MP3 Sense Of Scenery - twentyfourseven/ep/demo
I think Frank Zappa said something about the difficulties of descriptions. Attic music. Hollow sounds. Stairwell clusterphobia. A slow scrawl through an energy bath of bright electric blues, and warm sacrificial blood.
7 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, POP: New Wave
This artist is also available through https://www.tradebit.com
A short, short biography of Sense Of Scenery would say something to the effect that if mathematics can explain, however coldly, or um...warmly, the state of the universe in relation to its various degrees of being, such as physical proportions and its intricate relation to time, space, the mystical plasma stranding in a sticky pornography between, and the flux and influx throughout, then it would seem a mere callous observation to contort numbers into the explanation of the human consciousness, reasons of such, and reactions since its birth, present existence, and mysteries throughout. Because calculations and prediction can only serve to suffer in the long run when you apply your smudge of predictions upon our mushy minds, because a) everything is constantly shifting and changing, and b) math doesn’t fuck your sister, make you cry, or run over your happy dog, in such the way that the serpentine nature of the Human and its un-predictable Human Emotion element will. I believe this job, that is the job of explaining those temporary moments of human beauty and beastliness, are partially pitted against a backdrop of tones and textures. Sense Of Scenery would be an attempt at harnessing chaotic snippets of everyday/anyday life trauma, and acting upon their particular dynamics in such a way to either mellow or amplify certain aspects of a scene, which is really just a fancy way of saying that a Sense Of Scenery song is just a snap-shot moment in a gushing fluid of many. Song genesis and the materials that are created upon have never had an
order of operations, and if they haven’t now, they most likely will continue to animate like an out of control
influenza strain, gesturing the creator to sometimes have a closer look at something or someone, without warning or control. All songs come from different places in different ways, and it would be silly to organize them in any antithetical presentation, but it’s done, and that’s why it takes me months to organize set lists and most especially, track listing. Perhaps the most unexplainable natural and un-natural phenomenon can be uniquely explained in song, or at least attempted upon, because, hey, you need context in order to understand not only history but present dilemma’s or anythings’ for that matter. But for the most part, I really try to not over-define the song by cluttering it up (much like this bio) with musical gymnastics, because, quite simply, the most beautiful sunrises or sunsets are just sunrises and sunsets, and nothing more.
Musically, Sense Of Scenery draws on inspirations from such acts as David Bowie, Bjork, Joy Division, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Beck, Beethoven, The Smiths, Lou Reed, Gary Numan and a Volkswagon-load of other musicians that have certified the Hallmark greeting approach in pop-music, in a songwriting sense, as simply ‘not-enough-to-really-say-what-I-really-feel’. Sonically, Sense Of Scenery tries to keep the bass frequencies really low, and the high’s, high. Perhaps like a fuller Joy Division sound, with a little harder Radiohead punch, with a little more
effeminate Bowie and Bjork overtones, if you really care for comparisons. To be honest, the musical constructions and behavior of Sense Of Scenery’s songs are really still eeking out their own space and place. Sense Of Scenery has primarily been a one-man band, in search of like-minded bandmates who have passion to play, no matter how olympically brilliant, or savagely bad, in order to fully construct a well-oiled machine, that will attempt to infiltrate the soundwaves that both seem to heal and sicken the human strangers that surround themselves, from sewage system to shining sewage system. For the time being, Sense Of Scenery consists of the founder, guitarist, vox, bassist, drums, and drum programmer, etc., etc., Sean Douglas, and on-call, piano-smashing, pianist, Jesse Chapman.
Perhaps you need more poetic waxing, and aren’t satisfied with the latter nonsense? Well, the following is just for you...
