C.S.P. is Doing it again… Interview with Lance K.


With the (soon) release of The Covert Sound Philosophy‘s second new album “Clausal Proof”, some of us thought it would be cool to print some more of the transcript for the upcoming podcast on the the history of CSP and philosophy, and the odd coincidence of Music and philosophy.

Click HERE for “Smoke n Butter”.

So here you go!


{Lance, the interviewer, in plain text}

J: So lets get back to the question; Why the Covert Sound Philosophy?

Jonesey in italics}


            why the Covert sound philosophy…


…Because usually people who are in a band Want people to know of them…

…but the Covert Sound was like no other band…



So why the Covert Sound….


Why the covert sound ..


Why the covert sound philosophy… Did we ever really get into Why? Did I answer that?


Not really.

We wanted to be different, is what it is really. There was nothing left to do…


….everyone else is overt…

Yeah; right? I mean, every band you know of you know of, see, everyone else…rock and roll had lost itself in the music… in the scene, in the sene-ing, of all the coolness… it had been played out. Even punk rock had been taken up…


Rock and roll had lost its coolness…I think Im beginning to see…

IT had lost its coolness… rather, it had become too cool. Everyone loved it and everyone was cool.


And that’s not cool.

And that’s not….rock and roll. Rock and roll was about being different. A long time ago, being cool was different, but then it became about being the same… not different, just cool.


So, you didn’t want to be cool?

…I don’t know if we didn’t want to be cool, but we didn’t want to be too cool. See, theres a threshold of coolness  [laugh]. I think everyone knows that if too many people like something then something has got to be wrong with it.


Is that the ‘philosophy’ part?

No, that’s just uncommon knowledge (laugh) — its not the Sound Philosophy part. It is not the philosophy of the covert sound; not the name part. Just A part that everyone knows.


What part is that?

The part that if something is too popular then it must be terrible.


 I think Ive heard that before somewhere, but I think, it sounds to me like something cool people would say. Like, cool people cant be into something that everyone else is…

Well there you go.


…Its like what prompted the movie “revenge of the nerds”.

Well there you go again; twice. That movie was from the 80’s. And the representation of cool is a mis-cue.


A miss-cue?

See now were getting into the Philosophy part.


About a miss-cue?



A miss-cue?



So, what is a miss-Cue?

Well, I miss-cue is when a meaning of an event is taken to be equivalent to the term that is coined to designate it. Think of the term ‘meme’, for example. Do you know what a ‘meme’ is?


Yeah, its those pictures you find online that people do, and they put a caption on it and then people are supposed to get the reference as like a joke or a funny thing that everyone knows about, somehow.

Yup. But that’s the popular meaning. Its kind of like ‘radical’ was. In the Valley, north of LA, in the early 80’s, people (like myself and now I cant stop using it) started using the idiom “totally radical”, “rad” and such. But the idea of ‘radical’ was a philosophical notion that has come up in postmodern discourse, even though it had been around here and there for years. Somehow, everything in philosophy became qualified with ‘radical’ this and that, and it moved over into popular culture. But that’s not really a mis-cue. Its more like a mis-take of the meaning, a popular appropriation that has no pretense of what it ‘actually’ meant.


So then what do you mean by a mis-cue.


Take that movie as the example; Revenge of the Nerds. In it the cool people are the jocks and the cheerleaders, the ‘preppies’ is what we used to call them. Like the nerds are the tech and computer geeks, the smelly, weird looking, smart people who have no fashion, etcetera. And the cool people are the styley, good looking, some what regular people – if we can say that – pompous, privileged, etcetera. When we consider all the things around the movie, of nerds as a ‘bad’ classification, and ‘cool’ as a good one, and we think about how the movie even came about, how we could even have a context to find the movie not only entertaining, but indeed, socially provoking, as it was, the idea tends to fall into the categories that the movie promotes, like a implication, a Covert truth (laugh) , even though it was just a movie.


I getcha…

The mis-cue, though, is actually found right here.


Right here?

Right here in the interview. Because you saw the association between coolness and the movie.


