By Lindsey Rothering —
You can read part one of this article here.
After seeing pictures online of the band onstage wearing particle masks, I felt compelled to ask Gilmore why. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer lies in the world of Heartwood. Even a single Google search of the band’s name presents a concept called Heartwood, which the band’s songwriter continuously explains with increasing complexity. To fully understand SycAmour requires understanding of the Heartwood, so let’s break it down.
Taken straight from their Facebook, the Heartwood is “the narrative space where Gilmore and the rest of SycAmour — vocalist Tony Sugent, guitarist Zack Ferrell, bassist Charlie McCormick and drummer Victor Yusof — spin their songs, all intertwined through an overarching story.” Simply put, Heartwood is the story behind the band’s on-stage image and song lyrics, and the same Heartwood universe will be present on every record they release.
Part of their on-stage theatrics, he explained, is presenting the world of the Heartwood, where the air is toxic. The particle masks are a necessity in their environment. Pictures of past concerts show crowds also donning particle masks, often decorated with the band’s name or album art representations, making their concerts an experience rather than a typical live show.
While some may feel the idea is nothing more than a deep marketing gimmick, Gilmore hypothesized that if he was not involved with music, he would certainly be storytelling in some capacity—leaving me as a believer that the idea came from the band and not a business meeting. He also used to be very involved in the dramatic arts, which is perhaps where his vivid imagination took hold.
Soon to accompany two very different bands on tour—Foxy Shazam and Masked Intruder—Gilmore believes, “the bands share a common stage characteristic tied together by theatrics, with something for every kind of music listener.”
This kind of “unconditional inclusion” as he phrased it, holds deep roots in the Heartwood, and Gilmore seems hell-bent on making it a reality. He believes we as humans are united by the ideas of love and suffering, both exemplified by the band’s main songwriting themes. He described that whether people listen to their music for a minute or an hour, their ultimate goal is to have the listener “feel something.” I asked what his end goal is in regards to SycAmour’s future, and he joked, “I just want to take over the world!” as in affecting as many people as possible with his inclusive ideals.
If you’re still not sure about SycAmour, I’m not sure what to tell you. They have a solid sound and are guaranteed to be entertaining. You’ll definitely see me listening to the band at the Terrace in the Memorial Student Center on Oct. 2, just not in the mosh pit.