Bucket Bros: The Carpenters of Comedy

The Transendient Issue #19: Androidstar

By Mars | 2008-09-19

Androidstar 02

Androidstar is one of the all time greats in my opinion. He has been in several bands and also had a solo carreer. He is also an author and in this interview you will read more about that side of this exceedingly bright artist as well.

Check out his channel for some of the best music ever heard on Youtube or anywhere!

Mars: Hi Androidstar, thanks so much for doing this interview! The song "New and Improved Mushroom Jam!" sounds phenomenal. How do you prepare for a song?

Androidstar: Hi there Mars, thanks for your interest in my music, and for the kind compliments too! To answer your first question, I usually prepare for creating a song by warming up on my guitar with songs I've already previously composed. Then I explore new musical ground, by trying out different sounding chord structures and melodies, until I stumble upon something that sounds really cool, and then run with that. At times, I have experimented with "altered states" in an attempt to enhance my "creative juices" as it were. The safest, and also the most reliable substance I can recommend, would be marijuana, as it is a mild and relaxing experience, which can facilitate one's ability to "think outside of the box" creatively. Most of the great Blues and Jazz musicians of yesteryear, used "reefer" as a way to relax and cool down the "jitters" before playing a gig, especially to calm down before playing in front of a strange audience.

Mars: Obviously Christopher, you are a very talented musician. Your songs are very long and have a great amount of depth to them. What inspires you to make music?

Androidstar: As for your second question, I am inspired by all the great and wonderful musicians who came before, as well as those here today, who make such splendid music. That is my source of inspiration, as well as a deep undefined "spiritual" connection, which drives my desire to express myself musically. Call it instinct or intuition, I can "feel" the music welling up from very deep inside me!

Mars: Ode to Sandy Bull is amazing! Could you tell me a bit about the improvisational guitar player Sandy Bull?

Androidstar 01 Androidstar: Now on to "Sandy Bull". He was a Capricorn, like me, and sadly, he died in the same year that my good drummer friend S. Doug Cater III died. Doug was the drummer I have played music with ever since 1975, and is the drummer on most of my videos {I played drums on the others}. We played in three distinct bands together, starting with a Punk Rock band called "The Raging Furies" to a Hard Rock band called "Painlove" and finally to the last band we were playing in a Progressive Rock band called "Break the Silence", before he died an untimely death in 2001 of a drug-overdose at the age of 48. Here are the particulars about Sandy Bull..He lived from (January 1, 1941 – April 11, 2001) and was an American folk musician who was active from the late 1950s until his death. Born in New York City, he was the only child of Harry A. Bull, an editor in chief of Town & Country magazine, and Daphne van Beuren Bayne (1916–2002), a New Jersey banking heiress who became known as a jazz harpist under the name Daphne Hellman. His parents were divorced in 1941, shortly after his birth. Sandy Bull was a composer and accomplished player of many stringed instruments, including guitar, pedal-steel, banjo and oud. His music and recordings are characterized by his blending of non-western instrumentation and improvisational traditions with the 1960s folk revival. His albums for Vanguard Records often combined extended modal improvisations on oud with an eclectic repertoire of instrumental cover material. Bull is well known for his arrangement of Carl Orff's composition Carmina Burana for 5-string banjo on his first album, which was included on an album of R.E.M.'s favourite songs. Other such musical fusions include his adaptation of Luiz Bonfá's "Manhã de Carnaval," and compositions derived from works of J.S. Bach. Sandy Bull's approach to performance, composition and recording is notable for his extensive use of overdubbing and multi-track tape recording before such techniques became commonplace in music production. However, unlike the sophisticated, glossy aesthetic commonly associated with these techniques, Bull simply used overdubbing as a way to accompany himself and play all the instruments on many of his recordings. As documented in the Still Valentine's Day 1969 concert recording, Sandy Bull's use of tape accompaniment was part of his live, solo performances as well. Bull also played the oud on Sam Phillips' 1991 album, Cruel Inventions. Bull primary played a fingerpicking style of guitar and banjo and his style has been compared to that of John Fahey and Robbie Basho of the early Takoma label in the 1960s. By his mother's second marriage to The New Yorker writer Geoffrey Hellman, Bull had a half-sister, the sitar player Daisy Paradis, and a half-brother, Digger St. John. Sandy Bull struggled with a drug problem for many years which seriously affected his performing. After completing a rehabilitation program in 1974, he began performing again. Bull died of lung cancer on April 11, 2001 at his home near Nashville, Tennessee.

Mars: Could you tell me a bit about your book, "Autobiography of a Hippie: 1964 through 1969"?

Androidstar: As for my book, it is the true story about my years as a runaway "flower child" during the years from 1964 to 1969. It also includes the background story about my extremely violent dysfunctional childhood at the hands of a very sadistic and cruel alcoholic father, who drove me away from home in 1964 at the age of 14, by nearly murdering me! I ran away to LA, and soon became a "Ken Kesey electric cool-aid acid test" type of "Hippie", and I then traveled extensively throughout the US, Canada and Mexico during the 1960's. I experienced many notable and interesting adventures along the way. I was also in the Haight Ashbury during the "Summer of Love" in both 1966 and 1967, turning on, tuning in and dropping out! I write about all of that and more in my book. It was during that period in my life when I began to learn how to play music. It was a "halcyon" era for me!

Mars: Smokin' Jam Is a very cool song, do you often smoke before jamming?

Androidstar: Now to your question about "Smokin' Jam". Well yes, I have indulged in smoking Pot before playing music, as I previously alluded to. It does help me to relax and unwind enough to be able to focus on my music. Many very famous musicians, artists and writers have used marijuana or alcohol for that purpose. Sadly, some have used drugs to excess, and lost their lives in the process, like my drummer friend Doug. Moderation in all things, is probably a wise policy!

Mars: What was the best part about playing in the band PainLove?

Androidstar: Now to the best part of playing in "Painlove". To me it was the "comradre" of playing with other very talented people, and learning from them as they did from me. The joy of sharing a musical creation together, is almost as good as having sex! It reaches deep into our collective souls, and touches what some would call the "Godhead" within all of us. We used to joke around a lot with each other, when we jammed together. Our band "motto" was "One for all, and all for nothing" as we never seemed to get anywhere professionally with our music. We remained at an "amateur" level, playing more as a hobby, than to become "rock stars". Since Doug's untimely death, I have been taking all of the recordings we made in out humble "studio", and assembled them into stop-frame videos, which I've made in my computer, and presented them to the world on "The Tube" for all to see and hear, and hopefully appreciate our collective efforts. I hope this answers all your questions, and thanks again for your interest in my music!

Mars: Have an awesome day my friend:)

Androidstar: All my best regards to you Mars! Most sincerely, Christopher

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