God does not play dice. At least that’s what Einstein said. If that is right, though, it can only be because God never heard about pen & paper role playing games and never rolled a proper d20. Yep, that’s that weird dice with 20 sides. Confined for an awfully long time into parents’ basements and minds of the younger heavy metal crowd, the last few years have seen something remarkable happen: All of a sudden, being nerdy is cool. it has become an acknowledged and celebrated part of pop culture – thanks to Game of Thrones, Stranger Things or the Marvel universe.
What’s still missing is a band exemplifying all that. Establishing a new gold standard between nerdism and zeitgeist. Oh wait: It’s not missing any longer! Enter Double Experience, Canada’s answer to nerd rock trailblazers Muse, Coheed and Cambria or Weezer. Between rolling dice and filling out character charts they are unleashing the first ever modern prog-alt-rock concept album for the AD&D generation. A journey through morality and beliefs, based on the famous “alignment chart” of legendary role playing classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) and its characteristic nuances between good and evil. Sound a bit complex? Nah, not more complex than the Avengers universe. But equally thrilling.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Al Jacob and released by Drakkar Entertainment, Alignments offers anything one could wish for from modern, massive and clever rock music – enhanced by a universal theme that should make Double Experience the house band of any ComicCon and a regular at festivals like Rock am Ring at the same time. “Nerd Rock should be more than sweater vests and big glasses, it should be about celebrating what makes you different,” says Brock Tinsley, guitarist and founding member of Double Experience. He and Ian Nichols (bass/vocals) form the nucleus of the band, with a drummer and guest collaborators added to the mix as needed for live performance.
“Ian and I believe that rock music can still be vital and accessible, without being pastiche,” Tinsley continues. “In fact, it’s more honest for our band to write about how passionate we feel about specific pop culture than it is to write about blanket, angry emotions. We don’t want to hold onto those emotions during the best years of our lives.” That’s why Double Experience is so much more than just a catalyst for their nerdy universe. It’s original, gripping, zeitgeisty rock music all at the same time.
The rashness of Royal Blood, the dramatics of Muse, the weightlessness of Coheed and Cambria and the alienation of Weezer get channeled and then paired with one of the most extraordinary concepts in rock history: The infamous “Alignment” chart of Dungeons & Dragons, well known by every one who ever laid a finger on this game. According to this chart, any character is placed somewhere along the lines between law and chaos and between good and evil. Transferring these alignments into our world is not only clever; it allows fascinating insights into the very psyche of us all.
Tinsley on the concept: “These two axes allow for nine alignments in combination. These nine alignments apply to all fantastical works including video games, comic books, film and TV shows. And it doesn’t end there.” Alignments sees Double Experience explore these values in everyday like, wandering on the thin red line between pop culture, fantasy and reality. “These concepts are not as easily-controlled as they are within tabletop gaming,” the guitarist says. Double Experience want to be the master by providing us with a set of rules that’s not showing us how to rid a dungeon of mean goblins but how to find a way through troubled times like these.
If you needed more proof that these Canadians know what they are talking about: The last five years have seen them play an impressive 750 shows in 18 countries, tour with Danko Jones or Hed p.e. and headline various cons all across the USA. What’s missing now is the European market. But the timing’s perfect, what with Double Experience being the desired link between nerd culture and rock’n’roll. The die is cast. Are you ready to play? What’s your alignment?
01 – Perish Song
02 – New Me
03 – Something’s Got To Give
04 – Ghost In The Machine
05 – My List
06 – Your Biggest Fan
07 – Born For It
08 – So Dumb
09 – The Imp
10 – Alignments
11 – Love Is Not Just Talk
– Brock Tinsley (Guitar)
– Ian Nichols (Vocals, Bass)