by Cold Pickle
I grew up listening to a lot of alternative rock music — a good handful of hip-hop but nothing in-depth. Most of my musical influence came from Nine Inch Nails and the “industrial uprising.” My parents met at a Ministry concert at the first actual venue I ended up playing at, in the closest city’s bar scene. My dad got me into every good popular metal, hardcore, punk, rock band I can think to listen to today, besides newer bands of this generation.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
Before I created anything on my Bandcamp site I was in a post-hardcore band. We played very typical, basic metalcore riffs, along with a handful of familiar chords — nothing to strike a pose and boast about. I actually hated it. My older brother and I grew up with a drum kit, but I taught myself how to play guitar via tablatures, which led me to play bass in the band while my brother played drums.
High School Years
Every day I came home from school I would just improvise some new rhythms and noises with my guitars and just record them as voice memos. I got into writing music through this process of trying not to pay attention and letting whatever vibe take hold of me.
After discovering some of the “more accessible” roots of jazz in various music classes, I realized that it is, in fact, the best genre ever. Rock and roll came from jazz which came from blues, and same with hip-hop and rap music. Everything you hear today dates back to some old songwriting method someone else has used.
Ironically, it was during my high school years that I began to stray (not too far) from instrumentally-composed music, by delving into recent electronic music, and the more dated techno from all over the world. My brother had made the shift to exclusively trap/rap music over the years, and I caught onto it later. In sophomore year I had an iPhone and paid for the GarageBand app. I made over a hundred songs and released around 30 of them, before losing my phone in a bathroom incident.
My last two years in high school were pretty much dedicated to messing around with writing lyrics even if they sucked and meant nothing. I listened to a lot of random SoundCloud artists, some way more popular than others, but mostly just searching for beats. Stuff to fill my head and keep a tempo while I spat lyrics all over my school agenda book. In study hall and any quiet or inattentive parts of classes. I created this method to make a tablature-like way to read lyrics, to keep track with my not-always-present memory.
The Age of Definition
This brings me to my current state in being an artist. We live in the age of Definition. And we want everything in our world to be broken down to the dumbest terms to be understood. We want high-quality — original, Classic, stolen, whatever. As humans, we consume. We see blurs in our vision and wish not to wear spectacles, but we want the contacts to be pre-prescribed to our eyeballs. I challenge this way of living.
I live with a phobia of repetition. Deja Vu is an utter nightmare, and I experience it a few times a year. I hate to repeat myself; in conversation when people can’t hear me or don’t listen, when I tell a joke, even singing songs out loud. What I can stand, however, is evolution in songwriting; new music — anything I haven’t heard before. I Want to hear something new all the time, but in this age of definition, everybody wants to be heard and repeat themselves. I want to discover, explore, break boundaries. I seek beyond.
When I hear pop music, it haunts me because people tend to write 3-minute songs with some lyrics that I end up reading too deep into, but still, manage to obsess over subconsciously. You take two steps from your bed, and you have a song stuck in your head. Most of the songs you hear on the radio today aren’t even written by the performer(s).
I create moment-driven music. And it’s so alternative it’s hard to pinpoint a genre as well. A lot of people dream of the stage, yelling a bunch of words to strangers. But with how I handle my process I think that dream will never see the light.
My process for production is where I actually thrive. Song ideas come and go, lyrics to a hook will spawn and dissipate all in a matter of seconds. I use three programs to help me create songs, aside from the occasional voice memo to take note before I can access them.
Audacity; for any sort of sampling I need to manually crop and loop. Beatcraft; my essential midi and sample-sequencing application, used for most of my beats and essential rhythm to a song. Soundtrap, which I actually discovered on the Google Play store, an online collaboration-driven song production app. I have yet actually to collaborate with anyone but myself, but with paying a few bucks a month to make albums of songs over the course of a few months, it’s worth it.