Bats and Red Velvet Magazine (Britain) Interview July '96 Stone 588 lineup: Terri Kennedy-vocals Dave Rhine - guitar Tony S. - bass Larry Salzman-drums Peter: I noticed your name comes from an Irish source. Are you interested in ancient celtic cultures/ societies? Terri: My last name being Kennedy, you can guess I am of Irish, English and Scottish descent (as well as French) My grandfather was a golf course architect in this country and hailed from Edinborough, and my great great grandfather was an English sea captain. Obviously my family's British Isles' origins fascinate me. I loved visiting London where I befriended Lowlife's John and Phoenix (whose passing was a great loss and shock to all of us, grateful for her continued support of the band.) I visited Stonehenge, but sadly I didn't get that mysterious feeling people talk about. I acquired a generous amount of books on British ghost stories, The Ripper (I even went on one of those touristy Ripper tours), etc. I also love reading about ancient cultures, having studied Anthropology in college, but am sadly not as well read as I would like to be on the subject. I can appreciate the resurgence of interest in celtic patterns and art. Those designs are very popular tattoos right now over here in the States. Peter: I know someone from California who says " You can leave California, but you can never leave it" What is so powerful about CA that encaptures the being , are you caught? Terri: I don't think the statement is true for Southern California! I hail from a beach city, Huntington Beach, mentioned in some Beach Boys song and famous as THE place for surfable waves. We have awesome weather and natural beauty, but it was the lack of culture I grew to hate. Imagine me on the beach all shrouded in black, while locals yelled "Tourist" at me for not having a tan! (This was before "goth"... I always dressed strangely.) That attitude definitely sums up California culture. It's all body worship, working out ....the curious should visit Venice Beach's Muscle Beach to get a taste of the So-Cal ethic...steroid-pumped boys working up a sweat in front of a crowd... I was never into all that. I was a weird kid...a pale, overweight bookworm. Note that I live in Orange county NOT Los Angeles, which is a mini-mall laden, white-bread suburb famous for intolerance of anything different, and not nearly as urban as L.A. But I'm making inroads against the stifling conservatism by owning a retail store, Ipso Facto, which markets bondage gear, goth CDs & clothing and body piercing! Conversely, your friend's comment could apply to Northern California's San Francisco, which is a much more cerebral and politically vibrant place to live... a more European city....a place I would consider moving to for its architecture, music scene, and the community-oriented nature of its inhabitants. Dave: Actually I would like to leave California, but I don't have the money to do so. The weather is too hot in the summer. The music scene isn't that wonderful here. Peter: What inspires your lyrics..what images and themes contribute to the formation of your songs? Terri:Some of the songs I have written are influenced by authors such as Marquis de Sade( the song Scales of Justice), Anais Nin (Eyes of a Statue), as well memories and impressions..Lightning Rails is about childhood memories I had living next to a railroad line. History inspired the songs Decay of Tempest (about how it might have felt hundreds of years ago to be the wife of a sailor lost at sea..waiting for his return..as news traveled at an achingly slow speed back then), and Night Behind the Mind (about the persecution of women under the guise of exterminating witches.)Other lyrics are inspired by painful relationships I have had (Panacea, Westering Moon) Edgar Allen Poe and the supernatural have interested me since I began writing at age five, when my grandfather left me a rhyming dictionary which I still use occasionally. The nightly news sometimes makes me worked up enough about some issue to write about it, but in an indirect way, preferring oblique lyrics and metaphors instead of cliches or the sledgehammer approach to get my point across. I can't picture myself writing about fast cars or babes. I think that territory is well covered already! Peter: What is the best mood to be in for you to write lyrics? Terri: Driving is always the most fertile time for me musically and lyrically. I think of a lot of melodies that way. Traveling on the train in France was a great stimulator, too. Lyrics can sometimes germinate during found lyric sessions, where my friends and I will visit a local coffee house to flip through the most tasteless romance novels for phrases to get those creative juices flowing. But those gleeful sessions are usually followed up by long, lonely nights with a theme in my head, a thesaurus in one hand and my face pressed against my computer monitor. Peter: Are your lyrics poetry..do you think there's a strong relationship between poetry and lyrics? Terri: I have always found poetry the easiest form of literature for me to conceive. Its the most dada form of writing! It doesn't have to rhyme or have perfect structure to be good, just inventive description and zero cheese value (e.g. no cliches) My lyrics almost always begin as poetry, which I later set to the band's music. Sometimes the theme will germinate during the music writing session, but I can't write an entire lyric I am satisfied with while the band is trying to hone their parts. Its a separate process, involving singing along with a tape of our sessions to devise a satisfactory vocal part, while moulding my writings to create the lyrics. Peter: What moves you to