Herein lies one of the most interesting, funny, and genuinely engrossing interviews I have had the pleasure of doing. Eric has overcome some serious difficulties in making music and as the story below will tell you, nothing should stop you from making the great music you have rolling around in your head!
Former Tungsten Coil Artist & Actor ERIC OBERTO has just unveiled his new single, "Darkness Never Lies"
"Darkness Never Lies" is about the lies people tell and the fears that rule their lives. It's a warning to live honestly, intently, and urgently. In your final darkness, all untold truths become your last regrets.
Eric’s new song Darkness Never Lies is featured in the motion picture- Amityville Cult. His debut as a Director and Editor are spotlighted in his music video for- Darkness Never Lies, which is a bonus feature on the Amityville Cult DVD/Blu-ray national Walmart released on November 16th.
What makes Eric's composition truly unique is his ability to embrace his diagnosis of synesthesia and right ear deafness. This has created a technique for composition that is nothing short of original. Read Eric's story HERE:
Q. For those unfamiliar, how would you describe your music, and where does your inspiration come from?
I guess if I had to pick a category, then I would go with Darkwave (close enough). To describe it without a category, then I would say it’s dark electronic music that pulls its DNA from outside the standard dark/goth/synth/industrial genres, but it spins well with any of those genres in a DJ setlist.
My inspiration comes from analysis of the human condition (or it could be a disease, the jury’s still out on that one. Either way it’s curable!). It seems like most people get caught up in all the pointless societal distractions that get in the way of really living their lives (speaking from past experience). Then one day they wake up and realize that the short ride of life is over, and all that’s left is regret.
I need to write about the consequences of not living your life to the fullest right now! It’s my way of purging the darkness within me and urging others to get busy living (and stop lying to themselves). I’ve never been a “happy music” person, that kind of music makes me feel weird. I feel that there’s extreme beauty and truth within the darkness (you just have to know what to look for), my job is to create dark beauty that is sharable with anyone who will listen.
Q. Tell us about your history. Where did it all start, and what inspired you to start making music?
I grew up in the Detroit, Michigan area (still my favorite city)! I was born with a condition called synesthesia (a neurological condition that enables me to see sound as three-dimensional colors and shapes, as I hear it) and I give a lot of credit to this condition for my ability to write and play music. I never had any kind of formal training, I can’t read music, and I don’t really understand music theory well. I just mentally paint moving musical pictures in my head with the colors and shapes that the synesthesia provides. When I first heard electronic music, my brain went insane with ecstasy! I couldn’t believe the effect it had on my mental vision! This was well before I was diagnosed with synesthesia, I just assumed that everyone was seeing/hearing things the same way as I was. I immediately knew that I wanted to create and be part of this amazing musical experience. Luckily for me I had an older friend who played synths and wrote music, he showed me how to use his gear. Then I bought my first keyboard and locked myself in my room until I figured it out. Once I started to find my own groove, it was like my mind was finally getting the drug it so desperately needed. Before then, my condition was a hindrance. I couldn’t focus on school or anything really, music gave my brain focus.
Q. Can you please explain the imagery and story behind the music video for "Darkness never lies" and how the video and the lyrics relate to the upcoming Amityville Cult film?
The imagery and the story for the music video go hand-in-hand (pretty-much). The story of the song is about the inner voice inside each of us, the voice of truth that attempts to thwart the lies we tell ourselves and others. Fear is the basic emotion that gives birth to lies. It’s about people going through their lives and telling people what they want to hear to avoid confrontation, not taking risks for fear of failure, injury, or death, and not going against the grain for fear of rejection (you get the point). In daylight (or while living life), so many people just go through the motions, find meaningless distractions, and convince themselves that they are really living. However, at the end of life, in their final darkness, all lies will become final regrets- Darkness Never Lies! The imagery was heavily influenced by my synesthesia and how my mind visually interprets emotions. It’s a color-exhaustion experiment to try to give people a taste of what it’s like inside my mind. All the different color-soaked, close-up faces represent the mind being fragmented by one’s emotions. We wear many different color faces underneath the surface. The voice inside each of us is the faces. The colors of the faces represent the shades of the life-long internal conflict between truth and lies.
..Also, was the song inspired by the film theme or did the song come first?
The basic lyrical concept was conceived first. Then I read the script and found a connection to the lead character’s (Stan Defeo) story/conflict. He had been lied to about his family’s past for his entire life. Then he found out the truth about his family and couldn’t accept it.
Spoiler Alert: Fear got the best of him; he ran from the truth and paid the ultimate price. Once again, Darkness Never Lies!
Q. I will link your full story HERE but just briefly it mentions your synaesthesia. How has that both helped and hindered making music and can you describe how it influences your work?
