(see also our PHOTOS , top 10 of 2000 and archived CD Reviews)

~interview and photos by Blu

I think I've told this story a thousand times already -- about when I first saw Myssouri perform live in Atlanta (god was it two years ago now?).  I knew nothing about them and was set on getting a drink and waiting for the headlining band. But then this twangy guitar caught my ear, and these deep, mournful vocals that had just enough anger and sadness brewing in them, poured out of the sound system and made me stop what I was doing and wander up closer to the stage. I stood there, captivated, for the rest of their set. 

You see, these are no ordinary songs -- no high school poetry chopped up and rehashed for a mindless generation of Mtv-fed fads. No, if you listen to these words, images form in your mind - in the greatest detail, and suddenly you're lost on an endless desert road, on your last breath pinned between heaven and hell and begging for vengeance, or redemption cause they're both interchangeable at that point. I can always make out the die-hard Myssouri fans in the crowd --  they're the ones that actually have all those grueling lyrics memorized and can sing along. That takes practice.  The band, however, and the man behind it would remain a mystery to me. 

It took my moving away to another city and realizing how much I missed seeing them perform live, to summon the courage to ask these guys for an interview.  Intelligence can be intimidating. I worried I wouldn't be able to think of good questions. Finally at the onset of their second release,  Furnace Songs (ep), I threw caution to the wind. I did ask and  Michael Bradley, vocalist and founder of Myssouri was kind enough to indulge me. 

I have to admit that what follows is one the best interviews we've posted so far in StarVox. And I'm not patting myself on the back. Its not my questions that are so incredible. They are questions that any Myssouri fan might ask. It is the thoughtfulness and time and sincerity put into the answers that makes this so special. Its the amazing mind and character of Michael Bradley that continues to intrigue me - a man with all the humbleness in the world;  who doesn't give himself near enough credit for what he and the other members of Myssouri have created thus far. He comments, "I know the potential Myssouri has and we're not there yet."   If this is any indication at all about what lies on the horizon for this group, I might start saving my Myssouri  memorabilia for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame right now.

" my friend in Orlando called it a 'millenial word horde.' --I dig that. "

Blu: You get this question a lot I'm sure, but where did the name Myssouri come from? Even though its pronounced like the state – I've always fancied it as a play on words with “misery.” 

MB: Myssouri is pronounced just like the American state Missouri, and of course it's a bit of a play on "misery," as well as others, like "my," "sour," and "I." It's just fun wordplay in a sort of negative and narcissistic fashion, I suppose.

I had moved to Atlanta in 1996 and recorded some solo demos, and I was toying with the name Myssouri as a one-word pseudonym, like an inverted, American "Morrissey."  Then a band fell into place and the name covered all of us.

Blu: Myssouri started making waves in the music scene not too long ago and your first full length self-released CD has nearly sold out of its printing and has earned you prestigious reviews in a number of well –known music magazines. From the beginning, the band was solid and strong so obviously, even though the band itself was new, you, as a musician are not. What musical projects were you into before Myssouri was formed and how did you meet the original members and decide to form a band?

MB: Well, Myssouri's drummer Chris Jansen sessioned on those first demos I mentioned.  He was involved in a pop/lounge project that  ultimately dissolved, making him available.  He was acquainted with Greg Thum from some previous session work--Greg had his own band, Trampoline, but was interested in pursuing a side project.  I put an ad out for a bassist, received numerous replies, and Myssouri was a 4 piece for a long time.  I've always liked the tightness of a 4 person band, but I really wanted the fullness a 5th member could add  with keys, pedal steel, and guitar.  Like most bands, we experienced some turnover, usually due to differences in creative direction, usually with the bass player.  What is it with bassists?  I've had 3 so far and I'm currently working on the 4th!

I was in 2 bands in Florida in the early-mid '90's:  Alabaster and The Black Helicopters.  Some songs I wrote in both bands have found their way into Myssouri's repertoire.  "Open Road," for example, used to be called "Idiot," when I was into a more minimalist, sloganistic style of writing.

"I have changed my mind.
Servile and surface.  Understood.
I have robbed me blind. 
Dense and docile. 
Smooth and good.
I'll stuff my idiot into you..."
That version was actually recorded (poorly).  Perhaps I'll put it on our Mp3 site one day for laughs.  Whatever makes us money keeps us alive.

