LESPHINXX interview

Had the wonderful opportunity to interview LESPHINXX!!! Really into their Lp right now… ENJOY!!!!

M.P. I was blasting your album as I road a bus through the Catskills today and I remembered we agreed to do an interview and as the trees changing leaves blurred your music took me over and I felt like today is the day! First, I just gotta say the reason I am so into your music is its energy. For me whenever I listen to your album I feel like I’m transforming into a teenage girl bursting with happiness and raving her life away and that’s like the greatest feeling ever. Is that intentional or am I just crazy?!

D.L.S. Thank you for listening to LESPHINXX while driving through the forest, especially during this time of year when nature makes it’s decent into the under world. The veil gets thinner and thinner this time of year, so this is the season for Lesphinxx music for sure. And yes many of our songs possess teenager vibes. I believe I am in a perpetual state of teenager but while deeply rooted in the wisdom of the crone.

I am really really excited that we are releasing our second Lp Ħaġar Qim later this Fall 2013 though Sisterjams. Ħaġar Qim (“Standing/Worshipping Stones”) is a megalithic goddess temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600-3200 BC). My family on my father’s side is from Malta originally so this is like an homage to my roots and also to the cosmic mother.

M.P. Your album rides this fine line, for me, of complete accessibility and then I hear you in the background screaming, “harder, faster, more more more” and the tempo picks up and goes in really absurdly wonderful directions that I feel like so many people would love to dance to. Like “THZ DMZ” is just completely wonderful. Thank you! What’s “THZ DMZ” stand for? And how do you go about titling tracks? Where does Le Sphinxxx come from?

D.L.S. I’m really really happy that you love our music, thank you. “THZ DRMZ” stands for “These Dreams”. Danny remixed the vocals on “These Dreams” by Heart. Danny re-created the sensation/sound of going up and down on a roller coaster on the beat of this remix. This song is dedicated to his mother, Debbie.

When titling songs we usually will just take one or two words from the lyrics of a track. I’d like to say something more interesting like we use a baby name book or something. When it comes to writing lyrics I listen to the subconscious. I’ll quiet my waking thoughts and let things arise from the void. This isn’t always easy, flow really depends on a lot of things. Like astrological phenomenon , whether i feel energetically full or not. I really try to throw myself to a higher plane/dimension to receive melodies. Even if it’s just for a moment when i see a vision of some sorts and i feel like I’m soaring. In that moment I will find a melody and pull it down into a song.

I chose the name LESPHINXX because of the legend/symbolism surrounding the sphinx is to choose one’s own destiny. I happen to read about this in one of my favorite Joseph Campbell books, “The Power of the Myth”.

M.P. When I’ve explained to friends what your music is like I’ve said, “it’s like what I always wanted out of Grimes!” Does that seem like a fair way of describing you? I feel like you’re what Grimes wishes she sounded like, Grimes with some soul…. Since you go by Doorways I feel like you’re completely tapped into this, a psychic person ready to channel and help people do so too. Does that seem accurate? What else?!

Q5) Well I love Grimes but we are different creatures. She is like a dolphin and I’m more like a bat. Although we have similar sounding voices at times, LESPHINXX has a tendency to be a lot heavier and darker. Being that I go by Doorways well yes that is for a reason. I can’t remember where I was when I decided to change my name. But I do know that something gave me the name, it just appeared in my mind out of nowhere. That’s usually a good indicator that you are receiving information out side of your self. I can not say that I am a fully open & trained psychic. I often do have supernatural experiences though and this is a huge source of inspiration for my art and music. So it’s only natural for LESPHINXX fans to become inspired in such a way when they hear our songs or see us play live. It is my deepest intent to unlock and usher in sacred divine feminine energies we perform live or create art.

M.P. The first time I saw you perform you showed up an hour early and completely transformed the room you were playing it. It was Robot Moon Juice’s boyfriends last night in his old apartment and everyone came out in support of their eviction. I was exhausted as it was the end of gay pride weekend but still I went and I’m so glad for it! The times I’ve seen you live I’ve been blown away by your live presence. It manages to be casual and welcoming but you also really get people dancing. What is the motivation for your back up dancers wearing those masks?

