NY TIMES: A Guitarist Lays Aside Abstractions and Keeps It Sweet, Giving What’s Required (Review of SRB Issue Project Room Performance)
"What mattered was detail and continuity: the timbre and articulation of each note, the presence or absence of chords, the shape and suspense of each phrase, the storytelling dynamics of every stretch of music"
"I've never had an experience with a guitar like this before," Bishop offers. "I wondered, 'Is there positive or negative energy in this, or a little of both?' It didn't matter. The first time I went back and asked the shopkeeper if he could do any better on the price, he knew that I was going to end up with the guitar. He also knew there was something special about it."
BOMB MAGAZINE: Richard Bishop Interviews Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance)
ABOUT CHASNY: "I was warned long ago to keep a safe distance due to the fact that he is armed, dangerous, and cultured. I knew that he could and would attack from any angle, but it's that cultured bit that scared me. He once titled an album For Octavio Paz, dedicated to the NobelPrize-winning Mexican poet, and then had the balls to make it an instrumental album. Frightening."
The instrument showed up in his dreams, like a jealous lover sending him messages through his subconscious, and he worried someone else would get it first. "I mean, I literally had those thoughts," he says. "You don't question that. You just do it.
Includes discussions on the history, mystery and legacy of Charles Gocher and Sun City Girls, plus ideas and opinions on the good, bad and ugly aspects of guitar performance, Goddess Kali, politics, the state of the world, the Queen of England, self-Knighthood, explorer Sir Richard Burton, and so much more. A couple of very brief snippets below:
ON SUN CITY GIRLS: "I can't imagine how Sun City Girls would have been looked upon if we were active in the 1960s or early 70s. Hell, I would have probably been an acid casualty. We began at exactly the right time. The hippy dippy stuff was long gone, the 70s guitar Rock I had been into was dead in the water, Punk was still happening but remained as one-dimensional as it was when it first started, plus much of the new wave music and eventually the '80s hair bands brought artistic stupidity to a new level. There wasn't a God Damned challenging thing to grab onto. We were our own perfect solution."
ON CHARLES GOCHER: "There were always tons of books on his shelves, all dog-eared, tattered, and marked up with his marginal notes. The subject matter was pretty diverse: several books on Voodoo, works by Nietzsche, Virgil, Euripides - a lot of Greek classics, plus Shelley, Melville, and Joyce, books on the Third Reich, translations of Proust, Baudelaire, Genet, Cocteau, and Rimbaud, clinical studies of the mentally ill, old books about the 'new' jazz, books on freaks, ventriloquism, and stage magic, biographies of Houdini, Barnum, Dillinger and Capone, and other books on organized crime, plus a fair amount of Beat Generation literature."
"After seeing his first two films (Gummo and Julien Donnkey-Boy), we'd wanted to work with Harmony on whatever project he had coming up. In 2003, we (Sun City Girls) contributed a song for the opening scene of his documentary film Above the Below, about David Blaine's 44-day ordeal suspended in a plexi-box over London (for UK television). The next year Harmony asked the band to provide some music for his latest film, which at that time was about a boy who gets struck by lightning and then becomes obsessed with raising the largest pig ever. It sounded perfect."