With platinum blonde hair, piercing eyes, and an uncanny depth of soul and intelligence, JJ Brine is the kind of person I want to talk to for hours on end; about music, art, Demons, and Gods. JJ is the Artist in residence at Vector Gallery: The official Art Gallery of Satan, a space that seceded from the United States on November 8th, 2013, making it the smallest independent country in the world…a space in which souls can be bought and sold and in which you can hypnotize yourself into becoming that which you desire to be. In addition, Vector exists not in the present, but in the year 2018…a time in which his future self can properly sculpt the present. JJ’s work aspires to bring upon the end and beginning of all things, or as he says “(The) culmination with the absolute integration of all sentient beings into a single supra-sentient ultramind, ALAN (the absolute all)”
But Vector Gallery is only part of JJ’s work. In addition to reigning over the worlds smallest country, JJ creates music which he has fittingly dubbed “ESM” or, “Electronic Spirit Music”. He is currently involved in (at least) two musical projects, his own solo work which most recently produced the album “The President of Mozambique” as well a Charles Manson concept Band called “the LaBianca’s”. These musical pursuits are the topic of our discussion today.
SL: Upon initially hearing your music and seeing your performance art I was struck by your striking similarities to individuals such as Kenneth Anger. Do you draw any of your inspiration from K. Angers works? Do you have a favorite film in Anger’s cycle of films?
JJ: Actually, I’ve only seen Invocation of My Demon Brother and some clips from Lucifer Rising.
SL: Do you consider your songs incantations? The various voices of the LEGION inhabiting you? A means of catharsis? Or something entirely different?
JJ: Cathartic, transportive incantations that give rise and fall to the many Loves of LEGION, each one finding their privileged place in the annals of time and space through a note in song.
SL:You have claimed that, while recording “The President of Mozambique”, you were possessed my demons. Do you mean this in the most literal of senses or were you perhaps possessed by energies that were completely new to you? Or perhaps possessed by demons of your own past?
JJ: Let’s just say, if you summon a few demons to drive others out, and a few more to drive out those whose places you appointed on the basis of such evictions, eventually you might wind up hosting The Devil Himself, who will tell you He was always meant to be there, and you awaited Him to be.
SL: On several of your songs you have used voice modification in order to emulate your “Disappeared twin” Chloe. Did you actually have a disappeared twin in utero, or is Chloe more of a manifestation of part of you that you once had, lost and found once again?
JJ: Chloe first came to me when I was living in Beirut, Lebanon. I did have a vanished twin in utero but I didn’t “know” that until later, after I met my blood relatives.
SL: You’ve said that visiting Haiti had a huge impact on who you’ve become. Has the music of Haiti influenced your own music, in an aesthetic/auditory sense?
JJ: Somehow, yes. I have a certain Max Beauvoir to thank for that.
SL: I know you have a strong affinity for Nico, does her work inspire yours in any way?
JJ: Incredibly so. I can’t imagine who or what I’d be without her; I would be somebody else.
SL: Do you plan to, or do you already, incorporate your music into the work you are doing at VECTOR Gallery?
JJ: I sometimes play the harmonium in the space, and occasionally a theremin. Someday I will record an album there.
SL: At the moment all of your work is electronic in nature. Do you have any plans to experiment with other types of music? Live instruments, etc?
JJ: Yes, with an instrument that hasn’t been invented yet, that plays the scales of the sonic equivalent to antimatter, becoming matter. Antisound as it becomes sound and vice-versa. VOOV.
SL: What initially inspired you to create the LaBianca’s, a Charles Manson concept band? Do you believe that Charles Manson is a political prisoner?
JJ: Manson is free in His mind. I only really “discovered” Him a few years ago, and for a time it was a private preoccupation. I mentioned it to Lena soon after we met, and I found out that her boyfriend at the time had been reading Helter Skelter to her before bed… The LaBiancas resulted as the “logical” conclusion to a sequential procession of suspicious synchronicities.
SL: Do you have an opinion on the recent decision to grant former Manson Family member Bruce Davis parole?
JJ: Either too many opinions, or too few. They amount to the same thing.
SL: How do you see the music of JJ Brine evolving in the near future?
JJ: The music of JJ Brine might be released under all sorts of names, given and taken, one in the same. But ultimately, the sound of ALAN as ALAN begins will harmonize with the sound of ALAN as ALAN ends until it is all one song, a single note that plays like a lullaby for a civilization that never existed, the same one that keeps me awake at night with its relentless insistence that I must be the scribe to pen a comprehensive account of its rich and varied traditions. Perhaps then I would get some rest.
You can Visit JJ at
40 Clinton Street
NYC, NY 10002
And listen to JJ’s “The President of Mozabique” and the LaBianca’s “Charles Manson is Jesus Chris on iTunes or Soundcloud
Interview by Summer Swann