Our first interview was for the debut issue of Autoeroticasphyxium, which was released in January of 1997. Back then you were one of the vocalists for the NYC punk band Deviant Behavior. Deviant Behavior since disbanded but you’ve kept in touch with some of the other band members. What else have you been doing all this time?
Around the time Deviant Behavior disbanded, I had been going down a rather dark path. I had been heading that way for years, completely embodying the "sex, drugs, rock-n-roll and deviant behavior" that I sang about. It finally took its toll. The band never officially broke up; we just stopped. In April 2001, my partner and former Deviant Behavior manager Danny (Roguish Armament, Shining Path, Blackguard and 40 Hurtz) and I bought a house in the Catskills and made the move out of the city. I took a job as a chef, and after a few years of training under some amazing world renowned chefs, I opened my own restaurant, "Kaya's Organic Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant". We had a good run, but ended up closing when the hotel that my restaurant was in was purchased by someone who wanted to serve meat. I worked as a sous chef for MENLA Mountain Retreat, a division of Tibet House, after my restaurant closed. In 2005 on a visit back home, I reunited with an old flame that I had gone to high school with and a few months later I moved down to West Virginia to be with him. I started working for a law firm in Maryland and have now been at the firm for nine years. JP and I were married in 2009 and we are two peas in a pod, haha. Over the years I've still written music and I've done some recording, but I haven't released any new material. Not yet at least. As of late I've been pursuing a certain German Industrial/Metal band that I'm hoping to work with. I've also been working on a book that I began writing about five years ago. Initially it was set to be the story of my experiences in NYC from when I arrived in '94 to when I left in '01, but due to the copious amounts of drugs and alcohol I consumed in the 90's my timeline is too askew for any kind of chronological order. It's become more of a collection of short stories from my exploits in the city. Ya can't make this shit up. I write when I remember. At the rate I'm going I hope to release it sometime before I die, haha.
I remember going to the city and attending Lower East Side punk shows in the 90s. Granted it had its dark aspects (no more or less than anywhere else) but those were also fun times that remain in my memory to this day. Deviant Behavior was one of the bands I saw live and your shows were always memorable. Do you remember any specific shows?
Believe it or not I remember most of the shows that we played. I recall our first show ever, which we performed at the Pyramid club on Avenue A. You were there; in fact the only photos I have from that show are the shots you took! You’ve been there from the beginning! One of my favorite shows was at Club Life, and we went on after that female “metal” band Kittie performed. I recall sharing a dressing room with those little snots, haha. The show that night was explosive; we sounded great and everything came together perfectly. At one point a guy from the crowd with a Prince Albert piercing came up to the stage and he had a straw going through his piercing and into a beer bottle. He came up to me and offered his straw and beverage up to me and I of course took a drink, haha. He became a regular at our shows often coming on stage so we could take a drink from his cock straw, haha. We performed one time at Under Acme, and the show was horrible. I was on so many different drugs and was totally out of my mind. My bandmates and I were not vibing at all and at one point I walked off the stage, thus ending the show. One of my favorite and most memorable performances (for me at least) was at Don Hill’s. Theo of the Lunachicks introduced us (I think) and when I got up on stage I looked into the crowd and saw Debbie Harry talking with John Waters and Joan Jett was up in front watching. I was in awe that these people who so influenced me when I was coming up were there watching us in all of our half-naked glory. The show was a blast and I got felt down by Joan… ahhhh Joan… I could go on and on about my favorite shows, our first show at CBGB, the Continental, and the crazy show we played at the Joyous Lake in Woodstock (with naked muddy slam dancers).
Describe Deviant Behavior’s performance at the Joyous Lake and your first CBGB show in a little more detail.
When we played Joyous Lake I was at the height of my drug and alcohol abuse. I was blacked out by the time I went on stage. I do recall that I went on a long shit talking rant about who knows what (laughs)... but the show went on. I recall two naked slam dancers that were covered in mud and beer, having a grand ole time! At some point I ended up barefoot and at the end of the show I couldn't find my shoes and wrapped my feet in duct tape to protect them from broken glass and the gravel outside... I was a total mess. Our first show at CBGB's was also the first show I did sober. I wanted to fully soak in the experience. I don't even recall who we played with but I will always remember the raw energy and the AMAZING sound of the room. I miss that place!
