“…the song could very easily be mistaken for a Tool B-side.” – MetalSucks
Phoenix, Arizona based psychedelic/alternative rock band MEDIA has issued a new video from their debut EP, Influence, which saw release in the Summer of 2022. The video for “Kimono” is now playing exclusively at MetalSucks.
From the heart of the Sonoran Desert arises MEDIA. Their debut EP Influence is the first of a three-part meditation on the brutality and beauty of being. It is about the inner and outer connect and disconnect on the earthly plane, culminating with a tune about the Sixth Mass Extinction event being brought on by the uncontrollable spread of an “idea pathogen.” Sonically, Influence is a heavy but groovy psychedelic whirlwind. With big, sweeping, tom-heavy grooves and lush synthesizers, layered over nasty Rickenbacker bass tones and guitars alternately grimy and soaring, the sound is massive. It harkens a lot of things familiar but adds something new and fresh to the mix.
On this first piece of the triptych, MEDIA was down to two members: founders Billy Tegethoff (The Oxford Coma) and Richard Wnuk. Deciding it was the fastest way to get these songs recorded after nearly four years of behind-the-scenes refinement and the annual hemorrhaging of a bassist, they decided to record the whole thing themselves, with Tegethoff handling guitar, bass, and vocals, Wnuk playing drums, and both contributing various synthesizers and electronics throughout the release. Wnuk had a very clear picture of how he wanted the record to sound, so he wore the producer hat throughout a very meticulous mixing process. Jalipaz helmed the recording and the mixing at Audioconfusion Studios in Mesa, after which the tracks were mastered at Marcussen Mastering by Stephen Marcussen. Since the recording of the first EP, the band has welcomed bassist CJ Sholtis to the lineup.
With the EP’s new video, Tegethoff writes, “‘Kimono’ is kind of about the Nietzschean concept of the abyss. The famous quote is something like, if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back at you. So, the song, lyrically at least, is a dialogue with whatever that abyss is.”
“Sonically, like the rest of the EP, the song is centered around the sound-healing frequency of 528hz. We tuned our guitars and synths up to reference pitch A 444hz, which puts our low C (the drone note for the song) at a harmonic of 528hz. We think it’s a good balance to the driving rhythms and dark lyrical territory.”
As for shooting the video, Tegethoff reveals, “The place we filmed is called 3500 Kelvin Studios in Phoenix. Those guys are amazing. They have the largest and highest quality LED wall in the state. We were able to put the visuals I created on that massive thing. We are very fortunate to have been able to record our video at that location. The director of photography and camera operators are old friends and they rent space in that building for their cinema equipment rental company. They introduced us to the Kelvin folks. We did the whole thing like a live performance, full volume, and through the line array set up in there. We shot two full videos that day. The other is in progress.”
MetalSucks writes with the video’s premiere, “‘Kimono’ is a track that moves and pulses to its own rhythm. Mixed with the psychedelic LED display made by Tegethoff in the music video, the song could very easily be mistaken for a Tool B-side. It’s meditative and groovy while still being able to blow the doors open with some slow and heavy riffage. Listening to the track, as well as the rest of Influence if I’m being honest, it seems like the band’s always playing in a unique tonal zone. Almost like they’re tuning to their own frequency from the get-go.”
Watch MEDIA’s massive “Kimono” video first at MetalSucks RIGHT HERE.
MEDIA just entered the studio this week to record the second and third installments in the ongoing story arc. The band is also plotting new live dates for the Spring months and beyond. Stand by for updates to post over the weeks ahead.
There are many Easter Eggs planted throughout MEDIA’s three-release arc, but one factor that will be consistent is that all instruments were tuned to a reference pitch of A 444hz. When you tune to that reference pitch, C will be at 528hz. This frequency is used in both traditional and modern sound-healing practices. It has been purported to have the ability to repair DNA. Media has no comment there, but certain sounds and rhythms have been shown to facilitate non-ordinary states of consciousness. This particular frequency has popped up as the tuning for traditional instruments like singing bowls and has a space in modern sound healing. It is also one of the Solfeggio frequencies–a scale associated with Gregorian chants and used in a wide array of meditation music. It made a solid candidate for a mind-altering tone, so it seemed like a cool idea to balance out some of the heaviness (both in subject matter and aggressive sounds) with a frequency that has a lovely association with healing.
Sound design enthusiasts and audiophiles can find some gems buried in this mix as well. There are production details best experienced on a good pair of headphones. But it holds its own as a car cranker too.