Time Travel







An Interview with Richard Bone
from a fan's perspective...

   First and foremost I would like to thank Richard for taking time to answer a few questions for our first site exclusive interview. Catching up with Richard, we find him wrapping up his next rhythmic recording THE REALITY TEMPLES (due to release May 04), and in the very early preparation stages of his next ambient project - THE SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES. Before either of these happen however, Richard also has a CD of nineteen unheard demo tracks recorded during his Survival years (1979 - 1985) releasing mid April 04 entitled UNTOLD TALES. These projects, among many other subjects are all discussed below.

   Thank you again Richard for your informative, enlightening and candid answers. Let's begin...

MK: You have a new rhythmic recording, THE REALITY TEMPLES, due to release later this spring on the Spiralight label. How would you describe the theme, mood and overall scope of the forthcoming CD?

RB: My intention was to create a work that blended my love of 60's psychedelia with my previous ambient stylings. I wanted the tracks (and song titles) to reflect a sense of whimsy and “mind expansion”. My hope is that the music tends to make one “put on the headphones and light incense” if you get my drift!

MK: "The Reality Temples" is an intriguing and thought provoking name for a CD. How do you come up with your song and album titles?

RB: Honestly, I have no idea. I keep note pads around me and jot anything down that arrives. When the title came to me, it implied a location where my love of the Surrealists (Miro, Kandinski, etc.) became “Reality”.

MK: You have mentioned before that your creative process begins with meditation. How do you then find your ‘first note’ starting point for each piece?

RB: By improvisation. In recent years I have taken to working exclusively with headphones (due to slight hearing loss from my rock and roll years!) I simply, and quite literally, just investigate what ever arrives. Often, once a melodic pattern appears, I try different sound sources. For example, what originally was a string line suddenly becomes a percussive pattern.

MK: You very effectively use created sounds and textures to convey mood in your music. How do you keep the mood consistent throughout each album? Do you begin each track with a specific ‘feel’ in mind?

RB: My studio, on the third floor of my home, has a picture window which over looks a small lake. I always attach something onto the window, or surround myself with images that reflect the mood of the current project.

MK: What are some of the most interesting places you have acquired samples from?

RB: Mostly from obscure LPs in a thrift shop!

MK: Does it surprise you that people experience a certain state of consciousness when listening to your music?

RB: To know this would be the highest form of a compliment!

MK: How do you research the themes behind your music?

RB: This is hard to describe. An idea or an image occurs to me and then I research (explore) from there.

MK: It has been said before that you have a strong belief in fate and higher powers guiding our lives. How do you think your philosophy influences your music?

RB: It is simply dharma. When we are doing what we were born to do it “feels right”. Always keep oneself open to infinite possibilities.

MK: You have not created vocal recordings for over ten years. Do you ever feel the urge to add articulated vocals to any of your current pieces?

RB: Not to current pieces but I have thought about doing a vocal project in the near future. As I mentioned above, I will simply know when the time is right.

MK: Your last two releases have been on labels other than your own where the business end has been taken care of elsewhere. Does it provide for a more relaxed creative process when the artwork, packaging and promotional end are handled by others?

RB: Oh yes! The packaging and promotion are not my strong suit. This allows me to concentrate exclusively on the music.

MK: How do you feel when exploring new sound possibilities? And how do you know when the finished piece is ‘just right’?

RB: Again, this is so hard to describe. There is just a feeling that occurs when the piece is right. Perhaps you could call it a lightness or just a sense of exhilaration.

MK: You also have a new ambient work – THE SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES, your follow-up to Electroshock's 2002 release INDIUM in the very early planning stages. Have you got ideas already in mind for that project?

RB: Not at all but I trust the sounds will arrive when the time is right.


MK: What was your very first live gig with Shox Lumania like? Where was it located?

RB: Our first live gig, as I recall, was on a PBS station in NYC. The band's personnel changed constantly and had an almost carnival feel to it. It was more “performance art” than a regular rock band.

MK: You also have a CD of unreleased demo tracks recorded during your Survival Records years coming out soon. How do you feel about all the interest generated by your work of the early eighties?

