Cris Cohen: “Celluloid Debris” is primarily an album of instrumentals. When you are creating an instrumental, are you guided by imagery? Are you guided by lyrics that no one will hear? How does that work?
Marc Bonilla: The way that I see music and the way that I see writing, none of this stuff comes from you. It all comes through you. It's not you. It's whatever voice is coming through you, your channel. When you start to think of things coming from you, you've already set yourself up for writer's block. You've set yourself up for a finite source of inspiration.
It is like going out to the desert with a canteen of water. You have it for a while, but then the canteen goes dry. What are you going to do after that? But if you see creativity as a river that runs alongside that desert, then all you have to do is go over there and dip your cup in whenever you're thirsty.
I've never had writer's block. Whenever I've had to write something -- whether it was for a TV show, a movie, an album -- I just sit down, start playing, and the ideas come. If you want to term it as muses, they are like fireman up in the loft. They're up there reading a magazine, watching the soap opera until the fire bell rings. Then it’s like, “Sh--! Somebody needs us!” And they come down the pole. Well, the fire alarm is your piano. It is your guitar. It wakes him up and he's like, “Hey, I guess we're needed. We need to throw some ideas down there for them.” I've always trusted that. And because of that, when I sit down and start writing, ideas just come. I don't have to force them.
I basically follow my ear, which is being led by my muses, whatever that is. That's why, if you're a composer or you're a writer and you go back to something you've written, you'll think, “I don't even remember doing that. How the hell did I do this?” You don't remember any of that stuff because you didn't do it. You weren't there. You were basically relinquishing your driver's seat to somebody else that knew the way there. You were in the passenger seat. A lot of people still think it comes from them. And because of that, they are cutting themselves off from an inexhaustible pool of resources.