Burning Image - interview with Moe
Bars-Ursula: Burning Image gathered in the summer of 1983. Tell please how did you begin.
Мое: In the summer of 1982, I had a band called «The Pictures» along with Tony Bonanno, the guitarist in the band. we are from Bakersfield, California in the U.S. at that time the deathrock scene in Los Angeles was starting to happen and I remember listening to Christian Death and I was so taken by their music. Tony and I asked Paul Burch and Joe Sparks to join «The Pictures» and we were very influenced by the deathrock scene in America and the batcave scene in the UK.
Bars-Ursula: Now, when Burning Image is known as some kind of cult, what do you feel? Have you ever thought you’d be fathers of the genre, and your example, your music will inspire vast of people?
Мое: …at that time , I never would have thought that we would be included as fathers of a genre along with groups like Christian Death, 45 Grave or Kommunity FK. To think that people around the world are inspired by our music is amazing. but then, our fans in the deathrock scene are the best fans. we would be nothing without them.
Bars-Ursula: Could you tell us about the deathrock era in the USA?
Мое: I was drawn to the deathrock scene at that time because of its sincerity and honesty in the lyrics and the music. I will never forget listening to «Only Theatre of Pain» and just being in awe of Rozz Williams’s voice, the lyrics that he was singing and the incredible music.
it was hypnotic, brutally honest and pretty scary for the time. but the whole scene was like that.
Bars-Ursula: You shared the stage with 45 Grave, Specimen, Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys. Do you still communicate wih these bands? Do you like Penis Flytrap? How do you treat the politic position of Jello Biafra & hardcore- punk? What do you think about the last Specimen album «Electric Ballroom»?
Мое: Well, the new cd is going to be released on Alternative Tentacles records, which is Jello Biafra’s label. and because of that, I keep in contact with Jello quite often. I agree with much of jello’s political opinions. he is a very intelligent, witty and articulate man. I am glad to know him. I also have kept in contact with Dinah Cancer and have seen a few of her bands play. we played a show with Penis Flytrap back in 2002. of course I love 45 Grave. I have not heard «Electric ballroom yet, but I will.
Bars-Ursula: The compilation «Cultivation 91» appeared in 1991. Tell us about it in details, please. Who and how has chosen tracks for the compilation?
Мое: Cultivation 91 was a compilation cd done locally here in bakersfield. I had written some new songs and i was looking to put them out either on cd or album. we were invited to contribute a song for the compilation and I chose «Prey» to be on it.
Bars-Ursula: When the band has broken up, what did the band members do after the split?
Мое: After we broke up in 1987, the band memebers went their separate ways.
Joe Sparks and Paul Burch moved to San Francisco. I lost contact with Tony Bonanno for quite some time. I stayed in Bakersfield and played and wrote music for future projects. It was very strange not playing Burning Image music with the guys.
Bars-Ursula: The name of your compilation, released in 2004 is «1983-1987». How and whom this idea came from?
Мое: I went to see Jello Biafra perform his spoken word show in Hollywood. I had not spoken to Jello in a while, so I wanted to say hello and of course to see his show. After the show, he invited me backstage to talk.
One of the first things that he asked me was «do you have any more Burning Image music that I can listen to»
when we played with the Dead Kennedys in San francisco, Joe Sparks gave Jello a cassette of some of our music, but he wanted to hear more. I told him that I own all of the master tapes and that I had quite a bit of unreleased material. one thing led to another and he asked me if Alternative tentacles records could release a collection of our music. of course I said yes and thats when «1983-1987″ came out.
Bars-Ursula: Tell us please about tracks Haunted, Zealot, Nightmares.
Мое: Haunted and Zealot were originally written for a proposed compilation on Alternative Tentacles. unfortunately, that compilation never happened but to my surprise Strobelight records got a hold of me and asked me If they could put «Haunted » on the Kaliffornian Deathrock compilation. that was very cool.
«Nightmares» was actually written in 1987 but a new version of «Nightmares» is going to be on the new cd «Fantasma».
I am very happy with the new cd.
Bars-Ursula: Your music is concidered to be rather uneasy in technical aspect. Do you have profeccional music education?
Мое: I am a self taught musician as are the rest of the band. we have always wanted to challenge ourselves when we write songs in order to make the music interesting and different.
Bars-Ursula: There are your new tracks on your Myspace page.When the release will appear? How the recording of the«Fantasma» was going ? Who is produser? What Lable will be engaged in distribution of your album?
Мое: the new cd «Fantasma» should be out very soon. It is being released on the Alternative Tentacles label. we are done recording «Fantasma» and the cd was produced by Burning image.
As you know, the economic times in the United States and the world are very bleak and uncertain. I have seen the fear and desperation in the people of this country and it is heartbreaking. The situation gaves us a lot to think about when we were writing the new songs for this cd. like I said in our bio on our official website, «this cd is a the soundtrack of a world in pain»
Bars-Ursula: Judging by your tracks on Myspace page, we can call the new album great & a very gloomy at the same time with the oppressing atmosphere, rather harsh. How you managed to achieve such effect? What main concept of new release?
Мое: there a quite a few new deathrock bands that I really enjoy listening to. some of my favorites are: Miguel and the Living Dead, Last Days of Jesus, and La Peste Negra .
I said in an interview recently, that if you going to call yourself a «deathrock band» than at least try to sound like one. I believe that if you want to play some other genre like EBM or Death Metal and want to portray yourself as a deathrock band, then thats not right. let deathrock be deathrock!
Bars-Ursula: How do you treat the new bands from the Strobelight and other modern bands, trying to make deathrock/post-punk? Are there any modern bands you like? What do you think about additions of some new elements into deathrock/post-punk etc by many bands, like electro-samples and dance-tunes, or making the music heavier?
Мое: We dont play very often, but the shows we have done recently have been great. the crowds have been fantastic. they know the songs and they are very receptive to us. We played the «Wake the Dead» festival in Hollywood in april of 2007 and it was an amazing night. my thanks go to Nelson, Eric Dead and Tony X for wanting us to be a part of the festival. We also played with Christian Death 1334 in November of 2007 and that show was also great. we have a few shows planned for this year here in California. .
Ultimately, we would love to play for our fans in Europe. that would be incredible.
Bars-Ursula: By our chatting in network, it’s easy to make a conclusion what you are a very kind person. Do you open as well with your fans in reality?
Мое: Thank you for thinking that I am a kind person. thats very nice of you to say that. nothing makes me happier than to talk to our fans before and after a show. Our fans are awesome.
I think all bands should be cool to their fans.
It makes me angry when someone tells me how badly they were treated by their favorite band. thats not cool. Like I always say «without our fans, we are NOTHING»
Bars-Ursula: Some personal questions. What literature do you prefer?
Мое: As far as what type literature I prefer… I enjoy reading biographies and books on architecture. I also love learning different languages.
Bars-Ursula: How do you treat the USA president elected Barack Obama?
Мое: I think that Barack Obama has some good ideas and i hope that he can make them happen. I think the most important issue in the United States is to get proper healthcare for its citizens.
We also need to take care of the homeless and the elderly. and we need more money spent on education.
Bars-Ursula: And your final words…
Мое: My friend, thank you so much for wanting to do this interview with Burning Image and for supporting the deathrock scene.
and thanks to our fans for being so cool. we appreciate your support.
I promise, «Fantasma» will be out very soon on Alternative Tentacles records.
Questions: Vadim ‘Bars-Ursula’ Barsov
“Grave Jibes Fanzine”