So in case you hadn’t noticed yet, I’ve made my first official digital release! You can now stream my music on Spotify or buy it on iTunes among many other places. It’s a three-song single of quick fun songs (about music) called It’s About the Mosh, leading up to my debut studio album release on March 2 — Secrets I Told to a Sound Hole, which essentially details my journey with music so far.
I plan on writing a little bit about each song, but I really wanted to explain “The Major Triad Demon” first because I’ve gotten feedback that the story is fun but confusing.
So, to begin with, have you ever heard a demon (as depicted by Hollywood) speak? They tend to speak not with a normal human voice that only has one tone at a time, but with this weird combination of multiple tones that sound harsh and discordant together. One night, instead of sleeping, I randomly started wondering what it would be like if one demon had a mutation that made the multiple tones of their voice sound good together instead of bad. And for anyone who doesn’t know what a major chord is in music, in very simplistic terms (music theory nerds, hold your tongue!), it’s three tones (a triad; notes 1, 3 and 5 in a given key) that sound pleasant, happy together. So, not a good sound for a demon to be making, get it?
Right, so you have this one demon who was born with a mutation that makes his voice sound beautiful and joyous instead of harsh and grating. I know literally nothing about any form of demonology, so in the world of this song, demons live in a hell that’s basically just like earth except everything awful is desirable there. It made me empathize with the idea that nobody (parents, peers) would understand him, even though he couldn’t help this thing that made him different and in reality it was actually something beautiful.
I chewed on that for a while, not knowing where to take the song from there. In my opinion a song isn’t finished until you’ve come up with an interesting twist or at least some original insight to tie the song together. Well, one day it suddenly hit me how similar this demon’s life sounded to mine, and to all my friends who weren’t understood by peers or their families growing up because they were creative and original and had good hearts — excellent qualities that aren’t always desired by mainstream society. In a way, the major triad demon represents all of us who never fit in.
…Which brings us to a second bit of nerdy music theory! A power chord (again, I know this is an oversimplification!) is basically a 2-note subset of a major triad: instead of 1, 3, 5, it’s just the 1 and 5. Power chords are what rock and punk music (and much electric guitar in general) tend to be built around, so if you’re hearing power chords you will feel like you’re rocking out. And what did all my friends and I happen to stumble onto when we didn’t fit in? To the punk scene, where everyone is welcome and the most original, creative people are the best loved! I realized that actually, our demon could stumble onto the same place, as he would fit in quite well there — being different and original and having a weird natural ability to speak in power chords.
So hopefully that explains every bit of the song without being too much overkill. You can stream all three songs below, and read the lyrics to “The Major Triad Demon” at the bottom. Let me know what you think. Do you want to know more about the other songs?
STREAM IT’S ABOUT THE MOSH (THREE-SONG SINGLE)
There once was a demon born in hell
Whose voice was a major triad
Unlike the proper demons sowing discord
It was just 1 and 3, 1, 3, 5 and…
That sound won’t terrify, no, it’s a sound of beauty and joy
So he sat alone in his room and he spoke softly to himself:
“What are you supposed to do when you’re a demon stuck in hell with a major triad voice?”
His parents thought God was trolling them
His peers thought he was a freak show
So he tried to hide his voice at school and at home
And only spoke when he was spoken to
The epiphany came one day, born of a solitude that he didn’t choose
Maybe, just maybe, I’m not the one who is ugly
But that didn’t matter to the demons in hell
What are you supposed to do when you’re a demon stuck in hell with a major triad voice?
Depressed, he came to earth
He thought he’d terrorize some mortals so he’d feel more like himself
At midnight he gave up
At a dingy black door covered in stickers he stopped
And heart aflutter, he pulled open the handle…
You know, if you take away the third,
In the natural cadence of his speech the demon sang some power chords
It wasn’t just a party trick, but a true punk rock gift they found in that boy
So when he hung out at the punk rock show he was embraced for his differences
“We mortal punks, we’re not so different from a demon stuck in hell with a major triad voice”