interview with author Neil Sanders on mind control within the world of popular music
As music fans how really aware are we of the whole concept of mind-control within popular music – but then how much of it actually fact and whats not..was the hippy scene of the 60’s scene organic or desinged by the CIA, is Hip Hops biggest artists really tied to the Illuminati, and does the record industry really have the technology to make music fans buy their music.
Well there’s no one better to ask really than author, speaker and musician Neil Sanders. Having given many interviews, talks and released books on a range of conspiracy theoroes I get the chance to put some questions to him for an in-depth interview on the reality of mund control and its true place within popular music – both past and present.
Hi Neil – Thanks for taking to LTW on what is a subject I personally find fascinating but also quite scary to be honest…would you say the average music fan in the world today are probably not that aware of how the industry really works, specifically regarding mind control and the effects it actually has on us?
Neil Sanders – Thank you very much for inviting me for this interview; it is a pleasure and very flattering to be asked. Apologies if some of the answers are a bit long, I need to provide some context if I have any chance of convincing people that I am anything other than bat shit insane.
Not at all, its great to be able to put some questions to you. Please give us as much as you want, its a subject I’d say which is both pretty deep but also essential for all music fans to be aware of.
One of the interesting things about music is that it has a physiological effect on people (don’t panic I’m not talking about the locrian mode causing sinful libidinousness). It can improve memory (think of a jingle or song words that you know when singing along but couldn’t write down) and decrease fatigue (this is why bands accompany marches, to spur them on) and psyche you up (think about a boxers entrance music or war drums) and make you cry (come on! we all have that one song).
William Sargent was one of the first doctors to write about the mechanisms of mind control in his book “Battle for the Mind”, identifying music as one of the tools that can be utilised against people in order to control their thoughts. He was working at St Thomas’s hospital in London, supposedly looking at therapeutic methods for dealing with post natal depression. In fact he was a consultant for MI5 and concentrated on wiping the minds of his patients (annihilation as it was termed) with massive doses of electroshock, LSD and barbiturates. He shared his data with MK Ultra (the CIA mind control program) doctors in Canada and America.
In his research he noted that during tribal rituals music is used to entrance the participants and whip them into a collective frenzy. The individuals become absorbed by the rhythm and then in turn absorbed into the collective in a process called deindividuation, whereby the individual hypnotically takes on the attributes of the wider group. A modern use of this is in evangelical churches where music is constant, this is combined with standing with your arms in the air and repeating mantra like dogmatic principles until your mind softens to mush (then they take your money). This is also seen in the way crowds all come together as one at a great gig. This is not always negative; it is just a mechanism that can be manipulated.
Kinda like getting everyone moving to the same beat or mantra, what other ways like this would you say music is used, and why?
A similar principle to this is something which can be found employed by the supermarkets, as they pump in the mindless musak in order to befuddle your mind. The brain has a finite bandwidth and using music to clog up some of that space leaves you less ability to make reasoned decisions (then they take your money). This is why music is played when you are waiting on a phone call and in lifts; it alters your perception of time to keep you on the line. Drive time DJ’s can actually affect the speed of traffic with the tempo of the songs they play.Music has distinct social cues such as the wedding march or happy birthday but it can also be effective on a subconscious level. On a basic level minor chords sound sad and major chords sound happy. The most successful horror themes mimic natural sounds that cause distress. Jaws, for example, mimics the growl of an approaching predator whereas Psycho emulates the death throes of a terrified animal under attack.
In regards to popular music it can be used to drive trends in fashion, language, attitude and politics if used in the correct way. It can provide heroes and potential role models to millions. This could, in theory, be used to promote certain markets and ideologies that the companies behind these acts deem suitable. What tends to happen is that edgier more complicated artists get sidelined, ignored or under promoted and any artist that appears to be making statements that challenge the mainstream are merely marketed that way in order to appeal to the demographic.
For example it has been strongly suggested that Pussy Riot not only are not a real band/ art collective, but are in fact a product of the American State Department. The idea is that they are actually anti – Putin and anti- Russian propaganda subtly marketed at a different demographic as part of the ongoing geopolitical dispute over control of energy markets, gas pipelines and other things.