As I mentioned before, I credit Synesthesia with giving me my unique set of tools to create music and art. But, in recent times the gift had become a hindrance, I suffered a tremendous blow to my musical abilities. In 2015, I was inflicted with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in my right ear. Being a play-by-ear musician and songwriter, when my right ear malfunctioned- my ability to clearly paint musical pictures through synesthesia was severely impaired (and almost lost). Over the next several years, I made multiple unsuccessful attempts to overcome my disability and failed miserably each time. I feared that my song writing days were over. It was devastating! After a few years of basically giving up and feeling sorry for myself, I finally picked myself up, dusted myself down, and reloaded those guns of life! I then became obsessed with finding a solution to overcome my handicap. In 2021, I finally found a path to create music using my one good ear and filled in the gaps of the broken ear by making use of modern computer software tools. These tools allow me to visually identify frequencies that I can no longer hear, and I’m now able to visually see the stereo field where sounds reside. I also discovered a device that allows me to independently EQ the left and right sides of my headphones. This device gives me the ability to boost all the lost hearing frequencies in the right ear; to fill in the missing gaps. The right ear is broken, completely distorted, and plagued with massive tinnitus. However, by amplifying all the frequencies independently, it tricks my brain into thinking that the correct hearing information is being received (even though it isn’t). The end-result is that it allows my synesthesia to kick back in somewhat, and I use my previous song writing experiences to fill in the gaps. These amazing tools didn’t make me whole again, but they do provide a new path forward to pursue my musical dreams. Now, against all odds, I’m writing the best music of my career (at least I think so). This hearing loss handicap has pushed me to continually prove to myself that I can create art no matter what obstacles get in my way!
Q. Is there a favourite funny or important moment story from your music career you can tell us?
One of the funniest moments of my musical career is from the days of when I was the singer/songwriter for my old band Tungsten Coil. We were one of the industrial band headliners for a festival show call- Bloodfest. It was basically a bunch of industrial bands, bondage shows, S&M performance art, and people hanging from hooks (you know, fun stuff). Anyway, we were on the road with the show in Lexington, Kentucky and one of the performance groups was short a performer and they needed someone to fill in on stage. My keyboard player volunteered to be part of the show. So, I looked up at the stage to watch the performance and there’s my keyboard player tied to a cross in a “Jesus Christ pose”. Next thing I know, they stripped him naked, and pierced his ball sack up and down with more than 10 piercing needles. Then I see a security guy motioning to the door guy to close and lock the main doors, so the cops don’t see what’s going on inside. It was a wild and hilarious site to see- my 6’5 keyboard player being abused/crucified (and apparently willing) on stage. The funniest part was that he seemed to enjoy it! He was usually the one who was the “most responsible” of the group and made sure that the rest of us didn’t end up dead (from too much partying) while touring. I would never have expected him to be the up there. It was quite a site for sure!
...Wow.. That's the best story I've had back from an artists! Damn..
Q. What artists are you listening to most right now?
My musical tastes are all over the place, currently I’m listening to: Front Line Assembly, Dogtablet, Bush, Adoration Destroyed, Kiss, Actors, Electric Youth, LA Guns, Not My God, Tom Keifer, Black Line, and mediation soundscapes. There’s more for sure, but that will do…
Q. What life lessons has being in music taught you over the years, and what would you change about the scene if you could?
Music has taught me a lot of life lessons over the years (as a kid and an adult).
(1.) Life is short, so live every moment like it’s your last (because it might be).
(2.) People aren’t always as they appear, stay clear of people who don’t lift you up (you don’t need them). Keep your loved ones close, for they are few and far between.
(3.) Music is a universal language that can be spoken by anyone. Take time to study the language of music, but also make time to listen to music without distractions. Music is often the background for other activities (when it should be the activity itself). Enjoy music alone (often), it will enhance you mind, mood, creativity, and outlook on life. Listen to music with others, it creates a bond between people like no other. Even as a hearing-impaired person, I still listen to music every day. Music will always find a way!
(4.) Music is undervalued by the general public; they don’t want to pay for it these days. This is a sad reality of current culture. Some much money is wasted on useless shit, when good music is the lifelong gift that keeps giving.
As far as changing the scene goes, I wish there was more commercial support for “Dark Music”! There’s so much horrible shit out there that gets commercial support, it baffles my mind! I wish there was a way to shed some more commercial light on Dark Music, the world would be a better place. (I completely agree!)
Q. Anything you'd like to say to your fans?
I just want to say THANK YOU to all my fans over the years! You are simply the best fans in the world! I so appreciate all the inflows of support for my return to the world of entertainment! My pledge to my fans is as follows: I will continue to break through the limits of my creativity, so I can give you my very best (because you deserve it)! I LOVE YOU ALL!
There’s so much more coming soon, so please stay tuned…
Thank you Eric for your fantastic answers and time!
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