5TH PROJEKT band picture
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What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

Tara: It doesn’t really feel like a decision. The music feels more like a mission that we’re happy to acceptnt

Introduce us to all of the members and your musical history.

Sködt: We are Tara Rice (singer & multi-instrumentalist) and Sködt McNalty (multi-instrumentalist & singer) of 5th PROJEKT, a warm psychedelic embrace and a kiss to your 3rd eye. We are a Toronto-based cinematic art rock band that paints with sound. The two of us are both self-taught songwriters, musicians, engineers, and producers. We met on my birthday at our first rehearsal while the band was auditioning for a female singer. Our first album, Circadian, was mixed by Ken Andrews (from the band, Failure). Ken asked the two of us to be in a digital collective band with him and other musicians in Los Angeles from Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Beck, Medicine, etc. which we did for a few years. Although nothing really happened with that band, it was a boot camp where we learned loads about production, what gear to buy, and how to properly record ourselves. To date, we’ve released 2 full length studio albums and 4 EPs including our new release, The Wolf, which was inspired by our time on The Camino. On stage, we are joined by Peter Broadley (bass) and Jeremy Oram (drums). 

Name me your 3 favorite Albums.

Sködt: I tend to keep revisiting these albums more than others. In no particular order…
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers
Rachel’s – Selenography
Portishead – Third -or- My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

Tara: I don’t think I have any ‘All Time’ favourite albums, it sort of changes over periods of time. Lately, the albums getting the most spins are:
Natalie Bergman – Mercy
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Catch a Fire 
Fiona Apple – Fetch the Boltcutters

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Tara: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Or was it The Itsy Bitsy Spider? I can’t remember.

Sködt: Hard to say. Perhaps, it was the single from my mum’s Rolling Stones – Out of Our Heads album that she kept playing which made me pick up my dad’s acoustic guitar as a kid to suss out the riff by ear – it was Satisfaction.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in. How do you feel you are doing?

Tara: We stopped worrying about that a long time ago. Essentially, the music industry as we knew it, was imploding as soon as we got on the scene. It was a bumpy ride filled with shadowy people with shadowy ideals. So instead, we really just honed in on attracting the kind of people we wanted to be around by delving deeply into words and frequency that would help us do so. We concentrated on the music and developing as artists. Now it seems like perhaps the industry is getting better, at least in a grassroots sense. Nicer people, more dedication to art, smaller labels with actual music lovers at the helm rather than just accountants and lawyers. People we would like to connect with.

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

Tara: I haven’t heard of these debates. What is the counterpoint? It’s nice that people are talking about it and bringing attention to it, but really, do women have reason to feel safe anywhere? A gig is just the micro… a smaller version of the boy’s club that is life. How we can help is to respect our mother. Respect our bodies. Respect the planet. Have reverence for creation, personal sovereignty and the divine balance between the sacred feminine and the sacred masculine in ourselves and each other. So ya, if humanity could just go ahead and do that, that would be great.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

The two of us originally met on a lightship studying frequency & sound and the metaphysical effects that it has on the human body before we incarnated into these multidimensional meat suits to eventually meet in the real and make music together – and we’ve written a body of work about that which we’ll be releasing after our Camino sessions. 

We’re actually time travelers from the Galactic Federation of Light who have come back to this timeline on earth in order to help facilitate collective anamnesis through our music of which our song, Dark Crystal, is the anthem of The Great Awakening. 

We always lie.😂

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

Tara: I don’t think we can talk about Spotify because the algorithm robots will stop playing our songs, won’t they? They’re listening…

Sködt: Historically speaking, all empires have a tendency to collapse under their own weight. The market share Spotify once enjoyed is already being eroded by Amazon. Apple is also slowly starting to shape up their dormant streaming platform. We strongly encourage and prefer the use of Bandcamp to any of those three corporate streaming sites. Bandcamp has a much more holistic and artist friendly environment that doesn’t specifically cater to well-known pop brands, like the other three have a tendency to. 

Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

Sködt: There are plenty of real conspiracies to learn from if that’s your jam. Why waste time with theories that are specifically designed by intelligence agencies with the purpose to rabbit hole, leading you away from what they’re really up to? Follow the money. Who funds your politicians? What industries or countries lobby your government? Does your government grant them taxpayer funded subsidies? Who are the friends of your elected representatives? Do they benefit from the proxy war your government is funding? It all comes back to money as a tool of control, and religion as an opiate for the (m)asses. When it comes to Rome, the empire never ended.

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

Tara: You mean like masks? No.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Sködt: There was that time we got shut down by the police mid set for being waaaaaay too loud, but that wasn’t on a stage, it was in the parking lot of CIUT FM at the University of Toronto. It was also kind of badass and a pretty fun experience! This reminds us of the time we got shut down by the Fire department in Kitchener at a gig for overcrowding a venue and exceeding the capacity. People had to go listen outside and upstairs before they would let us continue playing our set. Thankfully, it was a beautiful midsummer night so everyone was in a good mood and happy to oblige.

