Source: JOHN ZEWIZZ & hiz Life & Musick
Do You Know the real JOHN ZEWIZZ ? What is SLEEPCHAMBER really about ?
(SLEEPCHAMBER 2008-2016 Line Up): John Zewizz,Gimme”Sparks,Tick and Bob Avakian)
‘If I could only tell you everything that is going on over here at SleepChamber Studios. The privacy of those involved must at all times be respected. John has, in recent times, exchanged his formerly large entourage in favor of a select and eccentric few, and as with his touring schedule it seems as though he prefers at the time the anti social climate to one of meditation, particular company, and drugs. Or maybe rather than a preference it is a necessity. Music and philosophy as always are present.
It is impossible to completely comprehend the myriad and enigmatic elements of SleepChamber. SleepChamber is not a band as we traditionally think of bands. This is an intricate psychological alien animal, a Fluid Thought Form which happens to produce Art and manifesting itself in this Reality by the Intent and Will of its energy source John Zewizz. It is a living, evolving emotional entity which can be projected in this Reality.. This is further complicated by realizing that SleepChamber is John Zewizz, and John Zewizz is SleepChamber.
John does not take off his sleepchamber super cape after work and put on his shorts and ambercrombie shirt to play golf.
This is not as simple or as insignificant as it may at first sound. The two do not merely co exist. The two are one. It is generally understood that without John there is no SC. But what most people are not aware of is that the converse is also true and very dangerous. And this is that without SleepChamber there is no John Zewizz. Many fans and friends are not aware of this and the serious implications. Like Siamese twins they both must exist or both not at all. This means psychologically as well. SC cannot tour and produce music if JZ is unwell…….and JZ cannot improve if SC is not touring and making music. It is symbiotic self destruction. I do not know how this psychological deviation took place, or even much on how it evolved. But the one dies without the other, and the other cannot give life to the other if it is weakened by the other. But the fact is that the John Zewizz who you see on stage is the John Zewizz of always. Maybe the offstage John is the one who is really performing. I do know that the two are NOT sold serparately. In fact the two cannot exist separately. I am not even sure if the two have learned to co exist or if at some time in the past the one took over the other. The artistic psyche is a fragile affair and should not be tampered with.
John is a curiously casual drug addict. He ingests large quantities of many various drugs on a daily basis without more than minute changes. Although not impossible, he is rarely comatose. He calls what he does a “Pharaohs Cocktail”. Combining pills with Pot and Alcohol and seems to focus socially just fine. As a matter of great detail John seems to have a natural magnetism where people everywhere are somehow drawn to his personality. Which at times commands only the highest respect. At other times his humor is above normal. Many times I have witnessed John elevate the atmosphere in the room to roars of laughter where many plead for him to stop. Surrealistically John is in total control and never cracks a smile. His gifts of humor, passion, and dominance are used only at the correct times. And most importantly only in the right doses. His psyche works on auto pilot. I have never seen him out of sink. Not the perfect human being. But a very interesting individual. He can be angelically moral when he need to be. Very fair and has more reverence than anyone I have ever met. By all modern standards John is a real Magician in disguise. When he brings this into music reality shifts.
The manifestations of the Musician and the Magician converge within the mind of the listener, where emotion, ideas and will are being powerfully drugged and hypnotized through the manipulation of beats, words, rhythyms and frequencies. John Zewizz was the High Priest of these rituals performed in the Temple Theatrical. His self imposed exile remains unexplained to this day, leaving a void that only slander and half-truths can fill. More and more frequently he drops his music and words into the digital dimension. People from around the world try to coax him back into his place as the Dionysian interpreter, to the avail of many.
These days, alone and avoiding the Temple Cultural, the Magician instead paces in both anxiety and deep thought……..his self imposed exile remains unexplained and an unsolved mystery for those around the world who attempt to coax the Shamanic Priest of SleepChamber’s Dionysian Mysteries into unleasing his personal testament in full force live on some stage somewhere. is transfixed cultivating a multitude of embryonic sounds for the birth and revelation of an entirely new album for the patient and awakened fans.
The SleepChamber Studio was designed over the years by drugs, ADD, and a mad professor’s understanding of the hermetic laboratory…….remnants from an ancient library of magickal tomes, sculptures and figurines representing a myriad of ancient entities of questionable intent, and musical equipment everywhere, cables and wires, screens and synthesizers, most of the electronics malfunctioning to various degrees and frustration. If something is needed it will never be found. It will show up in its own time. This is deafening chaos to the outsider. To the creative and the mad everything is where it should be. Unless it is needed.
Visitors are a constant, changing the psychic and conversatioinal landscape with every arrival and departure. This human trafficking goes well with the decor. And these characters are right out of some French surrealist play.
It is the alchemical marriage of a surrealistic and free willed Catholic who had been philosophically abstracted by magick while metabolizing pills and powders which served to colour his impressionistic psyche, creating an artist who at one time fused the movements of the dark, bonded female body with electronics……it is where artificial intelligence meets the temple priestess falling under the spell woven by the Shamanic priest of his own dionysian cult.
