God Is The Machine: Infidel Interview #50

First of, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about both of you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, what instruments you can play, and where you live would be pretty standard?

Hi, I’m Chris Coleman, I'm a 25 year old Nerd/Geek, whom lives in Ogden, Utah. When it comes to performing live I’d consider myself an accomplished pianist, I also love to play the drums and guitar (however I'm not great at performing those just yet), but for composition I enjoy and prefer to spend countless hours to create unique and diverse sounds using what resources I have available. Aside from music I’m quite the Otaku, and Gamer grew up on the NES, SNES, and my Gameboy. I read tons of novels mostly ranging from Fantasy and Science Fiction. I’m also in the process of creating a video game with a few of my buddies, where I’m in charge of the art, music and sound design (of course I do programming but in my opinion it’s a necessary evil).

I'm John D Jones III, a 40 something viking living in Provo, Utah. I play Rhythm and Acoustic Guitar with 6, 7 and 8 strings as well as Fretted and Fretless Bass. I fiddle around with ambient sounds on keyboards, PC based sequencers and can keep time on the drums, though I won't call myself a drummer.

What would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to art and music? Are there any bands that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?

Chris: Nine Inch Nails, Celldweller, David Bowie, Gary Numan, Deftones, Depeche Mode, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Dream Theater, Opeth, Infected Mushroom, Aerosmith, Foo Fighters, Gesaffelstein, The Glitch Mob, Faunts, Queens of the Stone Age, Rammstein, Roy Orbison, System of a Down, SeamlessR and Sigur Ros are my main sources of influence, and honestly the list could go on and on and on. However there is no day that passes that when I'm having writers block or just in the mood to sit down and listen to an album I turn to what Trent Reznor has created, I will always feel inspired to write, compose, and continue the eternal struggle of Mixing and Mastering.

John: Everything influences my music, be it a thunderstorm, a really heavy television show episode, reading about someone's death and what it was to wake up not knowing that it was the last day they had on Earth, what went through their mind in their last moments. Really anything that makes me think deep about it's implications acts as an inspiration for my music.

As for bands, there were so many. When I was a kid, stuff like Queen, Boston, AC/DC, Pat Benatar, Pink Floyd and Heart all played a role in me wanting to pursue playing music, I'd say though that Iron Maiden and early Metallica, particularly: …And Justice For All really set in stone my desire to pickup the guitar and start playing like they were playing. Justice is probably the single most important album in giving birth to my current style; all the crazy time signatures, tempo changes and complex arrangements are still very evident in my playing today. And bands like Meshuggah, Immortal and all the bands that Christian Muenzner and Hannes Grossmann play or played in continue to develop my ideas onto the foundation that …And Justice For All laid down for me.

What would you say are your favorite themes and topics to write about? What draws you to those themes?

Chris: Most of my themes and topics I write about are from my novel/s I've written and have been unable to publish, and many different hypotheses, theories and philosophies - mostly things that strike me odd and in confrontation to what is described as what people assumed is natural or what is perceived to be normal when it comes to religion, government, morality, and/or just what we think it is to be human. That being said I love a story with growth, and I find the most growth from characters that overcome the darkness within themselves to create a light/path for others to tread (because I can relate to those type of characters with my experience). John: I don't write lyrics as much as I used to, the idea of darkness, despair, contrasted with closure and redemption tend to permeate the concepts I develop when writing music. I've been working off and on for a decade on a concept album called Dead for my Dewpoint project that involves the existential and emotional journey of an unsavory character in the throes of dying the the consequence of what may or may not await on the other side and each of the movements of this suite captures musically these feelings somewhat well, at least in my view point. I'm drawn to these themes, the darkness, despair etc because of my own personal experiences in my life. As for the obsession with death and dying, I think we all are concerned with the impending end we will all face someday. I use music to provide an outlet for my concerns. What would you say would be you short term, and long term, goals for your band? What do you see in the future for your creative output?

Chris: Short-Long term for is to build a fan base where as the money wouldn’t be an object (I’m sure we could all agree that it’s not fun living paycheck to paycheck), so we could just solely focus on the music, and our personal lives and so we could continue and reinvest the money we earn to make our mid-long term goals happen.

Another long term goalis to play live sets, but those live sets are movie based whereas we wouldn't be the center of attention but rather the story and sound would be. Sure we'd be onstage and people could see us, but it would be the movie we'd be playing along with that would show our fans the message we're portraying, for me I've always wanted this from when I go to concerts because sure it’s fun to dance, but I'm a more laid back kinda guy and I’d prefer something more visual to associate the music I'm listening to and sit.

John: I just enjoy making music. When working with someone else, I seek to add to their vision my unique perspectives without compromising their own vision. The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades!!

Is collaboration something that is actively important to you? Do you have any individuals you are particularly successful, or unsuccessful, in collaboration with? Has there been any collaborative based songs that you would say stand out to you?