Riding high on his latest spy-surf themed album ‘The Wave Files’, NYC-based artist Guitarmy of One is back with a new video for ‘Kolchak Meets The Sea Mobster’, which was inspired by the 70s thriller detective show ‘Kolchak the Night Stalker’.
With its heavy dark surf rock vibe and spy noir riffing, this song conjures espionage on the open sea and the mystique of detectives on the case. This is the latest offering from this adventurous 10-track album, crowdfunded earlier this year via Kickstarter – a driving fun mix of dark ominous guitar riffs, surf guitar swells and foreboding reverb drenched melodies.
Guitarmy of One is the solo project of guitarist Scott Helland, an ex-hardcore punk bass player turned instrumental songwriter, whose first band (Deep Wound) was formed with alt-rock trailblazers J Mascis and Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr). He later joined hardcore/ crossover thrash stalwarts Outpatients, School of Violence and Darkside NYC before ultimately forming post-punk duo Frenchy and the Punk in 2005.
Helland explains, “The video for this song takes my spy guy character on an excursion to meet the Sea Mobster for an exchange of information with the aid of Agent Camille. When writing ‘The Wave Files’ album, I had certain characters from classic detective/spy/thriller shows in mind. The music for this song was specifically inspired by Kolchak, the main character in the 70s thriller detective show ‘Kolchak the Night Stalker’. Although the video doesn’t necessarily mirror the type of scenes from the show, it does follow a mini story of intrigue.”
Following ‘The Spy Detective Collective’ album, ‘Top Secret Agent Man on a Wire Tapped Phone at Sea’ was the first taste of ‘The Wave Files’ LP. The album involves coded intrigue, each song blatantly and not so blatantly containing the word ‘sea’ in the lyrics. This record’s concept is rooted in spy and detective shows from the 60s, 70s and 80s – like the sonic equivalent of those shows, riding the waves of intrigue and espionage.
For instance ‘Hawaii 5-0’ inspired the song ‘Jack Lord of the Sea’, the tv show ‘The Saint’ inspired ‘Seance for the Saint’, and the sci-fi thriller ‘Soylent Green’ gave birth to ‘Soylent Seafoam Green’. Even real life mobsters like Legs Diamond played a role in writing the song ‘Sea Legs Diamond’.
Combining the thrilling sounds of spy-themed instrumental surf guitar music with punk vitality, Guitarmy of One creates a sonic adventure to the realms of intrigue, danger and surf-soaked excitement with Helland channeling that raw and unconventional spirit into a quirky fusion of genres.
“I wanted this album to be music you want to travel with – in your mind or physically. It’s action music, and I think it should ignite your imagination and take you on a journey. Wordless music relies on the visuals it creates so if it can take you on a sonic adventure across continents, or at least counties, my work is done,” says Scott Helland.
Influenced by Spanish guitar, punk and metal, Guitarmy of One conjures up images of secret agents, high-speed chases, and hidden agendas through his intricate layered compositions. His mix of surf guitar techniques (i.e. reverb-drenched chords, lightning-fast tremolo picking, and tremolo bar vibrato albeit with a Bigsby bridge pedal) creates a sonic landscape that is both nostalgic and forward-thinking.
Written, performed and produced by Scott Helland
All instrumentation by Scott Helland
Engineered by Jason Sarubbi Split Rock Studio, New Paltz, NY
Mastered by Jason Sarubbi
Cover Art by Nukui Bogard
Layout and Single Design Samantha Stephenson
Artist photos by Samantha Stephenson
1. Top Secret Agent Man on a Wire Tapped Phone at Sea
2. Jack Lord of the Sea
3. Kolchak meets the Sea Mobster
4. Soylent Seafoam Green
5. The Sea and the Seventh Veil of Surveillance
6. Plight of the Searchlight
7. Sea Legs Diamond
8. Espionage a Trois on the Open Sea
9. Must be the Season of Treason
10. Seance for the Saint
OCT 7 New York, NY – Unsteady Freddie’s Surf Rock Shindig at Otto’s Shrunken Head
JAN 19-21 Atlanta, GA – Inuhele Tiki Surf Weekend
FEB 16-18 Gettysburg, PA – Mythicon
MAR 2 New York, NY – Unsteady Freddie’s Surf Rock Shindig at Otto’s Shrunken Head
MAY 5 New York, NY – Twangstock