The Lost Album (Auditorium II: Deus ex Machina)

Back in 2006-2007, I wrote and recorded an album that never saw the light of day. It was the second album from my band, Auditorium, and the chronicle of a very dark time in my life.

I recently found the MP3s and realized how very proud I was of this music and the musicians that performed it.


All the crazy sounds on this album were performed live every night. For those that saw Auditorium live, you know we were a sound man’s worst nightmare — singing through multiple microphones and effects, three keyboards with sub-mixes, click and backing track, video projection, you name it. Nowadays, it’s pretty common, but in 2006, it was not normal.

I have assembled the album to the best of my ability and have made it available on YouTube. The whole thing is only 33 minutes long. If the WAV files still exist at the studio, I will make it a full digital release on all streaming platforms.

I would be honored if you would give it a listen (ideally in one sitting and either very loudly, through headphones, or both) and let me know what you think.

Scroll down for the liners notes, lyrics and a song-by-song breakdown.


Auditorium II: Deus ex Machina

  1. Overture
  2. Deus ex Machina
  3. Crazy from the Cold
  4. Edgeplay
  5. The Process of Admitting Defeat

Written, Produced and Arranged by Joran Slane Oppelt
Recorded at Studio B, St. Petersburg, FL
Engineered by Brian Merrill


Joran Slane – Vocals, Guitars, Synthesizers, Percussion
Ryan Wendell Bauer – Synthesizers, Electric Piano on Track 5
Suzi Q. – Piano and Backup Vocals
Dr. Mark Pezzo – Bass Guitar
Steve Krall – Lead Guitar
Mike Eng – Drums
Kristal Guerrero – Backup Vocals
Alchemy Nirvana – Cries on Track 2
Joseph “Giuseppe” Terrana – Saxophone, Flute 

Special thanks to Ivan Pena, Jennifer Oppelt, Kelly Roveda, Candice Ebert, Gergana Petrova Micheva, Sarah and Alyssa Oppelt, Michael Sharkey and Joel Weiss (97X WSUN), Flee (WMNF 88.5), Jack Spatafora (Aestheticized Presents), Wade Tatangelo at Creative Loafing, the Southeast Music Alliance.


It’s been thirteen years but I still remember writing, performing and recording these songs like it was yesterday. In 2003, I left my first band, The Gita, to try a solo project that was more sophisticated (less of a party band). 

By 2006, Auditorium had succeeded in many ways, landing gigs at the USF Sundome and the Daytona Speedway. There were lots of members necessary in order to recreate the songs live – two keyboards, two guitars, backup singers, video, etc. But there was constant turnover, no one was getting paid, and I never felt more alone. 

We played our last show in 2008 at The State Theater in St. Petersburg. I remember having the option of rehearsing the band and performing at a big Joni Mitchell tribute (we would have played “Black Crow” and “The Windfall”) or preparing for a final set and bringing the project to a close. 

I will forever be grateful to the musicians who lent their talents to Auditorium (live and in the studio). Such creative giants. Such sturdy shoulders.


We would usually take a nice long time to get our live set started. These intros could take a while. There was never a musical cue, only some eye contact when we were ready to start “Deus.” In the studio, I thought it would be interesting to not let the players hear what the others were doing. So, I brought them in one at a time, gave them headphones and some hand gestures, and that was it. What you hear is everyone making their own sounds for themselves. I like to think of it as a tribe of musicians wandering with the intention of meeting in the same circle. They’ve been playing for some time — establishing separate themes in the wilderness and finally weaving them together face-to-face. 


That signature beat was something Mike Eng had been using in set warm-ups forever and I’m glad we found a home for it here. 

“Deus” and “Crazy” were always inextricably tied together as one piece of music. I believe the first line was lifted from a Brand New song. Lyrically, everything you need to know about the album is in this song. It’s a microcosm about playing with fire, seeing how much you can get away with, and convincing yourself that you have the power to stop at any point. Even the title alludes to the idea that you cannot depend on outside forces (or people) to intervene or save the day.

The sleigh bells at the end were clearly a tip of the hat to Radiohead, and the synthy-sounding melody underneath them is a toy from my childhood called a Major Morgan. 