create music? What is your driving force? Terri: Its an integral part of my life. I suffer a lot more from depression when I am not in a band. It's an outlet for one's frustrations and it gives you a feeling you might live on in your recordings long after your life is over. Dave: I try to play music that I would enjoy hearing. I like writing songs and performing them and most of all I like recording. Its one of the only things in life that really interests me...the joy of doing something creative. Tony: The ego maniac part of it. I don't do it as well as most people, but I'm just better at it? Peter: Are you influenced at all by other art forms..film, literature, etc in your music? Tony: Cultures in general. Dave: Certainly indirectly because my music comes from my subconscious. Terri: I appreciate film, but go to the movies very infrequently. I like silent films because they are so dramatically acted. Peter Lorre in " M" is my favorite because he was so brooding and intense! I have a yet unused lyric about that. Literature has to be my biggest influence, with Poe, Nin and de Sade as my faves. Ornate gothic architecture and funerary monuments inspired the graphic design I created for our three cassette releases and the Door CD packaging utilizing my photographs from traveling in Europe. We also did a video which superimposed some beautiful architectural images and funerary monuments behind us as we played. Celtic influences surfaced in the illustration I created for the back of the CD. Peter: And what are your specific influences from the music world? In the U.K. you have been compared to "Siouxsie and the Banshees." Is this a conscious influence? Terri: It has to be said the whole band is hugely enamored with And Also the Trees. I like Siouxsie but I honestly wasn't influenced by her. Vocalists who have made an impression on me include Lene Lovich and Judy Garland, also my Catholic choir training, as well as musical theatre experiences in high school. Dave: Killing Joke, early Black Sabbath, And Also the Trees, and John McGeogh of Siouxsie and the Banshees. The Banshees music is what inspired me to use effects on my guitar. I didn't make a conscious effort to rip them off, but I seem to write in a similar style to whatever music I am into at the time. During the period when we were writing the CD's music I was stuck in a time warp from the early 80's listening to a lot of Killing Joke, Joy Divison and the Banshees. Tony: Kilbey of the Church, The Byrds, Gershwin. The only reason we get the Siouxsie reference is the type of guitar work that Dave does and the fact we have a girl singer. Peter: Do you believe in the supernatural and paranormal phenomena. I noticed you have an interest in ghosts, etc. But do you believe? Terri: I have seen a ghost once of someone I worked with who died. I didn't believe before, and I don't expect any one else to be convinced by me..you just have to experience it yourself. It's a bit arrogant for mankind to believe it possesses all scientific knowledge about way the universe works, discounting anything we can't explain. I think there is a lot more to discover. Conversely and hypocritically, I don't know about aliens visiting earth. So many light years away..how many generations would it take to get here? Or would they travel at light speed and survive? Convince me! Anybody listening out there? I prefer to think "aliens" are ghosts inhabiting another dimension, that briefly step into ours'. I do believe in the theory that inanimate objects retain an impression of those before us. I have definitely felt that. I have also experienced another person writing through me once, I think. Lyrics that came so fluently to me I cannot explain them otherwise. Dave: Yes, I think this planet that we are living on is of supernatural origin. Life itself is of supernatural origin. We have yet to fully understand the vastness of life in the universe whether in the physical or spiritual realms, which I believe are all interconnected, part of nature. Also I have had quite a few different experiences with phenomena which I believe were ghosts. Once, when I was a very young child, I was sick, watching television in a room in our house and what I believe to be a woman kissed me on the cheek. When I looked there was no one there. Also, another time, what I perceived to be a teenage boy appeared next to a car in a classic ghostly transparent form. My girlfriend and I both observed it but were not on drugs! When we realized that we both saw it, it turned and looked at us and after about a second, was gone. Tony: Yes, I believe I will come back..I don't know as what. I don't think ghosts are spirits of dead people, but perhaps of people not yet in existence. Peter: Who's sexier Mulder or Scully? Terri: Neither. I've never watched the show. Dave: I can't decide..I want to be between both of them. Tony: Oh fuck! Who cares! Peter: Most U.S. goth bands apparently hail from California (or so it seems?) Why do you think this is? Terri: I guess it has to be a reaction to all the pleasant sunshine and lack of buildings more than fifty years old. We have to create our own depressing universe through music! Actually, it's been tradition for decades for a lot of bands (not just goths) to relocate to L.A. because the recording industry is centered here. But I know a lot of good bands from New York and especially San Francisco. The newest hotbeds of goth activity are in Florida and Hawaii. More pleasant climates to rebel against! Dave: I don't know why, but I am glad they're here. Otherwise all we would have would be cock rock bands wearing tight denim jeans and flinging their hair about onstage and a bunch of so-called