Babylon Mystery Orchestra Interviews
An archive of lost interviews with Sidney Allen Johnson

BEHIND THE VEIL 2004

This is an interview conducted in 2004 with Christine Parastitidou of the Greek webzine Behind The Veil. It was an interview about the second Babylon Mystery Orchestra release: On Earth As It Is In Heaven.

1. FIRST OF ALL CONGRATULATION FOR ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN! IT’S AN INCREDIBLE ALBUM BOTH MUSICALLY AND LYRICALLY SPEAKING!

Thanks. It is a story that I have always thought ought to be told musically. Honestly I am surprised it has never been addressed in a musical format before.What is important to remember is that this story was the belief system of a lot of people at one time. Music has been feared for its ability to motivate people. Even today we see how it can be used to influence people greatly. Its no small wonder soldiers have always had some song to sing as they marched off to war.

Let me be bold here. Music, ALL MUSIC, is a living  spirit with a purpose. It is NOT a neutral force in the world. Musicians are the instrument. They are NOT the players. That the musicians involved may not even know the purpose of their music only goes to show the depth of the spiritual involvement. Perhaps the reason why this story hasn’t been popularized before is because the spirit of  music itself was not ready for the story to come out. But in a world where even black and death metal are cliche ridden genres that people are no longer fearful about, the spirit of music must feel there is nothing that can stop it from fulfilling its destiny…..again. (Now that starts the interview off with a “bang” doesn’t it?)

2. IF I TOLD YOU THAT I HAVEN’T LISTENED TO YOUR ALBUM AND I ASKED YOU TO PRESENT IT, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT? WHICH WORDS WOULD YOU USE?

I would say it is the story of music as told by music. The fact that it could be described as “Gothic Metal” is a secondary consideration. I feel the music that accompanies the story is the right music for the story. Its got it all. The quest for power, women, rebellion, transgression of authority and retribution. All wrapped up with a twist on morality. Combine that with the fact that every day you can walk outside and see proof of this story’s truthfulness being played out in modern events, and I hope I have given the listener something to think about. However if you are the kind of person who only cares about “Riffs” and thinks of the lyrics as disposable you won’t like this or any Babylon Mystery Orchestra record. The lyrics dictate not only the approach to the vocals (which is often a narrative type of singing ) but the music as well. I will not allow the words to be buried under the music as so many bands do.

3. I ADORED DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS AND I ALSO ADORE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. HOWEVER I THINK THAT ON EARTH… IS A MORE COMPLEX ALBUM, BETTER DEVELOPED AND WITH MORE DIVERSITY IN ITS SOUND. COULD YOU PLEASE POINT OUT THE MOST IMPORTANT SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE 2 ALBUMS?

Well I think it is pretty obvious that they are by the same artist. There is plenty of “style” similarity. However I had a lot more confidence going into this one. On the first record I was concerned with finding out what I could do. I operated in a narrower musical territory because I really didn’t know what to expect when I unleashed a record that was dominated by the lyrics. Plus I knew I had an idea for a vocal style that would sound a little different than what people had heard before. A Gothic narrative singing style. I felt like that people who paid attention to what the words actually said would understand the approach. However I also knew that writing lyrics about religious and political themes could also provoke negative reactions. Especially since the music dictates that I take a point of view. After getting that first one under my belt I noticed that when people said good things about it they didn’t make me a king. And conversely when people trashed it and me, they caused me no harm. So I came into the second one armed with a confidence that I could make a record about music that would be a record I would want to hear. I went even further to put the vocals front and center and I think that confidence comes through in a big way through them. I felt I could tell the story of these angels and tell it in their words with their voice. There is a lot more diversity in the songs because the story dictated that approach. I also felt that I could make even more use of acoustic guitar music as well. I like the interplay between electric and acoustic and I brought a lot of that into it. Yet through it all the record came out a lot heavier than the first.

I actually anticipated that I would be more capable on the second one. That’s why I didn’t make this record first. I knew it would be a more complex record to make than to tell the story of the first one. Plus when you do everything yourself, you just learn a lot about the gear and your capabilities. Its easy to see that type of growth in a lot of artists on their first couple of records. I feel like this record really nails down the Babylon Mystery Orchestra sound and style.

