INTERVIEW: Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga's Riley Bordelon Talks With Jett Black (Kali Yuga's web site)
By: Jett Black
From the deepest reaches of the Deep South, Kali Yuga unearths dark historical concepts, mythology, and anthems of Gothic decadence. Catching the racing spirit of the muse, Kali Yuga sprints forth like a dark horse ablaze with a fury and a message for new music enthusiasts abroad. Striking up initial conversations in Nawlins, Kali Yuga comes full circle to continue the story with Jett Black, roving reporter of the underground music scene.
JETT: What's the latest news about Kali Yuga?
Riley: The new CD "The Cosmology Of Decay" is nearly finished, we are hoping to have it done by October if all goes well. Its been a chore we have been plagued with myriad line up changes, but finally we have a solid membership. I am particularly proud of our new rhythym section comprised of Jim Ellesworth on drums and Cainan Cession on Bass. As you know, our old material utilized a drum machine.
JETT: When and where will Kali Yuga be performing next?
Riley: Friday August 8th in Baton Rouge @ Spanish Moon and Saturday August 9th @ The Dive in Ocean Springs Mississippi, we will be appearing on both dates, with Second Skin, Ex-Voto and in Missippipi we will also be joined by Torrent Vaccine.
JETT: How did Kali Yuga and Second Skin discover one another?
Riley: I met the nefarious members of Second Skin at Gothcon 2001, we were both performing that year. We met after our respective sets tossed back a few cocktails and agreed to book some shows together. 6 months after that we played with Second Skin in Louisiana on the southeastern leg go their tour.
JETT: What could you tell your fans about Second Skin to interest them in their part in the music performance?
Riley: They are very fetching in PVC. No seriously, they are in for a treat, Second Skin put on an excellent live show. It's not often these days we get to see acts who actually perform live, I mean there are backing sequences, but that's all, the guitars, bass and Arron's vocals make for a dynamic and exhilirating live experience. Go Team Doom!
JETT: What is the concept behind the latest Kali Yuga release, "The Cosmology Of Decay"?
Riley: Basically the inspiration comes from the cyclical nature of all existence, particularly the tendency of things to fall apart. The "Cosmology Of Decay" is also the name of the title track from the new cd. While these aspects of life are tragic, our transicence here lies at the heart of our humanity and all our human endeavors, but don't get me wrong "Cosmology" is not a concept album per se, other subjects and mythologies are also explored. Some of the tracks are newer arrangements of our older material like "Submarine" and "Aliza."
JETT: Where can readers now find mp3 audio for music by Kali Yuga?
Riley: Sound clips are available at http://www.kaliyuga.net/mp3s-frame.html. It's a mix of our older material from "A Hand For The Drowning" as well as some demo material we have recorded with our new lineup. We will be posting some new tracks very soon as many are near completion.
JETT: Please elaborate on this theme: "IN RUIN A NEW BEGINNING, THE AGE OF SPLENDOR FORMS AGAIN..."
Riley: That line is from an old song entitled "Kali Yuga" which we no longer perform. Literally the inspiration is derived from a trip I made down to the Yucatan Peninsula. I was on a deserted beach where the ocean met the jungle and I observed a magnificent male Green Iguana sunning himself on the rocks and I thought "His kind will be here long after we are through." I imagined a world mostly devoid of our species, and how this might be for the best as it would represent a return to the splendor of the natural world. That's when that passage drifted through my head. I must confess I was also reading a collection of JG Ballard short stories at the time so that probably entered into the equation. I know it sounds silly, it's not as if I wish with for the apocalypse (that would also mean no Guinness!) I do lead a fulfilling, fun and comfortable life:).
JETT: What do you do with your time when you're not unleashing the music?
Riley: I read, listen to music, work on home improvements, hang out with my dogs Sheba and Wellington. I am a gaming fanatic. Lately, we have been playing Return To Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. I just bought an awesome new grill. So, I have been cooking outdoors quite a bit as well.
JETT: In what ways does your day-job contribute to your focus and development of Kali Yuga?
Riley: I see someone has been doing their research. I am a Librarian. For me there is no better occupation for affording an unlimited well of formative ideas. Books are always coming across my path which provide inspirations for themes, songs, imagery, moods etc. From a purely logistical stand point, I never have to work nights or weekends, so that helps considerably with rehearsels and playing shows.
JETT: How did Kali Yuga find formation in the beginning?
Riley: Initially Kali Yuga was founded by Greg Robinson (our first guitar player) and myself in 1999 while we were in Library School, we were really bored then and were looking for a creative outlet. I would have never dreamed then that Kali Yuga would have persisited this long.
JETT: For those unfamiliar with the climate and historical features of the region... Please tell us how Kali Yuga feeds from that climate and historical background, and what does Kali Yuga return to this community?
Riley: Well I guess you mean Louisiana, or the South in general. I think most people will agree that the South is a darksome, exotic, beautiful haunted place and Louisiana is at its heart. On many different levels that atmosphere saturates our music, in songs like "Swampwizard" and "Reliquary" it surfaces overtly. You can also find the origins of "The Cosmology Of Decay" in our history, culture and geography. My aesthetic of decay as beauty comes from vistas that surround us here, decaying mansions in the rural countryside, the post-apocalyptic landscapes of the petro-chemical industry. New Orleans is a prime example. I mean, you have this incredible historical city, thronged by above ground graveyards sinking into the earth. I think maybe that is why there is always a decent scene here. I mean, it is mostly a transient scene but there is no disputing that New Orleans draws Goths, Punks, miscreants, misfits whatever you want to call them. The black atmosphere is definitely here. I could cite many exmamples of its manifestation. I would like to think that Kali Yuga creates and returns some of that energy, and atmosphere. Attendance at our shows lately has been rather high. I reckon we had around 200 at our last show in Baton Rouge (our base of operations). So, we are reaching an audience. We have also recently made some forays into Mississippi, and Florida and have been fairly well recieved. I would really love to do more shows further afield when the cd is released.