THE ENTRANCE BAND

9 Nov

THE ENTRANCE BAND

“Nothing You Can Make That Can’t Be Made”

It would seem impossible – or at least unnecessary – to give much introduction to The Entrance Band in this arena. There’s probably not much I can say that singer/guitarist Guy Blakeslee doesn’t say in the 6,000+ word interview below.

So instead of an intro, let us just advise you to make a point of listening to the band’s self-titled album, see the band on tour, and read the interview below – not necessarily in that order. Not necessarily stoned, but The Entrance Band is beautiful.

It would seem appropriate to start an interview regarding The Entrance Band with some notions of formation, origin and the like … but instead, can we ask you about your “entrance” into the creative sphere in general? What are your earliest memories of having an urge or a desire to create? What types of things captured your interest as a child? And today? Do you hold any distinct strategies for keeping your creative fires burning?


This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. For as long as I can remember, the “creative sphere” has been the center of my world, a special realm within existence that helps me get through life and access the “source,” the energy that (I imagine) creates everything. I remember being drawn to music and singing very early in my life, though I can’t pinpoint many exact memories from my very young days. I do clearly remember my grandmother lying on the couch napping while I rambled for hours all over her piano, finding notes that I thought were friendly to each other through endless experimentation. She always urged me to keep playing, not to stop, and she just lay there peacefully soaking up my earliest adventures in sonic expression. This is one of my clearest and dearest memories. I have always felt -“different”- and until I began to explore my creativity with confidence, this “difference” felt like a problem, a disease even- uneasy in the world, unsure of my surroundings, seeking the meaning behind things in a way that seemed to ask more questions than it could answer. At some point, maybe I was 9 or 10, a confluence of influences and inspirations brought me to a point of “conscious creation”- knowing in some deep, unexplainable way that in order to keep myself sane and relate to the world I just HAD to create and express myself. I was fortunate to be turned on to Skateboarding culture by a baby-sitter I had, my mother’s friend’s son, who would look after my younger brother and I in the summertime. Skateboarding culture was so vibrant at that time, a kind of outlaw subculture that had its own music and art and fashion. Through skating, I met other kids, mostly older than me, who were “different” in a defiant sort of way, and I learned to replace meekness with a kind of arrogant intellectual rebellion. Hip-Hop and Punk-Rock/Hardcore music were a part of this culture and through these mediums I really began to find inspiration from seeing people find their own Voice and create their own Culture. I remember many phases of identity seeking, trying to find my own Voice, which led me through many styles and ways of thinking. Sharing in and belonging to subcultures helped me to take my empathy and social compassion and channel it into something that others were a part of; I had always cared so deeply about other people and animals and political and social justice and the right ways to act in the world, spirituality, etc., but before I connected my energy with the related energy of others, it all felt too overwhelming and hopeless to even know what to say or what to do, where to begin. Punk Rock as it existed in the early 90’s was an alternate reality that saved my life and gave direction to my energies. I remember visits to a Baltimore record shop where the store owner would turn me and my brother on to some new music every week, like Minor Threat, the Misfits, Crass. I remember playing a tennis racket as if it were a guitar for a long time before I had a guitar of my own. I was an obsessive draw-er too and was really aware of the grafitti around my town and longed to add to it, which I soon began to do. My parents were really supportive of my creativity and I don’t know where my enegry would have gone if they weren’t so helpful and encouraging in my beginnings as an artist. My love for music was nurtured by them and now I can see they both had/have really good taste in music- I was inspired by their love for Dylan, Lennon, Marley, Guthrie, long before I discovered Punk Rock and began to forge a creative identity of my own. My father would take me to secluded spots, like this one bridge in Baltimore, where he stood guard while I spray-painted huge butterflies on the wall; he would take my brother and I to concerts and he would rollerblade around while we skateboarded at busy spots in Baltimore and DC. He gave me LP’s by Love and Leonard Cohen when I started writing songs, and my mother even gave me specific songs like “Jesus Christ” by Woody Guthrie and “Working Class Hero” by John Lennon, along with early topical Dylan songs, as guidance in how she thought I could inhabit the persona of the songwriter. Rather than trying to sway me I know they could see what an impact these things would have on me and how much they would resonate with me. (I know this answer is epic, but I hope you’ll appreciate my attempt to fulfill the deep nature of these questions!). One Christmas my parents bought a Harmony electric guitar and a snare drum, the drum for me and the guitar for my brother. In older brother fashion, I laid claim to both and finally found my calling in life with the guitar. I remember having bands with other kids when I was 10 or even younger, and the bands had names and I would make cassette covers for imaginary albums and dreamed of having a band. But mainly I just spent every possible hour hunched over a guitar. I would break strings and then play for weeks with 5, 4, 3, 2 strings, until my dad would take me to a music store in the city to get new strings