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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

At the beginning of July we had a belated review in Flood Magazine of Viggo and Buckethead’s collaboration Pandemoniumfromamerica headed ‘It’s Time to Talk About Viggo Mortensen and Buckethead’s Collaborative Album. Well, I think it’s time to ‘Quotable’ again about their experimental music making. Though not quite my thing (I have tried), I do admire the sheer guts it takes to just have fun, muck about, remove all limits and just see what happens. It’s really creativity at it’s most raw.

[Pandemoniumfromamerica] is endlessly unsettling—it sounds more convincingly apocalyptic than the adaptation of The Road Mortensen would shoot six years later. It doesn’t get much more skin-crawlingly weird than hearing Viggo whisper William Blake’s America a Prophecy over his own atonal piano and aimless harmonica on the title track.

It’s Time to Talk About Viggo Mortensen and Buckethead’s Collaborative Album “Pandemoniumfromamerica”
Flood Magazine
by Mike LeSuer
1 July 2020

Taking lyrical cues from William Blake, Rumi, and Jonathan Swift (whose "Holyhead" gets murky, standout treatment), the album could almost be called the dissonant but similarly adventurous Sgt. Pepper of its age...

On Pandemoniumfromamerica
Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
By Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express

"It is a tribute to the memory of the victims of the 11th September tragedy. I wrote the words, but I also used texts that I love very much… It's totally experimental. The Hobbits agreed to join me and it was a lot of fun, we improvised on the spot, we spent our time exchanging instruments. Elijah played the battery and the piano."

Viggo Mortensen on Pandemoniumfromamerica.
A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
by Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine

"I did some percussion, and Buckethead had this bag of masks, which we all wore while we were playing," Wood says. "It was wild."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

Ask Mortensen about his Buckethead connection and he'll calmly inquire "Do you know him? Have you seen him play?" Say that you have... and Mortensen's face will light up, excited that he's not the only one hip to the six-string slaughtering of Buckethead.

Viggo Mortensen & Buckethead: The man who portrayed Aragorn talks about recording with the king of horror guitar.
By Spence D.
3 March 2004

“I met [Buckethead] like seven or eight years ago when I’d made a recording of...I’d participated in a poetry recording for children and each poet or writer had to invent something about a theme, well, from Greek mythology. I did something about Poseidon and he put it to music. I listened to the music afterward, when the recording was ready and I asked, “Who’s the guitar player?” Then I called him and we began to work [together].”

Viggo Mortensen
"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011

'I like to play with music. But I would not define myself as a musician, but as a sound modulator. I love to be with musicians and play, to see what comes out from the mess that we do together.’

Viggo Mortensen
The Painter Hero
By Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan
March 2002

One listen to The Other Parade, his rereleased 1998 album with Buckethead, ex-wife Exene Cervenka, and a host of others, reveals total artistic fearlessness (Mortensen plays a motorcycle muffler on every track). Its haunting, post-industrial abstractions make Einstürzende Neubauten sound like 'NSync -- and, if taken in the wrong mood, they may encourage a listener to beat on the disc itself. But there's absolutely no lack of energy and presence.

Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
By Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express

You also composed music for a director who normally eschews scores in his films. How did that come about?

I was surprised that Lisandro wanted to use music in this way, as he had never done that in his first four movies. He said toward the end of the shoot that he wanted something lyrical, perhaps played on guitar, for the sequence under the stars, which is an important transition point in the story. He said he did not care if it was modern or period music, that it should not be recognizable. We did not have much of any money left in the budget for this, as we had just enough to complete the shoot and the editing, so, as one possible, free-of-charge option, I sent him some tracks I had previously composed featuring the great guitar player Buckethead.

Lisandro chose two tracks from a record called Please Tomorrow, recorded in 2004.

Mortensen plays a Danish engineer in Patagonia
By Pam Grady
San Francisco Chronicle
13 May 2015

"I think for him, to work with me, I'm obviously not, you know, a professional musician or a professional music producer or anything like that, so I don't work in a conventional way and I don't have set rules for how we are going to do each take or how long its going to be or what approach we are going to take, so I think it's probably refreshing for Buckethead to just go ahead and play. And be safe, he can be safe in making mistakes, doing whatever. I'm never going to make him do something and I would never use something he didn't like so I think its a safe atmosphere for him to be really creative."

Viggo Mortensen on working with Buckethead
CHUD magazine
By John Makarewicz

Being in the studio with him and just spending a day at work, I walk out of there always feeling a little lighter, all my problems and responsibilities just feel a little less daunting somehow. It's like going for a nice walk in the woods. You just feel a little more able to deal with thing 'cause you know that you've used your time well and gotten something special out of the day. I feel that working in the studio and in particular working with him."

Viggo Mortensen & Buckethead: The man who portrayed Aragorn talks about recording with the king of horror guitar.
By Spence D.
3 March 2004

Listening to Viggo Mortensen and Buckethead's renditions of Viggo's works on This That And The Other is to be brought back to the direct immediacy of art and to be given the opportunity to experience a creation firsthand from its creator.

Review: This That And The Other
By Richard Marcus
March 20

“He just inspires me and I feel like I can try different things, too or even suggest stuff… He’s great. I’m so glad that in my life I’ve gotten to know him a little and work with him. He’s one of the most original, genuine, most sincere, and most gifted individuals I’ve met in my life. He’s incredible.”