Your first show at The Pyramid was during a transgender party hosted by Glorya Wholesome. Those parties were experiences to remember. I still have the photos you referred to; I wish I could have taken more. What do you remember of Deviant Behavior’s debut Pyramid performance? We met when the Murder Junkies played at there, and I remember seeing Deviant Behavior at ABC No Rio. Do you remember Andromeda, the tattoo shop on St. Mark’s Place?
I recall the raw nervous energy permeating the room. I felt completely at home on that stage though. I was surrounded by people that made me feel relaxed: trannies, punks, goths and drunks; my family. Glorya she was so funny and animated. I would sleep in Andromeda’s doorway on occasion with Pat, Ferret and a few other street family members. Andromeda became a bit of a halfway house for displaced punk rockers, and they were always cool with our loitering (to a certain extent, haha). The few piercings I have (those not done by myself) were done by Mikel, the only other piercer I'd trust to poke a hole in me.
Last I remember, Andromeda was still on St. Mark’s Place (andromedastudio33nyc.com). What did you appreciate about the tattoo art there?
The work by Tommy Murphy and Brian Martin impressed me, and they had real chops. It was mainly the cute guys working at the shop that drew me in. Tommy and Brian’s custom pieces, their friendship and willingness to use my skin as canvas is what made me stay. Tommy and Brian have always been well versed in old school style tattoos, but they could freehand a concept by a client and execute the work beautifully. At one point the shop was owned by a guy named Bob who was allegedly a Doctor and "specialized" in cosmetic tattoos. Bob never did wrong by me; in fact he was like an uncle, but his non-cosmetic tattoos weren't so great. Tommy and Brian were the shining stars of that shop in the 90's.
Our friend Gypsy Nation (at the time the vocalist of Martha Dumptruck) worked at Andromeda for some time. Are you still in touch with him on Facebook these days?
I recently reunited with him on Facebook. He is one of those rare individuals that is just truly good. When I was on the street, he put me up for a night. Although we occupied the same sleeping space, he was totally respectful and didn't try to take advantage of the situation.
I was away from the punk scene in the city a while, but I missed it and decided to do research on the origins of punk, from the Sex Pistols documentary The Filth And The Fury to the Ramones documentary End Of The Century. Are there any movies you would personally recommend on the subject?
I haven’t actually seen many punkumentaries; however The Decline Of Western Civilization III is a favorite. I’d highly recommend it and I guarantee you’ll see some familiar faces. Although it depicts punk rock street youth in Los Angeles, quite a few are familiar faces from the New York City scene in the 90’s. I know that there are some more recent docs on the New York City punk and hardcore scene but I have yet to see them.
Recount your experiences meeting Kittie, then share experiences of meeting Debbie Harry, John Waters or Joan Jett at Deviant Behavior’s Don Hills performance?
Kittie (in theory) opened for Deviant Behavior in 1997 (or ’98) at Club Life in New York City. I say “in theory” because they were just getting “big” and evidently MTV was there to film their live show. It just so happened that they went on before Deviant Behavior and therefore ended up with the opening slot. While I could possibly like their music, I’m one of those people where if I don’t like someone, I don’t support their art (it goes the other way, I may like someone but not their music but if they’re good, decent people I’ll still support their art). My experiences with the Kittie kids were limited to booting them out of our shared dressing room. At the time I was in full swing with the whole “sex, drugs and rock & roll” and already had a healthy buzz on when I arrived in the dressing room. From what I could tell, the Kittie kids had a pretty decent (high dollar) wardrobe and various items strewn about the dressing room. I told ‘em to get the fuck outta my way. They did. That was that, haha. When Deviant Behavior played Don Hills in ’98 (?) the evening started typically, I was already rather wasted, and we were commencing with the backstage antics (which were all filmed) as we generally had anywhere from five to fifteen people in our dressing room before a gig (if there was room for them). At one point, Joan Jett came downstairs to the dressing room to meet us, and introduce herself. It had been rumoured that she was interested in signing Deviant Behavior to her Black Hearts label. Joan seemed to have an eye for me, which was great because I always had a crush on her. Once it was time to go on, from the stage I could see other idols of mine in the crowd, sitting at the same table were the incomparable Deborah Harry and the amazing John Waters (I could’ve died happy that night). I being me, had to point out (over the microphone) who I saw in the crowd. My experience with Debbie has been limited but she was always very sweet and pleasant the few times I have met her. A dream of mine is to record a song (or a few) with her… that voice… that face...
