Terrible Melodies and Beautiful Things

I started my solo project Digressed Mind “officially” sometime in the summer of 2019, although I believe the concept had first entered my mind around a year or so earlier, grown out of a burgeoning appreciation for more abstract art forms and the seed planted by the following quote, taken from the amazing book of poetry Cancer As A Social Activity: Affirmations of World’s End, by Mike IX Williams, vocalists of NOLA sludge band Eyehategod, as well as punk group Arson Anthem, the obviously EHG-like Outlaw Order, industrial post-metal group Corrections House, as well as noise project The Guilt Of…:

“This digressed mind is a labyrinth of twisted abjection”

– Michael IX Williams

Here is the link to the main Digressed Mind BandCamp page, where everything that has been released is available and free to download, including a saved recording of my early shithouse sorta punk sorta noise sorta whatever band TWIG! There is also material from a grave moss doom project I was a part of that put out some recordings in late 2018, called Timeless Static Void. Below you will find embeds of all of the Digressed Mind and other Hank The Wvrm related music recordings, with some background information on each. Play it loud!

The Fruit Smack Powder Chronicles is a short EP of sorts that serves as the first pieces of “music” I created as Digressed Mind. The opening track, Kool-Aid’s First Home Invasion, was pretty much just and experiment to see if I could make these machine things do what I intended them to do. The results, although limited, were enough for me to keep going. God…I haven’t actually listened to this in forever. I’m going to go play it now…

I also threw together a little music video accompaniment for “Kool-Aid’s First Home Invasion,” the first Digressed Mind track ever created. 😂

The next composition I put out was birthed from an obsession I was having at the time with a somewhat recent “outlaw country” album put out by Lost Dog Street Band founding member Benjamin Tod. I did the above-linked cover of the amazing and heartbreaking, soul-baringly honest track “Using Again,” which I believe turned out with mixed results.

Considering how early on in the life of this project I was at the time, the opportunity that arose for this next piece came as a surprise. IJUSTSAWYOUDIE is a harsh blackened noise project from Tucson, Arizona, where I was living at the time. It happened to be one of my personal favorite experimental noisemakers, the individual behind it also having become a good friend of mine, and in fact was largely responsible for influencing my decision to start Digressed Mind. So I was pleasantly shocked when IJSYD asked to do a split release with me. “Your Unconscious and Pleasant Naivete” was my contribution to the split. The links above will allow you to hear my side on the Digressed Mind BandCamp page, or the full split on the Outsider Industries page.

“Marcy Sings And Owns The Libs (Deep And Wide)” was birthed from samples of a bizarre and probably unintentionally hilarious old vinyl record that was sent to me as a gag along with an order of heavy music from the Ernie November record store in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Proprietor Keith always made it a point to throw in something strange and funny with mail orders, and an album of impossibly absurd and cheesy Christian children’s songs by “Little Marcy” a.k.a. Marcy Tigner was one such procurement. I couldn’t resist using some samples to turn the whole thing on its head.

And here is a strange little music video I threw together t

If I’m being honest, I can’t exactly recall what influenced me to compose this track, other than I know I was playing on an obvious pop culture and pop music influence in naming the track “Lucy In The Sky With Klonopin.” Klonopin is a powerful anti-anxiety drug that I take as needed to help with the more bothersome psychotic and anxious effects of my mental illnesses. I’m going to have to listen to this track again myself to try and remember other aspects of its origin and creation.

Things Of An Oppressive Nature is sort of an unintentional concept EP, made up of tracks I had been working on at the time that, without specific forethought, ended up having a similar theme, centered around societal, political, and economic oppression, which seems to be getting worse as time goes. It includes “Marcy Sings and Owns The Libs (Deep and Wide)” as well as a few other politically and socially influenced tracks. Some European digital distribution label whose information I can’t remember asked to link the EP on their label BandCamp page, as well. I dunno.

“Nobody… I’m Nobody” was really just an excuse to sample some Charles Manson. Ol’ Charlie is ripe for the sampling! Oh, is this cliche? Do it look like I give a fuck? Hahaha…

With the 33 Song EP, I felt inspired to do something a little more grand than anything I’d tried thus far. The idea is in part inspired by Anal Cunt’s penchant early on in their lifespan to put out releases like 88 Song EP and 5643 Song EP. However, our release actually has 33 tracks! Some of which introduce the voices that live in my head…

Following completion of the 33 Song EP, Digressed Mind went into a short hibernation. Part of the reason for this break in productivity was the sudden, unexpected death of my laptop, temporarily stunting my ability to record. This period of time also saw me move across the country, from Tucson, Arizona to Chicago. And then there was the goddamn pandemic. Before long, the itch to create needed to be scratched, and I found a way to continue composing and recording music. The inaugural experiment in recording with a new set-up became this, the “Essential Worker Lab Test.”

Once some people took notice that Digressed Mind was back in action, I started to receive a few requests for splits and submissions to compilations. Francesco Terrini is the harsh noise project of my friend from Philipines, Ches. Around the time that Ches proposed we release a split together, the Black Lives Matter movement and the nationwide protests against police brutality were in full-swing. I felt compelled to comment on these events through the lens of my music, and crafted a short offering of four tracks collectively known as Advocate Violence, which was submitted for the Decline split with Francesco Terrini on Basement Corner Emissions. Embeds for both my side of the split, as well as the full offering, are included here.

The end of May 2020 brought the 27th birthday of my partner and love, one Beezy B. Baphomet! I took another cue from someone we both find hilariously interesting and crafted this Happy Birthday track in the (approximate) style of Anal Cunt. Laughs and merriment abound!

