Tell us about the interludes, where people talk about their dreams...
During the time I was writing and recording the album, I got in the habit of recording random conversations on my phone with any and everyone. People on the street, friends, people on the subway. At some point I started asking about their dreams.
How did they react?
A lot of people would start off saying that they don't pay attention to or remember their dreams. But with some prompting, they'd tell me all these dreams in vivid detail.
Do you study your own own dreams?
I definitely pay close attention to my dreams. I did it since I was a young kid. I think the whole universe is inside of us. You just have to pay attention and acknowledge it. Its like a language we've forgotten.
After listening to your album ‘one will wake up in a cleaner, better world’, the intro says. How can one change the world?
The intro to ‘The Ocean’ is meant to be satirical. A cleaner, better world is the ideal to strive for, but listening to my album is not gonna make that a reality. Years and years ago, I read something Hermann Hesse said and it was something along the lines of ‘For the world to change, it would take an inner revolution’. I believe that. I'm trying to open my own mind through music and hopefully other people’s in the process.
How would life be if we'd still live in the garden of Eden?
For me, the fall from grace was a psychological shift in the way human beings saw the world. So Eden's not a physical place, it's a state of being. It's all around us all the time. We're just not aware of it. I think it's a visionary state where you feel and see how everything's connected.
The album has quite a few religious symbols. So does your name refer to the ten commandments or...?
Deca means 10 but it was just a name I picked around the time I started writing graffiti. It really doesn't have anything to do with the commandments. But it’s definitely acquired meaning since. It's cool that you picked up on that.
So what attracts you in the symbolism of the Old Testament?
I'm not really sure. It just keeps popping up in my writing. When you internalize a story or myth in terms of how it relates to you and your experience of the world, it really starts to make sense. I don't subscribe to institutionalized religion. But I think every spiritual tradition at its core is expressing the same truths. Where I part ways is when these beliefs become dogmatic. And when they are used to control people. To keep people from discovering these truths inside themselves.
You mentioned Herman Hesse. How much are you influenced by Henri Miller?
I love when I'm reading a book and the author puts a feeling or thought that I've had, but which I wasn't able to express into words. It's like I knew them in a past life. Henry Miller’s one of the few writers that does that, along with Hermann Hesse, William Blake, and a couple of others.
Miller is known for his sexual references. Throughout your album, you remain polite though?
Yeah man, treat them like queen! I think Miller would have probably said the same thing. He's just a little more explicit than I am. You should check out a short story he wrote called ‘Berthe’ about a prostitute he met in Paris.
Your previous album 'The Hedonist' dealt about your substance abuse. How do you remember that period?
I don't remember a lot of that period, honestly. It was basically five years of getting fucked up all day, every day. My whole life revolved around that. Denver's a pretty small city. I knew too many people and it was too easy to backslide. So I didn't get clean until I moved to LA and even then I slipped up a few times.
The video for 'Breadcrumbs' is great.
Tell us more on your collaboration with Steven Mertens?
We met through a mutual friend. He was painting a mural on a shop of a friend of mine, in China Town. He told me he did stop-motion video’s. I emailed him some of my art and he sent me links to a couple of his video’s. I was blown away. I grew up drawing and was really influenced by guys like Ralph Bakshi and Vaughn Bode. So when I saw his work, it was a no-brainer. A lot of times when I try to collaborate with people it doesn't come together. But it was really easy working with Steven and coming up with concepts for both videos.
Word goes you use your Twitter timeline as inspiration when the muses avoid your phone call.
Actually it's kind of the opposite for me. I have to force myself to tweet and post on Facebook because it's a necessary part of the game. I'm trying to get into it more though.
So then where do you get inspiration?
Digging for records always helps. Books and records mostly.
You met Kool Herc. Meeting your heroes is often a disappointment. How was it?
It wasn't a disappointment at all. He was real cool and humble. It was amazing to meet the man that was solely responsible for the birth of hip-hop.
What are some of the records that you play before going to sleep these days?
I usually read. Right now I'm rereading ‘VALIS’ by Philip K. Dick..
What's next for you?
I'm working on an album with a producer-friend of mine Shae Money. We don't have a release date yet, but we're pretty far into the project.