Hello Jack, thank you for joining us at BuzzMusic to talk about your band Warganization. We must begin by saying how much we appreciated your album 'Mazda Music' and your broad instrumental and sonic fusions. What inspired the project itself?
The entire album basically stemmed from the single that Bleach... & I did last year, "Mazda 3." Obviously, that track also made it to the album itself, but the fact that it's placed in the center works out perfectly since it really is the actual "core" of the album in that way. The rawness, aggressiveness & - relatively speaking - minimalism of that track (it's mostly just drums, bass & vocals with the occasional spurts of guitar feedback) was a lot different to the stuff Warg had been doing recently, which was a lot cleaner, atmospheric electronica type stuff. It was exciting because it was more along the lines of what Warganization was sort of meant to be in the first place. Even with all the twists & turns, we took sonically, I still think it turned out pretty cohesively & pretty much exactly what I wanted to make, albeit with a fair amount of shifts along the way.
Did you want to deliver any concepts or messages through the entirety of your album 'Mazda Music'? What did you want listeners to take away from the project?
Don't know if I'd say "message" so much as a general atmosphere of claustrophobia, fear & unrest. The first song "AK" is essentially about dealing with anxiety, depression, or any other manner of mental illnesses by way of living fast & recklessly. Maybe this is harder to do in our current world of restrictions & isolationism, but it's definitely not a lost concept. Then something like "Like a Nightmare" is more or less about finding it hard to distinguish between dreams & reality - and moreover, being surprised at what you realize was actually just a nightmare & what was not. That's a very general description but there's actually a part of the song where I'm essentially narrating a nightmare I actually had the night before - after struggling with the middle section for days, that happened & I just went in and recorded it because every other vocal part I'd tried in that section just wasn't doing it. After getting that part down, the song was basically done. Most of the other tracks on the album kind of veer between moods of anything from longing for the sunlight ("Romera" feat. Lucid Dreams) to wondering what kind of life you're going to return to after a long period of being away from the one you knew ("With You Moon.") I've probably already said more about the lyrical side of things than I needed to so I'll just leave it there for now!
What were the collaborations like for your album 'Mazda Music'? How did your fellow creators help bring the album to life?
Like I said earlier, the initial collaboration between me & Bleach... was what really kicked off the project, we basically wrote over half that song while recording it & it kind of informed the tone of the rest of the record - aside from that there really were only two other main collaborators on the record. Lucid Dreams, who raps on "Romera," actually did his part from home & sent it to me. This normally isn't how I work as of late but it worked really well for this song I think, even something as simple as Lucid being on a different type of mic than me, gives it this sort of "ethereal" quality. Or maybe I'm full of crap. The biggest collab on here was Jeb Billeaudeau, who drums on about half the album. A lot of that came simply from me recording/co-producing a record for his band Sleepy Head, then we'd just be hanging around the studio after that & I'd have a new song that next thing we knew, we were tracking live drums for. It took those tracks to a different level & really amplified the "organic" nature of the record, to me at least. Obviously, not every track has live drums but it's still a major characteristic of the album, to me. That & the old Silvertone bass I used for all but maybe 2 or 3 tracks on here.
Is there a particular track that stands out to you within the album 'Mazda Music', and what makes it so appealing to you?
A lot of these I think are a lot different than anything we've done before, I know I used the word "organic" before but really that's a characteristic I feel unites all of this, despite it largely being electronic & electronically-produced music. My personal favorite is probably "With the Moon," since that one is particularly unlike anything we had done before & was also very easy to just sort of open up & sing naturally over. That one & "Like a Nightmare" was just very natural songs to write for me, it feels really good when that happens, but with "Nightmare" in particular, I think I literally recorded those vocals in one take without even having written lyrics or anything beforehand. It was all just kind of there; as I mentioned before though, the middle section was a bit of a different story. There isn't really a track on here I'm not remarkably proud of in some way or another, I suppose one of the benefits of spending a year (give or take) on a 30-minute album is you really get to hone in on the stuff. And it feels great to finally put out an album that you were able to do that with - that being said I would like for the next record to be maybe a little less "labored over" in that way, since at the point there is the very real, very maddening threat of overthinking things & spoiling the whole operation. Fortunately, I don't think that happened here.
What has been keeping you inspired to create music during one of the most challenging years?
Well, playing & going to shows used to be a huge part of my life so the fact that that's kind of absent right now leaves a very glaring black hole in my (& many others') lives at the moment - making or even just listening to/experiencing more music, art, etc has been a very good way to fill it though I'm definitely getting to a point now, having actually finished this record, where I am particularly wanting to get back into the swing of playing shows, touring, live music, & all that. "Challenging" is definitely a word I agree with to describe what we've all probably been experiencing these past few months, at the moment I'm taking at least a little step back to maybe reset myself a bit - the tail end of this album process kinda ate at me a bit so I probably have a bit of "self-medicating" to do but I've already started on the next round of material for Warganization so I don't think it'll be that drastic. Here's to hoping for a "Live Mazdas" opportunity sometime relatively soon!