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  • Tracy Heck

Norman Matthew of As Strange As Angels on the making of "Mirror Mirror" EP

Writing and recording the “Mirror Mirror” EP was a truly moving moment in my life. So many challenges in my personal life in the past three years really put my heart, mind, body and soul in a completely different place. I was musically and lyrically vulnerable, and I was scared. I lacked direction and was spinning in circles. I knew I had it in me - but I didn’t know how to find it. Yet at the same time, I embraced it as a fresh start. I had everywhere to go musically as it was a chance to evolve and reinvent myself. I wanted to create something that my son Dexter would be proud of. This is where my legacy was truly going to begin…Life began for me again at my son’s birth - doing this with my son gave it all a new meaning.

In July of 2019, after an acoustic show in New York City, I flew cross country on a red eye to work with producers Mick Kenney and Nick Page, to work on the tracks “Right Beside You”, “Days Go Bye” and “Love and Death”, which features my dear friend, CJ Pierce of Drowning Pool on guitar. Nick Page and I worked on soon to be released versions of “Devotion”, “Lay My Heart” and an acoustic cover of “Pictures of You” by The Cure.

Still searching for “that one song”, I connected with producer/ songwriter Sahaj Ticotin who worked on the recent Motley Crue soundtrack “The Dirt”. He really pushed me to my limits. Opened my ears to a side of myself I didn’t know I possessed. I landed in LA during the wildfires in Nov 2019. We had less than 48 hours to kick out two songs, from beginning to end. It was so nerve wracking, yet exciting: This was the place I wanted to be. I could "paint" with a fresh canvas and bring an entirely new vision to life. It was difficult as first. However, Sahaj pushed me hard, yet gracefully… One of the kindest ass kicking’s I could ever have. I will be forever appreciative of where he helped me go musically and the path he helped put As Strange As Angels on! “Mirror Mirror” set the tone for what has become the As Strange As Angels journey, and Sahaj was a big part of that.

Enter the video…super excited to do it! It had been at least two and a half years since I shot a video for my own music or performed any of my music since Murder FM. Yet, having the EP competed and under my belt, I was chomping at the bit to get back in the game. I took my time with the music as I found something true in it and propelled that. I dug into my soul in hopes to dig into others. I grew my hair out and Lost 30 lbs. I mean I really went all out on trying to make As Strange As Angels as different, fresh and new for myself and everyone willing to listen. Michelle Graves on Drums, Nick Klinger on Bass. I wanted the video to be raw. “Mirror Mirror” shoots straight from the heart. We were bouncing around all kinds of ideas. One night, driving home from my studio and music school, The Sound Foundation, it hit me! I recalled the Pantera video for “Mouth for War”. It was simple – just Black and White., but Pure ass kicking and to the point. So I texted director Michael Carter with a link to the video and told him THIS was the type of video we needed to make for “Mirror Mirror”. No fancy editing, facial fixes, pimple hiding – just us. Raw and "as is". Much like a Johnny Cash song, three chords and the truth.

It has truly been a blessed journey thus far. I am thankful to every single person that has helped this early in the game. Early believers and supporters, this ones for you!

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