alternative rockers playing late 1960's garage rock, and passing it off as something new. Tony: I'm sure there's more goth bands out in California than anywhere else, but the bands out here, as much as you may like or dislike them, may take the genre a bit further in the extreme than most British bands we hear. A lot of bands from England that got popular in the States weren't goth bands to begin with, but got thown under the heading (ie. Joy Division, Chameleons) once popular stateside. In California the image is as important as the music. If we went onstage in street clothes here, the audience wouldn't take us seriously. Peter: Vampires..are they an important representation in the goth scene? Terri: I appreciate vampire literature, and confess to watching the t.v. show, Forever Knight, but those plastic vampire teeth goths are ridiculous! I have seen so many daytime talk shows featuring toothy goth kids who claim they drink blood and are 4000 years old! It's great entertainment, but I would not say its a pre-requisite for being goth. I guess goths appreciate the casually androgenous sexuality evident in the Ann Rice and Poppy Z. Brite characters ( I do like Poppy's stories a lot) and the idea of being powerful and immortal, but it's definitely fiction as far as I'm concerned. and Vlad the Impaler was just the Hitler/Stalin of his time. I do like live bats, however. We are building a bat house in our backyard this summer to lure them to sleep near us! Guano anyone? Dave: I think that vampires are fine, but the only reason they re used as a symbol of the goth scene is because of Bauhaus' Bela Lugosi is Dead . Ironically most of the people I talk to that are into vampires are actually Born Again Christians. Odd, because vampires historically were associated with Satan and the dark forces.The reason being that in the original manuscripts of the Bible it states that the soul of a person is in their blood. The Christian Church has either knowingly or unknowingly failed to teach this fact in their own religion, and these people are just ignorant of the fact of what vampires really are. I happen to believe that there are real vampires on the earth. I don't see them in a negative way as some people do because of the fact that they kill to survive. That is what all living creatures do. Tony: They are a big representation, but I don't consider them an important one. Peter: And what of fetishism..is this the new gothic fad/trend? Dave: It's great because people are feeling freer to express themselves in whatever way they choose and to be human beings and not feel guilty about it. Terri: It does seem to be the latest faddish entertainment in industrial and gothic clubs, as well as being highly visible in the fashion forum, mainstreaming far beyond the alternative crowd. I appreciate sexual play utilizing bondage, though its a bit too public for me...but it's already passe.. With all the attention on body manipulation, piercing and tattooing, what will the next trend be, amputation?? I got to see an embalming once, and it definitely changed my perspective on death and life. Tony: You'll find fetishism in almost any rock genre. Peter: In Lowlife you talked about "better kids be in punk or goth bands than doing drive-by shootings" Are things really that bad in the U.S.? If so do you have any casual theories to offer? Terri:Yes! Things are that bad! Just this weekend I saw on the news, a cop was killed by a disgruntled motorist whose car was being impounded, three people were killed by a hit and run driver who drove several blocks with a body still on the hood of the car, and several other murders happened. There is a serial child molester still at large, gang killings are so numerous they don't even hit the headlines, children have access to and bring guns to school. I blame it on the fact we are a transient society. People move so much they don't know the neighborhood policeman, not to mention grocer, or just the neighbors. Youths feel forced to move out earlier than European families, and families don't help each other as much here. Old people are mostly institutionalized. We don't have a nucleus to feel close to. Our drop out rate in school is at an earlier age and in greater quantity. Lack of education and lack of family support are the factors. This I think results in a person not caring about society or themselves.. a lack of respect for life.. At the same time we have a government which compounds the problem enforcing antiquated morality...yes, they are still trying to overturn Roe vs. Wade ..the abortion issue...and revert women's health issues back to the dark ages..then the goths will really have something to be depressed about! Legislators take money away from education, cave in to the big business lobbyists whims while the government prosecutes people who use the drugs the CIA imports into the country. But, regardless, I DO care about America and feel fortunate for the freedoms we have, and vote in every election. (God, in Belgium it's a crime NOT to vote..is it like that in England??)The government isn't allowed to open your mail here like in some countries. (Although when I published a fanzine with an anarchist bent11 years ago, my mail always arrived already opened.) Our taxes are lower than Europe, but we need to somehow get adequate health care for everyone. Dave: For some reason because of the media it's become trendy to be in a gang or to look like you're in a gang..to be a petty hood with no concern for anyone else's life, only to prove that you're someone in the world by spray painting your gang's name on a wall and driving by in a car and shooting at someone on the street. The clothing look is