rhythmplex interview: Bryan Lewis Saunders

Bryan Lewis Saunders self portrait

rhythmplex » Blog Archive » Interview: Bryan Lewis Saunders.

Bryan does incredibly intense spoken word. He sent me some CDs out of the blue a few years back. I played one of his pieces on RSI Radio vol 2 which got some good reaction at the time.

We’ve stayed in touch and I’m pleased to say he has a collaborative CD with the always brilliant Z’ev just released and has given a very revealing interview over at rhythmplex which confirmed my good thoughts about him.

In contrast to a lot of “transgressive” artists, Bryan focuses on the bleakest, darkest aspects of humanity – not as some willy-waving competition or to shock people out of their so-called consumer complacency (yawn) but because he has an incredible empathy:

“The occasional person who walks out or walks away during the show aren’t the ones I am most concerned about reaching, those people are OK in my book. It’s the few people that have the adverse reaction that concern me and scare me the most, and those are the people that I try hardest to reach out to.

The vast majority might not enjoy it but they aren’t supposed to and they know this, so they are the ones that are the most supportive and many people are hurting or personally know others that are hurting and are appreciative that I have given them a voice. They understand the method, message and goal because I make it quite obvious throughout the performance.

The occasional sicko / whack job on the other hand, that then challenges to “outmasturbate me” afterward, or says, “You just inspired me to cut off a monkey’s head! Wow, you just made me want to cut off a monkey’s head that was awesome!” those are the people that I try really hard to reach. It is probably too late for them but I try anyway, because I can identify with them and I myself fear that I could have become one of them had it not been for the arts.”

The interview is well worth reading in full and includes some of Bryan’s Youtube work.

See also bryanlewissaunders.org for more information.