Many people would agree that they have had a spiritual experience at least once in their lifetime while listening to music. For most of us we will listen to our favorite songs dozens of times, sometimes in a single session. Those favorites each have a unique effect upon our consciousness that can be so strong that it can uplift us from depression, or even fortify our anguish with familiar emotional resonations.
A prayer is understood as not just a register of wants or regrets that is vocalized to a deity, but as a meditation on a particular result that one wishes to attain. A formal petition can be an aspect of that prayer, but essentially all humans instinctually pray. That job that you’ve applied for or that person that you want to be in a relationship with that you think about morning, day, and night are mental rituals of manifesting your internal desires into external/physical situations.
Aleister Crowley defines magic as, “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will.”
In essence the rituals and ceremonies involved in religion or magical practices work to line up the mind with the individual’s will in order to effect a change in that person’s physical reality. The simplest way that humans innately conduct a magical act is the process of mental prayer by means of extensive contemplation.
Music is a tool that we receive to have an effect on our mental process so that we can alter our thoughts and emotions in order to experience the physical reality in accordance to our will, whether that will is a projection from our ego or our higher self as some would argue.
Leafar Seyer’s lyrics and Dave Parley’s instrumental compositions together form the Cholo-Goth band, Prayers, and demonstrates this phenomenon of the power of manifestation through the gateway of the mind. In this context a spiritual experience or magic could be defined as the result of the mind and physical world unifying— two seemingly contrasting concepts crossing into each other’s worlds. This concept is further enhanced by Leafar Seyer combining the distinguishable and disparate cultures of Goth and Gang life into the genre Cholo-Goth. This principle of deconstructing duality while celebrating the components’ independent qualities is prevalent throughout Prayers’ music in the ideas of masculinity and femininity, ego and identity, light and dark.
Leafar Seyer has constructed his songs with the understanding of the magical effect music has on the mind; the result of this enlightenment is that he can extend the light of knowledge through the darkness of his music and thereby illuminate his audience. Later this summer Prayers will be releasing the EP, Baptism of Thieves, on Seyer’s own record label, Nite Ritual. Their latest music video, Black Leather, featuring Kat Von D, was released in April. Seyer explains,
My vision for the video was to do to do what naturally I do as a creator— I always bring planets into alignment just like I did with Cholo-Goth. The video for Black Leather is about me being in love with myself. Kat Von D represents my anima, the female aspect of myself. The song is about me finally accepting who I have become and letting go of who I am no longer, and the video shows this.
It is my personal opinion that Prayers audience has grown successfully in just the two and half years since their inception because people intuitively relate to Seyer’s intention of alchemy, bringing together polarized qualities within his life. Who doesn’t feel divided or incomplete at times or in some aspect of their life? Seyer’s success in unifying duality permeates his music and becomes a meditation for the audience. The incantations of a gangster has made Leafar Seyer a god.
Christopher Ian: What inspired the manifestation of Black Leather as a song and video?
Leafar Seyer: This song/video isn’t so much of a manifestation, per se; it is a fragment that reveals and reflects aspects of my life. Much like a prayer is a projection of hopes and desires, all my songs and videos are charged with my essence.
CI: What are you envisioning it becoming?
LS: I envision this song as a prayer for change that empowers and heals people. This song is a beacon of light that you can take with you to have a different perspective on life and death; it’s more than a song, it’s a sacred hymn disguised as a pop song.
CI: How did Kat Von D get involved?
LS: When the artist is ready, the muse will appear.
CI: What can you tell us about the upcoming album? Are there any collaborations you wish to share?
LS: The EP, entitled Baptism of Thieves, is named after my first band that devirginized me into the ecstasy of making music and gave me the eros to continue. Collaborators include my dear friend Ian “Heresy” Døsland, Kat Von D, the charming Ray Brady.
Along with Kat Von D on vocals, we’ve included guitarists Ian Heresy Døsland who was in the original Baptism of Thieves, and Ray Brady whose credits include the Back Eyed Peas and Ashlee Simpson. We met Ray in Los Angeles and we connected through the magick of musick.
CI: What is this album to you compared to the last three?
LS: For a firm foundation you need four corners, and these four EPs are the foundation on which I am building my temple.
CI: Your music career has developed so quickly, I would imagine the process and industry has forced you to keep up with the pace, or is it the other way around?
LS: I feel that the industry cannot keep up with my pace because they are used to dealing with musicians; they are not used to dealing with magicians.
CI: I see something else rising from the gang content and the Gothic style in your music. Certainly those two elements are what formulate Cholo Goth music. But what I see in songs like From Dog to God, Young Gods, Pentagram Medallion, along with some of your tattoos, is that they are occult related. Could you explain the ritual of music?
LS: You are correct on those counts. I use music and the related imagery to communicate with my higher self and by doing so, I can cause change to occur in accordance with my will.