Well, I Was just drawing a comparison, an analogy really.

Yes, but the comparison was valid; I understood it. I understood what you were referring to even though I am now categorizing it as a mis-cue. If I didn’t understand it, I wouldn’t have been cued and I would have had to ask you what you meant. In a way, we just struck upon a meme, in the original sense of the term, and not so much as the popularized and ‘low-culture’ idea (chuckle) if I am allowed to say that-  which is, as a sort of a ‘bit’ of cultural data that is transferred between cultural participants as a means to perpetuate culture, subconsciously maintaining and perpetuating the Culture as an established form, but through its own changes.


Wow. You are kinda smarter than I … would have suspected.

The name of the band is Covert Sound Philosophy. Who puts ‘philosophy’ in the name of their rock and roll band?


I thought it was more like, that the philosophy was more like ‘being covert’, like your sound is covert and that is The philosophy. I didn’t realize that there was some actual thoughtful intelligence that went beyond it.

(Both laugh)

Thanks! I guess maybe that’s kind of why we had to go ‘covert’. And Ironically why now CSP is… less covert. Kinda like another 80’s reference; Hewie Lewis and the News song “hip to be square”. If its hip to be square then we have to ask why anyone would be concerned with being hip.


Because youre smart?

Because rock and roll is dumb. (laugh) But please, all you listeners, don’t be offended because if you are getting offended then you’ve missed the interview. It is the nature of pop music. People just want to be entertained, the just want some background noise in their regular life, and then some more organized and present noise with some spectacle so they can ‘escape’ from that part of their life that was occupied with background noise. The most deep or intelligent music anyone really wants is stuff that ‘relates’ to what they are going through in the ‘background’ life. They don’t want to think about music. That seems kinds contradictory, doesn’t it?


That a person would want to think intellectually about music?

Yeah. But more: That the intellectuality of music would amount to a kind of pure experience, a kind of experience that most people never encounter, something that has nothing to do with intellectuality, but in bringing it up, people automatically think its some ‘really smart’ thing; but its really the entire opposite. With an experience that really has directly to do with philosophy, or that we can really only call philosophical, there is no ‘relating’. Would you say you relate to CSP’s music?


In fact, I don’t know if I would put it in those terms.

What do you get out of it?


I just think its great. Its like a musical journey, but more; it is an experience.

Do you relate to other music?


Yeah, Id say I can relate at times to other music, but actually, I can relate to CSP at times, to the lyrics, but I don’t really know if that’s why I love CSP.

Would you agree that most people just want to music to relate to, or that they like music because they can relate to the music, I mean, in a confessional and overt manner?


In general, yes, Id agree with that synopsis of music and people in general. Confessional? I don’t know if id go that far –

 -Confessional in the sense that they feel that they have to say they relate to it, and this is a reason that they come up with as something to say.

Sure. Sometimes, in a certain sense, it is more about being seen for what music you like and then, in a way, how you speak about it.

Well Id agree, sort of, also; I can relate to many songs and I like various songs and music because I can relate to what it talks about. But the music I really love, I wouldnt classify my relation to it as ‘relate’. But, I would classify it as a kind of intelligence, like, there is an intelligence to the music that is not intellectual, strictly speaking. Our current popular music I would say is not intelligent and that way, but is more intellectual in so much as people want to relate to a songs’ ‘deep meaning’; not that that’s bad, you see though…



I suppose. But what about Rush? The band. They had some pretty intellectual lyrics, and they were not hipster like part of todays bands, and Im sure there are other bands –

…And what about classical music? I definitely would not say that I relate to classical, but I do love a lot of it. And Jazz… definitely don’t realate to anything Jazz sings about, but I love Jazz…


…I cant right now think of any other band…but what about Rush?

Sure. Yeah. Rush for sure was more on the intellectual side, and not hipster in the sense of having an audience that relates to them, or at least as I’d classify them. I could be wrong though… But not to discount anyone’s professed philosophy of life or living; CSP, the title name is not really about some sort of ‘philosophy of life’ kind of stuff. Its more in line with actual philosophy, or involves it, the heady stuff, ontology, the hard questions, with the big names and big ideas, even the small names, and big words, that kinda BS.


