Chain D.L.K.: How did The Moscow Coup Attempt start? What is your story, or what else might you want to tell us?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: It started with my gradual decline in beliefs of-ists and -isms. For a certain time my interests werein personal political rants mixed with whatever mymusical obsession was. My previous musical endeavorswere all rock/metal/electronic events that were reallyunfulfilling after a given timeframe. I startedwriting music for video games, indie and studentfilms, and such. Then I found my new obsession…numbers stations on shortwave radio. Really creepyoccurrences of sampled voices reciting numericalsequences over and over for hours with occasionalmonophonic musicalinterludes. Amazing. For those unfamiliar with“numbers stations,” Google it.So where did “the Coup” come from? Caffeine, Merlot,listening to shortwave static for hours at a time.Combining all of that with my recent endeavors intocinematic music. Basically, I started TMCA because Iwanted to make this numbers station based music forfilms. My own movie without the visual element.
Chain D.L.K.: But you do play with a film for your live shows.How did that come about?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: That came about because… well, who wants to watch aguy twiddle knobs and play keys sitting in front of alaptop? “The Failure…” film started as just a visuallive element. I started assembling archival footageinto montage segments based around the music of “TheFailure…” album. Then at some point, there became apoint to it all. The visual element became almost asimportant to the meaning of the piece as the musicalelement.
Chain D.L.K.: Where do you get your main inspirations?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: Again, the use of numbers stations. Using them ascatalysts for new musical pieces. Isolation andchemically induced pseudo-hypnosis helps a lot aswell. Helps one to block out the mind and feel withyour body what is right. The mind is perhaps thebiggest killer of really emotional musical attempts.Hence, Rush.
Chain D.L.K.: You just released your first album, “The Failureof Shortwave Radio.” What are the main concepts andmessages you want to put out with your art (if any)?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: This is the completely pretentious part of theinterview, right? Well, my album is really thisexploration in communication. I don’t think that it’smy place to say what “the Failure…” is all about. Iknow what it means to me. Art is for the observer tointerpret, not the artist to dictate meaning. If theartist destroys the observer’s interpretation bysaying, “This piece is about THIS AND THAT and ONLYTHIS AND THAT,” then the observer has lost something.They’ve lost that personal connection to the piece.And again, this goes back to communication. I feel asthough the music I make is only one half of a two-wayconversation with those that listen to it. Theirdialogue with me will most likely remain in theirrespective heads, but it’s the dialogue that isimportant… even if it remains in some sort ofintangible state.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your plans for shows, touring, futureprojects, etc.?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: I’m just playing around Los Angeles right now. I’mentrenched into my own little world here and I don’tleave much. I would, however, like to put together agroup to perform. String quartet. Live drums. Harp,Mellotron. Blah, blah, blah… I think that what I doelectronically live is cool, I just think that liveinstrumentation would be an interesting twist. Make itwhat I actually envisioned it as when I started allthis nonsense.
Chain D.L.K.: You are a producer who has been involved in anumber of different projects (if I remember well).What projects were most rewarding to you musically andprofessionally?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: When I was an assistant engineer, I got to workwith Ben Folds Five and Chris Vrenna. I keep those inmind because I was a fan of both, and new to LA at thesame time. I wasn’t nearly as passive (read: jaded,couldn’t give a shit) to celebrity as I am now. Otherthan that… the track I wrote for Tricky was cool, andI got a lot out of it artistically. But I doubt anyonewill ever hear it. Beyond that… well, I would say butI wouldn’t have anything nice to say so I just won’tsay it. Do I sound difficult?
Chain D.L.K.: In all your collaborations, what would you sayyou’ve learned from working with other artists, ifanything?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: That all musicians are insecure nerds.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you think of the “electronic scene” in theUS vs other countries?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: I couldn’t really say. To me, all “scenes” areshort-lived and over-hyped. They don’t really exist.It’s a manufactured state of coolness. It’s fashion.Of course, this is the LA perspective. I’m only partof an “electronic scene” because there weren’t reallyany other avenues for what I’m doing. And of coursenow I sound like a total prick because “what I’m doingis SOOO different from everything else.” That’s nottrue at all. I’d say the whole LA Data Age thing isvery much a lot of artists like myself. Nowhere elseto go. And that’s why it’s so cool. It’s a fairlyaccepting environment for different ideas, even ifthey only hint at use of electronics. What was thequestion? Oh yeah… the electronic scene in the US islame.
Chain D.L.K.: Suppose there was a “heaven”, and you went there–what music would be playing there? What would beplaying in Hell? Who would you put in heaven with youand in hell?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: I don’t care where I go, as long as I can watch TheBig Lebowski. Besides, the jukebox playlist for Hellwould be toooooo long, and the playlist for Heavenwould be quite brief
Chain D.L.K.: What musicians or artists in any media,contemporary or not, do you think are underrated orunderappreciated?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: All the bands I love but hardly anyone knows. DonCaballero, Battles, Iceburn Collective, Refused. Andthe one artist that has a cult (of which I’m a member)but goes fairly unnoticed in the mainstream… MikePatton.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you think would surprise people about youif they knew?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: I was obsessed with the first season of America’sNext Top Model. Personal infatuation with that angrymedical student girl.
Chain D.L.K.: What have you been listening to lately?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: Zero7, Avenged Sevenfold, Mars Volta, Queens of theStone Age, Fantomas, Meshuggah, the leaked Fiona Applealbum (not the piece of shite that just came out),Bill Hicks, and of course the old favorites that stayin rotation: Black Sabbath, DJ Shadow, Refused. Thisquestion is too hard to answer because I could go onfor days.
Chain D.L.K.: If you didn’t do music, writing, or any other art,what would you do with your time?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: I seriously have no idea. I don’t do anything else.I suppose something helpful to the world. Maybe joinsome kind of research team. Be an explorer like SteveZissou.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s in the future, yours and the world’s?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: Melting glaciers. Depleted energy supplies.Bird-flu pandemic. Maybe put out a couple more MoscowCoup Attempt albums.
Chain D.L.K.: Any message for the readers?
The Moscow Coup Attempt: I’ll quote… “I’ll tell you who the real threat tofreedom… no, no, not to freedom. I’ll tell you whothe threat to the status quo is in this country… It’sUS! That’s why they show you shows like fucking‘Cops.’ So you know that State power will win, andwe’ll bust your house down and we’ll fucking bust youany time we want. That’s the message.” -Bill HicksSo now twist that into whatever kind of politicalstatement right or left that you want that really sayssomething about me.
Visit The Moscow Coup Attempt on the web at:
[interviewed by Ant] [proofreading by Maren]