Matt Walker is no stranger to the music business. We would even venture so far as to say he has it figured out pretty well, with decades of experience as a drummer as a firm fixture on the scene, recording and touring with top-tier acts such as Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Morrissey and Filter, among contributing to other projects (i.e. most recently, Jonny Polonsky’s latest album). If even half of those bands ring a bell to you, you know you’re alive. If all four carry some meaning in the overall realm of your musical diapason, bonus! But Walker is a multi-instrumentalist and, low and behold, his talents extend well beyond the pale, inspiring him to also produce his own music. His project of1000faces is an intriguing beast (said in the best way possible) usually featuring vocals by guest contributors, his latest ‘Astronomica’ album is a sublime ambient offering, loaded with instrumentals that will both ground you and guide you to where you need to be either within yourself or cosmically. After all, this is music that could fully well be the soundtrack of your fictitious mind-screen of Odyssey 2020. We’re living in it, baby!
Chicago-based artist of1000faces presents his new ‘Astronomica’ album, the first offering of an ambitious and beautifully grounding ‘Monomyyth’ trilogy. Exuding a terrestrial reverence, reflection and dreamery, ‘Astronomica’ uses the elements as its primary themes. This initial collection of 12 tracks was previewed by title track ‘Astronomica’. The title track from the forthcoming album by that name.
Known for his obsessive writing and recording while on tour, Walker eventually decided to pursue a more singular and personal endeavor. Thus was born of1000faces, the moniker reflecting the project’s inherit premise and, at the same time, a nod to Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero of 1000 faces’.
“I work on my music whenever and wherever I can, usually while on tour. It’s a slow process. Each song feels like its own vision quest,” says Matt Walker.
of1000faces debut EP ‘Love Imperfect’ was released in 2013, featuring radically disparate musicians such as Chris Connelly (Ministry, Revolting Cocks) and Grammy award-winning jazz guitarist Wayne Johnson. 2018 brought two singles – the Krautrock-infused dreampop track ‘MM/DD/YYYY’ featuring Brandon Robbins (The Moth & the Flame ) and the ethereal ballad ‘Sleeping’s for Dreamers’ featuring Jimmy Gnecco (Ours).
Although another of1000faces art-pop album is currently in the works, Walker shifted focus recently with a wave of creative inspiration that took the shape of an instrumental trilogy. The current pandemic, a tenuous week in London, an inspired transatlantic flight and a cold, rainy week in Chicago provided the canvas for this new series of releases.
“I was on tour (with Morrissey) when the pandemic hit full stride. Shows were being canceled as cities were shut down one after another, and we ended up stranded in London for a week, not knowing when or if we’d be going home. They were surreal and uncertain days. I started recording some ambient music in my hotel room and soon found myself completely obsessed with it. I simply couldn’t stop. Aside from seeking out food and running at night I didn’t leave the hotel room. Finally, we were sent home on the last flight out before the U.S. closed its borders,” says Walker.
Once home, he self-isolated. “It was difficult being segregated from my family, who I had already not seen in over a month. Fortunately, I had a self-contained living space on our 3rd floor and the isolation and dreary weather only inspired more writing. And now I was able to utilize more instruments and effects. 8 days later I tested negative, rejoined the household and had nearly 3 album’s worth of instrumental music.”
The ‘Astronomica’ album will be released digitally on September 25 and will be available across online stores such as Apple Music and streaming platforms such as Spotify. It can already be pre-ordered (first single downloadable immediately) via Bandcamp.