And for John to return to performing rituals within the Temple Theatrical would not be impossible. Just timely probable. His soul knows no other direction or time. He will never be forced or cornered to do what he does not control. If John is to return to public activity on a stage performing the ritual ov his living emotions it’s because he believes that’s what will make us all complete. I have never seen him put himself before anyone else. This is a being that seems to know his destiny.
He is not swayed or influenced by passing cultural trends. Yet every album contains varying elements of originality and sincerity . Even if some assume topics maybe taboo or too dark. His lyrics are always cleverly seductive and at times uninhibited. This man speaks with perception and full understanding, recognition, intuition, and personal insight to his direction.
Be wary of musicians who hold to one genre only like a religion. And be more wary still of the musician who switches genres with the times. All those bands who cut their hair and remove the stage makeup in order to join the current scene……meaning their previous style must not have been who they really were, or even something they cared very strongly about if they could drop it like that. Especially to remain popular. They sold this lifestyle and music to their fans. It’s good enough to sell to the fans, but they are not true believers if they can then drop it like that.
I am happy to report that it is a rare pleasure working with a true artist. For John does not change with any cultural breeze, nor does he remain static in his music or performances.
The ultimate minority will always suffer, will always be under attack in a culture comprised of sheep. (Anonymous JZ Knight)
Source: SLEEP CHAMBER~”The 90’s”
A visual and historic look at SLEEP CHAMBER in the 90’s. Featuring Mr.John Zewizz’s infamous BARBITCHUETTE dancers, the band members and the unpredictable shows. THE BARBITCHUETTES were included in all the live Performances to bring more erotica to the stage and amplify the dynamic of the lyrics as well as Performance. The following photos were provided by: LUNA TSUKI, LISA GOURLEYX, VINNY, LAURA GRAFF, PROPAGANDA & INFO MAGAZINE,FRED BURGER,KEVIN KELLY and others who may be marked on the photo. With much respect- Thank you. Paul O’Niel
“THE NINETIES” … SLEEP CHAMBER …
After going through many a line-up and the relationship ov that Line-up be it in the Band or now in THE BARBITCHUETTE line-up takes now an emotional toll. There are line-ups that you fight your way out ov mentally. Some have been physical too. And there are line-ups you hate to see go. Both in musick and in performance. Not only does the talent depart the ghost ov the person also leaves. You never forget anyone. Well, its quite rare. The nineties waz the most active and successful time period SLEEP CHAMBER . Most ov the Live Performances I would tribute to THE BARBITCHUETTES. A group ov female fetish:burlesque performers and dancers . Created by Laura Graff and Myself around 1991. I had tried a few line-ups to end the shows with. It just waz not what I wanted. Laura had suggested that if we had enough girls that we could have different girls for different songs. At the beginning it waz not eazy finding “BARBITCHUETTES”. (yes I came up with the name instantly, it just fit !). I had some stripper friends. Well, the mixture ov ‘uninhibited friends’ and ‘stripper friends’ made THE BARBITCHUETTES perfect. It waz constantly unpredictable and kaotic most all ov the time. When we were all together. A kaos that I am unable to explain other than to guess. I assume that the blue-blood sex-line waz constantly flexing its mind muscle. The SLEEP CHAMBER ov the 80’s waz something very different. Now the SLEEP CHAMBER ov thev 90’s waz beyond different. Not only were the Performances getting more unique the Band waz somehow ? working parts ou..!! They were working together. With no help from Me !!. Now I could spend the time needed to do what I needed to do. Organize theze 20 or so people into a real SLEEP CHAMBER. The concept I had since the beginning. Now I had the time, the sexuality and the muscle. I knew the 90’s would pick up the ‘fetish scene’. Especially in clubs in Boston like the already gay & kinky MANRAY in Cambridge. SLEEP CHAMBER had at least 5-6 years on any ‘scene’ that claimed from being anything from the “Fetish” movement. We were never interested in running or dominating the ‘Sex Movement”…that waz up to other Individuals. SLEEP CHAMBERS role waz simple. We were the entertainment and Consultants in advice and Enlightenment. I waz leaving the satanic, mystickal style that I waz still evolving into. I waz moving away from the sub-sonic frequencies, flashing and strobing video screens in exchange for what ? What ??? A modern underground fetish Cabaret performance that haz yet to be matched. Maintaining all the sexuality and aura from the 1984 release ov “FLESH ON FLESH” or the 1985 release “SUBMIT TO DESIRE”.
Within the years ov 1990-1999 SLEEP CHAMBER played a small Tour in Texas 1990. Did their LEATHER & LAYTEX” (Tour ov Calif)1992. Did a Tour ov Germany 1997. And managed to play THE LIMELIGHT -(in 92,94 & 95)- before they closed them Down., Thats not to mention releasing theze releases: SLEEP OR FOREVER HOLD YOU PIECE-(LP & CD), SIRKLE ZERO-(DVD &CD), SONOROUS INVOKATIONS OV BRIAN JONES-(10″LKP/ CD), SECRETS OV 23-(LP & CD). SACROSANCT-(CD), SOPOR CD, SEDUCTION-(CD & DVD), SIAMESE SUCCUBI-(CD & DVD), “LIVE @ THE LIMELIGHT 1994-(DVD),SENTINEL SARANADE -(CD), SLEEPING SICKNESS-(CD), SOME GODZ DIE YOUNG-(CD), SOME GODZ DIE YOUNG-(ED-EP), “CATWOMAN”-(12″vinyl EP), “JUSTIFY MY LOVE-(Red vinyl 45)….to name but a few…
“WERE THERE CLICKS IN THE BAND ? OR WITH THE BARBITCHUETTES ?”
