For those of us sick and tired of the production line singer-songwriters cluttering up the airwaves with their oh-so-easy straight-out-the-can melodies; The Challenge of Feral Green (more precisely Sebastian Rogers) offers something a little different. We caught up with Sebastian to find out a little more about his unconventional approach to the music business:

R13: So for those new to you and your music, who is The Challenge of Feral Green?
SR: Can the question be what is TCOFG? The other question has a somewhat more boring and inaccurate answer (i.e. little old me). TCOFG was a project I started foremost as a vehicle for collaborating with other singer songwriters - it's a creative environment for people (including myself) to work within, without influence from the bullshit that sometimes makes making music a tedious bore.

Letting things like song writing and performance be 'feral' is a battle not just against the established music industry but against your own vanity and ego. We all want to present this image of effortless perfection.... but it's a meaningless waste of time and energy. If you manage to get peoples love and respect that way, you'll ultimately never be satisfied, as it's never really you they're loving - it's some constructed idol.

R13: How did you get into writing and playing music?
SR: At the age of 8 I was sold into slavery. For 5 years I was forced to play the lute in the bed chamber of a rich Arab man, while he made love to a constantly growing collection of young brides. By the age of 13 I could no longer suppress the desire to openly masturbate while playing. I was soundly thrashed for my lack of self discipline and cast out, bleeding and half dead, into the dessert. Ever since I have been wandering and struggling to make a meager income from the only skill I posses.... masturbation.

R13: Do you have any particular influences to your music, or people who’ve inspired you?
SR: The list is endless and constantly growing - but the artists I work along side influence and inspire me the most I think. My musician friends are a mirror in which I feel I can see a reflection of my own strengths and failings. When I work or live along side them, I can glimpse what is positive in their world compared to mine and what I should be aspiring to. I love them - more than I could comfortably express openly to them! :) I find them beautiful. That's people in general too though, I'm constantly inspired by people I meet.

R13: As a producer as well as a musician, which is your first love?
SR: They are both just ways of experiencing music - which is my first love. Which one suits me best depends on my frame of mind on any given day. Both experiences can be shit if you're lost and life affirming and joyous if you've got your ego and priorities in check.

R13: You have an EP out already- when can we expect an album? SR: The Challenge of Feral Green E.P was a collaboration with a great singer songwriter called Andrew Taylor. Since then I've made The Internal Mic E.P which is a lo-fi travel journal type affair, recorded exclusively on the internal mic of a lap top while traveling the U.S. Most songs were recorded at the time they were written, wherever I found myself at the time. It's about as 'Feral' as I've ever let myself be.

There's an album of collaborations brewing, but don't expect anything from me. It will be better that way. Expectations kind of fuck with the point of TCOFG. I fight the temptation to service other people’s expectations; it's the enemy of good art...... so fuck you and your expectations!! :)

R13: You’ve recently finished a US living room tour with Red Cassette- how did you two meet? (Feel free to embroider the truth if it makes for a more exciting anecdote).
SR: I was watching him develop over many years from a distance, I knew him to say hello to, but that was it. His unpretentiously individual and honest approach to music was a big part of the inspiration for TCOFG. He's a character, therefore his music has character! He doesn't get in his own way by trying to conform. So I asked him to collaborate on a track with me and it was everything I'd hoped (the Ballad of Feral Green). While he was at my house working, I just asked him whimsically to come to the states with me for a month and to my surprise he said yes.

R13: How was it touring together?
SR: Fuck, there is no way to describe its awesomeness! We were outlaws and troubadours - it was a month we will remember for the rest of our lives, not only because of the new tattoos! :P

Red Cassette is OK with me for life! I like to think I'd take a bullet for him. Stuff happens on the road which is so intense yet so subtle and deep that it drives people together or it drives them apart. It drove us together :)

R13: Are more tours together on the cards, or will you be going solo again for now?
SR: Whenever, forever... solo/ together/ with others... keep your ear to the ground and you'll hear us coming.

R13: As a connoisseur in this area, what is the measure of an awesome house gig for you?
SR: Connecting with people. If that's not your thing then find another way of touring. The closer you get to people the more powerful the experience. It's like the passion you felt for new friends when you were a teenager. I live for that excitement; it doesn't have to stop when you're an old fart like me.

If you keep exposing yourself to new situations where you feel vulnerable and out of your comfort zone - then connecting with others becomes a beautiful and exciting safety net, which you'll jump into head first - It's an openness which accompanies all traveling, not just touring... and with new people comes new insight, new inspiration.

R13: Away from the music, who is The Challenge of Feral Green?
SR: Ask someone who knows me, I can only tell you stuff I want people to know....

R13: You come across as a spiritually-minded person. Is that something you aim to convey to others?
SR: Are you asking if I'm a pretentious c**t? Or are you asking if I try to convey my spiritual believes to others? I offer my opinions and beliefs freely, it's a curse and a blessing - sometimes it may help people, sometimes it gets me into unfortunately confrontational or self defeating situations. I get good feed back occasionally, which I value, but who knows, some people may think I'm a stupid hippy and a painful bore. As I said, ask someone who knows me.

R13: You have some mighty impressive facial hair. Are you like Samson- does it give you power beyond what is normal?
SR: No.... I feel it gives me power of a sort, but no more than any man could have..... maybe shaving like some wage slave, hen pecked, baby faced pussy, takes away other men’s power.... that could be true, but I doubt it :)

Facial hair, like armpit hair for girls, is about personal choice - don't be someone's bitch - don't let someone else make you shave!

There I go again with my free flowing, diarrheal opinions