Summer 2020 brought the cyclical birth of the dormant cicada, an event that happens every 17 years. Those motherfuckers were BUZZING! I fashioned this track from samples of cicadas singing, fed through a barrage of effects and digital manipulations, with other samples and recorded sounds buried in the mix. Beautiful-ish…

My next piece of anti-music, “Too Tired To Die,” was created for and submitted to a compilation on Outsider Industries called Eroding The Walls, which features a host of other talented and varied experimental music and noise musicians, largely from the Southern Arizona area. Both my track and the full comp are linked above.

“Deconstruction Branch” came about after re-listening to some of the more experimental Melvins tracks on albums like Electroretard and Prick, in particular the songs that flirt with backwards-masked recordings of some of their more “proper” or straightforward material. I took samples of songs recorded with my high school shithouse noise punk band TWIG, flipped and reversed them, and fed those and other recordings and samples through digital effects insanity to arrive at the track as it exists here.

“The Solitary Confinement In Me” was inspired by a poem written by Mike IX Williams and published in his book Cancer As A Social Activity. It was created for inclusion on the debut release from Transitional Void Records, a noise label founded by Fatalisté and Tides Of Sulfur mastermind Chris Bull. Both my individual contribution as well as the full and extensive compilation are linked above.

Around the same time that Transitional Void Records launched, its founder Chris asked if Digressed Mind would be interested in doing a split release with his project Fatalisté, which of fucking course I was! “You’ve Lost Your Goddamn Mind” was released with the Fataliste track “Regressor” On Trepanation Digital Recordings. My side of the split, as well as the full release, are linked above.

Ahh. This brings us to the saga of This Hat versus The Hat. Strap in! The mythology behind This Hat, the most industrial hat in existence, was largely built up in The SIN Collective group on Facebook. Founder and administrator Tommy, the mastermind behind Tucson-based experimental electronics project Ennaytch, started weaving the tales of This Hat through memes and anecdotes, beginning with This Hat putting in a bid for public office around the time of the Presidential Race primaries in late 2019 – 2020.

Eventually, This Hat discovered he had a henceforth unknown arch nemesis in Chicago in the form of The Hat, mascot of a Chicago street food joint of the same name. This Hat was PISSED. He immediately dropped a savage diss track disparaging The Hat, entitled “Not A Hat.”

When The Hat heard those shots fired, he responded in kind with his own diss track, “The Hat Claps Back.” The feud was heating up! This Hat heard The Hat’s clap back, and he just got real quiet…perhaps eerily so. Next we heard, This Hat was packing a bag and heading to Chicago for a confrontation for the ages.

Unfortunately, This Hat hit a major snag when he was garment profiled trying to rent a hearse and was denied service based on his lack of arms and whatnot. This heated and tumultuous exchange was documented in the track “Rent-A-Hearse.” After being denied service, This Hat, in a blind rage and delirious from lack of snacks, took his vengeance on the hearse rental company, a violent occurrence that was captured in the track “High Octane Vengeance.”

Still, despite the setbacks, This Hat did eventually make it to Chicago, where he sought out The Hat for a final confrontation…

…at which point the two became immediate best friends. Having been able to set aside their differences and realize two hats are stronger than one, This Hat and The Hat took some industrial club homies out for food at The Hat’s establishment, the party having been documented with the assistance of both Ennaytch and Digressed Mind in “Rivet Head Snack Time.”

But…is this The End?

This next release marked a momentous occasion. Our first physical release to date! The excellent Transitional Void Records released this split with Pyewacket, a dark ambient project based out of the UK, on limited edition translucent purple cassette tapes. I’m pretty stoked on it, and happy with how the material for our first tape came out!

Late in 2019, I finally met someone who had grown to be one of my closest online friends in person, Beezy. Meeting in person made clear the strength of feelings we had for each other, and we decided to give being together a go. I moved myself and my dogs halfway across the country to Chicago, and it has been a zany, wild ride ever since.

Beezy is a trans man, and the first man I had ever even considered being in a relationship with or having feelings for. I wrote this track, “My Boyfriend Turned Me Gay,” as a tribute to Beezy and our relationship on the year anniversary of us meeting in person. It’s a filthy noisecore piece done in Digressed Mind’s interpretation of Anal Cunt’s style. I really think that says it all, yeah? 😂

Timeless Static Void was originally conceived of as a dark ambient noise solo project by my friend Dave, born out of a history of composing horror film scores. Eventually it evolved into a three-piece grave moss doom band, with Dave on bass guitar, samples, dark ambience, and drum programming, Nate on guitar leads and riffs, and myself handling vocal duties. We recorded one full-length album, There Will Be Grief, put out a split with Oklahoma’s Grass Giant, and started work on an EP, The Broken Are The More Evolved, that was never fully completed – however, I wanted to include that unfinished EP because I think it still stands as a great piece of music, and also because I really threw myself into the recording session for the vocals, to the point that I sort of blacked out and lost myself in the performance, and while I am by no means an amazing vocalist, I was still always pleased with how raw and emotive those vocals turned out.

I also fashioned a little music video for the album track “Within The Diseased Mind.”

In 2019, an acquaintance of mine asked me to lay down some guest vocals for a track performed by his band, The Bermuda Syndicate, an industrial metal meets hardcore meets weird industrial noise type of project. Above are links for both the individual track on which I appear, as well as the full album.

And, finally, here is the demo I recorded in high school with my shithouse noise punk burnout band TWIG. It fucking sucks, but it’s still kind of cool…I think…

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Hank The Wvrm, 2014-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Hank The Wvrm, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Music and video material contained, utilized, or linked in this post are the sole intellectual property of Ryan Scott Sanders and Digressed Mind, unless otherwise noted, and are protected and copyrighted as such.