SECRECIES Fill The Darkenin Heart Questionnaire

Darkenin Heart

What do you consider to be the darkest piece of music you’ve ever heard?
Probably Rachmaninoff’s Piano Prelude in C Sharp Minor, which I also play (I’m also a classical pianist!).

But in terms of more modern times music - Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” movie really disturbed me the first time I saw it, but I love how it drenches you in darkness and melancholic beauty and terror, while at the same time leaving you with hope and inspiring you to fight for what you believe

How would you characterize your own music?
I’ve been describing it as “SynthGaze” because it unites these dreamy, atmospheric synth and guitar sounds, with driving electronic elements building to a shoegaze wall of sound. Ethereal, echoing guitar and synth chords and otherworldly vocals create a really dreamlike foundation.

Within the music, there's a strong presence of intricate electronic manipulation and ambient textures that add a futuristic, unpredictable dimension. The guitar is drenched in reverb, chorus and delay nodding to 90s shoegaze influences, giving the album a sense of grandeur and epic storytelling while delving into themes of transcendence, introspection, and the cosmos.

What are your musical aspirations?
I want my music and this upcoming album to encourage people to reflect on their place in the universe, and the role they play in the cosmic narrative. I want them to find escape and freedom to explore feelings of darkness and light.

I hope that people will find time in their busy lives to enjoy beauty and be grateful for the earth and all of its grandeur. So with Perfect Bite, people can expect an emotionally charged but achingly beautiful soundscape to allow themselves to escape to.

I want to keep exploring and learning new instruments and ways of producing music. I grew up playing piano and synthesizers and recently taught myself  bass guitar which is what I perform live now with Secrecies - but I’ve been collecting some really cool Jazzmasters and Jaguars and learning to play guitar also.

What are your main musical inspirations?
Anything from classical music (I love the Russian romantic composers) to rock classics like Pink Floyd, early U2 and Brit-Pop. My dad took me to a lot of concerts and music festivals growing up - the first one I remember was Moody Blues at the old Starplex in Dallas along with more surfy rock like Steve Miller Band.

Then I fell in love with Depeche Mode and New Order, and pretty much listened to Mazzy Star and Fiona Apple on repeat in the 90s. Then came the obsession with Slowdive, Sonic Youth and the igniting of my love for reverb-drenched guitars - I like a guitar to be swimming!, along with early 2000s Scottish rock bands like Frightened Rabbit and We Were Promised Jetpacks and early The National. I’m also a big fan of trip hop, lo-fi, goth-wave, and Detroit-influenced electro music and that’s what I find myself listening to and being inspired by mostly these days.

What are your main goals in life?
Just to make a meaningful artistic contribution that will outlast me and keep impacting people for years to come the ways others have done for me.

I’m not really a big ‘goals-setter’ - I spend a lot of time meditating and doing Zen practice - Qigong, and Zhan Zhuang. ZZ is really “just standing around” and holding these positions that allow internal alignments to start happening without you controlling or doing anything. In order to be able to hold these positions for more than a few minutes, we have to completely relax and let go of everything and our body has to find harmony to be able to stand there. That practice has helped me to be more present and mindful in every moment and follow my dreams with passion, while not setting unrealistic goals that may only bring disappointment. I try to take things one day at a time!

What motivates you to create?
Music and art have always been my personal therapy when I find myself dealing with thoughts that are much bigger than I know what to do with - I turn to creating music to express those feelings and speak for me. So the upcoming album, Perfect Bite really just materialized out of the times it was born in over the past 5 years and dealing with feelings of anxiety, depression, and fear as well as great hope and faith in mankind.

Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?
Definitely more of a night owl! I love the energy of the night and it takes me a while to get going in the morning. Typically I have what is called biphasic sleep where I take a long nap in the evening when I finish with work, and then stay up half the night and then go back to sleep. A lot of creative things can happen during that nighttime awakening period, especially if I’ve had a good power nap.

Besides music, what other art forms would you like to explore?
I’m also a visual artist - I started creating digital collage art when Instagram first came out and I ran across some profiles that blew me away and started playing around in Photoshop. Just before and during the pandemic I started doing “analog collages” - finding old art books and cutting things out and exploring storytelling in that way. I had my first solo art exhibit in late 2022 and would love to do more of that! My online gallery is at

I also have a big theater and musical theater background - I even co-wrote a Space Opera musical called “On The Eve” that world premiered in my hometown of Dallas and went to theater festivals in New York. It was a retelling of history featuring Marie Antoinette and a time-traveling hot air balloon!!! My band, Home By Hovercraft, performed live with the show and it was a very non-traditional musical theater where the songs were not vocalizations of dialogue but just fun indie rock songs that characters sang - like we were hearing their inner thoughts! So more of a play with music.

Which is the very first record that had a big impact on you?
The first vinyl record I owned was TIFFANY in the 80s, bought at a Kroger back when grocery stores had record sections - I wore that record out! The other record I wore out in my youth was PINK FLOYD’s Dark Side of the Moon - where I really started to understand the power of storytelling and creating a sonic landscape to escape to.

What is the best decade for music?
This is a tough one! Growing up in the 80s and 90s, those songs really had a big impact on me and were the soundtrack to a lot of heartache and joy, but I love discovering new music now - I love just letting the Spotify algorithm find new discoveries for me and double clicking down the rabbit hole.

What do your future plans include?
My future plans include releasing the new SECRECIES album, while writing and starting production on the next album - I am always excited to move on the next creative journey!

I’m also working on recording the first album for a solo electro project called POLARIMETRY. The project was born because my Secrecies bandmates do a lot of touring for other bands they are in, and I needed something to keep me creatively engaged and doing live performances while they are on the road, and also allows me to get back to my roots of analog synths and solo performance.

I’d love to record another piano solo album also! The last one I did was around 10 years ago called ‘Imaginations of Man’ (you can find it on Spotify) and it was just me improvising on themes - I’d love to find the time to do that again.
Perfect Bite releases May 17th, 2024 via Idol Records

All questions answered by Shawn Magill

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