It’s 2010 and we just released ‘Excavations of the Mind’ with Sky Architect, when we received an email from a different world. It was the organization of progressive rock magazine Terra Incognita in Canada. If we would want to come and play on their yearly prog festival.
Well, we didn’t really have to think twice about whether to go or not to, because it was a definite ‘to go’. The festival was amazing and we felt like rock stars. But this is not the point I am after.
So what do you do when you have two gigs and ten days in Quebec and Montreal. Sightseeing off course. And looking for cd stores, because we released ‘Excavations’ worldwide and wanted to check this. We entered this vintage looking cd store and the first thing we saw was ‘Excavations of the Mind’ behind the counter on the shelf with new releases. Enthusiastic and unexperienced we were, we proudly told the owner that we are Sky Architect and in our best Canadian-French-English we talked for a bit.
Because buying our own album was a bit too much, we decided we all would buy a cd from that store, to remember and support this store. I bought a French-Canadian Hip-hop album by ‘CEO’. No idea where that came from. Wabe bought what ended up being the most interesting album in the years that would come, for me personally anyway.
By the time we were there, The Dear Hunter (TDH) recently released ‘ACT III: Life and Death’, part three of Casey Crescenzo’s imaginary, partly autobiographical world; a story about a young guy in the time of the great war, finding himself running away in all sorts of manners and exploring life as is. I will not go in epic detail, but this was something new for me. The sound, the compositions, the themes, the lyrics, the singing. Everything was a whole new level of music for me. After ‘ACT III: Life and Death’ I started to explore the other acts and now, TDH recently released ‘ACT V: Hymns with the devil in confessional’. The productivity, creativity and diverse way of music gets me enthusiastic every time again I listen to one of the albums.
Most impressed I am by the ‘One Night Only’ live performance DVD of their extremely epic concept ‘The Color Spectrum’; nine EP’s each representing a color in the color spectrum.
Right before I went traveling, I got to see them live. This was a 30 minute support act for ‘Manchester Orchestra’ in Cologne, Germany. We drove for 2.5 hours one way to see TDH for 30 minutes and decided that the show was epic enough to leave before the main act even started.
I’m not saying this is the one and only band in the world, but there was a time I listened to TDH every second of every day for a year, maybe longer, in a row. TDH inspired me and made me enthusiastic to write music and record music the way I want to, without calling it by a specific name. It’s music. And in my opinion, when you know the story behind certain steps an artist takes, you get to know the artist, without knowing him in person and without judging on ‘genre’. Maybe it’s not the music I’m crazy about, maybe it’s the unbelievably boundless creativity TDH represents.
Note to Casey Crescenzo and TDH: Thank you for inspiring me.