Interview with Alistar V of D.M.T.January 17, 2011 by: Shauna O'Donnell
Interview with Alistar V of D.M.T.
City of Angels, California, USA
Jamie Rubel – VOX
Alistar Valadez – Bass & VOX
Dave Valadez – Guitars
Erick Daniel – Drums
Their sound is: Metal/Progressive/Psychedelic
Started in 2007 by brothers Alistar V and Dave V, their music quickly gained the attention of talented artists and hungry musicians. They were joined in 2008 by front man Jamie Rubel on vocals. Erick Nieto joined on drums in 2010. In early 2009, they recorded their first demo with Tommy Decker and Mike Sarkisyan of Spineshank. A solid
headlining act with an original sound and style, DMT has played a multitude of large venues, opening for an assortment of national acts such as Korn, Fear Factory, In This Moment, Bleeding Through, Job For a Cowboy, Divine Heresy, White Chapel, Winds of plague, Stick to your Guns, As Blood runs Black, All Shall Perish, Throwdown, Powerman 5000 and Story of the Year.
Their message is: “As DMT, we are attempting to create music that pulses with the human energy field, and empowers people to awaken the spirit. Influenced by a diversity of bands, we are trying to create a sound different than what is currently explored. Powered by the use of psychoactive drugs, we are tapping into the source of energy to bring you music straight from the gods themselves.”
MUEN: Hello Alistar, very nice to have this opportunity to chat with you!
DMT: Thank You Miss BC Blonde and MUEN magazine for the opportunity to get our music and message across…
MUEN: I’d like to discuss with you a few rather interesting subjects surrounding D.M.T. the band, DMT the drug, and DMT the Spirit Molecule. Hopefully we don’t lose our readers to a science lesson but it needs to be done. Just so everyone knows I am going to be talking with Alistar about a psychoactive drug called DMT, where it’s found,
and how this ties into their music and their way of life. Do you agree to the following subject matter Alistar? Please sign waiver. I’m kidding about the waiver. Sort of. Ok, let’s begin.
DMT: OK, let’s do IT…
MUEN: DMT the drug appears to play a heavy role in your musical life in whatever form. For those who are not familiar, let me explain: DMT is a psychoactive drug that is actually found within ourselves, in our bodies and located in a small place within our brain called the Pineal Gland. This drug has been compared to LSD, magic mushrooms and Serotonin alike. It is a mystery drug that all people, plants and animals have but no-one really knows why for certain. There are many theories, it’s relation to the preparation of death and dying, how
it’s related to dreaming, how it can be responsible for opening our minds 3rd eye and giving us a religious, mystic and holistic experience if smoked. Typically it is smoked and those who do so have reported as having trippy, religious, mysterious, experiences and these psychedelic experiences last approximately 5-10 mins. However it
is highly illegal and there are conspiracy theories as to why.
MUEN: In fact, this is what your band is called, DMT and was named after the drug itself. I mean nothing more as I am not implying that you partake in such usage. Alistar the floor is yours, please fill us in on what
it is all about.
DMT: So to begin DMT is not a drug necessarily, it is a chemical. The word “drug” is too broad of a term that reference things from heroin to aspirin. DMT is considered by many to be the spirit molecule, in that it is considered to be a gateway to higher dimensions or astral realms. Every night when we go to sleep our brain produces this
chemical and it is the source of our dreams, which if we really think about IT are hallucinations. It is produced in our pineal gland which many consider to be the 3rd eye, science has confirmed that at birth, during near death experiences, and at death, our pineal gland produces this chemical DMT in a high concentration. Studies also have sited that every night in a cycle, around 2AM our bodies produce this chemical as well. Anyone who wants to know more about this should read The Spirit Molecule by Dr. Rick Strassman, who was the only person who was given the green light to clinically study this chemical by the government. DMT is a chemical that is found through out nature,
in plants, grass and animals. It has been placed on the governments list as a Schedule 1 drug, along with cannabis and heroin, meaning that the government proclaims this chemical as having no medicinal benefit whatsoever, as if they would actually knew any better. The ultimate joke of this is that we all posses this within our brains, so
in essence we are all holders of an illegal substance. DMT can be synthesized in a crystal form and smoked to produce an extreme experience in a short period of time, typically about 5-15 minutes, but it also has been used by shamans in the Amazon, for thousands of years, in a liquid form called Ayahuasca, which is a combination of
two plants and vines, one containing DMT and the other containing a chemical which is called Harmine or Harmaline which allows for the DMT to pass through the stomach and into the brain, this experience
typically last for about 3 hours and is said to produce a profound life changing mystical experience. We do not advocate the use of illegal drugs, but all we want is to bring awareness to the fact that there are alternate states of consciousness that lie outside the normal everyday state of consciousness…
MUEN: DMT came to life in 2007. Your brother, Dave (formerly of Mygrain) and yourself being the original members. Why the name DMT for the band?
