Thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, I've revisited some old websites to retrieve archived information. One of those sites was robinfinck.com, which used to have a lot of great art and writing on it (whereas now it's a depressing gray page with NIN tour dates. That's all well and good but it's nowhere near as interesting as it used to be.)
Robin did a few installments of Q&A with fans. Some questions are random or not particularly deep, but others are a bit more profound. Definitely worth the read, if you haven't seen it already.
Cordacake: Do cats always know what is going on when they are pregnant for the first time?
r ob i n: i've only so many clues. ...a borrowed smudgy looking glass. but i'd bet something greater than the cat is going on, weather anyone's knowing it or not.
If life as we know it was to suddenly end as the sun exploded in a huge gaseous eruption, do you think that my friend would ever give me back my copy of "Made" starring Vince Vaughn in the afterlife? Or, should I just write that one off as a lost item -ne'er to be seen nor heard from again?
r ob i n: nah, i think you'd probably get it back. that exploding sun thing tends to shake the damnedest things out of people.
Patzivota: What drove you to be part of the Cirque Du Soleil orchestra??
I've always asked myself that...
r ob i n: darkness, fear, dread, change. wanting to be more. color, romance, broken-english, winter in montreal.
CJ: It's difficult to figure out what to become of one's self when you're young and restless, at what point in your life did you figure out what you wanted to discover and accomplish? And why did you want/do this?
r ob i n: i'm still figuring it out. and i'm still young and still restless. and every day discovering new and greater things to attempt and to accomplish. usually, what hurls me furthest is the desire to be more than i know i am now. or different, anyway. for some reason (one that i'll never understand, really) i am consistently calling forth opportunities in my life that either terrify me, embarrass me, or otherwise make me uncomfortable. and i move forward in them all the same. like picking up that nickel of comfort and throwing it back into the pool just to see if i can find it again. i've learned by now that to stay the same is easy, dreadful and boring. sometimes i am easy, dreadful and boring, and i just can't stand that. so i get to take a breathe and comb the deep end once again.
bat: What do you pray for?
r ob i n: clarity. the renewal of my mind in the midst of fear and sorrow. to re-boot. to begin again from a space of gratitude and blessed assurance. to live in integrity with the Divine. which means to me, to live not in competition with another, nor by superstition, but to act upon my deepest desires and to become greater than my previous self, moment by conscious moment. to choose love over fear. and to move forward from this space. and to remember and to embody all of this every time the shit hits the fan.
shiho: do you read book? whats yourfave noverize? who is yourfave noverizer?
r ob i n: hello shiho. now to think of it, most recent reads for me have been non-fiction: Joel Goldsmith, Dr. Rocco Errico, Diane Ackerman, Earnest Holmes...or poetry, like Rumi, Hafiz....last novel i read was 'Life of Pi'. i loved it.
Jennifer: I'm curious to know what sorts of music or musical things you are enjoying right now.
r ob i n: an open window. two hawks circling out there up there somewhere. the white blue sky. ana's piano in my kitchen. early mornings. the rush of a freeway in the distance. baritone guitars. daniel lanois 'belladonna'. rufus wainwright 'want one'. muddy waters 'deep down in the blues'. aretha franklin 'young, gifted and black'. the autobiography of quincy jones on audio cassette. ladysmith black mambazo. lhasa de sela 'the living road'. santo & johnny 'sleepwalk'. tom dowd & the language of music. the dick cavett show with ray charles.
Lysanne: What do you think of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds' latest album?
r ob i n: i'm a lifer.
CJ: Almost everyone I know can at some point just drive me crazy with what they say or do. I am wondering "How do you cope with the countless number of people who can be amazing at times and yet drive you to or beyond the brink of insanity at other times?
r ob i n: every single success in overcoming some other's crazy making chaos is begun in an effort to do so. standing in a place of gratitude for that quality of my own life which is being brought forth for me to acknowledge is a powerful place to stand. AND the very best place from which to react. letting go of the seeming need to change somebody else is another one. this is the part that blows my mind every time. the 4real change takes place in ME. this is the ground of true transformation, rooted in the problem of Oness.
