Secret Chiefs 3
Secret Chiefs 3 (or SC3) is an avant-garde group led by guitarist/composer Trey Spruance (formerly of Mr. Bungle and Faith No More). Their studio recordings and tours have featured different line-ups, as the group performs a wide range of musical styles, mostly instrumental, including surf rock, Persian, Arab, Indian, death metal, film music, electronic music, and various others.
Secret Chiefs 3
Secret Chiefs 3 performing in New York, 2009
|Origin||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Labels||Web of Mimicry, Amarillo|
|Associated acts||Mr. Bungle, Estradasphere, Faith No More, UMLAUT|
|Members||See "Band members"|
The band's name was inspired by the "Secret Chiefs" said to inspire and guide various esoteric and mystical groups, and is a reflection of Spruance's interest in such philosophies.
In 2007, it was announced Secret Chiefs 3 has always been a general name for seven different bands, each representing a different aspect of Spruance's musical and philosophical interests. The seven bands are Electromagnetic Azoth, UR, Ishraqiyun, Traditionalists, Holy Vehm, FORMS, and NT Fan. Spruance has stated that the sound collages of Electromagnetic Azoth serve as the center of Secret Chiefs 3.
The albums Book of Horizons (2004) and Satellite Supersonic Vol. 1 (2010) were conceived as compilation albums featuring the satellite bands under their own names. All bands have appeared on at least one of these albums. Some satellite bands have also released records on their own. So far, five of the satellite bands have had tracks featured across a series of six 7" singles and Traditionalists and Ishraqiyun have delivered full-length albums.
Spruance formed the band in the mid-1990s with fellow Mr. Bungle members Trevor Dunn on bass and Danny Heifetz on drums. Some of the many musicians who have since recorded or toured with SC3 include violinist Eyvind Kang, percussionist William Winant, drummer Ches Smith, bassist Shahzad Ismaily, former Mr. Bungle member Clinton "Bär" McKinnon, and Estradasphere members Timb Harris, Jason Schimmel, and Tim Smolens. Musicians tend to float in and out of SC3, so the concept of "current" and "former" members isn't entirely applicable. Below is a list of past and present members, guests and collaborators:
This is a list of all releases by SC3 and the satellite bands. The column "artist" states under what name the recording is released, not who is credited with the individual songs. Some releases, like the album Book of Horizons, are noteworthy in this regard because they are released under the name Secret Chiefs 3, but the tracks they contain are each credited to a satellite band, giving the release the appearance of a compilation album.
|1996||First Grand Constitution and Bylaws||Secret Chiefs 3|
|1998||Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws: Hurqalya
||Secret Chiefs 3|
||Secret Chiefs 3|
|2004||Book of Horizons
||Secret Chiefs 3||First part of the Book of Truth trilogy
Individual tracks are credited to the satellite bands
|2007||Path of Most Resistance
||Secret Chiefs 3||Retrospective and rarities album|
|2008||Xaphan: Book of Angels Volume 9
||Secret Chiefs 3||Arrangements from John Zorn's second Masada songbook|
|2009||Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini
|2010||Satellite Supersonic Vol. 1
||Secret Chiefs 3||Individual tracks are credited to the satellite bands|
|2013||Book of Souls: Folio A
||Secret Chiefs 3||Second part of the Book of Truth trilogy.
Some individual tracks are credited to the satellite bands.
||Ishraqiyun||The satellite band's full-length album.|
Arrangements from John Zorn's Masada Book Three – "Book Beri'ah"
|Secret Chiefs 3|
Live album and DVD
|1999||Eyes of Flesh, Eyes of Flame
||Secret Chiefs 3||Recording of a live performance at Slims in San Francisco on August 18, 1998|
|2009||Live at the Great American Music Hall
||Secret Chiefs 3||Recording of a live performance at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on June 3, 2007|
Singles and EPs
|1995||The Legendary Paper Project
||Secret Chiefs 3 / Mr. Bungle||Split 7" promo including Mr. Bungle's "Platypus"
Packaged with US vinyl copies of Mr. Bungle's Disco Volante LP
|1998||The Theatrum of Suprasensory Universes Vol. 1
||Secret Chiefs 3||Live EP with material from Australia tour|
|1998||Zulfikar II/Zulfikar III
||Secret Chiefs 3|
|2007||The Left Hand of Nothingness / Personnae: Halloween
||The Electromagnetic Azoth / UR|
|2007||Balance of the 19 / Ubik
||Ishraqiyun / The Electromagnetic Azoth|
|2007||Kulturvultur / Drive
|2007||Circumambulation / Labyrinth of Light
|2011||Saptarshi / Radar
||Ishraqiyun / FORMS|
|2012||La Chanson de Jacky / The Western Exile
|2014||Medium Aevum / Stars and Stripes Forever
||UR / FORMS|
|2014||Apocryphon of Jupiter / Danse Macabre
||FORMS featuring the Golden State Theater Mighty Wurlitzer|
|2016||Telstar / The New Daylight (Welcome to the Theatron Animatronique)
||UR||Web only release|
|2017||THE SYSTEM OF ANTICHRIST / Bereshith
||Traditionalists / Ishraqiyun||Web only release|
|2017||MUSICA PRACTICA *Geek Pack One*: Bereshith
||Ishraqiyun||Web only release (alt mixes and instrument stems)|
|2017||Danse Macabre Superdeluxe
||FORMS||Web only release (alt arrangements)|
|2017||Secret Chiefs 3||Folio B: The Second part of the Book of Souls album, part of the "Book of Truth" trilogy, coming soon.|
|TBA||Secret Chiefs 3||The Third part of the Book of Truth trilogy.|
|2017||Holy Vehm||A full-length album from the satellite band.|
|TBA circa 2020||EM Azoth / FORMS||From the Peacock Emerges a Fountain of Truth|
- Mullen, Jawsh (March 1, 2007). "The Secret Chiefs 3". Denver Westword Music. Denver Westword. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- York, William. "Book of Horizons". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- Murphy, Tom (January 24, 2012). "Trey Spruance of Secret Chiefs 3: "I started studying the musical systems of antiquity to try to understand what made them tick"". Denver Westword Music. Denver Westword. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- Free live recordings