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Million Brazilians interview with Grant Corum

July 19, 2013

Million Brazilians interview with Grant Corum

Awhile ago I came across this mysterious Portland based group. I checked their New Ideas In Psychic Music Vol. II: Sexual
Desert
album out on Sonic Meditation Records. I was hooked and decided we had to do an interview with something so different and strange and quite mysterious in a way. For those interested in new sounds this is highly recommended. 
How
long have you been a musician and what would you say influenced you to become one?
Sexual Desert is a really heavy album – that’s
cool it’s the first one you heard! 
The influence began to happen after moving to
Kansas City in 1999 where I was focusing on drawing and screenprinting.  I started checking out local experimental
jazz, noise and punk shows and became really inspired to want to work on music,
and found a SP202 sampler and DR770 drum machine. At the time I wanted to make
some heavier multilayered beats like Crash Worship but crossed with an inspired
hypnotic recording of Marcel Duchamp’s “La Mariee mis a nu par ses
Celibataires mem” (The Bride stripped bare by her Bachelors, Even) where
he wrote a ‘music erratum’, by the same name, using a toy train with open
trucks, a funnel and balls which ended up sounding like shimmering stained
glass window.   I was trying to figure out
a way to combine some of these trance loops with industrial style beats and
share stories about dreams and hallucinations, I was drawing and writing about
at the time, with the sample based music. I stared to record with friends
Lurker, Jeffrey Rocketmild, and, later, local unprotected sax player Mark
Southerland, that eventually formed into the Curse of Dick Wilson.  We were invited to play many shows that
influenced my perceptions of how deep music, or sound, could be – like our
first show was with Nautical Almanac that ended early with a small riot –
Someone shoved me, breaking my equipment, and started wrestling me so I had to
somersault him over my head off the stage to get free! – that’s when I realized
something we were beginning to create stirred us, and the people around, into
to a frenzy, or to place of the ecstatic. 
Another important moment was being invited to play the ritual gathering
of feast of San Simon in a huge old warehouse. 
San Simon is the Guatemalan patron saint of vice, dressed in a suit,
fedora, and cane and every year is represented by a chosen local – often
someone who has made the pilgrimage to Guatemala to visit the saints.  The ground was covered in palm leaves, a
projection of moving flames on the wall, a large barrel of homemade sugar cane
rum was being passed to everyone and you could take a private elevator to get
to the saint to give him an offering of booze, smokes, or whatever vice.  When we played things got weird – we had to
lay hands on a convulsing kid (someone in an elvis-style jumpsuit, cape and
oversized tiger head appeared to help) – like a possession exorcism! A group of
women were burning porno on top of the metal cylinder we used to strike with
black hammers that had Dick Wilson’s face on it – which was our symbol for what
we were trying to expel from our mental system. 
It was all really chaotic, exciting and inspirational!  I could begin to see a  path forming by the time the Curse was ending
and decided to go down it. 
You have other projects, but lets talk
about Million Brazilians. How did the band formed? I’m thinking it must had been hard
to form a group of people all interested in sounds beyond sound. You are mixing
together elements of free jazz, drone and other very esoteric sounds and
shapes.
After living in Maine for a few months, I
relocated to Portland, OR in 2006, meeting up with Jones and Stone whom I had
played music with in Kansas City.  We
began experimenting with what we could find from instruments and junk initially
arriving at the shape of the moment bringing together mutual elements of
interest from what we all had contributed in previous musical incarnations of
Witch and Hare, Mating Dance and I Don’t Do Gentlemen.  It was also out a desire to create a sound we
weren’t finding in Portland – to make the music we weren’t finding but needed
to hear.  The early sessions were very
raw and more ‘garage’ sounding.  As we
continued further into the process of playing weekly we were able to take the
inner rhythms and make them cross in way that seemed to make sense and form a
unified throb.  It’s from this sustained
combined frequency that we can go further out, deeper or side to side turning
personal visions more into a singular entity. 
I’m not familiar with all the releases. We
would love if you can take us through your discography and tell a few words
about the releases.
Early cassettes/ CD-Rs include
Negromancer,  Higgy Dins,  Live with Jagger Dykes,  Noble Savage, 
Wheel-of-Fortune, Papa  Candelo –
songs from these were later reworked and compiled as a studio session
“Hideous Visions of Million Brazilians” LP.
New Ideas in Psychic Sounds vol. I  – a mysterious package arrived with a
reptilian human wax head in it along with images and writings – the contents
were scattered and captured on tape.  It
also marks the entry of bassman James the Magnificent Skull into the Brazilians
circle.
Cult Music of Ajitz – all acoustic reel to
reel recording pre-Guatemalan journey based on Ajitz – a mythological figure
seen as a witch to some, protector to others. 
New Ideas in Psychic Music Vol II: Sexual
Desert – heavy arid 50 ft. tall desert woman mirage invokation using green
pyramid magnet – recorded outside Kansas City while on the Psychic Sounds tour.