How much material did Deviant Behavior release during the time they were active, both album and video wise? Can any of this material still be acquired?
We released two albums essentially of the same material but recorded in different studios with different musicians. The early years of DB were booze and drug fueled and our turnover rate for musicians were fairly high. I still view the last lineup as the true lineup that sounded and played the best together. These days you may find one of the two releases in a bargain bin somewhere in Brooklyn or NYC. In 2000 we signed with Starpolish aka CD Baby, brought on by visionary Vivek Tiwary (creator of the graphic novel The Fifth Beatle). Thanks to technology and Vivek getting us in on the ground floor, our catalog is available on iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster and a slew of other online distributors. I am pleased to say that my music has been to more places than I have been. It seems that we do well in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
There has been talk and speculation about a Deviant Behavior reunion. Do you see this becoming a reality?
Oh sure. We’ve been threatening for years to do a few reunion gigs. A few years ago we actually got it together enough for us to have band practice. I drove up to New York City on a Saturday morning, we had a somewhat half-assed band practice with Pat, Elena and myself on vocals, Johnny Boy on bass and I actually doubled on drums as we were sans a drummer and guitarist. The reunion has been somewhat of a bone of contention as I’m rather steadfast about not wanting to do it without Erika Amerika. Although she wasn’t the “original” guitarist, she was the best as far as I’m concerned. In my mind, the reunion lineup MUST be myself, Elena and Pat on vox, Johnny Boy on Bass, Erika Amerika on Guitar and truly any drummer will do. Would I prefer to have Matt Mayhem on drums? Of course; however I’m pretty sure no one knows where to find him so we can just scrap that idea. If I had my choice and could pick a drummer I’d love to have Pete Ansari or Roy Mayorga. They are both ridiculously talented drummers that beat those skins like they owe ‘em money (laughs). I miss being on stage; more than I miss much more of anything else. It was the one place that I felt at home and truly free. I could grab my crotch, rip off my clothes, writhe around in broken glass or bust a hot piss in someone’s face and it was all in the name of punk rock and art. On stage I felt invincible, and I kind of was. I know the rest of my bandmates feel the same, at least in the sense where they miss the dynamic that we shared. It was a special time.
Another thing I remember from the 90s was members of the punk scene protesting Mayor Guliani’s Quality Of Life program of which punk venues on Avenue A were frequently targeted. It’s ironic because since then we lost CBGB and Bleecker Bob’s Records to the gentrification that has taken place in the East Village for the last decade. Any thoughts?
Our album “Giuliani Years” was somewhat of an extension of that protest. The concept of his “quality of life” campaign was so fucked up. Quality of life for who? Those who could afford it? He took the poor and homeless and hid them. They didn’t miraculously find homes and jobs, he locked them up and others just disappeared. Trust me; the irony has not been lost on me. CBGB, our Mecca, a place where we could go to every Sunday afternoon and see everyone we wanted to see, a place where when Wendy O’ Williams died we could all converge and mourn next to Patti Smith and other members of punk rock’s “elite” (sounds odd doesn’t it?). So to see CB’s as something other than what it was to so many for so long is like a sucker punch to the gut. Don’t even get me started on Bleecker Bob’s; I think those places should’ve been protected, and made into historical landmarks.
Perhaps it was just me, but I always thought the closing of CBGB, Bleecker Bob’s and many other clubs and record stores were a series of blows to the alternative culture of New York City, as if it was being deliberately pushed aside. We still have ABC and Tompkins Square Park, but would you say there was some connection, at least attitude-wise, between the so-called “Quality Of Life” (or should I say Quality Of Lie?) campaign and the shutting down of said clubs and outlets?
