Happy Fucking Easter from the Wise-asses in Old Man Gloom

So, I'm assuming you've all heard about the so-called prank wherein Old Man Gloom and Profound Lord sent out promos of their The Ape of God double album. Included within was new music that wasn't actually new music as it appeared on the official release of the album(s). if you want to read a more thorough dissection of the fun 'n' games, go here. Personally, I didn't get all riled up about it and don't see what the big deal is/was; you get sent music that you haven't heard with the name of the band you're being told you're listening to stamped all over it. How are you supposed to know one way or the other that what you're listening to is or isn't what you're being told you're listening to? All anyone will be able to discern is if what's being heard is any good or not. I suppose the joke's on anyone who thinks they're somehow getting a leg up on someone else by uploading the tunes for public consumption and the person who subsequently downloads it believing they're procuring the new OMG album for free. That the band did in fact send out edited and truncated versions of new music, but didn't send out a random sampling of Steely Dan's greatest hits, or at least a bunch of Steely Dan covers all sludged up and doomed down, doesn't really scrape much skin off my ass.

All that monkey business aside means we can move on to a different order of monkey business. That being, the interview conducted below with OMG's vocalist/guitarist Aaron Turner and drummer Santos Montano. The shenanigans were conducted via email which allowed the pair to assume roles: Montano's lunch-bucket, hippie-stoner, straight-man foil to Turner's obnoxious intellectual philosopher. Everything about this tete-a-tete - including the questions - should be taken with a grain of wise-ass salt and the heads up that I'll worry about spelling Mamiffer correctly if they worry about the correct usage of the possessive form. Unless those instances were deliberate, which when it comes to dealing with prankster-ism, you never do know when the games actually end.

With that, I will bid you all adieu for the holidays as my scheduled posting days for the next two weeks fall on both Christmas Day and New Year's Day and I'm planning on taking this time to firmly drop myself into the food coma to end all food comas. See you in 2015!

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Last time we did this dance, you informed me that the release of NO and the few shows played at the time were part-testing of waters, part-what was possible to do at the time as far as scheduling was concerned and part-doing it for the fuck of it. Were those shows the extent of what happened in support of NO? If so, isn’t that taking the NO philosophy a little too far? Was there ever the desire/demand to do more? Did you personally ever feel sense of emptiness in not playing more that probably would have been similar to dudes in places like Murfreesboro and Boise who didn’t get to see OMG’s return? Aaron: Old Man Gloom is perfect in every respect and our perfection is reflected in our actions. We did exactly what was needed in the wake of NO's global dissemination - no more, no less. If there are those who feel unfulfilled as the result of their inability to participate in the Rites of Gloom, they have only themselves to blame. True devotees of our practice have made whatever efforts necessary to participate in the rituals - cross continental pilgrimages in some cases. We ourselves travel great distances to make our congregational activities possible. If we leaders are willing to be humbled through our acceptance of divine tasks and whatever they may entail, so too must all followers be willing to sacrifice the comforts of their lives in exchange for the multifarious gifts of divine inspiration. Santos: My boy Aaron is smart. Like super smart. So fucking smart I don't understand what he's saying a lot of the time. I've known him hella long though, so I get where he's going most of the time. So I'll try to lay it out in terms dudes like me understand. What he's getting at here is we're hella good. We'd totally play Boise though. I've got a friend named Travis from there. He lives in an Airstream on some property where his boss grows weed. His job is literally to watch his buddy's weed grow. The rub is Travis doesn't even smoke weed!