Now that is something to think about. When looking back its the war time babies born during WW2 who hit their early adulthood in the late 50’s/ early 60’s that you could say were the first to be subjected to mind control through music – as popular music really took off with groups like The Beatles & Stones. What would you say are the music scenes which history shows that were with out doubt subjected to mind control by the authorities, and the music industry itself?
A document from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1976 shows the tactics that were used against musicians and activists who positioned themselves in the anti war, social equality or anti establishment movements of the time in order to destabilise their lives and destroy their reputation. This had been going on for some time and I have no doubt still continues today.
“Show them as scurrilous and depraved. Call attention to their habits and living conditions, explore every possible embarrassment. Send in women and sex, break up marriages. Have members arrested on marijuana charges. Investigate personal conflicts or animosities between them. Send articles to the newspapers showing their depravity. Use narcotics and free sex to entrap. Use misinformation to confuse and disrupt. Get records of their bank accounts. Obtain specimens of handwriting. Provoke target groups into rivalries that may result in death.”
(‘Senate Intelligence Committee’ document, 1976)
The CIA were so concerned with the power of Bob Marley as a conduit for social change that they employed the Jamaican drug running organisation the Shower Posse to attempt to murder him. The Shower Posse were used by the CIA to destabilise Jamaican politics, this is admitted by agents within the organisation.
CIA agent Phillip Agee stated, “The CIA was using the JLP as its instrument against the Michael Manley government in the late 70’s. I’d say most of the violence was coming from the JLP and behind them was the CIA in terms of getting the money and weapons in.”
The Shower posse was run by Jim Brown, also known as Lester Lloyd Coke, who was politically aligned with the JLP, who were also favoured by the US government. Bob Marley was in favour of the more socialist PNP and was due to perform a concert which would have been a great rallying cry for their position. Days before the proposed concert in 1976 Jim Brown was paid by the CIA in cocaine to assassinate Bob Marley. The Shower Posse were allowed to run guns and drugs into and across America, seemingly with impunity for a number of years, they dealt with Colombian drug cartels such as the Cali Cartel who also had uncomfortably relaxed relationships with American law enforcement. Members of the Shower Posse such as Little Nut Miller and Cecil Connor testified that they were trained by the CIA.
above – The ‘One Leave Peace Concert’, Leaders of opposing national parties, Michael Manley (PNP) and Edward Seaga (JLP) joined together on stage by Bob Marley.
That’s mind blowing, you’d think something like that around an artist like Bob Marley would of become common knowledge to the public by now. In fact isn’t the murder of John Lennon also actually meant to be connected to the CIA, using Mark Chapman as their ‘patsey’ in the assassination?
Yeah…the murder of John Lennon is another incident that suggests the authorities are aware and afraid of the influence that a popular musician can hold. Put simply Mark Chapman exhibited several symptoms that suggest he was under hypnotic control in line with the proven experimentation of the US mind control program MK Ultra. The doorman that night just so happened to be a CIA agent named Jose Perdermo, who was involved with the Watergate burglars and the Bay of Pigs. Chapman himself remained in trance until a message from God prompted him to confess. Previously he had no memory of the event. What is not argued is the fact that Lennon was under surveillance by all manner of US government agencies who believed his message was harmful to the establishment. I also believe that the Beatles association with Charles Manson was concocted in order to damage their reputation and maintain the good image of the Beach Boys, with whom Manson had orgies, did drugs, lived and recorded albums worth of music.
The 1968 drugs bust against the Rolling Stones was also admitted to be an establishment plot to quell their rebellious nature. They were set up by an MI5 agent, David Schneiderman, who was acting as part of the FBIs COINTELPRO operation to destroy leftist social movements and those who promoted racial equality. Harry Bellefonte and numerous black artists who used their position to speak against racism were also targeted and blacklisted by the FBI and other agencies.