ZEWIZZ: Yes, ov course. There are always clicks in everything. Oh boy,… did we have ‘clicks’… with the Band, it waz males pulling typical male-ego stunts. (with males its always a fight for that space on the ladder). The hierarchy steps. Most people are always looking up. Males are naturally and instinctively competitive when it kums to other males. So, most ov their behavior iz predictable. And expected. So, you have to set an example ov ‘dominance’. There are all sorts ov ways ov exerting dominance. Usually from experiences you gain from working with all sorts ov people. Mainly. Experiences. Good & Bad. THE BARBITCHUETTES were a totally different dynamic altogether. Girls/Women have totally different emotional needs than Men. Az much az female vanity can be a pain-in-the-ass, it can also be very female. The ‘Clicks’ in the “Pride” consisted ov females who were not interested in interacting with other females-(Hetro). There waz always a constant scoping for ‘who’ waz alone, and ‘who’ waz with ‘who’. There waz always looking for fun & action. Parting and sex. THE BARBITCHUETTES waz My first view ov a group ov females and how they either dis-liked one or another. Or how the strangest female-strong relationships slipped off to the side to enjoy one another in public or private states ov mind. With females, they are in control ov most Hetro relationships. Az BARBITCHUETTES the bi-females would always be inter-mixing their social interests. They always had more power and choices than any ov SLEEP CHAMBER. There waz always relationships going on between guys in SLEEP CHAMBER and THE BARBITCHUETTES. At one point I had made a RULE that no Band members could date a BARBITCHUETTE. This waz because (unlike Me) if a BARBITCHUETTE got hurt by a member ov SLEEP CHAMBER we might lose a BARBITCHUETTE. If someone in SLEEP CHAMBER got hurt we could lose a Guitar or Synth player. (quite a difference). It only happen a few times and it waz a BARBITCHUETTE that got ‘hurt’…usually. This waz affecting MY BARBITCHUETTES. It did not take long before I realized that I did not like this situation too much. I tried to enforce this code to no avail. People in lust…just sneak behind your back. I waz enjoying My rank in SLEEP CHAMBER very nicely. There waz a ‘rumor’, ‘story’, ‘fable’ …whatever. That if you wanted to be a BARBITCHUETTE you had to SLEEP with Me. I don’t know how long the girls were going by that …but when I found out, I waz not that mad. I really have no idea where that story came from. And yes, I let it ride till I got asked about it in an Interview in front My girlfriend. I acted oblivious and waz not currently checking any females for their BARBITCHUETTE luck. I had relationships with about 60% ov THE BARBITCHUETTES. I could have pushed it for more. But just waz not interested. And I waz in a relationship.(twice). Funny thing iz…when you can get all the sex & fun you want, its just not that exciting when its that available. (more to follow).
By JOHN ZEWIZZ
The above waz from a ‘seized’ package ov Cassette covers from the release “LIVE AT THE AIR STATION 85”. The customs agents considered the covers ‘flyers’ and that they were ‘Obscene’ I had to go to a ‘customs hearing’ and “surrender by signature” the Cassette covers to be destroyed! Az you can see by the CD cover its just poor quality French postcards from the early 1900’s. Yet the Law says “Importing” iz very different than what iz already in the Country. I signed the contract ‘ov destruction ov Obscene material’ paid a fine and never got a copy ov the paper I signed because in a Federal building they like to vanish and leave you waiting around for someone they don’t know how to find. And you get NO COPY.
Az far az what iz collectible its totally up to the person collecting. I’ve been collecting different items thru out the years. Everything on a certain subject I’m interested in iz collectible. All items that bring the focus ov the dynamic into more information and possessing the original iz also very satisfying to a collector. Some are more extreme than others. Other collectors are more interested in items that are rare. There are fanatic collectors that collect everything possible to maintain their collections. To be considered a serious collector having a complete or impressive collection. Like I said most ov it iz based on unusual and Rare material. Some items can be one-ov-a-kind or items no one saved or assumed that at the time that object waz ov no value. (Like Elvis or Beatles items ov their time). “Oh, if I had held onto that Elvis book instead ov cutting all the pages out” … “I had that Beatles 45 but it got lost”. We have all heard or have said the same thing . Lets start with Posters, Handbills and Ticket Stubs. You would think Posters would be worth more than say Ticket stubs. Well, I have seen Mint or unused condition Ticket stubs be worth more to some than a Mint Poster. It all haz to do with the collectors taste. (Below: Posters,Ticket stubs,Handbills, Magazines, Fanzines,Stickers, and Flyers). From 1980’s and 1990’s. This by No Means iz all the SLEEP CHAMBER collectibles out there.
