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.

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.