Blu:  It would be a collector's item one day I'm sure. I'd buy it just to have for keepsakes. I'm quite fond of the "Red Grass, Black Pasture" live version you have up on the mp3. Its not available anywhere else is it? Its an amazing song, any chances that song will be recorded on the next CD or why wasn't it on Furnace Songs

MB: I have it on a CDR somewhere.  But I'd have to listen to it, evaluate it, perhaps run it through some sound software to improve it.  From what I recall, the problem is the mix.

Red Grass--well, my intention was/is to have a full-length Furnacesongs LP, and Red Grass was going to be the leadoff song.  But money didn't permit, and moreso the band lineup wasn't solid...for the EP, if you'll notice, there's no real bass player.
But, yeah, I'm definitely going to record Red Grass someday, hopefully this year.

Also, the Furnace Songs EP had a goal of being very 'rock' oriented.  (I imposed that goal--to attract label interest.)  We've got plenty of songs that would be great album cuts.  But I'm looking to attract a wider audience, so that we'll achieve the popularity that will bring us the freedom to do long, wordy, slow songs like "Red Grass, Black Pasture".

Blu: And while we're on the subject of that particular song, what's the story behind those lyrics? Your use (intentional or not) of alliteration is great - infact, its quite a tongue twister to try to sing along with. It's a great example of how vivid and powerful the imagery in Myssouri's songs can be. 

MB: Hard to say there's a story--my friend in Orlando called it a 'millenial word horde.' --I dig that.  I had been writing blocks of call and response to the repeated phrase "I will find you" for a while.  That's the kind of song that obviously takes a lot of honing. I'm still not entirely satisfied with it.

Oh yeah, there was one piece of tangible inspiration--the book "We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families" by Philip Gourevitch.  It's a documentation of the Rwandan genocide.  I'm very fascinated with the social anatomy of genocidal behavior.  And Rwanda was horrible and therefore riveting, I'm sorry to say. But the effects of studying it are not like getting a buzz from a good horror film.  It'll make you sick.  Machetes, machetes, machetes.

Blu: You've been compared to bands like 16 Horsepower, The Swans, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and even Johnny Cash. You've spoken of admiration for some of those bands in interviews. Is it fair to say they are also some of your influences musically? What do you listen to personally? 

"Pink Floyd and The Doors merge in the new millennium, then are smeared back to the Old American West."

MB: I have a deep and true respect for those artists, and definitely count them as influences.  I have to say, though, that as a new band striving to get noticed, we're always asked to list bands that we sound like.  I personally had never heard any of 16 Horsepower's music until we started getting compared to them favorably.  (We opened for them in July '99--extremely cool people.)  Same goes for Gun Club. I still can't name for you one of their songs, but people who like them tend to like us--so they get mentioned.  Of course I look forward to the day when I don't have to describe Myssouri with someone else's band. 

Influences are elusive things anyway--I always call Michael Gira and Swans a big influence, but none of our songs sound like them. Songs just come out, you know?  There's never been any conscious attempt to duplicate something we like.  On the contrary, it's often a deliberate effort to create something new, that hasn't been said or heard, within the parameters of a "good song."  Sometimes there ARE slips, like to me, "My Eye" is too Nick Cave-ish.  It's both funny and frustrating how one's original vision for a song in the studio is subjected to a series of compromises, one after the next, that ultimately morph the song into something unintended.  Sounds you can't get, performances that differ, running out of time, running out of tracks.  Money would cure all that, I know.

I think any band that lasts will develop its own unique voice.

Blu: And that'll come with familiarity. Its funny when you think of it in terms of well known bands, you never say, "well the Rolling Stones, they sound like...you know..."  Unfortunately, comparisons and labels are sometimes a necessary evil when trying to describe to virgin listeners what a band *sounds* like -- especially when its a band as unique sounding as Myssouri is. (Perhaps just a more journalistic challenge for reviewers to come up with good descriptive adjectives! ) How would you describe the music of Myssouri?