A short biography surrounding my own experiences with ‘Sense Of Scenery’ and the advent of creating compositions in general, would touch on the notion that in a massively concise, comparison-type, generalization, I perceive there to be two distinct personality types among us human(oids): Those who are fearful of something or someone, and those who aren’t...or at least to a lesser degree. The analogy would say that I believe myself to be of ‘fearful’ descriptions: Someone who allows a fear to be a blockage and controller, but through the experience of ‘musical exorcism’, is hopeful to conquer said, ‘blockages’ that were vined within and before me, biologically, and environmentally. Fears are a powerful and primal instinct. It can both work for the artist as much as it can prevent the truth to be set free within a work or the human itself. Whether the music itself is a commercial success, finding its way into a commercial niche, is besides the point and considered a freedom that many only dream of; almost a mirrored oddity of cultural
study, that is the circus act of the successful musical stage show, if such a show has the intelligence, or
extreme lack there of, it all somehow rings the same pitch and tone...almost, and reflects our need for a fucked-up format of community. How does one make sense of their scenery to a group of strangers? Being human, in my opinion, is almost a daily test of how much beauty and bullshit can you stomach? Most of us know that if you don’t find a way of expressing your dueling frustrations, they often arise or suppress in degenerative, and destructive fashions. Disease, unease...to get all beatnik on you. If the comfy clouds of a society where the country you just by chance inhabit, is economically sound, the attentions of the masses are often trapped in a transport cage of guilt, lethargy, and random acts of violence, juxtaposed by scenes of tranquillity and supposed paradise; where the problems are so ‘far’ away--Where the attention of getting food is no longer a concern, it’s replaced with what color minivan complements your eyes It’s such a beautiful and tragic landscape at the same time, and urges a wealth of information and reflection, for anyone who has been placed in the role of ‘witness’, such as I believe I have been. Well, we all have fears don’t we? I might be more successful as a human if I displayed my fears to these strange faces? That is, if they give a shit? If they don’t, whatever? Why not relinquish your chains, if there’s no chains to be seen in the first place?--And understand that in no matter what social state of distress one might find themselves in,
nothing can own your thoughts. Musical prowess, like comedic talent, almost denotes a sign of mental illness, in my own view of conservative, socially-objective analysis. But in my other side of mind, nothing is more free than the mind that colors its own private world with the endless spectrums of vibrating hums, much as comedy crosses barriers with razor acumen, and sharp philosophy...sometimes without even the audience knowing it; a subliminal suggestion that seems to imply that one individual is not to be left alone in the emptiness of space, spinning in a vortex of insignificance and bitter injustice. Perhaps this personal, and yet communal understanding leads to understanding the world you live in better, and thus leads to a sky-clear communication strand, oscillating on invisible waves, cleansing the soul, and bleeding that common blood of unknown, unknowns: What’s this shitty life shit all about? Music says, “hello”, in more ways than mere language could ever attempt to equate. Well, I’m working on that, and perhaps I might make a career out of it someday, just as religious nuts suck money and soul from the stupid and poor.
A longer and yet so much more satisfyingly, informative version is as such:
Sense Of Scenery, or at least the idea of ‘Sense Of Scenery’ was founded in a daydream whilst skipping a period of high school at some point in 1996? or 1997?. I’m not entirely, exactly sure when it came about, but I do remember I was a) stoned, and b) just starting to get the hang of teaching myself the guitar. So, it had to be around that time. People can say what they want about the abusive effects of all those commonplace, ‘mainstream’ drugs such as Pot or Acid, but I’m hardly an advocate to give any praise or prejudice--I find most extremists wrong, anyhow. But I can say, without reservation, that the idea of the band, wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for a chemistry of one part, good-ole-fashioned, suburban boredom, mentally-restless, teenage isolation from fellow peers and authority figures, i.e., teachers, and parents who insist that school is intensely important (in retrospect, it is, to various degrees), and in combination with one part almost daily pot puffing, like any white-bread lowlife. It really did, quite seriously allow the unseen, to be...um...seen, and more importantly, allow the landscape that music offers to be enhanced in that cliché,
