The experience of defining music confirmed all three men's original impulse of what music is without contradicting any of them. But two people put their appreciation on a whole new level. One was G.E. Stinson, a white blues musician who was suggested by Fjellestad and the other was John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"He really floored us. We'd already gotten so many rich interviews, but he was . . . If music is here," says Pomerenke, holding his extended palm over his head, "then he was underneath it from the get-go," he adds, dropping his hand to his chest. "We talked to him for an hour and a half. We only got two questions in, but it doesn't matter, because he gave us the best interview of anybody. He talked about his cats. He went to some analyst primarily because he was concerned about how his cats appreciated his music."

"What his analyst told him," says Page, "was that his cats probably get some warm, loving feeling from his music but [that] music is time-based and cats don't have that understanding that it's starting here and ending here."

Filmmakers Ryan Page (left) and Chris Pomerenke
Jason Silva
Filmmakers Ryan Page (left) and Chris Pomerenke


The Heart Is a Drum Machine will have two screenings, at 8 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, February 6, at the Phoenix Art Museum. Tickets are $40. Visit for more info.

"Hans said we could probably make a movie just out of what he said," nods Pomerenke.

Don't hold your breath waiting for My Dinner with Frusciante anytime soon. The team's follow-up to The Heart Is a Drum Machine has already been green-lit, a documentary on Maynard James Keenan's winery. "We're gonna be shooting there for a whole year straight. The whole harvest, from dormant to in the bottle," says Pomerenke. "It's called The Grapes of Wrath."

Given all he's learned about his longstanding obsession and having made an uplifting film about the creative process in the bargain, is Pomerenke any closer to defining what music is for himself?

"It's a brain-scrambler to be sure. Some people nailed it — others were silent for 30 seconds," he says trailing off before giving up.

"I wouldn't have any clue. I would not want to be in this movie," he laughs. "I would offer nothing."

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