MB: Oh yeah, I know.  I'm the most guilty of describing Myssouri with references to other bands.  But that's because I have to.  In ads for bassist wanted, etc.  To weed out huge blocks of potentially wrong people.  I'm just saying it would be nice to achieve the level of being one's own frame of reference.  Like Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins. No one ever says they sound like someone else.  And yet they're not something that's never been heard before.  Are they?

I would describe Myssouri as...well, as soon as I get a tag line I'm happy with, I'll have a great one-sheet to send out.  I don't know, so many adjectives are drained of meaning. Dark, cinematic, intense.  And I always want to add the 'american' sound in there, but how?  Short of saying 'american' or 'western.'  Cause we're not country.  Not Johnny Cash.  Malamericana?  Requires too much explanation.  Also, Myssouri's recordings represent a fairly diverse group of sounds.  So, what we are today is not what we were yesterday, and I can promise you that we'll be different tomorrow. Pink Floyd and The Doors merge in the new millennium, then are smeared back to the Old American West.  I dunno.

" Maybe I'm a romantic at heart, living in a post-post modernist world."

Blu:  “Sense of place” seems to be a big part of Myssouri songs. Almost all of your songs conjure images of stark landscapes, open desolate roads and scenes from the country. At times it sounds like something out of Kansas, or maybe the desert in Nevada, and sometimes the haunted rolling hills of Virginia and North Carolina. Where do you get this strong sense of place – is it something personal? Have you spent time in any of these places?

MB: I never really analyzed the frequent occurrence of 'sense of place' in my lyrics, but I think you're right.  Where that comes from, I can only speculate, because much to my chagrin I'm not very well-traveled.  Yet.  I'd say maybe my desire is to be in places like those I describe.  Except maybe Hell. 

I think I could say with more assurance that I usually have a desire to be somewhere other than where I am.

Blu: Myssouri has seen a lot of changes this past year with its members. People have moved on to other projects, some have come back and new members have even been replaced a time or two and yet you managed to record and put out a new five song EP, Furnace Songs, almost without skipping a beat. You've even played a number of live shows with fill-in performances by past Myssouri members. How challenging was that and was it your own drive to create that pushed past the obstacles?

MB: Going back to my answer for your second question, it's been enormously difficult to sustain any momentum with this band when the lineup keeps changing.  We'll get a great booking--a festival or a conference--while I'm looking for a new player--so my only options are to turn down the show or ask old members to do me a favor and sit in.  That has kept Myssouri gigging over the past year, but the writing of new material has suffered.  And touring?  Forget it.  We're working hard to change that, though.  You say we haven't skipped a beat, but I know the potential Myssouri has and we're not there yet.  We've still not created a record that really satisfies me.

Blu: Where would you like to tour?

MB: I would like to tour the entire US, especially the big cities and especially the Northwest, where I wish to live eventually. And I want to tour Europe.  Esp. Eastern Europe.  I think we'd go over well there, too. But I can't fund a tour.  Not now.

Blu: Your lyrics read like prose – they summon detailed images and emotions and are one of the reasons I'm so enamored with the music you create. They're completely engrossing and sharply witty with double meanings – smart phrases and twists that make the listener think  (An example that comes to mind is from “Hey John” when you sing, “There's no divinity in a double cross.”)  I never can fathom how you manage to weave all those words into a tightly packed song. Its an assault on your senses when you read them… and to hear you sing them just adds fire to whatever emotion you drowning in. How do they come about?

MB: Well, I suppose I have a knack for rhyme and pun.  Some songs just seem to pour out, others need wrenching.  It's an enjoyable challenge to create lyrics with interesting rhymes and some meaning behind them.  So few lyrics in popular music today seem to have been paid any thought. Who let the dogs out?  The general public seems drawn to such mindless, inane things.  It's a curious study. If I had to guess, I'd say that life is so complicated and overflowing with hectic information that people need brain-dead chants for relief.  Meditative chaos. But the great lyrics of old standards that are cleverly woven with such intricacy--those are major influences on me. 

Blu: What are some examples?

MB: I have records by Jo Stafford, Frank Sinatra, Nat Cole, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams.. to name a few.  Though sometimes simplistic, the words were very romantic, heavy and memorable.  No one writes like this anymore...

