lots of books, few distractions and a beautiful woman though is ideal, it's all vague but I have my ideals.
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