The Culprit Manifest: we won't be divided+conquered
Judith A. Culp, CEO/Creative Director of Civil|Theory and Agents X+Z.
Me: Hey guys, thanks for answering this question.
X: You've figured out how to make us comply.
Z: (laughs) I honestly don't remember being asked anything so it's not like I was ignoring the boss!
me: Ha! I know that's not true. Ok so here's the question: Who are the individual members of The Culprit Manifest?
X: (laughs) Ah! Here we go.
Z: You get this one a lot, huh?
me: I have been asked many times - even on ReverbNation, to name you guys. But I know we agreed in the very beginning that as long as you guys stick together, the group can grow beyond anything any of us have imagined.
Z: We don't want a Beyonce. We think she's great but clearly she was gonna go solo. Let me be clear - we want to work with Beyonce but our group doesn't need someone being essentially forced to go solo because they are eclipsing everyone around them.
me: We all love Beyonce, but yeah, she was like Lauryn Hill - they were destined to leave the group.
X: Dude, that's prolly me.
Z: (laughs) Ha. Probably is you. But still...
me: Seriously. We've had this discussion many times. There was a woman who wanted to represent us at Midem and her first question was - who is in your group?
X: We don't want to be divided. We all bring something unique to this experience and we all are working towards the same musical goals. I just don't see how being more vocal about who we are as individuals will help us. I remember early on, we just ran into trouble with that.
me: We had too many cooks in the kitchen with not enough food coming out. Having that many collaborators was asking for trouble.
Z: I love working with a smaller group, especially this group. We can find each other, nobody gets their feelings hurt when we make changes or suggestions to songs or even reject a song completely.
me: You guys rarely reject anything completely - it's really more of a "not right now" energy with you guys.
X: Because we always believe we can fix a track.
Z: And we know that what might not work today will probably work in six months or next year.
me: Bottom line is - we don't name individual members because it gives you guys creative freedom.
X: Exactly. Don't worry about us and what we look like - that's a FameMachine waiting to happen. Just listen to our music. Let the music tell you who we are.
Z: That way, we can be whoever you want.
me: I've been asked to name you, we've been accused of being a fake group - look, all I know is that I love what you guys are doing and can't wait for people to hear "Quattro" on June 21!
Z: Nothing to add to that!