Feels like gravity is releasing me so far from anything But meant to be (Oh No)
Where does the time go? (where does the time go) Where does the time go now? (Oh Oh) Where does the time go? Where can the time be found? (Oh Oh)
I feel my body melt away I feel my soul has gone astray Impossible colors and I am infinite always Eons expanding, contracting, forever in play
But where does the time go? (where does the time go) Where does the time go now? (Oh Oh) Where does the time go? Where can the time be found? (Oh Oh)
Where does the time go? Reality unfolds and shows me these secrets I've known all along My world has been replaced and I have been embraced by every emotion surrounded by love
(I feel my body melt away) While we are in motion our frequencies hold us at bay And we are undying, just changing as one in the same
But where does the time go? (where does the time go) Where does the time go now? (Oh Oh) Where does the time go? Where can the time be found? (Oh Oh)
Reality unfolds and shows me these secrets I've known all along My world has been replaced and I have been embraced by every emotion surrounded by love

I put off writing the background for "DMT" the longest. I thought that maybe I should approach some of the subject matter with caution and treat it with the respect I believe it deserves. What I'm talking about is the subject of DMT(dimethyltryptamine) and psychedelic drugs in general. What I am writing here are my personal thoughts and feelings about this subject matter and it is not meant to sway or convince anyone of anything. There is no agenda, I can only speak for myself, but I will do so honestly and it's something I will gladly share because my experiences have changed my perception on life, death and everything in between. Here we go:
When it comes down to it, the song "DMT" was written while I was listening to a lot of bands such as M83, Passion Pit and MGMT. I never thought I'd actually release the song, so I figured I'd take this cheesy "twinkly" song and make it about one of the most potent psychedelic hallucinogens known to man, thus adding some bite to an otherwise cheesy pop song. I had "DMT" on my computer for about 3 years, half done with only the first verse and chorus. When the opportunity to do a Thief Club record finally happened, I dug through a lot of demos I had, but I kept coming back to "DMT". I felt it gave me a challenge, took me out of my element, and also touched on something that has had a profound impact on my life.
My first introduction to psychedelics was "magic mushrooms" or rather the active ingredient in them known as psilocybin. I started smart, taking small doses in a comfortable setting with people I cared about and trusted and from there, increased my dosage as I felt comfortable with it over time. If you are going to do psychedelics, this is the best way to have a good time and stay safe. Start small, be with people you trust and give yourself a good setting where you feel safe. Psychedelics are very different from designer drugs in that they can remove or destroy your "ego", making you look at yourself and your actions in a completely different light. With marijuana you can become paranoid, very hyper-aware of your surroundings and are more likely to empathize with others as your thought process shifts from just being about you to being about the moment and those around you. Shrooms and LSD can take your perceptions a step back further, making you able to realize and understand your life, relationships and place in society from the outlook of a completely outside source and place of being. You don't relate to things as you would in your everyday life, rather you see it from the viewpoint of a conscious being looking at your life and experiences from a completely unrelated, unbiased stance. Things like commercialism and materialism seem strange and pointless, even disgusting. A longing for a reconnection with nature is usually present. You can realize and understand why you act and react in certain ways in your life, essentially psychoanalyzing yourself, often with a brutal, unyielding honesty that only you could give because only YOU know your deepest and darkest thoughts and feelings. That can be VERY scary, and a large reason why people can have bad trips. Add onto that visuals that can range from beautiful to terrifying depending on the control you have - often relating to the dosage you've consumed- (thus why you start small) and that, I believe, is why we get the negative stigma in todays culture when it comes to these drugs. No, they certainly aren't for everyone, but I whole heartily believe that there are unquestionable benefits to these drugs that are being held back by an egotistical, materialistic, selfish culture that, in truth, could use more of this honesty that we can only find within ourselves. Is this gross hippy talk? YEP, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Most of these drugs are naturally occurring, have been used for thousands of years by mankind. There are even theories that they have helped us evolve the large brain that we possess today, and hold many connections to modern religions from their use in ancient rituals and ceremonies. All of this being said, DMT is something COMPLETELY different.
