Parts Deux and Three of Seth's interview of Jason are up now! Part Three http://www.indievisionmusic.com/news/seth-hecox-bta-interviews-jason-wisdom-death-therapy/ Part Deux http://www.metalsucks.net/2017/02/07/an-interview-with-death-therapys-jason-wisdom/
INTERVIEW PART 1 ...in which Seth Hecox interviews Jason Wisdom about his new project, Death Therapy, and the debut release that drops in 3 weeks. SETH: Well, here we are: Jason Wisdom, formerly of Becoming The Archetype, and Seth Hecox, also, perhaps, formerly of Becoming The Archetype. You have a new project. I think it's awesome. You think it's awesome. The real question, I suppose, is "Will a theoretical 22 year old Wilford Wolodarsky think it's awesome?" JASON: Thanks man. I am super proud of it, and glad you like it. Yeah, I guess all I can say is, "I hope so." I didn't write the music with any particular age demographic in mind, and a lot has changed in the world, especially in the music industry, since I was 22. Funny story about that. When I was in the studio finishing up the debut album this fall, a friend of the producer came by and listened to a few tracks (he is in his early 20s). His response was "wow, this sounds like it came straight out of 1998!" My response was, "That's because that's when my musical taste was formed." The good news is that he really liked it. Maybe it will sound just different enough to be fresh and new to younger listeners, and old-school enough to be nostalgic to the crowd my age and older. I will also say this--one of the drummers who has come on the road with me since I started touring for this band is 22 years old (his name isn't Wolodarsky though), and he really likes the album. Or maybe he is just saying that to keep his job. Ha ha! It is a bit overwhelming to try to keep up with all of the current musical trends. So, as a general rule, I don't even try. For better or worse, I suppose. SETH: Wow look at that: I pull a random number out of the air and they are you have multiple stories about that specific age group. It's kind of wild to me actually that the dude felt like it came straight out of 1998. I didn't get that impression at all. I really feel like there are some great elements of synthesizer tracks in some of those songs. It more reminded me of some of the stuff we did on the last couple tracks of Dichotomy. Speaking of which, that album, Dichotomy, had a certain loose lyrical theme to it that revolved around Stephen King's Dark Tower series and CS Lewis's Space Trilogy. Are there any loose lyrical concepts on the Death Therapy album? JASON: Well, every time I tell myself that I won't write a concept album, I end up doing it anyway, unintentionally. So, this time around, there isn't a theme from literature (like Dichotomy) or a unified story that the album is telling (like Physics of Fire). For the first time in my lyric writing career, I decided just to write whatever was going on in my head and not spend too much time second guessing it--very "stream of consciousness." Some of the lyrics were actually written on the spot, while tracking vocals for pre-production and demos, and I forced myself not to re-work them too much. I'm sure you can imagine just how much of a challenge that was for me. And that sort of fits into the concept of this record and band as a whole. It's all a challenge for me. I've never been the one writing all the riffs. There are no guitars, so the bass lines have to be interesting enough to drive the song forward--that's a challenge (BTA was a very guitar focused band). I pushed myself to do vocals styles that I've never done before (which makes me feel super vulnerable this far into my career). When we play live, I'm responsible for almost everything that is happening (if I screw up, it's a big deal). And lyrically, I dug into some of the most painful struggles that I have gone through, and/or continue to go through personally, without whitewashing them. So, like I said, I ended up with a concept album without meaning to. The record is called "The Storm Before the Calm," and "the storm" refers to many of these things--being in the moment, not always seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and figuring out where to go from there and how to have hope when things seem hopeless. What does "the calm" look like? I'm not sure yet. That's the concept. SETH: That's cool. The stress of live performances in that setting reminds me of when I was touring with Anchors in 2010: playing keyboard with the left hand, synthesizer with the right hand, remembering lyrics, hitting the right notes with my voice, then trying to not stand still while pulling it all off. I think it gave me stress colitis for awhile. Hopefully you're not dealing with stuff like that yet, haha. So when you have an idea for a song, is it usually musical first, then you add vocal patterns, pitches, and lyrics later? I believe that was how some of your songs worked on BTA albums. Or did you have vocal hooks that you had to add music to? In other words, was it generally bass first, then vocals later, or vocals first, then bass later? JASON: As we both know, perspective is super important in life. If I were doing this 6+ years ago, I can imagine that it would totally stress me out. But compared to being a school teacher, a husband and a dad (sorry, I mean #metaldad), providing for a family of 4, it definitely doesn't seem very stressful. It's more akin to a good workout or working on a difficult puzzle in a video game. Anyway, the writing process for this album was a lot like the lyric writing process--very "stream of consciousness." Most of the songs started when I simply opened a track on my laptop, hit record, and started playing. When I stumbled upon something that felt good, I kept it, and started writing around it. Only one riff that I wrote during pre-production ended up getting cut from the final album. That's a far cry from how the writing process worked with BTA--especially for Terminate Damnation. We probably had a whole other album worth of riffs and ideas that didn't get used for that album. I even remember tracking drums for a couple old The Remnant songs that ended up not making the album. But yeah, for this record, most of the music was written first. There were a couple of the songs started with vocal ideas, but I had musical ideas for them in mind as well. Interesting story about that. When I woke up on the last day of tracking, we only had 9 tracks. We needed 10. On the ride to the studio that morning, an idea popped into my head. I sang the vocal and the riff ideas in the car the rest of the way there. At the studio, I shared the ideas with Matt McClellan (the producer), and what resulted is now the first track on the record, a song called "Until Then." It's one of my favorite songs on the album, and it was written totally spur of the moment. That's pretty indicative of the way the process went--it was a lot of fun, and it gives me a unique perspective after the fact of being able to look back and feel like I was "discovering" something rather than forcing it to happen (a very David Lynch-ian approach to art). SETH: Oh snap, a David Lynch reference and I haven't even eaten breakfast yet today. You know, I like that first track a lot too. It's a good one. BTA listeners, this wraps up Part One of our Jason and Seth interview for the new Death Therapy album. Part Deux will be out next week on metalsucks.net! *Until then, listen to a wicked cool track from the album called “The Lie” here: https://soundcloud.com/solid-state-records/death-therapy-the-lie
Just in time for your birthday! We have this shirt filled with raditude, brimming with moxy, and bringing nostalgia from our Celestial Completion days. Get yours (and other shirts, hoodies, CDs, stickers, posters, and patches) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Also, I have a neat surprise coming for you in just a week or so!
