Originally published on the GonzoSquad blog, Feb 23, 2009.
‘In Cog We Trust’ stickers on cars across Melbourne.
Enthusiastic conversations with would-be rock-star boyfriends of cousins-in-law.
Why was it I only sat down to listen to Cog some six-months ago?
To say they have a cult-following is down-playing it. Their fans are more like a fervent, alt-Army. As Australia’s most popular Anarchist ProgRock band, Cog’s lyrics are saying a lot of things that need to be said. Spreading the good word.
They were good enough to agree to an interview over email. Lucius Borich, drummer for Cog answered. Here it be:
* Firstly, congratulations on your continuing rise. Like your band, I was also born in Bondi. Are y’all loving life or what?
A. Well thanks for the kind words! Apart from the New World Order that is almost in place to the point where we won’t be able to do anything about it if we don’t wake up NOW! I’m doing fine. Life in Bondi has always been good to me.
* Are you enjoying touring more and playing to bigger crowds?
A. I always love to play and tour. To do what you love to do is a big part of what makes life interesting and fun. Whether it’s 20,000 or 200 people it’s a buzz. Its nice to know you’ve helped make someone’s day a little better when you play a cranking song.
* The comparison to TOOL is an easy one to make, especially since you’ve worked with their producer. Do they rank highly amongst your influences?
A. I really like TOOL but I think we’re nothing alike except for the unconventional song structures we both seem to use and the same kind of loud to soft to loud dynamics. It’s a nice comparison to have but people who say we sound like TOOL haven’t really listened to TOOL or COG I feel.
* Who else do you like at the moment?
A. INTERPOL they’re awesome. I’ve been listening to their music heaps; all three albums are just tops. BECK’s album “Sea Change”. Melbourne reggae band THE RED EYES are just amazing; their last album “Rude World” has been on high rotation all last year. Plus Perth bands SUGER ARMY and The BIRDS OF TOKYO are great. The last PORTISHEAD album 3 is cool too, but really 90% of my listing time is spent on listing to reggae music.
* Who are your musical heroes?
A. I don’t have heroes at all but like the work of many musicians. FRANK ZAPPA has always been at the top of my list and jazz drummer BUDDY RICH played a big part in helping shape my drumming. My father’s a great example of loving your instrument and playing it like you mean it to!
* Your songs have a strong Anarchist message, thanks for that! What sort of a reaction (if any) do you get from that?
A. Well I’m not into hard core anarchy in the true sense of the word, but I do like idea of strong non-corporation if you don’t like the way things are going. O’yeah done in a peaceful way too, if you can. Elements of spontaneity in one’s life, changing it up if things get you down are in there as well for me. Just like the song says “$500 bucks out of here, executing Anarchy”! We in Cog hope people listen to their hearts and do what they feel and know to be right for them and others, instead of what they think to be right!
* What else inspires you in your song writing?
A. It’s simple really, just life and what I experience and go through from day to day. Trying to better what you’ve done before is a turn on for me. It’s like a carrot that dangles in front of you and you can never quite reach it. Life’s given us all this great gift of creating so why not lap that one up as much as you can!
* The new album is a lot more accessible. Is that a deliberate attempt to reach more minds via more JJJ airplay or just where your music is at right now?
A. We’re a band that likes to write hooks in songs. If the track goes for 3 to 4 minutes, so be it that’s fine. But we also like to take ourselves and others on a musical journey and that can sometimes last for 10 minutes or longer if the song makes sense. It’s always a deliberate attempt to write awesome songs that we dig first and foremost. If it makes it to radio then that’s fine too.
* Speaking of subversive pop-culture… As I watched Wall*E your lyric “wake up shoppers from your slumber” was repeating in my mind. Do you think the consumer’s will ever “wake up”?
A. Just when I think some people are waking up and that is happening I guess, I also see others falling to sleep, or more to the point falling into a trap that they don’t understand. God help us and I don’t mean the man in the sky with the beard!
* What do you think of new Bond? To me, he’s this close to being an Anarchist action-hero.
