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Interview: Terminal Dogma
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
DL: I always wanted to play hockey but I'm terrible at all sports..I got into dnd and from there met some skateboardy / dungeons and dragons kids - not sure why there was crossover in those crowds but I guess in the 90s there just was - they brought me to a "GIG" at 14.. it was GRASSHOPPER from Toronto and a local band called Eric's Trip (now legendary)
KA: Well, as a kid I went from wanting to be a paleontologist to having an interest in detective work but, in my teens, I presented with, and was diagnosed as, Bipolar 1 so that kind of altered what my future looked like. I'd been singing and songwriting through most of my " I would like to be this when I grow up" stages but I had actually never wanted to be a singer/songwriter. I could just always write songs; when a lot of the more traditional career prospects faded away for me, making music/being artistic was all that was left. So I never really got *into* making music... it was always just kind of there.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
DL: I like really nerdy stuff - especially Star Wars..I once had a crazy Star Wars lego collection that I had to sell to not go homeless during COVID..it was INSANE - I guess it does make me ask a lot of existential questions - so for me that does come up in writing. I love anything to do with theoretical time travel too - that's really fun to think about....I should write more about TIME TRAVEL...THANKYOU
KA: I'm a visual artist when I'm not making music; I always have to be busy making something, so I sculpt and paint when I'm not producing songs.
I guess, in some ways, being a visual artist affects how I approach making music (especially when I have to work with someone) because art is a very solitary "anything goes" kind of career. I normally don't have any external input influencing what, or how, I create and I rarely care about if anyone likes what I've made or not... so that thought process definitely bleeds into how I approach making music.
How long has your band been around?
DL: A month? I guess we started working on music close to the beginning of the pandemic but we didn't get any music out there until very recently...So it's either about a year and a half - or a month - depending on if you count from inception or birth...KA: I'd say a month.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
DL: We actually live 4600 kms away - so 2858 miles in between us. THAT definitely influenced the music.
It has to be a lot more intentional and less playing off of each other - I think its like playing a chess game where you only have a limited # of moves to make - you can't play the whole game.. That's what it feels like going back and forth over the internet, making music together - you need to get a lot more done in less interactions...or else it goes on forever..which it almost did
KA: Yeah, the distance.. it definitely affects things... especially if you're trying to play off of each other. It's nearly impossible to get the same results you would get if you were near each other, when you're restricted to sending files and reading texts.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
DL: It's from a 90's anime called Neon Genesis Evangelion that EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH and also NO ONE SHOULD WATCH EVER. - It's out to lunch but they come up with the coolest band names, while naming all kinds of religious paraphernalia and giant robots.
KA: haha..omg... yes; when Don suggested the band name and told me where it was from I immediately binge watched the series, and movies, so I could connect with the project... and I watched it with my daughter ( she's 18, not a little kid, thank god) but, yeah... the hospital scene. If you know, you understand. Anyway, It's deep and dark and pretty brilliant... a lot of trauma and psychology subtextually woven into an animation about school kids, robots and a penguin.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
DL: Dead Kennedys original lineup. I once saw Jello speak for 3 hours and it was incredible. I don't know if anything he said was right or not..but I loved it regardless.
KA: I don't have any dream line-up... I'd play with almost anyone as long as they aren't assholes. But, yeah, I agree with Don, I think it would be cool to get to play with Jello-- actually, the guitarist from my other project played for him/was on his label and he says he's a pretty great guy.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
DL: Hire an accountant - you can't do everything yourself
KA: For someone getting into playing in a band I'd say don't take yourself too seriously... and be authentic-- don't just try to be a copy of someone else. And if you're just doing it "to be famous" or because you need to feel loved by everyone...then, just get a therapist- it's (slightly) cheaper. To my younger self I'd say: stop being a lazy singer and learn an instrument--all of them, actually.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
DL:If you're in a band I just assume you're hearing songs in your head all the time - you have to fall asleep to movies every night to drown them out. I think that's pretty normal for most people. That's how ..sometimes I write full songs in my dreams and think they're amazing - but any time I've shown anyone after waking up = they've always been kinda MEH
KA: Yay! I assumed that of people in bands too! I guess that it's apparently not true of a lot of them *but* I'm really glad to be in a project with someone who understands this. I also write songs in my sleep-- or in that space upon waking. And yes, the having stupid song bits looping in your head all the time-- ugh. I watch shows on repeat to keep my mind quiet. I'm not like Don with the thinking my dream songs are "meh"... but that goes back to what I was saying about having a visual artists' perspective: if a song comes into my head, I let it out just like it came. If people don't think it's good, then, who cares.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
DL: This changes from week to week - a lot of times I feel like agent Smith in the MATRIX - you know..HUMANITY IS A VIRUS and all that - but then other times I realize how NOT HELPING ANYTHING that is... I try to write inflectively and from my past experience...most of the time that's me working out my stuff and the only message is what my mirror image would say back to itself.
KA: I don't really try to get things across specifically... maybe when I was younger I did, but now I'm more just trying to get thoughts and experiences out, as honestly as I can, so that it will hopefully resonate with people who are going through similar experiences/feelings.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
DL: YES - I guess I'm old and crusty and jaded by the industry and working in it for 20 years.. I'd probably hate to be in a band with me. They just go away after a while I guess? I think we have more respect than disagreements so that always wins
KA: He's too hard on himself, no one could ever hate being in a band with him... the jaded snarky thing is actually pretty cute. I mean... I'm kind of "whatever" and floppy, and I come at things with very limited industry knowledge, so I'd expend a ton of unnecessary energy, in any and all directions, if I didn't have someone dousing me with reality from time to time.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
DL: Get the workflow down - make it easier to write together and send songs back and forth - and put more stuff out - that is even better. Constantly improve as a band and writers.
KA: What he said!