Recently received a deeply moving message from a listener in Australia that I wanted to pass along. I hope it provides encouragement to you if you are in a similar situation or have gone through something like this in the past. "On a personal note, I just wanted to thank you for BTA's music. A few years ago, I had terrible depression and was suicidal. There was one night in particular, I had a plan and I was going to do it. By the grace of God I didn't, but it was close. Songs like Ransom, Elegy and others had such an impact on me, and helped me work through the pain I felt. I must have listened to Elegy about 1,000 times! That song is worship for me. The lyrics "my hands have taught me terrible things, His hands have set me free" in Ransom I find intensely personal. My hands almost ended my life, and the music of Becoming The Archetype helped me through the darkest period of my life. Thank you. My three amazing kids have a Dad because (in part) of the music you created and I can never thank you enough for that."
Ok, poll time! I have had requests to make/remake 2 BTA items: 1) The silver, diecut beardskull sticker 2) A BTA retrospective book from 2005 - 2013 The sticker I don't have an image of, but it's pretty big for a sticker, silver, the beardskull is diecut and our logo is on his forehead. I remember they were expensive to print, so they'd probably cost around $5 each (including shipping). The book is new territory for me (us). It'd be a coffee table-type book with full-page images and tour stories, and a history of those years of BTA. I'm trying to not only figure out the massive amount of work it would take to curate all the information and images (album covers, tour posters, band pics, etc), but also figure out the cost of physically printing such a book. Doing an e-book is much cheaper, but misses the collector's feel of the whole thing and many people may not have e-readers. So I need you to vote for either option 1 (sticker) or option 2 (book) or both. If you vote for option 2 or both, please specify if you're interested in print only (probably would cost $25 or more in the end), or e-book only (might cost as little as $5), or either option. THIS VOTE IS A STATEMENT OF WHICH ITEMS YOU WOULD ACTUALLY BUY. It doesn't do me any good to front hundreds of dollars and a lot of work to make these options available, then have only a few people actually purchase them, leaving me with more debt and a bunch of merchandise no one will buy. Thanks for your feedback and rock on!
Another story from a listener. This is encouraging and inspiring. If you have a story of how BTA's music, lyrics, or presence impacted your life, share it in the comments! From Marlyce Carless: "I found you whenever I was knee deep and a horrible heroin addiction. Dichotomy held me up when I couldn't carry myself. Now that I have a year clean, I can listen and remember how I had found a glimmer of hope when all hope was gone. MY HANDS HAVE TAUGHT ME TERRIBLE THINGS. HIS HANDS HAVE SET ME FREE."
We got a great email from a listener recently that we wanted to pass along. Countless testimonies like these are why BTA consumed 10 years of my life. "I don't want to make this too lengthy, but I'm so thankful for all the hard work, sacrifice, and effort you guys put into the wonderful piece of history known as Becoming the Archetype. Your music got me through some tough times, and it actually started my appreciation for death metal and more progressive styles of music, for that I can't thank you enough! I won't blabber on too much, but I'm forever grateful for the music you guys made. It honestly changed my life for the better when things were looking pretty glum... For the merch, music, and everything else, Thank You. Marvon Jordaan, Long time listener and advocate for all things BTA"
Here's a newly finished Terminate Damnation tattoo! From the proud new owner: "Almost 10 years ago I started this tattoo and today COLOUR. Another session or two and this piece will be complete. I'll send through the compete piece when it's finished but here is where It's at." If you have a BTA-themed tattoo, message us pics and your story and we'll post it!
Seems like an appropriate time to remind you of our wonderfully terrifying Christmas single. Merry Christmas! https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/o-holy-night-single/id716049327
I still have a few of these limited-edition shirts on hand in select sizes and a couple copies of Celestial Completion (now out of print) if you're interested. Email email@example.com for more info. Also, if you wear size Small or XS, email me because I have a lot leftover from our merch store and I can get them to you super cheap!
On this day, exactly 10 years ago, our first child was born. We named it Terminate Damnation and we were so proud of it. It grew up to change so many lives for the better and it continues to inspire me in new ways every time I think about it. Happy 10th birthday, son. Papa's proud! ps - if you wanted to see the cover of the album, go look it up. I've posted it on this page like 8 times this year in some form or other.