I had hatched this plan during the making of Ghosts that, instead of spending months crafting full album-length releases, I should just do a series of shorter EP releases. It was a plan hatched primarily from looking through my wife’s Instagram account and thinking, “That could be a cool album cover. Ooh, that one, too. And that one.”
I didn’t say it out loud, though, because whenever I announce such an intention prematurely, it always ends up derailing me somehow. But this is what you could very well call the 2nd release in this EP series. The common denominator between Ghosts, this new EP, Mistakes, and any coming after it, is a short run-time of about 30 minutes, and with a distinct style for each release different from the previous ones.
Ghosts was gothic rock. This one is more electronic and industrial-sounding. It still uses the synthesized vocals heard on Machines and Ghosts, but instead of the guitars being at the forefront, I decided to experiment more with the electronic side.
One of the major goals with Mistakes was to not rely on pre-made loops from sites like Looperman, but instead craft them myself. To do this, I actually took a bit of a step back in my musical evolution and crafted most of the noisy beats, as well as the more esoteric synth sounds, in Reason. This allowed me greater freedom to experiment with odd rhythm patterns and time signatures, which there are a lot of on this EP — “F.O.A.D.” is in 6/8 time; “Before I Kill Again” is in 7/8 time; and “Eating People’s Flesh” has a chorus so off-beat it messes with my head.
The guitar is still there, but it’s always augmented by a spiky, low-tuned saw wave that reminds me a bit of Zombi’s “Through Time” from their album Spirit Animal. When used in combination with the thin, yet vastly overdriven, guitar patch I had going, it took the guitar sound to the sort of crushing, devastating peak I’m really fond of. My favorite distorted guitar sound is the sort that sounds like being crushed under fourteen tons of concrete, and while this one is not as relentlessly searing as Deadsy’s guitar, or as violent as Sonic Mayhem’s, it can still crack a few bones.
My original intent was to create my own take on the late-90’s industrial-rock of bands like Orgy and Deadsy, but once I got into it, the songs took on a life of their own and started sounding more like Epochate’s Chronicles of a Dying Era, an album I had been spinning continuously for months leading up to me starting on this album.
I also realized that, when push comes to shove, I’m probably a better rock musician than an industrial musician. Because, even though I love glitchy and abrasive electronics as well as twinkling arpeggios, I really don’t have the patience to sit down and tinker with sounds for hours on end. I want to get in and just write the tune, not spend time twiddling knobs until I get a patch sounding just right. Most of the time, I just yanked on the filters and portamento of a saw wave until it sounded appropriately harsh, then smothered it in distortion and called it a day.
Again, I probably shouldn’t announce things ahead of time because, as I said, things always end up getting derailed — but my next EP will probably be a more back-to-basics guitar/bass/drums kind of affair. I’m just too impatient to be a proper industrial musician.