Nominee at the 10th annual LA Music Awards
Hypnogaja (pronounced hip-nō-gä-zhä) is an American rock band from Los Angeles, CA. The group is composed of vocalist Jason “ShyBoy” Arnold, keyboardist Mark Nubar Donikian, drummer Adrian Barnardo and guitarists Bryan Farrar and Abe Parker.
Founded by Arnold and Donikian, Hypnogaja originated as an electronic studio project with early collaborator, keyboardist Sean “Dr.” Brooks. As a live show began to develop, members and collaborators were added to the fold, including GRAMMY-nominated guitarist/producer Jean-Yves “Jeeve” Ducornet (Santana, 2Pac). Hypnogaja’s sound evolved into new dimensions with the incorporation of rock influences into the group’s initial electronic foundation. The band tours consistently and has performed shows to audiences throughout the U.S. and Canada, and has opened for bands such as Shinedown, Saliva, 311, Cold and many others.
GRAMMY-nominated songwriter Wendy Waldman (composer of numerous hit songs, including “Save The Best For Last” by Vanessa Williams and “Fishin’ In The Dark” by The Dirt Band and recently released on Garth Brooks’s new box set) helmed the production duties for Hypnogaja’s live acoustic album, Acoustic Sunset: Live At The Longhouse. The band previously collaborated with Waldman on two songs – “Killing Time” and “Outside, Looking In” – from the album, Post-Hypnotic Stress Disorder. The latter song was featured as the end title of the NBC Movie Event, Carrie, a remake of the Brian DePalma film based on the classic Stephen King novel.
Hypnogaja’s latest studio recording, Truth Decay, was released by Union State Records in June 2009. The fourteen-track, science fiction-tinged concept album includes the song “Welcome To The Future,” featuring Richard Dodd of The Section Quartet (Decca/Universal) on cello. The album was released to strong reviews, including a 9 out of 10 star rating from Outburn Magazine, which noted it as an “expertly crafted album.” The LP’s first single, “The March,” spawned a music video directed by ASC Award-winning cinematographer, Nelson Cragg (Flash Forward, CSI, 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails) and writer/producer, Marius Markevicius (The Last Supper, starring Eliza Dushku).
Features in film, television and other media
Various television shows, motion pictures and soundtracks have featured Hypnogaja’s music, including America’s Next Top Model (CW), Carrie (NBC), Cold Creek Manor (Touchstone), Dirt (F/X), Las Vegas (NBC), One Life To Live (ABC), Roswell (WB), Sex And The City (HBO), Tru Calling (FOX), Valentine (Warner Bros.) and many others.
Author Frank Beddor featured Hypnogaja’s Alice in Wonderland-themed song, “Looking Glass” (from the Below Sunset album) on the soundtrack for the Scholastic-released audio book version of his 2006 NY Times Best Seller, The Looking Glass Wars. In 2007, the Warner Bros. Interactive game, FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage, used the band’s song “They Don’t Care” (another track from Below Sunset), which was also placed – that same year – as the theme song for the Versus network’s Red, White, Black and Blue Summer promo trailer. In 2008, Hypnogaja frontman, ShyBoy, co-wrote and performed two songs (“The Time Has Come” and “Shall Never Surrender”) featured in the Capcom video game, Devil May Cry 4 (the latter track appearing as the game’s end title and both songs appearing on the accompanying, official Sony Music soundtrack). In 2009, Tapulous featured the Hypnogaja song “Things Will Never Be The Same” (from the Truth Decay LP) in the iPhone and iPod touch game, Tap Tap Revenge 3.
Several technology companies have featured Hypnogaja’s music in noteworthy articles and promotional materials, and have invited the band to participate in events. Apple computers posted an in-depth interview and story on the band’s experience in using Macs in the realms of recording, touring and promotion. AOL Music’s Noisecreep property featured an interview with Hypnogaja about the concept behind Truth Decay, and offered an exclusive, free download of the song, “Worship Me (I’m On TV).” Microsoft Windows featured free downloads of two songs from Truth Decay – “Rusty Moon” and “Cellar Door” – on promotions tied to its Windows 7 release, including a slot in the January 2010 Windows Media Guide.