Now this iz not a lot ov items at all. There are Press-Releases, Band bio’s, Newspaper Clippings, Rare pix, postcards, Catwoman Lunchbox,Napkin,Sticker & Card, Lyric sheets, Set Lists-(from shows) and much much more. I have been saving everything I can since the beginning. Yet only started collecting SLEEP CHAMBER Memorabilia seriously since the 90’s. Much ov the pre 90’s Memorabilia iz the real Rare finds. Especially the Cassettes and early Posters. All the vinyl by SLEEPCHAMBER iz out-ov-print. So finding Vinyl iz a tough trick. Autographs are also in high demand. If you own anything autographed by members ov SLEEPCHAMBER consider it one ov the top ‘in demand’ items that are sought after. There are copies ov Notices I have gotten from different situations like ‘Seizures ov LP’s, Cassette covers’,etc. Individuals collect Musick in all formats on a regular basis. Limited Editions are always grabbed up instantly.
The above dokuent waz something I came across in my mailbox. The Insurance Company hired the above company to follow Me while I waz out ov work on an injury. They were trying to see if I waz working while out injured on the MBTA. (15 page report with pix ov Me & Girlfriend)…What a Find !!!
(Below) SEREMONY CD with Tarot Cards, BABYLON-(test pressing & LP slick), Justify My Love-(7″45’s RED & Black vinyl), BABYLON-(rare cover), Mescaline Dreams-(DVD), Secrets ov 23-(LP)230 made, SLEEP OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PIECE-(Vinyl LP) Promo White Label, Autographed SUCCUBI EP, Satanic Sanction (1st pressing/flat finish).
(official “Backstage Notice”) 1993
SLEEP CHAMBER~ “Sexmagick Ritual” (Test Pressing) Vinyl LP 1987 -(3- pressed)
BOOTLEG Releases. Many ‘bootleg releases’ have been released over the past 20 years. Starting with cassettes. Since they were so easy to make many just made zerox copies ov
the covers and material waz usually anything from ‘hard-to-find’ material to ‘Live’ material. Unreleased studio material waz az usual harder to find. There iz some ‘Live FM-broadcasts’ that were bootlegged early on in the game. SLEEP CHAMBER waz on a ‘Live in the Radio studio’ tour. Starting in 1984 up until 1987 SLEEP CHAMBER played their favorite radio stations. All ov them being College stations. Obviously ‘commercial’ air-waves were less than unfriendly to the musick ov SLEEP CHAMBER. And in those days SLEEP CHAMBER waz playing mostly all experimental and Ritual musick on FM Radio shows. It waz rare to slip in an actual Song to the set. If it waz done…the Song waz always dark or oblique. Or a combination ov both. One ov the most impressive bootleg releases waz a Japanese (3-CD & 1-DVD) Box-Set. All material waz ‘unreleased studio or live’ on the CDs. The DVD waz a collection ov TV Material. (fro From the early 90’s). Cable TV and Local musick channels followed SLEEP CHAMBER to many Performances knowing what to expect. A band without a category and a performance without doubt original and entertaining.
Not to mention SLEEP CHAMBER had a shuffling ov ‘rumors’ and Venue banning’s that always had some sort ov story following us around . It waz not too long before I just let the ‘rumors’ & ‘stories’ flow. Can you imagine trying to block or stop the stories that just kept growing ? Some true…some not. All sensational and mystified.
Some ov the bootleg CDs that came from the UK were “STRAY CAT FLESH”. A great collection ov a Rolling Stones cover-tune “Stray Cat Blues”. (studio session 3-versions) still unreleased to date. A collection ov Unreleased Mixes ov “The Light Pours Out ov Me”. 2-Unreleased versions ov “Thats Romance”. Finishing up this collection waz studio sessions ov “Way ov the Flesh”. (including dialogue and unreleased studio jam sessions). Don’t let the Cover ov this CD fool you. I’m sure if it had a better cover it would be az popular az a regular SLEEP CHAMBER release. The material contained iz priceless. Az far az dokumentation and what ‘did-not-get-released’ …this iz a Gem.
Another UK bootleg waz called “SNAKEBITE”. Rekorded Live @ The Middle East 7/13/94. A Performance that waz broadcast in ‘quadraphonic’ stereo. I rented a 2nd P.A. System so I could play a 4-track master through (pan left/ pan right) in STEREO. 4-different channels playing 4-different trax. There waz not only left & right. There waz also front & back ov the Venue. Although the CD does not capture the quadraphonic sound. You can clearly hear the power & sonics ov the Show. This waz the second time I attempted to do this 4-Channel/Quad-Stereo. I did not mind renting a 2nd PA System. I knew that it would all establish what My Plans were for this Performance. For the second time. I figured I should have worked out the kinks by now. Whomever released this bootleg had an insight ov how important the Show waz. Even though the Plan to release both sets-(1st Ritual/ 2nd w/BARBITCHUETTES) az a 2-CD set ov 5.1 stereo Quadra:Stereo sound. Plans for releasing products like this are very rare. Its either all talk. (Bullshit). Or like this project. Someone else saw the potential behind theze plans and made a bootleg CD out ov a project that fell short ov the runway…After 2-different attempts to finalize this “Live Rekording’:” …I left it to the wind. Not all SLEEP CHAMBER projects make it to the final stages. I went az far az I could. After theze 2 attempts I moved onto something else.