RB: To be honest, I am stunned by the interest in those recordings. Most of these tracks were recorded at my home in Brooklyn, NY on a 2 track, ¼ inch deck. This was a very prolific time in my life as I was writing hundreds of songs, working with Shox Lumania, and signing with Survival UK.

MK: Do you enjoy revisiting any of your earlier works? Do you ever wish you had done anything differently with them?

RB: Oh heavens no! Regrets are a waste of time and energy.

MK: You spent some time in the UK during the Survival years. How did that come about?

RB: I wish I knew! As with so many events in my life, things just evolved. Apparently, David Rome (from Survival) was in New York and went to Bleeker Bob's store in Greenwich Village. There, Bob gave him my 45 of Alien Girl to hear. Next thing I knew there was a letter asking for the rights to release the disc in the UK.

MK: Do you still communicate with members of BONE, Rubber Rodeo and Shox Lumania?

RB: I've been in touch with John Schavone and Bill Pimm because of the Untold Tales disc. In the course of time, I have lost touch with the remaining members of Shox Lumania (Lari Shox passed from HIV in the late 80's). My closest friend in the band, Anton, went on to work with Suzanne Vega on the Solitude Standing LP and now writes film scores.


MK: What are your family's musical roots?

RB: There is no musical history in my family although my mom always wanted to be an opera singer!

MK: How did your parents react when they recognized your musical talents?

RB: I had the most amazing parents. They encouraged me to follow me heart's desire. As long as I was doing what made me happy, they supported it 100%.

MK: What was it like growing up in Georgia?


MK: What were your elementary and high school years like?

RB: They have been erased from my memory.

MK: Did you and other like-minded friends ever get together to create music during your high school years?

RB: I was in several high school bands..most notably The Psychedelic Dilema..where, as lead guitarist, I actually managed to screw up the lead line to GLORIA...an early indication that the guitar was probably not the best choice for me!

  --- GENERAL ---

MK: You lived in NYC for ten years before moving to your current home in gorgeous and woodsy New England. Did you find the energy and excitement of the city conducive to your music or a distraction? What made you decide to move to Rhode Island?

RB: I love the energy of NYC. But with Shox Lumania, we became the “darlings” of the art crowd. It got to the point where we couldn't go out to a club without being properly outfitted. At this same time I saw Rubber Rodeo at a club called “The 80's” (John Hanti who played bass with my band briefly was the club's manager). I asked Rubber Rodeo if I could produce and release a single on my small label, Rumble (the label only released 3 singles..mine, Shox Lumania and Rubber Rodeo). Rubber Rodeo was based in Providence, RI and I just fell in love with the area. Oddly enough, when I moved from NYC to RI, Rubber Rodeo made the opposite move!

MK: Were you personally affected by the 9/11 attacks? Do world concerns have an effect on your creative process?

RB: Having lived in NYC I was devastated by the attacks...although I doubt one had to live in NYC to be outraged by the event, HOWEVER...it is my opinion that acts of terrorism would be rendered useless if the media did not “advertise” them. So, why not at least call them acts of “cowardism” and, better yet, give these cowards NO coverage in the global press?

MK: It has also been mentioned before that you enjoy traveling and sometimes these travels factor in to your music. What other hobbies or interests do you have that are not related to your music?

RB: Traveling and simply experiencing new ideas, cuisine, philosophies..those are my passions. We are incarnated to experience....pushing through fears and exploring new ways of thought are the meaning of life!

MK: What is your favorite color?

RB: Paisley

MK: Are you an early riser or a late nighter?

RB: Very, very early...my most creative time (or late night).

MK: What is currently in your CD player?

RB: The Dhol Foundation, Alien Soap Opera, Tom Vedvik, and on my turntable, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma's 1969 self titled LP on the RCA India label.

MK: Do you hear or compose music in your dreams?

RB: No, song titles and concepts appears in dreams.

MK: Is there anything that you would like to add for readers of this interview?

RB: Above all else, explore, try new things and work past your fears and limitations. Existence is AMAZING! 

(This interview was concluded on March 30, 2004)