4. THIS IS A CONCEPTUAL ALBUM AND IN FACT I THINK IT’S THE FIRST TIME SOMEONE EVER DEALS WITH THE ORIGIN OF ROCK MUSIC. I KNOW THIS WILL BE HARD AND TIRING FOR YOU, BUT I’D LIKE YOU TO EXPLAIN US THE CONCEPT AND HOW YOU DECIDED ON DEALING WITH IT. WHAT DO YOU MEAN WITH THE ALBUM’S TITLE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN?

I can’t say enough how surprised I am that this story has gone untold through music this long. I can only conclude that now is the time for it to come out! I first heard about it myself over 20 years ago. At the time I did not believe it one little bit. Now I am absolutely positive that it is the truth. The evolution (Evilution? R.J. Dio might say) of modern music has proven to me we are dealing with the same thing. That music was actually a gift from the angel of light that all metal-heads know and love by the name of “Satan”. And it was not so much a “gift” as it was an “investment” he expected and got a huge return then. He is getting it now too. In telling the story of “On Earth As It Is In Heaven” I center it on Rock music but the descriptions of the sounds and behaviors are pretty across the board. It applies to all music. Most people today are too “educated” to acknowledge the existence of a spirit world or concede that such beings could have a purpose that could bring an influence on them. Musicians of every stripe have always talked about the “power” of their music. Artists have even called themselves “song-catchers” in describing their writing process. Believe them. I can believe that “Genum” really did sing the BMO song Heaven Can Wait at that last concert before the great flood. But he also sang God Of Thunder and “Freebird”. Some songs just reek of being thousands of years old.
The record isn’t offering any solutions. There is no preaching here. In fact the record is written from the perspective of the rebellious angels who came to earth in the golden age of music. If there is an ultimate message to this it is that slowly through time we have all been taken in by the ultimate conspiracy. The very first conspiracy against man is still active. That music is EVERYWHERE and unavoidable should give everyone pause to think about who is the smarter. Music at one time gave the illusion of uniting people. Rock and roll music once was THE music of the young. Even then though, it was showing its true intent as it was first driving a wedge between kids and their parents. Now there is a music style for everyone and a lifestyle that goes with it. People within a relatively similar genre will despise the music of another and its fans. Don’t think so? Put a Deicide fan in a room with a Bon Jovi fan and see what happens. When you consider the broad context of all music and the people who listen to it it becomes clear. Music has successfully DIVIDED us all into separate camps. Just because you choose to call it “personal taste” doesn’t change that fact. One hundred years ago NONE of these now rampant “personal tastes” even existed. Most of them sprung up in the age of Rock music. NEVER let it be said that music is a uniting force!

The fact that most people will be unable to concede that it is even possible goes a long way to proving the genius of the plan. Everyone loves some form of music, so to an extent everyone is a victim. Brilliant this angel! 20 years ago we used to go around defending rock music. We didn’t want anyone to call it the devil’s music. That was before the black metal bands came along. The road from Elvis to Count Grishnack was a wide, easy to follow path. Where does it go from here. God is holy and never changes. Music has changed much and will again. There will be much more blood on its hands in the future. On Earth As It Is In Heaven was the original story. We are living the sequel.

The title comes from the way the book of Enoch refers to the angels bringing to the earth the “secrets of heaven”. Its sort of a play on the words of the “Lords Prayer” to imply that earth has been like heaven before.

5. ONE MORE TIRING QUESTION FOR YOU… YOU BELONG TO THAT CATEGORY OF BANDS WHOSE MUSIC AND LYRICS ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT AND SINCE I REALLY LIKE YOUR LYRICS… COULD YOU PLEASE TELL US A FEW THINGS ABOUT EACH SONG?

I wouldn’t make records if I didn’t have something to say. As I said ALL music has some purpose whether the musicians involved know or acknowledge it or not. The lyrics are the personality of every song. They dictate the entire approach. Once I give a song a title and write down a synopsis of what it will say I then write the music and record most of it.Then I finalize the lyrics. OK Lets go through the record.

1. Descension. This is an instrumental. However I wanted to convey the feeling of an important event in bloom through the music. There are a couple of beats in there where I use the body of the guitar as a percussion instrument. I got the idea for that from the intro music to the old John Wayne movie “Rio Lobo”. The main lick is something I play almost every time I pick up a guitar. It just occurred to me to make something out of it. For a short piece of music I really like it.