A. I haven’t seen the movie at all. There is an interesting story and truth about 007 and where the 007 number and character came from but that’s for another time. I suggest people look into it!!
* Do you think there are signs we could be on the edge genuine political change?
A. I’d say at this stage with the way things are going, NO! It’s been like this for a long, long time. Remember “It doesn’t matter who you vote for the secret government still gets in”!!! Everyone must understand this point it’s a Swamp, you know. If you look at the US, I don’t think Obama’s any different from others who have gone before him, sorry to say. He does come off sounding and looking very well read though, that’s a massive difference from Bush. He’s the chosen one, a man with a mask, the one who is here to help install this New World Order and the scary thing is people will blindly flow him in whatever he says, because people are so under his spell and taken by the whole hope, change lingo. The people who put him into governmental power have a plan, an agenda that’s been on-going, like I said, for a long, long time. If you look into it and find out the people behind him (same old faces) you’ll be shocked at who these people are, what they stand for and what they’ve been up to in the past. Go to the Cog site then click onto the Rabbit Hole News Links page and check out all the information on it. There are some great people who are helping lift the veil and expose the lies on it all. We wrote a song about it because we’re so concerned; its called “Are You Interested?” Get with it people before its too late!
* What do you guys get up to when you’re not on tour? Do you spend much time trying to figure out whatever ‘The New Normal’ might be?
A. Yes the New Normal, well the NEW WORLD ORDER is going to be the new normal and its something I look into all the time because I’m very concerned the world my son will be living in down the track or should I say next week it’s happening that fast now!!. Look at the massive pop star band from Ireland THE CORRS, Jim Corr the guitarist out of the band is on a mission to spread the word on the N.W.O and help try and expose the whole thing and he’s a mega mainstream POP star!. This isn’t a fucken joke people!
I would like to be doing something else with my time but I can’t walk away, this is the real deal and too important. It’s time to take action, it’s info wars!!!!
Anyway, I also surf heaps to balance it out somewhat; plus I love to grow and make good food to eat! Luke is a fisherman in the true sense of the word and Flynn loves to surf also.
* I love the track ‘The River song’, I only wish it had a rockin’ video to go with it. Can I take it that you guys are big science-fiction fans?
A. Don’t think science-fiction is just fiction all the time! The people who write such movies are very smart, intelligent and well schooled in a lot of deep subjects! I dig that song too, and yes a video would be awesome. I wish we had the money to make one for it. I know the song has that SCI-FI edge about it, but when I wrote the chorus words “I’m on My Own” I was trying to say: just when you think you have all those feelings, friends and family around you that make you feel safe and strong, etc the reality and mortality of one’s journey in life hits you like a tone of bricks and takes your breath away. Then you feel very much on your own! Thats when its time to dig deep into your own sovereign spiritually and get the hell in tune with it!
* If so, then are who your favourite writers?
A. Well, I guess H.G.WELLS, ARTHUR C. CLARK, WACHOWSKI BROTHERS, STANLEY KUBRICK. BILL HICKS! I know he’s not a science-fiction writer but he’s written some funny stuff and he did talk about UFOs; he’s a legend of a man!!!
* You’ve stated that ‘piracy’ of your work has helped you reach foreign audiences. What’s been the most surprising fan you’ve discovered online or at a gig?
A. A guy called Ray tattooed our lyrics “We’re all going to die” on his wrist. He told me the story of how he was going to commit suicide but after he saw us play the song “Paris, Texas” with those lyrics at a show he shifted and moved through his thoughts. That was surprising in a good way!
* What are your thoughts on artists like NIN and Radiohead giving their work away?
A. It’s fine by me, why not! People just take your music, don’t give a shit most of the time and download it for free anyway; that’s the New Normal right! No one but the musician and the people in the music biz know the inner workings of what relationship a band and record company have, and what it takes to make a record. If people knew, then musicians would make money from CD sales.
* Thanks for your time guys. I can only wish you more success in the future, and look forward to catching your next gig in Melbourne!
A. You’re welcome, thank you. Melbourne we’ll always be back to, you know that!