Janus interview june 1996
Falling Janus was a darkwave band from New Orleans that appeared on Silber's first compilation Alleviation. I don't know what became of them.
QRD – what do you feel has been your biggest break so far & what do you feel is your biggest possible break in the next year?
Harry – playing with Nine Inch Nails was probably the biggest thing weíve ever done. it was quite incredible, lots of people. projektfest was great, hopefully spellboundfest will be too. weíre actually playing with bands whoíve done things. before we were playing shows with joe-shmoe-local-bullshit, but now weíve done shows with Sunshine Blind, Cindytalk, Thanatos. I think in the future the best thing that will come is once we have the cd out itíll allow us to do more spreading the material. the last two releases were limited to tape format, & I think with the cd weíll be able to show people what weíre all about. weíre going to make the cd more layered than the tapes. some songsíll be darkwave stuff & othersíll be total ambient noise & some acoustic & all different genres.
Mark – the happiest break for me so far is – Trent Reznor & Nine Inch Nails are all down here – I actually got to give a copy of our tape to Charlie Flouser, the keyboard player, & he said he thoroughly enjoyed it. Pod Boy (NINís drummer) lent us his drums for our last studio session & has been seen wearing a Falling Janus t-shirt.
Scott – when I went to florida I was just like a groupie. I wasnít having sex with the band, but I really liked them a lot; I was a roadie. it was cool seeing people get into it. it was a totally different aspect than here. here 70% of the crowd are our friends, so they donít picture us as musicians, but we go out of state & people are stealing guitar strings & stuff, itís pretty neat. as far as our next break, anytime we get to play with a good strong band & we can throw a strong show for a crowd that will be very receptive.
QRD – how do you feel about the death of universal aesthetics made evident by peopleís lack of appreciation of music not in the genre theyíve labeled themselves with?
Harry – any kind of limitation is very very bad. when we started out we were a very "gothic" band & it was all old school Cure/Joy Division type of stuff. but the way things have gone, like Scottís a trance/hip-hop dj. basically one thing we try to say when people ask us what we sound like is we donít like defining the experiment. some guy said one of our songs reminded him of a Sepultura song, and I was like, "not one I heard." I think anyone whoís open minded about music might like the stuff we do. I hate the fact that there are "goths" who only listen to "gothic" music. thereís lots of cool stuff not just limited to one style. I donít think anyone likes to be pigeon-holed. even "goth" bands donít want to be held down like that. I hate to say itís all rock & roll, because itís not all rock & roll, but whatever term you want to put to it.
Mark – I really would like people to expand & listen to more stuff, because I think if you select just one form of music youíre going to miss out on a lot of things. if youíre a mu-sician & you just have tunnel vision youíre going to miss out on the point of the whole thing; which is, basically, to encompass every- thing & give your interpretation of it all.
Scott – we all try & fit some part, let it be world music, ambient, trance, goth, traditional rock & roll, we pour it in a pot & see what comes up. Falling Janus is just an interpretation of what everybody in the band believes music is. thatís why itís hard to define, itís a kaleidoscope of ideas.
QRD – what do you think about aliens & ufoís &/or mankindís current fascination with them?
Mark – I believe that theyíre real. I believe that weíre only a few years away from the rapture. all this is gonna come to light. the government is in bits & pieces informing the public indirectly about the existence of aliens through tv, movies, & stuff like Independence Day coming out. I believe itís all totally real & thereís one big huge conspiracy. it isnít the producers who are doing it, itís actually the government who are involving these people to tell the public indirectly that extraterrestrial life does exist.
Scott – if they do come, that would maybe be another influence we could bring into our music. I believe in them, but I donít go around worried about it. just like I donít worry about vampires & satan worshippers & abortion rights people.
Harry – I think itís the whole paranoia thing set in, & Markís probably the most paranoid of all of us. I definitely believe in the possibility, but Iím probably more of a government conspiracy theorist because I donít trust anyone political. I believe they might be real, but until I see one face to face, I wonít be a complete believer. I do think the commercial marketability of it, thereís just too much around -- itís like a hula hoop. theyíre on everything. theyíre alternative. that kind of puts a disillusionment on it, it gives people something to believe in & to fear. the governmentís fucked up anyway, whether itís true or not I donít know, Iím a bit of a skeptic I guess.