Its kinda funny that you would call it BS.

Well it is BS. I mean, do you like CSP because its philosophical?


No. I had no clue really.

 And Im gonna get Real philosophical here and posit something and then take it away in the same sentence.


You said ‘posit’. How philosophical.

Ready? I actually just said it.

Ready. What’s that?

That the most philosophical of things is the intellectuality that requires actually very little investment into what we traditionally think of when we think of philosophy. Hiedegger puts it in terms of “What is most thought provoking is that we have still not begun to think”.


Whoa.  That’s deep. You said Heidegger.

Yeah. It’s a strange thing, and I wont get into all the verbose theory here – This is the Covert Sound; if people want the whole theoretical bag they can look into the Philosophical Hack.


That’s your other half, so to speak?



You play with the idea that there are two sides to a person. The Philosophical Hack is the intellectual side and CSP is the artistic side?

Yes, but they are complimentary, more like an ‘either/or’, and not mutually exclusive and in fact cannot be removed from one another, each informs and describes the same situation …but we don’t need to get into that; like I said, that a topic for the Philosophical Hack.

 Ah. A nod to Kierkegaard. I’ve heard of the guy, ‘the father of existentialism’.But how do you discern the sides? Which discussion goes where?

Yes. Sartre came up with that idea; Kierkegaard had nothing to do with it.Well…ok…we can touch on it…


Do. Please.

Probably the same way that everyone else does, but I do it more cognitively, some may say with a certain intentionality, but in this case the subject and its predicates are already determined, so we might say that the categories occur with perhaps a more, or maybe, with a different kind of awareness of whats going on. In truth, one cannot separate out aspects of what is occurring here for dissection; the aspects inherently enfold and involve the others. But we can describe the situation; here then we begin to get a total view into the history of philosophy, really, without much thought on it, because we just lived it, or perhaps are living it. As I say: Once we understand the point of contention… For the example of Philosophy: it, In a way, it is the failure to be able to discern how such discussions get sorted, in this manner, that amount to the over intellectualization of philosophy to the extent that it excludes most everyone automatically even before they begin to think about it. It is the success of the idea of the Whole person by which we get hierarchical discourses, of earned access, agency, etcetera. But then we get into the discussion about religion…


Right. So… where does CSP fall in here?

CSP is the Covert Sound Philosophy.

Ok, and…

What is covert is due to or comes about as the cooperative result of what is established as overt through the necessary routes. The necessary routes are not contingent, but rely upon the contingencies for a kind a view that is not contained in contingency, but is, in fact, determined by it. We cant merely Decide that we are going to hide something. I mean, when we decide to hide something we are really making an overt gesture, a choice of how to behave; the question posed by CSP concerns what is hidden automatically, what philosophers say is ‘always already’, what is, not underneath or in some sub-consciousness, rather what is hidden in plain sight but then also ironically is established and maintained through a sort of coercive politics as prohibitions and taboos, ethically incorrect postures. Most everyone just wants to ride the politics of Being; they never get to what is hidden because for most people, what is hidden is already accounted for in what comes to their mind politically to the extent that there is only something hidden in as much as the rational agent gets to find it, uncover it, and, as the ‘simple mind’ relies upon the hierarchical structure of rationality to categorize, again, establish and maintain their identity through a sort of ‘shadow government’. The ‘institution’ by which an agent finds its identity in a contingent process … but more pertinent to Rock and Roll: There was a kind of assumption of covert-ness, of coolness…


Um…We already went over the problem with that…I think…

Yeah but its true. This all has to do with access, of potential and success; we were challenging and were questioning in a big way, what is real. And this could not be taken as a ‘life choice’ but again, Im trying to keep it to the Sound Philosophy, on the Sound end of things, on the accessible end of things. The point of CSP was a response to how screwed up we were. We were responding In kind to the situation of ourselves but without a recourse to the possibility that we were never screwed up. We were always already screwed up, and so we were never screwed up. This is the point of access itself.


