Ashely/Cryptic Inscriptions-Why is the first Panspermia album an ambient release and the second one is not? Was the band originally supposed to be an ambient project that just happened to morph into a grind/experimental/noise band by the second album?
Joe- Panspermia was originally formed as an ambient side project that I was doing with my brother Masami. We were both at that time getting into a lot of weird types of music particularly Dark Ambient and Harsh Noise, and decided to create our own. For sometime Masami wasn’t in the band and I did the project on my own, Panspermia is quite a schizophrenic band our previous releases range from dark ambient to gorenoise to harsh noise, back to dark ambient and now experimental ambient grind. After “Methodical Mind Control” I had planned to end the band, but after much consideration I ended all my other bands and decided to put full concentration on Panspermia how ironic things can be at times.
Ashely-The logo for Panspermia features a drawing of an alien & even the inside cover it reads "Panspermia is The Greys. So tell us what are your beliefs about life on other planets? And how did those beliefs influence these albums?
Joe- I believe without a shout of doubt that life exists on other planets to think that were the only beings in existence is complete ignorance. The universe is a big mass and there are so many things we still haven’t discovered and don’t know about. I almost see them as the spiritual entities that shaped and created our very core of existence. They were the gods among men back in the ancient days of civilization. We listed Panspermia as the Greys to put mystery into the band itself kind of how extraterrestrial beings themselves are a mystery. We like to touch on a variety of topics not only extraterrestrial beings, but they do put play a big part in the band and some of the album themes. The name Panspermia itself means the theory that life exists beyond our galaxy.
Masami-Without a doubt I believe there to be life on other planets. Considering the vast size of the universe and all its unexplored depths, it would be a bit ignorant to believe that we are the only intelligent creatures that inhabit it. For all we know alien life forms could have helped shape life as we know it on this planet in a not to distant past. You’ll find tons of theorists trying to support these claims. I also fancy the idea of other intelligent life forms making contact with us through different dimensions of reality. These are experiences we can actually take part in through trances or other altered states;were not alone as we consider ourselves to be.
Ashely-The album art for both "Methodical Mind Control" & "Eugenic Dystopia" are collaged art of some pretty controversial images. What was the inspiration behind this?
Masami- To give a representation of how fabricated reality is these days; the media, government, corporations, and religions try their best to keep people ignorant to the horrible truths they carry out behind the curtains. The images are reality at its rawest and uncensored core.
Ashely-On both album art covers we also see animal cruelty images. What is your stance on animal testing? And did that have any inspiration for either album?
Joe- I am firmly against the idea of animals testing, vivisection and the slaughterhouse district. These are the reasons that led me to the decision of being a vegetarian for the past 6 years. The idea of benefiting mankind at the expense of animals is just so infantile, but what do you expect from a species that enslaves, tortures and experiments on its own. To me animals are not expendable creatures their very highly intelligent and spiritual creatures who are way more in tap with themselves than we are. This is definitely a subject we touch on especially on the new album; the song “Progression or a Holocaust” specifically talks about animal experimentation, and we even do a cover of the Disrupt song “Life’s a Life” that touches on the subject of vivisection. I have to say the line at the end of Progression says it best “Who really is the beast?”
Masami- I believe animal testing to be inhuman, if we wouldn’t dare test a product on ourselves than what makes sense about testing it on another living creature. Most are indifferent to animals seeing them as expendable test subjects, food, or clothing. Not conscious creatures who feel pain just as much as you and I do. This topic was definitely an inspiration for the record and hopefully the images presented on them are a wake up call to the brutal reality that most view as normal.
Ashely-What is the significance behind the titles "Methodical Mind Control" & "Eugenic Dystopia"?
Masami- “Methodical Mind Control” deals with the concept of how contemporary society is ruled by its seductive idols. These idols take many forms for people, whether they are drug abuse, religion, government, social circles, electronic vegetation, or even their own egos. The average person has little separation or detachment from these illusions. Eugenic Dystopia on the other hand is a reflection of our society’s crash and burn attitude toward reality. Showing all the atrocities carried out in the name of profit and commercialism. That keep the average citizen comfortable in his own suburban wasteland and line the pockets of the crooks supplying him with cash.
Ashely-After years of using a drum machine in other bands why in the second album "Eugenic Dystopia" do you suddenly switch to a real drummer? How do you think this will help improve sound?
Joe-Well the main reason a drum machine was used in my prior bands and on early Panpsermia is quite simple, we just could never find a drummer. It’s hard enough to find dedicated musicians who aren’t lazy or harbor a serious drug problem, but to find good musicians in general particularly a drummer is just a pain in the ass. Masami actually had to learn how to play drums because we just couldn’t find one. For the upcoming full length our buddy Matt of Phyllomedusa will be playing drums, but all future releases and live shows drums will be provided courtesy of Masami! Real drums are just so much better have so much more intensity and such a primitive barbaric drive don’t get me wrong I love jamming and even listening to bands with drum machines, but when all is said and done nothing can compare to having real drums.
Ashely-Noticed there is quite a few Aleister Crowley excerpts on the you guys side of the 3 way split with The Leviathans Mandible and Kindergarten Hazen Ritual whose idea was that and why Crowley? And why those certain excerpts?
Masami- The reason I chose these excerpts from Crowley, was because they tied in with the song we incorporated them into- “The Metamorphosis of Consciousness- the Bizarre Exorcism”. The song is basically a meditation on the willed reconstructing of the mind through magic. Why I chose the Crowley excerpt on the pentagram is precisely because it’s a metaphor for achieving balance over oneself and creating and cutting off parts of the mind at will. Mans infinite life force is the metaphorical fifth element that places juggler with the other four. The Gnostic mass at the end was added to give a ritual vibration to the song.