Arthur: Cliche "question" but I'm very interested in what you have to say about God. If you're a believer, what do you think God is?
r ob i n: yes. you.
z: i've allways felt different, alone, distracted, and, "irresponsible". i've allways had a strange and different idea of "life". like...there is more, and i'm somehow connected to it. like there is a vague glimmer of something, a feeling, or a thread, waiting just behind the sky. and now that i'm growing older, i still see many of the same things. my mother was a woman crushed, by "responsibilty". she never knew when to let go. and i swore i'd never become that way. suffocating and strangled under the weight of many illusions. but now...it almost seems inevitable. are my dreams still alive?
r ob i n: only thing inevitable is that we will transcend our current idea of who we think we are either by will or by exhaustion. and we get to choose which way to go. our dreams and interpretations are all we are. that is, our thoughts of who we are harden into manifestation....that's why it's so important to have a clear intention and to actively follow through. when i don't follow through with my intention, i'm in hell. when i don't even have a clue what my intention is, i'm in hell and i don't even know it. i'm gonna grab that glimmer of something 'til it knows my name. 'til it's vague no more.
Spirit Rebellious: Have you read any great books recently? If so, any you would suggest? BTW, do you dig jazz? I just purchased Miles Davis, A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON, and it made my blood flow like a Santa Ana breeze. My agape love & hopes for peace!
r ob i n: yes. 'but beautiful' by Geoff Dyer. and 'The Mysticism of Sound and Music' by Hazarat Inayat Khan.
i'm on page 233. race 'ya.
Donato: You play a les paul with out a pickup selector whats it set on or is it?
r ob i n: hi Donato. the selector is moved to one of the tone knob positions. the toggle site has been plugged. it just got in my bloody way up there.
Alisa: Why did your parents call you Robin?
r ob i n: they didn't.
Caleb: Robin, what are you doing these days man?
r ob i n: yesterday, i went to terminal island federal prison, near long beach. my second time. i was in there with a few folks called the freedom light ministry. they are practitioners of truth (bad mamba jambas) and offer spiritual guidance and support for the inmates. this is NOT some dusty, archaic, stuck-in-the-mud, dogmatic pleasantry designed to trick you into 'feelin' good' only to set you to crash when noone's lookin'. these people are walkin' their talk and holdin' you in the vibration of the most high, creative, fluid and absolute, calling you out by the essence of who and what you are in all eternity, fully present in love and in beauty. that's the truth. i brought a guitar and sang some songs on a partied on baby grand. i never really know what to expect.
this time is an elective for the inmates, not everyone in there shows up for the service. about 30 or 40 guys. it was later shared what courage it takes to even step foot in the room, that many more of the inmates wanted to participate but were afraid of being derided by the rough ntough testosterone out on the common lawn. "...not something you want to wake up to in here."
we were with traffic and arrived a little late. i entered the room to these men sitting silently in a circle, their chairs lined the perimeter of the walls, leaving the empty center. they were in meditation. i think. we unstacked a few more chairs and found our place against a wall, widening the circle. fluorescent lights and classroom tiles, white painted cinderblock walls. there's a mic and small p.a. , was there a guard?, with the appropriate feedback. what struck me first was how many young guys, 20's, were sitting in here. old guys too. but i guess i would have expected more of that. i'm told some show up (to this room) because they're curious. some for the fellowship. some come for the reading, for the speaker, the music, and some come 'cause there may be women, which there were.
after the evocation and selected reading, the speaker spoke his word. there was a round of questions, specific and general comments and we passed the mic around. everyone shared what was on their heart. we talked about quantum mechanics, ultimate reality, family, katrina, guns, god, gangs and ice cream. then i sang some songs.
each person offered such a totally honest view from where they were in their life, in jail, in fear and in love. bein' a dad, a grand-dad, bein' 22. one guy had lists of names tattooed on his neck and everywhere and spoke in a tough but hesitant voice. he had previously been a gang leader and will be released soon (several months). he commented that with all this talk about love unconditional goin' on in here, he had to stop and figure just what's bein' said. "i didn't grow up with love. i mean, i guess i love my mudder and e'rythang, but i don't know what love looks like, what it feels like, what it is, really. .......(very long silence)...........but i wanna know."