Az you can see by this dokument…they did not want to make anymore Vinyl LP’s after “SLEEP OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PIECE”. Stating that “The Mastering Lab were complaining about the Musick “. When they make Vinyl..NO ONE LISTENS TO THE MUSICK. They just press vinyl blobs into Vinyl records. There iz No Listening to ANYTHING !…(unless they want to load it up and listen privately)..manes no sense this LIE. Also the statement about “Complaints from Customers”….I’m a fucking Customer !!..I’ve had at least 10 or more Vinyl products made here over a 8 year period. But the SOUND CHOICE Mag went after them for such silly statements. After this FUNFUNDIVERZIG RECORDS in Germany started to make all the SLEEP CHAMBER CDs there. There waz also other very friendly European independent labels that released other SLEEP CHAMBER Musickal products. Like KLANG GALERIE-Austria and OLD EUROPIA CAFE-Italy. After 2000 I started the INNER-X-MUSICK office to start releasing the current Musick we were rekording. (Below: KISS THE WHIP lyrics) written in the Newbury Sound Studio 1986.
I must have one ov the biggest SLEEPCHAMBER collections in the world. And I’m still searching for memorabilia I don’t own. Its not an obsession like sexuality to Me. Its more ov a responsibility to maintain the SLEEPCHAMBER archives. I will not be here one day. I want to feel like what life I lived ment something to someone. Judging from your letters..I’ve changed many individuals lives. And thats just what I wanted. Az long az that iz the insight, I’ll do it az long az I am able. I’ve fought the Club Owners & the Record Companies. And I’m STILL HERE.
When we released “SIAMESE SUCCUBI” the BATMAN Movie waz just out. I waz able to find a lot ov “CATWOMAN” items. We also released a Vinyl 12″EP ov re-mixes. It waz being called “The Catwoman 12″…instead ov the “Remixed EP”…that waz fine with Me. The best thing with this release waz the “PROMO COPY” ov it. It came complete with stickers, a napkin and a card.
Other “RARE Releases” from Europe were a 7″Vinyl Picture disc by SLEEPCHAMBER containing an experimental outtake called “Cookoo Cock”/”Reality Revealed”(live). Only 100 were made.
I could ‘Go On’ and maybe I’ll just update this section from time-to-time. So check back. Right Now I just want to smoke a Good Cigar. See you on the Whip Side Brothers….John. I can not remember just who took this picture ov Me smoking a Cigar in Manray. LAURA GRAFF or LUNA TSUKI. I’m sure I’ll hear. The date ?…When you could smoke in Bars !! (Anubus below).
After failures with Ze-Wizz-Kidz & GREEN SEX I Started SLEEP CHAMBER in the early months ov 1982. I started releasing cassettes and 7″singles. I eventually started to release Vinyl LPs. The first LP (self titled)SLEEP CHAMBER waz released in a very small pressing. (300 only) because ov the mastering being so bad. I waz working with the Line-ups ov EUGENE DIFRANCISCO,RICH GELLER, DARLINE VICTOR, COUP de GRACE, JONATHAN BRILEY, LARRY VAN HORN, TIONE, and MALCOLM SMITH. At times there were ‘fill-ins’ for Performances when someone could not make it or Quit. What do you want Me to say ? I run a tight ship, yes..there waz fighting and arguing…but there waz Never any Question (to anyone) what alpha ran SLEEP CHAMBER even in theze days. EUGENE DIFRANCISCO~ waz there from the beginning. I even tried to hijack hiz band THE PRODUCT after producing them in the Studio for a 7″single. I ended up with hiz loyalty till 1992 off and on. Many people still request JONATHAN BRILEY. You ask “what ever happen to him?”…He Quit in 1991 right after rekording the LP “SLEEP,OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PIECE. He showed up at 2 different Shows in the audience. I always got him up on the stage to do a Song. Only problem waz he could not even remember the words to “THATS ROMANCE”. He had a wife and 2 kids by then. He waz not interested in hiz children knowing about hiz activity with SLEEP CHAMBER. When he visited Me…I would have the Studio all set-up and would ask him to help out…Jonathan refused. After a few ov those visits he stopped visiting and vanished from My life. I heard he iz doing good and still visits record shops in Boston. That waz how I met him. He walked into My record shop one day asking for “Tangerine Dream” LP’s. LARRY VAN HORN iz another member who just vanished. After moving a few times we lost touch. I could not locate him after hiz phone number had changed. COUP de GRACE-(Michael Moynihan) left during the rekording ov “BABES OV BABYLON” because it waz “Too Disco”..it waz 1986..Disco waz “in”…him and TOMAS THORN tried to snag JONATHAN BRILEY for ‘their band’ but it did not work. After the drama ov ‘he said this & that about you’..JONATHAN called and we agreed to meet in Harvard Square. I went there to fight. All three ov them if I had to. After a few words to My alpha brother JONATHAN he waz in tears for a loyalty slip. He