STAT1STICK : Inside the music and mind of an omnicreator.

Across from me, sitting outside in a stone and lush verdant court, is the man behind the rock artist, STAT1STICK. This man, who goes by the moniker RG, is wearing a black tee shirt and blue jeans and is sipping on a glass of iced tea. The attire and beverage seem out of place in this majestic setting but do not appear to be out of character. He's relaxed and very polite as we chat about his new rock album, All In My Head. 

The album was released by Amuse Music Distribution on July 26th and as I found out, it was nearly a complete disaster. The following interview will delve into the mind of this creator and uncover hidden truths about the man behind the music and the music itself. 

I: Well, how are you today? How are you feeling? 
S: I'm good! I feel good. It's not a thousand degrees out here so that's great. 

I: No, it's pretty nice out here. Is that why you wanted to be outside? 
S: Not really.

I: Then why did you want to be out here? 
S: I'm out here all the time. I just moved back here [to Washington state] a few months ago. I was living in Dallas, Texas before. I couldn't be outside in Texas.

I: Too hot? 
S: Too hot and too many bugs! 

I: Bugs, like mosquitos and flies? 
S: No, more like big red wasps and cicadas. I hated it in Texas. 

I: What took you to Texas? 
S: I had an opportunity present itself there and I followed it. I was there for 4 years. 

I: So you were living here in Washington first? 
S: Yeah. I lived here all my life. I was born here. But sometimes you need to change things up. You have to get out of your comfort zone. 

I: Well, you're back here now. Does that mean that the opportunity didn't pay off? 
S: No. It just ran its course. I never meant to stay in Texas. But I did stay longer than I wanted. I only wanted to be there for a year or so. And before that, I never wanted to go at all. 

I: Why is that? 
S: I don't know. I just had this notion ever since I was a kid that I never wanted to step foot in the state of Texas. 

I: Huh. 
S: Yeah, I know. It's weird. 

I: When did you start writing the album? Was it before you moved to Texas? 
S: Yeah. I moved to Texas in the spring of 2015 and I started writing songs for the album in the summer of 2012.

I: Do you remember the first song you recorded? 
S: Yeah, I do, actually! Ha ha ha. It was Life Begins. I remember that I recorded it in this tiny bedroom studio when I was staying at a friend's house. I had the urge to get something recorded and in one night, it was finished. It got touched once or twice before it went on the album but the song is the same as it was when I first recorded it. 

I: What makes that song particularly memorable? 
S: I remember that I had to use a keyboard synth bass because I didn't own a bass guitar at the time. I had intended to re-record the bass when I finally bought one but the synth sound grew on me and it stayed in. 

I: Very cool. Are there any other songs with the synth bass on the album? 
S: Just one. It was the song I recorded right after Life Begins. It's called Rise To Power. I wanted it to be a companion song to Life Begins. Kind of like a before and after thing. I don't know. I wanted them to be related in some way and I suppose they are in the sense that neither of them have real bass. 

I: So I guess your plan worked. 
S: Yup! Ha ha ha! 

I: You managed to fit 16 tracks on your debut album. Why so many? 
S: I remember when I would go out and buy a CD as a teenager, I would always feel kind of disappointed when it only had 9 or 10 songs on it. When I listened to music, I wanted it to be a journey.

I: An experience? 
S: Yeah, exactly. I didn't want to look at the 10 songs on my album 5 years from now and think, I could have done more. 

I: You released with Amuse. Why Amuse? 
S: Well, I almost released with another company. I won't say who but I definitely wasn't ready when I started the process. It could have been really bad. 

I: How so? 
S: When I sent the tracks, they weren't in any order. I just sent them in. Some of the songs had like 10 seconds of silence after them and it was just an unpolished and unprofessional package. I didn't even have good artwork for it. Just some image that I had made a long time ago. 

I: So what happened? Why wasn't it released with that other company? 
S: I had submitted it a while back and I noticed that it hadn't been approved by the company for the longest time. I went to ask why and I didn't really get a straight answer. So, I saw that as an opportunity to fix my problems. I contacted the company and asked if they'd cancel my submission and when they did, I went to work. 

I: You fixed the songs and got them into some kind of order? 
S: Yeah. But not just that. I had to make all of the artwork, too. 

I: You made the cover art? 
S: Yeah, I designed it all myself. I've made my own art work since the beginning. Since 2005 or so.

I: You made the videos for your songs, too, is that correct? 
S: Yes. I had to learn how to make videos and you can kind of see my progress and you look at my early releases compared to my later ones. 

I: You never had any lessons to teach you how to do these things? 
S: Formal lessons? No. I taught myself for the most part. I just pick things up. I learn fast. 

I: Amazing. Not everyone can do that. 
S: That's what I hear. 

I: So, when did you feel the time was right to release your record? 
S: When I made my dad cry with one of my songs. 

I: You made him cry? 
S: Yeah. I didn't mean to! Ha ha ha! When I moved back to Washington, I stayed with him for a little while. And my dad doesn't really follow all of my online stuff so he hadn't heard any of the music I had been making. And he's a big, serious guy. He's not the kind of guy that cries. Let me just say that. 

I: OK. Got it. 
S: The last song he heard from me was a really, really rough version of the title track, All In My Head. It was OK but not great. Flash forward 5 years and then I drop Coming Home on him and then it happened. I'm sure it was a lot of things that brought on the tears. But that was it. That's when I knew.