this chrysalis in consciousness was the sweetest place to be, bar none. longing was immediately infused with peace, wisdom, a call to action and fueled by the support of each individual present. and this room was a VERY mixed melody. i could see in his face a change so profound, so sincere in him, that it lifted every single other person in the room simply by his sheer presence of being. and i aint bein' plain soft here. this was a powerful time. heartache, pain, confusion, regret, were all being dissolved and falling away. a seed of clarity showed up through the funk. insight took root and is climbing and reaching higher now. one after another continued to share themselves in a light so real and pure, unhindered and unbroken.
there's a bell that rings every two hours when they all need to go physically check in. everyone gets up in their white sneakers and sweats, looks at their watch, and moves along. maybe a little different. i did.
Angie: What does Gwen Stefani mean by: "The shit is bananas" comment in her song? I just can't figure it out, I guess that it has some larger than life meaning to it WOW? Just wanted to get your two cents on this really important issue =D
r ob i n: once while rehearsing in the bahamas, i would walk past the same falldown fruit stand daily. i bought two of what i thought were the biggest most luxurious bananas i'd ever seen in anyone's life. they were so super that i thought i'd never seen a real wild banana until now. what a joy. i put them on my amp to ripen. days went by on end and those suckers never got ripe for me. i showed them to one of the locals working in the studio and told him to tell me what gives? they were plantains. starchy never to ripen gigantic unbananaed plantains. i haven't heard gwen's banana song, but i'm sure that it has got to have something to do with my turning plantains. and i'm not falling for it.
Mélanie: I saw in a section, you had taken a picture of Senegal. What do you do there ? What are the things which you impressed in Senegal?
r ob i n: i was one of twenty-five people from The Agape International Spiritual Center touring five cities on the west coast there. my brain has just ignited and is now set to flames. it is sizzling. i cannot commit to the impossible details, but i can tell you that we brought a big big love where ever we went and it was returned to us ten fold. one single event that sits with me now is after kicking a kid's soccer ball back and forth on the beach for a while, he came to sit and played my guitar. we spoke dissimilar languages. he'd never held a guitar before and i could tell. he absorbed every vibration of that thing. there was a light wind and sand on it all. his ear pointed at the strings, and was listening. his left hand fisted about the neck of the guitar, something like a chord, something like he'd seen me do, but all of the strings became mute, save one. he struck that sound over and again with direction and with purpose. the look of concentration on his face was unmoved. this was real exploration and was vitalizing. i yammered a yip of approval and he just looked up at me straight, in perfect rhythm by the sea. he didn't need no cut-rate clap from me. he was simply thumbin' around hearin' what he could find. and that was all. that was everything. this was a beautiful moment and i play that guitar a little different now because of it.
shiho: what perfum do you wear?
r ob i n: it's called 'love me madly as the moth is obliterated by the flame'. i wear just a spek behind the ears when i go out.
rob: do you think music these days has kind of lost its way?? when to you think you can come back to save it!!!
r ob i n: music is alive and well at my house. i don't get with that league who has music down and trampled. if by -music these days- you're referring to hype music, you have got to get outta that place man. 'cause by the color of your call, you aint feelin' it there. so drop it and look elsewhere. it all exists, right now. everything we're looking for. so sometimes we gotta do a little seekin' 'fore we find. root it out. make it your personal assignment. we cannot be so complacent as to expect to be nourished by shovel fed entertainment and then cry when two weeks gone by and we aint fixed with some new loving spoonful. music is more expansive than an industry and filling beyond the jacket it wears. reside in music and sing it's song of longing. play with what you want to hear. design your way to be fresh for music every day.
i'm not interested in saving music. i'm here to serve music.
curiouscat: Do you talk the way you write on here (and I am not critisizing your way with words, but I am curious if you do the same in your everyday use of the language)? if yes, do you find it at times a bit forced and even a tad pretentious to be this symbolic and poetic in everyday speech?
r ob i n: nay my good brethren.
mires: What was the moment you felt the most peaceful and content in your life, sedated by the beauty of the moment?
