How did it come to this?

The story of my twenties is convoluted and nonsensical. Vacillating between states of utter emotional desolation and the highest heights of personal fulfillment and realization, I’ve grown to see myself in a somewhat comical light - and to see those highs and lows as a kind of illusion. It’s funny being an insignificant human in this unfathomably complex situation, this strange fiction we call self realization or individuation . It’s funny how we find such a strong need within ourselves to clamor for meaning, significance, for a role in history, for uniqueness, for a certain amount of recognition. Well, recognizing that absurdity on one end, and on the other end, the very real desire I have to lock myself away from the world so no one will know what I’ve been up to until after I’m dead and don’t have to answer any questions about it, I’ve decided to start a project in which I can roll out whatever material I wish, at whatever speed I desire (or require for my mental health), and in which I can be totally honest and upfront about what the artistic process has borne in me in the years since I left college. On that front, interacting with the material I’ll release in the coming months, it may help to know a few things about what I’ve been up to since I was 19 (I’m now 28):

While studying in Boston, I had a near death experience which resulted from an arduous brain infection, and recovered after an emergency surgery. I was unconscious for three days while healing.

This set me on an inquisitive, sense-making path into life and the nature of reality, and made me insatiable for experiences which could shed light on existence. The journey led me through many religions, meditative practices, through books, through conversations with fascinating people, through certain physical and mental austerities, through the use of psychedelic compounds, through the artistic process, through the exploration of the foundations of human language, through an attempt to understand the ancient history of our species, through a fascination with physical laws and especially quantum phenomena, through a huge steaming heap of solitude, and through interpersonal experiments of one kind or another.

In 2015 I started a project which became the band Trash Panda. 2015 was one of the roughest years of my life, psychologically. I had a seizure in May of that year and the anti-seizure medication I was placed on caused me to dissociate heavily. Detoxing from the drug was even worse than being on it and I managed to quit it quickly, though it tore my body and mind up in the process. I began to heal (again) through songwriting, meditation, and through the several-times-per-year use of psilocybin mushrooms in high doses. I do not recommended the irresponsible or flippant use of psychedelics - they are possibly the world’s most powerful mental medicines and should be regarded with a holy respect.

The most surprising thing which came out of that year was Trash Panda’s quick rise to a certain degree of recognition. We’re one of the many bands who can attribute their large audience completely to the Spotify phenomenon, which has revolutionized the way people discover music. Though I’ve enjoyed that recognition and I’m thrilled people like some of the songs I’ve written, the art I make is still 100% a medicine for me - I’m seeing that more clearly than ever now. It was getting hard to keep that in perspective when music started paying the bills. This project is another way for me to reset my intentions as I grow into the next phase of my adult and professional life.

These days I spend my time learning my craft, discovering art, reading books, practicing yoga, conversing with people who fill my heart with hope and possibility, exploring the world around me, hanging with my family, connecting with good ol mother nature, and just generally living my short, potentially meaningless life - and usually loving it - though I also spend a great deal of time pondering humanity’s many existential risks and dreaming of a better future, always trying to better grasp the power dynamics which so corrupt the human sphere. I hope as I mature to be able to more skillfully cultivate harmony in my relationships and in my immediate surroundings.

Now you know perhaps more than I’ve ever shared on social media before... if you’d like to talk about psychology, emotions, or music, feel free to message me, but also please understand that I still maintain a relatively low digital interaction threshold, so if I don’t respond quickly, it’s not personal. Love and prosperity and peace to you and yours.

Lazuli Vane