Today we’re Making Meaning with Chris Bentley of Night Goat! Chris is a musician, artist, and designer.
Let’s make some meaning…
MAKING MEANING: THE BACKGROUND
Night Goat plays Dark Noise Rock. They blend elements of Doom, Post-Punk, and Noise to create their unique, heavy, chaotic sound. They’ve been a band for four years, and playing steadily for the last two. Band members are busy in the Northeastern Ohio music scene, including guitarist Bill Govan who also fronts the band Goosed from Akron, Ohio.
Chris explained in an interview that their music explores “themes of drug abuse, self-loathing, vengeance, and mental illness, intermingled with prophecy, literature, lore and the paranormal…” Sounds interesting to me! Their sonic representation of these themes aligns with the lyrical and is capable of setting a dark, heavy mood. Likewise, their live performances are powerful, owing much to Julia Bentley’s visceral vocals.
Milk, releasing Friday December 13, 2019, is Night Goat’s debut full-length album. It was preceded by the three-song Tria in 2017. Get more information about the album and keep up to date on all of their upcoming shows and news by following them on Facebook, Bandcamp, and Instagram.
Night Goat is: Chris Bentley (guitar, vocals), Julia Bentley (vocals), Donnie Casey (drums), Bill Govan (guitar), and Dalin Jones (bass).
MAKING MEANING: THE SONG
Listen to the song “The Greys” from Night Goat’s album Milk and learn what meaning Chris makes:
“The Greys” is the final track on Night Goat’s debut album Milk. It was recorded by JC Griffin at Lakebottom Recording House in Toledo, OH and mastered by Carl Saff in Chicago, IL. Written by Chris Bentley and Night Goat.
Check out the video on Music Existence!
“The Greys” was written about the idea of alien abduction and paranormal interaction, and what that can possibly do to the human mind. It is something that I find completely fascinating. The song is written in first person. I wanted it to seem that the voice is completely unhinged. There are female and male vocals to give a presence of multiple personality disorder.
“I wanted it to seem that the voice is completely unhinged.” – Chris Bentley on “The Greys”
The song begins with the lines, “Please hold my hand. I’m not right in my head. Those were my teeth. Cut from my jaw while asleep.” The aliens are clearly experimenting on our miserable protagonist. She/ he is in a losing battle with a force that cannot be stopped. I can’t think of anything more horrifying than aliens cutting and drilling your teeth out while you are half awake and paralyzed in your bed. Waking to find gaping holes in your jaw and blood on the sheets.
“Drone. Bone.” Is the simple chorus, a dull and monotone existence. Doomed to be nothing more than an experiment. “Please let me go. I don’t wanna asleep alone. The night has eyes from the sun. That levitate me up with a gun.” At this point in the song, our protagonist is begging for help. Begging for release from the horror. A horror that they are not fully capable of comprehending. While the last line is certainly open to interpretation, I believe our protagonist is so miserable that they are considering a suicidal act, but unsure if that would even release them from the alien experimenters.
“As the song implodes into a final explosion and feedback, my intent was to give the listener a sonic glimpse into the madness of a broken mind.” – Chris Bentley on “The Greys”
As the song implodes into a final explosion and feedback, my intent was to give the listener a sonic glimpse into the madness of a broken mind. Was this truly happening to our protagonist? Or was this a psychological or schizophrenic breakdown? Are there darker forces at work here? Are the aliens really demonic entities? Primordial horrors of an ancient tribe masking as travelers from the stars…
These were the questions and ideas that we were attempting to construct and convey sonically through the last section of the song. I hope we were able to deliver the goods. – Chris Bentley of Night Goat
Thanks so much to Chris for sharing the questions and ideas behind their song. The ability to imagine an experience and relate it to an audience both lyrically and sonically is an art. Thank you for making meaning with us.
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