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There's "something in the air".

It's been 6 years since I've competed in a remix contest. Well okay, let's be honest... it's been 6 years since I've done a remix at all! With a new career, family to attend to, and very little precious time for music, I made an effort to focus my time on working on the upcoming album, "The Mortal Veil". And enduring a year sorrow and grief on top of that has come at the expense of some creativity.

I'm not entirely sure what grabbed my curiosity to see what might be out there to remix in that big scary world. I'm sure my struggles had a part to play in my utter lack of enthusiasm while perusing the list of songs on remixcomps.com. But some lyrics grabbed me from EleX's "Something in the Air" And then I felt God's presence press upon me with an excitement. He asked, "Can I work on this with you?" So I did.

My quiet time with the Lord has been lacking - not just from being busy. It's been a very challenging year for me; a trial of sorts. My wife's father passed away almost a year ago, but it still feels like yesterday sometimes. Grief came. Things that have been safe unraveled. I struggled with feeling split off, not being able to connect with myself - translating to unfocused time with God.

But his invitation to create with me was something different. He was inviting me (or was it, waiting for me to invite him?) into my busy life. Not wanting just the quiet time together, but to be in and among my crazy work schedule, my creative spells, and my broken places. Its been years since I've invited Jesus into my creative time, and I knew I had to take him up on the offer.

What followed was a fast-paced process of ideas back n' forth. "How about guitars here?" "What are you feeling from these words, Brian?" I followed these questions and tapped into something deeper and more moving than I expected when working on the mix. And I learned to enjoy the creative process again, not just the end result.

But the end result is still awesome. ;)

What I tried to do with this song is tap into my childhood. And I remember wearing out cassette tapes (specifically the Chariots of Fire sountrack by Vangelis) playing parts of songs over and over just to tap into the longing and haunting they conveyed. I feel like I've carried these deeper places with me all of my life - and this is what I wanted to imbue into this remix.

 

 

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Shine - Exploring the World of the Next Album

To say that the third album is delayed is an understatement. But delayed it has been.

Throughout my counseling, journaling, and introspective time, it became apparent over the years that my art, music, and stories were pointing to a deeper story having to do with my birth mother and family. Over two years ago, I found and contacted my birth mother. It was an intense and emotional time - deeply fulfilling in many ways, and challenging in others. It will probably continue to be a pivotal experience for many years, as far as interpreting my world and how I go about interacting with it. I started writing The Mortal Veil before I found my mother Gina, with more intentionality than the first two albums. Songs were meant to communicate my longing the love and mirroring of my birth mom. I also started exploring songs from her perspective - a dialogue was created, and this gave way to the beginnings of the story.

 
 

 

Chrissy Lake

"My favorite part of the writing/recording process for this song was how we would act it out."

 

When I first met Chrissy Lake, we had immediate chemistry. She won my heart on a sorrowful day, sitting on a grassy patch in her neighborhood, singing Harry-Connick-Junior-like tunes. I was smitten by her voice, energy, and transparency. Since then we found the time to hang out and see what we could come up with together. What followed was a surprising flavor for me - this was moody music! It really set the tone for the rest of the songs on this upcoming album, and it has been a pleasure and an honor to work with Chrissy.

Chrissy says, "The song "Shine" is very near and dear to my heart. It was a very long, intimate creative process. We wrote the song keeping in mind that we wanted to leave the meaning up for interpretation. This way many people could relate. For me, the song represents my transition to the light from a very dark, toxic place I was in after my Mother passed away.

Writing with Brian is an experience like no other. We think and create in the same kind of way, therefore, we understand each other. We wanted to make sure the song didn't just sound a certain way, but that it felt a certain way as well. My favorite part of the writing/recording process for this song was how we would act it out. He'd say, "How did you feel when you gave up?" I slid my back down the wall and "crumbled" to the floor. This is how we came up with many of the lyrics and I feel it really allowed us to properly translate the emotion behind the song to our listeners. I feel very lucky, for this is an experience I will always cherish."

