Barry Craig | Jun Mantrano | Phil Balsley

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1. What are some of your favorite bands/ albums/ influences?
This is one of those lists that is never complete. For that reason, Iíll just put some early influences and leave the rest a mystery. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink 182, Dave Matthews Band, Tool, King Crimson, Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age, Local H, The Killers and Sublime. Again, very incomplete.

2. Life before this project. What other projects have you been in?
Meh, how many of us have ďthat projectĒ thatís just waiting to take off but never does? Ya know, old buddies, roommates and that sort of vibe? Weíre getting the band back together! Only now itís a decade later and folks have kids, real (sometimes big) jobs and all that life stuff that keeps the plane in the hangar.

3. What is different about Obol? Why do it? What is the point?
Obol is a unique blend of sounds that surprises my ear more often than not. I like that. Thereís also a good amount of room in the music. Itís spacious and the notes are all intentional. I like that too. The absolute last thing I would want to do is fill it all in.

4. What are your thoughts on the music scene these days?
Thereís not a lot of new music I listen to. More often than not, music that's "new to me" is actually quite old and Iím only discovering it for the first time.

5. Barry says "prog" a lot. Does that word mean anything?
Prog is short for progress. It means something in motion that rarely rests. There's an ebb and a flow to it. Though it may bend and weave it's rarely jarring and it prepares you for what's to come at the last responsible moment. This reminds me of the way Bruce Lee spoke about water.

6. What is your impression of your band mates? Nuts?
If a peanut isnít a nut then neither are these guys. They are both gracious, motivated individuals. Barry is a bit like a keg of black powder with a long, self extinguishing fuse. Letís hope he stays that way. Jun is like a placid lake. He looks calm, but underneath the surface heís teaming with life. I count myself lucky to be in a project with these two souls.

7. Are you a good drummer?
What is good? Are we talking Dave Weckle or Carter Beauford good? Is good even the right word for those guys? No, itís not. If you answered yes, please close your browser, turn off your computer, pull your lower lip over your head and swallow.

9. Do you like your equipment? What gear do you use?
Yes. I use maple shells, a brass snare, paiste cymbals and speed cobra kick pedals. The sticks change from time to time and recently theyíve gotten smaller. Yay for delicacy!

10. What keeps you busy outside of music?
A myriad of things which will not be discussed. Itís easier to avoid stalkers this way. If you want to stalk, come to a show.

11. What do you love/want?
Truth. This world is full of things begging for my headspace, trying to mold what I perceive as normal, expected or real. Sometimes I just want to sit down, clear my mind and be calm. Itís in those moments that the nonsense falls away and what really matters rises to the surface. I want more of that and less of the garbage.

12. What pisses you off?
Leaving the lid open on the clorox wipes. Then they become dry and completely worthless! Ugh, the bane of my existence.

13. If the meteor hits tomorrow, and weíre all devoured by water monkeys, what do you want people to remember about you?
How great I tasted. Those water monkeys will tell tales to generations to come of the sweetness of my long pork. Maybe they'll even save some for later, find a way to clone it and spread it like a drug. I could be the next dragon, man.
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