We spoke with Chris Bruni about ficus, cacti, ladder-induced vertigo, being haunted by the past and reclaiming his childhood Transformers collection.
I kinda like how the learning process will always be a continuous one for me. I always discover new things.
I’d like for you to think about your present, versus your past. I think that the catalyst for action in our lives isn’t always some big spectacle, but can be something very tiny that psychologically clicks. So, was there a single flashpoint in your life that led you to found your own record label? Can you think of anything in your childhood that planted the seed in your mind?
There’s no real turning point, but a tiny flashpoint that just kicked in. I had been involved in the scene for many years before starting Profound Lore. Doing that – which was supposed just be some side-hobby thing – seemed like a natural step to at least try my hand in founding a label. I was trained in classical piano as a kid, but I was never in a band or anything like that. Nor did I decide to take up and learn another instrument like guitar, drums or anything else. So I was always musically inclined. But growing up in the early ‘90s while listening to death and black metal in high school, I did always think it would be cool to write or start an underground metal zine or release death and black metal albums, let alone this becoming a career. If you can call it that. So I guess it was just natural to explore doing this.
Now, let’s expand that into a series of events. Can you tell us every step in your life that led to your current livelihood? Who did you meet, and what did they teach you?
I wrote for several metal publications a long time ago and quit doing it many years after I ended up getting bored of it – all while the label was shaping up. I would receive a shitload of promos from other metal labels, get access to go to shows, festivals etc. and get to know people in bands and labels back in the day. Making these connections helped a bit, I guess.
But during this entire process of doing the label from its inception, it’s been one big learning curve which continues to grow even today as I’m still constantly learning, from my current network of people I deal and work with. Even though I’m satisfied with the current position and state of the label for the most part, and even though I’m trying to progress it and grow it in new creative and aesthetic manners, I kinda like how the learning process will always be a continuous one for me. I always discover new things.
I’m not going to dwell on my own health as to not curse myself into any kind of severe impending illness that might befall me. I tend to be that superstitious.
Please describe your favorite decoration in your house. Where did you get it? What does it mean to you?
I would have to say – and I guess I would consider this a decoration – the tall glass cabinet I have in my downstairs living room where my entire collection of 1980s vintage Transformers is crammed tightly within it. When I was a kid in the early/mid-‘80s I used to have a lot of these figures but over time they’d all end up “lost”.
You know, when your interests change, and you feel too old to play with toys or whatever. But as of late, I’d feel some sense of guilt or longing thinking that I used to have all this awesome collection during simpler times. So over the past while, I’ve decided to seek out and procure all the vintage first generation Transformers toys I had as a kid.
I had them all crowded on a mantelpiece in my house, but then decided to tightly encase them in this glass cabinet for preservation. I should have gotten a bigger one, actually!
I like to think of every year of my life as so different from the last, in the sense of people. We lose and gain people so often, especially in a business where we’re constantly connecting. What’s your favorite new friendship with anybody – business or otherwise – that you’ve made in the last seven months?
Tough question to answer, considering I’ve seen people come and go – work-related or in my personal life – like a never-ending stream over the last few years. Of course, with the artists and bands I work with there is a different level of friendship between each one. Some I’m closer with on a friend level than others and usually the level of friendship tends to shift over time in between the bands I’ve worked with and presently work with. But that’s okay. The same goes for other associates in my work field too.
In my regular, everyday life I can’t really recall a new and close friendship with anyone lately since I only have a couple of close friends here where I live, if that. Just because I’ve seen and met people that have come and go like clockwork. There are new people I connect with and tend to like, but for the most part that connection doesn’t really last anyway and they become just a figment of a temporary moment.
Some people enjoy being sick – not working, your loved one waiting on you hand and foot – but I hate it. The worst part for me is not being able to think clearly and freely. So, what’s the sickest you’ve ever been? Can you tell us all about the worst physical feeling or ailment you’ve ever had?
I’ve been fortunate enough not to have suffered a severe illness, injury, or sickness outside of getting the common flu, cold or whatever. I just try to stay as healthy and in shape as best as I can, especially as I’m getting older. But I’m not gonna dwell on such a thought any longer as to not curse myself into any kind of severe impending illness that might befall me. Yeah, I tend to be that superstitious.
