Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pheaturing Hum.V

Hello, welcome to another entry of the Phile. So, how are you? Thanks for reading. Did you have a good President's Day on Monday? For those of you that don't know, that is a day when we celebrate history by getting great deals on mattresses. I’m glad we have a day for the presidents, but shouldn’t we have a day for Congress when the Senate and the House can kick back and not worry about getting anything done? Oh, wait. A lot of people have Presidents Day off, especially people who work for the government, like postal workers — and investment bankers. It's a three day weekend for most people. Remember President George Bush? Everyday was a three day weekend for him. At Epcot, there's a new venue opening called Pixie Hollow, which is not to be confused with Pixie's Hollow, which is something completely different. On Sunday it's the Oscars, and everyone in L.A. is gearing up for them. The limos are running, the champagne is popping, the Botox is flowing. Speaking of the Oscar's, did you see the ad Windows put out to tie in with the Oscar's?

I am proud of myself, I saw two of the 10 movies that are up for best picture this year. I was trying to figure out which one I wanted to win, and have decided finally. Here is a screen shot from the movie I want to win best picture, even though I think The King's Speech is gonna win. Harvey Weinstein may want to get his speech ready.

And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Signs Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Preparing To Act In Movies Again
10. State of the State address was in 3D.
9. Rash of dialect coach suicides.
8. Switched back to liberal Democrat.
7. He's getting 20 text messages an hour from Tom Arnold.
6. What do you mean by "again"?
5. Passed a new bill legalizing steroids for actors.
4. Government in California beginning to function again.
3. Sylvester Stallone is a nervous wreck.
2. Script for Conan the Sexagenarian found in locker at Gold's Gym.
And the number one sign Arnold is preparing to act in movies again...
1. Just completed an 8-year acting class in Sacramento.

This is the 14th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C. and it's available on and in fine book shops everywhere. You might even find it on sale at Borders.

Today's guest is a hip-hop artist from Indiana, whose latest CD "One Verse At A Time" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Hum.V.

Me: Hello, man, welcome to the Phile. Should I call you Hum?

Hum.V: You’re giving me free press, Jason. You can call me whatever you’d like as long as it’s some derivative of my last name Humrichouser. Hummer, Hum.v, Hum, or The Man. Those are all fine, Jay.

Me: I have to say first, congratulations on the new baby. You must be very busy at the moment. man. How is the baby doing?

Hum.V: Now that’s a great question. You know people always love to talk about their kids, and I’m no exception. Morgan Lynn is unbelievable and has changed my life more than anything I’ve ever experienced. You just look at life differently you know? Everything is put into perspective and you realize what is really important.

Me: You're from Indiana, right? Is that where you live now? Are you originally from there?

Hum.V: I’m originally from a small crummy ass town in Ohio called Ashland. I was born and raised there, then moved out to Indianapolis to attend/play football at Butler University, and I never looked back.

Me: I checked out your music on your website and downloaded your stuff from iTunes. I am not that into rap, but your rap is pretty cool. Kinda like a laid back Kid Rock. Is he one of your influences?

Hum.V: Eh, not a huge Kid Rock fan, although I respect his talent as a musician and his hustle in the industry. He’s definitely original. My influences are almost too broad to list. They are all over the music spectrum. I love Hip Hop (Outkast, Eminem, Kid Kudi, Jay-Z), but I also love John Mellencamp, Breaking Benjamin, and God Smack. Pretty broad spectrum for sure. I love music in general.

Me: I read you opened for The Roots. That must of been a big thrill for you, Hum. How long ago was that? What do you think about them being a late show band on Fallon's show?

Hum.V: I’ve actually opened for the Roots three times and all were ‘big thrills’. We played with them twice in Indianapolis and once in Milwaukee. They are great guys, and I love their music too. One show I recall was actually at Clowes Hall on the Butler University Campus, and it was a great performance. Black Thought, in my opinion, is an over-looked and underappreciated emcee in the game. I think that them being on Jimmy Fallon, for them, was a the best decision they ever made. I actually read an interesting article on that move. They’ve toured non-stop for over 12 years. Anyone would have chosen to make more money and stay home, close to family instead of being out on the road.

Me: Who else did you grow up listening to?

Hum.V: All I listen to is my own stuff. I’m an ego maniac.

Me: What about Jurassic 5 or The Beastie Boys?

Hum.V: I love the Beastie Boys. Who doesn’t? I love love love J5. My group (Cleptoz) and I actually opened up for them on several occasions too. One time about 4 years ago we played with them at the vogue and since we killed it, they asked up on stage and we performed a song with them. It was awesome. Chalie Tuna is one of my favorites for sure.

Me: Rap has changed a lot since the 80's and 90's like most music. What do you think of the new rap artists now? It's all about sex and violence, right?

Hum.V: I agree with you in the sense that it’s not what it was, but I certainly don’t think “It’s all about sex and violence”. There are some great/positive/intelligent rappers out there, you just have to find them. Lots of the Mainstream rap is garbage and its jammed down our throats by corporate radio. Trust me, There is lot of horrible rock out there too (Nickelback). In this day and age there is so much music to choose from you can be very selective. Yes, some rap is all about sex and violence, but I don’t choose to listen to that.

Me: When did you first start to get into hip hope and rap? I cannot think of any other rap artists from that part of the country. The only musician I can think of from Indiana off the top of my head is John Mellencamp.

Hum.V: I fell in love with hip hop music when my sister turned me onto Dr. Dre’s “Chronic” and Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle”. I’ve loved hip hop ever since. I won my first rap contest in 6th grade when I wrote an ant-litter rap about not polluting the earth. Remember, I grew up in Ashland OH and Cleveland was only 45 minutes north. Bone Thugs N Harmony were from Cleveland. They were my biggest inspiration when I started rapping.

Me: You started off in a group called The Cleptoz, right? How did that group get together?

We met in college. BC lived behind me and started off as my DJ. Dizzy Young was in my Music Business class, go figure. We just fell into place.

Me: Do you prefer to be a solo act?

Hum.V: I like writing and recording solo music much more because I don’t have to rely on others. I love what I talk about on my solo records and find it much easier to express myself through music as a solo artist. As far as performing, I love having the Cleptoz with me. They are my two best friends in the world man. I’ve toured the country for years with those two.

Me: I mentioned that I purchased your albums off from iTunes, "Simple Man" and "One Verse At A Time"... how do you think those two albums are different? I know you've been working on new music, Hum, any new albums planned?

Hum.V: Ahhh, I love that question. I can’t even compare those two albums because I love them both so much. However, the production and mastering on OV@AT is much better. Plus, that album was done when I was going through my botched deals with Capitol and Universal so there is a little more edge on that album. Of course, I have another album coming out. If you love music like I do, you never stop making it. It’s in my blood. By the way, my new shit is so hot it will melt your face off.

Me: Will the new project be up on iTunes?

Hum.V: Everything I do is on iTunes because I like $ and no one buys CD's anymore. Its all downloads. Plus, since I’m not a major, I get 85% of every download. “Look In Your Eyes” was pay day.

Me: Hum, I checked out your website and you wrote the most amazing tribute to your dad. Your mom and myself have been good friends for years, and I know she is very, very proud of you. What was your parents reaction when they first started to hear your music?
My mom speaks very highly of you too, Jason, and I certainly appreciate your friendship with her. She is incredible for sure. I honestly, consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world because I had two caring/involved parents who loved and supported me no matter what I did, my whole life. My father, who passed unexpectedly two years ago, is the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. He taught me that you can make positive music and still be affective. He also taught me that hard work is pays off, which is has in my music career. He taught me that the worst thing in the world is being lazy and unmotivated. He showed me that you have to constantly be setting new goals in life. He taught me to stay true to myself and not to think twice about people trying to bring me down. Also, that people trying to bring me down, are simply envious. I love my parents more than anyone could ever know. May he rest in peace and look down on me with proud eyes.

Me: Did they ever see you live in concert?

Hum.V: They were so supportive, I can’t even remember how many times they’ve seen me play. Many many times that is for sure. In my song "Simple Man" I have a lyric that goes “I’ve seen so many places and saw so much take place, but nothing could replace the look upon my mother’s face. That night I did her song, I saw her in the crowd. There’s nothing better than making her and my father proud. And that’s a feeling that money could never purchase, a feeling so overwhelming that everything else seems worthless.”

Me: Your mom Melody is a huge "Star Trek" fan and an avid golfer. Are you a Trekkie as well and did you take up golf? You could be the first golf rapper.

Hum.V: Honestly, I tried getting into golf and I just have the patience or time. It takes like 5 hours to play 18 holes. Do you know how much you can do in 5 hours? I’m just not into it. As far as "Star Trek" I’d rather punch myself in the face than watch an episode.