To my knowledge, Rudy’s “Quality of Life Campaign” ended with him. After I left the city in 2001, and only visited a few times after that, I was somewhat out of the loop. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, I saw how our city was decimated. Visually and spiritually it was so evident that the city was just in a total state of shock, awe and confusion. It was horrible. The closing of CB’s, Bleecker Bob’s and all of the other places that are no more, it’s just history repeating itself over and over again; gentrification at its height. And it’ll keep going; it’s no longer about stopping the machine, it’s about evolving with it and having enough capital to keep it from swallowing you and your business. It’s crazy and it’s bullshit.
It seemed as if the Bowery Residents Committee wanted to evict the club no matter what; I’ve heard about how they raised the rent without telling the club owners and refused to drop the matter when Hilly Kristal won the court case at first. Do you think the Varvatos retail store and Morrison Hotel art gallery that replaced the CBGB club and record canteen is a good or bad thing?
I suppose it's a "good" thing, but as a supporter of CB’s and what it was, I'm not happy about anything taking its place. I prefer the current occupant to just leaving it vacant.
Do you think punk as it stands today can survive the gentrification machine? We still have Otto’s Shrunken Head and free shows in Tompkins Square Park each summer where punk bands can be heard.
Oh sure. As long as there are kids with displaced aggression, there will be a scene. No matter how gentrified the city becomes (could it get any more gentrified than it’s become now?) I do think it’ll change the feel of the scene. Think about it: compare going to a show at a place like the Continental, which is now a sports bar, versus a show at a squat. Punk rock is raw, grimy, and angry and it likes its outside to match its inside and I think the venue should reflect that, but bar owners are in business to make money. Back in the day, the Continental was a good rock club with an amazing sound guy (Noel Ford), and it was a staple in the scene. I don’t think gentrification could kill the scene; I think it’s in the hands of the bar owners; if they choose to no longer allow punk bands then that would be the final nail in the coffin. Then we are left with punk rock at its root and where it’s most primal: in the alleys, abandoned buildings and in the shadows where well off people are afraid to go at night. Like the Lower East Side back in the 70’s and 80’s where people wouldn’t go below Avenue A at night. Punk Rock doesn’t die with gentrification; it dies when we let it. And I’m not done with it.
Punk has generated much change in the world, from fashion to animal rights. ABC No Rio’s owners won their legal battle to stop their eviction and are renovating it independently. Homeless activism still thrives. Ray’s Candy Store across from Tompkins Square was renovated for free by the local squatters. All despite the gentrification and popular stereotypes. Would you consider these significant achievements?
Definitely! It's about so much more than squatters’ rights. It's about human rights, it's about the people taking something that's been forgotten, or dilapidated and using their own time, hands and ingenuity to bring it back to life. It's about showing the community that there are people who care enough about their homes, their city, and each other to pull together for a common good without the need for investors or real capital. It's a loud voice saying "we can do it together" and for no other reason than for the betterment of the lives of others, not for financial gain. It's truly impressive.
How long was Kaya's Organic Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant in business? Again, I know there are many punks who are dedicated advocates for animal rights. Was opening this restaurant an extension on any beliefs you had on animal rights or just a place where patrons could eat healthier?
When I was living in NYC I was a devout meat eater. Sure, I was (and am) against animal cruelty, but I had no problem eating them. My dear old friend John Joseph (aka John Bloodclot) got both Danny and I into eating vegetarian and vegan cuisine. He and his girlfriend at the time came up to our home in the Catskills and brought bags and bags of groceries with the most beautiful organic produce and the yummiest transitional vegetarian and vegan foods money could buy. It was John who imposed that positive change in my life and I was fascinated by the concept of vegetarian and vegan food that tasted like meat. My restaurant was more of an introduction to healthier eating/living for people who maybe were told by their doctors that they needed to change their diets for health reasons. I specialized in transitional vegetarian and vegan cuisine that mimicked the taste of meat without the negative fallbacks.
Have you read any of the books John Joseph wrote and published?