As long as OMG has been around and for as long as I’ve been listening to the band, I can’t shake the feeling that you guys are fucking with me/fans/general public the same way Mr. Bungle were during the Disco Volante-era, except you’re not wearing masks. In fact, even after watching the Here is a Gift For You documentary (see at the bottom), it’s difficult to tell when anyone is being serious. Is this a whine you hear often? Is this sort of thing fuel for the OMG fire? And while we’re on the topic of masks, why no ape masks? They’re easy to find; I must’ve seen a hundred different kinds during various post-Halloween clearance sales. Aaron: Our music and creative ideology bare only but a surface level resemblance to the work of others, in that it was made using (mostly) conventional instruments and by human hands. In all other regards ours is a wholly unique work. Any comparison you may perceive is the projection of an unrefined mind, for which you are necessarily responsible, but not fully to blame. If you feel confused, scared or uncomfortable by the myriad ways in which we present our work, this is a sign that you are truly in need of the spiritual cleansing it can provide - given your willingness to set aside your bloated ego and embrace the loving and directive path that is Gloom. Santos: OK man, here's the thing, we're totally chill. We're just totally chill dudes. People sometimes get hella unchill, and that's chill too, but don't get weird if we get weird. That's the thing. So if you're feeling weird about us, and you aren't into the weird feeling, I'd say it's right on. That's basically where aaron is going with this one. For me, I think Bungle is sick, so power through.

Now, with all sorts of wives, kids and travel distance thrown into the equation, have you moved to writing over the internet/file sharing? Or is part of the OMG ethos to get together and see what comes out in the period of time you’re actually face-to-face? Aaron: Yes, those pesky wives and uncouth children - just ruining our ability to be free roaming men, doing as we please, pissing in the streets and gyrating against anything that moves. Why, oh WHY, have we chained ourselves down, limited our creativity and libidinal carpet bombing to intermittent bursts when we could just be by ourselves or with each other ALL the time? It's a shame we decided to have stupid families, move out of the gross apartments we once shared where mice lived in our shoes and food was cooked in microwaves - we could be doing this full time and crushing the world nonstop without care! Instead we can only do this once in awhile, when the stars align just so, and we can put down the bottles, diapers and remote controls and get together to ROCK. Santos: Aaron and I lived together in 1999 in Boston. My mom sent me some Piñon, which are these super good little nuts from New Mexico. I didn't eat them right away, and they attracted mice. At some point I realized it, and found a whole family of mice living in some shoes in my room. Aaron blamed me for that mouse invasion. I got rid of the nuts, but the mice learned to survive on unsold Cable album covers, so the problem persisted. I'm actually on your side though, I think being tied down is a drag. I just wanna jam with my bros, and get out there and try to absorb all the vibes I can. I also perform on the subway platforms of NYC. I'm a lifelong juggler, specializing in firesticks, so that itches the performing scratch between gigs.

How long was The Ape of God in the works? Was there any amount of intent about how you wanted to structure/write/synthesize the sludge, ambient, noise, whatever-else elements into the songs? Aaron: You could say that The Ape of God is a work with an infinite arc - no beginning and no end. It has always existed and yet, remains an elusive shadow - here but fleetingly, like a mischievous tornado - wreaking havoc and leaving only bewildered tears in its wake. Yet again the limitations of your unenlightened mind are seen through the narrow scope of this question - to assume, to presumptuously infer, that this is a work that could be crafted in a single human lifetime is folly of the highest order. This grand work, this shining example of humankinds cooperative efforts with the divine, realized through ritualized actions of extreme duration and precision - this.... this is something that can only be understood through direct and committed exposure the work itself. Only this kind of profound submission and immersion in our work can allow for the kind of enlightenment you are shakily seeking through these un-illuminated ponderings. Santos: Like, a year. I had to break out for Burning Man, but that didn't seem to slow the process down. My tribe (wassssup Sand-Stoners - trybe 4 lyfe) did this sick installation this year. We made an art car that was covered in those little plastic bags of guts that come inside a whole chicken from the grocery store. It was to symbolize rebirth, and gnarliness. We thought the little plastic bags would keep the smell in, but it didn't, so the whole car got kicked outta the festival. That being said, I got back in time to finish the album, so it worked out.

