BLACK LODGE LABORATORY INTERVIEW FEBRUARY 2022
How did BLL begin
In the year 2001 I started to make electronic music. The project had undergone many name changes, notably The Tryptamine Experience, Entheogenic Laboratory and around 2012 I started using the name BLL. The earliest work has been sadly lost but in all honesty, it wasn’t very good to anyone except myself. One time I recorded a techno mix of a forty-minute Charles Manson interview which was at one time owned by Seth Putnam of Anal Cunt, who is said to have loved it.
I was in high school when I began this project but for periods here and there I put it on the back burner for other music and non-music projects. Recently I decided to bring it back.
Tell us about the growth of the music over the years
Well it was very experimental at first and got the attention of a local DJ Christopher who remixed some of my work and I had also worked with Sebi the Explorer in my early twenties (circa 2003-2004). This is when I took the name The Tryptamine Experience. I really began to experiment with my style and bring in other elements such as dark ambient, IDM, drum & bass and industrial around 2005. I did a split with a Providence duo called 187 Love on myspace. Around 2006 or 2007 I changed the name to Entheogenic Laboratory.
Under this name I relocated to NC from RI and began experimenting more. Around 20012 I changed the name to Black Lodge Laboratory, although it was a side project at first but within months the two merged.
Around 2015-2016 I began experimenting with industrial music, adding my own vocals. I did several releases, the most important of which was 2016’s Goddamn America. I plan on re-releasing this EP soon for free and it contains eight tracks, one of which was a Marilyn Manson cover of Cake and Sodomy. I made music until about 2016 or so and took a hiatus to focus on my writing.
In 2021 I began recording music again, this time without vocals and focusing more on dark ambience, IDM and drum & bass. I had originally released three EP’s; Fetus, Mummy, and Cephalopod under my name, John Putignano but in early 2022 I decided to revert to the name Black Lodge Laboratory.
Who were your influences?
Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, U-ziq, KMFDM, Ministry, NIN and so much more.
So, tell us about your releases
Well Bedlam was released for free through Bandcamp and I plan on releasing two albums of old work. The Original Drug Child has songs from 2007-2015. Goddamn America is a re-release of the 2016 industrial EP. Some songs were removed because I just didn’t like them. As of this interview it may or may not be posted already. Finally I am setting to record a new EP in the spring/summer of 2022 which may have vocals, I haven’t decided yet. Not singing vocals, maybe some of my poetry.
Does BLL have a live presence?
It never was meant to be a live project but that’s not to say I haven’t tried. In NC I brought on a guitarist and attempted to DJ/sing for a live show in Lenoir but the whole thing was a mess, and I was working 80 hours a week at the time as a correctional officer at a maximum security prison. Behavior clause prevented me from continuing with BLL live and the guitarist went on to record a black project with me, Qayinleamas, before departing to focus on his career.
Drugs are a big part of your music. Is this from personal experience?
I used to be a bad drug addict. I experimented all my life with all sorts of psychedelic drugs but from say 2012-2019 I had struggled with addiction to meth, crack cocaine, and oxycodone pills. It wasn’t until I divorced my wife (drugs were a big part of us splitting up) and moved back up north.
Drugs were an important part of my life. I made a lot of mistakes, hurt a lot of people I love and nearly killed myself as I got caught up in the selling drugs to afford my habit. I was doing about a gram a day of meth, five Percocet 10mg and when I bought crack, I’d spend up to three hundred dollars a night, depending who would front me when the cash ran out. Then I spent the next day trying to get high and pay back dealers. It was a mess. I feel like the drugs were an important part of my life and although they contributed a lot to my creativity, they ultimately proved to be my downfall. A lot of songs on Goddamn America are drug related. The song Clear is about meth use.
Did you use drugs when working at the prison?
Oddly enough you would be shocked just how many officers have drug problems. Meth, Percocet, Adderall, Xanax its all over the prison. I knew guys who snorted meth in the bathrooms, and I sold Adderall, valium and Percocet to many officers. Today I just drink a little, smoke cannabis and do the occasional psychedelic. I realize now that my creativity didn’t come from drugs, in fact they had a negative effect eventually.
In closing what would you like to say?
Visit my website johnputignano.com or schitzowriter.com…both work. Check back often because I got some projects planned and will soon be incorporating photography into my work. Thanks for reading and listening.