The opening bass line was written by Ivan Pena (Soulfound, Rise of Saturn, Redlight Stare). He was always a big Police fan, so it’s got that reggae feel, but I managed to twist it into something else. The breakdown is the coolest-sounding thing on the record. Ryan and Kristal’s on-stage dancing during that solo section was always the high-point of the set. Mike’s cymbal overdubs here and throughout the recording session were a revelation. 

The themes of changing temperature and summer show up repeatedly. It’s no wonder Florida people are insane. It’s flat, hot and humid. A steaming parking lot that comes in green, gray or beige. We are the children slowly baking in the back seat.

Lyrically, we’re crashing and burning here. Past the point of no return, resigned and too numb to do anything about it. Like a crash test dummy behind the wheel, driving over a long bridge. We’re all waiting and watching to see what might happen.


Suzi and I were high school sweethearts. We matured as musicians while playing together. From the very beginning, Auditorium was an excuse to play with her again. Her piano parts were always well-thought-out and classed us up. It was like having Tori Amos in the band.

I think there was a documentary about The Runaways called Edgeplay. That’s probably where the name came from. Again, we’re crossing a line. Doing things we shouldn’t do. But there’s no redemption in this story. Only a slow sense of surrender, like the peace of letting water in your lungs when drowning. 

The double-harmony hair-metal guitar breakdown was one of those guilty pleasures. It feels so good you don’t want it to end. The up/down-delay vocal effects on the verses were always challenging to pull off live — switching between two microphones mid-sentence while manipulating a guitar pedal with one hand and playing guitar with the other. The luxury of being able to perform each vocal take separately in the studio was divine.


In 2006, I was also playing bass and co-writing with singer-songwriter Geri X. These chords came from one of our late-night writing sessions outside The Globe coffeehouse. One of her early albums contains a song with the same chords but different lyrics. 

“Don’t name it after me …” comes from a story she told me about her boyfriend officially naming a star after her and giving her the framed certificate as a gift. 

Cosmic seduction, the frayed edges of the black hole, the socket of a missing tooth, tongued compulsively. It gnaws at us and it will never stop. As above, so below.



We are inside these machines. Somewhere
And we keep changing what we mean. Somehow
Beyond the edges of your fear
like the sunlight in your hair
They’re the sirens that are calling you to lay down.

And no one tells you the difference
Between a muse and a mistress
And I believe. I can leave.

We are in love with the way we’re wounded
And we keep saying that we’re fit and suited
And it’s the lying in between
That‘ll cool you down again
But it’s the burning that’ll turn you into something. 

And we are clearing our throats again
Another season of whispering
And I believe. I can leave.


This is the story of addiction
And how I just can’t seem to put you down
And I know all they want is fiction
But let’s write everything and burn this town

I want to love you on the way down
I want to love you on the way down slow
And I’ve been driving this whole summer
And I’m crazy from the cold

Well I’m sorry that you’re leaving
And I hate that you had such a time
But little words lose all their meaning
Now that you found your way inside of mine

I want to love you on the way down
I want to love you on the way down slow
And I’ve been driving this whole summer
And I’m crazy from the cold


I’m taking off my dirty clothes
Cuz I don’t want you to see
We’ve been living on the road
And laying with the enemy

But take a breath and put your hand in mine
I’ll be the one to take you over the line
And I will

So take your time and turn the page
Cuz baby you already know
And I’m feelin’ all the rage
In my brand new summer clothes

So take a breath and put your hand in mine
I’ll be the one to take you over the line
And I will


I wanna be. I wanna be your destroyer.
I wanna tear the curtains from your walls.
We are soft. We are magnets.
Held at a distance by awkward protocol tonight.

But tonight there is a lightning in my head
And a thunder in my heart
And this will all come to an end
As we collide in orbit with the stars.
But don’t name it after me tonight.

I won’t admit. I won’t admit that I’m defeated.
I can’t put it down and let it heal.
The only way to love the body
Is to let it fall away. Just let it fall away and learn to feel tonight.

But tonight there is a lightning in my head
And a thunder in my heart
And this will all come to an end
As we collide in orbit with the stars.
But don’t name it after me tonight.

You fill my heart with so much light.
I want to swallow you and burn forever.


All material © 2007 Joran Slane Oppelt (ASCAP)
Except Track 3 Joran Slane Oppelt (ASCAP) / Tragic Hero Music (ASCAP)


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