Me: I have to ask you about the "Tighty Whities" song. It's a duet so to speak with you and another rap artist, right? How did that come about?

Hum.V: "Tighty Whities" was just a mix tape we did for fun that turned out to get a ton of downloads. A mixtape, for you older folk, is where you do a bunch of snippets over other people’s music that’s hot at the time. We slayed that mix tape. There is a song on there where I rap a tribute to my father over U2’s “With or Without You”. One of my favorite songs I’ve ever done. I went to the studio to hear the mix of it, and my producer surprised me. Dizzy Yung from Cleptoz had recorded a verse on the song. I cry every time I hear it.

Me: Hum, thanks so much for being on the Phile. You are welcomed back any time you want, sir. Why don't you plug your website while you're here?

Hum.V: Jason, I can’t thank you enough my man. Its been real. Again, I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I have the usual myspace page... and Plus, I have a new website with a bunch of new FREE music. Also, on a more personal level, add Greg Humrichouser as a friend on Facebook.

Me: I wish you continued success and hopefully we can meet soon. Maybe I can try and get you to do a show here in Orlando. Take care, Hum, and keep up what you are doing. Don't let anybody try and change you.

Hum.V: Jason, the feeling is most certainly mutual. Thanks for taking an interest and for your time. Your blog/website is incredible. Maybe I’ll get some additional downloads from this, huh? I’m in Orlando at least twice a year visiting my mom. Plus, now I have a 3 month old whom I’m sure will love Disney in a couple of years. Even if people tried to change me, they’d fail. I’m arrogant, stubborn, conceited, vain, and over-confident to the core... just ask around, Jay.

That about does it for another entry. Thanks to Hum.V for a great interview and to his mom, Melody for hooking it up, as the kid's say. The Phile will be back next Wednesday with rock musician jsin. Yep, that's how he writes his name, all in lower case. Thanks for reading, and as always, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pheaturing Randy Blackwell From Lamplight Media

Hello, welcome to a special Sunday entry of the Phile. So, today was my 23rd anniversary working at Walt Disney World. Twenty-three years! That's like two decades and three years. Congrats to rookie Trevor Bayne for winning the Daytona 500 this afternoon. If you are from overseas and don't know what the Daytona 500 is... it's a bunch of rednecks turning left. A computer beat the humans on “Jeopardy!” Experts say they haven’t seen two humans beaten this badly since yesterday’s “Jerry Springer.” Never before has man been defeated by technology on a game show except for the time backstage on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” when Regis got his hand stuck in the soda machine. You have to be smart to win on “Jeopardy!” It’s not like “Wheel of Fortune.” Those contestants could be beaten by an electric razor. The computer may be smart, but will a machine ever be able to smell a flower or experience joy? And when I say Joy, I mean Joy Behar. President Obama was in San Francisco meeting with technology executives including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The goal was to create new jobs to replace all the jobs lost as a result of everyone spending time at work on Facebook. Obama also wants Zuckerberg to show him how to make Bo, the White House dog, his Facebook profile picture. Are you guys fans of "Jersey Shore"? I have never watched it, but if you are I have some sad news. There may be only two more seasons of “Jersey Shore.” After that, I guess Snooki will go back to being an ottoman. Paris Hilton revealed that she’s releasing a new album in a few months. Man, I can wait to hear that. Maybe I can get her on the Phile. A man in Colorado dropped an engagement ring down a sewer drain while proposing to his girlfriend. Up until then, his romantic proposal atop a sewer was going so well. A company in Japan is holding the world’s first marathon for robots. My money is on the robot from Kenya winning. So, I mentioned the Daytona 500 a few seconds ago... did you see the inspirational posters they were selling there?

Okay, it's Sunday, so I thought I would show you a church sign.

And now a reminder about the...

This is the 14th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C....

One of the authors, Toby Hadoke will be a guest on the Phile some time in March.

Okay, this is a little bit different then the unusual guests and interviews I have here on the Phile. Today's guest is the CEO of Lamplight Media and the creator of a new Christian based role playing game called "Soterion". Please welcome to the Phile to explain everything... Randy Blackwell.
Me: Hello, Randy, welcome to the Phile. How are you, sir?

Randy: I'm great, excited to talk to you.

Me: I have to admit this is a different interview then normal for me. Before we start, tell the readers what Lamplight Media is about.

Randy: We are a Christian Media company. We want to bring good clean entertainment for all ages to the market. I want to quote Ralph Winter. He is the producer for some of the Star Trek movies, X-Men movies, Fantastic Four, and even Left Behind. I've found what he said in an interview with the "700 Club" very inspiring: "Well, how come we, as Christians, don’t tell stories that we’re so fascinated by? “It’s got to have a happy ending; it can’t be dark. It’s got to be happy. And I’m not sure what the subtext is. It’s got to be obvious.” I don’t think we know our audience. Well, Jesus’ stories resonates with everyone whether you’re a Christian or not. We have to learn about telling original and interesting stories." Lamplight Media is here to tell fascinating stories inspired by our Christian faith. Alot of the messages in our content is parabolic in nature, drawing from the same kind of symbolism that the Lord used in his parables and teaching the same kinds of principles. But most importantly, they are captivating stories. That is one reason that I chose to tell our first stories in a fantasy setting. Years ago C. S. Lewis was wise to chose to do so.

Me: Did you start up Lamplight? How long has it been around?

Randy: It all started with a dice based game that I created ran for the youth group of Calvary Chapel of Oklahoma City while I was in the Air Force. They loved it and asked me to make it into a video game. Eventually it evolved into a business by 2007 with the help of George Kyle Clark (VP). I had some help from Ralph Bagley and some mentoship from him and Jeff Dotson. Ralph made a Christian video game (Catechumen) and got it to the shelves. Jeff Dotson was a 3d modeler for Age of Empires and started his own company making the Christian animated show and game "Charlie the Church Mouse". God has put alot of people in my path and without Him we would not even still be pushing forward. Now, Soterion (the fantasy world) is huge and larger than I could have ever imagined.

Me: How long have you been into role playing games and creating them?

Randy: I played/ran some pretty dark games back in the day... from 1998 to 2003. In 2003, when I came to the realization that I had missed Christ's love, that being a Christian was about actually living your life for Christ, and that I needed to be saved (from myself) I got saved. After that, I just couldnt bring myself to play those same games or run them.

Me: Randy, where are you from? Is your family into role playing games as well?

Randy: I grew up in Columbia, SC and now live in Greenville, SC. No one in my family is into roleplaying games. I have 4 girls that are young and they have expressed interest in someday playing "Soterion".

Me: I must admit, I was never that much into role playing growing up. I tried to play a few times, but made up my own rules. Too many rules with that crazy dice. Is role playing still the same as it was 30 years ago when "Dungeons & Dragons" first came out?

Randy: In our game we dont use different number sided dice. We only use eight sided dice under a dice system called Aces and Eights. Roleplaying, I would say on many levels, is darker and more pagan based/oriented. I have played and run games that dew some alternate history from the Bible but it was always twisted in some way and dark. That is one of the reasons I was led to create Soterion. Ive been told that years ago RPGs were more simple and less about darkness and paganism. Did you know that Vin Diesel played them back in the day? Here is a link: .

Me: "D & D" was the very first, right?

Randy: I believe the first role playing game was called "Chainmail" and was created in 1970 or 1971.

Me: How is playing role playing games on-line different then with books and maps and dice, Randy?

Randy: It's very different. With a game that exists on a console or a computer there are always parameters defined by the makers of the game. With the other type, the person running the game decides the limitations and some even make up their own rule just using the book as a guide. I think there is more imagination involved with pencil/paper/dice games.

Me: Your games are all based in "Soterion", right? Where did that name come from?

Randy: I have actually written up games based in other world, some more sci-fi. We are just focusing on one major project at a time which right now is "Soterion". The name comes from the Greek word "soteria" which means "salvation". Soterion is a Greek derivative of the word meaning the same thing. It just fit well for a name.

Me: How long has "Soterion" been around, and is it hard to play?

Randy: "Soterion" started as a single plotline with loads of symbolism. Since 2006 it has grown into a fantasy world with a 2k year history, 13+ races, 7 Kingdoms, and dozens of well defined plot driving characters (NPCs) with detailed backgrounds.

Me: Your games are different then normal, they are all Christian based. How are they Christian based, Randy?

