FORMERLY REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES.COM
SANANDA MAITREYA (TERENCE TRENT D’ARBY) INTERVIEW [2015]

WE LAST SPOKE WHEN YOU RELEASED THE JOKER'S EDITION OF 'WILDCARD' BACK IN 2003 AND YOU'D JUST MOVED TO MILAN AND WERE IN AN AMAZING STATE OF REJUVENATION. WHERE ARE YOU BASED TODAY AND - BASED ONE LISTENING TO THE NEW ALBUM - AM I RIGHT THAT THE STATE OF REJUVENATION IS STILL IN FULL EFFECT?

As an artist I find that rejuvenation is the natural effect when following the art. When the art is allowed to dictate, then the artists stays in a state of rejuvenation. I am also a father with two young sons who are very active and who are also fountains of inspiration in their own way. Following life allows life to flow and rejuvenation and flow are related. I am a very lucky man. I have a wonderful wife who supports completely my relationship to my art and work and I have been blessed with a very strong and active work ethic. It is also true that these projects such as The Rise Of The Zugebrian Time Lords allows me to tap into the collective unconscious, which is all that fantasy is. It is rejuvenating to be able to create a world and see it grow into its own reality. And a great gift from God.

THE FIRST TRACK IS A GREAT OPENING AND A BRILLIANT INDICATION OF WHAT IS TO COME, IT SOUNDS INCREDIBLY UPBEAT AND HAPPY, AND I DEFY ANYONE TO LISTEN TO THIS RECORD WITHOUT COMING AWAY WITHOUT AN EXTRA SPRING IN THEIR STEP. WAS THAT YOUR INTENTION WHEN YOU MADE THE RECORD?

With a song like 'You're Going To Lose That Girl', it is hard to fuck it up. It is of particular importance to me because among all of my fave Fab Four fables, this song came back into my life during a great time of difficulty emotionally. I can remember going into a room, putting the film from which the song came, 'Help', on, turning up the speakers to deafening volume, and then like in a trance, listening to this masterpiece over and over again, as many as thirty times, before I could let it go. It had already been a favourite, which is why I returned to it during that time, but thereafter, it became a Godsend.

It took me until this age to work up the nerve to finally pay homage to this piece of music. It also took me but a few moments of recording it to appreciate just how truly great Ringo Starr is, because it became clear to me that no one but him could play like him. But I am glad that I got something of the groove right because the dirty little secret of the Beatles wasn't that they were great songwriters, which is clear, but that they grooved their asses off, they had an undeniable swing that was sexy as hell. When you miss the sex in The Beatles music, you miss most of the point. Again, my main intention was not to fuck it up. And to pay my respects and to move on.

THE ALBUM IS CALLED 'THE RISE OF THE ZUGEBRIAN TIME LORDS'. I GOOGLED 'ZUGEBRIAN TIME LORDS' AND FAILED TO FIND ANYTHING APART FROM REFERENCES TO THIS RECORD, SO I'M GOING TO HAVE TO ASK YOU INSTEAD…

According to Zugebrian law and customs, these bitches do not like being 'Googled'! So naturally you are not likely to find much in the way of reference regarding the Zugebrian Time Lords. The whole point of the Time Lords is that since they control the timeline, you will only ever know what they want you to know and will hide from you what it is expedient to hide. But besides this, it is also possible that when you Googled them they then erased from your mind through the manipulation of time, what copious information you found on them. Unfortunately, since having overtaken our world, your memory belongs not to you anymore but to them.

EVER SINCE YOUR LAST MAJOR LABEL ALBUMS YOU HAVE RELEASED ALBUMS THAT ARE CRAMMED WITH LOADS OF SONGS, AND THIS ONE IS NO EXCEPTION WITH  27 TRACKS ACROSS THE TWO DISCS AND NONE OF THEM SOUND LIKE 'FILLER' TRACKS. IS THAT A REFLECTION OF HOW PRODUCTIVE YOUR SONG WRITING IS NOW?

There is no doubt that since becoming independent, my creativity has found few 'natural predators', so my little rabbits are allowed to breed without being eaten by too many wolves. The most important point however is that industry produces industry, which means that the more I get a chance to work, the more work is created. The more songs I write, the more songs invite being written. The more time I give, the more time I create! And the less my time is slowed down by committees, the more can get done, without as much harm to the psyche of the artist or the nerves of the committee. I am most grateful to God for the blessing of fertility, while I am in this spirit of harvest, I will give what fruits my efforts have earned.

HOW MANY SONGS DID YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE THE FINAL 27 TRACKS FROM, AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ANY SONGS THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT? ARE THEY DEAD OR DO THEY GO ON THE BACK-BURNER TO BE BROKEN DOWN AND MAYBE REWORKED LATER?

There were more than a few songs left off which didn't make the cut, mainly for reasons of redundancy or unnecessary recurrence. And there were some songs which I felt it better to move forward in time and serve our next project 'Prometheus & Pandora'. I am not much one for 'reworking' songs, sometimes it is just a matter of timing.

'THE RISE OF THE ZUGEBRIAN TIME LORDS' TWISTS AND TURNS THROUGH ALL SORTS OF GENRES AND STYLES, I REALISE THAT TO WORK IN ONLY ONE STYLE WOULD BE DEEPLY UNSATISFYING FOR YOU AND FOR YOUR AUDIENCE, BUT IS THERE A PARTICULAR STYLE THAT YOU FEEL MOST ALIGNED TO?

I am closest perhaps to classical, jazz & rock. I was raised in essence on the 'pop' format which was just another way to say 'The Most Popular Music'. I imagine my records through the prism of my mind which has a radio station that plays only the best music and does not care for the genre it came from, but only cares that it represents all the 'cool stuff', and only worries about playing the cool stuff. My records are the fruit of my completely democratic love of all great music.

