by Maarten Schermer
Note: I originally asked Matt these questions to have some info to update the 'History' page with, but I thought I'd share the entire thing anyway.
why abandon "third eye foundation" as a name? tired of the musical direction?
Well because i wanted to change direction to stop me from falling into the same methods of working i thought about kind of liberating myself from my own self imposed restrictions, also i didnt want third eye foundation fans going Ďwhat the fuck is this?í(in a bad way)I was also tired of te musical direction i remember programming for Branlette Espagnol & thinking Ďfucking hell this is boringí
there's been an obvious move away from computers to "real" instruments? why? is a guitar less limiting than a work station?
Really just because Iím actualy learning the guitar it makes me think about music in a different way, to be honest all my records are just kind of documents of my musical (self) education, also while moving house i didnt actually have a studio set up so i couldnt actually work with my sampler et al. & of course because I didnt want to endlessly repeat myself doing the same thing so to learn the guitar of course is going to lead me in a different direction. Itís such a lovely sounding instrument & itís alot easier to play with any sort of meaning, itís kind of direct.
and you've started singing - did you just try it out or did you feel a great need? (oh, and was that you singing on that silver apples tribute?)
It was me on the silver apples thing, but Iíve always wanted to have singing but just never been able to do it, iíve experimented with a few vocalists but I thought the best way to get roughly what I wanted was to do it myself, while working as third eye foundation i was always living next door to someone, & when youíve never sung before it can sound quite scary as youíre experimenting aswell as being very embarrasing, so when i got to france in my isolated house i could at last yelp & wail until i could approximate something close to what i wanted or needed without scaring anyone or embarrasing myself. The human voice i think is the best way to communicate directly even if the words are illegible (liz frazer for example a friend who was a cocteaus fan said to me once Ďyou cant understand what shes singing but you know what sheís sayingí & thats true to some extent & in fact better because you can choose to hear your own sense of loss/ Sadness/joy or whatever another example is the famous Mystere de la voix bulgares (or something) track 2 on that cd will always make me cry even though i haveínt got a clue what theyíre going on about) I did use a lot of vocals on the 3ef stuff & that was fine for that but I canít always rely on finding a good sample & i cant control what the voices say lyrically & as I was writing songs more than themes i kind of had to find a way of singing & like i say it was down to me.
where do the lyrics come from?
I write the lyrics which is probably the hardest part of the whole song writing thing you really have to be good to write good lyrics which mean anything at all & itís very painful, apart from avoiding clichťs itís hard to try to find something to actually sing about but a lot of it just comes as i wake up or late at night. Some of it comes from watching the news or somewhere else sometimes they just pop into my head, iím pretty happy with the sinking ship song lyrics but other songs lyrics are just like that because i literally had to sing something & didínt have time to think it through.
you've moved from bristol, which seems pretty active musically. do you miss it or is it a relief in some way? do you feel connected still to other bands from bristol or even the uk in general (if you ever did)?
