Major Matt asks Liv Carrow (Huggabroomstik, Griffin and the True Believers) 5 questions (#14)


1. How did we originally meet?
We met formally, I believe, on you and Nan's roof sometime in August or September of 2006. Dibs brought me to a post-show roof gathering. It was also the first time I played one of my songs publicly. I had seen schwervon play before at sidewalk, Griffin had told me that you guys were a really amazing band and semi-famous, and ran Olive Juice. Also, Dibs had played me a 7" of The Lobster Song once, which is about 50% of the reason we ended up dating. So, I was in love with one of your songs, and in awe of your indie diy empire, before I ended up on your roof. But it was the roof when I think you first took notice of me.

2. 3 things that make you happy?
My cats, Roze and Nori. (Nori was originally Jenn Kelly's cat.) They bring me endless joy, even though they are slowly destroying my record collection.

Traveling by train is another thing. You can eat, drink, take naps, pretend you're in the past, walk around, look out the window, and at the end of it you're smack dab in the middle of your destination city. Now that I'm not always on the subway I like trains a lot more. I sort of miss the subway, even.

Playing music is the main thing that makes me happy, which is why I do it. Sometimes it makes me frustrated or scared, but usually happy is the end result. I think it's more about the process of making something out of nothing, making music out of ideas.

3. 3 things that make you sad?
Reading the newspaper. World news of all mediums, really. There isn't much good news. I generally avoid it. The birds falling dead out of the sky was the last story I read and that made me sad enough for a whole year.

Carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis have been major setbacks. They also prevent me from playing music, which is one of my happy-things. An ongoing annoyance.

Heroin makes me sad, too. Addiction in general. It's a really complicated, tragic, incredibly common experience, and it seems to hit the best people. I think we become afraid of how amazing and intense we could be, and addictions help dampen it down. So many people use substances, including me...I am beginning to suspect it's a subconscious attempt to sabotage our own potentials. That and block out a painful reality. The whole picture isn't very heartening.

4. What is your favorite color?
Black. But that's not technically a color. Black blocks negative vibrations. In fact, it blocks all vibrations. So it's the safest color to wear for vibrationally sensitive people. Otherwise you have all kinds of chaotic vibrations bombarding your person. Especially in the city. So, everyone go out and get a black cape or something. Otherwise, burgundy, or maroon, or whatever. Dark red. I guess I've never really stopped being a goth at heart.

5. 3 people who inspire you?
Mostly it's people I know. It's way more than three. Julie Lamendola, Dashan Coram, Toby Goodshank, Preston Spurlock, Dan Fishback, Deenah Vollmer, Diane Cluck. There are more. People who create their vision everywhere they go, and put everything on the line. Maybe not everything, but they take serious risks. Something is on the line. They don't just have an aesthetic, they don't just create as a hobby or on the side. They are channeling their ideas into everything they do. An integral whole. I feel very fortunate to actually know people who create so much beautiful music, art, and writing.

I think creating is less an act of discipline or will, and more an act of opening up, allowing it to happen, having enough confidence and cultivated skills to make your mark and speak your truth in an effective way. Even if it is insane and offensive and weird and nobody gets it. It's all any of us have, what's in our heads, what comes out through us. So I am inspired by people who seem to let it all pour out, and set aside the time to cultivate and nurture it.

An aside, I have been reading lately about the Findhorn Community in Scotland. I'm finding it to be an endlessly inspiring and incredible story. It's basically a miracle garden, grown by three people on infertile land in a cold climate in the 1960s. They had never gardened before, but using channeling and communication with spirits, they grew hundreds of species of plants, faster than usual. It has since become a viable self-sustaining community of hundreds of people.

There's also a website run by a woman in Russia who calls herself Kid of Speed. She rides her motorcycle through the fallout area around Chernobyl, taking pictures of the way the buildings are falling down, and nature is reclaiming the area. Everything is highly radioactive, wild animals have repopulated, the roads are damaged or gone. She documents a part of the world that no-one wants to remember. I find her photographs, and her project overall, to be incredible.