Sentinel Events - "It’s amusing to think that in 500 years from now someone might discover something we left behind & analyze it & try to make sense of it." - Stereo Stickman

Sentinel Events “It’s amusing to think that in 500 years from now someone might discover something we left behind & analyze it & try to make sense of it.”


To introduce one of the most evocative, creative and deeply human albums of the summer, we caught an interview with the songwriter and artist behind Sentinel Events and the new project Poor Historian.

We talk conceptual insight, musical freedom, collaboration, ambition, and plenty more. Here’s the conversation in full.

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Hey – great to chat with you, and congrats for the new album! To introduce things, what does the music of Sentinel Events seek to explore and represent?
Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to listen to the record.

Sentinel Events was initially just a cathartic self-help hobby that evolved into a conceptual music project and now a full-band. There is no musical agenda other than to continue to write genre-fluid music with vulnerable lyrics and authentic emotion.

Tell me about the inception of Poor Historian – what inspired this collection of tracks, and where do you imagine is the best setting for audiences to delve in?
Poor Historian is a concept album featuring various musical, poetic and voice-acting collaborations. The songs are artistic retellings of my personal experiences and failed relationships through the flawed-lens of a poor historian (A medical-term that refers to a patient that has difficulty remembering recent events leading to their hospitalization).

The best way to experience this record and to appreciate the details is to listen to the songs in-order using headphones.

The opening and title track is instantly gripping, heavy in topic and haunting in mood – how did you come to craft this, and in what way does it lay the foundation for the journey that’s to follow?

I currently work as a clinician in an acute hospital setting. While studying and working in this field I became fascinated by the use of medical terminology and the clinical interactions I observe.

The opening track is presented as a medical dictation via voice-acting by Dr. Herwig (Yes, he’s an actual person and a real doctor). Dr. Herwig dictates his medical evaluation and then interviews me, the poor historian patient, who has difficulty remembering who he is and what has happened.

Over this scene I crafted an ominous soundscape with some exaggerated hospital sounds. The following tracks on the album are recalled memories resulting from this interview and therapy session with Dr. Herwig.

What’s your musical background – primary instrument or training, production approach?

I am a self taught guitar player and vocalist. I write the songs using acoustic guitar. Once I have a solid foundation and song structure I add production and other instruments as needed. I try to have a minimalistic approach. I want the songs to sound and feel right to me in their rawest form.
As we move into Futures Will Arrive Regardless, ambient design and Bright Eyes-esque vocals create a beautifully raw folk environment of contemplation. How did the story and sound of this track emerge?

Futures is actually the last song that we recorded for the album and it came together very organically. I brought the idea to producer Zachariah Cabral and in just a few play-throughs he added some really cool synth and guitar parts which made the song evolve into an interesting art-rock jam.

The song is really just about how nothing lasts forever and that’s really beautiful to me. It’s amusing to think that in 500 years from now someone might discover something we left behind and analyze it and try to make sense of it…

An archaeologist in the future exclaims – “Look here, these artifacts may possibly be left behind from a failed musician of the Late-TikTok Era. We can conclude from the modest clothing & lack of status symbols he must not have had any followers.”

What’s a live performance from Sentinel Events like – do you hit the stage acoustically, or envelop audiences with an immersive and full sound?

The songs are designed and written to be scalable. I can perform all the songs on the record in raw form via acoustic guitar and vocals. Recently we did a live radio performance as a full-band featuring all the musicians who played on the album.

What was just one of the most impactful albums to inspire you during your earliest years as a music fan, and what was it about that project that connected so well?
I’m a big fan of concept albums. Ænima by Tool is probably the most interesting and complex concept album I’ve ever experienced with so many elements hidden within the tracks. This album definitely influenced how I think about the presentation of music by incorporating theatrical and subliminal artistry.
The music and melodies of the album are consistently beautiful and easy to escape into. Amidst this are poetic phrasings and stories of thought provoking depth and humanity. It takes more than a single listen to really grasp many of these ideas and threads of imagery. What do you hope are the main things listeners take away from Poor Historian?
That’s awesome, thank you for the kind words. My favorite comment that I received about the album was from someone who said that they don’t listen to this type of music but they can tell that it’s honest and authentic. That’s all I can hope for. I just don’t want it to seem fake or contrived.

Which single track from the collection portrays its style and intentions the best?

The song Hippocratic Oath. The poem intro was written a recited by a person I met in a hospital. It was a very raw and intimate moment that I was able to capture. Having this element added to the song exemplifies the realism and authenticity that I strive to portray in my songs.

Why did you choose Same Clothes as the leading single – is it the simplicity of its melody, the warmth of its harmonies, or something in the story perhaps that you wanted to showcase?
I don’t really think of songs in terms of singles. That’s record label terminology and I thought we abolished those? Just kidding, yes for music marketing purposes Same Clothes just seemed to have the most universal appeal on the album.

Also, I never performed a duet before and I really like how it came together with an amazing vocal performance by my co-performer Elay VanBoer. She’s an inspiring, up-and-coming singer / songwriter that you need to keep an eye on! Check out her song Golden Locks on Spotify.

What’s something about you that might surprise listeners, or even shine light on the deeply thoughtful nature of your creative process?  
Music is a healing tool for me. My songs are usually about painful experiences. While writing and practicing a song it allows me to process the associated emotions. Kind a like a form of exposure therapy.

“After playing a song 100 times & reliving the emotion over & over again it becomes less powerful & allows for forgiveness & growth.”

What’s your biggest ambition as an artist?
No intentional agenda. I just want to keep writing music and creating art that I enjoy myself.

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Find Sentinel Events on YouTube & Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

One response to “Sentinel Events – “It’s amusing to think that in 500 years from now someone might discover something we left behind & analyze it & try to make sense of it.”

  1. Great interview! It’s refreshing to hear from an artist with no agenda! Can’t wait to hear what’s next from Sentinel Events.

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