You wanna hear something weird?|
Loke E. Coyote was featured in a Greek (that's "Hellenic" in the earlier Pagan tongue) heavy metal magazine!
Yeah, that's what we said, but it's true! Nobody is quite sure how it happenned, but we figure metalheads in the Land of Zeus are in for a big surprise! Metal Invader is printed in Greek, by the way, so we couldn't even read it when we got our copy, but the pictures looked nice. We're hoping to get someone to translate it back to English for us, then we'll put the retranslated version up here too. Might be amusing to see how it changes. Anyway, here's the interview...
Metal Invader: As far as I know this is the first time you are being featured in a Hellenic magazine. Could you please introduce yourselves to the Hellenic audience...
Loke E. Coyote: Merry meet! I'm Trickster, the ringleader here at Loke E. Coyote's Wiccabilly Circus. I sing, play guitar, washboards, kazoo and harmonica, and have been known to channel Pan, Bacchus and the Norse god of mischief Loki. With me is the lovely Diana, who you may know as Artemis. She's the goddess of all things stringed, be it bow and arrow, cello, mandolin or bazouki.
MI: You define your sound as wiccabilly. How exactly would you desctibe this to someone who is unfamiliar with your music, in your own words...
LEC: Wiccabilly is good time Pagan party music with a sense of humor and a beat you can dance to. Our music borrows from just about every style we can think of - zydeco, blues, rap, country, rock, disco, metal... We don't have any polka tunes yet, but nobody's ruling them out.
MI: How does it feel that you are featured in a heavy metal magazine?
LEC: It's kind of strange because most of our music wouldn't be considered heavy metal. The only metal song we do is Carpe Dios (Seize the God). It's aimed at televangelists and we didn't think they would believe we were Pagans if it wasn't heavy metal. Since we've been performing lately as an accoustic duo, it isn't easy to play good metal. We use a rhythm machine for bass and drums when we perform Carpe Dios live. If Loke E. Coyote ever goes electric again as we did for the Rhythms of Spring live CD, we may add some harder rock.
MI: Do you like any heavy metal bands?
LEC: We're not exactly head bangers but we do like quite a bit of heavy metal, in particular some of the older groups like Black Sabbath, Guns and Roses, AC/DC, Kiss, Led Zep, that sort of thing. I'm also fond of rap metal like Rage Against the Machine.
MI: A very good sense of humor is everywhere in your lyrics and indeed brings in mind some of Frank Zappa's work. Are you influenced by his "ideology" towards the musical material?
LEC: Thanks for the comparison, but I don't think I'm quite worthy. Frank has alway been one of my favorite musicians, in part because of his humor and also because of his awesome musical talents. His use of language and humor has always been a big influence, as has that of Weird Al Yankovic.
MI: What is your ideology in terms of creating music?
LEC: My philosophy is to have fun with whatever you do. Some of the issues we deal with are pretty serious and the humor acts as a shield which lets you look at them without cringing. A big part of our message is fun, but we also like to make some political statements along the way. For example, our song Witch War is about some of the fighting which occurs within the Pagan community. Many Pagans won't even say the words "witch war" and try to pretend it doesn't exist - that we're one big happy family. But at almost every show, someone hears Witch War and tells us about problems they've seen. We get away with playing it because the song makes people laugh.
MI: In the song "Ganga George" you are being kind of theatrical. Does this help you get the message across?
LEC: I do believe that people are more likely to listen if they are being well entertained. It's also very enjoyable. I think of Loke E. Coyote as the closest thing to being in a real life cartoon.
MI: In the same song you are being very critical towards the US government and some of its constitution. Do you want to explain your views to our readers?
LEC: Well first off, the song is critical towards the CURRENT government. The original government of the United States was very different. The Constitution of the United States is a great document - one I wish our current government would read and abide by. But the freedoms spelled out there are gradually being taken away. The Constitution was intended to ensure freedom and keep the government out of people's lives. There's nothing in it which gives the government the power to decide how people should live and what they may grow. In Ganga George I try to point out how absurd it is to have a "drug war" when the people who created this country made their living by growing hemp.
