Harvey: For “Upload Complete,” the first
riff is what I call a fragmented 12-tone
row, where it repeats the first four notes
twice, and then it adds three notes, and
then two more. The second riff is the
whole 12-tone row played in sequence,
in a simple rhythm [sings riff]. That
same 12-tone row also appears in “The
Prototype” and “Apotheosis,” but just
starts on a different note.
variation with Evan is a big part of that. It
gives way to creating a full song just using
a small idea, being able to create something
larger out of a small number of notes.
Does it continue in sequence after the
displaced starting note?
Waterhouse: But you’ve also got to stray
away from it here and there, and rhythmic
Is an intellectual understanding of
music needed to write and perform
music this complex?
Waterhouse: Well, a big form of communication with us is notated music—that’s how
we usually get things across.
Harvey: Chris didn’t go to school for music,
but even so he can still definitely communicate with us. Sometimes I just shout out the
notes to him and he memorizes it.
Photo by Jeremy Saffer
Chris, do you read notation?
Corey: Yes, I do read notation. I’m not
spectacular at sight-reading—it’s a constant
work in progress. I have a pretty good
understanding of the more in-depth parts
of theory. I’ve kind of acquired it all just
from playing with these guys—they’re all
very talented and very knowledgeable with
this stuff. I just try to play along and keep
up with the madness.
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What was the writing process for Level 2?
Harvey: Level 2 wasn’t written in the
practice room as much as Lvl. 1 was.
We’d record fragments and ideas, and
then Evan [Sammons, drummer] would
put together the song skeletons. He
would program drums, and then we’d
go over it again and refine the parts a
little more. Then we’d record them again.