You once mentioned: For most of my career experience, the album evolves from out of the previous. How did The Rise of the Zugebrian Time Lords evolve into your latest release Prometheus & Pandora?
“If you follow the story lines of the projects it can be heard and read that the The Rise of the Zugebrian Time Lords project set up the current one, just as Return to Zooathalon set up The Rise of the Zugebrian Time Lords. And The Sphinx set up Return to Zooathalon. If you follow the songs and the stories on the website, it is all quite explanatory.
Since the very beginning of Post Millennium Rock the idea was to expand the songs into multimedia vehicles that upon the right time, could be directly transferred to the theatre, film or any other active medium besides just radio airplay and stage performance. Each one can be performed on its own or they can all be placed together like a greatest hits collection and be summarized in a way that still tells the story of the complete evolution of Prometheus & Pandora.
Simply writing 3-minute pop songs was no longer exciting for me. I needed a new context, a new challenge. One day, upon my physical demise or exit from the world of performance, these works may be transferred to the theatre and seen in the broader context in which they were intended.”
“My creativity was always a threat to the old way of lifE.”
In 2001 you legally changed your name to Sananda Maitreya. In an interview you said about this: After intense pain I meditated for a new spirit, a new will, a new identity. Can you tell me something about what kind of pain you were feeling at the time?
“First of all let me clear a misunderstanding that often follows any new life experience. I am not a Buddhist, despite what my name implies. I am a Catholic.
The pain was the pain deliberately inflicted by our societies gatekeeper establishments upon someone who dared to walk away from their crucifixion process. I were being deliberately used as a tool to illustrate to others what the price of leaving the plantation was. We use the image of Jesus on the cross as a source of inspiration, but lurking just beneath the surface of that image is the very subtle yet clear suggestion that ‘any of you bitches who think that they are going to make the same difference will also be nailed to a cross just like Christ was’.
I was programmed very heavily by the fabled infamous ‘MK-ULTRA’ program growing up, and it is the sort of indoctrinal brainwashing and mind control program whereby even many years after its application, you can still be triggered like a Manchurian Candidate to act in ways that inflict pain to the psyche. Research the program and you will see for yourself the various testimonials regarding this process. Our societies are rigidly enforced and anyone who escapes and leaves the ‘hero factory’ whereby heroes are created for the purposes of mass mind control are taken severely to task for upsetting or challenging the game plan. I was therefore subjected to the kind of pain that were meant to induce me to return to the game and surrender my mind back to it.
People are programmed to follow the way of Babylon (or to follow the rule of the Zugebrian Time Lords). Almost like robots with no personal consciousness but the ‘Group Think’ we are encouraged to adhere to. Even now, the old name is a trigger point for me that upon hearing it (as intended), can send my psyche into spasms rather uncomfortable to bear. I paid a very heavy psychic price for leaving, but am deeply certain that had I not, I would have been physically and not just psychologically killed.”
Was taking this step in your life a difficult decision for you to make or did it feel like a natural thing to do?
“As natural as fleeing a house on fire. One needn’t think about what to do, if the house is burning, you simply gather what time allows and get the fuck out. I changed my identity in 1995. It became legal in 2001. But this occurred in 1995 when I was 33, a year of great change for many.”
What are the biggest differences between making music before and after 1995?
“There are many roads in the world that are the same road but after several blocks, the name of the road changes. Elm Street becomes Maple Street while still heading in the same exact direction. And all that changes is the name, not the direction your transport is headed in. Whatever name I would’ve taken or not, my musical direction would have still been under the auspices of Prometheus, who I regard as my true source of inspiration, my true father.
I will always evolve because it is artificial not to. Evolution, when allowed is our most natural impulse. We are programmed by the Gods of Mount Olympus to keep climbing the mountain until we reach the top. Mainly the name change implied that I was back in the driver’s seat of my karma and not the music industry. Once they own something, they never give it back without killing it first.”
Does being an independent artist give you more freedom and creativity to write new songs?
“No. It is my spirit (and has always been) that gives me the freedom to do what I do. Being independent simply means that I no longer have to fight bitches to do what I already do naturally anyway. My creativity was always a threat to the old way of life. I refuse to accept that the price I pay for a gift from God is to be constantly engaged in negotiations about my right to use it as I feel and see fit.
That is a game for children, not a game for men, but only for those waiting for permission to be men. And I do not play games with my karma. What kills most of my peers are not drugs and alcohol, but the constant tug of war over their consciousness, their creative energies, and their spirits, which over time has to take its toll on the fragile human psyche. This is what kills, not what they put into their bodies, but what is taken from it.”