"Long ago and far away, I dreamed a dream one day
and now that dream is here beside me.
Long the skies were overcast, but now the clouds have passed,
you're here at last.
Chills run up and down my spine, Alladin's lamp is mine--
the dream I dreamed was not denied me.
Just one look and then I knew that all I longed for long ago was you."
--Long Ago and Far Away, sung by Jo Stafford.
...the rhymes, the alliteration, the rhymes within the lines, not just at the ends.
"There was a boy.  A very strange, enchanted boy.  They say he wandered very far,
very far, over land and sea.  A little shy, and sad of eye, but very wise was he.
And then one day, one magic day he passed my way.  And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings, this he said to me:  'The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.' "
--Nature Boy, sung by Nat King Cole.
I could go on and on.  And of course, the words may seem trite on paper.  But the performances have immortalized them.

Blu: are you or can you ever see yourself doing a collection of either prose or fiction?

MB: Regarding the writing, it should be no surprise that I entertain fantasies of writing books professionally.  But there's a big difference between lyric writing and novel writing. Coming up with plots for stories is the hard part for me.  I could write the meat of it. But the actual story line is the upfront challenge that has kept me at bay. I definitely will write at least one book, fiction, though.  I've been plotting it for a few years now.  One needs immense quietude to do it.  I don't have that these days.

Blu: To continue on with the subject of lyrics – what is the song-writing process like for you? Do you have an idea and do the lyrics first or does the music come first?

MB: Since songwriting is that symbiotic relationship between word and music, songs come to me in different ways. Sometimes I'll have a chord structure that creates its own rhythm, requiring the lyrics to mold to it.  Other times I'll have a set of words that, through their own rhythm (rhyme, etc.) dictate or at least initiate the melodic changes of the guitar (which is what I most often write with).

But the thing about rhyme is that it's a great device for remembering.  I used to want to consider myself a poet, and I thought that, to be serious, I'd have to eschew rhyme completely.  But I can remember the sonnets of Edna St. Vincent Millay better than any poem by Charles Simic.  I think another element is romanticism.  Maybe I'm a romantic at heart, living in a post-post modernist world.  I love both Michael Gira and Morrissey, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett.  Can there be a synthesis between 2 such disparate camps.  I think so.  Radiohead's a good example.

Blu: Like many artists that are driven to create, I think its safe to say, and this is not meant in the negative sense in the least, that Myssouri is a world that revolves around your vision and that part of the problems you've had with the line up is finding people who understand and are willing to go along with the sometimes bleak world that Myssouri exists in. Am I way off base or is that the case? What is your vision and what's your goal as far as Myssouri is concerned? Is the perfect band line up a process of finding kindred-souls in the creative process?

MB: I must say immediately that Myssouri only exists as a collaboration between myself and those who've been members in the past.  It's true that I've written the skeletons of the vast majority of the songs, but I really rely on the talents of the others to add on the flesh and blood.  Many times my original idea is altered by another player's interpretation of it.  I'm not trying to be falsely self-effacing.  It's just with the high member turnover I've experienced, this is an issue that's always on my mind--that I'm not, nor do I wish to be, the dictator of the band.  But as far as the bleakness/darkness (however one chooses to characterize music that leans on a lot of minor keys), yes, it is always difficult to find musicians who gel with my idea for the band.  Alot of musicians out there just want to have fun and make money, and Myssouri doesn't appear to be that kind of project--at first glance.  Because it has been very fun, cathartic and exciting, as well as financially promising.  There's certainly an audience out there for our type of music.  We just need more exposure.

My goal for Myssouri is to reach the point where it can be a self-perpetuating exercise, and brings me some sense of satisfaction.  I'm obviously driven to create in some form or fashion; music's the outlet right now.  But I'd really like to reach a point where I don't feel at complete odds with the whole world.

" There's definitely a sense of humility there, probably born of the inner disbelief that any other human would willingly spend time and money listening to what I have to say "

Blu: Back to the lyrics and the subject matter of your songs – they are often fraught with emotional turmoil – struggles of the soul, betrayal of the heart, feelings of unworthiness in the face of love, the deception of religion, and if I'm reading them right – even the sad and unacceptable way the US has treated Native Americans. This is the lure of Myssouri for me, as a listener – this dark, painful world that's semi-shrouded in mystery. Where does all this pain and unrest come from? There is an urgency in your words – a sense that it's a message you need to get out or at least demons that need to be exorcised. Are these songs based on personal experiences or are they highly imaginative creations of fictional circumstances? 

