Candiria Interview, 12.11.99

This Candiria interview was done on December the 11th, 1999 @ Big Shots in Roseville, CA with Michael Macivor (bassist), John Lamacchia (guitar), and Kenneth Schalk (drums)

Well this is what happened. Kenny, the drummer for Candiria did most of the talking during the “first try” interview. John and Mike did quite a bit of talking too. All three can get pretty deep in their thoughts about music, their music, where they see music going, and where they would like to see their music going. The problem is this. I did not record any of the “first try” interview, because my tape recorder was on pause, the WHOLE TIME, BUT, listen to this. We did it over, but Kenny had to go do some other things to get ready for their set, so John and Mike re-answered the original questions, added some more statements and thoughts then they did before, and when I had to leave the interview to get my girlfriend waiting at the doors, John asked himself the questions and finished the interview for me. Candiria is dope!!! So, here is the 2nd interview. This so far is the best interview I have done. Thanks guys.

A.M.P.- In the cities where you have never played, what are the people’s reactions, and which has been your best and worst shows so far on this tour?

Mike- Well, I would say that our worst show ever, would probably have been experienced on this tour alone. See what happened was, we played in Columbus, Ohio right, and we did play there once before with Clutch, and the audience was pretty cool, but this time around we played with GWAR and the Misfits, and they just completely hated us.

John- They HATED us.

A.M.P.- Damn, that definitely wasn’t a good feeling.

Mike- Oh yeah, no. It was a terrible feeling when you actually have to fight and curse at people in the crowd.

A.M.P.- Are you serious?

John- OH YEAH, they were like, “You suck,” “Get off the stage.” Man, we were so pissed off.

Mike- It was hysterical though, but ill tell you the truth. Even though it was one of the worst shows, I think just because of the weird dynamic that we are not used to things like that, made it one of the most amazing shows in my mind because I was out there giving a thousand percent while these people hated us, and it just fired me up even more.

John- Yeah, it fired me up too.

Mike- Our best show in a city we have never played in is Seattle, Washington. We played, what was the name of that place…..

John- It will probably come to me but it will be five questions from now.

Mike- We had never played there before, and we roll into Seattle and it was like, ya know, as if we were a Seattle band, the way they treated us.

A.M.P.- What are the motivations of the instrumentals on the album?

Mike- Well let see. According to Ken, folklore has it that, ways back when……Everyone was getting into different styles of music and just, incorporating more than just heavy heavy balls out kind of music, and um, Eric (guitar) and Kenny (drums) started experimenting with some other stuff, listening to different styles of fusion, and what not. They decided to try something new and experiment with heavy music, and someone started experimenting with like, fusion, jazzy kind of fusion. It just kind of clicked, ya know. The band was then approached by a label to put out a full length album and the band was not prepared to put out a full length album, so instead of rushing to put more metal songs on it, let’s put out all of the different styles of music that we do, and that’s kind of like where the instrumental music came from.

John- I also think that now, more than anything, it is to satisfy our own musical tastes as well…….

A.M.P.- That’s how it should be.

John- …And to just experiment with all different kind of things because, I mean I guess Candiria will always be doing what we are doing, but ya know, we are going to be branching off and doing other things as well, and ya know, we can’t wait, it’s in our hearts, and we are going to have to play it, and it just so happens that Candiria’s audience is just waiting for us to do something like that, and this is what the band does and I think it is the perfect position to be in.

Mike- It is just the perfect dynamic, especially if you are a real serious musician, serious about what you do. You must have a dynamic, just like life has many dynamics, you cant have light without dark, you cant have something beautiful without something really ugly, if you don’t have anything to compare it to. So that what we feel like we do with our albums, we try to put the most ugly things and most beautiful things together.

A.M.P.- I believe Kenny says he messes up the most during practices?

John- Yeah I believe Kenny messes up the most.

Mike- Ken probably takes the most risks out of everyone of us, and that’s why he messes up the most.

John- There’s that room for that improvisation, and there’s room for him to attempt to make something amazing happen, and like I said before…… (when it was not recorded), that I think id rather him take the risks during the improvisational parts, and try to create something amazing, than just playing something regimented.

Mike- Even when Kenny messes up or any one of us messes up, we kind of have this good bond between us musically that we can fix ourselves without ever stopping. Ya know, if someone really messes up, someone else will just cover up that person and we will go right into the next part, and a lot of people sometimes don’t even realize it.