All music at its root is folk music, if it comes from & through the people, it is folk. And I love all the great folk music of the world, if it is great, I love no matter what it is called. My music is also a reaction to being told what my music should be just because of what I look like, which has never made sense to me. We are what the music is to us, and thus shall it ever be. What also matters is what is in the blood, and being about a third each black, white & Native American, my music reflects the Native, the African, the Scots-Irish, the Spanish and the Portuguese that ties my existence together. To neglect any of these would be to cheat myself of my inheritance, because I have earned every one of these bitches in my bloodline! And am humbled by the sacrifices they made for my blood to be active and alive in this world.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT MAKING MUSIC? DO YOU WRITE THE MUSIC FIRST AND THEN PUT THE LYRICS TO IT? THE OTHER WAY ROUND? SOMETHING LESS PRESCRIPTIVE ENTIRELY IS MY GUESS...

Mainly, it happens that the music will come attached to a phrase, since at this point in my life and experience, words and music are just triggers for the other. For example, I can always remember a song I wrote just by looking at the title, especially if the title inspired the song. If I hear a phrase I like, the music follows. If I hear the music first, then I may wait to be inspired to find the right title, though usually one comes soon enough after the process is initiated.

Also at this point, I have gained enough experience to be able to just go to an instrument and write a song when I am ready. But sometimes, this is the hardest thing to do, to write a song just because you can, it is always better, if given the choice, to be able to wait for the spark of inspiration that pushes you into creating. Though, it is also true that work produces spark.

And for my fellow writers, let me remind them that the best way to break 'writer's block' is to just start writing. Inspiration follows effort, it is not just the other way. I am always ready to write, I am not always ready to commit.

IN ADDITION TO WRITING, ARRANGING AND PERFORMING THE SONGS YOU ALSO PLAY ALL THE INSTRUMENTS AND PRODUCE THE RECORDS AS WELL... I CAN UNDERSTAND HOW CREATIVELY SATISFYING THAT MUST BE BUT HOW TO YOU MANAGE TO GAIN PERSPECTIVE ON YOUR OWN WORK?

At this point in my life, I feel that I have earned all of the perspective I need. I am not trying to remake the wheel, but to present the works imagined in my mind. After over fifty years of engagement with music I feel more than capable of judging whether or not my standards are satisfied. I do not concern myself with any other measure, I have earned freedom from that equation.

What I offer is a chance to experience the freedom of expression that I have fought and died for, and to what the result of being a child prodigy amounted to after all of these years. I love making music and love just as much the complete space to create without other moods and opinions getting in the way. It keeps me more fit, sharp and busy enough to keep my mind occupied.

It is also one hell of a business model since as the only musician & producer, I get several people for the price of one!

I KNOW THAT THE BIG QUESTION THAT A LOT OF THE PEOPLE WHO READ MY WEBSITE WILL WANT ME TO ASK IS WHETHER YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO TOUR 'THE RISE OF THE ZUGEBRIAN TIME LORDS'? I AM ALREADY IMAGINING A ZIGGY STARDUST STYLE SPECTACLE!

There are certainly discussions in the works regarding a tour. At least initially a preliminary tour where we focus more on presenting the work in a simpler form before imagining more of a spectacle.

The idea one day is to combine the narratives of the last three projects - The Sphinx, Return To Zooathalon and The Rise of The Zugebrian Time Lords - into a vehicle for the musical stage, or even a film. But that was always a parallel idea incorporated from the beginning of the past three projects, to create something that would compose a larger, interconnected world, where characters could come in and out. Much inspired by my love of Great Master Richard Wagner and his whole 'Ring Cycle' situation.

Watch my website for upcoming details as and when they develop, but keep in mind that first I have to get past the Zugebrian Time Lords for the permission to exist parallel to and concurrent with your timeline, or the whole thing could happen and you not remember it. If it should occur, I would very much want for you to remember it and say a kind word for me!

KNOWING HOW PROLIFIC YOU ARE AS AN ARTIST, I IMAGINE THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY STARTED PURSUING NEW MUSICAL ADVENTURES IN THE TIME IT HAS TAKEN FOR THE NEW RECORD TO BE MASTERED AND PRESSED AND MARKETED AND PROMOTED, DO YOU HAVE ANY HINTS OF WHAT BE COMING NEXT?

After being involved in music since the age of two, I would be a super-lazy fucker not to have learned to have at least attempted to master as much of music as I can. After all, this is what I do, and what I have been preparing to do for my whole life. I have studied and continue to study because what else am I going to do? I am too old and too married to be chasing pussy. This is my life and I am deeply grateful to have the unique opportunity to follow my artistic dreams, it is an honour to be blessed to do so and one that I take quite seriously and with reverence and regard.

My next project so far, if the will of God persists, is yet another continuation of this Zugebrian project, yet a departure at the same time. It will be titled 'Prometheus & Pandora'. It was Prometheus who intervened on behalf of the Zooathalon to salvage its properties and allies from the Zugebrian menace. And naturally, Prometheus - who was "Thrown out of heaven & banned from hell, because both God and the Devil knew him well" - could only be tamed by the mighty Pandora. That is as much hint as I can give at this time. One seed gives birth to the next and no tree falls without setting up its next life in advance and moving it forward as all seeds must...

Just in case please remember that according to Zugebrian law, this conversation never took place. This interview, just to be sure was merely a figment of our mutual imaginations. Neither one of us were ever here!

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'The Rise Of The Zugebrian Time Lords' is out now in 2-CD, 2-Vinyl and Download editions.

OCTOBER 2015

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