In the deep need to express a feeling or say a word, to come in contact with people and be heard, be accepted, to feel like I belong where I am.
by Alex Panait
I started recording my own music about seven years ago, when I was 14, by myself in my bedroom – like a lot of people do. I haven’t formally released anything over this period of time, but I still organized my songs into albums and made artworks for each of them. I’ve got about 11 of these ‘albums’ which I’ll probably never release, but they are certainly a good way to document my evolution as a singer-songwriter.
That being said, this first LP Postponed Arrivals means a lot to me – not only because it’s the first one, but it’s also the most uncomfortably personal thing I ever wrote.
So it’s basically an album all about the struggles
that I have experienced in my life so far,
represented as an audio-stageplay.
It’s divided into six acts and various actors,
that show the story from different perspectives,
with an original and an alternate timeline.
My second album is somewhat of a time capsule. These are the songs I wrote between realizing I needed to get better and doing something about it.
My alcoholism and dependence on other addictive behaviors (weed, sex, etc.) had progressed to a point where they had begun destroying every semblance of a good life I’d managed to build despite them. To preserve any chance I had at living well, I needed to change the way I spent each and every moment of my time. In order to honestly document these in musical form, I stripped away every instrument other than my voice, guitar, laptop, and tape recorder.
by Kyle Johnson
I have an incredibly vivid memory of the first time I heard Bad Brains. It was the first punk rock I had ever heard. I was fourteen years old, and I’m twenty-one now, but I can still conjure the feeling of that moment. The music tore through me. I felt the sound more than I heard it. It was summer, and I was staying in on a beautiful day to listen to music that a youtube algorithm was recommending me – but I’m so grateful I did. It made something click in my brain, like a light in a dingy basement being flicked on for the first time. I felt completely at home in the break-neck speed and sheer volume of the music. If you know that record, the first Bad Brains record, it is insane sounding even by today’s standards. I left the first playthrough of hundreds a completely changed kid. The world looked and felt different. I was in on some kind of secret.
I would later learn, of course, that I was far from being the only person that had this exact revelation. Very far. But it felt so special to me. I’ve played in bands and written at least a couple hundred songs since that day. I started a band with my best friends (Bad Nostalgia, check us out) that’s still kicking to this day, and we’ve played countless shows. We made an album by ourselves. I have grown as a person and lived through trial and tribulation as we all have. But that first experience hearing punk rock music was my watershed moment.
It encapsulated everything I love about music, art, and life. It’s all lead to me starting Pet Traits. I wanted to capture that feeling of excitement and wonder and use it as a creative power-tool. I threw out a lot of what I knew about music: the conventions, the chase of perfection, the safe bet, for total creative liberation. This is how I did it.
“Hey, mom where is my bass and guitar?”
“I took them to grandma’s; you’ve been playing way too much.”
This is how I woke up one day in grade 11 because I wasn’t doing much of anything other than making up random melodies and recording them on a tape player. I loved the fact that I was in control of making these things up and that they were not being graded or picked apart by a teacher or whatever…
I’m Jesse, an independent singer/songwriter/producer. I’ve been recording music in different projects since 2009. Juliet’s Funeral, The Freddy Velcroman Expedition, and International Spies just to name a few. I’ve always been inspired by the DIY concept of garage rock and punk bands. I’m a huge fan of the ’60s and ’70s psychedelia and pop music.
I would describe my music as Alternative Pop Rock with explorations into Folk/Blues, Reggae and Jazz. I’m trying to find that someplace out there for my music, those ears to hear it and hearts to feel it. It’s been hard with such a wide range of influences. That’s when I realized I’d have to carve out my own corner here on this earth to fly my freak flag.