Gravitar interview

Interview with Eric cook from Graavitar

What were your intentions when forming Gravitar?

Well, some bands are started with clear intentions in mind, and some evolve naturally out of the experiences and styles of the people involved. Gravitar has been a combination of the two. Harold Richardson, our first guitar player, had the stated goal of Gravitar being "as psychedelic as possible". Though vauge, this has actual been a fairly good starting point, as it's allowed us to continue explore our sound and approach, while still staying consistent to our earlier work. In a practical sense, our intention was to combine noise and rock, and we continue to do so.

Who are the members in gravitar, what rolls do you play?

Currently, Gravitar is:
Mike Walker -- Guitar
Geoff Walker -- Vocals, Guitar, horns
Eric Cook -- Drums
As far as roles, Mike is the "rock", Geoff is the "noise" and the wildcard, and I glue everything together, and try to get it moving.

How come you started to play this noisy industrial music with mostly conventional instruments?

The word industrial seems to have all sorts of specific genre implications that I don't think fit with us. That aside, it was the instrumentation that all of us were familiar with. This was the kind of music we wanted to make, so... There wasn't much concious thought given to that issue. It just seemed natural. In any case, though the instrumentation you choose will cause you to approach your music in certain ways, I don't think it's all that important, compared to the end results.

How did you get in to that kind of music in the first place?

I think it's mainly an extension of all of the music that we liked, listened to, and were influenced by. We all grew up as rock kids, so that's in the mix, but you can hear strong experimental, jazz, and improvisational influences as well. As in the prior question, it just seemed like the natural thing to do, given our individual tastes.

You have realeased three albums now, how have your music growned and changed?

I think we have a much clearer idea of the methods we want to use to create our music, and to get it across to the listener. As the years have gone by, we've been able to become considerably looser, as well as simultaneously play off of one another with a much greater proficiency. Personally, I've become much more interested in the powers of editing the recording product after the fact, and encorporating that additional level of control into the process -- this can be seen most clearly in our 3rd CD, Now the road of Knives, as many of the songs are actually collage/edit pieces either done by Warren DeFever or myself of "live" material.

Why did you choose charnel music to release our albums on?

We enjoyed many of the records they put out, Mason Jones (the owner of Charnel) is a very easy guy to work with, and, perhaps most importantly, they said "yes" when we asked them.

Whats the reason behind the album names chinga su corazon, gravitaativaravitar and Now he road of the knives?

Chinga su Corazon (or "Fuck your heart") was chosen by Geoff, as a statement of defiance in some fashion. I like the sound of it, but am not sure if I still feel very strongly about the sentiment.. Gravitaativaravitar could be explained in a couple of ways: a)electronic delay effects have always been important in our music. This spelling of the name is sort of an alphabetic version of that. b)It could be a post-modern comment on self-reflexivity. In reality, it's c)a joke. We couldn't decide on a name, were going to have it be self-titled, and then Harold came up with the logo/warping of the name that appears on the cover. If you spell out that warping, this is what you get. Now the road of knives is a little more serious. We parted ways with Harold before making this record, and had some other interal and personal difficulties along the way. So the split with Harold is one "cut", the other problems we encountered along the way were "knives" in our road. In addition, we really started exploring editing more fiercely on this record, and the knives can be read as a reference to that as well. There's other, more personal meanings as well.

Tell me about your sideprojects

Right now, I'm the only one with an organized side project, that being "Bantam Rooster", sort of a blues-rock duo that I also play drums with. But all of us play with other musicians in the area, from Geoff doing more theatrical-oriented things with the panhandle band, to Mike's plans of starting a country band. I also work on solo material, under my own name, and have several cassette releases of that work.

Whats the reason you started playing music and what influences you?

More than anything, it's the excitement that we all get from music that started us each in playing. I can only speak for myself, but I'm much more influenced by musicians that I can get to know on a personal level, see repeatedly, and get a chance to find out what's going on inside their heads than anyone on record. So most of the big influences are people that I knew while growing up, and not necessarily anyone you have heard of.

Will you play any lives in the close future, any outside the us?

We play in the Detroit/Michigan area with a good deal of regularity, but finances prevent us from getting too far afield from there right now. We'd like to tour, and love to tour outside the us, but it's just not feasible right now.

What will happen next for gravitar

Starting work on CD #4, as a matter of fact. Perhaps a 2 CD set?... In any case, there should be some more surprises on this one, but that's all I can say right now.