G.X. JUPITTER-LARSEN is a legendary figure in the underground cultural scene - One of the major figures & pioneers of the North American Noise scene, his work as THE HATERS still resonates & stirs today - G.X. Jupitter-Larsen at Bandcamp - However, his vision is very much beyond any simple genre of art - In the time I’ve known of his work, he’s been a manager of a pro wrestling team & holder of a title belt, drilled a hole in the sky, written novels, organized seminal compilations series, created movies, collected collections, and much, much more - I thought I would catch up with him & ask a few questions to perchance gain some insight to this huge underground icon -
1: So, G.X. - What are you up to these days?
GX: Peachy keen…!!!
2: You are very much an international artist - You currently reside in the USA - Any thought about being an international artist living in the states these days?
GX: I have lived all over the world, yes, but I keep coming back to America. It’s the only place that’s ever really felt like home to me.
3: You have a long track record, and have been a witness & key player in many different scenes as they have risen & fallen. What are your thoughts on the current state of - for lack of a better way of putting it - the underground music scene?
GX: The noise scene remains unique. After some 40-plus years, there are more participants than ever, but there are still very few, if any, real stars or heroes. For a scene, it’s very non-hierarchical. It kind of always has been, but it’s even more so these days. It’ll be very interesting to see where it goes from here.
4: You have worked in many different creative mediums - Is there any particular one that you have not yet explored that you would be keen on doing so?
GX: To be a human cannonball. I’d like to get shot out of a cannon. I think that’d be fun.
5: One of my biggest problems with noise music, as a genre, is the negativity & nihilism involved in so much of it. Your work itself references destruction & uses entropy as a source material very often - However, with your work & most noise I enjoy there is actually a unbridled optimism, I find it brimming with life & energy - How would you address someone such as myself who has problems with the negativity & nihilism in noise music?
GX: A true nihilist will tell you they’re the only one out there not being negative.
6: You have collaborated with so many different artists, and from a personal standpoint it was a thrill & honor to collaborate with you. What artist were you or are you gobsmacked / starstruck to work with?
GX: Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor Who. I love that guy’s voice. I’d love to do some radio work with him. Or maybe some film work. One or the other; or both.
7: I find that a lot of your work is difficult by design. Yet there seems to me as if there is always an underlying current or logic that exists there - How important to you is it that people who are exposed to your art understand ( or think they do ) the art that you present? Or is that not the point?
GX: A casual observer's literacy of my vernacular is optional. I employ all misunderstandings as kind of a calibration. Comparing a reinterpretation to the original intent gives me a deeper awareness of my own thought process. By this means, there is no passive audience, only collaborators.
8: It seems to me that with art, as with religion, there are two main approaches to full immersion, - A course of minimalism or maximalism - That is to say, sort of like the idea of natural sciences reproducing Malthusian or Logistic - you strike me as a maximalist - Do you agree with this assessment? If so, what made or makes you commit to this level of intensity & output?
GX: Each morning when I wake up I tell myself that this is it. This will be the day I become the minimalist I’ve always wanted to be. But everyday I fail.
9: I know you have done a number of things that have been overtly political - Do you consider your art to be political, and if so why is that the case / how important is that to you?
GX: My core political belief is this… Liberty can only be effectively expressed in the company of others. Liberty can only be found in a balance, between a commitment to one’s self and one’s commitment to others. Freedom can only be achieved through responsibility, not greed. Neighbors must be allies, not competitors. Loners will always the first to tell you, we’re all in this together.
10: A lot of people would consider your music / art to be very extreme or “ strange “ - Having been a gigging performer for the length of time you have been, I wonder what show(s) you have witness yourself that you would consider to be particularly extreme / strange?
GX: Capitalism is extreme and bizarre. American police are bizarre and extreme. Both the Democrats and Republicans are extreme and bizarre. Everything else is either just interesting or boring. Most things are pretty boring. The noise scene is still pretty interesting.
11: I have to ask - Are you paying any attention to wrestling these days? If so, anything in particular of interest to you? I think we are ( If you move away from the WWE ) in a bit of a golden era for this - As a sub-inquiry, I’d like to comment on your history with Pro-Wrestling if you would.