DMT: Well the concept came to me while reading a book called Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind by Graham Hancock. You could say a light bulb went on within me, or I had an epiphany. I had always been fascinated with ancient cultures of Egypt and of the Maya, with their magnificent monuments, temples, pyramids and their esoteric religions. This book pulled all the pieces together for me and made me see clearly what was once a great mystery. All these past cultures used psychoactive plants, such as Psilocybin Mushrooms, DMT, Morning Glory Seeds which contains alkaloids similar to LSD, to communicate with their gods, angels and teachers, and to achieve higher states of consciousness. I suddenly understood what religions had been harping about, that other dimensions actually existed outside of our normal states of consciousness. From that day on, I have never been the same in that I have been on a quest to truly and deeply understanding the nature of consciousness and the universe. It has carried over into our music, and I’ve been steering and influencing not only the band members but our fans as well.
MUEN: How does the drug DMT come into play with your creativity and composition of music?
DMT: DMT has basically opened a gateway into understanding for us. When I was younger, I experimented with different psychedelic compounds as many teens do. I had dismissed those experiences back then as dreams or hallucinations and not of significant importance. Now that I have a greater sense of awareness of these chemicals, I now realize that I had mystical experiences and even though most of my use was along time ago, it is as if they happened yesterday. Dave, my brother and guitarist of the band also has had many mystical experiences with these chemicals and it has greatly influenced him greatly in his writing. Even though we are metal and can be
categorized with most modern day metal bands, we wanted to have a different feel then what most modern bands create with their music, a more driving pulse that can be described or paralleled with these mystical experiences. Most may think of mystical experiences as being a joyous tranquil experience, but this can be nothing further from the truth, it is an extreme experience. IT is not for the faint of heart, if one does not like roller coasters, they are not inclined to enjoy the mystical experience. Words can not do justice as to the nature of what is felt and seen, IT is an experience, just as sex can not be described in a way to a minor who has not had sex to make them understand what it is they will feel. The mystical experience is something that can only be experienced to be understood.
MUEN: If you have never had it how can you be so sure about it and the effects and hallucinations that one may experience? Youtube is a place that I have viewed some vids on the DMT Experience as well as
The Spirit Molecule. Some say that it was like a ‘religious’ experience. What are your thoughts?
DMT: I do plan on taking a trip to the Amazon in 2011 and experiencing Ayahuasca with a shaman. I’ve dedicated my life into understand the nature of not only consciousness but of the universe. I’ve talked to many who have done IT, including a one on one talk with Graham Hancock and have no doubt whatsoever that this is the gateway or in essence a stargate into alternate parallel dimensions. The greatest teacher to date of DMT has to be the late great Terence McKenna, whose work can be found through out the internet, Youtube, and has written many books
one the subject. He really opened my mind as to the nature of these chemicals and of the nature of the universe, he is considered by many as a modern day prophet, I like to refer to him as a psychedelic philosopher. I do agree that DMT IS the spirit molecule, if you read the DMT trip reports, they seem to vary in that some have a religious
experience, but some also just have plain out bizarre experiences that have no religious value whatsoever. I remember reading one girls account that she went in wanting to have a religious encounter, but
she felt like she was shot far off to the other side of the galaxy. I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to learn more about any psychedelic or psychoactive compound visit www.erowid.org before blindly jumping into the abyss.
