Friday, November 8, 2019

Trapped in the Center of an Unstable Loop

"I'm only happy when I am inside of you" doesn't really mean all you think it does. We set aside some time to practice in our friend, Jackie's, studio.  He's a lighting designer and we wanted to get another rehearsal in with our new keyboard played, Stan.  It seemed like a perfect opportunity to practice together and get some video footage.  We didn't really know what to expect, but it ended up turning out nicely.  It was a really cool and disorienting experience.  The strobes and other lights in our face were way more intense than at a typical show when you have a bit of distance between you and the lights.  This was tight and up close.  I think the intensity of all that came through in the performance. You get wound up doing something like that even without a large group of people to play for. 

We ended up doing maybe 3 takes of the song as a band with a couple of cameras, then another take where I used a handheld to get footage of everyone without me in the shot.  I did all the editing, and it was a bit of a challenge to get all the stuff that was lit for a live performance to play well on camera.  This is also the first video we've done with our new lineup, which I am so happy about.

I quote the lyric from the last line of the chorus, but I don't really explain it.  I kind of like things that way, but I realize some of the stuff I say is out there for some.  What I will say for right now is that one of the things I am happy to be inside of is that unstable loop.  That repeating pattern that is quite irregular.  Like a lot of songs on that album, it's kind of tough to talk about too much.  My friend, Steve, has asked why I don't explain a lot of the lyrics.  I plan to finally do some of that soon.  For now, here is the video:


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

What Are The Secrets of Time Travel?

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What are the secrets of time travel? This has become a favorite to play. I (Mark) don’t usually like to talk about the lyrics. I usually give a glib answer about Jar Jar Binks or The Golden Girls when someone asks. After a long conversation with my friend, Steve, I decided to open up a tiny bit more. Imagine feeling so desperate to change things in the world and get something you lost back that you contemplate meditation and suicide as means to travel through time. Then, in these moments of despair, an infomercial flashes on your screen with promises by a man that claiming to have figured out the secrets of time travel. He calls himself a doctor, but not because he is a physician. He has legally changed his name so he can advertise himself this way. He’s recruiting participants for his program and the protagonist in the song follows the words on the screen that say “call now!” He ends up being favorited by this fake doctor during the intake process. Instead of being a participant, he becomes an intern and discovers that our television personality isn’t giving people the secrets of time travel. He’s performing lobotomies. Our protagonist knows this is wrong, but continues assisting. He’s so desperate that he hopes for a shred of truth. He’s also started viewing the doctor as a mentor and religious figure because he’s so broken down and in need of something to believe in. When he finally wises up, we hear it from this perspective in the song. He’s jaded even further about the world he lives in and is angry to have fallen for such a scam. However, he hasn’t given up on the ability to travel through time and live forever by metaphysically dying. He’s still seeking. In the album, I used “The Extraction of the Stone of Madness” by Bosch as the basis for the art and lyrics panel. I ran it through a series of processes related to “glitch art”. The stone of madness supposedly caused dementia or other mental illnesses. The “cure” involved drilling the skull open to release pressure or let evil spirits escape. This served as a kind of inverse parallel to what happens in the song. #timetraveltuesday #industrialmetal #glitchart #hieronymusbosch

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Transdimensional Stellar Autopsy

The video for Transdimensional Stellar Autopsy is out on 3/29/19.  I'll include an embedded link below.

In a dark and complicated album like The Great Repression, this is the most uplifting song you are going to hear.  That's not saying much though.  This is the final song on the record, and the one where I am trying to make the most sense out of all those feelings of desperation, confusion, anger, and loss.  It is an examination of the granting, loss, and regaining of power for a person.  It is the conclusion that no matter what you do, you cannot fix everything in life or with yourself.  You cannot save everyone, and you might not be able to save anyone.  You do the best that you can because in the end it means nothing and it means everything all at the same time.  I had a friend asking me questions and discussing the album who just so happens to be in the mental health field.  He likened the album to stages of grief and this song to the acceptance stage.  This album is definitely written from the perspective of an individual going through loss and also suffering from mental illness, so I feel that is an accurate observation for him to make.

I almost did not release the video because it does not reflect the current lineup of Black Hole Zion.  However, I like this song and I like everyone that has ever been part of Black Hole Zion.  I felt the song deserved a video, so I went ahead with the plan to release.  Visually, this is most certainly an attempt to show how the song makes me feel, what was going through my mind lyrically, and also combine my love of all things science fiction.  At times there are 8-10 layers of visuals happening at once even though you may not see them all consciously.  I hope you dig it.  If not, oh well.  See you on the other side of the multiverse.

Mark


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition is Out Today

To our fellow space nerds:

Mutant Football Leauge:  Dynasty Edition is out on 10/30/18.  We can now proudly tell you that the Black Hole Zion song, 8-Bit Rage, is not only used in the game, but also the entrance/theme music for one of the teams.  Our song will accompany the awesome new team, the Cracksumskull Jugulars, as they make their way out to the field and dominate the other teams!  The folks at Digital Dreams entertainment were great to work with and have produced a super cool piece of gaming art.  Mutant Football League:  Dynasty Edition is available for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Mac/PC via Steam.  Dig it!


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Mutant Football League: Part 1

To our fellow space nerds:

Broadcasting from our space station between Mars and Jupiter, we are pleased to finally announce that Black Hole Zion will have a little bit of music featured in the game, Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition. More details to come, but the game launches on 10/30/18 and will be available for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Mac/PC via Steam.


We’re looking forward to playing! The folks at Mutant Football League are super cool and have worked hard on bringing an awesome version of this game to release. Excited to share more soon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Stunt Runner Soundtrack

Quite a while back, I (Mark) did the soundtrack for a cool physics puzzler game called Stunt Runner.  There were a few development delays as the folks involved were not only preparing a game for release, but an entire new platform called Jump Gaming.  Jump has been described by some as a Netflix or Spotify service for games in the sense that you aren't necessarily installing games to your computer and that they curate the content to offer what they feel are the best indie games available.

You can play Stunt Runner right now if you are a Jump subscriber.  However, I also wanted to make the soundtrack available for those using Jump and also those that might not play games, but dig instrumental synth and game soundtracks.  I'm really happy with how all of the music turned out. The release date is 6/26/18, and you can pre-order it right here if that's your thing.  Also, Jump subscribers will get it a few days early as an added bonus.

I cut together a video for the first track, Let's Go!, and you can watch it right here:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Secrets of Time Travel

This is kind of a midway point through The Great Repression where things are at some of their most bleak.  It is when the protagonist, out of desperation, joins up with an infomercial personality that has legally changed his first name to Doctor.  This person did so in an effort to add credibility to his products and services.  He claims he can give viewers the ability to travel through time and space if they sign up for his program, pay a fee, and report to his lab.  He then performs lobotomies and other experiments on them.  There is a little more to it, but I'd rather someone take a bit of their meaning from the lyrics than have me explain everything from my own perspective.  Either way, we are happy with how things turned out.  Here's a direct link to the YouTube stream.  We hope you dig it!