Gangster rap also seems to have been promoted in order to paint a stereotypical negative image of inner city black youths in the eyes of the general public. Gangster rap seemed to neutralise and make obsolete the positive messages spread by groups like Public Enemy. Even NWA had social commentary but later the genre evolved into a more overt celebration of being a gangster and a drug dealer. This seems to be tied in with the Reagan administrations Southern strategy, a political campaign to falsely promote the connection between black people and crime in order to sway voters and also the Iran Contra scandal which supplied black neighbourhoods with Crack and created numerous social problems, seemingly as part of a racially motivated gentrification program. Dealers like Freeway Ricky Ross bought their wares exclusively from people like Danilo Blandon, a representative of the same Nicaraguan cartels that were protected by the CIA. Michael “Harry O” Harris, the founder of Death Row Records had similar connections. The argument made is that Gangster rap was used to portray black youth in a certain light and also glamorise the career of a drug dealer within communities that were flooded with CIA drugs making a self fulfilling prophecy as part of a wider social control program.
Something you talk about in your book are the 3-phases in how ‘they’ go about controlling the minds of music fans and especially music scenes like punk, which was all about ‘fighting the system’ and how they use tactics to take them over, then subdue them?
This is a pattern that I have noticed in punk, hip-hop, acid house, rave, garage, grime, certain types of metal and no doubt is similar in other genres.
The first step is Cautionary: We get hysterical headlines about violence, drugs or outrageous behaviour by the fans of this emerging scene. This is stoked by the media who whip up sensation in order to sell papers. This can also having a driving effect on the genre by setting expectations in people’s minds. If your first exposure to a new music scene is an article showing how dangerous a garage gig might be, you may attend the event prepared for violence, thus changing the atmosphere and actually creating a problem that in all likelihood never really existed in the first place.
The next step is Comedy: This neutralises the message of the genre. By poking fun at the scene and framing them as ridiculous you can soften the effectiveness of the raw meaning that was first appealing within the genre. This also frames how a wider audience gets there initial understanding of the music as this is possibly there first exposure to it.
Finally the genre can be embraced as a commodity: This softened version can be introduced to a wider demographic by removing the extreme parts of the culture and making it more palatable and therefore saleable to the mainstream. This also allows for the removal of any potential threat to the establishment and status quo that may have permeated the ideology early incarnations of the genre. Artists within the genre may be inclined to tow the line in lieu of a big payday.
What about the artists who dare talk of such mind control techniques, artists such as Tupac who we all know what happened to him?
The best book on Tupac in this regard is John Potash’s ‘The FBI War on Tupac Shakur & Black Leaders’. This shows documentary evidence that, due to his Black Panther affiliation and his promotion of social equality and other activities that were deemed anti establishment, Tupac was targeted by the police at a local and federal level, harassed, stifled by his record label, framed for crimes he did not commit and set up for assassination on several occasions. The book also shows that this closely followed the protocols of COINTELPRO which had previously used against his mother and the rest of the Black Panthers for similar reasons.
‘The FBI War on Tupac Shakur & Black Leaders’ – by John Potash
I would also recommend The Covert War on Rock n Roll by Alex Constantine which highlights some of the other cases of harassment to the point of murder.
Michael Jeffrey, the manager of Jimi Hendrix apparently confessed to having murdered him to several people. He had connections to MI6 organised crime syndicates and the FBI. He claimed to have been an Intelligence agent for the US government and to have worked undercover against the Russians. He was known to have stolen huge amounts of money from Hendrix. He confessed to having poured pills and wine down the throat of the unconscious Hendrix in order to kill him. The autopsy showed that Hendrix had little alcohol in his bloodstream and had in fact drowned in wine. The suggestion is that his recent stint of benefit gigs for the Black Panthers and his growing peace and love attitude was the catalyst for this assassination.
Talking of Tupac (who stated that producer Quincey Jones once sexually propositioned him) who himself was a target of the FBI way before he ever had a record out being the step son of Mutulu Shakur (American black nationalist) and son of Afeni Shakur (only woman to lead a Black Panther faction in NY) is believed to of actually talked about another form of control used within the music world; paedophilia. Where artists have been known to of been given the chance to heighten their career by taking part in something which can be later used to dictate to them, even blackmail them to do exactly what they desire throughout their career.
is the industry really that decrepit, do you yourself believe that the authorities have actually taken out artists who dared to speak their minds on such moves within the music industry?
