“Usually everyone dies in the end, but I think these new songs have a pretty low body count,” said Andy Jorgensen, one of the bassists for Schizopolitans, as he described the group’s newest album.
Jorgensen is one third of Schizopolitans, playing alongside Hector Urtubia on the bass and synths, and The Mighty Xtevion, who handles drums, lead vocals and his infamous “Big Black Stick,” a giant pipe laden with electronic drum triggers.
Schizopolitans was founded in 2004 and has since gone through a series of members. The current trio has been together for the better part of a decade. In that time, they have endeavored to bring their impulsive creativity from the practice space to their audience.
“We have been trying for a while to capture the spirit of improvisation that we have in the basement and bring it to the stage,” said Jorgensen. “So when we play live, it is different every time.”
The group just released a full-length album, Alone Time, that encapsulates that very spirit. It’s filled to the brim with new music, and it literally happened overnight.
“There are a couple of websites where you make an album for the month of February, said Xtevion. “One night we decided to do it. So we improvised the whole thing, did some overdubs and it was done. We kind of turned on the machine and just went for it. … It was all very organic.”
Alone Time reflects Schizopolitans’ refined ability for impromptu group composition that has been honed through years of playing together.
“Over the years we have learned where the musical spaces are,” said Urtubia. “We have been together so long that we have really learned to be in tune with each other. … We don’t impose order, it just happens. It is almost like magic.”
Alone Time is the kind of music that makes you think, but that is not as important as how it makes you feel. It is an entire otherworldly experience that is encapsulated in an 11-track album
The new songs, in true Schizopolitans form, break down the boundaries of genre labels. In one moment the music infiltrates your bones with a futuristic synth, then compels your attention with a futuristic, deconstructed rock fury. In the next moment, it is art rock with an avant-garde, Nintendo-esque quality.
The simple combination of basses and drums broadens the harmonic landscape that Xtevion can explore vocally. The lyrics are sometimes dramatic, sometimes unintelligible. But the words are less important than the sonic landscape.
“We are very sonically oriented,” said Urtubia. “Of course there are melodies, good melodies. But we are driven by texture.”
The instrumentation blends an acoustic rhythm section with synths to create what the group calls “cinematic, avant-garde pop music.” It makes for a sound with an orchestral grandeur translated in a language of space-age art rock.
“It is like an adventure film, but you do not know who is in it or what is going on,” joked Xtevion.
“They are probably foreign films,” quipped Jorgensen.
For a group whose stage antics have included theatrics, intoxicating visuals and the occasional animal mask, what can audiences expect for the upcoming show?
A little mayhem, a little mystery—and maybe even a little music.