interviews, other people's shit

Vivian Velveteen

He learned to love his cancer.  He trusted his dark side. It became him. A ruthless bastard. He would do anything for success. He done the deal. He would discard his good nature for fame and women. This was the birth of Vivian Velveteen.

He disowned his past and here he was, loved by his masses. Hiding from his thoughts with the power of self-belief. The flawed hedonist. Could he run forever?

We met in a tiny cafe, under a railway bridge. The windows were dirty and barred up. ,A dark stocky figure in a trench coat stretched back over a chair. He cupped a mug of steaming black coffee with his left hand. the clock moved a tick to 3:23. I order myself a green tea and scraped a chair out to join Vivian. He hardly moves. It’s all been arranged with his management. I find the empty, dirty cafe disconcerting. I click record.

Hi, can i just begin?

Hello, begin.

Can you pin point the moment when you first thought, This Is It, it’s working, I’ve made it?

It’s difficult to pinpoint the moment, but i suppose i knew i was on the right path around 2013. I had given up trying and thought i had failed. I was feeling very lonely having just left The Sputums, totally lost. I decided in that moment that it was time. I had to commit. All had fallen apart, our son had died, and my life was in tatters. I left my wife shortly after as the pain seemed to drive us apart, rather than together. I sat in a darkened room and spoke with some being. I can’t really say what the being was, it may have been me. But all i know is that we agreed that no more would we look out for others. From now on it was a single minded push for glory. I stepped into the studio with Fillimore and a Xylophone. I let out my anger at the unfairness of the world. I denounced god. i took on nature head to head. It felt so right.

Can you see that you have caused controversy amongst the general public with the content of your lyrics?

I’m not out to be controversial. This whole year has been nothing but an exorcism of sorts for me. It’s very personal. It’s my journey to the darkside. Fuck God. I took on the Bad Shit that was being dealt to me, and said Fuck You. This expression is my own cathartic way of denouncing my previous life. If people are offended by my exorcism then fuck them. It’s not for them, it’s for me. If they happen to relate and can get inspired by my journey then come along. If not, then fuck off. You don’t know me.

Can you see how this can turn people off?

My job is to turn people off. Turn people off life. It’s bullshit, you don;t have to stand for it. Just say no.

It seems like you are playing God, have drugs played a significant part in this journey?

Drugs were a part of my life. When everything went wrong with The Sputums and my personal life, I decided to kick the habit. I am tee-total now. I have to be. To fight nature you need a straight head, one slip up and she will fuck you. I need to be on the ball.

You say fight nature, exactly how are you doing this?

I refuse to accept the hand that has been dealt to me. I am in control. 100%. In showing people how i do this, i inspire, people see it and they wanna piece. This turns into album sales and more importantly builds hope into people who denounce God. Nature is unfair, nothing makes sense, in taking control of your destiny you become the equalizer, You take what you want.

What was it like growing up as Vivian Langford?

That person died when my son died. I don’t remember much about him. Maybe that he was a pushover, always being nice, and being offended. Nothing worked in his life and he just bent over and took whatever came his way. His family were cold, hard working, frightened. The family suffered from a drunken father and a bitter Mother. They were not happy times.

Where did you get the name from?

I needed to change my name to signify the change in me. My personality was dead. I was anew. I left behind everything I knew. Including myself.

You are seen as a bit of a joke by some of the heavy metal scene, how do you respond to this?

Heavy Metal Scene? What scene? I don’t deal in genres. I deal in real emotions. I denounce all earthly associations and categories to hide behind. Present Tense is raw and real, and about change. If you don’t want to change then don’t comment, just carry on with your life with the rest of the dead fish. Everything is stagnant, including Metal or whatever. As soon as you categorise something, give it a name, label it, it’s dead. Metal died shortly after Black Sabbath accidentally invented it. Some smart alec named it and in doing so killed it. Why are they still writing about it in 2016? Like it’s something. We are against that. Present Tense, is just that. No wonder Metal Hammer don;t like it.

Is it true that you refuse to speak to anyone from your past?

I will give people the time of day if they fit into my vision of how things should be. I refuse to be vulnerable. Most people from my past used me. They used him up and wore him out. Out of bitter disappointment was born the new me. I raised from the ashes of the shit of my past. In order to become me I had to leave it all behind. Change is good. Not change for changes sake, but escaping the  hand you have been dealt. It’s not easy, but when you;’ve been kicked down onto your ass enough times you say fuck this.

What’s next for Present Tense?

Just repeat that question to yourself.

What is next for the band?

Learning to be more present. Knowing what we want. And refusing anything that does not fit in with our vision. A total disregard for trends and opinions. Total self belief and total control. We don’t want admiration, we want your soul.

Why do you want people’s soul, what can this do for you or your followers?

Well it’s simple really, fans can buy a ticket and go to watch Noel Gallagher and then go back to their job and wife they hate. If you are not happy we want you to kill your wife, your boss, your parents. Kill your life. Kill the past. Let it all go. Total destruction of life as we know it. Fuck fans. We want disciples. This shit is for real.

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creation, my shit, other people's shit

COSBOCOLYPSE!