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What does Wrestling Have to do with Delta-S?

As some of you know, I started a sister project with a former Deitiphobia and Massivivid member, Sheri Shaw. After working together on a Delta-S song, Erase, we formed our project Sstaria in September of 2007, and we set out with a desire to produce tunes with a more down-tempo and electronica flavor - with Sheri being the soul vocalist on each song.

As a teenager, I was heavily into Industrial music from REX music and Tooth & Nail Records. I discovered Sheri Shaw by listening to Deitiphobia, and she became one of my favorite singers. When I began to take my music career seriously in 2004, I joined www.flamingfish.com in the hopes of connecting with other musicians who were into industrial music and who were believers. There I met Carson, a founder of the site, and he helped me connect with Sheri.

Sheri has a "gift"  for meeting new people and quickly winning their hearts. She is a talented networking agent, and as a result, Sstaria has come through some random, wonderful, and frankly... hilarious opportunities since we've started our journey together. One such an endeavor has been our involvement with Billy Corgan's ResistancePro Wrestling... we write songs for wrestlers.

Yes, you read that right. I write songs for wrestlers. Pretty random. Imagine your favorite ResistancePro wrestler, charging into the audience, growling and snarling, while he high-fives the crowd. Hear those crunching metal guitars and explosive melodies as he gets into the ring? We did that!

It has been one wild ride - there have been countless nights where I've come home from work, only to work on a song for a show the next day (often not getting to bed until 4 am). We have been asked to combine genres that frankly don't play nice together. Ever wondered what a dubstep version of the Mexican Hat Dance sounds like? How about an electronic wild west song? Craving to play evil industrial clown music in your headphones? Well now you can! We've created a lot of stuff for the show, ranging from Gangster Rap to Marching Band music.

But as funny as it sounds, the experience has been incredibly rewarding. I've been pushed outside of my comfort zone, and challenged to make quick decisions under pressure. In the end, I feel like I am a better musician for it. It has had a powerful impact in my own music. My mixing and production has improved, and I look at music a little differently. I truly believe any two (or nine) styles can be combined to tell the right story, if it's done right, of course. And this is so important to me when it comes to Delta-S. My personal project has been all about authenticity; using whatever sounds, genre, or style fit for the story.

Since our wrestling escapades, Sheri and I have been producing music for some star artists, and pushing our tunes for soundtrack use. We've even made our own version of the Veronica Mars theme song! ;)

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Why Did Delta-S Disappear?

It's been so long since I've had a website. It feels good to invest in Delta-S' web presence, which has been seriously lacking. In 2009, my original website domain was "stolen" out from under me while I was changing hosting providers. I guess I wasn't quick enough! I did make attempts to buy back the domain, but the seller wanted $2k for it, and as flattered as I was for him thinking I could afford his pricing, I had to decline. :)

Another reason for the sudden silence was an unexpected work change, which dramatically impacted my lifestyle and schedule. The company I work for now, TrueCar, is a great fit for me, and it provides for my family quite well. However, its left very little room for my own independent endeavors, including music! I have made it a point to work on music and art all through the years, but I couldn't maintain the pace that I was so accustomed to.

I have so much to share with you all, and I look forward to rekindling old relationships, and beginning new ones during my work on the upcoming album, The Mortal Veil.

Here is what Delta-S has been up to in the last 4 years:

  • I partnered up with Sheri Shaw of Deitiphobia to form a new project called Sstaria. We are busy bees creating intro songs for Billy Corgan's Resistance Pro Wrestling. (random, i know!)
  • I have researched a great deal about trance and dubstep, and I look forward to working those genres into my music palette.
  • We played live at Bar Sinister in October, 2012
  • Dena Carman and I have teamed up for a trance song experiment.
  • Working endlessly on the third album, The Mortal Veil.
  • Eating lots and lots of Boba.

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