2. Semjaza’s Song. A lot of people think the story that “On Earth As It Is In Heaven” is based on is also the basis that all other mythology is based on. Essentially the same beings just with different names. That would likely make Semjaza the equivalent of Zeus I suppose. This is a song showing that there really is no honor among thieves or angels. Semjaza doesn’t trust the others and therefore imposes a curse on any who betray their oath.

3. Violation. This is just a fast song about running wild through the earth. They knew there time was short and they acted accordingly.

4. A Celestial Kiss. This is about a part of the story that most people are familiar with. The mating of angels with human females. It asks the question could you/ would you/ should you resist them. The highest form of temptation. Having the secrets of heaven laid before you if only you give over that most intimate part of yourself. But there is also hanging in there the thought that if you refuse…They might take it anyway.

5. Receive, Trust and Believe. This is where we introduce music into the story. It is unclear whether or not Satan approved of this venture of these 200 angels or if in fact they did this against his wishes. After all once you rebel against the creator God who is to stop you from rebelling against another Angel? In any event he was not going to let all this go on and disrupt his plans. He finds a suitable human (Genum) and shows him how to make and play instruments. Music is born. Sold as a gift with tremendous power and influence..

6. Ravishing Music. The words “Ravishing Music” are the exact description from the book of Enoch of the sounds that Genum and his “companies” of musicians made. It inflamed their hearts with uncontrollable passions. And soon they began to explore “alternative” lifestyles.

7. Bleed. This is the song that I thought might be most controversial. A lot of behaviors and the appearance of the people who are partaking in the musical festivities very much resemble that which we see today. Outlandish costumes, intoxicants and tatoos are clearly associated with the music. I wrote this bearing in mind the Bibles warnings against marking the body. The song implies that such things in fact render the body a living idol to these “other” gods. It is sung from the point of view of one of these “gods” demanding your blood as his tribute.

8. War Anthem. At several points in both the book of “Enoch” and “Secrets of Enoch” it is spelled out that warfare was introduced by these angels during this time. One story says that the angel Azazel was particularly interested in teaching the manufacture of weapons. Once Satan and Genum had began luring the children of Seth off the holy mountain Satan saw too it that the people of the earth were given weapons for War. Apparently they were so enthusiastic about them that murder became a pastime as well. I used a lot of modern terminology in the lyrics to this. Since Genum the “musician” was the human ringleader of this its not surprising that music and warfare have had such a history together.

9. One Man. There had to be a song about the “one man” that God found favor in.He was NOT the only man who rejected the temptations of the angels. He was the one who was chosen to survive and take mankind to the other side of the flood. This is about Noah.

10. Heaven Can Wait. This is my favorite song on the record. There is mention of Genum playing music at the foot of the Holy Mountain ( the ark was being built on this mountain) for a whole year to entice the children of Seth to come down and join them. It slowly worked. The angels were actually told their judgement was coming and sought Enoch to beg forgiveness on their crimes. All those black metal bands who like to bring up the wicked Azazel in their music should remember he too BEGGED for forgiveness. Not nearly so tough as his current flock of followers would have you believe. Enoch was told they would not be forgiven. This song is written to capture the spirit of the last show Genum and his musicians would play. Denied forgiveness, this is one last unrepentant act of Rock and Roll debauchery. After this night, Rock and Roll would be silenced for over 4000 years.

11. And Waters Prevailed. This is an instrumental about the flood waters ravaging the earth.

12. Rainbow’s End. This song is sort of a eulogy to the loss of all these angels and their followers. If you take the position that they were the basis for all the “god” myths of all the cultures of the earth it’s clear that this truly was a golden age to live in. It may have been forbidden and misguided but there hasn’t been a more interesting time to be alive. At least until today. This laments the loss.

13. Unrepentant. This is an instrumental that I initially was going to make part of Rainbow’s End. It sounded so different that I decided it should be its own track. The laugh at the end is meant to imply that if they had it to do again they wouldn’t change a thing. Since music is back in our world in a big way, one has to wonder not if it is part of our destruction, but how and when.

6. IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRODUCTION AS WELL AND THOUGH THE ALBUM WASN’T RECORDED IN A FAMOUS STUDIO WITH THE HELP OF A FAMOUS AND EXPERIENCED PRODUCER, THE SOUND IS GREAT! HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT FOR YOU TO ACHIEVE SUCH A SOUND WITH THE EQUIPMENT YOU HAVE?

