COTTON FEROX INTERVIEW - PAWEL GZYL, MAGNES, POLAND 2008

- Carl, do you remember your the first visit in Cracow in 1991, when you presented occult movies during short festival organized by magazine “BRULION”?

Carl: Yes. I had a wonderful time there. I really like Crakow. It’s a lovely place. I did a lecture and showed some films to a very interested and attentive crowd. Beautiful people. I have great memories from that trip.

- I suppose that you are still interested in occult. What is so fascinating for you in it? What is the main goal of using magical teachings/tactics in music/art?

Carl: I guess one never really loses interests. But to a certain degree they take on new forms. The core of my interest has always been the expression of filtered impressions. That’s one definition of art for me. Is it possible to change things? I think so. But my main vehicle this past decade hasn’t been “occultism” per se, but rather art. Art contains all of life whereas occultism is a literally quite esoteric sphere. That’s the nature of it. I don’t really want to keep anything in my life hidden. On the contrary, I want to make my art completely available and visible to the entire world. The main goal? To accomplish and change. To reach inside and drag out, whether it hurts or not. To give content some form, to set the spirits of life free.

- You cooperate with Genesis P-Orridge. What is your opinion about this artist? What do you think about his present ideas? Any new plans for cooperation?

Carl: I think Genesis is one of the most important artists alive today. He gives content form and sets the spirits of life free, as I mentioned earlier. We have worked on some musical projects together, both with White Stains and Cotton Ferox, and we hope to do more. We are currently working on a book of interviews, ranging from 1986 and onwards. It will be quite a unique book, given that long time-span.

- You were a member of infamous Temple Ov Psychick Youth. That organization was accused about being a dangerous sect. What is your opinion?

Carl: I guess it all depends on who you ask. I had a great time networking with super-interesting people. A great and open-minded environment in which to develop. Keep in mind that this was before the Internet. But we kept information of all sorts flowing and created some magical art that still resonates today.

- Why did you decide to finish an activity of your previous group - White Stains?

Carl: Every entity or organism has its given time, its life-span. White Stains vibrated and resonated between 1987 and 1994. I can only answer for myself, but I felt that I had given what I could within that specific entity. I took some years off from music, then recorded some solo projects, and eventually drifted into Thomas Tibert again in 2000. We didn’t even have to say anything. It was simply time to make some music again. And so the Cotton Ferox-story began.

- Is Cotton Ferox a project for new times – more club/dance than experimental oriented?

Carl: This varies a lot. One could say that some of the music that’s been released has been more structured or accessible for a wider audience, but that’s not a goal per se for us. We still produce some very weird and cutting edge tracks too. I would be very bored if we did only one thing, one kind of music. I think that’s the reason why we are now focusing on the live experience more than just recording a new album. We work equally much with photography, videos and poetry, all under Cotton Ferox multi-coloured umbrella. For me it’s a paradise, as I work with writing and photography and videos outside of Cotton Ferox too.

- Cotton Ferox`s music is combined with techno, ambient and dub elements. What have in common all these genres? Are these kinds of electronic music a re-incarnations of spirit of psychodelia from 60s and industrial from 80s?

Carl: To generalize a bit: If the 60’s were all light and the industrial 80’s all darkness, then it’s just logical (at least from a dialectical perspective) that we’re in the colourful phase today. We do have ideas and ideals and we try to filter these through our art. In that principal sense, there’s a strong bond with both 60’s hippies and 80’s existentialists. I think re-incarnation is a pretty correct term for it. Yes, we are a re-incarnation of a certain spirit that is more than entertainment yet less than pure philosophy. I think our next album will be called “Mushroom Cloud Rainbow”. That sort of sums it up – the ambivalence of meaning that still has the power to touch people emotionally because of the evocative potential. We can have a fantastic time and a great life and at the same time inspire people. That really is the blessing of being an artist.

- Do you try to transmit your occultural ideas through club music?

Carl: I’m not certain exactly what you mean by club music. But yes, we try to transmit our view of life, our expressions of our filtered impressions. That is the heavy burden of the artist. It mustn’t necessarily be heavy in the expression though. We have a quite stimulating, open-minded and inviting show. It can be just that. Or it can be an inspiration for people during that hour or even beyond that.

- Do you think that club crowd recognize your neo-paganic message during parties? Are club goers interested in it?

Carl: In our case, I think it will be hard to miss. Some will probably think that it’s a psychedelic overload of impressions, but we just follow our intuition and try out new things as we go along. We do what we do because we have to and we share it with the world. People don’t really have to recognize anything. I think the best is if they’re pleasantly surprised or, even better, inspired.

- What can we expect from Cotton Ferox visit in Cracow?

Carl: Stimulating photo-and video-projections, great music for body as well as mind, some poetry and two struggling artists trying not to be boring middle-aged old men. Two Swedish battle tanks filled with love!

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