edited by courtney marie
Today we welcome a longtime friend of Spiderweb back to the ‘web as our newest recipient of our ongoing monthly Songwriting Scholarship! For those who might not remember, Robert Fennell would regularly awe us with his skills and electric guitar solos in the early days of our house shows and low-key celebrations of creativity, eloquently merging calculated hardcore rhythms with catchy riffs under his solo project titled, Dyscalculia. His new project, called the fate of stars, carries a similar instrumental djent-prog-vibe, and today we have a brand-new track he created one muggy August evening in collaboration with the usual suspects at Shiny Sound Recording Studio!
The track is titled, this life is not a race. Give it a listen and check out our follow-up interview with the man behind the music. If you dig it, check out Robby’s bandcamp for more heavy instrumental stylings, and hopefully he’ll join us for a live performance again soon!
Tell us a little bit about your journey with music.
I've been playing guitar since age 7 when I began taking lessons from Polly Maynard. After aging, I began writing my songs with my older sister and then writing my own songs while playing in various bands from 2001-2010. I've always enjoyed different types of music but have a kept a special place in my heart for classical, progressive rock, technical death metal, electronic, and industrial music. Sometimes I am guilty of breaking down songs too much and not enjoying them.
When you knew you'd have a half-day at Shiny Sound to record this song, how did you feel about it?
Surprised and nervous. I haven't written much or recorded anything in years and am thankful for the opportunity.
What were your anticipations for recording?
To bring to life an idea i'd been toying with for a year or so.
What was the recording process like for you?
Very pleasant, very chill. Recording and collaborating can be stressful at times but it did not feel at all rushed. I came in with a few unstructured parts and left with a miniature masterpiece. I knew most of the people involved, it was a comfortable setting and felt free to express myself. Unlike other recording sessions I have done, it wasn't a chore for me. Maybe for them hehe...
Can you give us a little background about your song, this life is not a race?
It started in my bedroom. I used the initial idea of the song as a transitional piece during a performance last year. Kind of an interlude of sorts. I wanted it to be more. It's instrumental as are all my songs, so explaining the title is important. I've always felt that many humans in my part of the world are constantly rushing through life, trying to be at the top of something, ahead of someone else. When I look around, I see people lacing up their running shoes, running head first into a future they cannot predict without appreciating what is directly ahead. I have better experiences in my life when I am patient. Time will allow the pieces to fall into place.
What are your interests and passions outside of music?
My daughter, my work, a video game or two, astronomy, geography, and collecting.
What or who are some of your influences as a musician/artist/writer?
Local musicians were probably my biggest influences but my latest influences and potentially searchable names arranged in no particular order: Burke Scott, Polly Maynard, Tom Jenkinson, Javier Reyes, Tosin Abasi, Marcos Curiel, James Shaffer, Masego, Little Simz, FKJ, Zero 7, Young MA, and June Marieezy.
What would you like to accomplish creatively within the next year?
Perform live. Eventually have a more interesting performance with props and projections. I would like see replies to emails about booking also. I realize the importance of networking yet I really enjoy doing everything myself, and also I am patient.
Robert Fennell is a musician from Denton, Texas, formerly of the bands Silvertonguedevil, Cunce, and Sattori. Dyscalculia is Robert’s instrumental Prog-influenced Metalcore band with hints of Classical Spanish. On March 29, 2011, Decapitulationalitizingly Yours E.P. was released marking the first official Dyscalculia release since the project began in 2007. Dyscalculia has also stated that a full-length album is being written.
If you loved the concept of this project, YOU'RE IN LUCK! We got to wondering, why don’t we do this all the time, with many different musicians, to create a whole catalog of new songs and sounds? With that simple idea, Spiderweb Salon’s Songwriting Scholarship has been born! We’ll be working with Shiny Sound Recording Studios, a lineup of professional studio musicians, and a new musician every month to record an original piece of music to share with the world. If you’re looking to get involved, send along a submission, and if you just need an awesome place to record your next project, look no further than Shiny Sound.