Perfect time for reflection. In case you missed it, we had Disco Droppings first release a few months ago. “MMXV”, Free 7-track + mixed version from Sphyramid. Was able to get some of our friends behind the video, artwork and tunes to share their perspectives..
DD Knowing and working alongside you over the years, this seemed to be your most involved project so far. There were many elements coming together over what ended up being 6 months or so. Now that some time has past since the release in October, how do you reflect on it all?
SPH Well the whole thing is pretty coincidental, it started as a single track and video (Loud Enough). I didn’t have a computer at the time but my roommate was going to Mexico for a month which gave me the opportunity to use his computer to record the rest of the release.
This collection of tracks represents a huge release of negative energy. My father passed away in January of 2014, then I experienced an intense process of betrayal and forgiveness between a lover and a close friend the following October. then in April of 2015, I quit my food service job that I once loved but had become a personal hell. Somehow being driven to my most extreme state of overwhelming despair gave me the courage to look at my self and make that jump to being a creative professional. As soon as I left that mental and physical space of loathing to focusing on my art I received more and more opportunities. I started the video project with Tucker and put the call out for people to help. All of a sudden I realized that I had this huge crew of supportive, loving friends and fans.
I basically spent the remainder of this year fine tuning the tracks, getting them mastered, and corresponding with Alden for the artwork. Now that we are approaching the end of the year its fitting that we look back on “MMXV” because that is exactly what I named it (roman numerals for 2015). This might just be post rationalization, but this project was like some kind of offering to the gods, a sacrifice or something. It’s like saying, “Here take this darkness, I don’t need it anymore. But it has served me well.”
Next year I would like to re-release it as “MMXVI” (2016) with as many vocal edits and remixes as possible. But until I find all my vocalists and get that recorded I will continue my research and development for my next project. “MMXV” was like therapy, but it was also just a snapshot of a year in my life, a collection of ideas that happened to fit together. My next project will be a more cohesive concept album focusing on some more positive and playful feelgood vibes, I think I have earned it :]
Alden Lee, Artwork
DD I was impressed with some of your previous pieces, and pleased to have you on board for artwork. How do you go about creating, and how was it being involved with this project?
AL I sift through magazines looking for anything that catches me eye and cut them out, and those cut-outs go in a bin. When I make something new I spread out all the paper pieces on the floor and see if any of them look good together. If they do, then I add more pieces and go from there.
It was a lot of fun contributing to the MMXV release. The design was inspired by some stills of the video shoot, and I wanted to make something that could key into those mystical and occult elements.
Tucker Grindstaff, Video Director
DD I remember being a small part of one of the shooting days for “Loud Enough” over in Everett earlier this year. You were noticeably apt at guiding a sizable group of people through the different scenes in a calm, upbeat way. What did you take from this whole process?
TG The “Loud Enough” video shoot was a party in a bedroom of Sphyramid’s house with all of his friends who were there to have fun, dress up, and get absolutely crazy. All I had to do was tell them when to party in the bedroom and when to eat tater tots to go with their champagne. I couldn’t have done it without my production team, especially Alexander Vincini and Adam Bagley who helped tremendously in wrangling the crowd; really my job was just ensuring that people knew there were tater tots to eat and where the tots were. The end product showed the fun and ‘maniacally smiling from the shadows’ vibe that drew me to Sphyramid’s music in the first place, and in the end I think it was a lesson in how to create an atmosphere that mirrored the artist’s intention. Really though, those tots took it to another level.
* Thanks to Lealia and anyone else that was a part of this project and was not mentioned.
– Jimi Jaxon