Randy: The symbolism, content, and purpose of the game is what makes it Christian. You see, a roleplaying game can be like a living parable acted out and giving the characters in it choices to make and lessons to learn from those choices. I will give you an example of some of the rich symbolism. There is a race on Soterion called the Showrad. In the ancient tongue of Soterion it was Showradam. Showr is hebrew for bull and Adam is hebrew for man. These bull men have a supernatural ability to "make their last stand" in battle. When in battle the player must turn to the narrator of the game and say, "Im declairing my last stand." The players character then offers his life as a living sacrifice for the lives of everyone in his party. In other words he becomes a one man army until all the others escape (and they must flee for it to work). Once all the others are safe the character dies in battle for the lives of his comrades. This is controled and moderated by the narrator and can not be abused in the game. In other words, its needs to be genuine and in-character for the players character to do something like that. But this ability is a symbol. The sacrificial bull was a symbol of Christ's sacrifice for us. He took on and felt all of our sins on the cross as He died for our salvation.

Me: Are your games available only on-line or do they come in book form as well?

Randy: Our RPG Books can be bought here:,,
The video game takes 2 years to make with the investment we need to make it. Without the investment it will take much much longer without the tools and staff we would need. We are working on a video game demo right now.

Me: You are also working on a novel based on Soterion, right? When is that book coming out, and does it have a name yet?

Randy: George K. Clark has already finished a novel and I am writing one but it will take me quite some time to finish. The novel I am writting is called "The Secret of the Magi" and it contains loads of secrets about Soterion, other worlds, and the Magi (scientists who use slight of hand to do fantastic things). Kyles book is "Keep Solstice" and we have yet to have a bad review on it. Its really great and its in those links I mentioned above.

Me: Will it be available in book shops such as Barnes and Noble?

Randy: I believe is can be order via ISBN through those facilities.

Me: Apart from role playing games, Randy, you also worked on movies, is that right?

Randy: No, I haven't worked on movies. I have several contacts in Hollywood and there is a professional turning one of our stories into a screenplay in the hopes that we can make it into a movie someday.

Me: And explain this, you worked on PR between the Air Force and the makes of The Transformers? Did you get to meet and talk to Michael Bay? How did this come about?

I had several jobs with the Air Force at that time. One was to get incentive rides on the AWACS jets. The film crew watned to feature actual military in combat mode in the air. That required the approval of the General. Aquiring that approval was my job. So I worked with them to get it approved. There is about 5 seconds in the movie where you see my old comander from the 965th AACS and his crew ordering a strike on a scorpion creature attacking the main characters below. It was really cool that they involved the Air Force. I saw that they did the same thing with my old squadron in the 2nd movie too.

Me: You also did some work for the Pentagon as well, is that right?

Randy: I made a media presentation of a foreign international exercise that I was on for a Lt. Col who is in the Pentagon. I took all the pictures so he chose me for it. It was my first time out of the states with the Air Force. A very cultural experience. We were in Canada. I met foreign military from all over the world. We even hiked a glacier on one of the weekends there.

Me: So, what's next for you, Randy?

Randy: I tend to push really hard to make things happen and I NEVER give up when Ive got ahold of something great. I think thats why God gave me this idea, BUT this year I am getting back to what matters most to me: Vanessa my wife and my four girls Ariana, Mary-Kate, Elise, and Adelynn. I have sacrificed my family time too much in the past in being the CEO, CFO, CMO, Project Manager, Art Director, Writer, and Web Master for this company and I have forgotten the most important things to me in the world. I am sliding away from most of those roles and bringing people in. Moses was known for being a great deligator and it is my prayer that God bestows on me the ability to trust people with what He has put in my hands. I have hired a VP as Art Director. His name is Jin Kim ( He currently works for Sony Entertainment and has decided to join this vision and help us push the quality of our art to the limit. Lee Reynolds is a programmer who I have made VP of Research and Development and he will be our webmaster. Im looking to find even more partners so that this project can continue to move forward. We have over 4k followers on Myspace, 1,500 followers on Facebook, and 1,200 followers on Twitter. I think that's a pretty good start for a start up company but I definately need people to help me get the word out.

Me: I am sure I will have a lot of readers who want to check the game out, sir. Go ahead and give the website and anything else they might need to know.

Randy: Ok! The website is Please forgive any broken links, it's why I brought on a webmaster recently... Website layout and navigation.
Map of charted Soterion
Concept art
Sample from the novel "Soterion: Keep Solstice"
Sample from novel in progress "The Secret of the Magi"
Sample Character sheet from the RPG Book
Larger samples of RPG Book content
At the bottom of this page is a 5 paragraph summary of Soterion's History
If you want to read up on Lamplight Media (my company) and how everything got started you can go here:
Here are some turntables of 3d models that have been developed for the video game:

Me: Man, I'm hyperlinked out. Randy, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I think your idea is pretty cool. You should try to set up booths in various comic book conventions if you haven't already.

Randy: Each year I hope to make it to DragonCon in Atlanta, GA. So far we haven't had the funding to buy a table (pretty costly). We may go anyway this year. Im glad you think the idea is cool. Join us on Facebook and Myspace to show support!!! My email is for anyone with more questions!

Me: Good luck, and come back anytime to the Phile, okay?

Thank you so much for your time! And we are going to have more come out so I will keep you updated.

There you have it, another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Randy Blackwell for taking time out to talk about his game "Soterion". The Phile will be back on Wednesday with hip-hop artist Hum.V. In last week's entry I said it was Hum.Ve but there's no 'e' at the end. Until then, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pheaturing Lee Negin

Hello, welcome to another entry of the Phile, I am your host Jason Peverett, and I am an IDIOT! Last week I was supposed to reveal what the 14th book in the Peverett Phile Book Club was and I totally forgot. So, let's do this now.

Here is the 14th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C.

In "Running Through Corridors", two "Doctor Who" lovers of old - Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke - embark on an epic quest of friendship: spend the 'gap year' of 2009 (when "Doctor Who" consisted of a handful of specials rather than a full season) re-watching the whole of Who two episodes a day, every day, from the show's start in 1963 and ending with David Tennant's swan song on New Year's, 2010. This three-volume series contains Shearman and Hadoke's diary of that experience - a grand opus of their wry observations about the show, their desire to see the good in every story, and their chronicle of the real-life changes to Who in that year. With this book, Who fans will feel that they're watching along with Shearman (World Fantasy Award winner, Hugo Award nominee and writer on the new "Doctor Who") and Hadoke (renowned stage performer for his one-man comedy show, "Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf") as they make their 'grand journey' through the world's most wonderful and longest-running drama series. You can buy the book through Toby Hadoke will be a guest on the Phile sometime in March.

Okay, that's done. Let's get on with the rest of the Phile, kids. There's a lot to read this week. Have any of you seen the new Justin Bieber movie? Justin Bieber is doing really well right now. Nothing can stop him — except maybe puberty. Justin Bieber is Canadian, and so is Celine Dion and William Shatner. It makes me wonder: Are we guarding the wrong border? The whole world has Bieber fever. It’s what happens whenever a pop frenzy becomes a disease. There was also Beatle Mania, the Miley Cyrus Virus, and the Hasselhoff Cough. It was Egypt’s first week without Mubarak. He finally stepped down because of that sexy picture of him on the Internet.
President Obama unveiled his new budget, including $1 trillion in spending cuts, which Obama called the most painful choice he’s ever made. Then he looked over at Joe Biden and said, “OK, 2nd most painful choice.” So, did you guys have a good Valentine's Day? The first official Valentine’s Day was declared by King Henry VIII, who was married six times. He was the Larry King of his day. Actually, that’s not true. It was the 16th Century, so Larry King was there. Tomorrow would of been my grandmother Nanny Rose's 100th birthday. In England if you reach a 100 years old you get a gold coin and a letter from the Queen. Did you see the new movie Gnomeo and Juliet? It's a kid's movie, but a gnome does something that is rather odd. Take a look at this screenshot.

The other day I was trying to figure out what is going on in Egypt, and then I decided I should ask an expert. So, here's a new pheature I call...

So, I asked Phile phan and a real Egyptian named Omar to answer a few questions for me to clear up everything.

Me: How's your family in Egypt, Omar?

Omar: Surprisingly, my family in Egypt has been very involved with the protests and immersed with the people in tahrir square. When the police disappeared they lived in fear for but a brief moment as the public began to defend itself from violence and bandits taking advantage of egypt's current situation.

Me: What the hell is happened over there? Can you explain it?

