Fractals To Infinity by Giant Monsters on the Horizon (feat. Arden and the Wolves) – Part 1/2

GMOTH has a work-ethic that makes me envious: they release a new song every month. This month brings us “Fractals to Infinity”, a collaboration with Arden & The Wolves. Incidentally, the meeting came about via our own Sounds & Shadows website.

“I honestly couldn’t believe our luck. I think her voice is brilliant”, says GMOTH mastermind Vinnie Saletto. “We first started our collaboration with a cover song. Laura Brannigan’s “Self Control”, and she was able to grab that song and work it perfectly. So then, it was a chance at an original, and she had some ideas she wanted to throw on it about the gift of prophecy. I loved the concept, and told her to just start at a certain point. There was some chopping to be a part of the arrangement, and some changing of the arrangement to match what she had. But it was great in the end.”

The song itself is as well put together as anything I’ve heard. The production quality is crystal clear;
something I don’t take for granted, even the world of electronic music. Synth layers interplay as the big beat-style drums lead in to Arden’s vocals and it all fits quite nicely. Imagine, if you will, The Prodigy with harmonized female lead vocals.

In an effort to become more acquainted with the band, I got up in Vinnie’s business with all sorts
of questions about the band. Unfortunately, Saletto’s partner-in-music, Madison Davis, was unavailable to contribute to this article. But Saletto speaks very highly of her. “She’s fantastic in that she will reign me in if my manic OR depressive tendencies get in the way of progress. Musically, she’s the greatest arranger of this music that I know, and she certainly keeps me moving forward. We’ve worked a great strategy together.”

He added, “We’ll switch off between who is at the computer doing what. Usually within 5 hours we either have a solid foundation as to what to do with a song, or finished a song that we started in the last session. We also tackle remixes in this manner, and can get one out the door in a very short amount of time. We have a phrase that we use, “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be.” Simply because I’d find myself sometimes lost in the weeds when mixing a track, and she’ll remind me to put the track aside.
Sure enough, when the next week comes around, I cannot find a single thing wrong with that mix, and can’t remember what the stumbling block was that I had in the first place.”

I inevitably asked him about his influences…

“I’ll admit. I love music. There are so many to choose from depending on my mood. On one hand I could be listening to Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie or Gary Numan, and then I could turn around and on the other hand I’ll listen to Prog Rock like Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant. Then, on another hand I’m really digging the old electro sound lately from artists like Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambatta.
Which eventually takes me back to Gary Numan. To me, all of these styles (electro, industrial, progressive) are constantly fighting for supremacy of my brain whenever I write something.”

I think it’s safe to say that Saletto’s influences come across on Fractals To Infinity. Fans of pop, EBM, alternative or just darn good songcraft will get something out of this song.

I was intrigued and delighted to discover that Saletto shares my love for film scores as well.
“Films are a huge inspiration for me. It’s my hope to one day score a major release. I’ve done a few independent films. The most recent one is all about the PTSD like conditions of time travel.”

I was impressed by the band’s consistent output, especially considering recent setbacks.
“We were lucky in that we had practice being isolated! Truthfully, it was middle of 2019, and we were playing a show down in Tampa, Florida. When that happened, St. Louis was hit with a giant storm, and the rain came down and flooded my basement where my studio was. I had enough foresight not to put anything important at the floor level, but still, it was enough to weaken our foundation, and soak the carpet. So, the rest of 2019 was us pulling up carpet, taking down sheet rock, replacing the sheet rock, and, after adding steel beams into our foundation, and all the other tedium involved,
we got our recording studio back by… March 2020. We spent all of 2020, and then some of 2021 figuring out how to work online. Zoom, DropBox, all of that. By the time the vaccines were readily available, Madison started coming by, and we realized that we were more productive in one recording session than we were through all of 2020. So now? We vaccinate, we meet. Every month, we are coming out with a new single. I’ve removed myself from the role of being singer.

Unrelated to COVID, I’ve had some health issues that have reduced my lung capacity, so I have to watch what I’m doing. This is why I’ve been so lucky to find a battery of vocalists who want to be a part of what we’re doing, and Arden has been fantastic in her vocals with our music. It’s really a great fit. We are getting ready for live. It may be a few months off as we are retooling things about our performance, but we’re excited.”

POSTSCRIPT:
As I dug deeper into the GMOTH story, it made sense to seek input from Arden & The Wolves as well. That interview will be forthcoming in Part 2/2.

https://giantmonstersonthehorizon.bandcamp.com/track/fractals-to-infinity-feat-arden-and-the-wolves

https://ardenandthewolves.bandcamp.com

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