Chapter II

Sleeping with one eye openFor the first time, I felt that this was really me within the music, as if we were one…pure and real. I was driven.

I borrowed equipment from friends and recorded the basic tracks with the help of Ron Rossnick, who played bass on the original tracks. For months, I traveled by subway and then by bus to his house out in Montclair, New Jersey to record, spending non-stop hours and hours crafting the songs that would eventually become the album, pulling all-nighters to get “that mood” just right.

Hard around-the-clock work was no problem for me. This confidence grew out of past experience in creating something else out of nothing, and following the road less traveled…

Just a few years earlier, after quitting a day job I hated, I remember giving notice to my boss, and walking out of the office to start my own business, Nova Music Productions, Inc. Leaving the building, I was literally jumping up and down like a little kid filled with joy, saying “I’m free! I’m free!”

I ate tuna out of the can for about a year or so, but finally got the business off the ground by word of mouth and 24/7 hustle. I was featured in the New York Times. I was a success. What this taught me was that I COULD achieve my dreams, in spite of my misadventures of the past. And I was feeling that joy of a child again…

I began to realize that some people live their lives locked inside a cell called “beliefs” and they live their whole lives locked inside this limited cell. But what if you were to step outside this limited cell and feel the freedom of something unlimited, something called “possibility”…


It was with this inspiration that I dedicated myself completely to the making of what would eventually become X: The Human Condition.  It evolved into a story of the alienation and loneliness I felt not only after my relationship breakup, but of my life, my feelings of never fitting in and always feeling like an outsider, even amongst those closest to me. I began to explore and study hypnotherapy and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) as a way to understand these feelings of alienation and began to realize that everyone feels this way to a degree.

I felt that this was a story that needed to be told. Someone needed to speak for those that would not be spoken for. For those that hide their feelings in empty smiles, and secret disillusionment. I understood, and wanted to do one good thing in my life… one thing that would make a difference to someone…

It was then that I met someone who followed another road less traveled…

Chris (Ninjaboy) Liang spent his childhood soujourning from London to Hong Kong, to Singapore to the remote regions of Borneo, becoming a martial arts practitioner of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, under the tutelage of masters authorized by Lee himself.

Continuing his sojourn to New York City, and applying the wisdom gained from those martial arts to his music, he created award-winning mixes for film and television, mixing promos for HBO’s Sopranos and hundreds of spots for Syfy, HBO, USA, and Spike, as well as long-form programming for Travel Channel, HGTV, Food Network and Discovery.

Together, we were two diverse paths that led to one another, and now what was to be X: THC was fully formed. We created the band name X: THC as the acronym for X: The Human Condition.

X: THC photo

Enlisting Ninjaboy’s help, the music would reach the level I had envisioned in my head. But still, music was not enough. I realized that without visuals, it would be incomplete. You had to hear it and see it to feel it. It had to be multi-sensory. So I came up with an animation-based telling of my story. It was a massive undertaking. A 45-minute animation based story that would take people on a surreal journey into the subconscious.

I was told it couldn’t be done by many “experts” in the entertainment industry. Of course, this just fueled me even more. I spent over a year in production, working 12-16 hours a day, and with the help of many great independent 3D animators, created my first film. But pouring thousands of dollars from my pocket into this labor of love was draining me, and drained me even further when I realized the animation was not working. It had to be REAL to have an impact. So I shelved the project, and rewrote the script from scratch, in a new live-action format.

Now it was a real film. Now I was in over my head. And incredibly, now the dark, tortured tale of X: The Human Condition was about to be strangely reflected in real life.

Continue the story here…