Behind the Cover: SEPUTUS - Phantom Indigo

Traversing through the mental layers of the trio's latest psychological endeavor.

Words by Luis (@luis.hoa):


There's power in the shared human experience. No matter what walk of life we happen to be in, feelings are universal and our expression of our solutions can have lasting impacts on those willing to hear them. British neurologist Oliver Sacks is one who would put a pen to his life every day and through his works of scientific literature, many have come to make sense of their struggle as a shared human experience, like today's subject, SEPUTUS founder Stephen Schwegler. Schwegler's relativity with the works of Oliver Sacks inspired the creation of Phantom Indigo, a labyrinthine work of metal that comments on the mental jail caused by the routine structures of life.


Phantom Indigo, which arrives on June 4th via the always consistent Willowtip Records, is a tantalizing experience that welcomes engagement beyond the surface level. With every passing listen, you'll find yourself connected deeper to the human mind that Alex Eckman-Lawn so meticulously crafted for the album cover, one layer at a time. Sonically, Schwegler, Doug Moore (Pyrrhon, Weeping Sores, Glorious Depravity), and Erik Malave have straddled the lines of genre confines and expressed their varied musical backgrounds in ways that will have you repeating tracks consistently. Add guest features from current and ex-members of Artificial Brain, Revocation, and Replicant and Phantom Indigo becomes all the more an example of the strength that lies within honest camaraderie. This is the same camaraderie that brought Schwegler and Eckman-Lawn together to craft one audiovisual gem that captures the record's strength in seamless fashion.


We go Behind the Cover of Phantom Indigo with Stephen Schwegler and Alex Eckman-Lawn to discuss the making of the multi-layered, multi-sensory death metal composition:

With ‘Phantom Indigo’ just a matter of days away, you two have put together quite the enticing package that, as mentioned, was heavily influenced by neurologist Oliver Sacks' ‘Hallucinations’ (2012). Visually, what were you looking for when working together on the release?


Stephen: I knew I wanted something amorphous, ambiguous, and representative of what mental thought feels like. Emotional thought often feels like 80 different layers of images swirling through my head, so I wanted something that felt like that. No easily identifiable forms. I also knew I wanted dark purples, violets, and anything in and around that color spectrum. When people describe indigo, it’s the color at the far end of the spectrum and purple/violet is often the last recognizable color in that rainbow, so it infers “indigo” in some way. There’s no way this music would pair with the typical red/black/grey/white color profile that a million bands use, so we stayed far away from that.


Alex: Honestly, I took more inspiration from talking to Steve and listening to the album itself. I knew that 'Hallucinations' had an impact on the writing process for the band, but I didn’t want to get too tied to a specific take, so my aim was to find something that felt like a sum of all the little parts that make u