John- I think we call that “Coltrane-ing” it….We call that, “Coltrane-ing” it. As far as just like, it goes somewhere, go with it, take it somewhere else and try to bring it back, to make some beautiful music.

A.M.P.- Well that shows true communication.

Mike- I mean what do you do when you mess up, stop? hell no.

John- Nah, there’s no starting over.

Mike- No way, there’s no such thing as starting over.

A.M.P.- Ya wanna go back to the break?

Mike- Try telling that to the audience, we are gonna stop now and do it over..

A.M.P.- So do you notate your music?

John- No, there have been a few cases where we have written some rhythmic formats and time signatures and accents, or chord progressions or just basic notes, but we have never written out music.

Mike- in the traditional sense of notating music, no.

John- I think the only time we ever did have anything written out was when um, Tim, wrote out “Matter.Anti.Matter” for the album (Process of Self.Development).

Mike- Yeah for the jazz part so the horn players and stuff could sight read it and stuff because we obviously didn’t have time to come down…..

A.M.P.- I could not think of what the name of the album was…

John- It is off the process of self development album.

Mike- It is off process.

John- The jazz song off that.

A.M.P.- Because the one I’m thinking of is…..(I try to mimic the song to them)….. but I think that’s off of………..

John- That’s off of surrealistic madness, and process of self.development as well…its on both records.

A.M.P.- Who do you listen to now?

Mike- With the risk of offending anyone, I will not say that I do not like music that comes out nowadays as I did before, but I will tell you some bands that I do like. I love the hell out of Neurosis, one of my favorite bands, fantastic band.

John- I’ll second that motion.

Mike- I love Isis, out of Massachusetts.

John- I’ll second that.

Mike- Cave in from Massachusetts, Botch, I believe they are out here from Washington state, or Oregon, I’m not sure exactly, they are a fantastic band. Um, I don’t know lets see, what else am I listening to, still like the same old shit, ya know, Bad Brains…Ya know, things like that. Me and john were just talking about, we are really anxious for the new Tool album to come out.

A.M.P.- I heard that some of their songs have been like 20 minutes long so far.

John- WOW.

Mike- I hope that’s true, they are a phenomenal band.

Mike- What else do I listen to…Black Sabbath…I like Indecision…Very few hardcore…I like a lot of old hardcore…The newer stuff, its just….I am into a lot of other things now, so I cant, you can’t like everything you did like when you were 15, because there are so many new things you like when you are 25, or something like that.

A.M.P.- Do you think this type of music or I guess, I wanna sort of see it as freestyle like, because things these days are not free form, its sort of like, you gotta play this type of music because the people like it, for you guys to actually be doing what you like first, and enjoy first, do you think it’s going to become more popular, or it’s going to become marketed, do you think its time for it to become known, or is it just the way it is now, is perfectly fine. If they are gonna like, they are gonna like it…no need to over promote to get more exposure…

John- Well..I think it will always remain unique because I think there a lot of musicians that are just coming out, learning a few chords, forming a band, and making music, just like that, and I think, not that that is good or bad, ya know, I mean some of the best music is the most simple stuff.

Mike- ……To song writing, and writing a decent pop song.

John- But what we are doing takes some musical knowledge. I wont say a lot compared to other musicians, it’s not, we are not as great as some musicians, but we do….

Mike- None of us studied at Berkeley, or anything like that..

John- We do try our best to make the greatest music we can, and we do try to always learn more and more as we go along.

Mike- We are always pushing the limits.

John- We always push each other and we always challenge each other, and that, I think will set us apart from everyone else, and as long as people are out there pushing themselves like that, they are gonna make some great music too.

Mike- I think also that as far as, saying it’s time for things, I mean, if it stays at the underground kind of level where it is, I think it’s fine, but I do also think that, a lot of music fans are looking for something. A lot of people will just stick with “the norm” because ya know, “I know this,” “It’s 4/4,” “I can dance” ya know, it’s cool, and that’s great, but I think a lot of people out there are getting sick of that. They want to see something different, I think, maybe Candiria isn’t what they wanna do, but they do wanna see something different at least, and they’ll be like, “WOW,” this is different….

John- It’s different alright…I believe if people are exposed to something better, they will gravitate towards it. Lead them to freedom, and they will follow.

Mike- You cant force people to eat shit forever. Eventually they are gonna say no “thank you.”

