By Paige Turner
Hathian. Too often, we the citizens allow ourselves to be defined by the hard times. Often, we let the corruption, the pain, the struggles become the face of the city and, by association, of each citizen. But underneath the robberies, the gang beatings (something I myself have been a victim of) and everything else that taints the city with a fog that chokes the life out of us, there is a living breathing culture. And I say that culture, oft hidden in a cloud under everything else, is who we are.
I recently had the privilege of catching up to Xei Zael, who has put on shows right here in the city with her former band No One Saved. She and I sat down for lunch and discussed how things are going for her today and her future plans. After the interview, this writer was left with the impression that there may be another show with her new band Tradare in the near future. Not that this publication is in the business of spreading rumors.
Xei’s new band, Tradare (which literally translates to Betrayal), plays a very different style than Haithan might be accustomed to. Refer to the link at the end of the article to take a taste for yourself. When asked to describe the style, Xei would say: “It can vary from up beat, to heavy and dark, and everything in between. The newest stuff is more sombre and heavy and so far been well received.” She’d further add “I do most of it solo. A few friends stand in at times. But if you know any bassits or drummers, tell them I’m hiring and looking to make something here.”
Even with little more than clips from former shows and samplings from more recent songs to go by, one can certainly see… no, let me pause and rephrase that; one can certainly feel the heart that goes into Xei’s music.
Being alive through music
“Playing and singing is something that makes me feel alive. One of the few things that actually brings me joy anymore”Xei
The words carry much emotion and implication with them, but the tone they are delivered in say each one is genuine. Xei has truly been a bedmate with Haithan’s misery, and her coping weapon (yes, I said weapon instead of mechanism on purpose) is music that has produced an interesting sound that can’t be faked or thought up in a studio.
What makes Xei truly unique is how, her music is not *only* a way of “getting away from it all” or a mental break. It is like a gift that keeps giving. For, when someone else obtains some relief, some enjoyment from it, she is able to relive the experience she had while creating it. She explains “Artists always hide things of meaning in the stuff they do. And normally where you can find out how they actually are. I don’t think I’m any different really.” Yet this writer would have to disagree. Xei is not only different, she is a breath of fresh air for her fans I imagine. Her honesty, even if it hurts, bleeds through into her music. She finishes with explaining “I feel I’m doing well off when fans tell me how much my songs have helped them. How much they can relate to them. If it can make even one person, feel something. Then that’s all I need.”
With all that said, we shall leave it up to the readers to decide if there will be a show in the future or not. But let us poke the bear a bit and give a hint of what kind of show it would be. A final quote from Xei: “I like doing costumes though. Getting the audience to sing bits of the song, some flashy pyrotechnics, and I always give away the pick I use that night in the show.” Now a chance at that pic is worth the price of some front row seats.
Why am I left with the feeling I imagine bridesmaids have while waiting to catch the tossed bouquet? As I sit here with butterflies swirling through my tummy, I must say: Even if there is not another show, forgetting that Haithan has truly been blessed with something, someone very unique, would be the true betrayal. Rock on.