put on. I played for at least a year without knowing how the guitar was normally tuned, how to put on a string, or even that I was playing it “upside-down” – playing a right-handed guitar, but left-handed. By the time the old man at the music shop pointed out my error, it was too late to change my style, so I learned how to tune the guitar and kept teaching myself, refusing the slightest suggestion of lessons. I remember feeling like lessons would be some kind of really negative, limiting force upon my untrained but very disciplined sense of the guitar. I gained confidence from figuring it out myself and again I’m fortunate that my family could put up with the noise and allow me to pursue music so full-on without technical guidance or instruction. So for years, I just played for hours every day. I would sneak away from classes at school and find a place to play, and I just tranced out in my own musical world, teaching myself the language of sound. It took the friendship of some older kids to get into playing with other people. Nobody my age that I yet knew was as obsessed and immersed in music and art as myself. Some older kids who I really looked up to asked me to join their band, at this point I must have been in 8th grade, and I started performing at all ages clubs in Baltimore, in friend’s basements, and at school “talent shows” and assemblies. Performing for others is what really brought my energy together. The underground scene at this time, pre-internet, was about more than music, and I immersed myself in organizing shows, making flyers, making “zines,” networking with other kids who did the same, often by mail (!). The culture was totally handmade and it was empowering to take it all in and be a part of it.Somewhere along the way Nirvana happened, and amplified my desire to make some kind of noise in my world through music and art. I devoured the Beat writers, and went on a quest in every library i could find for inspiration through literature, poetry and art, manically seeking out the lineage of “revolutions” in the arts -Dada, Surrealism, Situationism, Punk, the 60’s counterculture and pop-culture, visionary art, outsider art -I was always looking for more and more movements and creative energies I could relate to, things that were different or against-society in some way. I made collages with revolutionary slogans on them and posted them all over my school. I stayed up all night writing and laying out my Xerox magazines. I guess the point of this answer is that NOW, I am a lot older than I was then – almost 20 years older than when my full identification with a creative way of life really blossomed. And it really hepls me to keep the “fires burning,” as you say, to remember the initial sparks that got the fire started, the epiphanies, the awakenings, the moments when something CLICKED and I knew I had to be this way; I had to approach life creatively. Those first moments of inspiration are the seed of all moments of inspiration that follow. That sense of DO OR DIE, that there’s either liberation, freedom and fulfillment on the one hand through creating, and on the other hand in the absence of creative thinking there is only stagnation, depression, confusion. This crossroads of inspiration is the place that all creative magic comes from. It’s easy as we get older to become jaded or lazy about this spark, to take it for granted. I am doing my best to keep it burning by recognizing the LIFE or DEATH nature of how I live, of what I do – to take the gift of inspiration and never let it get tired or lazy, always pushing the edges of reality around, exploring ideas, trying to get into a state of mind where the words just FLOW from my mind and heart, where my TRUTH can manifest and be captured and shared with others. Most important is never forgetting that as artists, first of all we create for OURSELVES. If artistic expression didn’t fulfill us, we would have abandoned it, but it does, and to keep creating things that we truly believe in, that can satisfy our souls, we have to remember that before anyone reads or hears or sees our work, we are making it for ourselves. It keeps us from going insane. From there, we can inspire others, but if we are not inspired to create then we’re not going to force ourselves to do it. So inspiration, being conscious of what we put into our minds, and of how we manifest our ideas, is most important. It’s a struggle, to commit your life to art over making money. It puts us in many difficult situations in this world, and I am always trying to remain aware of what a blessing it is, and how much bravery it takes, to live for art. Sacrifice is such a part of this, and appreciating the freedom we have chosen to allow ourselves, knowing that however difficult it can be in some ways, there is a deep fulfillment in art and in pursuing visions and dreams, so often against the advice of the world, even against our own logical judgement. Creativity has always beena state of mind for me, an open-flowing-trance of immersion. These days I find myself working hard to keep this state of mind going, learning how to protect and cultivate it so that I can always take refuge in that space.I didn’t used to associate creativity with discipline, but now I’m seeing more and more that the creative impulse needs to be nurtured, and we have to nurture it ourselves, through practice, through using thats pecial muscle that powers the creativity. We were just on tour for over a month, and each day I had my appointed time to get on stage and tune in to the full-on creative force, creating in front of other people. Now that the tour is over, I’ve been obsessed with how to maintain a pattern for myself to harness that energy every day, when there’s no appointed time and no audience. So this is a timely question! And I really hesitate to do an interview like this unless I am going to really give it my all, since this is just another aspect of the total creative lifestyle I aim to lead.So thanks for offering me some worthy things to think about and rant about!

