I want to stress to you that the text below is very basic. It is not all in Gerard’s words, I typed this in real time while listening to it so there is paraphrasing, misspelled words, typos, and no grammar. This was not really meant to be shared when I started, but decided to put it up here for you guys because I know for some people text is easier. You’re gonna get the most out of it if you listen along as you read!
Dustin talks about how g’s gonna talk about magick and witchcraft and warns that G’s nice and not evil lol
last time we saw each other?
g says the best time they had with Thrice was when they were playing world of warcraft back stage at shows
gerard talking about playing zelda with bandit
he had to give up warcraft to write umbrella
Dustin: what was something that gave you a feeling of wonder as a kid?
real obvious answers but star wars was really big it just was
then they go off talking about how big star wars was
“My dad picking me up from school early and taking me to go see jedi we waited in big lines, they wrapped around. That was one of my favorite memories of being with my dad”
he played star wars rpg’s just before he went to college
in the 3rd grade playing D&D with college player as a dungeon master
l earned to tell stories and learned about leadership and how to keep people engaged and how to keep things moving from playing D&D and being a dungeon master
i’m a big fan of structure and outlines bc you should know your outline and structure because then you know the beats you need to hit but then you can have fun and play with the rest of the story
i wanted to build my own worlds that people could share and be a part of that’s what i did throught the band
everything was planned out even the stickers on the trans am
i was working on a sci fi tv show with jon rivera for a while but it never happened (not direct quote)
world building is one of my strengths
Dustin: with mcr you build and inhabit is it scary for you or safe for you to be in that character
i think there’s a bit of safety that comes with being a character, i was looking at my heroes when i was constructing it i was looking at david bowie esp arround black parade early tbp stuff i had written t his line out “what if death had a rock band” and it changed from that and we all became death in a way. the character i was in tbp was fun because i think in an entertaining or positive way there’s this level of disdain you’d have for your audience but it was a healthy kind cuz you were just playing really and i thought that was fun.
i always saw the characters i played as me turned up to 12
when i’d meet people after they were like aww i thought you were gonna be such a jerk because i would play one
Dustin asked him if she likes ursula Le Guin (author)
he said yes he read ….earthsea
left hand of darkness is the next one he mentions
black parade is filled with a lot of metaphores and maybe the fiction is something to a degree that you hide behind in a way and it allows you to expose yourself cuz exposing yourself is really hard and just allowing yourself to be vulnerable is really hard and one of the things rob cavalla said to me when he was producing tbp making a great record is almost like pulling open your insides and pulling all your guts out and it’s a brutal process but i think i did that on that record a lot . there’s a lot of self loathing and the catholic guilt in mama and house of wolves you feel like you’re destined for hell
sometimes it’s just straight fiction or fantasy i thought tbp was a death fantasy mick jagger once said everytime you get on stage you have to be prepared to die
Dustin asked G if he remembered writing the treatment for Thrice’s Image of the Invisible video
and gerards like oh yeah it was so much fun
now they’re talking about how they did it and g’s all i’m gonna rewatch that when we’re done
Dustin starts to ask him about growing up Catholic and his current spirituality
my family my parents weren’t super religious i come from this italian catholic background my grandma would go sometimes but for christmas or something my mom would go with her and my parents thought this was the right thing to do we should raise our children catholic so they kinda put me on that path and the first thing i learned from just religion in general or catholisism was a fear of hell and there was this thing that would happen where they would talk about death and hell and all this stuff and because of these after school classes and i would just cry bc if people behave bad (family) i’d go to hell
i tapped into that for the albums like revenge and some of our merch
and then again in mama
my journey with spirituality….