Lou Pearlman the manager of NSYNC was accused of child abuse. There was the Walton Hop disco in the UK at which Radio One DJ Chris Denning preyed on boys with Tam Paton, the manager of the Bay City Rollers, and Jonathan King. Denning claimed that this active paedophile ring was well known throughout the industry, he fails to see that he has done anything wrong and has since been jailed on other similar charges. Obviously you have the cases of Gary Glitter and Jimmy Savile which are very well known. You also have the horrific Ian Watkins case. More recently we have had the allegations against Afrika Bambaataa which many believe to be true. R Kelly obviously definitely did not film himself urinating on a child (even if it really, really, really does look like him – that’s what the court said), but he did marry Aaliyah when she was fifteen and I believe he is banned from his old schools for inappropriate behaviour towards students.
Jimmy Page, David Bowie, Steven Tyler, Elvis Presley, Bill Wyman, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ted Nugent, Robert Plant, Iggy Pop and no doubt countless others have had dalliances with very young girls. In the seventies there was the phenomenon of the baby groupies that honed in on rock stars in the US, plenty of well known names such as Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck and others have been named as friends of theirs, this is probably euphemistic.
Is this due to the music industry or is it a part of all large industries? It’s difficult to say. We have the recent expose by Corey Feldman and the friends of Bryan Singer who have been found guilty of child abuse, we also have Penn State and the incidents in the UK football industry. Let’s not forget the allegations against members of the UK parliament. Whether these industries are the catalyst for these actions or the means by which opportunists facilitate their abuse is up for debate.
The Tupac claim against Jones is, as far as I know just a rumour – although it is widely believed. The tape of this revelation is nowhere to be found. Some recall it as Mopreme (Tupac’s brother) who admitted this, but there is no confirmation, it may be an urban legend. There is audio of Tupac insinuating that Dr Dre has been having sexual encounters with men, but this is probably just an insult thrown around in anger.
effeminate dress-wearing gangster rapper ‘Young Thug’
In fact Hip Hop is probably one of the most infiltrated music scenes about today, where its widely believed the U.S authorities have been attempting to mind control their Afro/Caribbean population since the ending of slavery.
Which leads to a big talking point right now, the issue over the supposed attempts to slow down their Afro/Caribbean population. A controversial subject which many feel can be clearly seen being ‘pushed’ into US hip hop today, through artists like ‘Young Thug’ (above). Who talks of firing off automatic weapons while wearing dresses and calling his friends ‘Bae’. All this in order to supposedly appeal to the gangster mindset, while promoting a gay life style. Does any of this hold weight, what’s your thoughts Neil?
OK, to provide some context, the “Gay agenda” is the belief that the promotion and normalisation of homosexuality will, in some way, debase society and encourage the breakdown of the traditional family unit and therefore the values that are inherent to that ideal. I want to say straight off the bat that I do not agree with this premise at all. Homosexuality is, as I am sure you agree, perfectly normal. Any increased awareness in homosexuality is due to shifting societal values that state it is not ok to persecute someone for their sexual orientation, combined with technological advances bringing awareness to more disparate and varied lifestyles, not due to a social engineering program to make all the kids gay. I am a very live and let-live sort of person that judges people by their character and actions not their sexual preference. I don’t care who puts what in where to be honest, it’s none of my business in this regard.
A lot of conspiracy theories are actually started by organisations such as The John Birch Society and other fundamentalist religious groups that often believe in the literal word of the bible, end times etc and so may be tainted with a hint of their own ideological bias. Perhaps they are right, but I respectfully do not share their beliefs.
How about the belief artists like P Diddy and Cash Money’s Birdman are artists who actually did access their rise to power within rap industry via gay sexual activities?
Yeah, because at the same time there are several hip-hop artists who have suggested, on several occasions, that there is a necessity to perform homosexual acts in the industry in order to progress to a higher level. Pimp C, Professor Griff, Noreaga, DMX, DJ Kayslay, Uncle Murda, Ali Vegas, Choke No Joke and Raz B have all made similar claims, essentially that there is a ritualistic need for this before you can ascend to super stardom and if you refuse your career will stagnate. Is this just a case of sour grapes? Is this an exaggeration of a casting couch type scenario? Is this a fantasy? I don’t know to be honest.
It has been strongly suggested, by those close to him, that Michael Jackson was seemingly pimped out to mysterious rich white men in motel rooms as a boy, is this connected or just a horrible coincidence?
