The ideas behind The Dominion EP
My music has always picked up on themes of utopia and dystopia. Tracks like Totalitaria, Rise Up, Soma, Rebirth and Worlds Collide from my most recent EPs are all very direct references to the works of Orwell, Huxley, Wells and other similar authors whose themes of class warfare, consumerism and propaganda resonate with me and how I understand the world. With this EP I wanted to take those themes further, and the tune Our Rules was borne directly out of that. It is an open letter to those who maintain Dominion over us, by forcing us to play their game of work, buy, live in debt, and die. The references are pointed and intentional, and the acutely directed anger is very real.
The other tune with a featured vocal, Crumbling Down again it picks up on ideas that individual relationships often mirror the way we interact in communities. Sometimes Dominion is taken forcibly and sometimes it is given willingly. I’ve always loved ambiguous lyrics too. Ones that you can understand in a certain context, but can be just as powerful when put in a different light. Is this song about a romantic relationship, or a formerly infallible world leader who has proved as impotent as his predecessors?
Inertia has a quote, an alien sample if you like, at the end, that echoes the cry of the Easter Islanders, and I fear will be the cry of humanity if we don’t honour our responsibility to exercise dominion (in this context ‘stewardship’) of our home.
Even the sample in Drop That can be taken two ways. A club context or, as is more often the case, as an act of aggression, of desire for Dominion.
Inertia // Dominion EP
Inertia was a tune borne from experimentation; sometimes in the studio I just see what happens when you plug this into that into the other thing over there, and sometimes I just try playing with every parameter on a synth and save anything that sounds cool. In this instance, everything really fell into place. I’d had the middle section done for another tune, and the intro is my unashamed homage to Queen’s ‘One Vision’ and Dire Straits’ ‘Money For Nothing’. I love the way both of those tunes have huge intros that burst into big guitar riffs, and I wanted to emulate that with a crazy synth sound instead.
Often when writing music it seems as if the song is in control, not me, and my job is to just get out of the way and let things run their course - this is where the title comes from. The vocal right at the end talks about another kind of Inertia: as a society, our demand for things to consume, from food to possessions to lives, is driving us headlong towards extinction. But how can you turn it around, something so amorphous, with so much energy driving it?
And then, as we grew in number, our resources diminished.
Then we were too many, with too little.
Our will for dominion had overtaken our ability to survive.
And then we were gone.
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Crumbling Down // Dominion EP
I absolutely loved the experience of writing Crumbling Down. About a year ago I made a Facebook post asking for recommendations for singers, and somebody (I can’t remember who, but THANK YOU) suggested I check out Zoe Phillips. I found her Road Sign EP on Bandcamp and bought it immediately, then I contacted her to see if she might be interested in working together, and, thankfully, she was. I went over to London in November with about fifteen ideas for songs, with the intention of doing a whole bunch of vocal sessions with different singers to see what came out. Zoe and I found a flow straight away, sharing common ground musically and lyrically. The basis of Crumbling Down came together very quickly. Lyrically we wanted something that, on face value, could be about a personal relationship, but upon reflection could be about something quite different. Musically, the sound design and the ‘drop’ actually took a while to get right. I wanted to make it reflect what was going on lyrically. Put simply, the chord progression and melody are essentially major, representing the hope that could have been, and the drop is minor, representing the reality.
Crumbling Down is about that space of disillusionment between hope and reality, which, in today’s world, we all know too well.
We turn and we catch a glimpse, but the moment’s gone,
It falls beneath our reach.
Embrace the change as we step away,
Shadows fade as night turns to day.
I watch as the fear escapes and it starts to break as it pour out of my skin.
We watch as the walls shake and come crumbling down,
From all that we’ve been.
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Check out Zoe’s music:
estefidblaze said: hii your post was very insightful! How many hours work u put in vs how much money u get.. Also can u manage yourself is the manager also responsible to get you gigs? Is this why many Producers have oopted to have their own labels? There is money in the industry but seems like the artist gets the short end of the stick thank u for being humbke and down to earthnI will def check put ur music and make some purchases!!
Thank you. A manager can be very helpful when it comes to finalising deals, keeping things organised and focussing on a big picture. Generally managers are not responsible for organising shows, though they are responsible for liaising with booking agents.
I just released a new, for FREE (trying a new model) via nickthayer.com if you’d like to check it out.
OUR RULES - Dominion EP (out now FREE)
I wanted to write something about each track on my Dominion EP (which you can download NOW for FREE from www.nickthayer.com).
Check the video for Our Rules thanks to UKF here:
This was the first track written for Dominion, and it both introduces and sums up the intention of the EP as a whole. Whatever the case, we are in charge of our own destiny. We CAN make the rules. We CAN choose which games we play. I had this beat and I asked my long time friend and soul brother N’fa to come and check it out. We got to talking about the way the world is, and how angry we were both feeling about the state of Australian politics. In particular, the way the current policies dehumanise and even demonise those on the outside, the refugees, those in need or special care, and the homeless, and serve to help the rich get richer. Unfortunately this is a theme all too common across history. Too much of the way our lives are ordered is dictated by vested interests. How can a company that makes money from selling meat be in charge of deciding what is healthy for kids to eat in schools? We wanted to write something about that very real, very pointed anger, in much the same way Rage Against The Machine (a band we both love) so often did. N’fa’s word play here is as astute as it always is, with cross references, layers of meaning, and as always impeccable delivery. Musically I wanted to reflect that anger through sounds like the breaking glass on the snare drum, the imposing horns and the laser-gun battle main riff.
You think I’m stupid, you know I’m not
You think I think you’re stupid, I know you’re not
You just a bunch of bad actors
Acting like you care for our welfare but you’re acting up
It’s a Game of Thrones that you play
I know your method man you aim to bring the pain
For the gain of the power, to reign for an hour
You point and aim and rain down the showers of the bullets when you pull it
But see you never hold the guns you get young guns to do it
Believing they the keepers of hope
'Cause you deceiving them
Force feeding them freedom until they choke
You’re the semen of the demons in cloaks
Sith lords who ship wars, laws, freedom and coke
I don’t believe a lot of history cause history’s wrote
By the hostile winners, Rothschild and co
You can’t tell me what to do
We live in our own world
We play by our own rules
I never retreated or conceded defeat
'Cause I could see the secrets in your fiendish deceit
Yes I, a son of Judah with the Buddhist beliefs
I use the internet to intercept the bullshit you teach
Proper up of the propaganda of the beast
N’fa, yeh, Thayer handling the beats
If this life is real, then put me to sleep
If I’m dreaming, wake me up I can’t breathe
I don’t mean to be mean but if that’s the way that it is
Then perhaps you need to change the way you’re faking your biz
We wising up quick, young kids are mad deep
We don’t want wars, we all just want peace
You see it like chess and we the chess piece
Like we all lifeless
While the media feeds the East and West with lies designed to make us believe
That we need to be controlled when we need to be free
We live in our own world
We play by our own rules
You can’t tell me what to do