I first heard about DMT from my friend Jussi, who introduced me to a clip of the comedian/UFC commentator Joe Rogan discussing it on the Opie and Anthony show. Up until that point, I'd always thought of Joe as the dude from Fear Factor and the show "News Radio"(really showing my age here) but he spoke so intelligently and made it seem so fascinating, I had to read more on it. The more I read, the more I was amazed, fascinated and confused that I'd never heard about this chemical before! DMT, or dimethyltryptamine, is a psychedelic compound that exists in most plants and animals and is the chemical that enables us to dream. It's thought to be produced by a small organ in the center brain called the pineal gland, which is about the size of a grain of rice. In extreme bouts of physical or mental stress(including birth and death), the brain is flooded with DMT, and it is theorized to be the cause of many out-of-body and near-death experiences. When ingested, people claim to come in contact with deities and beings in alternate dimensions before returning back to their natural state, with the whole experience usual lasting no longer than 15 minutes. Many Amazonian tribes have utilized DMT for centuries in their spiritual ceremonies by extracting it from the ayahuasca plant, combining it with other plants to create an natural IMO inhibitor(basically Xanax) to prolong the trip for up to 14 hours. It gets crazier: From 1990-1995 an American doctor named Rick Strassman performed the first US approved research involving the study of DMT experiences administering several hundred doses of DMT to approximately 60 volunteers. "Of the 60 human volunteers who ingested DMT under Strassman's watch, more than half reported similar experiences. These experiences ranged from profound encounters/interaction with non-human beings to observing highly detailed, self-transforming geometric patterns and other things of similar nature. This research took place at the University of New Mexico's School of Medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was then tenured Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Dr. Strassman has conjectured that when a person is approaching death or possibly when in a dream state, the pineal gland releases DMT in a relatively large amount, accounting for much of the imagery reported by survivors of near-death experiences." -(taken from wikipedia). Dr. Strassman wrote a book on these studies called "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" which I immediately read and again, I was amazed and intrigued by the experiences these people said they had. I had to try it, and soon, I would get my chance.
My first experience with DMT came when I was on tour later that year. One of the bands we were touring with mentioned that they had a friend in Florida who had DMT in his possession, and I asked to get in contact with him. He came to the show, we talked for a while about DMT, his experiences, the books we'd read on it and eventually, he agreed that I could do it with him. I was so excited and nervous, but nothing was going to stop me from trying it. I had been on a mission, and all my reading a preparation had come to this point. That night, after the show, I went to his apartment. He was having a party and he took a group of us into his room and we sat in a circle. He had rigged up a hookah tube to a glass pipe and took out a box that contained and pinkish crystal powder. I was looking at DMT for the first time. He explained that he got it from his old botany professor, who had the means of extracting it through Mimosa hostilis bark and put a small amount into the pipe. He handed me the hookah and said "Once I say go, inhale as much as you can and hold it for as long as you can. Try to get at least three big hits." My heart was racing, and as I saw him light the glass and the vapors start to rise form the crystals, the only thing I was thinking was "Please don't be crack, PLEASE don't be crack!"
I took the first hit, held it in and waited. The vapor tasted like mothballs. I knew it would be harsh, so it wasn't a big surprise. I took the second hit and that's when my reality started shifting. My vision became soft and blurred and there was a humming coming from what felt like was inside my head, right behind my ears. "One more hit" I heard, and I inhaled as much as I possible could, felt myself lean against the wall and experienced what can only be described as someone placing a plastic grocery bag lightly over my head as I closed my eyes and exhaled. There was a slight "crackling" sound and in front of me, a bright collage of geometric shapes with THOUSANDS of angles became my reality. I can only describe it as being inside a giant, golden kaleidoscope, containing the brightest most beautiful colors I'd ever seen! They moved together, constantly rotating like cosmic gears as I heard chimes and whirs buzzing all around me. It was beautiful and peaceful and I felt warm. I was all there, mentally, taking it all in and being amazed. At the same time, I could hear people outside on the balcony, so I still had anchors that bound me to reality. I stayed there, leaning against the wall until I could feel myself breathing again. I opened my eyes as the colors and shapes faded and I felt peaceful and content. It was a beautiful experience and I thanked everyone for letting me be a part of it. 20 minutes after the experience and I was eating pizza and drinking beer with everyone, but I had this glow inside me. It was just nice. That was it, and that's where I was. Thankful and content with the experience. I had no idea how much more there was to all of it.
Throughout my research and reading on the DMT experience, people talked about the point of "breaking through" in which people come in contact with beings/spiritual guides/gods/aliens -whatever they were - they were common in most people's trips. I had only been through the "first stage" of the DMT trip, and everything I read told me that I needed to push forward to find the true experience. I had to push past the beautiful shapes and colors and open myself up, TRULY let go of the world around me and "break through" to this realm. While I still didn't quite understand, I knew that I certainly hadn't let go during my previous trip, and I think that most people don't WANT to let go their first time. It's something completely new and foreign, and to relinquish total control when you're experiencing something that intense is a hard thing to do. Eventually, I got my chance when a good friend of mine was able to come across a small dose of DMT and, knowing my history and interest in it, she gave it to me. I held on to it for awhile, telling myself when the time was right I would do it. That time came in a hotel room in Des Moines, Iowa and it changed me forever.
It was a Friday night and HTL had just played an early show in a venue near the Drake University campus. Everyone wanted to go out on the town and I just wanted to chill. I dropped the guys off on the strip and checked into our hotel room. I laid on the bed watching TV and that's when it popped in my mind: "What about tonight?" Why not? It was just me, it was quiet, I had nothing going on, I'll do it! I grabbed the small dose out of my bag, took my piece and went into the bathroom. I lit it, took three to four of the biggest hits I could and waited. The room got wavy, I leaned against the bathtub(like all good drug addicts do, right?) and exhaled. All the beautiful patterns returned, the shapes and colors danced, it was beautiful… but it still wasn't the experience I wanted. I looked at my piece, all the DMT had melted and I laid down on my bed again, disappointed but still feeling the after effects, the room slowly swirling in little loops. "Fuck it, I'm going back in!" I grabbed the piece, went into the bathroom, and with all the strength I had, I lit and inhaled the flame through the pipe-screen like it was the last thing I would do on this Earth. BAM. That's all it took.
