Collaborative Storytelling: Where Music and Role-playing Align
So, a few months ago when we were recording our EP we were asked by MJ Riemann (wife of Kurt Riemann, owner of Surreal Studios) who writes our music. When we responded that we all chip in and that it was a collaborative effort, her response seemed a little surprised and she made some comment about how most bands couldn’t pull that off.
That got me thinking:
is our style of music writing unique and if so, why do we do it this way?
First, let me briefly explain how we have written the songs for our first album.
It all began in the winter of 2015/2016 when we decided it was time to write our own stuff instead of just covering other’s music. Only, there was a slight problem: all of our lives were pretty boring and we didn’t want to sing songs about the hardships of being white, middle-class men in America. I remember, I had this cool dream about a dude in a weird desolate landscape, climbing to the top of this city to lay to rest his dead child in the ocean in the sky, and I was like “Ahha! That’s kinda neat!” So I called a round table discussion. We all gathered around a (not exactly round) table covered in paper with a bottle of scotch, a fire, and lots of pens, and started trying to tell the story.
Coming up with the world of Calescai came easy for us, and it was due to one large fact: for the past three years, Ricky, Caleb, and I have all been a part of an intense, once a week role-playing group. For us, writing this album was no different than creating a moving and meaningful campaign - it’s all collaborative storytelling. To participate in a good campaign you have to be able to be patient, respectful, and sometimes you have to be able to argue your heart out because, yes, you do want to sneak up on the scruffy inn-keeper and pick his pocket and no, you know it isn’t a good idea cause he will probably kick us out, but you still want to do it!... and at the end of the day, you have to be able to still want the thrill of creating something that is exciting, that awakens your imagination, and that lets you experience something you couldn’t otherwise.
To us, this album is the same thing.
All this to say, if you have a group of friends and want to create something cool and fun together, try role-playing games. It’s like premarital counseling for creative groups. It teaches you the skills to put your ego aside sometimes for the greater creative good.
We are getting so excited to show you all our weird little story sometime soon!