MASK OF THE PEOPLE
An interview with project founder, Christophe Terrettaz of Ozymandias, from Black Magazine.
This project is comprised of unpublished tracks from each artist and can be exclusively found on this CD. The proceeds of this CD go to the protection of the forest in Papua New Guinea.
For more information regarding this project, refer to the following website for updated information on their progress:
B: Describe to the reader how you developed this idea for a compilation. Why are you so passionate about the plight of the people of Papau New Guinea?
C: Everything began in December 1994, when I decided to go some times in Papua New Guinea (PNG) after a very bad year. During this time, I had totally lost savour of things and everything around me crumbled. The only thing, that I still wanted, was to go so far to be alone opposite to myself.
In a newspaper I saw an article about New Britain (an island in PNG) and my last wish was at this moment to see this place before dying.
Before my start, I read some book about PNG and about the story of this people and the coming of missionary and the white man. But when I was there I didn't expect to that. I was not pride to be an Occidental man. There were a people totally lost. They have to evolve in 100 years what you did in several centuries. It was not realizable. They saw plane before bicycle, for example. They now understand nor their life neither this we brought there. Before the thought that trees, mountains had soul and actually, after the work of missionary their believe no more in their 'religion' but in ours that is not compatible with the kind of life. They now have believes that allowed them no more to live in harmony with nature because we put in their world the exchange with money. They are lost in their soul, in their head. I also saw forest to be burned by multinational companies to put palmtrees (in order to manufacture palm oil.) So after to see that nobody can forget these images. In 1997, during an exposition I met a man who has been in the other part of Papua, in Irian Jaya. In this second part of the island there are still tribes to stay far Occidental World and that sill live in harmony with nature. But companies like in PNG also menace them because the nature is their home. And at this moment I said to myself that we need to do something and I began to contact bands.
B: How did you select the artists to appear on the compilation?
C: The choice of artists was done about 2 things: the artistic side of their music and their attitude about the musical market. Each band is original, has a stark identity. They are on independent label, so a total artistic freedom, which is very important. For me it's also a great pleasure to be on a compilation with artists that enjoy me very much.
B: What do you hope to achieve through the sale of the CD?
C: Our purpose is to buy forest in order to protect it. The place, we think buying it, is in PNG to avoid that multinational companies continue to destruct it and buy it a the government. To destruct forest is like kill people that live there. Long time ago many people were been killed by white men, it's so time to trying to avoid that these finish in Papua in the same way.
B: The music on the CD is really quite special. Do you feel as though the artists on the compilation rose up to your challenge, and portrayed a similar passion to the cause?
C: It depends. Someone wrote a track especially for the compilation and other gave an unpublished. My track was composed for this compilation. I don't know if every bands that participate had the same love as me for the nature and the music but the fact that every gave a track knowing that there will be nothing in exchange, show their interest to the subject.
B: It has been a long passing of time since the first mention of this concept arrived at my door. For those who may be interested, could you describe the process you had to go through in order to realize this concept? I think many readers would be interested in reading about the work that goes on behind the scenes and the good and perhaps bad things that can happen in the development of a CD compilation.
C: Firstly I need to contact all the bands and to explain them the situation and the reason of the compilation. Then I need to receive all the recording and put them together. After there was the production and it's at this moment I knew difficulties. At the beginning I would like to stay independent for the production for ethic reasons. So firstly I search a producer at independent label but unfortunately they were not interested in a compilation or they have not an international distribution. So I decided in order to collect more money for the forest to produce it my self. I created Ramses Records and World Serpent Distribution (WSD) agrees to be my distributor. Even though this compilation has taken many times I'm really happy to organize it because it's for a noble cause, of course, but that allowed to me to be in contact with many artists, extraordinary people. So I realize that I'm not alone to find this insincere world.