Here’s an interview I did 10 years ago on the latest “M. Illness Project” in San Francisco, after the release of the album, Drumstick Jacket Outcry.
The Music of M. Illness
An Interview with M. Illness (Michael Theroux)
by Scott Doty and Cornelius Mellet
Copyright ©2005 All Rights Reserved
MI = M. Illness
SD = Scott Doty
CM = Cornelius Mellet
CM: Are the lyrical word games on In The Belly of a Whale indicative of a feeling that music matters more than words?
MI: The “word games”, or any lyric for that matter, should be an integral part of the music…I sure as hell don’t expect anyone to understand what my word arrangements mean, so for my purposes, they better sound like just another instrument.
CM: Why form words at all, then?
MI: Ask Joyce.
CM: So it’s the relationship of the sound the words make in the context of whatever you’re going for at the time? I believe it was the same with Joyce, too.
MI: That’s how it turned out – it wasn’t conceived that way – but there’s also a subject to each story, and meaning in every line – although, it may be difficult for just anyone to extract. So, yes, the contrapuntal jiu-jitsu the words impart when spoken seems more important than whether or not they’re understood by anyone.
SD: When did you first start playing the guitar and the keyboard?
MI: I really first started “playing” them last year. Well, I’ve been hammering on boxes with strings for over 20 years, but it really wasn’t until last year that I finally figured it all out.