earRotator - "Holy Empire" was a collaboration with my longtime songwriting partner, singer, guitarist and engineering wizard Mark Schleunes. It incorporates a variety of sounds and styles including rock, electronica, jazz, ethnic scales, samples and found sounds, killer drum loops and groovy dance beats. The original music videos we created with Margaret Boehm were combined with recontextualized cable news and other footage.
We were deeply affected by what was going on in the world post-9/11, with historic events such as the Enron scandal, color-coded terror alerts, and especially the Bush administration's manufacturing of the fallacious pretext for the US invasion of Iraq. This project was our response to what was happening and how we felt about it, and combines protest and political songs, songs about corporate corruption as well as songs about peace, freedom and individual liberty.
We gigged in various San Francisco Bay Area venues, as well as outdoor battery-powered guerilla gigs at anti-war protests, with a rockin' backing track and original videos. Despite its serious themes, the material still maintain a sense of musicality, theatrics, humor and humanity.
Mark Schleunes and I produced this record, but it's mainly his production wizardry that made this record so interesting sonically. Mark is an awesome cat, a very clever songwriter and extremely intelligent dude with an encyclopedic knowledge of recording, mixing and modern rock and pop.