Dungeon Jazz Ceremony Nights – live evidence
of the hosted series of ritual evenings at Psychic Sounds compound during the
summer of 2010. Pine Sap and All-Nighter Martinis around.  (Currently unreleased)
Dyngia Salon – outtakes of Dungeon Jazz
Ceremony Nights featuring Idaho Joe Windslow on Sarangi
Is there any original concept behind the
project
?
The albums are artifacts to be activated by
listener.  Figures or landscapes are
often suggested through the writing or images but ultimately it’s our unified
current we tapped into at the time.
What’s currently happening in the camp of
Million Brazillians?
We just finished recording the Nightside in
Jungala album and have been working on a short film for the set we will be
touring with in Europe for September. 
We’ll be projecting visuals to give a directive visual depth to the
sound experience that will demonstrate a sort of live environmental spell
experience – like a moving painting of some of our inner / outer landscapes
that we’re at the forefront of – the film is the fourth mind projection between
the trio.  Certainly the most focused and
‘out there’ creations we’ve made together to date!
We’re also recording in July with jazz nomad
and key shredder Thollem McDonas for a continued narrative of Nightside with a
focus on volcanic gremlins.
What’s the story behind the name?
It’s like the word ‘dada’ for a time in art,
there is no real meaning or can be several interpreted meanings, but has become
a word symbol for the movement. To me it’s really a joke that became the
rhyming symbol for the music suggesting large mass and southern continent
sounds. 
You have another project called “Corum” and “Psychic Sounds Research”. What is it about? I believe “Psychic Sounds Research” is a record label and “Corum” is your solo project?
Psychic Sounds was the decided label name
between the Brazilians for our first record, Hideous Visions.  It’s become the collective label name that
each of us contributes to in different ways. 
Over the years it feels more like the spirit of the home we all live and
create in – more of a way of life – like making our own instruments, effects
boxes, light contraptions, Orgone accumulator, offering the space to traveling
artists / musicians, group rituals and celebration (Fun Hog festival),
transforming structures of buildings for additional experiments, in addition to
the music. 
Corum is a signature on the solo vision
sessions for landscapes like Beguiling Isles and upcoming ceremony music for
spore alter, Effigy Mounds, LPs which are old world access points for
understanding the origins, and future, of a developing holographic universe. 
A lot of your music is released on
cassettes, which makes it special these days and brings some mystery around it.
I’m a big fan of old music formats, especially vinyl…
Up until 2002 tape cassette was the only
format I recorded on because it’s all I knew how to use. I still use it to make
small runs for tours because they can be dubbed at home, and it also has a
really warm sound to it that’s different than vinyl.  
What’s currently on your turntable and what are you reading?
Listens: 
 Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
/ Urarider / Martin Denny: Hypnotique / Heinrich: The Ornithological Combat of
Kings / White Gourd: Hermit La Lune / Music in the Karakorams of Central Asia /
Metatone, Turkey traditional songs, dances & rituals / In Continuation: Sun
Ra and his Arkestra / Egyptian Sports Network / Gottschalk: Night in the
Tropics / Les Flutes Grecques / Sublime Frequncies: Brokenhearted Dragon Flys /
Thollem, Parker & Cline – The Gowanus Session
Reads: 
Just finished Sacred Mushroom and the Cross – John Allegro
Next to the bed: Soma: Gordon Wasson /
Huysman’s Against Nature / Outer Gateways – Kenneth Grant /   Food for Centaurs – Robert Graves / Exegesis
-Philip K Dick / Etidorhpa – John Uri Lloyd / Untouchable – (heavy Michael
Jackson read that goes into the last 7 years of his life, an era that many
people didn’t seem to pay attention to – like him hiring an African witch
doctor to curse entertainment industry elites such as Spielburg, or wanting to
build a 20ft. MJ robot and set it free to wander around the Las Vegas desert
outskirts) 
Is there anything you would like to
recommend?

Beekeeping – some secrets of life are in that
hive.  Hive alive.
Rosecrucian Egyptian Museum – if you’re ever
cruising through San Jose, California be sure to go to the cave basement of
this occult hub full of wands and ancient statuary.  Mummified catfish included.
Seeking Idaho Joe Windslow – ‘Moondoog of the
Bay Area’ – find him levitating on the street playing his homemade instruments
and singing mantras about seeing ghosts and having OBEs.  True hardcore outsider music! 
Vibrations – a seemingly 90’s garbagepail
film (go deeper!) about a guitar virtuoso boy loses hands after a redneck
assault, goes into a major funk and becomes a nightrain bum in NYC but returns
to life with the help of a techno crew building him a new body called Cyber
Storm to shred on the keys and reawaken his soul – will he kill with his new
ability, fame and damaged mind? 
Fourth World Magazine out on Pacific City
Sound Visions label.  The next issue is
called “Typhonian Highlife” by Charles Berlitz reporting on the
reptilian agenda! 
Thanks for stoping by. Do you have any
messages?
If you’re ever in the Pacific Northwest stop
by the Psychic Sounds putty hub and take a dip 
– otherwise many thanks!
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013
One Comment
  1. Anonymous

    So good. So good.

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