r ob i n: what finds me straight off is a time when i was six or seven. i was walking back to school after coming home for lunch and had time to pop tar bubbles in the mid day sun in the street. there was a fire hydrant there and it stuck up out of the ground to be unusually tall, as tall as i was. i could climb on it and, if i balanced just right, i could stand on the very tippy top for a while. i remember the unprecedented sense of well being and total joy. balancing in that breeze. it was an ease like no other. i don't know what to make of it exactly. maybe it was a friday afternoon. maybe it was the sun on my arms. maybe i had new sneakers. i don't think of it all the time. but i'm thinking of it now. i guess i've still got it with me after all these years.
milla: What do you find most interesting about everyday life?
r ob i n: that it's neither coming nor going.
nothuman5: what is your motivation/inspiration to get up in the morning? what drives you?
r ob i n: well, thanks for taking me here. this is somewhere i'd be better served to consider more often. i concede the opportunity to jump and sing and play and shake makes my me meter high. but essentially, i'm eyeballing around every day (well, most days) for a glimpse of the invisible. to expose some peripheral vantage from where i can wonder again and again. today i'm gonna catch a flash of, even just one corner of the cape as it flaps up and over with a wave, beyond me all. i wake up eavesdropping on an inaudible conversation and hang there. suspended spirited. carried in the silence. and driven by the sound.
Niek Fransen: on what would you like to spend more time than you are doing right now?
r ob i n: eating strawberries, watching the waves, walking one foot in front the other, playing to old records, recording to new ones, listening to the rush of blood in my head.
cp: How have you changed during these years and what is the next methamorphosis of you?
r ob i n: i know now that when i dig in the mud, i'm gonna get dirty as hell and wish for a swim. then when wrapped in white linen, i'll secretly start to sweat and stink. and so it is. by -these years- i'll suppose you're suggesting in the flesh and on the planet. what comes up for me now is consistent. the more i learn, and the greater i attune my attention with something beyond this little life of mine and yours, the more simply my way unfolds. i'm much more consciously aware of how my thoughts and actions bring immediate situation and circumstance to my life. and that's hard to unlearn. try as i might. i see the me-to-be bathed in an obvious color and dancing wild desire out loud on your lawn. a posture preluding silence.
glassgirl: Hi Robin,
nice webpage - I love this space.
have you done artschool?
r ob i n: thank you. great! i'd love to.
Janice: Do you think that our purpose here on earth is for love?
r ob i n: i think that my life is empty and meaningless and i'll fill it with what i will. and i will love.
Zack: How come everything good starts out so young? I'm fifteen and I'm just realizing I want to be a musician. Then when I tell people what I want to do, they excpect me to have started when I was still in diapers and I lose hope for awhile. Please tell me, is it possible, or should I close my eyes and start earlier...in the next life?
r ob i n: one life.
instead of telling people what you want to do, do it.
what is it about you being a musician that attracts your attention? if it's that you think you should've wanted to make music 8 years ago, then let's stop talking about this right now.
try wiggling your nose. if that doesn't work, lean into your music advance. we'll reach no destination without setting first foot upon the road toward it. maybe try: stop talking to them about this right now.
ask music what music wants you to give. realize music to be.
it's ok to lose hope. hope will find you when you're ready to come out come out wherever you are.
Henry: What is the signifigance of the purple string on your finger?
r ob i n: i've put off answering this for a while 'cause i'm kinda shy about it. i even begin to stutter when friends ask me.
the truth is: i make a new one each day to remind myself of something that i'm grateful for.
sometimes i forget that it's there. sometimes i remember.
but it aint for you. it's for me.
anyway, i kinda like purple y a r n.
