Singled Out: Dead Agent's Big Shifter

K. Wiggins | 01-25-2020

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Dead Agent

Electro-Industrial rockers Dead Agent recently released their new EP "SGT_SLTR_MLN" and to celebrate we asked Ed Finkler to tell us about the song "Bit Shifter". Here is the story:

Some of my songs don't come from a specific place, but "Bit Shifter" definitely does. I was watching the first season of Mindhunter on Netflix, and I was fascinated by Edmund Kemper, played by Cameron Britton. An intelligent, soft-spoken, talkative fellow, his personality seems like one of a gentle giant. But then you learn why he's in prison: he is a serial killer and necrophile, who murdered his own mother and grandparents (the latter at age 15). He would pick up young hitchhiking women and murder them, before bringing them home to decapitiate and dismember their corpses. Details of his crimes are unspeakably awful; the stuff of the most grotesque nightmares.

So of course I felt inspired.

Kemper exemplifies what I find so fascinating about the human condition: the duality of kindness, grace, and generosity, juxtaposed with the most profane, predatory behavior. All of us, I think, have these aspects within us. Kemper is not a monster. More disturbingly, he exists within the realm of humanity, reminding us of the darkest aspects of our nature.

I chose two pieces of dialogue to use in the song. One is from the Mindhunter series, and one is from an interview with Kemper himself. In both he describes the two realities he slipped between, peaceful and violent, and how those two worlds are separated only by a thin veil, obscuring one from the other just enough to keep us feeling safe most of the time. In Bit Shifter, reality passes back and forth through that veil, placing in proximity those opposed aspects of humanity.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the EP right here!

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