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ILLUS Premieres "Super Secret Identity" Video and Talks ComicCon

You are a creative person who excels at art as well as music. How does art inspire your music?

Thank you for the compliment. I really appreciate that.

For me, the visual arts and music inspire each other. I can be at a museum standing before a great painting and the story, the emotion, the colors, the history and even the level of skill involved in creating it, can inspire a song. The reverse can also happen. I’ll often be listening to music and get inspired to create art based on what the music makes me feel. I get inspiration from everywhere, music, art, history, current events, nature….life in general.

This is why I have a really hard time accepting some of these one-dimensional musicians and this “business” that insists the masses of fans only want songs based on nonsense by young people (and elders pretending to be young). Life is too inspiring to keep repeating the same old, same old. We should embrace every aspect of life for all of its diversity and wonder.

Today is New Comic Day. Why do you think our culture embraces villains more than superheroes?

That’s a very complicated question and it makes for a great long conversation I’m sure most don’t want to sit through. It might be a case of the chicken or the egg. I am not sure. Were the villains, bad-boys, and rebels cool and “sexy” first? Or did the capitalist world and media romanticize them to sell us an idea, and exploit us? I don’t know. For years we have glamorized “the bad guy” in books and films. From Billy the Kid and Tony Montana to the Joker and Darth Vader, people love to root for the villain. Why? They typically lose in fiction and in real life there usually isn’t anything glamorous or appealing about their end to me.

What I do know is that the villain/rebel/badboy today is marketed and sold to our youth in these modern times to create real versions that can be locked up in prisons for profit and controlled on the consumer level. There are very powerful power structures that want you to break the law so they can lock you up and feed the capitalist justice system. They want you to become addicted to their drugs and products and become a consumer. They want you to try and fight them because they know they will always win. For example- the tobacco industry invested a lot of money in Hollywood to help portray smoking as something rebellious and cool (targeting kids) all while knowing their products are addictive poison. People who start smoking often think they are rebelling against the system but the truth is they are feeding right into it.

People love the idea of bucking the system that they feel has screwed them over. People love the idea that they can be free to do whatever they want without consequence. Unfortunately reality isn’t like that. Very few real villains ever win. The only ones who win are the ones at top and they are called politicians and CEOs. Even they get caught (sometimes).

People love the villains because they represent a side of humanity we are supposed to suppress I guess, maybe because we all have a little villain inside of us. I don’t know. As a kid the villains always seemed cool (at least cool looking), which is why I often think they are purposely marketed towards youth. Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Destro, Storm Shadow, Megatron, Doctor Doom…some of the most iconic, awesome looking characters are terrible people/monsters. Is there a cooler costume than Boba Fett in the whole Star Wars universe? Megatron turns into a gun for kids to play with! As a parent my whole perspective has changed because everywhere I look all I see is violence and evil marketed to our kids.

How many times have you attended ComicCon?

I’ve attended the San Diego Comic Con International ten times. I’ve also attended many other conventions around the country regularly, including New York Comic Con, Boston Comic Con and my hometown favorite ComiCONN.

Speaking of ComicCon, your latest video documents your attendance. What did you try to convey with the video and the song?

It was my first year back in San Diego after a hiatus and I was a panelist on the HipHop and Comic Books panel and I just wanted to shoot a video that featured all of the awesome comic book fans who were in attendance, specifically the cosplayers who dress up and are so creative and fun. The name of the song is “Super Secret Identity” and I wanted to capture this idea that we can all be the superheroes we dream of. I wanted to convey my love for the medium, characters and the people involved in it. I had hoped for the video to have a higher production value but in the end I am just an independent artist with no budget so I went with the straight up raw footage showcasing all of the awesome cosplayers.

Note: "Super Secret Identity" is available on Bandcamp and it is the first single from The Final Chapter which you can Pre-Order HERE.

Who is your favorite superhero?

In regards to my all-time favorite from my youth, I’d have to say Spiderman. I’m also an old school Captain America fan. I love those unwavering good guys who always find a way to win no matter how much they have to struggle, suffer and take a beaten. A lot of people call that “square” but I see it as unconditionally brave and powerful. One of my current favorites though is Invincible. I love that book.


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