waz right back at my side 1986-1991. MICHAEL MOYNIHAN went on to work with DEATH IN JUNE and eventually started hiz own project BLOOD AXIS. Then we have RICH GELLER who left after Michael Moynihan spray painted a Swastika on the floor ov the dressing room ov THE RAT-Boston in 1986 (our 1st show there). I don’t think he knew RICH waz Jewish. (1985-1986). DARLINE VICTOR just sort ov left and returned a few Studio times and once in the 90’s to play Bass with us at THE MIDDLE EAST. She waz less than happy about My new addition-(THE BARBITCHUETTES). She rekorded a solo vinyl LP that went no where. Met a boyfriend and vanished. (1994-1997). She returned in the early 90’s to program the drums for “COBRA HEARTBEAT” & “BESIDE DANNAE”. With MALCOLM SMITH he left SLEEP CHAMBER in 1995 just before the rekording ov “SUBMIT TO DESIRE” to bekum a Tibetan Monk. And did !!. TIONE never waz really happy playing Guitar for SLEEP CHAMBER. He hated wearing the SLEEP CHAMBER “uniform”az he use to call it-(wearing All Black). Right after the 1989 Tour ov Texas. 1988-1989. There waz a lot ov good rekordings done in theze days. From the 1st LP to SEXMAGICK RITUAL. All members were always spotted in the rekordings ov Songs. It waz whoever I could find to go into the Studio at the time. Some Songs only are rekorded by 2 ov us. “The Light Pours Out ov Me”-(Me & Eugene) or “Site ov Pain,Site ov Pleasure” & “Thats Romance”-(Me & Jonathan). There are trax that are only rekorded by Myself. The one thing many people could Never get straight waz when SLEEP CHAMBER rekorded a ‘ritual’ type ov release they thought that waz the only type ov Musick that SLEEP CHAMBER waz going to release. SEXMAGICK RITUAL, SATANIC SANCTION, SECRETS OV 23,and SIRKLE ZERO. Most ov you know by now I can rekord Songs or Instrumental musick. It all depends on what mood the line-up brings to the table. To Me..Songs are the hardest. Just look at the rekording ov the track “The Light Pours Out ov Me”…and thats only 1-Song..!! (below) “Rekording the Song “The Light Pours Out ov Me” Newbury Sound-Boston. Jeff Dovner-(Rip)Engineer 1990
(Below: John Zewizz & Eugene Difrancisco rekord “THE LIGHT POURS OUT OV ME” at Newbury Sound Studio) Engineer: Jeff Dovner )
SLEEP CHAMBER (Craig Wein,Ashley Swanson,John Zewizz,Andrew Woolf,Jay Keegan)
. SLEEP CHAMBER’s style was always dark and kept evolving because of the constant changing of members in the line up. You never knew who you would see on stage and who would be on their releases. Zewizz was the show. It was his band. He was the Performance.. It did not matter what Zewizz did. The shows were always entertaining and profound. Curiosity always packed venues to the limit. Zewizz would burn so much of his home-made incense that people drank more than normal. The venues loved this because they made so much off the alcohol. SLEEP CHAMBER made a unique habit of getting banned by local night clubs after a full performance of SLEEP CHAMBER antics . The live performances grew with something new or unusual for each next show. Zewizz would not do a show unless he had something more entertaining than the past performance. Zewizz hates being predictable. There was constantly something somewhat unacceptable at every show. At one show a dead Python was thrown into the audience. When it was thrown back onto Zewizz’s stage it burst open spewing dead baby Pythons onto the Band and audience..(Melody Lounge-Allston).
At The Lizard Lounge in Boston SLEEP CHAMBER had done a New Years Eve show in 1988. There was a sexual subculture evolving. Everyone wanted part of the scene SLEEP CHAMBER was systematically planning. Nothing Zewizz ever did waz by mistake. His reasons were always intentional. The scene turned into the Boston “fetish scene” and its grown quite a bit.. It all started with the below review in The Boston Phoenix newspaper. Bondage was in and happening. But Zewizz wanted no part ov the scene. He tends to keep his personal life as private as possible. Whats bizarre is that Zewizz is not fond of crowds or scenes. But performs to large crowds.
At Mass College of Art (Palace Roads Theater ) a rusty exhaust pipe system was thrown around the stage only to end up hitting people in the front row. Causing some in the audience to be injured. Member Jonathan Briley was hit in the balls by a rusty motorcycle chain (accidentally by Zewizz) . This was true ‘Industrial music’.Even the audience became part of the SLEEP CHAMBER mission to shock and subdue. These were the “early days”. Sensory overload by strobing TV screens,,heavy EQ sub-bass,incense, and fog everywhere. SLEEP CHAMBER led by Zewizz and Briley waz quite the performance. The music was loud and brutal.The combination of the home-made (rumored narcotic) incense and completely engulfing the audience in fog was unsettling . Close to out of body experience.The B&D aspect was always obvious by the bands leather pants and bondage belt attire.