cosmically-mystical, and beautiful way. That amounts to many more parts than just a simple few, and rest assured, there are more, but it’s clear that when the future is far off, one can imagine their own; something so mysterious, and frighteningly exciting, that it must certainly be lost at some point in an individual’s life. Quite tragic, though. It really does allow one the insight into the reason why there are so few ‘dreamer’ adults. Although, the danger is, those ‘dreamers’ can often end up in dead-end jobs, working for their beer and coke money, farting into their filthy joggers like the fifteen-year old that never re-gained any social responsibility, if the clear distinction between what is and what is not, isn’t drawn. There are special few dreamers who often end up staring at golden dreams, through the leaves of magical trees, out views in psychiatric ward windows. The distinction between those who are crazy and those who just ‘have a lot on their mind’ is just rather hazy, though. Fantasy and reality are sometimes intensely cruel. Especially for
Mr. and Mrs. Never Left The Eighties. Indeed. She does like the nightlife, she likes to... Allowing one to
expand the artistic breadth within that fatty bulk upstairs, is what’s important here. And to regain some
subject ground, I decided that songwriting was something I could probably attempt. But, there’s an uncertain moment of misunderstanding that every new “songwriter” must confront, however obvious as it may be, but truth be squeezed out like paste, for the longest time, I just didn’t see music, and therefore, didn’t understand how it was created out of thin air? It wasn’t elemental, it was cerebral. It was mimicking a force we can’t see: Soundwaves. I suppose the same function of smearing paint into shapes was similar to banging on various metals, flesh, and woods, that is, by communicating an ancient desire to resonate with the Earth as a whole, or one person, place or thing. One can derive paint from pigments, where does sound originate? Well, for one thing, is there a distinct purpose for a humming a single tone as a group? What does that say about us, or anything? But the understanding came, slowly, like anything does--much like my points, throughout my dramatic, round-a-bout talk-theatrics: which IS the point: Sense Of Scenery is the attempt of uniting an underlying theme throughout all the fucked-up, cartoonish, aspects that any one human is subjected to during the course of a lengthy, or short lifeline, however lamb-like, however vile and demented, like that of a dancing bear, after years of subjected torture. But it most likely won’t add up. So don’t hold your breath. Come up for it. And realize that everything is pain, and it’s sometimes musical. Musical pain! Where’s all that un-accounted for matter in the universe? A dark place, indeed. In other words (assuming that the others weren’t enough), the musical documentation of my curiosities within the self and without the self. Like a tour of all emotions in segments. One could refer to the subjective,
infamous, and ultra-lonesome last movie played before the theatre of the mind before the inevitable anti-climax: Life, kids. An attempt to make sense of one’s scenery: The illustrious daydream might be either an onslaught of early warning schizophrenia, or just teenage perspectives: how very fucked ‘we’ all are, and aren’t, at the same time. But for my 16 or 17 year old self, it was no surprise to me that there was something very pure and coincidentally wrong with civilization surrounding my senses. As I digest a contradiction, a beauty (no matter how trite, or heavenesque), a wordless expression, it must be transported somewhere? Nes pas? A communiqué to nowhere in particular. If all those books are going to burn eventually, I might as well construct controlled noize into the loudest beauty I know of. And there you have the approach to writing a Sense Of Scenery song. For the large majority of it comes from little, bittle
daydreams. A netherworld, with sub-conscious origin...without sounding too pretentious.
But that’s what it’s all about, allowing the flow to change you without concern of past allegiances. I had previously been jamming with friend’s and what-not from there on out, so the more experience I had playing with drummer’s and bassist’s, the more the picture became clearer. The drums have always been a more powerful element with me, and I initially wanted to learn them, but at the time, guitar’s were just more accessible...still are, in a way. I had written a few riff’s and verse’s, and just odd’s and end’s really. The picture never really came clear. To make a long story short, I learned right off the bat that I wasn’t pleased by lackluster attitudes towards the structural genesis of a piece of music. It almost had to come from the heart and deep stomach, like a really, dirty observation, when for most of my counterparts at the time, they were really into just lumping chords together in emotionless stables. Surely, I believe I must have missed the point of public performance, because the ‘fun’ of entertaining, was not ‘fun’ to me, it was terrifying. This is what I have never understood, and this is what the performer is charged by: the drawing of attention towards a focus. Now, how does that go again?
