THE HORROR is:
“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
Being both first cousins and best pals, There are few interests and pursuits that Alex Wachter and Jeff Zuback have not shared in and more importantly competed over--LIke brothers. music, however, has always been the one outlet where their constant attempts to outdo each other have actually collided into a very formidable and fortuitous working relationship . . . one almost as formidable and fortuitous as their lifelong friendship.
in their teens and then again as young adults they pursued "the band thing," playing as a grunge-aspiring and then post-rock-jamming trio along with Zuback's older brother, and though they left behind entire archives of material, (the pre-puberty entries of which are now buried deep within their family's lore having very strong blackmail potential should The Horror ever get rich and famous), they discovered throughout the more experimental waves of these projects that between the two of them a monster rapport had been brewing. It came out in their jams, where they could lose many a vehement hour into their instruments feeding off each other's steadily instinctual technicality, no matter what technical version of rock they were playing. Most of the pieces they had then begun to call songs were conceived in just such a way. Zuback was the one drummer with whom Wachter felt the possibilities of his guitar expanding in the moment, and it inspired him to finally commit to some very personal writing of his own in an attempt to harness the monster they had given life to.
After graduating college, working a lot, and finding nowhere near as much meaning in the pursuit of a traditional career arc as he did in the music he wanted to make, Wachter spent a year working out the kinds of broad "soundtrack-ian" compositions he had long been conspiring. Though he did it in secret, he very consciously wrote them all with a certain doubtlessly-game percussionist in mind. After bringing the project to Zuback, it quickly became clear that for the two of them "the band thing" was far from dead, though its form had both altered and ripened into something a little more MONSTROUS than EITHER had seen coming.
Thus The Horror was formed, not so much as a band per se but as a compositional project whose potential to bend the rock genre is quite purposefully nigh-limitless. At its core is Wachter's deeply intrepid approach to songwriting, which structurally defines the "sound odysseys," as he calls them, upon which he and zuback blisteringly embark. Not lost on the duo is the irony that a project trying to do something so very much beyond the usual descriptors AND ULTIMATELY FOR SUCH A NICHE AUDIENCE cannot escape the millennial age's greatest cliche, For in a word, "epic" was quite consciously the guiding motif for the style abundant on Here, In The Shadows, which the Horror hopes will become its signature sound. there simply is no better word--any skeptics would immediately be pointed to "Valhalla" and "leviathan" for a very prolonged silencing. THe last thing these guys feel the world needs is another wailing singer-songwriter duo. So they'll own their use of the cliche, and proudly, for the music quite readily speaks for itself.
And it does so as a very personal intellectual project for its primary songwriter, who, like his hometown's most influential writer, has always carried a rather bare understanding that "the horror" is by necessity a fundamental, if often hidden, aspect of everyday life. Most try to push away the dark, unseen things slumbering, lurking amidst their thoughts, or behind their daily existence, and yet a life truly lived presents no choice but to admit them. few places hammer this reality home more than Baltimore City, a town which seemingly will always face down its own monsters and demons daily in the forms of poverty, homelessness, and senseless violence. No one who lives there does not have a story about their effects. Wachter's own was in peering "behind the veil" of an existence most of us never see growing up with friends who lived in neighborhoods only blocks away yet which may as well have been entirely other worlds. (iN THOSE DAYS HE WROTE RAP VERSES. gO fiGURE.) It fed an already reflective nature which then fed an adult DISPOSITION with little interest in the dull career paths expected of him. life, death, and all the mysterious breathing we do in between to make them worthwhile--these were his preoccupations, and the evidence for their importance was and has always BEEN around him. In such cases one can only hope to have AN instrument. Wachter THUS PICKED UP HIS GUITAR WITH A VISION AND a chip on his shoulder, for The once very-shy and diminutive songwriter has something to prove to the world and to himself about what grit and even hope in the face of "the horror" means, AND HE'D PREFER TO HAVE TO DO IT WITHOUT SAYING A WORD. It's a very Baltimore mentality.
And with that guiding theme at the fore, The Horror is a hell of a long way from being finished. they plan to spend the next few months promoting this album, against all the odds of being ubiquitously unknown, enjoying a little respite in the summer outdoors, and then getting right back into the studio come fall to record their follow-up, many of the songs for which are already written and recorded in rough form. The tentative title is Nightmare In Blue, and as it suggests, the sound will gravitate more toward Wachter's gothic and even metallic take on the blues whilst still maintaining the band's "epic" FOCUS ON CREATING THOSE "SOUND ODYSSEYS." And in the process, a few bonus tracks the pair has made previous to The Horror will be re-mastered and released as rewards to supportive fans. And while this is admittedly and shamelessly an entirely studio venture as of now, there have been rumblings about taking it live if all the logistical challenges can be worked out. But those have never stopped these guys before. So for Valhalla's sake, The Horror could use your support! Care to know more? Feel free to contact Alex, or join the e-mail list to hear any and all upcoming news from the musical and monstrous world within the shadows.
Alex is the primary songwriter and lead guitarist for The Horror and Here, In The Shadows and all its songs and concepts are the product of his very vivid imagination. As a child he was initiated into classical music by his father and acquired a special appreciation for the way composers could enhance the emotional or dramatic impact of films. HEaring Metallica's "Black Album" for the first time greatly expanded his understanding of what music can do, and he has never stopped pursuing that expansion since. He is one of what must only be a tiny handful of people on the planet earth who rocks out to midi video game music in his truck. The Horror is his first published attempt at serious songwriting. He began playing guitar when he was 12 and can cite a myriad of influences on his style, some of the most prominent being Kirk Hammett, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Herman Li, David Gilmour, Joe Satriani, Buckethead, and Steve Vai. Reflecting his frequently dualistic artistic approach, he plays two different guitars On Here, In the Shadows --A Gibson Les Paul BFG and an Ibanez JS1000 Signature.
Jeff is The Horror's drummer--it's power and rhythmic backbone. He is a contributing songwriter who conceived all of Here, In The Shadows' dynamic and ever-intensifying drums with his own very disciplined imagination. His musical background is primarily in punk and grunge but like Wachter he has always had a strong affinity for what percussion can do in a more thematic setting. Along with being involved in a number of projects with his older brother, he was as a teenager the drummer for a local punk band and recorded one studio album with them, proudly being the only member of the band who didn't have to do any redo's. The crack in his crash symbol did not happen by accident. His influences include Travis Barker, Tre Cool, Matt Cameron, Sean Kinney, and Mike Portnoy. THough he jams on a Custom Pearl 5 piece drum kit, Here, In The Shadows was, true to its all-digital form, actually recorded entirely on a yamaha DTXplorer electric set.
“He who fights with monsters must take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”