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Beats Antique: A Story With “A Thousand Faces”

Beats Antique Bumbershoot 2013

It’s the classic story to end all classic stories.  An ordinary person in an ordinary place called to extraordinary action.  Facing obstacles, meeting mentors, making allies and enemies, and suffering great loss or even death before rising above it all, conquering unbelievable odds and forever altering the world he inhabits.

From the Bible to The Odyssey to The Lord of the Rings to Star Wars, the monomyth is a story that’s been told since stories have been told, first outlined in detail by Joseph Campbell in the 1940s.  “I was lucky to study him [Campbell] in high school.  He’s a philosopher and writer who studies cultures from all over the world, from native americans to greek mythology to hindu mythology…he found the common story between all of them.  He calls it the monomyth, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, the structure of the hero’s journey.”

This is the story arc that inspired Beats Antique’s upcoming album A Thousand Faces and the Ivan Landau/Obscura Digital-produced live show that will accompany it.  Taking the structure of the monomyth, David and his Beats Antique counterparts Zoe Jakes and Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel created a sweeping musical epic, to be released in two parts.  “Act 1 is to the point of death in the story, and the second act is resurrection, rebirth, celebrating, Ewok Village stuff. Party time, right?”

Traditionally all our albums have been collections of songs; we never looked at putting a real theme behind the album.  We looked at (Pink Floyd’s) The Wall and said ‘Let’s do that for ourselves.’

-David Satori, Beats Antique

The album is jam-packed with talented guest musicians.  “We have Les Claypool on the album, and he’s the devil…Lynx is on a few tracks, and Sorne.  He’s an amazing up-and-coming singer.  He’s a mix between Maynard [James Keenan of Tool] and this tribal electronic…I think you’re going to be hearing a lot from him in the future.”

Like V-Squared productions for Amon Tobin and Infected Mushroom, the A Thousand Faces live show is a wash of technology and abstract storytelling.  “We build these houses around us, projecting on this whole village, and we’re changing the village and taking you on this wild adventure.  It’s like Choose Your Own Adventure.”  The show was funded through a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, which invited fans to become a part of the show itself.  “We’re having our fans draw the faces.  Then we animate it so the faces are swallowing you and you actually travel like a fun house tunnel through the faces.”

Beats Antique have taken huge inspiration from their hometown musical community which Ivan Landau is a part of, along with dubstep prophet Bassnectar.  “We’re all really good friends from the Bay Area.  We all came out of the scene about ten years ago.  We’re all buddies, we’re having barbecues…it’s really natural.”

Loren (Bassnectar) took us out on our first tour.  Seeing his world, he opened us up to the whole national EDM scene that was building at the time.  He’s a huge example for us, raising the bar each time he goes on tour.

Beats Antique bring something to dance music that is currently missing: ageless stories that speak not just to the feelings of a moment, but the universal emotions we all feel.  Asked about the future, “We’re inspired to see how crucial it is to bring it to the next level.  We’re trying to do it in a very different, creative way.  We’d rather do a three night run in a theatre than the colosseum, be more intimate and beautiful.  That’s where we want to go.”

A Thousand Faces is set to release on October 15th, with live shows beginning October 3rd.  Get tickets for The Depot here or The Knitting Factory here.

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Written By

Digital music expert, ex-studio engineer, Javascript & Wordpress developer, dog father, outdoor fanatic. Published in Forbes and Huffington Post. I'm the Owner and Co-Founder of Dance Music Northwest.

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