The erogenous electro Seattle three-piece Ononos are the one cactus standing in a moist, warm greenhouse full of orchids. In fact, a greenhouse is where I'm writing this. I had called Pony manager (and Ononos spokesman) Marcus Wilson to set up an interview, and after checking with the band, he said, "Ononos will meet you in a public place, at night. They are going to take you to a private place." I chose Healeo on 15th and Madison, because its hemp milk soft-serve ice cream with sesame seeds added is mind-blowing.
Ononos are a frazzled, kinked up, throbbing electronic oddity. They're peculiar but unabashed, and the angled pulse of their music bangs a dance floor squarely. Picture Devo playing Parada do Orgulho in São Paulo. Newer Ononos material is highly evolved and not unlike Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax."
At Healeo, I was approached by two people in white suits wearing red stockings over their faces. They blindfolded me, placed me in a vehicle, and drove for about 20 minutes. No one said anything. I had a distinct feeling that the driver was wearing an opal mood ring. When we stopped, I was led into a structure and placed onto a heated beanbag chair of sex, and my blindfold was removed. Thick, damp air smelled heavily of eucalyptus. I was sitting in a greenhouse. A single red spotlight shown down from the glass ceiling, and the full moon, the January wolf moon, was out.
Black lights were all around. Apparently, this was the orchid room. Orchids were all over. Pinkish moth orchids, dendrobiums, and slipper orchids called Kobold's Doll. In the middle of the room, a lone six-foot cactus stood. Then, an Ononos song called "Surrender" began, and was evenly pumped out of twin JBL EON speakers. Ten seconds later, bodies wearing skintight Day-Glo material emerged out of the foliage and joltingly danced. A figure with only eyes and a top hat sang. One of them was holding a baby lamb (a real baby lamb, making baby lamb noises). Deviant, gyrating shapes kept coming out of the darkness. Mounds of animal prints and flesh spun. Moog Taurus synthesizer patterns in the song progressed and built on beds of mangled, pulsing Nintendo game sounds. At one point, they all picked me up in the beanbag chair of sex and held me up to the wolf moon next to the cactus. A half step down, the voice in the chorus screamed, "Surrender."
When the song was over, the bodies (and the lamb) disappeared into the leaves, and the singer with the eyes got close to my face and said, "We can watch it all die away, you see. We've been dead since yesterday." Before I was blindfolded again and driven away, this singer with the eyes answered the following questions.
Who are you?
Ononos consist of three lightbeings: NoNo Ono, Why, and Yes. The three of us have played together for eons. We aim to cure internal strife and heartache through the transformative powers of ecstatic dance/tantric bass/chakra cleansing via extreme sonic pummeling/punishment.
If Ononos time-traveled into the past, where would you end up?
The past is white lies.
If Ononos time-traveled into the future, where would you end up?
The future is black threats.
If you were to talk dirty to me, what would you say?
What is the Ononos' relationship to Yoko Ono?
In a past life, Yoko Ono was the Sphinx, we were her handmaidens. In this present life, there is no relation.
What is your style? What are you trying to say with it?
Fashion is pain. Style is agony. Ononos is ecstasy.
How did the song "Surrender" come together?
We heard crystal raves and secret shamans. Oceans instead of hooks.
Describe your process.
What gear do you use?
Filters, waves, membranes, surfaces.
How did you get your sounds?
Both subtraction and impulses.
Where did you record?
How did you record?
Slow preparation, fast execution.
What was recording like?
Don't be afraid to do things because they're easy to do.
Do Ononos eat enough vegetables on a daily basis?
We consume only sex and dream energy.
Have you ever had the sushi where they serve it on a human body? What are your thoughts on that?
If you were to write a murder mystery, what would it be about? What type of killer would you invent?
A story about the death of peace and reason. We, all of us on earth, play the murderer. The only solution to this story is radical evolution into the next great race.
For your live shows, what do you go for? What's the setup?
Earthly manifestation of sunspots/cosmic-ray collisions.
Can you give a brief history and description of Ursula Android? Does Ursula Android have anything to do with Ononos? Are you still robo hooking?
Who? Never heard of her.
Will you be watching the Super Bowl? What are your thoughts on the Super Bowl?
We shall pray to the cosmic wind for swift retribution. On that day, we shall darn our stockings with the hope and tears of all the starchildren.