Long haired, Birkenstock- wearing people ranting about the benefits of pesticide-free food. Chickens running free on a farm, instead of being cooped up in cells as they await their destiny. While these are some of the images consistent with the word "organic," Toronto's 5th Projekt are attempting to redefine the meaning within the subculture.
"Our music is kind of organic in nature," explains Skodt D. McNalty, who plays guitar and sings backup vocals with the band. "Looking at [CiRCADiAN], it's promoting an organic lifestyle of coexistence as opposed to a domination of sorts."
CiRCADiAN, the band's first LP, is named after the circadian rhythms that keep the human body running smoothly. The term organic not only relates to the album title, but also to the way the members of 5th Projekt have fused their influences together to create a distinct sound within the independent music scene.
"Our biggest influence is our parents, who introduced us to music and who played music," says McNalty. "We've been listening to music since we were kids, so we've got tons of [favourite artists]. We like them all for their uniqueness. It's not really cliched music. It's really classic and really true to the individual. I think that's what draws us to those people, so it's just trying to balance out the music that's influenced our lives. That's where the organic element comes from."
Nature is another important influence for the members of 5th Projekt. Lead singer Tara Rice, who also plays guitar, explains that the band's name and logo--the pentacleÂÂ--are derived from nature.
"I just say it's based in numerology," she says. "The logo and the name sort of go hand-in-hand--it's all symbologyÂÂ--the five pointed star representing the sacred feminine and the four elements."
At first, it looks like the use of the letter k in the band's name is just a lame attempt to stand out in a very crowded music scene. However, after noticing the name of the band's self-created record label, Organik Records, and hit single, "DISTRAKTid," it becomes apparent there is a purpose behind the misspelled words.
"We're socialists," McNalty jokes. "Actually, we're scientologists."
While he has trouble explaining the exact origin of the misspellings, McNalty references the miscommunications that arise from the different phonetics of the English language. The band's sound, however, seems to be communicating just fine. CiRCADiAN charted on five Canadian college radio stations last week, and with the help of myspace.com, 5th Projekt is also spreading their sound to other countries. The band was reviewed by a magazine in Belgium and "DISTRAKTid" has been nominated for best modern rock song at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards in California. Describing the sound that is attracting so much hype is something McNalty prefers to leave up to the people.
"People started commenting on how they could just close their eyes at a show and visualize awesome pictures," he says. "Anyone would just come up to us and it would be a common phenomenon between audience members, so cinematic was a term somebody gave it and we thought that was cool."