MB: Well, I struggle with a response to this one, because I could go so deeply into my personal life/history that it could take pages, and all the while I'm wondering to myself, "Who the hell am I to talk about my problems to the world?"

A few years ago someone described me as the most unhappy person she'd ever met. And I recall being admonished for my "defeatist" attitude by my mother, when I was probably only 5 or 6 years old.  As I look back on the various troubled times of my life, I remember thinking those days were only temporary, and that once things clear up and I can get on track, I'll be a happier, more positive person.  But that's how I'm looking at these days now.  Sometimes I feel so far off course that I could never get back.  And perhaps I'm just not meant to be the zesty buck full of fervor, energy and love for life, participating in the X Games.  Who knows where his individual destiny lies?

Blu: You seem to be a rather aloof figure on stage – reverent and humble to an extent. Are you an extremely personal and self-contained person?

MB: There's definitely a sense of humility there, probably born of the inner disbelief that any other human would willingly spend time and money listening to what I have to say. You know, it's not often that I return the favor.  As for whether I'm extremely personal and self-contained, I would say that if you asked any of my friends, they'd testify that I have a very hammy side and an absurd, silly sense of humor.  It comes out in some shows more than others.  Only you can prevent narcissism.  Only you.

Blu: Myssouri is heavy music in tone. Once at a party I was spinning your CD and someone quipped, “Good god Blu, we wanted to drink not contemplate suicide!” But there's sometimes hints at a lighter side – “Devil on My Shoulder” although dealing with the obsessive natures of drinking and lust, is a romping song that's a bit upbeat with its riotous chorus (sounds like the minions of hell singing a drunken song at the pub). Is there a lighter side to Myssouri and to Michael Bradley?

MB: Of course there's room for humor and levity in Myssouri's music.  I'm one of those people in life who's often misunderstood, misinterpreted.  Everyone knows one. Lightness in our music may not be evident in obvious ways--maybe that's not my nature. But I slip in a line here and there.  On the other side of the equation, I've never understood people who sarcastically say, "Oooh! I think I'll go kill myself!" when they hear a slow song in a minor key.  Like people I've known who protest when I switch a radio station to classical music.  They'll hear one violin note and say they're going to fall asleep.  These people rule the world.

Blu: Classical music? ahh... what do you like? 

MB: Again, there's a combination of romantic and modern.  I love Schubert and I love Wagner.  And Strauss waltzes.   But I love Ligeti, Penderecki, and Arvo Part (who is actually a return to the romantic.)  Have you heard Gavin Bryars "The Sinking of the Titanic"?  It'll make you cry.

Blu: What do you do when you're not working on music for Myssouri?

MB: I'm a devoted husband, and father of 2 beautiful girls, Madeleine and Mara, ages 4 and 5 months, respectively. Currently I'm still imprisoned by financial obligation in the oppressive day job from which I've been plotting means of escape for the past 10 years, in the printing industry.

Blu: What books are your favorites and do you read often? Movies?

MB: I'm an avid movie watcher and reader--no surprise there.  I was a film major in college and I love a well-made picture.  And I'm constantly, constantly reading, usually at least 2 books going at a time.  Unfortunately, the busy-ness and hectic pace of my recent life has left me little time to catch films in the theatre.  I've missed a great many that I promised myself I'd see.  "Dancer in the Dark," for instance.  I love everything I've seen by Lars Von Trier.  And just waiting for the video release is a letdown and a compromise. But it's better than nothing.  I have some videos I watch repeatedly for therapeutic purposes.  Robert Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller."  Any Sergio Leone films. Unforgiven.  Raging Bull.  David Lynch's films.  Others that escape my mind right now.

Books I love and recommend--anything by Cormac McCarthy, especially Blood Meridian.  That's my Bible.  Don Delillo.  The Journal of Albion Moonlight by Kenneth Patchen.  Samuel Beckett.  Ah yes and The Bible.

