A few words about The Victor Mourning
“The Blurb: Based in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, The Victor Mourning perform acoustic anachronisms from another century that are firmly rooted in this one – sometimes raucous, sometimes quiet, mostly dark, and very southern. Thought provoking, starkly haunting songs tell tales of grief-torn outcasts, confidences betrayed, piracy, and murder. There’s a song about a man who eats nothing but locusts and Campbell’s soup, another about a traveling albino, and an unexpected version of the ancient Greek myth of Icarus set in the hills of rural Arkansas. With classic storytelling, soaring harmonies, and melodic fiddle, the band creates music with an old time feel filtered through a modern sensibility, at once both relevant and true to its ancient roots.
Spiritual Influences: Ancient American & British ballads, pre-WWII hillbilly music, abandoned shopping centers & empty swimming pools, scythes, cemeteries & odd museums, the smell of old books, gasoline & matchbooks, jewelry made of human hair, and the broken shores of Patagonia.”
1. What do you see in your dreams?
Last night I dreamed that Lynne and I were staying in a very old hotel in the middle of a deep, dark forest, very much like the great Appalachian forests near where we live. I had decided to take a walk down a wide path that went from the hotel into the woods. Not far along the trail I came upon a wolf that was the deep red color of a fox. I stopped and stood perfectly still so as not to frighten it. It approached me curiously and began to sniff me. I realized that it wasn’t going to be aggressive, so I reached out and stroked its soft, red fur. It followed me back to the hotel, sniffing me every so often. Its attitude was more one of neutral curiosity than the sort of friendliness you might expect from a dog. There was a sense that it was wanting to know who and what I was and it was simply tolerating my presence in its domain. We were not going to be friends. We could, however, agree to a mutual respect.
Other times I dream of a city. It’s a small city, but very compact and busy. I always dream of the same city. The streets and buildings in one dream always connect to those in another so that I have a map of this place always in my mind. Were it possible to take you into my dreams, I could give you a guided tour. There are quaint, affordable antique shops there. The urban streets quickly turn to blacktop roads that lead to small farms. Perhaps one day I’ll follow one of those roads to the forest where the red wolf lives.
2. What is the most important thing in life?
Being philosophically and spiritually centered. Ultimately this will be reflected in your relationships with other human beings. This is why most major religions have always taught moderation and compassion. From the center you can deal with whatever life throws at you.
3. When alone, do you talk to yourself?
No. But my mind is constantly racing, whether I’m alone or with others, so I often suddenly begin to talk about things other people find random or out of context—which can be very similar to talking to yourself.
4. How is this world going to end?
I’ll turn this question over to T. S. Eliot: “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper… . Under the twinkle of a fading star.”
5. Why do music?
I’ve thought about this question a lot, actually. Many people seem to think that musicians exist to entertain them, sort of like human jukeboxes, and I believe many musicians would agree with that idea. For me, music is simply the vehicle I use to express myself. I see myself as a writer who happens to sometimes put his ideas into musical form. I’m not concerned with entertaining people—I’m concerned with expressing a point of view. I do hope that while I’m expressing this point of view people are interested and engaged, of course. Music was a huge part of the culture I grew up in and I’ve been playing since before I was 7 years old. Lynne has been playing even longer. Her parents were musicians and her grandparents had a rural dance band in Nebraska in the 1920s. So whether we are playing out and making albums or not, music will always be part of our lives as long as we’re physically and mentally able.