Seattle Weekly: Your new record, 2012, which K Records issues this week, sounds very much like a companion to last year's Lost Light. Was there a conscious continuation?
Arrington de Dionyso (singer/guitarist/bass clarinet): Yes, absolutely. 2012 is part two of the "Lost Light Trilogy." There will eventually be a third installment, continuing with similar themes musically and lyrically.
A sort of fantastic, unnatural natural world, full of beasts, water, and fire, provides a theme for your records, but with 2012 I also get a strong sexual premise. There's one line that goes, "I got sex on the brain/And I ain't ashamed." Do you believe that music is inherently sexual? That sexuality is inherently musical?
I find sexuality inherently musical, but not necessarily the other way around. Not to get all psychological, but with all of my musical output, I have been interested in tackling that ongoing and ancient theme familiar to artists and mystics of all ages: the alchemical search for wholeness, but with a lot of strange and interesting subplots. I want my music to be a celebration of indestructible life and unbridled joy, yet without being naive about all the horrible, shitty things also being there at the same time.
This record, more so than your others, prominently features your Tuvan throat singing. Can you explain how you acquired this technique and perhaps what state of mind is achieved in practicing it?
The throat singing has always been a big part of what I do, it's just that on the other albums, there is maybe more competition from the guitars and other sounds. I have been making these strange vocal sounds since I was 4 or 5 years old [and] obsessed with animals, dinosaurs, and Star Wars. I have since appeared onstage with Tuvan throat singers, and I've taught voice workshops in the U.S., Canada, Italy, France, and Israel. For me, as a personal practice, I would say it definitely helps me feel more grounded and connected both physically and spiritually.
What is the significance of the album's title? My instinct is to read it as the year 2012, and to read it as some sort of Revelation end date, but I wonder if you really think we'll make it that long.
I don't really know if we'll make it that long either, but I think we will. In my wild imagination, I'd like to pretend that 2012 is like some kind of subliminal training program, a soundtrack that prepares the listener emotionally and energetically for the changes in consciousness necessary to bring about our next jumps in planetary evolution. In spite of all the shit going on in the world around us, the energetic technology of magic, dreaming, and spiritual transformation is at hand and easily accessible to all of us. Communicating that awareness is the task that artists and musicians of today must rise to if our "products" are to have any relevance for the coming century.