The birth of Empathy Engines, the latest project from Owen Reynolds. -

In the winter of ‘14, Owen Reynolds (rhythm guitar and vocals) visited Chet Surgener (drums and percussion) at his studio to record some songs. After badly explaining what he was going for aesthetically, later described as surrealist Americana junkyard music, they mutually agreed he should never speak of it again. Assembling a cast of co-conspirators, they embarked upon what could be mythologically told as a harrowing journey into the weird. It could also be summed up as a pie to the face. Recording this way, while sexy and heroic, left Owen with a problem: What denizens of the deep would be psychologically deviant enough to want to perform these songs in public? What bribes must be given? What paradise lost? While dodging the haymakers of the angry rejectionists and poorly attempting to sweep the legs, archetypal figures gradually emerged from the mists of time. Curt Wilson slung his banjo out of the darkness and connected to the chin. Carey Wilson, sonorous and deadly, upright walked her bass into the eye of the storm and held it together, singing all the while. Stephen Couch, electric sliding and phrasing his attacks in beautiful chaos, leapt with abandon into the hairiest of frays. Sarah Breit, back-handing a tom while using a tambourine to leverage the portal open, sang the secret tones of the ancients. Recognizing the violence inherent in this metaphor, Owen realized the monster he had set in motion needed a space that could empathize with the plight of the void-born; a place where everyone, even a  multi-headed musical beast of questionable structural integrity, could harmonize in what they perceive to be beauty. Empathy engines were needed, selfishly. It is with wayward  joy that he announces the birth of this thing.