Forming a band is much more easier said than done, and it’s precisely this that I found out between the years of 1998 to, well...now. I’ve placed ads, I’ve made alliances, I''ve auditioned myself, I''ve auditioned others. Truth be known, I’ve made very little effort, or at least what I perceive to be a weak attempts. Whether this is a conscious effort, I don’t really know? Sense Of Scenery had to live in the form of a one-man band, because throughout all the little bands I’ve been in throughout the years, I’ve had to compromise on names and ideas, because that’s just how it goes. Such a thrill it has been, when you find yourself sitting across from another bandmate, as they explain to you that “we should really find a name that has a “The” in-front of it.” “The Good For Nothing’s”, I suggested. Most of the people I have tried to form with have been categorized as being one of two things: a) Liking the idea of being in a band much more than learning their instruments really well, or b) Not wanting to take the whole thing seriously. I went
through a really cynical phase a few years back, and decided to start producing silly-type, minimal techno,
because, I essentially, wasn’t really doing much else, other than sit around and fight with my girlfriend.
Around the same time, (2001) I began volunteering a large portion of my time at CiTR 101.9fm at the University Of British Columbia. During countless early morning hours, I would contribute whatever musical vomit or poetic diarrhea I could muster, and it was amusing in its own right, and strangely, intensely satisfying to my artistic needs, thanks to resident DJ Haitchc, producing the show ‘Plutonian Nights’ (https://www.tradebit.com) It was completely free air-space, and my friends and I unleashed verbal and musical hell upon it. To condense a lengthy, nostalgic, explanation describing these times, I found myself signed to a independent, experimental music, Vancouver label, called Sinusoidal Records.
(https://www.tradebit.com) I began producing music under the alter-ego, Krisco Los Vega, or MC Krisco. Some of it, apparently made it to the studios of the CBC, as office humor. Quite the contribution to the arts, if you ask me.
Now we find ourselves in 2002, and 2003. I broke it off with a “bassist” I had devoted an enormous amount of time “collaborating” with, because she simply couldn’t learn the bass, and somehow wanted a complete slice down the middle of songwriting? Fuck this, and I broke it off in September, 2002. I think we were going as “The Cinders”, or something? Yeah. Hmm. I had to sneak my bass out of her basement suite, cause I new she would flip, if she knew I was breaking it up. I did it by phone, like the chivalrous, power-house of a man I am. I put out more ads in the Georgia Straight. Many bites, nothing without some sort of venom. I even found myself in the rehearsal space of a devout Christian band, yelling
“Fuck!” into their monitors, cause I couldn’t hear shit besides the drums, as they gazed at me in complete
linguistic confusion, like I was dialectic bullhorn of offensiveness in a silent Mormon parade of abstract
disillusionment. I couldn’t sing, and I had been up all night, because I sleep during the day, and they wanted to jam in the morning. Who the fuck jam’s at 11:00am?! Out of there, I was, and I believe they knew it was never meant to be, either. In early/mid-2003, I ask my friend, Jesse Chapman, if he would help me in the field of ‘ebony and ivory’, if I needed it, because Jesse’s been classically training (currently in school studying music) himself in piano for a few years up to this point and we started getting to know each other’s styles by playing together off and on, and going over new material I had at the time. Jesse is truly gifted, and has focus that I find I’m uber-devoid of. But he has never showed an express interest in pursuing a career with Sense Of Scenery, but his friendship and help, as I know, will always be there, and I consider him a member, nevertheless, and include him to whatever degree he desires. At around the same time, I met Jeremy Tolsma, and this is where and when Sense Of Scenery became an actual entity; a solid mass, and the picture focused a little more. Jeremy is a musical genius in his own right. It may sound as though I have personal bias, but I don’t, in most cases, use much bias as part of my diet. His musical specialty is destroying instruments, re-configuring their innocent gizzards, and then programming them to do what they weren’t (and probably shouldn’t) supposed to do. Jeremy’s been creating and engineering music probably since the days I was pissing my corduroy’s and sobbing, incessantly about it in elementary school. Jeremy and I met through a chance meeting I had with him