UGHHHH! Not yet but I’m dying to! I have been promoting his books and touting on about how great they are, and I know that they are because John is an amazing human being, who changed my life through vegetarianism (I have since relapsed on flesh products, but that’s another story altogether, haha) but yeah, John is a tremendous human being with a huge heart, and a quick mind. He has lived one hell of a life and he has so much to say to the world and many ways in which he spreads his messages.
Which of John Joseph’s publications have you most actively promoted?
Neither and both. I have some very talented friends, and when they do something whether it’s writing a book (or books), having a showing of their art, releasing a record, I try to support them in whatever way I can. John is an incredible human being who has lived one hell of a life. He has inspired me, and countless others to be better people. I would promote openly anything that he does, as his credo is to work for the betterment of himself and mankind, and to me that is admirable.
How were your experiences working at MENLA Mountain Retreat? And what made you decide to work for a law firm?
There were so many eye opening experiences at MENLA. The most mind expanding was cooking for the Global Women’s Gathering, also known as the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Female tribal heads from around the world, converging on MENLA to brainstorm on how to bring peace to the world as a whole. These women held workshops, discussing ideas and telling stories to be passed down. These women were amazing and it gives me chills and chokes me up to even talk about it. I took care of the Oglala Sioux Grandmothers (my distant kin), cooking their meals for the week that they were on the MENLA compound. In addition to the grandmothers there was always a slew of the rich and famous making their way through MENLA to learn about being mindful or to take a hot yoga class, some going on a week-long broth fast (those fasting would often raid the kitchen at night). From my time at MENLA, I learned a lot about myself, and about my place in this universe. Believe it or not, I learned more about mindfulness by simply watching others who were also learning but not necessarily implementing the teachings. Simply put, there was no shortage of rude assholes paying a lot of money to learn the way of the Buddha just so they could tell people that they spent a lot of money to attend a fancy retreat to learn the way of the Buddha. After moving to West Virginia in 2005 I needed a job. As a kid I wanted to either be a geologist, a rock star or an attorney, haha. I grew up looking up to my Uncle Tory who became an attorney. Thank goodness for nepotism because he hired me to do clerical work and nine years later I’m a senior paralegal for his firm. I love legal work; I love everything about it. I’m not as fond of the type of legal work (collections law) but it’s a living and I’m good at it. At the end of the day I suppose it’s better that someone capable of empathy, care and concern is the one doing the collecting as opposed to someone who’s just pushing papers to keep the bills paid and not giving a fuck about the debtor. I take my work home with me (emotionally) and I pray to the universe that these people are given reprieve from some of their debts. It’s a rough time to owe money.
How many times did you get to attend meetings held by the Global Women’s Gathering?
Well, in theory I never did attend. I was the Sous Chef for Menla Mountain Retreat (a division of Tibet House), and the first Global Women’s Gathering was held there. While I did get to sit in on a few of the breakout sessions, for the most part I was cooking and spending time with the Oglala Sioux Elders and learning about life on the res. It still was a time I will never forget. When all of the speakers, and all of the attendees would converge on the dining hall and everyone was talking and smiling and laughing. Some would be dancing, others singing. It was really a beautiful event and you could just feel the energy swaying through the trees and resonating through the mountains.
What are some of the things you learned from the Oglala Sioux Elders? How moving were your experiences at the retreat while you were there to witness them?
The Elders were women of few words. That was the most moving thing about my time with them. They were able to relay so much without using words. It’s something that is so difficult for me to describe as I have always been a woman of too many words. They (in so many words) were able to impart on me that life is not about the end result; it is about the minutia in between that leads us to our destination. That everything (person, animal etc) that we interact with matters. And it’s these interactions and the way we move through this universe that actually determines our destination, not a map, not a plan, not money. Life takes us where we are supposed to go.
Starting in 2013 reunion events have been put on for everyone who was part of the New York punk scene in the mid-1990s. From what I have seen and heard those events have been quite successful.
The first reunion of the St. Mark’s 90’s Punks took place in 2013 and it was FABULOUS! There were at least a few hundred people and everyone was happy and just so thrilled to be seeing one another again after so many years. For those still living in or around the city it may not have been as exciting, but for me seeing all of my dear old friends after so many years was cathartic. The reunion this year didn’t have as many people, but I think this past year has been so difficult financially on so many. I am confident that next year’s reunion will be bigger and better. I am hopeful that we won’t have too many more names to add to the memorial list. That list has grown way too long over the past ten years.
