INTERVIEW: Call Me Alice

By Jett Black

Chain Border

Call Me AliceWho are current members of C.M.A., and what roles does each perform?

Crosby (voice), Jude (keys), Epiphany (bass), The Thrawn (percussion).

Describe some of the creative techniques used to achieve specific aspects of Call Me Alice recordings.

C.M.A. uses various subtleties in their recordings. Alone, many sounds are not clearly audible. Together these subtleties create a unique sound, however. You hear what you are meant to hear depending on what you need. The music knows you.

Describe some of the processes involved in composing and evolving soundscapes.

You are exactly right, the songs are soundscapes. We listen to what the song wants. The song has its story and its voice. We listen to what the songs wants and we give everything we can to make that happen. Various filters and effects are used as well as samples. See question 1.

AliceWhat images illustrate your visions of a "New Dark Age?"

The return of art and beauty. The acceptance of the darker side of nature. The acceptance and appreciation of the innocence of the natural cycles regardless of how horrible they may seem to some. Death for example, or the decay of something is quite beautiful from nature's point of view, quite horrible from the view of the Institution and the small minded creatures living here.

How do environmental and social stimuli of San Diego influence the developments of Call Me Alice compositions?

All aspects of environmental and social stimuli directly affect C.M.A.. We are affected by all. It's in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and in the life we are forced to live. We cannot escape it...C.M.A. music is the product of this influence. Basic sensory perceptions are perhaps the biggest influence. Love, hate, truth, oppression…what we see and feel at one particular moment, both positive and negative, inspires us creatively. It's not just San Diego that influences C.M.A.. It's everything.

What changes in the music industry have caught your attention most during the '90s?

Chronic unfairness. It appears that record companies do not promote bands as avidly as they had in the past. Also there seems to be more fabricated acts and less talent. The emergence and longevity of cut-and-paste music in a somewhat Modern version of Kitsch. The mass production of art and music for a price-point rather than beauty.

When not completely focused upon C.M.A., what do you do to support yourself?

Eat, breathe, sleep, defecate, urinate, procreate, love, hate.

In what ways will C.M.A. live performances differ from its recordings?

More calculated spatial positioning of sound and light. Live performances will be 3-dimensional and will stimulate all senses...sight, sound, touch, hearing and taste. Ooohhh, did someone say taste?

Please describe the themes employed on recordings by C.M.A.

C.M.A. uses universal themes in its music. The songs describe the trial and tribulations being encountered by the beings during their existence in the Institution.

How do you relate with the music created for C.M.A.?

Directly. The music is C.M.A.s guide. The relationship with the music is one of listening, not pushing. The music itself dictates what it will be. The members of C.M.A. are the vessels used by the music to create itself. Music is not selfish; it will accommodate those who appreciate it and are in touch with it. It will write what the listener needs. Most of the time, the music of C.M.A. contains elements of the background and history of one or more of the players and their roles at the Institution. This is sometimes more apparent than the elders would like. Oh, well.

What would you like to accomplish through C.M.A. into the dawning of the new millennium?

Complete creative fulfillment through multimedia events and experiences that perpetually evolve.

What other recordings, outside of C.M.A., have been released by its band members?


What other side projects are currently being developed?

C.M.A. comic book, C.M.A. music video.

What will you entitle the next release by C.M.A., and when will it be available?

EP to be released late spring/early summer. Title name of E.P. to be determined.

Who will be distributing your next releases?

To be determined. Check for details to follow.

Where else might readers find releases by C.M.A. available for purchase?

Internet and live performance currently. The Limited Edition CD is no longer available. Must wait for the next.

What are you looking for now in terms of new musical influences?

C.M.A. is always interested in the music of innovative artists and cultural textures. However, C.M.A. makes no efforts or has no desire to imitate these artists. C.M.A. appreciates and respects innovative artists. What inspires C.M.A.? Everything.

Which shows have you seen during the past year that impressed you the most?

The Institution has kept C.M.A. confined and punished. Members were not permitted to leave their cells very often last year.

Backing up to now, what motivates you to continue performing and recording music as C.M.A. now?