 

Screenshot 2015-02-04 23.13.09

had THE most productive January of all time! Finished up 9 tunes, including new tunes for heavy new ANGRY TECHNO METAL project (soon to be revealed), new Ninjah single, recorded an insane band from West Wales who i think is the weirdest shit i have ever recorded, a couple of new Flapsandwich Remixes, chill-out tune for new project Lost Radikals and more!!! ooof. what a month. buzzing. will reveal shit soon. also teamed up with the excellent Adam Shipp for this little tune and vid. I am the Walrus. Coo Coo Ca Choo

http://youtu.be/dcmfZW7djgg

 

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life, my shit

DO YOU LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE?

Ninjah Jason 02

Thinking the other day, what do i love about this place, Cardiff, i been living in for 13 years?
‘Fuck all’ sprung to mind initially. But, you know, it’s that sort of thinking that makes a place shit. Manchester and Bristol and Berlin are legendary because when you go there everyone bigs it up, they love it, accept it, with all it’s flaws and this attitude makes the place fucking buzz and grow. Even if it is a shit hole, the attitude seems to overcome, and ignite a magic into the streets and minds of everyone who visits.

Lots of people you talk to in Cardiff say it’s shit, i’ve been guilty of it myself. I’ve had my ups and downs here, made lots of enemies and lots of great friends. Organised hundreds of events and been lucky to have been involved with some amazing people and projects.

graffiti-banner

Maybe it’s time to big up our City and learn to love the place where we reside. Put this place on the map, as the friendliest and most unique place in the UK, The capital city of Wales. A fucking gem….. With friendly weird folks, huge parks, wonderful street characters, independent businesses, local artists and bands, arcades and markets, people from all over the world, loads of graffiti popping up and more and more people organising their own stuff. Our city is full of character, let’s hope it keeps growing that way……

Welcome to Planet Cardiff.

check out the new shizzle i been working on with my mate here… http://goo.gl/R8Bw8k

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creation

The Tools Of Your Trade

Blake_ancient_of_days

Today i have a guest post from a friend, Anthony J Burns. We have enjoyed many conversations while off our faces on caffeine about creativity, inspiration and other shit. I asked him to pen some words about capturing inspiration and he has offered us this little gem. Drop us a comment to let us know what  you think. You can contact Anthony for writing projects etc at ajdburns@yahoo.co.uk

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The following quote, from the poet P B Shelley, may come as a comfort to artists who fret about needing a lot of planning and theoretical knowledge before embarking on their dream career or project. On the other hand, it will probably just vex artists who have difficulty getting started on a project per se

“Poetry is not like reasoning, a power to be exerted according to the determination of the will. A man cannot say, “I will compose poetry.” The greatest poet even cannot say it; for the mind in creation is as a fading coal, which some invisible influence, like an inconstant wind, awakens to transitory brightness […]. Could this influence be durable in its original purity and force, it is impossible to predict the greatness of the results; but when composition begins, inspiration is already on the decline, and the most glorious poetry that has ever been communicated to the world is probably a feeble shadow of the original conceptions of the poet. I appeal to the greatest poets of the present day, whether it is not an error to assert that the finest passages of poetry are produced by labour and study. The toil and the delay recommended by critics can be justly interpreted to mean no more than a careful observation of the inspired moments, and an artificial connexion of the spaces between their suggestions […].”

Shelley, A Defence of Poetry

If the art of making great art is thus mainly communicative – trying to get the clearest possible copy of your own “fading coal” to show to your audience before the real thing fades forever – then the role of the artist can be interpreted as almost passive: no more than a broadband cable for some higher force or consciousness to send their mysterious emails to the rest of humanity.

Still, lest any artist take this as an excuse for not taking any interest at all in the theory of their artform, or setting aside any serious time to practice it even in the times when inspiration is not flashing a neon sign in their head, it ought to be noted that Shelley – though he gives paramount importance to inspiration – does not say that “labour and study” are pointless. Far from it, he describes them much as the cement holding the bricks of inspiration together. Without them, there is no “connexion” or structure: just a heap of disorganised inspirations, inaccessible to anyone other than the artist, whatever the brilliance of the original inspiration. As C S Lewis put it, if you have the finest wines and oils and just pour them on the floor, all you are left with is a puddle.

Lewis also states that, in a way, inspiration can be seen as less important than “labour and study,” as knowing the tools of your trade (how to play an instrument; paint realistic still lives; craft a taut, suspenseful thriller etc.) will empower you to create an entertaining and accessible, if unoriginal work. Real artistry, he suggests, lies in combining the two modes, so that the truly inspired artist will always have the tools at their disposal to put the jewels of their inspirations within a setting that is accessible to their public. An obvious deficiency on either side can be just as tragic. The scornful laughs that so much modern art gets for seeming to revel in its own up-its-own-arse obscurity are as merited as those which much of pop culture receives for being technically competent but shallow, soulless, and juvenile. Since there is little danger that Pete Waterman et al will start listening to Shelley’s “invisible influence” while there is still a fat wad of cash to be made by churning out well-crafted drivel, surely it falls to artists of integrity, who are not afraid of following inspiration, but may be afraid of “labour and study,” to arm themselves with all of the weapons of the enemy. If the artist’s role is that of a messenger, then any practice, theory, or tried-and-tested convention that helps them to get that message across is worth having in the toolbox, even if for only occasional use.

Not that this means you need a PhD in any given subject before you even try writing a song or story, and the many great artists who have had no formal training testifies to it. But a determination to practice and immerse yourself within your field is a must whether you do it in a university or your own bedroom. Inspiration may fly by at any time, and the better equipped you are for catching it, the more effectively you will get it across to your audience.

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