MUEN: You, Dave and even Karla always have the best, trippiest quotes that make you think about such deep and complicated issues and at other times they are of a fundamental nature that it’s almost like one can wipe out the other or overlap each other. Does that make sense to you? Can you explain a bit about the quotes that shape your life and how you live by them?
DMT: Heh, well Karla is my wife and has been greatly influenced by my thinking. Your referring to my personal page on Facebook, and our DMT page on Facebook, in which I spend a great deal of time posting quotes almost daily, and links in regards to DMT, consciousness, and the nature of the universe. One thing I have come to terms with is that
life is a paradox, in that we can not capture the universe in a conceptual net. No concept, no label, no category, no religion can sow the whole thing up in a nice explanation that makes sense to all. So I can see as to why you would say that some quotes I post overlap or wipe out others. I generally post quotes to provoke inner thought,
conversation, and to make people think about who they truly are, for it is a lack of consciousness in the world that has caused most of the suffering we see throught the world and in people’s everyday life. I strongly am a believer in that most of us are living in an illusion of self, a hallucination of self that is created by what most call EGO. Ego is a state of mind that lives and is defined by the past, as in past achievements and experiences, or in a future it is always
“trying” to create. To be what some call enlightened is to become aware that all we are is a state of awareness in the present moment, or in the NOW. The past is but a memory, the future is only a vision, so look well into the present moment for IT is the only place one will ever be.
MUEN: For example this quote that you had posted some time ago on Facebook: …”When you understand one thing through and through, you understand everything. When you try to understand everything, you will
not understand anything. The best way is to understand yourself, and then you will understand everything” — S. Suzuki… Very true. What does this mean for you? Is this a common practice for you?
DMT: Ancient religions solved the problem of the conscious and unconscious mind long before IT became a problem, in that the first rule was to KNOW THYSELF. This quote refers to the state of science, in that science has been deemed the arbiters of truth, yet they change their minds all the time, so in essence they actually know very little about what really is going on. The motto of ego and of science is RULE THYSELF, which is a dead end street. Life is known to be fractal in nature, in that there are certain patterns in nature that seem to repeat themselves, in ourselves and through out the universe. Its no coincidence that a electron spinning within a atom looks like the
planets spinning around the sun, which look like galaxies spinning around its centered black hole and on and on, from the micro to the infinite. So if one could actually know themselves through and through, and know that there are forces within the self that are not known, generally called the unconscious, they could have a inner knowledge that within each of us lies a pantheon of gods and demons, good and bad, light and dark, and one can not know one end of the spectrum of being without also knowing the other side of the spectrum. Until one can know and understand the forces that lie within us, and embrace the polar spectrum of being, they will never understand the
forces in nature for they are one in the same. The world and people are lost in a battle of dualism; the key to attaining wisdom in life is to live a life known as being NON-DUAL. Anyone who likes philosophy, consciousness, and related subjects, and want to learn more about this subject matter can add me on Facebook:
MUEN: Who are the main writers, philosophers and or teachers of life that give you guidance as to how you choose to live yours?
DMT: Well I mentioned Graham Hancock who started me one the path. But there are others who have really taken IT to the next level, Terence McKenna really opened the doors of perception for me and introduced me to a world that was once unknown to me. He has a vast amount of inner knowledge, has written many books like True Hallucinations, The Invisible Landscape, The Archaic Revival, and Food of The Gods. He also has many recorded lectures and podcasts available on the web. But the one who has really helped me shift my consciousness to a higher
level of being has to be the philosopher Alan Watts, who I feel has the best way of explaining things in a way that uses common logic. He has shown me that the world most of us live is nothing more than an
illusion, a self created illusion, and if one could see themselves from a higher perspective and understanding, they can see IT for what IT really is… “Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word “water” is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism.” ~Alan Watts…I have also found a great resonace with the teachings of the Buddha: “We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality, we are that reality, when you understand this you see that you are nothing, and in being
nothing you are everything.”
