By Tora Matys
Edmonton band, Blank Statues, has recently released their first full-length album.
‘Mantra’ was released in February and is written, recorded and produced by childhood friends Drake Ward, Bryce Odell and Derek Perepelitza. The album features songs from their 2020 EP ‘Gaze of Stone’ as well as five new songs.
Most of the songs released have been written and recorded by Ward.
“I started playing guitar, and taking it more to the songwriting path, just because I was curious to see and I’ve always wanted to do that,” said Ward.
“I’ll be at work sometimes and I’ll be outside doing my thing and I’ll rush inside and grab my phone and have to whisper a vocal melody into my voice memos…or a guitar line I have in my head. I have numerous memos and videos on my phone of me mumbling nonsense into my phone, and that usually turns into the song,” said Ward.
Shortly after, Ward had a collection of demos, he reached out to his friends to see if they wanted to take it to the next level with him.
“That whole first album is just me on there, and those are all the demos I have done and just recorded and played the drums and bass at home. I had a whole album written and recorded, I was just in the mixing stage. Then I linked up with these guys, and it was like ‘okay do we completely re-record the album or do we run with this and learn it together and start the new writing process?’,” said Ward.
The band decided to continue with what Ward had already done, but now are working on the songs collectively.
“Typically the writing process whenever we get into a room and jam, is the pretty old school method of just jamming and seeing what comes down[…] None of us are really super music theory based, which kind of suits the 90’s alt-rock style,” said Ward.
Despite not being able to play live shows right now, the band still believes in the power of live music and is working on building up their YouTube page. Ward recently released a live solo version of the song Mantra as well as their first official music video for the song Serotonin.
“We really don’t know how long it’s going to be until live concerts are back. Eventually, we would like to do an actual live stream, it just takes a lot of gear we don’t have right now[…] But we are trying to go towards a lot of live YouTube covers and versions of our songs where we just play around with them,” said Ward.