The Imaginary, Symbolic, and the Real

by Dillon Vetere (aka Safehouse)

The Imaginary, Symbolic, and the Real by Dillon Vetere (aka Safehouse)
The 2010’s have come to an end, and there was no better way to end the decade with a collection of songs that mean so much to me as an artist and person… The tracks of the Mirror Stage era. This collection of 80’s inspired new wave tracks, with sprinkles of modern chillwave, have taught me so much about myself as a musician and will forever hold a special place in my heart. The Mirror Stage era ended with my newest release to date, the Imaginary Order EP. This EP is only 17 minutes long, but it packs so much emotion and angst into 5 tracks. Although the Mirror Stage era is over, this EP is the perfect way to kick off the new decade.

Cliffhanger

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Music and my Dog

Safehouse began in a steaming hot garage in a small town in Florida called Port Saint Lucie. I was 19 years old when I began the Safehouse project. As a Long Island, NY native, all I had when I moved to Florida was music and my dog Treybert.

I was always heavily interested in electronic music, specially from the 80’s. I remember hearing Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. I never understood how they made their music sound so futuristic and cool. I was only 8 years old, but this fascination has stuck with me till this day.

Growing up on Long Island was truly an amazing experience. I’m from a town called Commack, and I remember in the early 2000’s the punk rock scene formed right in front of my eyes. Bands like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday were hometown heroes to us all on the island, and I remember being so inspired by them. This ultimately led to me becoming a musician at a young age.

Reflections

I remember back in 2007, I began creating a drone album called “Above and Beyond” with my side project called Firefly. I remember having an absolute blast mixing these weird electronic sound layers together to create a beautiful mess of lyric-less music that went on [which seemed like] forever. After that album, I decided to dig deeper into electronic music to learn how to make music that had lyrics and structure. I bought a Roland SP-404 Sampler and never looked back. Safehouse was born.

I remember writing lyrics out of nowhere. I would get inspired randomly and would just start writing. In 2009, I was waiting to get picked up from my job at Sonic, and lyrics suddenly hit me out of nowhere. I took out my black Razor cellphone and texted myself lyrics I had in mind. This resulted in me writing “Reflections” which made an appearance on my first full length LP, “Mirror Stage” 10 years later.

Equinox

In 2010, I already wrote three structures of songs which were so close to being complete but I needed extra power. I got together with my good buddy Jonathan and we finished the foundation of “Equinox” which is the first official release of Safehouse. I graduated high school in 2010, and life got in way. I moved to West Palm Beach in 2011, and still had a foundation of an EP that was just ready to be finished.

When I arrived to West Palm Beach, I was greeted by my other buddy Kashaun, and we picked up “Equinox” and finished the EP. It was the most fun I had as a musician. We played countless shows and even went on a small Florida tour. It was incredible.

Mirror Stage

Again, life got in the way and Kashaun and I parted ways. This led to Safehouse becoming a solo project in 2014. I was hurting bad losing my good buddy at the time who moved to Belgium, and we were on the cusp on doing something very special together. Although I think about what “could have been,” I am very proud how things played out. I began writing again and a bad breakup with a girl I cared so much about inspired me to create more music. This resulted in my first full length LP entitled “Mirror Stage.” Why Mirror Stage? I was very intrigued by the psychoanalytic theory of the Mirror Stage by Jacques Lacan.

Prior to the Mirror Stage era, I had bad writers block. I learned about this theory in school and decided this was a cool theme for my new music. The meaning of the Mirror Stage was broken up into the Imaginary order, the symbolic, and the real. In a nutshell, the Imaginary order of the Mirror Stage is what forms the “identity” of that specific person or thing.

Since I had a writers block, I decided to go back to my roots and began using samples again. It was a lot of fun to go back to my roots, and my writers block was over due to the circumstances I mentioned above. I took this theory and applied it to my music. I needed an identity, and going back to my roots made me realize that was my identity all along.

Imaginary Order

The symbolic and the real are the answers to the imaginary. Once that identity was established, the symbolic order and the real became clearer for me. I understood who I was as a musician and blocked out the bad thoughts of an alter ego.

On February 27th, 2020, I released Imaginary Order and am very proud of what I accomplished. Although the Mirror Stage era was filled with heartbreak, depression, sadness, and loneliness, it taught me a lot about myself as a person and a musician. I learned to overcome the BS that life spits in your face and got better from it. Life is filled with learning experiences, and those bad/good experiences only helped me grow as a person. Making music has always been therapy for me, and it was extremely fitting to get it all off of my chest during the Mirror Stage Era.

More to come…

I’m really looking forward to this decade. With the amount of knowledge I have learned, I feel the sky is the limit for my music. Music has always helped me get through the rough times, and all I want is for people to listen to “Mirror Stage” and “Imaginary Order” and enjoy themselves while they are doing it. Whether that means getting over anxiety or depression like myself, I hope these tracks can help people get through the rough times in life.

I’d like to thank mySoundposter for inviting me to write for their blog. More importantly, I’d like to thank you for reading and for supporting my music. You can listen to my entire discography by visiting https://open.spotify.com/artist/5Au4Tb0oyZAR4BfcKRaguo. Thanks again and enjoy the music!

-Dillon Vetere

Safehouse Discography

Artist’s Note
West Palm Beach, Florida, Long Island, New York
Alternative, Indie, New Wave, Chillwave, Synth-Pop, Electronic

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