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Premiere: Cookie Tongue Get Mystic With the Latest Single "Jupiter Rising".

New Orlean's-based art rock project, Cookie Tongue satisfies their appetite for bluesy psychedelia with the release of their latest single "Jupiter Rising". The surrealistic music video, directed by  John Mattiuzzi and Omer Gal, is drenched with an eerily esoteric aura that lets the group raise their freak flags high while carving new territory in the psych rock soundscape.


 
 

Formed in 2011, Cookie Tongue has been a cosmic conglomeration of revolving visionaries over the years including puppeteers and dancers. Take the time to tune into their 4 EPs and you'll be "tumbling down the Cookie hole, through surreal rolling sleeves of starlight, spellbound, tasting a world just beyond". Their use of natural samples and a collage of instruments shine out on earlier tracks like "Flame Feet" and "Monster Tears", think of Brain Jonestown Massacre pulling up to PeeWee's Playhouse. It's chaotically pleasant.


On the flip side, their latest release "Jupiter Rising" is a trip down to the rugged roots of modern psych/freak folk while still amplifying some modern tones and visual themes. The group's visuals and live performance are tied into the fabric of their anatomy just as much as the music, so it's no surprise they went to new heights curating their latest music video.


We had the chance to catch up with Cookie Tongue to touch base on their latest project and overall journey as artists.

 
Cookie Tongue Band
Cookie Tongue Live
 

Q: How has your journey with Cookie Tongue been since its origins in 2011?


A: Cookie Tongue has been a poetic reflection of all the impactful experiences and inspirations I’ve had over the past 13 years. Starting in San Francisco in 2011, then Brooklyn from 2015, and New Orleans since last year, where I am now based. Not to mention all the tours filled with magical people and places and inspiring things that happened on the road.


Q: What's your view on the relationship between visual arts and music and how has that trickled into your vision for Cookie Tongue?


A: I think that Visual Arts and Music feed off each other and can create a world you can really fully enter into. That combination with theatrical elements, puppetry, poetry, ritual-based movement, and performance art has become an integral part of the Cookie Tongue.


Q: How have you approached live sets over the years? Did you all start performing in your local DIY scene?


Cookie Tongue
Omer of Cookie Tongue

A: I always wanted to create something beyond just a musical performance and approached live sets as if it were an experience. The project started during my time doing an MFA at The San Francisco Art Institute in 2011. I would write songs and flesh them out jamming with fellow art students in the studio building in the Dogpatch neighborhood and playing the songs at school gatherings and art openings.


Cookie Tongue has always been an open family with a cast of rotating interdisciplinary players, performers, puppeteers, musicians, and artists who brought their uniqueness to the project. I feel that Cookie Tongue is more than just a musical project but a world that you can enter into. People come up to me or fellow band members after a show and say I didn’t know what to expect, and I felt mesmerized on a surreal journey.


I always played both DIY and regular venues whether in the local scene where I lived or on tour. Currently, I am based in New Orleans. The show and music got more refined in its animation projections and puppets that I created, but always kept a loose narrative to enable a spark of magic with improv connecting to the site specificity of the performance space whether it's a bar in Brooklyn or a tree cave in the Redwoods.


Q: How was the recording process for your latest single, "Jupiter Rising"?


A: Jupiter landed in my guitar as a hypnotic riff that I couldn’t stop playing one day in my Greenpoint NY studio. So obviously I recorded it, then layered some organ and percussion. The mood was set and I let myself slip into a free-form vocal jam on it and the words “Jupiter Rising” kept coming into my mind (you can still hear the original demo from that session during the credits section of the music video). Pretty soon after we were on a tour as a Cookie Tongue duo, me and Jacquelyn Marie Shannon. When we got to New Orleans our friend Jules Dooley, a dear Cookie Tongue member and astrologer, read my chart and serendipitously he found that I am a Sag rising which basically means Jupiter Rising! And of course to add to the magic Jules happened to also be obsessed with Jupiter's magic and his house was filled with it!


Cookie Tongue - Jupiter's Rising
"Jupiter Rising" Music Video Still

We spoke of symbols and words that relate to Jupiter which ended up inspiring the final lyrics. The song became an incantation. When we got back to NY I brought it to the 5 piece Cookie Tongue band and we created the power psych rock version of it.




In this ensemble I was on vocals and acoustic guitar, Jacquelyn Marie Shannon on glockenspiel, Eddie Raison on electric guitar, Chris Corrente on Bass and Nathan Repasz on Drums. When it was polished enough but still somewhat fresh we recorded it live at Figure 8 Studios in NYC - a warm cabin-like recording studio in Brooklyn NY.


The recording and mixing engineer Lily Wen and her assistants were so awesome and made us feel right at home. Jacquelyn brought some secret Jupiter-related magic in the form of little square-shaped paper spells we hid in our shoes. The fourth live take sounded amazing so there were barely any overdubs needed. Lily gave it a mix and passed it over to me, I did some more mixing and got it to a good point. The only thing missing was Jules’s Viola and Modular Synth to really get that Jupiter magic to eclipse. So during a visit in New Orleans, I recorded Jules and I remember having the headphones on when he was deeply grooving on a cosmic journey and I was banging my head to his bowing, after he was done we looked at each other and were like “Woah that was it!” Afterward, I did a bit more mixing and threw it back over to Lily to check out and sent it to be mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering and that was it.


Q: How did John Mattiuzzi contribute to the "Jupiter Rising" music video and what's the story behind this project?


A: I would say that John and I have a lot of the same interests, except we have very different technical and creative approaches. His experience with VFX helped shape a lot of the creative choices we made. I remember when I showed him the storyboards, he already had the locations in mind, and already envisioned how we would pull off the visual effects. Having this type of confidence from a collaborator really allowed me to do the things I love, which is to sing, perform, and work on the props and costumes.


Cookie Tongue Band
Cookie Tongue Live

When I listened to the finished single, I saw the music video in my mind's eye, a crew of ramshackle occultists on a mission to make contact with the planet Jupiter. Other pieces of the puzzle were revealed through the shooting process and brainstorming with John.



Q: What are your plans for 2024?


A: My plans are to record a new full-length album this winter, there are many songs either completed or baking in the oven. In spring 2024 I’ll be doing two festivals, Asheville Fringe in March as Cookie Tongue and The New Orleans Giant Puppet Fest in April which will be the second run of “The Squirmy Wormhole” a Cookie Tongue Puppet Musical in collaboration with puppeteer and writer Playdoh Kolo.


Both festivals are really cutting-edge in the type of fringe and experimental puppetry acts that take part in them, so I’m definitely looking forward to both. Around May/June I’m secretly plotting a EU tour… shhh…. :)

 
Artwork Cookie Tongue
"Jupiter Rising"
 

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