popular among kids, and the lifestyle too, and I blame that on the media. I think kids have always wanted to rebel against the establishment. I see an increase in violence all over the world because this planet is experiencing pressure from demonic forces. Their time of ruling the planet is coming to an end, and if they can no longer own the planet they will do their best to ruin it. Tony: I think kids should be doing anything rather than go around shooting people. You perhaps don't have this problem in England because its illegal to carry a gun there. That's abig part of the reason, and why you don't see too many drive-bys in Picadilly Circus..imagine the Crips opening fire on a bunch of tourists in their makeshift two level bus! Peter: What pisses you off with life and the world..vent your spleen! Dave: That people are judged by what they have materially, not how they behave as humans.Society favors youth and beauty. Children, the elderly and not so beautiful men and women are treated as second class citizens, and as such are undesirable. Terri: Promotors who treat the band like crap because they've never heard of us! Soundmen who think I don't know the differ ence between delay and reverb! Customers of my store who won't believe I'm the owner! Basically ignorance and arrogance make me want to slap some people upside da head! Tony: It annoys me when people ask for advice, you give it and they dont take it. I gave up giving advice to people. Peter: Does the band have any shared philosophy? Terri: We're all mavericks of some sort, living on our own terms and sacrificing to continue doing music. I don't want to procreate or comprimise my ideals to become one of the masses. Dave: To do what you want in life without worrying about how society wants you to live. Too many people are doing what society dictates to them, and not living how they truly want to live. Tony: I think we all have different perspectives on life. Peter: So how are sales of Door in the Dragon's Throat going? And was this a self release? Terri: We're doing well in Italy, decent in Britain and the Tower record chain has been selling them pretty well stateside throughEtherhaus distribution. We released Door ourselves having learned from our miserable experience with our second cassette release which was on a label run by a very dishonest, unprofessional person. We chose to pay for all expenses to record and promote this release in order to keep creative control and reap whatever rewards there might be in the outcome than have somebody rip us off in the end. Of course, now our distributors can still try to not pay us, but we're willing to take that chance! Peter: What is next on the Stone 588 agenda? Dave: To write new song material, eventually release a new CD and to find a permanent drummer. Terri: Currently, we have Larry playing drums until we find someone who is available permanently, but he recently suffered an accident two days before a string of shows, so we quickly put together an alternate version of our band with Eileen from Dichroic Mirror on guitar synth, keys, and mandolin. With Dave playing 12 string guitar, we've managed to reinvent our sound sans percussion with a more lush sound, while still sounding intense. Also, we're definitely looking forward to recycling the revenue from Door to return to the studio to record new material. Recently I finished some tracks for Dichroic Mirror's CD and would love to be on more recordings outside Stone 588. This greedy songbird is also involved in a couple of side projects..one with the drummer from the Prophetess..in fact we have our first show coming up for which we 'll have a crash jam session to write the material for the show! I had my baptism in unpreparedness on the U.S. Procession tour with Rosetta Stone, Corpus Delecti, Das Ich and Faith and the Muse as a back up singer two summers ago! Amidst the challenges of touring, I managed to promote Stone 588, and discovered that a lot of people appreciated our music. I networked, made new contacts, and came back feeling compelled to continue the band's evolution. Tony: We'll be writing new material, rocking the lounge or coffee house world while our drummer recovers from his accident. Peter: For those interested what merchandise do you have available and how do you get it? Terri: Write us at 517 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92832 to acquire the Fall From Grace catalog ($1.50) which carries the latest fashion and music merchandise from my store, Ipso Facto,plus the Door in the Dragon's Throat CD ($14.99), as well as our three cassette releases, Eden Lost, Eyes of a Statue ($6.00 ea.), the four-song Catharsis cassette ($4.00 ea.), tee shirts ($13.99 ea.) and stickers ($1.50). (Overseas orders need to add $2.50 frt for ea. item, except stickers) We're also on a lot of compilations including The Disease of Lady Madeline from San Francisco's House of Usher Club, What Sweet Music They make vol. 2 from Britain's Thee Vampire Guild,Fight Amnesia magazine's From the Dragon's Mouth, the forthcoming Children of the Damned from Apollyon, Cleopatra's soon to be released Siouxsie compilation, Permission magazine's TV Terror comp, a yet unnamed CD comp fromThe Vault.in Texas, and others. Peter: Ask a question you were not asked and answer it. What the strangest item you have ever found in your bed? Terri: A German. Dave: A completely naked woman. These days that doesn't happen to me very often. Tony: Clean sheets! I found one of my older sister's friends there once, passed out drunk. I can't go into detail about some of the things I've put in my bed. That's a whole other interview.
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