ShwizZ reach for the skies with “Clock Tower”

ShwizZ has spent recent months exploring new musical territory, releasing the nine minute music video for “Clock Tower.” A dark and brooding piece that captures feelings of reflection, the song is inspired by a simple chord progression on guitar and transformed into a winding musical journey.  

This tune started off as a simple little riff this past fall for guitarist Ryan Liatsis, and developed from there.

I was noodling on in my bedroom for a couple weeks. It was around the time Eddie Van Halen had died, so I was experimenting with tapping harmonics on the guitar, but not the shredding kind of way he did of course. I wanted to hear the notes ring like little chimes. So after I had flushed it out, I presented the riff to the group at a practice and naturally the creative juices started flowing. The song started to take shape with this brooding and cinematic texture, so we went for it. It was amazing to really develop something more melodic and emotional then a lot of our other material. Many know we like to shred and ain’t afraid to show it! 

Ryan Liatsis, ShwizZ

At first the song was called “Harmonix,” until someone mentioned they visualized a clock tower while listening to the track and the band agreed. The wild adventure of riffs and rock included the use of fretless instruments for some extra mood. 

The song took shape with the addition of Scott Hogan’s melodic bass lines, and Will Burgaleta’s tasteful and elegant piano playing, and Andy Boxer adding his unique flavor of drums to tie it all together, notes Liatsis. Initial tracking was done in January 2021 at Call Hollow Studios in Pomona, NY. After overdubs, the band produced, recorded and mixed it all over a couple sessions, then sent if for mastering at Csharp Studio’s overseas in Romania. 

Making the video for the song followed, with the band realizing quickly they had to record a video for a nine minute long prog rock instrumental song.

It didn’t seem realistic, but we put together somewhat of a plan and found an amazing venue called Gymnopedie in Brooklyn. It was quite a place, nestled in the basement of a gigantic church in Bushwick. The place was gnarly though as you can see from some of the rooms we filmed in. Our good friend Dan Rappaport lead the video production with the help of Natasha DiMarco.

While we were there, we made use of a little tiny stairwell full of clocks. Someone had blurted out “Clock Tower” as a song name, that’s right we had yet to properly name the song! Until then we were just calling it “Harmonix”, which was way to obviously about the intro guitar part and that’s it. So after some contemplating we agreed to call it “Clock Tower” and it sure did paint that picture.

A dark, ominous, mysterious old clock tower in the mist, curiously observing and wondering what’s inside, what’s been inside, what has the place seen throughout history. Our long time friend Paul Holland’s actually brought this imagery to life by taking an incredible picture of an old clock tower in Nyack, NY. After some light touching up by him and Dan Rappaport we had our Clock Tower cover art. 

Ryan Liatsis, ShwizZ

Released by Color Red in Denver, “Clock Tower” marks the first time the four members of ShwizZ wrote a piece from the ground up. Liatsis reflects on the ‘you never know what you’re gonna get’ aspect of songwriting.

Sometimes you set out to paint with a vision in mind, knowing exactly what will be on the canvas when you’re done. Other times you just splatter a bunch of paint on the wall and see what happens, then make sense of it afterwards. And many times it is somewhere in the gray area betwixt those extremes. It is of the utmost importance to remind yourself there’s no right or wrong way to the process.

Ryan Liatsis, ShwizZ
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