A relatively new entry to the world of music — and by default, the world as a whole — Satyasena came to life just last year. With mainman Peijman “Pej Mon” Kouretchian at the helm, Satyasena’s original existence came at the behest of two definitive goals he set for himself: the Ghoul, Girth and Secret Chiefs 3 drummer decided he wanted to learn guitar, bass and vocals, then write an album by himself from the ground up. His multi-disciplinary training actually began back in 2016 and the fruit of all that labour is his self-titled debut album, a stream of which we’re running below, along with the video for album openers “Invictus.”
Given Pej Mon’s eclectic musical background and interests — as well as guest appearances from Jeff Matz (High on Fire, Mutoid Man), Joe Lester (Intronaut, Secret Chiefs 3), Rusty Kennedy (Wax People, Red Fiction) and K.J. Karam (The Locust, One Day as a Lion) — it should come as no surprise that Satyasena is as avant-garde as it is heavy as it spans a wide breadth of emotion, tempo, atonality, distortion and mental anguish somewhat neatly packaged and expressly beaten with a hammer.
Says the band leader himself: “This album was a way to know myself and discover myself beyond any ideas I had of who I am and why I am the way I am. At every moment of creation my intention was to let the music direct what needed to happen and for me to follow those orders. I often didn’t know what I was doing or why, I just knew that there was no other option and that I had to do it even if I was going into unknown territory like having to learn new instruments from scratch. Major sacrifices in my life had to be made, including moving to Los Angeles, saying no to big opportunities as a drummer and ending relationships that were no longer serving me. Birthing the album demanded everything out of me and more. The path it led me down forced me to confront my own pain, trauma, limiting ideas of self and others, along with the deeper knowing and truths within me unlike any other healing modality I had ever benefited from. This energy of intense and unrelenting confrontation for the purpose of transformation is what the music is driven by and what excites me at my core. Often I would be inspired to write something like a vocal part or bass line, only to be crippled by shame, anxiety, and self-criticism by listening back to it, which only furthered my own healing process as I made my way though those emotions. This process didn’t stop until even after I finished the recording process. It was only until recently that I felt more acceptance, gratitude and appreciation for what the music was calling out of me.”
*photo credit: Alicia Kasai
Satyasena was engineered, mixed, and produced by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Tool, Big Business) at Sound of Siren studios in Los Angeles. Mastered by JJ at Golden Mastering. Cover art by Mackie Osborne. Satyasena was released digitally and on CD January 22nd on Sympatry Records. Order, here.
Satyasena’s live band sees Pej joined by drummer Michael Malinowski and bassist Caleb Schneider and if you’re in the L.A. area next month, check ‘em out:
February 2nd – Los Angeles, CA @ Genghis Cohen