Like Manu Chao, who they recently supported, Peyoti for President is a political act expressed through globe hopping musical adventures. Named after a drug-induced dream for a better society, Peyoti for President is the brainchild of Pietro Dimascio
Pietro, tell us a little bit about your unusual childhood circumstances and how this has affected your approach to music and life?
It’s difficult to say how I was affected by these things. I have no idea how I may have turned out different in let’s say a more conventional upbringing.
I very much feel part of a wider human family. I feel the pain of the world’s children (which I believe is so unnecessary) and their suffering as if they were my own , as if they were a brother or a sister.
I was given up by my natural mother at birth (because she conceived out of marriage in a Christian family at an early age) and sent the first year of my life to various foster care homes — so I never had the closeness of a mother in those days. I was adopted by English parents at the age of one but unfortunately that also was no smooth ride and I experienced quite dark and solitary times early on in my life and quite a lot of fear. I think I always (and naturally so) desired something more human. A human connection – something with real emotion and meaning, something less solitary. I started seriously listening to music at the age of 5 or 6 and music kind of became the parent I’d never had. I had a compact record player under the bed and I’d play lots of old 1960s 45s my auntie gave me. Elvis songs like ‘Surrender’ and ‘Kiss me Quick’ and ‘Good Luck Charm’, ha! (I still remember these tunes note for note!). I was quite a solitary child and at the age of nine finally got my first guitar and started writing immediately. It was quite natural to me, even though I couldn’t properly play yet!
You unknowingly get conditioned by these very early experiences (you might even say, unnatural experiences) and it takes time to work them through. Many people never do.
After a very clear dream one morning I was directed to the post that morning. Numbers on my new band card united the years of my conception and the year it was then and I had a definite feeling I was soon to be re-united with my roots (so to speak). And I was, within just 2 short months. I discovered a terminally ill mother who was physically and mentally handicapped (from a dormant brain tumour the size of a pear) and very limited information as to who my father was/is. To this day I have no idea who he is (except he’s Italian) and he has no idea I even exist.
In many respects you may (on the face of it) think that whoever gets a life like this has been dealt an exceptionally bad hand, but like everything else in life there are many ways to perceive it and react to it. Months of meditation and quiet contemplation began clearing my head and I became very settled and happy in the knowledge that I shared this common human experience with all other people – in this respect my sense of belonging to a wider family became very much heightened while I was meditating and thereafter.
3-6 months after this period I started using the phrase Peyoti for President and began writing and recording the album.
There is a down side to this however. I very much feel part of a wider human family. I feel the pain of the world’s children (which I believe is so unnecessary) and their suffering as if they were my own , as if they were a brother or a sister.
So what is the Peyoti Election Manifesto (politically)?
I’d say firstly Peyoti 4 Pres. is asking us to really see outside the box — ‘think laterally’
Hence the name. In truth we believe that we have to imagine the ‘next’ system, in the same way that it was not that long ago that there was essentially only rich land owners and nobles AND peasants/servants in UK. Capitalism has been a very fruitful and much improved system that has brought us to where we are now — a big improvement in many ways — and in any case — simply the way human kind is developing on its natural progression to where we are going (I have strong ideas about that and who WE actually are!).
However, we need now to have the vision to believe that another ‘new’ radically different system & way of running/ordering society IS possible and necessary. To begin to accomplish this we need to first let go of fear (the fear that is indoctrinated into us through our conditioning by the present system).
- We are completely aligned politically with the beliefs of Peter Joseph and zeitgeist and so watch/listen to this presentation:- http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3932487043163636261 and I would say this would describe (towards the end) completely the Peyoti manifesto, politically speaking.
- In brief some ideas we could pick out would be:-
- Remove the profit priority in our society (which requires a new social system to replace the completely unstable and unsustainable capitalist one we now have) — encourage people instead to become involved in daily activity that gives them ‘worth’ and adds real value to their sense of being alive.
- Television in its present form to be banned completely
- Products are to be centralised and researched based on their ‘requirement’ and effectiveness.
- All advertising banned
- Children to be taken to visit other peoples in different continents and encouraged to see how western society has a direct effect on how many other nations are developing (or not developing). in an attempt to demonstrate how on many levels we are all interdependent.
- Meditation encouraged and included in school timetables and accepted as an essential part of people’s day — in all works of life.
- Massive push on education including an honest and open look at what we eat and how it effects our health and the environment (everybody should read the book ‘eat to live’ by Joel Fuhrman!).
- People given information that demonstrates irrefutably the link between the consumption of animal products and many diseases — and the whole meat industry’s effect on CO2 emissions etc
- All other forms of miss information and general media brain washing to be removed with a real look at how society has developed into such an ‘out of control’ capitalist system full of consumers (you must watch the documentary by the BBC called ‘century of the self’ to discover how the Freud’s convinced the higher powers in the early part of the last century, that human kind was unstable and highly viscous and had to be controlled and sedated by selling people things that ‘thought’ they needed. This consequently allowed the multi corporate companies to really take a much stronger power hold.
- To begin with ALL peoples of the western world need to examine just how the monetary system works and why the mathematics of this capitalist monetary system are (unfortunately) doomed to fail sooner or later. Again I say, watch Orientation Presentation by Peter Joseph, 2009 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3932487043163636261
And is there a musical manifesto?
If we can manage to replace the present rampantly out of control capitalist system then there is a very good chance that people will be free to experience the most amazing music from the histories of all peoples from around the globe — first hand!! Totally mind blowing but possible. Music and art should be encouraged at every level and be the highest priority on any new agenda — not just for education but as a central part to all human society — end of!.
Peyoti for President’s debut album Rising Tide of Conformity is out now on Sordid Soup Records