Eyes gone is the pseudonym of Brazilian born, Argentina raised musician Cristiano Monga. Formally a bass player in punk and trash metal bands, yet largely influenced by the works for Jeff Mills, and Mark E.Smith. Residing now in Berlin, Cristiano plays analogue improvised techno. His first official release as Eyes Gone will be through Berlin label, aufnahme + wiedergabe.
Eyes Gone has participated in the MILK ME episode series, which is an investigative performance series based around the Berlin music scene. Find his music video + interview below.
1: Stereolab and Napalm Death are the most important bands of the last 40 years.
2: The shattering power of cellphones and Social Media in modern society cannot be overstated.
3: I watch the last 15 minutes of The Mandalorian almost everyday.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Frustration, loneliness and loss.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I asked my father to buy me a guitar and an amp when I was twelve after seeing Flavio (the older brother of Mario, my best friend at the time) playing a guitar through a distortion pedal. I took a couple of lessons with a guy who played in a Rockabilly band, then with an old man who taught me some classic and extremely boring argentinian folk songs and after him a Jaco Pastorius maniac tried (unsuccessfully) to teach me how to read music. I didn’t learn anything with them.
Then I started to learn playing along Thrash, Hardcore and Punk albums. The first riff I learned by myself was the middle part of Betrayer by Kreator. When I was a teenager I practiced for ten hours everyday and pretty soon I knew how to play, among other albums, Loco Live by The Ramones, Nevermind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols and Meantime by Helmet from the first to the last song. At that time, I dreamed about having my own band, but my shyness was extreme. Every thirty-one of December I said to myself: “this year I will form a band”, but I didn’t know how to do that because I couldn’t speak to strangers or even walk on the street without feeling awkward. In 1999 I met Andres Ferraro at work (I worked in a TV Station) while he was watching a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion video, he was also a big fan of John Coltrane, and owned a bass. I invited him to come home and recorded what was the first song in my life and soon after we formed what was going to be my first band, Modelle Nude.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Glenn Branca – The Ascension
Discharge – Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing
Aphex Twin – I Care Because You Do
Pharoah Sanders – Karma
William Basinski – Vivian & Ondine
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
The darkness in winter, the freedom, the speed, the altruism of strangers, Anmeldung, Techno, dead rats everywhere, Dürüms and a drunk girl whom I once asked for Karl Marx Strasse and she answered back “He was a Communist”.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I moved more than forty times in my life. In Vallcarca (Barcelona) I climbed up a mountain near home and watched the whole city smoking joints. In Berlin I love to go to the Spree and watch the swans. The empty streets of Boedo (Buenos Aires) at night were perfect to walk Bebona, my little dog.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I would cut my penis and give it to a dog.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Zomes – The First Stone.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
It would be nice to do something with Justin Broadrick (Napalm Death, Godflesh, JK Flesh) or MIck Harris from Scorn. One of my dreams is to be part of a band with Chris Desjardins from The Flesh Eaters. I would do whatever he wants me to do. I would love to collaborate in an original soundtrack for Gaspar Noé.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Aphex Twin (Funkhaus, 2018. Berlin)
Glenn Branca (Primavera Sound, 2011. Barcelona)
Sepultura (Federación de Box, 1990. Buenos Aires)
Fugazi (Superclub, 1997. Buenos Aires)
Regis (Griessmuehle, 2019. Berlin)
My last gig before the pandemic, as Eyes Gone, was the best so far. It was my first time in Warsaw, Poland, and everything was perfect, the audience, the soundsystem, the bookers and the after.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I play samplers, synthesizers, drum machines, electric guitar and electric bass and record and edit everything on a computer, so technology is fundamental in my creative process.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have two brothers (one from Argentina and one from Brazil) and a Japanese sister. The only time I saw my sister was in 1982 and the last time I met my brothers was in 1988. The only thing I know related to them is that Lautaro, the Argentinian one, sent me money during the lockdown and that saved me from being homeless even though we didn’t speak or met for more than 30 years. That’s family I guess.
Using the modern day singularity of the digital platform, the Milk Me episode series incorporates mediums of sound, portrait photography, and interview based journalism in an attempt to rediscover the full scope of an artists creative world, a world which in many ways is lost due to the increasing streamed based output of artists. It aims to uncover the aesthetic, mindset and reason for the artists output, the how and why of the records and music made.
Photo © Clara Sokol