QRD – at what age do you think someone becomes old or comes most in danger of becoming old?
Harry – I think people become old when they lose touch with their childhood. whenever they lose to touch with whoever they really are or wanna be. I think as you get older you probably a) get more jaded or b) go into the typical wife/job/2.5 kids. I saw Iggy Pop like a year ago & he was freaking out more & breaking shit more than the young people, so I donít know. Iím 23 now & hope Iím still doing what Iím doing at his age.
Mark – whatever age you start complaining about the music that your kids listen to.
Scott – when you relate to Peter Frampton & people donít know what youíre talking about. Iím 24, so I guess in twenty years Iíll feel old. when people are like, "whoís Moby?" & stuff like that, when you lose touch with whatís supposed to be hip in culture.
QRD – whatís your favorite Swans song?
Harry – I really like "Screw" & the b-side version of "Trust Me" on "Love Will Tear Us Apart" 12".
Mark – "Mind/Body/Light/Sound" from The Great Annihilator.
Scott – I like theyíre rougher stuff like "Money(Bastard)" & theyíre more industrial stuff. I really canít name all their songs, but what Iíve heard is cool. that "Mona Lisa" song is cool from Burning World.
QRD – what type of candy would you most like to be?
Harry – I like grape blo-pops.
Mark – sweet tarts.
Scott – I donít really like candy anymore, because my grandmother spoiled me on candy. now my teeth are full of fillings & I have really tender teeth. I hate candy, I eat nutri grain bars.
QRD – the american dream is to be rich, do you feel it is enough to get by?
Harry – I think as long as I make a living to where Iím comfortable & Iím not stressed out on bills & I can support the life I want to lead whether itís with wife/kids/cat/dog/whatever. I think thatís one of the main problems with the country is that everyone thinks they have to be rich. the persona of people showing off who has the bigger car & most gold chains & all that bullshit. I think itís a bunch of crap. as long as I can live the life I want to lead Iíll be content. what could you possibly do with millions of dollars? buy your own country? the saying money is the root to all evil isnít quite right, itís the need of money. the fact that people canít get by living day to day hand to mouth is quite fucked up.
Mark – probably not. when we get old & retire there wonít be social security anymore. I think the american dream has been tainted.
Scott – Iím at the point now where I wish I could be rich, because ever since Iíve been having bills itís been check to check which is probably true for 80% of the country, but there are other joys besides money.
QRD – do you feel that men or women are intrinsically worse than the other?
Harry – I think theyíre equally bad. I think the reason why men & women donít get along to a certain extent is they are too much alike. they both see it as a "game." itís about how people are raised. I grew up going to catholic school & didnít get to be around girls until I was out of high school, which really sucked. I saw a lot of people I went to high school with who had terrible social skills with girls and couldnít relate to them. I donít believe in segregation. I think both sexes are equally terrible to each other whether itís guys sitting around saying, "I fucked that bitch," or girls saying it not quite as crudely. theyíre out to "get what they want" & guys are out to "get what they want." theyíre may not be the same objective on both sides but it comes down to the same thing. both sides have an objective.
Mark – I find women to be very catty towards each other fighting about guys, but Iíve never understood women personally.
Scott – they are equal. Iím straight, but Iím too the point where I hate women. thereís so much game & Iím a loser magnet, I always hook up with loser psycho chicks. I canít go to church to meet them or bingo, so I donít know how to work it out. Iíll never forget the first girlfriend I ever fell in love with gave me a book Why Women Canít Get Enough Love & Men Canít Get Enough Sex, & thatís the way it is.
QRD – with presidents appearing on Mtv, does our culture seem to have corrupted into a seventies B sci-fi film?
Harry – I really think the main reason Clinton won last time was because of doing that. Michael Stype with the rock the vote thing getting teenagers to register to vote & Clinton was on Mtv & Bush was dogging him for that & the youth. "Iím not like Clinton, you wonít find me on Mtv with Bono & Boy George." I think a lot of young people took offense to that. I think strategically that was a smart thing to do. as far as us degrading into a seventiesí b rated flick, yeah. the governmentís a joke now. I canít see how anyone can take it seriously. like the whole O.J. thing. I donít want to sound patriotic for a second, but what the country was based on were really good ideals & itís like nobody gives a fuck anymore. all people who "care" are just a bunch of fascists in it for themselves. itís like Jello Biafraís "sonsí of senatorsí sonsí of senatorsí sonsí of senatorsí sons.í" I donít see the government doing anything for anybody, just making things better for themselves. I think the ideals of america could work, but they need to be totally revamped, because everyone in power is a fucking moron asshole. I had a court case recently where this cop sliced off a piece of my hand slamming it in a steel door & the final ruling was that there wasnít enough proof the cop actually did it even though five people saw it happen. the judge was friends with the cop, they played golf together, so the cop got off & I was stuck with a medical bill. itís a bunch of good old boys taking care of themselves.
Mark – definitely. I think Clinton should make a movie called waiting to inhale.
Scott – Iím pretty politically ignorant. I guess itís because I get tired of all the crap with how political politics are. I voted for Clinton because I was in a union & went with the flow. I just know theyíre always fucking up & always fucking up big.
QRD – have you had any interesting dreams lately?
Harry – Iíve been having a lot of really fucked up dreams that Iíve been writing down, but I have so many, I canít pick just one. things like hanging out at my house & having the barbecue pit blow up. I could go in to more detail but it would take a while to show what my interesting dreams are actually about. Twin Peaks surreal stuff.
Mark – the only interesting dreams Iíve had scare the hell out of me. the usual falling off a bridge, aliens chasing me, stuff like that are the only interesting dreams that have been occurring.
Scott – I always have trilogy dreams, that theyíre in parts & stuff. most of them are like Raising Arizona with the guy coming over the hill on a motorcycle in total fear. thereís always something coming to get me & I wake up before the dreams get bad. itís either that or Iím having sex with a teacherís daughter or something.
QRD – do you think in the past five or six years the job of music as an artform has changed with its growing popularity?
Harry – I canít answer that correctly because I didnít live in the seventies at the same age I am now with the same perspective. Iím sure that twenty years ago people thought music was a huge growing thing & Iím sure it has gotten bigger since Mtv. as an artform? I find very little commercial music that Iíd call art. most music that I consider art is independent music or small label music. I think music has grown as an artform but the commercial aspects will not allow true art to be shown, because people arenít intelligent enough on their own to not buy Pearl Jam clones. as with all art it will continue. I met this guy from russia & Iíd read this article about a band called Aquarium & I was curious what they were all about & he knew this band & he gave me the lowdown that they were the biggest band in russia, but they never had any record labels & played on burnt out equipment living literally hand to mouth. these are real artists. they suffered. the singer lived in a one room house with four other families. the government tried to censor them because they didnít like the lyrics. itís probably not like that now, they went on to become capitalists.
QRD – what author do you believe most under-appreciated by american pop society?
Harry – Franz Kafka & Camus. Literature as a whole seems to be taken for granted.
Mark – William Burroughs. a lot of people donít know his work, Naked Lunch or anything. I also enjoy J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye is one of the best books Iíve read in my life. also George Orwell.
QRD – when listening to your own pieces, do you find them unfinished or imperfect? do you have any you feel are complete?
Harry – Iíve always felt them to be unfinished. "Harbinger" is the closest I feel to a finished piece. it just has the feel & mood I wanted.
QRD – do you think marriage is an example of fulfillment of love or people settling for each other?
Scott – itís like learning through conditioning. my parents lived a couple blocks apart, went to high school together, dated, & now theyíre happily married for twenty years. but friends who are my age, all the ones whoíve been married are divorced. itís changed its values from our parents time to now. everybody I know, itís been for settlement/security, no passion.
Harry – scary question. Iíve wondered
about that a lot. I see what the older generation is like (60+) & just
wonder if they possibly ever understood life & growing up in the same
context as we see life. it seems that past generations are mixed as emotionally
as we are today, but now people are more expressive. sex is quite meaningless
today. itís a great extracurricular activity, but it doesnít mean the same
thing anymore. thatís kind of sad. my views of love & relationships
are very confusing at this point in my life. Iíll have to write a book
about it to explain it all.