1. What's the first piece of music you listened to today?
"Chimicum Rain" by Linda Perhacs
2. What are your vices?
Really potent sativa. Not indica, which is the paranoid kind.
3. What is one of your prejudices?
It's hard to accept that there aren't more anti-war protests on a monthly basis in every city in this country. It goes to show that everyone Feels Dis-engaged.
4. In what way do you think music has the ability to change the way people live their lives?
Well, a tired mind won't change, so maybe some music can awaken aspects of the mind that allows for a rebirth.
5. At what age did you first feel distrust?
At a very early age while in school, in lower Alabama where I am from, hearing racist comments spill from both white & black children, bad thoughts placed in their minds by their parents, who were workingclass & just tired. Blaming each other rather than our government & elected officials.
6. Do you think that your name is appropriate for you? (If not, what name would be more appropriate?)
No. I would like a name that makes no sound but every time it is spoken, would make the sky become tie-dyed.....then I would recognize the call.
7. What is the best piece of music you've ever created, in your opinion?
My favorite on the LP is "Starblanket River Child."
8. Right now, how are you trying to change yourself?
I am eating an organic breakfast of tomato, egg, avocado with tea. I hope to gain energy from that to go swimming. I look forward to the after effects of both.
9. If you had the time, what else would you do?
I would like to deep-sea dive with super lungs that wouldn't fail. I would like my own garden too.
10. What are your fears?
Leadership, folks seeking to lead.
11. What is your favorite joke (tasteful or tasteless)?
Q: How many squirrels does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None. Squirrels don't use lightbulbs.
12. Who is your favorite author?
Currently, Leonard Peltier.
13. What is your favorite movie?
Currently, Seven Years in Tibet because I like how they removed all the earthworms before they built a building, by hand.
14. Favorite album(s) from the last few years?
Linda Perhacs, "Parallelograms" Hamza el Din, "Escalay - The Water Wheel" Pentangle, "Classics" Daniel Higgs, "Magic Alphabet"
15. What would you like to know more about?
How to play a flute.
16. What is one thing you would like to do/see/accomplish before you die?
Learn how to play a flute.
17. Your lyrics use simple, direct language, almost like prayers or incantations. Do you think you your songs in this sort of way? Or do you have different reasons for using the language you do?
I don't like the English language very much. Yes, I consider these words to be incantations, as they are influenced by reading & listening to Native American folk tales, as well as my own relations to wild places and wild life.
18. How has living in a wilderness environment changed the way you think about music? Can you talk a little about your experience out at Point Reyes.
Well it was a decision to live rurally, nearby untainted land. There is a decision made to either consider wilderness a hindrance or an inspiration. The choice I made was to participate with wilderness on as many levels as possible. Not only for religion but for entertainment and even for community. Yet to make wilderness a multi-layered experience, I chose to become anti-social, so that my attentions would remain focused. It is still a goal I try & maintain daily, to limit my social interaction so that the "human interaction" doesn't override wilderness interaction. I see alone time with wilderness as a reclamation and a birthright. Too often the "human interaction" is so predictable. Humans need so much attention because generally they are rambling life forces filled with layers and layers of intentions, they only listen to each other, yet there are other life forces surrounding us, with many lessons and gifts. It takes a sincere effort & faith to seek interaction from wildlife over human life. Yet I feel this area of the human experience is worth most any sacrifice.
19. You talk a lot about your connections with Marijuana. How do you feel your experiences with it have changed you as a person? How have they changed you as a musician?
Marijuana is a unique plant that has the potential to expand periphery. As a male, I cannot give birth to another life, yet the Earth is a birthing mother. It is the female species of this plant that when used, allows the "male mind" to embrace the "birth mind." Birthing & Periphery are my main interests with music.
20. Your lyrics and album artwork use a lot of American Indians imagery. How do connect yourself with the Native American culture?
I consider indigenous culture, its history, to be an important historical aspect of the human experience. We are all Native to something that can't be bought or sold and the more ways we can realize this, the better we'll treat each other and the Earth we depend upon to survive. I am not inspired to adopt the values of our current collective head. We were born with all that we need. The power we seek can be gained within our experience, not through others. The closer we understand this the less dependent we become on a destructive system for survival. America was founded by folks escaping persecution, yet at the expense of both the Earth and slave labor.
21. Why did you change your band name from Ala.Cali.Tucky? Do you view the current band setup as a different incarnation of the previous album’s band?
Ala.Cali.Tucky was the name of an album that was written by a band called RAINYWOOD. When someone asked to publish that, RAINYWOOD no longer existed. I was performing under the name BRIGHTBLACK when the album, which is out of print, was published by a friend. So we called it BRIGHTBLACK. That recording is not related at all to the BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT.
22. You’ve done some work as a visual artist. Can you talk a little about your experience and what sort of visual art/artists you’re interested in?
I just recently started drawing again, and am interested in hallucinogenic line art, because it is fun to make.
23. What would you like to explore, musically (and if you like: personally) over the next few years?
I am interested in working with musical instruments that I don't even know how to play, but hear them in my mind a lot. So I suppose I'll be trying to translate that.
The additional questions in this interview were contributed by Ross Simonini.
Updated: September 24, 2011