Jhon Moro: What do you do if you know that in just a couple of month you are going to die for a strange illness that it's impossible to defeat? I repeated this question in my mind a million time.....now i have few time and i haven't find a answer or something to do before i leave this planet.
r ob i n: if this is appearing for you in your life, my heart is with you now.
actually, i've considered this thought before. i wrote something down about a year or more ago, certainly with no mind to post it worldwidewebley. this is what i wrote then, unedited:
if i had 6 months left to live:
i would more openly and willingly and fearlessly integrate myself, my life, and my desires with those i care about.
it would have me ACTING upon right choices and conclusions about my cosmology as opposed to merely secretly endorsing them.
i would choose forgiveness every chance i got.
i would stand in truth only.
i would clean my house less.
i would sing more.
i would worry less. yow.
i would cook food?
i would recognize that my relationships are founded in union with that which is eternal.
my goals would be charged by the fire of love for all of life.
i might could probably hit a monstrous mean streak, tail spin, wipe out, and lose my voice.
and then i'd listen.
i would enjoy my body while i still had the keys.
my efforts and actions would reflect my values.
i would allow others to be exactly who they be.
hmm. i would ENCOURAGE others to be exactly who they be.
i would honor my time spent alone.
i would acknowledge that every space is sacred. all ways.
i would not beat myself up for wandering astray, but celebrate that i am back in my own groove NOW.
i would ensure that each time i parted with another person, however brief, that i leave them in love, joy, and the brilliance of new beginnings and endless possibilities.
for them and for we.
i'd go out and simply have a ball.
why the fuck not?
my my, how lofty the real for which we long.
all the time scattered and spitting and scratching toward some smudge-less pane.
...what's your list like?
your name here: what so you really sit around feeling enlightened and present in all situations?
r ob i n: nope. but i do feel high when i focus my attention there, and i feel that when i'm talking to your name here.
that's kinda why i do this sometimes. what do you do?
Gonzalo: So... I had a problem when Ii was born... and well, for walk I need to use canes... since I was a child I use them... and that thing... makes me very very conflictive...
with the people around me, is extremly difficult to say what I feel to a girl... cause I'm afriad
afraid of being rejected...
I know this is not a sentimental consultory but well...
fear, the fear is eating my soul...
what should I do?
r ob i n: say what you feel.
recognize that fear is natural. and will shift on a dime.
i'm living with fear in this moment. i need not wish it away. fear serves purpose. and purpose will submit to my desire.
fear moves with me. i insist that fear follow MY lead. fear moves out the way. and now fear is behind me. let go. don't look back. keep moving forward.
but you gotta move. lean on what you will. anchor yourself in something greater than the problem, the canes, the conflict, the girl, rejection.
wade in the waters of something tremendous and continue to cast your net.
i aint tryin' ta fix you you know. i'm simply in conversation with you here. i'm open to the idea that i'm talking to myself.
Dr. Seuss says: "Be Who You Are And Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter And Those Who Matter Don't Mind."
i like it. be well.
Tor: Robin, do you think time will end?
r ob i n: with every blink.
3NGELWYRE: what happens when the leaves stop falling?
r ob i n: fall keeps on to leave, and happens to winter.
karen: After I saw you playin right in front of me, i can't help thinking my life is meaningless and disposable. I know it is pathetic, and it's not your fault. But could you please just say something about it, maybe something that would make me stop thinking that way.
r ob i n: envy is a diabolical debilitating demon and exists to be slain. i am envious of a hundred people, living and dead. but each time i'm breathing that dragon's sweet mist of desire, i come to realize that there is something within ME that i am recognizing in that individual. something that is calling me out, to be more of who i really am, and i'm scared and i'm lost and choking on couldashouldawoulda.......so- washed out with envy.
sculpt envy into inspiration and allow it to direct YOUR way of releasing that magic that makes you.
i find that i'm far more powerful and effective when i can celebrate another's way, rather than to wish to own it.
this is a huge challenge for me.
Gitte Nielsen: Haii Robin..
If you should pick tree words to describe your life, what would it be ??
r ob i n: root, reach, and release.
Gav88: Any truth to the rumour you will be appearing in the third series of Lost?
r ob i n: i do appear to be Lost. but that isn't true.
Derek: How do you deal with hecklers?
r ob i n: why would i deal with hecklers?
Stedham: My first solo gig is coming up, 15 yrs old, nervous/over excited, what would you do to overcome this?
r ob i n: encourage another to be great, and really mean it.
bookend your gig's experience with 24 hours on either side. watch it all go. aint it fun?
Tinkerhell: What one manmade object best represents your personality?
r ob i n: yo-yo