My last album as MusiM is out and titled (obviously) Sea of Ghosts. I worked long and hard on this. One of our dogs passed away. I had a friend stop talking to me. I’ve had money troubles like mad. Suzy got to fulfill one of her life dreams and I got to help. Life has happened in the five (!) years since my last album. All the people we know, all the people we used to know, all the dreams we’ve held, are the sea we navigate through.
Sure, there’s that one in a million chance, the jackpot, that this will sell ridiculously well and I’ll continue using the “MusiM’ alias. But more likely, I’m just going to start releasing things under my real name with a more focused intent. Previously, I wrote whatever I want whenever I wanted. Now I really want to get better at working with other musicians or do solo projects with a strict set of parameters.
Sea of Ghosts has a lot on it. 4 vocal tracks, 4 soundtrack style tracks, and probably half the album can qualify for club play. There’s a huge variety of style and intent. And I think its the most (never sure what word to use here) approachable album I’ve ever written. If you didn’t like my previous albums and like electronic music, I’m betting you will find a few somethings on here you like.
I know, its been a long time. The website needs a graphic update badly, the new album needs to come out, as a music artist outside of an occasional update on my sound cloud I have no public presence. But that’s okay. A lot people ignore the reality of finances, home degradation, keeping a steady job with hope to have money for a retirement. And musicians especially with the whole live for the now, make poems of the past, and ignore any future outside of the day attitude.
I didn’t realize Stories was about to hit a 10 year mark until Dave, the guy who did the artwork, asked me if it had really been 10 years.
Stories is kind of my bastard child truth be told. In the midst of Ant-Zen and Coldmeat fandom, I really wanted to make a noise album. And I really wanted to make a soundtrack more than anything.
At the time I was playing guitar for Axis and didn’t have much say outside of some of the guitar parts I could wear Steve down enough to let me change. I think it was really this album, as much as I don’t think it was to Steve or Trent’s taste, that finally irritated them enough to let me write more material for Axis.
I wrote out this short story. Well, maybe “wrote out” is a bit generous. It was more a small cast of ideas serving as characters that was thrown through a series of events. More a list of content and events than actual written story. I talked with Dave a decent amount about it and the art he produced was actual scenery from the story.
The whole album started with an instrumental version of Sub-Ojec. Empty was an evolved version of a tune I made in high school I called Empty Creation. I suppose there is theoretically a cassette tape out there titled “Mechanical Savior” that would have this track on it. The whole album was me editing loops I made myself. I think I picked up a Microkorg halfway through which is how Shadows happened. The vocal tracks were very last minute and I had no idea what I was doing.
Emotionally, I hated all the cheeriness fashion people worth in representation of dark so I decided to make something that was truly dark. But at the end of the day, fashion is a separate entity from music. Always has been. Its silly I thought otherwise for so long. Don’t believe me? Ever see a woman in boots, a leather top, and a leather cowboy hat, think she’s a goth, and then find out she’s actually going to the cowboy club? Yeah, and that’s just an easy example.
I keep debating on revising the album. Releasing a non-vocal, remastering possibly rearranged version (also avoiding paying to use Que Sera again). I suppose that would mostly be for me, but then again, that’s what this project has always been about.
Truth me told, left to stew in thought without revisiting, I don’t like Stories much. But if I turn it on there are some aspects I’m really proud of. There’s a lot of progression and change in Box from ambient noise intro, to train, to weather fall. Empty has this wonderful exploratory mood that has a nice bass to it (which desperately needs a limiter or something). Eat is this wonderfully evil noise club song that has too long of intro. I’m still proud of those drums in Shadows. Soft came out exactly as I envisioned it which doesn’t happen often. Gunjazz shows a little shredding and was a fun experiment with bullet samples I found on the internet. Paths wasn’t really realized but man I’m proud of that redo I did of it on the C/Fe Sampler, one couldn’t happen without the other. Que Sera has some great ambient noise in it, along with a character death (the last character alive in the story by the way, spoilers!) that I think was communicated pretty well with noise and samples. And Ages I would probably shorten, spice up a little, and use as an intro to a live set if I ever fancied being a performing artist again.
There you go, too many words about things you probably didn’t need or want to know. These albums are unabashedly me. And I’m glad I did Stories even if marketing wise its a bad idea to keep it out there.
“In the Worship of Monsters” is now on everything and the “Missing Dead” single is almost on everything. Here are the links I can find. Itunes you’ll have to search for the album title. Be sure and hit the like buttons, give them all 5 stars, and send some reviews in!
I probably should update this website especially with the new album coming out probably this summer. Think May or June.
Been a long time since I’ve posted. Well, this is primarily some house cleaning.
- Just moved from CDBaby to Distrokid. In the Worship of Monsters and the Missing Dead single should start popping up on Itunes and Spotify soon. Bandcamp of course is staying.
- New album will be finished this year, probably by the summer. Current plan is to finish EQ work by May 1st and then submit to have it mastered.