I don’t think it is as difficult as you might imagine. I have a pretty clear idea what I want Babylon Mystery Orchestra to sound like. Therefore I just have to find ways to get that sound. Though I don’t have the best and most expensive gear, I have better equipment to work with than the best studios had not too long ago. The Beatles had 2 four track recorders to do Sgt. Pepper, I have a 16 track. So the gear is adequate if not spectacular by comparison with a studio. After finishing the first record I knew what I had to do. I was somewhat apprehensive about the vocals on the first one and held back somewhat. This one I just made sure that they carried that uncompromising sound. It sounds strange to some people who don’t pay attention to lyrics, but the voice has to speak from the point of view of absolute certainty of conviction. Everyone in my songs believes everything they are saying. No matter the perspective I am singing from. That is why a lot of it sounds like “emotional narration.”  I feel I really know what I want to do with that now. This record really solidified that. The music that backs all this up has to have a very Gothic, clean and powerful sound. Though I don’t have an experienced producer or the high dollar studio, they couldn’t make you sound better if you didn’t already know what you wanted to sound like. A producer will make you sound like someone else if you can’t make your own sound. Having said that there is still a lot more I would love to do if I could get that kind of situation. I would love to have Bob Ezrin produce one of these. I would love to take a record finished as well as I can and tell him: “Here’s the demo, How can we make this bigger and better?”

7. THE ARTWORK IS AMAZING!!!! YOU ARE THE ONE WHO CHOSE IT, BUT WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING IT AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN US WHAT YOU WANT TO SUGGEST WITH IT?

The artwork was done by a company called Discmakers. They do the pressing of a lot of CD’s. I am told that the artist is the same one who did the artwork for “Divine Right Of Kings.” I talked to the artist during the process and I think that is why it looks so good. She had all the writing that goes in the booklet to read as well so she really got a good feel for what I wanted to present. I actually sent a copy of a famous painting that I thought said everything I would want to say as well. I told her I wanted a long-haired angel with big wings. I hate angels with “Hummingbird” wings. I want to believe that they actually could lift them. (Yes I know that real angels wouldn’t have wings. Its a good look though). I really like what she came back with. Especially the colors. With the female form also off to the side I think it conveys a lot of the elements of the story in one picture. The inside of the booklet was all things that were her idea. I wrote everything and put it in order but the visuals were all hers. I described a few ideas for the picture behind the CD and she found something that worked great. I like having artwork there. The back of the CD with the track listing was very important to me as well since that is visible from the outside of the package. I wanted that Bible verse  above the track listing. The seaweed hanging off the logo was a nice touch. And of course the photos were great as well. Those were taken by a woman named Daniel Nall right here in Greenville Alabama. I think the package looks as good as anything anyone else has out there, and way better than most.

8. IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN YOU FACED NEGATIVE COMMENTS AND CRITICISM FOR “DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS”. I THINK THAT SOME PEOPLE LIKE THIS SITUATION AND PREFER TO BE EYE FOLDED AND NOT REALIZE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD. I THINK THAT YOU EXPECTED SUCH REACTIONS FROM FANATICS. HOWEVER, HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU SAW PEOPLE “ATTACKING” YOUR MUSICAL VISION AND YOUR ATTEMPTS?

Well it comes from several angles. There are people out there who absolutely despise any type of religious connotations in their music and they tend to hate it on sight. Yet you will often find out if it is a music reviewer that they are highly tolerant or accepting of Black Metal records. The only religion some people tolerate is the “Piss on Jesus and his followers” kind. So a lot of people hate it for that, without even caring what it may be about.  There are those who thought the record was a diatribe against America since it is about the Judgement of Mystery Babylon and the record suggests that America could be that place. Then there are a lot of Christians who didn’t like the idea that the record suggested that America could be Mystery Babylon and entitled to annihilation. Here in America all Christian denominations have one thing in common. They all believe that America is somehow a “blessed” nation and that is the reason for its prosperity. There is no Biblical support for this nor is there really any legal support for claims that this is a Christian nation. It is a nation that was once dominated by Christians and there beliefs but that has been changed since the end of WW 2. So there were a lot of Christian reviewers who disdained the record for that reason. Then of course there are particular songs that set some people off. One reviewer virtually centered the entire review on “Its My Right” and called me a right wing racist homophobe. So there has been criticism. But how could I not expect it? Some websites have had a few discussions on the subject. But I have to say that there were more good reviews of the record than bad ones. A lot of reviewers truly appreciated the approach of putting meaningful lyrics in the songs even if it did not reflect their particular point of view.