C.M.A would like to expose and spread the truth about the Institution and would ultimately like to return back to the Universal Realm.

Looking back, what mile-stones have been most notable for C.M.A.?

Participation in the first virtual concert of its kind in The union of the C.M.A. members...a long search which has ended most favorably thus far.

Let's say it happens, you 'make it BIG' and retain complete control of your own music even, what then? How would you describe your music, and your motivation to continue as C.M.A.?

C.M.A. would continue to expose and spread the truth about the Institution. To open minds to the beauty and blasphemy that is everywhere; both of which are so commonly ignored. Success would allow C.M.A. access to greater resources to accomplish its ultimate goal.

Could you illuminate any significant details that may have influenced the development of sadness in your music?

C.M.A. members were oppressed and confined during their developmental years. C.M.A. members are currently in touch with and experiencing the harsh reality of their existence.

When touring and dealing with a million-and-one decisions, how do you manage to work so well together without the instruments in hand?

We just do. Jude keeps a close watch.

AliceWhat particular interests might you explore along the route of this next tour, if opportunity permits?

Virtual transmission of live movement and audio to real-time avatars on the internet and through telecasted mediums. Continually spreading the word about C.M.A.

What new opportunities would you seek and develop to advance the music of C.M.A.?

Deeper understandings of international cultures, societies , myths an philosophies. The incorporation of odd combinations of style, concept, and sound. Feedback from cell members is greatly encouraged, as no piece is ever completely "finished."

Any re-mixes from previous releases?

Yes, but not for public consumption.

What changes have been made in C.M.A. during the last year?

The C.M.A. project is currently in a developmental stage and many changes have been made during the past. Far, far, far too many to list…

What songs have been in development since last year?

C.MA. has many songs which are currently being developed. Several of which will be available on the EP to be released late spring/early summer.

Considering other musicians with which you have performed in the past. What experiences seem most memorable for you and what have you been able to draw out of those experiences and into C.M.A.?

C.M.A has been in a developmental stage over the past year and had not had the opportunity to perform with many other musicians. C.M.A looks forward to many memorable experiences to come this year as we plan on performing quite frequently and will be embarking on a regional tour.

Where will you be traveling during the course of your next tour?

West Coast and Southwest regions of the United States.

When and at what location is your next tour set to begin?

To be determined. Tour target date is Summer 2000.

What gear are you using to develop music for C.M.A.?

C.M.A uses high-end musical instruments and various electronic devices of all types.

Which songs required more significant development in production?

Life 101.

Which musicians have won your admiration in the music industry and why?

There are far too many musicians to count and too many reasons to list to adequately answer this question. David Bowie, Trent Reznor, Paul Simon, Robert Smith are just a few.

What are you looking for in terms of musical styles and influences now?

C.M.A. does not actively look for influences. The influence is within each one of the members and has been developing since before birth. C.M.A. does not seek to immolate or master a certain style. C.M.A. is its own style thanks to the innate, internal influence of each of its members.

AliceBesides performing live from one gig and tour to the next, what other forms of media will C.M.A. explore in the future? And, if applicable, have you already begun to explore beyond the routines of 'record & perform'?

C.MA. hopes to participate in more VRML/Internet performances. C.MA. is currently avidly exploring this medium. Any type of media that we find intriguing. Comic Books, Video, CD-Rom, Interactive stuff. We have been experimenting intensely.

What new goals will you focus upon now?

C.MA.'s current goals include the completion of recording of its EP and to embark on a regional tour. Writing and recording.

What more would you like to share with our readers?

C.M.A would like to express its deep and utmost gratitude to those of you who continue to support this project. C.M.A. would like to ask each and everyone of you to join the C.M.A. Cell and/or the C.MA. Alliance. See for more details on how you can become an integral part of the Institution.

How can music enthusiasts best contact C.M.A. for more information?

What other resources might be available for avid readers?

C.M.A comic book currently scheduled to be released fall 2000.

Editor's Note: Call Me Alice's demo CD was reviewed in Legends #95!

Legends Online