Are there effeminate rappers at the moment? Yes definitely. Could this be used to make the genre, the message and maybe even black males as a whole seem ridiculous in some people eyes? Possibly.
One possibility is that it encourages a backlash of hyper masculinity. From a perspective of Mind control it’s all about stimuli response. We know how the macho will react, by definition there are some things that are anathema to the macho. If we understand and can easily categorise someone they are far easier to control. I realise that sounds a bit out there, it’s just a thought.
The rap world is also looked on today as becoming a pretty ignorant scene. All about money, cars, guns and ‘bitches’ rather than the actual talent for creative raps. When you see the same big corporations who are major share holders within the U.S prison system get behind a hip hop group like Migos (guns, drugs etc) with the idea that ‘they’re’ filling the prisons up with the encouraged message of shoot outs, drug dealing and murder by the artists they put out there?
Many artists within the industry have pointed out that certain negative messages are promoted with far more vigour than positive ones. Is this just for business purposes or does it serve a wider agenda. The prison industry is an interesting point. Some have argued that it represents modern day slavery which is racially biased. Further to this some have suggested that music can provide stereotypes which demonise or glamorise particular lifestyles which creates a mentality that ultimately serves the prison industrial complex by making jail seem like an inevitable rite of passage to some.
The flipside of this is that anti-war messages may not be tolerated as the record company may have affiliations with weapons companies (or prison companies as you said) at a board level. They will act in a way that is ultimately beneficial to their shareholders. This could be to stifle an artist who speaks out against violence or to promote certain lifestyles that have other outcomes which can also be profitable.
With mumble rap for example you could argue that it is difficult to articulate a complex political message like Dead Prez or Public Enemy might. But then again I might just be getting old and out of touch.
Yeah, its like as our generation gets older the question is ‘are we actually meant to Get-It anyway’? How about the Internet itself, do you believe that this format that we all now use that is so much a big part of peoples every day lives has actually given the record companies and authorities more power over us music fans, in terms of mind control?
The Internet is a weird one. You have more creative control and more freedom but the market is almost infinite. You are competing against everyone. I also suspect that many of the artists who blow up in a viral sense probably have hidden backing. This is a relatively new medium but salesmen are devious sods. The best way to sell something is to make them think they thought of it. If people think they organically stumbled across an artist they feel a connection to them that seems more real and special. People like Scooter Braun have made a living creating seemingly organic viral sensations. He is the marketing genius behind Justin Bieber by the way.
Scooter Braun & Justin Bieber
How about the notion that certain noise ratios, sequences or ‘hooks’ are used by record companies to sell music. Do you think they actually use some kinda of formula, some kinda technology to pull the listener in?, what ever they do its very clever, that or we’re just slightly gullible ?
I don’t want people to think I am criticising music. It’s just fun sometimes, I realise that. Bloody hell, life is hard enough without some know-it-all like me sneering at your tastes and attempts to get some enjoyment out of life and that is not my intention at all. I like grindcore and black metal for crying out loud. Grown men, dressed in armour – it’s ludicrous.
There are companies that can basically measure the likelihood that a song will be a hit or not. There are certain melodies and progressions that are appealing to the brain and tend to embed themselves. This is called an earworm. Mnemonic jingles work in this way and we can see how often they are used to sell products.
You also have the writers like Max Martin who write hits for a plethora of artists such as Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, The Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. He has been described as a master hooksmith. There are many people like this who sit behind the scenes writing the music the artists present as their own, they have tried and tested formula’s. This is a business after all and they have a very successful and profitable methodology.
But yes is the short answer. People say, “Oh you must think Taylor Swift etc is crap”. It’s not you know. It’s not my cup of tea, but it is exceptionally clever. Blank Space is the catchiest song I have ever heard, it’s like they have weaponised melody to drill the hooks into your brain. Just writing this has started it on a loop in my head; I may have to bang on some Pantera just to block it out.
There is also, obviously, a huge process that goes into designing and presenting the image of artists, which is often far from the truth. As I said, this is a business and artists are money making projects that are carefully and meticulously thought out before being released.
What about when music meets politics. Like U2 running around with Barrack Obama or the Red Wedge movement in the 80’s where the Labour Party brought in artists to bring the youth more into politics. Would you say introducing political agendas in music is something that’s usually rejected among the youth, unlike say life style and fashion?