through DJ Haitchc from CiTR and Sinusoidal Records. At the time, Haitchc had included me into a monster of a band project called ‘Experiencing Difficulties’, and Jeremy, himself, was a co-founding member. I had previously played shows with E.D., as live-bassist, with Haitchc, and different members previously, but on this occasion, we played a live-recording set in the Sinusoidal One Studios, where Jeremy operates from, with Jeremy producing and coordinating the large majority of it, which would later
become a fair-bulk of an album put out by Sinusoidal Records titled, Experiencing Difficulties, ‘Future
Failure’, in 2006. We did the set and afterwards I asked him if he was interested in engineering a 3 song acoustic demo for Sense Of Scenery. Reluctantly, he would, and as the demo recordings progressed between the months of September into December, 2003, it had become a 10 song, amateur masterpiece, full of wondrous mistakes, but it was a substance not before known to me. I pressed 66 (fucking expensive) copies and distributed them to family and friend’s, not unlike any traditional, skipping fairy of a musician before me. I called it ‘Ill Fantasy’ (Acoustic Demo Sessions), and it was released around the middle of
January, 2004. Let’s call it January 20, 2004.
Some time passed and without warning I had a flood of new material rushing in my brain like an epiphical blood clot of spring-time, right of passage. This melodrama continued to construct and I decided that instead of looking for bandmates, I would be better off concentrating on this open well, cause it seemed it could close at any moment, and frankly, I didn’t want to deal with vague guitarists again, and it seemed like the right opportunity to squeeze. I love live drums, but fuck, what am I going to do about this? A properly compressed, and mic’ed drum kit will liquefy my heart over anything I can think of. That deep stomachy, bass compressing motion, beats any sensorial stimulation I know of. Don’t own a kit, and I’m not fit enough a player for real, studio tick-tock documentation. Buy a drum machine? I did. There I go, programming the new kick and punches throughout Spring, 2004, and proved to be a paramount base to write the material around and helped me map out arrangements in joyess splendor. I spent hundreds of hours, forcing anything out of my new BOSS Dr. Rhythm, that would be as close to a realistic sounding kit as possible, and strangely enough, in most cases I ended up doing the opposite of what I originally wanted them to sound like, and made them more and more synthetic sounding. Throughout the spring I had been making arrangements with the co-producer, and engineer of ‘Ill Fantasy’, Jeremy Tolsma, and we more or less tried to map out our plans of recording a full-instrumentation 3-song single, and supposed it would take the summer and would be mixed in the fall. Thing was, neither of us have ever recorded live electric guitars for a layered technique in a conventional, contemporary song structure. How would we allow the vocals to fit in with these sounds? What method would we use to record the bass? I was really speeding to get this done, but as the initial recording sessions progressed, it looked to be an enormous undertaking. June, 2004 is when we started, and the summer was intensely hot. We started with bass proceedings, and I swear I would lose a couple pounds with each 5 or 6 hour session in sweat alone, because we had to keep the studio
air tight, for noise registrations during recording and well...the noise we were making. We had many technical problems along the way, and for the most part, we truly were just testing ground on most things, with many analytical hours of where to go next, and how to fix technical difficulties...which I in part, mainly
sat and watched the engineer silently examine his thoughts, because I sure as fuck, didn’t understand the
