In Conversation with Goldwyn Thandrayen of Psychocide

Goldwyn Thandrayen is the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Psychocide (which also includes drummer Wilson Li, bassist Charlie Chain, and guitarist Joey Blais Gagné), an indie, metal-inspired band That’s getting ready to release their debut album, Alcohol & Bad Decisions, on March 3rd, 2017.

Psychocide has just released a track? “Crazy Janet,” a song based on a character who’ll eventually appear in a comic book, along with other characters from the album (including the bandmembers). Psychocide’s sound is tight but manic, intelligent but playful, drawing on the best alternative musical influences while keeping song ideas and lyrics jarringly original.

Goldwyn was born in Maritius but spent time in Scotland and the USA before moving to Montreal to study film and work with his new band. Recently Goldwyn took the time to meet with Wanda Waterman in a Montreal café, where he talked about his heavy metal roots, the making of Alcohol & Bad Decisions, and why there’ll be a comic book based on the characters in the new album.

How much heavy metal did you find growing up in Mauritius?
None. Everything over there was reggae. Rock was never really popular over there, but my older brother somehow managed to get some rock and metal magazines, which were hard to get in the 1990s. He was really into metal, so any chance I had to rob cassettes or whatever off of him, I did. That’s how I started playing rock. It was cool that there were very few people in Mauritius that listened to metal and rock (like probably 10 or 15) at first, even though they’re more popular there now.

I was about 16 or 17 when I started playing guitar. I’d tried to find someone to teach me, but then I learned how to read tabs. Me and my drummer there both started on our instruments at the same time, so we were both very bad, but we were kind of bad together at the same time. We learned from each other. No one played rock then, so we kind of conned people around us into playing it, and it turned out to be fun for both us and them. We started a little band, and by the time we left Mauritius, we’d done one gig. The people who are doing the scene now were at that gig and liked Megadeth and Iron Maiden, so now the scene’s grown!

Do you have any musical mentors?
Not a mentor, but a roommate who was a really good guitar player. He was very good, and I always tried to be better than him. I’m a competitive person; I think that pushed me to get better. We ended up playing in the same band, and we both wanted to play lead guitar. I wasn’t good enough, so I ended up leaving that band.

I’m a lead guitar player now. I kind of started a band in New York with my roommates there. We were only a three-piece band, and we also partied, which didn’t help us go professional. I was the only one who was able to party and do the music, too, but, the others dragged it down, so then we split and I went on to make the record in California.

I just put Psychocide together two or three months ago. I came here and met the drummer, Wilson. The band is made up of different people now than it was then. Now we have the most solid band members ever! they’re all from Montreal.

As much as that bass player wanted me to move here, things didn’t end up working out with him when I finally did, so, now, I have someone else. I have the drummer, Wilson. He’s into Dream Theater. He was the first member who came in. It took a while to find the second member, Joey, who’s on lead guitar and keyboard at the moment. He joined about a month and a half ago. From then on, we knew everything was solid. The bass player joined a month ago, so now we have a full band.

How did you come up with the band’s name?
It was my idea to name the band that, but the name itself I found when I was using a laptop of mine one time. There were a bunch of lyrics on it, which I believed were my brother’s because he used to write a lot of pro poetry. There’s one poem titled “Psychocide” on there, and the name just kind of stuck.

I discovered a few weeks ago that that was not in fact my brother’s poetry but had been written by a friend of mine from Scotland. I think that we were in a band together at one point, and he wrote lyrics and the words kind of stuck. I thought that they were cool words. I didn’t even know that they had a meaning. Then I found out that they did, and that made it even better. “Psychocide” has something to do with suicide of the brain.

How did comics come to be a part of the album scheme?
That was an accident. I had to get the cover of the record done, and I’d been trying to get a logo for years. I just had this crazy idea: “I’ll describe what the songs mean and see if an artist can draw something.”

I eventually met this person from Spain who draws cartoons. He read the lyrics and pictured exactly what I pictured. The first character then came. Her name was “Crazy Janet,” and I was like “Oh, wow!” because we already have a music video for that, which we haven’t put together yet.

I gave him 10 songs. He hadn’t heard the songs yet; he just had the lyrics and the descriptions I’d given him, and then he did all of the 10 characters. Right now, he’s doing four more, of each band member, for the vinyl.

The comic book won’t be available to the public at first, but it will be available for fans to pick up at gigs. Everyone should be able to see the covers, though. Vinyls could have been the same as the artwork for the CD, but we’re adding something different. The four characters of us, the band members, are now in there.

What’s your artistic mission statement?
To leave a legacy. I would like to change how music videos are done. ?80s and ?90s rock, for example, had great music videos. I hate the lip syncing and stuff that bands are doing nowadays. I want to change that. I don’t think that it would be expensive to do it? it would just take more creativity.

What’s on the horizon?
We want to record the next record in April, even though the first one will only be out in March. we’re also looking at shooting some short films in April. we’re doing two music videos in January, and another one in April.

Wanda also writes the blog The Mindful Bard:The Care and Feeding of the Creative Self.