- Submitted In the Worship of Monsters to Pandora, we’ll see if they take it.
- Oh and I did an Axis remix, here it here: https://soundcloud.com/axis-satellite/trial-by-fire-the-backward-by-musim
The wife is about to tour Europe dancing for a certain electronic goth band that we’re not allowed to say publicly yet so this next half year for me is all about music and work.
Well I’m almost out of DeciBel tracks to post. We have one more after this which I will post before the new year. Maybe this is an obituary in terms of the tarot card for Death. If you know anything about tarot cads then you know that the Death card is really just a signal for change. I may not buy into the magic of it all but I love the poetry of it. The hardest of adult life for me is remembering to practice. Of course I’m going to have writer’s block if I never try new things or improve.
This song has a convoluted history. Or at least the DeciBel version does. After I forced my first album, Stories, on the world I tried to get all my friends to remix something. Trent picked out Next to remix. I seem to remember him wanting to mess around with Eat as well but I don’t think he ever got around to it. I released most of the remixes (ATIM never gave me a final version for his…) on a limited to the twenty or so preorders bonus disc. I may revisit those remixes and release them digitally eventually. I would feel a little bad since I promised the preorder people those tracks were for them but I seriously doubt any of them would care, assuming they remember at all let alone still down the disc.
Anyway, once Trent and I started DeciBel he wanted to make an intro song out of his remix. Near the end of our little project’s life I really wanted something new out of the song and threw together a very loose idea just to see what he would think. Note there is nothing finished in this writing, recording, or production wise.
My mind is pretty scattered lately. I’m starting to wonder if I’m writing my own musical obituary with these behind the scenes posts.
So Hollow. Trent emailed me a skeleton drumbeat with the chant he made up for the chorus and I went to town. Its unfortunate because I don’t think Trent ever recorded the verse. And I never recorded the intended guitar solo. Man I have no issue soloing my ass off live but when it comes to recording I really obsess over every single note. Truth be told I have a hard time not viewing my recorded version of Twitch as a failure (off ItWoM).
Hollow is an interesting song because I know Trent wrote these lyrics but man did they ever resonate with me at the time, and not just because Hollow was an online alias I used for a bit. I love speculating, whether I’m right or wrong (its more about the fun of the attempted deduction), so I like to think of this as a point where Trent wrote something for me. In a way I think its what he and I related to most even though he had issues with the song. I’m to this day surprised at how readily he accepted almost everything I did on it.
Part of me really wants to upload the original skeleton track Trent sent me. Of course part of me also wants to upload the original version of Subsistent I sent to Trent as well. I don’t know that anyone would interested in that though. My assumption is most would not.
Anywho, this was written in 2008. Enjoy.
Also a quick reminder, all the Axis and DeciBel tracks I’ve uploaded are free to download.
I know its been a while but its time to go through the deciBel tracks. Truth be told I’m dreading this as much as I’m excited about it. To say Trent and I have had a volatile relationship over the years would be an understatement. And I do mean years, we became friends when I was 14 or 15. To top it off pretty much every situation Trent and I have encountered he remembers in one color and I remember in the opposite color. So its safe to say, none of this or the following posts on this reflect any of Trent’s thoughts, views, opinions, feelings or any other word that would fit in there that feels left out.
I originally wrote Hypocrisy for Axis. I tried pretty hard to get everyone else to learn it but it always felt like no one else cared. We eventually sat down and adjusted the piece a bit, with Trent modifying some of the change overs, laying down a vocal line, and writing a female vocal line that I unfortunately do not have a copy of. Trent and I were ready to perform it but Steve and James never were. I don’t have any speculation on the subject left in me truth me told. Everyone’s world blew up around then, some more than others.
When I left Axis it was on anything but good terms. I took all the unfinished music I had worked on with me at that. Trent and I formed deciBel to do some more hard hitting electronic stuff. Hypocrisy was our first song.
When I initially wrote Hypocrisy I was thinking of live application. I needed parts for everyone in Axis to play hence all the guitar, realistic drums, and potential bass or keyboard lines. On a side note, some of the stuff that sounds like guitar in this song is actually keyboards and vice versa. I sent my Astation through a distortion pedal. The bass line was done my microkorg and a distortion pedal.
I don’t write angry music very often. Anger is an overplayed emotion. Rarely is a situation solved with anger alone and rarely does anger actually help anyone. I spent many years being a pretty angry and hateful individual. When I let it all go I was empty for a long time. Its poisonous, its egotistical, and its self deprecating. If people truly were good or evil, it would be more applicable, but they’re not. But the problem with demonizing anger is creating a situation where the person depreciates themselves for getting angry, which doesn’t work either. We’re all human beings and we’re going to go through the entire rainbow of emotions no matter what we do.
Hypocrisy is a pretty angry song, musically and lyrically. Its seethes and then it lets it out. I hope you enjoy it.