The word “entrance” of course holds several meanings – being a place to start, for one, but also to be dazzled or delighted … or even to be put into a trance. What meaning does the word hold to you from a personal perspective? How does that meaning shift – if at all – when referring to The Entrance Band proper?

“ENTRANCE” is meant to convey all of the possible meanings at once – a beginning, a doorway or portal, enchantment or trance-state – and at best it means the combined relationship of all of these meanings, a doorway into a trance-state or new world that is just beginning. As a name for our band, it started out as a name for my “solo” project, and I wanted to have a title or name that was an entity rather than just my own name, so there would be some mystery to it and some openness, and it could come to include more people than just myself. But over the years of using the name, it kind of became synonymous with me; people called me “Entrance” like it was my first name. So after we made the record “Prayer of Death” as a band under the name “Entrance,” we all agreed to formalize the “band-ness” of it by naming oursleves fully, The Entrance Band. Now that it’s a band, I feel the meanings suggested by the word are more fully realized, because all three of us have our own way of entering a kind of primal “trance” through music and our combined energies really amplify the power of this trance. The concept implicit in our name is kind of similar to the Doors, who got their name from the “doors of perception” quote by Aldous Huxley. It is this same door that we are opening, and inviting our listeners to join us in the place on the other side of the door, and it’s a door in the mind and in the heart.

Is there any truth to the rumor (the rumor that I am attempting to start right now) that “Entrance Song” from the new Black Angels album, “Phosphene Dream,” is a nod & a wink in your direction?

Regarding the Black Angels’ tune “Entrance Song” on their new record, which I really enjoy, I have kind of a trippy answer for you. I first read these questions a few weeks ago while on the road, and I had not heard any of the new Black Angels music, and not heard “Entrance Song.” Then later that night, we were at a friend’s house in Detroit, and someone was playing us this new Black Angels record, and I remembered the question which had sparked my curiosity, and asked to hear that song. I was VERY stoned, and because I don’t smoke much pot these days, when I do it can be pretty intense. And so the song begins, and I’m wondering, “What does this have to do with ‘Entrance’?” And then I swear, I hear my own voice sampled in the background of the song, like these little snippets of samples of me singing from our record, programmed to be a background hook behind the singer’svoice, and I exclaimed, “That’s me! Do you hear my voice? They sampled my voice!” and everyone stared at me and laughed, and I wasn’t sure whether I was hearing things. So just now I checked out the song again, totally sober,and I still hear it! I know some of the Black Angels, and I know they like our band, so there’s no way that they’re not aware of the reference, but I’m going to have to find out from them if they actually sampled my voice or if I’m just hallucinating.

Many listeners have made many loving comments about your guitar playing in The Entrance Band – and they’ve all been right. Was there a conscious decision to have your guitar feature more prominently on The Entrance Band’s self-titled album? It seems … crunchier? … than ever before. What guitarists originally inspired you to play guitar? Can you play “Smoke on the Water”?