It very much depends on the circumstances. With music just the non conformity and rebellion that it presents can be a revelation opening up all types of new ideas for the listener. The artist’s attitude to life and the mainstream can be very influential on fans as can their opinions of drugs and lifestyle. Just look at Cypress Hill and their Marijuana advocacy compared to a straight edge band like Strife and how that can influence their fans (I am a fan of both).
You can also be taught new concepts by bands such as Public Enemy, Immortal Technique, Lowkey, Bad Brains, Peter Tosh, The Specials, Leftover Crack, The Pet Shop Boys etc so it can be directly political. Christ, even the Beach Boys can open your eyes to new and undiscovered experiences, unless you already live in California.
The pure defiance and white hot rage of Reggae, Hip-Hop and Punk was itself, in my opinion, a political act. Whether it was co-opted before it could fully achieve its potential is another debate. You can also get negative messages coalesced through the use of music scenes, NS black metal or far right Oi bands for example.
The thing is politics can be boring unless it is presented in a way that connects it to you and music can be the perfect avenue for this. It also offers easy inclusion to a group which can be manipulated by some to prey on lonely souls for their own benefit.
The problem is that often bands that wear a badge of being political don’t really have a coherent message other than bad things are bad, which can, in some cases, make them seem a little naive and bleeding heart. There is also the problem of acts using the idea of being political as a marketing tool, simply stating we are political or reducing the issue to the level of a ladybird book. I was surprised to see MTV market Green Day as an overtly political band because of American Idiot. I mean fair play it’s a start, but it’s hardly “storm the winter palace stuff” is it. It lacks the bite and sophistication of for example the Sex Pistols or the Clash. It struck me that it was a bit of a cop out, a safe option.
Music is simply a tool and like all tools if it used correctly it can be extremely effective. If it wasn’t then there wouldn’t have been so much effort put into stopping certain elements of the industry from flourishing in the ways that they could have.
Green Day Diss Donald Trump With MTV ‘American Idiot’ Performance
The 60’s is probably the most interesting. The hippie movement coming out of Laurel Canyon, California right next to the infamous highly classified army intelligence unit. The place where artists like Frank Zappa and Jim Morrison came from. Morrisons father was in fact a leading navy figure who was responsible for starting the ‘Gulf Of Tonkin’ incident which led to the start of the Vietnam war, and who was also tied to the Californian army base. Would you agree the 60’s stand out as probably the most defining era in terms of mind control and corruption within music and its culture?
Well I think with the 60’s there has been sufficient time for a lot of the secrets to come out. It was a crazy time with a lot of change socially and experimentation going on behind the scenes. MK Ultra was in full swing and the drugs that facilitated the hippie movement such as LSD, STP and PCP just so happened to have been part of these MK Ultra experiments. Furthermore the so called Johnny Appleseed’s of LSD who promoted the drug such as Al Hubbard, Michael Hollingshead, Owsley Stanley and Timothy Leary all had explicit connections to the CIA, MI6 or directly to MK Ultra. The academic legitimising of the free love movement via people like Herbert Marcuse also seems to have ties to the intelligence agencies.
The argument, which is a long one, is that there were several social experiments going on under the auspices of MK Ultra. Doctors like Louis Jolyon West installed themselves in Haight Ashbury to observe the hippie in its natural habitat like some kind of newly discovered species. In very simple terms the concept is that certain tactics were tried to discredit the anti war movement and if they could not be stopped to influence and control new arts and social movements to better serve the American governments ideals.
As you said many of the musicians had strange connections to the CIA or the military industrial complex such as Jim Morrison, Frank Zappa, Joan Baez, Papa John Phillips, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Gram Parsons and bizarrely they all arrived at the same place around the same time with the same intentions and all became stars. More specifically there is an FBI file that shows that the Grateful Dead were assets of the CIA, “employed to channel youth dissent and rebellion into more benign and non threatening directions.” It is debated whether this was knowingly or not.
Good books on this are Acid Dreams by Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain and all the work of Dave McGowan particularly Weird Scenes inside the Canyon. McGowan also goes on to show the influence of the Copeland family on the punk and new wave scenes. Stewart Copeland played drums for the Police, his father Miles Copeland was a founder member of both the OSS and the CIA.
