After years of mastering his latest record, Sander Bryce sat down with us to discuss what he’s been up to in the past few years, the artists that have influenced his work, and the overall becoming of H A U N T E R.

With numerous moods and glimpses of concentrated moments, H A U N T E R’s GO OFF INTO THE NIGHT wants to remind us: we’re all haunted by something. 

At the age of 13, Sander Bryce picked up a pair of drumsticks and knew he had found his vocation. He spent his high school years trying to prove himself as a drummer, which eventually led him to Berklee College of Music. There he formed the band I Kill Giants and found himself touring for the first time at the age of 19.

Upon returning to Boston in 2015, Bryce began working on what is now titled “2 2 2” (track 2 on GO OFF INTO THE NIGHT.)  While the track sounds pleasant and melodic, his time spent working with it was not. In fact, it was quite lonely. He began to doubt himself and began to doubt whether Boston was the right place for him. But the production of GO OFF INTO THE NIGHT went on, mostly at night, in the confines of his bedroom.

Bryce found peace in The Sound of Animals Fighting, a collaborative super group composed of artists from around the world’s indie scene.  The band’s sense of togetherness, he thought, was a sentiment he wanted to incorporate within his own work, so he created a sense of communion within his own LP. “My emotions are constantly changing,” Bryce shares, “so I like when sound evolves and flows quickly, and that all reflects in the music.”

For two years thereafter, Bryce sought out stems from various bassists, guitarists, and vocalists, sending files back and forth between friends within his circle, like bassist Sai Boddupalli and Matt Politoski, who added synths. Bryce’s album invites us to travel through these little haunted moments, reminding us that no one is alone in their thoughts—we’re all grappling with ghosts. We’re all in search of the light. 

As this project passed from artist to artist, Bryce began to see the LP morph into one big collaborative work—one that tells the stories of many. On tracks like “5 5 5,”a name inspired by Bryce’s fascination with numerology, David F. Bello’s vocals are just as striking as the dissonant math-rock chords that ring behind him. The listener is placed into the walls of Bello’s bedroom as he completely unravels in this intimate moment. On a track like “Knives and Headlights,” this intimate setting doesn’t show; instead, the listener is greeted with a sense of urgency through a sonic frenzy of hi-hats, shakers and heavy synths that flare up, almost as if the instruments are warning you to run. But before the track combusts, it calms, and Bryce leaves us with a much-needed moment of peace—as he does with outro track “Blood in Space”—when the LP takes its final bow. 

An integration of sounds contoured what would become the essence of H A U N T E R’s GO OFF INTO THE NIGHT, as unity and transparency carry this record with grace. After years of concentrating on this creation, Bryce has finally mastered his long-envisioned record—a project that holds its listeners close as it shouts ‘we all walk the streets tethered to our shadows, so why not embrace it?’ 

H A U N T E R invites listeners to reflect on their past—their traumas, their darkness, the moments that we carry with us—all while holding their hand in the present. With a swing of melodies and moods shifting throughout his music, H A U N T E R is an artist who can guide his listeners to a lighter state of mind, even during their darkest of days.

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