I don’t really feel like I paid enough attention to sounds on our last record. I was mainly focused on”what” I was playing and saying. I know our next record will have more sonic depth and dynamics of texture. I would say that all of the development and progression the three of us have gone through in the past few years is a result of pushing each other and providing each other with room to explore our instruments and create our own language of interplay. Though this shows on the record, it is something that has grown by leaps and bounds since then and mainly through playing live. Our collective intuition gives all of us a platform from which to soar way out into what is possible through experimentation and improvisation. That’s definitely so with my guitar playing in this band. It gets more interesting to me as we keep going because Paz and Derek are blossoming too and we are always challenging each other. As far as guitar players who have inspired me, there are so many! When I was first starting out I was inspired by Cobain, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix … later by Justin Trosper from the band Unwound. And over the years there have been many waves of new inspiration as I discover new music (new to me) from all over the world and from throughout the history of recording. I’ve been truly influenced by John Fahey and by the early blues artists that inspired him, such as Charley Patton and Skip James, definitely by Robert Johnson in so many ways, by Sandy Bull, Dick Dale (who plays backwards like me), Link Wray, Django Reinhardt, Ron Asheton, Elizabeth Cotten (who plays backwards too), by Indian guitarists like Debashish Bhattacharya and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, by African guitarists like Bombino, Ali Farka Toure, the group Tinariwen … I continue to find inspiring guitar music every day! In the past few years I have really been re-inspired about the guitar by learning about contemporary guitarists in other parts of the world who are combining the roots of their cultures with the modern electric guitar – like the Indian and African artists I mentioned, and also by going back to the roots of the electric guitar, hearing the primal explorations of it when it was a new instrument not yet loaded with lame cultural baggage like many people think it is now. For me the electric guitar is like an extensionof my mind and my body, and a way to learn. It’s my greatest teacher.

“Lookout!” – the opening track from the self-titled album – is as much a mission statement as it is a song, and if there were any true justice in this world, we’d hear it blaring out of car stereos all summer long, every year. One line in particular is worth remembering: “They’re depending on your fear for their control.” Can you recall how that line came to you? The late comedian Bill Hicks once indicated that life comes down to a simple choice: fear or love. Can it really be that simple?

That particular line in the song is kind of the essence of what it’s about, and it does surely relate to the great Bill Hicks monologue about how, “it’s just a ride.” This speech of Hicks’ was used to great effect in the last passage of the (controversial) movie “Zeitgeist,” ringing out while a montage of slain visionaries parades across the screen – MLK, John Lennon, the Kennedys, etc.  That song was originally on a solo record I put out years back, and when we started the band it was one of the first things we put together, with different lyrics and a lot of musical direction from Paz and Derek. The line came to me like most lyrics do, in a kind of automatic way, without thinking about it beforehand. I knew it was about the state of our minds in this country, which at that point was Bush-country. The media’s ever growing power to shape society through deep psychological manipulation primarily relies on FEAR. The afraid can then be controlled. I see this so much in the wake of the mid-term elections, with the backlash of fear-mongering”Tea Party” people gaining so much attention and steam. FEAR is similar in vibration to HATE, there is an”otherness” that is frightful or hate-able – it’s a disconnected position. LOVE on the other hand is of the vibration of UNITY, seeing the other in ourselves and ouselves in the other. The idea that “ALL-IS-ONE” has been important to me my whole life. So as Bill Hicks states so poetically, when it comes down to it, every moment we have a choice, of whether we are going to merge with everyone and everything, understanding it all through relating and sympathy (LOVE), or if we’re going to cut ourselves off from others, from things we can’t understand, and vibrate ((( FEAR))). Our power to shape our lives and our individual and collective destinies has everything to do with LOVE. When we fear, we cut ourselves off from the source energy. There is a quote from the book “Dune” that I recited a lot in the past year of touring as a kind of theatrical introduction to “Lookout!”- and it goes like this:

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it is gone, I will turn to see fear’s path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

—‘Litany against Fear’ from Frank Herbert’s “Dune”

What I get from this is that in order to be free from fear, we must face it, stare into the eyes of it, see how afraid we really are and understand it’s an illusion we are succumbing to. Only then can we choose LOVE instead, only then can we claim to be FREE. I don’t like to preach, and I work hard in my own life to face fear – I find it is something I deal with every day. Fear is linked with Ego, where Love is linked with the transcendence of Ego. Whether we’re exploring personal or worldy scenarios, these forces are like the building blocks of reality, and we have many choices throughout every day through which we can align ourselves with one or the other type of energy. Through LOVE I have seen that it is possible to move from a fearful condition of feeling powerless and easily controlled to a more flowing, unified perspective where inner calm and self-discipline replace the fear and the need for external control. The fundamental psychedelic idea is this: to dig deeper than the surface reality and the way things appear, to go beyond this and find the place where so much of our reality flows from our own perception, and to seek to alter or re-design reality by attuning to the power that we all truly have over our every waking moment if we can locate and operate the gears and processes through which we perceive -and take a creative role in how and what we perceive, through choice and spiritual will. In this process, I have found LOVE to be the supreme energy and FEAR to be the lowest place you could possibly do your perceiving from, and through FEAR you’re likely to end up creating a reality that is fully populated with the things you Fear. In a more positive sense, through LOVE you can create a reality inhabited by the things you LOVE. A poster on my wall says: “As you think and feel, you vibrate. As you vibrate, you attract.” So whatever color or tone you give your thoughts, feelings, vibrations – this will determine what you attract.

