Scrufff Magazine 15th March 2004: Future Sound Of London - Yes, I’m A Visionary And I Know That Sounds Arrogant
“I absolutely consider myself as a visionary and saying that I realise people will be go ‘arrogant cock, what a wanker!’ But I must say in the same breath, everybody is a visionary, everybody is the light and everybody has the utmost power to be whatever they want to be.”
Chatting down the line from his girlfriend’s West London gallery space, Future Sound of London frontman Garry Cobain is as lucid as he’s passionate about the ideas and philosophy that inform his music as much as his existence.
“Life and every aspect of it is even more amazing, the more aware you are; to breathe and fuck, whatever you want consciously becomes the most amazing thing,” he continues. “But most people seek unconsciousness in their daily lives because they find it too painful to be conscious.”
Articulate, intelligent and certainly unusually conscious, Cobain on occasion comes across as some Jesus style character (he even looks like him a bit) though his ideology finds little common ground with Christianity or any other religions of old.
“Organised religion is intended to turn people against each other, to make them kill each other and on a greater scale, to spread confusion and spread division within the world,” he suggests. “So we’re ultimately much easier to be ruled by much more malignant forces.”
Malignant forces aside though, today’s chat is meant to promote FSOL’s latest album The Isness & The Otherness, a double CD comprising their 2001 Amorphous Androgynous album The Isness, plus The Otherness, a collection of different versions of the same tracks.
“It’s not really another version,” Garry corrects. “The Otherness is merely a different perspective on the same thing, which is culled from remixes and versions that I thought were as good, which didn’t make that last version. We released something previously that was imperfect, as is everything, I must stress. I acknowledge that but still fucking totally protect my right to release my own visions. This is just another vision.”
Interviewer: What was it about The Isness that made you return to it though?
Gaz Cobain: The record was a pivotal change for us musically, in order to go forward we had to learn a whole new way of doing things, some of which were more conventional, we went into rock, for example. There was a cosmic period in the 60s when rock musicians and society in general were open to a philosophical, more existential, esoteric wisdom that was around then. People like George Harrison, Donovan, The Rolling Stones, David Crossby, Miles Davis, John Coltrane; all these people were opening up and tripping out on this idea of cosmic consciousness, and getting into Eastern mysticism. I saw and felt in my own life that a parallel time happened, but one that was more refined and more sophisticated. Things like organic food, yoga and meditation have all taken off massively; the idea of living with consciousness rather than fear. So I naturally resonated with some of the music that was made in that period and went back to it for the album. It was difficult at first because I’d been so entrenched in using samplers and I had to use microphones and musicians and drums. In doing so I came up with so many different versions of tracks that it meant there would never be one defining version of that album.
Interviewer: A sub-name of FSOL is Amorphous Androgynous, what do you make of the feminisation of culture through such trends as meterosexuality?
Gaz Cobain: Amorphous Androgynous was always a name I loved and in a way it represents my own personal search. I’ve seen very much the male perspective through my life though I don’t intrinsically believe that people are male or female, I believe that we have both within us- male and female. The evolution of the world is also about the balancing of those two positions, what seem to be diametrically opposed elements but in fact are existent in all things, male AND female. This is also often misunderstood, the idea of the world becoming more feminine is taken to mean that women can do what they want while men should become more heart orientated. To a certain extent that’s right but it’s also the case that men should find the feminine side within themselves- feminine to me is intuitive, masculinity in its pure form, is analytical. Men right now are evolving into a balance between their male and female sides. Concerning women, you’re expecting me to say at this point that women have to find the male side within themselves but I’m going to surprise you, I think, by saying that women need to rediscover their femininity. Because what’s happened is that females, in order to function and prosper in a male dominated society, have learned to go into their male side, so feminisation has changed into being masculine. Women need to rediscover their femininity as much as the men are. It’s a big intuitive centre.
Interviewer: How do all these ideas translate into your music?
