A Play In Three Acts: An Interview With Ergo Phizmiz

Published on July 30th, 2010 in: Art, Comedy, Interviews, Music |


Cast and Characters:
Greta Pistaceci as Ergo Phizmiz
Ergo Phizmiz as Greta Pistaceci

Greta Pistaceci: Why do you make work that is too long? Why the fuck would anyone want to sit and listen to 15 hours of any one thing?

Ergo Phizmiz: Why not? And. . .why not? As a listener, one could say that it’s a commitment, yes, but I spent three years making the sodding thing, which is a considerably longer time! OK, well. . .it was my choice . . . but I do not demand that everyone listen to the entire thing either, though it certainly would be nice, seeing the sheer amount of work I put into it!

chris evans
Chris Evans

Why do I make work that is this long? I make it, first of all, because I want to, which is already a perfectly good reason to create anything. And then, if you’d allow me to repeat the reverse question: why not make a 15-hour-long work? What prompts you as the interviewer to ask about it, and what prompts you to somehow assume that there is something inherently strange or “excessive” about that length? Yes, on the part of the listener, it certainly is a “challenge” . . . but only if compared to something which you assume is not. So, what are you comparing it to? I’d say that you have a certain idea about what a work like The Faust Cycle is or what it should be classified as, and that you compare it to works in the same “category,” and based on that, you decide that it is “too long,” and thus “challenging..” But . . . why categorize it in the first place? And why produce something that follows given category-defined conventions that dictate how things should be presented? Why does no one question these conventions? Why be so afraid of producing things that do not “fit”? The possibilities are infinite, yet we keep creating work as we think we are “supposed to,” and anything outside of that is “odd,” or “too much,” or a “novelty.”

Greta Pistaceci: What constitutes a good song?

Ergo Phizmiz: What does “good” mean? What does “song” mean ( . . .and . . . err . . . what do “what” and “a” mean)? Before one can attempt to answer your question, you need to qualify both terms better. They are vague. And once you start questioning their meaning, you will see that it’s ultimately a bit of a pointless question to ask anyway . . .

Different things have different value for different people for different reasons and at different times in their lives. What makes a “good” “song”? I could tell you what I like, and you could tell me what you like . . . and . . . what was your question, again?

Greta Pistaceci: Why do you want to kill Chris Evans?

Ergo Phizmiz: I don’t want to kill Chris Evans. I just want to watch him die.

Greta Pistaceci: What’s the bloody point?

Ergo Phizmiz: Well, it does make for a great show! If you mean the point in general, though . . . I don’t know. Who knows?


Ergo Phizmiz: I wish I could! We are surrounded by rubbish. You could hypothesize that part of my mission is to diminish the quota of rubbish that we are surrounded with by continuously producing stuff that I feel is not rubbish. Although you may also suggest that, on the other hand, because of my extreme prolificacy and the sheer amount of stuff I release, my work ends up getting diluted, in a way, either because I might risk not being selective enough, or because my public might appreciate individual works less if they have lots to chew on—but I don’t care. I mean . . . I do care about my work and I do create things with extreme care, but I don’t give a rat’s arse about what anyone thinks is the appropriate way to produce art.

I create things . . . because I love to and I have to. And I feel compelled to create continuously.

Greta Pistaceci: Why do you think music with a comic perspective is regarded differently than “serious” music? Or, more precisely, why is comic art still regarded by imbeciles as a lower form of art than so called “serious” art?

Ergo Phizmiz: I think that some imbeciles might perceive comedic art as apologetic. They may believe that an artist who “resorts” to comedy does so in order to hide deep-seated insecurities about his or her work and worth as an artist. This may be true in some cases, but an artist’s insecurity and his or her eventual consecutive strategic use of comedy do not necessarily take anything away from the worth of the work itself.

Others (and we are talking here about the majority of imbeciles), yet believe that comic art is just a “joke,” not serious, and that it’s made without any care. In fact it is no different to “serious” stuff. Both of these art “types” are serious. What happens is that these imbeciles mistakenly equate pretentious with “serious,” and comic with frivolous. To successfully pull off comedy requires, in fact, an enormous amount of work, wit, and heart.

david cameron
David Cameron

Greta Pistaceci: Quack quack?

