I was interviewed today.

I've been running an e-zine since 1998 and I've seen many of my contemporaries get interviewed by other contemporaries. I've been interviewed by newspapers about my compositions and stuff but I'd never done a website interview. Now I have. This and composing two fine melodic developments is what my day consisted of.

1) you are completely correct in describing john bonham as "god". do you have any other drummerly advice/opinions that you would care to share with us?

Well, since drumming is what got me tossed out of the Berklee College of Music, my first instinct is to say "Don't do it."

Let me explain. I got every type of muscular disease a drummer can get after doing it for 11 years, non-stop. I won all kinds of contests, was world ranked a couple of times, etc etc. Because it was ALL I DID. I loved it and I still do but because I loved it so much it kind of side-tracked my music career for a bit.

As far as advice, I would say that any good percussionist should take lessons and learn to read lead sheets and standard notation, as well as piano lessons. You might think I'm kidding but nothing helps your feel and phrasing as a percussionist like understanding melodic construction.

Also, learn to play more than just the drum set, if you have the means. Learn marimba, timpani, latin percussion, african percussion, the works. Your local college should offer night classes in most styles of drumming.

Finally, John Bonham was godlike in the weight and groove of his playing. However, he also undeniably proved himself to be a total retard by drinking himself to death. People who are incredibly talented and very lucky should never be that stupid, but unfortunately many are.

2) what are some of the common bonds that connect the various participants of the site?

It's sort of like a "six degrees" thing. I went to high school with Tenth Day, Djuxtapose, and Space Boy. Tenth Day and Djuxtapose are brother and sister and Tenth Day is my fiance. Outlander, Graceness and Pumkinbomb I met playing UO. I went to Berklee with Princess, Harry Parratestes and Waylain just asked to be a part of things. Morgan is a politcal activist I met through some of Tenth Day's friends at work and The Subliminal Kid is a writer I'd wanted to work with for awhile, who I met out in California. Skoob I met while working at a coffee shop several years ago and he's our network admin. Hoffma is a high school friend of his from North Dakota.

Jesus I have a lot of writers.

They're all part of The BlackRage Organization because I asked them to be. In former versions of the site I loved doing it but being solely responsible for all the updating was a drag and having only my opinions expressed on the site kind of went against the grain of what BlackRage is about. It takes more than one person to hold up the giant fucking mirror society needs in order to see itself.

3) your "stop the morons" campaign is intelligent and even slightly poignant. how does one actually KNOW if one is a moron, what can one do to stop it and how does one keep from becoming a moron?

Many people misconstrue the "Stop The Morons" thing as being solely targeted at the webmistress or webmaster, but it isn't. It is targeted at the viewers who act as the enabling parties of the people who push nothing but subject matter which will garnish an audience. They aren't funny. They aren't creative. They are the proverbial mother bird farm feeders of the digital generation who push a button to get a response.

I'm not faulting them for what they do because many of them make a living off of their webpage, and who wouldn't want to do that? They simply provide access to death, porn, and death porn; it is the millions of viewers who attack this subject matter like hungry hyenas feeding off the lumbering giant mammals that are slowing down and dying. It is a pack animal mentality that is fearsome and most likely cannot be overcome. In this as in all things, the effort is of equal importance to the outcome.

You may be a moron if you visit a site or pander to a webauthor who has very little to offer in the way of creativity but instead publishes vapid updates consisting of mislabelled links to grotesque porn and crime scene photos. You may be a moron if the method and motive behind a website matters nothing to you, and you would rather fill your brain with anime bondage imagery than humorous or investigative original commentary on current world socio-political situations. You may be a moron if the Internet uses you to serve its purpose; YOU should use the Internet to serve some sort of purpose past shock value. Shocking imagery is wonderful if it makes a point; otherwise it is a base form of escapism no better than drugs, alcohol, web design, etc.

Don't get me wrong. I think porn has a place on the internet. People view pornographic imagery to become aroused, to appreciate the human form or to fulfill a curiousity. Pictures and videos of people getting hurt or in fact dying gruesome deaths also serves some purpose, I imagine; it escapes me but I am not the end all be all of morality, nor should I be. What I'm saying is this: if all you do is download porn from Stile and get snuff films from Archu and yet, you have no idea where you'll ever find all that information your research paper requires, you are a moron and you need to be stopped.

Creatively presenting shock imagery is also eons better than just making it a link and forgetting about. My man Tom Fulp at Newgrounds has a unique brilliance for humor and animation. Many of his cartoons deal with death, porn, and what would otherwise be considered tragic subject matter. He uses these images in a manner that is creative, that took years of hard work to perfect, and that utilizes humor to make light of the sometimes overdramatic seriousness life presents to us.

He's an artist.

You can stop being a moron by realizing that you fill your hours and days with meaningless things. If you can only get off by watching people get shot in the face with handguns, then get all the snuff you want. But if you do simply want to shock yourself, watch a sunrise, or hit yourself in the head with a clawhammer.

They will both have more immediately relevant impacts on your life.

3 1/2) is chubby nastygram somehow related to that evil "snuggles" fabric softener mascot of some years back?

No. The backstory on Chubby D. Bear is that he started out as just a cute teddy bear and somehow with the reinstatement of blackrage on the internet he became this dishonored ninja assassin. He smokes cigars and drinks whiskey, he beats a lot of ass and talks like a sailor. He's the teddy bear equivalent of a love child of Tom Waits and Bruce Lee.

Chubby became a mainstay of blackrage when iamhappyblue.com introduced Swash The Can Bear not too long after I linked them. Chubby began constantly threatening the life of Swash, and said he would be forced to kill Swash ninja-style if Swash didn't give unto Chubby the Holy Giant 10lb. Bag Of Blow Belonging To Ron Jeremy. The night of the deadline, I went out on a smoke run and tripped on something outside my apartment door. It was a ZipLoc bag filled with powdered sugar, addressed to Chubby in Swash-speak asking for mercy.

