That hits the nail on the head! Well, ok, let's change the subject. Most of the readers here probably know that you've joined Internal Void after the end of Penance. How did that come about and what's going on with I.V.? It's been seven years since 'Matricide' has been released, and I guess that I'm not the only one who would be glad too see a new album. Does this option apply?
Well, things were coming to an end with Penance and the chance to play with Void came around which I didn't pass up. I've always loved those guys and having a chance to play with them was something that I just couldn't pass up. It was a transitional point in my life as I seemed to be spending more and more time down there working and staying at Koz's (Chris Kozlowski) place like a second home so the distance wasn't too much of an issue. Then the whole Pentagram opportunity came around as well. Basically we were pulling double duty with both Void and Bob (Bobby Liebling). We all know how that worked out and it was quite a shame really. It's even more of a bitter sweet pill as well, because it eventually spelled the demise of Void.
I think back and think that if we would have put all the time that we spent on the Pentagram thing into Void that we'd still be going, but............those guys haven't played since, other than the one time get together at Brenner's festival a while back now. Can't believe it was that long ago already! I'd love to hear a new record from those guys, even if I wasn't playing on it. I feel that we never really got to really do what I know we could have with the whole Pentagram distraction. Sad really. You never know, but I'm not sure how those guys feel about things. Magic (Kelly Carmichael) is still playing his solo blues gig, but that's about it. Adam isn't really playing and I don't think JD is either, but I've been seeing some things about War Injun so I'm not sure.
Retrospectively, what are your thoughts on 'Show 'Em How' and what do you think about the time you've spent in Pentagram? Are you still in contact with Bobby Liebling?
It's a bittersweet pill and more bitter than sweet. While I can't say that I hate that record, I can say that I was dissappointed with the way that it came out production-wise. No disrespect to Koz or Bob. Especially compared to what we sounded like live and in rehearsals for it. I envisioned it being more stripped down and raw like a studio recording of our practices or the older stuff that was on 'First Daze Here'. I have several cd's of us rehearsing that stuff and it sounds great. We really did that old stuff justice both playing wise and even the tone cause Magic (Kelly) didn't use his regular I.V. gear. He mostly went in straight through an old Orange head with no distortion other than the natural break up you get when you crank it up and his playing was just fantastic. He really nailed those old solos all the way around. I honestly think he was the best guitarist Bob ever had.
It sounded like those old tapes we used to listen to when we were kids - some of which eventually became 'Human Hurricane' etc. - all those old practices that we all had on cassettes forever. I listen to them and if I didn't know better I swear it's like you found some old buried stuff from back in the day. As it turned out, they went for more of that modern sound with a ton of layered guitars etc. That being said, I think it was just a shame that Bob couldn't get it together so that we could have done something more. There were some European shows lined up as well and it all just tanked out. It was a great opportunity that just never panned out. It could have been so much more, but we all know how it turned out. I'm glad that it seems that he's got his shit together now, for his sake. Even more of a sad thing as I've said earlier that it helped the demise of I.V. as well. That's the biggest thing that I regret about the whole thing. I really enjoyed playing with them and with all the time we spent on the Gram stuff, we never really had a chance to launch what I.V. could've been. We only had one song that we wrote with me in the band. I'd be curious as to what we would have come up with as we were a well oiled machine at that point. I'm thinking it would have been some pretty heavy stuff. No, I'm not in touch with Bob and haven't been since the Black Cat "no" show.
It's sad to hear that the whole Pentagram helped the demise of Internal Void. That price is definitely too high for such a short adventure. As much as I like 'Show 'Em How', but I have to agree to what you say regarding the production. It could've been better, but it's no worse album and the most 70s sounding record that has been released by the band after 1980. Well anyway, let's change the topic. In musical terms, I can well imagine that 2010 has been a good year for you. You've released the debut album of your new band/project UNDER THE SUN and you was part of Cathedral's 20th Anniversary show in London which took place at the beginning of December 2010. Where did the idea come from and how did it feel to play 'Forest Of Equilibrium' on stage after 20 years?
Yes, it's definately been a bit busy for me. Once again, I got an email (not regular mail like the first time for 'Forest Of Equilibrium') from Lee asking if he could put something together would it be feasable for me. Griff said yes straight out of the gate and Adam joined in as well. I agreed providing I could make arrangements to cover my store (it's still a one man show). Once Lee knew everyone was in, of course he put it all together and it came out rather well. They were suppossed to have 5 cameras recording it as well as going to tape, but I think in the end there were only 3-so I'm not sure they'll have enough footage to do a DVD, but something live should/could come out of it. It was a great time for me not only to play a bigger gig again, but to see the boys again and hang out. On top of that, it's the first vacation I've had from my shop in 3 years. I rehearsed the stuff by myself about a month before I went over, just so I would be tight and not let the boys down. Overall, I think we sounded pretty good and it was all quite natural for me to break that stuff out again. Definately a highlight for me. Would be cool to do a couple more with them as well.
Yes, indeed. I really would love to see the 'Equilibrium' lineup on tour as well as a DVD of that anniversary show in London, simply because it's my favourite Cathedral album. Well, ok, I've seen the band in 1992, but you were missing. While we are on the subject of 'Forest Of Equilibrium', how did it happen that you joined Cathedral for this record?
While it would be cool, it's quite doubtfull especially now since they've announced their retirement not too long ago. I think the best you can hope for is a live record of the show at this point. Lee sent me a letter in the mail one day asking if I'd come over and record their record as they had studio time booked etc. They were fans of my old band Dream Death (especially Gaz) as well as Penance and were familiar with me from that. They were having problems with their old drummer as he hurt his arm or something if I remember right. Of course, I said yes. I had 12 days rehearsal time to learn everything and then lay it down in the studio. And I think the result is something to be proud of, Mike.
Before we drip the subject Cathedral, let me ask you two more questions. First of all, what do you think about 'Forest Of Equilibrium' today and secondly, what memories do you have of the first European tour with Penance, where you played together with Cathedral and Sleep? As far as I remember, I had seen you in Essen at Zeche Carl and it was quite impressive.
I'm proud to have been a part of what has become such a landmark album for so many people. I never imagined it to be what it has turned out being. That was a great tour with lots of great times. One of which was - I can't remember where exactly, but - we showed up for a gig and there were only a handfull of people there (around 10-15) so Sleep went out and improvised for their set and played just one entire long jam, which was great!