(Above: MASS COLLEGE OF ART Show) LINK to BRILEY doing his “Site ov Pain-Site ov Pleasure” Live @ Palace Roads theater . The sound waz so loud it crazy. Zewizz banging pipes looking like he was looking for a fight. The audience was alive and captured by some sort of trance rhythms. I got to admit it was exciting to say the least. SLEEP CHAMBER is not for everyone. That is clear. But the ones that are into this dark rhythm music are totally on a different level. They seem to pay their homage by loyalty. ‘Magick’ laced itself into the music through sharp sounds of metal percussion, shrieks from human thigh bone horns and trance tones from Tibetan sacred instruments (bells,horns and flutes). SLEEP CHAMBER’s 80’s performances were mixed in a doctrine of ritual instrumentals and dead-pan vocals narrated over drum machine beats and synth waves. In the very first shows Zewizz use to always sing with his eyes closed. I thought this was why they called themselves SLEEP CHAMBER. Perfect. The singer sleeps while he sings. It was obvious Zewizz was still working out the kinks of just what he wanted out of SLEEP CHAMBER. It grew fast. The release of “SIRKLE ZERO” proved that Zewizz,Briley,Larry Van Horn and now Arthur Woznik were releasing some of the best ritual electronic music. Zewizz was even releasing videos from the songs on VHS tape.
The CD~”SECRETS OV 23″ was music left over from SIRKLE ZERO. Its a great CD but should have been released as a double CD . Because both were released on the same Italian label. Musica Maxima Magnetica. months apart and recorded at the same recording sessions. The release of “Secrets ov 23″ the limited edition of 230 copies on vinyl was a perfect limited edition. The CD does have some really insightful music dealing with the number 23 . 10 years before the movie The Number 23” with JIM CAREY was released. The Vinyl LP has 2 tracks not found on the CD release.
By the time I saw them at Ground Zero in Cambridge the line-up had changed yet again. They had added a synth player (Arthur Woznik) and a Sax player (Laura Chopelas). The music had also changed. Instead of songs like “Flesh on Flesh” and “Babes ov Babylon” there were new rhythmic styled tracks like “Snakebite” and “No Ones Heart Beats Harder”. A natural progression I guess. I was unsure if I was game for the new direction SLEEP CHAMBER was heading for. They were using less industrial style percussion by 1990.There were less instrumental pieces too. SLEEP CHAMBER was growing out of their antic style performances and almost seemed to be heading for ‘dance music’. (?). Or so it seemed.
After the release of the “Sleep or Forever Hold Your Piece” LP Zewizz had not failed us. The cover version of “The Light Pours Out ov Me” was a top shelf attempt at the group MAGAZINE’s well known favorite. Covered by other groups PETER MURPHY, MINISTRY, LUXURIA,and others. This song was the only SLEEP CHAMBER song that included real drums. All other SLEEP CHAMBER songs are drum machine beats. Jonathan Briley’s “That’s Romance” was unlike anything Briley had attempted in the past. It was dark and sexual.It was story theme based. Lyrics like this were new to Briley. It still became an instant SLEEP CHAMBER classic. You hear the audience requesting it at shows. “El Topo” was the dark percussive style you expected from SLEEP CHAMBER. An honorable mention for “Mrs Goodbar”. The LP song is about 5-minutes long. When performed live as the closing song right after “Kiss The Whip” live versions are anywhere from 10- to 15-minutes long..!! They also added ripping open pillows and showering the complete venue with feathers silly string and all sorts of confetti. At The Paradise-Boston they tore open a sleeping bag that included very small feathers that managed to cover everything in sight, including everyone’s drinks. The CHANNEL in Boston 1985 Michael Moynihen and Zewizz covered the club in a hail storm of feathers and silly string. There was such a mess that they were refused payment for their performance. The 80’s was SLEEP CHAMBERS childhood. They had evolved from an industrial muscle band to a S&M styled synth band. Zewizz structured SLEEP CHAMBER around sexuality with great classic’s “Red Panties”, “Submit to Desire” and “Kiss the Whip”. The next era was “Dominatrix”, “Snakebite” and “Babes ov Babylon”. After finishing up 2 tours ov Texas in 89 & 90 SLEEP CHAMBER had lived up to their reputation of being the holly~men of sex and sorcery. Jonathan Briley left SLEEP CHAMBER in 1993. After recording,touring and performing with SLEEP CHAMBER from his first show at Mass College of Art 1986. For reasons being unclear. Zewizz has stated it was to continue his married situation. Zewizz was now working with Elaine Walker for the release “Siamese Succubi”. Members included Ashley Swanson, Elaine Walker,Laura Chopelas and Zewizz. The CD had all new areas of new sexuality that Zewizz played so well. “Catwoman” an instant classic. “Animal Magnetism” and “Cockwork” followed the SLEEP CHAMBER dreams to songs of femme fatale and vampire sexuality. Zewizz seems to have this ongoing never ending obsession with the female role in sexuality. His themes seem endless.
