The Myrrors interview with Grant Beyschau
The Myrrors formed when they were still in high school. They recorded Burning Circles In The Sky in 2008 and released it on limited edition cd-r. Out of the blue they found out that one of the songs from their album have over half million views. I was really happy to track down their drummer Grant Beyschau to discuss the formation of the band. Right now I’m also helping them to get a proper vinyl release of Burning Circles In The Sky.
You formed in Phoenix, Arizona. How did you meet?
I met Nik in high school, in 2005. We were in a guitar class together, and hung out with the same people. He and I talked a bit and we figured out we liked the same music (Neil Young, White Stripes, 60’s garage stuff etc.). So we decided to form a band. Chris, Nik’s younger brother, played the bass and I originally played guitar with Nik. There were 2 other members, a drummer and a keyboard player, who both eventually left the band. After playing together for nearly 2 years, and going through a few different lineups, we found Cesar on Myspace. He just so happened to live in the same neighborhood. So Nik ended up singing and playing guitar, Cesar played guitar, Chris played bass and I played the drums. That was the final lineup and it hasn’t changed since.
Your music can be described as ‘desert rock’. How would you describe your sound?
Well, we were really inspired by our surroundings at the time and the music that we listened to. We were inspired by quite a few different things, but we always wanted our own original sound. We really played the music that we wanted to hear, you know? I think if you do that, you won’t ever look back and say “What was I thinking??”
What are some of your influences?
As I said previously, we were inspired by the desert, the sun, the moon, the stars, the southwest’s flora and fauna, and the history of the area in which we lived. We were inspired by all types of psychedelic music and garage rock, by avant-garde music, free jazz, and folk music from around the world, such as Tuareg music, Indian ragas, Turkish folk, Latin/South American folk and Native American music.
Were you in any bands before The Myrrors?
The Myrrors was the first band for all of us, except Cesar. I think he had done a few things previously. He had also been posting a few of his home recordings on Myspace, and that’s actually how we found and recruited him.
What can you tell us about recording Burning Circles In The Sky?
The entire album was recorded in Nik’s living room, with a very rudimentary setup. We only had a few mics and a pretty basic recording program. We did all the mixing and producing on our own, with basically no experience. We were only 16 and 17 years old at the time! We really did the whole thing ourselves, which is kind of cool, you know? We all really dig DIY stuff.
Was there a certain concept behind it?
I don’t think it was really a ‘concept album’ per se. We just kind of drew on our influences and made the music that we wanted to hear.
Do psychoactive substances have any place in your music?
As far as I know only two of us were regularly using drugs at the time. I feel like it was less about the drugs, and more about the feeling and ideas brought about by the music. I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary to take drugs to enjoy the music. It seems to me that an open mind can be as enlightening as taking trip. I feel like one doesn’t really need drugs to enter an ‘altered state.’
One thing that really fascinates me is the cover artwork on your album.
The artwork for the album was done by our bassist Chris. He is an amazing artist. He designed almost all of the posters for our shows. He’s a really smart and talented guy, and I have a lot of respect for him.
Would you share your insight on the albums’ tracks?
“The Mind’s Eye”
“The Mind’s Eye” was one of the first things we recorded. We based this off a rough demo we had made called “For Tomorrow” about a year earlier, that was actually on a Quixodelic Records compilation. Definitely a bit more lighthearted than the rest of the album.
We played this one live quite a bit. I kind of feel like there’s this building tension through the whole song that never really gets released. It kind of gives me a feeling of a trip through the desert, guided by forces supernatural or otherwise.
“Burning Circles In The Sky”
I believe this song is a protest against the destruction of mother nature and lack of any kind of acknowledgment by the ones destroying. We were, and still are, appalled by the complete lack of empathy and consciousness on the part of the world governments and big business.
“Warpainting” is probably the closest thing to a “hit” that we recorded. I remember when I first heard the final version, it sent shivers down my spine. We played this one a lot at concerts. When this was recorded there were, and unfortunately still are, at least 2 wars being fought by the American government, the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war. This song kind of speaks to the anger and sadness associated with war and the unnecessary violence and death, and the effect of that on regular men and women. The one’s who actually suffer when the ‘leaders’ of the world decide to have a war. It also speaks on the real reasons that these elites feel the need to invade countries and kill countless numbers of their fellow human beings.
“Mother of All Living”
For me this track really encapsulates the feeling of spending time in the desert in an altered state.
There’s 2 tracks that weren’t on the original album. “Pyramids” and a short improvisational excerpt. These are a bit more representative of what we sounded like when we played live. A lot of times we would set up microphones in our practice space and record our rehearsals, and these are 2 cuts from those recordings. We had hours and hours of these recordings, but most of it was lost in a computer mix-up a while back…
“Warpainting” has a lot of views on Youtube. How do you feel about that?
It’s really cool to see. When we were playing shows around Phoenix, the audience was often pretty small. We didn’t really get much recognition at the time, and we certainly didn’t make any money in the process. Though, that’s not to say we didn’t have fun doing it! I personally had more fun than ever, making music and playing shows. In 2008 we all graduated from high school and kind of went our separate ways and I kind of lost track of all the Myrrors related stuff. In 2010 I happened upon the YouTube videos of our songs and saw that a few people had made music videos and “Warpainting” had some 200,000 views. I was amazed. I thought we were destined for obscurity, and to find out that people actually like the music that you make is a nice feeling.
How was the album originally released?
We put out 50 copies of Burning Circles In The Sky on cd-r. If I recall correctly, we ordered the digipacks from a local company that makes them out of recycled materials. We hand screen printed and burned all 50 copies ourselves. We made a few t-shirts as well, though I don’t remember how many exactly.
We’ve been working on a re-release of Burning Circles In The Sky and hope to have it out on vinyl and CD sometime in the near future.
Why did you disband and can we expect you to get back together?
Nik and Chris went to college a couple hours from Phoenix and I moved to California. So we all live at least a 5 hour drive from each other. That being said, we’re actually kind of back together now. We’ve been jamming and recording as much as we can. I’ll be moving back to Phoenix in May and we might be doing some shows around Arizona this summer. We’ve got an entire new album recorded and more. We’re going to try to get it released soon, but we’d like to get the Burning Circles In The Sky re-release done first.
What currently occupies your life?
I work and go to school in southern California. I’ve been doing some home recordings and collecting records/CDs/Tapes etc.. We’re all going to school, and I’m pretty sure Cesar plays the occasional open mic night in Phoenix.
Thanks for taking your time. Would you like to send a message for It’s Psychedelic Baby readers?
I would like to thank you, Klemen, for all these amazing interviews and for giving us a bit of exposure, you’ve featured some really cool people and groups on here. For the readers, thanks for supporting psychedelic magazines, books, bands and artists.
– Klemen Breznikar