The Blob’s interview.......
I caught up with Count Beat recently while he was in Durham on a break from his group therapy tour. He was working on mixes for his upcoming Horrible Records release Horrible Demo. This is the Count's first solo release. He has played original music in local clubs for years, but being in the rhythm section always meant that his input was largely confined to timekeeping. This time out he has written, produced, arranged, performed and recorded everything . His studio is a restored farm house nestled in Far East Durham. The century old farm house has a modern kitchen, indoor plumbing and many modern conveniences. There are some conspicuous exclusions though. There is no phone, no internet and no cable tv. The band room is dominated by a large wood stove. It was a cold windy night in February and the air was clear and dry. It's not the sort of thing that happens everyday in Durham.  The Funny Farm was freezing. The fire stove threw off a lot of Noise and heat, but the room was cool. I noticed there was a soft breeze in the studio that caused the candles to flicker and dance. So after cups of hot tea fortified with shots of scotch I asked the Count why the journey had ended in Durham, and why did the studio have a mysterious indoor weather pattern.
Count; It took me over two centuries to find the perfect location for a modern computer based recording studio, that would also provide the ideal environment to store some very precious antiques from the old country. I fell in love with the Funny Farm before my realtor's  body had become cold in the attic, and began to work on acquiring the property the next night.  With 14 inch thick walls and very little natural light, the farm house is an ideal location for late night recording sessions. I can play at any hour without annoying the locals, many of whom are dead. The ancient timbers in the walls have been gnawed by generations of field mice too lazy to find a hungry predator to feed. Because of their tiny passageways the wind finds it very easy to infiltrate the inner chambers of the studio. I find it quite refreshing. It adds a certain airy ambiance to several mixes, and atmosphere to any session.
The Blob; Oh, Yes I noticed the graveyard across the street. Why would you have to worry about angering the grateful dead?
Count; Well I can tell you that you don't want to wake some of those old school freaks up. They can be pretty cranky, and they always want to play top 40 tunes. You know, "Someone Took My Life Tonight" or "Staying Deceased" from the "Saturday Night Hemorrhagic Fever" soundtrack. Most people who die end up in hell, much to everyone’s surprise there is only one station they can listen to down there. Satan is a politician and he enjoys allowing a monopoly, the Unclear Channel Inc., to control the airways. It's an unholy marriage of convenience.  He can interrupt normal programming for spin control or campaigning at any moment and everyone gets the message, or if he says something stupid it’s not dominating the talk shows for weeks. Nothing but the best for his crew. You could say they are in a hellacious rut.
The Blob; There are several other players on the disc, but no one seams to have heard of them or from them. They aren't on your tour, where are they and what are they doing now?
Count; Unfortunately they both quit the band when they became too deceased to fulfill their contractual obligations. It was a tragedy to lose musicians and friends as close as those guys. Freak, really, he was like a comrade to me. I grew up with him. We fought together in the Bore War and the Uncivil War. In the Battle for Hearts and Minds he actually saved my life by catching a stray venereal disease that was meant for me. He was a hero. He was awarded the bleeding heart, the silver crock and several Chucky Cheese tokens. But after years of battling bands he had received far too many blows to the head and it was actually a mercy killing. It was time for him to move on. Besides, he had gotten a credit card and a bill for 900 number calls that was large enough to die for .... literally.
          Mr. Paranoid, God rest his soul, had a cerebral hemorrhage while playing "Johnny Be Good" at a bar mitzvah, but years of fighting Mad Cows in Europe and South America had weakened his cranium, and playing any Chuck Berry tune could have killed him. Just let me add that the tabloid press has made many wild accusations about Mr. Paranoid's untimely demise and I reject all of them. The stress of touring and fornicating was especially rough on Mr. P., because his endowment was so small, he had to work twice as hard as any of the other members of the band. We all miss him and his constant inquiries of , "Who are you locking at?" or," Do you think so and so is looking at me?" It hurts me that journalists  would jump on the tragic occasion of his death to line their own pockets through false accusations and hypothetical scenarios . Contrary to many printed accounts, I was not at the bar mitzvah wasted on pharmaceuticals, but was in Mayberry  N. C. winning at the local drag bingo championships. Several undercover N.S.A. agents have corroborated my story. So for once I am totally innocent.
The Blob; Well I'm glad you finally put that to rest. Can you tell me about some of the songs on your new release?
