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| 8 May 2018 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

If Jaime Page’s 2016 debut solo album, Dark Universe, was inspired by her transgender journey, then the follow-up – now flying under the Dark Universe band banner – Into The Black draws most of its momentum from more societal and global issues.

Into The Black is a timely record: the music has an ethereal, magical feel to it, and lyrically it addresses rising above our daily struggles, being brave in the face of crushing adversity, tapping into our inner strength. It’s a record that sends tingles through this writer upon every listen, and it’s no stretch to say that this album has the potential to change lives.

“It’s interesting you say that, actually,” Page responds humbly. “We’re not contrived with how we approach it, but that’s how I work: it’s all about emotion. Everything is about emotion, and we had that many moments in the studio that those tingles just kept coming back time and time again as we kept tweaking and playing with things, and there were tears from different people at different times.”


Exclusive 100% ROCK MAGAZINE-only content: JAIME talks about The Songs

“To be honest, there is little of the album that’s related to my personal [trans] journey this time. There’s two songs in there that are songs that maybe can be construed as such. But the rest of it is literally about other people. It’s watching other people hurting, what they’re going through.

“I look at songs like Weight Of The World and God Help The Rest Of Us, and that’s very much the case. Don’t Go is very much about other people hurting and you’re trying to draw them out of where they’re at. That was what that song was about, about loving yourself. Not me finding myself, but other people having the faith to pick themselves up. That’s what that song really was.

“As far as my journey goes, there’s two songs there which is Shatter which is largely about the alienation that you can feel as a trans person. And the last song Alone At The End Of The World, which for me was a summation of where I was at during the Deepest Black phase. That was written at the same time. That still harks back, most of the other stuff is quite fresh in comparison.

“Whatever is really about domestic violence, and families and families being destroyed – nothing to do with my issues whatsoever. I remember seeing an old black and white photograph of a family that had been pulled apart, destroyed, withered. And that really affected me… and that’s how that song came about: I saw that picture and broken hearts, you know?

Pete Gardner Photography

“I guess for lack of a better word, Into the Black as a song, was a situation where I loved the title, and I just wanted to create a riff that conjured up the blackness of space and darkness. Something that was so heavy and deep that it’d just blow everything away. That just sort of carried on – I thought, yeah, I’m loving that riff, that’s huge, and the title is great. In the song we started into this sort of strange Black Sabbath meets Journey type of pop song. We sort of rode this rollercoaster, it’s quite a contradiction in terms – that’s what sort of makes it work.

“The album’s opener, Seventh Heaven, just playing that opening section with the strings is so liberating a thing to play. So, you naturally gravitate to writing more and more things like that that you just … when you get on stage it’s just, ‘wow! This feels so good!’

“The same goes for a lot of the songs in there, you’ll notice that there’s quite a few very structured little guitar parts in there, where they’re more a part of the song than they are a guitar solo. It’s just another voice rather than me shredding, a lot of the time. There is some shredding there as well, and I love doing that too, but I really love the melodic side of things now.

“That’s where the emotion comes from more. It feels so good when you write a solo [like] in God Help The Rest Of Us, that… when we hit that, even at rehearsals, I just look at Donna and Craig and if it’s there, we just get this big smile on our faces when the songs on the list. It’s wonderful.”

“The producer managed to sneak a real string quartet in there for quite a few songs. We sat there while we’re producing it, and played around with the real strings mixed with the electronica and the combination was wonderful. So, that’s an avenue that I’d dearly love to follow up as we move on. I just love, love, love all these crazy concepts in my head of orchestral mixed with trance, mixed with metal, mixed with classic rock. And I think that’s the future for me – and for the band, I think.”

Category: Interviews

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