I would like to mention a couple of particular songs from your career and ask you for a short comment on each song:
*Wishing Well (1987)
“The one that broke the ground open for them to later put my cross in. A friend of mine was putting a demo studio in my basement apartment in London when I came in from an appointment and heard a drone and a beat. I immediately began hearing the song. I told him to have the studio ready for me within 15 minutes, wherein I wrote all the melody, harmonies and lyrics within that time. The friend, Sean Oliver thought that I was joking that I could turn the drone into a song, but that is what I did. I then gave him a writer’s credit. Even he thought he’d not done enough to earn it, but I was clear that without having heard what initiated the song, I would’ve never come up with something as original as what it became.”
*This Side of Love (1989)
“The true early roots of Post Millennium Rock begins here! Neither Fish nor Flesh was the first crucifixion experience and was massacred by the press even though it was later acknowledged as having been a massive inspiration for what later became known as alternative rock. Several American and British artists cite it as a turning point for their own careers and explorations. It remains my favorite album because of the sheer joy I had in creating it (and I am not a fave song/album type of guy) and because of the price I had to pay for having taken the leap of faith that created it. It also greatly assisted in the virgin beginnings of American Alternative Radio, having been adopted very early by the main east and west coast stations that began bringing the music to the United States that would eventually spawn many of the Seattle bands and other acts that also spoke to me about its influence.
This Side of Love is a nasty, vicious piece of indie rock filtered through my tortured orchestral sensibility. It was also a prophecy describing in advance what the industry was going to make me suffer for being a maverick and not a pussy. One can like pussy and not be one. I remember writing it on an awesome Black Rickenbacker Custom guitar that a British company named ‘AMPRO’ made for me back in the last century, 1988 if I am correctly served by memory.”
*O Divina (2002)
“Technically, although only released as a ‘single’ in maybe 3 territories, it remains one of my most requested songs. And where it was released, it was a very big ‘comeback’ hit. It always receives a very thrilling reception, even when I was playing for many years with just my trio. It is a song written in honor of the divine feminine. I recorded it in a studio owned by the House Of Blues in Los Angeles, who’d invited me to use it when I needed it. I recall that the studio had a massive portrait for some reason of Sai Baba that overlooked me when I was recording. He was in orange, my favorite color besides pink. I think maybe master Sai Baba brought me good luck as this song has served me very well.”
*Blanket on the Ground (2015)
“I was in a taxi going to visit a friend and my MK-ULTRA programming started acting out. On the radio, which I normally ask drivers to turn off, an old reggae classic of the same name Blanket on the Ground came on. I then immediately started composing my version based on how lovely was the sentiment, and how sweetly romantic it was. My version bears no resemblance whatsoever to the reggae classic, but the title moved me to write mine. Being in moving objects often inspires me to write. As well whenever I am ‘triggered’, I often escape into the solace of creation to bring me back within my own equilibrium.
As soon as I returned home, the whole song was done within minutes. The lyrics were inspired by me trying to calm myself down after a brutal ‘psychic attack’, but was written from the perspective of a man reassuring a woman that whatever shit she goes through, he will be there for her regardless. I had fun producing it.”
*Glad She’s Gone (2016)
“Every songwriter has an imaginary bucket list of songs they wished they’d written or a song they wish to write something like. For me, though it bears no grudge against it, this is as close as I’ll ever get to writing my ‘Moondance’. I am a major fan of Van the Man and his influence was and perhaps remains quite strong upon my brow. You can also hear a little of master Brubek in this winsome little bitch of a song. The topic is the usual story. One moment you are certain that you cannot live without her. Then she leaves and you realize what a pain in the ass she was and how much blood she took while preoccupying your mind.”
“Follow your own law and keep other bands and artist out of your minds.”
Going back in time: were you surprised by the huge international success of your debut?
“Not at all. I was born a prodigy and were always overtaken by an unshakable confidence in my art and person. I have always felt guided by fate. What surprised me was that it surprised others. My mother was a volcano, what can I say?”
Most of your songs were written, produced, arranged and performed by you and you have also been playing all the instruments on it. Why did you choose to do this on your own instead of creating music with other musicians?
“By far the simplest, most honest and direct answer is that: ‘because I can’. Any other answer would be disingenuous and patronizing. There is also the fact that I enjoy this part of the process perhaps most of all. By the time I teach and coach the arrangement and performances I want out of other musicians, I could have already done it myself without risking to hurt the rather fragile egos most prodigies have. And the money I save on musicians just means more money for weed! Hallelujah!”
Being active as a musician since the 80’s until now and looking back at your experiences in the music business, what advice do you have for new bands these days?