Count; Gladly... Most of the songs were originally instrumentals. They were bass riffs that really got the band in a funky space and got everybody moving. Everything just seemed to fall into place. My photographer had a love of Apple computers and helped me tap into the power of digital studios. It was the joining of disparate forces that has allowed a lot of these tunes to come together as you have come to know them. The great Lord Horny Toad was the first to take notice of our grooves and advised us not to quit our day jobs. Advice that we still follow today. After years of brewing a hybrid of old school rock and disco we accidentally discovered that Egyptian and Roman manuscripts, that had survived the fire in the Alexandria Library, could be used as lyrics for our musical explorations, once they had been translated into English, of course. They addressed many of the problems the band recognized America was facing today. You see, Empire building has a long history, and many of the mistakes of the ancient tribes are repeated regularly, up until the modern day, with alarming precision. Policing the world is always going to drain the resources of the Fatherland. The unchecked thirst for possessions is always going to place an intolerable strain on the environment. Soldiers sent halfway around the world to kill people are always going to come home and embrace anti-social behavior. Most importantly politicians are always going to play silly self-serving games while the fires of social discontent sear their panty hose. The ease with which these manuscripts translated into modern grooves was astounding. It's not true that the Emperor has no clothes. Rather, he has worn the same suit so long it has disintegrated on his smelly body, and he is so high on power and money that he fails to notice. Why would anyone spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get elected to a job that pays only a small fraction of that money? Is it stupidity, or is the foul smell of corruption close at hand? Both answers are probably true. The point is that those who do not learn the lessons of history are going to have to attend the school of hard knockers, and that is a painfully expensive place to go. It's also a waste of time, especially when you could be in the Land of Milking Honeys.
     Let me ask you, How many Empires have survived? hmmm, lets see. Can't think of one. What makes King George believe he is going to beat those odds? Does he have a little genie in a bottle? A little nuclear solution to all the problems the world faces? I don't think so, and neither do the Sumerians. The music and the message in the songs is that old school Empire building is not the answer. Greed and Pride are forces that are negative, not the birthright of the nation. If there is trouble in the world 9 times out of 10 oil is under the ground there, and the rest of the time God is in heaven. So, oil I can understand, that's greed, but God is beyond our ability to understand. So using the best of our knowledge let’s assume God made everything. Did he create something as beautiful as life on earth for us to destroy? It's pretty hard for me to imagine he did. I just don't see a creator being thrilled that we make great cluster bombs and carcinogens to destroy what has been made. He wants us to be part of the web of life, not to tear it, that is the message in these songs.
The Blob; Well that was not what I expected to hear. How did these manuscripts survive through the centuries? How did you come to be in possession of them?
Count: They were downloaded into the Universal mind over hundreds of centuries and are always available at your local library, Just ask your favorite librarian to help you tap into the Universal mind, They will be happy to. Tell them the Count sent you.
     While we are talking about Great Libraries... many people would be surprised to see how many authors have written works that have compelling insights into modern life. For instance, George Orwell comes to mind. While you're at the library you will definitely want to check out George's flow about Total Information Awareness, or the Marquis de Sade on family values and religion, or the Constitution on Presidential power. In America not very many people have read the Constitution. Anyone who studies the text would realize the power of the government should be subordinate to we the people not we the rich people. There are many books that expose the soft underbelly of political life in America and the poison we are literally being expected to swallow.
The Blob; Ok, well, yes I will do that. I noticed several of your songs address America's fascination with Hollywood. What has made you so distrustful of entertainment and celebrity?
Count; As a teenager I had watched a lot of tv. It was a ritual my brothers and I had after school. Let me tell you, you can't watch 13 minutes of The Three Stooges with your brothers without some level of violence being introduced into your life. Television makes violence glamorous, clean and acceptable. Check out any Bond film, thats a great example of, "look mom the people I kill are extras, no blood on me". You never see the heartbroken parents, widow or orphans. Violence is clean, glamorous and acceptable when it is portrayed without consequences. It's like an addiction, "this show is great" or, "I love that show". These are classic addict statements. The ritual of viewing the ceremony, the building of tension during the proceedings followed by the rush of adrenaline during the gratuitous violence. all this presented without consequence.
     The shows that are popular today are great for breeding soldiers or sociopaths, for programming a mind to accept violence. I  made a conscious decision to turn away from tv in high school. Hours of casual viewing was an investment of time with a very dubious return. I decided that if I invested that time in music I would have something at the end of the day. I haven't owned a tv ever in my life. It was when I visited  friends and family, while they watched tv, that the Horrible truth became apparent. Television, especially color television and now HDtv, is an almost ubiquitous force. It dominates any situation that it is allowed to enter with a relentless message of "you need to consume" or "you need this because it is beautiful". It is a load of shit. People I had known for years would stare at the box, and forget to talk to each other. They literally knew more about celebrities and advertised products than they knew about their friend who had come to see them. Is that a good thing?
The Blob; Well that would depend on who the visitors were, right? Uh.  
Count; Exactly. It's important to know precisely with whom you are spending your precious time. Some of us have very little left. Which reminds me, I must leave you now to go into the city. I have to meet the Countess for a conjugal visit. You may check out at any time.