I was skyrocketed, like being shot off in a giant sling shot - like being fired out of a fucking MIND CANNON - into a world of swirling jewels and gems and geodes. I can't explain it, STILL can't to this day, what it looked like other than these bouncing, vibrating jeweled concepts swirling and spinning. There was music, this cosmic chiming and whirring that vibrated the very essence of my being, and I was smack in the middle of this reality. COMPLETELY competent and COMPLETELY overwhelmed by what I was seeing. I remember opening my mouth and trying to say "How?" but all came out was a deep hum that resonated and took shape as information -like how a symphony is written on paper- leaving my being and entering this new world. There were other beings there. They were alive and VERY interested in me. They communicated to me, but not with words, rather vibrations of thought and information. They were telling me to not talk, not question, just listen, watch and learn. They were like nothing I've ever seen, nothing I could even contemplate creating in my own mind, and they were existing, completely independent from any of my thoughts or actions. This was all new to me, but still, it felt SO familiar. Crazy right? Like, batshit, insane, crazy. I know. There's more. They communicated love and awareness to me. They communicated that these senses we have, this reality that we exist in, is merely a reality on a different vibration among countless others. A vibration that's only a small stream of information in a much larger picture. We are all a stream of information in a never-ending cycle of existence. There is no death, it's more like a cocoon of existence in which we experience existence in different lights and then return back into a wave of energy that takes the knowledge we've perceived and applies it to a super computer of universal consciousness. We're are all one, separation is an illusion that we only perceive because of the limited understanding given by our senses. Then, as quickly as it happened, I saw this reality start to pixelate and I slowly returned to my state of being. Right back there. Right back to that hotel bathroom. All by myself. The music, the chimes, the whirrs faded and I was left there, completely in awe. Do you know when the last time you were in shock in awe was? When something shook you to your core so hard that you felt every emotion at once? Mine was in that hotel room in Des Moines, Iowa. I sat in the bathtub and I cried. I just cried and every emotion poured out of me and it felt SO. FUCKING. GOOD. I immediately wanted to tell everyone I knew what had happened. I wanted to call my family and friends and tell them that I - the dude who was SO sure that there was no gods, no afterlife, no soul - just experienced one of the most spiritually profound moments of his life, and it was because of something that is present in all of us all the time!
No. No there's no fucking way I can do that. Because that sounds crazy, and even trying to attempt to explain what my experience was makes me look like a drugged-out hippie lunatic. Shit, that's what I would think as well! So here I am, typing away at a computer, unable to tell my parents or my family about something that is SO PROFOUND that it sounds impossible, because we live in a culture that teaches us that nothing can be learned from psychedelics other than "someone had a friend once who thought he was a glass of orange juice." All I can do is be honest and tell you my experience in the hopes that maybe I can convince someone else that there's something to this DMT. I've done DMT since, and every time it's been a humbling and beautiful experience. There's no comedown, no hangover, no addiction or craving for it. Just a deep warmth and an appreciation for an experience so personal and beautiful. What's more, in my later experiences, I have communicated with beings that look like the figures that appear in Egyptian, Mayan, and Buddhist temples. I think that people can (and have) experienced this phenomena through pure meditation as well. Your brain is like a muscle and I think like everything else, the more you use it, the more you practice, the better you get. The mind is such a powerful thing, why couldn't we learn to control the amount of DMT our brains release? I could absolute see this being associated or involved with the places of "enlightenment" discussed by so many Eastern religions. Whether my trips have been completely created in my mind, or if there is some type of pathway to another reality in our brains, I know that people can(and do) benefit from these experiences. I TRULY THINK that there is something to this chemical, and that's why I decided to try and convey it in a cheesy, techno-pop song. I don't know what happens when we die, but I can say that if the brain is flooded with DMT, it puts me at peace knowing that this could be what my loved ones(and myself) will experience. Am I smarter or a better person just because I did this drug? No. Is my life better because of it? Not directly. But I will say that I feel different now. I feel like there's more mystery to reality than ever. I feel that I've experienced a part of something that is so much deeper and more ingrained in human history than we know, and I am forever changed because of it.
Anyway, I took the song into Rob. Steve, Rob and I worked on putting different sounds a drum patterns into it, and we were able to get a very talented young lady named Brie Mattioli to add some vocal layers. Shout out to Brie for singing my weird, hippie words! Rob did a great job with the track and really nailed the vibe. It's a way different song but I'm glad it happened and it felt good to do something a little off path to end such personal record for me. If you read this whole thing - HOLY SHIT - thank you! It was good to get this off my chest and I'm happy I got to share it through Thief Club.
Produced by:
ROB FREEMAN
Drums by:
STEVE MILLER
Mastered by:
JESSE CANNON
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