Impounded Inquiries

Dave Heumann


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There’s still a pervasive notion that rock ‘n’ roll isn’t a smart medium, and while dumbstick fun has its place, there are happy, brainy exceptions like Arbouretum, who are savvy enough to tap Carl Jung’s Red Book for inspiration for their latest album, the glorious, early Best of 2011 contender The Gathering (released February 15 on Thrill Jockey). What’s extra cool is how hard and heavy The Gathering brings it while throwing the band’s lyrical reach into heady notions of existence, identity and the nature of things. Dave Heumann (guitar, vocals), Corey Allender (bass), J.V. Brian Carey (drums) and Matthew Pierce stir up a grand, shaking racket without dumbing down the conversation, creating a song cycle that’s slow to give up all its intricacies but a pleasure to dig around in as one makes their way to the center.

We asked Dave Heumann to ponder our signature philosophical segment. We figure anyone hip to Jung is gonna be swell at our silly little musings!

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you see the word “God”?
That old parable of the blind men and the elephant .
Which has the better cosmology, Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
Star Wars. The badassery of the Jedi cannot be denied, and many times I have thought of Obi-Wan Kenobi as a positive role model for my future aged self. I may walk around the neighborhood in a robe, even. I’ll have absolutely nothing to lose by then.
Name one album that has spiritual resonance for you.
Oriason Mystique by Ostad Elahi. Elahi was a devoted mystic and a master of the Tanbur, a Persian lute-like instrument. He never made any professional recordings, but recordings were made of him, such as this one. It’s very hypnotic, very profound.
Woody Allen once said, “I don’t know the question but sex is definitely the answer.” So, what’s the question?
Why, Woody, why?
You can have a dinner party with any three people throughout human history. Who do you invite, what’s on the menu and what intoxicant do you share for dessert?
Carl Jung, Francis Bacon, and Jerry Garcia. We’ll eat some pot cookies. Jung and Bacon can go back and forth about science and philosophy, and Jerry and I will sit and listen, minds blown, then go down to the basement to jam.