Ashely-When working on an album do you try to make it the strongest material you've ever done?
Joe-That is always the goal when I’m writing new material; a band to me is an entity and the entity always needs to get stronger and get better. I’m not only trying to write better material as far as new releases go, I’m trying to also progress as a musician as well.
Masami- To me when working on a record I always consider it to be the strongest material we’ve unleashed. The longer you put your energy into an endeavor the more your genius should reveal itself.
Ashely-How is forming a band with a sibling? Does help you flow better because you know the person a lot better than your average band mate or does sibling rivalry get in the way?
Joe-HAHAHHAHAHAH yeah it definitely has its pros and cons like any situation in life. Even though we butt heads we definitely have a connection as far as jamming or just music is concerned. I have to say out of all the people I’ve jammed with in all of the years that I’ve played music my brother and I do have connection that I haven’t had with anyone else. I enjoy playing and writing music with him, and I can’t wait to write newer material with him in the future!
Masami- Forming a band with a sibling has its pros and cons .We are just people after all so we don’t always agree or see eye to eye on things. Overall though I say it’s a deeper mental and musical connection considering the relation. I feel the spark when we jam. It’s always a good exercise in ego softening too to work with someone else. You’ll have to put aside differences and unite to create one entity. I feel we both bring elements to the tables that compliment the art form. It wouldn’t be as superb without the combined effort.
Ashely-I've noticed Panspermia has yet to have a definite line-up? Why do you think this is?
Joe-It kind of goes back to that question I answered about the drummer situation. It’s just really hard to find people that are actually serious dedicated good musicians. I’ve always had a hard time finding people that take this shit seriously most of the time people are more concerned with getting fucked up or playing utterly shitty scene grind or D-grade death metal or just have a shitty rockstar attitude about it. I’m going to just state this for the record if you play underground music and think you’re going to be rich you got another thing coming. Panspermia has already gone through several different vocalists, guitarists, bassists and drummers, but whatever happens will always be jamming out the sick tunes.The current lineup which I’m pretty happy with is Masami on drums/bass, our buddy Ammo (Animals Killing People/Andromorphus Rexalia/Humanity Falls) recently replaced our old vocalist Brian(Syphilic) and myself on guitars/vocals all the ambient and noise is done by Masami and I, and Matt of Phyllomedusa will be playing drums on Eugenic Dystopia. The only thing we still need is a live bassist for shows if you think you have what it takes hit us up!
Ashely-They say "video killed the radio star", do you think that internet is killing the music scene? How much good do you think that networking online does for bands?
Joe-HAHHAHAHAH I like the analogy!I have to say I think it does both good and bad. I like the Internet in the fact that it makes it easier to communicate with bands, labels, venues and people but at the same time it makes people lazy as shit as well. People don’t show up to shows or buy CDs anymore they just download them. Which might not hurt bigger bands, but the up and coming bands are really suffering. I honestly wish we could go back to the days of writing letters tape trading and all that. It seemed to me at least that the scene was stronger and that more people seemed to get into it. Now a day’s people seem to just go to shows to just get fucked up or pick up sluts and don’t seem to really pay attention to the music it’s quite a shame.
Masami-In a way I’d say the internet helps but also hinders the music scene. On one side it can help dedicated musicians get their work promoted, but also creates a plastic reality where anyone with computer and poor musical skills can create a page and become another myspace star. Another downside is all the piracy. This destroys the small bands and labels more than anyone else; because we lose the money we put in making printable records if no one buys them. Multimillion dollar labels and bands have less to worry about with this due to the immense profits they make regardless. It’s funny to note that they bitch about this more than the little guy. When do you hear of underground bands suing people for downloading tunes? Regardless I do what I do because of passion not profits so fuck it all!
Ashely-What are your opinions about society as of now? Do you think we have become a culture that is way too vain, selfish and foolish for our own good and we are all doomed, or does humanity still have a chance at decency?
Joe-I actually hate what society has become it seems to me that humanity is slowing going down the path to its own destruction. No one seems to care about anything and my generation and the younger generation seem so apathetic to what’s going on in the real world. Everyone is so wrapped up in drug or alcohol addiction, technology, the media filling our heads with constant bullshit. That we all fail to see the real picture and what life really means so we become lost in a vegetative state which enables our rulers to do what they please plus the more stupid people become the more control our world leaders have on us. The only way I see hope is if people wake up from the dream and see the illusion for what it is.
Masami- Right now we are basically on the brink of disaster as a collective whole. Like so many other dominant cultures of the past the western world is doomed to fall. In my opinion it’s a natural phenomenon of reality. All things go through cycles of rise and fall. Reality is a process based in a principle of duality. The sad part is we as a people don’t tend to learn from the mistakes of the past and inevitably repeat them. Oh well realities a bit of a twisted joke anyway.
Ashely-Lastly, what do you hope to accomplish with all this insane music that you create? :)
Joe- I just hope that people will see that we have something to say unlike a lot of the shitty bands in the underground. Plus the facts that were breaking new ground musically as well hopefully will inspire people to break beyond the box and create new music as well. In the end though I don’t care if people remember me just as long as they remember the records that we’ve created that’s all that really matters to me when all is said and done.
Masami- I hope to open people’s mind to more than the usual formula they’re fed in the underground music scene. True artists are a dying breed and all were left with is plastic imitators. Free your minds and break the chains of conventional thought!