I’ve always considered myself an outsider; more of an observer than a participator. From teenage subculture days to avoiding the many distractions of adulthood. The ways, priorities and rituals of most people never appealed to me. I felt best when making entirely different moves, carving out the most random and off-kilter relationships.
This was a topic right from the start in Soliloquium‘s music. The line “an outsider’s perspective, tainted and distorted” was featured in the first ever song “Garden of Truculence”. While foreshadowing my views to come, it was certainly a more nihilistic phase in my life. I enjoyed lashing out, making strong statements and getting into conflicts.
Now and then
Today is a whole different story. Taking down an adult life that would satisfy a lot of people piece by piece. Grinding the questions inside and testing my lack of patience in search of an easy fix. Somewhere solutions came out of the mushroom cloud of colliding thoughts.
During these long processes, the music kept returning to these outsider ideas; both from my own eyes, and also in observing the struggle of many others that just didn’t find a home in any of this. “Procession” from “An Empty Frame” switched the perspective.
I think I just saw so many of the more sensitive and off-beat people around me being torn to shreds in this early period of adulthood. Everything was about social and material success, there was no value in what was inside. Somewhere along way, I just wound up both angry and sadly discouraged.
The inevitable disqualification that is education and work-life. Not to mention the social parts if you don’t meet the criterias, most of which are a damned lottery. In short, I just begun to see all the ugliness that is people and society. It wasn’t youthful rebellery anymore. I just wasn’t fit for it.
From “An Empty Frame” to “Contemplations”
I returned to these concepts on two songs on the “Contemplations” album.”Unfulfilling Prophecy” deals with my outright loathing of the 9-5 lifestyle over the long run. “Was it all for show, was it all for nothing?” When putting it like that, it was certainly for nothing in my case.
“In Affect” deals with the outbursts of frustration associated with simply not being fit. The frustration is self-destructive, yet one of the few outlets when you have nowhere to turn. There is so much angry stigma in the aggressive verses, and the guest clean vocals serve as a non-aggressive, disenhearted counterpart to them. It’s one of my most honest, multi-faceted Soliloquium composions so far.
Could never attune to distorted visions
An admission of the outcast, the consummate offense
I see myself drawn to fire as on film
I am the spectator of my own downfall
A constant resistance
The thing that takes me back to the immature anger of older days is the constant resistance. I’m making some of the hardest, most expensive questions in my life, and all I hear is questions about jobs, money, housing and settling.
I know there is some concern present, but I really don’t need the additional brakes. It’s concepts that took me years to challenge and rethink, just because of these infernal norms. Some people just aren’t meant to live life on the safe side, being defensive, thoughtful and balanced.
I’m not putting either way of thinking in a negative light. I’m not saying to go wild and just tear everything down for the heck of it. What I’m saying is this; it sure is a damn lot easier living life by the book. This is especially true when you’ve been constantly instructed to play it safe. There are so many big bridges you need to burn to get anywhere with the process. At least it was like that for me.
The hazardous, restless, feeling of “now what?”
Interestingly, being a documentary addict has certainly helped me to identify what’s going on. Some people are simply not fit to do the daily grind. Sadly, we’re not all world champions in something lucrative, or brave enough to step out of the circle. For some, it’s what will destroy us.
I can see the feeling of “now what?” that’s almost always there in everyone from David Bowie to teenage opiate addicts and stand-up comedians. One of the few things that calm this feeling for me is creating. The common factor is what I talked about earlier; many people with this disposition seem to act like observers of life rather than participators.
It’s the worst and the best at the same time. I’ll always be restless, but I’ll also have these places in my mind to resort to that others haven’t. It’s easier to create things, but you also have this undefined drive that never allows you to slow down. It can drive you to destructive places. It can also make you write three full-length albums every year.
I’ve been searching for ways to get it under control, but there are also so many good things about not controlling it.
Finding common ground
Talking to other with the same disposition is something that’s helped me to make sense of this. Unsurprisingly, it’s very common among doom metal musicians and doom metal fans. Many of us are, after all, writing music that’s all about passion and inner discovery, without a chance of making a living from it. My small Soliloquium fanbase sure seems to light up with opinions and thoughts as soon as I get into these areas.
It’s also about choosing the right people. I’m not saying you should put everyone who disagrees on an eternal shitlist, but there needs to be limits. This is one reason, among many, why I am not a family person. I want the freedom to choose my acquaintances and how I spend my time. I don’t do things by tradition, habit or norm. At least I do my best not to.
Music on the outsider topic and society
I’ve done my best to stay on the mature, smart side of things while writing music and talking about topics that easily make you sound like a goth kid from South Park. Many times, the frustration gets the best of me. A writer that really puts these things into words in the right way is Antimatter’s Mick Moss.
He often focuses on how quickly humans become inhuman machines, as soon as the material or social reward is on the table. Mick puts a lot of my most pressing thoughts to words when it comes to vanity, conformity, materialism and other curses. The most bitter, alienated thoughts are expressed with such finesse.
Below are two of my favorites, “Monochrome” and “Integrity”, including the best lyric lines. And if you don’t know Antimatter, check out their 2018 album “Black Market Enlightenment” right now!
And under the sun, the ignorant ones
Between the earth and clouds they lay
Awaiting a sign, a movement deciding
How to think and what to say
Turn to the same page, skip to the same frame
Oh how it feels to feel the same
Oh mirror of lies, come forge a disguise
Copy and paste, copy and paste
Is that all there is?
Conform and display
The animals are out for all that they can get
Put a light to the candle and the callers call to come collect
See if you can make a stand for all that’s straight and true
When there’s hands in the contents of all you stand to lose
Integrity, with colour and code we find harmony
Integrity, we cover our soil with indemnity
Integrity, what’s the point if no-one else has any?
Desolator – the angry side
Writing death metal in the early days used to be about zombies, anti-religion and gore for me. Something changed when the 2016 “Spawn of Misanthropy” EP came around, fittingly timed with when our music matured to a whole new level. The music got serious, and I got serious.
“Illusions of Grandeur” and “Sectarian Breed”, the two songs I wrote lyrics for, are the height of nihilism and aggressive anti-human aggression. “Illusions of Grandeur” has a strange desire for equality in its wish to level things to dust. The other song, “Sectarian Breed”, is actually not far away from Mick Moss’s wretched writing in some Antimatter songs.
Empires form from sand and gravel
Reaching towering heights
A pyramid scheme of fathomless extent
The weakest call to arms
With ease indoctrinated
Choose your colors and march
Allow the drum to echo
Surrender to its infectious pace
The ways of our wretched world
Strive forward with eyes shut
But your word is not your own
Soliloquium’s upcoming album and the outsider perspective
Apparently, I’ve written over 1400 words at this point. Sorry if I’m lingering on forever. Let’s tie this thing up by relating to things I said in my last blog post about how Soliloquium’s new album is tied to a dark 2018. The outsider perspective is definitely a big part. In fact, I think it will always be a big part.
I’ll keep teasing about the album for a while longer, but I promise that news about the music will arrive soon. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll enjoy these music-related personal blog posts. If you aren’t already please follow Soliloquium on Facebook and Spotify, as well as my personal music channel on YouTube. It’s much appreciated for a small time musician and writer like me.
Also, there’s a comment section below in the blog if you have any questions. I try to respond like lightning. Until next time!