United Dictators of Mars: The Music of Tom Mody & Jeffrey Harris







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Tom Mody
Fighting 50

Scorpion Moon
Music: Mody, McWeeney

album cover art for Tom Mody's album Fighting 50
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Tom Mody song liner notesGuitarist Ian McWeeney and I collaborated on a song called Arachno Planet on my 2014 album Resonant Aggressor and we always joked about writing a follow up. But it was really no joke and towards the end of my project I messaged him and said we need music for Scorpion Moon. He had a track already waiting for some development and I really liked it as it was fully realized from start to finish and kept the same style as our previous track with blast beats and sub tuning. Ian has a very mathematical approach to writing so there really wasn't anything I could do to play on the rhythms. He came in and in an hour or so tracked his parts. He then has no idea what I'm going to do from there. I first have to figure out how the hell I'm going to play bass to his precision style but I muddled through. I don't often try to brag as a player but I do maintain a particular harmony style that crosses modes within a melody and I'm somewhat proud of that original approach. This track is pretty extreme to that technique. The opening melodies have one guitar doing an arpeggiated descending run and the second guitar doing an ascending run that criss crosses harmonic modes. I'm curious if anyone could figure it out. I'm not taking any particular theoretical credit (or discredit) for this as I just play notes and runs until my ear catches something unique but on this song it really seemed to jump at you... in a good way that is. Yeah there's a lot ramble and bumble bee playing on the track as well but I, thankfully to some, kept it at minimum on the album. This song's frenetic nature allowed it in spots but even I kind'a cringe these days when I have to play fast for speed's sake. I was never very convincing in the past doing it. But what I think is really cool about this song is the climactic ending. With an overly rectified track like this you'd think to take a highly driven lead tone and go to town but I dialed back a ton of gain and just let a simple building melody flow with clean contrasting tone to the core of the track. Your ear in some spots really wants to hear the reverberant and sustained notes shine out but the sound just seems to be holding back and yet to me it's a unique twist that works by adding a touch of tension to the psyche. Cinematically you're hopefully picturing the exiled hero triumphing over the long odds and creatures against him on the desolate moon. I felt Arachno Planet was sonically a bit weak in the mix so I spent extra time finding the best mix of guitar tone plug ins and adjusting drum sounds. At times it was discouraging but thankfully I was persistent and was pleased with the final mix/master.


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