Shadows Without Light Part Two – Tom Reynolds
Art: Arif Suhaimi
An idiot and talentless musician hoping no one finds out I’m a hack fraud.
I think lyrics are important as a cathartic experience for the person writing them and the listener. My lyrics were just old crap at first because it was more about the guitar playing than anything at that time. Then my lyrics became more storytelling with the concept records I made. I got quite political for a while, but I don’t want to be tied into the political band thing. Recently my lyrics have been more about how I feel about life and the human condition. Again, a cathartic experience.
I don’t have any rituals when it comes to writing music. It’s best not to overthink your work. I let the music happen naturally, and I am the vessel for it to come into being. I tend to use music as a cathartic experience. Writing lyrics is a bit like exorcism and performing them for recording or playing live like primal screaming. So, could it be called escapism?
I wouldn’t say metal is cult worship because most cults end in mass suicide, and members aren’t usually allowed to leave when they decide the lifestyle isn’t for them. I remember sitting in music class in year seven. The teacher talked about extra music lessons you could take If you were interested. She went through all the options and finally stopped on guitar. For some reason, I put my name down for guitar lessons; the rest is history. One of my earliest idols was Mark Knopfler from the band Dire Straits. It was because I played with my thumb instead of a pick back then, and so did Knopfler. Another band that was very important in my development as a guitarist was As Blood Runs Black, their debut album allegiance is still amazing. These days I don’t have any idols or anything. I do enjoy melodic death metal from Sweden. Usually, the fast but catchy stuff. In the last few years, I have listened to many synthwave. The best crossover for people to check out is Nitelight plays: Death’s ‘Symbolic’.
I find that nothing shows up if I try and force myself to write music. But if I remain patient and wait for my hands to find something that piques my interest, I will begin working on that. I don’t have any vices. The belief that “drugs make you more creative” is a load of shit. My creative process in the last few years has become natural. I used to obsess over a song for months, and it would take ages to write anything. Now I am very relaxed when writing. I just let the music happen without trying to force something to work! I have always liked David Bowie. He had a very interesting creative process. I don’t like everything he did, but the albums and songs I like are very impressive.
I am not a believer in anything spiritual, so I feel that music is partly entertainment, but it is also a cathartic release for many people, including myself.