Interview with Carphax Files
Looking back upon the history of music one is very quick to remember legends such as Ministry, Skinny Puppy, amongst others to whom the term "revolution" was not simply another gimmick but the very essence of life and foundation for their writings. Unfortunately in these times, at a glance, would seem as though very few artists are willing to take a chance in helping to carry the torch and challenge their audience to think, leaving true music fans with a simple question "who has the balls to stand for something real?" Well your prayers have been answered by one Jasin Monday and his band of Salt Lake City revolutionaries known as Carphax Files, declaring with their mission statement "We stand for the revolution of the mind, body, and spirit."
The very heart of revolution lies in change and progression, and in this spirit Carphax Files is prepared to march on with new line up additions, their second release Revolutions Vol. 1: Dirt, ventures into the world of video, and a slew of live performances, just to skim the rapidly expanding surface. So without further delay, open your minds and hearts as we delve into the chemistry of this formula with its main catalyst, ladies and gents I am proud to introduce you to Jasin Monday.
DeathWish: I hope you are not too offended by being termed as "revolutionaries?" Perhaps the readers would be served well from your own explanation of what the word "revolution" means to you and what roll do you see CF playing in it?
Jasin Monday: I'm not offended. After all, its not my title to place. Revolution to me it's the progress of the body, mind and spirit. As we grow in out time here, we evolve, and reach understandings that help us know ourselves and our surroundings better. This, in my opinion, will ultimately lead to a chain reaction that will eventually change the world.
DW: It would appear you have added a few comrades to the line up, how about introducing them to all of us? Have they been instituted into the new album?
JM: A. Harmon on guitar, bass, and keys. Jackie O on synths. S. Fullmer (aka Super Spence) on drums. C and I are happy to have such wonderful people working with us. Most of the music for the new album was written before they arrived, so with the exception of A Harmon's guitar talents on Laser Beams, they have not been implemented as of yet.
DW: Would you say that they have already added to CF's mentality and direction, and if so, how?
JM: Totally. Their spiritual energy alone is quite inspiring, and their talents take CF to a entirely different level. How? That's like explaining why the ocean is so hypnotizing.
DW: Congratulations on the new album, Revolutions Vol. 1: Dirt, but I must inquire; why mark it "Vol. 1?" Is there a book of sorts in the works? Also, what significance does the title "Dirt" hold?
JM: Vol 1: because there will be a Vol 2. Dirt is my hero. It's the ever change organism that never dies. It swallows the decaying death, and revolves it into life. Dirt is amazing.
DW: The new album is not the only frontier being tracked by CF, you just released your first music video "God 3.0", via MySpace. How did the process go in the transformation to video? Have your fans responded to it well, and will there be more available soon?
JM: There will be more soon. We're working on our first DVD as well. The transformation was fairly easy. Shooting video always turns into an interesting adventure. There's a lot of archived footage that would probably scare most people. The fan response has been amazing. They like it. That's why we're doing more!
DW: Your live shows have been the key to exposing others to your message until this point? do you plan on uniting the visual representation with the concerts, perhaps a DVD of sorts?
JM: The DVD will include live performance.
DW: I'm certainly hoping that footage of CF's first appearance in San Francisco will be shown on it. Any chance that it might be featured on there?
JM: 21st Century Visual Noise taped some of the performance and offered us royalty usage. So more than likely, depending on when they release that material, it will be on there as well.
DW: What are your plans to tour looking like this year? Are there plans for playing the European front?
JM: We're not releasing Rev 1 until later this year, and we're planning on pulling all of our resources together to do a tour in spring of 08. I would love to tour Europe. So many beautiful places to see. (editors note at the time of posting the CD will be Released Feb, 29, 2008)
DW: Between live shows, videos, merchandise, and other significant changes within the CF camp; I can see the need to centralize everything via a central medium, such as a main homepage, are there any steps being taken to make this happen?