Blu: Any aspirations in doing any thing with film now?

MB: Nothing solid.  I have only enough time to pursue one artistic endeavor at a time.
If music doesn't pan out, I'll probably go back to theatre and try to get some parts in films.  I do hope to write screenplays too, but that the same problem as writing novels.

Blu: The art work and title of “Furnace Songs” struck me as genius the other night. I was looking at the straw angel on the font and then I saw the *very* faint image of a lighter on the inside jacket. What a perfect visual image of this CD! I noticed Chris Jansen – your drummer, did the layout. Was this your idea or his? How did it come about? And then – because I’m curious, what is the image on the backside of the CD? I haven't been able to make that one out yet. 

MB: Chris is totally responsible for the images, layout and design. That's his day job, see--he's a graphic designer.  How lucky for me!  I asked him about the lighter image, and the burnt matchbook (on the back)--he just said he was playing with images.  I guess keeping with themes of fire, furnaces, etc.  But until you asked that question I myself hadn't put together the symbolism of the very flammable angel on the front with the instruments of conflagration.  Thanks!

" I might seem out of place or eccentric-looking at a Gordon Lightfoot concert "

Blu: What’s your fan base like? You seem to get a good turnout at most local shows I’ve been too which is often times hard to do in Atlanta. Do you think some of your success is due to the fact that Myssouri is not readily classified in any one genre?

MB: It's hard to get people out of the comfort of their homes, or the simple fun of socializing in bars, and into a loud venue to pay attention to a band for a long period of time.  That actually can make headlining shows a drawback. There needs to be something very alluring.  Such as the promise of hearing songs they recognize (which is why airplay is so crucial--often all it takes is one song)--or a great stage show.  It's a constant process and I'm always working hard to bring both of those elements to life.  As for our fan base, it's pleasingly diverse; young and older, men and women.  I've made some good friends whose tastes I respect through Myssouri shows, like film director Nick Rosendorf, who went on to shoot our EPK (electronic press kit) and a video for "Open Contempt."  When people I respect are respecting Myssouri, it tells me we're headed in the right direction.  And it's true that we can't be classified under one genre.   There is a goth crowd element to our fan base, but just as many regular, working-class (not that goths don't work!) folks who aren't concerned with appearances or any elaborate self-presentation--you know what I mean--who've just discovered Myssouri by word of mouth or radio or what have you. We've received a lot of favorable press, and of course that helps.  I might seem out of place or eccentric-looking at a Gordon Lightfoot concert, but I'd be there with bells on, because his music is excellent.  Of course the bells would get annoying. 

Blu: Glad you mentioned videos. I've been dying to see anything from you guys on film. Is any of this available to the public, for purchase or otherwise?

MB: We just made like 10 copies for submission to labels.  But I'll see what I can do. I don't have a copy of the full music video, and I've encouraged Nick to send it to IMTV or whatever that is.  the indie music network that accepts all submissions.

Blu: What was it like working with Jarboe this summer and how did you get involved with her?

MB: The precise circumstances that led to Jarboe asking me to participate in her "Living Jarboe" band (her first post-Swans live outing) are somewhat muddled to me now.  But I do know that I had been corresponding with her via email when M. Gira's Angels of Light were coming to Atlanta and receiving no advance press or airplay.  Myssouri was opening and of course I'm a great fan of both MG and Jarboe so I was trying to use whatever contacts I had to help.  You know, I wanted it to sell out.  So that established the relationship.  Then she was offered a one-off show in Chapel Hill, NC, and she asked if I wanted to play guitar and sing backup.  As those plans coalesced, she was awarded a "Work-In-Progress" grant from Camel Cigarettes (funny--she HATES smoking)  which was basically a contract for 3 live shows--Atlanta, Chicago, and NYC.  We were ushered about in stretch limos, put up in fine hotels, per diems, the works.  It was excellent and my only regret to this day is the poor sound we had at all 3 shows.  The Knitting Factory  in NYC was the closest we came to getting it all right, and it was our last show.  Jarboe wanted to work with local, unknown musicians.  Also, stage presence was a big concern for her, for she certainly could have found a better guitarist than me!