The intro from Hypnogaja’s song “Voodoo Baby” was featured in select prints of the Scream 4 movie trailer released by Dimension Films and The Weinstein Company on January 21, 2011.
Hypnogaja’s logo is prominently featured in the first few episodes of the critically acclaimed, Bryan Fuller-created television series, Dead Like Me, on a character’s t-shirt and a large wall poster.
Notable public appearances and awards
Hypnogaja performed at the first annual 140tc (Twitter Conference), held in Los Angeles in September 2009. In consideration of the band’s success in utilizing social networking to grow its fan base, keyboardist Donikian was invited to serve as one of the speakers during the conference’s music panel, which also included Chamillionaire, Curt Smith of Tears for Fears and several notable music industry executives. The band rounded out 2009 with a Best Alternative Artist win at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, performing “Welcome To The Future” at the November awards ceremony. In November 2010, Arnold won the Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Male Vocal for his performance of the Donna Summer classic hit, “On the Radio,” (released in January 2010 by Union State Records as the bonus track on the Hypnogaja digital 45, Welcome to the Future / On the Radio). In February 2011, Truth Decay was nominated for Best Concept Album by The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards.
Current news and future projects
Hypnogaja’s current lineup of Arnold, Donikian, Barnardo (member since 2004), Farrar (member since 2008) and Parker (member since 2009) performed an official showcase at SXSW ’10 in Austin, TX and the group continues to tour and perform webcasts consistently.
In July 2010, the band appeared on the debut episode of the web series, Stripped Down Live with Curt Smith (of Tears for Fears).
On February 15, 2011, Union State Records released a Hypnogaja digital EP entitled Dark Star, containing a remix of the song “Dark Star” (featuring Slimkid3 of The Pharcyde). The accompanying Chil Kong-directed video features an appearance by Slimkid3 and dancers from America’s Best Dance Crew, including choreographer Yuri Tag of Kabba Modern, Cindy Minowa of Kabba Modern and Geo Lee of Instant Noodles.
Arnold has released two solo albums under the ShyBoy moniker: Water on Mars (October 2013) and Lost in Space (October 2014). His music is available on iTunes, Amazon and digital retailers worldwide.
2002: Post-Hypnotic Stress Disorder
2003: Kill Switch
2005: Below Sunset
2009: Truth Decay
Compilations & Other
2003: Bridge To Nowhere (released only in Germany)
2004: White Label, Vol. 1
2006: Acoustic Sunset: Live At The Longhouse (produced by Wendy Waldman)
2007: Audio From Last Night’s Dream
EPs & Singles
2008: The March
2009: I Can See Into Forever (Sammy Allen featuring Hypnogaja)
2009: Apocalyptic Love Song
2009: Worship Me (I’m On TV)
2010: Welcome To The Future / On The Radio [Digital 45]
2011: Dark Star
Nothing Box (directed by Robert E. Blackmon)
Home (directed by Kristina Sky and Hypnogaja)
They Don’t Care (directed by Ron Najor)
Misery (directed by Graham Baclagon)
Quiet (directed by Ron Najor)
Silver Star (directed by Graham Baclagon)
The Spaceman (Live Acoustic Version) (directed by Paul Kulak)
The March (directed by Nelson Cragg and Marius Markevicius)
Apocalyptic Love Song (Live Acoustic Version) (directed by Paul Kulak)
Things Will Never Be The Same (directed by Kevin Heard)
Dark Star (featuring Slimkid3 of The Pharcyde) [directed by Chil Kong and choreographed by Yuri Tag of Kabba Modern]
Welcome To The Future (directed by Graham Baclagon)