Ergo Phizmiz: No, I told you already that I refuse to discuss these matters in interviews! If you print anything about it, I will sue! NEXT!

Greta Pistaceci: What’s the difference between art for children and art for adults? Is there any difference at all or are all adults FOOLS?

Ergo Phizmiz: Art for adults is “serious” and tasteful. It supposedly makes us think. Like grown-ups should. It’s about facing up to the world in all its grittiness and complexity. Art for children, on the other hand, is perceived to be about escape and fantasy, about games and make-believe, about happy endings. It’s safe practice for life.

I was going to say that art for children is also art that’s made without an agenda . . . but it depends on who makes it, as (bad) art for children can be at times incredibly condescending and manipulative (but so can be art for adults). To be honest, there isn’t a difference. Great art is great art. And either can be great or manipulative and bad. Maybe the main difference is simply the fact that art for adults is regarded as more serious, as something that enriches our minds, while art for children is thought to be “mere” entertainment or play. No matter that playing, in all living species, is actually practice for life and what teaches us to live in the world, and that without play and fantasy we would be unable to be creative or learn any of the skills necessary for coping with the world. Fantasy and play are in fact very serious business. So, basically . . . any differences are just superficial.

In conclusion . . . yes: all adults are FOOLS!

Greta Pistaceci: Is the only thing that separates adult art from children’s art a more obvious and literal attitude to violence and fucking?

Ergo Phizmiz: Probably. Art for adults fulfills its “grittier” requirements in often overly obvious ways. Particularly when it’s not very good art. If you throw in some violence and fucking, then it’s automatically upgraded to controversial, grown up, and thus “serious” art.

Greta Pistaceci: Does David Cameron exist?

Ergo Phizmiz: I like to think he doesn’t.

Greta Pistaceci: Why weren’t macaroons invented in Cameroon?

Ergo Phizmiz: Because Cameroon came after macaroons.

Greta Pistaceci: Is it true that you once anally masturbated with a clarinet and played “God Save the Queen” in perfect key on Spanish national radio whilst dressed as Bill Bryson?

Ergo Phizmiz: No, that’s a lie! It was a baritone saxophone.

Greta Pistaceci: What constitutes pop music?

Ergo Phizmiz: Hmm. That’s a question I am not sure I can answer. The word “pop” was initially an abbreviated form of the word “popular.” That is, “pop” music was any music that was popular, or music aimed at the general populace. However, pop music is also a genre, these days . . . and that genre is harder to define. In a sense, a lot of the music I make could be called pop music.

bill bryson
Bill Bryson

Greta Pistaceci: What does singing mean?

Ergo Phizmiz: Singing usually refers to the act of producing sounds other than speech with one’s voice (though things other than the human voice can be made to “sing,” like musical saws). These sounds are commonly pitched in a way that is considered melodious by whichever culture the singer hails from, but pretty much any sound produced by the human voice could be considered “singing.” Anyone who can speak can also sing.

Greta Pistaceci: Why??????

Ergo Phizmiz:
Because the sun shines.
Because the sun shines even in England, sometimes.
Because tomorrow is another day.
Because tomorrow is another fucking day.
Because I’m bored.
Because I’m not bored.
Because I’m alive.
Because you’re alive.
Because I have a nose, two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, two arms, two legs, two knees, one belly-button, two elbows, ten fingers, ten toes, and one . . . never mind.


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3 Responses to “A Play In Three Acts: An Interview With Ergo Phizmiz”

  1. Claudio:
    July 31st, 2010 at 6:10 am

    The best interview ever!

  2. Greta Pistaceci:
    July 31st, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Readers, please note: the comment above was posted by my dad, I believe… hahaha.

  3. A Play in Three Acts | PLAY:
    January 31st, 2013 at 8:55 am

    […] interview with the lovely Ergo Phizmiz is now available to gasp at HERE, in the July/August issue of […]

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