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Why I Make Downbeat Music and a Free Song Download

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Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.

- Lamentations 1:12

GraveWax Records - Sick Sounds from the Underground DefectiveByDesign.org

Why I Make Downbeat Music and a Free Song Download

Proclaimations -> Why I Make Downbeat Music and a Free Song Download

October 5th 2010

Hi friend.

I'm sometimes asked why I gravitate toward the moribund, always obsessing over the macabre. This is usually, though not by any means always, in regards to music. I usually shrug off the question, because frankly, it's nobody's goddamn business. I don't interrogate folks to find the psychological underpinnings of their need to watch romantic comedies. While none of their business it may be, I figured I'd write a bit about it to make it your business.

First and foremost, it's just what I do and what I've done for a good chunk of my life. I've played music since I was 15, and started recording a year later. I attempted writing other kinds of songs when I was first starting down that road of music self-expression. They were wretched, insincere things that I quickly choked out; the exact opposite of expression. This lack of sincerity was disrespectful of human emotion. There's a reason pop music is vapid and forgettable: it's entirely 2-dimensional. It's emotional rape: you will feel this way.

Dark music can just as easily fall into the trap of being flat and meaningless. If it's insincere, it's obvious (to some people, at least). Forcing yourself to live and work entirely within a narrow range of the dial is theater, regardless of which side of the dial you've chosen. I don't care for theater. This is why I don't sleep in a coffin, or spend my days crying incessantly and reading gothic poetry.

That being said, I fully admit that I usually listen to depressing music, read sad books and watch dour movies. While this isn't my exclusive media diet, I spend more time than most subjecting myself to it, ruminating on its themes and wallowing in its stifling atmosphere.

Without contrast, however, you can only take this so far. If you only listen to extreme music, it ceases to be extreme. It's castrated by its lack of context. Science books are my palate cleanser, my yardstick by which I can compare things. They're objective and often without tone. Going back to the metaphor of living on one side of the dial, they pull me back toward the center so I can see just how far I've slid. For the flipside of this, look at someone who only listens to extremist talk radio. The radio programs are robbed of their extreme context, becoming the center of the listener's dial and thus normal and unextreme. Then the listener, unaware of how far they've moved across the dial, plunges down a rabbithole from whence they'll likely never return.

Another reason I work on music is out of respect for the grieving, depressed and moribund. While I'm not one to melodramatically rend my clothes and gnash my teeth, there is legitimate cause for grief in this world. Hell, it can come at you by the bucket and the boxcar.

The lack of legitimate grief music is appalling. While listening to black metal when you're already on shaky emotional ground may send you hurtling over the brink, so too might the pop diva of the day. It may help to amplify rage (which can be a useful thing), but it won't always soothe you when you're wounded. This is because what's considered dark music isn't always applicable to every dark mood, given that we're dealing with an emotional spectrum, not a singularity. If you're lying on your deathbed, "Rainy Days and Mondays" may be more applicable than "Jesus' Tod". Or maybe not.

So basically, I'm doing my part to fill what I perceive are gaps in grief music. While I don't see myself as a therapist, I can rightly be called an interested party. As such, I do what I do.

As for the promised free song download, I'm giving you an acoustic version of "Psalm of Solitude". This one was recorded after the version on "Psalms for the Spiritually Dead". I had intended to release a free album in which this version would be included, but decided that I could just throw individual songs at you for awhile and accomplish the same thing. It's more stripped down than the album version; just two acoustic guitars and two voices. I didn't even use reverb.

To download the song, you have to have an account on www.sonsofperdition.com, which is easy enough to do. I don't share any of your info or anything like that, and may the Devil choke on my soul if I'm lying. Just log into your account and click on "My Account". It will be listed under "Free MP3s". This is where I'll continue to dump any free songs I feel like unleashing upon the world.

By the way, I'll be posting "Psalms for the Spiritually Dead" on iTunes, CDBaby and some other sites on October 31. Until then, the album will remain exclusive to friends of www.sonsofperdition.com. Even then, you'll only be able to download the PDF of artwork, photos and lyrics from this site. It really completes the album. Besides, it's cheaper here.


Your sallow friend,

Zebulon Whatley

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Comments

Why I Make Downbeat Music and a Free Song Download

Marco - October 12th 2010

Might seem weird for you but it was a cool & motivating read to me(just like your music is). so honest & heartfelt, not preachy & vindicative like most people I encounter that are just those big "know it alls". Great just knowing that a musician you like gives enough of a fuck to explain the things he does & why he does so...
PS: I'm french speaking which explains why my english sucks! anyway thank you!

Amen, Sir.

Awful - October 9th 2011

What you've written here is so true. And the best part is that you are willing to step up and speak the truth.

It's horrible to hear humans lament the state of things while in the same breath denying themselves the value of their suffering. And grief music that you speak of, to soothe the wounded is a fucking miracle to the mortal affliction in my brains. There really is a way to deal with it besides severing the self from feeling any of it.

Thank the heavens for a soul like you to tread upon the blighted earth with all the sick, wet darkness that creeps within your stride, fearlessly.

At least if god ain't real, you are.

In response...

Isis S. - November 29th 2013

Honesty.

Thank you.

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