KW: First off, I want to thank you, Jeremy, for allowing me to take up some of your time with this interview. I have enjoyed your music and began wondering a few things that I'm guessing other listeners would also like to know, so, thank you again for indulging me.
KW: Although the world is shrinking and people talk about the "global village," it's still a pretty big village. You and Vitaly live on opposite sides of the planet. How did you get together?
JM: Back in 1999, Vitaly contacted me by email and asked if I would send him CDs for reviewing purposes. I responded and that's when our friendship began.
KW: How did this album come into being? What was the process of recording? Did you follow a similar order in how each of the pieces was recorded?
JM: The recording process went amazingly smooth and was one of the fastest projects I had ever done taking only 3 months to record. The music was recorded by Vitaly in Uzbekistan and then completed in the USA by me in my home studio. The pieces featuring Brian Hirsch were recorded in California at his studio and then completed in my studio in Michigan.
KW: Who wrote which tracks or were they all truly collaborative?
JM: #1 Desert Winds: Vitaly & Jeremy, #2 Spiral Vortex: Jeremy and Brian Hirsch, #3 Alien Nation: Jeremy and Brian Hirsch, #4 Pearl Of Great Price: Vitaly & Jeremy, #5 Battle Zone: Jeremy and Brian Hirsch, #6 Final Victory: Jeremy and Brian Hirsch, #7 The Journey Home: Vitaly & Jeremy.
KW: In the liner notes, there is a third name, Brian Hirsch, who is also credited with writing duties. The album is dedicated to his memory. Who was Brian and what happened to him?
JM: Brian and I were friends. He lived in California and I in Michigan. In 1998 he started his own label (Moonchild) and I was the first artist signed to the label. He released my CD "Salt the Planet" in 1999. Brian and I both have a love for progressive music so we started recording together. I began working with Brian on the recording of his next album, which was going to be called "Freak Mountain". During the next couple years Brian became very depressed. His younger sister had committed suicide, and his Father was dying of cancer. To make things worse, his record label Moonchild was failing financially and losing money. I had many discussions with Brian about his problems. These were very dark days for Brian. I think Brian became frustrated with a world that was ignoring his music and his art. One day Brian disappeared from off the face of the earth. No one knows where he is. The day before his disappearance, Brian purchased a gun. This was not a good sign. Brian's truck was found abandoned in the mountains of California. However, his body has never been found. So there is still a possibility Brian could be alive. If he is, nobody knows where he is today. Brian was truly a tortured artist. He wanted to make the world a better place by providing good music as an art. Sadly, like so many artists, the world ignored him and his talent. We have fulfilled and carried on Brian's dream by making and dedicating the CD "The Pearl of Great Price" to him and his legacy.
KW: This being an instrumental album, how did you decide on the names for the tracks? In particular, what does the title of the CD mean? I noticed that the cover art includes a pearl, which, if you look carefully, bears a strong resemblance to planet Earth.
JM: Vitaly and I both worked together on writing and titling the pieces of music. The title "The Pearl of great price" comes from the Bible. For God so loved the world (The Pearl) that he gave his only begotten. Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (JOHN, 3:16).
KW: Are the drums all electronic or did you use any acoustic percussion?
JM: Vitaly and Brian Hirsch used some electronic drums for the recordings, while I added some real drums and percussions to the recordings.
KW: Perhaps it's too early to ask, but I will anyway. Do you have plans for future collaborations with Vitaly? If so, will they be similar or would you want to explore new musical territory?
JM: I would like to do another project with Vitaly and if he agrees to, I think it will happen.