OPIUM DENN: Cohesive Package

Opium Denn

Opium Denn is an incredibly mysterious one-man project. Though I might describe the music as a Porcupine Tree-ish take on threads of Blue Oyster Cult and Pink Floyd, there is much more at work with this artist. A running conceptual element in set to run through a trilogy of albums (the first of which was released earlier this year) and as this interview certainly shows, there’s a unique (and intriguingly puzzling) perspective fuelling his work.

Opium Denn’s an interesting choice of name for a band of this sort– lucid yet hazy; I think that applies to the music as well. Where did you get the name from?

First of all, thank you this interview. I perceive that you are an insightful and intelligent person. I respect that and therefore, we can have this interview. Firstly, Opium Denn is an individual entity and is not a band. It is plural because it represents the multiple personalities within each person facing the aggregate of human conditions. The name Opium Denn describes a feeling….the feeling that life is often a confused and chaotic adventure like some type of weird drug trip… The music is about the search to make sense of it all…and find meaning… The music connects us with our “feelings” which are the true primary drivers of how we live… In addition, though Opium Denn is not a proponent of the abuse of drugs as such use will destroy protoplasm-based entities, Opium Denn does recognize that when people use such substances, whether alcohol or other, we are attempting to feel better, even perhaps be closer to God, or find meaning by removing some of the barriers of normal concrete left-brain hemisphere function.

If you had to describe your band’s sound in a few words to someone who had only heard your name before in passing, how would you?

The idea of Pink Floyd meets Blue Oyster Cult is a good sound description…except that Demarkation and the rest of the releases are much more of a cohesive package than most Floyd records or others that claim a concept album when the truth is that they are simply a group of songs strung together. I mean no disrespect here, but I think this is self-evident if one has delved into such works much beyond a superficial level. With Demarkation and the subsequent releases, there is a clear direction and story that becomes increasing obvious with the release of each album and the associated videos.

Demarkation

From the press kit I was reading while listening to “Demarkation”, arguably the most intriguing thing was your apparent use of something called “Health-Science Enhanced Vibrations”. Can you tell a little bit about this? The production on your album is undeniably warm, but I’m not sure I’m quite getting the buzz it’s supposedly meant to create.

Logically you should not have experienced a buzz other than the actual music at this point as the version you listened to did not have HEV mastered into it. There is some confusion about how these technologies were used. The first product made available to the public DOES NOT have the HEV engineered into the mastering. This was done to get the music to the public initially and as well as to make it safe for anyone that has conditions that the technology could possibly negatively impact. Plus, the music should stand on its own merit. The true HEV version (my preferred version) are only available at this time in CD form. The digital version will come out shortly. Even on the HEV version, Opium Denn did have the HEV backed down a bit until we know more about how it impacts people on a broad scale. I am thankful for Artists International (Opium Denn’s label that works with the neuroscience experts and researchers)tries to be responsible in its consideration of the listener. On the HEV edition, the carrier tones are disguised pretty well in the guitar and keyboard frequencies, but some of the other layers of frequencies and signals do poke out some where it is detectable. I will arrange for Artists International send you this version as well as the LP if you would like as the physical product is complete. With all of this said about the mastering of the DemarkationHEV product, we should discuss the use of HEV during the actual “recording” process which materially impacted the feel of the performances. The band and Opium Denn can’t even really remember the sessions! Except for warm-fuzzy but feel-good images in our minds…it was like we were playing in a dream state! I don’t expect most people to understand at all what this is about or “get” it…but some will. Being an outlier and being misunderstood is part of the deal with Opium Denn. I expect to be met with utter contempt for challenging the ideas of the “huddled masses” or the herd. The beauty of the HEV and similar technologies, such as Hemi-Sync and SAM, is that people can more easily “let go” of the clutter of our minds making it possible to access aspects of ourselves that are normally beneath normal consciousness. Simply put, we can be more in-touch with their authentic selves.

Is there any overlying concept behind the album?

Of course. Demarkation is a concept record in the truest sense. It is about the odyssey of R. Hero, our main character, from birth to death and back again…and his emotional and intellectual struggle to understand life…. in 37 minutes! This is a big budget production as Opium Dennis a type of enigma in many fields of human endeavor and has been incredibly successful (balanced with horrendous losses and failures a well) in this lifetime with other productions and ventures… However, Opium Denn will go ahead and give some more information that will become evident when more videos are released. Robert Hero, an introspective and sensitive man, becomes entangled with “Bar-Bee.” However, Bar Bee turns out to be a very naughty girl. R. Hero reacts quite badly and sinks to the depth of woe and vice in a vain attempt tolerate life and mitigate his pain. Finally, he enters military service (Masks and Uniforms)where his life would be directed for him. He ultimately “buys the farm.” He then finds himself in the “in-between” state after succumbing to his wounds and finally in the next life.In addition, Opium Denn himself will transform with each album. Opium Denn is quite ugly now.

What was the process behind the recording of “Demarkation”?