Omar: Let's just call it an inevitable revolution. As a 25 year old Egyptian, I have only known Mubarak as the leader of Egypt. I say the Egyptian pound rise from 3 pounds to a dollar to roughly 6 pounds to a dollar. My family warned me not to speak about politics in public when I went to visit Egypt because of the several that were imprisoned by secret police protecting the absolute power of the regime. The people have spoken and are ready to defend Egypt with their lives to give birth to true democracy rather than the image Mubarak tried to display. Reports have been advertised on the news of reporters being held captive and even tortured by government command. What is Mubarak afraid that the world might find out? Educational systems have been deteriorating and the average Egyptian according to statistics makes 2 dollars a day. The rift between the classes as grown far apart so rapidly. This revolution was started mostly by the "Shabab" or youth of Egypt declaring their rights as Egyptians. It has been declared for Islam Christianity or a statement condemning America, but as Egyptians for their rights in their own country. Millions across the country have been protesting as peacefully as possible unless defending themselves from the violent governmental opposition facing them. 30 years of dictatorship has it's numbered days. I am proud of what Egypt has done and is doing on a daily basis now and I would be immersed with my fellow country men portraying the same message that they are chanting on the streets of my country " away with Mubarak and up with Egypt!" Thanks, Jason, I hope that this wasn't too much. I feel so strongly about this subject. Hope all is well with you! High five!

Thanks, Omar. And then there's the news that there'll be no NFL next year. I was confused about this as I don't follow sports, so once again I went to an expert who can explain it to me. So, once again...

Me: Jeff, explain what's happening with the NFL... please.

Jeff: You may have noticed during the Super Bowl that they were talking about it possibly being the last game for a very long time. The reason being the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is expiring in early March. If a new agreement isn't made, there will be no football. Hopefully they will make an agreement soon. Basically if the date passes the owners will lock out the players, as opposed to them going on strike.You may also have noticed that I accurately predicted the Super Bowl, though my scores wasn't that close. LOL.

George Shearing
August 13, 1919 - February 14, 2011
He just barely missed being featured in the "Who Died Last Year?" montage at the other night's Grammy Awards.
Betty Garrett
May 23, 1919 - February 12, 2011
From On The Town to under it.
Chuck Tanner
July 4, 1929 - February 11, 2011
Might as well, now.

This week's guest is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, synthesist, vocalist, producer and recording engineer. He was a pioneer in the international DIY/techno/indie/new wave movement of the 1980s, and his recordings have received (are receiving) airplay around the world. He is listed as an influential artist in "The International Discography of the New Wave." He has a brand new album that came out on February 1st called "Hungry Ghosts". Please welcome to the Phile... Lee Negin.

Me: Hello, Lee, welcome to the Phile. How are you? That's a great name by the way, Lee. I have two middle names and one of them is Lee, named after Johnny Lee Hooker.

Lee: Hello. Thank you for having me. My name has nowhere near the 'coolness' factor as your "Lee." Your parents must have been pretty hip. John Lee Hooker!! Wow!

Me: I have been listening to a lot of your music, Lee, and you come up with some cool sounds and interesting music. when did you first start to write music and become a musician?

Lee: I started studying music formally when I was about 7. Trumpet was my first instrument (formal lessons, bands, orchestras). I started playing in rock and jazz bands when I was 12, first as a vocalist, then as a drummer. I started playing professionally (i.e., making money) at about 15, playing in bars and clubs on weekends. I started to seriously write music when I was about 22. I had the original analog synthesizers (Minimoog, ARP 2600, Linn Drum, Prophet, Yamaha DX-7, Roland TR-808, Roland Vocoder, Serge Modules, Korg PS-3100, etc.), and coupled with my electric and acoustic guitars and basses, trumpet, drums and percussion, I was able to replicate the sounds that I was hearing in my head. The technology caught up with my aural vision.

Me: A lot of your music doesn't have lyrics. Do you prefer just doing instrumentals?

Lee: No preference. However, lyrics (words) tie the music to the composer's vision and cultural milieu. Words are very limiting--they are symbols with connotations, very limited representations--mental constructs. If I say "ice cream,' immediately that conjures up images and memories in your mind. But, the words are not the reality. Better to taste the ice cream; then you 'get it.' Reality is experiential, not verbal. With many of my pieces ("songs"), I want the listener to be able to construct their own vision. A notable exception--i.e., a vocalist trying to get around words' constraints-- to this was Elizabeth Fraser in the "Cocteau Twins,' who sang in made-up languages. However, even when listening to her, most people strain to make out intelligible words. Songs with lyrics and without are like the difference between realistic and abstract, or impressionistic art. I endeavor to create impressionistic music, so I am more influenced by Monet, Van Gogh, and Chinese/Japanese brush painting than music these days (which, incidentally, greatly influenced Monet and Van Gogh, who both had large collections of Japanese prints, which I have seen in Monet's house in Giverny and the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam when I was there. I also lived in Japan for 15 years). In addition, words have cultural connections that are not universally shared. If I sing in English, how can a person in Peru or Iran connect? Music is the universal language.

Me: One of my favorite songs of yours is "The Saga of Cheeze". I am sure it has a deep meaning, but I can't figure it out. What is the meaning?

Lee: Better I hear your take on it. That would be interesting. Cheeze is a recurring character, the protagonist of a narrative I will be expanding in a large-scale work I am currently developing and will hopefully record this summer, in 5.1 surround, and which I want to release on a blu-ray, with a movie and concert tour to follow. No one can fault me for lack of ambition! He appears twice on "Hungry Ghosts." At once he is my alter-ego, but also an everyman and a no-man. He is the Cheeze!

Me: This year you are releasing not one but two albums and a few EP's, right? What made you want to release so much music in one year?

Lee: Narcissism! After my extended hiatus from creating music, there seems to be a lot of stored up concepts and noise that are oozing out. Once again, with current digital technology, the tools have caught up to my vision and allow to me make manifest concepts that before wouldn't have been possible or if possible, financially prohibitive.

Me: You've been recording for a long time, but took a break, right? Where you tired of making music?

Lee: No, never. Creating music/visuals/poetry, etc. has always given me great joy. My history in the music sphere has been cyclical, as history is. In the past, I reached a certain level of "success," then the hideous music business encroached, and I escaped. I could recount horror stories of sitting in offices of music business executives in Los Angeles, while they were snorting cocaine and offering to make me a ''star" if... But, I have told these stories elsewhere, and it's not important. With the Internet, the whole paradigm of the music business has changed, for better and worse (again, the duality).

Me: Where are you from originally, Lee? You currently live in South Korea, is that right?

Lee: Originally, I am not knowing. However, this time I was born in the States, but left for good 21 years ago. I have lived in India, Japan, UK, Poland and now Seoul. I have traveled extensively, spending time in over 40 countries on 5 continents.

Me: You are a Professor at a University? What do you teach?

Lee: I am very fortunate in that I work for the Department of General Studies at a prestigious university, meaning I teach all majors. The common factor is I teach in English. It varies by semester, but I have taught (in my current job) Media, Culture, Presentation Skills, Academic Writing, Literature, Business Skills, etc.. When I first came to Korea, I was hired by the government to train working teachers--how to better teach English and Culture. My graduate work was in Education, so I am primarily a teaching methodologist (I can hear your readers nodding off). For the past few years, I have been teaching undergraduates again. My Korean students are lovely.

Me: Why would you move out there? You sure like to travel. You lived in Japan and Poland? What makes you get around?

Lee: "Hungry Ghosts." "Hungry Ghosts" (the name of my new CD--plug, plug) are desires that can never be fulfilled, keeping us enslaved and miserable. People always change their external circumstances, blaming their unhappiness on things outside of themselves. So, they change partners, or jobs or cities or wardrobes or hairstyles. It is easy to change your shirt, but hard to change your thinking. Being quite thick, I had to learn from personal experience (not just words from a book or a guru) that only by changing my thinking could I attain any contentment, not by changing locations or jobs. "If you don't like the world, change yourself." Wherever I went, there I was! Always looking for an 'ideal' place to live. Silly me! As Lao Tsu said, "The wise person sees the whole universe without ever leaving their front gate." My extensive travels are proof positive that I'm not very wise!

Me: Where was your music recorded? Did you travel for that as well?

Lee: I have a studio in Seoul (I live in it). I recorded the basic tracks for "Hungry Ghosts" in my home studio. I recorded "Wu Wei," my video soundtracks and my new EP 100% in my home studio (meaning, I recorded and mixed it all in Seoul). For "Hungry Ghosts," I mixed it and did more recording of vocals, trumpet, acoustic drums, guitars and processing in the UK, in Yorkshire at a world class studio.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new albums, Lee. "Hungry Ghosts" which just came out, and "Wu Wei" which you just mentioned. How are the two albums different?

Lee: "Hungry Ghosts," which was released February 1, contains shorter, perhaps more accessible pieces which are still quite eclectic, mixing electronica-jazz-world-metal-pop-techno-funk-trance-psychedelic, etc., sometimes in the same song. "Wu Wei," which will be released in the summer, contains longer, ambient/electronica/chill out/dreamscape work.

Me: And what does Wu Wei mean?