Ah. Kay. I think I am not gaining access here (chuckles)…So CSP came about because you guys felt there was no way out? How postmodern, if I can say so.

Yeah but the difference is that kind of postmodernity was made within a context of escape; the “No Exit” was made in the context that the escape was made through the vehicle of having no exit from the situation. Philosophically, that was the modern irony which this ‘postmodern’ art resided within for the purpose of marketable complaint. No one could really understand what anyone was saying and this coalesced into a kind of alternative reactive discourse…lalala…And the end run was that we were no longer postmodern, because we could no longer rely upon that dishonest route.


What dishonest? The artists?

The artistic efforts were not dishonest inthemselves, I mean, look at punk rock, to be most extreme, but also disco had no qualms about getting high, dancing and partying. But the attitudes that went with such segregating musics and ideas: Pure reaction. And actually, the academic efforts in themselves were not dishonest, but in so much as they were supposedly academics and not clerics, we have to assign a certain kind of blame. So on the whole, the results, the manifest appearance of what was occurring was dishonest, because it always has the appearance of desperation on one end, and in certain cases of calculated description of desperation where really there was no reason for such desperation at all. I mean, from a pure kind of view of agency, as in free will and choice and all.  


Whoa. That’s kinda hard core. But aren’t you kind of overgeneralizing, over simplifying?

Isnt everyone?


Well, I don’t know… I think my brain is starting to hurt. Are you saying then that there was a certain kind of dishonesty that used the conditions of its times as a means to do something, but at the time this something was to assert that people can’t do anything about the condition, and so this activity was dishonest.

I guess.


Arent you kind of arguing in hindsight and condemning the people who actually had to live in that condition, accusing them of actually having a way to be honest and yet choosing to be dishonest?

Maybe. Maybe it’s a question of civilization, of whether civilization is dependent upon being dishonest. But Im not accusing anyone, because Im talking about times that I myself was in, that we were in, and the condition from which the Covert Sound arose, and then Im not making any excuses.


It sounds like you are accusing people, in fact, a whole generation or era of people.

You asked how the Covert Sound Philosophy came about; or actually you asked ‘Why the Covert x. Sound Philosophy’.


…So … are you saying that, as opposed to every other band and artistic achievement in general from that era, the Covert Sound was the only honest enterprise?

Maybe… but not really… but yeah. I mean, how could I ascertain the honest intent of anyone else? I gotta take them at their word. Im not excluding the Covert Sound from anything; Im giving you a context by which to understand how the Covert Sound Philosophy came about. Im being philosophical, but Im trying to escape it, but you keep bringing me back.


Ok. Well…

Basically, the Covert Sound Philosophy was in response to everyone else, other bands, being overt, but overtly overt, but all the while acting as if there was some special coolness that they were privy to that was somehow covert. We just said were not going to be duplicitous.


But aren’t bands trying to be noticed? I mean, isn’t the whole point of playing in a band to be heard, to promote oneself? And ultimately to make a living playing music?

It is now because everyone is already gone. Perhaps promotion was then also, but once people could find a space to be honest, then we had something. In a certain light, CSP allowed for those bands to relieve their conscience. To be at ease with their duplicity, they could let us have it. And then we let them have our songs, but under the conditions, the ‘clause’, if you will.


The clause. Now that’s a trippy song for sure.

One of our early one’s, when the LSD was creeping into the punk rock.

I always thought that song was about sobriety. I mean, wasn’t your first bassist an alcoholic?

Yes, and he became a street junkie. To this day, no one knows where he is.


David Ramunngetit.

Yeah. David Ramagunagettit.






Davidada Ramamamagonanagitittit.


Wasn’t his name ‘David’?

Yeah. We called him David.


Was his name longer?

All of our names are longer.


Mine isn’t.

Sometimes, people’s names are longer. What’s in a name?


So, but, that song wasn’t about him?

In a way, it was.

In what way was it not, if I may ask?

Well. It wasn’t about the birthday party.


The birthday party.

Nick Cave’s first band was called ‘the birthday party’. In a way, ‘the clause’ was about ‘the bad seeds’ part, the band that he’s more popularly known for.


