Local band, Taken By Sanity’s newest EP, “Saturn Days” has a song for everyone for the summer.
“From the upbeat, summer-vibes of “Streetlights”, all the way to the scream-worth chorus of “Waterfall,” “Saturn Days” is an amazing journey,” said Taken By Sanity Drummer, Blaine Stillman.
The Taken By Sanity band members had to create the project in a unique way, as Stillman and keyboardist Blair Stillman live in Chestermere, but Vocalist Jonah Morris was attending college in British Columbia (B.C.), while making the majority of “Saturn Days.”
“Our process with our last project, “City of Contrast”, really prepared us for long-distance writing sessions,” Blaine said.
“Jonah and I would come up with an idea and send them back and forth, adding, and layering elements on top of each other until we came up with solid ideas before transforming them into complete songs,” he said.
Adding, “Our process hasn’t really changed from our last album to this EP, but it is definitely unique as we seem to continuously create projects without being in the same room together.”
As each band member was assigned roles for producing the final product, Blair’s roles included recording the piano and synth parts, while reinventing the Taken By Sanity online image, updating the band’s website, social media, editing the lyric videos, and designing the EP cover artwork, Blaine’s roles included producing and mastering the project, and Morris’ roles included vocals, ukulele, and guitar.
For Blair, learning how to design and animate images for the EP cover artwork, and the online videos and promotions was challenging.
“I have never been able to freehand draw other than stick figures and this project gave me a reason to learn how to draw and design,” Blair said.
Taken By Sanity also produced the “Streetlights” music video.
“This was definitely one of the most unique projects I directed. We filmed half of the video in our own homes and the other half was filmed in the foothills by Bragg Creek,” Blair said.
“While filming each scene, we had to respect the social distancing rules, which was a challenge. To create the music video, we first made a storyboard over FaceTime, we filmed our individual scenes at home, then filmed the outdoor scene with the help of our friend, Shaun Fisk,” he said.
Adding, “Once we finished filming the scenes, I took hundreds of clips and edited them together to create the final product.”
Although there were challenging aspects in creating “Saturn Days” such as creating the artwork and directing the music video, Blair is excited to showcase to listeners that the band is able to perform a wide range of genres of music.
“As a band, we pride ourselves in creating everything ourselves. This includes the artwork, online videos, recording, mixing, and mastering. When someone buys or streams our EP, what they see and hear is 100 per cent Taken By Sanity,” Blair added. “With the exemption of the guitar solo in “Saturn Boys” which was performed by Carter Kletke.”
While creating an EP over long distance was challenging, Blaine also had to overcome feelings of self-doubt while creating “Saturn Days.”
“When you’re a self-taught producer, there is no A to B pathway to get a quality song. That’s why so many individuals who aspire to be mix engineers go to university or go to an actual studio to create a project,” Blaine said.
“Even though comparing my mixes to these high-end professional producers can be discouraging, I am still so proud of the songs we have created. Comparing this to last year’s project, it’s a huge step in our production and we are so excited to see what other ideas we come up with in 2020,” he said.
Adding, “I want people to realize that you can do anything you set your mind to. When it came down to the project, despite the limitations we had, and the distance, we still ended up making our best EP to date. Whatever roadblock is in your way, brainstorm a strategy on how you can overcome that challenge and make the most of it.”
Taken By Sanity’s ultimate goal while creating “Saturn Days” was not only to gain exposure but to inspire listeners.
“We recently received an essay from someone talking about our EP and how every song felt to her. The amount of love it made that one-person feel is why I continue to write music,” Blaine said.
“Even though that may have been one listener, it still means the world to us to hear that the thoughts and lyrics in our heads moved someone so passionately. That’s the reason we write these songs,” he said.
Moving forward, Taken By Sanity is continuing to create and bring new ideas into their music.
Now that all the band members are together again in their hometown, they are busy writing new music, while planning to live stream shows in the summer.
Although due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of Taken By Sanity’s live shows were cancelled the band is excited to play live shows at festivals and local venues again when the time is right.
For additional information on Taken by Sanity, please visit
takenbysanity.com, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
“Thank you to everyone who has been supporting us. Being from such a supportive community means the world to us and we cannot wait to share with you the new and upcoming ideas we have in store,” Blaine said.