computer scheme of situations. I ended up doing most of the vocal takes in a darkened stairwell, sealed and mic’ed twice: One at the top, and one at the bottom. In a hypothetical scenario, the 3-song single (which was now a 7-song E.P.) should’ve taken 3 months to record and a month to mix and master. Well, we finished in April, 2005. It was beautiful, and although not without errors, it was a true testament to just how much patience the engineer and I had. Jesse, the pianist, and I collaborated on an instrumental written strictly for the piano I had been toying with, and recorded it in a sea-side studio on a beautiful Grand. Getting the money together to release it would take some time, so it sat on the shelf for some months, while the cover art was finalized, and the money was accumulating. I had many names for the title, but one came to me on a whim. Because so much of the recording was so fixed around a murmur of seasons, the silent evaluation of a fixed point in my life, I really didn’t feel as though I knew much of anything else besides the recordings, and although I felt I really had the support of those who really cared for me and supported the project, I really did feel not-unlike a shop clerk in the dead of night; completely alone in the creation of Sense Of Scenery’s own existence. A twenty-four-hour, three-sixty-five, movie played out to me in
sequences, over and over again that would link the chain of thoughts I surrounded in these 7 songs, and I realized that I should just finish this, and save the conceptual design to perhaps a future double-album or something? When most people are wrapped up in real-life decisions, like having a family, persuing careers, lovers, etc., here I am, chain-smoking and obsessing over a few measures of music. I very rarely gave an attention to anything else, and it was kind of scary. Many of the themes expressed on the album are of various segments one could find themselves in, from the real-time birth into life, as the form of micro-thief: time skins your shiny belly, to the retro-gradiations of death, as the album slides open. ‘Werewolves’, the first vocal track, for instance, explains a small soundtrack to an anonymous being, being born, and slowly but surely, being transformed into a monster creation; a myth of mind in order to not only read the language of the modern world, but to belong to it, it must become un-trusting, calculating monster, in order to survive. Those who surround, feed off it, taking from it like starving mobs. This desperate attempt at living is emotionless and instinctively animal--A pure substance at the beginning of the song is being restricted, cut down, and edited, until all that’s left is a social oddity; an urban legend, meant to control the imaginations of all those who dare venture alone in the woods at night. I believe a documentary I had seen on the development and usages of lying in children brought about this song? Another way of looking at the song could indicate that those who’ve been jerked around, really should control how much power is lost to their personal demons, before
the demon they’ve loathed, become the demon they know. It’s so...fucking...powerful, man! The power of myth and suggestion are still alive and well and living stronger than ever. Hitler would chuckle and jiggle like a bowl full of jelly. Perhaps a marriage with us all, bound and meant to be? Perhaps a method of arranging our collective imaginations, to shape wherever our story will lead or end, and how it’s applied to our name?
I had my friend, Amber, appear anonymously/somewhat-androgynously nude on the cover, with
cuts dug deep into her flesh (make-up, kids), spelling out the information for the album. It was meant to represent not only my own sense of isolation and reaction to still-life, in trying to animate the impossible song, but to represent the consequence of any life form: All pain is life, and it was also a personal comment to remind myself what is beautiful about sacrificing comfort as much as it was the observing of pain in the people around me at the time and how they would use it to advantages. It all goes so fucking fast. And that clock, fucking ticks. I called it ‘twentyfourseven’ e.p. demos, and November 15, 2005, it was released.
At the current moment, I am ever the private detective at many local act venues and black and white columns, looking for a unit of fine young robots, to comprise my robot band of twisted-train-wreaked steel. Or rather, I am on the lookout for those with less fear than I, and believe in contributing something worth-while in a sea of endless other bands, doing the same thing as us. It’s almost superfluous to slash a word across the future of the band, because I find myself in situations I don’t usually find myself in more now than ever. So anything that is possible, is possible, mathematically speaking. Rehearsals are whenever I can, whether it be for a solo set or new material that is eager to be forced into bits of data. No immediate plans for more studio work, but it’ll have its time. The moon is gold and low, and my fingers are numb, acidic tools of prayer and pain. Coming to a shitty bar near you.
Now sufficiently sick of anything related to me or my band,
Sean Douglas. May, 2006