MUEN: Do you find that these people and ideologies shape and dictate what your music is about and how it is written and performed?
DMT: Since a lot of the teachings are within me, not just an understanding of words, but a definite “feeling” of understanding, it can’t but help influence how I interact with the band and help influence our direction. Jamie our singer has really helped in this effort, not that he is a philosopher by nature, but he is a passionate person and is very good at expressing his opinions and feelings, this also comes across through our lyrics. Sometimes I unconsciously influence the lyrics in a non direct way, for our lyrics seems to have a multi-dimensional quality to them, for they can be seen as a direct message, but also all our lyrics have underlying spiritual qualities
to them. As far as our performance, we always feel that we are channeling energies from the universe, extreme energies.
MUEN: Speaking of such you have three songs that are absolutely killer: ”In Gods Hands” “13″ and “Necessary Evil” No wait, I need to make that four! I have to include “Betrayal of Creation” in as well, you guys sound like hungry roaring animals in this track with guitars that scream along with you. Hard and Heavy! Love it.
DMT: Thank You, we write and perform from the heart so it comes across with a lot of passion. Most people don’t expect to hear the voices that come out of us when they meet us, for as a band we are mostly mild mannered and not a wild party band. Someone once told me we sound like angry demons, but I laughed and told them it is the voice of the gods and you have fear of them.
MUEN: Is it a joint effort in the writing department?
DMT: As for the music, Dave leads the writing with the guitar riffs, I come in more with helping the structure of the songs. Jamie and I will come up with concepts for the lyrics and will try to mesh our the two ideas into one concept. Jamie often says that alot of the lyrics seem to write themselves after the music is completed, it’s almost as if
the words just seem to flow from the music, we can hear the words coming from a inner dimension. Erick who is the newest member has been a good influence in the writing of our newer music as well.
MUEN: “I3″ Great track. The line “We will destroy what we create” totally hooks you in. This is a pretty hard song with lots of action in it, reminds me of warriors tearing into violence with swords of wild abandon. Can you tell me about it?
DMT: So this is a good example of a multi-dimensional song, one the surface it is a warlike anthem, taking back our rights from the oppressive government. But on a deeper level it is about the battle of ego, or the unconscious vs. the conscious mind. So when we say “We will destroy what we create” this goes back to the idea of destroying
the illusion of the ego and taking back our consciousness. A quote by Terence McKenna greatly influenced this song: “If the words ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.” So its our
anthem to stand and fight for your rights on a political level, and your to fight for your rights to explore your own consciousness on a spiritual level.
MUEN: Your music is supercharged at all times and at all costs. How do you all keep the pace on stage to give your audience the show that they crave and demand from you?
DMT: As fans of extreme music, it is basically all we know how to create. We do have some slower songs we have yet to record, but for the most part we are an extreme band influenced by extreme experiences and have extreme fans that follow us, we are passionate about our music and it comes through in our performance.
MUEN: What is your tour list looking like? Where can folks be checking you guys out in the near future?
DMT: Right now we are based out of the Los Angeles and Orange County area in California and play shows throughout this West Coast Region. We mainly will open for national acts when the come through on tour,
play festivals, and headline our own local shows at venues such as The Whisky in Hollywood. Our next show will be sometime in February opening for Fear Factory at The Whisky, we have a complete tour schedule on our Myspace site.
MUEN: Last, but definitely not least, any new material coming our way? I look forward to hearing whatever you guys are working on!
DMT: Yes! This is the main focus for us in these next few months; we have a lot of new material that we can’t wait to get out there. We are going back to the studio sometime in Feb. or March and will have new songs posted as soon as they are mixed. Some of our new song titles include, The American Evolution, Beneath the Surface, and The Paradox…
MUEN: Alistar merci for the chat and good luck to you guys with all your future undertakings! Keep it heavy cause it’s working for you.
DMT: Thank you for the opportunity of allowing us to give people a glimpse of what D.M.T. as a band is and what we stand for, and we also thank you for all the support you have given us throughout this last
MUEN: For those that are interested in learning more about DMT you can check them out on these sites: