“I’m dead” proclaimed my old friend Brian Johnston aka Ireverend Brainskan. It was the summer of 1988 after one of his last rehearsals as keyboardist in our band Wept, and the usually pale saint-of-later-daze just had his wisdom teeth pulled. In that moment however, his swollen blush made him look less like a macabre corpse and more like a pre-teen chewing a wad of gum. Through the haze of that novocained suburban rite of passage he could only say a few words: “The next time you see me, I’ll be a different person. Everything that I’ve done till now will be gone in the past.”

statik 1

“I’m dead” proclaimed my old friend Brian Johnston aka Ireverend Brainskan. It was the summer of 1988 after one of his last rehearsals as keyboardist in our band Wept, and the usually pale saint-of-later-daze just had his wisdom teeth pulled. In that moment however, his swollen blush made him look less like a macabre corpse and more like a pre-teen chewing a wad of gum. Through the haze of that novocained suburban rite of passage he could only say a few words: “The next time you see me, I’ll be a different person. Everything that I’ve done till now will be gone in the past.”

If only I could move on so easily. During the following year I would write and record Statik 1 defiantly rejecting the ‘death’ of letting go. Named for the sound you hear when dialing between random radio stations, the 6-song EP has too much of it all: the piano jazz of Animus, the post-catholic reverb halls of Resonance, mashed with forays into indie rock. Remaining competent on all my instruments became too heavy literally and metaphorically and the need to include them became obligation rather than inspiration. Meanwhile new cities and old friends from Seoul, Korea to Richmond, Virginia became lightning rods for new creative possibility.

While my previous efforts were, well effortless, each song on Statik 1 has at least three completely different out-takes – none of which are better than the other. In any endeavor when this happens, it takes courage to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Creatives all go through transitions: While a few change with purpose (Picasso’s blue to rose) or drama (Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke), the rest of us stumble and contradict. Maybe the wisdom is in dying a little so you can let go and start anew.

[ Buy Statik 1 on Bandcamp » ]

jh0st | statik 1 | 1989
original etching by jh0st, university of virginia, 1989

 

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