MI: In the same song (again) you make a point of legalizing marijuana. Why do you think it should be legalized?
LEC: The answer is best stated in the Wiccan Rede: "an it harm none, do as ye will". I believe that so long as you aren't hurting anyone, you should be able to do as you please, whether it be growing marijuana, dancing naked, worshipping Bob Dobbs, watching adult movies, whatever. The only harm I've ever seen connected with marijuana is inflicted by the government on peaceful citizens. I've even seen fights prevented when someone lights up.
MI: Is it difficult to play your music and be who you are in Texas? Did you have any problems with the christian church or the KKK or any rednecks?
LEC: We'd have problems in some parts of Texas, especially in rural areas. But we're near Austin which is very tolerant towards different lifestyles and there is a thriving Pagan community here. In a recent survey, 11% of those questioned described themselves as Pagan or Wiccan. We're members of the Council of Magickal Arts which is a central Texas group of over 1200 Pagans from Austin, Dallas, Houston and nearby.
A little while back a preacher tried to shut down a local witch shop by organizing a demonstration. They had about 30 people, mostly children, who yelled about how we were all going to burn in hell. We organized a counter demonstration of 200 people shouting "love thy neighbor". We had a great time and showed that we couldn't be intimidated or tricked into reacting violently. Now we tell the story in our song Labor Day Of Love.
MI: How difficult is it to play your music live? Describe us a live gig of Loke E. Coyote.
LEC: As I said before, we're currently performing as an accoustic duo, and I sometimes do solo shows. Obviously we can't have as rich a sound as we do in the studio, or when we played electric with a full band, but we still manage to put on an entertaining show. We use lots of toy instruments like kazoo and slide whistle and the cartoonish aspect seems to help quite a bit. Sometimes we use a drum machine or karaoke CD when we want a fuller sound like when we play Carpe Dios or W-I-C-C-A. And we like to include little surprises, but if I tell you what they are they won't be a surprise.
MI: Are you in the future gonna use any Hellenic (Pagan) myths or religious texts?
LEC: Pan, Bacchus and Aphrodite are already recurring characters in our music, as are their Roman cousins and the Norse pantheon. We try to keep our music upbeat so don't expect us to sing about Persephone and Hades, but Zeus, Hera and Hercules are likely to make an appearance soon. The Hellenic myths are very rich and entertaining and certainly great inspiration. I don't know if we'll do "Celebrity Battle of the Titans and Olympians" any time soon, but you never know. Maybe being featured in Metal Invader will inspire something.
MI: Who is "that goth dude" you mention on the CD and helped you out a few times?
LEC: He's a friend who helped us burn our first batch of disks on his computer. He also came up with the beginnings of the "George of the Ganga" segment of Ganga George. He'd probably enjoy Metal Invader if he understood the language. We started calling him "that goth dude" because it's the easiest way to pick him out of a crowd of hippies.
MI: What is the funniest thing that ever happenned to you and the band?
LEC: Nothing funny ever happens to us. We're the funniest thing that happens to an audience. Well, maybe the time Diana and I were walking away from ritual after a show at a Pagan gathering. I was dressed as Pan in traditional fashion (fully exposed) and a woman asked me "is that your real penis?". It reminded me of Frank Zappa: "Is that a Mexican penis, or is that a Sears penis? No foolin...."
MI: Your future plans?
LEC: Worldwide Pagan community, solidarity and freedom. As for the music, we've got a new studio CD called Pagan Night Out in the works which should be available this summer. Two of us can't play ten instruments at once live, but multitracking allows us to create much more complex and interesting music. We've also been jamming with quite a few other musicians and there's no telling what form our next electric incarnation will take.
MI: Any new songs?
LEC: Pagan Night Out will have lots of new material including Labor Day of Love, Move Over Jehova, Inquisitor and Carpe Dios. Some of the lyrics are already up on our web site at wiccabilly.com and we hope to have audio samples available soon.
MI: And your last words?
LEC: Thanks much for your interest and inspiration. And most especially thank you for your wonderful gods and goddesses. I don't know where I'd be today without Pan! I think he'd agree with me when I say "be excellent to each other and party on dudes!"