Sharing their insight

13th Insight plays eclectic music with an uplifting message

13th Insight spreads its message at a recent show at Rack’em Up in Sparks.

13th Insight spreads its message at a recent show at Rack’em Up in Sparks.

Photo by David Robert

13th Insight will play at Harry’s Watering Hole, 1100 E. Plumb Lane, on June 8 at 9 p.m. The cover is $3-$5. Call 825-2292.

Close your eyes. Well, not yet. Read the next paragraph, and then close your eyes and try to imagine this description of local band 13th Insight:

Think classic rock, classical, punk rock, blues, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure all thrown together. Then throw in tempo and style changes that happen in the blink of an eye. And just for good measure, add some sampled effects, like people laughing and thunder, topped off with lead singer Asher Fay’s powerful vocals.

OK, you can open your eyes now.

Whatever you pictured probably won’t be quite right. 13th Insight—the name comes from the novel The Celestine Prophecy and Fay’s lucky number—has wandered far from the beaten path. Instead, they opt to break their own musical ground through years of experience and varying influences.

Fay and Jim Sparks, who since moved away, formed the band about three years ago. Fay had just left the Reno punk band Spun and had started writing music for what was originally intended to be a solo project. Fay says he was working through a rough period in his life, and he credits Sparks for having a lot to do with the music being written.

“He has been a huge influence to the band,” Fay says.

Fay says he realized that a band was needed to carry his ideas forward, so he recruited his younger brother Dru Fay, a classically trained pianist, and former Spun band mate and bassist Joel Secunda. Secunda had moved to Los Angeles after Spun broke up and joined 13th Insight after another bassist didn’t work out. Asher met drummer Jake Thornton in a class. After talking about music, they decided to jam together to see if anything came out of it.

“I first joined when I met Asher at acting class,” Thornton says. “I played with him, and we came up with some cool beats.”

In the eight months since 13th Insight became more than Asher’s vision, the band has come up with more than just some cool beats. 13th Insight ventures into an area where even seasoned bands don’t often venture: the concept album.

The album, 11-02-78 Part I, is being produced with the help of local producer Tom Gordon and is due out later this year. The band says the first part of the album will be darker, reflecting the end of the troubles Fay says he went through. The second part will be lighter and more uplifting.

While Asher says he doesn’t feel comfortable talking about the specifics of his former problems, he does say there is a message in the music that he hopes people will be able to understand and gain knowledge from.

“Finding the light,” he says. “Turning their lives around and getting their heads out of the gutter.”

But Asher says he doesn’t want to give the impression that 13th Insight is a religious band. In fact, Asher says, he doesn’t follow any organized religion. He says he just wants people to live good lives and realize the damage they are doing to themselves. And despite Asher being the driving force, the members of 13th Insight speak passionately about how the whole band, from Asher to sound guy Aaron Burt, is heavily involved in the music.

You could say they’ve all got insight.