What do you feel is the future of these mind control tactics within music and its culture, what are the things you’d say music fans should be aware of today?
Well just to understand that even really banal things that are presented to you have a hidden agenda behind it. For example something as trite and silly as a Transformers movie or as frivolous and fun as an Iron Man film. Both of those entities are actually adverts for the US military, they admit this – sort of. The CIA and the US DoD has a Hollywood liaison office that actively helps out with major film productions and projects. The deal is that you can use as much hardware and locations as you need
As well as writing books and giving talks on the world of conspiracies you also play in a group yourself – ‘Turnbarrel’ (image below). hi-tempo and heavy power riffs over aggressive vocals..with real content, how long have you been together?
We have all been playing together in various bands on and off for years. Turnbarrel has been rehearsing together for quite a while and Stu and Tony had been kicking around ideas for a long time before that. We recorded an album last year called ‘Cinq a Sept’ which we are really pleased with. It is a bit of an acquired taste but we all like loads of horrible, aggressive metal bands anyway. We have taken influences from bands like Helmet and Prong, a lot of punk and crust bands and stuff like EyeHategod.
Turnbarrel facebook – https://www.facebook.com/turnbarrel/?fref=ts
Song wise the band cover some of the same things you talk about in your books, like the track ‘The Fallen’ which comments on the whole subject of child abuse
Kind of, in songs like ‘The Throng Remains Inane’, ‘Cattle Royale’ or ‘Another Gentle Blade’ there is a social critique. It’s all fairly misanthropic. The Fallen is actually about three people the singer Luke and I went to school with. One ended up on the sex offenders register, one died from an AIDS related illness due to sharing needles and one went to prison for murdering an old lady. These were just kids once and they all had horrific outcomes in their life.
It’s just an observation that people who are reviled, rightly or wrongly, were once children and a musing on how they got there. Some of it has dark humour or we occasionally throw in a line from some obscure comedy like Round the Horne. ‘Belle 222’ is about the man who made sweet love to the helicopter from Airwolf. It’s a true story; this guy was attracted to cars and helicopters in a sexual way. Airwolf had the added allure of being famous. It’s technically a sexual assault on a celebrity, in this guys eyes anyway, so it’s told like that from the perspective of the attacker. It’s his justification of his actions. It’s not supposed to be serious, it’s about a man grinding himself against a helicopter.
That’s crazy, he gave his chopper to a chopper!..Whose the song writer within the group, and using such content would you be surprised if you actually did ever get signed for a record deal?
Luke writes most of the lyrics but I throw in the odd line or concept. The writing was mostly done by Stu, the guitarist and Tony, the drummer. Greg, the bass player and I also have some riffs and ideas in there but they had been writing together for a period before we joined.
We have been together for a while but only really gigging for the last few months. If anyone has any gigs we are available. Regarding a record deal, never say never, but we are a bit wary of the way the industry works.
What Turnbarrel releases are out there?
We have an album called ‘Cinq a Sept’ which is available on Bandcamp and we hope to record an EP in the summer. We are just looking for gigs at the moment and trying to get a fan base and just see what happens. If people like our stuff please check out some of our other tracks and follow us on Facebook and Soundclound.
And finally, you not long ago released your latest book ‘Wecome to Sell’ which focuses on the sly world of branding and selling techniques, something which also features very heavily in the music industry… what else do you have planned for 2017?
‘Welcome to Sell’ is a fake sales seminar. I play an evil salesman and the idea is I have turned up at the wrong venue. The talk is to improve your sales technique but really it’s an expose of some of the tricks that might be used in sales, marketing and politics. It’s my stab at satire, I took inspiration from Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. What’s weird is that some people don’t seem to get it’s a joke and have contacted me to ask for help marketing club nights or businesses. I have politely declined.
I have my books ‘Your Thoughts Are Not Your Own’ Volumes one and two which are also available. I hope to release a book re-examining the Manson murders at some point this year titled ‘Now’s The Only Thing That’s Real’ (Which is also a quote used in the Skinny Puppy song Worlock) which has been a bit of an obsession of mine for a while. Hopefully people will find it interesting.