I suppose it never feels good when someone criticizes your work. But its a hell of a lot better than indifference. I read a lot of reviews of other bands. It appears that with the glut of music that is out there a lot of bands just aren’t interesting to a lot of people. I tend to attribute it to the fact that too much music is centered around musicianship. Its almost like the people making music act as though they must impress and get the approval of other musicians. At least I get peoples attention.

9. BY THE WAY ARE YOU EXPECTING ANY NEGATIVE STATEMENTS THIS TIME? I’M TALKING ABOUT THE LYRICS, SINCE MUSIC IS A MATTER OF TASTE AND NOT ALL PEOPLE LIKE THE SAME THINGS. HOWEVER, I THINK YOUR LYRICS REVEAL AN OPEN MINDED PERSON AND THEY ARE THOUGHT PROVOKING. SO, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE WILL BE PEOPLE THAT WON’T REALIZE THE BEAUTY AND DEPTH OF YOUR LYRICS?

There have been a few reviewers who wondered why I would make a record about this subject, if I believed it to be true. Really I feel just the opposite. Its a subject that can be best addressed musically. Just because I believe that this story is most likely true doesn’t mean I don’t love music as well as everyone else. But I tried to do the record more as a story. As I have said I believe the spirit world is under-appreciated in our so called “enlightened” times. All of this is forgotten knowledge, that now, people want to call superstition. Considering the subject matter of most music out there it should stand out as at least more in depth and interesting. There is a lot of Mythology/fantasy/superstition in heavy music. I am just telling from a perspective of believability. But I know most people won’t acknowledge the story as anything more than mythology. As such, its great mythology.

10. DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT THERE IS STILL CHANCE FOR HUMANS TO CORRECT THEIR PERSPECTIVE AND PERCEPTION OF THINGS AROUND THEM? DO YOU THINK THAT WE HAVEN’T YET REACHED THE POINT OF NO RETURN? GENERALLY WOULD YOU SAY YOU ARE AN OPTIMIST OR A PESSIMIST?

Sure there is still a chance but we live in very arrogant times. People think our societies are the most knowledgeable and educated in history. Fine. Build a Pyramid like the Great Pyramid at Giza in Manhattan. Can’t do it. First they don’t know exactly how they would go about it. And second the economics would render it impossible. The ancient Egyptians solved both of those problems and they actually know the real reason they built it in the first place. We really don’t have a definitive reason for that. I don’t buy that it is just an elaborate grave. Obviously they had a pretty considerable knowledge of something we don’t know. Just because it is forgotten or lost doesn’t mean it isn’t the equal to our knowledge. I guess I would call myself an optimistic pessimist. I have a lot of confidence in man’s ability to screw things up. But just because one society or way of life ends does not mean that the world is worse off. Societies have been dieing off since time began.

11.BABYLON MYSTERY ORCHESTRA IS AN ONE MAN BAND. IS YOUR PERSONAL MUSICAL VISION. HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED OF ADDING MEMBERS IN THE BAND OR ARE YOU AFRAID YOU MIGHT LOSE YOU DIRECTION?

That is becoming a more difficult question to answer. Initially I thought it might be a good idea to have other members, but you hit on the potential problem. The vision of Babylon Mystery Orchestra could easily be diluted and I wouldn’t want that to happen. I think the the thing that makes it unique is the idea to take on subject material that no one else would. Inevitably someone else might get worried about the reaction. You should always make sure that you make the statements and music that you want to hear and not be concerned with the reaction. There are are lots of bands out there whose primary concern is fitting in with the other bands out there. This is my primary gripe against the modern state of metal. Its like a convention of musicians who only make music for other musicians. Real artist dominated bands are few to none. No one has the courage to be different or say something that is out of line with the accepted points of view in metal world. Its all about time changes, technique and speed. The music focuses on the skills of the musicians not any real artistry. Skill can always be acquired but idiots will never have anything to say. I really don’t want anyone who would want to use BMO as a platform to draw attention to to pointless displays of musicianship. Even if that means that BMO never gets accepted into the “musician’s club.” It’s strange how conformist the music has become. But once again that’s the illusion that music puts up. You think you are rebels but if everyone is playing the same game you are just as conformist as the people you propose to rebel against.

12. WHICH IS, ACCORDING TO YOU, THE BEST AND WHICH THE WORST PART IN YOUR MUSIC? WHICH DO YOU THINK IS YOUR TRADEMARK AND IN WHICH FIELD DO YOU NEED FURTHER IMPROVEMENT?

