Cartographer was started in Los Angeles in 2014 by Nick Morzov (guitar, production/mix) and Brandon Covington (former singer). As their early success subsided, Morzov shifted focus to engineering/production, working with legends like Animals As Leaders, eventually becoming Travis Barker’s head engineer.
The popularity of that project combined with the Covid-19 pandemic stifled the band’s apparent momentum and Brandon realized he couldn’t commit anymore. Nick was now the only original member, yet it felt like Cartographer had finally evolved. He recalls, “... It was a huge shift. It made us feel like a real band”. Dylan began co-writing more as they recorded nearly 20 demos, simultaneously scouring Los Angeles for a new front person.
In 2018, drummer Groove Juggernaut (Stephen Haaker) joined the band, rekindling their passion. His unique open drumming style and thunderous kick groupings are featured on the EP’s most aggressive finale, “Vertigo”. Dylan Tirapelli-Jamail (multi-instrumentalist, Loveless) was the obvious choice for bass. He and Stephen have been best friends since 2015. Their common influences shine through effortless phrasing and masterful pocket, as heard on the verse of “Fever Dream'' which is inspired by the djenty riffs of Meshuggah and Periphery. Dylan joined in 2019, just as Loveless began taking off.
Enter Skies, a queer, former Suicide Girl model adorned in loose PJs. Her voice was so unique and powerful, it re-shaped the band’s sound, forcing them to take a hard look. Her background in psychiatric care combined with recently diagnosed ADHD sparked long conversations culminating in their second co-write, “Sanctuary”. This song unknowingly inspired the concept behind the whole EP, as the thematic character slips further away from this world, into darkness and chaos. A dingy whiteboard served as canvas for the many lyrical concepts evolving from intense discussions. Through this process, they realized common values and shared trauma, further strengthening their bond and collective voice. Queer identity, passion for human rights, and off-putting jokes—The vision became clear and everyone was finally serving the same song.
Cartographer is currently promoting their new song Rewind as well as the debut EP, releasing 3 music videos and several full take playthroughs. They’re booking select shows in the Winter and will be back in the studio after that, writing and recording for 2024. The new sound has energized everyone and there’s no slowing down. Cartographer is ready to usher in the new era of heavy music, abandoning the bro-guarded white boy club of previous generations. Modern metal is for everyone.