GX: I’ve been watching wrestling since I was a kid. Used to go to live matches every week when I was a teenager. By the time I finally had the opportunity to actually perform in the squared circle I was too old to really do that much. But I gave it my all any way. In the short-lived Oaktown Wrestling Association, about 15 years ago now, I was the manger for the heels. And so I did exactly what you would expect a heel manger would do. I interfered in matches. I interfered as much as possible. It was great fun. Loved every second of it.
12: I think a lot of people who listen to mainstream music would find your sounds to be annoying / dissonant. I can only imagine that the reverse might be the same for you. Are there any genres of music, or particular artists, that you find to be more difficult to listen to than others? Or is it all just sound?
GX: I find pop music really depressing. Back in the 70’s I was into Punk, but that got real lame real quick. There’s nothing surprising about most music. At all. I hate being bored. I didn’t really listen to much music of any kind for the longest time till recently. Lately I’ve really gotten into early Mississippi bluegrass. Only the really early stuff. Mississippi Fred McDowell is the best hateful old man who’s really pissed off. Ha! Love that guy! Eddie Son House is another one. Ace Ford from Smegma turned me on to him. Now, when I say I wasn’t listening to music, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening to noise. I was. I still do. Most of the time actually. I like to be surprised. Good noise always contains surprises. The one release I’ve listened to the most has to be White Elephant by Speculum Fight. Even after 20 years, I don’t think a week has gone by when I didn’t listen it at least once. Even now, I hear new details for the first time. It might just be Damion Romero’s greatest masterpiece. A release that recently came to my attention is Bronze Cassette by Mansfield Deathtrap Rerecordings. It’s an actual cassette that was actually bronzed. It was done as a limited edition of 27 or so. You play it by dropping it on the floor. Best cassette release ever. Really messing up my hardwood floors though.
13: What is your relationship to nature / the outdoors?
GX: I prefer city life. The bigger the city the better.
14: I know there is an aspect of anonymousness to your work - ( I know some people who have been honorary HATERS ) - I don’t think I’ve ever really heard why this is important to you - Would you care to elaborate?
GX: There’s nothing anonymous about The Haters. Such “masks” reveal one’s true face. Any way, if we didn’t wear our hoods how would anyone know it was really us?
15: I think it’s very interested that we’ve lived in an era when many genres of music have really come into being - Industrial, Witch House, Rap, Techno, Ect… Is there any new realm of music or new genre of sound that you find particularly compelling?
16: You have been very active & very creative for a long time, weathering many storms. If you had to attribute this to a couple of factors, what would you say has allowed you this longevity?
GX: Adapt, adopt; and improve…!!!
17: Do you consider yourself a spiritual / religious person?
GX: No. Once someone is reabsorbed back into the void, one’s conscious would serve no purpose and therefore be discarded.
18: Is there anything that you wish was more widely known about your work, or any particular aspect that you think people should pay more attention to?
19: You’ve worked with many collaborators, in large & small scale ensembles. I know you have people that you’ve worked with for years, decades even. What is the biggest difference for you between collaboration & working as a solo artist?
GX: Collaborations are just a nice way of giving your ego a rest and honoring a friendship.
20: I know myself, as I get older, I find myself thinking in terms of a legacy. And I’ve got such a limited history compared to someone such as yourself - If it were entirely up to you, what would you want to be considered as your legacy? How would you like your art to be viewed by future generations since you do have such an expansive body of work?
GX: If I were going to be remembered for one thing only, I would want that one thing to be my number system, the Transexpansion Numeral Units.
21: A lot of your work, while not specifically performance art, has a very integral aspect of performance connected to it. Why is this element of physicality & tactile immersion so prevalent in your work? Do you consider performance or documentation to be more reflective of your creative output?
GX: Actually, I would say all my work is quite specifically performance art. Sound was quite secondary in my performances for the longest time. It’s only been in the past 20 years that sound became interesting for me. But sound for me is still mainly used as a means of reenforcing the physicality of the action being performed.
22: So It’s a beautiful summer this season - I wonder, what is it that would describe a perfect day for you? What sort of things would happen to put it in that category?
GX: Traveling to some unknown place or parts unknown.
23: Why Resist?
GX: It’s more interesting that way…
Images Courtesy G.X. JUPITTER-LARSEN
Neal D. Retke