Doc vents about the holiday blues, and speaks with Century Media A&R guy, Mike Gitter, about his start as a journalist in the early punk and hardcore scene, his time in the major label world at Atlantic records, the process of making records with bands, his legacy at Roadrunner Records and working with bands like Killswitch Engage, Glassjaw, and Ill Nino, and reveals what he looks for in upcoming bands.
This episode features the song “Calculating Fate” from Death I Am and a live version of “Numbered Days” from KiIlswitch Engage.
Doc talks with his old friend Tommy Vext, vocalist of Westfield Massacre about growing up in a rough environment in Brooklyn, NY, his first band Vext, how he got involved with Dino Cazares to join Divine Heresy, singing at Roadrunner United, his messy exit from Divine Heresy, joining Snot, his long journey to get sober, surviving attempted murder, entering the witness protection program, and his flirtation with suicide.
Songs featured on this episode are “Horizon” by Animus Complex from the Immersion album and “Build Your Thrones” by Westfield Massacre from their self-titled debut.
Part I – The Diagnosis
For a man of my age (36), perhaps no piece of pop culture spoke to my still-forming personal identity than the 1999 film The Matrix. There are several cultural memes that my generation draws from this film’s enlightening philosophy to this day. First, the metaphor of “waking up” from a sedated conformity could be applied to almost any rudimentary societal norm from a working a boring job to the banality of tradition like church or marriage. Second, the image of Morpheus holding the blue and red pills I think speaks to us all when contemplating ideas of free will, fate, or encountering our most consequential crossroad moments. Third, and most relevant to this essay, is the concept that nothing about your reality is real. This line from Morpheus explaining The Matrix to Neo is something I think about constantly.
“What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste, and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”