Season of Mist / Underground Activist Artist GOG Interview is up

GOG Live at the Crescent Ballroom

1. For those of us new to the Dark Occult Industrial sounds of GOG tell us a bit about how project came to be?
I have a lot of ideas and concepts that I want to manifest. I need this sort of project to vent or else I'd probably explode. I was in some bands before and I could never do what I really wanted to do so I just started doing it myself. Very grateful that I can continue to do so and I never thought I would be with this much support. 

2. I also currently living in the Arizona desert I'm in Northern Phoenix . Does the elements around you help create the bleak haunting sounds?

The elements around me do, yes, but I try to get perspective from a much higher view, take the whole world in, the whole experience of living, sadness, happiness, anger, fear and the unknown. 

3. If someone that had not heard GOG how would you explain it to them?

Most people I wouldn't even bother trying to explain it to them. I think for someone to "get" what I'm doing they have to be actively searching and digging into this type of sound or experience already.

4. Season of mist seems an odd label to sign GOG being more known for extreme and experimental metal. I know your on Underground activist division but still how did the signing come to happen?

I've been making releases for years. Season Of Mist heard my work thankfully and wanted to work with me. 
I think its a great fit. I think my sound is very close to experimental metal or extreme metal.  I need to be pushing boundaries, so it is different, and that is what experimenting should produce. I don't want to fit in neatly. The metal scene has enough "better-same-ness". The best of any of the millions of genres or neat little boxes we can classify creative work into create an experience, something memorable, something to survive. I try and create that, Season Of Mist gets that.  

5. When I listen to the GOG release I hear projects like Schloss tegal, sephiroth and Nordvargr . What would say are the projects that most influence you?

I try and let the sounds and theme I'm working with influence me. Also, I'm a huge music fan, can't get enough. 

6. Does GOG perform live at all?

Yes, but not that often. I have some vintage equipment that likes to break and is really heavy. I performed Mist from the Random More live on the radio (KFJC, San Jose) with Nate from Servile Sect and a drummer friend of mine Josh, that ended up becoming a CD release. Actually played live on the radio twice. This year I've done about 3 or 4 live shows. A GOG show is very different, this is not material that you can just practice and stamp out in perfect little pieces. The goal is the same. 
With the material I'm making now I think the best show space or place to experience GOG is at home alone in a dark room with your eyes closed with a great pair of headphones turned up comfortably loud. There are physical and mental obstacles at a show for the people attending and for myself, what shirt to wear, who to go with, what beer to drink, who's talking to who, somebody in the front who may or may not have shit their pants. Then you have all the obstacles on making the performance happen. These types of things get in the way. I want the listeners to make themselves available, set the time and place to escape, no obstacles. I also want my material then to be the best it can be, that to me is more important right now. As you know things happen live and thats part of that experience and is fine, but it just doesn't seem like where I want to concentrate a lot of energy right now. I have a chance to play inside your mind, the best show space, if its open. 

7. If you could make a long form dvd for GOG what would it look like and what meaning would it have to your listeners?

I would rip off the movie DECASIA, its amazing, everyone should see it. That would be a big influence of mine. Life and death is portrayed beautifully with actual decaying film, amazing. The soundtrack is a purposely out of tune string section that is amazing on its own.

8. Were do you see the future sounds of GOG heading more experimental ? Or maybe more extreme in tones?

The material I'm working on seems a little more structural to me right now, but to everyone else it will probably be just as chaotic. It might be more violent, with some beautiful mediative sections, more extreme in highs and lows. 

9. Michael do you have other projects then GOG or is this a full time endeavor for you musically?

Just GOG, plenty to keep me busy and satisfied. 

10.  How do you record the material and what tools do you use. Is it a live event with overdubs or very thought out and layered. I hear a very live recording element from GOG.

I sometimes start with a small sample or long sample, or improvisational recording see where that takes me. Every record has a different approach. I don't want people to get caught up in how the recording was made that takes away some of the mystery, but I also want it to sound real, a difficult balance in my mind and I don't know if that makes any sense to anyone else. There are no boundaries on what I can use, sometimes the studio is my instrument (meaning overdubs, editing etc), other times the studio is just there to document a live recording that is more organic and happening naturally. Its always layered, lots of things happening, even layered live and thought out over and over before the studio. 

11. Whats your thoughts on digital age of promotions , media and radio. is it a blessing or curse? Can you have a career in music without live performing in 2013?

Anything that gets my ideas heard is a blessing to me. I think you can have that happen in 2013 without playing live, now more than ever and its getting more so everyday. Most people wouldn't necessarily call it a career tho. 

12. You have a very minimal web presence does it help the mystery of your music and art?

I hope it helps, but its not entirely intentional. It is like not wanting people to get too caught up in how the sounds are created, I don't want people to get caught up too much on who I am. 

13. What are you currently listening too any projects you like to let the world know about you find impressive?

I listen to a lot of music a little of everything. Big fan of black metal, some that come to mind, Inquisition, Clair Cassis, Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord (MoRT). My friends are making killer music, Servile Sect, William Fowler Collins, AGARTTHA, SUTEKH HEXEN, Horseback are doing great stuff right now. I love a lot of electronic music, labels like Ghostly, Kompakt. Indian raga, jazz, drone, mantras, chants, so much stuff to explore it will never get old or be enough. 

14. Thank you for interview any closing thoughts here.

Thanks for the opportunity! Nice to hear from a local in PHX and find out about your site!