I would definitely think the lyrics are the real strength of the music. Particularly the way the vocals are matched to it. I think the way this music is constructed, it for the most part doesn’t lend itself to a different type of presentation or interpretation. There is a lot of conviction in the delivery and I grow to appreciate that aspect more and more myself. The vocals are somewhat unusual, and I suppose they catch new listeners by surprise a bit, but I think inevitably it is a trademark to the sound of BMO.

There are those who think the drumming is a little plain. I am not really sure I agree as I really don’t like for the drums in music to be noticeable for the most part. I have chosen to make sure that they sound good rather than concern myself with making them do more. That is probably something I would say might could be better but as I indicated I am not really unhappy with it for the most part. I certainly wouldn’t fight against a producer who could take this to the next level which would probably entail more of everything.

13. WHICH ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? HOW ARE YOU THINKING OF PROMOTING THE ALBUM?

I have sent it out to more places to be reviewed than the first CD already and will continue to do so. There are quite a few radio shows that are playing music from it. I am always happy to add to that. There really aren’t to many avenues of promotion that are open to me other than those. If a label would take an interest in releasing it then a whole lot more magazines and webzines would take an interest. But the quality of both the packaging and the production has worked rather well in that the places I have sent it have taken it as seriously as a label release.

One of the tracks. Ravishing Music, will be included on the Knuckle-Tracks CD in an upcoming issue of BW & BK magazine. I have both BMO CD’s currently available for digital download on most of the sites that sell downloads. That should help people get it in areas where the CD is harder to find as that makes them available worldwide. There are also plenty of music sites out there where you can sample BMO music. A lot from Divine Right Of Kings.

I have already got 2 songs recorded for the next CD. So plans are well underway. This one is going to go into some very interesting territory. However I do believe all BMO records will prove to be interrelated to one another.

14.I’M ALSO AWARE OF ANOTHER THING YOU ARE PLANNING TO DO… SOME COVER SONGS… I DON’T WANT TO SAY MORE. SO, IF IT’S NOT A PROBLEM, CAN YOU GIVE US SOME MORE INFO?

Well I would like to do some just to see what I could do with them I have a list of about 5 I would want to do to start. It takes a while for me to finish a song so I find myself putting them off in favor of new original songs. I am already doing it again. the ideas for songs for the next record are so strong that I don’t want to work on a cover song. I actually almost recorded Kiss’ God Of Thunder for On Earth As It Is In Heaven. I really gave that serious consideration but decided not to do it. That’s sort of why in the song Bleed I actually use the words “Bow to the God Of Thunder and Rock and Roll” in the song. It would have fit in that part of the storyline. But I do intend to do some covers eventually. I hate to say which ones because I can change my mind kind of easy.

15. WHICH WAS THE BEST AND WHICH THE WORST COMMENT YOU RECEIVED THIS FAR? WHICH PHRASE (FROM A REVIEW) YOU READ DO YOU THINK DESCRIBES THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY YOUR MUSIC? WHICH DOESN’T?

Michel Renaud of Metal Crypt said this about Divine Right Of Kings:  “the vocals and the music are tightly coupled together on this album, and the lyrics just add to the power of the music – you just can’t ignore them. A very impressive album, highly recommended, if you think you can take it. ;)”….I really liked that. That is about the entire intent of Babylon Mystery Orchestra laid out in one statement.

I try not to remember the negative comments too much. Although some of them can be funny. There are reviewers who know how to write a negative review. It is not a problem to find out someone doesn’t like the music. Would I really want everyone to like it? But there are those reviewers who think they can mould others tastes with their words and those are the worst.

16. IF YOU HAD THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THREE THINGS ON THE WORLD, WHICH WOULD THIS BE?

1. One thing I would change is the entire approach to music. If I could eliminate “notes” from music I would. People are hemmed into a musical scale that is so restrictive. The music of heaven I believe is so far above our own as to make Mozart sound like a limerick writer. And I believe that how its done is by harmonizing ALL sound. Not just the frequencies the human ears have “tuned” in. This is why I believe music in many ways is like witchcraft. Musicians are only working with a small part of something far greater than they can understand. Songs are like spells and incantations. But the capabilities and the possibilities are far greater than the limits of human vision will currently allow. As well as ….the danger.