John- (referring to eating shit, ) Can I have my influences in there?………..I don’t listen to to much heavy stuff, but I do like bands like ( A.M.P.- I am not sure on spelling on some of these, if you know the spelling, please let me know, please…) Corelles, Neurosis, Isis, Cave In, I like a band called Failure, I think they are really cool. I also dig some lighter stuff, there is a band called Idaho I really love, I love Radiohead. I like this neo-classical band called Rachels that I think is great, and I think some people that are a little bit more open minded should check that out.

Mike- It is a little sad.

John- Sad band, but they are very cool.

A.M.P.- Who were the extreme influences in the beginning.

Mike- I would say, probably, lets see, who did these guys really like, with the death metal roots, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Slayer, Metallica, Suffocation……

John- Metallica, definitely a big part of it.

Mike- Right off the bat when it started out, these guys were death-metal heads, Eric and Carley………..Eric, Carley, and Chris Puma the original guitarist. They were into DEATH METAL. They also liked hip hop and stuff, but for the most part, they were into DEATH METAL, ya know what I mean. They liked it, and really were into that stuff, and I that’s where I think, Candiria’s intensity was formed, in death metal.

John- As far as the diversity goes I think there were groups like Yellowjackets, King Crimson, also a group, I remembering them listing a group of musicians, Primus, Alice in chains, and stuff like that..

A.M.P.- You guys are from Brooklyn, NY right?

Mike/John- Yes.

A.M.P.- Are you just known in the hardcore community, or are you known any popular hip hop groups, or like the jazz artists, if they have heard of you, what do they think of your guys?

John- It’s mainly a heavy audience, but it is definitely mixed, id say it 65 heavy audience, hardcore audience, metal, and the rest is just mixed with all kinds of people that just come down and enjoy the music.

Mike- It’s a little bit hard for all the scene to intertwine, just for the fact, people are gonna listen or not, but the jazz community is, I would maybe say 75% to 80% maybe higher are snobs who don’t wanna hear anything but jazz. There are a few people like John Zoran, a lot of different other guys who are totally into experimenting and hearing news sounds and they love heavy music, but a lot of the guys are not like that. So I don’t know really about the jazz community in New York if they are aware of us, or if they are into us, if they are cool, if not, alright, whatever.

A.M.P.- I don’t know exactly how big Brooklyn, NY is, but I mean going from the hip hop part of Brooklyn, to the jazz artists of Brooklyn, to the hardcore that are in Brooklyn, NY, going by Carley’s hip hop, aspect, it would seem like, maybe some other people already in the hip hop genre would see him, and sort of be exposed to the rest of the jazz, and fusion, and some of the hardcore that way, and vice versa.

(About now is when I leave to get my girlfriend, Mike is called away to get ready for their set, and John then precedes to ask himself the remainder of the questions I should be asking him.)

John- Alright, I’d like to add on that, I think that um, ya know, this is insane, I’ve never done an interview like this before, but, I’m gonna have some fun with it. The next question is:

How long have you been in Candiria, and are these the original members?

John- No, these are not the original members. I have been in Candiria, for three years in March or February. They called me up and asked me, I was just splitting from my old band, things were not going so well, as a matter of fact Mike, our bass player, who just left the interview, he used to be in my old band, a band called Dead Air, we didn’t really do much, but um, he split to play in Marauder, and then after that, everything kind of went downhill, so when Candiria called me up, I was all for it, and I joined the band. Then we played without a bass player for a while, and then about a year later, or little under a year later, I called up Mike cause he was finished doing what he was doing with Marauder, so that’s how that all came together, and so I wound back up with this guy. So we have been playing together for about almost ten years now. The next question is:

How was the San Francisco, CA show? Were the people appreciative?

John- Well, I can’t tell you that right now because we are gonna play San Francisco, CA tomorrow. So hopefully people appreciate it, and we haven’t even played the Sacramento, CA show yet, so I wont even be able to tell you about that, but, the Seattle, WA show was awesome. So this is the last and final question.

So is this your first time in Sacramento, CA? When was your last time on the West Coast?

John- We have never been on the West Coast, this is our first time, and this is our first time in Sacramento, CA like I said, and we are about to play a gig in about twenty minutes or so, so we will see how that goes. So far the West Coast, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, have been really kind to the band, Utah has been really great, Denver, CO, getting close to the West Coast has been really great, Albuquerque, NM has been really great too. So, this will be the end of now, and here comes the man who should be asking me questions, but had to run and get his girlfriend, so…take care.

A.M.P.- Ah man, thank you so much.

John- No Problem.

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