John Medeski & Jeff Firewalker Schmitt Launch Saint Disruption Project, Announce Album & Share Single
John Medeski and Jeff Firewalker Schmitt have teamed up to form a new project/band/collective dubbed Saint Disruption. The pair also announced the debut Saint Distruption album, Rose In The Oblivion, out April 8 via Root Doctor Media, and shared the single, “Choke A Man.”
Renowned Medeski Martin & Wood keyboardist John Medeski met scientist and ceremonial healer Jeff Firewalker Schmitt while on a sojourn to the Amazon to work with a shaman healer in 2008. Twelve years later the duo reconnected in the face of a global pandemic to form Saint Disruption and began recording Rose In The Oblivion, “a sweeping seven-track opus of probing and political neo-funk featuring contributions from Lyric Jones and Last Poets founder Umar Bin Hassan amongst others,” as per a press release.
Along with the poets, Medeski and Schmitt enlisted the help of a talented group of musicians, many of whom hail from Asheville, North Carolina including local Grammy winners Agent 23 and Debrissa McKinney, multi-instrumentalist and producer Michael Hynes, Austin Haynes of Free Radio and vocalist Datrian Johnson. Medeski and Schmitt recorded the LP at Schmitt’s Nomatic Studios recording facility in Asheville as well as at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, New York where Medeski is based with the keyboardist utilizing the vintage Neve board at Applehead.
While Rose In The Oblivion deals with spiritual concepts, it doesn’t contain the usual trappings of the spiritual music genre, as Medeski attests to. “I’m not looking for spiritual music,” Medeski said in a statement. “I’m looking for Spirit to come through.”
Rose In The Oblivion “holds up a mirror to darkness in the knowledge that everything that lives is born in the darkness,” Schmitt added. “In the face of adversity and darkness, the rose is the emblem of hope.” A Kickstarter campaign to help support the album has been launched by Saint Disruption.
Schmitt also spoke about the album’s lead single, “Choke A Man.” Read his word below:
This song was born amid the tragic death of George Floyd and the release of The Social Dilemma movie. My artistic process involved asking how I might express the anguish of the oppressed. I spent three days in the space of prayer and reflection. There isn’t a word in the English language that adequately describes my feelings about the corrupt brokenness of the US government – so I mashed up the words ‘democracy’ and ‘debacle’ when I wrote “sham debocracy.
“Choke A Man” features lyrics by Schmitt and vocals by Datrian Johnson along with Medeski on keyboards, Michael Hynes on bass, drums by Schmitt and Ted Marks as well as guitar work by Duane Simpson and Adam Matar.
“Choke A Man” arrived with an accompanying music video. Watch it below:
Rose In The Oblivion Tracklist:
- Stories (Birth of Saint Disruption)
- Last Poet First / Ukupacha
- Instant Gratification
- Choke A Man
- Thief Of Darkness