Lee: "Wu Wei," which is Chinese, is a Taoist concept that can translate as "no effort." In Christian parlance, it is said "Let go and let god." Or, as Yoda would say, "Feel the Force, Luke. Surrender to the Force." (tm Lucas Films) The "force" is the Tao. To talk about it is not the Tao! Words are the antithesis of the Tao--which goes back to my answer about songs with lyrics. You see, it's all cyclical!

Me: One of your songs "Piercing the Veil" has an India influence which makes me want to eat Indian food when I hear it. It's something George Harrison would like I am sure. Are you influenced by music from all around the world?

Lee: Hmmm... my music goes well with a nice curry, nan bread and mango chutney!? Bot acha! (Hindi for 'very good.' Sorry, I'm a show off). Most people say my music goes well with herbal tea and wild mushrooms. Yes, I have a very catholic (not the vatican voodoo) taste in music. I studied tabla drums in India with a music master from All India Radio as well as jazz drums with Alan Dawson (Dave Brubeck's drummer). I listen to everything from Persian Ghazals to Miles Davis to Bach to AC/DC to The Ramones to ABBA to John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Frank Zappa to Hendrix to Japanese Kabuki Music (koto and shakuhachi) to Korean Pansori to Chinese Opera to Indonesian Gamelan to James Brown to Senegalese drumming to Louis Armstrong to Segovia to Django Reinhardt . I play several instruments and like to mix all of my influences into a cosmic cocktail.

Me: Who are your influences anyway, Lee? When I first heard your music I thought of Howard Jones, who I tried to get on the Phile last year. Are you a fan of his work?

Lee: Howard Jones is a contemporary, not an influence. The above answer gets into some of my influences. My influences are a wide variety of music and musicians from the world over, as well as graphic art and artists, life experiences, nature, literature, entheogens and great mystic/spiritual traditions and teachers.

Me: I was surprised to see you worked with Jon Astley and Simon Humphrey who both have amazing careers as mixers and engineers and worked with so many people. Did you hear of them before you worked with them? I bet both men had cool stories.

Of course I was very familiar with Jon's work. He produced The Who's "Live at Leeds," which is a favorite of mine. The list of people he has produced/engineered and/or mastered reads like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (George Harrison, Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Led Zeppelin, ABBA, The Rolling Stones, etc.). I spent a day with Jon in his lovely home on the Thames River in the suburbs of London. The house used to belong to Pete Townshend, his ex-brother-in-law. The room we sat in and drank tea, Jon's studio overlooking the Thames, was the room that was Pete's studio, where he wrote ''Tommy", "Who's Next", etc. He recorded Thunderclap Newman in that very room, "Something in the Air," a classic. As a big Townshend fan, that was cool (you can see pictures on my website of me with Jon, and me holding the original master tapes of "Who's Next" with Pete and Glyn Johns' handwritten notes on the boxes). Yes, it was very enjoyable hanging out with Jon and Simon in August. Simon mixed "Hungry Ghosts," and I was even able to cajole him into making some guitar squeals (feedback) on one song. Simon has worked with Jeff Beck, Hans Zimmer, The Beach Boys, The Clash and Culture Club (he mixed "Karma Chameleon"!). We have since become dear friends, and we communicate often. We are now discussing my new project, which I might record with him again in the UK. I exchanged New Year's greetings with Jon, who I also consider a friend. Lovely gentlemen, with amazing careers. I am fortunate that they want to work with me. Furthermore, my main publicist in Los Angeles is Bobbi Cowan, who has represented Michael Jackson, Prince, Cream, YES, Sonny and Cher, Spinal Tap (she did the movie), etc. And now me! We talk all the time--she's got very cool stories, to say the least. So, since returning to the music business in 2009, at the urging of a German record label in Berlin, I have been fortunate to work with some giants.

Me: Isn't Jon Astley related to Rick Astley? Or am I just an idiot?

Lee: Are you Rick rolling me??!!

Me: What's this with you being a mountain climber? I never understood why anybody would want to mountain climb, Lee. When did you start to do this?

Lee: About 8 years ago. When I took my breaks from making music, I threw myself into other diversions, such as photography, academia, globetrotting, martial arts and mountain climbing. Mountain Climbing is a samurai discipline. It is moving meditation, forcing you into a state of "mushin." Mushin is a Japanese Zen Buddhist term, meaning "No Mind." No thinking... that quiet space between thoughts when you are truly alive, at peace, at one with the cosmic doodah. When you climb, the type I do (mixed alpine = rock, ice, glaciers, etc.) you have to stay absolutely focused, in-the-moment. If your mind wanders off, even for a nano-second, the results could literally be death, which happens all of the time. When climbing frozen waterfalls in Switzerland or Alberta (Canadian Rockies), I experienced moments of absolute clarity and mindfulness; again, the goal of meditation. Samurai sports! Same as when I whitewater rafted in New Zealand and Colorado, or swam underwater with a pod of wild dolphins, etc. Moments of eternity!

Me: What is the highest mountain you climbed?

Lee: The highest Alps mountain, Mt. Blanc near Chamonix, France. " It rises 4,810.45 m (15,782 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. It is also sometimes known as "La Dame Blanche" (French for "The White Lady")." (Wikipedia).

Me: Is there a mountain you haven't climbed but want to?

Lee: Everest might be fun.

Me: I watched some videos you made on your YouTube Channel, Lee. Do you like making videos as much as you like to make music?

Lee: Yes! Seeing music and hearing visuals.

Me: You worked a few times with a guy named Red Hawk. Tell the Phile readers who he is.

Lee: Red Hawk, SpecialOpsDarkAngel is a Native American visionary artist, medicine man and shaman who currently lives in the south of France. He is 'legally blind,' so he relies on his third eye to create images. I have an international team of artists which I founded called The League of Interplanetary Neo-Psychedelic Artists (LINPA) (tm). I collaborate with them (members come and go) on some projects, such as the visuals I used on the covers of "Hungry Ghosts" and "Wu Wei," and some of my videos.I am the noise-maker. I currently have a project in progress with a great visual artist in Switzerland, Seelenflug. I already completed the soundtrack, and she is working on the visuals. We plan on a March release to coincide with a major art show she is doing in Zurich. Our video will be the centerpiece of the show. I might pop in for the occasion and do my best Salvador Dali routine (Reporter to Dali: "Mr. Dali, do you use drugs?" Dali Responded: "My dear boy... I am drugs.").

Me: When did you two first meet?

Lee: First? Probably 300 years ago in what is now called Montana (have to check with him for details). This time around, we met online about one year ago. Since that time, we have made 5 videos together.

Me: In your career I am sure you have worked with many known artists, Lee. is there anybody you haven't worked with that you would like to?

Lee: Not living. On second thought, perhaps: L. Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Faye Wong, Sa Dingding... If you are reading this, contact my peeps!

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Lee. You are a musical legend, sir. Is there anything you want to say before I let you go?

Lee: Thank you so much for this great opportunity. I really appreciate it. I hope my blah blah blah proved somewhat amusing to your readers.

Me: Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you wanna. Thanks again, and when your second album comes out this year, wanna come back? Take care, and be safe if you climb a mountain in the near future.

Check out my new CD, "Hungry Ghosts," available at Amazon, iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc. Check me out at:,,,,,,, I would love to "come back" anytime you'd care to have me. "Wu Wei" will be released this summer, and several EPs and videos will be released in 2011. Let me know! The pleasure is mine. Be happy!

Man, what a deep entry of the Phile. I feel so serious all of a sudden. Thanks to my guests Omar Gharbo, Jeff Trelewicz... check out his own blog at This week he talk about A-Rod and a bunch of other stuff, and of course Lee Negin for one o the most spiritual and deepest interviews on the Phile ever. The Phile will be back on Sunday with a special entry with an interview with Randy Blackwell, founder of Lamplight media, who are creating a Christian based game called Soterion. That's gonna be a deep interview as well. Then after, the next posting will be next Wednesday with hip-hop artist Hum.Ve. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligator's bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Art by Jamie Davis.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pheaturing Erroll Zastre From Second World