Moving from fear to control, there is a quote from the former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall – a Baltimore boy by birth, much like yourself – that goes like this: “Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.” Your thoughts?

Thurgood Marshall was a great man indeed, and he worked toward an ideal realization of what our constitution and our government could or should be. He lived and worked and spoke in the early days of mind control, but the technology that exists today must have been hard for him to imagine! Now we have the combined effect of  mass media manipulation of thoughts through a fear-generating view of the world being zapped and beamed to everyone,and actual mind control technology on top of this, which has been largely developed by our government or shadow-government in the past 60 or so years. I know that a major shift in my life occurred when I was able to stop owning and watching a television set – it’s been well over 10 years since I owned one. But now the Internet is becoming even more entwined with daily life than TV, and most people are subjecting themselves to BOTH! So even for me as someone who has tried for a long time to clear myself of the controlling influences through choosing not to watch TV and to direct my usage of the Internet toward its more liberating side, I find it difficult to avoid the influence of Electronic Mind Control. It’s a subject I find fascinating and one of the crucial issues of our lifetime. And it’s totally connected to the psychedelic way of life – a lot of psychedelic philosophy has to do with de-programming ourselves, removing the falsehoods we’ve been filled up with to reveal what lies behind or underneath. At the same time, LSD was used a lot as a mind control tool, given to people against their will or without their knowledge. Most of these kind of tangents I could go off on will all lead back to the same place – that our freedom, our vitality, our energy, our love, our creativity, our dreams – these sacred elements are not to be taken for granted, but questioned, explored, practiced, activated, excercised, protected, nurtured – and this can only happen if we choose to engage in the work of it. It’s not easy but it’s certainly worth it. I can see the mood in this country right now, if you reflect upon the elections, as kind of lazy. Either people don’t want to have to try hard, so they give up and become inactive or, like the Right-Wing madness that’s shouting so loud everywhere, people want to act but they don’t want to think. It’s amazing how many people are being led from a place of justified dissatisfaction to a place of blind, ignorant hate and anger and fear -and so easily! And if the rest of us who can see through these veils, if we resign to inactivity then we are their accomplices. Even if we can only change ourselves, and our immediate surroundings and energies, that is clearly the place to begin and if we give up there, we’re opening the door to mind control, because it exists and those who seek to advance it have zero scruples. All that they need to succed is for us to become lazy, just like all it takes to maintain a free mind is to do the work, to think for yourself, to keep your mind active and engaged and not trapped in prisons of dogma.

The song “M.L.K.” could by some measures be seen as an anomaly in modern music – a heartfelt appreciation and recognition of a man with an unsurpassed attitude and voice, always speaking for those who are “tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression.” It’s so void of cynicism that I have to wonder – has anyone expressed cynicism or scorn over such a heart-on-sleeve expression of admiration?

