After seeing several close friends and family members pass away in the last few years, musician Noah Gabriel decided to tackle the subject directly on his 10th album, "Dead Reckoning."
The album is released on both CD and vinyl. Reporter and entertainment blogger Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to the Aurora native, who recently moved to Batavia, about his latest musical project.
SCHELKOPF: Is this a full band record?
GABRIEL: It's a solo record, but it's full band performances. I recorded it with my buddy Adam Gardner. We were in jazz band together at Marmion Academy in Aurora.
Justin O'Connell is also on the album. He's part of the Noah's Arcade band, the rock trio I do stuff with. We're in the midst of putting a new thing together that's basically Noah's Arcade plus Adam. That's what we're doing to play the album out live and promote the album and what not.
SCHELKOPF: What was the concept behind the new album?
GABRIEL: "Dead Reckoning" works on a couple different levels. It's about coming to terms with death, but at the same time, it's also a nautical term. The dead reckoning was how they would find their position out on the ocean using previous points and stars and stuff like that.
SCHELKOPF: So is this a personal album for you? Was it cathartic?
GABRIEL: Writing the songs was the cathartic part for me. One of the big reasons that I wanted to put it out on vinyl is because the album is divided into two halves.
One half of the album is dealing with death from the angle of someone who is passing away, and the other side is basically looking at [it] from the family's perspective, trying to deal with the loss of someone.
Through each side, I wanted to get to a point of resolution with it, like almost going through the stages of grieving, and not just talk about death and dying, but trying to make sense out of it, in any way I could.
It worked for me, and I hope it makes sense to others.
SCHELKOPF: Musically, what were you looking to do with the album?
GABRIEL: Adam was head producer on it. We co- produced it, and our idea was we wanted it to have a flow. We wanted the whole album to kind of have a feeling both of melancholy, and at the same time, elation, I guess.
SCHELKOPF: So each song kind of has its own musical identity?
GABRIEL: I would say. And at the same time, we tied it all together. It also works as just one piece.
SCHELKOPF: And of course, this is going to be your tenth album. Does it kind of blow your mind?
GABRIEL: I guess. I never thought that I would get to release one album, so it's pretty cool to be on 10.
At the same time, I sit and think about that I am in the process of recording two other albums right now, and I've got a bunch more written. I look at it as another little step in my evolution, you know.
SCHELKOPF: How would you say your music has evolved over the years?
GABRIEL: I'd like to think lyrically, it has matured, and even musically.
I don't know. I guess the older I get, the more experiences I have, and the more real it gets. I just find it's coming from a more real place, and a more mature place.