D.L.S. Oh yeah ! I love Robot Moonjuice he is a good friend of mine lots of Love to him and his music career. He is actually on the cover of our first LP Athame, running in the nude through Cypress Hills Cemetery. The photograph was taken by our great friend photographer Ishmail Thoth Ra. When we play live we usually play through out the DIY circuit and bring along a pop up installation. Our current installation is a sort of a neo – ancient Egyptian temple which I created out of spray paint and dollar store goods. We are more of an art group then just a band. Lyfty Sirena and Uniska Wahala Kano are the dancers / performance artists in LESPHINXX whom are actual permanent members of this group. When they perform they are more like channels for other-worldy expression. We are like a band of mythological entities. Moon girl is going to haunt you !

M.P. Also, what is the process of making music versus performing music like for you? Is one side of the process more enjoyable or more of the focus for you?

D.L.S. song writing vs playing live …. There is a huge difference between writing songs and performing live. I enjoy both art forms but playing live and being on tour is definitely more fun. If I’m lucky I’ll write a song in a day. Sometimes a song will come through a telephone or through a window. Just like that it will show up in a connection with a person or even the wind will give me a song. But usually I’ll start with a beat and a bass line and sort of chant over it for a few hours. I will play synths / guitars over it for another few hours. Lurking for the right sounds / mix etc etc. Finally I will listen back to about 20 – ish different melodies per instrument and pick out what sounds most moving . My ears will not settle for anything too easy or boring. It’s like mining for crystals. I have to get through all this dead-ness in my aura, tear it open, jump off the high dive. When I hit a wall with a song that I’m really into is when I’ll hand it over to Danny. He ends up adding really dope beats sounds etc. It’s kind of like writing music would be baking the cake and then playing live is eating it up and having a food fight. Playing live is very ceremonial for us. We always burn sage at shows, transform a space with all of our weird art. We bring a portal with us in a suitcase along with strobe lights fog machine incense. We never know what’s going to come through. It could be anything from spirits, to fairies. This may sound ridiculous but the portal is alive and well. This is our deepest intent there for it is.

M.P. Your music has this very ethereal, almost supernatural quality, as it also taps into a range of emotions and drives. A lot of the songs are so simple but also seemingly reach so far, which is everything. Songs like “Is He It” completely transcends me and bring a smile to my face every time. What is the story behind the song and whose the guy singing with you? Is he it?! I guess what I’m asking you is, how personal are these songs? They seem really personal. And if they are, I feel like that’s why they’re so charged.

D.L.S. About “is He it ?” Well that’s me and Danny singing. This track is about questioning & destroying self-doubt. It’s about him literally writing a song to prove that he can write a song. I believe all of our songs are very personal.

M.P. Can you tell us a little about where you come from, what music has inspired your craft, why you started making music?

We are all from NY. My family is from Queens, Jackson Heights and Astoria. I lived in queens as a kid and then we moved to Nassau on Long Island where I grew up in West Hempstead. Lyfty is also from Long Island / Wantagh and her family is from Guatamala. Danny’s family is from Brooklyn/Manhattan/L.I. And finally Uniska is from Jamaica Queens. On both sides of my family there are a tons of artists and musicians, My grandparents play music, my great grand parents, my parents, my uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings. It’s in my blood for sure, i am very blessed. Music really would seize my entire being even when i was a little girl. Finally when i was a teenager I picked up a guitar and stared to play like mostly punk stuff. And just continued to pay attention to this really bright and burning feeling that music gave me. I basically answered the call.

D.L.S. My favorite bands would be Siouxsie and the Banshees, Crystal Castles, Blonde Redhead. I love a lot of goth music like VNV Nation, BlutEngel. I grew up listening to tons of riot grrrl like Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy, Sleater KInney, L7, Hole, Lunachicks. I’m also totally in love with many of the current girl groups here in Bushwick, BK wear I live; like Gluuu, Dark Sister, Culttastic, Oriana Gold just to name a few. We are going to start up a monthly festival called Temple of Kali, featuring all music + art by woman. We are aiming to make it as big as Lollapalooza.

Now go buy the Lp!

