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.
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…
Music is a reflection of experiences – your own experiences, the things you see, the things you hear, the things you do, the things that happen to you, the things that happen to the people you are connected to. To me, making music has become a way of taking what is so deep inside and/or what is so out of of grasp outside and turning it into something that does its best to conceptualize what is impossible for me to understand at the time. And then, hopefully, people can connect with the emotion and relate to it.