Hello, and welcome to another entry of the Phile, I am your host A-Rod. Man, I wish. That guy rocks, and what a baller. Sitting in a VIP box, watching the Super Bowl as Cameron Diaz feeds him. He is living the American dream. I watched the game in bed, eating cheese and crackers. We'll talk more about the Super Bowl in a minute, but why do fans rip athletes when they use war metaphors, and it is okay to sing a song laden with war imagery before every sporting event? It’s the Year of the Rabbit. I was born in the Year of the Monkey which makes total sense... I think rabbits are adorable. I love how their noses twitch and their feet make little key chains. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said that President Barack Obama doesn’t understand Egyptian culture. Man, get off your high camel. Facebook celebrated its 7th birthday. Honestly, I only remembered its birthday because I saw it on Facebook. Sen. Joe Lieberman is writing a book about the Jewish Sabbath, called “The Gift of Rest.” I hear he’s been working on it 24/6. Mitt Romney said in an interview that Sarah Palin would be great as president. He then added, “...of Egypt.” The Super Bowl was the most watched TV program in history. Take that, soccer. There were no major hiccups during the Super Bowl, except for Christina Aguilera’s singing. People at Fox say they haven’t seen someone mangle words that badly since Paula Abdul was talking. Two hundred million people did not watch the Super Bowl. Who are these people and why are we allowing them to coexist with us? During the half-time show, the Black Eyed Peas changed the lyrics of their song “Where is the Love” to call on President Obama to do better in education and jobs. And Christina Aguilera changed the lyrics of the national anthem — just because. A new study found that coffee and aspirin are the best cures for a hangover. In fact, it’s recommended by 4 out of 5 Sheens. Did you see the interview with Obama before the game? During his interview with President Obama last night, Bill O’Reilly asked him to explain how he deals with so many people hating him. In response, Obama said, “You first.” Mattel is releasing Barbie dolls inspired by characters from the TV show “Dynasty.” So if you like TV shows from the ‘80s and you still like playing with Barbie dolls — I’m Chris Hansen from "Dateline NBC". Okay, did you see the ad Axl Rose put out in magazines and newspapers about the Super Bowl half-time show? Here it is in case you didn't.

Valentine's Day is next Monday which in my house it means Logan is gonan get a bunch of new LEGO sets apparently. Anyway, here's a Valentine's Day...

And now, for a brand new pheature called...

This year we will experience four unusual dates: 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11. N0w go figure this out: Take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it will equal 111.

Okay, today's guest is the creator in an ongoing musical project called Second World whose latest CD "Viewpoint" is available on iTunes right now. Please welcome to the Phile... Erroll Zastre.

Me: Hello, Erroll, welcome to the Phile. Should I call you Erroll or Second World?

Erroll: In formal situations I’m usually addressed as Mr. World, and my immediate family call me Second. My friends call me Erroll so why don’t we stick with that. And by the way, thank you so much for having me on the Peverett Phile.

Me: Over the years I interviewed people who are a one man or woman band who gives themselves a band name, which is always odd to me. Why don't you record under your name Erroll Zastre?

Me: I never liked my name, but you know, but a drummer I played with years ago thought “Erroll Zastre” was a great name for a band! I guess the reason for adopting a band name instead of using my own is due to the fact I grew up with the music of the 60’s and 70’s when groups were getting away from names based on the band leader’s name, such as Buddy Holly and the Crickets to the naming conventions we know today, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Oasis and so on. Also, when I first got into jazz I was mainly interested in the jazz-rock groups of the 70’s, and they also borrowed a page from rock and roll by adopting band names such as the Mahavishnu Orchestra as opposed to John McLaughlin and Four Other Guys.

Me: I know there must be a reason you call yourself Second World, right? What is the origin that name?

Erroll: It’s really hard to find a good name for a band, and Jesus Chrysler Supercar was already taken. There isn’t really any deep significance to the name, and if you look up the meaning of Second World on Google, you will see it is part of something called the Three Worlds Theory developed by a former Chinese leader, and actually refers to the communist states controlled by the former Soviet Union. Obviously that is not the meaning that I ascribe to the name Second World. In a broad sense, it could refer to an “alternate musical
universe” that one could inhabit.

Me: I saw you have a song on your new album called "Second World", which is cool. You also have a song called "Indian Paintbrush" which would also be a cool stage name. Did you think about that?

Erroll: I never thought of that. You got some white-out so I can change my business cards?

Me: Erroll, let's talk about your album "Viewpoint" which I downloaded from iTunes by the way. I bet it took you a long time to record, right?

Erroll: First, thanks so much for purchasing the CD. The original tracks were actually recorded a number of years ago, and a CD with the same title was available from CD Baby. When I joined Listening Edge Records, it was decided that we would take two different approaches to re-releasing the material. The first would be to simply take the original tracks and do some remixing and re-mastering to improve the sound which resulted in the release you purchased. Second, we want to actually revisit the tracks and create a “redux” edition with
new parts and sections added, as well as including a new track and new artwork as well. There is some precedence for this, the best example that comes to mind is the group Tangerine Dream who have revisited some of their classic albums of the 70’s and 80’s creating updated versions that go beyond just a simple remix by adding new parts and interpretations. At this point, this process has been completed for about half the tracks. The original album took the better part of a year on and off to record, and the redux is taking about six months.

Me: It's an instrumental album, which after a few songs I didn't realize that. I kept waiting for you to sing. LOL. Do you always write instrumentals, or do you write songs with lyrics once in awhile?

Erroll: All my music is instrumental, and that is where my interests primarily lie. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be open to having somebody write lyrics to my melodies and eventually having somebody sing them. In terms of writing lyrics myself, I’ve never really tried. I think it would end up being like my singing, which is pretty bad. My philosophy is to leave lyrics to those who have a talent in that area. Certainly bands have employed external lyricists, Peter Brown and Cream, and Richard Palmer-James and King Crimson.

Me: How do you sit down and write a song such as yours? Do you start off with a theme and a title?

Erroll: It depends. A lot of the time the writing occurs as a result of listening to another piece of music and wanting to emulate that concept and sound. For example, my tune “Eastern Star” was written after listening to the song “One Night in Space” by Tangerine Dream. “State of Mind’ was inspired originally by the Joe Zawinul composition “Mr. Gone” from the Weather Report album of the same name. Of course, the results usually don’t sound that close to the source material. Or I just dink around on the piano and something comes up. Lately, I have been starting instead with just a title and theme. I was watching “Jeopardy” at my mother’s house one night and one of the questions mentioned the “Anemoi”, which are the Greek wind gods, which I thought would make a cool topic for not just one but a number of tunes.

Me: Erroll, you're from Canada, right? What part?

Erroll: I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is the province immediately north of North Dakota. I moved west about 20 years ago and now live in Edmonton, Alberta, which has the distinction of being one of the northern-most major cities in North America.

Me: One of my favourite bands are from Canada and for some reason every time I interview someone from there I always ask them if they like that band. It's weird, because when I interview someone from England I don't ask them if they like Squeeze, another one of my favourite bands. Anyway, I will ask you. So, do you like the Barenaked Ladies?

Erroll: I neither like nor dislike the Barenaked Ladies owing to the fact I don’t know any of their music.

Me: I read you are a Beatles fan, Erroll. Me as well, but I like the later albums more. Do you like their early stuff or later stuff?

Erroll: The Beatles were the first “rock” band I was significantly influenced by and I listened exclusively to their music for a couple of years when I was in my teens. Although I appreciate all the music they made throughout their career, I agree with you that it would be the albums following their “mop top” phase that I would say I like best, starting with “Revolver” and subsequent albums. What amazes me is that their music does seem to transcend generations. My 16 year old daughter listens to the Beatles quite a bit along with current music, and I honestly never pushed the Beatles’ music on her.

Me: Who is your favourite Beatle?

Erroll: I would say McCartney, for the fact he has a unique ability to compose music in a variety of styles and make them sound organic and not just second-rate imitations.

Me: What other influences do you have?

Erroll: I am influenced by the television of the 60’s, Star Trek and the movies of Stanley Kubrick. Although it’s becoming less of a guilty pleasure, some of the progressive rock of the 70’s is a major influence, particularly King Crimson and Robert Fripp. In the jazz world, Joe Zawinul and Weather Report, Miles Davis and Bill Evans. Bass heroes include Jaco, and John Wetton. More recently, I have been listening to the music of Vangelis and Tangerine Dream.

Me: Have you met or played with any of your influences?

Erroll: I met Robert Fripp at a Frippertronics concert back in 1980. It was at the local art gallery in Winnipeg and as I was leaving I saw him walking across Memorial Boulevard to the car park carrying his guitar case! He was being pursued by a rabid fan that kept calling him “Bob” and seemed to think he was his personal assistant. My interaction with Fripp went well until I made the mistake of asking him for an autograph. Things went downhill after that.

Me: Speaking of playing, do you do a lot of live shows? How do you play what's on the album on stage?

Erroll: I do want to start doing more shows, and I admit to date I haven’t done a lot. I played an outdoor festival a couple of years ago, doing tunes from "Viewpoint" and another CD I had called “Big Weather”. I use a Boss RC-50 Loop Station as the basis for performance. What I would do is start with a drum/bass loop from my Boss BR-880 drum machine, sample it on the Loop Station, and overdub the remaining parts, ending with the melody and then soloing over
the results. I also make use of a Roland GK MIDI pickup on an Ibanez SR405 bass guitar in order to trigger sounds from my Yamaha MO-6.

