Track By Tracks: The Wring - Project Cipher (2021)

1. The Light:

A very fun song to play. Lots of changes and riffs. This is one song where Marc totally took the vocals in his own direction. I had a much heavier vision but he has a style that really works against the riffs and strange, shifting time signatures.

2. Sorceress:

One of my favourite tracks. The riffs are quirky but really fit the mood. I had composed an ornate bass part and when I gave it to Bryan Beller, he suggested a different approach, mirroring the guitar with his bass lines. While my ego was injured, it turns out he was 100% right… the bass totally drives the song. Marc also did a cool spoken-word part in the pre-chorus which was unexpected and totally fits! A friend of mine, Steve Kraus wrote the lyrics for this song and they are fantastic. One of the very few parts not composed by me.

3. Cipher:

An instrumental track. I played this on a 7-string so there is a massive low end. The parts are short enough and musical enough to hold interest without vocals. I really like the bass and guitar solos here too. A combination homage to YYZ and March of the Fire Ants. Jason Henrie played some killer bass on this track and created an awesome video also.

3. Steelier:

This song started with the pre-chorus – a very jazzy progression in the spirit of Steely Dan. I named the rough early version “Steelier” in that context. When the lyrics came later, the story is about perseverance and maintaining one’s wonder in the face of adversity so I thought the demo name was appropriate. The chorus is in an odd time, but fits perfectly, I love when that happens.

4. Dissension:

A pretty straight-ahead rocker. I went for a Dio vibe with the lyrics… I could not tell you what Holy Diver is about but the lyrics are awesome. I tried to capture some of that ‘strength in phrases’ approach. Of course, Triple 6 is a reference to the devil in all of us. Has a cool breakdown and a phenomenal guest solo from Jason Sadites.

5. Dose:

Another fun song with a great chorus. Marc did an amazing job on this song. Lots of little bits of odd time that add flavour and dynamics. Great bass lines and my Lifeson-esque solo. Most of the record is a 1981 Les Paul Custom through a Marshall amp. In this song, I use a Strat which is very unusual for me. I like the thin jangle and how it works in this song.

6. Touch:

I love the main riff. It started life as a very Toolish part, but I found it a bit jarring so I added 3 to the 5 so Marc could sing in 4. Good chorus. Cool odd time breakdown and a neat little solo. The end is pure pretentiousness. The main guitar riff actually changes time signature 13x but the vocals, drums and a reprise of the intro riff smooth it out, so it all works.

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