i was confirmed in the 5th grade (a catholic thing)
they never pushed me to go
over the years i got into punk rock and then i didn’t believe in god for the longest time and then i needed spirituality in my life as i got older
i believe in a higher power but i don’t know what that is
we are star stuff
i believe in something i don’t know if it’s a god but there’s something out there
i believe we come from star stuff we come from the universe we’re birthed from the universe
i am a believer in the fact that the universe is chaos and born out of chaos and is uncontrollable and no rhyme or reason and tragedy and accidents and good things and bad things it’s all just chaos and i came through those beliefs in my studies of magic occultism and things like that which i was inspired to do by grant morrison who is kinda like a big brother/mentor he’s very supportive and very into magic he’s given me some lessons
i wanna do a podcast with him about magic
the way he describes it you would need it recorded to explore all the theories
i studied high magic chaos magick and witchcraft
and witchcraft is something i felt more comfortable with
i always felt like when i was reading about chaos magic it was about making the universe bend to your will and i was looking for something that you were in service to the universe
crowleys book on magic says reality is your perspective
like and that was one of the key points of magic your brain builds lyour reality and i thought that was a great take away from all that so yeah i’ve been really into spirituality and studying shamanism and all that
we didn’t raise our daughter that way
lindsey is really spiritual too and not like a practicing witch but she naturally adept to that she’s really in tune with nature she knows a ton about her biology alot of the founding corner stones of witchraft are just a part of her life
lindsey teaches bandit about herbs and plants and we have a witches garden and communicating with nature and trees and animals so we’re teaching our daughter that there is a sort of magic to life and magic does exist but it’s not a harry potter type of magic
teaching her she’s connected to the universe
and if she grows up and wants another type of religion that’s ok too
i know i explored those i was looking for a religion in art school cuz i had to study all the religions in art school and i kept going back and forth liking bits from different ones and couldn’t find one that i landed on until i got later into life and got into more spiritual things like magic and witchcraft
dustin: a lot of people are going to hear it and have a bad idea where is goodness derived from?
the positivity in it, to me, i don’t consider myself a practicing witch i just read a ton of this stuff. You can read all the books you want and never practice and the thing they tell you to do is practice. I think the goodness comes from being in service to the earth…..
being connected to that and also what i’ve learned about the witchcraft that i like is that it’s gray it’s not black it’s not totally white there’s no blcack and white to everything
when i was younger i was very B&W about a lot of things
especially in the earlier days of mcr everything was military and rigid and this is right and this is wrong
you get older and you realize things aren’t that simple not everybody’s all good or all bad there’s a grayness there
dustin talks about his view of grayness and how to be black and white your deciding your the one that can be the one to decide who is all good or all bad
Dustin: what is the purest form of goodness you’ve experienced and how do you explain it?
the purest form of goodness is a tough but great question i think it’s forgiveness or something that i’d say is a very strong form of goodness even when you see people the most terrible things happen to them like a serial killer murders their loved one and then some of these people, and i don’t blame the ones that don’t find forgiveness, but some of them find forgiveness and are able to forgive people for the most atrocious things so that feels like a really powerful form of goodness
dustin: aristotle defined beauty as order, symmetry and definitness but it’s always struck me as animic version of beauty and then on the cover of sing you said “would you destroy something perfect in order to make it beautiful” you prob also take issue with that definition. is there something about brokenness that’s near the heart of beauty for you
absolutely. i was trying to remember that phrase a couple months ago. i think beauty is way more complex than symmetry i think there is a brokenness to beauty. look at a lot of musicians or front people some of them are not traditionally beautiful but something about their vulnerability or confidence make them beautiful. even non musicians that go to work and have normal jobs there’s something about beauty that is much deeper than what you see visually, ya know?
dustin: what were things growing up that made you feel like it was ok to be an outcast?
i think by the time i was not in elementary school. I didn’t have to struggle in elementary school what was very interesting about those years is that we all got along and we’d have friends even the weirdest kids and a lot of the kids would have parties and everyone was invited. my first experience with being an outsider was middle school there’s divisions and clicks and I found myself to be an outcast one of these weird kids that listen to heavy metal and wear flannels and there was only a handful of us. It wasn’t until highschool that i embraced being an outcast. the first year was really hard bc i was really an outcast and i didn’t even know where to sit at the lunch tables cuz i didn’t fit in with any of these groups and i sat with a table of metal heads that invited me to sit with them and I learned about the bands they listened to.
it was important for me to have something that spoke to outsiders with mcr when i was that age there wasn’t anything that spoke to me like that or there wasn’t something so specific to being an outcast. there was lots of stuff that you listened to like the cure or the smiths so i found all those bands but there was nothing that was specifically geared towards somebody that feels invisible or an outcast or rejected and things like that. when we started mcr it felt like we were channeling the energy of being an outcast onto whoever listened to us and in the early days it wasn’t kids it was kinda older punk rockers. a lot of them were outcasts as well within a scene. and maybe they weren’t even full on punk rockers just a guy with a leather jacket in a bar who just saw something in us.