Me: I was guessing you had a really big band behind you.

Erroll: I haven’t gone that route yet, and I am wrestling with which approach to take, solo performance using technology, or a full band. Each has its pros and cons. Obviously a band would take pressure off me but I agree I would need a fairly large band to realize the music, probably a drummer, percussionist, keyboardist, and another bass player to cover the bass lines while I play the lead lines, and maybe even a guitar player. You know any musicians looking for a low paying gig?

Me: This year you have another CD coming out, right? Does it have a title yet, and is it going to be similar to "Viewpoint"?

Erroll: As I mentioned in a previous question, the first release will actually be this “redux” version of "Viewpoint" that we are tentatively calling “Perspectives – A New Viewpoint”. We hope to have this out by March of this year. Then I want to release a CD of “new” music, possibly built around the theme of the Anemoi I mentioned earlier along with other tunes. I actually have enough music in various forms to fill four or five CD’s. We don’t want to saturate the market but our goal is to build up a significant discography in the next year or two.

Me: Erroll, thanks so much for taking part on the Phile, sir. I wish you a lot of luck. Why don't you go plug your website and anything else you wanna plug?

Erroll: You mean my new line of male enhancement products? Seriously, I encourage those
interested to check out my music at or I do what I do and if there are those out there that find something attractive in my music I would like to connect with them.

Me: Take care, and keep in touch, okay?

Erroll: Thanks again for giving me this opportunity to speak about my music. Peace.

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Peverett Phile. The Phile will be back next Wednesday with new wave music legend Lee Negin. In the meantime, inbetween time, check out to read an interview with me. Thanks to Jen Coffman for asking me to do it. Thanks also to Erroll Zastre for a great interview and to you the reader. Until next week... spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pheaturing Joel Bradford From The Auspicious End and Century3

Hello, welcome to another entry of the Phile. I can't believe it's February already, or as I like to call it... Phebruary. In a few days the Phile will be five years and one month old. Let's start of with some good news: the Chilean miners were at Disney World this past weekend. They were the Grand Marshals in a parade at the Magic Kingdom. It was weird, Disney dressed all as a dwarf... Sleepy. Everything went smoothly except they kept on sending canaries into every ride to check it out before they went in. Disney put them up all for 6 nights... in the tunnel below the Kingdom. I thought that was cruel. What else is going on? The president has named his new press secretary: a guy named Jim Carney. Because nothing says integrity like the name Carney. It’ll go a little differently now. First he’ll take questions from reporters, and then he’ll guess their weight. It was just over a year that the iPad was unveiled. And a year ago that I said, “It’s just like a big iPhone.” To which everyone said, “But it doesn’t make calls.” And I said, “Exactly! Neither does the iPhone!” There are all these protests going on in Egypt. I don’t know what they’re about, but it might have something to do with elections. Or that the streets in Cairo are so overcrowded there’s not enough room to “walk like an Egyptian.” What do you call Egypt now they have no internet or telecommunications? Gypt. Someone hacked the account of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Or not really hacked. Someone asked for his password and he surrendered it. Facebook says they're very concerned about this. And they are committed to making sure the only people who will be able to take and sell your personal information without your consent is them. Here's some movie news: We have a new Superman. Warner Brothers announced that British actor Henry Cavill has landed the role. Didn't you lot fight the Revolutionary War to avoid things like this? If I knew they were looking for a British Superman I would of auditioned. Knowing my luck they would of cast me as Jimmy Olson's dad or something. I mentioned a few minutes ago the problems with Egypt and made a joke about the internet being taken away over there, but it's a serious matter. Egyptians cannot read the Phile right now. Anyway, there's a very popular poster being sold over there to complain about the situation. Check it out.

Hey kids, have you seen the new stamps Facebook put out?
Now, the Super Bowl is this coming Sunday, and even know I am a Giants fan, I have to admit I don't know a lot about football. I am British after all. So, I thought I would go to someone who does know a lot about football and get their take on it. So, once again, here's a new pheature I call...

Me: Jeff, who do you think is going to win the Super Bowl and why?

Jeff: I am a Steeler fan so I am trying to be objective. Both offenses are led by QB's that can light up the scoreboard. Both defenses are great, but the Steelers have too many injuries both on offense and defense, so as much as it hurts to admit it I pick Packers to win 24-17.

Me: Okay, and what do you think of the Black Eye Peas playing the half-time show?

Jeff: I am not surprised that Black Eyed Peas are doing the half-time show. Its good to see a contemporary group doing it after a few years of some of the older bands playing. And Black Eyed Peas are pretty safe, music wise. Though with Fergie the chances of another wardrobe malfunction is always a possibility!

Thanks, Jeff. Be sure to check out Jeff's own blog at This week he reviews the movie True Grit. Speaking of blogs, there's a thousand other blogs out there. Not all are five years old, have almost four hundred postings, and are as funny as this one is, but there's a lot out there nonetheless. So, that's why I thought I would start a brand new pheature called...

So, here's how it works: I just hit random and see what came up, and the first award goes to the blog Bogarts and Babies. Here, kids, is a snippet and photo from this amazing blog.

"There are many things in life that i love. high heels, reading, laundry i didn't have to do, antibiotics for the never-ending-ear-infection, and free food samples at sam's. we go almost every weekend. sometimes we buy food, sometimes we pretend like we are going to buy food. but, we always partake of the samples. this past weekend was a gem of a sample day. there was stuff everywhere, including candy bars. it was delish. the kids had a grand old time and before too long, they were sugar-rushed into silliness."

So, after you have read the Phile, go to and check it out.

Today's guest is records under two names... The Auspicious End and Century3. His new album "Music For Futureports" is now available from AeroPop Records. Please welcome to the Phile... Joel Bradford.

Me: Hello, Joel, welcome to the Phile. What's up?

Joel: Hi, Jason! I'm glad to be here. And I was actually just finishing up a cover of the theme from "Twin Peaks", incidentally. But other than that, things are pretty much the usual - a Host at Epcot by day, and musician by night. You know how it goes.

Me: Okay, man, over the years I have interviewed a few musicians who don't go by their name but a band name when they don't have a band. I always find that an odd concept. What made you go under a different name, and not Joel Bradford?

Joel: Well, I've always been partial to the kind of artists that don't have a recognizable face - the kind of bands that only really exist in studios. The Buggles, the Postal Service, and others like them; artists who focus on production values and songwriting as opposed to 'rawking out'. My interests have always been on the production side - one of my big early influences was Brian Wilson, not musically, but as someone whose primary instrument was 'the studio'. My entire first project, The Auspicious End, has been my experiments with different production styles, and I feel like the facelessness a band name can lend gave me a starting point behind the scenes as opposed to just showcasing my voice (which probably shouldn't be showcased).

Me: You have two names band names actually, don't you? Is that because the music is so different you wanna keep it separate?

Joel: Yes, that's exactly it. I've been recording as The Auspicious End since 2006, recorded three albums and an EP, and when I started the fourth in 2009 I found the music had taken a drastic shift in tone and style. I ended up choosing the name Century3, and I liked the project's feel so much that I decided to keep working under both names.

Me: Let's talk about The Auspicious End. I have no idea what that means, Joel. Where did the name come from and what does it mean?

Joel: The name came about as a result of the music I was writing for my first album, actually. While that album sounds drastically different from my later work, and a little disjointed, there was one element of my songwriting that stuck out - while most of the songs are written in a minor key, several have a tag ending in a corresponding major key. The word 'Auspicious' means 'favorable or fortunate', and since the end of each song took an auspicious turn, well… I just thought 'The Auspicious End' had a nice ring to it, once I'd actually put those words together.

Me: In just a few years you released something like four albums under that name. Does songwriting come easy to you?

Joel: Initially, it didn't - it took me over a year to get a few songs written, and another six months to polish the work into something I could release. The next year I didn't have an album project as such - I just recorded fragments of tunes and sounds, and was able to turn what I had into the base of two separate, complete albums recorded over a 9 month period.

Me: You play all the instruments on the albums with no help, right?

Joel: I suppose you could say that GarageBand helps me - aside from the first album, which was mostly recorded live with my keyboard, everything is sequenced. There's not a single real instrument on any of my last four released projects, it's all done with my keyboard and a MIDI controller.

Me: On one of your songs you sampled dialogue from "Star Trek" which is unique. Are you a Trekkie, Joel?

Joel: That would probably be an understatement. I have a deep love for all things futurist - architecture, EPCOT Center, music, and science fiction - particularly "Star Trek". When I was ten months old I took my first steps - to a close-up of Captain Kirk on a rerun of the original series. I own the box-sets of the entire original series, as well as the first seven films on DVD. I'm a Trekkie in a big way.

