Staytus intrigues on heavy new release “Wasteland of Broken Hearts”


Staytus is the musical alter-ego of Arizona-based recording prodigy Sam Grundemann, who fuses the immersive sensibility of gaming culture and the moody, stylized futurism of anime with Gen X-inspired angst, all set to a serrated electro-industrial goth metal soundtrack.

A black-winged avatar come to deliver reckoning for the onslaught of challenges today’s young adults have to navigate, Grundemann’s ability to translate trauma, betrayal, heartbreak, grief and anxiety into sound from a non-neurotypical perspective arrives not a moment too soon.

Depravity Bites,” the latest single from her upcoming sophomore full-length Wasteland of Broken Hearts, out now, goes for an even starker edge than previous single “Lovesick.” The “Depravity Bites” video sees Grundemann incorporating BDSM imagery for the first time, alternating between a whip and the guitar that has become the centerpiece of her sonic arsenal. Once again, Grundemann shows that she can match her prodigious DAW chops with a burgeoning sense of songcraft.

For Grundemann—a multi-instrumentalist who acquired multiple recording degrees and certifications by the ripe old age of 17—riffing, writing, programming, recording and sound-design all derive from the same creative life force that fires her imagination. And the high-resolution, surround-like ambience of her music demands that we make a distinction between bedroom producer and auteur. With her vision growing by leaps and bounds, Grundemann has crafted an album that grips your attention from start to finish and unfolds much like a film.

In an age where the full-length album is supposedly dead and buried, Grundemann is doggedly striving to revive the epic appeal of Nine Inch Nails’ classic double album The Fragile. She also unabashedly wears the influence of groups like KoRn, Orgy, Kittie, Black Dresses and How To Destroy Angels on her sleeve. If there’s one act poised to give nu metal a modern makeover so that the familiar riffs, grooves and attitude hit us as fresh and stylish to us again, it’s Staytus.

We had the honor of catching up with the artist below.

  1. Gaming culture, anime aesthetics, and Gen X angst – how did these come to influence your music?

Answer: Video games and anime were a big part of my childhood, and Gen X bands spoke to me a lot as a teen. Mixing these influences felt like creating a soundtrack to my own upbringing – a mix of energy, nostalgia, and deeper emotions that are part of those worlds.

  1. Regarding the BDSM imagery in “Depravity Bites” – what’s the connection to the song’s themes?

Answer:  “Depravity Bites” main themes include the questioning of gender identity and the underlying shame of exploring one’s sexuality. I chose BDSM elements as a central element for the lyrics and music video because much of it is about control.  It reflects the struggle and liberation in understanding oneself, while society tries to stifle it.

  1. How does your multi-instrumentalist background differentiate you in the music scene?

Answer: Having hands-on experience with different instruments and recording techniques means I can be self-sufficient and authentic in my work. My broad skills let me control my sound and narrative to create intricate sonic landscapes that’s uniquely Staytus.

  1. Can you dive deeper into “Wasteland of Broken Hearts” and its cinematic elements?

Answer: “Wasteland of Broken Hearts” crosses through emotional and apocalyptic landscapes, each track acting like a scene in a movie, introducing new elements of the story. The album swings between desolation and hope, with each note intending to pull listeners into a journey through a desolate, yet strangely beautiful world.

  1. What’s the motivation behind creating a full-length album instead of singles?

Answer: I believe in the journey an album can take you on. It allows listeners to dive deep into a created world, experiencing a range of emotions and stories, rather than just a snapshot, which singles might provide.

  1. In what ways have bands like KoRn and Black Dresses influenced your sound?

Answer: These bands showed that combining powerful emotions with innovative sounds can create impactful music. I draw from that, but also push myself to explore my own sonic boundaries to contribute a fresh, emotionally resonant voice to the nu-metal genre.

  1. Can you describe your creative process in a bit more detail?

Answer: I often start with a core emotion or idea, then build around it. Through playing with different sounds, instruments, and rhythms, I layer up a track, always keeping that original emotion in mind to ensure the end result truly conveys what I want to express.

  1. How do you utilize your unique perspective to convey complex emotions in your music?

Answer: My own experiences and emotions always guide my writing and composing. I aim to convey these personal feelings in a way that might resonate with others, perhaps offering solace or understanding through my music.

  1. Could you share more about your technology and production techniques to create immersive sounds?

Answer: I use a combination of physical instruments and digital manipulation to create a sound that’s wide and enveloping. Through careful mixing and the use of various sound design techniques, I aim to create a space that listeners can truly lose themselves in.

  1. Where isStaytusheading in the future? Any specific plans?

Answer: I’m always looking to explore and experiment with my music. Looking forward, collaborating with other artists and perhaps exploring new themes are on the horizon to ensure Staytus continues to evolve.





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