On Existential Ideas

By Nicolas Vargas

The summer of 2015 I encountered the ethereal and energetic sounds of Worn-Tin, pseudonym for Warner Haitt, a 22 year-old multi-instrumental singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. A close friend of his that I met from school passed me the baton of sonic bliss, and since that day I’ve been hooked. His last album, “Thanatophobia”, was played, written, recorded and mixed, all by Warner in his home studio.

His music comes from a place of self-expression and youth spirit. It’s a radiant lo-fi masterpiece that borders the lines of garage rock and breezy indie-pop. It speaks to the kid in all of us.

Luckily for me, Worn-Tin was stopping in Santa Cruz for a house-show during the last leg of his Bay Area tour and I got the chance to catch the show, along with a short interview with Warner himself.

I read on your Bandcamp that a lot of your inspiration came from a car accident. Can you tell me about that?

Before the last album I made, I was involved in a pretty bad car accident. Two friends and I were in a car that flipped and practically got crunched to half its size. When my two friends and I exited the incinerated vehicle, we didn’t have a single scratch on us. We were so lucky to be safe and able to walk away. The next few months after the accident, I started thinking to myself that I may actually be dead and my reality was all just a comatose dream that I made up.

So you think you’re trapped in a never-ending dream?

The idea I’m in a coma, in limbo between life and death is producing this reality I’m currently in. So imagine every time I have an instance of pleasure that there’s some dude comatose in a hospital with a boner.

That’s really interesting, I have had a lot of theories on the nature of my reality, but I feel like I haven’t had time to ponder them because of all the stressors of the material world.

We could all be octopuses in a human body and everyone’s ignorant to our true form.

Do you think your music and art is a product of this way of seeing the world?

Most definitely. I really enjoy cartoons, mostly because in those realities anything is possible. The characters can move and express themselves in ways that our human forms can’t. So if I allow myself to believe in the dream reality that I slipped into after the accident, then I am more likely to act according to my more creative and spiritual inclinations.

How different would your outlook be if you were to wake up today from the coma as your younger self?

I would relive my life, making less mistakes than I did before, and not take things for granted. I don’t think I’d have regrets if I had the chance to live my life again.

Say you are in a dream right now, which means you are a master of your own destiny and you control everything that happens to you, but you don’t realize that until you wake up. Then you find out everything in life is exponentially more difficult and none of your dreamed experiences help you because they don’t reflect reality. What then?

Well, I think I would continue to live; I’ve never had any other choice. I wouldn’t give up; life gets hard. It’s a fact. There are an infinite number of possible realities we could be existing in, but we can only work within the one we are present in. I think the best we can do is be as free and open as possible now, to insure we make the most of it, regardless of what our real reality is.

We both believe in reincarnation to some degree. Imagine if you were reborn into a socio-economic class less privileged than yours, like an under-resourced Black boy on the south side of Chicago.

Listen, I’m a Caucasian, blue eyed, blond-haired boy. I was born into the most privileged position on the planet. So, to imagine a life where I were to experience things almost in an opposite sense would be hard, no doubt. I have been thinking about this a lot recently. This election and Trump has brought about a lot of that perspective to people like me. People who are well assuming and good intentioned but have a really big disconnect from the realities of other people that don’t look like them. To answer your question, if I was born as a different person, in Chicago, with a different trajectory than mine currently, I would get the hell out of Chicago. I can’t do cold weather. I would move to where it’s warm, and riot. Not actually, I’d would probably start a band.

Warner is a young man of immense talent and creativity. His forward approach to life and art is refreshing. Following some disturbing shifts in social paradigms—white supremacy having a place in the white house and all that noise – my Utopian outlook on life has depleted. On top of that, living in the East Bay urges young adults to focus a lot of their energy on places outside of themselves. It is only necessary for us to take a vacation from the burden our psyche caries everyday. My prescription: a heavy dose of spiritual and emotional digging, then healing, with a healthy dose of Worn-Tin’s wonderful music.

You can check it out on Bandcamp at: www.worntin.bandcamp.com


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