Neuralgia  (Spring, 1999)
Neuralgia Survey

1. questions do not change
2. sent to subject via e-mail
3. published in its entirety

DIANA

item 1. What are your current projects?
Right now we're putting a show together to play at Shattered here in Columbia on 2/13 and at Davey's Uptown in KC with Babylon HoR on 2/20.  We're also about halfway done writing the songs for our second album.  We'll start recording in March, probably.

item 2.  What has influenced you the most?
Negative tendencies I acquired in childhood, and my lifelong struggle to rid myself of them.

item 3.  What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?
I think I had the greatest sense of strangeness when I was digging in the dirt as a small child and came across a shiny white organism unlike anything I had ever seen before.  It gave me a real feeling of awe.  But I soon found out the creature was "just a grub."

item 4.  Any favorite horror movies?  Why that movie?
‘The Shining" for the perfect way it builds.  "Rosemary's Baby" for its brilliant feminist allegory.  "Fire Walk With Me" for its extremely creepy and disturbing atmosphere.

item 5.  What is the strangest thing you have ever done?
My strangest real-life act was trying to become a real estate agent.

item 6.  Why, if at all, do you feel drawn to the more unusual side of life?
I don't feel drawn to it so much as stuck with it.  I've been  "eccentric" all my life, and it's not always fun.

item 7.  Any favorite serial killers?  Why that one?
Jeffrey Dahmer.  Because supposedly he murdered out of love.   He killed his lovers so they couldn't abandon him and then made an altar out of their bones in his reeking apartment.  It's a fascinating combination of sentimentality and ghoulishness.

item 8.  What artist, musician, or writers inspire you?
I went through a Jim Morrison phase in the seventies and a Gary Numan phase in the eighties.  Our electronic instrumentation and extravagant stage shows  were both originally inspired by  Numan, although our stuff is completely different from his.    Nowadays I get a lot of inspiration from Joe and Russell.   Other miscellaneous influences: Flaubert, Van Gogh and Beethoven (the people and the art), Notes from Underground,
Spengler, the Columbia goth scene, Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, Susie Bright, Gabrielle Roth, Northrup Frye's "Theory of Modes," Noam Chomsky, and  Barbara Walker.

item 9.  Would you say that life is somewhat absurd?
Sure.

item 10.  Any questions you'd life to ask?
How did you come to start Neuralgia?

The idea was brought up by a friend of mine about a year ago.  Simply that of doing a nice little zine that was sick and twisted, etc.  It's sort of become my pet project...

Do you think Odor of Pears is a "gothic" band  (whatever that means to you)?  Why or why not?

Gee, I don't know.  I guess the sound has a lot of emotion and darker tendencies so I would say yes.
 

EXTRA BONUS QUESTIONS

A)  your live shows seem to be very important.  how much planning goes into them. 
We take a couple of months to prepare a show.  That typically  includes developing a couple of new numbers from scratch and revamping a few older pieces.  We prepare a set list with a detailed chart of the staging effects, and divide up the cues among band members and volunteers. Then we rehearse every night for a week before the show.

B) how important is the total effect of odor of pears (music, visual, etc.) and why and why not?
It's essential to what we do live.   It charms the senses and allows us to communicate on many levels..  But no amount of theatrical glitz can substitute for a strong musical idea.  It's the other way around: the drama will only be as powerful as the musical push behind it.  We take our music at least as seriously as our theatrics when performing, and when we record,of course,  the music is everything.

C) does the theater of the absurd mean anything to you?  What exactly?
It's an outgrowth of existentialism, isn't it?  Ionesco et al?
 
D) where did you get the name for the band?
The phrase "odor of pears" came to me when I was writing the words to that song (it was one of our first). It suggests that value lies in immediate sensory experience. It also suggests that value is fleeting and intangible and easily overlooked.
 

JOE K.
 

item 1. What are your current projects?
Working furiously on our second CD, which I'd like to have out by the end of the year.

item 2.  What has influenced you the most?
Influenced or inspired by: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven

item 3.  What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?
I was in a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant a long time ago when I used to occasionally do drugs.  I looked up and saw a sign that read "Now Serving Catsup."  The fact that this was not a hallucination precipitated a long LSD bummer.  I've been against drugs (for myself) ever since.

item 4.  Any favorite horror movies?  Why that movie?
I don't have enough knowledge on that subject.  "The Shining" is pretty cool, especially the quiet, ominous scenes.  However, there's too much violence and the ending sucks.

item 5.  What is the strangest thing you have ever done?
I lived in a funeral home for five months.