JM: Well carphaxfiles.com has images, video, CFC TV, information about CF, upcoming news and events, merchandise for sale, silliness in pants, and about everything we need. What I would like to do is implement a mailing list of sorts.
DW: I remember seeing a side venture you had with a fellow CF member C Painter, called Borderline. How does that project differ from that of Carphax? Are you two still pursuing this project?
JM: It became a distraction of sorts, along with several other things in my life. Its still around though. In our hearts and souls, and it will come back once we've calmed things down on the CF front.
DW: Quick change of direction, you decided to pick one of the oddest classics to cover in the Bee-Gee's "Staying Alive". What the hell made you decide to cover disco? How did your audience take it?
JM: Everyone seems to love it. We're releasing it on our virtual EP later this year; along with several remixes of songs on the new album. This will be released on iTunes. I was at a friends house, and a good friend of mine Eric recommended that a CF friend t3hFlaxor and I cover it. So we did.
DW: For our readers who might not reside in SLC, that single got a bit of air play on a Utah radio station. How did this come to pass and how did you find out?
JM: A fan sent in the track to station here that supports local music. I was informed of this via myspace comment.
DW: One could only imagine the sense of achievement that could instill, I mean, there you are, your song is on the radio! What emotions did it spark in you?
JM: It feels good to have the support. Joy. I smiled.
DW: While browsing through CF's MySpace page, I noticed your involvement with Sigsaly Transmissions Media's charity double CD Machines Against Hunger. What exactly is this compilation working to support? Also, how did you get involved with it, and how can we pick up a copy?
JM: It's a comp where 100% of the profit from the sales of this compilation will be donated to the international aid organization:
Its one of the benefits of being on COP. We, like the other bands on the label were offered a spot on the comp. It should be released later in this year, stay tuned to CF news and follow the links from our home and myspace page to obtain the purchase information.
DW: Lets back track a bit. I read that you didn't actually initiate CF in SLC, but not how it was started? Where did you begin the blueprints for this project? Any material you're thinking of bringing back, and what urged you to move it to Utah?
JM: I moved to Utah to be with a girl. That didn't work out, but the success of the project there kept me from moving away. Plus its good to be close to COP. The blueprints began in 1999 on a road trip around the U.S. I recording my first material in 2000 at On Location Studios in Miami where I was living at the time.
DW: Many would be shocked of the move, due to SLC's stigma of being the Mormon capitol of the world. Within the city of SLC, there are so many social and moral limits set in the laws that govern EVERYONE, believers and non-believers, according to the church's views. Has living in such a restrictive environment helped to shape Carphax's message and resolve?
JM: No. It takes more than a few liquor laws and a temple to oppress me. I think these issues are throughout the world. There's always some form of oppression in every city that rivals freedom.
DW: With that mentality you have succeeded in delivering raw, energy driven shows that capture the viewers. Any crazy accidents or on stage incidents you want to get off your chest?
JM: I've cracked three ribs by banging my mic stand against my body. I've killed 2 SM58s and multiple midi controllers that flaked out on me. One show I stepped on the power strip that all the gear was connected too. I had to monologue for about 15 minutes while systems rebooted. Not fun.
DW: You have always delivered good advice and insight to your fans, transmitted through your "This Just In" daily bulletins on MySpace. What observations could you offer your audience, both old and new, that are reading this interview?
JM: Find your own way, and follow your values and morals until you feel you don?t need them anymore. Be a winner.
DW: What political/social changes would you like to spark within your listeners?
JM: I think people need to be more conscious of the fact that they are not the only people on earth.
DW: Call it curiosity (which kills journalists as easily as cats), but how close would you say Homeland Security monitors you because of this project?
JM: I've not attempted to buy a plane ticket in the past couple of years. I guess we'll find out then. For those of you who don't know. There is a no fly list that is passed around. You, yes you, could be labeled a terrorist. Be a winner.
Now go check out their VampireFreaks page at Carphax Files
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