Announcement: “Rosebud”

I would just like to share our new EP called “Rosebud” that was released today. It is also on Spotify & Bandcamp. This EP is a collection of songs written during our 50-day tour across America. We heard many stories from the amazing people we met on our adventure. We want to thank these individuals for helping shape “Rosebud” into a unique project. We proved to ourselves that we could still make art even during intense changes in life. Through our music, we have gained insight on how to tell more impactful stories about our experiences.

I will continue writing about our first album again soon. Thanks.

A Dark Kind of Magic

This is the second song from our first album! This is also another song I made by myself before we all offically started to record together. It started with a bass melody from the drum machine. What is playing over that melody is the microkorg. I loved playing with the arpeggiator on the microkorg, still do. It’s just playing a scale hitting randomized notes. There is also this weird streched out vocal in the background towards the end of the song. I have absolutely no idea what that is, i can’t remember.

A Dark Kind of Magic. Such a nerdy title for a song. It was probably called that because Harry Potter was like the biggest thing in the world in 2011. I have no shame, I loved it. This song is just a sort of quick kind of spell to get you ready for the rest of the album.

Ugh, the production is so bad. I remeber putting sample delays on everything to get more stereo sounding tracks. Back before I knew anything about recording.

About the drums, on the Alesis drum machine I have, you can scroll through different drum kits while playing back samples on the machine. So the reason why there’s so many different drum samples is because its cycling through the entire library of drum samples on the drum machine. I was very inpired by Aphex Twin & Squarrpusher back then.

One story I remember about this song is when my band member gave the album to one of our teachers after we completed it. Our teacher only had one thing to say about the album. She said she liked this song and that it sounded like a ringtone. That is the only thing I think about when I listen to this song now, that our teacher thought it was a nice ringtone. Thank you for you’re criticism.

Triangulum

This is it! This is the first song we ever made called “Triangulum”. First off, I cannot remember what that frequency is at the very beginning of the track. What I used to make this song was a Microkorg and an Alesis SR-16 drum machine. That’s pretty much it. I recorded the vocals myself. A bunch of layers of voices chanting “triangle”. Then I reversed one vocal to get that weird chant that’s over the whole song. It’s not very well produced, at all. I was just barely starting to understand electronic music.

When I first met one of my band members, he was obsessed with freemasons and triangles. I had an old National Geographic map of the stars in my room and remember seeing the Triangulum constellation on it. That’s where the name of the song comes from. Anyways, my band member was interested in triangles so I made this song for him. This is also the first song I made as Salacious Wizard Cult after we all decided to start making music. I made this to show them that I was serious about making an album.

I remember watching Eyes Wide Shut around this time. The weird cult ritual scene was the most beautiful thing I’d seen. It was just so creepy and weird and you could feel this huge mystery within the film. I was interested in recreating that feeling. I guess what really inspires me is art that gives off this vibe of having some secret behind it. Some element of the story that the artist had hidden within the work. I don’t know, I guess that’s what “art” is?

I was very obsessed with making albums. Back in 2011, all I wanted to do was make albums. A song wasn’t good enough. One song was only part of a complete story. Our band needed a lot of songs. We made about 23 songs in 4 months.

Now, I would say albums are one of the powerful storytelling mediums. Being able to convey emotions without any words was easy for me. I’m not very good at expressing myself in words. (Which is why I’m making this blog!)

We have over 100 songs now so I’m going to keep uploading every day, hopefully.  Let me know if there’s anything else you want to know about this song, or me.

New Year’s Eve 2011

This was the first day we decided to start a cult. Not a religious cult. Not a serious cult. Just an outlet we could use for therapeutic reasons. We were at a party for New Year’s and I remember sitting at a table with a candle on it. The rest of the people were somewhere else in the house. At the table, was me and my two future band members. We all stared at the candle and eventually concluded we should start making music together.

The three of us shared a common bond: two of us had just lost our fathers, the other had never known who his father was. There was a big void in our lives. There wasn’t a lot of kids around us that knew that feeling, or we’re open enough to express the way they felt.

That’s about as much I as I can remember from the very, very beginning. We starting making music almost immediately. At the time, I didn’t think of it as therapy. I didn’t think of it as anything other than trying to create something meaningful. Something that would make the tragedy of losing a parent worth the pain.

Making music as “Salacious Wizard Cult” was never meant to be serious. We just wanted to have fun. The name of the band gave us a lot of space to be imaginative. My mind tends to try to connect the real world to magic and cults. These are the most interesting concepts for me. I think one of the most important ways to deal with depression or any other illness is to give yourself a space to be creative and fantastical.

These traumatic events that happened to us were transformed into stories about cults and magic. We trying to turn “death” into a person we could communicate through music. It was the most powerful outlet I could find. To take an idea, or fear, or words I wish I could say, record them and get to hear them outside of myself, was the I found an identity.

I’m going to start uploading all the songs we made from 2011 to today on this site and tell the story behind it. Some of the songs are terrible, I had no sense of technical production of audio. But the feeling of the time is there. It’s like a time capsule.

“White Van” was the first album we made, recorded in January 2011 to May 2011. It might not be a “good” album, but the fact that we actually started something and finished it helped me a lot in life. Realizing that even with a mental illness, we could create something to give to the world. This all sounds very preachy but I’m going to do my best to give insight into my creative process for anyone who is interested.

Thanks for reading, I’ll upload the first song we made tomorrow.