Was the two-disc presentation planned from the start? It appears that first disc features more conventionally structured songs while the second falls more on the lengthy free-form noisier side of things. Is this division a consequence of separating and grouping the material that came out during the writing or was it deliberately designed like that, or is it supposed to flow from beginning of disc one to the end of the second? Aaron: As alluded to in my last answer, (and forgive me for repeating myself - I must be sure we are understood as best we can be by intellects dwarfed by our own, which is everyone who isn't Old Man Gloom), The Ape of God is an infinite and thus ongoing work. There will be as many parts as there are atoms in the sun, tears in the ocean, stars in the heavens - the revelation that is The Ape of God has only begun to be visible, and will never be fully seen by any human eye or collection thereof. Indeed, mortal as the members of Old Man Gloom are (though of an elevated status due to our practice and abilities), we cannot hope to bring this work fully into the world in our lifetimes, and are merely carrying on something which transcends time itself, and shall be passed down to the descendants of Gloom until... well until forever. Santos: Aarons basically saying the record is super complicated. I totally agree. It's weird shit, man. I mean, i like weird shit. My 3 favorite artists: Marley, Hendrix, Fieldy. Hella eclectic, right? That's the thing with OMG, we're totally chill, like Marley, totally psychedelic, like Hendrix, but like "don't fucking front, if you ain't gonna back it up, bro!" like Fieldy. That being said, i don't understand the question. Why do you think there's 2 records? Aaron, could you SMS me? Are there two records? My phones actually disconnected right now, so hit me on AOL.

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Has doing music with Mammifer on more on the experimental side of things poked the muscular guitar rock part of your brain? How would you say having time away from guitar-based metal has helped or hurt when it came time to create for OMG? Did absence make the heart grow fonder and all that mumbo-jumbo? Aaron: Who is Mammifer? You mean Mamiffer? And they wonder why no one reads magazines anymore... sigh. Well, the message I am trying to impart through my work in OMG (no coincidence that acronym also stands for OH MY GODDESS!!!), cannot be contained or comprehensibly expressed through Gloom alone, thus I must also find work in other sectors with others of a sympathetic nature who share an impassioned belief that the world is not as it should be, and that something, some quick and decisive action must be taken in order to halt our quickening procession towards the precipice of destruction. Though the sermons may sound different to your ears, the underlying message and end goals are the same. Soon Mamiffer and Gloom (and maybe Converge if they are willing to donate most of their considerable proceeds to The Cause), will be the spiritual directors of this dimension, the White Hetero Capitalist Patriarchy will be but dust under our heels, and quibbles of "genre" and "scene" will be foggy echoes fading in the dusk - not to mention outdated notions of race, sex, class and "religion". Santos: Dude. You write for Decibel. That's like the best extreme music mag around! You don't know how to spell his wifes bands name? That's mad embarrassing bro! But yeah, that shit is dope. They do crazy sounds that make fuckin guitars sound like crazy sticks from the woods, and keyboards bust out like moose knees on tambourines. I get hella creeped when I'm high and Manifer is playing.

When you consider all the musical change and growth that everyone in the band has experienced over the years, when you go to write/play under the OMG banner, how do you feel about what you’re doing or what does it “mean” for you now that it didn’t in the past? Aaron: Gloom is all, all is Gloom. Our servitude to the cause is unwavering, our devotion to the spread of its reach unyielding. This is not mere dogma, not calloused reiteration of flimsy slogans, not hollow spiritual bellowing - this is our very life's blood, this is the throbbing marrow in our bones, this is the fire in our hearts and in our eyes. When we are enacting the Rites of Gloom there is no other moment, there is no self, there is no mind - there is only that one blinding, all encompassing incandescent glow, the celestial ocean in which we swim, the very womb of the universe from which all life springs. There is no time, no space, no being. Only love. And Gloom. Santos: I agree with my boy. We all get hella pumped. I'm especially stoked man. I was on disability (wink wink) for like 2 years with glaucoma, so I was broke as hell. Ramen every day! Then we started Gloomin again, and for me, it was especially killer to have the income. It's nuts man! No one used to give a shit about this "side project", but now we're the hottest shit! We make so much god damn money! I actually just bough a didgeridoo with a royalties check, so i'm super amped to get that shit rocking on the next album. I'm trying to get this brownie delivery business off the ground too, so keep pumping cash into OMG, people!

Bandcamp Facebook And here's the documentary mentioned briefly in one of the questions:

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