It was tracked by the band in just a single evening session, except for Eyes to the Sky and So Many Faces. The HEV technology was in the background unknown to the players except for Opium Denn. The sun was setting on the mountain top and the lighting in the studio was intentionally dimmed. There was no rehearsal, but Opium Denn had prepared charts and guided the band through the recording with cues as we played in the same room at Sedgwick Studio, a simply amazing recording environment where it is possible to track live as a band as still have incredible sound separation. Opium Denn favors live tracking as a group as he thinks a real band feel can’t be captured otherwise. Neve preamps and processing were used for warmth. Then the vocals and a couple guitar overdubs were done. That is it. This record just doesn’t have many overdubs or edits for that matter. What was captured was what was played. This is one of the reasons the songs flow together so well, which was the intent. It was a magical evening to say the least.

Videos are set to be released corresponding to each of the tracks on the debut. What can we expect? What inspired such a bold project?

The videos are an integral part of Opium Denn as this is where the story is told. In fact, on the album cover, scenes from the videos are in the “Demarkation line”…the line symbolizing the place where we cross over into the next form of life, the destiny of all living things. The inspiration for such comes from Opium Denn’sexpertise with this point of view commonly called death.However, especially in the 2nd concept album, Opium Denn can and will offer actual value to people in the form a “very astute considered opinion” on how to translate ideas into reality… or the intangible into tangible. Even now, if people seek possible remedies to life’s obstacles, Opium Denn can field questions on topics such as how to be materially successful in this world, marriage and divorce, children, the death of children, and other major topics of contemporary the experience.If a person asks Opium Denn a question on Facebook, if there is a considered opinion, it will be shared freely and without judgment.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that rock music is dead. Most of the time, they’re suggesting the evolution of the modern musical trend into electronic territory, but even a lot of guitar-based music seems to have evolved into the metal realm, which some (including myself) would define as a separate sphere in music. Opium Denn, on the other hand, sticks to the vintage guns in most respects. Do you think there will always be a place for this kind of 70s-influenced rock n’ roll in the contemporary musical dialogue?

Yes. Opium Denn thinks it comes down to the sonic quality and the quality of the writing more than the style or era. Talent that is undeniable will have appeal to those that are meant to hear it and understand it. Opium Denn is not that concerned with fitting into a particular or popular genre for commercial appeal. This would violate Opium Denn’scode regarding the purpose of art. Art is meant for inspiration first and simultaneously to add to the everlasting aggregate of the human contribution to consciousness.

“Demarkation” is set to be the first album in a prospective trilogy of works. What can we expect on future instalments? Also, what attracted you to the idea of a trilogy in general? It seems a lot of bands will use a trilogy these days to represent the culmination of their career. It’s much more rare to hear a band jumping right into one!

The entire idea of 3 concept records came out of a vision during the use of Hemi-Sync technologies. It was clear what was to be done, at least I got what I needed at that point. Some of the biggest gains in Opium Denn’s experience in this life have come from the use of such science-based technologies with decades of backing research. HEV is just a new form with specific applications.

The next album will be entitled “Oh Cezar” which will explore the pursuit of material success in this world. It will offer a fairly clear path for those that want to amass a lot of money and influence as well as be enjoyable to listen to at the same time. This path is inherently somewhat difficult or everyone would be doing it. “Oh Cezar”is an artistic “self-help” album that faces the dense matter this world and speaks to how to take the intangible (ideas) and translated that energy into concrete reality or what Opium Denn refers to as C1 consciousness. The final installment of Opium Denn will remain concealed until it is released.

However, it is designed to take the listener as far as a human being can go in their advancement given the properties and constraints of protoplasm. If one person in 10,000,000 gets this, Opium Denn will be a dramatic success.

What have you been listening to lately?

People on the subways… Farmers in the fields…CEOs in boardrooms… Children in any county I visit… The sound of silence… The sound of nature… I am an observer of all my consciousness understands at this point…

What advice would you give to other musicians when it comes to improving and distributing one’s art to the world?

Right now…Opium Denn is probably not the best example as he is relatively unknown at this point with this identity. However, Opium Denn will build one person at a time as the value or personal benefit to listeners is recognized. Opium Denn has had a fair amount of chart success whether it be on Billboard or whatever country or locale he is targeting. It doesn’t take much innovation to separate yourself from the huddled masses of this world because most humans take their behavior cues from actions of others or the herd. Opium Denn gains a professional perspective of the 50th percentile or the measurements of central tendency, and consciously does things that allow him to perform at the 90th percentile statistically. If a person can become extraordinary at a couple of high-value things, the world will recognize this, compensate you for it and then despise you for behaving differently ultimately. It takes integrity to turn the page on popular ideas in favor of those of your own thinking or of those of the more enlightened. It takes guts to turn away from ideas that are not sympathetic to the leanings of society.

Any plans for live performances?

Yes. However, Opium Denn is an expensive production though. It requires a performance-type venue. The HEV waves will be pumped into the audience along with the music. There will be no speaking from the stage. Opium Denn thinks he will be more popular in Europe than in America. However, America is a good place to begin this extended campaign. The videos again, tell the story even in a live setting.

Anything vital I may have missed?

No. I think this was a very good interview and I appreciate your intelligence as I have no time for small talk nor the trivial. Opium Denn does not want to come across as egotistical and prideful, but rather as having extreme humility coupled with an extremely deep-rooted willingness and ability to be as helpful as he can be to all expressions of life.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to this interview.

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