T.O.P Interview: Granite Mask (Ascetic House)

Interview by Helena Markos

Photography by Teresa Espadafor

Today’s interview is coming by an artist from Los Angeles, whose work is known under the moniker Granite Mask. Marc Gonya counts several releases, on labels such as Nostilevo and Ascetic House. His sounds could be described as dark electronica and techno, covered under a mysterious veil of atmospheric and noise textures, gradually drifting you to higher levels.

Without any doubt, you can experience the impact of his music and its shadowy state, whilst listening to his “Night Moves” and his first EP “Second Wind”, released on Ascetic House.

Granite Mask talks to Tales of Psychofonia about his projects, future collaborations and influences as well as his respect and appreciation for what is Punk.

T.O.P: Why Granite Mask? What is the concept behind it?

Granite Mask: Started the project to experiment with electronic sounds.  I was playing in bands at the time and just wanted to start something on my own that I could do easily in my bedroom. As far as the name goes, part of it came from a book and I just thought it sounded cool.

T.O.P: Is there any specific environment/ mindset you need to be in in order to create music? 

Granite Mask: No specific mindset really, but my ideal environment is to make music at home. I have a small set up in my living room so its very easy for me to work on stuff anytime I am home. I get the most work done when I wake up early, make a cup of coffee and immediately start jamming on gear and recording.  I take a few breaks throughout the day and come back to it with fresh ears and finish it up.

T.O.P: How do you see the electronic music scene nowadays? Do you think that there is a reflection on the current social and political status quo? 

Granite Mask: Not too sure to be honest, I’m not too involved in “the scene”. I just like to produce music at home and occasionally play gigs when asked. 
Maybe not here in Los Angeles where I live, but in other parts of the country for sure- (like the Bay Area or Portland) there is a reflection of current political/social issues.

T.O.P: Is there any crazy story that happened to you while performing?

Granite Mask: Nothing too crazy, except maybe in one of my gigs, when the power kept cutting out. The first time I was supposed to play, I couldn’t get my gear to work/sync up, so this other dude played in my spot and everyone thought Granite Mask was his new project.  But yea, nothing too wild really.

T.O.P: At what point of your journey are you now ? Any future plans? 

Granite Mask: I’m at a point now where I’ve been producing quite a bit over the past year and trying to get some new releases ready. Taking a break from gigs until a few releases come out. I also have some other projects I’m involved in that are in the process of recording. 

Future plans involve heading back out to Europe next year.  Playing some one off shows with my friend Khris as V.S.C.C. and finishing up two new records with my friend Marfisia, as Mortal Bodies.


T.O.P: Is there any specific moment that you consider a milestone in your life?

Granite Mask: I can’t believe this project that I started in my bedroom because I was bored turned into me playing outside of my city and meeting new people. And I’m really blown away when someone actually asks to buy a record or a tape! 

T.O.P.: What are your influences? 

Granite Mask: Some stuff I was getting into when I first started the project- labels like Ant-Zen, Raster Noton, Sandwell District, the Clicks & Cuts compilations. At the time I knew no one into this stuff, and it completely floored me. I was pretty involved with DIY hardcore/punk at the time, and to me this was THE true outsider music. 

I am always amazed and influenced by new music coming out. I’m all over the map as far as electronic music goes, and it constantly motivates me and drives me to my machines.

T.O.P: If music was a treatment for migraine which album/ tune would you choose for that? 

Granite Mask: