Review Fix chats with Joe Reineke and Karyn Gold-Reineke of the Society of the Silver Cross, who discuss the origin of the band, their goals and more.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Joe: We’ve both played music our entire lives. Karyn began classical piano training at age 4, and I started playing guitar at age 10. We both took lessons for years, but really fell in love with playing once each of us could start writing and being creative. We’ve both played in bands since we were teens…. It’s kind of a bonus marrying someone with the same interest, you can play together and it’s really special to share.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Karyn: We build the bones of the songs with the harmonium and guitar. We enjoy experimenting. Sometimes we catalog ideas, a riff or a few cool little parts that we come up with and come back to work them out later on, other times entire songs just unfold pretty quick. Once we have a solid idea of the whole song, we go into our studio (Orbit Audio) to begin tracking out the framework. I really like this process because we can listen more objectively as we create, work out ideas and produce the finer details. Sometimes we need to take things away that no longer belong as things evolve. Joe has taught me that you have to be willing to be flexible and question and let go of some ideas in order to best serve the song.
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Joe: We write some of our best music when we go into nature with our instruments, such as going into a treehouse in the California mountains for days. I’m also inspired by weird synths and textures, our studio is filled with unusual instruments like the swarmatron (ribbon synth), various folktek instruments and whatever we can get our hands on to create interesting sound design layers and of course our goofy dog Domino who won’t stop smiling, she’s a total nut!
Review Fix: What does music mean to you?
Karyn: It’s a metaphysical bridge between this world and something beyond matter and understanding. You can say something with music that there are no words for, communicating more on a soul level. So for me personally, it is a vehicle for expression, expansion and freedom in this way. Sometimes music moves me so deeply, I will actually start to cry, especially listening to certain powerful singers I love like Lisa Gerrard or Bjork. I have to hold back the urge to cry a lot on stage or I’d be a total wreck.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Karyn: George Harrison driving a hearse.
Joe: It’s been described to us as “yogic metal” too.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Karyn: We try to create a special space in which to share music live. I think it’s important to not just get up and play, but intentionally connect with the audience first. We recently toured in Mexico right before Covid-19 got crazy, and decided to take this to a new level by opening each set by standing together at the front of the stage while very, very slowly lifting our hands up in the air and deeply staring into everyone’s eyes, I mean really staring without looking away. Joe had composed a special instrumental to play while we did this. The whole process took several minutes, which must have felt like an eternity for some, haha. We could tell some people were confused and wondering what was going on, perhaps even getting uncomfortable. Eventually everyone had to accept our invitation to connect and just relax into it, to join us. The effect was interesting, it magically created a feeling that we were all merging together in unity, it was really, really cool.
I also recently made some special “Kali Om” incense that we’ve been burning live. I also work with scent professionally, so I love to merge my passions of scent and sound to engage different senses and create a more otherworldly experience.
Joe: The live show is intense and beautiful. We built three podiums which we use as our instrument stands for the harmonium, keyboards and shahi baaja. People always comment on how interesting they are and sometimes ask if we are conducting some kind of cult ritual on them.
Review Fix: What inspired your latest single?
Joe: “Dissolve and Merge” came out on our full length record 1 Verse last summer. Our dear friend Earnie Shapiro, who is a very talented Seattle photographer had been out taking photographs of the deserted city streets after Seattle shut down due to the pandemic. He was creating a video of his haunting images for an art show and asked if he could use the song since he felt that it captured the same kind of essence. We were thrilled to partner up and the video turned out beautifully. So, it’s sort of a post-album single release, we like to do things backwards sometimes.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of 2020?
Joe: We are working on a new album and are about half way done. We’ve been writing and recording, so that has been really great. It’s hard to know what else will come before the end of the year, touring probably won’t be possible yet.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Joe: We are looking to 2021 to release this music and start touring again.