The Square Table's Interview of
Your album of songs "Pro-Choice on Mental Health," describes your experience coping with depression. What was your experience like and why did you decide to make an album about it?
My experience with depression is pretty generalized and somewhat subjective as I never waited around for the diagnosis. However, I often do things that appear to go against my own best interest.
I made the album, Pro-Choice on Mental Health, to consider whether the mental states, particularly depression and aggression, were the result of choice or chemistry. I went to a psychiatrist because a woman I was seeing at the time asked her psychiatrist to refer me to someone. When I asked my psychiatrist if he would prescribe medication for my condition, he said, yes, if I wanted it. He diagnosed me as having generalized anxiety. I stopped therapy when I realized that the money I was spending monthly could be used to rent an apartment in Manhattan. I moved thereafter to Manhattan's East Village where I still reside.
What is your stance on depression?
I believe there are good reasons to feel depressed but that it's an affirmative action, often unnecessary.
You're a well-rounded person. I was surprised to see you have a JD in addition to mostly creative pursuits, a music degree, three novels, and recent post as theatre director of the Williamsburg Art and Historic Center. What do you consider yourselfa musician? And has law affected you creatively?
I consider myself a composer. I use sounds, words and images. Law gives me a common ground for interaction, puts me in a good position to learn, and continues to provide daily variety in my life, in addition to a salary.
Your musicals are described as antifolk. What is antifolk?
It refers to a local music scene which arose out of punk music; basically you put an acoustic guitar through effects boxes. As my material is often confrontational, I obtained bookings in venues where antifolk lives (particularly The Fort at SideWalk).
Your latest musical, "The Golf Wars," which played last month at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, is about two dueling pianists from the East Village who take their act to Hawaii. You also perform piano--any upcoming performances we should know about?
I perform solo at the piano at SideWalk, 94 Ave A at E 6th St., New York, on Tuesday, October 29th, at 9 p.m.
How can we hear some of your music?
There is an audio page at cinemavii.com, it's at www.cinemavii.com/dizozza/dmain2.html.
The mp3 site is accessible by typing www.mp3.com/peterdizozza.
You're in-house counsel for Cinema VII. What is Cinema VII?
Cinema VII is the entertainment collective that administers my creative catalogue and helps me keep track of it.
Anything else you'd like to mention?
The Cinema VII website has an events page at www.cinemavii.com/dizozza/events1.html. My new album, "Songs of the Golf Wars," produced by Major Matt Mason, USA, is to be released by Olive Juice Music in December, 2002.
November 8th 2002: