Hotel California, Pacific City Studios
Let me start this off by saying Spencer Clark is the man. Dude has been killing it in the interdimensional dreamzone arena for what seems like ages (remember that Wire issue where David Keenan coined 'hypnagogic pop'?) and it doesn't look like he's ever letting up. This year alone he plans on releasing three albums through his Pacific City Sound Visions imprint, including a collaborative effort with Jan Anderzen of Tomutonttu and a follow-up to 2011's The Spectacle of Light Abductions. In the second and latest installment of Fourth World Magazine, Clark reimagines monsters from '80s and '90s cinema as characters in the super romantic "Pagan Lilli-Pad glistening of Fantasia". I chatted with him over email to grasp what I could about the story behind the extraterrestrial free jazz casio-jams that make up Pinhead In Fantasia. In return he sent over the premier track, "Facehuggers' Ascent of Sant'Appolonia", a video tour of his studio in the style of The Blair Witch Project, and a caps locked list of must-see VHS tapes.
The full-length release of Fourth World Magazine: Pinhead In Fantasia is out soon from Pacific City Sound Visions.
Ad Hoc: Earlier in our correspondences you mentioned that you buried the Pinhead tape behind an amphitheater in San Diego. Can you elaborate on that process, its purpose and outcome?
Spencer Clark: In my dreams, for one week, I was to sit in a golden cell that was very hot with burning metals and smoke, and voices and music. Every night this strange buzzing sound would read my thoughts and then tell me something about the future. These dreams, just as many others have, asked me to delve further into them. My dreams are calling me to correspond with them, possibly my subconscious wishes to be a bigger part of my waking life. The Organ Amphitheater in San Diego is a really giant monument. It means something, it's very beautiful and all children have seen this during Christmas and watched angels sing there. I go there in my dreams so often, it's another type of recurring dream I have had my whole life. Like, just behind the theater, in my dreams, there are these rooms with strange artifacts. This dream is very unlike the Golden Cell Dream, but they both are serving to inspire me look into the shadow spots. I decided that the new album should be buried and charged there, to further the conversation that my dreams are willing to have with me. It is a way of nodding in silence to the forces that will you to create.
Ad Hoc: So what have you gleaned from the shadow spots?
SC: The dark shadow of a tree mirrored on a pond projects the underneath. The shadow is limitless thought and a place where you find your etheric double, like The Garnet Toucan.
Ad Hoc: Fourth World Mag is the publication that your friend Charles Berlitz writes for, right? What’s the objective aim of Fourth World's reporting? How did Charles get involved?
SC: Charles is straight mac chillin’ 24/7 and takes care of what I cannot. Fourth World Magazine stands as the literary component to my records, and to further elucidate the issues I am approaching with my art and music.
Ad Hoc: Who is Pinhead?
SC: Pinhead is a monster from the movies. He is scary because he is to frighten off people from intense visions that could possibly, somehow have a message. He is a spirit that is casted as a monster in our reality. My intention with PINHEAD IN FANTASIA is to recast Pinhead, as well as FACEHUGGER, and other DREAMGATE MONSTERS into the world of the Renaissance and a world of Pagan beauty. By this they are to find new meaning within this work and begin to be figures with the same purposes but to be in the shadows with pure ecstasy and not torture and hell. Many of my works are often me performing this motion, and this is something I first learned with The Skaters: to embrace horrific darkness and turn it into, not necessary just light, but something else.
Ad Hoc: Where do you think we as a society are in terms of understanding the messages of our dreams, and in turn actualizing them?
SC: I can’t judge society because it is out of control. People always love to talk about their dreams, it seems, to be a break from a very intense current of Over-Pragmatism, no doubt caused by the relinquishing of freedom thought to machines.
Ad Hoc: You've toured a lot recently and will be touring with this material over the next summer. How do you translate these ideas into your live performances?
