The MoonCandle project started well over a year ago with my friend Zach. We previously worked together in the early days of Coffin Born, and hadn’t worked on a music project together since putting together the Coffin Born‘s Heathen Storm EP in 2002. There was another attempt at a new Coffin Born album in 2004 but it never got to be done. After many years of not being able to hang out as much, we finally got to catch up on things. Both of our music influences over the years have significantly changed, but one thing is for sure, we still both love Metal – and the weird, obscure kind.
Upon getting really into Drone (bands such as Sunn O))), Boris, and Black Boned Angel), Zach had told me his ideas for a new band that was going to be Drone Metal (and much more). My band DownSyndrome had been breaking up at this time, and I had started work on putting together the Coffin Born Resurrection album, so for a new project for me to work on was definitely an exciting new task.
He sent me sounds of the instrumentals he made through a composition program. I had to add drums on top. This wasn’t going to be easy because first off, its Drone. It’s the slowest music ever, and to come up with the slowest drum beat ever sounds boring as hell. But instead of complaining, I thought about making it interesting – my own creation. Zach did not clue me in on what the songs were about or how he went about making them until way later.
The next problem was, the drums themselves. My drum set had been sitting at Nick (guitarist from DownSyndrome)’s place forever. I had to get it out of there. I wish I had back then, but unfortunately the place I am living at is filled with boxes because I’ve only lived here for a short time, and there is just no room whatsoever. And plus my landlord and neighbors are all very very close by. So real drums was out of the question. I even thought of Nick adding in real guitar to the mix… no luck there due to obvious reasons which I won’t get into. I had no choice but to add the drums through my drum pad, and possibly synthesizer.
So I worked on the sounds Zach gave me, adding drum sounds from my drum pad. You can hear these on the demo, and on the tracks (((MOON))), Ghost Pilots of the Flying Diesel, and Song of the Dragons. This was a very hard process finding a beat and the right times, and making it sound good. It took roughly 6 hours a song, some times 12 hours.
I switched to the drum sounds of my synthesizer. What a big difference and it wasn’t as hard to do. The last thing I had to do before the first album was complete, was make my own song which I called “Nitroglyceride“, and the separate drum tracks.
We finished editing, and the first album called XVIII was complete. This album didn’t include every song I worked on, but it was perfect for the first album.
Now here are my thoughts:
(((MOON))) – Really the first song I tried with the drum pad, and I was surprised Zach liked the final results. There’s a bass line in the middle that I added myself. Overall, great opening to the album, and I enjoy how it sounds.
Ghost Pilots of the Flying Diesel – I loved the title to this and wanted to make it just as creepy and scary as (((MOON))). There were sounds of plane engines, and I added sounds of helicopters in the mix as well. The song goes on a while, with a few parts in which i added a random blast beat and extra synth. I like how it turned out, but it would be the last time using the drum pad for me. I wanted something easier to work with.
Nitroglyceride – This is the song I worked on by myself and I am not going to lie. This actually the first song I ever made entirely on my own, and I am very pleased. Its supposed to be an interlude track (taking you from the end of Side A into Side B if you want to think of it that way). This was entirely done on my synth. It sounds very similar to the Intro track on Coffin Born Resurrection. I wanted to make it horror movie soundtrack-like. The people I showed this to felt the same way. The drum and heavy parts I added way later, and in the end sounded very good. The heavy part was added in to throw you off from the regular Drone you’ve been hearing. And i end it by making a reverse cymbal sound lead into the next track.
Hypnorotic Somnambulist – When I first got this sent to me, there were strange noises in the background, and when I found out what they were, I got even more excited to work on this one. This is the first one I did with the synth drums (way before I worked on Nitro). I added extra fills and way better sounding drum beats than the previous tracks. I am still very pleased with this one, and I hope future MoonCandle goes in this direction.
Song of the Dragons Flying to Heaven – This was the 2nd MoonCandle song I attempted to work on with the drum pad. I listened to the song as much as I could and still couldn’t figure out a way to put a beat to it, so instead I put in a lot of cymbals, almost too many. When I was just about done I played it back. It actually sounds a lot better than I initially thought. It is a good end track to the album.
After I finished the work of these songs, Zach finally got around to telling me the story behind each song, which you can read here. Zach is a very creative person with his ideas, and I had no idea at all that’s what the songs were about. So because I went in not knowing any of that, the songs turned out to be even better than I thought they would be.
I’ve listened to this album quite a few times since finishing it. I am still not sure how I feel other than it is very interesting and a big departure from the death metal I had previously done with the Coffin Born album. I like it because its not typical Drone either. We are very different, and have the potential to get even better with our future releases which I am more than excited about.