Dustin: do you have any rituals or practices you do to get connected?
i really enjoy TM meditation. I’m actually in an interesting spot with it though.
you have a mantra and you just repeat it in your head basically when you’re doing it releases negative energy and tension and it’s very good. but sometimes at least in my experience and why i’ve paused my practice is sometimes it can release trauma and sometimes you end up reliving that and granted your body is letting go of it but sometimes it’s hard. i found i would catastrophize things so i would be focusing on the mantra but then I would be thinking about the worst things that could happen to the people i love.
do you tend to catastrophize?
sometimes. it’s something i work on in therapy. i’m a big believer in talk therapy and i don’t try to push medication on anybody but i always just share my experience and that it’s helped me. i was someone who was extremely imbalanced all through the years of mcr and go through these extreme highs and crushing lows wehre i wouldn’t get out of bed for 3 months then i’d get in a manic phase and i would be up til 4am working on zines all of a sudden and i would say to lindsey i don’t need to sleep why do people sleep i don’t get it.
lindsey found me a therapist and we did a lot of really hard work and i faced myself and at the same time before we explored and did the work we stabalized my brain chemistry once we were able to stabalize that we were able to do the work.
I am a big believer in TM it’s just that sometimes i struggle with it but all i have to do is check in with a TM center explain what i’m going through. My therapist had found me a woman and she said you can come in i’ll walk you through the trauma and hard stuff. but i am a big believer in bc when it was cooking there was 2 months this year where it was changing my life until some of the negative stuff came up. More productive, more focused, calmer, more engaged, more present. so i’m a beliver in it and big believer in talk therapy and having someone to talk to.
dustin: i was thinking about UA i love it. are you happy with the show?
yeah i’m totally happy. at the end of the day it was someone else’s vision and i was able to let go of that i think i needed to. when the process first started in making it a tv show it was hard (it’s your baby) yeah. I was really upfront, i went in to meet with ucp and i was with dark horse and they said what is your goal and i said my goal is to make great comics because i already went through a big thing with universal trying to make this as a movie. it was fully of really difficult things, it took up a lot of time and disappointments and i really turned my focus back to comics because that’s where you’re in charge, you have an editor obviously, but it doesn’t feel like something creative is being ruled by committee and that’s what it feels like i hollywood. I was really upfront with dawn (ucp) and i said I wanna make great comics so you guys have great material and make a good show. I ended up being more involved than that. the extent of my involvement is giving notes especially about things like wardrobe costumes the look feel of the world the fact that it’s kind of an alternate reality, and i give notes on scripts and edits and things like that. so i am involved for sure but i was able to realize this is someone else’s baby and i’m happy with the results for sure and the proof is in the fact that everyone loves it.
dustin: is klaus true to the comics?
it is capturing to me what robert is capturing this sadness and tragedy to the character, also the humor. in the comic he’s more of what i call a dry goth and not as whimsical as what robert ended up doing, but it ended up working, he adds a lot of humanity to the character that you don’t see as much in the comic. klaus just does bad things and makes bad decisions and a lot of that is coming from childhood trauma. in the show the drug use is there to quite voices in his head and they explored that deeper and that was cool. I never really explored the fact that he’s constantly seeing and hearing and talking to ghosts so the drugs kinda quieted his mind.
they’re able to point at things I wasn’t seeing cuz sometimes when i’m doing things like creating a world a lot of it is running off the subconscious so a lot of it you don’t realize you’re putting in there ya know and when they’re looking at making a tv show or movie they really deconstruct it and say this makes sense because of this.
going back to the previous question what do i get a sense of wonder from and comics is a big one. i would reinforce these feelings when i started to making and writing them cuz you can do anything in them. and that’s really what’s beautiful about them. i also love the mechanics of them cuz there’s lots you can do in comics you can’t do in movies or tv and i love that. so i really learned to embrace the medium. i’m writing comics that are definitely comics and are not just a tv show playing out in a comic
how much do you draw your own stuff to get ideas going (dustin)
quite a bit. less on doom but on UA gabriel ba and i have a cool relationship and the ideas need to start with me and i do a sketch and then gabriel will completely reinterpret that.
