Russell Lee, founder and lead man for the band This Dying Need, wants to mix things up a little bit in the music scene.

“Everyone is on a Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz kick. Still. It’s getting out of control,” Lee says, clearly exasperated.

This Dying Need manages to set itself apart from the monotonous music scene in various ways. For one the dark, industrial, and primal blend of their music takes the listener into the utter most regions of the mind-many of which may not be pleasant. Gone are the superficial beach guitar strums that tend to be saturated with hidden motives; this music just gives it to you straight.

“Sometimes it reminds people of something they don’t want to think about. It touches some part of them that they’ve tried to bury their whole life,” Lee said. “If you have these emotions you haven’t come to terms with and you bring them out, and music helps you do that, that’s a journey, conquering a challenge.”

Citing the influence of bands such as Massive Attack, Skinny Puppy, Radio Head, and Portis Head, it is easy to see why This Dying Need’s music tends to trek to the dark side. For this reason, Lee admits that This Dying Need’s music may not be accessible to everyone. Nonetheless, those who either find the music immediately compelling or allow it to convey its message will glean insight and musical satisfaction.

“I try to make my music thoughtful and conceptual, and it’s often not very digestible to the masses. Maybe 3% of the people that come to this school might like it; my figures might be way off. I don’t know if that’s good to print, but maybe it is good to print, because maybe it’s better to say things harshly and not sugar coat,” Lee said.

Though Lee is not a fan of categorizing his band, I pressed him to give me an answer. “I usually tell people it’s a cross between Slayer and Janet Jackson, somewhere in the middle of those two extremes,” Lee says. A description on This Dying Need’s web site says the following: “This Dying Need is music you can really sink your teeth into: complex voicing and intellectual lyrics, dark, poetic, hypnotizing, electronic, organic, hard-edged music with a danceable beat. . . . I want the listeners to hear something new every time they listen to the album.”

To check out This Dying Need’s uniquely divergent music and times and locations for their shows, check out their website at