item 6.  Why, if at all, do you feel drawn to the more unusual side of life?
I don't feel particularly drawn towards anything unusual.  I like things to be calm and predictable.  I suppose that's what attracted me to the live-in job at the funeral home.  The only downside was when we had a "customer," which made me feel a bit uneasy at night.  So I decided to move on.

item 7.  Any favorite serial killers?  Why that one?
"Favorite" in the sense of the most repulsive: probably Bundy.  The fact that he was arrogant and intelligent and could charm the ladies, and the extreme cowardice he displayed in facing his execution.  Layer upon layer of repulsiveness.

item 8.  What artist, musician, or writers inspire you?
Bach, Mozart, Beethoven.

item 9.  Would you say that life is somewhat absurd?
Life is very absurd and also very meaningful and beautiful.  Life is a contradiction and thus transcends any possible description of it, including this one.  There shouldn't even be life.  There shouldn't be anything.  The fact that there is not nothing is the big mystery.

item 10.  Any questions you'd life to ask?
Your answers to your own interesting questions.

how about next issue?
 
 

RUSSELL
 

item 1. What are your current projects?
Mostly at the moment, we are preparing for our next local minitour, which begins in February, 1999.  As far as longer term projects, I'm designing a real-time digital video synthesis system so I can play video in concert like an instrument.  At this point, it looks like I will be writing the software myself, which should take a while but give me a lot of control.

item 2.  What has influenced you the most?
First, I'd say my own inherent strengths and limitations.  Second, my fellow bandmate, Diana Blackwell, has definitely been the greatest outside influence on my life.  Third, I'd say the local Columbia underground music/art scene, which is very strong and supportive.

item 3.  What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?
I would rather not talk about it.

item 4.  Any favorite horror movies?  Why that movie(s)?
Well, I liked Alien, which most people think is a horror movie, but technically I don't think it's horror since it does not involve a supernatural explanation.  I liked Alien's plot, the growing tension, and the cinametography.  It was very beautiful.

item 5.  What is the strangest thing you have ever done?
I've never really done anything strange.  Everything I've ever done seemed perfectly reasonable to me at the time.  Of course, other people have considered my actions strange at times.  Once a couple caught me smoking a cigarette in the pitch dark of their basement when they didn't know I was on their property.  There was a logical explanation but no one is really interested in that.

item 6.  Why, if at all, do you feel drawn to the more unusual side of life?
I'm a conceptual thinker and I like new ideas.  I'm not particularly fettered by the viewpoint or preconceptions of my society.

item 7.  Any favorite serial killers?  Why that one?
No, I'm against murder.  Doing it several times doesn't make it more glamorous.

item 8.  What artist, musician, or writers inspire you?
Currently, I'd say my bandmates for their music, ideas, visual talents, etc. Some of my current musical favorites are Wumpscut, London After Midnight, Switchblade Symphony, Coil, and Skinny Puppy.  I'm also inspired by the current SF of Greg Egan, Neal Stephenson, Orson Scott Card, and Greg Bear.  As far as lifetime influences, I'd say Chaucer, Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Poe, Asimov, Heinlein, Lovecraft, Peter Singer, Spengler, Steven Hawking, and Noam Chomsky among others.

item 9.  Would you say that life is somewhat absurd?
If by absurd, you mean that we hold two contradictory points of view simultaneously--one our expectations of what will actually occur and the other our ideal design of how things should occur, then I'd say the life is very absurd.

item 10.  Any questions you'd like to ask?
What is the distribution of Neuralgia?

50-100 for the time being.  But eventually I am hoping for more.

Why can't KC get a darkwave/goth/industrial danceclub that is open on the weekends?

I don't know.  I heard about Shadows, but that was five years before my time.  Even if we had another dance on Friday or Saturday in town I'd be happy.  Why do you have to be twenty-one just to go see a band around here?

EXTRA BONUS QUESTIONS

a) Your live shows seem to be very important.  how much planning goes into them?
Usually a couple months of planning proceed each show.  We make written scripts which cover the cues in excruciating detail.  The only unexpected occurrences are screw ups.

b) How important is the total effect of Odor of Pears (music, visuals, etc.) and why or why not?
Well, I believe that the combination of instrumental music, vocals, dramatic performance, projections, props, and contraptions is Odor of Pear's greatest strength.  However, I believe the individual parts of the whole can stand alone on their own merits.

c) does the theater of the absurd mean anything to you?  What exactly?
It is suggestive but I have little formal background in theater.

d) where did you get the name for the band?
Diana.  It reminds me of the Remembrance of Things Past.

--AR


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Odor of Pears 2004, Rev: 02/10/04