Today there was a tornado warning…

I secured all the plants on the roof, put a piece of succulent I found into my pocket to add to the succulent garden in my window but sometime during the day it fell out. Last night my friend suggested I watch this video of David Rattray (which couldn’t be embedded) and now I suggest you do it…

the magick of autumn has only just begun

I cheated on my cats tonight with this little furball named Buttercup! His mommy was stressed with work sooo I took her out on the town. We hung out in Washington Square Park for awhile, ran around the dog run then sat at the fountain and listened to Adam Roads magically strum his guitar… then I met his friend Danielle Parente and both of them are making lovely music! We chatted for awhile and shared our tastes in music as we listened to him strum and people from all over the park continually gathered around in admiration. I just kept staring at the fountain and then cast my gaze up toward the moon, basking in the moment which felt so wonderfully New York, the kind of New York I want to always be experiencing, well maybe except the part wherein I watched as Buttercup tried to eat her own shit. Pups will be pups. Really tho: LOVING this transition from summer into the breezier and far lovelier Autumn nights… I wait for them all summer, without them I’d probably never survive the horrifically overheated and sewage filled summer’s New York City always manages to provide. Well enough with that! It’s time to feel and absorb all of the magic about to burst into being.

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

Oh, I also read Sarah Schulman’s “The Gentrification of the Mind” today while working at BGSQD. I now work there on Tuesday’s. Come say hi and peruse zines with me!! And if you haven’t read “The Gentrification of the Mind” yet, do yourself a favor and do that immediately. I spent most of the day overwhelmed with grief and on the verge of tears as the history of queers isn’t all porn and wild abandonment. It seems like every generation really gets pushed to the brink, yet still we manage to continually fight for our passions. We’re an amazing lot indeed! And so are all the rest of the communities affected by gentrification and the wave of wealth that has changed the city (please read this article). Anyway, I felt like hanging in Washington Square park with a couple kids playing music and crowds of queer couples holding each other as they listened, rasta guys getting really into it, tourists, middle aged women, hipster kids, homeless wanderers, all seemed to connect to the strumming and the moon, yes that moon, it just made me feel hopeful again. Like maybe the part in “The Gentrification of the Mind” where Sarah argues that there will indeed come a better day that isn’t ruled by corporate oppressive bullshit policies and political assholes will come.

Here’s a brief passage I really enjoyed:

“Gentrification culture was a twentieth-century, fin de siecle rendition of bourgeois values. It defined truth telling as antisocial instead of as a requirement for decency. The action of making people accountable was decontextualized as inappropriate. When there is no context for justice, freedom-seeking behavior is seen as annoying. Or futile. Or drag. Or oppressive. And dismissed and dismissed and dismissed until that behavior is finally just not seen.”

Amazing Interview for No Bra’s latest album!!

“The song was originally inspired by a former roommate years ago, but I think this has become more of a general feature of our times. Looking at people in terms of their use value as opposed to give and take relationships that help people evolve over time or whatever. Perhaps this is considered being powerful, manly, womanly, whatever, just like with social media and pop culture in general I think we live in quite a boastful, show-offish kind of time. People don’t want to show vulnerability for fear of being left behind maybe.”

For the rest of the interview go here

Maybe I should be stoned for posting this online……

I feel like I’m breaking sacred trust by republishing this online without asking… but I cannot help myself! May I be stoned for it! But this poem is everything to me at the moment and I sometimes wonder if I’m actually just an internet meme so in case that is what I am, here it is… I love you Dodie Bellamy! This may be the most perfect poem ever, unless I accidentally added in a typo-or-two… You can get a copy from Les Figues Press and really, it’s what everyone should be reading this Fall! I’m headed upstate for a last bout of summer, gonna jump into a lake and some shit!! Byeeee!!