Nick Cave did a lot of heroin; ‘heroic’ amounts they say.

Didn’t’ we all?


I’ve never done heroin.

I mean didn’t we all do ‘heroic’ amounts?

I’ve never done any amount, accept maybe when I got in that car accident, the doctor gave me Vicodin. But I wouldn’t say I did a lot of it.

I’d just say that we get what we do. And that this ain’t about large cars and big houses. Neither about some sort of Western Karmic concept. People in the past used to do heroic things. Nick Cave never did any more dope than any other heroin addict; neither Keith Richards; money permitting, I suppose. Have you ever heard of Nick or Keith overdose?



I doubt either of them ever did heroic amounts. They did the amounts that dope heads do because its great and then they can’t stop and then they gotta do more. Its only for the people who want to be famous.


Doing heroic amounts of drugs?

Yeah. I mean, take Robert Downey Junior. He woke up in another person’s house because he was so high. (Laugh) Now Id say that was a heroic doser. (laugh)


Are you really glorifying people who overdose?

No. Im saying that its pure rock star propaganda that, say ‘the toxic twins’ –that’s Aerosmith, by the way – did huge amounts of drugs. And then Im saying that everyone who does drugs – strike that; rather, who get addicted to drugs or are destined to be, does heroic amounts. An alcoholic is able to reach .5 blood alcohol content and not die because hes been drinking for that long. Some people can take one hit a crack and die from it. Others smoke an eight-ball and are pissed off because it ran out. It’s the whole ‘rock star hero’ phenomena of modern small thought; but not that everyone doesn’t think, but those who glorify one particular drug user to his or her ‘heroic’ amounts of drugs they use, I gotta, say, are caught in a particular kind of mind that we could characterize as ‘small’. Think about that guy Seal and his song “Crazy”. What did he write that song about?


You sound almost…like you care.

Well; Im offended and then really kind of careless. Did we mention the ‘why’ of the ‘Covert Sound Philosophy’ yet?

So anyways…is ‘The Clause’ about getting clean, getting sober?



It is? Is it about… David Ram? …(murmers:) Ill leave it there.

Why not?


But didn’t you say it was about him?

It could be about him.


Did you write the song (laughs)…man, dude your so elusive. Did you write the song about Dave and his alcoholism?

See, that’s the problem now days, and a good reason why CSP is coming out from under now.


What’s the problem?

People gotta know “what was that about”. Every one is so ‘deep’, but then in having to ask it only shows that their depth is, well, kinda superficial. Not so deep. Its like no one wants to go deep, no one wants to be heroic; they want to just call their manner of reckoning ‘deep’. Now That Is a postmodern abuse of meaning right there.


What is?

That reality is constructed around what people want to say about it….






…We allowed many good bands to “get away clean”, you know what I mean? Kinda like Pilate in the Christ story: he washes his hands of the guilt of presiding over the state sanctioned killing of an innocent man.  


That is kinda…weird. Really? We’ve all heard the stories that CSP wrote many of the songs that became popular in the 90’s, I mean, that many of the bands ‘covered’ CSP songs but then said they were their own. That always sounded odd to me; I always thought that CSP just did cool covers of other people’s songs. Did you really write those?

We play all the songs we wrote.


So you are saying that…

We are the Covert Sound. Im saying that we are, or were, the Covert Sound and that we came to a conclusion about what art was and how to employ it. Totally anti-Worhol in one sense, but then also totally complicit with his mind. People can’t understand this kind of integrity anymore…but thats ok, you know. And that’s why it was time.


Time for…CSP to make a commercial album?

Sure. But I don’t know how commercial it will end up being, in the sense of America’s Top 40. (chuckles)….We’ve gotten by just fine. Now is the time…


3 responses to “C.S.P. is Doing it again… Interview with Lance K.”

  1. […] lancek4.com/2017/12/07/c-s-p-is-doing-it-again-interview-with-lance-k/ […]


  2. […] Read an outtake from the podcast interview: C.S.P. is Doing it again… Interview with Lance K. […]


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