So where does all this go ? SLEEP CHAMBER has managed to continue to advance and push its way through the sexual underground and the musical and magical cults of the 80’s and now 90’s. Remaining still focused. I wonder what Zewizz was planning back in 1985 with the SUBMIT TO DESIRE LP. Also pushed into the line-ups of releases in the early 90’s was the very tribal trance CD “SONOROUS INVOKATIONS OV BRIAN JONES”. First released az a 10’vinyl LP. Back to a fully instrumental release. Listed on the cover as: “Featuring the Illusionary Musick ov SLEEP CHAMBER”. This release is fantastic. The music is not like any previous styles of music SLEEP CHAMBER has done.Very middle eastern influenced.Very tribally electronic. Entangled in percussion loops, drone electronics and haunting flutes and bells. The CD is missing a track or two from the vinyl release.But does contain extra bonus material not on the vinyl release. The music is as powerful as the infamous 1987 “Sexmagick Ritual” release. The music wanders around the psyche looking for alpha brain waves to tease. Zewizz has said that Vol.#2 is finished and mastered for release. But sits on a shelf waiting for the right time to be released.
If you look into Brian Jones face you will see the swimming pool that Brian drown in. You can see the pool ladder and branches from trees around the pool. The cover and back layout is done by Zewizz.
In 1997 SLEEP CHAMBER released “SOME GODZ DIE YOUNG” and toured Germany. Zewizz admits that this release was titled for being SLEEP CHAMBERS last release. After the tour of Germany and the new international interests Zewizz said he was forced to reconsider his decision to discontinue SLEEP CHAMBER. This release was released in 2 CD releases. The main release was by FUNFUNDIVERZIG in Germany. A complete CD. The next version was an EP of remixes and alternate versions. I favor the full release. It contains an assortment of mixed styles of music. From the original early style SLEEP CHAMBER in “Kum de Profundis” and “Hybrid Black Orchid” to the more progressive “Salome” ,”Silvermoon”, and “Nightshade & Lemonade” . Zewizz seems to be writing his lyrics with more emotion in this release. Dark and moody.
.The material from this CD was done along the 1997 German Tour. “Salome” was the favorite till “Silvermoon” was discovered. This track is like nothing SLEEP CHAMBER has ever done. Zewizz pours his broken heart out in the very melancholy piece. As foreign as this Song is from the range of SLEEP CHAMBER songs. It will steal your heart away. Being a slow song Zewizz has only did it less than 5 times. Zewizz says its not a live song. It does not fit in the set. Zewizz has admitted that it was written for an ex-girlfriend he was still madly in love with. SLEEP CHAMBER still fails to disappoint.
The alternate versions on the above EP are superior to the full CD versions. Oddly the above CD was brought to Zewizz after a murder of a ‘nanny’ in the area he was living. by the police. Asking Zewizz if he was into “this sort of thing” The Nanny was found in a dumpster down the street missing her head,arms and legs. So you can see why the police would have questions about a CD they went out and bought to investigate Zewizz with. This actually went to a ‘federal’ level where Zewizz had to deal with being followed and watched by the FBI. I thought this was the end for SLEEP CHAMBER. Zewizz always seems to bounce back from the plague of issues he is constantly surrounded by. He’s just that kind of guy.
The “SOME GODZ DIE YOUNG” CD was so popular that a bootleg of studio versions-(some better than released versions) was circulating and in high demand. Cleverly titled “SOME GODZ NEVER DIE”..there are 3 different versions I found. Just cover differences in 2 but the 3rd version had different material. Wild remixes of “INFATUATION” …which now ends the SLEEP CHAMBER performances. Replacing “Mrs Goodbar” with a 10-minute version of “Infatuation”. The perfect song for the ambush of feathers,confetti and silly string. Moving even closer to a dance style music. When Zewizz starts to sing it all comes together as another SLEEP CHAMBER classic. the quality of the bootleg “SOME GODZ NEVER DIE” is just as good as the official release. The recordings have some dialogue and studio clicks & beeps. But the songs and jams are excellent quality stereo. the version of “Hiss ov Her Kiss” is much better than the released version. For this alone you should own this CD..
Over the years SLEEP CHAMBER has released more than enough music for anyone to enjoy and experience. As with all things I fear the time maybe sooner than later that SLEEP CHAMBER could be just a kiss away from leaving us all. THOMAS WHITNEY
by Luna Tsuki, Lisa Gourleyx, Laura Graff, Kevin Kelly, Vinny, Propaganda Magazine, & Sue Chopelas
The 90’s SLEEP CHAMBER line-Ups were: EUGENE DIFRANCISCO, ASHLEY SWANSON, LARRY VAN HORN, JAY KEEGAN, ANDREW WOOLF, CRAIG WEIN, ELAINE WALKER, LAURA CHOPELAS, ARTHUR WOZNIK-(Rip), JOHN ZEWIZZ (and for a few shows JONATHAN BRILEY & DARLINE VICTOR). Soundmen: HARRY WALLACE & RICHARD-(Rip)-