Combining indie rock, pop, new-age mysticism, world music aesthetics and just about everything in between, Dynasty Electrik is by no means a one-dimensional or run-of-the-mill band. Although the group only consists of two members, Jenny Electrik on vocals and Seth Misterka on production and instrumentation, it manages to capture a varied and unique sound that has gotten the band recognition in indie outlets around the world, and launched a successful, underground musical career. CULTURE chatted with both members of the group about their musical journey and love for the healing plant.
How did you get started making music?
Seth: My first gig was as a saxophonist for Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance Ensemble.
Jenny: When I was in high school, I played George Harrison’s parts in an all-girl Beatles cover band called Girl.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Seth: Alice Coltrane, Deuter, Ravi Shankar and Steven Halpern.
Jenny: My very musical French Canadian grandma always encouraged me to follow my dreams. I’ve also been influenced by Björk, Fleetwood Mac, Goldfrapp and Ravi Shankar, to name a few.
How do you describe your style?
Seth: Eclectic. We draw inspiration from all styles.
Jenny: We’ve always experimented with and combined a number of musical styles- jazz, electronic, rock, hip-hop, folk, blues. Our latest project, Crystal Sound Bath is an ambient, ethereal journey of crystal bowls and electronic tones.
How do you feel the psychedelic experience impacts the musical experience?
Seth: Psychedelics can open the “third ear” and make us aware of other dimensions of sound.
Jenny: Expanding consciousness through plants and music, a practice many thousands of years old, enhances our experience of the senses. Sound has so many dimensions, so many levels. When we are truly present and open, we can have a profound inner journey guided by sound.
What type of special instrumentation do you work into your music, and how does this affect your sound?
Seth: Jenny plays the theremin, which has an ethereal, otherworldly sound to it. Recently I’ve been playing crystal singing bowls, which are very meditative.
Jenny: We use a set of perfect pitch crystal singing bowls, which have a profound level of overtones and resonance. I travel around the room with a hand-held crystal bowl and other instruments, which creates a 360 experience of sound. The theremin, which is played by interacting with two electromagnetic fields, adds an otherworldly quality to our sound journey.
How has cannabis affected your life and/or your creative process?
Seth: Cannabis is an important tool for my creative process. I frequently start composing music and songs after smoking. The music starts playing like a soundtrack in my mind and I have to reach for a guitar or keyboard to capture the ideas.
Jenny: Evenings are when I enjoy cannabis. It helps me to be creatively receptive and tuned in to my intuitive senses. And, it’s so relaxing. It helps me to sleep peacefully.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Is there anything you think could be done better or differently?
Seth: The very idea of a plant being illegal is inherently absurd. I’m for full legalization on a global level.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
Seth: Our song “Om Shiva” is our ode to the creative and spiritual use of cannabis. Check out the music video:
Jenny: Om Shiva Shankara Hari Hari Ganja.
How do you feel the psychedelic experience of using cannabis can affect people’s lives?
Seth and Jenny: It’s not for everyone, but for most of us it can open our minds, expand our inner vision and enhance our outer senses.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Seth: Our new album, Crystal Sound Bath, is coming out soon and it’s a perfect complement to a relaxation session. Visit our website for more information: www.dynastyelectrik.com
Jenny: We have a weekly sound bath residency at an amazing space in Venice, California, Mystic Journey Crystal Gallery & Yoga Studio. It’s filled with a forest of enormous crystals from South America, along with some beautiful visionary artwork. The energy of the crystals is really powerful and people enjoy being right next to them during a sound bath. Crystals, along with sound, balance and harmonize energy vibrationally. Join us on Fridays, 8 p.m. at Mystic Journey, 1702 -1704 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, California.
Band Name: Dynasty Electrik
Genre: Electronic, dance, indie
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Most Recent/Upcoming Album: Euphoria, 2013. Crystal Sound Bath, release date pending.