I was able to meet and hang out with Jim Thirlwell, The Knoxville Girls (with Kid Congo Powers of the Bad Seeds), The Gunga Din and of course M. Gira. And who could forget Kendra from The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, who was stark naked, painted completely blue, with hair like black medusa snakes, preparing to spit blood and throw huge rubber snakes into the crowd, who walked by me and sweetly said, "Hey."  Rock and roll.

What can I say about Jarboe?  She's a consummate professional and we're still friends and she deserves to be set up for life, financially.  I need to start playing the lottery.

Blu: What is it that attracts you to the music of the Swans and the kinds of things that Michael Gira writes about?

MB: That's hard to put into words.  I've tried to turn friends onto the Cop/Raping a Slave era Swans, and they just aren't moved by it like I am.  I relate to it's violence and rage, and I'm envious of it's purity.  And all of Swans material.  It strikes an identifying nerve within me.  Like he's saying what I've been wanting to say.  Like we're long lost brothers. If you haven't read The Consumer, you need to.  But that's the same with me recommending McCarthy's BLOOD MERIDIAN.  Some people take my advice, and imagine my disappointment when they're less than enthused.  I can't get that. It's brilliant.  MG is brilliant, and I'd like to have a shitload of money so that I could make him comfortable too.

Blu: Are there any other side projects or collaborations that you've been doing lately?

MB: Jarboe has mentioned something in the works with a lot of male guest vocalists.  Some of the people she mentioned to me with whom I would be included on the record definitely make me say "I'm not worthy!"  I'll believe it when I'm holding the CD in my hand. Other than that, no.  Myssouri has a huge amount of work to do.

"It's kind of sexy in a cerebral-electroniconjugal way "

Blu: You've had a mp3 station up for a while now and have been featured on some mp3 stations like StarVox’s radio station and Mike’s Hidden Sanctuary. Obviously you support that medium. Do you have any opinions you'd like to share on this new technology and the controversy over mp3’s?

MB: I'm thrilled by MP3 technology.  I'm sending our new EP to our #1 fan in Italy this week.  We always get requests from Norway, Sweden, Germany, Romania. And we're not even signed to a label.  It's only technology that's made it possible.
I'm still trying to figure out how or if it's going to be possible to make a living without the participation of a label at all.  Because unfortunately the artists out there who are making real money are all signed.  Yeah there are a few exceptions. 

Now I hear that Napster, which was a beacon of hope for artists who want to circumvent major label conglomerates has begun signing deals with those labels. So will the 'revolution' happen?  I hope so.  It certainly feels like some big change is underfoot.  I mean I'm being interviewed by a magazine which only exists electronically.  So my thoughts, which originate as electrical impulses in my brain are then transmitted electronically to Starvox, which disseminates them for its readers, where they return to electrical impulses in those readers brains.  It's kind of sexy in a cerebral-electroniconjugal way.  I'm in your head right now.
<<<<<SEND MONEY>>>>>>


mp3 page:


Myssouri will perfrom Friday, Jan 19th at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta for the 30th Anniversary of WRAS 88.5 (previous home of DeadAir). Doors open at 6, Myssouri will begin promptly at 7. For more in fo, see WRAS.ORG.

Myssouri  will also perform at the Benefit for Jeremy Wilkins on Thursday, Feb. 8th at the Echolounge in Atlanta.
Jeremy, a key member of UNDERWATER,  was injured during a sledding accident and has no health insurance.  Also playing are Crybaby, Adom,Dropsonic and LARVAE. 
$7 at the door helps our friend fix his back. 

Myssouri is scheduled to perform a live soundtrack accompaniment to F.W. Murnau's classic silent film "Nosferatu" 
as part of GSU's Cinefest,  2 nights in late February. Details to come...

Myssouri.com, the official Myssouri website, is on the verge of full re-launch.  Keep an eye out for drummer/designer/webguru Chris Jansen's stellar work.

"FurnaceSongs," our new 5 song EP, will shortly be available for international credit card purchase thru CDBaby.com.
It is currently available in Atlanta stores. Malamerica is out of print, but a DAM Cd of Malamerica highlights is available through our Mp3.com/myssouri page for only $6. Also, the entire FurnaceSongs EP is now posted for download.