Finlay Cowan in conversation with Natasha Grey:
Convergence is in some ways about compassion… if you have any feeling at all for other human beings then this is going to resonate, am I right ?
“Everybody in this story has to deal with loneliness at some point and that is something we all experience.
I once lived with a psychotherapist and he explained to me about how we are all born attached to another person – that connection is cut and we spend the rest of our lives moving away from that person. Overtime we get into and out of a relationship we go through the same process… the feeling of being bound to another then feeling that bond cut and moving way from that, becoming solo and getting used to being solo, getting used to being alone.
In our journey through life, we strive to become ‘complete’ and we look for that in different ways: having a family will make me complete, being in love will make me complete, being successful will make me complete, owning a house and a car will make me complete, creating a masterpiece will make me complete… all these things have different meanings to each of us… but we are all searching for how to be complete and learning to be solo, to be alone is one step towards learning how to be complete”
There seems to be a fair amount of drug references in the book and songs, is there a reason for that ?
“Drugs, love and sex all activate the release of dopamine so everybody in the book is chasing a connection with something outside of normality. That is a fundamental human trait and it’s relevant to the next book where Slim has to seek out another level of consciousness, so the drugs and the sex refer to the search for a connection again”
Is this something that resonates with you personally, does this come from your own experience ?
“It evolved organically… it emerged from the wellspring of the imagination so I would hope that these are universal themes that most people can identify with in one way or another. Subway Slim emerged from the subconscious and, if Carl Jung is correct, the subconscious is the great repository of all human experience – it’s the engine room of life, that’s where we will find all the answers; “He who looks outside dreams, he who looks inside awakens”.
So the ‘relationship with the subconscious’ is what drives you ?
“It drives me, it drives you, it drives all human activity. If we are going to sort out the human race, sort out this world of ours, the subconscious is where we need to start – deal with that and we will be able to deal with everything else”
You say that with some confidence.
“I guarantee it”
to be continued
“Terminal was one of those songs that should have been a disaster… but wasn’t, and that was due to the talent of Jon Klein. I had gone in with several very disparate elements: Bach strings, an industrial electronic beat… and I was asking Jon for a ‘Randy Rhoads’ guitar solo. Jon managed to make the whole lot work together and he even added the further twist of the accordion which one wouldn’t exactly expect to sit with the Bach strings and the heavy metal guitar. It was a case of the parts adding up to being greater than the whole and when it came to do the vocal the identity of the song was so strong I did it in one take. It is by far one of my favourites – I’m glad it came together the way it did.
Jon is an incredible person to work with and he contributed a huge amount, he is tirelessly creative, never stops learning, never stops trying new things.
The song is about the intensity of desire and how it can consume us, turning into anger and rage at times. ‘I’m trapped beneath your fingernails… and all the bites I get just fail…’
Christ – everybody must know that feeling… I defy anybody to not have felt like that at least once in their lives”