"We're the best open-chord steampunk band in the Pacific Northwest"
Strong words from the leader of the Godspot; a band that over the past two years has built up an arsenal of folk songs drenched in electric Kool-Aid, sundried and let to rot in the rains of Vancouver.
"I got sick of waiting around for something to happen. Nowadays, everyone sounds like the Black Lips – Hell, even the Black Lips don't sound like the Black Lips anymore."
Ryan Johnston moved back to Vancouver in the fall of ’06 – he bought himself a 4 track recorder, a pawn shop guitar, and started laying out ideas. Four years later, with a band assembled, he seems ready to start some sort of psychedelic revolution… Though what it entails, he seems not to know. "I can't stand the word revolution; it’s a buzzword, man. You say that word and it’s like, people are supposed to know what that means. It means shit, is what it means. I'm starting a band that plays music I love, but the music I love doesn't really exist in this town anymore - so I'm starting to find whatever remnants I can and hopefully start something really cool". Maybe what he says is a pipe dream, but the embers brighten in his eyes like wind on a smouldering fire when he speaks about his so called "revolution".
Maybe there is something to his words though - just ask bass player, Evelyn Cardona.
"I skipped El Salvador when the Capital fell; it just wasn't my scene anymore. I was sick of handing out rally pamphlets. I needed to get where the action was. So - I end up in Vancouver, working this corporate job, and this guy finds out I play bass. Next thing I know, we are ripping through songs like no tomorrow, and not just mamby-pamby crap either; real lyrics. Fuck pamphlets, man, just listen to the Godspot."
Song titles, like the “Music of Decline”, “White Wash” and “Bleeding White”, seem unquestionably dark; yet somehow, deviously cryptic. Johnston’s take:
"Not really. I mean, basically, I got "the Music of Decline" from a Hesse novel. It’s just about how back in the 20's, the music of decline was jazz music, pushing out classical. Then, in the 50's, the music of decline became rock and roll. Funny thing is, the music of decline is always going to become a dinosaur. Music is pretty non-dangerous these days - especially rock and roll. I mean, unless you're worried about getting Hepatitis from someone pissing off the stage, you aren't really going to be challenged in any way or anything. The whole point of “the Music of Decline” is the stark reconciliation that I am attempting to make something meaningful out of the most meaningless thing ever - rock music. It’s almost as if saying, ‘Well, I care, but not enough to do anything real about it - so I'm just gonna bang on a guitar and bitch’, and I'm cool with that."
With a band named the Godspot, one must wonder, what exactly this band is about. "Well, I was about 13 when I first heard about it. I was listening to this crackpot radio show when I should've been sleeping,” Johnston elaborates. “It seems human beings, when they became conscious of their own mortality, shit their pants. So, the God spot is basically our evolutionary back up plan – ‘Hey; don't worry about a thing, there's a heaven, there's a God, everything's going to be fine, death is not to be feared.’ They've actually stimulated this part of the brain, and when they do, people have a near death experience. How crazy is that? So, I got to thinking, let me tell you, ‘cause I have had out of body experiences playing guitar - Why not use the power of the E and A chords, and stimulate some near death experiences?"
While he talks this, I can almost believe in the power of this shambolic band of gypsies, but alas, common sense pervades me.
Listening to their demo songs, I can only discern through tape hiss that this is a band coming into its own. While I never had any God spot-induced, near-death experiences, I can see how this band might be a big hit at your next electric Kool-Aid party.