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about. 

Sködt: I went to art school, so I do most of our artwork, design, and our website. I’ve done a few of our music videos, too (my favourite is Aria). I have also had over a dozen near death experiences and one out of body experience. 

Tara: I’m a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. I also see dead people. And aliens.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

Tara: Our approach is all about frequency and the feeling it imparts upon the listener. Magick and spirituality are also components. We aim for our music to be transportive, psychedelic, and visionary. Our music is often called cinematic for the visions it conjures in the mind’s eye of the listener. 

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

Sködt: This new body of work was years in the making, inspired by our 40-day journey under the Milky Way, following ley lines on the Camino Santiago de Compostela (also known as The Way of The Goddess, or simply, The Way) and the Camino Finisterre (which literally means, the end of the world). Dating back thousands of years, this walking meditation across France and Northern Spain is a mystical initiation that continues to serve as an alchemical process for distillation, refinement and purification of self. The album title, The Wolf, was inspired by two things; both the legendary lore of a shapeshifting she-wolf Druid Queen of Finisterre, and the life altering encounter we had with a wolf in the wild after watching the sunset at the end of the world on the final eve of our 40-day trek. Tipped off by the clicking sound of claws coming up behind us, we turned to witness this majestically terrifying beast slowly stalking us in the dusk. As we realized what was happening, we faced our fear, stood our ground and looked the wolf straight in the eyes. We stared at the wolf for what felt like an eternity. The wolf stared back. No one breathed. Then, as if in recognition of our reverence for this divine symbol of The Goddess, the wolf bowed its head to us, low and long. Resisting all urges to walk up and pet it, we had an unforgettable moment of communion. Another eternity passed before we decided to head back to town.. The wolf followed us back to the edge of town before giving us one more deep, long bow and vanishing into the dark.

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

Sködt: If you are familiar with our music, concept is at the core of everything we create. This new body of work is no exception, although it was unique in the sense that we both underwent this physically and spiritually arduous experience before writing anything. An experience that had its fair share of supernatural experiences, too. We’ve split our adventure into a trilogy of EPs: The Wolf, The Owl (2024), and The Bee (TBA). Each one reflects a different state of consciousness. This first collection of songs is about visceral reconnection, personal sovereignty and independence, of letting go of old patterns in favour of new experiences. It’s a process of self-purification, of death and rebirth, of learning there are no wrong paths, and of being at peace with the searing, burning pain of suffering. But it’s also about transcending the limitations of the material paradigm and exploring the psychedelic experience along The Way. 

What was the recording process like?

Sködt: Slow. Patient. Methodical. We recorded the entire body of work on our own in our rehearsal studio over a period of several years. In some cases, such as with the song The Wrong Way, we wrote several different versions before settling on the final arrangement. 

Originally, Tara wrote and recorded demos for half a dozen tracks within the first few weeks of returning to Canada which set the tone. I helped expand upon that sonic palette one song at a time. It was much slower than our previous studio albums which we recorded with a live band in expensive professional recording studios. However, the extended timeframe of recording this trilogy of EPs afforded us a much more granular approach to production over a very large body of work. This is something that would have been cost-prohibitive for us to do in a recording studio paying by the hour. One of the lessons we learned on The Camino was the acceptance of our own limitations. This lesson is why we asked our friend David Pake to play drums on our new single, The Pace. Otherwise, we wrote, performed and recorded everything ourselves.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Sködt: It wasn’t so much a learning curve as it was a stylistic curveball that we initially threw ourselves. When we were in Spain, we found ourselves needing a couple of weeks to nutritionally recuperate from The Camino, so we rented a cheap place that happened to have a couple of wonky, nearly broken acoustic guitars. We immediately began writing music about our Camino experience – about the walking meditation and living out a of a backpack with just a change of clothes and some food and water for weeks on end. The majority of the original material we wrote was acoustic, and ultimately became mostly abandoned in favour of the melancholic intersection of experimental post-punk, 60s psychedelic rock, avant pop, 90s grunge and shoegaze that came from the half a dozen demos Tara had recorded. The third section in The Pace is one of the few acoustic pieces from our Spain sessions that made the cut. It was difficult to let go of that initial material, as it had sentimental aspects to it and was actually written on the soil of the foreign land where we went to experience this ancient pilgrimage.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Sködt: I love it the way it is! We’ve had this album mixed and mastered for years anticipating the stars to align for its release, and I don’t think I would change anything – or we would have done that already. Hehe! How about you Tara?

Tara: I love it too. I’m super excited to share the second EP of the trilogy next year.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Question everything and think for yourself. Also, we’d love to share our new EP, The Wolf. It’s available on Bandcamp, iTunes, and everywhere else digital music is sold and streamed. If you’d like to share in our Camino experiences, please subscribe to our YouTube channel (youtube.com/5thp…jekt), and/or visit our website (5thprojekt.com) to sign up for our mailing list.