This year is really shaping out to be a fantastic year for our music scene and recording artists. With a few lineup changes and, as many of us know, Josh Wildhorn’s battle with leukemia, Designer Disguise is no stranger to adversity. This definitely didn’t cease their progress which was visible when they released their Sophomore EP and hit the road with I Am Infamy in September on the Headbands and Heartbreaks tour.
Through missing a few dates because of van troubles, Designer Disguise did exactly what they do best. They persisted and worked through the issues. 2018 is going to be a strong one for these gents, I can feel it. Now, in February, they have dropped their second music video, this time for ‘Surface’ , the title track from their most recent EP.
Between watching the video which premiered on TATTOO.COM, and knowing this group of hardworking and dedicated gentlemen, it’s easy to see that soon they’ll be taking the Seattle Scene by storm.
Jackson Bengtsson, vocalist, is excited about the band’s ability to stick together through the hardships that they have faced. This year Josh Wildhorn will be taking the stage after a long awaited return. “…’Surface’ is about being stuck and not able to express yourself and therefore losing touch. Writing and recording the song helped me to move past some of those roadblocks and I now feel closer to my friends and self than I ever had.” Jackson had said in regards to the band’s progress.
Be sure to catch Designer Disguise live, if at all possible, as they have an amazing stage presence and solid sound. These gents have worked rigorously to get where they are now and watching them live is completely different (in a good way).
Surface by Designer Disguise is available on all major platforms. If you like what you hear, be sure to give them a follow!
In this month’s poll, a lot of you had mentioned that music equals life or, it is a way to express something that cannot be said simply through words alone. Through music it is easier to convey a feeling that can be understood through a series of emotions that are unique to the receiver. Dealing with any form of mental illness alone is difficult in its own right, and it has been known for years now that music helps tremendously with coping. With the passing of both Chester Bennington and, Seattle’s own, Chris Cornell in the last year it has become ever present and prevalent that there is a worldwide crisis and not within just our music scene.
Taking a step back it is easy to assume that fame had gotten the best of these two icons, but we all know that isn’t the case. Both Bennington and Cornell had an enormous platform to address the internal adversaries they were facing, yet they were still fighting and struggling internally. Through their pain they produced some of the most profound and heart wrenching pieces of work. This doesn’t change the fact that they were merely human. It only sheds light on deeper seated issues that both artists were extremely vocal about. May they rest in peace.
In light of all the negativity surrounding depression, addiction, self-harm and suicide, there is one common language that the entire world is capable of speaking and understanding, that is music. For years musicians have used the stage as a pedestal. Encouraging those that suffer to speak out and to not be ashamed of what is going on within their own heads. Currently this theme has been on the up and up. Silent Planet’s most recent album ‘Everything Was Sound’ is about nine individuals with mental illnesses, Garrett Russell pulled inspiration from his own research including his own experiences as a therapist to produce the content. In an interview with ‘The Young Folks’ Russell mentioned, “I think music is the most human of all languages, so I feel like I’m still doing therapy in some sense.”
Over the last few years multiple artists spanning various genres have stepped forward to tackle the subject of mental health. Displaying empathy for those that suffer and reassuring their fans to not feel ashamed for having to talk to a professional about these issues. What the world needs more of is education and understanding. These illnesses are not going to go anywhere if we as a people do not understand them. Jonathan Anthony Wolfe of Vespera recently mentioned, “I think as a whole, we’re still too judgmental. That’s not to discredit anyone who has made positive strides, but I think our work has just begun.” Our communities are still learning how to break the silence and dive into deep heartfelt conversations with one another without passing judgement. That is where it starts.
Everything starts with kindness, if you or someone you know is struggling, do not hesitate to reach out, either for yourself or to ensure the safety and comfort of another. And as always the American Suicide Hotline is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You’re not alone.
If you would like to read more from Jonathan Wolfe here is the link to an essay that he had composed with the release of Vespera’s powerful video for “Paradise” on Alternative Press.
As the first month of the new year comes to an end it is more than apparent that many of our local bands are planning to take the year by storm. Among them is the Christian deathcore/metal band, Toarn who released a new video for their song ‘Jonah’ on January 26th. This is the first song off of their upcoming album The Dying Flame.
One thing that is true about the human experience as a whole is that we all struggle. We struggle with depression. We struggle with acceptance. We struggle with confidence, with love, hate, anxiety, sin. Identity is such a huge part of who we are because, well…it identifies us, doesn’t it? On the surface that seems so vague, really. But identity goes deeper because what we show on the outside isn’t always what we are on the inside. Then there are times when those lines get muddied and we can’t remember anymore; Are we the King or the pauper? Do we really love, or are we actually hateful? Are we good? Or are we really the monster in the shadow?
Not all of us struggle with our identity, but for those that do, ‘Jonah’ is a song we can grasp onto like an anthem for the days when confusion leads. Those times when we feel like a little kid caught trying on their parents’ grown-up clothes, like we don’t belong in this place that we somehow find ourselves in. Mikey Smile’s lyrics bring us into the dark struggle while his guttural tone and soft whispered voice lead us through the contradictory emotions that swirl inside us at our weakest moment.
Even if we can’t see it in the moment, we have hope. You see, “there’s a mind in the darkness, that only light can ignite. So ignite the flames in my soul. Get me out of this endless hole. I am Jonah. Take me home.”
Toarn’s Redemption Tour with Deathbreaker kicks February First at 10:05 in Olympia at Le Voyeur. If you can’t make that, they’ll be tearing down the coast, hitting Nevada and Utah before shooting through Idaho and back to Everett. Seriously, if you can’t make anything, make the Everett show. They’ll be closing out their tour at Tony V’s with AVOID and with those three bands in one venue, that’s not a show you want to fucking miss (Unless you’re me and sadly stuck in the hellhole of Texas).
The Dying Flame – Available February 23
Marrowstone — The River also was released on the final day of January. We’re Trying Records calls The River “…a desperate plea for a change of heart and compassion.” This Is the first single off of Marrowstone’s upcoming EP The Heavens, Earth and Sea.
Dead Lakes—The Devil Has Blue Eyes released on January 31st, premiering through Pale Chord. The Devil Has Blue Eyes is quite possibly the best sounding single to come from this group yet. Be sure to add this, and the following songs to your Spotify Playlists!