Cunt Creeley
by Dodie Bellamy
Go fuck yourself. Now answer me—where is your body as your mind is jerked around on dried goose turd? I still love you—yes, you in that bed surrounded by books. It’s fitting that you so quickly come when I fuck you silly in a bed full of books. You’re so tough, the way you smack me down with your rebuff. I love it. I love it when you suck me, I love all the bloody things you’ve done. Oh wife, oh wife, you’re blowing my drowsiness all to hell. There never will be another woman in my thoughts, not when you send me your panties everyday, saying they’re for me, not for other men. You shoot shivers up my spine and into my nose. I will wear your panties, will wear whatever dresses your cunt. If flies were the sign of love, I’d adorn my prick with maggots the size of seals. My cock, my darling, loving your mercy, comes like King Kong up your cunt. We fuck forever in the spring, which makes my own worn self to sing. If I touch you ‘til the skin on your neck gets emergency shivers, morning or evening or afternoon, oh my lovely, I fuck you like I’m wringing all the oceans. Most lovely lady, whether you’re dressed or undressed is a sexual experience—a collaboration whether we’re going at it in bed or sitting only. Oh loveliest you are here and I fuck you silly between your lips, and, yes, you fuck me back, yes, my lady, whether you are just or unjust, you are fucking sexy, such a romantic. You can eat me, my lady, you can do whatever—I love seeing you hanging there with my balls. You are the best of ladies—in rain, in shine, in any weather. When my cock slides into you, we rhyme, like in those stories where the hero is beyond help. I’m here with you now, it’s magic, we’re fucking like Hercules or Aeneas going into death. I blur into you I’m moving so fast. We don’t need Virgil’s plan, not with you singing those torch songs of hoc opus, hic labor. This is the now, this kind of love just is—Virgil has been dead for two thousand understandings. I love your industrious wisdom, how you live in a way that hasn’t yet ripped your lips off. Let the heroes stay dead so I can propose to you with my dirty mind. You have me. You hold my weight. You must understand—there are chunks of cement everywhere. If you know what, say it. Don’t pretend. Like electric shock therapy, you know me in a prayer. Before you I’m helpless, helpless in an unreal situation. No woman ever was wiser than you, so my cock hangs above your face and what you take in your hand grows.

Queen of Swords: And Other Goth Girl Dreams

In the spirit of “goth girl” / torrid love girl / it’s a full moon / witch-craft, I give you my “tarot poem” from my “tarot of the witches” deck, the deck used in a 70′s James Bond film. I got this deck from an older friend a long time ago and I’m pretty positive it’s been around since the 70s. Sacred shit! I asked for guidance about my <3<3<3 life cuz what else does one worry about!?! And the results were funny, at least to me! Oh and it’s all dedicated to one of favorites, whose at the bottom of this mess. Facebook has described her as an anarcho-wiccan psychomaterialist ecobuddhist liberation army.

1. The Present. 9 of Wands. The fist, which is a symbol of power and the divine in Enochian Magick, which is what Aleister and many other fraternal orders across the centuries have practiced. Keyword: men! Hidden enemies. Strength. Confrontation. Much difficulty! Yes!!!! I’ve been drinking too much and have been an emotional mess for months… which is sooo cute! No wonder he hates you. You are crazy and out of control.

2. Immediate Influence. The Chariot. Knight with a shield riding a chariot pulled by two horses. Immediately thought of the horse from the dream + fly poem, the fact he’s a Sagittarius, never connected the two of them… barf! His shield hosts a snake. He has a star on his cheek and is beneath the moon. Quite cosmic. He is also covered in suns. The knight riding through darkness, radiating light… he is a symbol of inner strength and not of upheaval! Do I gotta do daily mantras of “you are strong?! you are capable?! you will be okay?!” Does this mean I need to keep the head held high?! And focus on work? War! Vengence! Difficulty! Trouble! Turmoil! Perplexity. Triumph. Indecision. Failure. Rushing into decisions. Outside factors. Defeat. Voyage. Escaping chaos. Fleeing from reality. Something tells me this card is also all about and very much representing him… where ever he is.

3. Goal or Destiny. The tower. It’s being struck by lightning, destiny, with the sun and moon in the sky. Maybe I need to balance my day/night more!? The top is crumbling and it’s cloudy as fuck, awful black clouds!!! The trees are leafless. Doesn’t seem like the greatest fate. Should I stop my “loving” side?! Maybe it needs to be revamped?! Is that always the answer??? Am I insane??? Probably just two intense a person….. change. Disruption. Calamity. Misery. Deception. Unexpected event. Ruin. Termination. Bankrupcy. Events left behind. Breaking down of old beliefs. Abandonment of past relationships. Breakthrough into new areas…. Okay… fuck boys! You’re single bitch…. Ride or die bitch…. You really just are a wild ho.