Our song “M.L.K” has received so many different kinds of reactions, and there has definitely been a cynical response from some corners, for sure! I’m not a Pitchfork reader myself, but apparently their review of our record, which was pretty cynical overall, not a positive review, dwelled on this song in particular as some kind of sign of why our record wasn’t cool. The thing is, by singing a song like that, I’m asking for thoughts,I’m hoping people will talk about it. What would be the point if it didn’t raise any discussion or questions? The motivation behind the lyrics, aside from expressing my sincere admiration for an amazing figure from our history, was to throw these kind of issues into the pot, get people thinking about and talking about them. That’s why I say “remember” him, because in my reading of the young people today, we’ve forgotten how much power, soul, bravery, vision, heart, love and focus went into King’s actions here on this Earth. I have been enamored of Martin Luther King, Jr. since I was a small child. In high school, one of the only classes I cared for was called “Eyes on the Prize” and it was based on the PBS documentary series of that name, which deals with the history of the Civil Rights movement in the USA. My teacher was an amazing man, one of the main people who integrated public places in Maryland through civil disobedience, a really advanced purist of grassroots activism. There was a test in this class where we had to write an essay exploring the differences between the “M.L.K” approach to gaining equality and the “Malcolm X/Black Panthers” approach, or non-violence vs. “by any means necessary ” armed resistance. I remember taking the test, and when the hour was over I had written like 20 pages and I wasn’t anywhere near close to even beginning to explore what I wanted tosay, so I took the paper home and kept writing and writing, and at least a week later I was finally able to turn in something I thought was a minimally worthy response to the questions at hand. And in this paper I came to my own conclusion in regards to M.L.K. that has stayed with me ever since, and I surprised myself with my conclusion; in many ways it changed my life. Coming from “punk” as my chosen culture, it was always easy to relate to the glamorous aesthetic of rebellion represented by the Black Panther Party, and even before I discovered punk, I was a white kid wearing baggy overalls and a Malcolm X hat, listening to Public Enemy. I just always had identified with that kind of response to oppression or injustice. And even now I still find these responses inspiring in their way. But in examining with my heart, in feeling deeply through the question of whether it is really possible to gain freedom from violent oppression through more violence, through taking up the gun to “off the pigs,” I learned something about energy. I learned how energy and vibrations create feedback loops that keep re-creating the same kind of energy, and that if we really want to rise above the lower energies, we have to literally RISE ABOVE, take it to a higher level.I was finally able to see the brilliance of King, of Ghandi, of some of Christ’s teachings – when you don’t like the game you’re in, you can’t expect to get out of it by playing the very same game; you can’t win. The impulse to meet the violent energy with more violence only leads to more violence. By responding to violence with PEACE, you may get killed, but you’re contributing to a new game with new vibrations instead of falling into the trap you really want to get out of. When Marvin Gaye sings “War is not the answer, only Love can conquer Hate,” in “What’s Going On?”, he’s channeling King. It may sound really obvious now, and people don’t seem to think it’s all that relevant. But I really felt this question in the Bush years. I was so angry that it made me sick! I had to evaluate whether anger or hating Bush was really worth my time and energy and I had to decide it was/is not. Responding to the hateful with more hate creates a poison in us that only gives power to those dark energies we seek to oppose. There is no righteous hatred, it’s all feeding the same energy. There is no way to respond to negative vibrations except through positive ones, if you really want them to change. There are a lot of people who don’t really want to change the energies, they are content to react to them in a way that gives them purpose, that gives them a sense of identity. “I’m ANTI-so-and-so” – when you define yourself by what you’re against, it’s a perfect example of this. So a cynical response to our song “M.L.K” is to be expected! What really has blown my mind is the heart and sincerity behind the positive reactions people have shown us – kids coming to our show with photos of M.L.K. for us to sign on his birthday, people singing along passionately, people dancing and letting go and celebrating the energy of the song. That’s more important to me than any uptight music journalist’s cynical put-downs. We have a long way to go in opening up and coming together, and this won’t be accomplished through cynicism, that’s for sure. But it will be our only chance at changing the direction we’re headed before it’s too late.

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If you haven’t already read it, may I recommend the book “Hellhound On His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin” by Hampton Sides? It’s remarkable. Will you recommend a book for our readers?

I have not read this book you mention, but now I will have to check it out! To shift gears away from all this political kind of stuff, I will recommend a book that is certainly one of my favorite things I’ve ever read: “How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life” by John Fahey. Everyone should read this book! John Fahey is one of my favorite musicians, and none of his music has words, so it’s quite amazing to delve into his reality through his writing and verbalizing; he’s a visionary genius,  a one of a kind artist. The book is sort of a memoir, in that it tells stories from Fahey’s life that are at least based on real events, but it takes the reader on a dream-like journey through his mind, through the past, through the nature of memory – he explores childhood, love, music, consciousness, weaving surreal dream scenes with reality so it’s hard (and unimportant) to see the two as separate. I can’t explain it but there’s a philosophy behind this book that you can only absorb by reading it. It resonates some powerful universal human truths through its pages. There is a sequelto the book called “Vampire Vultures” which I would only recommend if you’ve read “… Bluegrass” first. It’s a very fast read, you’ll laugh, you might cry, and you’ll have your mind blown! These books are released by Drag City Records of Chicago.