I missed the 2014 St. Mark’s reunion, so can you describe the happenings of this event firsthand?
The 2014 reunion was not as attended as the 2013 reunion, but it was still lovely. A group of us met for dinner at the Yaffa Cafe on St. Mark’s, noshed and talked for a little while before disbursing an hour or so before the reunion. At Otto's, music was played and drinks were flowing until the fabulous performance by Gash covering X-Possibles tunes. I have a total woman crush on Tibbie. I always have, and I'm so happy that she's still rocking in so many ways in 2015, and giving the young girls a fantastic punk chick role model. That, and she's gorgeous! The night went out like a lamb, for me at least. I headed back to the hotel before I got too ripped (laughs).
Explain who Tibbie is and how long she has been an active performer in New York City?
Tibbie X had a band in the 90's called the X-Possibles that Deviant Behavior had the pleasure of playing with at our record release party at Coney Island High in 1997. Her current band Gash is fucking great! Tibbie has been on the scene since the 90's and is true blue and as real as they come. She's gorgeous and an amazing person that I'm happy to call my compatriot... In fact, her band will be touring and when they play near me I'll be performing a few songs with them. She said she'd gladly do some Deviant Behavior tunes but we may just do some Iggy covers. I love that chick so hard!
Would you like to see the St. Mark’s reunions become a yearly event? Could they well occur once each year?
I am pretty damned sure it’s slated to be an annual event. We may not have shirts made up each year but the event will still go on… and that will continue to be the (at least) one time a year I come back to that city, and to my family in NYC. I miss my friends, I miss “that time”. You know the one, when everything seemed to be happening right then, and no other time was as special as “this time”, like we were in a scene from some John Hughes movie, haha. But that time is gone, or is it? I am totally in denial sometimes; good place to be.
How did you found and begin to develop your independent art company Kissed By Chaos?
I started crocheting when I was maybe eight or nine years old. My mom taught me, and I just adapted it from there. I always enjoyed creating… creating just about anything with whatever medium appealed to me at the time. In recent years I had been making some small pieces of jewelry, mainly beadwork. I’d love to get into silver casting, I just need to have time to practice and get really into it. Years ago I had this idea that I hoped would one day come to fruition. I wanted to start a few different projects, to use as a venue to showcase my art (music, writings etc) and to showcase the arts of those that I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for. So I’d have “Global Chaos Records”, “Global Chaos Publishing”; ya get the idea. But Global Chaos became Kissed By Chaos, and I’m still considering the other ideas but I need to focus and finish the few projects I have in the works right now. I am DYING to get back on stage, but again I run into the issue of not having enough time, and needing to keep the bills paid.
What materials have you created for Kissed By Chaos? How extensively has word gotten around since the beginning?
I started out with some jewelry, nothing fancy; just some bead work. I've been crocheting since I was in grade school and I made a few hats and listed them as well as some crocheted hemp necklaces. I in more recent years started making Boobie Beanies and those have been particularly popular. They're (for those who don't know) in the shape of a woman's breast, for the head of their nursing baby; kind of a F.U. to the crybabies whining about women breast feeding in public places. Kissed By Chaos is a word of mouth company, and I owe much thanks to my fabulously mouthy friends who have aided me with my often shameless self promotions.
Your writings include poems you have written, some of which have been published in Cerebral Agony. How long have you set pen to paper to write verse?
I began writing song lyrics when I was in second grade. Years ago when I was going through some boxes in my mom’s attic I found what I believe to be my first song, called "It's Not The Place For Me". There was no date, but my handwriting was that of a small child; more than likely from my earliest years of grade school. My first performance was at a sixth grade talent show where I sang my song "Sad Thoughts" accapella. I knew I wanted to be on stage for the rest of my life. I wrote poetry very heavily when I was in junior and senior high school, usually while listening to Chopin. My poetry got pretty nutso when I got heavily into Jim Morrison (laughs).