I: So, you submitted your stuff with Amuse. How did you find them? 
S: I was looking for a way to get onto Spotify. My goal was just to get onto Spotify and see what happened after that. I did some research and an article I found had listed Amuse as the best free music distributor so I went with them. About a week into the submission process, I got an email saying that the artwork I was using was too shitty or something and I had to design a new one. I'm glad I did. I like the new look a lot. 

I: It looks great. You did an amazing job. Especially since you did it all yourself without some graphics company or paid designer. 
S: That's what I'm all about. I do it all. That's what the 1 in STAT1STICK means. One guy. Me.

I: So STAT1STICK is more than just a weird spelling of the word statistic? 
S: I think so. In the beginning, it wasn't. Before I got used to the idea. But now, I see it everyday. It's not just some nonsense. It's who I am. It's what I create. It's my voice and my reality. 

I: And you record and mix and master your own music, is that right? 
S: Yes I do. I think it's more of a trust thing than an expertise thing. I wouldn't trust anyone to handle my music. What if they got it wrong? 

I: I can understand that. Now, your first single from the album is called Coming Home. The lyrics are full of metaphors and seem to be pretty deep. You want to discuss what that song is about? 
S: About a year before we moved back to Washington, I was seriously depressed. I was taking medications to help deal with it but it wasn't helping. I couldn't leave my apartment because it was too damn hot and humid. I had been staring at the walls of my home for about 4 years. It messed me up. Then I got the news that it would be possible to come back [to Washington] and something went off in my head. I wrote this instrumental piece that needed lyrics shortly after I got the news. I gave it some code name. Most of my music gets code names before they turn into actual songs. It's just how I keep track of things. 

I: So you wrote this instrumental piece. Then what? 
S: Then I listened to it over and over and over. I made sure my brain was sick of it and then when I couldn't listen anymore, I took a break for about a week. Then, after the week, I sat down with a pen and paper and started to sing along to the music I made. I just made up words. Words that I felt would compliment the atmosphere of the song. Once I had the bones of the song roughed out, I was able to start really building it. I ended up writing about going back home. I wanted the song to reflect how living in Texas made me feel and how I felt now that I was about to leave it. There's more to it than that but I don't want to give it all away. 

I: Sure. Let's move on. 
S: [sips tea] 

I: In the song, Look What You've Made, you say "you fucking betrayed your only son". 
S: Yeah? 

I: Would you say that it's a religious reference to God killing his only son, Jesus, or is there something more personal behind it? 
S: It's a double entrende, for sure. 

I: Care to elaborate? 
S: When I was in my teens I had no idea how to handle my overflowing imagination. I guess I would say some outlandish shit. I mean, I watched horror movies as a young kid and with a mind like mine, it held onto things. So you never know when some weird shit is gonna come out of my mouth. Combine the overactive imagination with puberty and you get this huge ball of weirdness that my mother couldn't handle. And instead of trying to understand me or direct my mind into productive things, she sent me away instead. 

I: You're kidding? 
S: No, she totally did. 

I: How long were you gone and where did she send you? 
S: Well, she took me out of school when I was partway through 10th grade. I still don't know her reasoning behind that. But that was after the other stuff happened. I won't get into too many details but I'd say I was out of functioning society for about 2 years of my life. From ages 15 to 17.

I: So the song is about your mother? 
S: Yes. And no. Like I said, it's a double entrende. It has more than one meaning. 

I: You Disappear seems to be very different from the rest of the songs on the record. Why is that? 
S: It was the last song I recorded for the album. 

I: You recorded it in Texas?
S: Yeah. I recorded about half of the record in Texas. 

I: Nice. 
S: With You Disappear, I set out to make a song that was different. I wanted to go into uncharted territory with that song. I approached the whole thing differently. For melody parts, I usually write guitar stuff first before anything else but for this song, I wrote keyboards and piano first, then I wrote the bass and then I wrote the guitars.

I: Wow. That must have been challenging. 
S: It was and it wasn't. The biggest challenge was my own ego. I had to ask myself if the song I recorded was what I wanted others to hear. It was so different from anything I had ever done before and I wasn't sure how it would mesh with the others. 

I: Well, it sounds incredible. Your risk paid off. 
S: Thank you. 

I: One last bit before we stop. 
S: Sure. [sips tea] 

I: The album seems to be split in half as far as song with lyrics and instrumental tracks go. Is there a reason for that? 
S: Some of the very first music I ever recorded was instrumental stuff. I always loved making little rock and metal film scores. It's where my brain goes automatically when I pick up an instrument. When I write a song, my head doesn't start with the lyrics. Well, sometimes it does but it's rare. Most of the time, though, I hear the music first. And if it's strong enough and I really feel it, I can knock it out in a day. 

I: Fully recorded in a day? 
S: Yeah. Well, just about. It would still need to be mixed and mastered but yeah. One day. 

I: Making music like that must leave you with tons of material that didn't make it on the album. 
S: It does and it did. I'd say there were probably around 30 songs before I went with the 16 that are on it. 

I: You Disappear is on the album twice. What's up with that? 
S: The first time it's on there, it's the Single version with lyrics. The second time is the instrumental version. 

I: Ah, I see. Why did you choose to add both? 
S: I felt that the music on its own was great and should have its own spotlight without the words getting in the way. 

I: Does that mean that we can expect to hear one of the instrumental tracks from this album redone with words on the next one? 
S: Maybe. I've been considering it. But that's all I can say. 

I: Well, the album sounds amazing. It's a great entry for 2019, that's for sure. It's clear that you had a vision when you put it all together and your hard work as a musician really shows here. 
S: Thank you so much. 

Though he was featured in recently released Lifoti's September 2019 issue 09, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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