Well I donít miss bristol at all these days i did when i first moved away but iíve been back a few times & the nostagia i felt goes after 3 days of being back & iím suddenly reminded of some of the reasons i left. I actually enjoy being an isolationist especially from music because it helps me do stuff without being too influenced by stuff iím hearing all day. Of course Iím still very much in touch with Chris Many fingers Cole Andrew Remote Viewer & the Hood Boys, Nick from Gravenhurst & but now when I see them I see them kind of intensely for a few days so itís actually a better way to see people. I miss going to pubs every so often & the convenience of living in a city (ever tried to find a DAT tape in the Dordogne?) but life here is so tranquil that Iím never too bothered, no noise no pollution very little crime
who used to be your influences, who are they now? (if any)< br/>
Well i always hate this question because i love so much music from Roumanian Folk music to Dub to Hip Hop to Classical I could probably list 10000 bands or pieces of music that have inspired me over the years I think the main thing that seperates good music & bad music for me is whether there is any soul in it not in the Aretha Franklin use of the word but whether there is any sort of emotional content. I think that there are 3 real motives for making music 1 is to make money 2 (linked with the first although not always plenty of people make a lot of money doing music for adverts) is for fame/Glory & the 3rd is because you fucking have to, for whatever reason theres kind of an itch in your soul that you need to come out, perhaps itís a need to communicate something, without necessarily knowing what it is you want to communicate, I think that there is a real need for humans to unite in some way emotionally or sexually or whatever & this communication is perhaps a part of that & I think itís possible to hear the 3rd motive when itís there but itís just a theory.Ok in a nut shell I used to like MBV now I like Tom Waits (simplified joke) MBV were the first time I heard a band & just thought what the fuck is this (in the best possible way) & in that score it was a big influence because i always wanted to have a similar effect aswell as there being so much to the music (i still hear new things when i listen to isnít anything & iíve heard that lp at least 1000 times) but they made me want to take music seriously & actually try to find more of stuff like that, & thatís how i ended up working in a record shop, to be honest my biggest musical influence is not even a musician it was Rog from Revolver & his passion & knowledge of music.
As I said earlier iím pretty much an isolationist now but I love Tom Waits (actually his more recent output which is at odds with a lot of people but i only really discovered him 2 years ago & itís always the first lp that grabs you that you prefer in my experience), Directorsound is another band I love, Iíve developed a kind of obsession with Brel & Ferrť just because they were so unique & passionate, there is no one around these days (perhaps apart from Tom waits) who comes anywhere close to these guys. Maybe Iím getting old but I love to hear this stuff & a few people seem to be reverting away from glitchtronica back to the old
what's the fascination with ships (don't know if two songs make a fascination)
Well the sinking ship song actually isnít about a ship at all itís a wanky metaphor for this fucking world/system which is dragging us all down & from which theres no escape except death (sorry but you did ask) but i like the idea of a twisted sea shanty & it just came together.
The Kursk (aswell as sinking ship song) was just an extension of how suprised I am at the relatively low value placed on peoples lives, The Kursk sank with at least 23 people still alive & they were left to die a cold & terrible death because Put(a)in wanted to keep the Kurskís technical details a secret (even though everyone knew about it anyway) & nowadays itís kind of easy to work out the price of a human life of course it depends where you were born if you are unfortunate enough to be born in Iraq over the last 50 years it would been about 5$ (well alright perhaps not as little as that the running total of the total cost of the Iraq war is (at the time of writing @$157,000,000,000 you can check the running total at www.costofwar.com so you can write an equation the total financial gain of going to war minus the cost of the war divided by lives lost in the war & there you have the financial value of a human life, there is probably a more accurate way of working it out especially as iím guessing a US life lost is for whatever reason more financially worthy) anyway that is the fascination nothing to do with ships at all the fact that in this fucking system it is possible to put a financial value on a human life & that to me is a terrible indication of what we as humans have become & itís considered normal. literally anything can be bought if youíve got enough money, Forests, Oceans, whole continents, governments (with the military provided for free courtesy of the taxpayer) The will of the people (comes free with the media) whatever you want if your big enough greedy enough & a fucking soulless sack of shit with no concsience itís all up for grabs & no one appears to give that much of a shit.
do you start out with a clear idea? if so, what is it? image, word, sample, concept?
Well it starts out as usually a song on the guitar (these days ) & it just goes from there
As 3ef I used to just tit around on the sampler/sequencer, if i was stuck iíd start with the beat & just go from there or Iíd find a good sample, as times gone on Iíve started with clear ideas & had to adapt as some of the ideas work some donít, sometimes happy accidents happen (with frightening occurence) sometimes while trying to do one thing another thing happens & it sounds better & it just goes from there until i physically cant work on it anymore.
so what's your masterplan for world domination?
No plan for world domination, if i can carry on as i am which is being in the incredibly fortunate position of being able to do something i love & it being able to feed me & my family then I will be happy I donít have any other ambition apart from being able to make the next record & to play music live for people (which i increasingly enjoy)