Viggo Mortensen & Buckethead: The man who portrayed Aragorn talks about recording with the king of horror guitar.
By Spence D.
3 March 2004

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © TDRS Music/unknown.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

Having taken a look at Viggo the Woodsman last week, this week I thought we'd revisit Captain Fantastic, a film that tells us that every dream should be taken in moderation. Although Viggo would never be a Ben Cash he was perfect for the role, with his huge array of interests and skills, and his ability to connect with all the youngsters. Filming with him must have been, well, fantastic!

When he appears, caked in mud, looking like a kind of eco-Rambo, splashing barefoot through a river and cutting the heart out of a deer, you'll be thinking: Well, that's just Viggo Mortensen's life, isn't it?

Wild man Viggo Mortensen lets it all hang out in Captain Fantastic
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 September 2016

'He is an extraordinary man, an extraordinary mind. He had many thoughts and notes — great insights — before shooting. And once filming, Viggo contributed an effortless simplicity and deep humanity that, I believe, elevated the film.'

Matt Ross
Cannes Festival
Eugénie Malinjod
20 May 2016

In "Captain Fantastic," he truly does seem like a hunter, in the Hemingway/James Fenimore Cooper sense. He looks like the kind of guy who, yes, would worship Noam Chomsky, but he also looks like the kind of guy who would eat him for breakfast.

The Secret Appeal of 'Captain Fantastic': It's Left-Wing… and Right-Wing
By Owen Gleiberman
14 July 2016

"When I was preparing for this role, I went back to where I used to live [in northern Idaho] and spent some time there. I ended up driving to Washington from Idaho in a pickup truck filled with all kinds of things I thought might be useful. It looked like something out of The Beverly Hillbillies when I arrived.

Viggo Mortensen
Cannes Press Kit
May 2016

Mortensen says he brought "sleeping bags, a canoe, bicycles, clothing, blankets, books, pots and pans — all things that I knew these people would have"… Most of it made it into the film, including a loud patterned red shirt that the actor had squirrelled away from his 1987 wedding.

In 'Captain Fantstic,' Viggo Mortensen found more than a modern-day 'Mr. Mom'
By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
15 July 2016

'I like gardening and I grow my own vegetables... I could say to Matt, "If it's this time of year, this is how big the vegetables would be. This is what would grow in such a small clearing." All those things you only see in passing, but it was important to him and to me that the way this family lives be completely credible.'

Viggo Mortensen goes 'extreme' in 'Captain Fantastic'
Josh Rottenberg
LA Times
30 June 2016

The Lord of the Rings star shows a full complement of skills including driving the family's bus, lighting a fire, playing guitar and rock-climbing.

"To be honest about the climbing scenes, I have a little vertigo," says Mortensen. "It gets me. I'm glad I look like I'm comfortable."

Viggo Mortensen is a marvel in 'Captain Fantastic'
Bryan Alexander
USA Today
19 May 2016

"He's the gentlest man you'll meet, especially with the kids. He's really quiet out in public, but he loved all [us] little ones to pieces. He was hanging around with us all day and telling jokes. He acted like a father figure. He's a great guy."

Nicholas Hamilton
Young Aussie actor Nicholas Hamilton stars with Viggo Mortensen at Sundance
Harry Winsor
15 January 2015

' is when we all would get together. That was at least once a day we'd get together, all of us. We really were jamming and laughing and talking. We'd have something to eat. Okay, let's go! And then we'd start playing. The feeling there was, There's no such thing as making a mistake. We're just playing together. We got better and better and more comfortable with each other...I thought the music was important as an initial bonding thing.'

Viggo Mortensen
'Captain Fantastic': Matt Ross, Viggo Mortensen and the perils of off-the-grid fatherhood
by Michelle Lanz
The Frame
7 July 2016

"W.C. Fields said don't work with kids or animals, I guess because they'll upstage you or drive you crazy," said Viggo Mortensen, with a soft chuckle. "But I've always enjoyed it."

Viggo Mortensen
How Viggo Mortensen learned to be captain of 6 kids onscreen
Moira Macdonald
Seattle Times
8 July 2016

'For Ben, you can alternate between what a great father and this guy's a maniac.'

Viggo Mortensen Goes Green: 'I Trust Hillary About as Much as I Trust Donald Trump'
Marlo Stern
The Daily Beast
16 July 2016

"You get the sense [Ben] is watching over them kind of like a wolf parent," says Mortensen. "He is not mean to them but a lot is expected. And you are not going to be getting a lot of sugar with it."

Viggo Mortensen gets dirty to play a 'wolf dad' in Captain Fantastic
by Stephanie Bunbury
Sidney Morning Herald
2 September 2016

"Just because it's not possible to be a perfect dad or to be Captain Fantastic, that doesn't mean it's not worth trying."

In 'Captain Fantstic,' Viggo Mortensen found more than a modern-day 'Mr. Mom'
By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
15 July 2016

"It was an awesome family of actors. I was so happy watching this movie with all of us together." Mortensen gestures at the cast, and at the screen that has just delivered a beautiful filmic experience. "I just love this family!"

Captain Fantastic: Viggo Mortensen & Family
by Christine Westwood
11 June 2016

'[Viggo] demonstrates the aspirations of the movie, what kind of movie are you hoping to make, and for me, I can have no better faith than in Viggo Mortensen.'

Matt Ross
Captain Fantastic: Viggo Mortensen and Matt Ross Interview
Jason Gorber
14 July 2016

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Bleecker Street.

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Last edited: 16 September 2020 22:56:02