Writing the Book on Facades: Identity, Storytelling, and Fluidity

by The Facades

Writing the Book on Facades: Identity, Storytelling, and FluiditySo who are The Facades? It’s a good question. Even though I play all four members of the group, and they all come from and live in my head, I still have a little trouble clearly defining them. Zyote, the serious executive producer with a heart of lead and a painted smile. Aces Wild, the androgynous rock star/party angel who borrows Bowie’s vision and runs amok with it. Glitchtech, the anxiety-driven machine made man with an ear to the subway walls and an eye on the truth. The Thin Man, the pure diamond of barely-repressed spite with a literal cult following. How do I play them all, and how do they all play me?

Listen to the album while reading the text.

Behind The Masks

I’ve never believed in being just one person. People change over time, they enter and leave phases with reckless abandon, even every cell in your body is completely switched over every seven years or so. However, for me, it was a bit more literal.

A long time ago, I met Zyote and The Thin Man side-by-side. They asked me which way I wanted my life to go. I could either be an emotionless robot, blocking out all pain and sadness, just like Spock from Star Trek. Or I could explode in a pit of fury and enter hell with a smile. I was nine. I was really into Star Trek. And as it turns out, not having emotions for a while is a double-edged sword, because you forget how important joy is way more easily than you’d expect. This wasn’t when I started talking to them, but it was when they first became known to me.

A long time later, Glitchtech stepped in. I was in college, I was beginning to slowly regain my emotions, and I started realizing that the first emotion that came back was anxiety. Glitchtech thrived on anxiety and on high-speed rapping, so its role was assured almost from the beginning. A couple years after, Aces Wild finally woke up from their stupor when I realized I was way less heterosexual and way less willing to identify as a man than I thought. Even with all four of them in my head and in my personality, they weren’t willing to talk until January 10th, 2016. The day David Bowie died.

Not sure why it hit me the way it did, in retrospect. Bowie wasn’t my favorite musician, even in classic rock circles, and his music wasn’t something I listened to religiously or anything like that. But when I woke up and heard the news, it was like a punch in the face. Over the next couple hours, I realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that the world needed a David Bowie, someone who could become anyone, someone who inspired others to play with who they are with no judgment and no qualms. So I decided to take a chance on that wild dream. Ever since then my four facades started talking back, and helping me become that.

So What Now?

Obviously, I’m not anywhere near there yet. But the character work I’ve done with all four of them over the last few years has been substantial, regarding how they present and act as well as in how they write music. They each write in a different genre with a different mindset, and all four of them are actively present on Gay Werewolf Slumber Party. The album is more structured around Aces Wild (hence why their symbol is on the album cover), and the song The Neon Angel is specifically devoted to them. But the song A Better Mousetrap features the instrumental mindset of Zyote, while Cold War has a verse from Glitchtech, and The Thin Man sings the chorus on Writing The Book On Facades. They all come from different emotional places (from repression to laughter to anxiety to rage), and their songs all reflect that.

There’s even an overarching story, not just within the album, but within the existence of the “band” itself: who’s in charge here? Right now in the story, Aces Wild has the reins, but that could change within a year or two to any of the other three. They came in right after a long streak with Glitchtech in command, so the drama between them as characters is intense, made all the more personal by the fact I have to live with both of them arguing about it in my head. In fact, the lore was rich enough to help me write a short musical about it called Rise and Shine. Perhaps I’ll expand it into a longer screenplay sometime. Might be fun!

And The Moral Of The Story Is…

The moral of the story isn’t set in stone yet, of course. Nothing is set in stone until it’s out there for other people to think about, and even then you can sometimes mess with it, especially considering I have a lot more life to live.

But right now I think it’s a story about being open to change. Being willing to look at yourself in the mirror and actively thinking “who do I want to be today?” Sure, it takes a little more mental energy to deal with that choice, but it’s worth it for how much more you can understand who you are and who you want to be. Having the freedom and the ability to make that choice is a blessing, and it’s something that I hope everyone else can learn to do as well. I’m still new to the musician’s life, and I’ve never played a show, but I know who I am. Or rather, I know the many people I am. And that’s the start of something more vibrant and exciting than anything I could have dreamed about.

But hey, you can listen to Gay Werewolf Slumber Party without worrying about which caricatured facet of my psychological state is singing the background harmony. It’s just a little more fun when you can see that same emotional impulse within yourself. Who knows, maybe you’ll start talking to yourself too.

The Facades

The Facades, Category: Artist, Albums: Gay Werewolf Slumber Party, Top Tracks: The Last Freak at the Carnival, The Neon Angel, Writing the Book on Facades, Anthem for a Rainy Day, Melancholia, Biography: The complex fusion of a wide range of musical interests, a set of four musical personas that began bleeding into daily life, and a love of (as they'd put it) “making things sound good”, The Facades is the musical pseudonym of DIY producer and performer Ace Hausthor., Monthly Listeners: 14, Where People Listen: Bennington, Amherst, Cranston, Newington, Boston



Artist’s Note
Alternative, ElectronicIndie Pop, Pop, New Wave
Producer, conceptual, biography, vocals, Synthpop, Queer, Alt-Pop

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