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Set to Half Mast: Viridian Mast Tries to Take Off

Arts & Entertainment

By Preston Caruso

Viridian Mast is just another band in the movement for new music. They are made up of keyboardist Hunter Walker, Rick Kenny on lead guitar, Jeremy Malizola on base and Bryan Christy on drums. Most of the independent Florida scene is filled with dark and guttural side of metal music that major labels have never catered to.

It’s a strange sight to watch a Viridian Mast jam session. The sounds of a clinking synth keyboard, the low moan of an electric guitar and the soft thud of drums are experiencing their rough birth into a song. Who should they follow? What’s the leading purpose behind this future track? It all depends upon the mood of the room. This session might ultimately lead to nothing, all the sounds eventually discarded. Or this might be the beginning of another airy, yet hazy composition by the instrumental band.

“There’s never a set tone or genre in mind. It’s usually one person bringing a riff or a verse to the table and everyone branching off of it into something totally unexpected. There’s no individual sound with us; it’s our sound that comes together when we all create as one. The sound we’re attempting is a blend of progressive music with influences from indie, to jazz, to everything in between,” says lead guitarist Rick Kenny.

The band attempted to raise funds for a 12 track album on Indiegogo, a popular crowdfunding site that has become second only to Kickstarter in launching community driven projects. They offered stickers, a shirt, a poster, a vinyl version of the album in exchange for $20 to $30 dollars for support. The project was mostly to help amass funds for a trip and a 14 day session at Clear Track Studios to work with Spencer Bradham and Mike Watts, who have formed the sounds of the band’s influences. The project only reached a couple hundred dollars into its lengthy stretch goals until the time ran out for their campaign.

Despite their initial stalling, the band embodies the resilient nature of modern independent bands. And the desire to be experimental burns bright in Viridian Mast. They don’t have plans to attract a major label to make their music, Viridian Mast thrives in this environment. With their single “Gia” just released, the band is displaying this generation’s desire for creativity in a crowded internet age.

Header photo from Viridian Mast’s Facebook page.

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