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Musician And Libertarian Gary Urzendowski

How long have you been making music?

Gary Urzendowski: I started writing my own songs in my early 20s, which were in the mid to late 2000s, and then started to get more serious about it in my 30s. So it's been about a 15 to 20 year effort to get where I am today. I started playing the guitar at 17 so it took me a little while to know enough to be able to write anything myself. Today I'm writing music with a whole band, as opposed to just kind of doing my own thing over the years playing with various musician friends along the way when I could.


What are your influences? Who or what inspires you?


Gary: Music-wise, I would say I'm influenced by tons of great music from all over the place. I grew up as a kid listening to a lot of the greats of classic rock, like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. And then I'm also a 90s kid, so the grunge rock alternative stuff from that time period really had a big impact on the kinds of music I like to listen to and see performed. I'm definitely more of a rocker at heart, but I love good musicianship from most genres.


And then as for what inspires me, I'm inspired by real world people that are out there affecting the most good they can in their lives for the people around them. I'm inspired by competence and action towards change for the better. People getting wins in freedom and justice. People fighting for things that matter. People just being and living righteously.



What can you tell me about your band Prophetable?


Gary: Prophetable started in late 2018 in Dallas, TX originally as a cover band. We were called Project Mayhem, and we did all our favorite music from the 90s and some 2000s stuff. We played stuff like Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Smashing Pumpkins, Muse, and a bunch more. But we would be messing around at practice and someone would start playing some random original riff they were working on and everyone would just jam along. As the singer for this project, I would just record the jam and group some lyrics together for the jams over the next couple days and, boom, songs just started flowing out of us. So we rebranded as our own thing with a new name, and we released our debut EP called Head On Collusion in January of 2022. We're all just regular day-job dudes who are lifetime fans of music ourselves, doing what we love doing, but we're very happy with and proud of the music we're making.


Do you create art with a specific message, or do you prefer art for arts sake?


Gary: I do a bit of both I would say, but I definitely do create art with the intentions of expressing myself well and sort of leaving a legacy of artistic expression that IS saying something important. I don't wanna be wasting my breath or my time, and I don't want to waste the listener's time with trite platitudes and meaningless braindead pap. A lot of the songs we are creating in Prophetable do have specific messages. Our song "Thievery of Epic Proportions," for example, is pretty much a hard rock anti-taxation anthem. We have songs about censorship and narrative control and songs about overthrowing oppressive relationships, but then we also have stuff that's about sex, life, and love. In all of it, I do take the lyric writing pretty seriously and do my best to sing things worth singing.

What is your creative process like? What tools and methods do you use to make your songs?


Gary: The way it works in Prophetable is that either one of our two guitarists or our bass player comes into practice with a riff. Sometimes it's a whole riff, sometimes it's several parts of a song, and all the guys just start jamming on it and figuring out what the first guy is playing. I'm really just there to offer moral support and catch the recordings when the jams start sounding spicy at this point in the process. I'll just get a simple cellphone recording of what transpires to distribute out to everyone so they can remember what they played the next time, and that gives me time to start humming melodies and looking for hook lines to start building off of. Sometimes I write lyrics from scratch based on the first phrase that pops into my head while I'm humming melodies to the jam recordings, and sometimes the songs get written with a title already in mind from the beginning. We really like puns in Prophetable, so songs like "Head On Collusion" and one we will be recording and releasing in the near future called "Essential Snake Oil" start off with the title and then I develop lyrics from there. And then once we have a solid group of songs we're happy with, it's off to the recording studio to have someone professionally record us.


How long have you considered yourself a libertarian?


Gary: Growing up, I have always considered myself rebellious and opposed to illegitimate authority, but I considered myself more apolitical than anything else. It wasn't until after 9/11, and seeing government ramp up its overreach from that point forward that I started becoming active with learning more about libertarian philosophy and economics. When Ron Paul started campaigning for President in 2008, I was totally involved and went to rallies and protests and republican political action campaigns trying to get them to become more freedom-oriented. But nowadays I have so little faith in anything that involves voting and the political theater that they present to us like some sort of reality TV puppet show. I consider myself more of a voluntaryist these days or an anarchist that really likes free markets. However the kids label that these days. Whatever the maximum amount of freedom possible is without violating the lives or property rights of others looks like, that's what I want.

What do you think the role of art should be in the libertarian movement?


Gary: We've gotta pump our numbers up, guys. We're putting out rookie numbers letting Marxists and Esptein Island visiting pedophiles dominate the entertainment sphere. Their music is corporate trash. It has no soul. It's not authentic, and we have to be all of that. Our music first and foremost needs to be good, so anyone will want to listen to it in the first place, but then on top of that, it needs to be real. It needs to have message. It needs to have soul, and it needs to inspire others to open up their minds and their hearts in compelling ways. Ideas are incredibly powerful and they absolutely can be conveyed beautifully through music. Look at this guy Oliver Anthony that just went viral with that song "Rich Men North of Richmond" this week. He may not even be a professed libertarian, but that guy is doing it right. In my opinion, libertarian art needs to be as good as its ideas are.


Are you working on new music?


Gary: Hell yeah we are. Our goal is to be back in the recording studio this December 2023 with the intention of releasing 4 or 5 new songs by January 2024. We have some really good stuff we are all excited about releasing and cannot wait to be able to share it.


Where can people go to listen to your music?

Gary: We're on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, and all the other main streaming platforms. We have a music video up for our song "Thievery of Epic Proportions" on the YouTube channel. We post events for all our scheduled shows coming up on our Facebook page so people can come check us out live if they're around the DFW area. Just search "Prophetable" wherever you are already listening to music and we're probably on there already.


We really appreciate the interview, and would love it if anyone reading would share our music with friends they think would appreciate it. We are also open for booking, and would love to play some shows for and with other freedom-oriented music lovers out there. Feel free to reach out for all of it at prophetableband@gmail.com or by shooting us a message on our Facebook page.

 

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