“Follow your own law and keep other bands and artist out of your minds. Only keep the great masters in mind and throw everyone else the fuck out. And even as it concerns your heroes, know when to run over them if necessary and then back up and run over those bitches again if that is what it takes to pursue and realize what you are hearing in your head and heart. And know this: almost every one of us is full of shit. Know when to open your window and curtains to the sun and equally know when to shut out the sun and follow the moon.”
In the past year we lost David Bowie, Prince, George Michael and many other great musicians. How were you able to deal with this tragic loss?
“It helps that I do not believe in death, but life everlasting. Be that as it may, all of these gentlemen were great friends to me and their losses hit me hard at a very transitional time in my own life. These are the gods and they do not die, but return to Mount Olympus and the top of the mountain that sent them in the first place.
One handles it in simple fashion. Smoke a lot, meditate a lot, work a lot. And then make sure that the people around you know that you love them while reminding them (with a little emotional blackmail thrown in for good effect) how lucky those bitches are to still have you.”
During your career you released 12 studio-albums, 4 live-albums and 27 singles. What is your inspiration to keep on writing new songs?
“The great grand master Robert Johnson said it best. So I will paraphrase him by saying that what keeps me writing are: the hellhounds are on my trail. In the song Rhinoceros from Prometheus & Pandora I sing that I can’t look back ‘cause they’re coming after me. If I do not occupy myself with work, it gives my vast catalog of neuroses a chance to catch up and dominate my situation, and this I cannot allow because they hold some pretty mean opinions about who I am and what I only very barely escaped. It also helps that I have been hearing songs in my head since I was 2 years old and first heard The Beatles in 1964.”
“Loving always came easy for me. Learning how to be loved has always been a much greater challenge”
What do you want to accomplish on this world both as a person and as a musician?
“As a person, I want to be a better musician and as a musician I want to be a better person. I am still trying to work this one out. Once I realized that they would never let me be Dylan or The Beatles, I settled for being an agitating middle finger with good songs. Perhaps even more now, I want to be a real hero to my sons. And to prove worthy of the faith my wife has exhibited in her vast patience with my ongoing elasticized ongoing ever-expanding mutational process. I don’t fit in the hand very easily, as soon as you get a grip on me, I am again arranged in a new shape. Loving always came easy for me. Learning how to be loved has always been a much greater challenge.”
These days we are living in insecure times. What message do you have for people who are feeling unsafe and are worried about the future?
“Most of what is happening around us is merely to secure control of our minds, which is in fact the world’s greatest resource. Without our very valuable attention most of our world systems would not be sustainable, so the battle for the maintenance and manipulation of our consciousness is worth entire economies. As more of us awaken to this knowledge, we likewise awaken to our power, which will always be our best defense.
Fears sells, condenses, shrinks and renders our spirits as easy to take from us as we suppose candy from a baby. Seeing what truly is changes what is. And clearly to the awakened, once we move into a more evolved consciousness is exactly when bombs start going off to distract us from the fact that we have moved on. Higher ground is safer ground. And the good news is that systemic chaos is the result of the systems fear of losing our attention as we move to higher ground.
There is a God that loves us and you may call it what you want or pray in any direction, or simply call it by whatever terms of endearment you feel brings you closer to it. The saints are real and surround us at this time of great transformation currently upon us.
Master Dylan told us that the times they are a changin’ and our prophets do not lie to us. Naturally we are dancing in insecure shoes because they are shoes given to us and not the ones we ourselves have made for who we know we are. But be secure by embracing the insecurity, because ‘and this too shall pass’ and in the blink of an eye, we shall all be changed as promised in the Bible. And the best news is that if we die, we move to a better world, yet if we remain, we earn a better world more worthy of who we are unchained. By knowing that we deserve better we will get better.
While the Gods of Olympus watch us with pride that the sons and daughters of Prometheus are finally ready to overthrow the dragons that have oppressed their minds until they were ready to resume control of their experiences to become truly the masters of their fate, as it were programmed within our genetics to become once we awakened to the dream in order that we might take responsibility for living out the fantasies, as the sons of God Christ died to remind us that we were.
Insecure times are exciting times of rebirth. So have no fear, all of your bitches are here to assist in these great times of transformation we were promised by the Gods of Olympus. We are loved. And we will prevail. The script to the movie was written for us to win, and so without doubt, we shall. We are both lovers and fighters and come blade or blossom we can handle come what may. And these are exactly the times to prove what heroes we are.”
Video It’s Been A Long Time, the first single of the new album Prometheus & Pandora (2017)
Links to the album Prometheus & Pandora (2017)