Mixing straightforward funk and industrial rock is not an easy task, but it's one Ben Sargatan has undertaken. Bootsy-meets-Trent? Only if you insist on putting a label on it. Just be sure to throw Stephen
King into the mix. What makes it harder is that Sargatan does it all himself.
His project, called Verdilak, features Sargatan on bass, vocals and guitar over a drum machine. The former singer of Latshaw digs deep into music’s past and present to create his horror-movie-soundtrack
style sound. "With the funk, its (Parliament) Funkadelic and anything involving Bootsy Collins," he said of his influences. Sargatan also listed the Doors, hip-hop, Howlin’ Wolf and Tom Waits as inspirations.
"I like that real whiskey voice like Howlin’ Wolf and Tom Waits have," he said. "Skinny Puppy is definitely a big influence on me as far as the electronic stuff."
His influences don’t stop at his six-hundred compact discs. He also draws from the literature and horror novels he reads. "I read all kinds of stuff. I read Shakespeare. I read a lot of horror, Clive
Barker and Anne Rice," he said. He also draws from writer Thomas Ligotti.
Sargatan keeps a sturdy bass line with horrific sound samples over his scratchy vocals. His music is innovative and against the grain in an age of mainstream-driven songwriting. Though he creates his
music on his own from scratch, he uses different influences on each instrument to make his music sound like a full band is there. "I try to give each instrument it’s own flavor, so it doesn’t sound like
one person," he said. "I have different influences for each instrument."
Sargatan became interested in electronic music by accident. He began using a drum machine to make music on his own and the rest is history. "It started by accident and it just went from there," he said.
Eventually, he was drawn to the ability to embellish songs with samples. "It’s an extra opportunity for creativity," he said. "Even with live drums, there will always be an electronic aspect of it, when
there’s a lot of samples to go on."
Right now, Sargatan, who resides in Asbury, uses the Internet to promote his music. He mails out free CDs to those who request it and plans to make a full-length disc when enough material is finished.
"If I have to, I’ll put it out myself," he said. He then plans to put a band together and tour in its support.