Singled Out: Surfacing's The Demons of Attica
Back in 2012 we were finishing up writing for Chaos Through Clarity and the last full song that made it to the album was The Demons of Attica. Our guitarist at the time Matt came to me and said he had an intro and verse to a new song which ended up being the guitar lead, chugging and drum parts you hear for the first half of the song. In our usual writing style I tabbed out the parts and got to working on writing more parts, the structure and finding the overall feel of the track. I ended up adding in the guitar ring outs in the pre chorus, changing up the verse guitar riffs to have a little more flavor and doing some drum writing. After that we did some jamming and Matt came up with the solo. We basically had more than half the song written and then I hit the wall on the track. That was until I went to jail in 2013...
I spent a lot of my time on Rikers working on music. The only thing I worked on that ended up making it to the album were some music and lyrics I wrote for Demons. One of my jail mates was a young military vet who suffered from PTSD and ended up getting caught in jail for a while because of his violent reactions. One day he tells me the story of how when he was in Attica prison he was possessed by demons. To this day it was the most bone chilling story I've ever heard. That night while playing the music over in my head I wrote the lyrics to the chorus "Let them come in, now you're running, unlock the truth in this moment. They've taken over and no longer will you have strength to live". From there a guitar part with big ringouts popped into my head for the next part of the song which ended up being that vicious breakdown. I figured out the rest of the structure and was eager to get out and show my guys.
We start working on the final parts of the album when I'm out. I tell Ryan the inspiration and story behind the lyrics I wrote and he masterfully wrote the rest. When it came to recording this was a song that our engineer David Andronico's ideas really shined and propelled the idea that he deserved a producer credit on the album. A lot of the vocal ideas and layers came from him including the cool effect you hear in the last chorus. He was able to tie a lot of the album further together and strengthen the songs. We'll definitely be working with him again.