What music have you been listening to lately? Push comes to shove – what’s your favorite Beatles song?

I’ve been listening to a lot of different music recently. We’ve just gotten back from tour and on the road we were listening to a lot of mix tapes by this gret collective/label/record shop in Portland called MISSISSIPPI RECORDS. There are about 100 tapes in their mix series and we have about half of them. The musical content of the mixes is so vast but there’s a consistent auteur vibe throughout all of them, like the mix maker is a character and is telling many different stories within one longer story that all ties them together. A lot of the MISSISSPPI mixes are made up of older music, like early R&B and Soul, but there are many genres and time periods represented. Derek was playing a lot of really good jazz when he was driving in the daytime toward the end of the tour, like Thelonius Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis. In my own time, I listen to a lot of more atmospheric, ambient music, like Terry Riley, Sandy Bull, Fripp and Eno,  and this really special piano player from Ethiopia named Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou. She’s phenomenal. Like I mentioned before, I also seek outAfrican and Indian music – I don’t have a record player so I listen to a lot of tapes and find songs on YouTube. Something I really enjoy in the past half-year is this album by a guy named Ted Lucas. I think the albumis called “Plain and Sane and Simple Melody” and it’s just a heavy, warm and fuzzy, deep musical world to get wrapped up in like a blanket. It’s very gentle but there’s a lot of depth to his music though it’s minimal and quiet. As far as bands that are out there right now, I dig The Growlers, Beach House, Kurt Vile, White Magic, High Life, Dungen and many more I must be forgetting. I do like The Black Angels, too. But I don’t usually listen to much new music nowadays. I’d definitely go see these artists live though, for sure. I’m also really into this radio show – I’ve been taping it for years – called “Rhapsody in Black with Bill Gardiner,” broadcast on KPFK, 90.7 FM in LA every Friday from 8 to 10 pm. Their website – http://www.kpfk.org – streams it live and archives the show for 2 weeks. It’s a really special glimpse into black music from the 20’s through the 70’s, just an awesome time-capsule of pure goodness. I’m listening live right now and the song is “My-Ding-A-Ling” by Chuck Berry. I love Chuck Berry. Push comes to shove … my favorite Beatles songs are: “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “I Want You/She’s So Heavy,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,”  “Within You Without You,” “Taxman,” “Happiness Is A Warm Gun,” “Come Together,” and from their early stuff, “Twist and Shout” must be one of the greatest raw vocal performances ever recorded, and I also love the song “Any Time at All” … I’m sure there’s more! Oh, and “In My Life” is genius.

What’s next for The Entrance Band?

The Entrance Band is definitely entering a new phase, working on composing a new record, how and where we are going to record it, how it’s going to be released. It’s a whole new chapter. We just got a mini-school bus which we traveled in and slept in for the past month, playing a lot of our new songs on the road across the USA. We are in a creative groove right now but are all so exhausted from tour. I, for one, am writing new music everyday and keeping my creative juices flowing while trying to recover from a whirlwind adventure. Our wish is to take our new music to Argentina, where Paz is from, and record our album down there.  Stay tuned! ❤

The Entrance Band

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6 Responses to “THE ENTRANCE BAND”

  1. Tom Carson November 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    To my delight, I married Guy’s mother a few years ago. To watch this amazing talent emerge from her son has been a sincere pleasure. Guy portrays such eloquence and class, it’s a wonder he hasn’t been asked to speak at symposiums and the like. This guy is a true “comer” and I can only hope that some day, his music,and Entrance in toto, will be recognized as not only a fabulous power trio, but three people who are the voice of their generation!

  2. Sara Gossett November 10, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Wow – these are such amazing, inspiring answers! I love reading the all the insights from the talented poeple interviewed on this blog, but this may well have been my favorite!

  3. Freddie November 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Entrance inspires me. Peace and love my friends. Guy, you’re a wonderful and beautiful person.

    • candace bonney November 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

      what an interesting person… certainly deeply introspective and creative. best wishes guy

  4. JechuFuenzalida November 12, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    such an inspirational human being :)…looking forward for those shows in Argentina, i’m from Chile but would travel to see them play live! ❤

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