4. Distant Past Foundations. Seven of Swords (first read as 7 of batons accidently). More batons! My past is really still probably two influential on me!!!! Time to evolve… I need to forget all the familial mooshy bullshit and just be me. The image is a foot with wings over the Achilles heal. Our fuck ups are what will allow us to fly?! Our weaknesses as strength: go new age bullshit! Go! The foot is hovering above a volcano in a circle. Sun / moon both there! Success! Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself?! Celebrate the weirdo I am?! In all my complexities… I love myself and my friends and family… #everything Gain! Surmountable obstacles. Advantage… overcoming challenges… OMG OMG OMG I just realized it’s a 7 of swords!!! Which changes everything, obviously!!! Attempt. New plans. Hope. Confidence. Wish. Efforts. I feel like I wanna moosh both of the meanings together!!! I feel like I’ve moved through all the readings stages and do finally feel good about our relationship! It’s come full circle. My visit home was splendid! Maybe I just need to give him time, it’s all I can do, obviously, but like maybe I should just hope he’s fine and float on. It’s just weird as knowing that he’s somewhere within walking distance most likely and that we cannot even say hi is like so weird for it to have become. We shared so much together… I just don’t get it! But that’s not my privilege, obviously!!! Since he doesn’t want me to be involved in his life. Hate is real!

5. Recent past. Queen of Swords. Obviously! She has her sword out!! And she’s wearing all pink and it’s me!! It’s definitely me!! She even has a mane and a crown on and her blue eyeliner/mascara is everything. Fierce (hate that word but she is undeniable) You’ve been definitely fighting! He knows you loved him. It wasn’t what he wanted. Move on! Quick witted. Keen. Possible sadness. Loneliness. Privation. Seperation. Mourning. Deep!!! Definitely me. Making this my facebook profile pic. She is such a mystical witch warrior.

6. Future influence. 8 of stars. Eight stars with an eye open in the center of a circle, it’s blue. There is a fire above it and mountains/water below. 3rd eye obviously. Use it more! It’s really the coins/diamond card but I prefer to call it stars cuz I’m into glow stars. Money!! Definitely need to make that more of the priority. Concentrate on work. And the card is all about it. Apprenticeship. Preliminary learning. Craftsmanship. Frankness. Personal effort. Keep trying / growing. Evolving… blah blah blah!!!

7. The Questioner. 2 of swords. Lots of swords. This is war, honey and there is a flying foot again!! That’s the past in your self?! “2”. The past merging with the present. Two swords crossed. Stalemate. Offsetting factors – all the craziness of Chelsea! Harmony. Firmness: hella horny… Accord. Balanced force. Wanting what I can’t have: reconciliation.

8. Environmental Factors. The Empress. We both are definitely her… maybe two queens is too much! Quote of the rest of your life! Action. Development. Progress. Fruitfulness. Fertility. Attainment. Accomplishment. Marriage. Mother. Sister. Wife. Feminine influence. Subterfuge. Tears. Female guiles. Harrassment. Spendthrift. Nagging. Practical. Decisive. All qualities he saw/hated in you!! He hates you. The empress holds the world.

9. Inner Emotions. 4 of cups. Heart is in the center, obviously! There is an arrow through it. Obviously! It’s pink. Weariness. Aversion. Disgust. Disdain. Bitter experience. Yep! Yep! Yep! Why do I miss it?! Ummm cuz I’m totally batshit crazy like T-boz. You don’t deserve arrows shot through the beautiful organ! You deserve to be treated well / cherished. What you went through wasn’t “it”… fuck “it!” ;)

10. Culmination. The Hermit. Obviously! He’s on an island beneath the moon with a bird on his shoulder and a diary in his hand with a quill feather (prolly from the bird). Sage burns next to him. It’s fucking you, honey! You! You! You! He’s beneath the moon and all… Get used to it! And love it! He looks perplexed cuz he’s prolly so fucking lonely. Whatever! Prudence. Withdrawal. Circumspection. Caution. Solicitude. Loner. Insensitive. Expressionless. Misleading. Misguiding. Regression. Recession. Failure to face facts. Tendency to withhold emotion. Fearful of discovery. I feel like this is a list to avoid. Maybe that’s what I’m gonna amount to: someone to avoid or I need to swiftly undo the parts of me which will enhance that probability?! Aka self care / self improvement. Time to go to the gym, bitch! And fucking please to fucking god get a job!!! Work work work!!! Hermit!

I leave you with the words of one of my all time favorite witches / spiritual healers / and all around bad-ass!!! I cannot believe these words were ever used in reference to her. We are surrounded by WAR!!! Never forget that!!! Get out your healing crystals!!!