SC: My live shows have always been a bit boring for people-- just standing there staring at keyboards and trying to zone. But recently I have attempted to take these pieces from the studio and play them freely. The last time i was in Europe, or America I guess, everyone kept saying to me "It’s crazy how much you play everything live.” And then I realized that this area of music I am in has changed, it is less performative. But I don’t think that matters so much, whatever other people do. The physical feeling of the live environment is important to me, I guess. I would like the studio and live to be different, of course. This May I am touring with Lieven Martens Moana. I am really looking forward to being there.
Ad Hoc: When did you first become fascinated with cult cinema and how did you cultivate that into a tool for your artistic needs?
SC: James [Ferraro] and I got really into grippers around the time we were playing music. I kinda don’t think of the stuff as cult, but more like BOXES OF DREAMS. I think the same reason that we were into videos back then is the same reason we might have been into new age music; it seemed private and untouchable, not very examined by people at large. So it seemed one could go there and be alive in a world that didn't have so many cultural connotations as other movies or things that are thought of as culturally redeemable. I find inspiration in everything, but with movies like Hellraiser ll and PIN, I find a thoroughly full-imagined universe, one that I would like to have within my music, as though the records are DREAMCAPSULES, or BRAINJUICE.
Ad Hoc: Got any straight-to-video relics you'd recommend to our readers?
SC: If you see one movie this year, make that movie PIN. PIN deals with the psychotic feelings invented in childhood by a father-forced imaginary childhood friend, and invents a narcissistic schizophrenia that is beyond. It's so funny and it's a flawless movie. You will need HELP if you can’t get down with this masterpiece.
1. PIN with Cynthia Preston
2. LIES with ANN DUSENBERRY, AN ACTRESS IS LURED TO BECOME INSANE BY A DOUBLE CROSSIN', MONEY HUNGRY PIPSTA. BEAUTIFUL
3. EYES OF FIRE THE ACCOUNT WRITTEN ON THE SCAN SAYS IT ALL
4. HYPERSAPIEN A CRAZED OUT, TRIPLE-FOOTED CHARPEI GETS CRITTER IN THIS NEW AGE ALIEN THRILLER FROM COLORADO
5. WISHMAN A HOMELESS BUM ALCOHOLIC DRINKING PROBLEM GUY HAS A DREAM THAT HE GETS TO TELL EVERYONE WHAT TO DO. ITS LIKE KAZAAM FOR NON-SHAQ PEOPLE
6. FOWL PLAY A CHILDREN’S FILM WHERE A LITTLE BOOGERHEAD WANDERS INTO A PSYCHEDELIC MIRROR-WORLD CONTROLLED BY ROYAL DUCKS
7. DARK FORCES THIS MOVIE IS STRAIGHT PRO TRICKSTER. A CLOWN ENTERS A KID'S LIFE AND CURES HIM OF CANCER AND GETS DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF SOME DARK POLITICAL STUFF. HE STRAIGHT UP DRESSES LIEK THE SICKEST JESTER OF ALL TIME AND GETS FLAT.
8. CLOUD WALTZING A MOVIE FOR ROMANTICS ABOUT A TWOSOME THAT GET INVOLVED WHILST DRINKING CHAMPAGNE IN A LIFTED HOT AIR BALLOON.
9. BOB LAZAR'S GOVERNMENT BIBLE A NERD STUD SCIENTIST DRIVES UP IN A RED CORVETTE AND PROCEEDS TO BLOW YOUR MIND ABOUT THE ALIEN SCIENCE OF FLYING SAUCERS THAT HE LEARNED AT AREA 51. HE THENS SAYS "I'M OUT", LIKE A PIMP AND DRIVES AWAY IN HIS CORVETTE. MUST BE HIGH.
10. PINHEAD IN FANTASIA THE VIDEO MADE BY AR FAUST ABOUT MY DREAMS THAT I THEN MADE A SOUNDTRACK TO. MUST SEE OCCULT TV.