Progression [DEMO] – 2012
The Story of the Album
Nico began writing demos of music and emailing them to Chris and Mark and even publicly shared the compositional ideas on Facebook and Soundcloud as demonstrations of their intended sound. Soon after writing the first demo, James Hyatt (2012-2013) contacted Nico and asked about the opportunity to write drums for the song. Nico, excited that someone liked the song, agreed to have James write drums on the track using Superior Drummer and then invited him to jam the tune at a practice studio.
Soon after the jam session and the general meet and greet, Nico and Chris offered James the position of drummer and they began to write their demo, “Progression” which they would release on October 15, 2012.
At this time, Mark was still living in Flagstaff, AZ and he would make trips down to Tempe to collaborate and jam the one or two songs they had written at the time. By about the second song, Chris had introduced the “Kardashev Scale” concept to the band and Mark knew right then that he could easily write lyrics based on these concepts.
The band was still unnamed as they didn’t have a need to be referred to in any way since they’d not produced anything publicly, played any shows, or made any kind of social media yet.
After writing the lyrics to the demo and toying with names for weeks, they had decided on the name “Kardashev” while sitting at a Denny’s and playing Magic the Gathering. Before finalizing this decision, the demo’s songs were titled after Nikolai Kardashev’s aptly named, “Kardashev Scale” as it described and suggested the ability for civilizations to advance into the cosmos by harnessing and consuming huge amounts of energy.
- Tier 1 – Global Exploration
- Technological level of a civilization that is “close to the level presently attained on Earth, with energy consumption at ≈4×1019 erg/sec” (4×1012 watts).
- Tier 2 – Stellar Advancement
- A civilization capable of harnessing the energy radiated by its own star—for example, the stage of successful construction of a Dyson sphere—with energy consumption at ≈4×1033 erg/sec.
- Tier 3 – Galactic Achievement *Fun fact, the original burned demo’s .mp3 files have a typo in the name as “Galactiv Achievement”.*
- A civilization in possession of energy at the scale of its own galaxy, with energy consumption at ≈4×1044 erg/sec.
After writing three full songs and a guitar piece that exemplified space, the group decided it would be important to create album artwork and maybe an intro track that would have a space vibe. They posted a request to friends and family on social media for any creatives willing to make an album artwork based on their concepts. A close friend of Nico’s named Caspro answered their call and made a few mockups for the album.
At about the same time, Nico’s high school friend, Dustin Esman, took an interest and asked if he could create a digital track for the album to open with. Something using Foley sounds and textures to ramp into the first song of the demo. That track is “Initiative”.
A metaphorical, “Don’t go to an interview with your shirt half buttoned” conversation took place before deciding on how to finalize the sonic sound of the album which lead to researching Mastering Engineers for the record.
In this hunt they considered big name producers like Jason Suecof, Zeuss, and Mark Lewis but instead of arbitrarily choosing a producer based on google SEO results, they looked to some of their favorite band’s records for a mixing and mastering engineer credits. There, on the back of Aegaeon’s “Dimensions of Reality”, they found the credit to Miah Lajeuness in Knoxville, TN and made contact soon after.
Nico and the band learned much from Miah and decided to continue working with him for their future releases.
Soon, after receiving the masters from Miah, the band began working on promotion and sent their demo to many record labels. They knew that the best modern form of promotion was likely to be a music video and so they agreed that a music video was customary for an album release. After brainstorming all the ideas around what a fun, relevant music video would look like, they hired Julio Copelly to film and edit their first.
The location chosen for the music video was the roof of Challenger Space Center in Peoria, Arizona as it was a local monument to space and scientific achievement and it had a beautiful, pure-white, roof with access large enough to fit a drum set.