I hear some Amon Düül 2 in your works. Have they been a major influence? Other musical influences?
Amon Düül 2 is a huge influence on us, as is Amon Düül 1. We are also influenced by many classic psychedelic bands, classic doom bands, krautrock, and even some pop music. My personal influences are Slapp Happy, Glenn Danzig, Kate Bush, T2, Blue Cheer, Can, and Catherine Ribeiro. This band shares more influences collectively than any other band I know.
How important is symbolism to Jex Thoth?
Symbolism weaves its way in and out of our lyrics, but overall, we like to keep things fairly direct.
What’s your agenda? Why are you here doing what you do?
I do what i do because it’s what I do. I’d be doing this whether or not anybody cared. It’s nice that people do, though. I plan to recuit all of those I can recruit, and shake the souls of those I can’t.
Do you have a theme or message that is present in everything you do as a band?
Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality, but there is, unseen by most, an underworld — a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit — a dark side.
Can you name some non-music influences, like authors, directors, poets and so on?
There are a number of things that influenced me during the writing and recording of this record. One of them being the harsh weather conditions we endured during recording. I was also watching a lot of Jan Svankmajer films at the time, I love his films on so many levels. His worlds mix live action with sculpture, stop motion animation, puppetry, animals and so much more. Not only is he an amazing filmmaker but an outstanding visual artist as well. All of his works are super imaginative, dark, and surreal, with a clear message.
How come you ended up on I Hate Records?
Ola from I Hate reached out to us via our Myspace, and we were all very excited at the chance to work with him — we are all fans of the label.
Why the name change, from Totem to Jex Thoth?
There were already several other Totems, and in between the two recordings, we had a major lineup change, with Ezekial Blackouts moving overseas and Silas and Johnny Dee joining the lineup. At this time, it became obvious to me that we use my name, because I wanted a name that reflected my leadership of the band. All of the members have contributed tremendous ideas that can be heard on the record, but ultimately, it is my vision we execute.
When performing live, do you do anything special on stage or is it like watching an ordinary band?
There is nothing ordinary about this band, but we don’t enter on horseback or travel with a guillotine if that’s what you’re asking.
What are your interests besides music?
I like to garden, I like to build things, and I enjoy puzzles.
What about the song Son of Yule? What can you tell me about that particular track?
Silas wrote this one, it deals with closed mindedness and an unwillingness to change. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album, it’s a lot of fun to sing and I was able to take a lot of risks — vocally — with this one.
And what about the Equinox Suite? Any comments to that song?
This came about organically, as several of the pieces grew into one. My hope is that everyone listens to the album as I intended, from start to finish, but this is most important in Equinox Suite. This album wasn’t meant to be listened to on ‘shuffle.’ However, I do feel that each phase of the suite stands on its own, and that is why they are indexed individually.
What about the cover art for the album? What’s your relationship to Albert/Reverend Bizarre?
Albert Witchfinder liked our band and offered to draw the cover. Of course we were flattered and psyched. I love how it turned out. We also love Reverend Bizarre.
Finally, how would Jex Thoth have sounded if you’d skipped the drugs and alcohol?
Just as brutal but maybe more punctual — ha ha ha!
Now listen to The Banishment and then go buy the album.