In this web column, we highlight doodlers, scribblers and scrawlers from the Seattle area. If you have any comics or animations you think we should know about, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vox Mod's mind gets blown often. He remembers each time it's been blown very distinctly.
"I'm very interested in the idea of mind expansion," Vox Mod says, "I really want to evolve—just as a human being. I'm interested in that next level of consciousness."
When he performs his electronic music live, you can see that evolutionary desire in Vox Mod. Rather than simply clicking play on a laptop, Vox Mod writhes and contorts his whole body, his hands crackling and quivering with some sort of cosmic energy he seems to be channeling.
While Vox Mod's music often gets the spotlight, its not the only component to the metaphysical artistic universe he's trying to create. He is also an avid animator, crafting fractal, dizzying hand drawn cartoons that visually recreate his mind-altering experiences.
Above: Vox Mod's animated video for Iridescent Asteroid Mists
Tonight, Vox Mod will be debuting his new animated music video for "Flight of Fancy" off his upcoming album The Great Oscillator over at the Nectar Lounge. The video, featuring a morphing, rotoscoped Irene Barabric (from local band XVIII Individual Eyes, who sings on the track) is one of Vox Mod's most sophisticated animated achievements thus far. To preview the video's debut, we sat down to chat about the influence of H.R. Giger and Akira on his animation and music.
Above: A small excerpt from Vox Mod's new "Flight of Fancy" video.
Seattle Weekly: It definitely seems as though you are creating your own universe with your music and your animations—what inspired you initially?
Vox Mod: H.R. Giger was one of the first illustrators that I really identified with. He was weird to me, especially as a kid, since I didn't see myself being into dark things as a kid, but he has this incredibly alluring mystique to his work. His work was really informative to me in the idea of opening up a whole other world. He was one of the first artists I ever saw a huge retrospective on—I went to his museum in Switzerland and my mind was blown by the scope and sheer volume of his work.
It really taught me that to be an artist, you just have to put work out constantly. That dude churned out work. But I think the most impactful work on my music and art was definitely Akira. I think after seeing Akira, Miyazaki films, and doing this animated video, I've made a promise to myself one day to do a full length feature film.
Seattle Weekly: What was it about Akira that impacted you so much?
Vox Mod: They had the music already produced before the movie was starting production. Just the scope of that film—the fact that they were bringing you into this whole other universe. That principle, the effort to bring the audience into a new world, that's been the guiding principle of my work.
The people behind the soundtrack to Akira, Geinoh Yamashirogumi, they were technically a cult. They'd have hundreds of people on stage who weren't even musicians, just regular people, who just vibed with the music somehow and were in tune with that world. It's incredible that these people could unify and do that.
I have these theories of body-space-time shedding, where you shed these versions of yourself throughout your life. I don't know, its a lot of pseudo-science. Sometimes I think I should have been an astro-physicist instead of an artist just so I could understand how we work and the universe works and what I'm experiencing.
Seattle Weekly: Do you hope that people confront those kind of cosmic concepts when they listen to your music or watch your animations?
Vox Mod: I'm all about mind expansion and trying to break the barriers and definitions we give ourselves. Sometimes I think we're these huge electro-magnetic black holes. The fact that our hearts generate electric energy is crazy to me. There's so many things about ourselves that we don't even know. I believe there is a tangible energy to everything, and that's why I think the multiverse theory totally exists. Its so fractalized, I think one of the only ways of experiencing that is doing DMT or acid. When I did DMT, I almost actually Stargate or Contact-style went across the universe to a different place.
With the music, I hope it really opens people's eyes and minds to things. But you never really know how people are going to take it. When some people hear "techno," they'll read that whatever way they will. The people that do get it, that'll be great, but I'll quote Moebius when he says "transformation is not for everyone."
Vox Mod's video will debut tonight at Nectar Lounge, more information here.