Nyves—the fledgling electronic music project from Demon Hunter vocalist Ryan Clark and Randy Torres (ex-Project 86)—can count themselves among the crowdfunding success stories. The outfit have managed to surpass their $50,000 goal (they’ve raised $51,462 as of this posting) in less than two weeks. If you’re interested in the project, check out its Kickstarter.
Ryan Clark,‘We did it! Thank you so much to each and every one of you for your support. Because of your help, the Nyves album is definitely going to happen and we’re going to be able to produce a very high-quality product that you’ve come to expect. Stay tuned for more updates soon!’
In early 2013, Randy Torres and I (Ryan Clark) started talking about writing some songs together. I mentioned to him that I had been recently consumed with the idea a project that explored my love for heavy electronic music. Randy has always shared my passion for bands like Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Portishead, etc. I knew he would be the perfect person to collaborate with.
My songwriting has always been a bit archaic in process. I managed to find a way to plug my guitar into my computer about a decade ago, and my methods haven’t changed much since then. My knowledge of “recording for real” is limited to what I’ve seen over the shoulders of extremely talented producers and engineers over the past 20 years. I can write it, I can (for the most part) play it, but I’m at the mercy of those whose talents lie in the big picture to make it sound incredible during the process. Randy, for instance, is one of those people.I’ve known Randy for a long time. Before (my current band) Demon Hunter, I played in a band called Training For Utopia. Living in Sacramento at the time, we made a habit of traveling to play in Southern California where the crowds were bigger, due to an already thriving scene. At several of these So Cal gigs, we’d play with Randy’s then band, Project 86. We saw each other infrequently, making small talk (if anything) for years. It wasn’t until nearly 10 years later, when fate had thrown us both up north to Seattle, that we really got to know each other.
Our first time actually working together was in 2007, when Demon Hunter was recording our 4th album, “Storm The Gates Of Hell”. Randy had recently been assisting our long-time producer Aaron Sprinkle — editing drums and guitars, and helping record my vocals.
Over the next few years, Randy and I started hanging out a lot. We bonded over our mutual adoration for heavy metal and electronic music, as well as authentic Mexican cuisine. We eventually ended up working together at Tooth & Nail Records — Randy as A&R, and me as Art Director. On several occasions Randy helped out Demon Hunter by filling in on guitar.
In hindsight, it seems like we’d been working towards Nyves for years. Both of us had been so enveloped in the world of heavy metal/hard rock for so long, I think we were both anxious to explore something different. We’ll always be metal heads at heart, and I still very much enjoy writing and performing Demon Hunter songs, but in the same way I find fulfillment in my design/illustration work, my creativity is hard to keep in a box.
In September of 2013, Randy sent me the first instrumental track for this (still unnamed at the time) project. The song was a rejected remix for another band, but it was exactly the kind of thing I’d heard in my head when we started to conceive this endeavor. It was the perfect catalyst for the style and aesthetic that would define the Nyves sound. I couldn’t wait to write lyrics and melodies to it.
Demon Hunter and Project 86 have never been strangers to electronic components. Both bands have explored these elements in the details of the songs. Nyves essentially puts a microscope to these elements, using them as a foundation, and adding familiar sounds like gritty, distorted guitars and real drums. The outcome could be described as a fitting extension of any of our other musical endeavors — just with an emphasis on these electronic details.
Over the course of the next few months, we managed to write and record a handful of songs that we were really proud of. When we realized that this was becoming something of legitimate substance, we quickly started putting together all of the pieces that you see now — from the band name and logo, to the photo shoot and more. We couldn’t wait to see every element of Nyves come to life.
Here we are, a year later, ready and anxious to complete our first full-length… with your help.
Randy’s programming and production skills have reached levels that shock me. Not only is he creating the kind of material that is thrilling to write to, his knack for building beautiful soundscapes, attention to detail, and production talents ensure that this record will sound absolutely incredible.
As a designer, having created the aesthetic surrounding Demon Hunter, as well as dozens of other bands, I’ve always been enthralled with the visual identity behind a music project. With Nyves, I want to create a visual language that transcends the average. As a collector myself, with an appreciation for fully-realized artistic expression, I would love the opportunity to bring Nyves to life with a bang — offering multiple physical formats of the record itself, as well as shirts, posters, and other items that further expand the world of Nyves.
The reason we’re reaching out to you is simple — we want to produce the best sounding album possible, and deliver a final product that embodies the passion and hard work that we’ve put into it.
By funding this record through Kickstarter, we’re able to eliminate the middle-man and offer an amazing product that we’ve personally carried all the way from inception to completion. Our collective experience in the music industry means that we fully understand what it takes to make this record a reality. In essence, we can bring this project straight to you exactly as it should be — without the standard music business limitations, and with some unique and amazing perks.
We appreciate your belief and investment in this project. We’re so excited to show this record to the world. With your help, Nyves will become an incredible reality.
–Ryan Clark & Randy Torres
‘Nyves’ The New Electronic Project from ‘Ryan Clark’ (Demon Hunter) and ‘Randy Torres’ (Project 86) [Nov. 2014]