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So What? (w/ Duncan Trussell)

from Music For The Deck of The Titanic (2023 LP) by East Forest

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I’ve worked a lot with original field recordings, of both people and life, that I’ve then woven into music. I wanted to try something new and explore inspiration through humor. I reached out to my friend the comedian Duncan Trussell and said I wanted to record him ranting on my podcast so that I could sample it and let “art delight.” He happily agreed, we podcasted, and I edited down our sixty-minute chat to this incredible story arc by Duncan. I just love Duncan’s epic rant that feels wonderfully personal, hilarious, poignant, and touching all at the same time. The band jammed to back him up and the result is a unique story of UFOs, blackholes, biscuits, and motherly love.


But let’s say we did find out that music is coming to us from aliens.
I don’t know that’s gonna change anything at all.
I’m excited for the aliens, I’m excited for the grand revelation of the Galactic brotherhood or sisterhood or fraternity or sorority or whatever the fuck it is — council? Whatever it may be I’m excited for that but I don’t know how much it’s gonna change anything when it comes to being a human.

I think it’s just gonna create a nice couple of years probably where we’re all like “Holy shit, we’re part of the galactic federation,” but then you’re gonna get annoyed.

I don’t know if anything changes that much. Do you ever think about that, like let’s say the Buddha does show up let’s say the grand thing happens, that Jesus rides in on the lion or whatever, the thing is shown, the great unveiling.

You know then what?

You’re still gonna end up on a UFO, flying through space, you go to the bathroom and some asshole pissed on the seat and you’re gonna be like, “What the fuck is wrong with people?”

You know what I mean, you’re still in the human form, you’re still stuck. You’re still dealing with the same problems. Won’t go away. I’m telling you man, this is the truth.

The first time I talked to Ram Dass I said “Are you my guru?” He goes, “Yes. Now what?” It was so awesome. Just popped the balloon in the most brilliant way. Showing me like okay, sure, you’re still in the situation you were prior. Nothing is changing here other than, you know, whatever you thought was going to save you here or there or that, or this thing, it really isn’t.

And that’s the essence of it all, isn’t it? It’s still just the moment. Whatever it may be, the world is flat, we find out the world is flat, the world is actually flat, surrounded by ice walls. And on the other side of the ice walls is where the aliens live.

So what?

You still have to eat. You still have to figure out a way to get food into your stomach and find shelter and you still have to have all the same stuff that you’re dealing with. Meaning to me, that’s where the liberation is, is because you begin to realize you’re still probably going to run into the same problem. There might not be a way out through technology, magic or any external saving factor.

Threesomes. That’s the answer. Threesomes. That’ll do it, that’ll do it. It’ll be threesomes. That’s what’s missing from my life. Well then you want like a sixsome or something. You know what I mean? Oh that’s not enough, and next thing you know you’ve got a fucking neural implant and you’re experiencing what it’s like to have 50,000 dicks getting sucked by black holes, and you’re like this isn’t enough. These black holes actually are not very good at giving blow jobs.

“Hey, I can’t get out, I can’t get it out.”

Matter of time, if you’re a god you’re gonna eventually wonder what happens if you put your dick in one those things.

No that’s the trick, you put your dick in a black hole as a god, it sucks you in and blows you out some other side as a big bang and that’s probably what we all are. We’re the shattered fragments of a god that stuck its dick in a black hole. That’s all of every thing that we are.

For me, like having kids and a family has been revelatory for me because sitting around the table with my family just eating biscuits and listening to like country music (we’re in the South), I have experienced the highest state of ecstasy and connection with the divine than any of the crazy things that I have done as I’ve attempted to gratify my senses, you know?

Gathering around a dinner table with people you love is older than anything. It’s like an ocean. It's been something going on for as long as humans have been wandering around. We sit together and we eat and hopefully we look across the fire of the table at each other and love each other and laugh, and then which is why when you finally do get lucky enough that you’re no longer stuck in your phone or trying to find just the perfect match of psychedelics, and fucking and music, you get lucky enough that you find yourself just doing something normal like that.

You might have the most incredible relief when you see, Oh shit, right. This is it. Nothing’s really changed that much. This is it. This is where it’s at. All the other stuff, fireworks. Fireworks show. That to me is something really beautiful.

I like to make breakfast for the kids. I’m sitting around the table with these wonderful kids, we’re eating and playing some music that my mom really liked and I’m realizing, in the connection between me and my kids, and in the something about cooking for them, and in the music, and suddenly I realize, this is my mom. This is my mom now. This is my mom. I’m with my mom, I’m eating with my mom right now, and right when I thought that, Forrest looks up from his pancakes and goes, “You found me.” It was so wild.

It was just that moment of like, Oh right. You didn’t go anywhere, this was always you anywhere. You, mom. This is all moms. This is all the moms. All the moms who are, haven’t come to be, or aren’t in their body anymore. You’ll find them in those moments where you are just for a second, giving, cause that’s what the feminine does.

There is, in the universe, a thing that we call mothers, that will hold you when you’re crying and love you. And the great news is, when your mom drops her body, she’s still there.

If you want hope, the hope is, guess what? You’re the one at the wheel here. You’re the one who can help, you’re the one who can get back on your meditation cushion, or get back to you therapist, or get back to your exercise routine, or get back to all of the above. You’re the one who can do that. That’s the great hope. Try to find harmony in your house, in your home. Try to find peace in your home because that’s where the real change will come from.

And it doesn’t have to be like blood relatives or anything like that, it’s your community, it’s the people around you. It might be your cats. Who know s what it is, it might be your relationship with yourself, but that’s the hope part. That’s the hope part. I mean because let’s imagine that it goes the opposite direction than what everyone’s saying. Let’s imagine one of these fucking UFOs flies over the planet, cools it down to the right level, sucks all of the carbon out of the atmosphere, puts some oil in the ground, whatever it may be. Evaporates all the oligarch and tyrants, and fascists, whatever it may be. Let’s imagine it happens that way.

So what?

You’re still going to be of much greater benefit to the people around you if you‘ve found a way to be peaceful and kind. Either way if you want to find like a rudder for the ship of your existence, of your incarnation, I think that rudder is exactly what Ram Dass said, “we work on ourselves so we can help the people around us.” That’s the hope. That’s the only hope.


from Music For The Deck of The Titanic (2023 LP), released November 3, 2023


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East Forest Escalante, Utah


East Forest plays electro-acoustic music coined "blissful" (NPR) and "immersive" (Wired). His work has appeared on Bright Antenna, Domino, 1631 Recordings, Aquilo Records, as well as Tender Loving Empire & Universal/Decca.
He has three #1 albums that charted on iTunes as well as multiple top ten Billboard releases. He tours internationally.
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