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Rescuing a forgotten musical masterpiece | 1, 2

Where were you born?

At a convenient point in our lives, given the size of the passage.

What are your impressions of your childhood experiences and how did they influence your personal and artistic development?

It is very beautiful, and very difficult to be a child in Europe, in the shadow of America. There is so much that is never understood. This kind of thing never leaves you, and it makes your music. It might be that the living is the music, you know?

What was your schooling, especially higher education? Art students?

Yes, yes, we did all that.

What part does twinship play in the dynamics of your working relationship? Do you think and act quite alike?


Why Austin?

We are in Austin, Texas because of the Blues Scene. We needed this to make the Black Man and his pain a part of our lives and our work.

What is the composition of the band? Are there other members besides you two?

Everyone, we think, is in the band, but it is only us, in this reality, I think.

Is ESM a performing band or studio band?

All bands perform, or maybe you would say that they were something else. A small crowd, maybe. If there is a recording, then it is a studio band as well, because the place where a band records, that is a studio, yes?

What was or is your following? Would you say you have a cult following today?

We are in no position to judge that, we don't know about those things. We do our work, our musics, and that does not have to be liked or heard even to be legitimate or good. It doesn't have to be good to be good. Some of the Shaman man can live alone, never see anyone, and heal the planet from that place, the cave, or the prison. We do this interview because it is the same thing.

Are there other ESM albums or is this the first and only one?

There might be others that we don't know about, or that we do.

What year was the album made?

The creation process ends when the work is heard. To illustrate, it has only begun to be an album. We began writing it as we were before birth, and it became a four-track tape sometime in the late '80's. It existed as bootleg cassette tapes for years across Europe and around the world. It was an Internet site for some years later, for instance. The album is made at a different time, whenever a person hears it. He hears it on September 11th, and it is a very different piece, and that is how we intended it when we began it many years ago.

What level of success did it achieve in Europe or in the US?

It was perfect. Nobody in either place understood, and then everybody did, suddenly.

Why did it and you fall into obscurity?

Why do you ask this question? How can you look at us, and hear our music, and ask this? The music is the Future. Of course it must rise and fall, like the Life, it is the process of remembering and forgetting. And the Future will rise and fall and be forgotten, too, and everything will eventually be like the Future.

What and who are your musical influences?

We owe so much to the Black Man. You should get on your knees and thank him now.

ESM Skull IconThere is a theme of sex and death that runs through the album. Are you obsessed with these matters?

As black and white represent all colors, both additive and subtractive, so do sex and death represent all things in the universe, positive and negative. So the mind that dwells on these things, it is learning the lesson that has been put before it, understand?

Not really, but let me ask you this. Would you characterize yourself as nihilists, existentialists, fatalists...?

I don't know what you are talking about either.

Where does love come into the equation, if at all?

Love is everything. If you put sex and death together, Love is what you get. That much is obvious.

If yours is the music of the future, is there a future for ESM?

If not, that would be too bad, for your next question would not be answered and you would have to have a shorter interview. I think you would be paid less, and that would be sad for us to see, because I think money is the thing that you think makes you happy, if I am not mistaken.

It helps. Being that as it may, would you care to elaborate on any of the themes or messages you try to convey through your art?

The only truth is Mathematics, and that one is a toy truth. The only thing worth saying is Silence, but Mr. Silence likes a good frame around his face. Our sound is that frame.

Download MP3 sample tracks from the ESM CD

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Sterling Landeros is a musician and freelance journalist living and playing in Olympia Washington.