Many ancient cultures stress the importance of dream interpretation.
Our nocturnal musings and meanderings reveal quite a bit about our subconscious and who we may or may not be in the physical and metaphysical worlds. Appropriately, the story of Trigram starts with a dream. The musical alter-ego of vocalist, guitarist, and composer Rodney Warner formally birthed from a nightmare in mid-2016…
“I was left with feelings of how life isn’t a permanent thing,” he sighs. “I’m going to die one day. My brain was just left in this weird space. I started asking, ‘Am I doing the right things in my life? If this will all end now, would I be happy?’ There was something missing. I’d been playing music my whole life, but I never finished anything to be proud of. I never fully committed to a piece of art. It was finally time do a record.”
Inspired by the likes of Tool, Alice In Chains, Deftones and other nineties juggernauts, Rodney hit the studio and quietly recorded the four songs over the course of a year. These songs would become Trigram’s independent self-titled 2017 debut EP. Longtime friend Brian Mansell produced and performed drums and lead guitar, while Rodney personally handled vocals, rhythm guitar, and bass. As the EP came together, the name and its symbology proved appropriate.
“The specific Trigram that adorns the cover is the ‘Trigram of Fire’,” he goes on. “It symbolizes fire and pent-up energy trying to break out from within. I’m letting something out here.”
A percussive march introduces the opening track and first single “Assimilate.” Chugging staccato guitars entwine with a soaring and breathy vocal refrain—“We’re gonna take you, assimilate you”—that haunts as it hypnotizes over a bed of polyrhythms. Meanwhile, the surreal Alex Frey-directed music video conveys the homogenization of humanity in an inspired dystopian display. “Assimilate” truly opens up the world of Trigram.
He explains, “‘Assimilate’ takes a metaphoric look at conformity in social media through the lens of a post-apocalyptic world where a supreme leader enslaves the population through electronic devices. I thought about how everyone is turning into the same person with the same point of view because of what is being force fed to us through social media.”
Whether it’s the darkness of Christopher Columbus skewered on “Entropy” or the trudging catharsis of “Tick Down,” Trigram’s rich layers immediately beckon analysis. While “Assimilate” explores the potentially devastating consequences of conforming, “Bleed Out” draws on dark horror rooted in relationship violence.
“I hope people want to discover the layers of the music,” he leaves off. “There’s a lot going on there, and you might find a message that speaks to you. The music that I love does this and I hope that Trigram can do the same.”