2. I would also eliminate the use of smart bombs in warfare. Collateral damage has ALWAYS been a part of warfare. If we convince ourselves that through technology we can sanitize warfare and keep civilians out of it we will only get more wars and more soldiers cowardly hiding behind civilians. If one nation feels the need to go to war. Let it be total and complete.

3. Here’s another thing. I don’t know how it is in Greece, but here in America it seems like everybody is medicated on some kind of anti-depressant. Prozac is everywhere. If I could stop it I would. There are some people who legitimately need medication but the vast majority of this is based on pure emotional weakness. Sometimes you should be depressed. Maybe your spirit is empty and is yearning for for something (God?) and it is trying to tell you. Maybe you need to remove certain people/ situations/ circumstances from your life. Subduing these feelings with medication is not solving the problem. People need to address the problem and its source, not just take a pill to make them feel better. They are cheating at life and they are cheating themselves.

17. WHICH ARE YOUR THOUGHTS REGARDING THE TORTURES THE IRAQIS WERE SUBMITTED TO FROM THE U.S. SOLDIERS? IS IT PERHAPS POSSIBLE THAT THE U.S. PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DECEIVED BY THEIR GOVERNMENT AND THIS WAR WAS OVER THE INTERESTS OF SOME FEW? TO PUT IT  DIFFERENTLY WHICH IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SADDAM’S BRUTALITY AND THE SAVAGERY OF THE AMERICAN SOLDIERS?

I will tell you the difference between the two. The people the U.S. WRONGLY treated were prisoners of war. They should have been treated according to the rules of the Geneva convention. However they were not innocent citizens. They were combatants. At that very same prison. Saddam’s son once had EVERYONE in the prison murdered just to make room for more prisoners to go in. That’s 2000 people. They were not soldiers. They were people disapproved of by Saddam’s regime. Innocent civilians. For all that’s bad about what the United States soldiers did, at least we are owning up to it and dealing with it in public, and no one dies. I think that is a considerable difference.

As far as why this war was started I think its a pretty safe assumption that this war was started when G.W. Bush won the last election. However in fairness Saddam had been violating U.N. resolutions all through the Clinton administration. If you get whipped in a fight, and then proceed to antagonize the guy who whipped you, is it really a surprise to get whipped again? A lot of people want to complicate the issue, including President Bush, but it really should be that simple. All those other “reasons” for going to war weren’t necessary; at least not for the American people. All that “explaining” has just made the rest of the world look down on us even more. Perhaps what we need is a good dose of isolationism. But after 9/11 I don’t think anyone is going to go for that.

18. WHICH IS THE WEIRDEST, FUNNIEST OR SILLIEST QUESTION YOU’VE BEEN ASKED?

So far I haven’t been asked anything really odd. One person e-mailed me and asked me if I was really serious about some of the ideas in these songs. Maybe people think I’m so serious that they don’t ask me silly questions. I am perceived as a very serious person and I suppose I am. I wonder why more people don’t ask me about my cat.

19. I BELIEVE THAT THE MUSIC (LIKE THE LYRICS) IS SYMBOLIC. WHICH IS THE SYMBOLISM BEHIND BABYLON MYSTERY ORCHESTRA?

The symbolism behind Babylon Mystery Orchestra I believe is “Apocalypse.” Almost everything done with the music is designed to create an aural spectacle of the Apocalypse. It has all sorts of Biblical and political elements swirling around in the lyrics. But the overall sound is meant to create an atmosphere that sounds like the Biblical End Times. Although you should note that most often the points of view given are those from a perspective of rejecting such truths. The records in total tell  tales of morality while often detailing the perspective of the immoral. In my music everyone gets what they choose. Choices are a very important aspect of this symbolism. Heavy Metal is the music of the damned and Babylon Mystery Orchestra tells their story.

20.THANK YOU! LEAVE YOUR MESSAGE TO THE READERS… THESE LINES ARE YOURS.

I would like to thank you for this interview. Also I want to say that I believe On Earth As It Is In Heaven is a record that has arrived at its proper time. As I indicated, I believe all music has a purpose imprinted on it. I can only hope that my influence has also enhanced the purpose of this story being brought out at this time. I have, over time, come to believe this story. At one time I didn’t want to believe it, but music, musicians and the people who listen have all changed over this time. You can see that distant past being repeated in the current evolution of music. And it really does apply to all music that we think of as “modern”. That which we think is new and belongs to us is really old….and we belong to it.

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