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The Mirrorstone fulfils a childhood dream in 'Rukma Vimana'

Chad Smith is The Mirrorstone. Inspired by a promise made to his young self, the modest rock star from Blackburn South has officially released his passion project, Rukma Vimana

Smith has played music since childhood, stating electric guitar, bass and drums as early instruments of choice. But coming from a conservative family, his interests in metal and ambitions to one day record his own album went unknown – “this is something I’ve always kept to myself,” he explains. 

It’s an ambitious project produced solely by Smith. The album is part alternative and industrial metal, reminiscent of late ‘90s bands like Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle. Given the story behind the project, it’s no surprise Smith’s music is reflective of that era. 

“Around 2009 I went through a major breakup. With most breakups you try and find things to occupy and distract yourself…one day I was browsing the internet and I came across Caio Caldas’ art and it brought back a flood of memories. I remembered when I was a kid saying to myself  “promise you’ll make an album one day.” I just completely forgot all about it, after seeing that I remembered I have a promise to keep.”

That promise would go on to become an eight year journey since 2010, in producing the rock album he’d always dreamed of; a cyberpunk fantasy saga that draws inspiration from fable and mythology. Smith explains that he had many influences to the album, spanning various mediums.

“Fantasy, science fiction, Never Ending Story, Labyrinth, Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” he begins, before also mentioning surrealist art, and in particular the likes of  Salvador Dali as a major influence – with the track ‘Salvador’ being a direct ode to the artist. The album’s title Rukma Vimana references ancient Indian stories of flying castles. 

The process began with sifting through old materials. “I went through an old box and I found some of the lyrics I had written, cassette tapes and some recordings,” Smith explains. Among those items he came across a copy of Michael Palin’s short story The Mirrorstone. “I was trying to look for names [for the project] and in the book I love the idea how the young boy gets pulled into the mirror by a sorcerer, and I thought it [The Mirrorstone] just made perfect sense.” 

Smith was pulled into a time warp of his own, revisiting the ideas of his childhood and creating the album from scratch. 16 tracks were carefully selected from what he claims to be several hundred written songs. “I wanted to put it together like it was a soundtrack to film,” he explains. “The opening and the ending tracks are kind of opening and ending credits. It goes through personal things through my life, obviously from when I was young, to the middle stages and the breakup, to going through change.”

On the topic of recording an entire album on his own, Smith describes it as “a very long process.” Every strain of music on Rukma Vimana is his own work – the vocals, guitars, synths, to the sounds of symphonic orchestras. It was Smith’s first time producing an album, utilising his home studio and facilities at Toyland recording studio. 

Smith plans on a CD release for the album, featuring art from Caio Caldas. As previously mentioned, the Brazilian artist served as a source of inspiration, and has designed art work to accompany each of the 16 tracks. Smith hopes for the creation of a booklet with the CD release that, in his words, will feature “the artwork, notes and information about the making of this album over the past eight years.” 

Ideas for a new project are already underway, too. Smith’s goal of creating that initial album from childhood has been fulfilled, now he moves onto the next chapter of the fable. “The next album is going to be very different compared to this one,” he explains. “The new music’s a lot more euphoric and uplifting because it’s a new life for me.”

Rukma Vimana is available now on all major streaming platforms.