Gryflet’s Left to the Unknown

We all have voices in our head. In the early 1930’s the Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky defined the distinction between silent ‘inner speech’ and oral language: Even as inner speech starts out as a direct internalization of our external speech, his theory claims that as we mature, the two diverge, with inner speech no longer resembling our spoken words.

A few years ago, I discovered I could scream and it was incredibly liberating. Not scream as in yell loudly, but more in the heavy metal flash-the-devil’s-horn type scream. It was as if my inner voice, disconnected and disregarded for years, had made it back to the outside and was ready to make some serious trouble.

Left to the Unknown
…is a song about confronting your own demons.
written, performed, and produced by: Gryflet
vocals and lyrics: jh0st
recorded: 2015

Wallow in pain hanging upside down
Bats in your brain in your head you clown
Crown of thorns left to the undead
Stumble out from under your own grave

Left to the Unknown
Turn right just face your frightening black hole!

Major Tom withdraw the cash and run
Rabid eyes staring down the sun
Low orbit squeeze the blood from the stone
Repeat again dance with your skeleton

Left to the Unknown
Break down the mirrors of your own dark soul!

Face the wind jump off the cliff and drown
Just in time to kill your second skin
Throw away your past it’s only true
If you let it kill the real you.

Left to the Unknown
Throw down the shackles of your own dark skull!
Soul…

We all have voices in our head. In the early 1930’s the Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky defined the distinction between silent ‘inner speech’ and oral language: Even as inner speech starts out as a direct internalization of our external speech, his theory claims that as we mature, the two diverge, with inner speech no longer resembling our spoken words.

A few years ago, I discovered I could scream and it was incredibly liberating. Not scream as in yell loudly, but more in the heavy metal flash-the-devil’s-horn type scream. It was as if my inner voice, disconnected and disregarded for years, had made it back to the outside and was ready to make some serious trouble.

The discovery came vocalizing for the ambitious, but ultimately ill-fated band, Serpent’s Exile, where I more or less tried to imitate ‘doom metal.’ It was only after working with Nuno Tavares and his sublimely heavy band Gryflet, where I was able to open the door to something new…

I think we’ve all been though a self-indulgent low-point in our lives where nothing seems to have much meaning anymore. Our inner voice channels self-loathing and self-criticism into non-action. I was in deep hiding, and Nuno texted me one day to simply say: “do something, anything. even if it’s just posting a picture on facebook.” 

That’s when I followed up with lyrics for Left to the Unknown as if my inner voice was telling me to get the f** out of bed and move on. Just like our self-pitying bad selves, the lyrics are intentionally dramatic, and hopefully you can recognize a post-goth humor in them. Instead of the droll pretension of doom metal, I tried to imagine how a younger Bowie might scream, so there’s a little bit of 70s punk adolescence in there (as well as a reference to Major Tom’s drug addicted “all time low”). The message is that sometimes it’s ok to “kill” your past to confront the unknown future.

If you’re listening to the tune, I also invite you to make it past 2:22, even if you hate the brutal vocals and grinding guitars. Here you can really tap the brilliance of Nuno’s song-writing as the whole composition, like an ether-filled dream, transitions to a psychedelic exterior space. I switch over to playing Rhodes piano to complement Nuno’s subtle guitar riffs and solo.

The feeling that we conjure is that after you’ve kicked yourself in the arse and somehow made it out the door, you re-enter the swirl of life and its unknowability. You either ride with it or withdraw again…

Scientists have known for over a century that our inner voice triggers tiny movements in our larynx. These murmurs aren’t little angels and devils arguing on our shoulders, they are us: our ‘superhuman’ selves inspiring or sabotaging our daily lives. I would say every now and then, close the doors and let your inner voice out. Scream like you’re possessed, laugh hysterically, or cry like a banshee. I can’t guarantee that it will solve anything directly, but I know it has the power to slightly readjust the gears in our unknown universe. Just make sure to drink a glass of water beforehand so you don’t damage your vocal chords.

london terrace, NYC