Do you have any personal relationship with either of these three forms of life – animal life, plant life, or past life? How so? Please describe every example.
I don’t own a pet currently nor have I ever owned a pet, so I never had much of a relationship with animal life.
Since I don’t own any pets, I’d like to think I have a relationship with my plants I have in my house currently – and in the past, the ones that have died off – since I consider them to be something that is alive. I currently have seven big plants which are all pretty much still thriving, except one ficus plant which I’m trying to keep stable so it won’t die. I’ve had this ficus – which is a very sensitive plant – for about three and a half years and since I got it, it has grown considerably and became pretty massive. But lately, it has progressively lost a lot of its leaves and seems to be holding on now. I’m just hoping it remains as stable as possible and finds a new life since I just re-potted it the other day.
I have a really big fig leaf tree that I’ve had for even longer than the aforementioned ficus plant that has mostly died – only two big branches remain – but just as I thought it was completely going to die off, these two remaining branches have been thriving quite as of late so seeing this plant grow new life into itself has been great. My favorite plant I have is this cactus plant, which I’ve had for about over three and a half years. Just seeing how it has grown has been quite amazing, seeing its progression and seeing how it has grown at least three times the size of when I initially bought it. It is very close to touching the ceiling of my main level living room now! And it doesn’t require much water at all and sits in a pretty small pot.
I’d say as of late, and as I and loved ones get older, memories from the very distant past have been surfacing and lingering on my mind. They’re memories that predate to far before my high school years, since I don’t really dwell and look back at that particular time from my past nor the time that followed it. It seems like that’s been hitting me quite hard recently. I recently got a big envelope of really old photos from when I was a kid – it was from my grandmother’s collection that was given to me just before she passed away, and it’s actually hard for me to look and go through those photos.
I don’t blame extraterrestrial life forms for not wanting to visit our planet and not wanting anything to do with it.
Tell us about your sense of handiness – or lack thereof. Do you have a talent for fixing things around your house or for others?
More or less a lack thereof! I admit to not being the most efficient of handymen. I can fix basic trivial home remedy stuff, but I’m mostly useless when it comes to stuff like that.
Finally, please describe your interpretation of the future of the planet. Will it decline? Get better? What horrors or gifts await us?
We are at its mercy no matter what. I can’t see it getting any better. That’s why I don’t blame extraterrestrial life forms for not wanting to visit our planet and not wanting anything to do with it.
EMOTIONAL WEATHER REPORT
We provided Chris with a list of human emotions, and asked him if and how any of them relate to his current psychological state.
Euphoric when I actually feel it. A rarity these days.
There’s always a fine line between physical and mental.
Not looking for much of that.
It’s what I hope to achieve every time I hear new music for the first time from an upcoming release I’m gonna put out.
Probably the human emotion that tends to consume me the most.
Probably the other human emotion that tends to consume me the most.
I suffer from vertigo nearly exclusively when I climb a ladder. It even hits me on the first few rungs.
Curated by: Morgan Enos
Conducted by: Email
Published: August 30, 2017
Total questions: 8 + 10
Word count: 1744
Reading time: Five minutes
Cactus growth rate: 300%
acceptance, apprehension, astonishment, black metal, ceiling, childhood, classical, clockwork, connection, Chris Bruni, death metal, drums, envy, exhaustion, ficus, fig, first, friendship, future, generation, giddiness, guitar, health, illness, indoor, instrument, interpretation, joy, label, ladder, life forms, malaise, memories, mental, metal, music, network, nostalgia, past, pets, physical, piano, planet, plant, present, Profound Lore, reflection, sensitive, temporary, thirst, toy, Transformers, vertigo, vintage, zine
About the curator
Morgan Enos is a songwriter and journalist originally from California. His curatorial work for North of the Internet aims to strike a deeper place in his conversation subjects — the dreamy subtext to the linear everyday. Morgan also frequently writes power pop records as Other Houses about joy, outer space, frustration, chess and spiritual light. He resides in New York, where he continues to creatively fire on all cylinders.
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