Do you have the poems you’ve written since "It's Not The Place For Me" and "Sad Thoughts" saved in any journals or anything? Describe the verses in those two songs and how they made you want to write more.
I was so young when I wrote those songs. "It's Not The Place For Me" was written when I was maybe six or seven and "Sad Thoughts" was written when I was in the sixth grade. The subject matter of both songs were similar and came from a place of deep sadness. I was a happy kid, with a good living family. I did however grow up without a father and I witnessed my mom’s sacrifices while she raised me on her own. I think that's where my sadness was rooted. I could never thank my mom enough for everything she's done to make me who I am, and writing poetry and music was and is, an outlet for that pain in seeing her struggle and sacrifice. Seeing someone you love hurt, and feeling one’s own pain needs to be voiced in some way and writing is the best way I can think of to get it out. At least the most positive way to get it out. I have scattered throughout my house and in storage, notebook upon notebook of my poetry from over the years. I had tried to put it all together years ago but couldn't find it all. I need to look through the boxes in my mom’s attic.
How much was Jim Morrison an inspiration on your writing? Discuss some of your poems inspired by his works.
An American Prayer meant a lot to me. Partially because some poems I had written mirrored what I read in An American Prayer. It made me feel as though Jim and I were on a similar wavelength. I firmly believe that there are no original thoughts; they're all floating in the universe, and every now and then we absorb them, which is why it's possible for more than one person to have the same idea, or write the same or a similar verse.
What do you have in mind to develop Global Chaos Records and Global Chaos Publishing in times to come?
Global Chaos Records and Publishing are a dream of mine, a dream that I hope will come to fruition one day. I’m currently working on a project with my soul twin (my cousin Big Jim), that will be a multimedia company geared specifically toward the arts as a whole, and it’s one of the biggest concepts I’ve ever been this close to. For Big Jim to bring me in on this is a huge deal and I look forward to being able to elaborate on this once the ink dries. In the meantime, I’m still working on my own music, which these days is leaning more toward some punk rock blues with some old school country chops; getting back to the root of it all. So let me break it down: conceptually Global Chaos Publishing is intended to be a venue for putting out my writings and the writings of those I would like to support and propel forth with the same integrity which I would put forth my works. It’s the same thing for Global Chaos Records, with the purpose being to be an independent venue to release my recent music. I’m a sensitive person, so the idea of peddling my music, which is essentially my heart on a disc to a record label that may or may not tell me to go fuck myself, would just be too much for me. So I want to cut out the middle man.
How do you intend to get Global Chaos Records and Global Chaos Publishing off the ground if you commit to it full time?
It wouldn't take a lot of capital, so really I just need time and drive. I'm so invested in my full time work, my grandma and my home life that those ventures have been put on the back burner for the moment. I prefer not to do anything half asses so when I take on my Global Chaos ventures, you better believe it's gonna be special. There's so much amazing music out there. In the meantime I've started working on another book (I've hit too many walls with my series of short stories about my time in New York City that it was time for a break). This new book is about a woman who decided to end her life, and travels to Luxembourg to meet a doctor who assists with medical suicide. On her journey she comes across a group of people with varying degrees of separation from her life in the States, and who are intertwined with her desire to end her life. I do have a working title I'll share with you off the record.
How many short stories have you penned to date? Have any of them been published in print?
Numerous (sorry for the aloof answer) and none have been published yet. I've been working on a book for years about my time in NYC; sadly since I was blacked out for much of the time I was in NYC my timeline is askew. So I've turned it into a compilation of short stories. Once completed I'll shop it and hopefully it'll be published. I'll put it out myself if need be.
How well do you hope your new writing project will be received upon its release? Would you want to establish a career in fiction writing as well as crafting and publishing?
I'd love to pursue all of the above! I'm down for whatever and at this point writing and crocheting are cheaper than paying a psychiatrist (laughs). But seriously, my writings and crocheting are incredibly therapeutic and helps with my anxiety, which has gotten more severe as time has passed. I could only hope that by writing about my experiences someone else could be helped or dare I say inspired. All I could hope for is that someone could read my words and maybe, just maybe, feel less alone.
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