To stir up some launch frenzy, over the next few weeks we interview the people who will be speaking and performing at DOAS’ Issue #4 ‘ANIMAL’ launch. We selected these folk to be a part of the reformatted launch program, as we felt they best represented our contributors: sassy, politicised and in-your-face.
We’re pleased to have the delightfully eclectic one-man band BJ Morriszonkle at the DOAS’ Issue 4 launch. He will be supplying your animal ears with sounds that have been described as ‘…exploding coconuts, falling anvils and [like] getting chased around by cartoon characters.’ DOAS gets the low-down on BJ’s inspiration – Italian Flash Gordon, and his rightful distrust of birds…
With your playing the upcoming launch of Death of a Scenester, Issue 4 ‒ how do you relate to the theme ‘Animal’ musically?
Well I’m sure anyone up close to me on the night will attest that the curious smell wafting out and around them is sub-human (I’m a smelly dude). I’m obsessed with animals actually; I have songs about dying circus mules, giving a greyhound a pocket full of dead bees, mysterious forces stirring up birds, lying down before packs of wolves etc. I like to make some of my tunes sound like moments of excitement in some sort of kooky, out of control barnyard. I love animals, except I don’t trust birds, one bloody bit. You can’t look in their eyes and falsely imagine human qualities.
Everyone has their own lyrical style, how would you describe your own? Are you more story, more comment… or somewhere in between?
Lyrics are another craft entirely, as opposed to music craft. I haven’t developed or explored that craft much at all, so my lyrics are usually a hot potch of more impulsive statements or just a bunch of descriptions that the music will prompt me to conjure up. So not stories really, I try to paint a picture of something and if someone imagines a story out of that in their own mind, then great. I sometimes feel uncomfortable about the comments I make, like who am I to make statements about anything? I’m no authority….. I suppose I’m an authority of my own existence though. I like to think the more decent lyrics I write, almost, tie together under a particular theme or mood, but usually I’m just inarticulately sprawling around, my sense that the world is fucking stupid. I sing with a lot of vibrato and a little bit out of tune. Terrific!
Music is a beast all its own. How would you describe this monster in all its wild splendour?
The best kind of music is human with all the quirks and flaws and stupidities of a genuine human being. Or anything truly creative or bad enough that you can’t argue with it. Music is probably like some great mass of liquid ‘coz it seems it can swallow people up or spit them out and we can stare into it or float upon it yet can’t quite grasp its objectives and capacity with our minds. Yes, it certainly is a beast — it’s fucking wild and it’s unforgiving.
Are there any books that you consider travelling companions on your musical journey so far? What influence have they held over you as you’ve gone about your creative life?
I’m not much of a reader really. I did pick up a ludicrous stack of 60’s Italian Flash Gordon comics from an op shop recently. I can’t read Italian but it’s heaps of fun trying to read the bloody things and pronounce the words (really passionately, in a stupid accent, late in the middle of the night). I think there are pows, zaps, oomphs, clangs and aooowhiees in my music. I have found the Columbo TV series on DVD extremely influential in my creative process and well I’m always listening to conversations and trying to remember the dumb and the poignant shit people convey. I read a quote once (dunno who’s words), that went something like ‘the strongest desire an artist ever knows is to create a world in which everything is as they imagine.’ That sort of stuck around, that one.