Published Aug 23, 2008Ayal Senior and John Fahey met in Manhattan at a Vince Martin gig at the legendary CBGB. Prior to that point, Senior had been in a few different musical outfits, playing a variety of styles; he was also both a volunteer and music director at CHRY at York University in Toronto. Fahey was living out his last years in hotel rooms but was enjoying somewhat of a renaissance, as experimental musicians at the time had rediscovered his earlier acoustic music and were encouraging his move in a more abstract direction. Glenn Jones, Jim ORourke, No-Neck Blues Band and Senior were amongst the late Faheys collaborators. The musical aspect of Three Day Band is the result of a hot motel room jam session between Fahey, Senior and a few other unnamed and unremembered individuals. The two lengthy electric pieces are feverish exercises in psychedelic improv: exploding bubbles of magma rising from far beneath the Earths surface. Also included are several tracks of Fahey reading some of his written work, and these are just as disorienting. The clever mythology the man has built reveals him to be an astute observer of society, religion and occult practices. Three Day Band is a window into the mind of a legendary figure, documenting a portion of Faheys persona that hadnt yet been explored.
Can you describe your acquaintance with John Fahey and how you ended up playing together?
I like to think of my time with John as being his last, weird days. The man had hex signs on his hotel room walls; he was probably the most eccentric person you could imagine meeting. He had a lot of issues but was really giving and empathetic to people. We probably hit it off because of our interests outside of music: philosophy, religion and psychology. That led to us making music together; it was the logical progression. It was like the continuation of a conversation, which is the best way to make music.
The Three Day Band album was recorded a while ago. Where has your musical voyage taken you since?
Im involved in making all kinds of music and dont feel limited by genre. I still feel a deep connection to writing songs and to pop music. To me, its like trying to articulate a prayer and to crystallize it. But really, all the music I play, record, love, its all saying the same thing. Music is a continuum across a wide spectrum and what I play depends on where the inspiration is coming from at that instant. Im putting my heart out there and seeing how people feel about it.
Much of your recent material has been released on short-run micro-labels on the CD-R format. How connected do you feel to that scene?
Putting your expression and interpretation of someone elses music into visual form, thats the most powerful thing in the world. Those labels are doing such a great job of interpreting my music. Theyre creating personalized, private works for individuals who are compulsive about music, not jewel cases. Im really happy about it and hope to keep releasing stuff this way for a long time. (Important)