Gaz Cobain: I’ve been given me to experience the universe and the point I make when I release records is a bold, arrogant visionary statement that maybe some other people might be interested in what I’ve experienced. I neither enforce or say that my vision is better than anybody else’s, I merely have the strength to express it and to think that it might have some benefit in whatever shape or form. I believe that most things these days are made by diplomatic committee, films for example, which means it’s getting difficult for individuals to express their own visions. If you’re easily malleable, there are many controlling factors which go against singular, individualistic, maverick visions of entertainment and expression.
Interviewer: You’re living almost a dream life as a musician...
Gaz Cobain: Do you think so? Surely everybody’s a musician these days, they’ve got software...
Interviewer: Sure, but you’re making a living, you have a degree of pop star type fame; how do you manage to stop people telling you to make 3 minute singles for radio play, for example?
Gaz Cobain: I stop interference by doing one major thing; by being prepared to receive less money in order to get more freedom. I think it’s a decision that more and more people are going to have to make, because they’re realizing that they want more family time, more free time, more creative time, whatever. I know lots of people from writers, performers to film editors, who are all making the same decision right now. I know some individuals working on major Hollywood films who feel underwhelmed, they feel that their talents are misunderstood. Or rather, not misunderstood, they feel they’re one little block in a massively organised machine, that compartmentalises every human skill in the chain to make a movie, or a film or a book or a magazine, whatever it is. People are gradually realising, ‘Actually I’ll make less money, take more risks, have more faith, sell my house, move out of London, work for different people, find different people, then discover ‘My God, life’s a trip, My God, life’s exciting, My God how did I ever accept the prison walls.’ That’s what it’s all about. I don’t need massive amounts of money, to be honest; I live very simply. At those points when people threaten my freedom of expression, I just say goodbye and go with people that love what I do. Personal truth will not harm me in the long run. I’ve been brought up to be very intellectual, to be scheming and analytical, and what I mean by that, is that when we take decisions in life, we tend to evaluate them from our past experiences and that means they’re fear based. For example, if you go out with a woman and you’ve been hurt in the past and you view the new women as if she’s going to hurt you like the old, then it pretty much will happen. And to do that is very violent because you’re imposing on her things which have no bearing on the majesty of that woman, because she’s a unique human being unlike any you’ve ever met, as is everybody in this world. When you learn to operate out of a different things, which you find from doing things like yoga, or eating very well and respecting your body, things change.You need to throw off the fear, and take those acts of faith and leap and operate out of this new centre then you might just be surprised.”
Interviewer: How do you see the role of technology in all this?
Gaz Cobain: I’ve become very sceptical of anything being sold as a freedom device, for example the internet was sold in that way, as a means of communication. We had one or two movies suggesting that slacker hackers had managed to tap into the military, to distribute the software to us so that we can exchange ideas whereas now we’re seeing a darker side of it. The darker side is this; if I wanted to control the whole world population, how would I do it? I’d bring them to one device through which they sell, distribute, communicate and do everything, which is the internet. Now we’re seeing the truth unfold; something that came from the military is now, through the auspices of things like 9/11 and the threat of terror, beginning to finally stamp the kind of surveillance they wish over all these things. People in New York can now be fined for riding their bicycles without having their feet on the peddles. People are being irnterned in Gauntanamo Bay and a place just outside of London under the slightest threat of being a terrorist, or a subversive, which as we know is a very loose term and is defined as being outside the judicial system. The media is also part of the agenda and controlled by the same people who won’t allow this message to come through. It’s like organic food, millions of people are beginning to realise ‘No, we don’t really want GM food and ‘fuck your scientists coming out in their white coats trying to maintain it has no health risk’. The same people advocating GM crops in government, sit on the boards of the companies involved. People aren’t generally aware of what’s going on, though I don’t hold that against anybody- the population generally are loveable human beings who trust a little too much, that’s all. But, consciousness as a whole is rising, as is the frequency of existence and that means there is a spiritual revolution happening, forcing these people to be quicker about their agenda, because they’re actually on a sliding scale to oblivion because their game is being sussed.
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