dustin is that bc that’s your complete world where your reinventing doom?
in the beginning UA was mine but gabriel helped build that world
he embraces architecture which is rare in comics
we have our process and i’ll usually do a sketch and gabriel will take it and do something with it.
i love collaborating when it’s working it’s amazing. I’ve learned to really embrace it over the years. delegating and collaborating were skills I needed to get good at. i think i got better at collabing after the band. though we were pretty good at it in the band I just got better at it.
sometimes you do see or hear a complete vision so you want that realized.
dustin talking about being set and having to collab with 3 other people.
yeah, it is. and that’s what i learned too when collabing on music. you don’t even remember what you were hung up on because it’s much better when everybody’s worked on it.
dustin: time travel is a big thing in ua.
i really like that the show took that from the comic and really explored it. Sometimes they’re violent corrections and sometime they’re very simple. but time travel is such a pain in the ass. I did not envy them when they started to do the writers room for UA. They had to put up these big timeline boards and be like this happens here this happens here and that’s what i was doing when I was writing dallas cuz there’s no time travel in apocalypse suite
that was the hardest volume i ever had to write
dustin is there any time travel stories you think did it really well?
I don’t know if i’ve read enough time travel stories I think back to the future did it really well.
It can break really easily and i think every time travel story has the possibility of completely breaking or at least in some persons mind it is broken so sometimes you have to take time travel stories at face value and be like alright this works.
Dustin talks about addressing flaws in time travel
you do have to address concerns, i realize that my answer might have been possibly a little lazy about taking things at face value. One of the things I had to do in Dallas was address every concern I thought the reader might have
I’m about to start vol 4 of Umbrella Academy and i’m really happy cuz I don’t think it’s gonna have any time travel in it.
dustin: how do we protect the beauty of humanity while remaining vulnerable
that’s a big question given how the world is now and the toxicity out there online, how do you protect your humanity? Toxiciy like the kind Cliff (Doom Patrol) experiences when he visits his mother in the nursing home is a very real thing and it’s something you have to deal with and I don’t know how you hold onto your humanity especially remaining vulnerable. I know this isn’t the healthy or great answer but one of the things I kinda did was to remove myself from certain social medias, but it wasn’t unhealthy because what i did was i decided to look inward at that point, and i can tell you that as many harsh people are on the internet i was much harsher on myself I looked in and i asked myself tough questions, i really asked myself what’s right and wrong, i really ask myself these things deeply when I’m writing. Holding onto your humanity is very hard and cliff obviously he doesn’t hold onto that humanity and he kinda goes back into his cage because that makes sense to him.
Dustin: does skin make the man or can mental reflect who we are just as well?
metal can reflect who we are just as well i think cliff steel is very much cliff whether he’s a human or a robot and I think that’s what’s great about the character because no matter what he’s still cliff.
Dustin asks what he’s watching/reading/listening to rn
what have i been reading recently? well this is old but i just decided to re-read LOTRs from start to finish i made it through the books rather quickly and they’re just such a joy to read there so relaxing. There’s a real build up to LOTR’s it gets so dark at one point there’s like a calm and a peace to reading it the way Tolkien writes you’re just thinking about the greenery and the trees and the rivers so it’s a real relaxing read for as much as it ramps up. Ya know i have a hard time watching tv. I feel really trapped watching tv so i tend not to watch it all which is interesting about having a tv show i bring a different perspective when i’m giving notes because i don’t watch a lot of tv and more or less the only tv i watch is edits of UA
but every once in a while lindsey will rope into a show that she thinks i really have to watch. she did that with Breaking Bad and i’m really grateful she did. she literally rewatched the whole thing with me made me watch it and ya know it’s still one of the best i’ve ever seen and then she got me into Kobra Kai have you seen that? it’s really good especially the first season is really amazing. One of the things that helped hook me into the show is the episodes are a half hour. it’s really cool so i didn’t feel as much a prisoner of the television cuz you could just watch a half hour and be done.
books are my favorite thing. books that’s how alot of people will use a tv to tune out and shut off and i use books to do that so there’s piles of books next to my bed.
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