I'll have you know, that since I only get about 100 visitors a day, I was flattered and scared shitless all at once.

Now Chubby is a regularly contributing member of the writing staff but only when something really pisses him off.

4) it would be interesting to hear some of your observations about boston, a city which seemingly has no relevance to anyone who is was not born here.

Boston is a great town and also a cruel bitch-mistress. I hate the fact that the streets roll up at nine o'clock and going to a party in Allston when you live in the Back Bay and then missing the T totally blows, because then the cab ride home costs, on average, eleventy billion dollars. Boston offers a great deal of culture in that it features one of the best symphony orchestras in the world and a fabulous museum, an amazing ballet, along with a large number of community theatres, orchestras, and acting troupes. The venues to view these in are also amazing.

On the contrary, the Boston modern music scene eats the big one. The most entertaining night I had in a Boston club was going to see Nancy Mroczek, Ph.D. And that was just because she was so very bad.

I went to Berklee and to most people on the East Coast, Berklee is a joke. For an aspiring composer, Berklee is a joke. I also spent some time at the Boston Conservatory which is much like Berklee, only being more expensive(!) and actually requiring talent to get into. I still have friends there about to graduate, and Berklee can make you the best music therapist or synth artist or songwriter in the world. Other than that, its a sham.

Boston is beautiful in the summer and fall. If I never go back to Boston between November and March it'll be too soon.

The mass transit system and everything being so close to everything else is fantastic. Most people in Boston don't know what a pain in the ass it is to have to drive an hour to get anywhere, like you have to do in Texas.

For every amazing restaraunt in Boston there are 15 shitty overpriced ones. For every beautiful street in Boston there's a dirty one with some drunk guy decked head to toe in Patriots sweats screaming about how we was robbed. Foxboro is a great stadium but its bereft of soul. Fenway Park is a shithole but you can feel the energy and pride contained therein. You can ride a boat around the harbor for a dollar all day long but taking a taxi to the airport costs 30 dollars.

All in all, Boston is like my favorite Boston eatery, Little Stevie's House Of Pizza. (On Boylston street between the Berklee Bookstore and 1140 Boylston Berklee building.) The outside is dirty. The inside is uncomfortable. The pizza looks like it will hospitalize you but its enormous and its the best tasting slice you'll ever have.

5) i was very struck by your perceptive observation that there is little or no greatness in this generation. we seem to be "borrowing", "rehashing and "reinterpreting" more than ever. could you talk a bit more about this dilemma? and how does this contribute to one's status as a moron?

Not only is it rare to find true innovation or originality among our generation, when it does exist society does its best to quell it. We're a civilization of people who know shortcuts but not what is actually involved in the long form of the process. We know the easy, simple, fast and painless way to do things. Quick and dirty has more value than something which sports a rigorous attention to craftsmanship and detail and yet takes more time to create.

The problem is that while in earlier generations good craftsmanship was rewarded in almost every career or aspect of life, today no one wants to wait. If an idea is presented that the masses cannot instantly identify with or rail against, it is met with the deadliest of poisons: apathy. The artists living amongst us in our generation and the one preceding ours have made the mistake, on the whole, of alienating those who would otherwise not give a damn about what we're doing. We go out of our way to disclude the uninitiated from our club in hopes (conscious or not) that someone will be upset that they don't know what's going on and investigate.

The problem is that most of society doesn't care for anything past their own bills, bankbooks and interests; the creators and potential brilliance of our generation are starting to not care that society in general vists us only with apathy and general discontentment. It's a viscious cycle and it has to stop.

Slamming nails through your cock and video taping it is not, in my opinion, a form of art. Slamming bottles against the wall until they break, recording the audio, and then calling it music is not, in my opinion, art. Artists and creators have a responsibility to stay true to the intention and motive of True Art, whatever it may be. Doing things to freak people out or making a work so intentionally obtuse so that only certain people with certain backgrounds and certain life circumstances will "get it" is wrong. It is wrong, it is grotesque, and it does nothing but drive the Majority away from the message we are collectively trying to convey.

All art should say something. It should never say "go away." Art as a profession and a lifestyle cannot exist without a base of patrons. People have whined about this for almost all of the 20th century and of course what little of the 21st we have experienced. If an aspiring artist were to research history before the 20th century he would rarely ever see anything mentioned in journals about starving artists or potential artists complaining that no one understood them. You either were an artist or you weren't. Sometimes you paid your bills and debts, sometimes you didn't, but you were an artist because you simply could not be anything else.

If our generation were to discover this perhaps our greatness would emerge. We do have greatness among our ranks. It just has to get humble and get hungry.

How being a moron plays into this should be fairly easy to see. If you always take the idea that's the easiest to digest and you never look closer at that which you do not understand, you are a moron. If you, as an artist, make it your sole purpose in life to be as obscure and alienating as possible, you are a moron.

5 3/8) could you talk a bit about the concept behind the website's fairly stark black/blue/green visual presentation?

It's funny you bring this up. Originally, I designed what you see before you as a content-delivery device and little else. I didn't want a flashy design or banners or mad scripting skrillz on display; I just wanted something that would make the massive amounts of text we produce easy to look at.

I still feel that way but I got tired of the design we've currently got and charged Waylain with making us a new one. He's got a brilliance for graphic design and visual presentation that far surpasses my own, and I trust he will be able to keep our simple presentation's idea and mythos at heart while making it a little easier on the eyes, and maybe just a little cooler-looking.

Content is still king though. It always has been and until they pry the site out of my cold, dead hands it always will.

Regards, Beltane