Me: I liked it that you did a cover of an Eurythmics song. Are you a big fan of Annie Lennox? What made you choose that song?

Joel: I do love the Eurythmics. I'm pretty strongly influenced by the mid-Eighties - especially New Wave and Dreampop, and Annie Lennox is no exception. I chose that song because it fit really well with the overarching concept of my third album, "Enter the Vandals". It's a very bitter, dark album - very synth-heavy, lots of distorted drums - and the plaintive lyrics of the song really struck a chord with me from a young age. When I started that project I knew that would be the cover to go on it.

Me: I have to mention the artwork for the album covers. Whoever does your artwork has a great imagine and is very clever. That's not you again, is it?

Joel: Guilty as charged. I first got a copy of Photoshop when I was a sophomore in high school and fell in love with it, and what it could do. Now, the photography isn't mine, but it's all Creative Commons licensed, or attributed (as in the case of "Enter the Vandals") but the actual finished product in each case is mine (although the font and logo for Century3 may look somewhat familiar to some).

Me: You do everything, Joel. Next you are gonna tell me the album label AeroPop Records is your own label as well. Is it?

Joel: It is. I'm not quite sure what to do with it, but I do own a sole proprietorship - with essentially no expenditures and no income. At this point it's a way to protect myself, and, I'll admit, a way to make my releases a little more authentic. So even though the physical media production is handled by an outside company, AeroPop Records owns the rights to all my recordings - and I own AeroPop Records. It's a system that'll have to do until (and unless) I get signed.

Me: And I love it that you sell merch on your site. Do you create all that as well?

Joel: Yes, I do that too. Again, it's produced by an outside company, so I don't have to maintain stock or handle orders, but I designed everything in my store - and I do make a profit on what sells! It keeps things easy, and lets me focus on the music.

Me: I noticed you write very ELOish music, Joel. Are you a fan of ELO? Who are your influences by the way?

Joel: ELO has been a massive influence on me - particularly the end of there career - the last three albums they released. Most of my work is in the form of concept albums, and ELO's "Time" basically laid the groundwork for what I know about album structure. As far as other influences, I'd have to say Grandaddy, whose album "The Sophtware Slump" is what made me want to record music at all; Chris Garneau, a fantastic indie musician; the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson's solo material; Isao Tomita, for his masterful electronic treatments of Debussy; The Flaming Lips (and particularly "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots"); Julee Cruise and Angelo Badalamenti on the "Twin Peaks" soundtrack; Brian Eno, the original ambient musician; and, of course, the wonderful people like George Wilkins and Edo Guidotti, who are responsible for my favorite pieces of Epcot attraction music.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your latest release, "Music For Futureports" under the name "Century3". Where did that band name come from?

Joel: So, as I mentioned above, I'm a massive fan of EPCOT Center - what it is today, but mostly what it was about twenty years ago. Any Epcot buff worth his salt can tell you that one of the early revisions of Horizons, a ride that has since been demolished for Mission:SPACE, was called Century III. I liked the sound of that, and Horizons was my favorite Epcot attraction from a very, very young age (about four). The music is very spacey and has a very pronounced sadness and loneliness, and I connoted that with the tearing down of Horizons and the end of the US space program - like giving up our dreams of Tomorrow.

Me: How is Century3's music different from The Auspicious End's music?

Joel: While The Auspicous End has always had a pop bend to it, even when subverted or distorted, the music that became "Music for Futureports" had a grand, sweeping quality to it - for starters, the tempo is almost entirely below 60 BPM - roughly one beat per second or less. It's slow, it's ethereal, and it has more of an orchestral feel to it - I like to say it's the soundtrack to a sci-fi film that never existed. Also, there are only two songs with a standard verse-chorus writing structure - everything else is instrumental, or has sparing vocals used more as instruments than as storytellers. I've taken a lot of different approaches as The Auspicious End, but nothing was quite as drastic a shift as this one, and I felt it needed more distinction than just another project. The thing about "Music for Futureports" (the name itself is a reference both to Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" and to the Horizons attraction itself, by the way) is that it isn't meant to be listened to as a collection of songs, or as a standard concept album, like "Dark Side of the Moon" - it's a single piece of music.

Me: A lot of the song titles on "Music For Futureports" I can't pronounce. Maybe you can help me pronounce some. Give me a few samples.

Joel: Okay, there's a history behind the titles on "Futureports" - I wanted to tell a story with the album, and while I've normally had lyrics to work with, those were noticeably lacking in this case. So the story is told through the song titles - it basically follows a group of people on a long space trip, possibly a colony ship. And a lot of the things I wanted each song to say needed more words than one or two to demonstrate - so I had to make my own words. Take Hibernetics and Somnambutron - they're both portmanteaus. Hibernetics is a combination of 'hibernation' and 'cybernetics', and Somnambutron would be the word 'somnambulate' - sleepwalking - with 'tron' attached. So you have a computer controlling hibernation, and a sleepwalking machine. Geosynchronicity would be referring to our colony ship establishing a geosynchronous orbit over its intended destination, toward the end of the album. And as for "Sansterre Syndrome", the two words combined are 'sans' and 'terre' - French for 'without a planet'. So you have hi-bur-net-ics, sahm-nam-bew-tron, and sahn-tehr syndrome.

Me: One song "Verne and Copernicus" I can pronounce. Is that Jules Verne you are referring to?

Joel: It is indeed - the references to Horizons continue! I wrote "Verne and Copernicus" as a kind of prologue to the album, and I figured that (much like Horizons) I needed to start at the beginning of the future and space travel - with Copernicus, the famous astronomer, and Jules Verne, one of the earliest modern men to actually reason out the concepts of a voyage through space. Also, the two names together have a nice ring to them - VERNE and coPERnicus. It feels nice to say, almost rhyming, but not quite, and a nice rhythm and flow.

Me: Joel, I looked for your music on iTunes but couldn't find any of it. Will you be putting music up on there soon?

Joel: You know, I'd love to. I'm currently in the process of getting my music there, but Apple has me on some kind of waiting list. As soon as I hear back from them I'll let you know!

Me: Do you ever play live, do live gigs?

Joel: That's something I haven't done in a few years. My music depends a great deal on layered, dense synths, and as a result I can either play bare, stripped down versions on a piano, or sit in front of a laptop singing and pressing 'play'. And that feels like a really boring show for me, so I can't imagine an audience sitting through that. Maybe if I get a projector and can do some kind of sequenced video displays I can start playing locally again, but for the present I'm focusing on writing and recording in my home studio.

Me: You're based in Florida, right? What part? Does Florida have a big influence on your music?

Joel: Well, there's the obvious - Walt Disney World. But beyond that, I actually wrote an entire album centered in Florida - my second, called Shalimar, is actually the story of someone running away from suburban life in Central Florida to the eponymous tiny little town in the panhandle. When the character gets there he realizes that it's not what he wanted, and he longs to return home - something that happened to me. I spent a year in a small town called Palatka, somewhere between Gainesville and a bunch of scrub brush, and the whole time I wanted nothing more but to come back. Without that year, though, I'd never have gotten my first album off the ground. So I'm very thankful for the time and experience of really seeing old Florida. I also learned that if I never saw a single palmetto plant again, I would be A-OK with that.

Me: So, what's next, any new music coming out? Any new band names?

Joel: Well, no new band names - as yet! I'm currently working on an album for each of the two I've got - for The Auspicious End, an upbeat, electropoppy affair currently titled "Return To Form", which will probably be the end of that project. As for Century3, I'm taking things on a more terrestrial level: the next album is going to be a concept piece about future overpopulation and food shortage, and I'm calling it "Mesa Verde Agricultural Research Station".

Me: Joel, thanks so much for being on he Phile. Go ahead and plug your website and tell the readers where they can purchase your music if they are interested. I wish you lots of luck, and you are welcome back to the Phile any time.

Joel: No, thank you! I've had a great time talking to you - it's always nice to talk shop with someone who knows what to say. My website is - that'll give you links to both artist names. All the material for The Auspicious End is available on that page, and Century3's album should be available for sale on the Century3 page in about two weeks. In the meantime, there's a sample or two from each album I have, as well as that merch you mentioned earlier. You can also look me up on - you can purchase downloads for full albums or individual tracks there, as well as listen to samples of each song on the album. Thanks again for having me on the Phile! I'll be happy to come back and visit anytime!

Well, there you go, another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz for his help with Ask Jeff, Joel Bradford for a great interview and of course you the reader. The Phile will be back next Wednesday with the announcement of the 14th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club and the guest will be as Erroll Zastre from Second World. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.